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Category: London Jewellery Boutique

  1. The History of the Engagement Ring

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    History of the Engagement Ring


    Ancient Rome

    The Engagement ring can reliably be traced back to ancient Rome, however some historians say early man tied plaited circlets around the bride's wrists and ankles to keep her spirit from running away.

    Ancient Rome had a few traditions such as in the second century BC the bride to be was given two engagement rings, a gold one she wore in public and an iron one she wore at home while doing the housework. Another tradition that symbolised ownership by the groom was to give their prospective wife a ring attached to small keys that belonged to him. We found these pictures of early Roman 'Key Rings' there is no mention that these were engagement rings but they are extraordinary beautiful and at the time very useful as the Romans did not have many pockets for their keys! History of the Engagement Ring Iron Key Rings 

    In Rome and many countries the engagement ring was worn on the 3rd finger on the left hand because they believed that it contained a vein that led to the heart therefore the ring would be connected to the heart to symbolise love and a long healthy marriage.


    A Roman iron engagement ring

    History of the Engagement Ring Iron Rings

      Diamond Engagement Ring History


    The ornate and sentimental Victorians popularized engagement rings with mixed precious metals, enamels gemstones and diamonds. They would often be made into intricate patterns and flowers you can see a great collection of this type of jewellery at the Cheapside Hoard exhibition in London.

    Diamond rings crafted during the Edwardian era continued the tradition of pairing diamonds with other jewels, commonly mounted in filigree settings. Diamonds were too rare and expensive for the less wealthy citizens until the discovery of diamonds in south Africa in 1870, where the De Beers company became the sole owner of these mines.

    Diamond engagement rings however are quite a recent innovation first becoming popular in 1930's, by 1965, 80 percent of all new brides in the united states owned one.

      The Eureka Diamond

    We found this great story of how the first diamond was discovered in South Africa which is now the diamond capital of the world.

    It began with a 15 year old boy named Erasmus Jacobs whose father owned a farm on the orange river near Hopetown.

    Erasmus had helped his dad unclog a water pipe by finding a long stick, after he had found the perfect stick he sat under a tree to rest and spotted something shining in the heated afternoon sun.

    He went over and saw it was a stone and picked it up and placed it in his pocket. After helping his father he started to play “5 stones” with the diamond, his mother noticed the shine and mentioned it to their neighbour, Shalk Van Niekerk. He was intrigued by the stone and offered to buy it from Erasmus who instead of selling it gave it to him saying “you can keep the stone if you want it,” little did he know this was now to be known as the whopping 21.25 carat Eureka Diamond.

    History of the Engagement Ring Rough Diamond Image




  2. Our visit to London Fashion Week

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     Rock Vaults LFW Rock Vaults LFW2  Rock Vaults LFW3 


    Well, as London Fashion Week arrives stealthily upon us once more, (it always seems to come around so quickly!) we decided to sashay on down to Somerset House to get a little peek of what’s in store over the coming seasons. 


    After circumnavigating the LFW catwalk tent and wading through a sea of carefully preened fashionistas, we collected our entry passes and headed for the Rock Vault.


    The bubbles were obviously flowing freely as we were unable to find a champagne flute for love nor money, luckily we managed to convince the barman to dispense our tipple into a water glass which, judging by his reaction was against the rules but suited us just fine!


    The Rock Vault made it’s debut in 2012 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. now entering it’s fourth season, it has become a solid ‘must see’ at LFW. Supported by the British Fashion Council and curated by Stephen Webster, the east corner of Somerset House is commandeered by ten of the newest and coolest UK jewellers showcasing their precious wares to London’s most fashionable.


    Rock Vault 2014 certainly did not disappoint. The shortlisted exhibitors have been excellently selected this season. Each designers style was varying and individual, leaving them to shine on their own without being overshadowed by each other. The collections covered a broad spectrum, from the more organic, irregular creations of Imogen Belfield to the crisp, clean, minimalism of Sophie Bille Brahe’s modern take on pearls. Pearls, in fact, seem to have been given a new lease of life. With several of the designers using them in more contemporary and refreshing ways.


    Needless to say, our attention was firmly drawn to more than a couple of the designers work. So, watch this space, you never know which of this seasons ‘Rock Vaulter’s’ may make an appearance in the Nude spotlight in the future. Excited? We know we are! 

  3. How to Commission a Piece of Jewellery‏

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    As some of you may have noticed, we are currently running an exciting new competition, where we are giving one lucky person the opportunity to win a bespoke engagement ring, designed and handcrafted especially for you. Click here for info.

    For those of you thinking of entering our great competition, or for those considering  commissioning a piece for a loved one or as a treat for yourself. We have put together a concise explanation of how the bespoke process works, just to give you a clearer idea of what to expect and how to get the most out of the experience 


    Selecting the Piece

    The first step is to decide on the piece of jewellery. Having an idea of whether you would like a ring, necklace, earrings? etc. is a good place to start. Another thing to consider is if it is an entirely new piece or does it perhaps incorporate an old family ring of sentimental value? Family heirlooms often sit around gathering dust, when they could be converted into something more modern and wearable with a rework!


    Selecting a Style

    Everybody has their own preference of style when it comes to jewellery, as it’s a very personal thing. So deciding on something classic and delicate or bold and chunky is an important thing to be taken into consideration to be able to communicate your idea across to your jeweller.

    Collecting images of things you like, can be a very helpful tool to give you and your designer a clearer vision.


    Being Clear on Budget

    The sky is the limit when it comes to precious metals and stones, so it is important to be decisive about how much is a realistic spend for you. The budget then decipher what materials and techniques can be drafted into the design and construction of the piece.


    A Realistic Timescale for Completion

    Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say, the same goes for precious jewels! 

    Sometimes things need to be sent to engravers, casters etc and it takes time to develop  your dream creation. So, if you need something in a panic for the next day, it’s unlikely that it’s going to happen. 

    The simpler ideas can be quicker but be realistic if you have a special date you need it to be ready for. A little bit of organisation really helps, so get that ball rolling asap!


    We hope this sheds a little bit of light on the situation for you. Pop in and see us or give us a call at Nude if you have an idea you would like to run by us. We’ll be waiting at our workbenches to make it a reality!

    Or for more information click here or to read some testimonials click here.

     Below are some we made earlier:


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