London jewellery boutique EC One is a long-standing favourite amongst those in the know in the jewellery industry, for many reasons. As a fellow passionate supporter of new talent, they have uncovered many of the familiar names in jewellery design including Flora Bhattachary, Clarice Price-Thomas and Annissa Kermiche to name but a few. And as well as a lovely location to shop a smartly curated edit of beautiful jewels - on one of my favourite London streets - they also quietly do a thriving trade in the jobs that I am frequently asked about; polishing and rejeuvenating old jewellery, repairing broken pieces, re-making a lost earring etc, all from an on-site workshop visible in the store itself.
You get the feeling when inside the store that it's the last of a dying breed of retailers; family run (including a very friendly lolloping dog) incredibly friendly but never pushy staff, and most importantly a very carefully considered selection of jewellery. At my latest visit I was there to view their best selling engagement ring range that is designed and made in-house, but a lot of sparkly things also caught my eye; including gorgeous delicate necklaces and stud earrings by Flora Bhattachary, engraveable signet rings from a collaboration with modern calligraphers Quill London, and excellent resin statement earrings by Bianca Mavrick, which I'd happily wear all summer.
But back to the engagement rings. The 'Alice' Collection has hit on a winning formula and the rings are flying off the shelves on a weekly basis, and its easy to see why. Beautiful, bright gemstones (always conflict-free) set in gently textured 18k rose, yellow or white gold...think vivid blue sapphires, watery tourmalines, or gentler hues of peach or pale pink, but the success of this design lies in its simplicity. Simple, warm, and wearable, and made with no cost to the planet. My favourite is this pale pink sapphire set in 18k recycled rose gold, worn with a matching hammered diamond set band.
At the heart of all of EC One's collections is a consistent ethical message. All the metal used in the enagagement rings is now either recycled or fairmined, and all diamonds and gemstones are conflict-free - a groundbreaking feat considering the murkiness of the industry, and one which will hopefully become the new standard within the industry soon.
As someone who is constantly trying to build confidence in the consumer when it comes to commissioning bespoke jewellery - it's one of the main reasons I set up The Cut London - I feel strongly that EC One epitomises the relaxed confidence and trustworthiness that I try to convey to clients who might be anxious about the process. Bespoke jewellery and engagement rings should feel accessible to everyone, and as I say countless times almost every day to my clients, it's not always more expensive than buying off the shelf, and it's definitely not a scary or difficult process. In fact quite the opposite.
Visit the EC One Boutique to try on this fast-selling collection, and don't worry if what you're after isn't in stock - you can select your own gemstone or diamond and your dream ring can be made to order in a matter of weeks.
To make an appointment with EC One or to discuss any of your bespoke jewellery ideas, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively visit the EC One boutique at 41 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QL, or online at www.econe.co.uk.