Jessie Thomas is a London based Goldsmith and Designer. She learnt her craft from her father, the celebrated Master Goldsmith, David Thomas, a key member of a new style of gold jewellery that emerged in London during the 1960s. David trained under Georg Jensen and the Swedish Crown Jewellers and had a number of solo exhibitions around the world. His pieces are held in permanent collections of institutions including the V&A and the Goldsmiths Company.
Jessie and David work together today in their workshop and retail space in London’s Chelsea, designing and hand making ready to wear and bespoke pieces. The aesthetic of their work is beautifully made, simple pieces.
This aesthetic often belies the complicated technicality of the work. Subtlety and wearability is key, as is creating work that transcends trends. Techniques are employed that are rarely used elsewhere, elevating everyday pieces to something special and timeless.
A focus on very high levels of craftsmanship is of the utmost importance to the Thomas jewellers. They design and hand make every piece themselves by hand and pieces often evolve organically from the original design during their creation.
All pieces are handmade in the London workshop in Limited Editions, using recycled Gold, responsibly sources stones and the highest quality, conflict free diamonds.
2021 ENGAGEMENT RING TRENDS
Jessie Thomas: A gypsy set, bombe style ring makes for a very cool, wearable statement piece. I love the bold, sculptural aesthetic of them and the fact they are often quite serious pieces, yet manage not to be too showy. The move away from the traditional claw set engagement ring feels new and modern, yet these types of rings still remain very classic and timeless. I like to bezel-set a diamond into white gold and then drop that down flush into a yellow gold ring. This really highlights the diamond so it doesn’t get lost in the piece and it really keeps its life. These are wearable rings; you can bash them around a bit and they’ll survive which is what you need in an engagement ring - plus it’s a great way to set a large stone if you feel you don’t want it to be too showy.
Jessie Thomas: With sculptural rings - again I feel like the move away from a classically set three stone engagement feels very contemporary and cool right now. I’ve begun carving flowing, rounded wave rings and dropping diamonds randomly down into the band or setting them perched on top in light claw settings. I like the dissonance of this, it feels new and modern. Giving this kind of form to rings makes them feel special, they become more of a small sculpture in themselves than just a mount for the diamonds. These definitely make for very individual and interesting engagement rings.
PEAR SHAPED DIAMONDS
Jessie Thomas: I feel like the pear shaped diamond is really coming back into style. I love using them, they are interesting yet don’t have the harsh feel of more square cut stones. They also hide imperfections well (as with brilliants). Their curving edges carry on perfectly from the undulating lines of more sculptural rings: they definitely complement uniquely designed pieces well. I like to set them in delicate white claws to show them off. I also love working with oval cut diamonds too, they bring the same feeling of softness for me as a pear. However you have to be careful when choosing an oval, a badly cut one just looks like a potato (known as the bow-tie effect)
Jessie Thomas: A pearl is a cool alternative to a diamond in an engagement ring. You can make a serious statement piece, as you aren’t constrained by the size of the centre stone and their luminous surface can be as beautiful as any diamond. They look amazing combined with diamonds and work with both colors of gold. Beware though - a pearl is soft, so if you’re using it in a ring, it needs a level of protection. Make sure it’s not exposed, they need to be surrounded by metal and carefully looked after.
* This story by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the December 2020 /January 2021 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.