The Toy Shop Of Europe

The Toy Shop Of Europe

For over 200 years Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter has been the home of some of the worlds most highly skilled goldsmiths and jewellery makers. In peak times the around 60,000 people were employed in the precious metal and associated trades.

The thriving jewellery trade of the late 18th century centered in the Hockley area led to what we now know as the city’s Jewellery Quarter.

Tradesmen worked from home, or in small workshops, and on the whole specialised in a particular craft. Many of these specialist craft and services complimented each other, strengthening the sense of community in the area and fostering a national and international respect for the indsutry in the area.

By 1861 over 7,000 people were engaged in the jewellery trade. The local jewellery industry grew out of the areas toy trade. At that time the toy trade included the manufacture of a wide range of small items made from steel, such as buttons, buckles and brooches and various trinkets. The nineteenth century saw a shift towards the manufacture of jewellery and buttons in the area.

The gold rushes in 19th century USA and Australia led to an increase in the supply and demand for jewellery with the Birmingham Assay Office being granted permission to hallmark goldware from 1824.