Gemporia came into existence on the 8th October 2004 at 4pm, when our TV channel Gems TV went on-air for the very first time. The idea was simple – bring people affordable jewellery set with genuine gemstones, while educating about the provenance, science and history of each fascinating stone.
As the minutes ticked down to our launch, nobody was quite sure if the idea would work, or how long it would be popular for. But, thanks to an incredibly loyal audience of collectors, ever-growing relationships with the industry and countless hours of hard work to ensure our shows are always the very best they can possibly be, here we are 15-plus years later. Whether you’ve been with us for the whole journey or have joined us just recently, we’d like you to know how incredibly grateful everybody at Gemporia is for your fantastic support. You’ve really made this business what it is over the last decade-and-a-half.
As our 15th birthday approached in late 2019, we had a chat with presenter Angeline Davies, who was the first face seen on screen when it all began.
HI ANGELINE, HOW ARE YOU?
Hi everybody. I’m absolutely fantastic, thanks for asking. I’m loving life at the moment, it’s great!
AND HOW ARE THE FAMILY?
This summer is our last with our two children in primary school. This September, our eldest, Edward, who is now 11, begins his journey into secondary school, and Scarlett, who is seven, moves up to year three. They are such a joy to be around and are at a great age where adventures are very much possible. I know everyone says it goes fast, but now it seems to be on super speed!
ON THAT NOTE ANGELINE, FIFTEEN YEARS OF GEMPORIA!
I know, right! Where has it gone?
HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY HERE BEGIN?
I first started working for the company before it even became Gems TV. Lynn Jinks and I auditioned on the very same day and started together, co-presenting the breakfast show. It was brilliant fun! At the time we sold lots of different things, from homewares to garden furniture to trampolines, but there were also items of jewellery throughout the show. That was definitely where my passion lay from the very early days. I guess this is why I was chosen to help head up the new channel when it began. I had always been interested in gems and gemology, so it seemed a natural progression.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THE PRE-LAUNCH BUILD-UP AND THE PREPARATIONS FOR LAUNCH?
A team of about 10 of us, including Steve and Sarah Bennett, went over to Thailand to visit a Sapphire mine and do a two week mega 12-hours-a-day crash course on genuine gemstones. It was a whirlwind of a ride, and we met so many interesting people and saw so much of the jewellery crafting process. It was fascinating – I was hooked from the very start!
YOU WERE THE VERY FIRST PRESENTER ON GEMS TV. WHAT ARE YOUR STAND-OUT MEMORIES OF THAT DAY?
It was all very, very new and it was all very nerve-wracking. I seem to remember the jewellery didn’t actually physically arrive in the building until about 16 minutes before the broadcast was supposed to start, and we still went on-air on time! Everybody was all hands to the pump, and it was a real adrenaline rush to hear that initial “Going live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… cue Angeline” in my earpiece. A genuine moment that I will never forget!
IT MUST BE WONDERFUL TO HAVE SEEN THE BUSINESS GROW, CHANGE AND ADAPT OVER THE YEARS? HOW EARLY DID YOU REALISE YOU WERE PART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL?
Oh, very, very early. In 15 years, I’ve seen so many changes. The building has been chopped, and changed goodness knows how many times – even the studios are on the opposite side of the building now. We’ve seen Gemporia babies, marriages and friendships flourish. So much has changed, but the most significant change has come with how people consume television. Smartphones, tablets, catch-up services and the majority of the world wide web didn’t exist when we began. We’ve had to move fast and study hard to maintain our high standards of broadcast. Our gemstones have never changed, they’ve always been the best!
YOUR PASSION FOR GEMSTONES COMES ACROSS EVERY TIME YOU’RE ON SCREEN. CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST ON-AIR JEWELLERY PIECE?
My first jewellery presentation happened when we were not yet fully Gems TV. It was a beautiful, solid 925 sterling silver watch, encrusted with pavé set Diamonds. I went over to the jewellery counter in our old studio to present it, and because of its evident calibre and high cost, the expectation was to sell perhaps one or two. But I was so passionate about these beautiful gemstones and the craftsmanship of the box, that we ended up selling a lot of them. I think that was the moment that I realised my passion for jewellery and gemstones was going to work in the TV environment.
HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED VERY MUCH OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS?
If we’re talking physically, then massively. As anyone who’s watched for a long time will know, I’ve been pregnant twice while on screen. I’ve lost weight and gained weight. I’ve had short hair, long hair, blonde hair and black hair! But since January 2016, I’ve lived my life in a very much more disciplined way regarding food, and have kept off the extra stones I gained with the babies!
HOW MUCH OF A JOURNEY HAVE YOU BEEN ON DURING YOUR TIME AT GEMPORIA?
It has been a long path, and I’ve enjoyed all of its twists and turns. I came to Gemporia in my 20s, and I’m now in my 40s. That’s quite a big long chunk of your life to spend somewhere. I think it says a lot about the place, the people and the business when you see the number of years myself and many others have been here.
HAVE YOUR FAVOURITE GEMSTONES CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
Oh, I’m really fickle. Like, really fickle! One day Diamonds will be my favourite; the next day it’ll be Rubies. Jake, David or Steve, our primary gem hunters, will then bring in a new gemstone that nobody has ever seen before, and that’ll be my new favourite. You can never get bored in the world of gemstones; there are so many to pick and choose from.
WHICH ARE YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE JEWELLERY PIECES, AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO YOU?
Truly I have one piece of jewellery that means the world to me, and that is my wedding band. It’s the ring that my marriage vows were spoken over, and that really is my most precious piece of jewellery. Outside of that, my Tanzanite engagement ring, of course, and for many years now, I have also worn a great big Morganite ring from our Sarah Bennett collection. I love it, and it’s become my signature piece. But really, like anyone, I have very few pieces that really mean everything to me.
ARE THERE ANY GEMSTONES FROM THE LAST DECADE-AND-A-HALF THAT YOU WISH YOU’D GRABBED THAT ARE NOW UNAVAILABLE?
Yes, classically I missed out on Russian Alexandrite and perhaps even more tragically Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline too. I have many other rare and beautiful gemstones in my collection, but these two are definitely the two that got away.
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU ON-AIR?
Well, I’ve made that many clangers I couldn’t list them all! I guess probably the most notable was when I went over to the wheeled TV stand to show everybody the customers names that were calling into the auction. As I went over and pointed to the screen, I lost my balance a little bit, and the point became a grab, and the grab became a push, and the push became a full-on stumble. The TV stand toppled over, and I think the clip even ended up on It’ll Be Alright on the Night in the end.
WE CONSERVATIVELY ESTIMATE YOU’VE PRESENTED OVER 12,000 HOURS OF LIVE TV IN THE LAST 15 YEARS. WHAT ARE THE MEMORIES FROM THAT TIME THAT HAVE REALLY STAYED WITH YOU?
Far too many to talk about here. I guess my prevailing memory of being here is the all the laughs we’ve had. We have a great team here, and the banter that we have both on and off the camera really and truly is the heartbeat of this place.
YOU’VE RECENTLY BOUGHT YOUR CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE TO YOUR OWN JEWELLERY COLLECTION. HOW IS THAT GOING AND WHEN CAN WE SEE MORE DESIGNS?
The Memento Collection was a great success, much to my relief. I never really considered how nervous I would be launching a collection of my own, especially as it meant so much to me. But I genuinely thank each and every single one of my collectors for the gorgeous feedback they gave on those designs. There are rumours that there may be another collection on its way, so watch this space. Find me on Facebook for updates.
DO YOU HAVE ANY GEMSTONE PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEXT 15 YEARS?
I reckon the more organic, the more natural and the more real gemstones are going to be the ones that start to prevail. I’ve definitely seen an upward trend for the organic natural gemstones, and more than anything the provenance of the gem has become massively important. That’s why you should always keep your certificates of authenticity, and with our jewellery app now storing them all online, I think it’s absolutely fantastic.
FOR ANYONE WHO’S ONLY JUST STARTED COLLECTING FROM GEMPORIA, HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP WHAT THE COMPANY IS ABOUT?
We are all about genuine gemstones. Everyone at the company that you are buying from genuinely believes in what they do; we are offering genuinely great deals, and we love our customers to bits.
HOW QUICKLY HAS THE TIME GONE BY?
Far too fast. It seems very trite to say, but as you get older, time does seem to speed up, and your children really serve as a benchmark for this. I live my life as fully as I can, day-to-day. One piece of advice I would give to anybody who has special jewellery locked away or kept in a jewellery box or special drawer... stop! Get that jewellery out, however expensive it is, and get it worn, because life is too short to keep jewellery locked away in a box.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR MEMORIES WITH US ANGELINE.
You can catch up with Angeline live on Gemporia between 11am and 3pm most days
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