886 By The Royal Mint: Award-Winning Sustainable Jewellery

By CTH Editors

6 months ago

886 By The Royal Mint is a Great British Brand 2024


886 By The Royal Mint is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book.

886 By The Royal Mint: Great British Brands 2024

‘Our second collection really saw our design language evolving and taking shape. Our first and core collection was intentionally subdued to reflect the sustainable and social reasons for 886 coming into existence, whereas the latest Tutamen collection feels more exuberant and exploratory.

The Royal Mint moved to south Wales in the 1970s to create jobs when the mining industry collapsed and became one of the biggest, if not the biggest, employer there. With the use of coins decreasing, we’re retraining people to make jewellery, across a variety of skills, from polishing to soldering.

Our sustainable jewellery is made from waste gold and silver and we’ve built a massive refinery the size of multiple football pitches that breaks down electronic waste and sorts it. Alongside gold, we end up with numerous metals like tin and copper and there’s even a gas that we can use as clean fuel.

Our jewellery is original because we use our coin manufacturing machinery to ‘strike’ or squeeze metal into shape, giving our jewellery a desirable different weight and energy – most jewellers couldn’t consider that because of the expense.

We have about 70 different styles in nine and 18 carat gold, which I think AI could really help me with, because the way I design is a bit like a manual version of AI – I always create a mood board full of visual, structural, historical and literary references and then blend all those disparate elements into a visual map.

Before the 17th century coins were like thin pancakes so people started trimming gold from their edges – a crime of treason which and carried the death penalty. Part of the Tutamen collection was inspired by these gnarly curls, “toenail hoards” as they were known, and I designed a showpiece necklace comprising beautiful spirals.’

Dominic Jones, creative director

886 By The Royal Mint is a Great British Brand 2024

Five Proudest Moments

  1. Launching 886 in 2022 with gold reclaimed from electronic waste, helping to preserve our natural resources and significantly reduce our jewellery’s carbon footprint.
  2. Being the first in our industry to use silver, reclaimed from NHS and other hospitals’ discarded X-ray films.
  3. Being chosen by Elton John in our launch year to create bespoke jewellery to mark his farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
  4. Our Poem Cuff made on-site in Wales by reskilled craftsmen of The Royal Mint, becoming our best-selling design.
  5. Being awarded Sustainable Jewellery Brand of the Year at the inaugural Country & Town House Sustainability Awards.

What I’ve Learnt…

  • The importance of patience. Making sustainable choices with 886 has required perseverance.
  • My core design abilities can be translated through many different lenses, like the coin production in my recent Tutamen collection.
  • That you can leverage the heritage of a 1,000-year-old brand through technology, telling stories to a new audience in an engaging way.

886 BY THE ROYAL MINT

House 26 Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London W1J 0PR

+44 (0)20 7408 0714

886.royalmint.com

@886royalmint