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.



GET IN TOUCH



G Collins and Sons


76/78 High Street


Royal Tunbridge Wells


TN1 1YB


Tel: 01892 534018


More from People

Thursday, September 17, 2020

80 years after the Battle of Britain, Richard Bates recalls the role his father H.E. Bates played in telling the stories of the famous ‘Few’ | Words: Richard Bates

Read more
Thursday, September 10, 2020

They were petty Kent criminals, sentenced to transportation to New South Wales, who became ‘Australian royalty’ as part of the ‘First Fleet’ | Words: John Wright

Read more
Friday, September 4, 2020

The Princess Royal, who celebrates her 70th birthday this month, reflects on her happy time at Benenden School near Cranbrook | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more

Kent Life meets some of the people working hard to save our historic vessels from the scrap heap

Read more
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Take a step back in time to the good old days with these vintage videos from around Kent

Read more
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

King Kong star Naomi Watts may be an Oscar-nominated actor, but she’s proud of her Kentish roots

Read more
Monday, August 10, 2020

Like any place of learning, an independent school should be a second home, somewhere pupils can count on for support and inspiration as they develop as individuals.

Read more
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tradition continues at Chartwell, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill in Westerham, with the arrival of its newest recruit – a marmalade cat named Jock

Read more
Monday, August 3, 2020

Phil Wise, Head of the Senior School at Kent College Canterbury (KC), shares the benefits of pastoral care and why student welfare should be the number one priority for any school.

Read more

Nina Callow reveals why she’s documenting her family’s life in lockdown

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