It was a gift from a friend who ran a laundrette around the corner from our apartment in Tel Aviv. Muti worked as a seamstress, often repairing customers' garments there. People sometimes dropped off dresses and jackets without checking first that they'd emptied the pockets and removed the pins and brooches.
Muti, who had to raise me on a pittance that barely covered our rent, never mind our food, could not understand how anyone could be so wealthy, or so careless, as to leave valuable jewellery on a dress that was going to the cleaners.
The owner would always keep the items for months, in case they were reclaimed, but few were. One day, he reached into his desk and offered my mother the pick of his lost property. I'll never know why she chose that medallion, but whenever we visit Holland and see the windmill sails turning in the breeze, I'm reminded of those days of poverty and happiness.
That was the beginning of my passion for designing jewellery.
My range is carved from smoky crystal and the inspiration for that came from Tel Aviv too. I was walking on the beach there when my eye fell upon a piece of opaque glass, rubbed smooth by the sea. It must have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years old. I clasped it in my hands and experienced a vivid sensation of life aboard a sailing ship, with the salt wind in its rigging.
Perhaps that piece of glass was part of a Phoenician trader's cargo, in the days of Alexander the Great, and was thrown over the side after an attack by pirates. Or perhaps it was part of Helen of Troy's dowry, looted from the burning city by victorious Greeks whose ships were later dashed to splinters by the storms. Or perhaps I’m being too romantic…
Muti always said I had an overactive imagination!
One thing is sure: that fragment of smoky glass fired me to create some of my most beautiful pieces, all fashioned from million-year-old rock crystal – smooth, tactile and spectacularly beautiful.
Rock crystal is usually clear, but I have deliberately used opaque stones. The result is similar to leaded glass except that glass has to be lit artificially to glow at its best, whereas crystal burns from within.
When I want to remember my mother and meditate on the love she gave me all through my life, I like to go to the room in our house that was once her own and hold a piece of her jewellery in my hand. Diamonds are crystals too and all crystals absorb and emit energy.
I can feel her life force, emanating from her favourite brooches and rings, bracelets and necklaces and I can almost hear her voice. She was the inspiration behind my jewellery designs for QVC. So when designing I try to instill my energy, passion, spirituality and love into every piece I create for you.
I see all my QVC jewellery not only as unique and fashionable personal ornaments but also as a tool for your mind. When wearing them I want you to think positive, believe in yourselves and think of success, so please join me for my 10th anniversary here on QVC to see some special lines that I have created just for you!
Don't miss Uri's 10th Anniversary shows at 4pm and 9pm – 11pm on Wednesday 21st July.
See Uri's full jewellery collection