886 – the luxury jewellery arm of minting experts The Royal Mint – has just dropped its swanky new collection, a history-infused exploration of British coinage entitled Tutamen. The wide-ranging offering, which marks renowned jeweler and creative director Dominic Jones’ second release as the brand’s creative director, was inspired by the practice of coin clipping, a nifty trick instituted by grafters in the 17th century. By trimming and reselling the edges of coins made of precious metals, these profiting pocketers became endemic, at points even managing to make an impactful dent in the value of British currency.
Delving deeper into the underground practice, Jones’ research led him to discover an area in the Forest of Dean which housed over 500 scattered coin clippings, inspiring an apt yet gnarly nickname, ‘The Toenail Hoard’. Aligning his discovery with the work of sculptor Cornelia Parker and her aptitude for controlled deconstruction, he fused concepts of chaos and control to inform a collection that he divided into two distinct parts.
Portait of Dominic Jones
Showstopping pieces like a plunging necklace constructed from twisted shavings and cascading earrings edited with pavé diamonds inaugurate the offering, intended to mimic the technical process of coin clipping. Then – departing from more delicate and lightweight designs – the collection refocuses onto the recognisable 1990s pound coin. Engraving solid bangles and high-sitting chains with ‘Decus et Tutamen’ – a phrase featured on the coin’s original design that also informed the collection’s name – Jones noted he drew from the exaggerated hip-hop jewellery that populated the decade to inspire shape and style. Donned by 10 Magazine Issue 71 cover star Cora Corré, alongside a host of fresh faces, the accompanying campaign signals 886’s place in considered yet contemporary jewellery design for the incoming generation of fine jewellery lovers.
Staying true to its heritage, the collection fits nicely into The Royal Mint’s long-standing history, which boasts over 1,100 years in the precious metal business. Producing all the pieces in its bespoke manufacturing facility in South Wales, the metals used have been forged directly from the source, rather than being melted and cast, improving the density and value of each piece. Since its launch in 2022, 886 have also been dedicated to sustainable production, becoming the first luxury jewellery brand to use 100% recovered gold.
Consciously produced through a modern lens and armed with a shrewd eye for detail, the must-have collection is now available at the Burlington Arcade in London as well as 886 The Royal Mint’s website. Pick up your own lil’ piece of history here.
Photography courtesy of 886 The Royal Mint.