Christmas Gift Ideas 2016

By Jo Varney Yes, it’s that time of year again. Christmas has well and truly begun now that December is here and I’m sure I’m not alone in a creeping sense of slight panic which is beginning to wash over me. With so much choice at our fingertips, finding great gifts can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task. So, I have scoured the web pages on your behalf and unearthed a few … [Read more...]

Review: The New Encyclopedia Of Jewellery Making Techniques

by Jo Varney The New Encyclopedia of Jewellery Making Techniques is a glossy paperback book, split into eight chapters spanning 160 pages dealing with; Cutting Metal, Heating Metal, Moving Metal, Surface Decoration, Working with Wire, Specialist Techniques and Using other Materials, which all follow a basic introduction covering tools, metals and design. The New … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Agate

Agate is very similar in its composition to Quartz (Silicon Dioxide), but can be identified from its distinctive curved banding which occurs in a variety of different ways. One of the most common and recognisable effects is the concentric banding, which is similar in appearance to the inside of a tree trunk when sliced through. Due to its porosity, Agate is often dyed to … [Read more...]

Halloween 2016 at Cooksongold

So Halloween isn’t for everyone, and for those of you who don’t have children wanting to dress up and partake in pumpkin carving and all the general ‘spookery’ associated with October the 31st, it might just be something that you can’t wait to be over. However, year on year Halloween seems to grow in momentum to the extent where it is now difficult to ignore. If you are looking … [Read more...]

Review: Hot and Cold Connections

Tim McCreight is an American artist and teacher who is well known and widely respected within the jewellery and silver smithing industry. He has written over a dozen books on metal technique covering a broad range of subjects including PMC, Knife Making, Casting and also Design Theory. However, McCreight is perhaps best known for his ‘Complete Metalsmith’ series which is highly … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: What is amber and how is it formed?

Natural Amber, Round Cabochon (61AB BPMA) Amber is probably one of the most easily recognisable ‘gemstones’ in existence – and I use the term ‘gemstone’ very loosely, because amber is in fact not a stone at all but an organic plant resin which has become fossilised over millions of years. The distinctive warm yellow/orange colour of the raw amber stone is quite unlike any … [Read more...]

The Female Self-Purchase – The Right Hand Ring

The prospect of marriage and all that goes with it is no longer the pinnacle of achievement for aspiring young women today, who are increasingly ambitious about pursuing their own careers long before thinking about settling down. And, as the roles and lives of women have evolved, so too has the way in which they want to purchase fine jewellery which this has given rise to the … [Read more...]

Review: Enamelling by Ruth Ball

by Jo Varney Enamelling by Ruth Ball (999 A53) I have been a big fan of enamelled jewellery for many years now, and after reading Ruth Ball’s fantastic book on the subject, I can honestly say that I am now an even bigger fan! Published by Bloomsbury as part of The Jewellery Handbook series, ‘Enamelling’ by Ruth Ball is intended as an introduction to the technique, which … [Read more...]

Top 5: Bullion

If you had to take a guess as to the most popular bullion products that we sell here at Cooksongold, what do you think they would be? Whether wire, sheet or tube, I’m sure you all have favourites of your own, but there are a few products that (despite our ever growing range) remain our top sellers come rain or shine. Take a look at our bestselling bullion favourites listed … [Read more...]

A Brief History of Jewellery Hallmarking

Assay Office Marks (image source: The Assay Office) Where do jewellery hallmarks come from? The origins of jewellery hallmarking can be traced as far back as 1238 A.D when the first standards of gold and silver quality were officially laid down. However, the true beginning of hallmarking as we know it today dates from 1300 A.D. and was introduced by a statute of Edward I, … [Read more...]