Making Your Mark at the Jewel Factory, Leamington

The polishing shop, Henry Griffiths and Sons.
Image courtesy of Richard Neale

Following my posting about my time at Henry Griffith and Sons, there have been a number of comments added asking about the marks inside HG&S rings.

The answer to most of these questions is that without an assay office mark it is not possible to accurately date the ring and the easiest way to find out its value is to take it in to a local jeweller who will usually give a rough valuation for free. I have written something here about what the various assay marks mean.

Who made the ring

Interestingly some people also mention a letter stamped away from the other marks.  This actually indicates who made the ring.  Unfortunately, there is probably no one left alive who could tell you who all these marks relate to.  However, perhaps like me, there may be people that remember who one of these letters referred to.

The only one I can remember is ‘T’. This indicated that the ring was made by the man I was apprenticed to, Douglas Talbot. Doug started as an apprentice at HG&S in 1934 aged 14 and apart from a break during the Second World War, when he served in the RAF Regiment in the Far East, remained at the factory until the mass redundancy of 1982. I enjoyed my time working for Doug who taught me most of what I know about jewellery making.

The polishing shop

The photo was taken, I think in the early 1960s, so before my time at HG&S, but I do know who a couple of the people are as they were still at the factory when I worked there. Second from the right is Beryl Tebbutt, who didn’t work in the polishing shop but was brought in to make up the numbers for the photograph. Fourth from the right is Barbara Austin and the chap third from the left is Peter Champion, always known as Charlie.

More from Leamington Spa
More from Jewellers
More from Jewellery