Giving a brilliant boost to the UK jewellery industry on Christmas Day, the Queen wore the winning Eternal Dove brooch, designed by Ivonna Poplanska for the British Jewellers’ Association Diamond Jubilee brooch competition, as she visited Sandringham – the first official outing of the brooch since it was gifted to the Queen earlier in December.
The Eternal Dove design won the British Jewellers’ Association’s (BJA) Diamond Jubilee brooch competition, the object of which was to design a brooch for the Queen to celebrate the Jubilee year. The design for the brooch was chosen by a panel of industry experts following the national competition which was open to all UK based jewellery designers. The winning design, by Ivonna Poplanksa, was made in the UK using platinum, English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish gold and white and coloured diamonds to represent the national flowers of each of the British nations. The Queen wore the brooch on a bright blue coat as she attended church close to the royal estate at Sandringham. She teamed the white metal design with a black fur collar.
Ivonna Poplanska’s design is inspired by an existing Crown Jewel called the Sceptre with Dove, originally made for the Coronation of King Charles II in 1661. The brooch aims to continue the theme of the dove as a sign of peace and unity, while the dove is depicted as in flight to represent how the design has developed from its 1660’s counterpart to the freedom of today. “All the precious metal and gemstones used in the brooch were donated to The BJA and several members also gave generously of their skills and production expertise to create it in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The production utilised the very latest technologies, provided through Weston Beamor, and married them with traditional, hand skills from Ian Hall at Lasting Impressions. The finished piece is a tremendous testament to the high levels of craftsmanship that exists amongst members of The British Jewellers’ Association,” says the BJA’s chief executive Simon Rainer. The Birmingham Assay Office is privileged to have been involved in an industry wide collaboration to produce this brooch which is fit for a Queen.
The Birmingham Assay Office contributed by assaying each of the precious metal components, including rare Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English Gold, and carefully applying the hallmarks to the final piece. Finding a suitable place to put the marks on such a delicate design was a challenge and laser marking technology came into its own, allowing the hallmarks to be positioned with precision without damaging the superb craftsmanship. Chief Executive of The Birmingham Assay Office, Michael Allchin said: “The brooch represents the best of our industry; superb traditional craftsmanship combined with innovative technology, imagination and flair and most of all a generous spirit of co-operation which has created a wonderful piece of which we can all be proud”.
“Jewellery has always been associated with royalty and we felt it fitting that The BJA, which this year celebrates the 125th Anniversary of its founding, should celebrate this special year by creating this exquisite, commemorative brooch which will hopefully carve its own niche in history,” says Lindsey Straughton the BJA’s Marketing and PR Manager.