It’s spring and baby birds have been chirping outside my window so I’ve become quite partial to things with birds on them. I quite like this silver hummingbird by Silver Fig. Silver Fig is a husband and wife jewellery design team: Neil and Heather Miller, who are based in Johannesburg. They have years of experience working for luxury jewellers including Tiffany & Co, Bulgari, DeBeers LV and Asprey and Garrard.
How did you meet?
SF – We met in London in 2005 where we were both working for DeBeers LV.
Which city did you get married in? Do you both wear wedding rings? How did you decided on your rings?
We got married in South Africa in a small town called Hoedspruit. Neil’s family own a private game farm there so it was the obvious choice. Luckily most of our friends from the UK flew over to celebrate with us and it was a beautiful day despite a huge thunderstorm nearly washing us away.
We both wear wedding bands and we were lucky enough to be given them as a wedding gift from Neil’s former boss who made them specially for us. Despite the quirkiness of our own jewellery we both went for traditional platinum bands.
Where did you study?
Once I finished school I headed to New York where I took part in the Mountbatten Internship Programme. I studied International Business Practice in the evenings and worked for Asprey and Garrard in the day. After that I headed to Paris to study French at the Sorbonne which is a little rusty these days. Neil studied Jewellery Design & Manufacture in Johannesburg before completing a three year apprenticeship.
What brought Neil to London?
Neil wanted to study diamond grading at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and London is one of only two places you can do that so he made the move. After completing the course he started working with diamonds at DeBeers.
You have both lived in London, New York and Paris, what was it like moving to Johannesburg?
It was definitely different! Johannesburg has a real energy about it and from a creative perspective it’s a fantastic place to be. Johannesburg has been called an entrepreneur’s city and I think that’s true…new stores, designers, markets are popping up all the time. The city is always buzzing with different cultures and languages and sometimes I have to pinch myself that I am living in Africa. The downside is that things sometimes move a little slower than you would like but it is a small price to pay for living in a fantastic city!