This month we meet Trevor Griffith, the man behind our first 886 by The Royal Mint boutique, located in London's historic Burlington Arcade.
Tell us about your background, what drew you to a career in jewellery?
From a young age, I’ve always been interested in 3-Dimensional design, be it architecture, car or product design. I was born fascinated by the way things were put together and why they looked like they looked… I studied Furniture Design at college and worked for Browns Fashion to sustain myself whilst there, this took me down the fashion path. It was this and selling cars prior to this that got me into watches (many car dealers are watch lovers) and watches and fashion combined drove me to Jewellery.
What is your personal philosophy to jewellery?
I find jewellery completes an outfit and find it a comfort (embarrassingly, I’ve missed flights because I’ve returned home to pick up a ring that I’ve forgotten to wear). Personally, I like my jewellery clean in its design approach and quite geometric, but I have love of ornate jewellery too as I enjoy seeing the engineering within it. I look for innovation and progression when purchasing jewellery.
What interested you most about the 886 by The Royal Mint brand?
For 886 it was its sustainability properties that first attracted me to it. It was like nothing I’d seen before. Having been around a crazy amount of jewellery in my career, having sold all of the major and most cutting-edge brands of jewellery, I had never come across anyone trying to do what The Royal Mint were doing. Though some of the jewellery had a familiarity about it, it was born of real innovation. It also had a beautiful quality most jewellers would find difficult to replicate.
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
It’s a pleasure to help clients find that something special either for themselves or someone that is important to them. We enjoy creating an enjoyable experience for those visiting the store. We have a lovely environment where you can see the pieces in the flesh. You can try them on and receive expert advice from our sales consultants and in-house jeweller. Together they will help achieve the best fit and choose the most suitable pieces. Though we have only been open for a short time, we get many people returning to add to pieces they have already purchased.
What trends have you seen emerging in jewellery over the past season?
I’ve noticed a move away from attention grabbing stones in jewellery. With the trend moving towards quiet luxury, clients are demanding pieces they can wear safely every day. They still desire beautiful and elegant pieces, but they seem to prefer alternative jewellery crafts displayed on their jewellery rather than lots of precious stones. Echoing this trend, we’ve recently launched a Chain Bar in store. From this we sell a range of beautiful classic chains in several differing styles available in three different metals, silver, 9ct and 18ct yellow gold. We sell them by the inch, so you can get a really beautiful chain ring, bracelet or a chain necklace in any length you desire. Our in-house jeweller will make these up for you and is able to personalise these for you too.
Can you give us your advice on building a jewellery collection?
If you are thinking of building a jewellery collection, my best advice to you is to search for the best quality you can afford and find something that you will enjoy wearing for a long time. The longer and more constantly it is worn, the more you will feel you’ve achieved value for money. Buy something that speaks to and resonates with you most as this will help you enjoy it more. Don’t be afraid to mix metals, the contrast is great if worn in a balanced way.
What pieces do you think will always be popular?
From the 886 collection, I feel the bangles will be always popular; they are secure but can be removed and are so easy to wear. A future classic. They were an instant hit since they launched. I feel the Tutamen band ring will be a hit too! It has such an air of familiarity and will resonate with so many people who have used and seen those early pound coins, a time when coin use was at its height.
Can you tell us something which people would be surprised to hear about the brand?
The Royal Mint is over 1,100 years old, so steeped in history. Working with precious metals for that length of time means they have a wealth of experience using them. To have existed since the year 886 requires reinvention at times, so we are used to adopting a progressive approach to problem-solving. Sustainability is of huge importance to us; thanks to new chemistry we have invested in, The Royal Mint is in a unique position. We can sustainably recover the gold from electronic waste with innovative chemistry. We also use silver recovered from medical X-Rays. This provides the perfect end of life solution for these materials that would be ordinarily discarded. We can now change them into something wearable that can be also passed on to the next generation.
What can visitors expect from the Burlington Arcade flagship?
Our Burlington Arcade store is a hub for precious metals in many guises. As well as finding something beautiful to wear, you can find interesting and rare historic coins to collect and, if you want to find safe investment opportunities, there’s precious metal bullion you could buy. We also sell interesting commemorative coins which is another area for collectors. It is an easy place to find a gift for anyone special. We have an in-house jewellery workshop in-store too. We can offer services from polishing your jewellery, adjusting sizes to engraving. We can also customise the pieces to personalise them for you.