Central Coast resident of more than 40 years, Ray Lees, followed a passion for general minerals into a career as a bespoke Jeweller. He now handles some of world’s most precious gems, and creates exquisite pieces of art for people to wear and treasure.

It was a Jeweller at a careers fair 16 years ago who first caught Ray’s attention and sparked the possibility of making a living out of a personal interest. A four-year apprenticeship on the Central Coast, including three years of TAFE and on-the-job training, set him up with the foundations to start his own business. And so Raymond Lees Jewellery opened up a shop in the Dymock’s Building on George Street, Sydney.

“I followed the market to Sydney. Our shop is in the heart of bridal shops and artisans, and the region attracts people from all over NSW for the finest jewellery,” said Ray.

Ray often sees customers from the Central Coast. Some follow him there, others are by happy accident.

No day is the same for Ray. He recently partnered with a 90-year old woman who had her engagement ring redesigned and reset. Not long afterwards, he was commissioned by a boutique retailer to assist with the design and production of a rare $1million pink diamond.

“Something very special must be acknowledged in the presence of such a precious gem. A coloured diamond is a scientific wonder and an artistic treasure,” said Ray.

One of the biggest challenges he faces as a business owner is finding the time and inclination to manage what he describes as ‘the boring stuff’. We think he means tax.

“I’m a Jeweller, and I love my job. I try to stay away from tax, which is where Nikki and Troy are so helpful. They do the thinking for me, keep me compliant, ensure I’m ahead of legislation changes and give me the heads up on opportunities that help grow my business,” said Ray.

Ray would like to see his business grow to attract more direct clients so that he can continue his work of transferring unique pieces directly to those who will take pleasure in them.

We think his work is incredible. Follow him on Facebook to see some of his creations.