Have you ever been curious about how your best-loved set of One Bond Street’s sterling silver cufflinks were made? How they started off their life and where the top quality precious metal has come from? Well, the story of this fine sterling silver starts with the London Metal Exchange, one of the world’s leading and most prestigious commodities markets.
For One Bond Street’s customers this is surely an exciting prospect as, what better way to complete the refined and sophisticated British style of their sterling silver cufflinks, than to have acquired the precious silver from London’s very own Metal Market. In honour of this, it’s time to look back at the history of the London Metal Exchange, to appreciate the history behind where One Bond Street’s sterling silver comes from.
With origins that date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the enigmatic monarch famed for her spectacular costumes and elaborate sterling silver jewels, the London Metal Exchange started off its life in 1571, when London’s Royal Exchange first swung open its doors. It was here that merchants, for the first time, would travel from far and wide to unite on a regular basis, to trade all manner of metals with each other. At this time though, the metal required to craft sterling silver cufflinks and jewels could not have been procured, as it was copper and tin that were the order of the day!
Despite these early beginnings, it wasn’t until the 19th century, long after the reign of the sterling silver clad queen was over, that the London Metal Exchange proper, opened up shop, above a humble little London hat store in Fenchurch Street. With membership booming, however, it wasn’t long before the decision was taken to relocate to a purpose built exchange in Whittington avenue, where it remained for the next 98 years. Still, at this time, the silver required for making sterling silver goods was not being traded, but in 1920, lead and zinc were officially introduced.
In 1994, the Exchange moved, once more, to Leadenhall Street, before being acquired by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited in December 2012, who then custom built a clearing house known as LME Clear – at this time silver and gold had been introduced to the market, meaning many sterling silver goods would have now found their origins at the Metal Exchange.
Fast forward to the present and the London Metal Exchange, where One Bond Street’s sterling silver cufflinks start out their lives, can now be found in Finsbury Square, where it moved in 2016. It has come a long way since its modest foundations, expanding, modernizing and introducing many new metals, such as cobalt, steel and many more. The most exciting development, however, especially for one bond streets customers, must be the introduction of precious metals such as silver and gold, as this means the story of One Bond Street’s London-themed sterling silver cufflinks can begin with London’s very own Metal Exchange.
So there you have it, the history of the London Metal Exchange in a nutshell, from 1571 to 2017, from a humble hat shop to a world-leading commodities market and from copper and tin to gold and sterling silver – what an exciting prospect for British-themed sterling silver cufflinks!