Clerkenwell jeweller E.C.One is near enough to Hatton Garden to bask in its glow, but not so close as to be blinded by the City’s famed Diamond District.
Husband and wife team Jos and Alison Skeates established their boutique in 1997, among the first of the longstanding Exmouth Market bricks and mortar we know today. “Only [coffee shop] Moro beat us,” Alison says.
The duo had a vision for a store full of beautiful bespoke pieces, minus the cutthroat prices they found in Hatton Garden, which has been the geographical heartland of London’s jewellery trade since medieval times.
Jos, a goldsmith and Saint Martins-trained jewelry designer, manages production and manufacturing, while Alison looks after the buying. Customers can select from a broad range of bespoke pieces from the likes of Alex Monroe, Niessing and Ruth Tomlinson, or arrange a chat with one of E.C.One’s goldsmiths to commission a personal piece. Prices start at around £30 for day-to-day pieces, and up to £15,000 for custom designed engagement rings.
Many of the stones come from the jewelers in Hatton Garden, and the couple say they couldn’t resist a nod to the heritage of their trade.
“Our name is the postcode for Clerkenwell and also for Hatton Garden,” Alison explained. “The shops there are not very lovely, but behind that there are these amazing warrens of incredible things, such as amazing gemstones, that most people will never see.”