Jewellery production in its classic form started to die out in the 20th century. Now there is resurgence in the interest of quality pieces created by the masters of the trade. In England, Birmingham has been instrumental in offering an area that has experienced a rejuvenation of the jewellery trade.
Largest Concentration Of Jewellery Makers In Britain
The quarter is fast becoming Birmingham’s most historic and vibrant gem and many locals and tourists are discovering an area that is home to over 800 businesses, 100 specialist retailers and more than 50 contemporary designers. It is the UK centre for jewellery production and the gorgeous architecture, beautifully restored buildings and thriving community have been built around this gem and precious metal heritage.
The jewellery quarter Birmingham dates back more than 250 years and has over 200 listed buildings, many of which are home to the largest concentration of jewellery makers in the UK and in many cases most of the word. In addition to the exquisite jewellery created locally, designers and other creatives have also flocked to the area and galleries, small boutiques and restaurants have cropped up on every corner.
An Historical Area Reborn
The jewellery quarter Birmingham is situated in the south of Hockley, in the city centre and is home to more than 3000 people who live in the refurbished and rehabilitated apartments. Many of these apartment buildings were old factories or involved in gold and jewellery production more than 100 years ago and the rich heritage of the area is evident wherever you go. The area stretches across 1.07 square kilometres and is highly sought after for both business premises and for those who wish to live right in the hub of this vibrant and exciting area.
There is so much to do and see and top recommendations include:
– Visiting a master jeweller
– Watching gold and silversmiths at work
– Visiting the heritage museum
– Conducting a walking tour and admiring the architecture
– Visiting the Assay Office
– Having a meal at one of the restaurants housed in a listed building
– Buying a unique piece of jewellery
More than 40% of all jewellery made in the UK is created in this quarter and the area is home to the world’s largest Assay Office. An Assay Office hallmarks the jewellery, or certifies it and the Birmingham office assays more than 12 million items a year. They also provide nickel testing, plating thickness determination, metal analysis, gem certification and other services all related to the precious metal industry.
A Gem In History
The area has been the birthplace of many advancements in industrial technology and during the industrial revolution it thrived. It was at its peak in the 1900s when it employed over 30,000 people in various trades. It declined in the 20th century due to lack of demand and overwhelming foreign competition, but it is now experiencing a resurgence that has once again made it famous.
The rich heritage and vibrant and creative atmosphere sees many people flock to the area and it is truly a hidden gem that deserves to be uncovered, explored and appreciated.
Ilena is an experienced historian and jewellery expert who writes extensively for Marlows Diamonds. One of her hobbies is restoring old jewellery and she enjoys discovering the history of the pieces she is working on. Ilena knows the jewellery quarter Birmingham has the most experienced diamond experts in the world and regularly consults with them regarding new pieces she is working on.