Tustains Jewellers hosted a champagne reception and dinner at on Friday night at Binswood Hall in Leamington. They welcomed guest speaker Guy Clutterbuck, who shared his extraordinary experiences prospecting for rare gems with the 40 invited guests. On Saturday, Guy stayed in the store to talk to Tustains staff and customers and share his expertise for gemstones and his love of travelling.
“Guy Clutterbuck is by far one of the most interesting and exciting people I have had the pleasure to meet during my time in the jewellery industry. He’s spent the last thirty years buying rough and cut gemstones in Africa, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afganistan and the far east” said Tustains director, Joe Milner. “It was a real pleasure to have him share some of his amazing stories about adventures in some of the more remote and dangerous areas of the planet with our customers”.
Joe spends much of his time designing and making bespoke pieces of stunning jewellery for Tustains customers and an essential part of that work involves selecting the right quality gemstones. It’s through long associations with “characters” like Guy that Joe can source precisely the stones his customers want. Guy visits Tustains on a regular basis, bringing samples of gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
As well as talking about his obsession and sharing his expertise about rare gemstones, Guy showed the invited guests a National Geographic video of one of his more recent visits to Sri Lanka in search of unique blue sapphires. His handpicked team were shown as they risked life and limb extracting rock from a mine that flooded on a regular basis. The rock they needed to extract lay beneath the natural water table. To add to the adventure, the shaft was only supported by bamboo and was filled with poisonous gasses and had to be carefully checked to make sure the miners were safe. The video, entitled Get Rich or Die Mining goes on to show the skilful process of panning the extracted mud and how local experts cut and polished the stones to reveal their inner beauty.
At the end of the presentation and guest questions, Guy shared his latest charity, Fine Cell Work supporting prisoners who are serving long sentences and encouraging them to develop skills including very fine and intricate embroidery. This can provide much needed occupation for their time when they are banged up for up to 23 hours each day and also requires great discipline. Guy has donated a 60 carat Mozambican aquamarine with a value of approximately £40,000 as a raffle prize. Raffle tickets cost £50 and you can register on their website http://www.finecellwork.co.uk/shop/raffle/372_aquamarine_stone_raffle for the draw on 20th November.