SerraRoma

Since 1910, jewelry with Roman coins and Roman intaglios!

Top shop for gifts.

A buyer bought a gift from this shop and gave it a 5-star review!

Items

 

All Items

SERRA-ROMA

Contact shop owner

SERRA-ROMA

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(17)
See reviews that mention:
Quality 2 Shipping 4 Customer service 6

About SerraRoma

Sales 50
On Etsy since 2019

SERRA: 4 generations of history and passion for jewelry!

The legacy of the Serra boutique as crafters of “archeological jewels” and “historical artifacts” begins in 1910 with its founder, Mario Serra, who set his business more like an artist’s studio than a conventional upscale jewelry. Mario was a man of eclectic tastes, well-travelled and fluent in many languages. He was also an attentive observer of the society of the time, its culture and its tastes. He started surveying and acquiring jewels, arts and materials for his shop that his sensitivity found beautiful or anything that struck him as innovative. Most likely, la Belle Epoque and neoclassical themes influenced his choices. He also staffed his studio with skilled craftsmen and goldsmiths who made the jewels that he designed.

The Serra jewelry boutique soon became a reference point of the high society of the time and received the high honor of being named the supplier of the Italian Royal family (the then Royal Palace, Il Quirinale, is a short walk from Via del Corso, where the shop was located at the time).

Newspapers of the time often wrote about the shop, referring to it as “the most beautiful shop in Rome, indeed in Italy, perhaps in the world”; and also “Serra, the magician of beautiful things…; a labyrinth of seductions in which thousands of admirers of beauty lose the reason why they want everything…”.

The Italian Royal family and members of the ruling class and the high society regularly purchased the unique jewelry and artifacts of the Serra boutique, as documented by a newspaper article of 1929, which reports that “Mussolini himself went to the opening of an exhibition by car, with Finzi arriving by plane and Cremonesi on horseback, in a sparkle of uniforms and glitter of decorations” (Finzi e Cremonesi were well-known politicians and members of the high society of the time. These historical articles are on a permanent exhibition in the SERRA shop in via Margutta!)

When founder Mario Serra retired, the artistic leadership and management of the company passed to his son Marcello.

Marcello continued his father’s tradition of introducing art and history into his creations and firmly positioned his company among the top dealers of the Roman “luxury market”.

At the same time, Marcello also was a man of great culture, and of vast and diversified interests. After studying in the prestigious Jesuit College of Mondragone (a donation of Prince Borghese to the Jesuits, who made it a boarding school for the children of the higher social classes), and completing his education in Switzerland, he entered the family business. Marcello quickly revealed uncommon managerial skills, and his rigorous and meticulous attention to the quality of his production made his shop become the reference for the most demanding and refined customers. At the same time, his artistic sensibilities made him sense the evolving tastes and the changes in society, which reflected in his productions and promoted innovation.

A man of very strong personality, Marcello saw combat as a fighter pilot for the Italian Royal Air Force in North Africa and in the Aegean Sea during World War II and, after Italy surrendered, he joined the Resistance as liaison officer with the Allied command, taking advantage of his leadership skills and also of his fluency in a number of languages. A passionate maritime archaeologist, he led a number of searches in the Mediterranean and led research and recovery operations of Spanish galleons in the Caribbean Sea. He also served as an adviser for the Bank of Italy and as a board member for the Cassa di Risparmio di Roma Foundation. Finally, he held the position of “first consul” of the prestigious association of the “University and Noble College of goldsmiths and silversmiths of the Alma city of Rome” which, for over five hundred years, has been headquartered in S. Eligio in via Giulia.

Marcello transmitted his passion for jewelry and “beauty” to his son Alessandro who, after studying art and management at Claremont College in Los Angeles, joined him in running the company, and became a distinguished scholar of Roman history and numismatics.

The result was the “Archaeological Collection”, a unique series of jewels created with his wife Ornella, around real, historical Roman items (coins, roman intaglios), where the modern element harmoniously blends with the ancient one by highlighting and complementing it. In parallel with the Archaeological Collection, which also includes unique designs created around ancient precious gemstones, we also offer selected vintage jewels that date back to the period between the ’50’s and the ’90’s. As the first member of the fourth generation of jewelers, Domitilla, the daughter of Alessandro and Ornella, who is a lawyer, has also entered the family business.

The traditional deep connection, in fact a unique feature, of the Serra boutique with the Roman civilization and its artistic heritage permeates our production. The jewels of the archaeological collection use genuine ancient Roman coins and intaglios that date from the 3rd century BC. to the 4th century A.D., as well as forms and styles inspired by the talented goldsmiths and artists who, over 2000 years ago created works of unbelievable beauty and elegance. With this precious collection of Roman gems and coins, sometimes mounted in a classic way and other times refashioned with a more contemporary design, Serra has allowed these ancient artifacts to return to shine in a new light. Our customers wear true pieces of Roman art that are thousand years old!

The custom of mounting coins to create jewelry is extremely ancient. Its origins are found in the Greek world but the tradition became widespread in Rome between the first and third centuries AD. The Romans attributed talismanic powers to jewels, which they believed were amulets, and thus gave coins a much higher value and more complex utility than that for which they were minted.

Glyptics, the “minute but not lesser” art of engraving precious and semi-precious stones (but also glass pastes), were widely used in Roman times for rings, both for men and women, necklaces, bracelets and earrings (a famous example is the ring of Augustus in gold with black onyx, engraved with a Capricorn, symbol of the emperor’s power). Rings with engraved gemstones were also frequently used as seals, impressing them on molten wax cast, placed to secure a document. The engraved stones were worked by skilled engravers; the themes of the figures were chosen by the customers or left to the aesthetic taste of the artist. Almost always, the choice was from mythological or allegorical themes. (All our jewels come with documentation explaining the myth or the allegory and with certification of the historical period in which the piece was created). Today, there is a flourishing market of ancient Roman stones, which have been found during the centuries in Rome and in Italy and became part of private collections. They are often privately traded or sold at auctions. These stones were often removed from the original artifacts and discarded by looters, who were only after gold and silver. This practice started with the Barbaric Invasions, but it also continued during the Middle Age and the following centuries. The glyptics, which are literally small masterpieces that allow us to retrace history and carry us back in time, are a fundamental and unique feature of our production.

The art of jewelry is a complex and somewhat elusive subject. Regardless of whether a piece of jewelry was originally chosen as an amulet, for its beauty and attractiveness or because it conferred social status, few branches of the decorative arts have enjoyed such a personal, intimate and diverse use or, actually, such a long history.

Vintage jewelry is timeless… In the fast paced and heavily manufactured world we live in, we strive to continue Serra’s tradition as a veritable beacon of authenticity, beauty and harmony of the Present with the Past. Gorgeous arts and objects from centuries past speak to us of loves, struggles and triumphs, and enduring values.

Shop members

  • SERRA-ROMA

    Owner

    I'm Ornella Serra; I was born, live and work in my wonderful city, Rome. I have always had a real passion for art, jewelry, design. In my shop in via Margutta 57, is exhibited my collection of "archaeological jewels" !

Production partners

  • GT

    Rome, Italy

    Con la società GT progettiamo e realizziamo bigiotteria mitologica

Shop policies