Duncan Hunter, vice-president of the Canadian Gemmological Association, presents Anthony de Goutière with a life-time achievement award from the association. (Penny Joppe/Submitted).

Sparkling eye for bling earns Vancouver Island man a life-time achievement award

de Goutière in-demand expert for sellers and buyers of gems, insurance firms and investigators

A Vancouver Island man with an eye for bling an award for his work in gemmology, the study and identification of gem stones.

Anthony de Goutière, who opened de Goutière Jewellers in May 1960, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Gemmological Association on Aug. 12, with the association’s vice-president Duncan Parker presenting it to de Goutière.

“Your hard work, research and dedication have greatly contributed to the study of gemology, not only in Canada, but worldwide,” said Donna Hawrelko in an accompanying letter.

RELATED: Nanaimo jeweler Dee Fontans holds first local exhibition

The 91-year-old de Goutière, who moved to Sidney two years ago after having lived in Saanich for most of his life, said he was surprised but honoured by the award in recognition of his career in gemmology.

While de Goutière opened his store as a master watchmaker, he eventually moved into jewelry and the related field of gemmology, acquiring a diploma from the Gemmological Institute of America. He later continued his studies with the American Gem Society.

“I must say I enjoyed gemmology a lot more than repairing watches,” he said. “Starting off that way led me into different fields in the jewelry business. When I got to gemmology, I decided to concentrate on that. But I can still take your watch apart and clean it.”

Gemmology evokes a level of glamour, and over the years, de Goutière served many well-off locals, including the wife of Harold Husband, who owned Victoria Machinery Depot, which built among other things the first generation of ferries used by BC Ferries. De Goutière still recalls when Husband’s wife invited him to attend a ship christening with him standing near B.C.’s political elite at the time.

De Goutière’s extensive education, keen eye, and knack for detective work also made him an in-demand expert for sellers and buyers of gem stones, insurance companies and police investigators, trying to sort through real and synthetic gem stones.

RELATED: Canadian Arctic a prime spot for ‘ridiculously rare’ blue gemstones

But de Goutière, who retired in 1995, never appeared to get caught up in the feeling of handling items worth substantial sums.

“The best feeling I got was that the customer would trust me,” he said. “To me, it [gemmology] was fascinating because I got to see a lot of interesting stuff.”

He has shared this passion over the years with countless others through trade journals and two books that highlight his extensive, award-winning work in gemstone photomicrography, the process of taking photographs of gemstones with the microscope, as well as seminars for other gemmologists, including his son Paul, who has taken over the Oak Bay store.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Hybrid vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

Long-term goal of B.C. Ferries is to have a “standardized” all-electric fleet

Former runaway teen helps find missing youths through social media

Alex Meikle created the Facebook group Greater Victoria Missing & Runaway Teens

Vancouver Island students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

VIU Students’ Union, B.C. Federation of Students launch ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

OPINION: The smoke and mirrors of indigenous acknowledgments

We want action, we get nothing more than box-ticking

Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

A garden will top Mayor Fred Haynes’ new home on Prospect Lake

VIDEO: ‘Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ top Emmys

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win best drama-series acting Emmy

B.C. man accused of threatening sex worker gave statement of own free will: Justice

Defence wanted Vernon’s Curtis Sagmoen’s video interview with police deemed inadmissible

GRAPHIC: Dead cat found with string around its neck in Kelowna alleyway

City crews have been contacted and are on the way to pick up the dead feline.

Firefighters may be needed for paramedic apartment access, experts say

Better coordination recommended in urban B.C. 9-1-1 calls

One-man Frankenstein show coming to Craigdarroch Castle

The Halloween special will kick off at the beginning of October

Let Downchild chase those blues away

Donnie Walsh and company celebrate the band’s 50th year with Vancouver Island tour

New standards, new maintenance company for south Vancouver Island roads

Province demanding higher standards as Emcon takes over road contract from Mainroad

UPDATED: Fire official deems Saturday morning fire at Nanaimo school suspicious

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes fire at portable at École Océane

MEC and LUSH stores to close on Friday for global climate strikes

Retailers will be closed on Sept. 27 so that staff can march in demonstrations

Most Read