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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Silver crochet hook

You can just see the hallmarks in the right hand image.  It’s had a test drive and works well , though noticeably heavier than a normal crochet hook.  This one is just about  4.5mm.  I could make other sizes.

Unsolicited, the recipient of the gift emailed me to say

“I just wanted to let you know that I love it. It is heavier than a regular crochet hook but it’s a reassuring weight and has a lovely glide when you use it. “

Platinum Jubilee hallmarked silver ingots

Access to the Platinum Jubillee mark started in November 2021 and I have one 2021 ingot so marked. Here are three examples I have made for 2022.

The sloping triangle is a new design, whereas the other two correspond to those listed in my shop.  I could also make the diamond version listed on the same page, though it would be much larger to gain the space for the extra mark. Please note that all 2022 ingots, with or without the optional additional mark, are only available to order.  Please contact me for prices and delivery times.

Silver chain bracelet

Chains like this are great for refreshing your soldering skills.

SIlver 'wiggly' chain braceletThere are over 70 joints to be soldered and it’s only 18cm long.  The silver disc is there only to provide a location for the hallmarks, which includes the Platinum Jubilee hallmark.

Silver bottle opener

SIlver copy of old style crown cork bottle opener

This casting was done using the delft clay technique.  My first attempt using a  casting frame I have just made.  Some very minor imperfections but nothing to detract from the piece.

I wouldn’t use it to remove a bottle cap, the cap would mark and may possibly bend the silver.  Silver is just not as strong as iron.  The silver version is about 25% heavier too due to the difference in specific gravity.  Available from my shop here.  I can’t change the lettering, but I could remove it to create a space for engraving.

Star sign pendant – silver

This is just a test piece to try out the idea.Star Sign pendant piece - Scorpio

What you see is a domed disc of copper with the Scorpio constellation picked out with holes.  The diameters very roughly correspond to the brightness of the stars.  It was made using some copper scrap from an old water tank, which had some corrosion hence the tiny black dots.  They wouldn’t be there in a silver version.  It’s just under 45mm in diameter.

Another option would be to have silver or gold beads instead of the holes. Having the stars in yellow gold, except Antares in red gold, would give a nod to astronomy, though the colours may not be discernible at that size.

Silver tapered ferrule with extension

Q. What do you do if the walking stick you have been given is too short?

A. Add an extended length ferrule.SIlver walking stick extensionThis added an additional 5cm to the stick making it much more comfortable.


Silver holly leaf earrings

Silver holly earrings

I’ve never been a great one for seasonal jewellery, but on a whim with some time to fill, I made these.  About 20 by 15mm and very light, they catch the light nicely.  Available from my shop.  Other sizes can be made – also Christmas trees……

Crocodile tooth silver cap

Having capped a hippo tooth and a warthog tusk, I’ve downsized to a crocodile tooth here.  This one is only about 75mm long, but not something youwould want embedded in your leg!  I’ve seen more wildlife teeth close up in this last year than ever in my life.

This is just waiting for a thong.

Bow tie and link silver bracelet

A recent bracelet – the style is bow tie and link – other styles are available.  The bar at the bottom is only there as somewhere to place the hallmark.

Silver ring from earring

What to do with the earring you haven’t lost?

Sometimes I can make a near copy, but in this case the mosaic pattern was not reproducible.  In the past I have converted the earring to a pendant, but, for this,  I was asked to make a ring of it instead.

The earring is glued to a square base plate that fits the inside the back of the earring once the stud is removed.