Lapponia

Lapponia

Lapponia (1960 – ) Founded in Finland in 1960, Lapponia Jewelry sells bold, unique styles that combine artistic design, sculpture-like impression, choice materials, and skillful handicraft. The company trumpets its high standards that include perfection in form, use of the best materials available, and true craftsmanship.

Lapponia Jewelry’s founders were entrepreneur Pekka Anttila (1931 – 1985) and artist and jewelry designer, Björn Weckström. In the 1960’s, they created striking jewelry designs that brought Lapponia to international attention.

During its early days, the company manufactured traditional jewelry, mainly bracelets and chains. Anttila recognized that Lapponia would not achieve the success he envisioned if it continued to limit its creations to traditional gold jewelry. That kind of success required a more personal approach.

An admirer of the work of Björn Weckström from his time at the Finnish Goldsmith School, Anttila was impressed by Weckström’s unique design skills. The two started to work together in 1963.

In 1965, Lapponia Jewelry gained international attention after Anttila convinced Weckström to submit pieces to the International Jewelry Contest in Rio de Janeiro. Weckström’s golden necklace “Flowering Wall” won the Grand Prix. Shortly thereafter, Lapponia started to export their creations. Gradually, the Finnish domestic market began to clamor for Lapponia’s bold, unique designs.

As the company’s operations grew, many noted designers and artists joined the firm. These include Danish blacksmith and jewelry designer Poul Havgaard (1971), painter Juhani Linnovaara (1972) who created his first white gold jewelry collection for Lapponia, and sculptor Zoltan Popovits (1975) whose first creation for Lapponia was a silver chess set.

Björn Weckström was the first to combine silver and acrylic in jewelry designs. While this combination seemed strange to many when first introduced, that changed in 1975 when John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono appeared with Dick Cavett on his American TV interview show. Ono wore Weckström’s Petrified lake acrylic ring. The TV camera took several close-up shots of the ring and suddenly interest in acrylic jewelry began to grow.

On its website, Lapponia Jewelry describes some other surprises and lucky breaks. For example, in 1977, one of Lapponia’s silver necklaces was worn by Princess Leia in the blockbuster movie, “Star Wars.” The piece, “Planetoid Valleys” became one of the most famous creations in the Lapponia collection.

In 1989 French artist Christophe Burger joined Lapponia. His first collection was made of patinated, white gold. Designer Pekka Hirvonen began his work with Lapponia in 2002 with a yellow gold collection. Master goldsmith Chao-Hsien Kuo started her work with Lapponia in 2006 and added feminine elements to the unique Lapponia style. Mari Isopahkala started as a Lapponia designer in 2013 after winning the Next Episode jewelry design contest. 

Lapponia Jewelry was acquired by Kalevala Jewelry from the Anttila family in 2005. In 2013, the company was merged as a part of Kalevala Jewelry where Lapponia Jewelry remains its own brand.

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