Wedding Feature: Joel and Bee

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Working with people to create their rings is one of the things I love the most about my job. When it comes to hand crafting wedding rings, it’s a really special process. From the initial design concept, through to the finished rings, we involve our clients at every step of the way.

Joel and Bee came to us from Wellington (NZ) to create their wedding rings. It was such a pleasure to get to know this gorgeous couple. We wish them both love, health and happiness on their new journey together.

Joel and Bee Joel and Bee1 Joel and Bee2 Joel and Bee3 Joel and Bee4 Joel and Bee5

Why Signet Rings Leave A Legacy

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Signet rings are one of my favourite styles of dress rings.

Not only are the drenched in history, they’re also incredibly stylish. Originally signet rings were both ornamental and functional, as they were engraved with an official seal. The engraver would create a mirror image of the wearer’s sign, coat of arms or initials.

Nowadays they are generally engraved with something significant to the person, family or organisation – like a crest, coat of arms, emblem, icon or initials.

They are one of the most stylish ways to leave a legacy – something both meaningful and beautiful, that will be treasured for generations.

Here is a signet ring I recently made. It was engraved with the customer’s initials (we came up with the design together).

And here is one I made using three of the customer’s rings. I created a signet for the top and made the rest of the ring with his bands. They all had sentimental meaning attached to them which makes it all the more special.

Lastly, here are a couple more of my signet designs, which can be engraved with whatever the customer desires.

Custom Sapphire Earrings and Pendant

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I hand crafted this earrings and pendant set using stunning sapphires supplied by the customer.

Ceylonese sapphires are just exquisite, but these ones had a beautiful lavender tone which are distinctly elegant and a little different from the norm.

I crafted them in white gold and set them with diamonds to bring out the colour of the gemstones.

Lavender Sapphire Pendant

Stacking Up Good

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Stacking rings are one of the hottest jewellery trends right now.

I love their stylish look and versatility, so I decided to come up with a Benjamin Black set which could be customised to suit different peoples’ tastes.

Here is the studio set of stacking rings I came up with, which are hand crafted in sterling silver, set with chrome diopside, garnet and iolite.

Stacking Rings by Benjamin Black

They can be created in any precious metal (even two-tone) and set with the stones of your choice. Choose your own birthstones, those of your children/loved ones, or just the colours your love. Then select either silver, yellow or white gold to create your very own bespoke collection.

These particular ones retail at just $99- NZD each and they can be purchased either as a set, or individually…so a great idea for gifts as well.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To order your stacking rings, get in touch.

Double Midi Ring – Special Announcement!

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It’s been a little while since I posted about the Double Midi Ring.

This little piece of finger art is one of our most popular designs at Benjamin Black. Even fashion queen Lady Melbourne wears one on her pinky, so I’m REALLY excited to announce the latest news…

Double Midi Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths copy

That’s right – it’s now just $99- NZD to own a hand crafted Double Midi Ring in sterling silver, made to your size, including shipping!

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Double Midi Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Click here to order yours.

Was a Brooch, Now a Pendant

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At Benjamin Black we love the combination of classic and contemporary design.

From the furnishings in our studio, to the equipment in our workshop, and even our marketing style, everything we do seems to entwine the mix of old and new.

And when it comes to reinventing old, previously loved jewellery, into something contemporary and fresh, this is one of the things we do best.

Recently a customer brought in an old brooch she had acquired, which contained a beautiful golden citrine.

She wanted it to be made into a piece she could wear, which incorporated the stone and some of the original gold, but had a completed new look.

I came up with the idea of a pendant, which utilised the original stone (and setting) in the middle.

Gold pendant with a golden citrine, made using the customer's brooch.

Gold pendant with a golden citrine by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths, made using the customer’s brooch.

Do you have jewellery at home which you just don’t wear? Talk to us about refurbishing your previously loved jewels into something new, or credit your old gold towards a modern design.

Wedding Feature: Nick and Kymberly

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It all began when Nick proposed to Kymberly…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Getting engaged is such an exciting time. And as a jeweller, it’s always an immense privilege to be involved with such a special season in peoples’ lives.

We work really closely with every one of our clients, particularly those people who commission custom made designs.

With Nick and Kymberly’s engagement and wedding, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths was involved in a variety of ways.

The first commission was, of course, the engagement ring. The lovely couple requested we make a ring which reflected their love of the ocean.

Kymberly selected an aquamarine gemstone for it’s colour, purity and meaning. I then worked alongside her to create a design which embodied the sea, with a subtle form and clean lines that reflected the ocean and nautical essence.

Once the design was agreed upon, I crafted the ring in white gold and set in the aquamarine centrepiece, with tapering diamonds down the surrounding band.

Custom engagement ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Then it was time for the wedding rings. Nick is a big fan of Lego and we just love this picture of a bride and groom holding their wedding rings…

Lego rings

Nick opted for a classic, comfort-fit yellow gold band, whilst Kymberly’s wedding ring was made to fit perfectly flush around her engagement ring…

As a gift for Nick, Kymberly surprised him with one of our antique silver pocket watches. This handsome gift was presented to Nick by his groomsmen, on Kymberly’s behalf, at his pre-wedding brunch.
And finally, the wedding day…which was absolutely perfect. Magical even.

From Benjamin and the team at Benjamin Black Goldsmiths, to our friends Nick and Kymberly – Mr and Mrs Widley, we wish you a world of future happiness together. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Men’s Style Essential: Money Clip

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There’s been a revival for all things debonair in the world of men’s fashion.

Then again, items of the genteel kind, such as tie clips and cuff links, have always been popular.

But lately we’ve been receiving requests for more obscure items which were originally at the height of fashion many years ago.

The money clip is one such accessory making a big resurgence.

Nothing epitomises style more than a well-groomed chap equipped with a handsome money clip.

Not only are these fine gadgets practical, keeping your notes neatly folded, they also ooze suave sophistication.

And although plastic is more common than cash, there are occasions where notes are better than cards, like when you’re heading for a night out on the town for example.

Here’s one which I have just made in sterling silver. It’s a bit wider than the classic one, which was inspired by a request I had from a customer in Auckland who ordered a custom made money clip.

Money Clip

Are you a fan of money clips? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hematite Intaglio

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Hematite intaglio…don’t those two words go so eloquently together?

They also look pretty amazing together as well.

What is it exactly?

Hematite is a type of stone. A mineral form of iron oxide, it is mined as the main ore of iron, and is found in colours from black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish-brown, or red.

It was most popular in Europe during the Victorian era, which makes it even more alluring (well to me anyway).

Intaglio on the other hand, is a technique used in art, whereby an image is created by engraving into a flat surface.

I made this ring with a hematite intaglio, which seems to resemble an ancient armoured soldier’s side profile…or something like that.

Hematite intaglio ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Hematite intaglio ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

It’s a little different for me, but I love both hematite and the art of intaglio, so it seemed like a perfect marriage.

What do you think? Are you familiar with hematite and/or intaglio? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Farewell Joel

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At Benjamin Black Goldsmiths we had the pleasure of hosting Joel Whitwell as our Artist in Residence, from December 2013 to March 2014.

Joel Whitwell, Artist in Residence, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Joel came to us after spending seven months in Auckland (in 2013) working on an exhibition to showcase his work, after receiving the Masterworks Jewellery Box Award.

We really enjoyed having Joel on board and although we are sad to see him go, we wish him well on his next chapter.

Joel did an outstanding job whilst in our midst, adding to the creativity and vibrancy of our Nelson-based studio, and creating his own range, BRANCHES.

Branches Smokey Quartz Ring, Designed by Joel Whitwell

Branches Smokey Quartz Ring, Designed by Joel Whitwell, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

The line has sold incredibly well, with most pieces disappearing off the shelves as soon as we launched it.

Joel is an exceptional talent as an artist and jeweller and we know he will flourish wherever he goes. We will certainly miss having him around.

Bon voyage Joel, enjoy your year in Auckland, until next time my friend…

P.S. To see more of Joel’s work, click here to follow him on Facebook.

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