is the hands behind Cape Diamonds.
Joel originates from Hogsback, a small town in the Eastern Cape, surrounded by indigenous forest. His close relationship to nature is evident in the design of his jewellery pieces.
Joel completed his degree in Jewellery Design and Manufacture at Natal University of Technology. Expanding his experience, he moved to the United Kingdom and worked alongside some of the greatest jewellery designers and goldsmiths with outlets in Bond Street and Harrods fine jewellery room.
These included Barbara Tipple, record-breaking winner of 4 De Beers International Jewellery Design Awards. Working with Barbara and her husband, the world-renowned silversmith, David Ward, Joel learned both new and ancient jewellery techniques, such as reposé, hand engraving, anti-clastic raising, and pavé setting.
Joel has 20 years experience in creating jewellery and has been sponsored by Anglo Platinum to give lectures on working with platinum and on handmade jewellery techniques to students at Stellenbosch University.
In 2019 he was selected by Anglo Platinum to judge their PlatAfrica2019 annual jewellery design awards.
He specialises in working with platinum, gold, white gold, and palladium, and in setting precious stones.
Q&A with Joel:
Q: What inspired you to start Cape Diamonds?
A: Growing up in Hogsback and having fine artists as parents enriched my childhood years. As a child, I was always captivated by nature’s design. I played outside in the surrounding forests, creating things from natural materials. My love for art, design, and craftsmanship developed throughout my youth when I did clay firing, painting, and woodcarving, and this developed into working creatively with gemstones and precious metals.
Q: How is your love of nature reflected in your designs?
A: One of my latest collections is inspired by South Africa’s beautiful natural surroundings. The Fynbos Collection/ Cape Botanical Collection is inspired by the indigenous flora of the Cape. This collection is a favourite among both local and international clientele as it has a uniquely Cape element.
Q: Tell us about your local and international experience?
A: After studying and graduating with my degree in South Africa, I spent years working for some of the greatest jewellers in England. I then came back to South Africa and started my own business, Cape Diamonds, from humble origins in my garage in Sea Point. It was always my dream to run my own business and I spent many days and sleepless nights building Cape Diamonds, doing what I loved most, designing and creating diamond engagement rings and jewellery. I have specialised in working with gold and platinum. Most of the world’s platinum is mined in South Africa, and platinum’s durability makes it a “forever metal” – yet it takes great skill to work with it. Because of my expertise in working with platinum, I have been sponsored by Anglo Platinum to lecture jewellery design in Stellenbosch, and to judge the Anglo Platinum jewellery design awards.
Q: What is the idea behind the Soul Ring?
A: The Soul Ring collection, exclusive to Cape Diamonds, builds on the idea that love is a spiritual as well as material connection. The ring has a sleek and minimalist design and appeals to clients who like clean lines and have modern taste.
Q: How do you feel about South Africa’s future?
A: I am a proud South African who is overwhelmed by the beauty of South Africa, it’s the perfect place to fall in love. As well as serving our local market, we have many international clients who come to Cape Town to purchase diamonds and engagement rings as we offer the most competitive prices globally. It’s a wonderful feeling to contribute to the South African Tourism industry by knowing that visitors to our country received the best diamond deal and high-quality craftsmanship. At Cape Diamonds, we welcome every client that walks through our doors. A referral is the best way to grow a business and our reviews speak for themselves.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I love hiking in the mountains around Cape Town or relaxing on the beautiful beaches, appreciating nature. I have a strong connection with wild animals due to my rural forest upbringing. Recently Cape Town was suffering a severe water crisis, I was relaxing on the beach with some friends when a wild goose landed a little way away. I called the goose towards me by lowering my head and offering water in the palm of my hand and pouring a little on the beach sand. To the surprise of onlookers the thirsty goose walked to me and drank from my hand before flying off.
My friend captured the moment and the video went viral, reaching over 450 000 views. News 24 reported that the video highlighted “the Cape drought’s impact on all living beings.” – https://www.news24.com/
It was amazing to see how this incident inspired people to start putting water out for all the wild animals large and small.
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