60ct aquamarine raffled for prisoners charity

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Gem dealer donates GBP40,000 stone to raise funds for Fine Cell Work.

A 60-carat Mozambican aquamarine worth £40,000 has been donated to prison charity Fine Cell Work for inclusion in its raffle.

Profits from the sale of 1,000 raffle tickets will assist the charity in its bid to rehabilitate imprisoned offenders through teaching craft, art and design skills.

The cushion-cut gem, which was donated by merchant Guy Cluttercuck, will be presented to the winning ticket holder on November 20 2014.

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He explained: “I genuinely believe in this cause. In Sweden where I lived for many years, the prison model equips detainees with skills and education to give them the chance to rebuild their lives upon release – it makes total sense. Here in the UK we need to give people skills; help them to maintain their relationships with their loved ones, and have a realistic sum of money when they are released to ensure there is less temptation to reoffend.”

Jewellery designer and former head of design at Garrard and Asprey, Georgina Skan, has offered to design a setting for the gem for the lucky winner, funded by a 1,500 donation from Fine Cell Work.

Managing director of Fine Cell Works, Victoria Gillies, says: ‘This is a remarkably generous gift, and a wonderful opportunity for someone to win a gemstone beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

"At Fine Cell Work we and our army of volunteers work every day with prisoners to help to turn their lives around – we’re delighted to have such a unique chance to raise money to continue that work. Buying a raffle ticket might change your life, by winning you this beautiful stone – and it will certainly change the lives of those our charity works with.”

Raffle tickets cost £50 and are available from Fine Cell Work’s website. The winning ticket will be drawn by event patrons, actor Daid Morrissey and author Esther Freud, at an exclusive party at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The prize draw aims to raise £50,000.

Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework — undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells — to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. Fine Cell Work is done in 24 prisons with 450 prisoners each year, 97% of whom are men.

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