The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is an historic industrial area of international importance located immediately to the north and north-west of Chamberlain Square in the centre of Birmingham. The area is notable for its dense mix of converted houses, factories and ancillary buildings dating from the late 18th century to the present day and largely associated with the production of jewellery and small metal wares. The significance 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 an important repository of traditional craft skills, industrial processes and historic tools and machinery.
Now occupying a space in the famous Birmigham Jewellery quarter is the London Badge and Button Company owned by Toye Group of companies. The London Badge and Button Company has over 30 years of experience in design and development of fine silver-gilt and silver designer cufflinks for high fashion men's accessories retailers.
Toye, Kenning and Spencer are one of the oldest family run businesses in the world, having been established in England over 300 years ago by a family of Huguenot refugees the Toys. Since 1685 members of the Toye family have been using their skills to create fine identity products for both the civil and military markets.
The company has excelled in the making 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 production. Their craftsmen and women combine the traditional skills of working in precious and non-precious metals with todays modern technology to produce a vast array of quality products.
The product range has expanded considerably over the years and now includes: medals, enamelled badges, civic & societys regalia, ceremonial chains, traditional handcrafted enamels, corporate jewellery, awards, and trophies. The company also offers a free design service; designing and manufacturing products to customers exact requirements, and excels in one off bespoke products and small run production. They are also able to undertake the specialised service of renovation and refurbishment of presentation jewels and pendants of office.
KJD Jewellers is also part of the Toye family they manufacture hand crafted, very high quality vitreous enamel on precious metal designer cufflinks, to supply Jewellers and high end retail outlets throughout the world. Enamelling has its own unique history 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 usage of smalto in Italian, email in French and German and enamel in English.
It is thus defined as a vitreous, glass like coating fused on to a metallic base. In history, enamels were initially applied on firstly gold, then silver, copper, bronze and more latterly on iron and steel. The term is also used for the application of decorative fusible glass applied to glass objects.
The earliest known enamelled objects were made in Cyprus in around the 13th century BC during the Mycenae period. Six gold rings discovered in a Mycenae tomb at Kouklia were decorated with various vitreous coloured layers fused on to the gold.
Now in modern times enamels are used to decorate cufflinks of all shapes and sizes using traditional methods supported by modern technology, often combined with Swarovski Crystals, another favourite amongst jewellery designers.
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Patrick McMurray is an Australian designer based in Perth and famous for his luxury silk ties Patrick collaborates with textile designers in England, China and Australia. He is an avid blogger and creator of designer silk ties and recognised for Wiifm Business Networking in Perth