Large smokey quartz cabochons as ring and dragon tie clip

My client had a number of large cabochons of sentimental value.  I was asked to mount one as a ring and the other as a tie clip.  It took me ages to come up with suitable designs because the stones are nearly as deep as they are wide.  A Nordic influence in the designs was desirable.

Eventually this was agreed for the ring – the bezel being based on a Nordic beast pendant.

Silver smokey quartz ring

For the tie clip, a dragon was the theme.  ( I had Smaug in my mind).  I had to minimise sharp edges and again the design has to cope with the depth of the stone.

Silver smokey quartz dragon tie clip

9ct gold gives a little interest to the flames.  There’s a clip underneath and, because of the weight, I provided a safety clip.

Silver paper clip, silver pencil cap and silver pencil grip

Here we have a silver pencil cap that is about 50mm long, a large paperclip (~75mm) and a deltoid shaped pencil grip.  The latter is deep laser marked due to the difficulty of applying punched marks without damaging the design.  All have the full UK hallmarks including the Coronation mark.  I have another, slightly stubbier, paperclip in my shop.  I’ve made other stationery items for the sme client here.

Patinated, fold formed, copper brooch

Patinated copper brooch

I’ve been practicing more with fold forming and this is a fairly simple double sided fold in copper.  Rather than bright polish it, I decided to add a patina.  After experimenting with solutions to produce a blue coloration, I achieved this result simply by localised heating with an oxy/gas torch and a very fine tip.  The finish is then protected with a couple of coats of clear acrylic lacquer.  The pin is stainless steel hard soldered on to the back.

SIlver butterfly ornament

It was a pleasure to do this task.  Many years ago, one of my students, when I taught a silversmithing evening class, made a beautiful silver butterfly assembled from parts cut from sheet.  Another student made one too.  After complaints from one of his children, he started to make another, but alas never finished it.  I was asked to complete the project.

Silver butterfly ornament

It is actually built from sixteen pieces, but I have welded some of the parts together to make it easier to assemble and disaaemble for cleaning.

Silver butterfly ornament partsIt weighs about 27 grams and stands about 4-5cm high.  Cutting out the pieces takes ages and requires concentration, but is curiously relaxing as you can’t think about anything else!

Zzzzzz – wake up for 2024 – UK date letter is ‘Z’

This is one of my annual ingots for 2024. This has six marks, i.e. all the traditional marks plus the King Charles III Coronation mark.  It’s a bigger and therefore heavier ingot to allow space for the extra mark.  Each of my annual ingots is slightly different in some way, so the edges of this one taper so the back is larger than the front, rather like the segment one.

2024 Silver ingot pendant

I shall do another at some point without the Coronation mark.

This one’s mine!  If you are interested in an ingot/ cufflinks/ etc. for 2024 with or without the Coronation mark, please contact me.  I have a small selection of ingots from previous years  available in my shop.

SIlver and pearl anniversary necklace

A 30th wedding anniversary is identified with pearl.  Here is a development of a previous necklace that includes pearls to make it an appropriate gift.

Silver and pearl necklace

The bar next to the clasp is just to provide a surface for the assay marks.


Medallion repair

This medallion is a treasured possession, but after years of wearing the plating on the base metal disc has corroded and the suspending loop pulled off with some of the plating.  To rescue it, I created a bezel for the coin which securely holds it, covers the damage and provides a new suspension point.  It should be fit for a good few years more now.  The bezel is similar in principle to the surround I use for 50p coins.

Sunstone sphere in a silver tomato shaped pendant

Sunstone in a tomato shaped silver pendantI don’t know why I was asked to mount this sunstone in a pendant that was tomato shaped, but I was, so I did!   The sunstone is a sphere about 10mm across and freely rotates in the cage, which has similar hoops on the rear.

Zultanite silver ring

Zultanite silver ring

A basic ring to show off this heart shaped zultanite stone.  The stone shows amazingly different colours according to the type and direction of the light.

Silver pencil extender and eraser holder

If you want to use your favourite pencil down to the minimum, you need a silver pencil extender and why not a holder for your eraser too.

This extender is for 7mm pencils and , of course, you need a pusher rod for the eraser holder to push the stub out.  All fully UK hallmarked including the Coronation Mark.  My thanks to my client for permission to use the right hand image.  I’ve made more stationery items.

Radley College Memorial Arch silver cufflinks

These cufflinks are lightly etched images derived from a photgraph of the Memorial Arch at Radley College, near Oxford in the UK.  It’s not obvious, but one is a negative of the other i.e. the arch is raised on one pair and sunken on the other.  They are available as ‘one-offs’ in my shop.

Silver knick-knack dish

Silver knick-knack dish with circular hallmarksThis dish is just under 10cm square and is made by a technique called fold or crease forming.  I asked the London Assay Office to stamp the hallmarks in a circle as a feature of the dish.  Here they are in close up.

Hallmarks from silver knick-knack dish

Clockwise from the top we have

  • My sponsor’s mark
  • Traditional sterling silver mark
  • Fineness mark for sterling silver
  • Mark of the London Assay Office
  • Date letter mark for 2023
  • Optional mark for the Coronation of King Charles III



Silver anchor pendant

This is a styilised representation of a silver anchor.  It is solid silver, about 35mm high and weighs 9g.  It has the full UK hallmarks including the King Charles III coronation mark. (For London not Birmingham.)

Silver anchor pendant

It is available for sale in my shop,

Canadian ammolite brooch and pendant set in silver

Ammolite is a beautiful gemstone.  My client supplied these pieces and they seemed to me to need a secure, but minimal setting to focus attention on the stones themselves.

The pendant piece is double sided and this setting allows both sides to be on display.  It is fairly symmetrical and relies on the shape of the stone to keep it secure.  The brooch piece is one sided, so there is a silver plate with the brooch pin and revolver safety catch.  The stones could be removed from the mounts without damage if required.

Fold formed star and trays

I bought a new book* that has expanded my understanding of fold forming as a technique.  These are some test pieces in copper that I have made.  The star and shallow dish are about 10cm across.  The smaller dish is about 7cm.

I have also made the shallower version in silver.  See this post.

* new jewellery techniques  – Anastasia Young and Paul Wells. Hoaki 2022

Silver plaque for the Abingdon Silver Group

In 2021, the members of the Abingdon Silver Group decided they wanted a mark that could be applied to work done whilst at the Group.  One was duly designed and commissioned.  We decided to lodge impressions of the mark with the Abingdon County Hall Museum and I created, with a little help from my friends, this mounted plaque.

Commemorative silver plaqueIt was somewhat stressful applying the stamps after all the other work was done, but the impressions are clean, if not completely straight.  My hallmark and the full set of assay marks for 2022 including the Platinum Jubilee mark are at the bottom.  It’s about 40mm square. It was presented to the Museum in April 2023.  There’s more detail about the plaque here.

Coronation marked silver cufflinks

Coronation marked silver cufflinksNot the best of pictures, but it shows a pair of chain cufflinks with the traditional marks on the front plate and the Coronation mark on the rear plate.  In order to keep the King’s head upright, the cufflinks are handed.  These join a pair of similar cufflinks with the Platinum Jubilee mark instead of the Coronation mark.

Coronation marked large diamond ingot

Large diamond ingot pendant with coronation markI’ve made diamond shaped pendants before, but I was asked to make one this year with the coronation mark included.  To give room for this, the pendant has to be significantly larger and weighing twice as much.

Double copper silver bracelet

Double strand copper silver braceletA variation on my popular copper/ silver twist bracelet – I was asked to make it wider.  In discussion on the design, we decided to have two parallel bracelets with a silver plaque for the initials of the recipient.  The bracelets are also connected by a bar at each end to keep the strands together. A more challenging task, but justified by the result.

Twin wire heavy silver bracelet

Twin wire heavy silver braceletA singleton repeat of a pair that I made some time ago.  Minimal soldering in this – just on the hook to make sure the two strands don’t get pulled apart.  Otherwise, it’s held together by the tube.  Below the plastic clips are the 2023 traditional marks and just below that, the coronation mark though it’s bearly visible in this image.

Silver twin ring earrings

One of the pair got lost, but I couldn’t think how I had made them – I don’t keep construction details.

I started from scratch and made these. The rings swing independently.

Twin ring silver earrings

These are the same in concept as the previous pair, but the back ring has a different texture and they are slightly larger.  More ‘statement’ than previously.  I make larger, thicker versions for a pendant.  These are thin to keep them light.

Jersey Kale – Walking stick cabbage silver cap and foot

Fascinated by the idea of walking stick cabbages or Jersey kale, I bought some seed and successfully grew a couple of stems.  (They attracted cabbage white butterflies and their caterpillers like a magnet!). After carefully drying the stems, with my workshop smelling of cabbage for weeks, the stems are remarkable light and strong.

I’ve now varnished the stems and made a silver cap and foot cover, so a project of over two years is now complete. The foot is not a silver ferrule as there would be no grip.  This way the rubber foot can be replaced easily and the stick is more practical.  The silverware has full UK hallmarks including the Coronation mark. This one is mine, but I have a second stem if anyone is interested in commissioning me!

Jersey Kale/ walking stick cabbage walking stick with silver top and foot

Birthing ring – third child

Three gold birthing ring

To celebrate the arrival of their third child, I was commissioned to make a birthing ring.  This made from 9ct red, white and yellow gold wires.  Making a virtually invisible join is tricky to get the continuity.  At the back, you can just see my mark, the normal marks and the Coronation mark.

Matching a lost cufflink

Matching a lost cufflink

The cufflink on the right lost its treasured partner.  I managed to copy it using delft clay casting.

Whilst I would have preferred to smarten up the old cufflink and make them both bright and shiny, the owner enjoyed the somewhat battered character of the existing one.  So I distressed the new one a little to make it similar.

Adding a grandchild’s name to a pendant

I didn’t actually make this pendant, but I do make something very, very similar.  The gift was given when there were three grandchildren, but now there’s four!

Engraved silver ring pendant

To make it wearable again, I made a new silver ring to match and then arranged for it to be engraved in a similar font to the others.

New date letter Y for 2023

2023 Silver ingot

Every year from 1979 onwards, I’ve made an ingot and each one is different.  This is 2023 – ‘Y’.  Just one letter to go in the current cycle then in 2025, we start again.  There’s more detail here.

Date letter for 2023Here it is very much magnified and straining the autofocus on my camera.

I’m just wondering, as Charles III is being crowned this year, will there be an extra mark?  History suggests there might be, but I’ve not heard yet.

UK coin cufflinks in silver mounts

3d cufflinks

I have 3d – silver and cupronickel  – cufflinks available in my shop here and elsewhere on that page.  I now also have a range of six penny bits (tanners) available. 1949, 50, 51, 53, 54, 57, 58, 62, 63 and 1966.  Apart from 1952, I could probably source other dates too.  Please contact me.

Repurposing malachite earrings

The earrings were no longer required, but the malchite cabochons were attractive and had sentimental value.  One earring was easily converted to a pendant using the original bezel.

Malachite pendant

The other has been made into a cabochon ring with a textured shank

Silver malachite cabochon ringYou can see the mark of the Platinum Jubilee of the late Queen Elizabeth II at the end of the hallmarks.

Textured surface silver cross

My client for this cross wanted a distressed surface on the outer face of the cross.  Also that there was no visible loop for the chain from the front.  The front face is bright polished, but the sides have a satin finish. The hallmarks are discretely placed on the side.  The cross is 60 x 40mm.


Silver heart chain twin strand anklet

I couldn’t find a model for this.

Silver heart anklet

The inner loop sits above the outer loop on the ankle.  There is a chain extender to suit different legs.  The hallmarks are on the solid heart at the end of the extender chain.  I ordered slightly more chain than I needed and so made a pair of dangly earrings to match the anklet.

Silver spoon stem repair

Spoon before repair

This well loved spoon was used for stirring and removal of a teabag, but unfortunately was showing signs of wear after many years of use.

I successfully soldered the crack closed and repolished it.  It should be good for years to come.

Spoon after repair

(My thanks to the owner for permission to use his ‘before’ photo.)

Initial bracelet – albert style chain

This bracelet was modelled on a 80-100 year old design.  The original has no solder joints at all.  Mine has just a couple on the lugs.

'B' initial bracelet

As the chain is solderless, it is easy to adjust the length.

Laser welder repair

My first real repair job using the welder.

Silver pepper pot

As you see it, the left knuckle of the base had come off and the right knuckle had broken.  This was probably due to the lid being forced after the pin got gummed up.

I fixed the knuckles by laser welding them and made a new silver pin that was fitted in the normal manner.

I wouldn’t have attemped this repair without the laser welder.

I now have a laser welder

Dado welder

I’ve just bought a laser welder and am learning how to it to best effect.  I’ve already used it for some jobs, but I’ve a way to go before I feel really comfortable with it.  Like most things there’s a knack and you need to practice.  I’m hoping this will make a major change to the repair tasks I can attempt and the work I can fabricate.  Watch this space!

Silver Platinum Jubilee Ingots

A selection of silver ingots with the Platinum Jubilee markFrom the left, 1 & 3 are standard ingots, but 3 has the customer’s chain. No 2 is a wider and thicker ingot  (~33g) with a snake chain.  No 4 is a narrow ingot.  All have been sent to their owners.

Saxon style wedding ring in silver and gold

Saxon style ring at ceremonySaxon style ring aloneA complex design for me for a bride who wanted something different with an air of history.  The gold and garnets suggests the Saxon era.  In the lower picture you may just see the full marks for sterling silver and the part marks for 9ct gold.  The groom reused his father’s wedding ring and I sized that for him too.  This was the ring I mocked up in silver and is in this post.

Blue topaz silver ring

Blue topaz lozenge silver ringThe stone is a beautiful London blue, 8 by 6mm topaz lozenge.  I had hoped to buy a setting for the stone, but ended up making my own.  Not my best skill, but eventually I made this setting from gallery strip.  A good result that lets plenty of light to the stone.  You can just see the Jubilee mark to the left of the main hallmark block.

Engraved silver bracelet

This is an example of an engraved bracelet, but with the engraving on the inside leaving a bright shiny band on the outside.  The hallmarks are on the outside though.  I chose to have the London Assay Office’s staggered arrangement with three marks at each end – the sixth mark being the Platinum Jubilee mark. Allsport Trophies did the engraving for me on the flat strip.

Silver band bracelet with memento

SIlver band bracelet with memento

This bracelet incorporates an earring dropper as a memento of someone no longer with us.  It also has an unusual arrangement of the hallmarks. They are position to ‘counterbalance’ the token and are six because they include the Platinum Jubilee mark.  The arrangement is possible because the band is quite wide.