Jewellery and Silversmithing students from Kensington and Chelsea College discovered a treasure trove of hidden secrets during a visit to the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Company.
The Company, which was founded to regulate the craft of Goldsmiths’, gave the students an insight into the world of precious metals and introduced them to resources for jewellery designers and makers.
Following a tour of the building the group were shown how to research new designs, techniques and business plans using the specialist material stocked by the Company’s Library. Unusual items like rare books and design drawings attracted the most attention from students.
The tour concluded with a behind the scenes visit to the temperature-controlled archive vault where students came face to face with some of the Company’s earliest records, illustrating the centuries-old tradition of precious metal craftsmanship in London.
Jenny MacDonald, Head of Jewellery Design said:
‘The trip is a key part of our course as the marking of precious metal is essential for jewellery makers . Students described it as the best outing yet and found it fascinating and inspiring to learn about The Company’s history and see the current collections going through the testing and marking process.’
The Goldsmiths’ Company has been testing the quality of several precious metals since 1300. Its other responsibilities include the annual examination of coins manufactured by the Royal Mint and the checking of items of antique silver plate suspected of having contravened the Hallmarking Act.
Date published: 16 March 2011