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Vaughtons building sketch


a rich and celebrated history

From humble beginnings

Founded in 1819 as P. Vaughton and named after owner, Philip, the company has been a focal point of Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter for over 200 years. Originally based on Little Hampton Street, the company moved to Constitution Hill in 1897 and rebranded as Vaughton Brothers, a 'Buttonmaker, Medalist and Mint.' A period of success over the next few years allowed them to move to an even more impressive building - a purpose-built factory called Vaughtons Gothic Works - in 1903. The building can still be seen today and has been noted in a Birmingham Civic Society newsletter as "an impressive building… It has excellent terracotta details, especially the lettering."

It was here that another re-branding took place, as the new Vaughtons Ltd became a Silversmith, Goldsmith and General Manufacturer, reflecting the varied nature of the work it was now carrying out. 

Vaughtons building photograph

A sporting chance

Vaughtons links to the sporting world were well-established, thanks to Howard Vaughton - the owner's grandson - who was a famous player for Aston Villa at the time. To this day, he still holds the record for the most goals scored by a player in any England international game. 

Howard was a part of Aston Villa's FA Cup winning side in 1895, but when the trophy was subsequently stolen, a window of opportunity opened for the Vaughton family business when they were commissioned by the club to create a replacement. This trophy was used until 1910, when it was withdrawn and presented to Lord Kinnaird for his 21 years of service as FA President. 

Vaughtons FA Cup
Vaughtons 1908 Olympic Medal

With the business now a firm fixture in the sporting world, the 1908 London Olympics provided a welcome chance for Vaughtons' craftsmen to showcase their skills to the world. The company was selected to create the medals for the event, with the finished product acting as a symbol for triumph, greatness and an unfaltering determination to be the best - a perfect partner for Vaughtons Ltd.

The WH Darby years

WH Darby boasts a history as long and celebrated as Vaughtons Ltd, having launched in the Jewellery Quarter in 1886, creating medals, insignia, civil regalia, badges and many more commemorative pieces. 

It was responsible for the creation of many of the medals received by heroic WW2 soldiers.

During the first Gulf War, the company won the chance to create replacement insignia for the Kuwait Royal Family, whose precious items had been stolen by the Iraqis. It was to prove a turning point in the history of WH Darby, and they quickly became a world leader in the insignia market, with many Royal Families and dignitaries amongst their customers.

With a need to increase their manufacturing resources, WH Darby bought Vaughtons Ltd in 1994, creating the company you see today. 

While still manufacturing insignia and medals for markets around the world, the new company began to move into the automotive market, creating finishing pieces for beloved luxury brands including Aston Martin and McLaren.   

Vaughtons Aston Martin Wings
Vaughtons Aston Martin Wings 2

Phoenix by Vaughtons

Gold band family image

With the company expanding into new markets, owner Nick Hobbis joined forces with old friends, Matt and Charli Glass, to create a memorial jewellery brand that draws on the brand's long history and the expertise of Vaughtons' craftsmen. 
The idea was borne from the early passing of Charli's father, Martyn, and her search to find a way to commemorate him with a lasting piece of jewellery that could be passed on to his grandchildren and beyond. 

After two years of testing at Vaughtons' Birmingham workshop, Phoenix by Vaughtons was launched in 2023 with a unique capsule collection that showcases the very best of the skilled workers of the Jewellery Quarter. 

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