Richard Burton was named a NexGems in Professional Jeweller's Hot 100 2014 (

Designer talks gold jewellery, CAD skills and carpentry.

Sitting in the colourful, kitsch surrounds of an amusement arcade, Richard Burton (yes, that really is his name), ponders his inspirations.

“I don’t have a favourite designer but my inspiration always goes back to when I was growing up — in particular I love the over-the-top, old school hip-hop bling of the 1980s.”


Take a closer look at his gold jewellery and you’ll understand how the era has inspired him. His Diamond Tattoo collection features diamond-encrusted crossed pistols and crucifi x and constellation rings, while the new Keeper Chain range features wrap-style stack rings imbued with chunky anchor chains.

“I am very pleased with the way the past year went,” he says, before listing off his achievements. “It was a combination of developing my skills in CAD, winning two awards at the Holts Academy Awards, producing my own collections and securing stockists whilst continuing to work with jewellery designer Tomasz Donocik on his sales.”

Impressive stuff, considering Rich’s original calling was with an altogether different material — wood. He trained as a carpenter before transferring his skills to precious metals in his late-30s, when he began training in Hatton Garden and the Jewellery Quarter.

Looking ahead, Rich is beginning work on a collaboration with a men’s fashion brand and says he hopes to build up private clients in the music industry. If there is one thing you’ll remember about Rich aside from his jewellery, it’s his smile.

Always friendly, he laughs when asked how others perceive him. “They say, ‘what’s George Clooney doing working in jewellery?’"

Richard Burton was named a NexGems in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.