Jeweller in Focus: Issue. 9
4th Week, March
Lucy in the Sky
Lucille (Lucy) Fife
Located in Goulburn, New South Wales, Lucy in the Sky explores the diverse mix of contemporary and traditional beauty that gemstones can portray. The business explores each and every customer’s individual tastes, while expertly incorporating several techniques to bring that extra “shine” to their jewellery. This is all achieved through the highly qualified founder of the business Lucille (Lucy) Fife.
Burning with Passion
Lucy’s journey into gemstones began from an incredibly young age. Her earliest memories are those of her Grandmother’s Jewellery box, and the countless hours she spent searching through beads and brooches of all varieties. This child-like intrigue into jewellery pushed into her career in the future as well. After studying Business Management at Charles Sturt University, Lucy immersed herself in the natural beauty of gemstones and diamonds. She began work for a high-end jewellery boutique in Canberra, making the weekend commute from Goulburn simply to be around the beautiful gemstones in the store.
Following this, she was fortunate enough to work for the Mondial Pink Diamond Atelier in Sydney. This was another opportunity to develop her knowledge and passion for gemstones and diamonds. This is where she was fell to the beauty of Argyle Pink Diamonds, and blue diamonds in particular. She then began work for Calleija Sydney Boutique, another Sydney based high-end jewellery retailer. Here, she further worked to explore the amazing stones around her. This then led to the birth of Lucy in the Sky, Lucy’s dream business where she has taken control over each and every aspect of her jewellery.
Lucy is an extremely “motivating and passionate” person, with an authentic and “genuine interest in gemstones and people”. She is now an accomplished Diamond Grader, Diamond Technologist, Jewellery Valuer, and Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia. Achievements, which are all reflective of her passion for the industry.
Studying the Business
The jewellery industry is one that contains a lot of hurdles. However, being knowledgeable and approachable are two qualities that can assist in overcoming these challenges. This is especially true for Lucy in the Sky. Lucy recognises that her “studies and qualifications have massively and positively shaped” the development of her business. She focusses especially on her “love and passion for the science and geology behind gemmology, and the gemstones themselves”. Customers often have a wide variety of questions, and Lucy always strives to answer them. Whether it be about “how they were formed, how they were mined” etc.
Lucy believes that it is her “responsibility to educate the client on what exactly they are purchasing”. Fulfilling this responsibility has been made significantly easier for her through the many qualifications which she has earned, as well as the countless hours of study and experience which she has with all her stones.
“A lot of jewellers, and somewhat the industry as a whole is surrounded by a certain air of mystery. I want to eradicate this fear by being fair, transparent, trustworthy, reliable, and renowned for providing honest advice and products.”
Lucy believes that the best way to achieve her goal is via science and education. By passing on her knowledge, whether it be about “gemmology, jewellery values, the origin of stones, design elements” and more, as long as the customer is happy and confident, Lucy has done her job.
Bespoke by Design
Lucy in the Sky utilises “a collaborative approach” when designing and creating their jewellery. The customer’s individual appeals, tastes, and preferences are the first point of call. Each being deeply considered before Lucy is then able to “provide options and ideas” for different designs. This is usually done in the form of hand-drawn sketches, ‘procreate’ drawings, or CAD images. All with the purpose of guiding the customer as to which designs work well.
Lucy believes that although she has expertise in jewellery she also utilises her “expertise in listening”. This allows her to “refine customers’ ideas into a quality piece or heirloom” which is both beautiful, and stylistic in nature.
“I once helped a gentleman select a Blue Ceylon Sapphire with which to create a bespoke engagement ring for him to propose to his now-wife with. She loved the colour of the stone so much, and it meant so much to her that he selected it – that the exact tone of blue became the theme for their wedding.”
Lucy always aims to create “Classic, timeless designs which have been injected with personality” for all generations to enjoy”. She believes the “Bespoke element is an exclusive service to have an individual piece created with quality gemstones and impeccable craftsmanship with a design that we can create together.”
As such, each piece is created to be deeply personal. With each bespoke piece is “a story of an individual, or a milestone specific to one person or a relationship.”
Lucy is also expanding to create ‘off-the-shelf’ products, all of which “have the same thought and quality that a bespoke piece has”. These pieces are individually formed for “those who are looking for a gift for themselves, or others, but might not have any ideas, or the time to wait for a custom piece to be created.”
The Battle Against Mass Production
The major challenge for many jewellers is the constant battle against ‘mass-produced jewellery’. Especially in “getting people to understand the difference between a custom piece compared to one of a chain jewellers’”. This is especially difficult, as the best way to display the difference is by comparing the two side-by-side. However, this is almost impossible to do. In the instances where it is possible, “it is easy to point out the differences even to someone who is not trained in the jewellery industry”.
In order to get around this difficulty, Lucy is more than open to letting customers find pieces that they like and create Lucy’s own individual designs out of them. However, it is “very difficult to tactfully tell customers that bespoke jewellery will likely take longer, and probably cost more”. This is especially true for new clients. They “will simply have to trust me that it will be better with no proof until the piece is completed in its majestic beauty”.
This is a challenge that Lucy is yet to overcome, however, she recognises that “she is not here to get every sale”. Her purpose is to create “more quality items for her customers”. And every customer which does take this “leap of faith realises that they can physically see and feel the difference between the two types of pieces”.
We asked Lucy about whether there was a piece which she herself just loved to create, and she treated us with the story of the creation of “Margs’ Dream”, a ring whose namesake was after the lovely lady.
“Margot had always wanted a Pink Diamond. Nothing was going to stand in her way. Her favourite colour is pink, and she loves jewellery. We got along like a house on fire! It was her dream to have an Australian Pink Diamond and she was determined to make it happen”. But in order to realise the significance of Pink Diamonds, you need to know a little about them.
The Pink Diamond Details
“With the closing of the Australian Argyle Pink mine last year and the rapid depletion of its resources and of course, the world’s supply of pink diamonds diminished by more than 90%, it was time. The pink diamond is so rare that a whole years’ worth of Argyle Pink tender diamonds can fit in the palm of your hand. To put it into perspective, around 14 million carats of diamonds are mined, polished and marketed each year. Approximately 0.01% of these are coloured diamonds, and only 0.0001% of the 0.01% are pink diamonds. Yes, they are incredibly special and to own one is a gift!” Now, back to the story –
“I was honoured that Marg chose to purchase from me so of course I sourced and provided the absolute best I possibly could.” We worked together to select a gorgeous “0.08ct 5PP (Purplish Pink) Round Brilliant Cut Australian Argyle Pink Diamond. A ‘beyond rare’ and very very pretty colour. We wanted to make a feature of the pink and accentuate its colour and brilliance.” To accompany the beautiful stone, “I had a 0.40ct F colour VVS2 GIA certified extra-long baguette diamond specially cut to measure and certified to use in the centre. Set horizontally across the finger. This allows the ring to have more presence, without swamping the pink.”
Looking back on the piece, “I love how the natural step cut of the baguette and the mirror effect has a completely different, yet still alluring, effect to that of the brilliance and refraction and reflections of the pink. They work magnificently together. Each complementing the others’ different properties. Everything worked perfectly, and the fact that it was set in 18ct Rose gold meant that the colours are on point.”
“It was an incredible feeling to be able to assist Marg in achieving her dream of acquiring her most recent investment in such a beautiful form.”
Future Plans Ahead
There are many directions that Lucy in the Sky can take when marching ahead. However, what Lucille places significance on is “Exclusive high-end bespoke pieces”. She wants to continue reaching for and having “access to the world’s finest gemstones” and provide a “personalised service” for each and every customer.
“There is a high-end collective Retail Space called Ensemble & Co in Crookwell NSW who exhibit and sell my ready to wear items. In 2021 I opened my own 2 showrooms called ‘The Pearl Room’ and ‘The Diamond Room’. Both are located in Goulburn NSW. Furthermore, my international and domestic online client bases are growing every day.”
In addition to this, we will see the launch of the Lucy in the Sky eCommerce store – which will allow for a greater influx of international and domestic clients and will showcase the beautiful jewellery which Lucy creates. Every step forward is another reminder that Lucy in the Sky “focusses on quality pieces, not quantity”.
A Message to Future Jewellers
This industry is one which is “ever-evolving and growing to become so supportive and community-based with the help of companies like The Gem Monarchy!”. The important skill which everyone should be able to do is to utilise what this community can give you. “I gained invaluable experience from my previous employment at Mondial Pink Diamond Atelier Queen Victoria Building Sydney and from most recently Managing the Calleija Sydney Boutique in Martin Place. I’ve been able to take that knowledge and experience and add my own individual flair to my work. I’m proud to own my company and to have grown it from nothing as a single female. I love the freedom of being in charge of my own destiny and helping others along the way!”
And don’t forget to expand your own knowledge! ” I am very lucky to have gained vital education from my beloved industry:
- Diploma in Diamond Technology – awarded the Federal Sutherland Diamond Award for the highest marks in Australia,
- Diploma in Gemmology
- A Fellow of the Gemmological Association
- My own Jewellery Valuation Course
- Being a registered Jewellery Valuer with the National Council of Jewellery Valuers Australia
All of these things have helped me grow and can help you as well when you continue forward within this industry. “