We’ve always prided ourselves on the journey you go on as a customer when you collect pieces of jewellery from Gemporia. We work tirelessly to ensure you get the highest quality jewellery at the best possible price, and we’ve done this by removing as many unnecessary steps from the process as possible. A little while ago we realised that for all the steps we’d removed from the process before you purchased your jewellery, we’d done nothing to make life easier after you’d received a piece from us. Thankfully, we can now put this right. Allow us to introduce Gemporia Aftercare – our new jewellery repair and care service.
In a quiet corner of Gemporia HQ, under the same roof as our TV studios, offices and call centre, a dedicated team of experienced professional jewellers have set up a fully operational jewellery workshop. Here, they can resize, fix and clean jewellery pieces to impeccable standards, restoring damaged pieces back to their former glory. The service has been operating for a little while now, but customer feedback has been incredible and the time has come to shed a little more light on the operation. To open the doors, we’ve been chatting with our expert in-house jeweller Richard Baxter about the services on offer and the people who’ve made this exciting new venture possible. “The workshop at Gemporia was first set up when I started here in June 2013, and it has taken five years to get it to where it is now.” Richard tells us.
While initially the workshop was our best-kept secret, allowing Richard and the team to slowly ramp up the capabilities of the department and find other skilled craftspeople to join them, it’s now at the stage where we can shout about it from the rooftops. It's not just Richard looking after all your precious treasures; there’s an incredibly talented team around him to handle any number of very delicate and specialist tasks. He tells us: “On the team, we have Gabriele, Greg, Chris and Derek. We are all experienced jewellers, and between the five of us we can make, repair or alter almost any kind of jewellery.” And how did Richard end up in this line of work? “I first became interested in jewellery design while at college studying art. I’ve been a jeweller for 33 years now, and before joining Gemporia I’d worked in design, manufacture, quality control and repair.”
Gemporia Aftercare means we no longer have to redirect you to the high street if you want to have your rings resized, but the team can do so much more than this. “Our basic services include resizing, repair and alteration,” Richard says, “but we also have a good comprehensive stock of replacement gemstones to use for repair. We can also source gemstones if we haven’t got them in the building, which can take a few weeks, but one way or the other we usually manage to find a replacement.” So even if the unthinkable happens and a stone goes missing from your piece, the Aftercare team have got you covered. One of the most impressive aspects of the department is that if you have an issue outside of the standard list of services, the team can even take a look at your piece and make a recommendation on what steps to take next, and quote you for the work. “Some jobs we do may involve more extensive or intricate work which means an extra charge may have to be made. We are always happy to quote for this work at the request of the customer, and no work will be undertaken without permission to continue from the owner of the piece.”
No matter how careful we are with our jewellery, accidents can happen. And because time takes its toll on just about everything, Gemporia customers have been asking us to deliver a competitively priced repair service for many years. The reason we’ve been able to keep prices so low on these services is remarkably simple, as Richard explains. “Our prices are very competitive because we charge trade prices to retail customers.” Because the service is built into the entire operation here at Gemporia, rather than being a stand-alone business, we can charge much less for the work than you may see elsewhere.
Knowledge is so important in the jewellery trade and understanding how different each type of stone is, and the characteristics and quirks of each one, is vital. For example, certain gemstones can show a permanent alteration in colour if they get too hot, something that Richard and the team understand inside out thanks to years of experience. “The most difficult jobs we do are usually the alteration of rings which are set with gemstones that don’t like heat or even warmth, and these can prove to be troublesome. Myself and the team have worked on these gems for many years and have learnt to have the required patience when dealing with them.” In fact, expertise is the name of the game in the Aftercare department, and no expense has been spared in setting up a service that can take care of your most treasured pieces. You’ll no doubt have spotted in the pictures on these pages the bewildering number of tools the team have available to them, for any possible repair task that may arise. The workshop is very well equipped, as Richard explains: “We have all the best machines in our workshop including a laser welder and a polishing room with the best extraction system in the world. All the pieces we work on are polished and plated as required to a very high standard. If for any reason the work requires us to damage the hallmark, we will always make sure that the jewellery is re-hallmarked, keeping it in line with the law and, of course, our customer expectation.”
Our Aftercare service has been building up to full capacity for a little while, and some of you have already been able to take advantage of the experience and dedication of the team after spotting the availability of the service on Gemporia.com. “Our Aftercare service has been running for just over a year now,” Richard says, “and customer feedback has been excellent and very complimentary so far.” Once work is complete, pieces are dispatched using the same method as when you buy new jewellery from us, so you know your prized pieces will arrive quickly and safely back where they belong. All services include complimentary return postage too, and if you decide not to go ahead with the work for any reason, all you pay is the £2.99 return postage. With so much experience in the industry, does Richard have a favourite gemstone? “I like working with all gemstones as they all have their individual characteristics and ways. My favourite gemstone though? Without a doubt it’s Diamond.”
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH OUR AFTERCARE TEAM
Our jewellery is made to be treasured for a lifetime, and we sincerely hope you’ll never need to use our Aftercare service. But if a piece of your jewellery does need some specialist attention and care, Richard and the team are here to ensure your piece is fixed and returned to you looking like it did the first time you ever saw it.
If you would like to use the service please go to this page where you can download and print the Aftercare forms. Alternatively, you can call us on 0333 400 0011, and we can post them out to you.