Maurice Ostro and Lesley Craze granted OBE and MBE by the Queen.
Chairman of Ostro Minerals Maurice Ostro and gallerist Lesley Craze have been awarded with an OBE and an MBE respectively by the Queen as part of Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours List.
Ostro Minerals, the world’s leading producer of blue topaz, has been described as a “British success story” based in the heart of London. The company has pioneered gemstone innovation, developing the finest cutting and treatment processes for stones sourced sustainably from across the world.
In addition to the company’s Swiss Blue and London Blue Topaz ranges, Ostro and his son Michael have added ostroblue and ostroroyal collections to the business’ portfolio.
Recognised not only for his dedication to British industry, but also for his charitable work, Ostro gives 10% of his company’s profits to an array of causes and started his own organisation, The Fayre Share Foundation
Ostro is now working on economic development projects in impoverished countries such as Burma; the goal is to provide the skills and materials necessary for trainees to start gem cutting businesses to sell their end products to the world market.
Ostro commented: “It is a special privilege to be honoured for doing what I love to do both in business and philanthropy. I believe it affirms the contributions that those in the gemstone and jewellery industry can bring to wider society and I hope it encourages others to do likewise.”
Also recognised was Lesley Craze who, having trained as a silversmith, decided to open her own gallery space to support new and emerging designer-makers. The Lesley Craze Gallery opened in 1984 on Essex Road, Islington and then relocated to Clerkenwell Green in 1989.
In 2014, the Lesley Craze Gallery represents nearly 100 artists from all over the world, showcasing avant garde pieces crafted in concrete, paper, plastic, gold and platinum.
In addition to her activities at the gallery, Craze has lectured at a number of academic institutions, curated several international exhibitions and judged and selected on many panels, which have recently included Origin and New Designers One year On.