GEM expert Alistir Tait has sold out a series of “rock” gigs with a difference
The renowned goldsmith is offering jewellery fans the chance to get up close and personal with their favourite Stones – including diamonds and pearls.
Such was the demand for tickets to An Introduction to Gems and Jewellery they sold out immediately and the Edinburgh jeweller is now planning follow-ups.
The delighted expert, who owns Alistir Wood Tait Antique and Fine Jewellery on Rose Street, said: “It is fantastic to get such positive feedback and we’re already planning more.
“People from every generation love gems and enjoy the chance to handle beautiful rocks. Certainly, I think there is a greater appetite for knowledge about jewellery than ever before.
“In my experience, diamonds have never been more sought after and there is a greater knowledge of Scotland’s own jewellery heritage than I’ve seen previously.
“Despite that, I was still a little surprised by how quickly the events sold out, though it is extremely flattering.”
Alistir is one of the UK’s foremost gemmologists and a leading expert on Scotland’s native gold and precious stones, as well as the country’s jewellery-making heritage.
Alistir’s expertise has made him a sought after public speaker – but he wanted to get more “hands on” with the four sessions to be held in Edinburgh throughout October.
Each two-hour event will be a masterclass in the chosen topic – either diamonds, pearls, antique jewellery or gem testing.
Fittingly the venue will be Britain’s oldest rock and gem collecting organisation. The Scottish Lapidary Club recently moved into new premises at 20 Maritime Lane, Leith – and it is the ideal venue for intimate gatherings of 15.
Alistir added: “I don’t want to be lecturing people – this will be informal, up close and personal. People will be handling stones, using eyeglasses, tongs and even microscopes, because that is how gemstone are best appreciated. It should be fun.”
Participants will also get a unique insight into native Scottish gems and precious metals – from handling Elie Rubies from Fife, sapphires from Harris and rare Scottish freshwater pearls, as well as testing gold panned from Scottish rivers.
Alistir said: “This is an opportunity for people to learn more about the wonderful gems and rare stones which come from the natural landscape of our unique country.
“They’ll also get a chance to learn what happens behind the scenes in the jewellery trade,and discover all about how gems are tested and moulded to produce timeless or exquisite pieces.
“You don’t have to be an expert or a collector to be interested in precious gems. Beautiful pieces of jewellery have a place in most people’s hearts – whether it’s a wedding band, an heirloom or a special treat.”
To meet demand Alistir and colleagues at the Lapidary Club have scheduled a second course for the New Year, open to interested members of the public.
For further information about Lectures in Gemmology, please contact Alistir Tait at 0131 225 4105 or email [email protected] or call into his shop at 116 Rose Street.