By Ashley Davis
Pictured are Murano glass bead and 9-karat gold necklaces from Robinson Pelham’s “Arcadia” collection, paired with pendants from the “Cipher” collection. The British brand launched both this summer.
London—Robinson Pelham has made rainbow-colored jewelry a signature, and its latest collections take multicolor styles to the next level.

“Arcadia” represents a totally new direction for the London-based jewelry brand, pairing 9-karat fair-trade gold chains with Murano glass beads in a multitude of bright hues.

Comprised of necklaces of varying lengths and bracelets, Arcadia builds upon previous Robinson Pelham styles by incorporating the brand’s “Ear Wishes.”

Launched in 2008, the best-selling “Ear Wish” charms are sold individually and originally were designed to hook onto the brand’s hoops.

Now, they can be added to stud earrings and necklaces, as well as the Arcadia styles, courtesy of hinged links that ensure the charms lie flat.

“We realized that there was a fabulous contradiction about fine jewelers working with glass, even though glass has been used in jewelry for thousands of years,” director Zoe Benyon told National Jeweler via email.

The Murano glass comes in rods from Italy and are transformed into beads in the United Kingdom via traditional lampworking methods.

20200819 RP insert1Beaded bracelets and necklaces from the Arcadia collection feature hinged links for attaching charms, like Robinson Pelham’s popular “Ear Wish” charm series, which were originally designed to adorn hoop earrings. The links are designed to ensure the charms lie flat for maximum visual impact.

The Robinson Pelham team said the Murano glass, though non-traditional in contemporary fine jewelry, has a responsible element to it.

“On the one hand, glass is created by man while gemstones are created by millions of years of nature. The glass we have chosen gives us not only color but traceability, and we can recycle it, so the whole process becomes an almost waste-free cycle,” said Benyon.

The beads that don’t meet Robinson Pelham’s quality control standards are donated to Beads of Courage U.K., which in turn gives them to ill children.

Benyon explained the range of color available in Murano glass is what attracted the brand to the material.

“The range of color that’s possible in Murano glass is so appetizing, it’s a miracle we managed to whittle it down to these colors,” she said. “We chose all the colors that felt optimistic and positive.”

These emotions are particularly important to the Robinson Pelham customer in the time of COVID-19.

“We are seeing customers whose perspective on life has changed and they need something else from their jewelry—it can’t just look pretty, although it’s essential that it at least starts from there.

“It needs to provide something else, whether it’s a sentiment, confidence, joy or the ability to commemorate. It needs to hold or prompt emotion.”

Beyond the importance of color and the emotions it evokes, another Robinson Pelham hallmark is customization.

The “Cipher” collection dreams up a totally unique manner of personalizing jewelry that is still sentimental but less on-the-nose than, say, an initial pendant.

20200819 RP insert2These Cipher Tags can be personalized with morse code messaging.

“Nessie [Robinson Pelham Creative Director Vanessa Chilton] was researching ID tags and loved the shape of the Italian First World War army dog tags,” Benyon explained of the collection’s inspiration.

“There is something so beautiful about such a functional, brutal item. As we talked about what dog tags stand for today, we realized it can now be slightly different, certainly in civilian life. Your identity tag can say what you want to be, not necessarily who you have to be.”

Playing with the military theme, Benyon and Chilton decided to personalize the tags in a way that would be secret to the wearer and settled on morse code messages—rendered in diamonds and gemstones, of course.

Though available for customization, Robinson Pelham also has a slew of pre-made messages for retailers to stock, featuring words that are meaningful or playful, like “Love,” “4eva” and “YOLO.”

The Arcadia collection retails between $1,300 and $2,100, with Ear Wish charms sold separately.

The Cipher collection starts at $1,825 and tops off at $5,400.

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