Saturday, 3 November 2012

Balagan Jewellery Review: Beautiful pieces from one of the UK's leading wholesalers

Balanga collections gift boxes KatSick jewellery

Owner and creative director Rachel Parkin started Balagan Group - a UK-based B2B jewellery wholesale business, specialising in 925 silver pieces - in light of her passions for travel, creativity and adventure. After spending three years exploring the Near and Far East, she returned inspired to launch a career she felt different and worthwhile.

Once operating from the modest setting of a back room at home, the business has since expanded to supply more than 1,800 different shops in the UK and abroad, and now comprises it's own offices, design studio and showroom. Balagan's creations now go beyond silver alone, providing pieces made from semi-precious stones, crystal, porcelain, acrylic and more besides. Each of the collections is distinct in style, and in presentation.

This blog post looks at sample pieces from four of Balagan's collections - 345 Wrap, One Wish, Studio and Vintage - which the lovely Rachel sent to me for review.

345 Wrap: Crystal Blue Bracelet

'Wrap, wind, fold & bind.'
345 Wrap Balagan bracelet blue KatSick
The 345 Wrap Balagan collection comprises beautiful strings of semi-precious and crystal beads, designed to wrap three, four or five times around the wrist, hence the collection's name.

I was sent this glint-tastic four wrap, multi-faceted crystal blue bracelet which retails for £36 (less if you're a Balagan Group wholesale customer). The bracelet is presented in a durable - and attractive - plastic, black and gold pillow-style gift box.

Once wrapped, the bracelet is secured by sliding a cute metal flower through a loop on the other end. Each bracelet also features a signature brass '345 Wrap' tag.
345 wrap blue bracelet review Balanga Group
I love the versatility of this accessory - I have worn it as a necklace on several occasions. It's also possible to wear it as a headband, and even a belt if you happen to be skinny enough. The silver thread used to string the beads together is extremely tough (not to mention, very pretty), meaning this bracelet almost impossible to break. Good thing too because I love it!

This exact bracelet is available in seven other colours, but the 345 collection itself is almost endless in the options it offers.

One Wish: Bird Bracelet (silver 925)

'A delicate and pretty collection designed to be worn to create optimism.'
One Wish Balagan gift packaging

The ethos of the 'One Wish' collection is to inspire its wearers to remember a special life goal, and to never stop reaching for such. This makes these the ideal pieces to give as gifts to loved ones, especially since each piece comes presented in an attractive One Wish pouch.

I was sent this charm-ing bird bracelet, which is made from hallmarked 925 silver and hangs from an adjustable wrist cord. This bracelet retails at £12 - very fair considering the high cost of silver these days!
One Wish bird charm KatSick

I really love this silver bird charm, though I currently fear I will lose it if I wear this bracelet outside of the house - I'm both paranoid and very accident prone! I plan to invest in a silver neck chain to place it on instead, along with this next Balagan Group piece which I ADORE...

Studio: Robot Pendant (925 silver)

A 'relaxed, eclectic and feminine' range of silver 925 jewellery.

Balanga Studio gift box

The number of pieces in this stunning collection of silver jewellery is vast - Balagan's 'Studio' catalogue comprises a whopping 60 pages! The variety on offer is great; shapes inspired by the natural world dominate, but quirkier items also feature.

This fully hallmarked, adorable robot is one of the more unorthodox pieces from the range (retail price: £30 with silk-string necklace, more if you want a silver chain).

Balanga silver robot charm necklace KatSick

I couldn't love this little fellow, his gem-eyes and semi-suspended heart any more! This is why I am adamant that he will be moved onto a silver chain with the birdy above before he is debuted. The silk-string he is provided on is really strong, and I'm pretty sure I would not lose him though wear. I just love him (yes, him) so much that I am not willing to take the risk! Also I think he'd look great next to the silver bird, creating my very own bespoke necklace.

The RRP of the robot might seem a little costly to some, but the hard work and detail this hallmarked piece comprises is what makes it so valuable. And - as I said earlier - silver is not a cheap material these days!

Lastly, is a piece from Balagan's Vintage collection...

Vintage: Rose Bracelet

'Full of adorable treasures, this diverse collection features necklaces, rings and earrings  in a contemporary-meets-vintage style.'
Vintage gift box Balagan jewellery

Items from the Vintage collection are delivered in a very appropriate vintage-style gift box, complete with internal presentation pillow. The lovely purple rose and silver crystal bead bracelet I received retails at £16. The link suspending the flower is marked 925 once more.
Balanga vintage purple rose bracelet

I've mentioned before on this blog that I am a little weary about elasticated jewellery not being very strong, but I've no need to worry about this beauty - the elastic used is of a premium quality. I wish I could have taken a picture that could give justice to how fantastically sparkly this piece of jewellery is (note to self: invest in better camera!)

So there you have it, that's all the pieces of Balagan jewellery Rachel sent me. I really hope to feature this wholesale brand on KatSick again in the future, so stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to check out the awesome Balagan at these various locations:

www.balagan.co.uk
twitter.com/balaganlive
www.rebaboutique.co.uk

/KatSick.