Jewellery Collection


The Modern Jewellery Collection is a unique and consistent collection of innovative studio jewellery by creative individuals expressing their artistry in precious metals.


In 1961, the landmark ‘International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890-1961’ at Goldsmiths Hall initiated the modern jewellery collection at the Hall and at the Victoria & Albert Museum. De Beers Diamonds gave £12,000 to sponsor an open national competition to stimulate advanced British Jewellery Design, stating that such designs should be “both experimental and beautiful, frankly belonging to 1961, which would not have been made at any other time; as uninhibited as modern sculpture, or fashion; individual, imaginative and smart”. Such jewels did not exist at this time. The exhibition was a revelation of the potential of the craft and a new respect was gained for it.

From 1961 until 1981, the acquisition policy was dominated by the force of Graham Hughes, Art Director at the Goldsmiths’ Company. From 1981 to present day the acquisition policy has been overseen by the Modern Collections Committee, guided by the Curator, in conjunction with an expert and nationally-renowned modern jewellery advisor. Such advisors have served for periods of up to 6 years, and include David Thomas, John Donald, Jacqueline Mina, Charlotte De Syllas and Daphne Krinos.

The Collection Today

The total number of jewels in the Company Collection is 519 modern British jewels and 80 modern foreign jewels. We have acquired 68 pieces since the millennium.

Jewels entering the Collection should be in precious metals and show above all the creative individuality of the studio artist jeweller. The Collection does not focus on the branded names of Cartier, Tiffany etc., but on contemporary studio art jewellery in precious metals. As a result, such jewels retain their value for their craftsmanship and creativity, and not for their precious metal content or set stones.

Brooch, 2003, De Vroomen Design: 18ct yellow gold and enamel, set with 19 diamonds

Highlights from the Collection

 

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About the Collection

Internationally recognised, the Goldsmiths’ Company has one of the finest collections of silver made in Britain, numbering some 8,000 examples from 1350 to the present day.

Modern Collection

The Goldsmiths’ Company decided in 1926 to begin a collection of modern silver, to improve the design and craftsmanship in the silver industry.

Antique Collection

The historic collection dates from 1550 to 1900 and includes internationally renowned masterpieces.