Handmade in Helsinki
Lapponia is a manifestation of strong artistic vision, combined with skillful Finnish craftsmanship. All Lapponia jewelry is handmade in Helsinki.
At the Lapponia Jewelry factory, the old and the modern come together, as the skilled goldsmiths combine new technologies with the methods and tools of ancient jewelers. Before reaching the hands of the consumer, each Lapponia piece goes through the hands of approximately 16 skilled professionals, putting their talent and attention to every detail.
Sustainability and respect for the environment is at the core of Lapponia Jewelry. Lapponia only uses recycled gold, and approximately 70% of the silver used in production is recycled. The remaining 30% originates from Nordic mines. This combination ensures that Lapponia’s quality standards are met. The waste water at the Lapponia factory is collected and treated to minimize the impact on the environment.
Lapponia is a revolutionary approach in the conservative jewelry field. The inspiring roots of this revolution lie in the Nordic nature and mindset. Lapponia’s uniqueness is based on considering jewelry as a form of art that combines each designer’s artistic vision with Lapponia’s unique design heritage.
IMAGE: The Petrified Lake acrylic ring, designed by Björn Weckström, was worn by Yoko Ono in the Dick Cavett show in 1975.
The Lapponia Story
It all began with a vision – a driving ambition to elevate jewelry design to a miniature art form. Nearly 60 years ago, Lapponia revolutionized the world of jewelry with its sculptural design.
The story of Lapponia Jewelry begins with two courageous men – entrepreneur and visionary Pekka Anttila and gifted designer and artist Björn Weckström. Together these men pushed the boundaries of jewelry design in the 1960s gaining global attention.
IMAGE: Former Finnish president Urho Kekkonen with Pekka Anttila and Björn Weckström at a fair in Helsinki in 1969.
In 1965 Lapponia took part in the International Jewelry Contest in Rio de Janeiro, where Weckström’s golden necklace "Flowering wall" won the Grand Prix. With this distinguished design, the company received international recognition, initiating Lapponia’s international success story.
IMAGE: “Flowering wall” pendant designed by Björn Weckström in 1965.
Björn Weckström was the first to combine silver and acrylic in jewelry design. At first this combination was considered strange, but that changed when in 1975 John Lennon appeared in the Dick Cavett show with Yoko Ono, who was wearing Weckström’s Petrified lake acrylic ring. The TV cameras took several close-ups of the ring, and soon everyone was interested in acrylic jewelry.
IMAGE: Petrified Lake ring in acrylic and silver designed by Björn Weckström in 19XX.
In 1975, the sculptor Zoltan Popovits designed his first piece for Lapponia, a silver chess set, where each piece was a miniature sculpture of its own. The chess set was well received and Popovits was asked to continue designing for Lapponia.
IMAGE: Chess set designed by Zoltan Popovits in 1975.
In 1977, Lapponia’s Planetoid Valleys necklace and Darina’s Bracelet were worn by Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars. Planetoid Valleys quickly became the most iconic Lapponia piece. Read the full story here.
IMAGE: Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars in 1977 wearing the Planetoid Valleys necklace designed by Björn Weckström.
In the 1970's Björn Weckström had the brave idea to start designing jewelry-like watches for Lapponia, which was unseen at the time. His aim was to create a complete look to match Lapponia’s unique jewelry designs. The watches were well received when first introduced and became a new territory for Lapponia.
IMAGE: David Hasselhoff modeling for Lapponia watches in the 1980’s
In 1989 French artist Christophe Burger joined Lapponia Jewelry. Burger’s first collection was made of white gold, with a unique dark surface. His design language is characterized by geometric forms with powerful structures and surfaces.
IMAGE: Signs Bracelet by Christopher Burger designed in 1996.
In 2006, the Taiwanese designer Chao-Hsien Kuo began working for Lapponia, becoming the first female designer to join the company. Kuo’s distinctive and feminine style brought a new dimension to Lapponia’s design language.
IMAGE: Dancing Wind necklace designed by Chao-Hsien Kuo in 20XX.
In 2009 Lapponia celebrated its upcoming 50th anniversary by organizing the Next Episode jewelry design contest, which attracted vast international attention. The winner of the contest was Finnish designer Mari Isopahkala with the exceptional Winter Pearl collection.
IMAGE: Winter Pearl necklace designed by Mari Isopahkala in 2009 captured by photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen in the ‘Silent Language of Nature' photo series in 2011.
Today, Lapponia continues to walk a path of its own, staying true to its heritage and working with top-level international designers, who all share a mutual love for art, and a special relationship with Nordic nature.
IMAGE: Memory of Summer collection designed by Chao-Hsien Kuo photographed by world-renown Swedish photographer Emil Larsson.