I made a trip down south, with a sapphire sourcing brief on the agenda, and set about finding some gems. First stop Hatton Garden, the central hub for jewellery in London.
With most of the stores featuring at least one or two guards outside its easy to feel slightly daunted. But behind closed doors its a different story. Stone dealers are passionate about their job, and generally speaking are nice guys who spend their life peering at some of the most beautiful stones in the world. They’re eager to help you make the perfect pick and deliver you something extra special.
After one stop to scope out the stock, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of choice, and decided to stop have a coffee and take stock for a moment to make sure I had my business head on. Choosing nice coloured sapphires is a little tricky, as a lot of them are heat treated, and whilst they are still natural stones, there is a huge price difference between the completely natural and the treated.
The stones here with the red dots are all the GIA*certified stones.
This time around I was looking for yellow, pink and blue Sapphires, from 1.5mm to 8mm in size. My plan would be to have scatterings of tiny little sapphires throughout the new collection, with a few really beautiful larger stones for some accent pieces. With this plan in mind, I had decided to look predominately for some unique Octagons and Ovals for the accent stones, and lots of round 1.5 to 2.5mm round stones. The octagons would have nice crisp corners which would sit well with the straight lines through the metal, as well as creating another angle through the pieces.Then the ovals and rounds would be totally different. Softer edges to contrast more strongly with my signature linear designs.
Here’s a few of my choices, now just to incorporate them into the designs and bring the jewelry designs to life!
*Gemological Institute of America