Rachel Boston on chunky charms and offbeat jewellery design

Jewellery designer Rachel Boston says her chunky charms are ‘simple designs, made bold and interesting by their scale’

Left, Rachel Boson's chunky charms collection and right, the new Shoreditch flagship boutique designed by Hollie Bowden
(Image credit: Rachel Boston)

London-based jewellery designer Rachel Boston, loved for her offbeat, reinterpretations of traditional engagement rings, has turned her distinctive lens to the classic charm. Her new jewellery collection subverts graphic art deco codes, intertwining vintage elements with very modern proportions to create a series of chunky charms.

The collection coincides with Boston’s expansion into a vast new space in London’s Shoreditch. Her new flagship boutique, designed by Hollie Bowden, makes a chic base for retail, and is also home to a workshop and a private appointment area.

Here, we catch up with Boston, who tells us what jewellery design means for her.

Rachel Boston’s chunky charms

Three chunky charms on necklaces

(Image credit: Rachel Boston)

Wallpaper*: These new pieces celebrate strong silhouettes and chunky forms. How do they stay faithful to your distinctive aesthetic?

Rachel Boston: I've always been a fan of bold and graphic designs, which has been a distinctive marker of our jewellery: we often design pieces with wider bands, bezel settings, double bands... Our chunky charms are a reflection of this aesthetic. The pendant bail is designed to echo our signature knife-edge bands, and the bezel settings offer a lovely contrast between the metal and the diamond – I especially love the yellow-gold versions of these necklaces. They're fairly simple designs, made bold and interesting by their scale; these straddle the line between statement pieces and elegant everyday pieces quite effortlessly. 

W*: What is the inspiration behind them?

RB: I really wanted to explore creating pieces that had a distinctively ‘RB’ look, but that weren't bridal pieces: something that a client might buy as a gift to herself. It's always fun to get to explore bolder silhouettes! I love that these can be styled up or down, and work as well paired with jeans and a white T-shirt as with a pantsuit or dress for a big occasion. A lot of necklaces we've designed in the past have been quite dainty: I wanted a departure from that style, something that felt playful and full of character, but still elegant and grown-up. 


Rachel Boston flagship boutique

(Image credit: Genevieve Lutkin)

What are the main challenges you encountered?

RB: As scale was important in this design, we debated using natural diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds for a while – ultimately, lab-growns won out, as we didn't want these pieces to be prohibitively expensive. The chunky charms necklace collection features diamonds ranging from 1.70ct to 2.50ct, so while we normally favour working with natural stones, in this instance, it made sense to offer both lab-grown and natural options, to not compromise on the vision behind the design. 


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.