A Dumfries man’s passion for pebbles has inspired the creation of a unique landmark birthday gift, with a piece of Scottish jewellery worth over £2,000.
Scottish stones enthusiast Alan Brown was thrilled when wife Linda commissioned leading Edinburgh jeweller Alistir Tait to create his own original pebble bracelet for his 60th birthday.
Retired nurse Alan had long been fascinated by the displays of pebble jewellery at Alistir’s famous Rose Street shop, inspiring him to produce a design of his own.
The excited couple took the design to Alistir – who was delighted to offer his expertise and create the stunning multi-stone bracelet for Alan’s birthday.
Alistir said: “What makes this bracelet so unique is that it combines a host of gems and stones from a wide range of regions throughout Scotland. I was thrilled to create this piece for Alan, who takes genuine pleasure in Scottish precious stones.”
The bracelet includes semi-precious black Morion stones which Alistir found himself on a gem-hunting mission at Beinn A’ Bhuird. These alternate with Cairngorms cut en cabochon, another native Scottish quartz which resembles a dark amber.
Alan was also excited by the inclusion of pale blue scapolites and dark green serpentines from Shetland – the islands he holds close to his heart after living there for two years.
The piece also comprises pink and grey granites from Aberdeen and Corrennie, red and yellow jaspers from Strathblane and agates from Montrose and Perthshire.
The Elie ‘Ruby’ set in the end clasp finishes the piece with an exquisite added detail.
Alan said: “I have always loved Scottish pebble jewellery and admired the vibrant displays in Alistir’s shop. Linda encouraged me to approach Alistir about commissioning a special piece for my 60th birthday.
“When I came up with the idea for my bracelet design, Alistir was really encouraging, explaining how it could be adapted for actual production.
“My original design had sharper points, but Alistir knew these wouldn’t mould to the wrist, so he cut through the middle to smooth the linkage.
“The result was Alistir reversed my design to create a piece that worked, using a display of coloured stones that blend beautifully together.
“The use of Shetland gemstones makes it even more special to me as I came to really love the island when working there.
“I have always simply loved pretty jewellery, and what Alistir created for me is a truly outstanding, absolute original.”
Alan and Linda paid £1,000 for the bracelet, although Alistir has estimated its actual market value at being over £2,000.
Alan keeps his bracelet just for special occasions, but it always comes out when he and Linda indulge their favourite pastime of old time dancing.
He said: “If we go out dancing or for a special event I’ll wear the bracelet. Anytime I’m dressed up wearing my kilt, you can be sure I’m wearing the bracelet as well.”
Alistir Tait is a leading Scottish gemmologist, who specialises in Scotland’s rich heritage of gemstones.
The successful jeweller’s shop Alistir Wood Tait Antiques & Fine Jewellery at 116 Rose Street is one of Edinburgh’s best loved independent shops.