The advantages of truly handmade jewellery

Spending my time sitting at a bench making jewellery is what I love. Almost everything I produce starts as a piece of 6mm square wire, in Platinum or 18ct gold.

David Ashton the finest contemporary jewellery handmade in London
David Ashton the finest contemporary jewellery handmade in London
How a handmade ring is made
How a handmade ring is made, 6mm square rod starting point

The advantages of truly handmade jewellery

The advantages of handmade jewellery
The advantages of handmade jewellery, draw plates through which I pull metal to make rings.

Most jewellery produced today isn’t made this way, most jewellery is cast.  Casting is a process whereby a mould is made in the shape of the piece of jewellery or whatever is being cast. To put it simply (and the process is far more complex), metal is then poured into the mould, which then hardens and the cast is produced. This process is similar to making jelly, and multiple casts are done at once on a “tree”, as shown below:

A platinum casting ring tree
A platinum-casting ring tree, a common mass-production process

The moulds or waxes are often produced by a computer using CAD, and increasingly it seems 3D printers are being used.

Traditional hand fabrication means forging each piece by hand, without the use of CAD software, wax models or casting or prefabricated pieces of any kind. It is the rarest type of jewellery construction nowadays. It means taking a raw piece of cold-rolled metal wire, bar or sheet of precious metal, such as Platinum or Gold, and then through a process of cutting, hammering, shaping and annealing (heating), the metal is shaped into the desired design. It is this process of heating and annealing that hardens the metal which the casting process skips, making handmade jewellery almost 50% harder than cast jewellery. In practical terms, this means that diamonds and gemstones are far less likely to fall out compared to cheaper cast settings. Porosity in cast jewellery weakens the basic structure of the piece, causing ring shanks to break, prongs to break off and galleries to crack, thus stones fall out.

Too often the term handmade is misused and exploited, mass-produced cast components bought from catalogues are soldered together and described as bespoke!

True handmaking of jewellery is a dying art because it takes the most skill and time, yet it yields the highest quality of finish possible. It will result in a true heirloom piece that will last for generations. The difference is obvious to expert and discerning buyers,  over time the difference in durability and wearability becomes obvious to the owner too. David Ashton jewellery is a bench made entirely by hand.
If you want a piece of jewellery that will last you a lifetime, you want something that was made by hand.

Due to the level of expertise and skill required for true precision hand fabrication, most of the mass-produced designer engagement rings you will see are not going to be made this way. David Ashton focuses on creating the perfect and most practical setting without sacrificing style, keeping the focus on the diamond, sapphire or ruby itself, which is after all the main focus of any stone set ring.

The finest contemporary jewellery handmade in London
The finest contemporary jewellery handmade in London




European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)

The EU GDPR is designed to help all of us have more control over our personal data, and how is it used.

Who does the information GDPR apply to?

Data subjects, being all visitors and users of any website who are members of the European Union, and therefore who submit personal data. is the data processor and data controller of this site. You can find out more about this law here.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how I, David Ashton use and protect any information that you give when you use this website.

I am committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should I ask you to provide certain information from which you can be identified when using this website, you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

If I change this policy I will update this page. You should check from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 22 August 2012.

What I collect

I may collect the following information:

  • your name
  • contact information including email address
  • demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
  • other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers
What I do with the information I gather

I require this information to provide you with a better service and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping.
  • I may use the information to improve our products and services.
  • I may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which I think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
  • From time to time, I may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. I may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. I may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.

I am committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, I have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information I collect online.

How I use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

I use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps me analyse data about web page traffic and improve the website. I only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help provide you with a better website by monitoring which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Links to other websites

My website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that I do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, I cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways. If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing or emailing me.

I will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless I have your permission or are required by law to do so. I may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which I think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen.

You may request details of personal information which I hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. 

If you believe that any information I are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please email us as soon as possible.  I will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

Google Analytics

User and Event Data Retention

User-level and event-level data associated with Google Analytics cookies is retained for 14 months and then automatically deleted.

IP Anonymization

I have implemented IP Anonymization, simply put, the last three digits of your IP address are set to zeros in memory shortly after being sent to the Analytics Collection Network. The full IP address is never retained, or written to disk.