Here at Hepburn & Hughes, we love upcycling historical memorabilia and ceramics. But what does upcycling truly mean? In this article, we will be taking a look at what upcycled jewellery is, and some stunning pieces we have in our unique range for you to explore.

What Is Upcycled Jewellery?

Upcycling involves taking something, and using it in a new way that adds value to it, once it’s no longer suitable for its previous use. This can entail completely altering the piece, or even extending its life cycle. 

Take our Minton Willow range for example – these beautiful plates date back to 1792, and are still extremely popular today. We acquire broken pieces of Willow Pattern Minton plates and upcycle them to create unique pieces of sterling silver jewellery that you see in our Minton Pottery range. 

We create a new piece of jewellery from waste materials, or even salvage discarded or broken pieces of memorabilia that otherwise would have been forgotten. This is not only a more environmentally friendly way to produce stunning pieces of jewellery, but it also provides a way for our customers to wear a piece of history. 

Clarice Cliff jewellery collection

Introducing: Our Upcycled Jewellery Range

Upcycled Art Deco Jewellery

Our collection of Clarice Cliff jewellery is the perfect way to commemorate a vibrant artist of the past. Famous for her work in the 1920s Art Deco movement, Clarice Cliff was an English ceramic artist renowned for her striking and distinctive ceramics and tableware. Similar to our Minton Willow Pattern range, our Clarice Cliff jewellery is made using pieces of broken Clarice Cliff plates and includes pendants, rings, earrings and cufflinks. To find these unique pieces, we scour auction sites and antique dealers to source damaged crockery, which are then shaped by a skilled silversmith to create our range of Art Deco sterling silver jewellery. 

Upcycled Fossil Jewellery

Another range of upcycled jewellery is our fossil collection. Including everything from fossil pendants, fossil necklaces, fossil rings, and fossil earrings – we focus on bringing fossils back to life, and creating them into pieces that will really make them shine. 

We offer a range of different fossils, including fossilised sea creatures, trilobites and dinosaur fossils, including many pendants, which come with a complimentary 18" rope chain. One of our favourites is our upcycled Ammonite Collection. The Ammonite shown here has come all the way from Madagascar and is around 150 million years old. The precious fossil has been cut in half to reveal its inner beauty and used to make this elegant pendant that celebrates the natural shape of the fossil and its delicate hues and markings. It’s been surrounded with a band of sterling silver and the rear of the fossil remains visible.

ammonite pendant in sterling silver

Upcycled Historical Jewellery 

Here at Hepburn & Hughes, we pride ourselves on bringing history back to life with some of our more unique pieces of jewellery – take our Berlin Wall range for example. These unique pieces have been made from genuine fragments of the Berlin Wall. 

Our pendants have the graffiti visible, and you can see the bright colours shine through. The nature of the concrete means that it may contain features commensurate with its age and history – there may be scratches, evidence of graffiti spray paint and the surface may be cracked and pitted. These pendants are a stunning and truly unique part of history represented through upcycled jewellery. 

Upcycled Military Jewellery

We also focus on pieces from World War 2 and the Military. Our unique collection of cufflinks and jewellery are all made using reclaimed pieces of military craft, including historic ships, and military and World War 2 aircrafts. 

We believe these make for the perfect gifts for aviation and maritime lovers – they are unique, and also celebrate British history. We make Spitfire cufflinks, pendants and rings, Lancaster Bomber and Hurricane cufflinks, and RAF Chinook. We also have a range of HMS Victory cufflinks, rings and pendants, which are perfect gifts for naval officers and sailors. 

spitfire cufflinks, ring and pendant made with reclaimed spitfire fuselage
Louise Parkin