Introducing Custom Made Watches by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

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Watches are a big passion of mine, so moving towards making my own watches has been a natural progression. It’s exciting to be able to offer this unique service to our customers.

The process works the same as commissioning jewellery. I work with the customer, talk about what style they are looking for -qualities, design aesthetic, metal – and then set about creating the watch, with regular meetings to make sure it’s perfect.

Here’s a custom made watch case I recently made, hand crafted in 14 carat yellow gold, with the customer’s movement. The customer wanted to be able to see the movement, so I put a piece of glass at the back of the case.

What qualities do you look for in a watch? Have you ever considered having one custom made – for yourself, or as a gift?

Hand crafted watch by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Hand crafted watch by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Hand crafted watch by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Introducing After Midnight from Black Matter

At Benjamin Black Goldsmiths we are excited to release the debut collection from Black Matter – our fashion jewellery and accessories label.

The After Midnight collection is big, bold and daring – because everything happens after midnight, don’t ya think? :)

We still have a few pieces to add to After Midnight, however we just couldn’t wait to show you what we already have in store…click on the images for more details.

Black Cubic Zirconia and Sterling Silver Ring by Black Matter from Benjamin Black Goldsmiths Pink Cubic Zirconia and Sterling Silver Ring by After Midnight from Benjamin Black Goldsmiths Green Cubic Zirconia and Sterling Silver Ring from the After Midnight Collection by Black Matter. Purple Cubic Zirconia and Sterling Silver Stud Earrings from the After Midnight Collection by Black Matter Pink & Red Collar Clips from the After Midnight Collection by Black Matter Red Cubic Zirconia and Sterling Silver Ring from the After Midnight Collection by Black Matter, from Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

How To Choose The Best Jewellery For Your Skin Tone

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When it comes to individual style, most of us know what we like (and what we don’t). The colours, cuts and designs we are drawn to come down to a combination of personal taste, fashion and ultimately, what suits us.

At Benjamin Black we are often asked if there is a general rule to help people determine the right precious metals and gemstones for different skin tones.

Personally I think anyone can wear anything…as long as it resonates with them and makes them feel good! But, there are some guidelines that can help those of you who might be unsure.

Cool skin tones…

If you have a cool skin tone you will look great in silver, platinum, white gold or rose gold. Bright coloured gemstones, such as blue topaz, pink tourmaline and green peridot will also complement you beautifully.

Custom Blue Topaz Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Classic claw with peridot

Cool skin tone traits? Under natural sunlight, your veins appear purple or blue, you sunburn easily and you may find it difficult to tan.

Warm skin tones…

If this doesn’t sound like you then you most likely have a warm skin tone, in which case, yellow gold is your preferred precious metal. Earth-toned gemstones, such as yellow sapphires, golden citrine or smokey quartz will look stunning against your olive skin.

Neutral skin tones…

Neutral skin tones fall between both cool and warm categories. You range between olive coloured skin and pink skin. There is no obvious overtone of any colours, making it easy for you to match with a wider range of coloured clothes and jewellery.

Try warm gemstones set in a cool metal, mix and match your colour combinations in gemstones and in metals as well.

Of course, when purchasing jewellery it always comes down to personal preference. Wear what makes you feel great – and if you need a little helping hand, refer to the guidelines above or get in touch with us.

How do you choose the best precious metals and gemstones for your skin tone?

Custom Argillite (Pakohe) And White Gold Wedding Band

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Argillite, or Pakohe, is an indurated mudstone which plays a significant role in Maori history.

Particularly associated with the Nelson-Marlborough region of New Zealand, early Maori communities recognised its superior qualities of hardness, strength, and ability to hold a sharpened edge, which made it ideal for making tools (especially adzes) and weapons.

Recently a customer asked me to make a men’s wedding band utilising a piece of pakohe, part of which was also used in his partner’s wedding band.

I loved the sentimental (and historical) significance of the stone. There’s something really special about creating a piece of wearable art with an earth-created stone that has holds so much meaning – not only to the person wearing it, but to the generations who have passed before.

Here’s the finished ring, which I hand crafted in 9ct white gold.

Custom argillite and white gold ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

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.

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