Diamonds a jeweller's joy

Peter Anderson at work on another masterpiece in his workshop above the family's jewellery store in Murwillumbah.
Peter Anderson at work on another masterpiece in his workshop above the family's jewellery store in Murwillumbah. John Gass

THAT famous adage from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes that "diamonds are a girl's best friend" also rings true for one who works with the precious stone every day.

Jeweller and gemmologist Peter Anderson from Andersons Treasure Store in Murwillumbah said of all the stones he has worked with it was diamonds that he preferred.

When asked what sort of diamond Mr Anderson liked he replied with that Cheshire cat-like grin "big ones and lots of 'em".

"You can't go wrong," he said.

"They're bright and shiny… they're dateless.

"Pink diamonds are the big ones in this market and they are rare. I have had the opportunity to work with some pink diamonds in my time.

"They are just so nice. It's the hardest stuff known to man so they are hard to ruin.

"A ruby on its own looks dead, but surround it by diamonds and it looks beautiful."

Mr Anderson's workshop is above the family jewellery store where he has set diamonds for more than 25 years.

Jewellery and precious stones were an ever-present part of his life so it was natural that he started the third-generation in the family business after his father Lawrence, who is a watchmaker.

Mr Anderson's easygoing nature gives him a likeability that he found useful in his career as a jeweller and helped to create something special for his customers.

He is not the sort of jeweller who is only comfortable being bent over his workstation night and day working with precious metals and stones.

"Meeting people is what it's all about," he said.

"I do half of it and show her (a customer), then do a little bit more and show her again.

"They come upstairs… they are part of the making of it. I don't just say, "Come back in four weeks".

"Murwillumbah is a quiet little country town, but for people to come in from a distance to see me or dad is what it's all about.

"You're not just hiding up here away like some of us (jewellers) like to do; we design jewellery to make people happy."

There is always a clear process when Mr Anderson takes on a new project and it often starts by talking to the customer.

The second step is designing the ring on a computer program, CAD, and then the design is carved in wax to show the customer before metal casting.

"If you're not on the CAD wagon you are really going to miss out," he said.

"I have 10 to 15 mates around the Townsville area and sometimes when I do a really nice design I might flick the image up to them for free and they will send me one of their good designs. I will print it out, put it up in the window and, Bob's your uncle, I have a window with all the latest designs."

Most of the diamonds traded around the world are mined in South Africa, Botswana, Australia, Canada and Russia.

"Pink diamonds are Australian; they don't come from South Africa," Mr Anderson said.

"They are 30, 40, 50 times more expensive than normal diamonds.

"The saying goes they will mine a ute tray full of diamonds and the ashtray will be pinks."

Most of the $9 billion a year diamond mining industry is traded through the diamond exchange in Antwerp, Belgium.

"I went and studied gemmology, then once you're a gemmologist you're asked to be a valuer.

"Then I went on to study diamonds. You are always learning in this industry.

"Synthetic rubies are massive at the moment. Something that people buy for five or 10 thousand dollars in Bangkok I'm selling for 10 bucks."

"We source our stones from Antwerp, overseas and other areas."

Mr Anderson's wife has born the brunt of his passion to always create and make modern designs.

"I've changed her engagement ring 11 times and we've been married 15 years," he said. "I get sick of looking at it so I want a new one.

"What we are about here is new stuff; we like to push the boundaries. If we do make stuff for the window then it has gone within a month."


Types of diamonds

All diamonds can be identified by there colours.


  • These are found worldwide.
  • They are usually clear but can have slight shades of colouring.


  • The world's most rare diamond that can only be found in any quantity in Western Australia.
  • Pink diamond makes up less than 0.1% of diamonds found in the Argyle mine in Western Australia.
  • Colour can vary from soft rose to ruby-like, dark reds.


  • These diamonds vary from light yellow to a deep canary yellow.


  • These diamonds vary from a light blue to a deep sapphire colour.


  • Most of this green colouring is in the shallow layers and is usually very subtle on cut diamonds.


  • These are the most varied of colour and graded on colour from light Champagne (C1) to cognac (C7).


>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  diamonds fashion jewellery lifestyle

Men of league hit the greens for community

Barry Hancock and Kev Embrey of the Fraser Coast at a recent Men of League Bowls Day.

Tweed to gather on Coolangatta greens.

Crowning bowls champions

CHAMPS: Mark Casey, one half of Gold Coast champion bowls pair with Jayden Christie, play on Monday.

Who will it be?

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge