CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Surrey jewellery designer, Jon Dibben - every design tells a story

PUBLISHED: 15:20 07 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:20 07 October 2013

Meadow Collar in Fairtrade 18ct white gold

Meadow Collar in Fairtrade 18ct white gold

Archant

Like his jewellery, Jon Dibben’s shop has a quirky elegance. Tucked away in a converted rural brick kilns just south of Guildford, the shop also has a comfortable tranquillity about it; a relaxed haven, attracting jewellery-lovers from all over the south east, and beyond. A hidden gem, they might call it.

So why do they come? Is it because Jon is an award-winning designer? Or because of his growing reputation as an ‘ethical’ fine jewellery maker? For a man who values simplicity, it transpires that the story behind Jon Dibben is more complex than you might imagine.

It’s a well-known secret that Jon’s career began as a teenager, living on a beach in Greece. Surrounded by nature in its rawest form, and with time on his hands to begin making basic jewellery, he developed a philosophy of devoted, careful attention to detail that still drives his company. Now, his history has come full circle, with his interest in Fairtrade and Fairmined gold and platinum. The initiative helps small-scale miners around the world, some of whom live and work in humbler conditions than he ever did. It also has a positive environmental impact, with the commitment of the Fairtrade programme to eradicate the use of mercury in the extraction of gold.

‘Transparency,’ says Jon. ‘That’s what it’s all about, really. We can trace the sources of our metals, as well as our stones, sometimes right back to the mines. We’ve met some of the miners themselves. It means we know that our raw materials haven’t come from areas of conflict, and that the mining process has followed Fairtrade and environmental guidelines. For customers making a really personal, special purchase, that knowledge is reassuring.’

‘The ethical side of what we do, for me, just completes the story. From the beginning of the creative process, I can say where the inspiration came from, where we got the right stone and metal; I can remember the ups and downs of the design and crafting of each piece, until the final polish, before it goes through the doorway from our workshop into the shop, or gets gift-wrapped for a customer. You only get that intimate knowledge by going direct to the craftsman. In the same way, we want to have that more direct, clear route to the sources.’

‘Our customers say they see my designs as future heirlooms. They appreciate the quality of our craftsmanship, and also the fact that we can remodel old family jewellery into something new. Sometimes inherited gold pieces can become new wedding rings, with an increased sentimental value- and recycling metal or stones is the ultimate environmental solution. We’ve also had customers come into our workshop to help make their own wedding rings, which really adds to the meaning of their whole experience. And it’s enjoyable for us too.’

So, the question of why customers return time and again to Jon Dibben’s shop and workshop is answered. Just as those customers find answers, from approachable experts. For them, a complex and sometimes unnerving quest for that special treasure is simplified by knowledge of the story.

• Jon Dibben Shop & Workshop, 40a Smithbrook Kilns, Cranleigh GU6 8JJ. For more information, call 01483 278170, e-mail info@jondibben.co.uk or visit jondibben.co.uk

***

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JON DIBBEN

Jon Dibben has been in his current workshop at Smithbrook Kilns for over 22 years.

In 2012, he was named Best Bespoke Ethical Jeweller by the international lifestyle magazine, Sublime; and he was awarded the Blue Butterfly Trust mark by online magazine and consumer guide to positive living, Positive Luxury. Jon has also been recognised by Professional Jeweller magazine as an industry ‘Hot 100’ trendsetter, and his shop has been peer voted for two years running as a top 50 Inspiring Independent by Retail Jeweller magazine. His work has been selected for the last two years to be exhibited at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Fair in London.

Related articles

More from Surrey Life

Thu, 10:52

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wed, 16:05

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tue, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tue, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tue, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search