It’s not just buying and selling, it’s working at the bench and designing a piece that is going to make someone so happy.”
“Not only do we have great designs but now we have a well designed store to showcase them, and our customers love it,” says Neil. You can hear the pride in Neil’s voice when he talks about his craft, it has always meant so much more to him than buying and selling jewellery. “I have the best trade in the world because we get to make people smile. It’s not just buying and selling, it’s working at the bench and designing a piece that is going to make someone so happy. “I will always remember a lady who came in with a piece of twisted copper electrical wire she wanted inlaid into solid gold, which was really difficult because it was all twisted. I suggested it would be easier and more cost effective for us to make her a brand new ring. But she then told me that it was what her husband had proposed to her with and he had since passed away. That copper ring was worth more to her than all the tea in China. So we did it. We inlaid it into the gold ring and recessed it below the surface so it wouldn’t wear away. The look on her face when she saw it was one I will never forget.” Underwoods is the only manufacturing jeweller in the Sunshine Plaza, a service Neil says is becoming increasingly rare. Underwoods Jewellers “Customers can actually sit down with a jeweller and design their own piece from start to finish, which is becoming like hen’s teeth these days. If you are going to leave your precious things with someone, you want them to be utterly rock solid, you want to know who is doing the work. Are they good at what they do or have they just paid lip service to it?” In such a fiercely competitive industry Neil says it’s their attention to detail and high quality of their work that sets them apart from the crowd. “When everyone was grinding rings right back and making them thinner and thinner, we did the opposite and everyone told us we were nuts but they have all gone and we are still here,” says Neil. “We are very fortunate to have an outstanding team of highly qualified craftsmen at Underwoods including jewellers, diamond setters, designers and valuers all under one roof.” Before I leave, Neil proudly shows me some of the tools he uses to create the stunning pieces on display in the store, the passion still obviously very much alive all these years later. He might have come a long way from that tin shed in Parramatta but Neil’s values and ethos haven’t changed. At the heart of Underwoods Fine Jewellers is a love of his customers and creating timeless pieces for them that they will treasure for a lifetime.]]>