My Favourite Jewellery Brands

I’ve always been obsessed with jewellery; I don’t feel properly dressed without it. Over the years I’ve acquired quite a collection but I can always be tempted to buy more! I’m not a jewellery snob – apart from my wedding, engagement and eternity rings I own very few items of fine jewellery. My collection is eclectic to say the least, but there are a few brands that I wear more than others. My favourite jewellery brandsall¬† have one thing in common: they combine quality, affordability and beautiful design. (This is not a sponsored post btw, I just like to share my favourite brands with you.)

Pia

My mum started buying me Pia jewellery via mail order years ago. Every Christmas she would give me a necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings. Now, carrying on the tradition, I often buy birthday and Christmas gifts for family members from Pia. The designs are classic, ranging from more delicate pieces to chunky semi-precious gemstones. The three rings that I wear the most on my right hand are from Pia. They do have stores dotted around the UK. When I lived in Nottingham I often popped in for a browse on my lunch break.

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Pia jewellery

The sales are not to be missed – you can pick up some fantastic bargains. I usually buy a few pieces to save for gifts…and one or two for myself ūüėČ Pia also has a range of beautiful clothing and accessories.

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Pia jewellery

Azuni

I was lucky enough to win some of Azuni’s beautiful jewellery not once, but twice! The first time I won a bracelet and pair of earrings as part of a big Christmas giveaway run by another blogger. Then not long afterwards I won ¬£100 to spend on the website via Azuni’s Facebook page.

Azuni’s designs blend ancient and tribal artforms with contemporary pop culture and fashion trends to create a style that sits ‚ÄėBetween Two Worlds‚Äô.

Ashley Marshall, founder and designer of Azuni London began his career working as a professional chef in some of London‚Äôs top kitchens.¬†Ashley’s interest in jewellery and design was sparked during his travels in South America, where he researched a variety of native cultures, uncovering their ancient arts and philosophies.¬†The relationships developed with indigenous artisans during this time, who were able to weave the most stunning pieces from just a selection of beads and threads. This resulted in the evolution of Azuni’s first collection of beautiful beadwork. Azuni’s designs blend ancient and tribal artforms with contemporary pop culture and fashion trends to create a style that sits ‚ÄėBetween Two Worlds‚Äô. The brand’s profile was given a boost when the Duchess of Cambridge wore Azuni‚Äôs Semi- Precious Drop Earrings on a visit to Australia. Every single piece of jewellery is stunning and is a lot more affordable than it looks.

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Azuni jewellery

Les Nereides

The quirky designs of Les Nereides jewellery really appeals to me. I fell in love with the Paris collection about the same time the city captured my heart. I bought a few pieces from Vente-Privee (a members only online sale site) and a couple from eBay. My best bargain was finding the chunky yellow heart bracelet in a charity shop for about £2.50!

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Les Nereidesi jewellery

Lola Rose

I’ve long been an admirer of Lola Rose jewellery, but I didn’t actually own any until quite recently. Since being gifted this beautiful chunky bracelet I’m now looking to add one or two more to my collection. Lola Rose has grown from a very small start up to being stocked in major department stores. On her 30th¬†birthday, Nikki Gewirtz received a piece of jewellery that was so special, it changed her life. The gift, which reminded her of her Grandmother Lola, inspired her to start designing her own pieces. Thus Lola Rose was born. I remember reading about Nikki when the company was in its infancy. At the time I had just started to experiment with making jewellery, and I found her success story very inspirational. In fact it‚Äôs fair to say that it sparked a love of chunky,¬†semi-precious jewellery¬†in me. I still can’t master that knotting technique though!

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Lola Rose bracelet

 

Eternal Collection

Having collaborated with Eternal Collection twice I can vouch for the quality and beauty of their jewellery. Often, as bloggers we receive things for review that don’t see the light of day after the review photos. Not these necklaces though, I wear them frequently. Their timeless elegance compliments so many outfits.

The Eternal Collection costume jewellery online store was established in 2007 and is owned and run by husband and wife team, Paul and Pauline Buttress. Paul and his team make about half the jewellery, while the in-house ranges are complimented with beautiful items sourced from around the world, including a stunning range of Murano glass necklaces and earrings. You can read more about their story here.

My Favourite Jewellery Brands, Eternal Collection necklaces

Gardenia Akoya Pearl and Black Cubic Zirconia necklace (see original post here) Aurora Crystal Rondelle Heart Charm Silver Tone Necklace (see original post here)

 

And one to watch: Ottoman Hands

I stumbled upon¬†Ottoman Hands¬†while browsing the Wolf & Badger website (visit at your peril…your bank balance will suffer!). My goodness, I almost hyperventilated, the designs are breathtakingly gorgeous. If you’re not familiar with the site, Wolf & Badger is a curated marketplace for independent brands. Luckily for me, Ottoman Hands jewellery is surprisingly affordable. Even so, I limited myself to buying just one ring. But who am I kidding…resistance is futile when there are so many amazing pieces to choose from. With my birthday coming up in a few weeks I’ll be dropping more than a few hints to the husband…if I can wait that long ūüėČ

 

So those are my favourite jewellery brands…how about you? Have you ever bought anything from these brands?

 

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links which means if you click on them and/or purchase via a link I may earn a few pennies, at no extra cost to you. This helps towards the running costs of the blog and is very much appreciated.

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It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

What feels like a lifetime ago (but was¬†actually about fifteen years ago) I did a series of jewellery-making courses. I’d experimented with beading at home but wanted to make rings, so I enrolled on a mixed media jewellery course. I ended up buying some tools and equipment, so I could continue at home, but¬†I haven’t done any silver work for years now. I’ve continued the beading, albeit sporadically, which is a lot less time-consuming (and easier on the hands and nails!) than metal work.

I feel like it’s time to start making jewellery again on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the¬†imminent arrival¬†of Spring¬†that has stirred the desire to be creative. You may have seen some of the jewellery I’ve made before on the blog; it’s a total coincidence that I posted about my handmade jewellery almost three years ago to the day. After the wrap dress¬†February flashback last week I’m beginning to think I’m seasonally programmed!

I’ve always been drawn to big, bold jewellery, so the chunky semi-precious gemstone necklaces and bracelets are my favourites.

To kickstart my jewellery making I gathered up some pieces that I’ve made over the years for inspiration. I’ve always been drawn to big, bold jewellery, so the chunky semi-precious gemstone necklaces and bracelets are my favourites. I have so many beads in various colours and shapes just waiting to be made into something – I just need to get organised and start creating again!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Making beaded jewellery is actually a lot easier than you might think: if you can tie a knot and thread a needle you can make a necklace or bracelet. The rest is all about design. You just need a few basic tools like small pliers (unless using elasticated thread) to close the bead end caps. If you’d like me to do a tutorial let me know in the comments.

I’ve bought loads of necklaces in charity shops and recycled them into new pieces.

You don’t have to spend a lot on beads and findings (the metallic pieces such as clasps and bead end caps). I buy beads, findings and thread from various sources, including eBay, Hobbycraft,¬†Jewellery Maker and even charity shops. I’ve bought loads of necklaces in charity shops and recycled them into new pieces. The gold pendant on the purple necklace above was an old, odd earring, and the centre piece on the bracelet was originally on a necklace.

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

The bronze ring and stick pin above were some of the first pieces of metal jewellery I made in class. We worked in copper first before moving on to silver. I really like copper jewellery, although it does tarnish very quickly. The silver bezel set rings in the photo below are among my favourites. They require a lot of time and patience to make, but they were very satisfying to finally finish.

The ring under the crossover bangle is a plain silver band, still waiting to be finished after all these years!

Working with metals is much easer when you have a workshop as you need a blowtorch and heatproof brick to solder, plus an acidic solution to remove the oxide released during annealing (heating to make pliable). You also need various shaped files, hammers, mallets and a bezel setting tool to push the metal over and hold the stone in place. The ring under the crossover bangle is a plain silver band, still waiting to be finished after all these years!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Below is some of the more delicate jewellery I’ve made using Swarovski crystal beads and glass pearls. The bangle was a bit of an experiment; my original plan was to have three hoops to attach beads to, but after a few unsuccessful soldering attempts I stuck with one and used a scorper (engraving tool) to creat a frost-like pattern. It could do with a bit of refining and a proper polish…maybe a job for a rainy day.

One of the best things about making jewellery is being able to choose your own design and colours…you can guarantee no-one else will have one the same!

There are so many different techniques to learn with making jewellery, and maybe one day I’ll take classes again. They don’t come cheap, but there are residential courses in beautiful countryside locations that look very tempting. Making things is very satisfying and often relaxing. Of course things go wrong, that’s all part of learning…it requires lots of patience! One of the best things about making jewellery is being able to choose your own design and colours…you can guarantee no-one else will have one the same!

It's Time to Start Making Jewellery Again

Speaking of learning new techniques…I recently picked up my knitting needles after a two-year hiatus and made my first ever hat! I was very apprehensive about knitting in the round but now I love it! Maybe next time I’ll try a jumper!

Do you love to make things? What’s your favourite craft? If you’d be interested in some simple jewellery tutorials let me know in the comments…I might even get my act together and do some for YouTube ūüėČ

hand made bobble hat


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Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds

Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds

This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own.

Regular readers of this blog will be in doubt as to how much I love jewellery. I’ve always been a fan of all things sparkly. While I have loads of costume jewellery which is fun to wear, nothing compares to diamonds. My most treasured pieces of jewellery are my engagement, wedding and eternity rings. Celebrating milestones with diamonds is a time-honoured tradition.

Then he threw us a curve ball. He did what no fiancé-to-be wants: he whipped out one that cost TWICE the budget.

When my husband and I went to look at engagement rings we (or rather he) had a strict budget. We went to a small independent jeweller who showed us a few rings within budget, all very nice. Then he threw us a curve ball. He did what no¬†fianc√©-to-be¬†wants: he¬†whipped out one that cost TWICE the budget. My eyes lit up and I was instantly beguiled.¬†¬†This was a dilemma. Husband suggested we go for lunch and think about it, so that’s what we did. After copious amounts of wine the budget became…shall we say, more malleable…and I got the ring ūüôā

I had to wait another seven years before I got my eternity ring, a diamond and emerald band which we bought in Barbados last year.

A similar thing happened when we bought my wedding ring: I wanted one with diamonds, which obviously cost more than a plain one. We went for lunch to talk about it and…well you get the picture. I am eternally indebted to the various vineyards around the world. I had to wait another seven years before I got my eternity ring, a diamond and emerald band which we bought in Barbados last year. That was an all-inclusive holiday so I’m pretty sure wine was involved in that purchase too.

So now I have my three lovely rings I’m thinking I could add to my diamond collection with a tennis bracelet or pendant. Diamond Treats¬†offers a wide range of fine jewellery (not just diamonds) of a very high quality. They have a London¬†store where you can go to view an item before purchasing. This 9k white gold¬†bracelet¬†would add a touch of understated chic to any outfit. It’s set with 0.50ct diamonds but the unique design gives the bracelet the look of a 4.00ct diamond bracelet.¬†Santa, if you’re listening, I’ve been a very good girl ūüėČ

Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds white gold and diamond tennis bracelet

An alternative to the classic tennis bracelet is a diamond set bangle. This one is chanel set with 0.40ct of diamonds. The bangle is shaped to fit comfortably around the wrist with an opening hinge and lock system meaning it will fit most wrist sizes and be secure while you wear it.

Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds white gold and diamond bracelet

I adore this pear shaped diamond cluster pendant, which hangs from a line of vertical diamonds¬†set into the bail. I could imagine this worn with a beautiful silk shirt for a timelessly elegant combination.¬†It would make a wonderful Christmas, birthday or anniversary gift, something to treasure forever. Diamond Treats believe that “jewellery is that one gift that is truly everlasting; representing the precious milestones in our lives that we recall everytime we wear the gift we received.”

Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds diamond cluster pendant

Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to treat yourself to some fabulous¬†jewels too. I wouldn’t hesitate in buying diamonds or any other gemstones for myself if the budget allowed. I rather fancy this emerald and diamond pendant to match my eternity ring.

Celebrating Milestones With Diamonds Emerald and diamond pendant

If you’re looking for something special for the man in your life, there’s a wide range of cufflinks too.

Included with every piece of jewellery from Diamond Treats is:

  • 3 Year Guarantee
  • Diamond Certificate
  • Free Insurance Valuation Certificate
  • UK Hallmark¬†– in accordance to UK regulations

Diamond Treats also offers a no quibble 30 day return, and 1-2 working day delivery on all stock items.

What’s your favourite gemstone? Would you buy fine jewellery for yourself or do you prefer to receive it as a gift?

 

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Celebrating National Selfie Day With a #Gemfie Tanzanite cluster ring

I never need an excuse to wear a fabulous piece of jewellery, but today is a special day because I’m celebrating National Selfie Day With a #gemfie. You may be wondering what exactly a “gemfie” is? Well, according to Gemporia, who came up with the concept, it’s a selfie with added bling. I was very kindly gifted this beautiful Tanzanite and White Zircon ring which, I think you’ll agree, adds plenty of¬†sparkle to my selfie. The sterling silver ring features 51 gems with a total carat weight of 5.7700Cts – no shortage of bling there!

Tanzanite is¬†a relative newcomer to the jewellery scene as it was only discovered in the 1960’s.

The name “tanzanite” was given to the gemstone because the world’s only known deposit of commercial importance is in northern Tanzania.¬†It is actually a colour variety of the mineral zoisite, ranging from blue to bluish purple to bluish violet.¬†The mines are all located in an area of about eight square miles in the Merelani Hills, near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.¬†Tanzanite is¬†a relative newcomer to the jewellery scene as it was only discovered in the 1960’s. It’s¬†claimed to be 1,000 times rarer than diamond, so considering its scarcity, it’s surprisingly affordable. I’m absolutely delighted to be adding this stunning ring to my jewellery collection. Gemporia has a huge range of jewellery to suit every style and budget.¬†Whether you’re looking for a gift or just want to treat yourself, it’s worth popping over for a browse.

Are you celebrating National Selfie Day with a #gemfie? I’d love to see your favourite piece of jewellery over on Instagram!

Celebrating National Selfie Day With a #Gemfie Gemporia tanzanite cluster ring

 

Linking up with: Turning Heads Tuesday, Color and Grace, The Saturday Share, Visible Monday, Fancy Friday, Style Swap Tuesdays, Spread the Kindness, Confident Twosday, Red, White & Blue Link Up, Friday Faves, The Blended Blog, Thursday Moda, Top of the World Style, Fabulous Friday, Midweek Inspirations, Weekend Wear, Fun Fashion Friday, Flashback Fashion Fridays, Brilliant Blog Posts, Fine-Whatever, Thursday Fashion Files, Passion4Fashion, Fab Favorites, Fashion Friday, Oh, Hey Girl!, Style on the Daily

 

*Disclaimer: I was gifted the ring. All opinions are my own and completely honest.

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Eternal Collection Christmas Jewellery Gifts under £25

It’s already the end of November and Christmas is just a few weeks away! While I try to be organised and buy most of my gifts early (especially the big things like the toy every child wants and is rarer than hen’s teeth) it’s easy to forget some of the smaller gifts that everyone loves to receive.¬†Every Christmas, in addition to my main present, my mum buys me a piece of jewellery. I always look forward to opening my smaller presents because they are a surprise, and we all love surprises don’t we? Even more so when¬†they’re sparkly ūüėČ

There’s a huge range of jewellery to choose from, including clip-on earrings, which are often hard to find on the high street.

To give you a little inspiration¬†I’m sharing a few gift ideas from Eternal Collection,¬†a family-run business based in Scotland. You may remember the gorgeous¬†Akoya Pearl and Cubic Zirconia necklace¬†I featured on the blog last month¬†– I’ve worn it lots since then and always get compliments on it. The pieces I’ve selected here are just a few priced ¬£25 and under. There’s a huge range of jewellery to choose from on the website, including clip-on earrings, which are often hard to find on the high street.

All items arrive in a beautiful presentation box, and Eternal Collection offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Returns are free too. As well as jewellery Eternal also sells scarves, jewellery organisers, jewelled spectacle chains and hair clips.

Are you¬†an organised Christmas shopper or do you leave it to the¬†last minute? If you’ve got any tips for hassle-free shopping do let me know!

 

Top photo clockwise from top left: Sapphire Dusk Crystal scarf clip, ¬£12 | poppy print scarf, ¬£22 | poppy brooch, ¬£18 | Crystal Winter’s Tale Filigree scarf clip, ¬£12

Eternal Collection Christmas Jewellery Gifts under £25

Leaf pendant necklace, £18 | crystal clip-on earrings, £18 | pearl stud clip-on earrings, £10 | cat brooch, £15

 

Eternal Collection Christmas Jewellery Gifts under £25

Pearl and crystal scarf clip, £12 | diamante and pearl earrings, £20 | crystal moon brooch, £15 | silver tone necklace, £25

 

 

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