Scottish gold, pure and magnificent as the Highlands, is taking centre stage this year as the bright, new inspiration for the 150-year-old, Edinburgh-based jewellery business Hamilton & Inches.
In what the company is describing as ‘the most exciting event in Scottish jewellery for generations’, Hamilton & Inches’ master jeweller Chay McClory, goldsmith Anita Fodor and trainee goldsmith Jenna Watson are using the first-ever batch of refined 22k Scottish gold to handcraft a distinctive new collection inspired by Scotland’s jewellery past. In an era in which the spotlight has fallen on responsible sourcing within the jewellery industry, Hamilton & Inches is able to lay claim to some rock-solid credentials. Working in collaboration with Scotgold Resources, owner of Cononish gold and silver mine near Tyndrum in the Highlands, and also with the Edinburgh Assay Office, the company is using the purest possible Scottish gold, of impeccable provenance, to shape both the new collection and a number of private commissions.
The most exciting event in Scottish jewellery for generations
From its elegant George Street store and labyrinth of in-house workshops, Hamilton & Inches is excited by the opportunities this first wave of refined gold is bringing to the British jewellery industry. As a Royal Warrant holder – a standard of excellence which has helped to attract generations of clients through the doors, eager to celebrate their most precious life events with something reassuringly outstanding, made with Great British passion and expertise – the company also recognises that access to pure Scottish gold opens up the potential for some very special commissions.
The possibility of creating investable, one-off heirlooms of the future, meanwhile, will not be lost on Hamilton & Inches loyal and longstanding clientele. All of this would be nothing, of course, were it not for Hamilton & Inches’ strong tradition of master craftsmanship, and proud nurturing of much of its own talent. Many master craftspeople have helped to shape the Hamilton & Inches story – displaying a dedication that is highly valued by this much- respected business.
In an era in which the spotlight has fallen on responsible sourcing within the jewellery industry, Hamilton & Inches is able to lay claim to some rock-solid credentials
Its current silversmith, David Ramsay, who joined at the age of 17 in 2007 to polish the trophies for the Royal Highland Show, became the company’s first modern-day apprentice, after two weeks of work experience turned into two months. David – still only 29 years old – has gone on to become a pivotal member of the Hamilton & Inches workshops, rising to become a skilled silversmith under the meticulous and watchful eye of technical manager Jon Hunt. Jon himself was responsible for creating the beautiful Scottish Open trophy and was once entrusted with repairing the Calcutta Cup when it famously became damaged after the 1988 rugby clash between Scotland and England.
Among other pieces, David has created a number of sporting trophies, including replica Scottish Open quaichs. David and Jon continue to collaborate, putting their heads together and their hands to work over every special workshop commission. David has even good-naturedly forgiven his tone-deaf humming, for the exciting bridge he represents to the future of silversmithing in Scotland.
HAMILTON & INCHES 87 GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH, EH2 3EY +44 (0)1312 254898