For Duncan Marshal, Roy Massey and Kevin Bloor at precious metal refiner Capella Manufacturing, this year has seen them increase their processing capabilities, sponsor young designers and become a key exponent of ethical and recycled metals in the UK. It has all helped push the Derbyshire trio into the spotlight.

Hailing from engineering backgrounds – Kevin, for one, was a fitter in a quarry – they are probably more at home in the laboratory-like environment of their refinery than in the glossy PR world of magazines, but that hasn’t stopped them creating a few good stories this year, particularly with the sponsorship of young designers like MA student Melissa Montague and Tootsievalentine founder Jo Taylor, both of whom they have supplied with recycled metals.

Kevin says it is entirely natural that they would support young designers as they are keen to protect and invest in the future of the industry. They have certainly invested in their own future this year with the installation of some serious kit.


The acquisition of a cutting-edge integrated refining machine has helped them to double their processing capabilities and also to reduce their impact on the environment, as it uses far less intense heat to work. The kit is used mostly in the Middle East, where lots of refining is done, and sets Capella further apart from its local rivals. This company is simply becoming one of a kind in the UK, if not Europe, and has become the first in the UK to be FLO-CERT accredited to process Fairtrade and Fairmined gold, which means these chaps have at least one eye on the future, for that is one story that is only going to get louder.

Capella’s virtuous profile is no bad thing and their acquisition of scrap gold creates both a revenue stream for them and a truly valuable source of recycled metals for the industry.

Meanwhile, another revenue driver these days is the sale of investment bars in the form of bullion. It seems that in straitened economic times there are few more reliable commodities than gold; its weight, look and lustre all attracting more private investors than ever.

But this trio need to find time away from the furnaces, stamp presses and acids, and you will see Kevin on the golf course, while Roy is a rally enthusiast and as this piece was being written Duncan was on a Harley Davidson speeding down the Pacific coast. It seems some people just can’t get enough heavy metal in their lives.

Duncan Marshall, Roy Massey and Kevin Bloor were selected as Bering Trailblazers in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read the digital edition of the book online, click here.