Ever since I discovered jewellery label Nallik four years ago, I’ve felt like something is missing without the comforting weight of one of its peerless pendants around my neck. My love affair with this Berlin-based brand started with a gorgeous hunk of grass-green fluorite (similar designs €160), hugged by a strip of brushed brass, which stood out among the more conventional and dainty necklaces in Paris department store Galeries Lafayette because of its raw and edgy unfinished quality. It has become a perennial companion that I still wear almost daily to meetings, dinner parties – and even the beach.
Nallik is the work of Jean Balke, who sources stones while travelling across the globe, then creates pendants around them, without interfering with their natural shape. Each piece is therefore entirely unique. I have since invested in a fossilised shark’s tooth pendant (similar designs €199) and a dusky rose quartz piece (€160) – one of the brand’s bestsellers – and bought a beautiful kyanite and silver version (€220) for a friend in Edinburgh, who is now never without it.
A visit to Balke’s Berlin atelier – where she hosts private appointments with customers – reveals not only her encyclopedic knowledge of the range of stones and their properties, but her belief in matching the right stone to the right wearer. She is known to be sensitive to the specific needs and desires of even her online customers, discussing in detail exactly which size and shape of stone they desire. She has also recently taken the brand in a new, more luxurious direction, creating her trademark necklaces in 14ct or 18ct gold. Standouts in the Pure Gold range include a mottled ruby with dark spots (€890) and an alluring chunk of lapis lazuli (€640).