It’s December and I can’t stop thinking about presents. Presents I want to buy. But - more to the point - presents I want to receive. (It’s also my birthday this month!) Almost every year Santa (a.k.a. Domenico, my Italian architect husband) buys be a gorgeous piece of jewelry. This year I have told Santa that I only want a new laptop, nothing else. Which makes me kinda sad, because I can’t stop thinking about those earrings I saw at my favorite jewelry store in Rome, Massimo Maria Melis.
I figure at the very least I can live vicariously this year through this blog post, hoping that anyone reading this will receive (or buy) something at this extraordinary shop.
Massimo Maria Melis crafts one of a kind pieces which revive some of the techniques of ancient Roman goldsmiths. It’s the place to go if you are dreaming of an ancient roman coin, set into a necklace, ring or pin. Although there are now a few places in Rome that do this type of work, Massimo is the acknowledged maestro.
Massimo works with 21 karat gold - the exact formula is his alone. This high gold content means that his pieces glow with a warmth that is a far cry from industrially made pieces. What brings me back, year after year, are Massimo’s unique designs. Although inspired by antiquity, he reinterprets to produce heavy chains, delicate earrings and bracelets that incorporate actual fragments of ancient Rome. Bronze coins, cameos, even bits of imperial glass are often Massimo’s starting points. The results are pieces that feel traditional yet fresh at the same time. Just what I want when it comes to the real stuff.
About half of Massimo’s loyal clients walk into the shop and chooses something on display. The other half works with Massimo to develop custom-made pieces. Some come with their own coin or cameo to be set. Others explore Massimo’s own treasure trove of fragments.
One of the great things about Massimo are his reasonable prices. It’s certainly not cheap, but he is shockingly fair, especially when compared to brand-name, designer jewelry which you pay ten times as much for something infinitely more common.
My current fixation is a pair of amethyst drops that would go perfectly with the chain Santa gave me three years ago. Do I really need a new laptop?
Massimo Maria Melis
Via dell'Orso 57 (around the corner from Piazza Navona)
tel + fax: +39 06 686 9188