BILL BORDEN SHOOK : The original Nugget Ring jewelry designer

Bill Borden Shook is the original designer, creator, and as the original designer he owns the copyright of the Nugget Ring Design style jewelry. He created several designs based on this theme. They are now sold world-wide for more than 40 years and has become one of the most well-known and famous styles in the fashion industry, specifically jewelry.

Original Nugget Crystal Ring Design by Borden Shook ©

“For over four decades, Bill Borden Shook has been at the forefront of art, fashion, and jewelry, establishing himself as an inimitable artist capable of creating inspiring works in any medium. Best known as the inventor of the iconic Nugget Ring jewelry, Borden Shook’s work is a fixture in American design. As he enters a new phase of his career, Borden continues to embrace his inquisitive nature, pushing boundaries and creating new designs that are as vital as any of his previous works.

These unique creations offer collectors around the world the opportunity to own a one of a kind or limited edition work from one of America’s premier artists.” — Magazine Artist Writer Review

I thought the story of how the original designing of the Nugget Crystal style jewelry started and how I came up with the original nugget ring jewelry design might be interesting enough to talk about here. Anyone interested in having a nugget ring “Signed” by the original designer (me), you can order it from this website.

The most popular style nugget ring gold jewelry design was originally designed by me, Borden Shook, in Los Angeles, in the late 1970’s. I am a second generation fine jewelry designer. In the early 1960’s my father was a designer and manager at Ruser’s Fine Jewelers in Beverly Hills California. My father also worked at Ina’s 14k shop in Beverly Hills and at Cy Sandlor’s and at Tibors on Rodeo, and at DeLucas Jewelers. I started learning from my father at age 11. I often sat in the workshop cutting out wax patterns under direction of my father. He’d sometimes say; “Son, cut out 100 of these style leaves and I’ll give you a penny apiece.”  So, I did, and made many more for my father and started working with him to make jewelry for his customers. At DeLuca’s jewelers in Los Angeles I remember getting an order to make the wedding bands for Ike and Tina Turner. I used the skills I learned from my father to begin working as a custom jewelry designer for many jewelry stores and jewelry manufacturers in the California area in the late 1960’s. I put myself through college by making jewelry for many companies.  I would often walk into a jewelry store and tell them I can make anything here for you and cheaper. One time I got a design order from Ben Besbeck a great jeweler in Beverly Hills. He said he’d like me to design a pin for the famous actress Ava Gabor. That was fun. Later I had a factory on Wilshire Blvd and learned a lot more from my partners there. They were all very creative and expert craftsmen. Then I helped one of my partners open a factory on south Beverly Drive, and later I opened four small jewelry stores around Southern California. My old factory partners are still there on South Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, after more than thirty years. For more than fifty years my father and I have had a close relationship with Kazanjian Jewelry in Beverly Hills, established in 1913. Kazanjian is one of the most famous jewelry companies in the world.

How and why I made the nugget ring jewelry design. In the late 1960’s and mid 1970’s I was interested in art and culture and read many books about international philosophies and appreciated all the great artworks from other cultures. I took some Art & Culture courses at Santa Monica College and UCLA, and courses at the Philosophical Research Society in Glendale. One day I sat down at my design desk and had an idea about making something natural and earth-like, and powerful. I started carving jewelry models into what looked a little like crystals or nugget structures. I made a wide band and started putting the crystal nuggets onto the band. Then I made some texture at the base and between the crystals or nuggets. It looked pretty good. I then went to Pacific Gem cutters in Los Angeles who was one of my customers, and showed it to them. They liked it and asked if they could buy one, and if I could also make one with a space in the middle for cabachon sapphires and other gems such as black star sapphires or blue star sapphires. I also made some variations on the first nugget style ring and delivered them to a few other jewelry manufacturers in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area. They used my designs and began production. They later sold the finished products to stores throughout the USA. Then I found out that over the years the designs were used by thousands of jewelers and manufacturers. I had my signature copyright “SHOOK” inside the original models, but it was taken out by manufacturers. Protecting copyrights in the jewelry industry is much more difficult than the music industry.

If you’re interested in buying an original, directly from me, signed, you can order it on this website, or my other website link. I’ll make them available in 14k yellow, or 18k yellow or white gold.

I’m now preparing an new version of the nugget ring, and other jewelry based on the new nugget and earth styles. Come back to this website to see it as soon as I have them finished. The authentic designs will only be available directly from me, on this website, signed, and with an autographed description attached.

The Iconic Nugget Style Ring

This timeless ring has decorated the fingers of presidents, movie stars, and everyday people for decades. But what about the Nugget Ring gives it such a long lasting appeal? The key is a mixture of innovation and inspiration.

When Bill Shook first designed the Nugget Style ring in the late 1970’s, he never imagined how popular it would become. A second generation jeweler living in Los Angeles, Bill mastered his craft at an early age and became known as a go to jeweler for celebrities. He spent years immersed in the LA counter culture, attempting to capture the spirit of the times through his designs. After endless hours of experimentation, the Nugget design came to him in a sudden flash of inspiration.

“I wanted to make something natural, earth-like, and powerful,” Shook recalls. By soldering together asymmetrical round rods, he was able to achieve his goal to remarkable effect. Nearly every jewelry store he introduced the design to made him an offer on the spot. Custom orders came flooding in. Before long, the Nugget Style was one of the most popular accessories in the city.

In the ensuing years, the Nugget Style ring went global. Everyone from counter culture celebrities to government leaders could be seen sporting the now iconic design. Imitations were inevitable, but no one was ever able to top Shook’s original design.

Example of Bracelet based on original Nugget Crystal design by Borden Shook ©
New nugget ring designs
New Nugget Crystal Ring design original by Borden © 2019
New design original by Borden, 2020, The © Future Ring ™

The “FUTURE RING© BORDEN SHOOK. Re-inventing a classic. Never content to rest on his previous accomplishments, Shook spent years tinkering with the original design, making tiny adjustments to keep it aligned with modern times. In 2020, he came up with a radical reinvention of the design, which he dubbed The Future Ring.

“The Future Ring” represents the temperament and strength of modern women and men,” Shook explains. It’s easy to see what he means. The future ring retains the classic qualities of his original design, but the look and feel is something entirely new.

The Future ring is a bold, androgynous statement of purpose. It can be worn as an engagement ring, a wedding ring, a casual accessory, or an eye catching accent piece. This elegant reinvention of a classic is a worthy continuation of the Nugget Style tradition. On its own, it stands as yet another iconic creation from one of America’s premier artists.

Nugget Head ™ Jewelry and art originals by Borden © 2019
Bill Borden Shook is a famous jewelry designer from Beverly Hills. He and his father designed jewelry for many movie stars, businessmen, and government leaders.

all designs are copyright Borden Shook, all rights reserved ©

Celebrities with designs by BORDEN

For more information or custom orders please contact us at: billshook@gmail.com

To see more Art by BORDEN SHOOK:

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/borden-designs

https://bordenjewelry.com