Members of Nationwide Jewellers took workplace training to another level last month when they were given a chance to work one-on-one with Gabi Tolkowsky.
The members were given a hands-on lesson in diamond polishing from the iconic diamond cutter in Antwerp, polishing a facet each on a piece of rough diamond under his supervision.
The jewellers who were selected for the master classes were also some of the first jewellers in the world to be appointed as stockists of Tolkowsky’s most recent diamond cut, the “Astralis”.
Julie Fletcher, of Collins Jewellers in Hobart, said the opportunity to work one-on-one with world-class diamond cutter Tolkowsky was one that always had to be taken.
“It was an amazing experience to work with a man so gifted,” Fletcher said. “He is just so calm and willing to help people like myself who have a passion and appreciation for what he has done through his life. I just find him an absolutely inspirational and amazing person.”
Fletcher said while the actual mechanics of the lesson she had with Tolkowsky were similar to what you could learn from most gem or lapidary clubs, to be able to work one-on-one with someone so passionate and knowledgeable about the craft added much more value to the skills being practiced.
“To sit with the master himself and have him explain why and how and actually get the feel of the diamond going across the wheel and the change of the sound is an amazing experience. He is so passionate. I have watched many people over the years, faceting or polishing, but Gabi is so passionate about every piece of rough he picks up.”
She said while she had taken the chance to meet Tolkowsky before, it was still a re-energising experience to get to work with him and she was appreciative of Nationwide for making such an experience possible.
“What Nationwide is doing is giving us independents amazing opportunities to be passionate about what we do, which energises us to get back working on our businesses, not just in our businesses.”