UK Jewellery and Precious Metals Industry launches Diamond Jubilee celebrations
Birmingham jewellery designers and manufacturers featured strongly at a glittering event to launch the Commemorative Hallmark for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier this week.
Key members of the jewellery industry, including retailers, designers and manufacturers gathered in Goldsmiths’ Hall at an event jointly hosted by the Goldsmiths’ Company and the four UK Assay Offices, London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. The launch was attended by HRH Princess Michael of Kent who witnessed the first Jubilee marks being formally struck.
The creation of a celebratory Diamond Jubilee Hallmark follows a tradition established in the twentieth century when commemorative hallmarks recognised the Silver Jubilee of George and Mary in 1935, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002. There was also a special mark for the Millennium which proved extremely popular, being stamped on over five million pieces. Examples of pieces bearing these special marks, taken from the Assay Offices’ own private collections, were on display at Goldsmiths’ Hall.
The event was an opportunity for Birmingham to showcase its skills, with displays of articles already marked with the new Jubilee mark since it became legal on 1 July. The Birmingham Assay Office had selected items to demonstrate the wealth of talent in the Birmingham jewellery trade. These included rings, pendants and necklaces by Birmingham based International Designer Fei Liu who uses cutting edge technology to produce distinctive statement pieces. Established designer maker James Newman showed contemporary rings in gold and platinum and family firm Broadway and Co, founded in 1900, offered an elegant silver collared decanter, proving their ability to bring a stylish modern twist to a classic item. The extravagant collection of silver spoons from Toye, Kenning and Spencer, featuring fabulous enamelled “Queens Beasts”, completed the range, confirming that Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter remains a world class centre of talent, niche expertise and experience.
Jewellery and Silverware items bearing the commemorative Diamond Jubilee Hallmark are expected to be in high demand over the next 18 months as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics make 2012 a year to remember. It has never been a better time to UK PLC to shine!