Karen Deakin is an internationally known and respected expert in antique jewellery who opened her premises in The Dymocks Building on 9/11 in 2001. Despite the difficult start, Karen loved her “quiet oasis” in the middle of the city where people seek jewellery that is well made, individual and rare.

Her journey began in London 1978, when she visited an Antique Market for the first time. “It was during a power shortage,” Karen said. “Everyone had these little kerosene lamps and it was just like walking into Aladdin’s Cave. I was really hooked from that moment on. But you don’t just go into antiques, you must have money and knowledge.” At just 24 Karen had neither, but after a while she began working in antiques and learning everything she could.

“I was determined not to come home until I could be the best antique jewellery dealer in Sydney,” Karen said. After nine years she returned to Sydney.

With her expert eye, Karen only sources jewellery, she says, “with good design, in good condition, is authentic, has good workmanship and materials, is wearable and the price has to be right. It has to tick all of those boxes,” she said. “It’s so easy to have fabulous jewels at astronomical prices but I’m very price conscious, I have items from $300 to tens of thousands.”

Karen’s purpose is not to sell you something but to find something you really want. She loves being surrounded by beautiful jewels every day and said, “I won’t buy a piece unless I am proud to have it in stock.”

Globally, Karen Deakin has over 12,000 followers on Instagram. “She does this wonderful educational thing,” a colleague explained.“Every piece will be a little lesson about the jewels and it’s just amazing seeing Karen connect with people all around the world who love what she loves, everyone from the other dealers to people who are collecting. It’s like she’s taken this step out into the world from this office.”

Karen Deakin connects the past with the present.