The Jewellery Quarter is a vibrant district in Birmingham, home to young professionals and described as a ‘national treasure’ and ‘a place of unique character’ by the English Heritage.
Home to over 800 businesses including design and digital agencies, museums, bars and restaurants as well as hundreds of jewellery shops from designer brands to unique handmade goods.
The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is an urban industrial area with a fascinating history of jewellery and metalware production and a unique built environment The area is remarkable for its dense concentration of converted houses, factories and specialist buildings, a particular combination of structures associated with jewellery and metalworking which does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world.
In its heyday, in 1913, an estimated 70,000 people were employed in the Birmingham jewellery trade. This was based in the Jewellery Quarter, which was something of a closed area with few people having reason to enter it unless they were involved in the trade. Even today, with increasing numbers of visitors and a thriving retail trade, there remains something of a village-like atmosphere.
The high density of workshops and the survival of family firms mean that many people still know each other, contributing to a sense of community. However, the interiors of the workshops, which are often reached off alleyways hidden away from the street, still remain a mystery to visitors and locals alike. The Quarter is very much a working entity and the major centre of gold jewellery production in the United Kingdom.