London jewel design flair adapts to surging gold

Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:10am EDT
 
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By David Brough

LONDON (Reuters) - London's most talented artist-jewelers showed off state-of-the-art designs using innovative materials and the latest technologies this week as they adapted to soaring and volatile gold prices.

As London Jewelry Week kicked off on Monday, emerging brand PureJewels revealed platinum couture pieces by rising stars such as Anthony Roussel, who used a ground-breaking combination of wood with platinum and diamonds.

Many of Britain's jewelry design stars packed into a glitzy champagne reception at the Mayfair Hotel, including Sarah Ho, Katie Rowland, Rachel Galley, and Jessica de Lotz.

At a catwalk event at the Royal Exchange, David Marshall showed off his new "Beach Rocks" collection -- bold and daring pieces, featuring large stones in bright summer colors.

Designer-jewelers spoke of their concerns over surging gold prices, now trading at near record highs, and said they increasingly used silver, gold plate and 9-carat gold rather than 18-carat to keep prices affordable to mainstream shoppers.

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Old Etonian designer Alexander Davis and TV star, model and entrepreneur Amber Atherton staged a high society launch for their Monsoon Palace collection, inspired by the architecture and jungles of the East, featuring silver and gold plate.

Paparazzi cameras zoomed in on actresses Mischa Barton and Margo Stilley who joined the crush at entertainment spot Sketch.   Continued...