Roman coin pendant

It seems to be my year for mounting coins!

I’m not sure of the denomination of the coin, but it’s bigger than the denarius I recently mounted.  Silver, about 20mm across and 2mm thick.  It has a swivel so that both sides are easily viewed and a heavy trace chain consistent with the coin size.  The mount is a fine silver band moulded non-destructively to the coin.

Heavy duty copper and silver bracelet

Heavy duty copper bracelet with a silver plate for engraving

This is 2mm thick copper and longer than I would normally make especially for a big lad.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get it engraved in time, but that should be possible now.

Silver Australian Dollar mounted as a pendant

TI have mounted this beautifully manufactured silver dollar using a fine silver bezel burnished round to grip the coin securely.  Only the milling round the outside is concealed.  The setting holds the coin non-destructively and could be removed leaving the coin unscathed.

Coin mount for a silver shilling

This coin mount for 1605 James the 6th Shilling – great to get the chance to hold something that old.  The owner says that If you look at the coin you’ll see a fleur de lis around the edge, that’s the mint mark and means the coin was minted in the Tower of London in 1605, the very year Guy Fawkes tried to kill James the 6th.

The sterling silver mount holds the coin non-destructively and is hallmarked 2020.

The review posted on my Google page says ‘I received my item from John today and to say I’m happy with it would be an understatement.

A groovy silver ring

A wide silver ring with a circumferential groove
A wide silver ring with a circumferential groove

A special request for a ring with a groove around it.  With time the groove should tarnish whereas the main surface will stay silvery.  This will be the desired effect.

Book style silver earrings

Book style silver earrings
Book style silver earrings

These were requested by a previous client for a friend who likes reading.  My client provided a sketch, which I followed closely except that I replaced a chain by a twisted square wire to keep the book facing outward.  There is still plenty of movement as there are two hinges.  Another piece for my ‘unusual requests’ folder.

Mixed metal curb chain bracelet

This one’s mine, though I can and have made copies.

Mixed metal curb chain bracelet
Mixed metal curb chain bracelet

It consists of a sequence of silver, copper and brass links  with a silver t-bar and loop clasp.  Of course, yellow, red and white gold is another option, but may not have the claimed beneficial effect of copper.

Silver flower pendants

These pendants are a special commission for three daughters

They are all the same size,  about 35mm across, and build on earlier work in this style.  The thistle is fabricated , but the rose and sweet pea are both cut in one piece from sheet – a challenge to my sawing skills.  The textured background enhances the shiny surface of the flower.  Each is hallmarked on the rear.

SIlver horseshoe pendant

I was asked to make a silver near copy of a base metal pendant that had a special meaning for my client.  I actually made two and the one on the left is the client’s and it has been slightly ‘aged’ on request.  You can see it and the original here on Instagram. I quote

‘it’s arrived and frankly I am bowled over by how brilliant it looks. What an amazing job, it’s pretty much exactly how I imagined it. Thank you so much for the great work’

The right hand side one has a different fixing and is on sale in my shop.  They are the same size – about 3cm by 3cm.

Fused 9 carat red and yellow gold pendant

9ct red and yellow gold pendant
9ct red and yellow gold pendant

I’ve made many fused silver pendants before of a whole range of sizes, but this is my first attempt at fusing gold.  I was unsure it would work with low carat silver but it’s come out fine and has been hgallmarked as 9ct gold.  If you look carefully, you will see the two tones where the red and yellow  gold pieces have blended together.  This weighs 4g and is about 3cm tall.  It’s available from my shop.

Sterling silver seahorse pendant

I helped to clear out the workshop of a silversmith who had passed away.  In a tobacco tin, I found a dried out seahorse.  I’ve no idea how old it was. I thought it would be fragile, but it has survived me making two delft clay casts from the body.

Sterling silver sea horses
Sterling silver sea horses

They have come out really well and are available for purchase from my shop.

 

My silver ingots for 2020 have a ‘V’

The date letter for 2020 is a ‘V’.

You can see all the date letters for the last 40+ years here.  I made one for me every year and the one on the left is this year’s one.  All 42, so far, are slightly different.  The one on the right below is for sale in my shop, but I can make them pretty much any size or weight.

 

Silver padlock

This piece is really a test piece as it’s the first I’ve made.  I’ve been thinking about making a padlock for some time, but, at this scale,  making even a basic key mechanism is outside my skills.  Then I saw a knitting stitch marker and that method of closure seemed to be the answer.  This one is about 4cm tall, 2cm wide and 5mm thick.  It weighs 12g.

To open the loop is pulled up, then squeezed in slightly so that it can be rotated through the slot.  Simple and secure.  Available from my shop and other sizes available to order.

Silver teardrop locket

This was a challenge of a commission – a long time in the gestation, but a satisfying result.   The brief was for a locket with space for two photographs. My client and I went through a number of iterations in the design to finally decide on this teardrop shape with gold embellishments.

The upper surface is hammered and domed with 9ct gold balls to increase the visual and tactile effect.  The inside has two chambers where a photograph can be stored.  The photos are held in by a silver circlip.

The hallmarks are on the inside and show not only the traditional London hallmarks, but the crown and 375 marks to acknowledge the gold component.

Locket hallmarks
Locket hallmarks

From the left:  my sponsor’s mark (JH), traditional sterling silver mark, silver fineness mark (925), the London Assay Office Mark (Leopard), the date letter (U for 2019), the traditional gold mark and the gold fineness mark (375 or 9 carat).

Silver glider silhouette keyfob

 

My client wanted a glider as a keyfob, but, as gliders are designed to be streamlined and aerodynamic, a  glider shape would be easily bent and also uncomfortable in the pocket.  We decided that a silhouette would be more practical.  Also, it has a satin finish as a bright polished finish would soon be scratched.

Silver glider silhouette keyring keyfob
Silver glider silhouette keyring

Imitation opal earrings

Silver imiitation opal earrings
Silver imitation opal earrings

I’m pleased with these.  I was asked to make a pair of earrings in a similar style to the remaining one of a pair.   That one had an opal doublet, but I couldn’t source anything the right size.  I decided to experiment with powered plastic ‘enamel’ and made these which are a blue background with a sprinkling of green and orange powder to fake the iridescence of an opal.

Bespoke punched and engraved silver ring

(Almost) always up for a new challenge, I was asked to make a ring with a phrase stamped on the outside and engraving on the inside.  The ring is 2mm thick, which is tricky to bend into shape . The sequencing to get the engraving, sizing, stamping, assay, fabrication and polishing inside and out required thought and scheduling, but it worked and my customer is delighted.  Definitely not something to be done in a rush.  Sam James Ltd did the engraving for me.  I had to practice punching to get the lettering (nearly) in a straight line.

Silver acorn cufflinks

Silver acorn cufflinks
Silver acorn cufflinks

Another addition to my ‘seeds’ range of cufflinks.  Each acorn is about 18mm long,  Available from my shop.  I also have pendants of a similar size available in the shop.

Celebrating a special event

SIlver ingot 2019
SIlver ingot 2019

I’ve made this style of ingot before, but this was a gift for an 18th birthday this year and hence it has this year’s date letter ‘U’.  This does require a little planning to get the timing right.  Unless I have a suitable item in stock, date letters cannot be applied retrospectively – it would make them a bit meaningless really.

Cufflinks with customer supplied subject

Here are a couple of sets of cufflinks I have made recently for customers who had a specific item they wanted mounted.

These are both variants of the mount I usually use for UK 3d pieces, though the carnelian ones are much bigger stones and hence have six claws each for extra security.  The coins have standard backs and the carnelians the whale tail variant.

Ferrule for a swagger stick

Silver swagger stick tip
Silver swagger stick tip

This doesn’t look that exciting.  It’s a silver tip or ferrule to replace one lost from an officer’s swagger stick.  This is 25mm long and 10mm internal diameter.  I’ve done the same sort of thing in different forms and styles for walking and riding sticks.

Silver ammonite bracelets

These are the latest additions to my ammonite range – still the same ammonites – just different forms of jewellery.

Amber mounted as a silver pendant

Amber mounted as a silver pendant
Amber mounted as a silver pendant

I made this pendant a while ago, but forgot to load it into my shop – but it is now.

It’s a piece of quite thick amber in a teardrop shape. I made this surround as a freehand casting using the ‘cuttlefish casting’ method.   It is assayed on the rear.

Silver acorn pendants

These are two pendants cast from acorns.  They are only half thickness yet still heavy at about 45g each. They are hallmarked on the rear.  They are available from my on-line shop.  They would also work as a key fob.  Contact me if that interests you.

Silver/ red gold ring

Half round or ‘d’ section rings of silver and 9 carat red gold have been soldered together for this discrete, but different ring.

9ct red gold and silver ring
9ct red gold and silver ring

Apart from the soldering challenge, the exciting aspect of this piece for me is that, in over 40 years of sending work to be assayed, this is my first piece that is marked as ‘mixed metal’.  I’ve worked silver and gold before, but this is the first piece that qualified as mixed metal, because the two metals are discrete enough to have different hallmarks.  If the metals are not sufficiently clear, then the whole work is marked at the lower standard, which in this case would have been sterling silver.

Here is an expanded and rotated image of the marks.

Mixed metal hallmarks
Sterling and 9 carat gold mixed metal hallmarks

Because my work is assayed at London, it has the traditional silver and gold marks as well as the modern fineness mark applied as standard.  The marks were applied by laser.

Top ring

My sponsors mark, traditional sterling silver, fineness mark for sterling silver, London Assay Office and the 2019 date letter.

Middle ring

Traditional gold mark and modern 9 carat fineness mark.

Assay and marking does not distinguish the colour of the gold.

Ingot pendant 2019

This is an example of a 2019 marked ingot.

Sterling silver ingot pendant hallmarked 2019
Sterling silver ingot pendant hallmarked 2019

If you look carefully, you can see the distortion of the metal around the punch marks, particularly by my sponsor’s mark at the top.  Laser applied marks do not cause any distortion, but then they are nothing like as deep.  Please contact me if you would like something similar.  I am only making them to commission, though there are some of earlier years available in my shop.

Pebble earrings

My client provided the stones for this pair of earrings.

Pebble shell fossil earringsThey are small – no more than a centimetre high.  The brief was a simple setting with secure ear wires.   The client and recipient are delighted with the result.  There’s something extra about a gift that where the giver has provided strong input to the design.

Oak leaf brooch

 

Gold plated impression of an oak leaf in copper
Gold plated impression of an oak leaf in copper

This brooch is about 6cm long and has a steel pin on the rear with a pin protector.  It ws something of an experiment in embossing patterns by rolling.  Tp get this result an oak leaf was rolled between two sheets of annealed copper.  The leaf was then sulphided to enhance the detail and then a very thin gold plate was applied.  I intend to let the copper border tarnish naturally – we shall see what it looks like in time.

The picture below is an enlargement of the embossing to show the fine detail of the leaf in the copper.

Detail of embosssed oak leaf
Detail of embosssed oak leaf

Each brooch will be unique as, although there may be a mirror image available, the leaf is destroyed during the process.

Expanding silver bracelet

Expanding silver bracelet
Expanding silver bracelet

A three strand, twisted and rolled bracelet that is closed, but adjustable.  It has heavier gauge wire than I normally use, at the client’s request, to make it a substantial piece of silver jewellery.

Silver shell pendants

Silver shell pendants
Silver shell pendants

These are small pendants 1.5-2 cm – solid silver and full hallmarked, though they are below the minimum requirements.  They were cast from a shell found by the client.

Silver cufflinks presenting Roman coins

This set of cufflinks were a special and thoughtful presents to three brothers.  The clients selected and sourced the coins.  They are from the reigns of Caracalla, Trajan, Philip, Alexander, Valerian and Gordian.

The support for the coins are domed so that both sides can be examined.  The mounts hold the coins securely but non destructively.

Mosaic tessera earrings – multi colour – multi style

Blue mosaic tessera earrings
Blue mosaic tessera earrings

These blue mosaic tessera based earrings have been very popular.  The story behind them is here. A year or so back, I bought a pack of other colours.  This is the sample sheet.

Mosaic colour choices
Mosaic colour choices

Now to add increased flexibility, I have made stud mounts for the tessera and why not other materials?  The rght hand side below has some paua shell I cut to size.

Wikipedia has just told me that paua is the New Zealand name, abalone the US name and ormer the UK name for the same genus.

I have some stock, but contact me with your choice.

Silver ammonite ring

SIlver ring with a solid half thickness ammonite
SIlver ring with a solid half thickness ammonite

This style of ring is made to measure and can be made with any of my available ammonites.  Or indeed other objects you may wish to have immortalised in silver.

Bolt key fob

The key fob of this key ring is cast from a bolt from a bicycle that has special memories for the recipient.

Silver bolt keyring
Silver bolt key ring

The fob is hallmarked on the head of the bolt.  This is an example of the commissioned work I undertake where there is a memory or other connection between the giver and the recipient  There is also the pleasure of giving (and for me making) a present that will last many, many years.

Gold six band ear cuff

9ct gold 6 band ear cuff
9ct gold 6 band ear cuff

The silver cuff I made earlier in the year was very well received and so I was asked to make a gold version.  Fortunately, and unusually for me, I kept detailled instructions, so the two cuffs are pretty much identical.

Unusual hallmarking on a ring

Normally ring hallmarks are on the inside of a ring, requiring a special ‘swan-necked’ punch, but I was asked to produce one with the hallmarks on the outside.

SIlver ring with external hallmarks
SIlver ring with external hallmarks

Here the London Assay Office have applied ‘display’ marks that are deep and durable.  I’ve also been able to employ one of my slightly larger straight punches.

Uffington White Horse realistic brooch

My pendants of the White Horse near Uffington, Oxfordshire are described earlier in this blog.  I haven’t previously made a brooch – perhaps an obvious omission.  Anyway I’ve done one now.

 

Silver Uffington White Horse brooch broach
Uffington White Horse brooch

The owner is very pleased with it.

Uffington White Horse brooch broach with owner
Uffington White Horse brooch with owner

Silver handcuff

Solid silver decorative handcuff
Solid silver decorative handcuff

The cuff closes over the wrist and the pin on the right secures it closed.  The carabiner clasp then secures the pin.  The chains are open link to allow charms to be added. My client said

‘Just to let you know the item arrived today as planned and also to say a big Thank You for taking the job on and creating a truely fantastic piece.  Really pleased with how you converted my ideas into this.’

Silver ear cuff

A new departure for me – I’m made plenty of earrings, including replacing lost ones, but a cuff is a first for me.  This cuff fits between the outer ear and the inner lobe.

Silver 6 band ear cuff
Silver 6 band ear cuff

Wide heavy man’s silver bracelet

Wide, thick, man's silver bracelet
Wide, thick, man’s silver bracelet

The client wanted something plain, but a little heavier and thicker than my normal bracelets.  Bright shiny on the outside and satin inside – fully hallmarked. Not one of my more demanding jobs, but something not readily obtainable.

Silver medicine tube/ holder

Silver container to hold a medicine aerosol pendnat
Silver container to hold a medicine aerosol

Unfortunately, my client has to carry an aerosol spray in case of medical emergency.  Between us we came up with a design for a holder on a chain.  The tube is about 30mm in diameter and weighs over 100g.

It was in use within minutes of it arriving!

The main hallmarks are on the base with part marks on the friction fit lid.

Fused silver mount for blue druzy

A client had a beautiful window blue druzy that was not at its best in its previous setting.  I created one of my unique fused silver surrounds for the druzy. It now looks spectacular.

Fused silver pendant iwth blue window druzy
Fused silver pendant iwth blue window druzy

My client was delighted and couldn’t wait to try it on.

One happy client
One happy client!

Fine silver bowl – silver wedding present

FIne silver bowl for silver wedding present
FIne silver bowl

This bowl is 120cm across and is made from fine silver.  It was commissioned as a silver wedding present and it has an inscription engraved on the opposite side to the hallmarks.

The hallmarks themselves are interesting in that in addition to the 999 mark, the piece has also been given the Britannia mark.  Britannia fineness is 958 parts silver per 1000, so it clearly exceeds that.

Hallmarks from fine silver bowl
Hallmarks from fine silver bowl

Triangular engineers silver ruler

A triangular  six inch engineers ruler.  An interesting exercise and more of a challenge than I anticipated.  The front face has the recipient’s name, but I’ve removed that for this post.  I designed all the engraving, but it was machine engraved locally.

As with other pictures, it’s difficult to get the lighting right!  If I do something like this again, I will make the sides slightly concave.

Radley College Clock Tower Cufflinks and pendant

Evry few years, I’ve been asked to make a pair of cufflinks inspired by the Radley College Clock Tower.  These have been leaving presents for members of staff whose room overlooked the Clock Tower.

The 2009  and 2015 versions were etched, but this time I wanted to try something different and more three dimensional.  I’ve also made a pendant in the 2018 style.  It’s about 5cm high.

Radley Clock Tower silver pendant
Radley Clock Tower silver pendant

Radley College Croomes Tower silver pendant

As a leaving present for a member of staff, I was asked to make a pendant based on Croomes Tower.

Croomes Tower silver pendant
Croomes Tower silver pendant

My interpretation is about 5cm tall, the real thing – below – must be about 10 metres.  Scaling down that much required some compromises on the level of detail.  I had the assay marks placed over the door in lieu of an inscription.

Croomes Tower - Radley College, Oxfordshire
Croomes Tower – Radley College, Oxfordshire