A day in the life of a Tunbridge Wells jewellery designer

PUBLISHED: 13:59 18 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:58 20 February 2013

A day in the life of a Tunbridge Wells jewellery designer

A day in the life of a Tunbridge Wells jewellery designer

A Tunbridge Wells stalwart for more than 25 years and home to Her Majesty The Queen's Crown Jeweller, behind the distinctive timber-framed building that is G Collins and Sons lies craftsmanship and skill of the highest order

A day in the life of a Tunbridge Wells jewellery designer

A Tunbridge Wells stalwart for more than 25 years and home to Her Majesty The Queens Crown Jeweller, behind the distinctive timber-framed building that is G Collins and Sons lies craftsmanship and skill of the highest order

Name: Phillip Luck

Job title: General manager and designer

Where: G Collins & Sons. I have worked for Harry Collins for 22 years and have been in the jewellery trade for about 40 years. Harry has been personal jeweller to Her Majesty The Queen since 2000 and was also appointed Crown Jeweller in 2007, making him responsible for the care of the Crown Jewels in The Tower of London.

What experience do you have?

I had always wanted to be involved in the jewellery trade and at the tender age of 17 I walked into a very smart family jewellers and asked for a job. There was no vacancy, but the owner obviously liked me and said I could start Monday. From that day on my life changed and I was introduced to the fascinating world of diamonds and gems. Fortunately, I was given a fair amount of responsibility early on and was soon organising stones and settings for the workshop to make. I also got to do probate valuations, often in bank vaults, and this increased my knowledge rapidly. Just like G Collins, the shop carried modern design jewellery, fine antiques and particularly Art Noveau and Art Deco. My particular favourite is the Art Deco era because of the simple lines and the quality of workmanship, but I am also drawn to the fascinating and incredible jewellers of the Art Noveau period - some of the work borders on genius.

Describe your working day

As always, my main place is on the shop floor working with customers. I spend a lot of time designing jewellery, both for sale in the shop and as individual commissions. My specialisation, apart from certificated diamonds, is with coloured stones. I shouldn't have a favourite, but I think the sapphire is the most fascinating and beautiful gem and it comes in some interesting colours. For me, nothing is more perfect than turning a beautiful natural stone of the highest quality into a perfect piece of jewellery when you pass that on to a customer it gives me a huge sense of achievement and I know how much joy it will give for many years to come. Increasingly, people are interested in coloured gem stone rings. We keep our prices competitive without compromising on the quality of the stone or the setting and are blessed with a wide range to choose from. In the last few years it has been rather nice as Harry's now grown-up children have come into the business and are learning fast about the many aspects of the jewellery trade from us older members of staff. So we all spend a good part of the day talking about jewellery and teaching one another in this job you never stop learning!

What makes G Collins special?

Having been here so long, I have the privilege of seeing the children of my long-term customers coming to us for their engagement rings and special gifts. It also shows that making something of great quality and of a simple classic style is the enduring hallmark of our work. I love Christmas time. It is our busiest time but the atmosphere is exciting and it is also when many people come to us for the first time.

What do you best like about your job?

I think more than anything it is the creativity of producing something special and totally unique. I always look at the designs afresh every day, so there is always something new and a little bit different every time. I am also very proud of the incredible service we give all our customers, regardless of how much they have to spend. This legacy is the key to our success over the past 25 years and this same attention to detail and care is something that all of us, young and old, are totally committed to.

Marks out of 10 for job satisfaction?

I'd have to give it 10 out of 10. I touch the most incredible stones and, working with some of the greatest craftsmen and women in my business, get to make them into beautiful things every day.


G Collins and Sons

76/78 High Street

Royal Tunbridge Wells


Tel: 01892 534018

More from People

With light at the end of the Covid tunnel at last, we take heart from how Kent recovered from previous calamities, from the 1930s depression to two world wars and the credit crunch. Article first written in July 2020

Read more

We’re all familiar with blue plaques, but could Kent Life come up with 10 notable births in our county – avoiding the most obvious ones? See if you agree

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How the sheep farming heritage of Romney Marsh, an area of great natural beauty but high unemployment, helped inspire the creation of Romney Tweed | Writer: Sarah Sturt - Pictures: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Who was your favourite doctor? Tom Baker regularly appears in the top two in Dr Who polls, is still acting and would never rule out a come-back | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

You might think you’re a bit of an expert on Kent but when the clock starts counting down, simple facts may start to elude your memory...

Read more

Pets are proving a lifesaver for many, providing companionship and consistency in uncertain times, as these Kent Life readers reveal

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Working closely with the most seriously ill of patients, Joanna Mitchell knows only too well the difference it can make when they are cared for at home.

Read more

Test your knowledge of Kent with our bumper sized 100 question quiz with a distinctly Kentish theme

Read more
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

In a year when we got an inkling of what living through a war means, we remember the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque & courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Read more
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Unknown Warrior’s journey from the World War One battlefields via Dover to his resting place in Westminster Abbey is 100 years old this month | Writer: Lucy Shrimpton - Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Westminster Abbey and Manu Palomeque

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life