Laings is proud to deliver fine jewellery and diamonds that are meticulously chosen for their excellence. Ensuring this is maintained throughout each UK showroom is Diamond and Gemstone Jewellery Buyer, Leah Wylie, whose expertise allows Laings to showcase the most mesmerising and enchanting diamond and gemstone pieces.
Leah provides an insight into her journey to becoming Buyer and the importance of her role at Laings.
Tell me about your journey through the luxury jewellery industry
I started in the industry at 18 as a receptionist in the Head Office of a jewellers who were relatively small at the time, and I occasionally helped with the stock team. My passion for the role began here and I eventually moved on to become Assistant Buyer and Assistant Manager of the team. Eight and a half years later and one move to Glasgow, here I am at Laings still doing the job that I love as Buyer and being able to work with the most amazing jewellery.
What qualities have lent you to your role?
Examining gemstones and jewellery can be trained to a degree but having a natural eye for it helps. I have been in this industry for nine years now, so my skills have certainly developed over that time, although I’d credit a natural eye for much of my ability.
What training helped shape your skillset today?
The best training I’ve ever experienced is visiting IGI in the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp. The depth and detail in which you get to discover different gemstones is incredible. I’d looked at inclusions in stones for so long already, but this training allowed me to learn exactly what they are, what they mean and how they affect the overall quality of a stone. The opportunity to look at gemstones under a microscope and now being able to tell a gem’s origin from its inclusions is extraordinary.
What qualities do you look for in a gemstone?
Buying coloured gemstones in person is so important. Gemstones aren’t cut for their brilliance – like diamonds are – so the amazing varying colours are what makes them stand out and that’s something you can’t buy from a certificate. Not only am I looking for good clarity, but exciting colours and hues that really make the gemstones special.
With diamonds, it’s so important to see them in person because no matter how detailed a certificate is, you’ll never truly know the what the diamond will look like. For example, it’s critical to know the location of inclusions, what type they are and whether they will compromise the stone.
How did Richard Laing help you in your role at Laings?
Working with Richard, you see his passion shine and how committed he is to providing the absolute best quality. It certainly rubs off on you – all I want to do is listen to him talk about diamonds. He has set the standard that we work to with our diamonds and his knowledge has been invaluable. Richard introduced me to the importance of hearts and arrows and what good quality diamonds mean to our family collection. His enthusiasm is unmatched.
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