Stephen Webster (MBE): Maverick, Mentor and Master Goldsmith

It’s a rarity to find an iconic artisan who is also something of an industry rebel, but Stephen Webster has always blended the two in his jewelry making. The British goldsmith has been a staple in the London fine jewelry scene for over 30 years, immediately carving out a niche for himself as a craftsman with edge. Yet underscoring every unique piece is a long history of artisanship and a true commitment to ethical production. It’s no wonder that Webster counts Madonna, Dua Lipa and Glenn Close among his customers.

Each Stephen Webster creation begins with a rich concept, rooted in art that has moved the designer. This concept is then cultivated further through a mood board, before the specific materials and cut is decided upon. It is works by creative pioneers like William Blake and Agatha Christie that have inspired Stephen Webster to dream up such unexpected pieces of jewelry, without ever straying from the brand’s clear identity.

“My job is to tell a story, to be inspired by something I’ve seen and encourage my team to turn it into something extraordinary, directional and avant-garde,” Stephen Webster declared. “From there we start forming some shapes.”

Frequently, Webster takes his inspiration from darker themes, as with his Thorn and Beasts of London collections. The Thorn series evokes the bittersweet combination of pleasure and pain, as denoted by the ancient and fairy tale interpretation of the thorn. The result is an assortment of intricately twisting silver sterling rings and bracelets, in both sparkling and darker shades. 

Thorn Series

Since the initial collection launched, the brand has added earrings and necklaces in white or black diamond pavé with 18ct white, yellow or rose gold. It’s a classic example of how Webster is always innovating while staying true to the deeper message, pushing boundaries and subverting expectations without ever compromising on the quality that attracts customers to the brand.

The Beasts of London collection, meanwhile, was inspired by the notable animal monuments of England’s capital, such as the lions of Trafalgar Square. Webster wanted to immortalize their strength and power in a wearable, masculine format, which he achieved in a series of bold statement rings engraved with the heads of tigers, ravens and lions. Combining gold and silver metals with black or gunmetal rhodium, the rings are a perfect meshing of strength and playfulness — something of a specialty at Stephen Webster.

Beasts of London Collection

Animals aren’t the only part of the natural world that inspires Stephen Webster; the sea is a regular source of creativity, whether in the form of his latest Hammerhead collection or his iconic Jewels Verne series — a reference to the Jules Verne novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.” The latter in particular conveys the changing nature of the ocean in a range of blue hues, whites and blacks. Mother of pearl and obsidian play against turquoise to capture every watery mood.

Jewels Verne Series

It is no surprise that the environment is more to the jeweler than just a source of ideas. Not only does Stephen Webster devote his time to innovative aesthetics, but he also is committed to developing production practices that are truly sustainable. This is particularly important when sourcing precious stones and metals, which are the backbone of every Stephen Webster piece. 

Fortunately, Webster has been prioritizing the environment since the brand’s inception in 1989 and was one of the first brands to receive a Fairtrade Gold license. Not only is all gold and silver 100% recycled, but each supplier is compliant with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals, and all diamonds are conflict-free, sourced from certified suppliers of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The company even works against single-use plastic through the launch of its Last Straw: reusable silver sterling straws.

This devotion is part of the deeper core of the brand: a commitment to build a force for good. Stephen Webster is invested in supporting the communities who contribute at every stage of the business. Whether through offering comprehensive benefits to staff, fundraising for mental health charities, or fostering emerging talent, the brand is all about giving back. In recognition of the mentoring efforts, which are conducted both in-house and in partnership with the British Fashion Council, NEWGEN and The Leopards, Stephen Webster was awarded an MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales in recognition of his services to the British jewelry industry.

Stephen Webster is a man who can immortalize a lion’s roar on a ring one day and be honored by the Royal Family the next. He honors tradition and the past, while always innovating for the future. He is a superior craftsman, an eternal maverick, and a designer full of dualities. When you buy one of his pieces of jewelry, you get a piece of this spirit too.