Sonkai Jewellers. Hand-Crafted Jewellery, Norwich, Norfolk

Sonkai Jewellers in Norwich, Norfolk

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The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 13 January 2017

Emblem 8 - Mustard

Mustard is one of our most famous worldwide exports. Colman’s has been producing mustard in the city since 1858 and mustard fields can be seen across the countryside.

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 12 January 2017

Emblem 7

A canary represents the weaving trade and the weavers who brought them over. ‘The Canaries’ has subsequently become the nick name for Norwich City Football Club.

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 08 January 2017

Emblem 6 - Brewing and Pubs

Known for in the past having a pub for each day of the year. Norwich has a long history of brewing and in recent years there has been a resurgence of brewing in pubs and local breweries.

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 07 January 2017

Emblem 5 - Angels

These are in the Lord Mayor’s crest and can be seen on and in City Hall, they denote the tile of Lord Mayor.

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 06 January 2017

Emblem 4 - Aviation

Norwich has a rich aviation history spanning aircraft production, military and search and rescue
roles. A Norwich firm which started as an ironmongers in 1797, became Boulton and Paul Aircraft Ltd. 

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 05 January 2017

Emblem 3 - Printing

The first printing press in England was in Norwich allowing for printed material for the masses.

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 04 January 2017

Emblem 2 - Norwich Castle

One of Norwich’s most famous landmarks, built by the Normans as a Royal Palace 900 years ago. From a palace and later as a prison, it now hosts a museum and art gallery. 

The Mayoral Chains

Posted By: Sara, 03 January 2017

Emblem 1 - Chocolate

Norwich has had a sweet relationship with chocolate, from the Caley’s factory which began making it in 1886. Manufacturers have since included Mackintosh in 1932, merging with Rowntree in 1969 and the new Caley’s of Norwich 1996 and Gnaw 2011.  Up until 1996 when the city centre factory closed, there was often a strong smell of chocolate in the city.

Hello Sonkai Fans!

Posted By: Sara, 10 December 2016

Hello Sonkai fans! 

I have taken over the Sonkai Blog (insert evil laugh), and I thought it would be nice for us to have a little catch-up on what’s been going on in the last few months.

As I’m sure many of you know (considering I’ve been bombarding your Instagram feeds for weeks), we’re celebrating a very special birthday this year! It’s been 10 years since we first opened our doors, and we’ve had one hell of a year to mark it!

We’ve launched our own collection of high-quality silver,gold plated, and gold jewellery. (Whoop!) Using both nature and Norwich as our inspirations we have developed three ranges – Pebble, Flint, and Reed – with earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even cuff links on offer (including our behemoth Flint Cuff, which is definitely worth coming to see!), there’s plenty to choose from. Hint – It’s that time again… Christmas is coming!

Following a long and successful weekend exhibiting at the International Jewellery London 2016 show at Olympia, our collections have found their way into several jewellery shops across the country, including Oliver& J in Beccles and e-commerce giant Not On The High Street, so those of you who aren’t Norwich-based, no fear! You can still get your Sonkai fix!

Also at the show, our Head and Junior Designers, Susan and Mallory (me!), entered the Gem Empathy Award competition. They both submitted very different designs for items of jewellery to showcase John Dyer’s Fantasy-cut Heliodor stone, and made it to the final selection. Susan’s stunning Supernova cuff won over all, and she was presented with a certificate,some bubbly, and the Heliodor stone by representatives of Gem-A! We are all very proud of her! The Supernova bangle design uses oxidised silver, 18ct yellow gold and studded with Diamonds, and is due to be made for the New Year!We also have a smaller stone that we plan to make up an accompanying item. (Photos of Susan’s design and her award presentation can be found on our Facebook and Instagram pages, or follow to read the article on the International Jewellery London website.)

The workshop has been brimming with trade repairs, both for local jewellers, not-so local jewellers, and an internationally renowned fashion jewellery company. Along with customer repairs, we’re seeing a whole host of bent and broken jewellery.

Earlier this summer the Norfolk County Council approached us to put forward a new design for the Lord Mayor’s and Sheriff’s chains – the first time these chains have been changed since 1757. Out of three Norfolk-based jewellers, our design was chosen and we have been given the incredible opportunity of making them! In our first meeting with the Council they told us how they wanted the new chains to be a talking point, to tell a story – so that’s exactly what our design entails. The chains consist of 18 different motifs, and each one focuses on a nugget of Norwich’s history, stretching back 1000 years to the reign of Aethelred II and the coins from the Norwich Mint that ran at the time, to Kett’s rebellion in 1549, through to 2012’s successful UNESCO bid, and touches on various trades and buildings for which Norwich is known, such as Colman’s mustard, Caley’s chocolates, and the iconic Market Place. Safe to say, we’re all immensely proud to have won the commission, and to have seen the final pieces being presented to the Lord Mayor Marion Maxwell and Sherriff Richard Marks in October.

The Lord Mayor and Sherriff were kind enough to make an appearance at our 10-year anniversary party, along with a whole host of new and old guests to share the bubbly and gorgeous Figbar cakes. (Seriously, I could live on those little cakes!) We kicked off the event with an interview on Radio Norfolk in the morning, and a couple of days later Craig made an appearance on Mustard TV! That’s right, we’re famous!

All this, and there’s still more to come! I’ll keep you all posted on the news from the workbench, along with various articles, debates,info-graphics, and other weird and wonderful stuff to keep you entertained!

Until next time…


John Wesley Nicholson reviewed Sonkai Jewellers – 5 star

Posted By: Sara, 11 November 2016

John Wesley Nicholson reviewed Sonkai Jewellers – 5 star

11.11.16 These guys are great - quick, expert and willing to take on a job that was apparently 'impossible' for several London shops. Great job, seamless repair, plus a great price and friendly service!

Thank you, it was our pleasure.

Happy 10th Birthday to us!

Posted By: Sara, 07 October 2016

We have been producing bespoke & handmade jewellery since opening in 2006 and since this is our 10th Birthday we'd like to invite you to our birthday Celebrations. Between 10:30 and 5pm on Saturday 5th November, every purchase will receive a £10 gift voucher.  You can even meet the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich between 12 and 2pm. Please come and visit and and say hello.

Custom Jewellery

Posted By: Sara, 06 October 2016

Pictured here are the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich Chains being assembled in the Sonkai shop. We are very excited to be a part of this project and have loved creating these fine ceremonial pieces. 380 rings on these chains have been painstakingly soldered by hand. We can't wait to see them completed and worn.

A little sneak-peek for you all

Posted By: Sara, 02 October 2016

Here's Craig working on the Mayoral Chains today. The chain is handcrafted here on the premises at Sonkai.  More details soon. 

Autumn arrivals

Posted By: Sara, 27 September 2016

No one wants to say goodbye to summer... But hey, now I get to use pine cones in photos!! Featuring our Reed necklace in rose - lovely warm hues for Autumn! 

Christmas Opening Hours 2015

Posted By: Sara, 01 December 2015

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