“If a bullet earns a second chance, even more so people”

Have you ever heard about the bullet pencil? Do you know the message behind?

At Christmas time in 1914, The Princess Mary prepared a special gift to every British soldier on the Western Front: an ornate brass box contained a packet of pipe tobacco, a packet of cigarettes, a photograph of the Princess and a half pencil set into a decorative bullet.

Why a pencil? lt was perfect for writing Christmas cards to their worried relatives at home under every type of weather condition as well as cheaper and lighter.

This story impressed Francesco Castioni, who founded in the 2016 il gentiluomo di Verona. In this way he started his adventure in the bullet pencil sector before and in the jewellery industry with very unique products after!

He recovers shell casings from the firing range in Verona and gives life to handcrafted jewellery with an important mission behind: to transform no value tools that can hurt people – the bullets – in design products, like earrings, necklaces and bracelets, intended to enrich the others. One of the nicest creation is the “portadesideri” necklace with a special gold closure in which potential customers can treasure their secret desire. The project is a real chance in order to give a second opportunity not only to the waste material but also to people.

Francesco Castioni is not alone in advancing his business idea. In the past years, he taught to the inmates of the Verona prison the art of creation the bullet jewellery together with Mario Gastaldin, not only artisan and owner of a luxury leather goods shop in Veronabut also the founder of the Riscatto project. In the future, there will be a new collaboration with the educational cooperative Società lavoro & futuro. This will be a great opportunity to learn and develop professional skills and make the social reintegration easier.

The jewelleries are exhibited and sold in the Giustizia Vecchia Art Gallery, managed by D-Gusto Co-Operative Society and A.I.A.S. (Italian Association for Assistance to Spastics) of Verona.

Il gentiluomo di Verona is not for everyone. The customer should understand values and mission of the company before purchasing.

Now, you can buy the products only in the Giustizia Vecchia Art Gallery, but Francesco is thinking about spreading the message hidden in his jewellery outside Verona through an online store in the future.

“Seems I’m not alone in being alone, a hundred billion castaways looking for a home” sang the Police in their song “Message in a bottle”.

Il gentiluomo di Verona seems to take with it the message in this song trying to give disadvantaged people a second chance. Are you ready to get involved from bad to gift?