Diamond in the rough…

by Bonnie Pockley

I think I’ve loved jewellery for as long as I can remember. As a child I made necklaces and rings out of anything that was available to me – wood, vines, sticky tape, shells.  Part of my intrigue in it was strongly bound to the  year or so we spent living and travelling abroad. There was one day in particular, after a night spent camping in caves in Italy (circa 1989), that left me spellbound. Wandering alone along a river bank, I saw something splinter light from beneath the surface of the water. After precariously wading in, I pulled out a roughly worn antique chandelier crystal;  a little diamond in the rough – a treasure to a six year old.

Many years later,  as an adult and as an antidote to a very dry, serious degree in politics and law, I studied Gold and Silversmithing. It felt natural and as if I was finding my way back to a path I had foolishly strayed from. Growing up my poor mother was constantly taking my overflowing rock collection out to the garden and almost from the day I left school I was working for jewellery designers, costume designers and bead shops while I studied. When it came to my own work, I was heavily influenced by the magnificence of the natural environment, I held an interest in things out-of-place and was inspired by stories of antiques and of rarity.

Just in case I’ve been too subtle about it, Hamish and I are planning on getting married THIS YEAR and while searching for the right ring, I came across this. While startled by its obvious beauty, there was something else about it that stirred in me the memory of a day long ago, wandering alone along a river bank, when – without warning – a momentary play of light mesmerised me with its magic.


This ring (my wedding ring): Internally flawless, 14K white and yellow gold, French antique. Comes from an estate sale in the USA. Art Nouveau circa 1910-1920, imported from France by an important NY jewellery store in the 1900s. Oddly, high powered loupe shows that it has never been worn.