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Recycled Precious Metals

All new Lily McCallin jewellery is now made using 100% recycled precious metals as standard.Here's how it's done...MakingFirstly I make what is called a master, usually using... * scrap silver from previous jobs* ecosilver sheet and wire* or wax...

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Sustainability, Uncategorized

Fair Trade Gemstones

We are excited to be working with a new supplier; Fair Trade Gemstones.

Now. It is important to point out that Fair Trade Gemstones is a company that works completely separately from The Fairtrade Foundation.
You can read more about the Fairtrade Foundation here.

Fair Trade Gemstones was set up by David Hargreaves, a mining engineer with 25 years of experience in the gemstone mining industry.
I met David’s daughter Kathy Chappell who represents Fairtrade Gemstones in the UK.
David and Kathy sell gemstones to the UK market from a mine that David used to own in Malawi.
They also work closely with Eric Brawnwart from Columbia Gemhouse, Inc.
 Selling gemstones to the UK from the mines that Eric represents.

David, Kathy and Eric are using their mining experience to develop a standard for the gemstone ‘supply chain’ that ensures the welfare of workers and consideration for the environment.
This standard is intended to be an early example of fair trade practice.

What is a ‘supply chain’?

The supply chain is a term used to describe the chain of processes involved in the extraction, production and distribution of any commodity.

Gemstones have a very lengthy supply chain. In summary they need to be extracted from the earth from a mine, often using chemicals. They then pass through several middlemen before they are taken to be cut and polished.

Gemstones are often mined in developing countries that are very poor and sometimes politically corrupt. This makes the gemstone mining industry a very complicated one.

It is widely reported that a lot of exploitation occurs. Unfair and unsafe working conditions are said to be very common. Harmful chemicals are often used without proper ventilation or consideration for the environment. Workers are often forced to work in very substandard conditions, as they have no other choice.

Fair Trade Gemstones is developing a standard for the gemstone supply chain that is entirely traceable from polishing and cutting all the way back to the mine itself. They call this standard:

First Level – Mine Forward.

There are only a few types of gemstone that meet the first level mine forward standard. These include Nyala® Ruby and sapphire (Malawi), Royal Kings Plain sapphire® (Australia), Oregon Opal, Purple Sage Chalcedony®, Cortez Pearls® and Black Spinel.

Fair Trade Gemstones works closely with these mines to ensure that strict standards are adhered to. They ensure…

Fair working conditions:
– Conditions for miners that are safe and comfortable.
– A minimum wage.
– A minimum age requirement.
– Healthcare and other benefits.
Community Benefit
– Improved infrastructure
– Buildings of schools and hospitals.
Environmental Protection
– Conservation of surrounding water sources and marine life
– Restoration of the environment after mining.
They also ensure transparency and legality across the exporting and importing processes.

Cutting and Polishing

Fairtrade Gemstones have their own gemstone cutting and polishing factory in China.
At this factory they apply similar strict standards to those in their mines. These include:

A venilation system installed to stop diseases caused by inhaling gemstone dust.
Spacious light, well lit and clean workshops.
Air condition for the peak of the summer.
A lunchbreak room.
Holiday pay and other benefits.
We are very excited to work with Fair Trade Gemstones. If you would like to commission a piece using one or more of their gemstones you will be supporting them in developing a standard for the gemstone supply chain that helps to ensure a better life for vulnerable workers and the environment.

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Bespoke: Your questions answered, Uncategorized, What To Expect

Bespoke Wedding Rings : What to Expect

Whether you have something in mind, or you would like some design guidance, here you will work together with Lily to create a pair of bespoke wedding rings that are built to last generations.

A consultation is free of charge and can be done via email/ telephone/ Skype.

Here is an outline of what you can expect when ordering bespoke wedding rings from us in six steps. v_shaped_ring_crop

The Six Steps:

Step 1: Consultation

All lilymccallin bespoke work begins with a consultation. We will ask you the following questions:

Do you have a set deadline?
Do you have a budget in mind?
Do you have an idea of what materials you would like to use?
Do you already have a vision of what you would like the rings to look like, and if so, can you send us some sketches/ try to describe your vision?
We find that some customers are very clear about what they want and some prefer a little more guidance.

Step 2: Meeting

When we have reached a rough agreement regarding deadline, budget and materials, you will be invited for an optional initial meeting at our studio in Hackney Wick, East London.

This is so that we can measure your ring size.
Some customers also like to visit the studio to take a look at sample materials and some of our other designs.

At the studio we have lots of different shapes of wire and metal samples. We can spend some time paying around with shapes, textures, widths and thicknesses until you find something you’re really excited about.


If you live too far away and / or you’re not able to make it to London for a meeting, please do not worry, as we are more than happy to further discuss your options remotely.

Step 3: Written Agreement

We will send you a written agreement via email outlining the terms of our agreement. To see a sample contact, please click here.

Step 4: Making the Master

Typically your ring will originally be made in brass or silver. This is so that any mistakes that are made are less expensive to correct than in gold.

Step 5: Casting and Finishing

At this stage a mould will be taken from the master ring and the ring will be cast into gold. For this ring pictured we used certified Fairtrade Gold from the Sotrami mine in Peru.


The ring will be professionally polished by our bespoke team.

Step 6: Hallmarking

The ring will be taken to the assay office to be hallmarked.


Here you can see the 7 marks, including FBL (lilymccallin) our diamond pencil logo and the Fairtrade Gold Stamp.

We pride ourselves on approachable and thorough customer service. We appreciate that this is a big purchase for most people, and so we understand the importance of getting it just right. Please do not hesitate to drop us a line if anything is unclear; we are always happy to hear queries and feedback.


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Christmas Shopping : Key Dates

With Just over 3 weeks until Christmas, there is still time to order something special for yourself or a special someone.

Here is some info and key dates that you might need in the run up to Christmas…

Lots of lilymccallin items are made especially for you. If this is the case, it will say so within the item description. If you are not sure, please get in touch.

You have until…

Midnight on the 2nd
To order ‘made to order’ items set with precious stones.

Midnight on the 9th
to order ‘made to order’ items with gold plating.

Mid day on the 15th
To order ‘made to order items’ in silver or gold and/ or set with semi precious stones.
Mid Day on the 23rd
Lots of lilymccallin items are not made to order. If the item you are interested in is in stock and ready to be dispatched immediately, it will say so within the item description. For these items, you have until mid day on Wednesday the 23rd of December. For anything that needs posting on or after the 20th of December, please be sure to chose special delivery when checking out.

International Delivery
Please see the tables below for international delivery cut off dates.

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Christmas Break
We will be taking a well deserved Christmas break until the 2nd of January.
We warmly encourage you to place orders and enquiries online during this period, but they won’t be processed until our return on the 2nd. Our made to order delivery policy will apply from the 2nd January 2016.
Please note, this means that we won’t be able to answer any emails over this time. We will reply to all emails as quickly as we can in the new year, but please bear with us if we aren’t able to respond straight away – we will get back to you!

If you are not sure, please drop us a line. We always love to hear from you and we will respond as quickly as we possibly can.

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