I wanted to take the time to talk you through one of my biggest loves...my jewellery collection. For me jewellery is a slight obsession as a child I shied away from anything jewellery related as I felt it was too girl and I was a massive tomboy but as I started to find my style and attend art school I feel in love with Antique shopping with my mum and we would raid all the local antique shops looking for bargain jewellery. My childhood heroes were my Grandmother and Jacqueline Wilson and both wore awesome jewellery so how was I not meant to be inspired?
My ring collection use to be insanely vast but I sold around 150 pieces when I moved back home, I figured I only had 10 fingers! I have 5 rings that I wear everyday without fail the two delicate rings inherited from my mum when she died. The Marcasite heart which i brought her one christmas with my first pay packet and the rose gold two diamond engagement ring that was my great grandma's these are my two prized possessions they never leave my sight and had to be cut off my mothers fingers when she died so they no longer hold any monetary value but to me they mean the world, They don't go with the rock vibe on my other hand but I like the story. I purchased the next three which can be seen in the top photo the largest Turquoise ring I brought for £22 from an online seller that I think no longer trades and the two others the band and the rope ring both come from the Antique section of shop Dixi.
Bill Skinner is another wonderful jewellery shop that sells really quirky and timeless pieces I love my bee ring and hands ring it 's one of those things that I really wish I had more fingers. I do love Bill Skinner as they have some really great fine pieces of affordable jewellery.
High street jewellery can often be hit and miss and I have always stuck by my guns and only worn either real silver or gold, promise I'm not a snob but when you live in your jewellery avoiding the green ring you get when you get metal wet isn't a good look. But when I do get a costume piece of jewellery my go to shops are Acessorize, Zara and H&M. Acessorize do a really great silver section for delicate little rings and necklaces it's a must. H&M and Zara do a lot of great statement pieces as well as simple pieces of jewellery.
I'm personally not big on bracelets just because in my line of work I use my hand's a lot and I like to feel that my wrists can be free and not feel restricted, most of my bangles and bracelets are vintage or second hand I have a few antique gold bracelets that I picked up for a few quid from flea markets, sometimes it can be the hunt looking for the jewellery that can be just as fun as wearing it.
For years and years I would make my own necklaces, I would add trinkets, shells, beach pebbles alongside silver pendants, it's just the way I always wore my necklaces, I enjoy layering jewellery so my advice would be to find a good quality chain preferably an 18" chain as I really like that length and then buying pendants to add to it where ever you come across any nice pieces.
I have personally never really splurged on a piece of jewellery the most I have ever spent is around £35 on a cameo pendant of a swallow at London Tattoo convention. If it's an investment piece go for it make sure it's durable, good quality and fits perfectly.
Top tips for jewellery shopping.
- Do not follow trends the occasional stand out piece is cool
- Find a "key" you piece I love the fact people know that I love turquoise or that I always wear my Vivienne Westwood acorn necklace
- Don't be afraid to buy a larger sized ring - they can be resized.
- Go to antique shops, jumble sales, second hand shops
- Look on instagram or pinterst for inspiriation
- Shop independant there are some great shops on Etsy
- Pop into Argos and check your ring size, it's always good to have this info.
- Check for hall marks this will show quality, age, maker and metal
- Real silver is printed with a 925 stamp sometimes you may not find one due to it sometimes being made by unmarked makers.
- Have fun, at the end of the day it's an extension of you so just enjoy what you're wearing.