David Thomas (foreground) with assistant curator Barry Sanderson in the old Jewel House, Waterloo block, HM Tower of London
Crown Jeweller disappointed
We don’t tend to keep tabs on our clients’ other suppliers but the news that Garrards had lost its position as Crown Jeweller did catch our eye back in 2007. It’s a position they held for more than 164 years; an amazing and enviably long tenure first granted by Queen Victoria in 1843.
When we produced the Crown Jewels souvenir guide for Historic Royal Palaces, David Thomas was the Crown Jeweller at Garrards. He was the only one allowed to touch the precious pieces during the photo-shoot. Since then he has handed over the white gloves to Mr. Harry Collins owner of a small family-run business in Tunbridge Wells, G. Collins & Sons.
According to press coverage at the time of the hand-over, the Queen’s decision to change was the result of a recommendation from a friend and had nothing to do with Garrards decision to appoint Christina Aguilera as its new face.
Just goes to show – the power of word-of-mouth marketing can even overturn a 164 year relationship.
More recently, after only 4 years in the post, Harry Collins has also retired from the role and Martin Swift of Mappin & Webb became the new crown jeweller in 2012.