New for spring!

Since completing my home improvements last year, I have found this enthusiasm for renovation has spilled over into the shop. I have really tried to look at the shop with fresh eyes and feel it is time for Argent to receive a facelift. Our last refit was over 17 years ago, and although I feel this has really stood the test of time, there are a few things that need updating. Our outlet floor was originally an experiment but its success over the last two years has encouraged me to make it into a permanent feature, we will be moving some cabinets upstairs in order to maintain a professional feel and maximise the use of space.

I’m excited to be making plans for the future of Argent but in the meantime we are looking forward to some new collections arriving in the shop.

Having recently returned from this year’s Jewellery trade fair at the NEC in Birmingham I am filled with new ideas and inspiration for Argent, and one of the brands I have discovered is ‘UNO de 50’. The brand utilises leather, Swarovski crystals, mother of pearl, handcrafted crystals and silver-plated base metal, and each piece is 100% handcrafted in Spain. The combination of colour and materials creates bold statement pieces that have a chunky boho vibe. This more casual look is completely different from anything else we have in the shop, and I feel UNO de 50 would be a welcome addition to our range of brands and designers at Argent, where we endeavour to provide a wide assortment of jewellery to suit any price range and taste.

t1024sm-fashionweek_6 uno-de-50-silver-leather-ride-the-wave-bracelet-p616-5873_medium uno-de-50-web-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

In recent years I’ve taken the decision to downscale our stock of diamond  jewellery but I do feel there is a lack of choice on the highstreet when it comes to wedding bands. I still want to be able to use my expertise in precious jewellery to cater for wedding ring customers and have decided to invest in the Contour Wedding Ring Collection by Prism Design. This is a brand I trust implicitly: within two weeks of graduating, I went to work for Barry and Sally (the husband and wife team who founded Prism Design) in the idyllic, picture-postcard village of Bradford on Avon. This was such a lovely experience for me and what I learnt during my time there gave me invaluable insight into the jewellery industry, it has been so nice to reconnect with them thirty years later, it seems fitting to return to my roots.

contour-catalogue-300x300 The Contour Collection showcases over 150 shaped wedding rings and is one of the largest collections in the UK. With over fifteen years experience, technological advancements in 3D scanning and the utilisation of CAD, Prismare able to offer an exclusive bespoke service where a wedding band can be created which perfectly complements any engagement ring, no matter what its shape, size or complexity of design. These can be made to any requirement in a wide array of metals, including white, yellow and rose gold, palladium and platinum.

R1217 R1213 group-11

We are also looking forward to receiving new pieces from some of our existing designers including Trollbeads, Chlobo, Kit Heath, Cornerstone and Alex Monroe.

 

Trollbeads’ new Spring 2017 collection ‘Kindred Spirits’, is a continuation of the brand’s whimsical aesthetic. The collection offers a variety of new silver beads all based around a magical fairy theme, which brings back so many nostalgic childhood memories. This new collection includes six glass beads which can be bought separately or as a set, the ‘Enchanted Days Kit‘. One of these beads in particular has an internal framework pattern which I have never seen in their glass beads before.

tglbe-00141-trollbeads-enchanted-days-kit.w610.h610.fill cb4d71b4-fe3e-4ae0-8580-a54fa4093de1 99989c40-c411-4a2f-b508-efc62d6af678

 

 

 

This collection really showcases the unique craftsmanship of Trollbeads and the way they are constantly evolving, there is little wonder why customers eagerly anticipate these exciting new releases!

I have had a sneak preview of Chlobo’s spring summer collection ‘Maya’s Light’ which is on a spiritual theme with new charms representing balance, positivity and serenity. It incorporates sterling silver and rose gold along with blue lace agate which has calming, protective qualities and promotes inner stability for it’s wearer, and white moonstone which is known to bring a pure energy and success in love. For the first time they have introduced sets of two bracelets each enhanced with the luxury feel and sparkle of cubic zirconia. These new designs will be available in April, Chlobo never fail to deliver and I’m excited to see which new pieces I can add to my personal collection, I particularly like the ‘Dreamcatcher’ necklace in rose gold.

Kit Heath’s new designs draw inspiration from asymetrical natural forms with an edgy, contemporary aesthetic, as always they offer high quality designs across a spectrum of styles and price points.

Kit-Heath-Pebble-new-hammered-Coast-product-image Kit-Heath-image-Shore-set BEVEL

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still love Cornerstone’s ‘cradle’ collection and am looking forward to the arrival of some new additions. A simple teardrop shape provides the focal point for each piece and the designs incorporate cubic zirconia, rose gold and black rhodium finishes to create a timeless yet contemporary aesthetic. Paul Spurgeon, the award winning designer behind Cornerstone Creations has developed a brand with a conscience through his charity collaboration with craftspeople in South Africa.

1401748 cornerstone-creations-sterling-silver-cradle-pave-3-set-necklace-p1565-2642_thumb 1401744

 

 

 

 

Alex Monroe’s new collection entitled ‘Entomology’ is due to arrive in April. It features moths, butterflies and beetles in different colour combinations which I think will be well received by fans of his popular bee necklace. My favourite piece is the gold vermeil and green amethyst damsellfly stud earrings which are exquisite.

alexmonroess17entomologybutterfly200x300 Alex-Monroe 5108227_assocImage_3

Looking to the future I am contemplating the introduction of handmade cards and luxury artisan accessories. I’ve had my eye on a particular designer who designs and makes leather handbags.I feel the role of the independent store is to source and represent up and coming designers. Whilst I recognise that bigger brands are an integral part of my business it is important to me to bring an element of variety and individuality to the highstreet.

 

Designer of the Month – March

Originally training as a smith 50 years ago, our ‘Designer of the Month’ for March, John Garland-Taylor has spent the last 30 years focusing on designing his handcrafted jewellery collection.

john_garland_taylor_hand_crafted_jewellery_0000_GP1-Curled-Heart_croppedjohn_garland_taylor_hand_crafted_jewellery_0004_GP4-Pencil-Twist-croppedGT27-Narrow-Twist-Earrings_SQUARE

 

imagesindex

John works from a rural Warwickshire workshop, which, with the help of his two sons has developed a growing family business spanning two generations.

His trademark ‘GT’ armourers’ mark features on all of his jewellery pieces and was originally developed to distinguish pieces of armour that John had restored or produced for the National Trust and Warwick Castle.GT-Hallmark-no-border-100px-close-crop

 

Using traditional techniques such as forging and plannishing each piece of jewellery is individually handmade and finished by one of the team.

john_garland_taylor_hand_crafted_jewellery_0004_GR17-Karenjohn_garland_taylor_jewellery_bangles__0027_GB43-Elisabethimages 2

 

 

 

 

I love the way the hammered texture, once polished, really catches the light and the cuff bangles are real statement pieces, great for evening wear but equally as effective reflecting the sunlight during the daytime.

 

Designer Of The Month – February

After a busy festive season February sees the return of our ‘Designer of the Month’ feature. Starting with Julie Pratt, a designer with close links to Argent, she worked with us here in the shop for over ten years and now concentrates on designing and making jewellery from her workshop in Barnsley.Julie pic

Julie graduated from Barnsley College in 1998, her love of architecture and the natural environment along with her passion for travel provide constant inspiration for her work.

 

February is the ideal month in which to feature Julie’s work, coinciding with the launch of a new collection for us here at Argent, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Julie’s ‘Hearts’ collection consists of little silver nugget pendants with heart detail, on silver chain or colourful ribbon along with a matching ring, bangle and stud earrings, we think this new collection will be a great addition to her existing range.

JP Hrt pdt studsJP Hrt pdts

 

 

 

 

Julie’s core collection is based around the classical themes of the line and the circle, using a combination of polished and matt finished silver, occasionally contrasting with gold, Julie creates simple, elegant designs. I love the fact that many of her rings are made up of multiple pieces, allowing the wearer to create their own look and making them a firm favourite with our customers.

JP ringsJP target rgsJP multi rings

Julie’s work will be showcased, centre stage in our window throughout the month of February so come along and take a look for yourself!

 

Spring Inspiration!

Spring is definitely in the air! Like me, you may be thinking about putting together a fresh new look for this season. One of my favourite spring collections is Cherry Blossom by award winning British designer Shaun Leane, it features intricate soft pink, lilac and cream enamelled flowers scattered along entwined branches of silver and gold vermeil and complimented by semi-precious stones, diamonds and pearls.10001376_761615913848853_1726984071_n

The collection is inspired by a Japanese fable in which a beautiful Goddess named ‘Princess Konohara-Sakuya’ sprinkles seeds from the clouds of Fuji Mountain which then flourish into white and crimson flowers. This magical bud is named after the goddess Sakuya,  now recognised as Sakura, or in translation, cherry blossom.

imagescherry blossom1party1

 

 

 

 

To this day in Japan, the beauty of cherry blossom is celebrated in the traditional festival of Hanimi. The date of the celebrations varies from year to year and is predicted by the Weather Bureau in their blossom forecast. This year, a little bit earlier than usual, from the 13th March onwards parties will be held wherever cherry blossom can be found.

It is said that ‘a cherry tree blooms at the time of good news’. To celebrate this Trollbeads selected the Sakura design as one of their recent ‘People’s Beads’ (designed by Trollbeads fans from around the world). A beautiful silver Cherry Blossom bead is also featured in the main Trollbeads collection and I’m looking forward to receiving the new Cherry Blossom fantasy gift set, to be launched on April 11th  2014 –  I’ve seen pictures and it looks amazing! Until then why not add some colour to your Trollbeads bracelet, take a look at the Spring 2014 collection, inspired by the Hanging Gardens, gold shimmers through the colour in this gorgeous  glass Sparkle Kit.Untitled-3.102936troll11449 (2)1384010_681622725181506_401105017_n63050-Sparkle_Kit

 

 

 

I’m excited about selecting my new Trollbead bracelet combination and coordinating my new spring colours. The light mornings have definitely inspired me to put away those winter woollies, sort through my wardrobe and make the change from winter to spring.

Perfect jewellery for your wedding day

As we begin to step into the warmer months, it tends to be the most common time of year for weddings. So, with this in mind we thought we would write a wedding themed post to help you find the perfect jewellery for your wedding day.

Jewellery is a very important feature of any wedding; it’s not just the rings to think about but the jewellery to match your dress and of course the jewellery for your bridesmaids. It turns into a minefield when you really think about it. To help you find the perfect pieces, we’ve selected a few of our ranges which specialise in wedding jewellery to fulfil your requirements.

Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox

We’ve previously covered a bit about Amanda Cox’s Lily collection, but had to include it in this post as it’s perfect for brides to be. The collection has 28 pieces available in silver or gold with a choice of pearls to match. With a collection of rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants, Amanda can also make bespoke pieces for your tiara or hairpin, and without forgetting the men, there are also cufflinks or tie tacks on request.

Mounir

Mounir

If pearls and gemstones are what you are after, Mounir has a vast choice either in 9ct or 18ct gold and sterling silver. Using semi-precious stones, this collection oozes colour, individuality and the perfect amount of elegance for your big day.

This range is ideal for the bride but also has complementary pieces which will make beautiful gifts for the bridesmaids.

 

Alexis Dove

Alexis Dove

With an antique feel, Alexis Dove’s collection incorporates motifs generating an idyllic theme for your wedding day. With a range of diamonds, rubies and sapphires to choose from, incorporated into the silver and vermeil, these timeless pieces will be sure to sparkle on your special day. This delicate collection will definitely give a sense of style and elegance to your bridal look.

Whether it’s advice you need, a steer in the right direction or you would like to explore the collections, please visit us in the shop where we will do our best to help and find the perfect pieces for you.