Traditional jewellery with a twist

Traditional jewellery with a twist
Carol Saffer

Aurum Design Jewellers, a gemstone-shaped kiosk store, sits at the entrance of Lygon Court, glittering and sparkling with gold chains, diamonds, pearls, and an extensive selection of designer watches.

Lorenzo Roccuzzo opened this Aladdin’s cave of jewels in 1990, with his son Joseph joining him in the business after completing an apprenticeship at Collingwood TAFE in 1997.

“I had a passion for design and architecture but couldn’t escape joining my Dad in the shop,” Joseph said.

“I started when I was 14, with Dad and his three brothers who have been in the industry for 50 years; we are a family of artisans specialising in bespoke jewellery.”

While 80 per cent of their business is repairs of watches and jewellery, creating one-off pieces for clients is their niche market based on tradition.

Mr Roccuzzo said people liked to have a point of a difference.

“We can work from a sketch, a photo or an idea,” he said.

“We create a mock-up and have the client approve each step while the work is in progress.”

This has always been the way the family business works.

A traditional store, Aurum numbers all its designs, produces wax models, and accumulates a library and history of all the individually created pieces.

“We are in it for the long haul; there are not many traditional jewellers working like this anymore,” Mr Roccuzzo said.

“My mum and dad are in the store most days along with long-time employee Georgia Moshos and me,” he said.

The store does a lot of repeat business, often with more than one generation of a client’s family coming to the store.

Georgia said there was a broad spectrum of price brackets in the shop.

“From $24.95 silver studs to the top end, we can cater for any budget,” she said.

“We have all been working together for over 20 years, creating classic and contemporary pieces of jewellery for our clients.”

There is a strong trust and tradition between the Roccuzzo family and their clients.

All the bespoke pieces are made in the onsite workshop, although nowadays, the design process starts on a computer.

Lorenzo Roccuzzo named the store Aurum because it is the Latin word for gold and the source of its chemical symbol, Au. •


Caption: Joseph Roccuzzo and Georgia Moshos.

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