Eric N Smith 1949 – 2019

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1 June 1949 – 3 April 2019

Scottish jeweller Eric N Smith has passed away at the age of 69. The jeweller was a celebrated designer, master craftsman and jewellery business owner for more that 50 years.

Smith was born in Ralston, Paisley, the elder of two children to Margaret and Alexander Smith, a Senior Designer at the Templeton Carpet Factory in Glasgow.

Eric attended the Croftfoot Primary and King’s Park Secondary, and later secured a bursary to complete his secondary education at the independent Allan Glen’s School, Glasgow. He went on to study at Glasgow School of Art where he graduated in Design, and during this time won the De Beers Diamond International Award, one of its youngest ever recipients. After graduation Smith was offered a place at the Royal College of Art, but instead chose to work in the workshops of Hamilton & Inches in Edinburgh.

In the 1970s Smith set up his first workshop in Hamilton, and then quickly expanded into a bigger space based out of Bothwell from which he designed and manufactured diamond jewellery for 120 retail outlets throughout the UK. In 1979 he started his own eponymous business, Eric N Smith Ltd. Newton Mearns became the base for the business, where the workshop occupied the smallest of five units.

During this time Eric met Yvonne in 1966 and the couple married in 1972. Yvonne joined Eric in the business and headed up the sales team while Eric led the creative element and the workshop.

The Eric N Smith Ltd brand became synonymous with highly crafted diamond and bespoke jewellery, specialising in engagement rings. Smith was twice named as UK Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. Amongst his accolades Eric created pieces for The Queen and the Princess Royal.

Eric Norris Smith was a Freeman of the City of Glasgow and a Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. He was a regular exhibitor at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, some 22 years, held at London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall, a prestigious showcase for artisan designed and crafted jewellery and silverware. In 2013 worked on the re-design of the Glasgow Assay Office Mark, consisting of a tree, bird, bell and fish, based on Glasgow’s coat of arms, which had been first struck 50 years previously.

Over the fifty odd years of Eric Smith’s jewellery career, he had established himself as a talented and award winning jewellery designer with an aptitude for technical drawing and design, he also ‘learnt his trade’ in the workshops of one of the most prestigious Scottish silverware firms in existence and then branched out for himself, where he flourished as a businessman and employer, but also as a service provider to an international array of clientele, many returning as second and third generation clients. Smith closed his business in 2018 due to retirement, by which time the Newton Mearns head office had expanded into a jewellery and luxury goods boutique with an in-house design and repair workshop, which occupied over five retail units in the same premises.

Eric Smith died less than a year after retiring on 3 April 2019. Eric is survived by his wife Yvonne.


Rebecca van Rooijen


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