Designed and founded by Award–winning jewellery designer Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, Aurum is a unique Icelandic jewellery brand. Her innovative jewellery designs are a combination of delicate individual elements inspired by her surroundings. Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir often seeks her inspiration from Icelandic nature and spends time in the West fjords where the majestic and raw landscape has become a source of inspiration, enforcing the natural creativity she possesses. Every piece is expertly handcrafted in their Reykjavík workshop, using sterling silver and other precious metals and gems, procured exclusively from sustainable sources.
My favourite piece by Aurum is the Eagle Necklace in Oxidized 925 silver, which is inspired by the white-tailed eagle found in Iceland, a symbol of freedom and strength. Because it’s black, it matches nearly everything and is a real statement piece that can dress up any outfit from a simple top to a dress. I love that it’s also sustainable and unique, so it is not just a beautiful necklace but it is from a company that demonstrates high standards of environmental responsibility, community involvement, and integrity.
I was thrilled to also get the opportunity to interview Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, about her inspiration, creations and the future of the brand.
What is the story behind Aurum?
Aurum by Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir was established in 1999 and is Iceland’s leading jewellery brand. We take pride in creating unique jewellery designs inspired by Icelandic nature. As a family-run company, we love working with our customers on a personal level, showing understanding to their needs with respect and empathy, responding to their ideas and bringing them to life. We run our company in the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable way possible. The brand’s name Aurum stands for Ambition, Understanding, Responsibility, Unity, and Mindfulness – values that we hold dear and strive to embody in all that we do.
Where do you get your inspiration and design influences from?
As a designer, I draw inspiration from the Icelandic nature, and my designs are deeply personal and crafted with attention to every detail. I follow my own path in jewellery making, dedicating time to conceptualizing and developing ideas that culminate in a fully formed collection. Icelandic nature is an endless source of inspiration for me, and I often spend quality time alone in the wilderness to recharge. The West Fjords are a particular favourite, with their tranquil and unspoiled nature providing me with boundless creative ideas. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in the stillness, sensing the beauty and experiencing forms that take on fantastic shapes and turn into little treasures.
Each of my collections tells a story that begins developing when I’m out in nature by myself before the creative process begins. My jewellery aims to convey a feeling and atmosphere, with Aurum’s collections drawing inspiration from Flora (Erika, Hafey, Ísold, Dögg, Íðunn), Fauna (Nanook, Tuttu, Swan, Falcon, Raven, Eagle), Nordic mythology (Rán, Kolga), and the most magical places of our beautiful country, such as the Blue Lagoon and its namesake collection, Black Sand Beach (Basalt), Westfjords (Asterias) and others.
How have you interwoven sustainable practices within your brand identity and philosophy?
Staying true to the brand’s guiding principles of responsible, mindful, and sustainable jewelry, every piece is crafted from recycled sterling silver and gold at the brand’s integrated workshop in Reykjavik. We also use lab-grown diamonds instead of natural diamonds. Aurum’s packaging is also environmentally conscious and ethically sourced, thoughtfully created from paper sourced from a Mulberry tree to resemble the stones found on the beaches of the Western Fjords in Iceland.
Where do you source your materials for Aurum?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with the same company since the beginning, and I have full confidence in their business practices and shared values. It’s reassuring to know that they remain committed to their core ethos, which has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me.
You’ve won many awards for your designs; Bjork is a fan and you’ve designed jewellery for Katy Perry! What would you say is your proudest achievement so far and what is next?
Every customer is a treasure to us. As a designer, I’m constantly growing and learning, and I believe that patience, passion, and hard work are essential to successfully executing ideas and learning through experience. Our goal is for our clients to feel a deep connection to the stories behind each of our collections, and to appreciate our commitment to environmental responsibility, community involvement, and integrity. One of my favourite parts of the design process is creating something fresh and new, and this is reflected in my upcoming collection. Winning The Faberge Arts Foundation Award for young jewellers of St. Petersburg and the Nordic countries was a special moment for me, as it came early in my career and shortly after launching Aurum. I was also honoured to receive the Icelandic Visual Arts Award for Design in 2008 for five of my jewellery collections.
Do you have any new collections launching later this year we should keep our eyes out for?
Some new designs of wedding and diamond rings will be launching next month, and we’re also looking forward to the release of a new silver collection later this year. Our design process is meticulous and can take over a year to develop, as we believe that each collection deserves ample time and attention to ensure that it meets our high standards of quality and design.