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Hands up for a Free Spring Clean at EC One!

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Spring Clean for blog

The sun is shining! The birds are singing! SPRING IS HERE! So, what better time to put the sparkle back into your EC One jewellery than with a complementary clean & polish from our lovely workshop.
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To take us up on this offer, just drop your EC One bought jewellery into our Clerkenwell boutique by the 30th of April.*

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!Bluebird-right

*This offer is only for jewellery bought at EC One.
We will happily clean and polish your other pieces of jewellery, but this will be charged at our normal rate

Easter Comes Early

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Easter ver 2

Easter has come early for an American metal dealer who bought a gold ornament for scrap, only to find out it was one of the lost Carl Faberge eggs from the Tsar’s personal collection!

According to Kieran McCarthy of Wartski, the London antiques dealers, the egg was purchased at a Midwestern flea market for about $14,000. The buyer only began to suspect its value after seeing an article about the rare imperial Faberge Easter eggs made for Russian royalty. He contacted McCarthy, who verified the egg as genuine and negotiated its sale to a collector… reportedly for around $33million.

“It was like the Holy Grail walking through the front of our gallery,” he said. “I was absolutely shivering with excitement. We always reserve opinions until we handle it,” McCarthy adds, “but he was so unlikely a character we figured it had to be true.”

Eventually, McCarthy travelled to the man’s home, where he saw the egg sitting in his kitchen, next to a cupcake. When he told the man what he had, he dropped to the floor.

“He was conscious, but he dropped,” McCarthy said.

Only 50 of the Imperial eggs were made for the Royal Family, and eight remained missing before the latest find. Five of them are believed to have been destroyed. The other three escaped Russia, this was among those three. The egg, which contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, sits on a jewelled gold stand and was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna over Easter 1887.

The item’s buyer is letting the item be displayed at Wartski from April 14 to 17. This is the first time it’s been shown in public in 112 years.
Happy egg hunting everyone…….

Mother’s Day: Jos’s Cheat Sheet

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The scoop on Mothering Sunday from EC One’s Inside Man!

If – like me – you are still lucky enough to have yours around, then let’s take a moment to thank them for all they have done for us.

1-New-Mum

It sounds obvious, but only mums get gifts on Mother’s Day!

Sometimes us blokes forget the significance of a Mum’s first ‘Mother’s Day’, and need to be reminded. No, your little Prince Philip or Princess Poppy aren’t old enough to spend their pocket money on that meaningful present, but their new dad can!

2-Your-MumMothering Sunday was traditionally the day when domestic servants were permitted to visit church, usually accompanied by their own mother. We’ve moved on a bit since then, but mums still like to be remembered at least once a year!

3-Hard-Working-MumBeing a ‘mommy’ takes patience, humour and a lot of energy, whether you’re full-time, or navigating between being a ‘mummy’ at home and being taken seriously at work.

4-Yummy-MummyAccording to the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘An attractive and stylish young mother’!

Finally, I know from personal experience, a Mother’s Day gift – whoever it is from – is a great way to celebrate the mums in our lives.

Besides, from a purely selfish point of view… Fathers Day is just round the corner!
jos-Signature

The British Invasion: EC One at Paris Fashion Week 2014!

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Paris-montageOn Thursday, we arrived to a very grey and miserable Paris, but a little rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we hit the trail in search of gorgeous jewels and fabulous macaroons. All in the name of research(!) we visited the big guns at Printemps, Le Bon Marche and Colette, along with chic independent boutiques to get a taste of what Parisians are into.

With our growing love of very fine gold chains and the most discreet of gems or charms, French fine jewellery is increasingly exerting its influence on London.
You can already capture this aesthetic with jewels from Lindsay Pearson, AS29 and from our own Garden collection at EC One.

On Friday we headed to the first of many trade shows. Here we saw Fiona Paxton, whose signature statement pieces never fail to impress with their quality and ingenuity. This season Fiona’s designs revisit chains and draping, while other styles make a nod to the tribal trend. We loved the dark graduating chains, which will make for some great textural statement jewels this AW14.
Joanna Cave, another favourite, spent her summer on the Greek isles and has been influenced by their rustic romantic charm. Her pretty hand-pierced designs are intricate & lace-like, with interwoven heart and star motifs. There were plenty of pieces to covet – and thankfully not long to wait until they hit our shelves!
Alex Monroe has been raiding the haberdashery department for inspiration for his latest collection. Tiny scissors will be arriving in the coming weeks, alongside his signature birds, so look out for the introduction of SS14 Floral Fayre online and on our shelves.

Saturday was all about The Box! Loads caught our eye here! We also saw old friends such as Melissa McArthur, whose dainty diamond pieces combine sleek lines with sparkling brown diamonds (we think these will be sure to make your wishlist this AW14). We also marvelled at some stingray bangles, which looked amazing stacked up in different shades and sizes. The real question was which colours to choose!

On our final day we awoke to glorious sunshine shining through the curtains of our hotel near Sacre Coeur. We headed over to ‘Tranoii’ – held at the Louvre – to view their mix of fine and luxe-fashion jewellery. We fell in love with some gorgeous pieces, which combined rosy chains, muted ribbons and Swarovski, hitting the perfect note of bold but easy-to-wear. Don’t worry! The wait won’t be long… we’ll keep you posted!

Fuelled by yet more pastry, we headed to the Eurostar and back to London. Needless to say, we can’t wait to get all these fabulous jewels and new designers in next season.

Engagement Rings – Bloke’s Cheat Sheet!

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The Secrets for Success from EC One’s Inside Man…Side-Image-for-Engagement-R
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…
Good Luck!

Bloke’s Gift Guide Cheat Sheet!

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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…

Be-Personal

 

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.
Her-Style

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.
Love-Struck

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.

Shop EC One’s Valentine Edit…

Rock SS14 Trends with Jewellery from our Winter Sale!

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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!
Mad-for-Mono

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.

Tribal-BeatFashion 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.

Sports-LuxeThe 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!

Roxy’s Ring

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Roxy’s Ring

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.

Beautiful Bespoke Design at EC One

Maquette for Roxy’s Ring

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)’
Roxy

The Finished Ring

The Finished Ring

 

Thinking of having a bespoke design made? Please email jos@econe.co.uk or call our Exmouth Market shop on 0207  713 6185 to find out how we could help….

 

 

Beautiful Christmas Gifts Delivered In Time For Christmas

 

Wrapped+delivered

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.

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Make Exmouth Market Your Shopping Street

 

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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.

Exmouth Market

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.

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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.

EC One

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!

EXMOUTH-RESTAURANTS

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.

Exmouth Market