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 Showcasing The Best Of British Jewellery Designers

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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. Designer Interview - Radek Szwed

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    Unusual Contemporay Cuff ed large_Crystal_contemporary_ring Triple blue ring contemporary wedding engagement ring

    What inspired you to become a jewellery designer?

    In fact, my first encounter with art was quite early. I finished elementary school in class of contrabass, then I played in a punk rock band on bass and at the same time began making leather belts and spiked wristbands for myself and my band-mates. I noticed that creating something more ‘tangible’ excited me more than playing and I started to become interested in usage of metal in designing jewellery. First it was silver, over time I started to use stainless steel and for some time now I have also been working in gold, palladium and platinum. However, my daily work is always accompanied by music, so I think it is my biggest inspiration.


    What is your favourite piece of jewellery? (either made or purchased)

    Definitely the bracelets - the ones which are made of a few metal straps. Probably because for a very long time I toiled at and racked my head how to form silver or steel tapes in a way that they would permanently retain their shape. I focused on constructing a piece of equipment for ‘restraining’ them, which took me a lot of time, but at the end it paid off. Also for practical reasons: the lack of fastenings makes the bracelets remarkably easy to use. I know from experience that sometimes ladies can’t manage by themselves even a trivial clasp (laughter), so I try to make life easier for them - not only in this one, but also in other collections, by using for example magnetic clasps. Maybe the ‘ease of use’ is the key to the success of this collection? Because even though I made it a long time ago, it still is very popular among customers in different countries.


    Which celebrity would you love to wear your jewellery and why?

    Immodest to say that there already are a few of such people for whom I made jewellery. Among them, Aleksander Kwasniewski (former Polish President), Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. However, I would love to make some crazy design for Erykah Badu, who for me is the epitome of beauty and who likes funky jewellery. For the same reasons, I would be extremely happy if I could do something, maybe something even more crazy, for Grace Jones, who remains an icon of the ethnic cyber fashion, with which I partially identify my jewellery.


    Out-with jewellery is there any other career that you would love to try?

    I am also interested in industrial design, particularly in the field of lighting and furniture. At the moment this is my hobby, but I would like to seriously approach the subject and to cooperate with a company that has a modern machine park, which is essential in the implementation of my projects on a larger scale. I already have executed a few designs - several lamps (or LED lighting modules) and bar stools, complete with a fold-out bar, which I did for friends and in my house. Some people think that they are an enlarged form of the jewellery that I design.


    What can we expect to see from you in the future?

    As mentioned, in the future I would like to expand into industrial design. For now, however, I'm working on my engagement and wedding collections, which in small part, I have a pleasure to show in your gallery.

    Click here to View the full collection
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  3. 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!