Who doesn’t love a beautifully made piece of jewellery? Whether glistening in a window or on someone’s finger, these little gems have the ability to move us emotionally. If you enjoy the finer things in life, you’ll love the Afrogem Fabrication Tour.
When you walk into the first room of the tour, you’re met with the most astonishing gemstones, beautifully presented in glass cases. Then the education begins. As the foremost supplier of top-grade Tanzanite in the Cape, Afrogem offers up-to-date knowledge on the fascinating history of the converted stone. You also get to learn about Afrogem’s process of making jewellery via video. It offers remarkable tidbits of information, like the fact that the company has a design library with 4 000 designs.
But the tour doesn’t end there: you also get to see the actual tools that you’ve just seen on screen – one of the coolest features is the design tree, which holds a number of rings that form the base of many handcrafted pieces – as well as the workshop where all the jewellery gets made.
Afrogem is a big supporter of local employment and the people who work there have spent years perfecting their craft. We were lucky enough to peek into the design room (which is not part of the regular tour) and see how the work is designed on computer before being created via 3D printer. At each station in the workshop, you’re invited to view the various aspects of the process, from cleaning and sorting to crafting. The staff are friendly and ready to explain the entire process. Keith, who has worked at Afrogem for 57 years, affectionately told us how he made his wife’s wedding ring, and how his partner and friend made his.
The last part of the tour is the showroom, where you get to browse the final products. After going through the entire tour, you see the pieces in a whole new light. There is also a curio shop in the corner with delightful locally made products and toys for the kiddies. You’ll find something for everyone in this incredible showroom. Most tours are done via tour agencies and hotels, but everyone is welcome. If you do it through an agency, you’ll receive a free gift at the end of the tour upon presenting your coupon.
If you’re looking for a tour with a difference, the Afrogem Fabrication Tour is a fascinating educational experience.
Photography Courtesy images