An interview with Rob Goodman, bespoke jeweller.
Rob and I have known each other for 16 years and in that time I have certainly had my fair share of bespoke jewellery created by him, as my husband will testify! He may be a cheeky chap from North West London but he knows his diamonds inside and out, has a keen eye for detail and the experience to know what will work and what won’t. Above all he listens to his customers and will ultimately create a piece that you will adore forever. As I love his creations, I thought I’d ask him a few questions about the process of choosing your engagement ring, key tips and advice to be aware of.
Over to you Rob…
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Rob Goodman. I make bespoke jewellery and specialise in engagement rings and wedding bands.
R: Growing up my hobbies were mainly sports related like football golf, BMX biking and rollerskating. As I got older I was very into modifying cars and socialising with friends on weekends.
What is the last thing you bought on Amazon?
R: A three-dimensional diamond shape ice cube maker.
What is the last Netflix show you binged on?
R: Gangs of London.
What is the last song you downloaded?
R: “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,” by Bill Withers.
Lockdown survival tip?
R: Don’t go out get everything delivered to you and stay safe.
Lockdown guilty pleasure? (keep it clean ;-))
R: I love tipping point.
How did you get into your industry and job?
R: I was brought up in Stanmore by both of my parents. My father manufactured furniture and told me as I was growing up that one day furniture would not be manufactured in the UK and I was to find something else to do, rather than join the family business. I originally started working at Wembley market on a Sunday from the age of 12 and always had a passion for working hard and trying to learn new things. After many jobs in hairdressing, shoe repairs, shirt makers in Jermyn Street and estate agents; I then found the jewellery business at the age of 21 and decided this is what I wanted to do.
A friend’s mother told me about the Jewellery industry as she thought it would be perfect for me, she knew my father was very artistic and good with his hands, so it may be of interest to me too. So one day I woke up put a suit on, took my CV in a plastic sleeve and marched down to Hatton Garden to knock on doors.
I began to walk through Hatton Garden and saw dozens and dozens of jewellery shops and doors in between that led to offices and workshops. I started to scan through the company names on the buzzer’s of the doors, deciding on which buttons to press to find workshops that might be looking for an apprentice. Despite receiving dozens of knock backs for being too old or there weren’t any vacancies, I kept going, until I found one building in particular that stood out to me. It had many offices and when the door to the main building opened I managed to quickly walk in when someone walked out. I started to knock on office doors instead of talking through intercoms. One man answered, came out, looked me up and down and asked me if I’d come for the job interview. I answered that I hadn’t actually come for the job interview but I would like a job interview. He then looked me up and down again and said, “you see that door over there? Knock on it and ask for a guy called David and tell him you’ve come for the job interview.” I did just as he said, after half an hour of an interview I’d managed to secure myself a job. The company created high-quality jewellery.
I worked there for a couple of years, learning the basics of quality control, a little bit of diamond picking and how the industry worked. Which set me up for life.
Why do you enjoy what you do?
R: I enjoy what I do because I get to speak to people create the most beautiful things and see the job from start to finish and also see the clients reaction after I finished producing the product.
When you first meet a client what are the top 3 things YOU look for?
R: I try to work out what their style is by listening to what they want and also sometimes their appearance helps. For example they may wear a large gold watch which I might assume they are flamboyant or maybe they wear jewellery that is quite conservative which could mean they like the more simple things. They may also wear flamboyant clothes or quite plain clothes again this will contribute to their style and personality. This will help me to create designs that they may like. Apart from their clothes and style, ultimately it’s their personality that I can gauge what they like or don’t like.
What are the most common questions your clients ask in their consultation?
R: How long will it take to make, what will the price be and do I think it would look nice.
When quoting your prices what do you take into consideration?
R: The cost of material and the cost of labour and that’s pretty much it.
What else do you cover in your first consultation?
R: The first consultation would be over the phone and I will discuss a few things before we actually meet; the piece they wish to make, budget, type of occasions it’s for, i.e. wedding, anniversary or birthday and lastly, when they need it for. I’ll then know what type of ring the client is looking for. I would then meet the client, show them a selection of diamonds and designs to choose. This will give them an idea of what they want me to create for them. The most important thing is to have an understanding of what they want and of what they’re going to receive.
Where do you buy your stones from?
R: I only buy my stones from reputable dealers in the industry and never from suppliers that aren’t trusted or known in the industry. Referrals and recommendations are very important.
What are the 4C’s and can you explain what each mean and how it can affect the price?
R: The four c’s are cut, carat, clarity and colour.
The cut of a stone is very important for the light to travel through the stone to make the light reflect perfectly in order to give the best Luster .
The carat is the weight of the diamond and there are 100 points in one carrot. Traditionally most clients would ask for one carat diamond or bigger.
The clarity is important but it is not essential to have the best but to have what is known as Eye clean is a very important in my opinion.
The colour grading starts at D and this is the best colour and is pure white and known as colourless.
Apart from the stone(s) what else is important or useful to think about when choosing an engagement ring or wedding band?
R: It is always useful to decide whether you want the wedding ring to sit flush to your engagement ring before you make the engagement ring so there is no gap in between the two rings. It is also important to decide what metal you would like to use for your engagement ring as your wedding ring will have to be the same colour.
What makes you different to other bespoke diamond jewellers?
R: I like to Think that I am a little bit different to a lot of other jewellers, as I source all the diamonds myself and cherry pick the best out of a bunch of the best, design it and create the piece of jewellery myself. Therefore there is no mistakes or instructions lost in translation between one person passing information to another person in creating the perfect ring for the client.
What is the average lead-time to make an engagement ring or wedding band?
R: The average time to make an engagement ring is two to three weeks, however it can be quicker if it is urgent.
Apart from creating wedding rings what else do you do?
R: I actually make every aspect of jewellery including tennis bracelets, diamond earrings, pendant, necklaces, keyrings, cufflinks, money clips, tie pins, anything you can think of made from precious metals and diamonds.
I also provide our watch repairs and refurbishing. I also do valuations for insurance and probate.
What do you offer to show the piece is the genuine article?
R: To show that the piece is genuine all my work is hallmarked and all large diamonds are certificated and all products come with an insurance valuations and my makers mark. Watch repairs and watch services have one year warranty.
Is there anything else you want to say that could be helpful to clients when choosing their engagement ring and wedding bands?
R: If I could give a little bit of advice on buying an engagement ring it would be to take your time in finding the right diamond and making sure that you are recommended by a friend to use the jeweller, rather than going on the internet and just finding one. When purchasing a diamond, make sure it is a diamond that talks to you and that you think is special. You may find that seeing a nice selection of diamonds will help as you can compare, as you may find one that talks to you more than others. Most importantly never be pressured into buying a diamond, always go with your gut instinct. Your jeweller should be patient with you, explain everything to you and be very transparent throughout the whole process. As my father would say, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So when making your purchase, make it the right one and I will try and make it an amazing experience.
For all wedding ring and bespoke jewellery enquires please contact Robert Goodman: check out his instagram @RobertGoodman1
I hope you found this interview interesting and helpful.
Alternatively, if you would just like to have a chat you can email me anytime on: email@example.com or instagram