Kim Goh is owner and designer at one of Singapore’s most important jewellery shops. A client of MS Amlin’s, he describes his life creating top-end jewellery destined to adorn the rich and famous.
I rarely sleep more than five hours a night. Always up early, I love to walk around my neighbourhood, Lavender, in Singapore. I’ll find a nice café, chat with the locals, and experience life as it is for real people in this city. This is important for me. In the jewellery business I spend so much time working with very wealthy clients that, outside of work, I want to be with ordinary Singaporeans. In this profession, that keeps me grounded.
Because of the humidity here in southeast Asia, I take the MRT (Singapore’s metro) to work. Normally my jewellery store, Kim.T Fine Jewellers, is in the famous Raffles Hotel, in the downtown Singapore City. But the hotel is being renovated at the moment so we have temporary accommodation in the Fairmont Hotel across the road. In this business, Raffles Hotel is an extremely valuable address.
I arrive at the store between 9am and 10am, using the morning to take care of admin. There are around a dozen people who work for me, half of them craftsmen and women, the rest gemologists, salespeople or in accounts. At the rear of the shop is our workshop where all our pieces are lovingly made.
We design between 120 and 150 items a year, featuring diamonds ranging between one and 15 carats. I once made a necklace for a wedding consisting of 30-carat and 60-carat solitaire diamonds but, believe me, that is exceptional. Rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, tiaras, brooches… we are commissioned to make all different types of jewellery. Even intimate jewellery that I really shouldn’t discuss in this magazine! The metals we work in include white gold, platinum and, more and more, titanium which is so strong that you require very little to hold the gems securely. The gems we use include diamonds, Paraiba tourmalines, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. But we also work with coral and conch pearls. What’s most important about my business is that every single piece we make is totally unique. I don’t reproduce any of my designs. Our clients wouldn’t be happy if they bumped into someone else wearing the same item.