Press Centre

Diamond Geezers and Gold Dealers

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 24 Jul 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 30 2014 : Sat 19 Jul - Fri 25 Jul
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

  • Amended: 

    Mon 14 Jul 2014
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing - in the public domain - until Tuesday 15 July 2014.
Hatton Garden has been London’s jewellery quarter for over 200 years. Located north west of the City, it is a half-mile stretch where millions of pounds of gold, silver and precious stones are bought and sold every day.
In Diamond Geezers and Gold Dealers, a new ITV documentary, cameras have been given exclusive, behind the scenes access to some of the distinctive characters who inhabit Hatton Garden; the wheelers and dealers and talented jewellery makers who make their living from this multi-million pound industry.
The area attracts everyone from millionaire clients who commission exclusive pieces, to those who are just looking for that extra special ring to propose to a loved one.
Among the characters featured in the programme are a gold trader who conducts the sale of a diamond ring in the back of a taxi, a bespoke jewellery maker who is seen working on an intricate diamond-studded bird, and a precious metal reclamation expert who gives a vivid insight into her often mucky job.
Michael Lynton has been creating bespoke jewellery for over 40 years. He has worked at some of the best jewellery houses in the country and uses techniques that have barely changed for hundreds of years. He began his career as an indentured apprentice and now works in a tiny windowless basement in Hatton Garden. His most recent commission from a client is an exclusive gold bird decorated with diamonds which will form part of a necklace.
Michael says: “These tools are like my children, I just know them. I’ve been working with these things for so many years.
He continues: “You’ve got to love what you do and I’ve always stuck to the maxim, if you don’t like what you do then you’re not really going to be very good at it. I mean even after 50 years I’m only as good as the last job that I’ve ever done.”
Leigh Stutman works in precious metal reclamation. A glamorous 25-year-old, she stands out in this predominately male world. Leigh works for her uncle’s company Presman Mastermelt, helping to extract bits of gold from dirty workshops by vacuuming up the gold dust.
The company also makes money by sifting through workshop drains for any bits of precious metal that have been washed down the plughole and by melting gold teeth which mostly come from dentists.
Leigh explains: “Anywhere that you would normally throw away waste in your workshop there will be metal in it, your clothes, seat covers, your shoes, we’ve had people give us their dog beds, anywhere.”
Amazingly thousands of pounds of gold can be reclaimed from these grimy workshops and Leigh enjoys presenting the companies with their winnings. She is asked to clean out Michael’s workshop and makes him just over £1,000 from the collected gold dust.
She says: “It’s rewarding when you know that you’ve shown someone there is money in what they consider to be rubbish. Or just maybe someone like Michael will see that he should invest in a hoover!”
Steve is a sole trader who makes a living by buying and selling gold. He’s always in search of treasure that he can sell and make his fortune with. He wheels and deals his way round Hatton Garden and travels the country looking for items.
He says: “You never know what you’re going to buy, you never know what’s going to come over the counter. And you’re just waiting for that one piece, and that’s what everyone hopes for.”
Steve makes money by selling on the gold he collects for a profit but as gold prices are fixed twice a day, profits can fluctuate.
He says: “The gold I’ve just bought is dropping very quickly so I need to sell it straight away just to try and get a days wages or get a profit.”
Hatton Garden punter Chris Eracleous, is a security guard who has commissioned a diamond ring and plans to propose to his girlfriend of four years. He chooses Karl Karter to make the ring. Karl is a new jewellery maker who creates modern pieces using traditional methods.
Chris says: “The ring for me I think it needs to symbolise what you feel, that kind of explains to the woman how you feel. The first thing normally that I think woman look at is how much was it and then they talk about that with their friends and say ‘ah right’ he doesn’t love you that much, it only cost this much and it shouldn’t really matter about that, deep down inside it doesn’t but girls will be girls and men will be men!”