The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter can be an model baju batik industrial area of worldwide importance located instantly to the north and north-west of Chamberlain Square at the heart of Birmingham. The importance of the Jewellery Quarter lies in its survival as an inner-city cluster of specialist industrial buildings, and also from its continuing role as the country's main centre for gold-jewellery production. The Quarter is also a significant repository of traditional craft skills, industrial and historic equipment and machinery.
Now occupying an area in the well-known Birmigham Jewellery quarter is the London Badge and Button Organization owned by Toye Group of companies. The London Badge and Key Company provides over 30 years of experience in design and advancement of good silver-gilt and silver designer cufflinks for high fashion men's retailers.
Toye, Kenning and Spencer are among the oldest family run businesses in the world, having been founded in England over 300 years back by a family of Huguenot refugees the Toys. Since 1685 members of the Toye family have already been using their skills to create fine identification products for both civil and military markets.
The company has excelled in the building and stamping of medals and insignia in the last 200 years, and they possess great expertise in the application of vitreous enamel and enamel painting for insignia, medal and jewellery creation. Their craftsmen and women combine the traditional skills of working in precious and non-valuable metals with todays modern tools to produce a vast selection of quality products.
The product range has expanded considerably through the years and now contains: medals, enamelled badges, civic & societys regalia, ceremonial chains, traditional handcrafted enamels, corporate jewellery, awards, and trophies. The business also offers a free of charge design support; designing and manufacturing products to customers specific requirements, and excels in a single off bespoke products and little run production. They are also able to undertake the specialised program of renovation and refurbishment of display jewels and pendants of office.
KJD Jewellers is also portion of the Toye family they manufacture homemade, very high quality vitreous enamel on platinum designer cufflinks, to supply Jewellers and high end shops across the world. Enamelling has its unique background in Jewellery that stems back many hundreds of years. Here is a very brief, summarised history.
The word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan later becoming esmail in Old French. Hence the current using smalto in Italian, email in French and German and enamel in English.
It is thus thought as a vitreous, glass like covering fused to a metallic base. In history, enamels were in the beginning applied on firstly gold, then silver, copper, bronze and even more latterly on iron and metal. The word is also used for the use of decorative fusible glass applied to glass objects.
The initial known enamelled objects were manufactured in Cyprus in around the 13th century BC through the Mycenae period. Six gold rings uncovered in a Mycenae tomb at Kouklia were decorated with various vitreous coloured layers fused to the gold.
Now today enamels are used to decorate cufflinks of all sizes and shapes using traditional methods supported by modern tools, often combined with Swarovski Crystals, another favourite amongst jewellery designers.