The team at Cunningham Jewellers.
The team at Cunningham Jewellers. The Advocate

New Coffs jewellery store backed by long history

A NEW generation of Cunningham has taken on a new shop with a long history - Cunningham Jewellers, now open in Centro Toormina.

Judith and Ron Cunningham owned and ran their jewellery store in the Coffs Harbour CBD for many years before closing in August 2005 to manage their new store in Brisbane's Centro Lutwyche with their son Brendan.

“But traffic jams and harsh water restrictions, the lure of top fishing spots and the good life in the Bellingen Valley, has made the decision to return to our home an easy one,” Judith said.

The three Cunninghams have now opened their new store, specialising in diamonds, with Brendan at the helm and Judith in store. “Ron will still be available helping set up the new premises and assisting when needed, but retirement takes priority for him now,” Judith said.

Brendan, born and bred into the jewellery business, qualified as a chef after leaving school. But his love of jewellery was deep seated and his decision to continue in this field has seen him leave his chefing behind.

Now, he has completed numerous courses, including diamond grading with well known expert, Bill Sechos. This has given Brendan an even greater passion for the beautiful stones and a drive to seek out the best for individual customer requirements.

Through the years, he has worked on the repair bench and now has an excellent reputation as a reliable repairer of watches and jewellery that many other jewellers would find too difficult to do and in some cases, refuse to repair.

“He is not a magician, but he certainly tries to work out a way to repair the most difficult problems.”

Cunningham Jewellers has been an active member of a nationwide buying group - the longest and most successful one in Australia. “An advantage of being a member of this group is that we are able to be an Antwerp diamond broker, visiting Antwerp and buying diamonds for individuals as required.

“This year, at the annual jewellery fair, held in Sydney, I had the privilege of meeting the world's most famous diamond cutter, Gabi Tolowsky, renowned for cutting the almost 300 carat Centenary Diamond (insured for around $US100 million) and Golden Jubilee fancy yellow brown diamond, which was presented to the King of Thailand when he celebrated his 50th jubilee. Tolowsky has since introduced the famous 'Sea Shell Diamond' collection, which captures individual beauty of each stone.

“I was able to select an individual stone, and now, it is ready for a 'show and sell',” Judith said.

• Cunningham Jewellers, the Diamond Specialists, is now open in Centro Toormina. For any jewellery requirements, watch repairs, and particularly, diamond rings and jewellery, call in, or phone 6658 5115.

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