Marcia Lanyon, founder of wholesale coloured gemstone company, has announced she will be retiring from the company at the end of the year.
Lanyon started her career in London’s Hatton Garden, working for the gemstone dealer George Lindley Ltd and becoming responsible for stock and grading gemstones. In the evenings she studied for her Fellowship of the Gemmological Association, which she was awarded with distinction in 1969. The Association’s diamond certificate followed, in 1970.
In 1970 Marcia joined the business of leading jewellery designer/goldsmith John Donald, where her responsibilities included sourcing stones. In 1972 she moved to Hong Kong and there she wrote and taught an FGA Diploma course, alongside other gemmology courses. Some of her students have gone on to become luminaries of the gemstone and jewellery business and she was acknowledged at a 2008 ceremony as the founder of gemmology education in Hong Kong.
Her work in Hong Kong included consulting for the Hong Kong Tourist Association and led to the start of her stone-trading enterprise. Following her return to London in 1975, Lanyon developed Marcia Lanyon Ltd alongside making necklaces and selling these direct to the public at Covent Garden market and through major stores such as Liberty.
By 1985 the company had three staff working from the ground floor of her house. It moved to freehold office premises in Hammersmith in 2001, by which time there were six staff.
Today, the company manages over 14,000 lines of stock, using a computer-based stock coding system that is probably still unique.
The company regularly visits the UK’s leading art colleges, introducing tomorrow’s designers and makers to the wonderful opportunities offered by coloured gemstones.
Lanyon has been a source of inspiration and support to up-and-coming jewellers and craftspeople throughout her career. Her involvement in education has continued with her mentorship of young designer/makers for the Prince’s Trust and her sponsorship of prizes for the use of coloured stones in jewellery. In 1993 she became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and from 1998 to 2003 was on the National Committee of the British Jewellery Association.
On the supply side, the company has built up a worldwide network of sources that includes other dealers, cutters and mine owners.
In 1983 Marcia Lanyon Ltd was the only stone dealer with a stand at what is now the International Jewellery London trade show and IJL 2017 will be the company’s 35th consecutive showing.
Alongside precious and semi-precious stones, Marcia Lanyon will be offering discounts of up to 50% on a wide selection of precious and semi-precious beads and pearls at IJL.
Between IJL and the end of the year the company will be winding down. There will be attractive offers on end of stock lines available in their email newsletter and in store.
After retiring at the end of 2017, Marcia Lanyon plans to spend more time relaxing, playing with her grandchildren and travelling the world.