The Secrets for Success from EC One’s Inside Man…
Jos Skeates, Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer, and one half of the husband-and-wife team behind EC One, gives his top tips for guaranteed proposal success (from one bloke to another)…
You have decided to take the plunge, seal the deal and perhaps most of all use the ‘C’ word……commitment. The next stop is coming up with a ring that says “I’m here to stay”. For the past 3 decades I have been privileged to help guys choose ‘The Ring’ for their loved one. Most guys haven’t given it a great deal of thought prior to the proposal, so I thought it might help to give a few pointers that will get you a ‘Yes’ rather than a ‘Maybe’ when the big question is asked…
Firstly, she will have been thinking about this ring for some time, even if you haven’t. Engagement rings are loaded with emotional meaning and symbolism that most men can’t even begin to understand. It might be an association with what their mother wore, their friends think or what the media tells them they should have. Your partner will hope you have given the ring as much thought as she has as in some ways it represents how well you know her. You are her knight in shining armour and this will be nothing less than a hero’s quest to show that you understand her needs and are able to provide for her. As a jeweller that isn’t an easy brief to fulfil!
Secondly think about her style. Is she a professional who wants something simple but elegant? Sporty type looking for a ring she doesn’t have to take off and can handle being worn when playing a round of tennis? Perhaps she is Geek chic looking for that vintage piece that reminds her of what lie in her Grannies’ jewellery box? Her personality can have a big influence in what will work for her and how she perceives herself. The team that work at EC One are very familiar with matching the right ring to the right girl. We find it really useful if you can describe your loved one to us and tell us a bit about her style. Even a photo of your beloved can be surprisingly insightful when we are helping with the selection.
What about diamonds? Nothing says engaged like a diamond. Steeped in history (and billions in marketing from DeBeers) a diamond is THE stone to give if you want to say “will you marry me”. The four C’s are a great place to start, and understanding the difference between a good stone and a great stone is essential if you are going to get it right. We will always show a variety of diamonds to meet your needs – handpicked by our trained Goldsmiths who have already sifted out the mediocre from the fabulous. Most blokes like to do their research and make an informed decision. However don’t forget that a Diamond Certificate is just a piece of paper and sometimes being too scientific about your choice means you can miss the stone that really speaks to you. Assuming that you’re not marrying a celebrity (and we’ve done a few of those) it’s actually not all about size! Admittedly I haven’t met many ladies who would prefer a smaller rock, but selecting a better quality over a bigger stone is always the smart way to buy. When your future mother in law gets out her jewellery loupe to inspect how committed you really are, you will thank me.
Finally, we’ve got it covered should she want something else! In most cases if the ring has been bought off the shelf we can return it to stock and create the one-off she has always dreamed of. Having had something made especially for your loved one is a little more tricky but as we are able to reuse the materials the workshop can nearly always remodel it in her desired style.
If you would like a chat or have any questions please drop me a line or give me a call at the store…
Jos Skeates, Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer, and one half of the husband-and-wife team behind EC One, gives his top tips for guaranteed success (from one bloke to another)…
At sea when it comes to buying that perfect present for the girl in your life? Don’t panic! Take a deep breath & grab hold onto EC One’s life-line for the incurably hopeless gift-giver! Jos Skeates, Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer, and one half of the husband-and-wife team behind EC One, gives his top tips for guaranteed success (from one bloke to another)…Here are a few observations from someone who walks that tightrope of emotions with every piece of jewellery he makes…
Try to be romantic by making it PERSONAL. Nothing says ‘you are special’ more than a personalised piece of jewellery. A delicate chain with her initials hand engraved on a tiny pendant will get you more brownie points than something that could have been bought on the way home from work (and probably was). So think ahead and have something personalised that she will really treasure. If her eyes are blue buy something in a stone that matches them. What is your song? We may well have it already in our lyrical necklace collection…
Have a rummage through her jewellery box. I met a guy recently who wanted to buy his wife some earrings for their 25th wedding anniversary, the only problem was he couldn’t remember whether she had pierced ears. He called his P.A. to check. Now hopefully we are not all as unobservant as that, but it’s always good to take a note of what she does already have and what sort of things she wears on a regular basis. Take some photos of her favourites and bring them in to the store to show our sales assistants. Even a photo of your loved one can often help us to see what we think might work, sporty, geeky, sophisticated, or just plain hot. Remember though the pieces she loves the most will be ones she wears the most, that old hippy bead necklace that she bought in Goa gathering dust might have a sentimental value but shouldn’t be replicated.
Finally it’s all about the presentation. Most guys I know don’t understand this and are really happy to ditch the packaging – like a 4 year old wading through birthday gifts, and dump the gift on the kitchen table in a primitive hunter gatherer style. Try to plan the giving of the gift with as equal thought through romantic setting or gesture or it will never carry the weight and brownie points you have clearly earned. Our EC One bags are treasured by our loyal customers as it holds the promise of something unique, beautiful and thoughtful. I know literally hundreds of our customers who keep each and every box that their jewellery was presented in even though they have a perfectly good jewellery box or safe to put it in. Packaging is your friend.
NEVER buy her a ring unless you are planning to propose or are already married. Never. One poor hapless chap I knew did once and 12 months later found himself walking down the aisle with his blushing bride. Rings from possibly prospective suitors are a very mixed message and can often make the receiver panic with fear or jump to the wrong conclusion. Just don’t do it…
Good lucks chaps.
We have the perfect pieces to help you accessorize this season’s Top Trends, stay fabulous this winter with jewellery from EC One’s Winter Sale!
Black and white get a modern makeover in SS14 with strong geometric prints, and gorgeous detailing! Light up your wardrobe with Fiona Paxton’s Asymmetrical Shimmering Gunmetal Gray Necklace or Lola Rose’s Cream Agate Cocktail Ring.
Fashion hits the global trail with SS14 swaying to a tribal beat! Make it khaki, keep fabrics natural & mix with Lola Rose’s glamorous Grape, Pink & Smokey Harley Ring or Fiona Paxton’s Antique White Leather, Coral and Rose Gold Collar for a look that is globally inspired.
The athletic trend this season comes brimming with old-school attitude! Chose classic touches – plimsolls, bomber jackets, racer backs – add Buba’s ‘Deco’ Floro Yellow & Blue Swarovski Necklace & a stack of Lola Rose’s ‘Rose’ Rings to capture that sports-day spirit!
When Roxy and Will came in to see us for their engagement ring they had some firm ideas about what they wanted the ring to look like – and be made from. Most importantly was the ability to source an ethical stone for the centre and conflict-free diamonds surrounding it. After an initial consultation where ideas from other pieces were discussed, Jos and the team set about making some sketches and a final presentation drawing. The piece was to be based around the idea of an ‘eye’ (Roxy’s son in particular) but must have a vintage feel using old skills that our workshop is well versed in. The final drawing was emailed to the client and agreed with some changes to the colour of the diamonds.
Jos and the team met with a supplier of ethically sourced sapphires in their Hatton Garden office and chose a 5mm round mid blue stone which had been mined in Malawi. This beautiful stone hadn’t been treated with chemicals or heat and due to the banding across the face of the stone it had an almost pastel feel. Next the rare yellow and pink diamonds were purchased from our coloured diamond dealer who only sells diamonds which are conflict-free.
Initially the ring was made in silver and gold plated so that Roxy to try it on and check the design in three dimensions. This ‘maquette’ was made slightly oversize so that it could be used as a master pattern for loss wax casting. The cast was the cleaned up and after assembling we rub-over set the centre sapphire and grain-set the 40 small diamonds. The ring was then given a final polished and presented to the customer, who had this to say…
‘Jos created something wonderful and unique for our engagement. Supporting our needs for transparency in the supply chain, to involvement in every stage from concept, sourcing, design and fit. I feel butterflies every time I look at my finger! It’s wonderful to create something so special, thank you EC One, (and future husband)’
Thinking of having a bespoke design made? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Exmouth Market shop on 0207 713 6185 to find out how we could help….
Not quite made it to the shops in time?
Don’t worry, there’s still time to order beautiful Christmas gifts and have them delivered in time. We’ll even do the wrapping for you so that’s one less thing to worry about, leaving you to get on with enjoying Christmas.
Order by 2pm on Friday 20th December and make sure you specify Next Day Special Delivery as your delivery option for guaranteed UK Christmas delivery.
Click here for full delivery details.
Don’t battle the crowds on the high street for your last minute Christmas gifts.
Make Exmouth Market your go-to destination for perfect gifts from independent,
local shops for the whole family.
Pop into Brill and you’ll not only find the most DELICIOUS selection of home-made cakes and the best coffee on the market but also a fantastic selection of music on CD and vinyl plus avid music fans who are on hand to offer friendly, knowledgeable advice.
For stocking fillers and fun gifts, Space have an excellent selection of gifts and cards with an emphasis on good design and good old-fashioned fun. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face. For beautiful homeware, clothes and accessories, head to Family Tree for independently designed gifts from around the world, along side items from local designers & makers.
For the kids, Book Ends is an independent bookseller specialising in children’s books, origami and other art and crafts. Clerkenwell Tales has a wonderful selection of books for adults, from beautiful coffee table tomes to page turning classics. For the energetic types, East Central Cycles is an independant bike shop with expert staff there to guide you in the right direction.
Don’t forget to pop in and see us at EC One for the best in fine and designer jewellery and a whole heap of Christmas cheer!
When the shopping is done, Emouth Market is famed for it’s spectacular bars and restaurants. Prop up the bar at Caravan and sip a cocktail. Enjoy small plates at Medcalf, Morito or Paesan and for a more substantial gastranomic delight look no furthher than Moro. Moro also have a sumptious collection of cookbooks which, once you’ve tried their food, will be at the top of your Christmas list.
…Hot off the EC One workbench!
This week we had the pleasure of creating this beautiful bespoke engagement ring. Taking inspiration from our classic Emma ring, we began by sourcing a spectacular royal blue cushion cut sapphire. This stunning natural stone has exceptional colour and weighs 4.62 carats. The platinum band is pave set with brilliant cut diamonds allowing the natural beauty of the sapphire to take centre stage.
To find out more about Bespoke Design at EC One follow this link. If you’re thinking of commissioning a piece with us, please email email@example.com or call our Exmouth Market boutique on 0207 713 6185 to find out how we could help….
Christmas is a very exciting time at EC One
We love to see faces old and new coming to the shop to treat their loved ones to something really special. With the night’s drawing in we began to think of ways we could make the shop feel alive with the spirit of Christmas. With the hustle and bustle of Exmouth Market outside, we really wanted to take our customers out of the urban jungle and into a magical space where they can find treats which will be treasured or years to come…
And so we came across artist Stacey Williamson. Inspired by nature, wildlife, and ‘far-off mystical lands’, Stacey creates exquisite works of art for her start-up business, Two For Joy. Using the medium of paper, Stacey creates beautiful framed cut-outs, as well as limited-edition screen prints, t-shirts, and bags. She lives and works in her studio in Shoreditch. We thought Stacey’s love of nature married so well with some of our top British designers such as Alex Monroe, Amanda Coleman and Jana Reinhardt.
We contacted Stacey with our idea to turn our window into a winter wonderland complete with woodland trees, animals and of course an EC One twist. Stacey came back to us with some drawings straight away and we felt she would be a perfect both for EC One and Exmouth Market.
After some experimenting Stacey has come up with a fantastic plan for our windows. Installation will take place on Sunday 3rd November. The shop will be shut but don’t worry we’re going to be filming while the magic happens along with some exclusive behind the scenes interviews with Stacey.
Here’s a sneaky peek of Stacey testing out the pens!
The Cheapside Hoard
The Cheapside Hoard was discovered in 1912, by workmen excavating a cellar near Cheapside in the city of London. They found a buried wooden box containing more than 400 pieces of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery, including rings, brooches and chains, with bright coloured gemstones and enamelled settings, together with toadstones, cameos, scent bottles, fan holders, crystal tankards and a salt cellar. This extraordinary and priceless treasure of late 16th and early 17th century jewels and gemstones will be displayed in its entirety for the first time in over a century this October at the Museum of London.
Reliquary diptych locket depicting head of Christ and the Virgin Mary © Museum of London
Through new research and state-of-the-art technology, the exhibition will showcase the wealth of insights the Hoard offers on Elizabethan and Jacobean London – as a centre of craftsmanship and conspicuous consumption, at the crossroads of the Old and New Worlds. It will also explore the mysteries that remain, lost among the cataclysmic events of the mid-17th century: who owned the Hoard, when and why was it hidden, and why was it never reclaimed?
Gold, enamel, diamond and opal-set scent bottle © Museum of London
Gold bow pendant set with rose-cut and step-cut foil-backed rubies and table-cut diamonds. © Museum of London
The gemstones demonstrate the international trade of luxury goods in the period, with emerald from Colombia, topaz and amazonite from Brazil, spinel, iolite, and chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka, ruby from India, Afghan lapis lazuli, Persian turquoise, peridot from the Red Sea, as well as Bohemian and Hungarian opal, garnet, and amethyst, and pearls from Bahrain.
Selection of Cheapside Hoard rings: 16-17th century © Museum of London
Large stones were frequently set in box-bezels on enamelled rings.Most of the gemstones are cabochon cut, but there are a few with more modern faceted cuts, including rose cut and star cut.
Colombian emerald watch © Museum of London
A particularly large Columbian emerald, originally the size of an apple, had been hollowed out to accommodate a Swiss watch movement dated to around 1600. There are also a Byzantine gemstone cameo, a cameo of Queen Elizabeth I, an emerald parrot, and some fake gemstones made of carved and dyed quartz. A small red intaglio stone seal bears the arms of William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford, dating the burial of the hoard between his ennoblement in November 1640 and the Great Fire of London in September 1666.
Emerald, diamond and enamel Salamander brooch © Museum of London
Jewellery lovers should get down to the Museum of London now to see this amazing exhibition. Late exhibition openings (until 9pm): 10 January, 14 March, 11 April 2014 – Book tickets here
In our autumnal edition of the EC One Staff Picks, the team have picked their favourite pieces from the collection and styled them with their ultimate autumnal wardrobe staples.
Rosy – Press & Marketing Manager
“I love adding a touch of glitz to my off duty look by layering fine gold chains. These diamond studded and pave necklaces from MIira & Dima Rashid are perfect for adding some extra sparkle. I love the Moroccan influences in these Helene Turbe earrings and Fiona Paxton cuff. We make these fine gold bands in the EC One workshop, they come in rose, white or yellow gold, I like to stack all three.”
Liz – Web Manager
“Gothic, grungy glamour is my go-to look this season.This black and silver necklace from I Know The Queen is all I need over a plain black maxi. These black rhodium earrings from William Cheshire and Meteor rings from Ros Millar complete the look.”
Myfanwy – Assistant Shop Manager
“I wear my Alice Menter Wing Nut chain all the time, now the weather’ turned colder I can throw it over a chunky knit and still feel glam. These Rock Studs from Ros Millar are fast becoming my wardrobe staple. I love this bold ring from Sushilla, it’s a perfect ‘day-to-night’ accessory.”
Charlotte – Assistant Buyer
“I enjoy layering silver pendants at the moment for that bohemian trinket vibe mixing textures and finishes. Adding a touch of glamour with some 0.20ct diamond studs which are lovingly made in our workshop, I’m a firm believer that every girl deserves diamonds.”