AURUM.Ldn is all about keeping real gold in the mix

Says Circe Hughes

Karly Wake is *obsessed* with real gold. What started off as the odd raid of her mum’s jewellery box, or a trip to the pawn shop to find some treasures, led to a full-blown love affair and eventually her own brand, AURUM.Ldn.

At this point, we’re all too aware that prioritising a trend over something long-lasting leads to wasted product, wasted money and an unsustainable industry. We’ve seen how fast fashion can deplete natural resources and drive pollution levels up hugely – but what about fast jewellery?

“There’s always value in gold and I wanted something which would be kept and not worn in a season and then thrown away after.”

It’s never been easier for brands to mass produce cheap jewellery that not only discolours within days, but just doesn’t look as good. Aside from this, the precious metals typically used in fine jewellery are, of course, not going to last forever. “Gold has a limited global supply with increasing demand. We may soon find ourselves in a world where mining and extraction from the earth’s crust may not be economically or sustainably feasible,” says AURUM.Ldn’s founder Karly Wake. So, it’s also never been as critical for jewellery producers to work with recycled materials.

AURUM.Ldn, as Karly describes it, is a “modern neighbourhood gold shop,” an online and in-person destination for buying solid gold jewellery, getting piercings, shopping a collection of pre-loved pieces or dropping off your scrap gold.

As far as recycled materials go, gold ain’t too shabby. Customers are invited to use the scrap service to weigh in any old or broken gold they may have in exchange for a credit note for the intrinsic value of the gold to use in-store or online. Karly then takes the unwanted jewellery (from their own and other scrap services) and sterilises, repairs, cleans and polishes it back to new life.

This forms AURUM.Ldn’s pre-loved collection, a carefully curated selection of one-of-a-kind pieces that have been revamped before going to a new home. Unlike fast jewellery that’s largely characterless, these items are totally unique, from their design to their slight signs of age-related wear that tell an individual history.

The rest of the range of earrings, rings, bracelets, chains and pendants is designed to reflect the big, bold and purposefully brash jewellery that Karly’s always loved. Among her favourites are the D-Shaped Hoops and Stone Detail Wave Clicker, both more subtle earrings with distinctive features that catch the eye. All pieces are either made to order or produced on a small scale, “that includes affordable ear piercings and those one-day-they’ll-be-mine aspirational pieces because everyone who loves real gold should be able to wear it,” Karly says. “This is a brand ethos that will never change.”

But what will change for AURUM.Ldn? Next up, Karly plans on opening her second in-person site, this time in Walthamstow on a soon-to-be-opened mezzanine floor of the womenswear store PAVEMENT. So far, AURUM.Ldn has been a one-woman show, but with the expansion, she’ll be bringing on another piercer to keep both locations open at the same time. Things are just getting started.

2A Ada Street, London E8 4QU