Jewellery Designer Stephen Webster - Rock Out
Jewellery designer to the stars, Stephen Webster, challenges conventional notions of precious stone, to clients' delight.
Words by Maria Carter
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend - but a brilliant swarm of sapphire butterflies on a bracelet? A double finger black diamond serpent ring with a carved chalcedony flower coiled in its tail? Those are a girl’s true love, as top jewellery designer Stephen Webster knows. Creating big, bold pieces, his work stands apart from his contemporaries for its unusual use of coloured gems and exotic designs that blend exquisite technical expertise with modern culture. Though the talented Brit prefers to work with peridot over precious ice you will still find plenty of white diamonds in his couture creations, and celeb clients like Kate Moss, Rihanna, Sir Elton John, and Christina Aguilera cannot get enough of his artistic and adventurous style.
Hailing from the south east of England, his interest in gems was ignited during a chance encounter with a jewellery design class, with its enticing flames and glistening objects. However, it was not until working for a gemologist in Alberta, Canada that he discovered the true value of rare stones such as tanzanite and tourmaline. “He was a gem adventurer, like Indiana Jones... [he’d] come back with these frigging great gems, and you could not put them into small jewellery items,” said Webster of his former mentor. “That’s when I started to study and understand more about gems and really love them.”
Today, this eponymous brand has over two hundred points of sale internationally and boasts over a dozen collections of innovative, yet elegant, fine jewellery. Known for unusual launch parties (a faux murder mystery is one) and distinct pieces – crustacean-shaped rings of sapphire and black opal, shark jaw cuffs and green agate earrings – his pieces lend a dramatic touch to any ensemble. But it is his brainchild, Crystal Haze, a faceted quartz crystal veil set over a foundation of natural stone to produce a shimmery effect – like the gems are lit from within – which is most iconic.
Striking as his statement-making designs are, they are also investments one can feel confident about. A principled jeweller, Webster is an ambassador for Fairtrade Gold and an advocate of responsibly sourced Forevermark diamonds – roles that influence his work greatly. After travelling to the gold mines of Peru and Tanzania, Webster introduced a line of engagement and wedding rings made with only ethical gold. Early last year his career-long advocacy for ethically and socially mined materials, along with his ‘Rock Vault’ initiative that nurtures up and coming UK jewellery designers, resulted in him being named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Stephen Webster is available exclusively at Island Companies in the Cayman Islands. www.islandcompaniesltd.com
Some merchandise pictured may not be in stock. Island Companies is happy to special order the item for you.
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