NAJ Awards 2018

The festively timed Benevolent Society Ball played host to the 2018 NAJ Awards. If you weren’t there… you missed a great night of fun, high fives and fund-raising (£30,000 and rising!). Incase you missed the nights formalities, here's a run down of who won what.

The Highlights

Thank you to every single member who entered our awards. Your success stories are so inspiring, and we are proud to be associated with you, your people, your products and your services. Huge congratulations to the winners and the finalists.

 

 

The Trophy

The Association launched a competition to design the new trophy at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, with the winner announced as Lorna McNaught.

“My design incorporates traditional jewellery making with the modern design software beginning to dominate the jewellery industry,” she explains. “The design is a pickle pot [familiar to anyone who works at a bench or is a regular visitor to a jewellery workshop]; the tools inside the vessel represent each of the categories in the NAJ Awards. For example, the saw frame and hammers for Workshop Employee of the Year and the ring mandrel for the Retailer of the Year. Whether someone has 40 years industry experience or they’re just starting out, the design resonates with everyone and represents all the facets of the industry.”

The NAJ would like to thank the Birmingham Assay Office, which sponsored the trophies, being proud of its long-standing connection with the School of Jewellery.

Huge thanks also go to the School, whose workshop created the trophies themselves.
As well as thanking our judges for taking time out of their businesses to identify the winning entries, we would also like to thank Storecheckers who carried out mystery shopping on our retail entries. We’re also very grateful to the sponsors of the eight categories, and, of course we must thank every member who entered the Awards… so many inspiring stories!

The Winners

Service Provider of the Year, Sponsored by Parify

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Winner: Facets PR

Since becoming an independent limited company in 2017, FACETS has expanded its reach and services, now offering celebrity dressing, media buying, social media strategies and community management, influencer collaborations, contract publishing, event management and sales. It adapts quickly to media world changes, while working with a wide range of clients, from international brands to high street retailers.  

 It also showcases its clients and guest brands through showrooms during London Fashion Week and hosts Couture London, a Bond Street showroom for fine jewellery designer brands, open to VIP customers, press and buyers each June. This year FACETS opened offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Who made the shortlist?

  • Bransom Retail Systems
  • Facets PR
  • Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office
  • JHJ Consultancy
  • Nason Foster

  

Jewellery and Watch Supplier of the Year, Sponsored by Inhorgenta Munich

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Winner: London DE

London DE is the UK’s leading supplier of certified diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other coloured gemstones. It ethically sources and supplies loose stones and creates bespoke handmade jewellery in its Hatton Garden workshops. See p.51 to learn more.

Who made the Shortlist?

  • Anchor & Crew
  • Hockley Mint
  • London De Limited
  • PJ Watson
  • Raw Pearls

Workshop Employee of the Year, sponsored by Presman Mastermelts

Winner: Martine Gregory, Lumbers

Following a YTS training scheme learning lost wax casting and after three years working in a manufacturing workshop at H Gomersall Group, Martine became the sole goldsmith of Lumbers Jewellers in Leicester. Being the entire workshop resource of a busy retail store is a challenge; however no matter how big or small the project, Martine gets the job done. She embraces the company ethos of: ‘the answer is yes, what’s the question?’ 

After 37 years she’s the workshop’s mainstay, embracing repairs and bespoke manufacturing with relish. Self-taught, she’s worked upon, and made and repaired very fine jewellery. Martine also shares her knowledge with clients on workshop days, when they learn the basics of goldsmithing. 

Who made the shortlist?

  • Martine Gregory, Lumbers
  • Scott Loveday-Millar, WE Clark & Son, Lewes
  • Jess Hunt, Watling Goldsmiths, Lacock
  • Ben Parry, Wongs Jewellers, Liverpool
  • Sarah Ingram, Spectrum Fine Jewellery, Battle

Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Hockley Mint

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Winner: Bond Jewellery and Diamonds

Passionate about creating exquisite, handcrafted pieces and delivering a unique, personalised service, Bond’s ethos centres around delivering the sentiment and prestige of a custom-made jewellery commission through its team of master goldsmiths and an innovative and personalised approach to customer service.   

With a luxurious showroom and workshops in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, it crafts each piece in the UK. Clients are invited to work with their own designer, modifying and tailoring Bond’s designs or creating from scratch. Bond has a scrupulous diamond screening process and educates clients on diamonds and their attributes, leading to confident and informed purchasing.

Who made the shortlist?

  • Bond Jewellery & Diamonds
  • Clogau
  • Firths Jewellers
  • R J Morris Jewellers
  • Wongs Jewellers

Designer of the Year, sponsored by Clogau

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Winner: Claudia Bradby

Designed in the UK for over 15 years, Claudia Bradby is a pearl jewellery specialist using highest quality freshwater pearls and rhodium plated silver. Claudia’s ambition is to make pearls accessible to all women, appropriate for all occasions, through thoughtful, modern and relevant design. 

The pearl is at the heart of the company, every design, every collection. No two pearls are the same – each stone has a different shape and lustre, each design a different way or spirit in which it can be worn. Claudia Bradby jewellery is designed to work together, forming a complete modern pearl wardrobe.  Many pieces have adjustable lengths, and separate elements allowing for many looks within one item.  

 Who made the shortlist?

  • Claudia Bradby
  • GFG Jewellery by Nilufer
  • Martick Jewellery
  • Julien Riad Sahyoun
  • Vixi Jewellery

Website of the Year Winner, sponsored by IJL

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Winner: Cookson Gold

With over 18,000 products Cookson is dedicated to helping the jewellery making industry. It has a range of bullion cut to requirements, as well as tools, ­ findings, chain, wedding ring blanks, packaging and much more! It stocks the industry’s biggest brands.

Cookson also offers bespoke manufacturing capabilities, stampings and additive manufacturing services. It’s the leading UK expert in precious metal scrap, offering payments on gold, silver, platinum and palladium. A one-stop source for all things jewellery making! 

 Who made the shortlist?

  • Clogau
  • Cooksongold
  • Gemporia
  • Henryka
  • Kashka London

Sales Person of the Year, sponsored by Windiam

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Winner: Clare Tyler, Purely Diamonds

From creating invoices on a typewriter in the late ‘70s, to sending emails today, Clare has seen Purely Diamonds and consumer develop through technology changes and jewellery style developments, and always puts the customer first. She’s continued to stay fully trained on all communication methods to ensure she’s able to offer the best help possible. 

Her knowledge of jewellery and the industry ensures all customers’ needs are met. From sourcing diamonds of a particular quality, to working with the design team on bespoke requests, Clare stays one step ahead. Farringdon-based Purely Diamonds has been at the forefront of the bridal jewellery industry since it began in 2005, with its foundations reaching back to 1979.

Who made the shortlist?

  • Clare Tyler: Purely Diamonds
  • Hollie Francis: Henryka
  • Kate Earlam: Taylor & Hart
  • Lisa Foxcroft: Wongs Jeweller
  • Zee Robinson: Claudia Bradby

Member of the Year, sponsored by TH March

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Winner: Hockley Mint

In 1953 the Merrell family created a specialist casting company in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, offering quality precious metals and showcasing the skill of British craftsmen and women. By 1992 it expanded into finished mounts, fine jewellery, polishing, setting and bespoke design – Hockley Mint was born.

Today, both businesses operate side-by-side, one of the largest independent jewellery manufacturers in Europe, specialising in everything from handcarved waxes to ready-to-wear collections. The name associated with its award-winning bridal mounts and wedding bands, Wedfit™, has become recognisable in the trade. Apprentices, long-serving staff, managers and third generation Merrell family work closely together, for their customers and for the betterment and reputation of British manufacturing.

Who made the shortlist?

  • Bond Jewellery & Diamonds
  • Cadfolio
  • Hockley Mint
  • Sheila Fleet Jewellery
  • Warrior Doors