The Gold Coast’s largest diamond dealer and wholesaler since 1998 offers custom design to retail shoppers and a selection of jewels to make you blush. Label chats with Greg Ward from CTJ Diamonds and Jewellery about his history, style and the evolution of the jewellery industry.
1. When did you know a career in jewellery was for you?
I started jewellery when I left school in 1971. I trained under Kurt Albrecht; his knowledge of the jewellery business was unsurpassed. He was a family friend I liked the business as they dealt in antiques, art and jewellery.
2. Where did you start your career?
Kozminsky Galleries in Little Collins St Melbourne. Up until last year, when they closed their doors, they were Australia’s oldest jewellers.
3. Why do you love the industry?
The industry has changed over time and has taken me on a global journey; I source all of our diamonds around the world. Nine out of 10 diamonds come from India, but of course there are many other manufacturers. I look for diamonds with lustre, diamonds that talk to me, I want the same for my customers. Why sell a stone that is not what you would want for yourself? I love the look on the woman’s face when they come back in and have loved the piece that we have made for them.
4. How would you describe your signature style?
Classic. You want a design to speak for the person who wears it. The best comments are “Everybody asks me where I got it!” You design for the customer. We all have individual styles, what one person loves the next person hates, that’s our industry. Please don’t wear the same as your friend; it takes the fun out of it.
5. How have you seen the industry evolve over time?
The industry in diamond certifying has really changed the market. Diamonds mostly are laser inscribed so to now protect you from the old doubting jeweller syndrome, it’s great for you and us. GIA is the most recognisable certificate in the world and the benchmark for certification. There are a few others that you still can trust but GIA is the standard.
6. What pieces and styles are most on trend now?
Classic tennis bracelets and diamond studs are still a favourite of women. Halo designs are still the go to for engagement rings with the classic solitaire six-claw making a real comeback.
7. What has been your favourite piece to create so far?
My favourite thing, it may be corny, is making things that people really love, small or large, and seeing them coming back years later still raving about it.