ABOUT GRYPHON JEWELLERY
Gryphon Jewellery also provides the rare and highly unique service of hand engraving. Our jeweller Hamish Burchell, an award winning hand engraver, uses centuries old techniques to hand carve such things as crests, seals, patterns and monograms. Pendants, bracelets, finger rings, napkin rings, cups, goblets and trophies have all been the objects of Hamish’s handiwork.
Specialising in diamonds and coloured gemstones, Hamish handpicks stones from the far reaches and obscure corners of the world. Securing gemstones in jewellery is a difficult art and Hamish takes special care in ensuring this is done to an exacting and high standard.
In addition to jewellery, we restore Antiques pieces of metalwork. Teapots, statues, candlesticks, objet d'art and even vintage car parts have been refurbished in our workshop.
Hamish Burchell, Dip (Gemmology), FGAA.
The Burchell family has been making and repairing jewellery in the Southern Highland town of Bowral for three generations. Hamish’s Grandfather Walter Burchell started his jewellery career in 1908 and founded the company W. E. Burchell in 1923. W.E. Burchell’s reputation for high quality became well known not only in Bowral but across the whole country. It became one of the oldest jewellery stores in New South Wales and traded continuously until 2009, when Hamish’s father John decided to retire and not continue the family business.
Hamish commenced his career in jewellery in 1990 whilst still a high school student. Working part time alongside his father after school and weekends, he learnt the basics of clock making and jewellery repairs. During this time he studied silver smithing at the Sturt craft centre in Mittagong.
After leaving high school in 1993, Hamish began his apprenticeship with the firm D M Evans in Sydney. The proprietor, David Evans, had previously trained two apprentices of the year. Under David’s tuition, Hamish had his apprenticeship shortened by a year.
In 1994 Hamish started his studies at the design centre at Enmore TAFE. The famous Master Jeweller Rex Steele Merten was a teacher with whom Hamish developed a friendship that lasts to the present day. Hamish topped his year in 1995 and again in 1996, receiving an achievement award for stage 2.
In 1996 Hamish enrolled in the Hand engraving course at the design centre. He came first in the course in 1997 and again in 1998 and won the Nellie Thompson Award for Hand Engraving.
Again in 1996 Hamish enrolled to do more study this time at the Gemmological Institute of Australia obtaining a certificate IV in gemmological studies and a Diploma in Gemmology. He topped the first year practical course and became a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia. Returning to Gemmology House in 1999 as a Demonstrator teaching practical gemmology, Hamish became a senior Demonstrator and continued to teach up until mid 2008.
After submitting references and his own works before a panel, the year 1998 saw Hamish receive the honour of being accepted as a Fellow of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia. This enabled him to use the Guilds Hallmarks on his jewellery and prove a dedication to excellence in his jewellery work.
Hamish took on his first apprentice in 1997. Between then and 2006 he trained four apprentices, three of which were all multi award winners at TAFE. His last apprentice, Mathew Neale, won the NSW state medal.
In 2009, Hamish was recognised by his peers in the guild as a Master Jeweller.