“My perfect project is when I work with a client to come up with an original design that neither of us could have created without the others' input… to see the jewellery come to life is truly a great feeling" - Dave
David is a qualified jeweller with 30 years’ experience, also a qualified gemologist, diamond grader, diamond and gemstone setter. He also loves his work!
How did you get into the jewellery making business?
I have always loved the visual arts as well as the sciences, but when my mother suggested I applied for the position of apprentice goldsmith I must admit I had very little idea of what was required. Still, at the age of 16, in the north of England, I was given an interview and duly started on a very interesting and fulfilling road which led me to Sydney and Rose Bay.
What sort of qualifications do you need to manufacture jewellery?
The best way to learn the craft of making jewellery is through the apprenticeship system. This is typically 4-5 years of learning, from sweeping the floor in your first week to making rings and setting gemstones after years of experience. Confidence comes from success, and this is why most of the finest jewellery is made by older jewellers. The experience gained in making one ring goes into the next and so on. Experienced jewellers are much sort after.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I'd love to say from within, but that isn't the case. Most of my inspirational ideas come frommy clients. The perfect project for me is when I can work with my client to come up with an original design that neither one of us could have finalised without the others input.
How can I tell a real diamond from Zircon?
There are tests available today but just as a art critic knows a real Rembrandt from a fake, we get to know the key differences over time. Experience tells us to be cautious and always question before committing to a decision. We always use magnification to be sure. We also offer a free stone checking service. Importantly, gemstones should never be tested until they are clean & polished, for which we may charge a small fee.
There must be plenty of safety rules when making jewellery at the workshop?
Gold melts at 1053c and polishing wheels rotate at 3000 rpm, need I say more? A jewellery workshop is a serious place for serious people, safety is taken very seriously. OK, I'll try not to use the word serious again!
What's your most unusual design request?
We take pride in everything we do and although we predominantly produce fine jewellery, we do get some unusual requests too. One that springs to mind was a case for a bullet recovered from the Battle of Waterloo. Another was a silver scent bottle designed for a television personality. We like the unusual - in fact we thrive on it.
Do you have a favourite gem stone?
I like most fine gems, expertly cut by craftsmen to show off their fine beauty. Whether it be cornflower blue sapphires from Sri Lanka or Pigeon Blood Rubies which display the most wonderful phosphorescence. I also love the birthstone for March, cool ice blue Aquamarine.
If you were getting married... Gold, White Gold or Platinum?
At the moment Platinum is a great choice. Platinum is a hard white metal that keeps its bright colour and doesn't need to be rhodium plated or polished regularly to keep it looking its best. Also due to the current high gold price, the cost difference is less than 10%. Only a year ago Platinum was twice the cost of 18ct gold!
What's the best way to protect your jewellery?
Keep your jewellery clean and dry. When not wearing jewellery, keep it in a jewellery box or jewellery ‘roll’ away from damp and places of extreme temperature. We sell a padded jewellery roll made for this very purpose. If you don't have one, get one today - it’s only $12.99
Tell us something about your other life?
Give me a fishing rod and a hat and I'll call you!
> Meet Cathy - Store Manager
Wild Trout has qualified gemmologists, diamond graders and valuers.
Rose Bay Workshop: Open > Mon-Fri 9 - 5.30pm & Sat 9 - 2.00pm.