Explore the mesmerising world of jewellery and the inspiring women that wear them.
From sentimental keepsakes to statement jewels, every piece tells a story.
It’s either about sentiment or statement with me – my most precious pieces, some of which I wear every day, are not only beautiful objects but also remind me of special moments in my life. But on the other hand, I love the statement one can make with striking costume jewellery, and I particularly like big earrings. I know I’ve got it right if my husband raises an eyebrow and says “Pourquoi La Vache Qui Rit rit?” (referring to the picture on the front of the Laughing Cow box of cheese… he doesn’t understand my passion for big earrings.)
My husband might not share my passion for costume jewellery but he has exquisite taste and the art deco engagement ring he proposed with is a thing of beauty every day. Made in 1926, it’s 17 bolshevik-cut diamonds in a platinum setting. The setting is unique, and old European cut diamonds, a forerunner of the more contemporary brilliant cut, have a special, slightly mysterious sparkle.
When we had our daughter my husband bought me an eternity ring from the same period and again with Bolshevik cut diamonds, which I always wear and on my last birthday a pair of Art Deco diamond earrings. He’s a very nice husband.
Rapport’s blue jewellery box is perfect for a small dressing table – it has cleverly designed compartments so you don’t get earrings and necklaces tangled and a cushioned bar into which one can slide one’s rings. And, even nicer, it’s blue on the inside as well as the outside, and nothing offsets white gold or platinum jewellery better. Coming to think of it, yellow gold also works well against that cobalt blue.
Jessica McCormack has a beautiful, modern and original aesthetic, combining great craftsmanship with clever design. Her ‘party jackets’ can turn an otherwise conventional ring into something breathtakingly exciting.
I also like Tessa Packards bracelets for their playfulness, and Boodles Circus collection because everyone looks more beautiful in very sparkly diamonds.
My father died last year and I asked Rebus to make me a memoriam ring. Rebus took inspiration from one of the badgers on an old family crest (Brocklebank is my family name and a brock is a badger in Old English) to create the image to engrave on it. They also made me a diamond keeper ring which adds an elegant femininity to a classic signet ring.
I also have a gold slave bangle left to me by my Grandmother. Worn on the upper arm above the elbow, it was the height of fashion in the twenties when she was given it for a twenty-first birthday present and she wore it until she died. It’s such a cool piece of jewellery
I love tiaras, particularly the Poltimore Tiara which belonged to Princess Margaret – there’s such a fun, saucy picture of her wearing it in the bath, taken by her husband Earl Snowden.
Helen Brocklebank has 20 years experience of leadership in publishing and represents the interests of the British Luxury sector at home and abroad. Walpole is the official sector body for UK luxury. Founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation, it counts more than 210 British brands in its membership and is recognised in both Westminster and Brussels. As the voice of British luxury, Walpole’s purpose is to promote, protect and develop a sector worth £32.2 billion to the UK economy and the jewel in the crown of UK business.