The Birmingham Assay Office is privileged to have been involved in an industry wide collaboration to produce a brooch fit for a Queen. Members of The British Jewellersâ Association, the national trade body which represents the UKâs jewellery sector, created a spectacular platinum, gold and diamond brooch which was given to Her Majesty the Queen on 5th
December, 2012 in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee Year.
The Birmingham Assay Office contributed by assaying each of the precious metal components, including rare Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English Gold,Â andÂ carefully applying the hallmarks to the final piece.Â Finding a suitable place to put the marks on such a delicate design was a challenge and laser marking technology came into its own, allowing the hallmarks to be positioned with precision without damaging the superb craftsmanship. Chief Executive of The Birmingham Assay Office, Michael Allchin said âThe brooch represents the best of our industry;Â superb traditionalÂ craftsmanship combined withÂ innovative technology, imagination and flair and most of all a generous spirit of co-operation which has created a wonderful piece of which we can all be proudâ.
The design for the brooch was chosen by a panel of industry experts following a national competition open to all UK based jewellery designers.Â The winner was Ivonna Poplanska, a student at The Goldsmithsâ Centre in Clerkenwell, London.Â
Poplanska (26) who is originally from Latvia, came to England in 2005 to study for a BA in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester.Â She was then chosen as one of the first intake of Post Graduate students at The Goldsmithsâ Centre where she has been studying painting and drawing, 3D model making and CAD.
Her design entitled âThe Eternal Doveâ is loosely based on the 'Sceptre with Doveâ an item in the Crown Jewels which, was made for the Coronation of King Charles 11 in 1661. The dove, which is in flight, encompasses four flowers âthe shamrock, the daffodil, the thistle and the rose - chosen to represent the countries of the United Kingdom.Â These are made in rare Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English gold which has been donated by enthusiastic local prospectors. Natural coloured diamonds have been used to highlight these flowers.Â Entwined holly leaves also feature in the design symbolising unity, while the dove stands for peace.Â
âAl l the precious metal and gemstones used in the brooch were donated to The BJA and our members also gave generously of their skills and production expertise to create it in Birminghamâs Jewellery Quarter.Â The production utilised the very latest technologies, provided through Weston Beamor, and married them with traditional, hand skills from Ian Hall at Lasting Impressions. The finished piece is a tremendous testament to the high levels of craftsmanship that exists amongst members of The British Jewellersâ Association,â says the BJAâs chief executive Simon Rainer. âJewellery has always been associated with royalty and we felt it fitting that The BJA, which this year celebrates the 125th
Anniversary of its founding, should celebrate this special yearÂ by creating this exquisite, commemorativeÂ brooch which will hopefully carve its own niche in history,âÂ says Lindsey Straughton the BJAâs Marketing and PR Manager.