The original contemporary stacking rings, ON HIGH David Ashton

One of the most recognized, often copied advertisements of jewellery is a stack of David Ashton rings.

The original contemporary stacking rings


My first foray into the world of advertising was a half page in the independent newspaper in 1994. I had been asked to do a fair amount of editorial, and was getting a good name and excellent reputation within the world of jewellery. Being selected for goldsmiths fair, winning the gold star and display prize, which lead in turn to the Goldsmiths company holding a dinner in my honour in 1997.


I had produced brochures/ leaflets before, but had been disappointed by the quality of the photography, which I had out-sourced. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I was unhappy with the unrealistic reproduction of the metals and stones. As a result, I pursued an interest and set up a photography studio in my front room (tissue paper tent, IKEA trestle table, and clamp on spot lights, again diffused with tissue paper).

Marie Clare approached me, I did a few small panels then full pages. They liked what I was making, and the adverts I was producing so offered me a campaign, a year of full pages, if I guaranteed a different advert each month.

To make the exercise easier, I gave each a title, On toast, On Eire……each having a double meaning. I was somewhat hectic, making commissions in the workshop during the day, as well as making new jewellery to feature in the ad’s, finally producing the photographs late into the night at home.

Really stuck on the last ad, and wanted to get a lot of information out in one go. As is often said, “the mother of inventions was necessity” “ON HIGH” was born.

I couldn’t think of a better or more attractive way of getting out more information in one go.

There have been numerous incarnations of the advert; they show very accurately the progression of my designs.

The image has been used in many glossy publications including,

Vogue, Harpers, ELLE, Marie Claire, RED, Psychologies, V&A, TATE, ENO, TONI & GUY……

To this day, all the photography used in adverts and on-line are all taken here “in house”, not computer generated or enhanced. No longer in the front room at home, but in the OXO shop. The tissue paper has been replaced by “professional” nylon light caps, and a white tent, the film cameras superseded by digital. Nevertheless, when I’m out with family and friends I still take my Canon AE1, I love it, and long may they still produce film.

I’ve lost count of how often at the counter in the shop, purses are fumbled in, and a folded copy of the aforementioned advert is produced, the ring often chosen before the husband or wife to be. Luckily I have very accurate records, if required any of the rings that have featured in any advert can be replicated.

The original contemporary stacking rings

New stacking ring advert 2017 David Ashton
New stacking ring advert 2017 David Ashton

See the completeish advert archive on my facebook page








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