The evidence: The royal jeweller's workbench

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Asprey & Garrard of Bond Street holds royal warrants to make jewellery for HM Queen Elizabeth II, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and HRH The Prince of Wales. The company also carries out private commissions. Due to security restrictions, we are unable to identify the jeweller interviewed

"I use an Arkansas sharpening stone (1) - we need something much harder than your average sharpening stone. We customise a lot of our tools (2); I use these to dig the metal out, in order to set the stones. The South Sea Island pearls (3) are for the necklace that I am mounting at the moment. The setting (4) is made from platinum and diamonds, and the picture (5) is of how it will look when I have finished. My principal jeweller's tool is called a bench pin (6), which is basically a piece of hardwood. I file, drill and cut against it. My second-most important tool is a jeweller's saw (7). Some of the blades are the thickness of human hair. The "bench skin" (8) catches small pieces of metal and hot things you occasionally drop. You have to wear goggles (9) to shield your eyes when you are soldering metal, particularly platinum - it gets white-hot, so you can't even see it without them."

Interview by Aoife O'Riordain

Photograph by Darren Regnier