The Sassi Story

Discover the Sassi Story

Sassi means “(gem)stones” in Italian, and so our story begins with a gem – an aquamarine – buried in Renilde’s jewellery case. The stone was bought years earlier for Hannah, who was curious about her birthstone. When she was about to turn eighteen, her mother wanted to create a special necklace just for her. She based her design on a Roman necklace, integrated the aquamarine, and gave it a modern twist.

When the gold necklace was finished, both Hannah and Renilde were thrilled. The workshop where the necklace was made was equally impressed and invited Renilde to create more pieces. And thus, Sassi was born.

Throughout her studies in the history of arts and research for her Ph.D., Renilde often imagined art as a piece of jewellery. She began to create, drawing on her historical knowledge as well as her long-cultivated appreciation for exquisite design and craftsmanship.

Each piece is meticulously researched. Renilde loves the stories behind the art, the history, and the gemstones. She extracts the essence and weaves it into her unique and timeless creations, retelling the story through her jewellery.

The design is not finished, however, until her daughter Hannah has been involved. As a young architect, Hannah brings her own perspective to the designs. The duo keeps working until both are happy with the final result. “Intuitively, it seems that our clients feel Hannah’s influence,” shares Renilde. “Often, mothers buy with their daughters in mind, choosing a piece they will both love and share or even buying the same piece twice. It creates a very special bond.”

Kyle Roderick aptly described Sassi jewellery as “Beautiful, instant heirlooms, alive with the presence of the past, present, and future, designed by an art historian-mother and her architect-daughter.”

“It is very important for a piece of jewellery to have history, to have a soul. Our contemporary designs are rooted in history – each piece a timeless re-interpretation of traditional forms in jewellery, art or architecture. All Sassi jewellery is handcrafted in 18 karat gold, using millennia-old techniques such as lost-wax casting, granulation or filigree. The pristine gemstones are hand-cut to fit our creations.”

Renilde Vervoort

Renilde loves the double-entendre of Sassi. She identifies with her clients: confident, smart, sassy women who know what they want. “When you buy jewellery for yourself, it has to reflect who you are,” says Renilde. “And you want to wear your jewels often because it is a shame to lock them away in a safe.”

Sassi pieces are therefore designed to be worn every day. Versatile and eye-catching, many Sassi jewels can be combined and worn in different ways for a look that is stylish yet always comfortable, glamorous yet accessible, fashionable yet timeless. Sassi jewellery, designed with the comfort of the wearer in mind, comes in handy leather, hand-made travel pouches that slip easily into a handbag or suitcase, providing everyday luxury.

From the outset, Renilde knew coloured gems were used in ancient jewellery long before diamonds, but she lacked the knowledge to source the stones. Back to school! She became a certified coloured gemstone grader and certified rough diamond grader at the International Gemological Institute.

Renilde is absolutely passionate about coloured stones and works with cut-to-order gems, handpicked and sourced directly from lapidaries around the world. Utilising colour in unique gems and stunning combinations is a constant theme throughout the collections of Sassi.

Since 2022, Renilde has also incorporated millennia-old coins and intaglios into her designs. This practice harmonises perfectly with her art historical background, adding a rich layer of history and storytelling to each piece. The Tanit collection showcases these ancient artefacts, transforming them into treasures with a design aesthetic that is contemporary and understatedly chic.

All of this makes each piece truly, uniquely Sassi.

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