The Portuguese capital may not be famed as one of Europe’s great shopping cities, but when it comes to jewellery shops, it punches well above its weight. Nestled amid the shopping districts of Bairro Alto and Baixa or planted grandly on the Avenida da Liberdade are jewellery shops of varying vintage, specialism, and price range. Add to this Lisbon’s charming sense of old world romance and you have a city high on amour but refreshingly low on cliché. In short, the perfect place to make that all-important purchase. From classic international brands such as Cartier and Piaget to individual and sought-after Portuguese designs courtesy of Leitão & Irmão, if your heart’s set on tracing down the perfect engagement ring, here are the best Lisbon jewellery shops to help you find it.
Anselmo 1910 At The Amoreiras Shopping Center
After a century in the Lisbon jewellery trade, Anselmo 1910 remains a family business – and a thriving one at that. This Portuguese jewellery institution has two branches in Lisbon, one in the upmarket and iconic Amoreiras Shopping Center on the Avenida Duarte Pacheco, the other in the Centro Columbo in the Avenue Lusada. If you’re looking for the prestige that comes with luxury international brands, Anselmo 1910 is the registered stockist of numerous big names, most notably, the Swiss engagement ring specialists Piaget.
The Avenida Liberdade is Lisbon’s designer shopping stretch, where high-end stores, from Armani to Zegna, line the broad, leafy streets. Unsurprisingly, this is where the renowned French jeweller is located – and Boutique Cartier’s premises are fittingly opulent. The service is, of course, excellent, and here you can choose a ring from Cartier’s nine different engagement and wedding collections of varying styles. Do you want white gold? Yellow gold? Pink gold? All three? For the exclusive touch, you can have your solitaire made to your own specification.
In contrast, over in the Baixa district, retro-fronted jewellery stores ply their trade with the honed service you’d expect from decades in the business. You certainly sense that the famous Joalharia Ferreira Marque has barely changed throughout its lifetime. Indeed, a shot of its façade, looking exactly as it does now, was featured in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. What was 007 doing at Joalharia Ferreira Marques? Buying a wedding ring, of course. Nowadays, engagement rings from international manufacturers nestle side-by-side with more unique, Portuguese-made designs in a stock that’s frequently changing.
The 1920s frontage of Joalharia do Carmo certainly has curbside appeal, with its giant crest and sweeping lines. Accentuating the sense of history is the fact that this Lisbon jewellery shop has remained in the same family since it was founded. Once granted entry, shoppers are greeted with a wealth of handmade pieces, most notably filigree pieces in silver – the shop’s specialism. While it may not be known for its engagement rings, the vintage style of much of the jewellery on offer means the chances of discovering something special are high.
Originally founded in Porto in 1822, it wasn’t until Leitão & Irmão was made Crown Jewellers to the Portuguese Royal Family in 1887 that it set up shop in Lisbon. Their illustrious legacy continues today through their traditional Portuguese manufacturing techniques and procedures – although their modern designs are anything but old-fashioned. Famed for their bespoke and customised jewellery creations (their Bairro Alto-based goldsmith workshop is the oldest in the city) this if the place to come to if you want your engagement ring to be something truly unique – as well as something truly Lisbon.
A family break to sunny Lisbon. Make it an Easter to remember.