If you scroll through William Welstead’s Instagram page, you’d see photos and videos of either raw, random, and beautiful stones acquired from different locations, finished jewelry pieces decked with a central stone, diamonds, or both in one, or picturesque landscapes of places all over the world. It’s like a documentation of the three main and most interesting points of how a William Welstead jewelry is made: the glorious places where rare stones are hunted, the actual gems themselves in their most raw form, and the final products after all the cuts and arrangements.
Although it seems like a constant presence in the media is the key to relevance and survival—let alone success—in the business world, William Welstead isn’t the kind of brand to go full-out online. The brand prefers to be quiet and modest in that realm but it won’t go unnoticed as long as their products continue to present quality and elegance as they do now.
Childhood hobby turned into profession
William Welstead can be called a lot of things, but since childhood, he’s never been a passive traveler. Always on the lookout for rare stones, he was an avid rock collector from the beginning. People say look to the little things you did in your childhood for hints of what you should be doing as an adult. Collecting rocks and stones was Welstead’s thing, and luckily, he got to it by himself at least on the second try.
The banker-turned-jeweller had his interest solidified after finding a fossilized shark tooth in the English coast and promising gems during a trip in Nepal. He’s since studied gemology in London and built this empire of a jewelry brand.
A case for rarity
Whether diamonds or gems, William Welstead’s jewelry can’t be compared that easily to others like it. The brand shares the story and unique charm behind the stones, not just the accessory itself.
The stones come from personal stone-hunting trips around the world by Welstead himself, but India wins over every other country, as two of the gem markets located in Jaipur and Mumbai offer the best ones. In this way, the brand makes a case for rarity because only the ones with the character and innate charm, their “soul” if you will, are chosen even though they don’t happen to be flawless.
But with the brand, everything should be one-of-a-kind though. That means some are extremely rare, like the Indian Moghul-cut diamonds that were once highly-coveted in the 18th century, or some are cut using an Indian technique that’s no longer practiced in Europe or in the West in general. The romantic quality of colorful stones like spinels that come from Myanmar, and sapphires and emeralds from Colombia is celebrated by the brand, too. Moreover, William Welstead is one of the few that still uses rough diamonds and actually pointed wide attention towards itself in the jewelry world because of it.
Signature stones and favorite cuts
Source: william welstead work
Doing a quick run-through of the brand’s pieces on their website, you’d see that there are a few stones and styles that appear more often. You’ll see sapphires in different colors, the occasional spinel, briolette bead necklaces or bracelets, diamond rings in triangle, circle, or oval shapes enclosed by pavé diamonds, and most especially the Indian flat-cut diamonds. The flat cut delivers a subtler approach to the diamond, so even with their large shape, they don’t look flashy to the point of being tacky. These diamonds sit flat and closer to the flesh and gives it a nice pearlescent-like embellishment.
The preference leans towards old cuts and briolette beads because they preserve the stones’ rawest form. You can also observe that for a lot of the rings and pendants, the settings are usually just plain and solid variations of gold or platinum. This is to direct the attention solely on the stones, “making sure that the setting allows them to sing.” Besides, the stone is not the one to compromise on the design, instead the design is made to accommodate the stone specifically.
If you like makeup and watch tutorials religiously on Youtube, you probably know Lisa Eldridge, only one of the most talented makeup artists in the beauty and fashion world, and her infamous green and citrine rings. They’ve made quite a number of appearances in videos as she wears them almost all the time and it may or may not have gotten some fans worked up over where she got them. Those were stones found and set onto white gold rings by William Welstead. With this as proof, the brand can clearly hold its own even without much media attention. Selling in London’s Dover Street, William Welstead jewelry is not completely out-of-reach. With their unconventional and more personal operations, the brand embodies the rarity their gemstones boast of.