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Gold, that endless force of elemental nature, is always being recast and reimagined. Effortlessly cool, we need its rich-and-buttery texture, its intimate ability to shape itself to the wearer, and sheer magic as a symbol of hope and sunny days, now more than ever. Vivienne Becker turns Metal Guru and looks at fashion’s new Gold Rush

Gold - the material of dreams, of alchemy and transformation - is having its moment in the sun. Millennia-old yet agelessly modern, both hip and heritage, gold is intimate and industrial, immediate yet endless. It exudes sensuality and brings with it warmth and most of all the sense of reassurance we all crave at the moment.

We knew a new golden age was dawning when fashion began 2020 all tied up: gold and gilt chains adorning clothes, worn as belts, used as body ornaments, dangling from library-chic reading glasses, draped from earrings, or worn as Nineties-inspired Cuban-chain bling.

We took our cue from the shows and started gold chain stacking, one of the standout trends of this tumultuous year. A sign of connectivity, yes, but also a reference to the classicism and enduring substance of the gold chain: the meaning, design and workmanship of an element that regenerates itself with every new generation of jewellery-wearers. The gold chain, simple or complex, is a sign of authority, status and identity, of wealth and currency, and of a material of spectacular beauty and endless possibilities, to both designer-jewellers and artist goldsmiths.

"The gold chain, simple or complex, is a sign of authority, status and identity, of wealth and currency, and of a material of spectacular beauty and endless possibilities, to both designer-jewellers and artist goldsmiths"

Let’s not forget that the gold chain, and gold in general, is totally gender fluid, worn just as easily by men and women; so perfect for today’s mood of androgyny. Yet for all its versatility there’s a deeply personal element to gold. The way it feels on the skin, its intimacy, and our personal associations with a deeply prized possession: a signet ring, birthday charm or first identity bracelet. Most of all it is the way in which gold moulds to your body, and over time develops a patina, so unique to you that it becomes part of your persona.

I remember Paloma Picasso talking about her love of sumptuously rich and buttery-yellow gold, and explaining that a hand-made gold jewel continues to form and shape and develop the longer it is worn, finished to perfection only by the wearer.

"A strong 70s vibe throws yet another style ingredient into the crucible in which this new golden age is being magicked up. Just as brilliant sun-yellow gold captured the hedonistic glamour of the “Beautiful People” then, today gold still exudes hippie-fuelled jet-set exoticism and pulsates with the both the beat of 1970s New York and the spirit of an entirely new mood of rebellious, youth-fuelled, modernist jewellery"

Just think of the Cartier Love bangle, the Nail, the shiny lure of the hardware store. For Aldo Cipullo, brilliant creator of both iconic designs, gold was part of his Italian heritage, warm and strong yet soft and tactile. It was also his route to an entirely new genre of young, informal, ‘everyday’ jewel. Rich yellow gold was also the favourite material of many of the great designer-jewellers of the 1960s and 70s, such as Andrew Grima, whose inimitable and sought-after style was characterised by heavily textured, freeform goldwork.

Often cast from nature for an organic look, he favoured elemental designs like the rough texture of tree bark, or ripples in the sand. You can see the influence of this in the stunning gold and diamond ring in our first drop or in the quicksilver-like molten gold that flows around gemstones like this opal pendant by Grima.

Paloma Picasso was right. Antique and vintage jewels with the patina of time and storytelling possess personality, charisma, charm and, as I believe, soul. There is an intense individuality to it that’s essential to the way in which we choose and wear our jewels today. They are expressions of personal style – as powerful now as they ever were.

We all respond on some profound and perhaps unconscious level to gold: its colour and light, its history, heritage and meanings. It’s a fusing of the worldly and otherworldly; the material and immaterial. Gold was believed by the ancients to be the flesh of the Gods: to possess the power of the sun, to hold and herald life in its myriad forms. It makes sense that Goldsmiths were revered for their ability to work this magical material, and so to channel the spirit of the divine. For medieval alchemists, gold represented the ultimate goal of their life’s work: enlightenment and a quest for the elixir of immortality. For us, too, gold embodies so many forms of wonder and hope: style, comfort and joy, and a very precious and personal gleam of sun-lit optimism.

With glamour and optimism in mind, ‘Gold’ is the simple and compelling theme of our first drop, taking centre stage in our curated selection of antique and vintage jewels. Rich in the style of the 1960s and 70s, it hits just the right note today, when a year of struggle passes and a new one dawns, full of hope.

We invite you to discover our glorious gold jewels: perfect for mixing with contemporary gold, for adding a touch of individuality to stacks of bangles or chains, or to be worn alone as a singular mega-statement.

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