In the beginning there was a lady called Sally McNeil.
Sally was my first agent and she kindly schlepped my jewellery samples around the gift shops to which she was selling cards.
In those days, I was working almost entirely in silver. Most of us start out this way because the materials are cheaper. Gold and diamonds have to wait for better times.
I had a couple of sterling silver rings that I had recently introduced to the range. They were in silver with lapis lazuli beads. Sally liked them and asked if I would make one for her but with gold beads instead.
I obliged, she loved it, it immediately caught the attention of her clients and we knew we were on to a good thing.
Since then I’ve never looked back.
That incident opened up a whole new range of possibilities and marks a turning point for my business. I continued to use gold beads where ever possible. This is because, when highly polished, silver and 9ct gold are quite close in hue and you lose the contrast between the metals because there is so much light bouncing off the surfaces. By using gold beads you introduce a junction between the silver and gold and this helps to make the contrast more evident.
Today, the mix of silver and gold forms the core of my range, and you’ll notice that gold beads still feature very heavily. The rings above continue to be popular but the Interlink range perhaps shows the best example of how a very simple design becomes something special with the addition of a little gold.
Time was when you would never mix different colours in jewellery. I still run across people who were told by their mothers that ‘you should never mix silver and gold.’ Mothers, indisputably, are repositories of great wisdom, but the world turns and fashion moves on. Not just jewellery but watch straps, handbag straps and just about any accessory these days can be mixed metals and it makes for a much more interesting look.
I have experimented with using 18ct gold in some designs over recent years, such as the pearl drop necklace shown below. 18ct gold is a deeper yellow and so gives a better contrast with the silver (see my Precious metals page for more information on the different kinds of gold). However, the ludicrous rise in the price of precious metals over the past few years means that the extra cost largely outweighs the benefit of a slightly deeper colour. There are some people, however, who eschew 9ct gold and would only wear 18ct and so I am always happy to add 18ct to any of the jewellery that I make.
If you want to see the whole of my silver and gold range then you can navigate the various categories on the left of this page. On most of the category pages you’ll be able to filter by ‘Silver and gold’ which will allow you to browse just these pieces.
If you’d like to see the entire range then please go to my catalogue page and order your free copy.