Discover Benelux | The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide | Top Jewels, Watches and More in Flanders
The Fire in the stone TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: PETER QUIJO
Based in historical Bruges, international award-winning goldsmith and jeweller Peter Quijo combines clean original designs with cutting-edge craftsmanship, taking the age-old art of jewellery to the next level. Passing Peter Quijo’s quaint little shop in the historical city centre of Bruges you might not expect to find a jewellers of international repute behind the unassuming facade. But the people from Bruges know differently. Peter’s father Fernand started the business some 72 years ago, and Peter was involved from a very young age. Now, at 60 and with 42 years of experience as a goldsmith and jeweller under his belt, he runs the business together with the third generation, his daughter Jade. 16 | Issue 48 | December 2017
Born and raised in Bruges, Peter has always felt a deep, spiritual connection with his native city. “Every day I’m inspired by the beautiful buildings, the unique atmosphere, the proud people and the city’s rich history,” he says. “Bruges was Europe’s first centre of diamonds in the 15th century, trading with Italian cities such as Venice and Genoa, before the trade moved to nearby Antwerp.” No wonder then that many of Peter’s jewellery and diamond designs are inspired by Bruges. One of these creations is a polished cut called the Qui Vive, a new interpretation of the classic square diamond with 64 facets to enhance the diamond’s natural colour. Looking deep into the centre of the stone, one can discern the Mal-
tese Cross. “This refers back to the story of the Knights Templar,” Peter explains. “In medieval times, they took the relic of the Holy Blood from Jerusalem to Bruges, where it is still kept in the 12th century Basilica of the Holy Blood.”
Jewellery Oscars Peter’s most famous design is a diamond cut which reflects the cobblestones of Bruges’ streets and which hankers back to the city’s past as Flanders’ main trading port in medieval times: the Qui Shape Compass. “This is a square diamond with convex sides and square edges,” he points out. “It has 89 facets which catch and reflect the light and give it a fire you only very seldom see in a diamond. The Qui Shape method preserves around 60
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.