Professional Jeweller editor Sam Lewis and guest host Katerina Perez handed out a total of 17 awards to the UK jewellery industry at a black-tie event on Tuesday (14 December, 2021) for the fourth annual PJ Awards.

After retailers and suppliers claimed their trophies across the first 16 categories of the evening, the event culminated in the presentation of one very special accolade.

The Lifetime Achievement award went to Ashley Carson.

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He is the Sheffield Assay Office’s youngest ever, and now also longest serving, assay master.

Since the age of 17 he has dedicated his working life to the organisation, working his way up the ranks to guide the business in question through some significant milestones, and most recently has helped it weather the storm that has been the pandemic.

He is also an advocate for promoting opportunities for young people to join the sector and inspiring the next generation of jewellery professionals.

Speaking to Professional Jeweller via a phone call while on the train home the following day, Carson revealed that he was “still buzzing”.

“To be recognised and honoured in this way by Professional Jeweller and [the voters] is a tremendous honour.

“It didn’t even sink in whilst the citation was being read out. That moment has got to go down as one of the all time highlights in my career.”

Find out the winners in the other 16 categories below:

BREAKING NEWS: All the winners from last night’s glitzy PJ Awards 2021 dinner and ceremony