In Birmingham, England, artisans worry that luxury apartments and trendy cafes may push them out of an area where jewelers have been centered since the 18th century.
BIRMINGHAM, England — Kirsty Griffiths’ delight was evident as she held a pair of 22-karat gold bands, newly refashioned from her grandfather’s weighty wedding ring. “One for me and my own wedding and one for my auntie,” Ms. Griffiths, 31, said recently inside a cramped jewelry workshop here. “My granddad had left the original one to her.”
The rings now bear the anchor-shaped Birmingham Assay Office hallmark certifying the purity of the gold and the LL insignia of their maker, Lora Leedham. Ms. Leedham, 35, is part of a generation of independent craftspeople working alongside large heritage companies in the gentrifying neighborhood known as the Jewelry Quarter, a hub for makers since the 18th century.