Handmade in Helsinki
Before reaching the wearer, each Lapponia piece of jewelry passes through the hands of some 16 skilled professionals at the Lapponia jewelry factory in Helsinki, Finland. 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 high quality standards are met. The waste water at the Lapponia factory is also collected and treated to minimize the impact on the environment.
It all began nearly 60 years ago with a vision – a driving ambition to elevate jewelry design to a miniature art form. Lapponia’s revolutionary approach to jewelry design has all the way from the start been inspired by Nordic nature and mindset. Lapponia considers jewelry as an art form, which combines each designers’ artistic vision with the brand’s unique design heritage.
The story of Lapponia Jewelry begins with two courageous men – entrepreneur and visionary Pekka Anttila and gifted designer and artist Björn Weckström. Together, in the 1960s, these men pushed the boundaries of jewelry design gaining global recognition with their sculptural design language.
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. Through this distinguished award, the company received worldwide recognition, launching 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. That changed when in 1975 John Lennon appeared on the Dick Cavett show with Yoko Ono, who wore Weckström’s Petrified Lake acrylic ring. The TV cameras took several close-ups of the ring, and soon silver and acrylic jewelry became much sought after.
IMAGE: Petrified Lake ring in acrylic and silver designed by Björn Weckström in 1971.
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.
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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 in white gold with a unique dark surface. His designs are characterized by geometric forms with powerful graphic structures and textured surfaces.
IMAGE: Signs Bracelet by Christopher Burger designed in 1996.
In 2006, Taiwanese designer Chao-Hsien Kuo was the first female designer to join the company. Kuo’s distinctive and feminine style brought a new graceful dimension to Lapponia.
IMAGE: Dancing Wind necklace designed by Chao-Hsien Kuo in 2010.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lapponia in 2010, the Next Episode jewelry design competition was held, which attracted vast international attention. The winner of the competition was Finnish designer Mari Isopahkala with her outstanding Winter Pearl collection.
IMAGE: Winter Pearl necklace designed in 2009 by Mari Isopahkala and captured by photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen in 2011 for the ‘Silent Language of Nature' photo series.
Lapponia today stays true to its heritage, working with leading international designers who share a mutual love of 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.