David Ashton (????) has been making jewelry for many years and began doing it as a hobby when he was a teenager. According to the UK’s Goldsmiths’ Directory, he trained as a scientific and medical instrument maker in Cambridge, then as an aircraft engineer. This training provided him with a perspective on jewelry manufacture.
He is renowned for his unique techniques of mixing two colors of 18ct gold and makes many of his own tools. Working in 18ct gold and Platinum, he often uses sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds including natural fancy colors.
Buyers can commission a piece directly from his website or contact him to begin a two-way process of inspiration and personalized discussion that culminates in agreed design and price. David makes engagement rings that are durable, comfortable, and designed to be worn, all day every day. In addition, they are stunningly beautiful and sit perfectly next to a wedding and/or an eternity ring.
One of the most recognized and often copied jewelry advertisements is a stack of David Ashton rings. On his official website, David says, “My first foray into the world of advertising was a half-page in the Independent newspaper in 1994. I had been asked to do a fair amount of editorial, and was getting a good name and excellent reputation within the world of jewellery, being selected for Goldsmiths’ fair, winning the gold star and display prize, which led in turn to the Goldsmiths Company holding a dinner in my honor in 1997.”
Having been disappointed by the quality of the photography, which he out-sourced, he set up a photography studio in his front room (tissue paper tent, IKEA trestle table, and clamp on spot lights, again diffused with tissue paper) to achieve accurate representation of the metals used in his jewelry.
Not long after this, the designer Marie Clare approached him and he did a few small panels, then full pages. They liked what he was making and offered him a campaign: a year of full pages, if he guaranteed a different ad each month.
To make the exercise easier, he gave each a title, ‘On toast,’’ On Eire,’ and others with each having a double meaning. He was stuck on the last ad and wanted to get a lot of information out into one ad and it became one of his most notable campaigns. This is how his On High motif was born. There have been numerous incarnations of the ad and very accurately show the progression of Ashton’s designs.
To this day, all the photography used in his ads and online are all taken “in house”, not computer generated or enhanced. No longer in the front room at home, but in his shop in the OXO Tower in London, the tissue paper has been replaced by “professional” nylon light caps and a white tent. The film cameras have been superseded by digital models.
David is proud that all of his jewelry is designed and made in England including handmade jewelry and bespoke engagement stacking rings. His shop and workshop were relocated to the iconic Oxo Tower on the South Bank in 2008 after having previously been located at Gabriel’s Wharf for 25 years and a stallholder at the Camden Market before that.
Making many of his own tools so he can create modern and sophisticated jewelry via traditional, precision craftsmanship, David Ashton is widely acknowledged as one of the most skilled and talented craftspeople working in the UK.
David Ashton collections include engagement rings that contain the finest gem-stones that ensure superior brilliance and beauty. There are no claws to catch on clothing. David Ashton rub-over settings are protected from dirt and damage and they sparkle longer, are very secure, and stack perfectly against a wedding band and/or an eternity ring.
David Ashton eternity rings are made in 18ct gold or Platinum. His 18ct yellow and white gold diagonal stripe, or dot and circle rings are David’s signature and a testament to his engineering skills. Designed to be stacked, they sit elegantly against David Ashton wedding and engagement rings.
According to David, the perfect choice for an eternity ring is diamond as it is the most durable gemstone. Sapphire and ruby are second to diamond in hardness and also work well. To create a truly unique ring the number, size and type of stones can be varied. In addition, important life milestones can be celebrated by adding gems stones.
While many jewelers shy away from using platinum because they lack the skills and tools required to work and polish it, they often plate white gold with rhodium because it’s easier. Platinum may be a higher investment but for those who want a bright white piece of jewelry, its enduring nature makes it the best value in the long run.
Platinum and white gold are two very different metals. The biggest difference between them is that platinum is a naturally white metal. It is rarer than gold, much heavier and durable. Because of its hardness, it can be used in a purer form than gold, usually at about 95%. Platinum is consequently more expensive and harder than gold. The harder it gets, it more securely it holds the stones. One more benefit of platinum is that it is hypoallergenic.
David’s mixed metal jewelry is unique. Stunningly modern, the pattern won’t wear away as it is part of the construction. Available in 18ct yellow and white gold, or 18ct gold with Platinum, the exact number and size of the two tone detail is the buyer’s choice as are the gemstones.
Natural pearls are notably rare. Discounting plastic, today’s pearls are mostly cultured meaning they are farmed. Originally produced by Mikimoto in Japan in the early 1920’s, the discovery of the technique of culturing pearls made them available and affordable. David has an extensive range of marine, fresh water and Tahitian pearls, available from stock, or loose to be combined as desired by the customer.
David’s ear studs are fashioned with contemporary rub-over settings and are perfect to wear all day every day and secured with threaded posts.
David Ashton also designs bangles in various widths, diameters, mixtures of yellow, white or rose gold, and in endless combinations of diamonds, rubies or sapphires as desired. The rub over settings protect the pieces from dirt and damage. The pendants are fixed on the chain, so the back stays neatly at the back, and the beautiful gem-stone at the front.
David also works with Tanzanite and creates cuff links and cocktail rings. He receives visits to his shop and workshop by appointment to ensure clients have uninterrupted time and space to enjoy his and her visit.
David has studied with the Gemmological Association and received its most prestigious accolades: Fellow of the Gemmological Association (FGA) and Diamond Member of the Gemmological Association (DGA).He has also exhibited at the Goldsmiths’ fair and won their prestigious awards.
The majority of David’s work is undertaken on a commission basis, so designs can be adapted to suit individual taste. Clients seeking unique items benefit from David’s experience and extensive knowledge. His rings are designed to be worn together, without any gaps between them, and contemporary ear studs, pendants, necklaces and bangles are also available. Stacking rings in precious metals and gem stones range from £1000 – £15,000 ($1230 – $13,500 US).