It is indisputable that while costume items make jewellery accessible for all budgets, at the other end of the scale bespoke, top quality items are some of the most valuable assets imaginable. Take the Crown Jewels as a particularly famous example. Kept in the Tower of London and worn by the Sovereign of the United Kingdom during state functions including the coronation, the Crown Jewels have been estimated to be worth in the region of 20 million pounds.
It is no wonder then that when raising funds for charitable causes, particularly generous benefactors will occasionally donate items of jewellery that can raise staggering amounts of money for charity. There have been some wonderful examples recently of how generosity based around both people’s family heirlooms and the generosity of jewellers themselves have benefited thousands of people.
In December 2013, jewellery brand Carat reached a milestone anniversary of 10 years since the brand began. They considered putting on an anniversary party but, cleverly, somebody in the organisation realised that the amount they would spend on such a frivolous celebration could be much better used elsewhere.
That’s why their UK general manager instead presented a cheque for £10,000 to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. Tragically, one in three people in the UK will get cancer at some point during their lives. Macmillan are there to support people dealing with the disease on every level. They provide medical, financial and emotional support and battle for better cancer care in the UK. It goes without saying that while Carat’s members might rue the lack of an anniversary celebration, Macmillan will put the £10,000 to much better use.
Also in the UK, over £1,700 was raised for the Air Ambulance and the NSPCC at a jewellery event in the stately home, Chatsworth House. The event was run by CW Sellors jewellers and featured displays from renowned international brands such as Faberge and Kreiger. Activities during the event were used to raise well needed funds for charity.
In America, jewellery designers have gone one step further in establishing a brand called Jewelry for a Cause. This is based around the development of inexpensive, fashionable items that schools and charities can sell at a profit to raise money. They also work with people around the world, allowing them to use their craft and creativity to create a sustainable living for themselves and their families.