Dates: 26th August 2020 ** Please note webinar date for New Zealand will be on the morning of 27th August 2020 as below.**

Time: 6pm London (BST); 8pm Nairobi; 10am (Los Angeles, Pacific Time Zone); 6am New Zealand.

To register:


For centuries, in Africa, jewellery has been an intrinsic part of life from signifying African rites of passage, folklore to symbolism. This culture has reinvented itself in the showrooms and catwalks of the most salubrious shopping districts of London, New York, Paris and other well-heeled precincts globally. These designs not only draw from the continent’s rich culture, the rainbow of gemstones and treasure trove of bullion beneath African soils bring these designs to life as items of worn jewellery and investment pieces. Thus African culture and resources are significant contributors to the US$200 billion jewellery industry. It is against this background that this webinar queries why so few black female jewellers, on the continent and in the global diaspora, remain on the peripheral crust of this billion dollar pie?

We explore systemic barriers to the levels of success enjoyed by jewellers of non-African descent. We look at issues of race, gender and sexism in an industry that has entrenched vocabulary such as “craftmanship,” “liverymen” as part of its profession and in a world dictated by various cultural norms.

A panel of highly successful jewellers of African descent, from across continents will share their stories of triumph, success and discuss how black female jewellers can ready themselves to win. We will share a number of call to actions including participation in the Association of Women in Mining in Africa’s “Jewellery Design Competition,” open to all female jewellers. 



Melanie Eddy

Melanie Eddy Jewellery,
United Kingdom


Melanie Eddy

Melanie Eddy Jewellery, United Kingdom

From her London studio based in the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell Melanie Eddy creates sculptural jewellery that uses geometry as a tool to explore the relationship of form to the body. She specialises in a bespoke service, mostly working within customer focused private commission.

Melanie is a key academic on the MA Design: Ceramics Furniture and Jewellery programme at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She is a Director of The Association for Contemporary Jewellery and is consistently involved in projects relating to her field; sector development, research, writing, exhibition installation and curation are examples. Experience of living, studying and working in a variety of cultural contexts and institutions has leant versatility to her approach; adept at working within the industry from hands on approach in training and manufacturing through to critical writing about contemporary jewellery. She is currently involved in a number of initiatives looking at diversity within the jewellery trade and is one of the founders of a fund looking to effect change through a programme of scholarships, paid internships and wider industry engagement.

Satta Matturi

Satta Matturi Fine Jewellery, Botswana & United Kingdom


Satta Matturi

Satta Matturi Fine Jewellery, Botswana & United Kingdom

Satta Matturi is the founder and creative lead of the award-winning brand, Satta Matturi Fine Jewellery, which she founded after a 17-year diamond career as a sales and rough diamond expert with one of the world’s largest diamond mining groups. Her skills and experience within the mid-stream of the industry, coupled with her passion for diamonds and jewellery led her to start up her niche brand. Being British and West-African, Satta combines deep felt traditions and heritage from the African continent, mixed with a global view of trends, attitudes and inspiration, to create distinct designs that resonate with women across the globe. Satta has travelled extensively and has an innate passion for the new emerging Africa, which she brings into her designs. She lives between Botswana and the UK with her husband and son.


Lotanna Amina Egwuatu

Mina Stones,


Lotanna Amina Egwuatu

Mina Stones, Nigeria

Amina was born in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. She attended Covenant University where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Engineering and went to further her studies at Lancaster University, the UK where she obtained an MSc. in Business and Innovation. During and after her master’s program, she proceeded to pursue her passion for gemstones with GIA obtaining her Gemologist Certification.

Amina loves to empower people around her, travel, and explore new places. She is the creative director of the gemstone & jewellery brand, MINA STONES and is also actively involved in projects that aim to develop the gemstone and jewelry industry as well as improve the livelihood of people along the gemstones value chain. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Technologists, and Scientists (SWETS) Africa where she is actively involved in mentorship and community service. She is also a member of Women in Mining (WIM) and the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) USA where she serves as a mentor.

Jessica Aggrey

Aggrey Jewellery, New Zealand


Jessica Aggrey

Aggrey Jewellery, New Zealand

Jessica Aggrey’s inspiration comes from a real passion for jewels and gems, and is also informed by her love of fashion, antiquity and nature.

“Growing up in Ghana, West Africa was the start of my lifelong obsession in the way people adorn themselves,” she says, “My paternal grandmother was a gold trader on  the coast, it is in my blood, I was surrounded by women with great personal style with an appreciation of jewellery.

“I find my muse in the women I call friends and family and client’s”.

Jessica has made things for as long as she can remember. “Being a child of the 1970’s, play often meant making and crafting, encouraged by both parents.” Aggrey has been designing and creating her unique jewellery pieces in New Zealand since the early 90’s, and since the mid 2000’s also in Bali, Indonesia.

After a Diploma at Auckland’s MIT, she set up her first jewellery studio, Tempietto in her early twenties and stocked her wares at the likes of high fashion NZ stores Zambesi, Karen Walker and World to name a few. She later opened her well-loved store Mettle 22 in Ponsonby Auckland, where she traded for several years. Her love for styling and costuming led to a one year pop-up store named OBISPO. A collaborative curation with fellow stylist’s.

 When she is not traveling sourcing gems, uncommon desirable objects and inspiration, Jessica makes pieces at her home studio and also produces a small collection of handmade pieces with talented makers in Bali.

To mark 27 years as a maker Jessica has decided to rebrand as AGGREY JEWELLERY – A celebration of our family name and connection to our ancestors.

Maggi Simpkins

Maggis Simpkins Jewelry, USA


Maggi Simpkins

Maggis Simpkins Jewelry, USA

Maggi Simpkins fell in love with the magic of heirlooms when she was a little girl, listening to her mom tell family stories about the pieces in her jewelry box. It sparked a passion in her to make jewelry throughout her childhood, and in 2009 she started designing professionally.

After creating an engagement ring for a friend in 2015, she decided to focus on creating one-of-a-kind engagement rings. “When I showed it to him, he was speechless. His joy was moving. I saw how powerful it was to be part of this important moment in someone’s life, and that’s when it clicked for me: THIS is why I create things.”

An heirloom tells a story of the past and inspires the future.

 Maggi’s work is narrative-driven. Her thoughtful designs emerge through the collaborative process of listening to, learning from, and engaging with her clients. Their love stories become one-of-a-kind pieces that are expressive, timeless, and as unique as the people who will wear them.

She creates heirlooms.

 Her work is informed, from concept to completion, by the highest levels of quality, integrity, and craftsmanship.

Every piece is handcrafted in Los Angeles, using only ethically sourced stones and the highest quality recycled materials whenever possible. Her longstanding partnerships with leading artisans and gem dealers allow her to realize her clients vision with precision, sophistication and beauty.

 “I am grateful that people trust me with their stories, and proud to make such significant pieces. I get to make heirlooms that symbolize sacred things and sacred times, and that feels like a very special task.”

Longo Mulaisho-Zinsner

The Jewellery and Gemstone Association
of Zambia, UK & Zambia


Moderator - Longo Mulaisho-Zinsner

UK & Zambia

Longo is the founder of the Jewellery and Gemstone Association of Zambia (“JGAZ”). An association to bridge the training gap in jewellery making between Zambian jewellers and aspiring jewellers in Zambia with jewellers in other countries.

The association organizes training initiatives, mentorship and tailormade networking opportunities.

 “The Brilliant” magazine, is the official publication of JGAZ created in furtherance of sharing news and views in the jewellery world both on the African continent and globally.

 “I thought of the idea of JGAZ as I noticed, as a Zambian, that whilst we have some of the finest gemstones and metals, there isn’t really a benchmark of quality for jewellery training on the ground. I love the fact that, living in London, there are so many classes one can take at a drop of a hat and learn to make jewellery, often from tutors who are just so knowledgeable and brilliant at what they do. It would be great if such opportunities were available in Zambia and on the continent, where learning a new skill can turn the trajectory of someone’s life from bare survival to economic and personal empowerment.”

 Longo found a passion for jewellery making in 2017 and is committed to developing her craft. Longo enjoys learning new jewellery techniques and enjoys designing, wax carving, sawing and filing in particular!  

“Jewellery ignites my creativity”

Key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. An understanding of what Africa has to offer culturally and materially from the jewellery maker’s perspective;
  2. A journey walking in the shoes of our panelists as they share their experiences;
  3. How to get involved and launch opportunities for your craft;
  4. Developing a network and how to actively contribute to the female global village of jewellers. We introduce the AWIMA “Jewellery Design Competition,” as one such initiative.

Immediate Calls for Action: – For further information on any of the listed calls to action contact Muza Gondwe at

  • Support female jewellers of African descent; know them and buy from them, ask about their story;
  • Support the smaller brands and one woman bands – they often create bespoke one of a kind creative jewellery;
  • Purchase responsibly sourced gemstones from artisanal small scale miners during the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be done through the Virtu Gem Initiative.@Virtu_gem(instagram)
  • Support Africa’s female artisanal miners, source your gemstones and bullion ethically and equitably contact

Ongoing Calls for Action

  • Share your experience (e.g. through your social media, participating in seminars) – there is always someone who needs it and vice versa – you might be the goldsmith a designer is looking to work with or a stone setter that a fellow jeweller needs to call upon;
  • Network, network it is often said your network is your net worth not just in monetary rewards but in knowledge and in building strong lasting relationships in an industry built on trust;
  • Help us create a directory of female jewellery professionals. The Jewellery and Gemstone Association of Zambia is compiling a directory of useful contacts and leads contact– contact for an application form;
  • Attend seminars and exhibitions post pandemic – The Africa Gem Exhibition Conference (AGEC) takes place in Zambia in 2021 Contact
  • Support African based associations, the Jewellery and Gemstone Association of Zambia is focused, not only on Zambian makers, but on cross cultural exchanges in jewellery training globally, for more contact;
  • Give back – mentor and teach jewellery making, make jewellery for a good cause and make someone happy;
  • Share your own list of call to actions with us on our social media, we would love to stay connected with you on your journey;
  • Market yourself, write about yourself, attend events, ask us and others to feature your latest news, share your story and your passion;
  • Follow our panelists on their social media, share and buy any work of theirs that you like, contact them, a brief bio of each panelist is included in this pack;
  • Follow AWIMA, JGAZ, AGEC and black female jewelers on social mediaGet involved in the AWIMA Jewellery Design Competition- a first of its kind, high profile initiative to identify, celebrate and support African female jewellers – by donating

Organized by:

Association of Women in Mining in Africa (AWIMA)

Africa Gem Exhibition and Conference (AGEC)

The Jewellery and Gemstone Association of Zambia (JGAZ).