A young Birmingham jeweller has been awarded a prestigious sponsorship deal with a London diamond trader.

IP Diamonds spotted the work of 27-year-old Kate Smith (pictured), who operates as a sole trader in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, at the Goldsmiths' Trade Fair in London last October.

The company then offered Ms Smith the diamonds to create a piece of her choice.

T he result was her most ambitious piece to date - an 18-carat gold neck collar and earring set studded with 31 diamonds totalling three quarters of a carat.

The price tag for both pieces is #4,760 and they have gone on show for the first time this week at the British Craft Fair in Harrogate.

"I was absolutely amazed when IP approached me," said Ms Smith, who has been operating as a sole trader in Birmingham since 2001.

"I have been working with gold and diamonds as part of my Precious Collection for the past 18 months. The designs have sold really well and must have caught IP's interest," she said.

The 'eroded feel' to her jewellery is inspired from nature, in particular abstract drawings of seed heads, that she developed while still at university.

Originally from Stour-bridge, she decided to train as a jeweller after a visit to Birmingham's Jewllery Quarter museum as a teenager.

She went on to study jewellery at Middlesex university.

She now supplies 35 independent shops nationwide and plans to move into new studios by the end of the month.

"I think since the success of the 18-carat gold range, my priority is now to move into my own studio and continue producing one-off and bespoke pieces for the Goldsmiths' Trade Fair this year."