Born in Rome in 1921, Grima entered the world of jewellery design in 1946, after nearly five years as an engineer with the 7th Indian Division in Burma. He joined his future father-in-law's jewellery business in London, where he assumed design responsibilities. A prolific painter, Grima approached each piece as a painting, which was the beginning, and has remained, the start of his design process.
Grima was interested in the organic possibilities of jewellery design, and he made an early decision to move away from the forms and materials of classical jewellery prevalent at the time. He preferred gold to silver, textured and unconventional stones over classic shapes and cuts. Grima's work focused on exotic stones, pearls or grained quartzes, whose visual impact outweighed their monetary value. Precious stones, when used, were designed to embed as integral parts of the design, not set as the focus of the piece itself, as they were in classically designed jewellery.
In the 1960s, Grima went on to win twelve De Beers Diamond International Awards. He opened his Jermyn Street shop in 1966, before moving to Switzerland in 1986. In 1969, Grima was commissioned by Omega to create a collection of watches, which developed the idea of seeing time through gemstones. This collection became known as About Time. In the 1970s Grima opened galleries in New York, Sydney and Tokyo.
Andrew Grima passed away in December 2007. Today, his wife Jojo and daughter Francesca design and sell bespoke pieces from their shop in Gstaad and at biannual exhibitions in London. The majority of their work furthers the techniques pioneered in the 1960s, such as textured wire and organic forms.