FeaturesDiamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever

We’re lucky enough to be spoilt for choice with a number of highly reputable and longstanding jewellers here in Jersey. For our Diamond edition, we met with some of the faces behind Rivoli, Catherine Best, Aurum and Hettich, to find out what it’s like to work with such precious materials everyday.

Deborah Macklin
Jewellery Designer

What does a typical working day look like for you?

On a typical day, I could be designing a unique piece of jewellery to a customer’s brief, viewing gems and diamonds to buy for future collections and commission pieces, or working on a new instore jewellery collection. We recently launched our Rivoli Love Collection of diamond solitaires and three stone rings, so there is much excitement surrounding that at the moment. I could also be generating ideas for future Rivoli Events, planning seasonal campaigns, or posting on Instagram! Every day is unique at Rivoli Jewellers, but one thing that does remain the same is that each day I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful diamonds.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?

As a student of art and design, I quickly realised that with hard work, determination and a sprinkle of luck, I could make a career for myself that involved my favourite things – designing and making jewellery. I started my first job as a bench jeweller in Jersey age 21 and the rest is history!

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

I love the moment when I’m drawing and a great design appears on the paper, but by far my favourite aspect of being a jewellery designer is the moment I see the piece of jewellery I’ve designed be brought to life by our jeweller. Then of course the moment I present that piece of jewellery to the client for the first time.

Paul Tranter
Head Jeweller
Catherine Best

What does a typical working day look like for you?

The day starts by setting up the workshop and making sure all of the manufacturing equipment is in full working order. The jobs I will be working on will be bespoke customer commissions, stock jewellery or customer’s repairs. Throughout the day I am able to work on different jobs allowing me to have a diverse and varied range of work.  

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?

Growing up, I loved using my hands to create model aircrafts and ships. This industry allows me to have the same level of enthusiasm, using my hands to bring a design sketch to life and creating beautiful and unique handmade pieces of jewellery.

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

At Catherine Best, we are encouraged to complete each piece of jewellery from start to finish. Usually in this industry, you would specialize in one key area of the manufacturing process, whether that be manufacturing, mounting, setting or polishing, so you would usually be handing a piece of jewellery over to someone at different stages from manufacturing process, rarely seeing your finished piece. I enjoy taking the ownership and pride in working on pieces from the start to the very end.

Richard Blampied
Owner & Goldsmith

What does a typical working day look like for you?

After an early rise to walk our two family dogs, I get into work early before the phones start ringing to check the diary and plan my day. When I’m not advising and helping customers, most of my day is spent in the workshop, where I could be preparing work for the goldsmiths, picking stones for the diamond setter, or completing paperwork and estimates. My daughter, Julie, is a qualified Goldsmith and Gemologist and we often have design meetings with my wife, Alexa, as we not only create new and bespoke items, but also remodel customers existing jewellery. This is usually passed down through generations, which is both humbling and inspiring. We can help to turn something very sad into something beautiful that can be treasured by the next generation.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?

I was always a sporty child and preferred to be outside playing football, but when I left school I was offered a job in the workshop of a small local jeweller. Having had the chance to train in the skill of watch making and repairing, I quickly realised that I enjoyed working with my hands. After 18 months, I left for a Goldsmithing college in the Black Forest where I served my apprenticeship. I must have loved it because I’m still here 50 years later!

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

It’s difficult to say – regular trips to the diamond centre in Antwerp are always a highlight, or seeing one of Alexa’s designs come to life, or watching my daughter make decisions that I had to make a generation ago. I think my favourite has to be the talented people I’ve worked with over the years. We hand make the majority of our exceptional pieces in house, so the credit for any reputation we have goes to the team, both past and present. After 50 years, I would like to think we have a wealth of knowledge in all aspects jewellery and have had some amazing commissions. We have become good friends with so many of our loyal customers along the way, so to work alongside friends, family and some incredibly talented people is an absolute pleasure.

Beata Sass
Sales Associate

What does a typical working day look like for you?

My day starts by setting up the store windows to make sure our diamond displays are to the highest standard. Every window tells a story and every detail is important, so the diamonds must all look their very best. I spend the rest of my morning working on customer enquiries, special orders and preparing the shop floor for customer visits. My favourite part of the day is looking after our existing and new customers in the store, offering them the best service experience and the finest quality diamonds in the Channel Islands.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?

They say ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ and in some ways it’s true. I’ve always been interested in beautiful jewellery and watches, and the luxury retail sector is my area of expertise. My natural interest combined with strong communication and people skills have made me a successful sales person. I love what I do and enjoy every day!

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

Creating lasting memories is part of my job, but it’s also my favorite aspect of it too. Helping a couple choose the perfect engagement ring or diamond to celebrate a special occasion is an important moment that customers never forget. As a diamond expert and a sales specialist, I relish making the experience memorable to every single customer.   

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