ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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   From left

Founders Jewel for the Doric Lodge No.3384, Province of Cheshire 190

Festival Jewel 1887 issued to the Festival Secretary of that year

Royal Arch Companions Jewel by Thomas Harper 1817

Pierced Craft Jewel by Thomas Harper 1811

Pre Union Past Masters Craft Collar Jewel 1812

It is this concept which provided the basis for the study in 1901 of Masonic jewels and coins by Shackles. There have been a number of other books published for the Masonic numismatist to use in his research, several of which can be found in the further reference and reading list accompanying this article.
    Since the creation of these early jewels the expansion in production has matched the growth of Freemasonry worldwide. Collectors now focus their activity in specialist areas, which include Founders jewels, Past Masters and Charity jewels, together with those of other degrees.
    Indeed, these very collectors have been the saviours of the jewels of many non- Masonic organisations, which have long been lost, the Free Gardeners being one of the most recent.
    The common interest in numismatics led to the founding of a Lodge for collectors named after a famous Freemason – Thomas Harper. The Lodge, No9612., meets in Warwickshire.
    The common theme of Masonic collections provides a continual source of research papers presented in the Lodge since its inception in 1996. Thomas Harper was a jeweler, furniture maker and signatory to the Articles of Union in 1813. The jewels Harper produced are much sought after, not least to be worn at Lodge meetings by collectors.

David Heathcote is Immediate Past President of the Jewels of the Craft Study and Collectors Circle and a Founder and Past Master of Thomas Harper Lodge No.9612. He has written numerous articles on Masonic collecting. He is shortly to publish books on the RMBI and MBF. He is also Media and Public Relations Officer for the Province of Cheshire.

Reference and further reading
  • Hammond W. (1917), Masonic Emblems and Jewels – Treasures at Freemasons’ Hall, London. George Philip & Son.
  • Heathcote D.J. (1955), The Festivals 1900-1985 Stewards Jewels of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. Meridian Publishing, ISBN 0 9526464 0 4.
  • Heathcote D.J. (1998), The Festivals 1900-1985: Stewards Jewels of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, Meridian Publishing, ISBN 0 9526464 1 2.
  • Lane J. (1891), Centenary Warrants and Jewels, George Kenning.
  • Marvin W.T.R. (1880), Medals of the Masonic Fraternity, described and Illustrated, Boston USA.
  • Poole H Rev Ed. (1939), A Catalogue of Masonic Medals in the Museum of the Province of Worcestershire, Library and Museum Committee, Worcestershire, 1939.
  • Shackles G.L. (1901), The Medals (Commemorative or Historical) of British Freemasonry, The Hamburg Zirkel-Correspondenz or Literary Committee of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg & the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No.2076, London.
  • Tudor-Craig A. Maj Comp. (1938), Catalogue of Contents of the Museum at Freemasons’ Hall in the possession of The United Grand Lodge of England, T and A Constable Ltd.
  • The Jewels of the Craft Study and Collectors Circle, The Diadem Magazine of the Jewels of the Craft – Study and Collectors’ Circle (1990-2004).
How to join Jewels of the Craft

Membership is open to Master Masons duly registered by the United Grand Lodge of England or other recognised Grand Lodges. Proof of Masonic identity and good standing must be forwarded by a candidate’s Lodge secretary. Current fees are £10 per year (£15 for overseas) with a joining fee of £20. Membership forms can be downloaded from the Circle’s web site by clicking on the link ‘how to join’, where the address of the secretary, Max Gaskin, may also be found.
    The Circle publishes a quarterly magazine, The Diadem, to widen knowledge and further academic study. To support this, the Circle has part funded the publication of a number of books on charity jewels. The most recent contribution to this fund of information is a project recording the names and marks of jewel makers, available free to members.
    Each quarter members submit lists of items they wish to swap or sell to fellow members. This helps to keep Masonic collectables within Freemasonry, and the Circle hosts two Swap Meets in Birmingham for members every year.