Sarah Ho is right on trend at the moment. With the rise in popularity for personalised and meaningful jewellery, the award winning designer has hit the nail on the head with her fine jewellery collection Numerati which launched in May 2015.
Crafted in 18ct gold with diamonds, this intricate range of rings show visible numbers from one to nine when off the finger and more subtle designs when worn – keeping the wearer’s number a hidden secret. Such a creative concept couldn’t have been easy to create though, so we caught up with Sarah Ho to hear about the vision for the collection and the process of designing the rings.
Q: What inspired you to do a collection of numbers?
A: It all came about from me doing a special bespoke piece for my best friend. He’s always around, helping me out, so we always tend to design together. One day he came to me and said, I want to do a special piece with the number three. So we were working at it to see how we can kind of wrap it around the finger and then obviously the Numerati range was born. When he was wearing it so many people asked him where the ring was from, we basically looked at each other and said ‘Shall we try and see if we can just turn this into all the numbers?’. So there we were, I was at home and he was at home and we were basically on the phone with a piece of paper with each other, doing all the numbers, and taking photos with the phone and swapping notes. And then before we knew it by the end of the evening we had cracked quite a few of the numbers.
Q: Was it always the vision to have the number subtle when worn?
A: Yes, because I think numbers is something that has been done a lot as a motif in jewellery. The idea really for this collection was we don’t want you to actually just wear the number; we want the number to be a hidden secret. So on display you see the numbers but when you put it on the finger the number disappears. That really is the main idea behind the collection. So it really is mysterious.
Q: How hard was it to reach the finish point of this concept?
A: It was really hard. It took us two years to do the collection. When we were doing each ring – apart from just using the front of the ring as a design – we’re using the shank as well. So that’s really the concept of these rings, you have to use the shank in order to create the full number, which is why when you wear it the number disappears. Some numbers immediately lend themselves really well into the idea but you can imagine it was a really difficult process, so with a lot of them, like the nines and the fours where you’ve got these bits coming down, we had to create quite a few moulds to make sure that it was comfortable on the finger so that when you are wearing it, it doesn’t flick up or get caught on the jeans or pockets when you’re wearing it. But they are really wearable. The biggest challenge was to get the ring to sit comfortably and it took a long time to do it.
Q: What are the price points?
A: They start at £1300-£1800. We had to section them accordingly to diamond weight, because otherwise someone will buy the 9 or the 6 and think it is not fair.
Q: Have you launched any other new collections recently?
A: This is the main one that we are focusing on this year and a part from this we have launched loads of couture pieces and we’ve just gone into William & Son’s new store. I think it is quite hard nowadays in the industry to create something that is new and hasn’t been seen before, so that is one comment we are getting a lot.
Q: What’s the future of Numerati?
A: We are now looking at launching them in plain gold, without the stones to offer customers cheaper entry price point. And then next year we are going to be expanding the collection into pendants and bangles. We will slowly go in to other bits first then look at bigger diamonds and colours. Numbers all have a gemstone that go with them, so it just goes on. We have really big plans for this.
We won the IJL Editors Choice Award so we have the zero coming too. The bigger picture is that the zero now will be able to act as a stacking piece, and you can make them up to make special birth dates.
Q: How is the range selling?
A: It has gone really well and I think our social media campaign went down really well. We will be talking about it at IJL in a talk. This has been like a case study so I will be doing is explaining the whole campaign and what we did.
It is one of those things everyone can relate to. Numbers rule our lives and can mean anything – our birthdays etc.
When you do your numerology you have so many numbers, you can do your life path, you can do your love, and every number has different powers to it. So ‘3’ is the communicator, so sometimes maybe you will have a really important interview, or meeting or something you would wear the number three to give that enhancement. It is quite interesting how every number has different meanings to it.
It is a really special gift. The whole point is I want them to be as important as an engagement ring or a wedding ring because it is something that is so comfortable on the finger and it is something that is so personal to you and you have it as your lucky charm. For me it is a ring you wear every day.
Q: Are any of the rings a best seller?
A: The number 7. 7 is quite a lucky number here.
See below for images of Sarah Ho’s Numerati event at Wolf & Badger…