But nobody works with coal.
– Well, we tried.
And so, with a few words of courage, the “Tucarbónjoya” brand was born.. Some of the Asturian jewelry that Princess Leonor herself “loves” – she wore earrings at the hearings at Awards “Princess of Asturias”. The creators are Marta Baquero and Alfredo Asensio, a marriage that makes a perfect team. They are from Turón, they are responsible for Alfredo Asensio Watch Jewelry and they launched the brand seven years ago. The gems are made from coal from wells in the Valle de las Cuencas. They accept orders to get ore from different mines. They agree with that: “We had to do something to appreciate what is ours.” And boy did they. How the earrings got to the ears of the heiress to the crown is a long story.
And it starts in the best possible way: “with a crush.” The figure of Marta Bakero and Alfredo Asensio is very young. It was in his parents’ jewelry store in the Torun Valley. She was in her father’s bookstore across the street. Marta is the daughter of the much loved Manuel Bakero, who was a contributor to this newspaper. “Although our parents didn’t work in the mine, we’ve always been very close to this sector. Imagine what Torun was like,” she says.
In the valley, which today has a population of barely 4,000, more than 15,000 people turned up for the census. There were four underground passages and several mountain mining pools. The Manuel Bakero Library, after his death, ended up being closed. But Marta Baquero and Alfredo Asensio decided to go further with the family jewels. “He was very brave,” she says of Alfredo. The truth is, it’s about two.
“One day we were talking about what we could do to value the valley, to tell its story, ”explains Alfredo Asensio. And it was Marta Baquero who had the idea:“ We can do something with coal. He had some doubts, I solved them all with the sentence: “Let’s try it.”
It was difficult because “charcoal isn’t like jet planes, it can’t be carved.” They decided to try to adapt silver to coal, rather than the other way around. And it worked. Seven years later, after registering the trademark “Tucarbónjoya” (“Tu” from Turón and “yours”), it is already an incorporated company. So much so that it contains five groups: “Heart”, “Circles”, “Rope”, “Bocamina”, “Castile” and “Toron”.
Each one has meaning. The heart of the lions that beats in the valley. circles and gems set in the wheels that lift the cage; a rope, such as the one pulled by the miners when they leave the mine; Polecat, with the letter “T” in each gem. and creations with shapes of mine entrances and structures. In the workshop, they have the coal that the neighbors leave for them and collect themselves in the dumps. They are stored in boxes for each of the wells: Figaredo, Santo Tomas, Fortuna, San Victor and others.
They can craft jewels using ore from a specific pit. Dr..In fact, it was one of the nicest commissions they received shortly after “Tucarbónjoya” was formalized. “A man came with a coal stone and told us he wanted to make a necklace with it. It was a stone he picked up the day before he retired, about thirty years ago,” says Marta Baquero.
arousing. Like what happened to them less than a year ago. A woman entered the jewelry store in Toruń and asked him for advice on making a gift. “He told us that the order came from principality protocol and that he needed to give a gift to two little women,” explains Marta Baquero. She hesitated between the “Circles” and “Heart” groups. “He told us he would consult to see which one he liked best.” They kept the one with the circles and I took two sets of earrings and the necklace. The couple agrees: “We had no idea who they were.”
It didn’t take long for them to find out. The President of the Principality, Adrien Barbon, presented the jewels to Princess Leonor and Queen Letizia before the “Princess of Asturias” awards ceremony. The chief told the jewelers that the young heiress was “delighted” with the gift. “He loved them, he put them on as soon as he received them.” So it was: He changed out the diamond earrings he wore for cage wheel “circles,” a detail that caught the attention of journalists.
“We saw it in many posts online with the earrings, which got us really excited,” Baquero and Asensio point out. They had hoped to coincide with her in handing out the “Pueblo Exemplary” award, but Princess Leonor could not attend because she was agitated. “We’d love to say hello to her, she’ll be back again,” they smile. Queen Letizia, for the time being, is not seen in public with Toron’s jewels.
“Of course we’d love the Queen to wear them too, and we hope she liked them,” Paquero and Asensio noted. At the moment, there are already many who have “copied” the gem from Leonor. “At Christmas we had many orders for the whole of Spain,” they say. Even friends associated with mining, who want to seal their love with coal. They also sold jewelry in other European countries, such as France and Denmark. They are very sorry that they could not fulfill the orders they received from South America, but the shipment was very expensive. Committed to the love of what they do, to the heart in every gem, they don’t plan on selling on the big platforms.
There is a knock at the door, Marta Baquero displays some jewelry behind the counter and Alfredo Asensio returns to the workshop. Overheard lathe. Visitors say goodbye.
– Until another day we continue to the hole. Never said better than that.