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Beauty in imperfection

Friday, 20 July 2018 8:14:50 AM Australia/Sydney

What is oxidised silver jewellery? A popular NAJO technique explained


We talk a lot about oxidised silver at NAJO. It’s intrinsic to so many of our most striking and memorable creations.

But what exactly is oxidised silver? And what is its place in jewellery design?

We’re always hearing about ‘natural anti-oxidants’ in foods, and that’s usually deemed a good thing. Such as the lemon juice that keeps an avocado from turning brown. Or the snack of fresh blueberries that can help to curb disease-causing oxidation in our bodies.

Sterling silver, even of the most superb quality, will always be subject to natural oxidisation. (Unless of course it’s been treated with an anti-tarnish coating.) All uncoated sterling silver jewellery will eventually tarnish with wear – it’s certainly not a sign of poor quality. A little polish is all that’s usually required to bring it back to its perfectly bright white sheen.

What causes silver to tarnish/oxidise?

Despite how it sounds, ‘oxidisation’ in sterling silver terms has nothing to do with oxygen – sulphide is the culprit here. The small amount of it present in the air reacts with the 7.5% non-silver metal (usually copper) that’s found in 925 sterling silver (i.e. 92.5% pure silver). This reaction is what creates the surface effect called oxidisation. (Pure 100% silver, meanwhile, may not tarnish, but it is far too soft to use for jewellery or cutlery or pin dishes. More about what makes sterling silver so sterling here.)

Embracing nature’s way

Sometimes, for aesthetic reasons, a little oxidisation is welcome. There are plenty of DIY suggestions online for oxidising your own silver jewellery, such as by throwing it in a sealed bag of chopped hardboiled egg (really!) and letting the natural sulphides work their charm.

At NAJO, our blackening or oxidising method may forgo the eggy residue (thankfully!), but the sentiment is much the same.

Our designers use oxidised silver like a shadow that throws the polished silver beadwork into sharp relief, accentuating the intricacy of the pattern, as seen in the new Nightfall Ring.


Oxidising silver can also add dimension and character. It can help to echo antique or vintage jewellery, such as the early-20th-century Mexican sterling silver designs drawn from folk traditions and nature which are such a rich source of inspiration for us at NAJO.

On a deeper level, embracing the natural tendency of sterling silver to oxidise reflects the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. Roughly translated, the ‘wabi’ refers to the simplicity of natural beauty, and ‘sabi’, the perfectly imperfect patina that comes with age. 


Interior decors addicts have devoted countless Pinterest pages to the beauty of tarnished silverware displayed en masse, the different colours and matte textures of the oxidised silver collections bringing a one-of-a-kind pattern and texture to a room.

Similarly, NAJO’s oxidised sterling silver jewellery evokes both the exclusivity of a vintage or antique find and the moody drama of a modern masterpiece.


By playing with the natural colour and sheen of sterling silver through oxidisation, NAJO has introduced a fresh, modern approach to ‘two-tone jewellery’. Instead of sterling silver paired with yellow or rose gold plate, this is highly polished, bright white silver paired with the dark, matte black of oxidised silver, a yin-and-yang contrast beautifully realised in our new Founder Earring, Necklace and Ring.


For more stunning oxidised sterling silver designs from our latest La Isla SS19 collection, don’t miss the brand new Mobo Hoop Earring, Shia Hinged Bangle and Big Boa Bangle.


Posted in News By The Najo Collective

La Isla SS19 is coming

Friday, 1 June 2018 9:45:01 AM Australia/Sydney

Your first look: La Isla SS19

NAJO’s upcoming collection inspiration comes from the runway & nature


Let’s set the scene. You wake up, the warmth and brightness of the sun against your eyelids. You hear the breeze through the palms, smell the saltwater on your skin.

Welcome to La Isla SS19.

For NAJO’s Spring Summer 2019 collection, we’ve taken our visual cues from an exotic tropical island getaway. The mood is sultry, seductive. The beauty is clichéd in its unspoilt perfection: sparkling aqua waters, golden textured landscapes that blush to the deepest pink on dusk’s approach.

The island – La Isla – holds mysteries and promises treasured luxuries. The mysteries of deep water and lush greenery translate in jewellery terms to luminous turquoise, blue agate, moonstone, amazonite, rose quartz, amethyst. Those summer luxuries of long uninterrupted days and sun-kissed skin are captured in precious sterling silver and yellow gold plate in both polished and beaten finishes.   

Our new island theme echoes the fashion designs by two champions of the runways for the Spring/Summer 18 Haute Couture shows: Schiaparelli, representing the brilliance of the old guard, and Iris van Herpen, an exemplar of newness and technological mastery.

Schiaparelli’s latest haute couture show, in Paris’s iconic Place Vendôme, explores the idea of a luxury getaway via fluid, delicate silhouettes layered with structured, heavily embellished jackets. Patterns are both naturalistic and geometric – almost Aztec-inspired in warm, earthy colours. The espadrille – that ultimate island accessory – is a mainstay.


In her extraordinary show “Ludi Naturae”, Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen takes a more scientific approach to the island theme with sculptural silhouettes inspired by a bird’s-eye view of natural land formations. In an earth-like palette of muted yellows and greens, greys and blacks, these intricately crafted designs are triumphs of innovation, expressing movement and pattern in entirely new ways.


With Founder Jo Tory taking the creative helm preview the back stage process of the SS19 La Isla Campaign shoot. A beautiful collaboration of strong creative women coming together to produce a new visual language for Spring/Summer.


jo_creative direction3


“This season has been about capturing the sumptuous nature of summer, we want the jewellery to evoke the spirit of a retreat - a luxe getaway and basking in golden hues. Key gemstones being Amazonite and Moonstone, with sun-drenched gold pieces and tribalesque oxidized silver. Runaway to the paradise with us and fall in with La Isla SS19."


Meet Emma, our amazing model who is our muse and embodies the spirit for La Isla, the shoot was shot by the wonderful Ana and the makeup by the artistic Jacyln.



Now you’ve had a taste of island life, interpreted through contemporary fashion and design, are you ready for La Isla SS19?



Posted in News By The Najo Collective

NAJO Street Style

Monday, 23 April 2018 8:17:05 AM Australia/Sydney

Our jewellery in the limelight! We track this season’s most wearable trends


We love to see how stylish women wear their NAJO.

Here’s a quick round-up of the latest local tastemakers, celebrities and style-setters sporting their NAJO around town. Amid our recent bout of social-media stalking/magazine page-turning, we couldn’t help but spot a few key trends emerging.

As Seen On


1. The statement earring is big and back.

Ever-chic Deborah Hutton graced the cover of Stellar Magazine wearing NAJO recently, proving oversized gold hoops are as timeless as they are on-trend right now.

Channel Nine’s Allison Langdon wore our Mali Earrings in striking black onyx when she hosted the Weekend Today Show last month. 

Moody black onyx was also the stone of choice for Sydney-based musician Vera Blue (aka Celia Pavey) who brings her inimitable style to our edgy-cool Jira Hoop Earrings.


2. Layers of fine and feminine jewellery tell a strong story together.

When it comes to delicate and feminine layers, few can do it better than Instagram star Rose McEvoy, who wears her Snowdrop Pearl Necklace at choker length layered with a longer fine silver pendant to keep it looking fresh.

Model Elouise Morris shows how to stack for luxe-yet-understated silver style, pairing our Cinta Hoops in sterling silver with a fine neck mess, including our Like a Breeze necklace.


3. A little gold goes a long way

Model and former Miss Universe Monika Radulovic was spotted wearing our Double Beat Necklace in blushing rose gold plate in a Valentine’s Day spread in NW Magazine.

Meanwhile, OK! Magazine’s Senior Fashion Editor Maya Wyszynski opted for the NAJO Like a Breeze necklace in 18-carat yellow gold plate as one of her new-season go-to accessories.


The only question that remains is: how will YOU wear your NAJO? Shop now >

Posted in News By The Najo Collective