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My Bench

My Bench: Leon Raper

Leon Raper best tip to jewellers is clean your workbench at the end of each day.
Leon Raper

Works at: Australian Diamond Company (ADC)

Age: 56

Years in trade: 30 years

Training: Trade-qualified diamond setter (South Africa), Diploma of Jewellery & Object Design (Melbourne Polytechnic)

First job: Apprentice diamond setter at Edward Ber in South Africa, 1981

Other qualifications: Licensed real estate agent (Queensland)


In this ring, a 18-carat rose gold-toned morganite is surrounded by small round brilliant-cut diamonds. As a simple, classic halo ring, it’s timeless and guaranteed to draw attention.

Favourite gemstone:

Padparadscha sapphire. These sapphires are rare and not easily available – especially unheated ones that are
the colour of a tropical lotus flower. The more saturated the colour, the more valuable they are.

Favourite metal:

It depends on how the metal is used; it’s white gold when setting stones, yellow gold when manufacturing or crafting a ring, and platinum for longevity.

Favourite tool:

Heavy duty ring bender pliers. They bend just about any thickness of precious metal with ease.

Best new tool discovery:

GRS Graversmith – I never knew how much easier it makes your work, especially setting work!

Best part of job:

Mastering a technique that you once found hard to do.

Worst part of job:

Realising that you misunderstood an instruction on a job packet only after it’s completed.

Best tip from a jeweller:

If your gut tells you that something is not correct with a job order, follow up with whoever is responsible for that order.

Best tip to a jeweller:

Clean your workbench at the end of each day. There is nothing worse than starting your day having to face an untidy bench.

Biggest health concern on the bench:

Fine dust particles – especially abrasive powder coming from the sanding disc and pre-polishing waxes like Tripoli Lustre Polishing Compound.

Love jewellery because:

It’s in my blood! My father was a diamond cutter/polisher and from a very young age, I would go with him when he visited various people in the industry. That is how I was exposed to the diamond and jewellery business.







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