Hello, I’m Karen Deakin. As this is my first blog for my new website, I thought I should start by introducing myself and tell you a little of what I’m about.
I’m an antique jewellery specialist based in Sydney, Australia. I sell vintage jewellery and offer antique and vintage engagement rings, Art Deco engagement rings, and quality period jewels from between 1780 and 1960. Authenticity, condition, design and wearability are paramount to me. I strive to buy well and price keenly.
Though I’m Sydney-born – I grew up around Bondi in the city’s eastern suburbs – it was when I was living in London in my late 20s and working as a cook that I started in the business. It was 1978, and I decided I liked shopping so much I’d like to make my living doing it.
I began working for a dealer in the Antiquarius antiques centre in Chelsea to learn the trade. It took me several months to save 300 pounds. Then I took a punt: spending 120 of it on what was at the time an extremely expensive pair of Victorian earrings, in the belief I could sell them on. I still remember the trepidation I felt at risking so much money on a hunch – but I backed myself and turned a small profit. Karen Deakin Antiques began there.
I had stalls at the Portobello Road market in Notting Hill, at Bermondsey market and in Camden Passage, and, for a time, a stand at Grays antiques centre in Mayfair. When I moved back to Sydney in 1986 I opened a shop in the Woollahra Antique Gallery, then spent several years upstairs in the Queen Victoria Building.
Since 2001 I’ve had a store on the fourth floor of the Dymocks Building in the city centre. It’s a heritage building – also known as “The Block” – that houses a collection of small specialist businesses. It’s a quaint and quiet haven amid the bustle and noise of the city.
Moving online has been a big step for me, which began in a small way two years ago when I started my Instagram account, @karendeakin.antiques. I began listing jewels online in June this year. (That process is ongoing: what you see here on my site is still a small fraction of my stock, so please get in touch if there’s anything in particular you’re seeking … or better yet, come visit me in my shop!)
Now, nearly 40 years later, I still love what I do. Even after all this time I’m still constantly learning, and I’ve worked hard to gain the knowledge I have. I look forward to sharing some of that here …