Jeweller and designer James A Estergard

When I met jeweller James A Estergard, I had a hunch he’d lived a little. “I got sick of wearing a suit,” he told me. So he made the switch from the world of accounting to accessories.

Today, his favourite figures are 375 and 925, connoting gold and silver respectively. Unlike many jewellers, he’s happy to use both metals in 1 piece of jewellery. Apparently the common aversion to combining the 2 tones comes from the difficulty that arises if a piece goes unsold and its creator wishes to melt it down to make something else. You see, it’s hard to make 2 become 1.

Hats off to James for taking his 1 life and refashioning it 2 ways. I think his successful reinvention makes him a real gem.

His jewellery can also be worn 2 ways. I purchased 1 silver ring, accented by 2 circles of gold (1 nestled inside the band’s silver bars and another positioned at the intersection of the curves of the band).


Silver and gold ring, designed and crafted by James A Estergard

I’ve also got my eye on James’ “spinner” ring that features a 2-sided dome, with silver on 1 side and gold on the other. The design was inspired by ancient Egyptian rings that incorporated a sculptural element on 1 side and flipped to reveal an official seal for stamping…a kind of mobile office.

James prefers an outdoor office too. You can find him and his jewellery at Melbourne’s Southbank market (located next to the Arts Centre) every Sunday from 10am.

James A Estergard at work at Melbourne’s Southbank market

James A Estergard at work at Melbourne’s Southbank market

Have you transitioned from one career to another? Tell me how you did it.


  • Reply April 20, 2017


    Hi Tonia

    What a delightful place you have created here!

    I found you because I was looking for jeweller James Estergard (your story above) who has been recommended to me to recreate a silver and gaspeite (a green stone related to turquoise FYI). Thank you for showcasing his work and telling a story about him; it was a lovely read.

    In response to your interest in career transitions; I studied Nursing as a 23 year old and only worked for a few years (at the Royal Womens’ in the cancer ward) before I got married and had kids. I had always planned/dreamed of being a stay-at-home mum and though life was tough financially with only one modest income, I did just that happily until my son was 6 and daughter 4.

    In 1999 I got a call from my younger sister who was the GM of an eLearning (that meant CD roms in those days) company in St Kilda saying she was looking for a sales person. I said “So why are you calling me?” and she said “Because I think you’d be good at it”.

    I ended up working 5 days a week from 10 – 2 driving from Endeavour Hills where we lived to Langwarrin to drop one off at school and one at the Montessori pre-school to St Kilda. I drove 3 hours and 150 km a day and taught myself how to sell by listened to sales training ‘tapes’ in the car.

    I loved swapping my dressing gown for a suit, wearing lipstick and being in the office, travelling interstate to meetings and loved being able to be there before and after school for my kids. I felt I had created my life to enjoy the best of both worlds – home and work balance.

    It was a hectic but fulfilling time and set me up well for what has now been a 19 year career in software sales. For the past 6 years I have been contracting to my brother in law as his sole sales agent selling social housing software to not for profit housing providers. I do that from my home/bedroom office and share my home with my two kids; now 21 and 24 and their partners which I am so grateful for. They are all wonderful human beings.

    I feel the quote buy Napolean Hill “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is accurate. The real success comes from holding on the belief, the promise you made yourself and not quitting when it feels like it isn’t working. I found inspirational quotes where what got me through the toughest times especially this one which I had on a sticky note above my desk for years: “The bend in the road is only the end of the road if you fail to make the turn”.

    Love Jen

    • Reply June 27, 2017


      Oh Jen, I am so sorry for my very late reply. I loved hearing your story. How fabulous to be able to work from home(and surrounded by those you love). I also love that quote about bends in the road. Thank you so much for making a detour to my blog, on your way to find James. I really enjoyed reading your story and I’m so happy to see things have worked out so beautifully. You sound like a real gem! x

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