The Irish treasure from Port Elizabeth
Dublin, a city full of life and full of colour, has been hiding one true South African gem. The gem is none other than Sam Lafford — owner, designer and goldsmith at Dublin Diamonds.
Originally, Sam chose to specialise in fitting and turning at a technically based secondary school in South Africa, despite his heart being more focused on jewellery. He went on to graduate in Tool Making and Precision Engineering.
“When I was younger I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I loved making little trinkets and giving them to close friends. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I realised jewellery was my calling.”
After moving to Ireland at the age of 25, Sam decided to re-invent himself. “It was a challenge starting over and learning a new field; fortunately the years in tool making gave me a unique skill set that have been invaluable over the years.” And thus, his career path in jewellery began.
Having had his “Catheral Ring” and “Angel Wings” featured in magazines such as NONE Magazine and the Sunday Independent Life Magazine, Dublin Diamonds owes much of its success to exclusive platinum and gold commission pieces. Each piece starts off as a bar or sheet of bullion, and some pieces end up a third of their starting weight. Selective use of computer-aided design has helped Sam to minimise his material waste. However, working with his hands still remains his real love.
The detailing that Sam, along with his younger brother Greg, applies in the workshop, manages to create is what is remarkable. His tool making background ensures fine detailing and perfection throughout the piece.
Dublin Diamonds is situated right at the heart of Dublin. You can view these magnificent and fascinating creations via their Facebook page. It is best to meet this charming South African for yourself and design an exceptional piece together.
So, what is still to be expected from this incredibly talented jeweller? “I am really excited about my new ranges. There is going to be lots of colour, gemstones and diamonds. All one-of-a-kind fine jewellery designs in gold and platinum.”
And who inspires Sam Lafford? “There are a few designers around Place Vendome whom I really admire. To see people who have put themselves out there, designing what they enjoy rather than what is expected, that gives me heart to go my own way.” Watch out Paris, Sam Lafford is heading your way!