PIKE Jewellers’ 1st birthday!


Nicholas 1 copy

Hi to all our readers and this month is a celebration as June signifies the first birthday of PIKE Jewellers!

It seems only a short time ago that we closed our doors at Burnside Village and began this new chapter of the PIKE family business. Through the enthusiasm and encouragement of my wife Helen and the support of Louise and Matthew, our four-member team plus jeweller Mark Draper opened the doors at 432 Fullarton Road, Myrtle Bank.

The small studio has worked extremely well allowing a space for my design work and for clients to view the workshop where their jewellery is made. Throughout these past 12 months Matthew and Mark have created some of the most amazing and memorable jewellery pieces. Among them – a stunning white gold multi-set diamond bangle, a necklace containing Australian chrysoprase, some cuff bangles set with family and heirloom gems, many beautiful coloured stone and diamond rings, striking pendants and earrings, and quite a few pieces involving the birthstones of family members.

At the moment, we are crafting a yellow gold bangle involving 22 gemstones signifying the birthstones of two parents, their four children and partners, and all their grandchildren. It will be a beautiful, colourful, wearable, everyday piece with a lot of special meanings. I hope to be able to show you a photo of the finished bangle in next month’s newsletter.

And talking about birthstones – for June they are Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone:

Untitled copyPearl

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 7.05.50 pmAlexandrite

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 7.08.00 pmMoonstone

I have always had a fascination for cultured pearls whether they are the classic and long established Japanese Akoya pearls (Mikimoto made these famous), the amazing larger Australian South Sea pearls from Broome,  the darker coloured Tahitian pearls and the many choices of Chinese Freshwater pearls.

I have been fortunate over the years to work with some amazing pearls including the South Sea pearls from Paspaley Pearls. I was asked by Marilynne Paspaley to design a range of pearl jewellery forming part of an Australian Exhibition titled ‘Treasure Island’ which celebrated the riches of our country and contained their Australian Broome pearls, Kalgoorlie gold and Argyle diamonds. I was amazed at the variety of colours, shapes and sizes of the pearls.  It was a resounding success in Australia and overseas.

Another choice for June is the rare gem Alexandrite. It is a lesser known stone which possesses a colour change from green to red in different lights. It is often quoted as an ’emerald by day, and a ruby by night’.

Another choice is Moonstone. For those that don’t know, it is a translucent to opaque, milky-coloured gem often cut as a cabochon (a domed top) and looks great set in white metal. Some gems have an underlying blue colour indicating their Indian source. It is a gemstone that also tends to take on the colour of it’s surrounding environment which makes it such a versatile gem to wear.


Now for a birthday question: When did birthdays become so popular as a time to celebrate?

Answer: It is believed that it was when ancient peoples started to notice the moon’s cycles and in particular how the patterns were repeated. These cycles and in turn the seasons were then identified as they happened regularly. Eventually the first calendars were formulated to mark the time and weather changes and other special days. From this tracking system, came the ability to celebrate birthdays and other significant anniversaries on the same day each year.


And what of the birthday cake?

This all began in the Middle Ages in Germany when a coarse bread-like loaf was made for children for a celebration called Kinderfest. Later a sweeter cake called Geburtstagorten was made and decorated often with icing and flowers. So today we see the simplest to the most elaborate cakes made to celebrate each persons special day of the year. I have always been a real lover of cake –  in fact I am eating a piece of warm apple cake topped with almonds and thick cream as I write this blog.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 7.10.48 pm

When I was young I spent many days at Oakbank helping my grandmother Olga prepare her beautiful cakes and puddings. We used to dine with her as a family once a month and she always finished the meal with a great desert. We all enjoyed her sweets. Olga and I once ate an uncooked lemon cake mixture from the mixing bowl before it reached the cake tin as it was so delicious! I remember my mother was quite shocked but it tasted very similar to the cookie mixture flavor used in ice creams today. I guess not all raw mixtures would be so nice!

Also my mother’s sister Jane always made my birthdays special by cooking me one of her pavlovas, a beautiful strawberry sponge or lemon meringue tart. The custom seems to have continued as I enjoy making birthday cakes for my grandchildren – everything from a big yellow duck to a Star Wars Millenium Falcon! With five kids ranging in age from one-and-a-half to ten, I am happy to meet the challenge with Helen’s help. In fact,  why wait for birthdays? In my opinion you don’t need an excuse to eat cake!

More exciting news – we have just started working on our 2015 PIKE Christmas collection and I hope to be able to let you have a sneak preview in a month or so.

In the meantime, keep warm as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder.  Arrange some family dinners so you can cook some hearty soups, hot stews and curries, some yummy roasts and of course some hot puddings and delicious winter deserts. And if you enjoy wine, don’t forget a lovely glass of Pike’s Clare Valley EWP Reserve Shiraz or Dogwalk Cab. Merlot. Cheers for now!



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