The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Vartan: Egypt’s Long-time Luxury Jeweller

reviewed by
Janan Omar
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Vartan: Egypt’s Long-time Luxury Jeweller

During Cairo’s
golden age, Downtown Cairo was a celebrated hub for all things jewellery. The
workmanship and design in Egypt
was unparallel in the Middle East, and
foreigners and Egyptians alike would flock to these shops to buy beautiful,
quality pieces from the experts. Now, only a few key jewellers have stood the
test of time, and Vartan is one of them. 

Vartan is synonymous with quality, design and
tradition. Originally opened in 1920, this family-run shop began its modest
beginnings with a small venue in the Downtown Cairo area. Ninety years later, Vartan
now boasts multiple branches all over Cairo as
well as Beirut,
and is still going strong.

Located inside of the Degla Center on Hassan Sabry Street,
Vartan’s Zamalek branch has separate men’s and women’s shops. When it comes to jewellery,
presentation is crucial, and Vartan spares no expense. The soft lighting, velvet
and leather casings, and the carefully coordinated spot lights all come together
to make customers feel that they are about to purchase something special.

And the pieces are indeed special. Delicate, feminine
tennis bracelets in gold, white gold and platinum are neatly displayed in line;
each with its own unique precious or semi-precious charms. Prices start at 1200LE
and can go up to 2000LE depending on the stones and metal used. For something
more valuable, there are also platinum-plated earrings, decorated with semi-precious
stones in a wide variety of colours. Most come with matching necklaces to
complete a set. A set can start at 3000LE and upwards.

Over at the men’s shop, you can find a large
collection of gifts for the man in your life. White gold and yellow gold-plated
pens come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the super-thin and elegant to
the heavier and more noticeable. Plated pens start at 1000LE up to
5000LE, and they can be custom-engraved with a name or date. Classique brand watches
are also available, as are other accessories such as cufflinks and key chains.

All in all, Vartan offers a wide variety of
illustrious, high-quality jewellery. The women’s section is understandably much
larger and better stocked than the men’s, but both offer quality service thanks
to a bilingual and well-versed staff. If you have the urge to splurge, make
sure to visit this old-school jeweller and take a look around.

360 Tip

If you see something you like but would like to change the type of stones used, they can do that for you - just ask!

Best Bit

The experience of browsing through the shop and admiring the beautiful presentation and jewellery.

Worst Bit

The prices are quite high for local brand jewellery, especially now with many competitors in the luxury accessory market, such as Tiffany & Co.

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