Dog days

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Rapaport

If the phrase “diamond dogs” means nothing to you other than a classic David Bowie album, your mind is about to bend further than his did when penning its post-apocalyptic lyrics, because dog-inspired jewellery is now a thing.

The Italians have gone particularly barking for this craze, with dedicated brands like Dog’s Luxury by Mastrodoro. The Chinese, too, are primed for puppy love as we find ourselves in the Year of the Dog.

Yet the focus of this trend is not a general obsession with pooches, but a way to show affection for four-legged family members, be they Chihuahuas or King Charles spaniels. Brands like Pinomanna even encourage clients to send pictures of their pets, which are then dutifully transformed into bespoke gold and diamond lookalikes. It might not be the most wearable trend of the year, but every dog has its day.

This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Rapaport magazine. Continue reading to see layouts and download a full-sized PDF of the feature and front cover. (Main image: Suzanne Syz)

Royal engagement rings

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Tidlrs

Somewhere, lodged in the deepest recesses of our hearts, there is a much-suppressed princess dream, with all the castles and fairytale princes that go with it. Perhaps this is why whenever there is a royal engagement, we go into utter meltdown. And the British monarchy has been generous of late, giving us not one but two royal brides-to-be, and therefore two brand new styles of engagement rings to swoon over.

Next month, American actress Meghan Markle will follow in the footsteps of Grace Kelly and swap the production studio for a palace as she lives out the real-life princess dream when she weds Prince Harry. Though her ring – three diamonds set on a yellow band – might seem like a simple choice, and it is indeed a classic design, it has already altered the fate of many a fiancé this year.

The first thing to know about this ring, known as a trilogy, is that the central largest diamond was sourced by the couple in Botswana, a place that has captured both their hearts. The second – even more touching detail – is that the smaller stones were lifted from a tiara belonging to Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. This makes it a ring with a story…

This story was published on Tidlrs in April 2018. Click here to read the story in full. (Main image: Tacori)

Stellar stones

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Upward Curve

The historical magnitude of historical jewellery brands Cartier, Graff, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels is quite astonishing, just like the diamonds they pride themselves upon.

From the wife of wealthy financier, Morton Plant, to the Duchess of Cambridge, Cartier has been in vogue and in demand since master jeweller Louis-François Cartier took over his mentor’s Parisian workshop in 1847. 

When Cartier’s grandson, Pierre, knocked on the door of Plant’s fifth avenue neo-renaissance mansion 65 years later, he fell in love with the place. Plant’s wife fell in love with Cartier’s double-stranded necklace of 128 flawlessly matched natural pearls (valued in 1912 at $1m – close to $20m today) and a deal was done, with Plant pocketing an additional $100 cash. Today, that Manhattan mansion is Cartier’s New York flagship store, and one of three Temples (Historical Maisons) worldwide. Paris’ Rue de la Paix is home to the global headquarters and New Bond Street houses London’s flagship store with an additional 200 boutiques in 125 countries…

This story was originally published in the July-September 2018 edition of Upward Curve magazine. Read the full story here. Main image: Van Cleef & Arpels.

Paris Couture Week, January 2018

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Adorn Insight

In the quieter session of what has now become an important bi-annual event for many Parisian high jewellery brands, the city’s Place Vendôme became a hub of collection launches during Paris Couture Fashion Week. Though there were less presentations held than the July edition, key major players used this moment in the fashion calendar to bring newness to clients.

The usual dependence on white diamonds ran central to the launches, though there were flashes of colour from gemstones including rhodochrosite, tanzanite, Padparadascha sapphires, rubies and beryl, as well as aluminum, yellow gold and rose gold. Heritage was a key design theme, with brands looking back to archives or moments in history for inspiration.

Boucheron, which did not launch a new collection during the January edition of the Week, used the time to open a major, and well attended, exhibition titled Vendorama at the nearby Monnaie de Paris that explored both the history and the future of the maison, with high jewellery designs from seasons past on display for the public to view. Despite the odd flash of brilliance, showcases throughout the Week were subdued affairs with simple plinths and a lack of investment, both monetary and creative, in the displaying of the jewels…

This story was published on Adorn Insight in January 2018. Click here to read the story in full (subscription required). Main image: Chanel. 

New-world charm

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Jewelry Connoisseur

About the same time Barack Obama took the oath of office the first time, jewellery lovers around the world were making their own pledge of allegiance — to charms. Though not a new concept, brands such as Pandora, Trollbeads and Thomas Sabo reinvented the charm bracelet for the modern age and created global campaigns that whipped us into a frenzy over the stockpiling of tiny silver charms to mark every milestone and love affair.

Like all white-hot trends, it reached a critical mass. The cool kids quickly turned their backs on this new hobby, leaving teens and their middle-aged mums free to agonise over the symbolism of a high-heel versus a red-lipstick charm. Which was more them?

Though sales have continued to be strong — leader of the pack Pandora boasts annual sales of more than $3 billion through its 8,000 stores on six continents — fashion moved on, and the romance with the charm bracelet became a mere flirtation. Until now, that it is…

This story was originally published on Jewelry Connoisseur. Read the full story here.

Main image: Annoushka

The Jewellery Cut Showroom

The Jewellery Cut, a new editorial website spearheaded by Rachael Taylor, will launch this summer. As well as publishing content year round on the site, The Jewellery Cut will host a series of live events, including The Jewellery Cut Showroom, which will take place over two days (September 17th and 18th) on Old Bond Street in London. Continue reading for an introduction to The Jewellery Cut and full details of the event.

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The royal effect

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Kensington & Chelsea 

When it comes to announcements, they don’t get bigger than a royal engagement. An outright frenzy erupted when His Royal Highness Prince Harry got down on one knee to Meghan Markle; a promise that will be fulfilled in May. But for some, the impact of that excitement will last a lifetime as brides-to-be, whipped up in dreams of being princesses, choose lookalike engagement rings.

“We probably get more enquiries about that than anything else,” says Garrard senior marketing executive Madeleine David, referring to what is perhaps the world’s most famous engagement ring – the Ceylon blue sapphire and diamond cluster worn by The Duchess of Cambridge. The ring was originally made by Garrard for His Royal Highness Prince Charles to present to Princess Diana when he proposed in 1981, passing down the family line to Kate Middleton when His Royal Highness Prince William popped the question, but David says that the origins of the design go back much further.

“People come in and ask for the Kate ring, but we say that we don’t do the exact thing, it’s just the most modern interpretation. It was chosen by Charles and Diana but it’s a classic Garrard design that started when Prince Albert worked with Garrard to commission the sapphire cluster brooch that he gave to Queen Victoria on the day before her wedding day as her something blue. So it’s not Kate’s ring or Diana’s ring, it’s actually Victoria’s brooch.”…

This story was published in the April 2018 issues of Kensington & Chelsea, Mayfair, Marylebone & Fitzrovia, Notting Hill & Holland Park magazines (click through to see digital versions of each issue, and continue reading to see magazine layouts). 

Trinkets and beads charm their way back into fashion

© Written by Rachael Taylor for The Financial Times

The craze for collectible charms and beads 10 years ago revolutionised brands such as Pandora, Trollbeads and Thomas Sabo. “It was massive,” says Lucy Reece-Raybould of the Company of Master Jewellers, a buying group representing more than 350 independent stores across the UK and 210 suppliers. “The charm has changed the jewellery world completely. For many of our retailers, the charm saved them.”

Revenues at Danish brand Pandora, for one, grew from DKr3.5bn ($560m) in 2009 to DKr22.8bn in 2017.

But sales of the small jewels, designed to be attached to bracelets, have stagnated, leaving companies wondering how to refresh consumer interest and revive profits…

This story was originally published in the March 31, 2018, edition of The Financial Times. Read the full story here

Girl on fire

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Swarovski‘s Salt magazine, published by Condé Nast 

When Park Shin Hye tries on jewellery, it is wise to have somebody on hand to catch what she drops. She might be one of South Korea’s most successful actresses and influential stars, but when it comes to keeping track of the small and the sparkling, she is a self-confessed klutz. “I’m always losing them,” she laughs, making the long delicate earrings shiver and catch the sunlight.

The jewellery she is wearing today is Atelier Swarovski and it has brought her halfway across the world from her home in Seoul to the south of France to shoot a campaign for the SS18 collection. Park is a friend of the brand, chosen not just for her talents as an actress, singer and dancer, but for her philanthropic work helping children.

One of the 27-year-old Park’s first steps towards the limelight was taken in 2003 when she played the character of a ragged but optimistic orphan in a war-torn land in the music video for ‘Flower’ by South Korean pop sensation Lee Seung-hwan…

This story was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Salt magazine. Continue reading for full story, and to see layouts and download a full-sized PDF of the feature. (Main image: Park Shin Hye in Atelier Swarovski)

Mini hoops

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Rapaport

While the catwalks remain under siege from enormous earrings, a quiet revolution is taking place in the commercial market: shoulder-grazing hoops are being superseded by miniature doppelgängers that fit snugly to lobes.

Full diamond pavé offers a classic yet high-glamour look, while flashes of bright enamel tap into next season’s trend for colour. Tiny hoops – or buggies, as they are sometimes called – can also be used as a plinth for charms, another of this year’s emerging trends.

When worn alone, these mini hoops lend their wearers an understated, minimalist cool. Grouped in multiple piercings, they take on an edge as stackable luxuries…

This story was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Rapaport magazine. Continue reading to see layouts and download a full-sized PDF of the feature and front cover. (Main image: Melissa Kaye Jewelry)

Paying the price

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Retail Jeweller 

It hasn’t even happened yet, but Brexit is already causing turmoil for British jewellery suppliers. With a weakened pound, the cost of producing or importing jewels has risen. Yet there could be a silver lining to this cloud, as goods made in Britain suddenly seem more attractively priced at home and abroad.

“I was a remainer,” says Clogau managing director Ben Roberts of his Brexit allegiance. “I don’t make any bones about that. My old man was a leaver, being 73 and quite impulsive. I actually see the benefit in leaving, but it’s too complicated. Anyway, he voted out and we were out. The next day, he called me and said: ‘Gold’s gone up, the pound’s gone down. What are you doing about prices?’.”

After a small I-told-you-so moment with his father, Roberts took the problem to the board at Clogau. It was a decision that many jewellery manufacturers faced: should prices go up to reflect the suddenly increased price of doing business, or should it be absorbed to protect retailers…

This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Retail Jeweller magazine. Continue reading to see magazine layouts and download full-size PDFs. Main image: Domino.

Shades of Italy

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Jewelry Connoisseur

Colour is a key jewellery trend for 2018, and there was plenty of it at VicenzaOro. Bright pops of enamel were layered over precious metals — the You’re So Vine collection by Milan-based jeweler Bea Bongiasca, with its shoots of purple, orange and green snaking around fine jewels, was a particular highlight. Other jewellers used lively ceramic plating to liven up their collections. The palate wasn’t just vivid and beautiful, however. Lashings of edgy, black rhodium plating were used to turn gold shades of dark blue or black, which created a dramatic background for diamonds, emeralds and sapphires.

Italy is a spiritual home for goldsmiths, with hundreds of craftspeople throughout the country using skills that have been passed down through generations. One of the newest techniques the Italians have mastered is flexible gold. Serpentine gold cuffs and rings stretch and wind around wrists and fingers, assisted by tiny wires of titanium within that help the jewels to snap back to their original shapes. Some have a knitted or woven appearance, while others look like precious coils. Nanis, which treats the surface of its gold to an etching process called bulino, hides the secret to its flexible jewels within, with no visible giveaways.

The democratisation of jewellery has led to an increasing number of unisex collections. This was evident at Vicenzaoro, and one of the strongest unisex trends was signet rings. Some were simple, with metal treated to a brushed finish for a contemporary look. More decadent offerings were smothered in full gemstone pavé (or rough diamonds fused to gold in the case of Honor Omano) or featured large diamonds in place of the traditional insignia. Wear them on a pinky or an index finger for different looks, regardless of whether you team them with a dress or a three-piece suit — it’s a one-trend-fits-all scenario…

This story was originally published on Jewelry Connoisseur. Read the full story here. Main image: Nanis

The Jewellery Cut

Launching next month, The Jewellery Cut is a new jewellery editorial platform founded by globally renowned jewellery journalist Rachael Taylor and sought-after industry consultant Andrew Martyniuk.

The Jewellery Cut was founded in 2018 as a fresh, positive voice in the British jewellery industry. The online editorial platform – which will launch in summer 2018 – strives to uncover and feature the most interesting people, influential trends, engaging stories, impressive collections and inspiring successes. The exclusive content created for, will aim to engage a new audience that is a harmonious blend of those in the industry and consumers.

The Jewellery Cut editorial director Rachael Taylor said: “Consumers now stream fashion shows created for industry buyers courtesy of glossy magazines, and anyone can look beyond the pristine jewellery store to the grimy workbench with a scroll of the thumb, thanks to Instagram. Digital culture is blurring the lines between business and pleasure, and consumers are asking more questions about origin and provenance.

“With this in mind, we believe there is scope for an omni-editorial platform for jewellery that delivers content intelligent and informative enough to serve those working within the industry, but that is also entertaining and educational so as to engage consumers. With all our stories focusing on only the brightest facets of the jewellery industry, will be an inspirational blast of positivity for the trade and a trusted, illuminating resource for a new generation yet to discover the full scope of the jewellery offer in the UK.” will launch in September 2018, but the platform’s social media following is already building organically through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, with posts regularly garnering engagement levels of 20% (influencer agency Scrunch classes engagement levels of 3.48% as high). This is in part down to the content being pushed through Taylor and Martyniuk’s personal followings – the duo has a combined following of more than 35,000 jewellery fans.

As well as developing an engaging digital publishing platform, The Jewellery Cut intends to connect with jewellery professionals and consumers at targeted events throughout the year, such as talks and buying experiences and will host a jewellery showroom with FACETS PR during London Fashion Week this September. It will also publish an annual review of the highs of the British jewellery industry in the form of a book, with exclusive interviews, original photography and contributions from leading jewellery journalists.


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For general enquiries about The Jewellery Cut, contact

For PR enquiries, contact Frances Hopes at FACETS PR on


Jewellers at Baselworld voice anger at years of being ignored

© Written by Rachael Taylor for The Financial Times

While ostensibly a fair for watchmakers and jewellers, Baselworld has always been more focused on the former, which have the grandest booths in the most prominent positions. Now jewellers are making their discontent clear.

“There is an over-focus on watches,” says Sameer Lilani of Indian brand Amrapali. After a near-constant presence at Baselworld since 2001, Amrapali stopped exhibiting in 2016. “We were picking up fewer new accounts,” says Mr Lilani, who has found more luck at US trade show Couture in Las Vegas.

“A lot of [our existing] buyers come to London at some point during the year anyway, where we get their complete attention and do more business. If they see me in Basel, they have a 45-minute or a one-hour slot and a certain amount of budget to spend at the show. If you’re growing, I don’t mind spending €200,000 to do a show, but in reality we were doing less business than if we weren’t there.”…

This story was originally published in the March 22, 2018, edition of The Financial Times. Read the full story here. Main image: Baselworld

Chain reaction

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Kensington & Chelsea 

Much ado was made in the press recently about Ed Sheeran’s decision to wear an engagement ring. The shock! The horror! A bizarre quirk of an out-of-touch celebrity, surely? But the truth is that men are becoming much more adventurous when it comes to jewellery, and designers are responding with collections and collaborations that offer so much more than dog tags and surfer beads.

“Tainted by the 1970s moniker ‘medallion man’, gentlemen and jewellery have taken several years to become reacquainted,” muses British jewellery designer Stephen Webster, who has been courting the purses of both men and women for most of his career. His jewels, sold under the tagline “jewellery to separate the men from the boys”, include punky razor blade-inspired pendants and single diamond-dotted drop earrings. These come from the Thames collection, a collaboration between Webster and Blondey McCoy, the young fashion-designer-turned-skater.

While Webster’s personal brand of bling attracts a rock ‘n’ roll crowd that has always been more comfortable with a skull ring and layers of lariats (fans include singer James Bay), he feels that the scope is widening for masculine jewels. “The democratisation of men’s jewellery has now led to men from all walks of life being able to find a place for jewellery in their wardrobes,” he says. Harrods agreed with him, and held a Stephen Webster men’s jewellery pop-up last year…

This story was published in the April 2018 issues of Kensington & Chelsea, Mayfair, Marylebone & Fitzrovia, Notting Hill & Holland Park magazines (click through to see digital versions of each issue, and continue reading to see magazine layouts). Or read it online at Luxury London. Main image: Stephen Webster and Blondey McCoy. 

A golden (ratio) opportunity

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Rapaport

“This is an important moment of my life,” cries Bobak Nasrollahi. The jewellery entrepreneur is dressed in a sharply tailored double-breasted suit and bathed in the soft sunshine that filters into his office in Vinci, a town in the Italian hills of Montalbano of which he is an official ambassador.

Nasrollahi has all the charm and exuberance you would expect to find in a hot-blooded Italian, yet although he grew up here and greedily absorbed all the culture and history Italy had to offer, he hails from a Jewish family with Iranian roots and diamonds in its blood. His grandfather was jeweller to the Shah of Iran, and the Nasrollahi Moghadam family has been in the business ever since.

The family company, Amin Luxury, has headquarters in Florence, Valencia and New York, as well as distributors across Europe. The business sells diamonds with bespoke cuts, such as the pentagonal Angel Star and the five-pointed Rising Star. It also created Diamond Luxury Memory – stones engraved with hidden QR codes that can unlock personal videos…

This story was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Rapaport magazine. Continue reading to see layouts and download a full-sized PDF of the feature and front cover. (Main image: Amin Luxury)

New frontiers

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Retail Jeweller 

With a rich heritage and an unrivalled reputation as a tastemaker, British products are in demand across the globe, with jewellery being the UK’s third-largest exported good, according to HMRC. But with worldwide consumer buying patterns in flux and the emergence of new global spending powers, which markets should British jewellers be targeting?

According to the Office for National Statistics, the US is the UK’s largest export market after the European Union, accounting for about 19% of all exports. With similar tastes but greater spending power, it has been a keen hunting ground for British jewellers for decades, and many have found favour there.

After receiving her first commission in the 1960s from Cartier, veteran British jeweller Elizabeth Gage developed a somewhat NYLON existence at the very start of her career that has continued until this day, with bi-annual trunk shows in Houston and New York. Stephen Webster also started his brand in the States, on the opposite coast in Santa Barbara, California. After winning the Editor’s Choice award at Las Vegas trade show Couture in 1999, he ordered the opening of a sales office in New York the same year, and this foresight, and a loyal clientele, have ensured that the US is the brand’s single biggest market nearly 20 years later…

This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Retail Jeweller magazine. Continue reading to see magazine layouts and download full-size PDFs. Main image: Elizabeth Gage.

Artful transformations

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Rapaport

Value for money has always been a feature of high jewellery. In the 18th century, tiaras could be broken down into brooches, pendants and earrings after the candles of a ball were snuffed, and transformability continues to be a theme that permeates today’s couture collections.

In the commercial market, we are also seeing demand for clever jewels that can offer more than one look. This is less about ensuring appropriate bang for buck than allowing consumers to adapt their jewels to fit the many facets of their lives.

Designs that they can dress up or down depending on the occasion, or that can change colour to match an outfit or reflect a mood, have become a useful tool in the style arsenal of modern women…

This story was originally published in the December 2017 issue of Rapaport magazine. Continue reading to see layouts and download a full-sized PDF of the feature and front cover. (Main image: Nanis)

The future of the luxury watch industry

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Deutsche Wealth

Glance at the wrist of the closest Millennial to you right now, and the chances are you’ll find it bare. With their thumbs perpetually glued to tiny portable screens, each kitted out with impeccably accurate digital clocks, this generation has little need for archaic methods of timekeeping such as the wristwatch. Unless, of course, it can measure their heartbeat and track their steps.

“Technically, watches became irrelevant as soon as the smartphone hit the scene,” says a deadpan Emily Stoll, director of North American sales and marketing at luxury Swiss watch brand Carl F Bucherer, which has been creating mechanical watches on the banks of the Lucerne since 1888. “Appealing to younger generations has certainly proved to be a challenge across the industry. Current trends around fast fashion and tech have weakened the appeal of luxury craftsmanship.”

Nonchalant youths have not been the only challenge for the recently embattled watch industry. Exports of Swiss watches – which act as a barometer for the health of the global trade – recently suffered a period of significant decline. In 2016, the value of exports dropped to a six-year low of CHF19.4 billion (down nearly 10% on the year before), according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s accounts

This story was originally published on January 4, 2018, on Read the full story here. Main image: Jono Holt, co-founder of Farer.