On Saturday 10th April we're celebrating the 13th Anniversary of our Diamond Spectacular. We caught up with diamond expert and our on-air guest, Laurie Wickwire, who's really excited about this 4-hour extravaganza!
Laurie: Diamond Spectacular – did two ever go together better?
I've so enjoyed my career working with diamonds, and I always recall with amazement my very first International Jewellery Fair. The fairs take place over a week and jewellery shops and buyers from around the world come together to view the latest designs and great gem finds from the previous year.
It was organised chaos, with security guards rolling in huge safes full of precious diamonds. I watched in sheer delight at the hustle and bustle as the world's top gemstone suppliers assembled their stands, readying their magnificent jewels for display.
As a newcomer I was excited and also a little nervous and intimidated. You couldn't walk more than 15 yards before a guard would approach and request my security badge for inspection. I always wore my badge with pride – it made me feel included, which was lovely.
Although all the stone merchants and designers at the fairs are all competitors, they're all one big, friendly group. I've noticed how they reminisce with each other about stone finds and places visited. As I reflect on my time at these fairs, I realise how proud I am to be included in this group of fine jewellers and diamond merchants. One of the best aspects of the jewellery business is that, in large part, it's run by families, gifted from grandparent to parent to child. All the knowledge and love of these beautiful stones is nurtured from generation to generation.
I've just returned from this year's Basel Jewellery Fair and it was as spectacular as ever. There was a real buzz about the place and the teams were working hard to bring together the perfect collections. I'm very excited, as one of the pieces I picked out at the fair is going to be on the Diamond Spectacular show. It's the most wonderful 9 carat gold bracelet that dazzles with over three and a half carats of gorgeous diamonds. It's only available on Advanced Order, so won't actually be sent out to you till the end of May – but you will be one of the first people in the country to wear it!
I'll be on air from 2pm right through till 6pm on Saturday, so I really hope you can join me for this extra special anniversary show – I can't wait!