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Nights in Shining Armour: Collection Q&A With the Designer

Nine Golden Swans necklaces worn with a white t-shirt

After the Nights in Shining Armour collection reveal went live on Instagram, I stayed around for a collection Q&A! Here are the highlights in case you missed them.

Thanks to everyone who submitted great questions and kind comments!

“How long have you been designing this line?”

It started back in November of 2020, and in January this year, we got the first prototypes of the pieces. Then throughout the early winter and spring, we were working on putting the finishing touches on. So it’s been about seven months from start to finish.

“Which piece have you not taken off since you got it?”

My DIAMOND DUST Shield Pendant! It was one of the first pieces that I got in, and I really haven’t taken it off since. I’ve been wearing it all the time and it is such a great everyday piece, I absolutely love layering it with other necklaces. 

“What’s your favorite piece in the new collection?”

Picking a favorite is so difficult! I’d have to say that my favorite piece lately has been the ABSINTHE Hoop Charms. I wore them for the first time during the collection reveal with the SPANGLE Hoop Earrings, but they were actually one of the earliest designs I dreamt up when I was coming up with ideas for the collection. When I saw green moissanite for the first time I just fell in love, so I have to say these really are special.

“How do I order? I need details!!”

This is a great question about how to purchase. The collection is now live on ninegoldenswans.com so here’s where you’ll be able to place your order. Everything is made to order so there is a bit of a lead time. Since this is our first production run, we’re looking at about 4 to 6 weeks between when you place your order and when it is ready to ship out to you.

“In love with your twinkly starscape! Any chance of a white gold or platinum colorway someday?”

Thank you and thanks for asking! Everything is offered in 14-karat recycled yellow gold by default, but we could definitely do 14-karat white gold as a custom order. If you’re interested in getting something made in white gold, just reach out to me at hello@ninegoldenswans.com and we can talk about the details.

I’d have to check about platinum pricing and provide a custom quote, but we can certainly see the collection in white shiny metals!

“What is the price range?”

List prices for most of the pieces range between $400 to $1,500 U.S. There are a couple of exceptions, like the LITTLE SHIMMY Chain which is a great staple priced well under $200.

The good news is that the Friends and Family discount we’ll be offering for the first batch of orders will bring the price point down. It’s just our way to say “thank you” to everyone who has been following along and supporting Nine Golden Swans for the past year!

“Are there particular historic works or motifs from heraldry that inspired you?”

I love this question! I spent a bit of time at the library reading books about heraldry and what heraldic symbols mean. Turns out, there’s a whole language about it called blazonry. I discovered that heraldic symbols, family crest, and the like are actually defined by the words that describe them rather than the images that represent.

As far as design, I was really inspired by the geometric shapes that are typically found in heraldry and how shield segments are divided up with lines. The diagonal line is called a “bend,” and I used this motif in the SAPPHIRE SKY Shield Pendant.

“Can you tell us more about the ‘armour’ spelling?”

Yes, that’s a good catch! I’m an English and American dual citizen, so the >O-U-R spelling had to make its way in somehow.

“What was your favorite part about working on the collection?”

It just feels so good to be designing again. My background is in design – I went to theatre school where I studied costume design – but it’s been a while since I’ve really been back in the place where I’ve had the opportunity to do projects like this, so it was a real treat.

“Will you be offering layaway?”

Yes, layaway is absolutely something that I’m happy to offer to anyone who’s interested. I think it’s a great way to purchase jewelry. We recently updated our layaway policy so if it’s something that you’re interested in, take a look at that and reach out so we can get a payment plan started for you.

“Why did you choose to focus on sapphires, diamonds, and green moissanite?”

It was first and foremost about the color palette. These were shades that I was really attracted to and wanted to work with in my designs. 

And it was also about the sourcing. I was able to use lab diamonds and lab-grown moissanites in an absolutely gorgeous shade of green, and blue sapphires. With the SAPPHIRE SKY Shield Pendant, I did an ombre color gradient with light, medium, and dark sapphires so they really are exquisite. 

The sapphires are ethically sourced – most are mined in Montana and the light blue one is from Malawi in Africa. I found them through this fantastic gem supplier that has so many beautiful gems. I didn’t know this would happen at first but picking this somewhat eclectic mix of gems has led me to several different vendors that I’m just so excited to work with in the future and I can’t wait to keep getting inspired by the rest of their gem selection.

“Not a question, I just love how your logo fits perfectly on all the pieces!”

Thank you! For me, it’s all about the little details. I think they can turn something from ordinary to a little bit more extraordinary. I had a friend help me get the logo just right and it really is super special to be able to include that on each piece.

“What was the most memorable part of this process?”

I think in the future I’ll look back on this as the collection that I designed during a pandemic. During this crazy year, I don’t know what I would have been doing if I wasn’t doing this. It kind of kept me sane.

“The collection looks beautiful, well done!”

Thank you so, so much! And thanks to everybody who has been following along. Your support means the world to me! 

If there’s anything else you want to know that I haven’t answered in our collection Q&A, feel free to drop me your questions on Instagram at @ninegoldenswans, or via email at hello@ninegoldenswans.com.

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