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The Jacques Cartier Memorial Award

It has long been acknowledged as the ultimate prize among the annual Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council awards. It is given at the discretion of the Council for exceptional and outstanding craftsmanship only when, according to the Council’s judgement, an entry achieves the superlative standard that justifies the honour.

The fact that it has only been given 42-times in its 66-year history, and only five times to a jeweller is testament to how prestigious an accolade this award remains on both a national and international level.

In 2020, over 600 single entries passed under the expert scrutiny of over 100 industry judges and Tom’s collection of colour platinum pieces garnered special attention.

At a ceremony held on February 24th, 2020, in the illustrious Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London, Tom Rucker was named the 40th winner of the Jacques Cartier Memorial Award in front of an audience of 300 people.

Impressed by the extraordinary tolerances, phenomenal craftsmanship and pioneering technical brilliance, the judges praised this collection for pushing technical and design boundaries in jewellery to ambitious, new extremes and for demonstrating craftsmanship at the highest level.

It is these attributes that have made Tom Rucker, the 40th winner of the Jacques Cartier Memorial award, a true world leader in this specialist area of fine jewellery making. The judges agreed the pieces demonstrated the ultimate in craftsmanship and innovative use of technology as inseparable and harmoniously exceptional and in a league of their own.

Tom’s quest to win this coveted Award has been long in the making. Having won numerous GC&DC Awards over the last three decades, Tom’s sheer determination to push his own personal boundaries and perfect his individualistic making techniques has run parallel with the GC&DC Competition.

Tom acknowledges that the competition has been a great motivator and supportive incentive to develop his skills, capabilities, and personal goals. He won five Premier, Major and Special Awards including the Goldsmiths’ Company Award in 2017 for outstanding design and excellence in craftmanship with his blue platinum Brooch `NIOT ́. He then set his sights on GC&DC’s ultimate Award, motivating Tom to take his fine platinum wires to yet further extremes.

Words by Brian Hill for the GC&DC Annual 2021

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