Recycle with us
Before. Recycled gold nugget . After . Hand made grained ring with Georgian diamond .

Before. Recycled gold nugget . After . Hand made grained ring with Georgian diamond .

Consumerism: How can we all be part of the solution and not be the problem ? 
This year, we are changing the way we work .... and radically.  
We'd like to invite you to take part in a Beta experiment to test our idea.
We are creating a closed loop sustainability system. Its a risk, we don’t know if it’ll catch on or if its easy to understand, but we are giving it a try. We hope you'll jump on board with this radical approach to slow fashion and ethics and take part in a new way to buy jewellery by bartering old jewellery as part of the cost and save some money along the way.
What this means practically, a way to recycle broken bits of jewellery when making a purchase. Odd earrings, broken chains, rings, things that have been stepped on or mangled with stones missing, bits of gold jewellery that just don’t cut it any more. All can be swapped for new jewellery from our collections.

If you are interested in taking part, please get in touch at info@sejewellery.com and we'll give you the details.

How does this become a closed loop system ? We make the jewellery that you send us into new jewellery ! Some of the things we make will become unique jewels and some pieces will be part of our range of collections
Closed loop sustainability is recycling a material indefinitely without degradation of the materials properties. For us, this is the conversion of old jewellery back to raw materials and made into new jewellery in house defined by Sian’s design ethos and approach. Gold, like many metals is an ideal material to recycle indefinitely. But, you need some pretty ninja skills to do this, which we have in bags. 

Hope you hear from you..... we would appreciate any feed back , even if you think its a rubbish idea..... tell us why

sian evansComment
A Bespoke story - Rachels rings

The creation of a stack of one of a kind rings

Rachels Rings

Rachels Rings

In May 2016 I was taking part in Dorset Art Weeks, two weeks of open studios in the rolling English countryside with good friend and amazing furniture designer Alice Blogg. Alice’s studio is in farm buildings in Nettlecombe , a tiny village near Bridport.

Alice’s Studio during Dorset Art Weeks

Alice’s Studio during Dorset Art Weeks

I had my work displayed amongst Alice’s furniture….

Dorset Art Weeks showroom at Alice’s studio, furniture and lighting by Alice

Dorset Art Weeks showroom at Alice’s studio, furniture and lighting by Alice

Alice’s studio is so remote, we didn’t expect many visitors, but how wrong we were. We had an opening party, on a lovely sunny evening . Absolutely mobbed, we had to open the local cricket ground to create extra parking for our guests. The word spread that there was some interesting work at Browns Farm and for the next two weeks we had a constant stream of inquisitive visitors .

Both Alice and I create bespoke or custom creations as well as finished pieces. We are also both driven by ethical practice, Alice’s tag is ‘From tree to piece’ meaning when she can, she will fell a tree, cure the wood , then use every last piece of it either in her work creating furniture from the big planks to bowls and small objects from the small bits, the chips and leftovers fuel her heating in the winter. In my jewellery practice I use recycled gold and recycled stones and up cycle old pieces of jewellery into new. I love the challenge of taking a pile of old jewels, and creating a set of new jewels using all the pieces. Its a design jigsaw puzzle and very satisfying.

Rachel came to visit us and like my jewellery. We got chatting and I spoke about my favourite ways of working. When we talked about recycling jewels she said she’d be back with some family heirlooms .

Rachels jewels to recycle

Rachels jewels to recycle

Rachel brought along jewels she had inherited, but didn’t like very much so didn’t wear then and didn’t really know what to do with them. She also brought along a couple of broken bits and a pair of earrings she didn’t wear. There were five engagement rings from different family members. One of them with some very fancy diamonds and handwork, vintage in a rather fashionable way I suggested she keep. The rest of the pieces , seen above, we decided to use to make new rings. Rachel decided she’d like a stack of rings. She liked the textures and shapes of ‘Sands of Time’ and ‘Archaeology’ collections. This gave use a starting point , we talked about some possible ways we could use the stones in different rings. Some used in a stack, some, actually, all the sapphires bar one, to be used to create one standout piece. I measured each of Rachels fingers and carefully logged the sizes. The look of a ring can be quite different on different sized hands and fingers and must be considered in the design process.

Next, after measuring and assessing the jewels, I created a drawing of the stones, their sizes and proposed designs for Rachel to consider.

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We chatted about the possibilities and decided on which versions to go ahead with. I then created a traditional jewellery gouache ‘paint up’ of the final designs, a bit like the one below.

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Once Rachel had OKed the final designs, I could finalise the costs, but of course we had talked about budgets during the process of designing. Next, with a deposit from Rachel in the bank I could start the process of taking apart her jewels and making the new pieces .

Taking stones out of their settings

Taking stones out of their settings

Firstly, each of the stones is cut out of the settings. Then years of dirt and grime cleaned away to reveal the true sparkle of the stones

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Now the gold and stone are separated from each other I start the process of alloying the gold. We had decided to use different coloured golds in the stack of rings, so I had some complicated calculations to make.

Rings prepped for melting on a block of Charcoal

Rings prepped for melting on a block of Charcoal

Very hot gold nugget with the graphite crucible used in the alloying process

Very hot gold nugget with the graphite crucible used in the alloying process

Another of the nugget after melting - red hot

Another of the nugget after melting - red hot

Three gold nuggets , different alloys , yellower , pinker and greener golds

Three gold nuggets , different alloys , yellower , pinker and greener golds

After alloying the gold, I start to form it. Some of it will be used to cuttle fish cast a couple of the rings. The rest will be made into sheet and wire to make shanks and settings. The shank of a ring is the bit without stones.

Ingot of gold being made into wire

Ingot of gold being made into wire

Sheet and wire for Sapphire ring

Sheet and wire for Sapphire ring

Making settings for the sapphires

Making settings for the sapphires

Settings in putty

Settings in putty

There is a lot of measuring and adjusting involved in making a ring with multiple settings, especially tricky when each of the stones is different in height and size. Balance and proportion.

Sapphires in Putty

Sapphires in Putty

Sapphire ring being assembled

Sapphire ring being assembled

This image of the back of the Sapphire ring was taken as it was being assembled and soldered together . Its two smallest settings can just be seen either side in the background. Its really beginning to take shape now and the inspiration for it , medieval gem set rings is gratifyingly present. I uses the same techniques as a medieval jeweller to make all the parts.

Ring in setters wax

Ring in setters wax

Now the settings are soldered in place the ring can be prepped for setting the stones. Here it is held in place by a hard preparatory setters wax.

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Each sapphire is different, so is each setting is made to fit perfectly around the stone and at the right height to suite the ring. There is a lot of time spent measuring, ‘measure twice cut once’ sort of thing. After spending so much time making the gold wire and sheet, you don’t want to make a mistake.

Sapphire ring

Sapphire ring

Next on the list of things to do was to make the brass ‘masters’ to use in the cuttlefish casting of two of Rachels rings.

Brass masters

Brass masters

Cuttle bone with tools and master

Cuttle bone with tools and master

Cuttlefish casting is an ancient Lo-Fi casting method. A master ring, usually made of metal, is pushed into the cuttlebone which takes a pretty good impression of the master. Then molten gold is poured into the void the master leaves behind

The master in place

The master in place

Cuttlefish casting

Cuttlefish casting

This image was taken just after the gold was poured into the cuttlefish mould. The mould was very hot.

Opening the mould

Opening the mould

Master with rough 18ct gold casting

Master with rough 18ct gold casting

Once the mould is taken apart, the rough Lo-Fi casting is removed and assessed to see if it is good enough to be taken to the next stage. I’m looking for interesting textures. Cuttlefish casting is particularly good at creating textures, but its unpredictable. Sometimes I have to cast several times before I get something I’m satisfied with. Each cuttlebone mould can only be used once, its a labour of love to get it just right.

‘Bending up’ a ring

‘Bending up’ a ring

At the same time as working on the cast rings I’ve been working on some of the other rings for Rachels stacking set. Using the old skills of hammering and forging to make these ones.

Soldering a setting onto a textured ring shank

Soldering a setting onto a textured ring shank

Prepping the ring settings - the stack is taking shape

Prepping the ring settings - the stack is taking shape

Before the stones are set into the rings, they are sent to the London Assay Office to be hallmarked. The hallmark is the guarantee that the gold is of the right purity. In this case all the rings for Rachel are 18ct or 750 parts per 1000 gold. The other 25% is usually a mixture of silver and copper. If you see 750 stamped onto a jewel its 18ct gold. The mark also shows the year the jewel was made and who made it. I have my makers mark ( SCE ) lodged at The London Assay Office, part The Goldsmiths Company. They have been hallmarking precious metals since 1300AD , which I think is pretty impressive.

Once the jewels are returned to me, I finish setting them and spend another few hours tinkering with the finishing and textures before I’m happy with them.

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Rachel had the original boxes for the rings she had recycled, I thought they were lovely and used them as the packaging for the new jewels.

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I visited Rachel at her home to deliver the rings on a sunny afternoon back in Dorset. There was great excitement as the boxes were opened. All the pieces fitted ! And looked absolutely gorgeous. Its a shame, but I don’t have a picture of this moment as its one that I’m particularly proud of.

If you would like to start a story and have your old or broken jewels re-worked please let me know at sian@sejewellery.com .





sian evansComment
Its time to recycle gold.

Nearly all the gold in our jewellery is recycled. This is why.



Have you ever asked yourself about the gold in your jewellery? Where does it come from ?

Californian gold rush 1860s

Californian gold rush 1860s




That image : The wily old miner, who’s struck lucky and found exactly the right spot on a remote Californian stream, looks for gold and finds egg sized nuggets that change his life for ever. Our view of gold mining from popular culture. Except this picture couldn’t be farther from the reality of mining today.


Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines “Super Pit”

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines “Super Pit”

Gold mining is environmentally devastating. Swathes of land are destroyed by digging and mining , then more land is poisoned by the chemicals and processes used to purify the gold.

DRD Gold - Tailings heap in South Africa

DRD Gold - Tailings heap in South Africa

To extract 5 grams of new gold up to 10 tonnes of ore is mined. Gold is dug out of the ground on an industrial scale in huge open cast mines, using giant cutting and haulage machinery, massive quantities of fuel, chemicals and vast amounts of water.


A useful snippet from Provident Metals describes the processes involved in opening and closing a mine

First, gold deposits are discovered, explored, and found to be mineable.

  • More intensive studies of the terrain take place, such as geochemical analysis and exploratory drilling. This may require an exploration license from local authorities.

  • Once the size and location of the gold reserve has been estimated, the mining company must ensure it meets environmental and other regulations before pressing forward.

  • The mining company must establish the site, which may include clearing the area, constructing roads and buildings, and bringing in mining equipment.

  • Gold ore can then be physically extracted from the ground.

  • Once the mine is tapped out, the mining company may be required (depending on the location) to restore and rehabilitate the site to pre-mining conditions, within reason.

  • Mining companies may be required to monitor the ecology of the site after restoration.

  • After authorities determine that the site has been successfully returned to a natural state, the mining company may relinquish its lease, and therefore its liability, for the area.


The cost of mining and extracting a gram of gold is about £35.00 ( per ounce $1000, £769, €889 ) but this doesn’t take into consideration the cost to life or the environment. Mining is the act of digging the gold in its matrix out of the ground and extraction is removing the matrix and minerals to purify the gold. 

Sierra Pelada gold mine Amazon 1980s : Sebastião Salgado

Sierra Pelada gold mine Amazon 1980s : Sebastião Salgado

The image above was taken by Sabastiao Salgado, deep in the Amazon Rainforest in the 1980s, though this image looks as if it was taken in the 1880s . The images Salgado took of the Sierra Pelada mines and the working conditions of the miners flashed around the world in the 80s. It was a modern day gold rush. The images helped to raise awareness of the conditions miners were working in and played a part in the modernisation of regulated mining.

 Regulated modern mines are much safer than in previous decades but there are thousands of artisanal mines operating around the globe. They are often illegal and unregulated. With little regard to safety, workers are in danger from mine collapses, poisoning, punishing working conditions, poverty wages and crime.

Contemporary West African miners , there is currently a gold rush in The Congo, Ghana and Mali

Contemporary West African miners , there is currently a gold rush in The Congo, Ghana and Mali

Around the artisan gold mines, mercury and cyanide are used to extract the gold from the minerals that bind it. These chemicals are poisonous to the environment and are a threat to life. The chemicals are handled without regard for nature or the safety of the miners. Mining practices during the great American gold rush are comparable with many artisanal mines today. In the mines of the Sierra Nevada, California ( 1848 -1884 ) cyanide and mercury were used in the extraction of gold. Water used during the processing of the ore came from local water systems. The rivers and streams in the area captured the toxic chemicals which then travelled down the water courses 250 miles to San Fransisco Bay, where the runoff from the tailings ( contaminated water ) ultimately ended. The Bay is still contaminated and the ecosystem is still recovering from damage over a hundred and thirty years after mining ceased.

The tailings dam currently in use at Tanjianshan mine in China, filled with toxic chemicals. Dams like these leak, into the local water supply and contaminate the soil with mercury and cyanide

The tailings dam currently in use at Tanjianshan mine in China, filled with toxic chemicals. Dams like these leak, into the local water supply and contaminate the soil with mercury and cyanide

After the ore has been extracted and purified to 999.99% gold it is made into a carat ( 9ct , 14ct , 18ct , 22ct ) alloy for use in jewellery. A metal alloy is usually made of a mixture of metals. Copper, silver or palladium are added to create different coloured gold alloys. This is done by melting the metals together in predetermined proportions.

Re-melting old gold jewellery.

Re-melting old gold jewellery.


The precious metals journey from mine to customer hasn’t finished here. It may be at a refiners or bullion dealer anywhere on the planet. Its is a commodity that is traded globally. Its energy cost continues to grow as it arrives at the jewellers atelier and is made into a jewel and eventually ends up in the hands of the customer.



There is another way


Gold, and its alloys, like many metals, is easy to recycle. An uncontaminated piece of gold can be melted into an ingot and re used immediately without any further refining. It is unchanged by the heat used to melt it and retains the original qualities of the alloy so this can be done ad infinitum. Much of the gold used in jewellery is recycled and has been many times. The gold in your jewellery may have been mined hundreds of years ago and been refined and recycled into different alloys and pieces of jewellery. I often work with clients old gold jewellery and refashion it, sometimes changing the alloy to achieve a different colour gold for the project. The gold I buy from my bullion dealer is 100% recycled.

Before . A selection of old and broken gold items to recycle

Before . A selection of old and broken gold items to recycle

After. The same gold and stones re fashioned.

After. The same gold and stones re fashioned.


Recycling gold saves the environment and energy, its uses a tiny fraction of the energy needed to mine and extract new gold.

Recycling is usually a local action, jewellers often undertaking recycling in their own studios and workshops. 18ct gold ie from an old piece of jewellery, the cost, a few pence worth of propane gas. Its a local action so the carbon footprint is tiny. The gold can be melted and recast in the jewellers atelier or melted into an ingot ready to be made into sheets and wires. The advantages are so numerous its seems insanely costly to planet and pocket to mine new gold. There is so much gold above ground waiting to be recycled, in jewellery and in electronics.




Refining recycled gold that has been contaminated with other materials is also much cheaper than mining new gold, even if it is mixed with different metals or other materials like the plastics in your phone. Gold is used widely in industry as well as decoratively. There are small amounts of gold in many electronic goods, including phones. ‘Mining’ the gold from electrical goods is a new source of recycled gold and though more expensive to extract than the recycling done in the jewellers studio its still more economic and better for the planet than digging up virgin rainforest.

Different alloys : Gold Nuggets made with recycled gold

Different alloys : Gold Nuggets made with recycled gold



So, when you are considering buying jewellery, think about what you already have. In the bottom of the jewellery box there might be an old jewel, broken, that you could have remade by a craftsman. By using the skills of a jeweller to refashion gold you will also be helping to keep alive the craft of goldsmithing as well as helping to protect our planets precious resources.

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sian evans Comment
LFW AW19 @ LJS

Our AW19 updates and additions to our two fashion jewellery collections, Botany and Pars.Pro.Toto were on show at London Fashion week in February 2019 at the London Jewellery Showroom, a recent initiative by Facets PR with support from The National Association of Jewellers. We were thrilled to be asked to take part by Sarah Carpin, owner of Facets. The last time we showed collections during London Fashion Week was with the British Fashion Council in 2002.

We met with The Jewellery Editor, Maria Doulton, and Antiques Road Show presenter and jewellery expert Joanna Hardy . Unknown to us at the time had used examples of our jewels in their specialist talks on jewellery during fashion week. Needless to say we’re thrilled about this.

Maria said

“Don’t be afraid to mix and match fine and costume jewellery. Sian Evans’ beautifully designed and crafted earrings in are the perfect addition of colour and cool for any outfit “

Joanna’s quote was

“It takes great talent and skill to design and make good jewellery regardless of the material used and Sian Evans in my opinion has created high quality costume jewellery that would not look out of place in any jewellery collection. Jewellery should be worn for pleasure and for fun and Sian’s jewellery will definitely put a smile on your face”


On show were new pieces in deep plum and rich reds as well as new pinks and greens.

Umbelliferous earrings from Botany collection - on show with Facets PR and the National Association of Jewellers at the London Jewellery Showroom in February 2019

Umbelliferous earrings from Botany collection - on show with Facets PR and the National Association of Jewellers at the London Jewellery Showroom in February 2019

At The London Jewellery Showroom

At The London Jewellery Showroom

sian evansComment
London Fashion Week AW19

18/19 February 2019

10am - 6pm

The London Jewellery Showroom | 5 Old Bond Street, W1S 4PQ

We exhibited our award-winning Botany collection and Pars Pro Toto with new styles and colours for A/W 19

If you would like to see our A/W19 look-books, or more information, get in touch.

sian evansComment
Pars Pro Toto .

New collection, Pars Pro Toto will launch on 7th January.

Here’s a first look:

Pars Pro Toto Ammonoidea earrings in black aluminium

Pars Pro Toto Ammonoidea earrings in black aluminium

sian evansComment
The Creative Edit x Makers House Christmas Pop-Up

Sian Evans Jewellery will be taking part in the annual The Creative Edit Christmas Pop-Up

@ Milliken Showroom in Clerkenwell

co-curated by Makers House.

11th - 14th December | 11am - 6pm | Milliken Showroom, 5 Berry St London EC1V 0AA
( Nearest Tube: Barbican)

‘A thoughtful Christmas shopping experience for design enthusiasts, telling the stories behind the products'

See a selection of beautifully designed and made jewellery, accessories, knitwear, homeware and gifts from some of London’s best independent labels.

Sian Evans Jewellery, Quinton Chadwick, Pipet Design, Maiko Dawson, Jenny Parker, Georgie Scully Ceramics, Georgia Bosson, Clerkenwell Wax Co., Stoff Studios, Cecily Vessey, Paperwilds, Anna Wiscombe and Scout Editions.

sian evansComment
Primrose Hill Designer Sale Saturday 8th - December 2018

For the 18th year Sian Evans Jewellery will be amongst many other fab designers at the Primrose Hill Designer Sale, a one-day pop-up department store.  We will have current jewellery collections, samples, and some seasonal bargains for Christmas.

See you there:

Saturday 8th December 2018

St. Mary’s Church, Ellsworthy Road, Primrose Hill NW3 3DJ.

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sian evansComment
Christmas Open Studios - 30th Nov - 2nd Dec' 18

Join us for our annual Christmas Open Studios, in our new space adjacent to Broadway Market and Columbia Road, London.

Try on, browse and place orders for Christmas. There will be fashion, fine and silver jewellery; gift ideas, new jewels, current collections, one-offs from the archive and some seasonal bargains.

Can’t make it? We’re now offering free shipping worldwide: have a look in our web-shop.

Black Friday |||| Cyber Monday |||| 2018
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Ended Midnight (GMT) 26th November 2018.



What did you miss?

CYBER MONDAY: 1 -day sale 40% off selected Demi-Fine jewels starts 7.00am (GMT) Monday 26th November 2018.

BLACK FRIDAY: Last chance, 4-day sale 40% off selected B O T A N Y collection.

sian evansComment
Pre-Christmas Trunk Show Dorset

We will be in Weymouth at the beginning of November with a large selection of our jewels for the annual pre Christmas pop up shop at Judith Youngs home.

 An opportunity to try on, buy direct, browse, order for Christmas delivery and commission new works.
I hope you can come along

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Moving on/New Studio
In Boxes new Studio.jpg

We've moved ! This colossal pile of boxes are pretty much unpacked and we've started working in our new studio in Hackney, London. Its the dream ! However moving has been a major effort, we've moved 35 years of accumulated stuff, tools, machines and equipment.... and its slowed us down. Our lead times are a bit longer than usual. Email us on info@sejewellery.com to find out our current lead time.

Alicia Vikander : Vogue China, April 18
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Alicia Vikander, the new Lara Croft , wearing our earrings in April edition of Vogue China. These earrings are available from the Louvre store at Musee arts Decoratif, 107 Rue Rivoli, Paris as part of a curated selection to coincide with the exhibition of jewellery by artists 'From Calder to Koons' 7th March until 8th July 2018. 

They are available from:

Urban Flower Grange Hall, Dallas, Texas

Koibird, Marylebone lane, London, from April 16th 2018

Sian Evans webshop . 

Here's to 2018
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Thats all for now folks..... normal service resumes on the 3rd of January. To all of you from us..... have a great break, see you in 2018 !!

All Newssian evansComment