Celebrating 30 Years! 1989 – 2019

I’m so excited to be celebrating a special anniversary!  Its 30 years since we opened the doors of Argent in Thornton’s Arcade Leeds in 1989. There have been many changes along the way but we have never lost sight of the shop’s individuality.

Over the years we have embraced the popularity of larger brands departing from our initial roots of small designers. We still stock some of our favourite brands like Trollbeads, Nomination, Daisy London, Shaun Leane and Chlobo but we have returned to supporting more independent British designers.  It is therefore fitting that we are celebrating this 30 year milestone with a ring exhibition showcasing British jewellers which will include a small group of local designers.

Our exhibition ‘RINGS’ will be launched on 5th October 2019 and will run until 5th January 2020.

 

 

 

 

While studying for my Jewellery degree in Birmingham I took an additional course in gemmology which gave me a good knowledge of stones and I’m excited to be exhibiting the work of Robert Feather, Adele Taylor, Mike Gell and Rebecca Lewis who are incorporating some of my favourite semi-precious stones such as rainbow moonstone, labradorite and tourmaline which are not seen so often in mainstream jewellery shops. Robert creates contemporary jewellery using a range of precious metals and stones, he specialises in wedding and engagement rings also remodelling clients existing jewellery into updated designs. Adele works in silver and 18ct gold incorporating pattern and texture, she uses precious stones in a muted colour palette. Handpicked gemstones are the main focus of Rebecca’s pieces, she has a particular love for the iridescent colours of labradorite and rainbow moonstone, her rings feature intricate detail of tiny granules of silver.

 

 

 

 

 

We will also have rings from Mark Veevers whose work is inspired by abstract symbols and uses oxidised silver and gold in combination with other materials such as ceramics and mild steel. Anthony Blakeney’s new collection will also be featured, these rings have an organic feel and are star set with semi-precious stones and diamonds. Designers Julie Pratt and Genevieve Broughton who have worked with me for over 20 years will be exhibiting their own collections of silver and gold rings along with specially made pieces by John Garland-Taylor whose work we have stocked for a number of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very excited that Alex Monroe will be participating in this exhibition; we have stocked Alex’s work for a number of years and are looking forward to showcasing some of his precious diamond engagement rings as well as his new range which incorporates naturally coloured ethical sapphires. Alex grew up in the countryside and his work is strongly inspired by nature and British eccentricity, and  is the perfect balance of elegance and whimsical charm. His skilled team of Jewellers produce and hand finish every item in his London workshops. His most well-known design is the beautiful bee necklace. We’ve had an exciting time searching for vintage props to display these new rings, as a bricks and mortar shop we have the advantage of being able to create a theatrical display which tells a story and creates a more enjoyable experience for our customers.

 

 

 

 

I hope all our valued customers will enjoy the 30 years celebrations just as much as we will.

 

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.

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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.

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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!

 

August – Designer of the Month

With August 1st being Yorkshire Day I thought it would be appropriate to choose one of our Yorkshire based jewellers as ‘Designer of the Month’. Amanda Cox is based in Hebden Bridge, we have stocked her work in Argent for over six years and it is always very popular with our customers. Her timeless ‘Lily Collection’ is a favourite, featuring delicately beautiful flower shapes and fresh water pearls, drawing inspiration from nature, the designs are modern yet classical with a hint of vintage style that reflects current trends.

Amanda Cox's Lily collection

Amanda Cox’s Lily collection

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Having previously lectured in Jewellery and Metalwork at Plymouth College of Art and Design, Amanda has returned to her original passion – designing and creating contemporary jewellery at her studio in Yorkshire.

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Amanda’s work has developed from and been inspired by a combination of the exploration of metal’s tactile properties and the visual qualities of simple organic forms.

Rubies for July – Bespoke Jewellery

The birthstone for July is ruby, one of the first bespoke commissions we did was this beautiful ring set with two marquise cut rubies and diamonds.bspoke dbl ruby

We work with a highly respected local artisan jeweller who has over twenty years experience designing and creating extraordinary jewellery. He was one of the first jewellers in the UK to embrace computer aided design which allows you to see your design in it’s true form before the piece is manufactured and can show a range of ideas which can be manipulated to your requirements.

It’s lovely to be able to help design a unique piece for a customer which is individual to them. Each piece is created by hand in his workshop without mass produced designs or parts.

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Find out more about Argent’s Bespoke Service on the Bespoke page of the website.

Get back to nature…..

1346683311-79175000With Mother’s Day around the corner I’m reminded of all our floral inspired jewellery. Lilies are one of my favourite flowers, their simple forms are brilliantly represented in Yorkshire designer Amanda Cox’s ‘Lily Collection’. The classic combination of silver and freshwater pearls appeals to all ages and is perfect for all sorts of occasions from weddings to special birthdays, a piece from this collection would make a great Mother’s Day present.

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Alex Monroe and Amanda Coleman also feature flowers in their designs. Amanda Coleman creates delicate, romantic pieces inspired by orchids, fuscia, roses and other flora and fauna, (the owl pendant below is a particular favourite), reflecting her love of nature and passion for tiny things.  Alex Monroe is also influenced by nature, the rose; daisy and chrysanthemum are all included in his collection along with his ever popular bumble bee. The appeal of both these ranges is the intricacy in which nature is depicted in miniature. We all enjoy a walk in the country on a lovely spring day, we seem to spend so much time in front of a screen or on our gadgets these days, it’s good to escape the day to day stresses and get back to nature. Although, with our increasingly busy lives, it’s not always possible to do that so why not bring a bit of nature into your everyday life by wearingosn1-gp1am_earcrysanthemum2amanda-coleman-s it!

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Alex Monroe fans might be interested to know that he has recently published a book. ‘Two Turtle Doves A Memoir of Making Things’, tells the story of the internationally famous jewellery designer and gives an insight into how he has combined creativity and success. I can’t wait to read my copy! It is available to buy from us in store and would make a lovely present. We have a limited number of signed copies too!