I’ve previously written about my love of jewellery, albeit briefly. But I’ll elaborate. You see, I absolutely adore the shiny stuff. And yes, emphasis on shine as opposed to sparkle. I love gold.
As a young girl, I always remember my mum wearing gold jewellery. I would sometimes wear some of it, but being a girl that wasn’t particularly interested in clothes and my appearance, I didn’t give jewellery much time and thought. I reached my teens and started discovering fashion (sort of – I was actually a walking fashion disaster). Silver was the preferred choice according the fashions back in the 90s, and I was often found sporting cheap costume jewellery from the high street and tacky novelty pieces. Hey, I was 15!
Anyway, I matured somewhat and moved away from the cheap novelty jewellery, and as I hit my mid-late 20s, developed a love of beautiful yellow gold. There is no metal like it. It is unique. It looks exquisite and elegant, especially in a world where many people still prefer white metals over yellow.
Most of my jewellery is solid yellow gold, with a few white pieces here and there. I have been told that I am an ‘earring queen’, and I admit that I do love dangly earrings. I always wear my hair up or away from my face because I have tonnes of it, and the kids like to get their grubby paws in it. Wearing a big pair of dangly earrings instantly makes me feel glamorous when my hair is up, and up-dos are a perfect way to show off earrings.
Anyway, I’m in danger of tangenting here. What I really wanted to tell you about was how my adoration of jewellery has led to my love for a British designer jewellery brand called OAK Fine Jewellery. OAK have not asked me, paid me, or given me any gifts to write this post. I just love them. Founded by Parul Tolentino and Jo-Anne Owdud in 2011, OAK are a relatively young company. Being friends and colleagues for a number of years, Jo-Anne and Parul are also mothers. On maternity leave and contemplating their soon-to-be changing lives, they wanted to create a better work-life balance (who doesn’t, right?). And like their beautiful babies, OAK was born.
I love OAK because their sophisticated jewellery designs encompass so many qualities all at once. They have designs that appeal to women who prefer subtle, delicate pieces. For those seeking something unique and unusual, OAK’s pieces are like nothing I have seen anywhere else. They have edgy, funky designs that work with a tougher look. But most importantly, their pieces frequently cross over into all of these looks, making their beautiful jewellery incredibly versatile.
The care and thought the OAK girls take when creating their pieces is second to none. Their brand was created out of love and passion. A love for their families, a passion for their art and a desire to create beautiful, luxurious jewellery for women to wear and treasure. They are inspired by the notion that jewellery can have such high sentimental value that it is passed down through generations. They wanted to create pieces that are worthy of this notion, and I think that they have succeeded.
Their designs are painstakingly thought-out, designing and redesigning every last intricate detail to ensure the end result is nothing short of perfect. OAK jewellery is crafted with a choice of sterling silver, yellow gold vermeil, rose gold vermeil or solid gold of varying carats and colours. Each item they create is awarded with a meaningful name, which makes their jewellery special amongst a myriad of jewellery brands who name their items with a code or a simple description of the piece. How special would you feel wearing ‘Item No. 35664D’?
Anyway, enough of the chitter chatter. Despite the fact that I can quite happily spend extended periods of time swooning over everything on their website, I wanted to show you a selection of my favourite OAK items.
First up is the iconic ‘A Life Within’ pendant, from the Richmond Park collection. The perfectly-formed acorn pendant is instantly recognisable as OAK’s, especially after a certain Keira Knightley (who I believe is expecting – congrats Keira!) has been sporting this very pendant while out and about.
Another stunner from the Richmond Park collection. The ‘Autumn Changed’ pendant is a single tumbling oak leaf with a stunning level of intricate detail. My sister-in-law is the lucky owner of a silver ‘Autumn Changed’ pendant. Her pendant moves and flutters as she moves, creating the illusion that the leaf really is tumbling in the breeze. It is gorgeous and adds instant glamour when worn over t-shirts, blouses or sweaters.
One of my nicknames is ‘Bear’, and this striking ‘bear’ cuff is like no other I have seen. It is simultaneously elegant and strong, and probably the coolest cuff you could get your hands on. If I was lucky enough to own it, I would probably team it with most things I wear, on most occasions. I’m a firm believer that you can never be too dressed up, particularly when it comes to jewellery.
I’m a bit of a sucker for a charming bracelet, and this specimen doesn’t disappoint. I simply cannot get enough of those distinctive little OAK oak leaves. It doesn’t get much prettier than the ‘Swept Away’ bracelet of the Swept Away collection and I would be thrilled to have this piece in my collection.
I loved this ring the second I laid eyes on it. I adore the swirling, intricate letters hiding the word ‘lover’. So romantic, and a little naughty with the hidden lover element to it.
More concealed lovers here with the ‘Our Love Will Bloom’ diamond earrings. These earrings are GORGEOUS! They make the perfect statement with their elegant script and diamond detail.
This ring is just perfection. I have no words to express how beautiful I think it is, but I’ll write some down in a bid to try. OAK make this ring in other colours of metal with different stones, which are all beautiful. However, it is the pinkness of this one that appeals to me. I love the pink hue of the rose gold, perfectly complimenting the pink tourmaline stones which illuminate all of those facets. In fact, Jo-Anne (my very good friend) said to me recently that this ring is very me. Her exact quote was as follows,
“It’s very you, I have to say” …”as in pink, gold, sparkly yet spiky”.
She was on the money – I loved this analogy, particularly the ‘spiky’ bit (she knows me so well). Part of the Force of Nature collection, it is exclusive to Goldsmiths and was featured in Cosmopolitan UK in the above picture. Have you seen anything like this ring anywhere? I didn’t think so. Unmistakably OAK, undoubtedly striking with unrivalled beauty.
More pretty pinkness with another rosy number. The rose gold ‘Great Bear’ has been on my expanding OAK wishlist since I first laid eyes on it. Part of the Constellation collection (as is the Bear Cuff), this furry fella has a dazzling array of twinkly diamond stars, paying homage to the Ursa Major. It is such an original piece and designed to perfection. Who would have thought that a pendant of a big bear could be so elegant?
The ‘Love’s Sting’ earrings will permanently end your quest for the most amazing hooped earrings. How awesome are they?! Part of the Force of Nature collection, these large spiky hoops are multifaceted, turning a basic, dull hooped earring into a dramatic, edgy piece that can dress up a day outfit and compliment evening-wear. My husband bought these for me last Christmas, and I have to stop myself wearing them every day.
And these are the ‘Lovestruck’ stud earrings, also part of the Force of Nature collection, and a stud version of the ‘Love’s Sting’ hoops. I think I need these guys so that I really can wear some Force of Nature on a daily basis. I guess I really am ‘earring queen’! These studs are a far cry from the basic little coloured-jewel dot, decorating your earlobes. These lightening bolts will make a real statement to your look. It is no doubt that they were featured in the Charles Fish Standout Stud Earring edit. In my opinion, they are the standout stud on the Charles Fish list by a country mile.
The final piece I wanted to bring to your attention, and another earring, are the ‘Lovestruck Pavé’ studs in rose gold vermeil, covered in smokey quartz and pink tourmaline. Another striking piece from the Force of Nature collection, I can’t resist these earrings for their spiky pinkness and gradient of pretty colour. These would look fabulous in the evening, but knowing me, I would rock these in the day as well.
So there you have it, a brief look at some of my favourite pieces from OAK (really, I could have gone on with more). Yes, there are numerous other beautiful gems (literally) for you to peruse on their website, not to mention all sorts of limited edition beauties that I see popping up on their Facebook page. And in the unlikely event that you needed further convincing, it is almost worth buying something from them just to get the mini works of art that are their boxes.
OAK are going from strength to strength, popping up on our high streets in the likes of Goldsmiths and numerous independents across the country. You might have even caught Jo and Parul showcasing their most iconic pieces on QVC earlier this year. I know that I am in love with this jewellery brand. One day I might collect all of my favourite pieces, but until then, I shall be content with swooning over my friend Jo-Anne’s bling whenever I see her, and enjoy getting sneaky previews of what’s in the pipeline.
If you are a lover of jewellery then I can wholeheartedly endorse OAK as a brand as well as the two incredible women behind the fabulous jewellery.