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”Elton is sorry he can’t be here tonight, but he’s on tour in Canada, making money so he can buy more jewelry,” quipped David Furnish, as he picked up the Leopard Legend Award on behalf of his husband.

Furnish joined guests including Jade Jagger, Gareth Pugh, Sabine Getty, Giles Deacon, Eugenie Niarchos, and Daphne Guinness at the inaugural Leopard Awards, a jewelry industry gala which took place last night at the Goldsmith’s Hall in London.

He also gave a shout-out to Theo Fennell, whose longtime clients include Elton.

The Leopards, a group that includes Fennell, Solange Azagury-Partridge, and Stephen Webster, organised the event.
They take their name from the leopard hallmark that has been used to mark gold and silver pieces produced in London since 1363. The Goldsmiths’ Hall has been home to the British gold, silver and jewelry industry for more than 700 years.
The Leopard Award for Jewellery in the Arts went to the Victoria & Albert Museum, in recognition of its acquisition of a diamond and sapphire coronet designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1840, the year of their marriage. The Leopard Award for Jewellery in Fashion was handed to Daphe Guinness.

The Leopard Award for Jewellery on Screen 2017 was awarded to Netflix’s The Crown.

The evening also marked the launch of a new mentoring programme, supported by the Prince’s Trust, whereby emerging designers and young craftspeople will be given the valuable opportunity to train in the workshops and studios of the London Leopards. To celebrate the mentorship programme, a competition was launched, with a simple brief: to design a piece of jewellery motivated by the spirit of London. The winning designs, by Louis Browning, Katherine Anderson, Mollie Rose Hemming and Hannah Jackson, will be produced under the guidance of the Leopards and sold at their own stores and boutiques. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Prince’s Trust.

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