12 Days of Christmas Interview with Josie Goodbody

12 Days of Christmas Interview with Josie Goodbody

Please introduce yourself.

I am Josie Goodbody, having worked in jewellery PR on and off for two decades, firstly at Dior in Paris, where I first came upon Victoire de Castellane’s early collections, and then in London for Bvlgari and Ritz Fine Jewellery and then as Head of Press at Graff Diamonds. 

Whilst pregnant with my first child, I started copywriting for the De Beers Group’s new Institute. I interviewed fascinating people in the company and helped compile the copy for their very first course – a diamond foundation course. It was absolutely thrilling. I then ran a campaign with the auction house Fellow’s as they had a special Graff yellow diamond ring for sale – we achieved around £400k more than the upper estimate. I then worked on another campaign for Lyon & Turnbull with a consignment of De Beers jewellery and latterly for Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury for an enormous and very special collection of Art Nouveau jewellery.

 I have also written and published three novels and two short stories about Jemima Fox – a PR guru turned jewellery detective. The stories are based on real historical jewellery mysteries and have been optioned for production into a tv series!

 I have a podcast, The Jewellerian, for which I interview fascinating people in the jewellery world, including Covett’s founder – Cynthia! My latest three podcasts were on an exclusive interview with Kieran McCarthy of Wartski who curated the fabulous Faberge exhibition at the V&A.

Tell us about when you first discovered that jewellery was a passion?

 I have always loved jewellery. From even a young age, I can recall very clearly the trips to London which took me down the Victoria & Albert Museum’s vaulted hallways, through long corridors lined with exotic treasures, and always ended with my breath frosting the glass of the tall cases which held inside them glittering gems on inky velvet cushions.

My younger self’s fascination with the V&A’s collection is entirely understandable. As one of the most important collections of jewellery in the world, with over 3000 pieces, some of which date back to 800 BC. The museum holds some of the most beautiful stones in the history of the civilised world within its walls – not only the biggest and brightest, but those whose shimmering facets hide histories of love and loss, artists and adventures, smugglers, vagabonds and vows, all bound up in jewellery whose stones have seen millennia pass by, and will be here still long after we are gone. For me, however, it was the mid-17th century onwards’ colour and sparkle that really grabbed me. 

Which piece of jewellery would you never be without during the holidays, and why?

I have a wonderful pair of Graff earrings that I wear pretty much every day – my parents bought them for me when I left working for the company in 2010. I also have some jewellery that belonged to my grandmother and subsequently my mother – which I have inherited, including a beautiful Victorian gold, turquoise, diamond and emerald necklace and a lovely diamond large pave ring that my father gave my mother one Christmas. I also collect vintage costume jewellery – most particularly a relatively unknown brand called Panetta. I bought lots whilst in Manhattan at the beginning of December!

Which piece of jewellery would you put under your tree… for yourself? 

Whilst in NYC I visited the Magnificent Jewellery Sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. This year I was particularly entranced by a solid diamond teddy bear by Graff, that was being sold by one of my favourite authors, Danielle Steel. And I also loved a 33-carat emerald and diamond ring. I mean I would actually have them all under my tree!!

Graff diamond teddy bear

If you could share one piece of your jewellery with anyone - what would you share and with who? 

I would like to share the Queen’s tiaras with the Duchess of Cambridge!! I absolutely adore tiaras and feel that I was born into the wrong era – in terms of not being able to wear one whenever I dress up!!

And which piece from the Covett Vault is first on your list to welcome 2022 with, and why? 

I love my friend Tessa Packard’s pieces with Covett - I interviewed her for The Jewellerian also – but I am particularly taken at the moment with Ouroboros’s snake pendant and bracelet.