Getting to know our materials

Alongside a huge diversity of appealing gemstones, our collections contain a number of other sustainable materials including shell, bone and horn. The collections Becky, Coralie and Tamara showcase some delightful seashells, the perfect companion as we look towards those inviting summer months. Eco-friendly sourcing of empty shells in replenishing natural deposits can give us some truly innovative designs.

Our refreshing ethical jewellery is enhanced by the use of these organic items from nature. Crafts and cultural observances have tapped into the patterned shells left by sea-creatures from time immemorial. Some of the first jewellery is known to have been made from shell beads, dating back over 100,000 years and often found far inland. Creative use of shells transcends geographic borders, occurring in many places around the world.

Sea-shells, which come from molluscs, range from a matte appearance to an iridescent shine. Some of our marine objects appear smooth and gem-like, for instance mother of pearl (also known as nacre), which derives from the inner layer of shells. Meanwhile echininus cumingi and umbonium moniliferum shells display dazzling groves and tessellated colour patterns in our jewellery, appearing from white to rainbow and across the colour spectrum. We also feature sundial shells, which are valued for their elegant spiral structures, being associated with the healing properties of the sun. Considered amulets in many cultures, these are just a few of the 120,000 known species of shell out there, and we are glad to liven our expressive collections with them.

by Jake Goldman