Meet the jeweller: Anthonys Fine Jewellery
We sat down with Rick Jobson, owner and head designer at Anthonys Fine Jewellery to talk all things craftmanship, inspiration, jewellery trends and finding the perfect piece.
How long have you been in the jewellery Industry and what lead you in that direction?
39 years, as well as a brief time in fashion at the manufacturing and design end. I moved to jewellery with family ties.
What sets Anthonys Fine Jewellery apart from other jewellery stores?
We are one of the very few jewellers with a large-scale design and manufacturing business. Nearly all Anthonys collections are manufactured in house. That contrasts against most jewelers who buy from wholesalers and importers, or use large factories in China and India to make goods for them.
As a designer where do you draw your inspirations from?
For me, the designs come from life experiences, whether they be man made structures or formed by nature. I have purposely traveled the world for over 40 years and have photographed since I was old enough to hold a camera. Framing an image allows me to dissect it and use the elements that leave an impression. Then when I see a gem of beauty, I draw from these elements to design something fresh and balanced to the gem. I never look to other pieces of jewellery or other designers for inspiration.
What changes have you seen in the industry over the years?
Over the years I have seen gem mines dry up and gems I believed were plentiful become rarer and rarer. This is great for those who own a wonderful gem, but is a challenge for new customers who desire a now rare gem. I have seen jeweller after jeweller, give up on fine quality jewellery in favour of mass produced product. This happened firstly with the catalogue style businesses, as well as the growth of online businesses, most jewellers run their companies to compete with this poorly made bulk jewellery. Designed and made all around the cost not the style and not made to be a family heirloom.
Have you noticed a trend towards more bespoke pieces?
Anthonys does have more and more clients who want quality and an intimate involvement in their bespoke piece. It’s perhaps a push back by people against the production line, disposable type jewellery that dominates the market.
What is trending at the moment in the jewellery world?
Bold colours dominate the high end jewellers and top design houses. Natural Gems highlighted with diamonds is the main theme. More subtle uses of Rose gold to accent both yellow and white golds is also trending worldwide. But it is important to not the distinction between high end jewellery and fashion jewellery. High end is more conservative and has very long fashion cycles (some pieces almost never date). Whereas low end and costume jewellery is a little closer to say shoes or handbags that have a much shorter ‘on trend’ period.
Is it popular to buy jewellery or precious gems as an investment, if so what type of items are typically popular?
As a gem becomes rarer (you can almost say extinct) the prices rise enormously. These are popular for the shorter-term investors. Argyle Pink diamonds are the current favourite. There are really strong long-term benefits of buying quality handmade pieces with the highest quality gem you can stretch to. These are genuinely getting scarce and have excellent value preservation and the benefit of being worn, enjoyed and eventually past on to family (if not sold).
What advice would you give someone looking for an engagement ring?
Don’t get stuck in the fashion cycle, as you will wear this forever! Also, really think about all the activities you do and where you expect to wear the ring. What may seem like the ‘prettiest’ ring may turn out to be to dainty and delicate for the constant wear and tear of your life. Australian women are amongst the most active in the world.
What is your favourite piece that you have ever created and what made it so special?
Never ask a designer or artist to name the most favourite piece. They are like babies to us and we love them all. But we also have to believe our best work is still coming!
The better question is ‘show me some pictures of pieces that are real standouts and are loved by their owners’, that I would be happy to do.
Anthonys Fine Jewellery is located on Level 1, near Myer.