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© Nicole Giopp
© Nicole Giopp

Maria João Bahia

Maria João Bahia Jewellery maker
Portuguese, English, French, German
Monday to Friday 10:00 - 20:00 and Saturday 11:00 - 19:00
+351 213240018
© All rights reserved

A leap of faith

  • • Maria's workshop is located in a beautiful historic building
  • • She has been passionate about making for 30 years
  • • She considers her workshop to be her creative refuge

Maria João Bahia was 23 years old and on a path to a career in law when she dropped out of university. After studying design and practising jewellery making in a then male-dominated craft, she bought a small workshop from an old artisan. Maria started repairing jewellery for friends before creating unique pieces of her own. She opened her first shop in 1998 in a “leap of faith”. Her courage paid off. Today, Maria works with her team in a heritage building in Lisbon’s prestigious Avenida da Liberdade. Her endless creativity attracts a sophisticated global clientele and has enabled diverse creations such as trophies for the Portuguese Golden Globes, a reliquary for the Pope and gastro-jewellery for Michelin-starred chefs.

Read the full interview


  • © Maria João Bahia
  • © Maria João Bahia
  • © Maria João Bahia
  • © Maria João Bahia
  • © Maria João Bahia
Photo: © Maria João Bahia
Butterfly brooch

This piece presented an interesting challenge for Maria, who had been commissioned by a client to adapt a pair of inherited earrings to a modern style. The client did not particularly like the earrings but loved the colours. Studying it, Maria saw a butterfly emerging. She designed a sample and the client was immediately smitten by the idea. “Nature is the perfect inspiration to work with, giving wings to creativity and possibilities.”

Photo: © Maria João Bahia
Drop earrings

The starting point for these drop earrings was a pair of uneven blue topaz gems: two pure water drops frozen in time, producing particular geometric forms. Maria felt a need to create a piece that would emphasise the beauty and purity of these two gemstones. Each gem is suspended in a thin golden rim set with diamonds, increasing the reflection around each stone.

Photo: © Maria João Bahia
Balance earrings

The creative process for this pair of earrings started with two beautiful Colombian emeralds. The client wanted a sophisticated set of earrings that would make both of them stand out. Maria created a lightweight organic composition from strings of white gold with different shaped diamonds and emeralds surrounding the two principal gems.

Photo: © Maria João Bahia
Coral necklace and earrings

The inspiration behind this set of coral and amethyst pendant and earrings was the mystery of our oceans. Colourful coral formations grow freely like natural cities in their underwater world. Through this necklace, Maria wanted to present nature in its purest and most beautiful form.

Photo: © Maria João Bahia
Refinement necklace

This aquamarine necklace was inspired by the refinement, subtlety and power of Mother Nature. Nothing is more beautiful than watching the ocean waves beating the sea shore, crashing into the sand. The soft colour of the sea transports us to moments of rest and reflection. The pearls represent the purity of our lives, while the coral surrounded with diamonds stands for Mankind within the universe.

Enjoy an experience with Maria João Bahia

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