Visited for more than a century by the wealthy and the affluent, ranging from prime ministers, to business moguls, even big-shot Hollywood celebrities, Kozminsky has closed after nearly 170 years of selling exquisite gift necklaces and engagement rings in Melbourne; bringing that certain je ne sais quoi to life’s special moments.
Melbourne’s oldest jewellery house located in Bourke Street, after 165 years of operation, closed last Friday, this February 10. The remaining stock will be sold on the 4th of March via an auction in the Leonard Joel auction house. According to estimates, this will be the most valuable single-owner jewellery auction ever held in Australian history. More than 600 pieces of jewellery, both antique and contemporary, with additional small decorative antiques have been estimated to be worth between $770,00 and $1.2 million, according to some conservative calculations.
The of Kozminsky is happening now, as big name, international jewellery houses, such as Graff, Bulgari, even Tiffany & Co., expand into the Australian market and leave their mark. The trend of customers buying items online, even the more egregiously priced ones, continues, which puts strain on the antique market; which, in recent years, has had a rough time, with younger generations preferring more contemporary designs rather than silver that has to be polished or brown-coloured furniture that would be ill-fit in more modern aesthetics found in architect-design homes or harbourside residences.
The owner of Kozminsky, Kirsten Albrecht, who acquired the business after purchasing it from her brothers in the 2000s after they inherited it from their father; Kurt, described it as a sort of “behemoth”. She described it as “slow moving”, which she states is ill-fit for the modern market which she states as requiring being able to move quickly to meet the demands of customers.
Albrecht states that she will re-invent the brand name, after a long break abroad to see new possibilities. She states that if ever that the Kozminsky brand name was to be revived, it would go with the times by having a notable presence online. She states that no one does a job like hers if they don’t love it.
With the market changing these days, what does this mean for the customers seeking necklaces and engagement rings in Melbourne?