The term “old school” means a lot to John Payne, the master jeweler at Goldcrafters of London. After all, he’s served a five-year jeweler’s apprenticeship in London, his hometown. That’s where John learned the skills he later honed to an art: custom design of fine jewelry.
After the apprenticeship ended in 1978, John’s adventurous spirit brought him to Hendersonville, where he worked for a summer season at the Osceola Lake Hotel. Four years later, having worked at a shop in Asheville, John put up his shingle, bearing his distinctive name. After a quarter century in business, John still has the boyish enthusiasm he started with.
Diamonds, sapphires and emeralds are the three most popular items in his shop, but John loves Opals the most. “No two are alike,” he says. “That makes them especially satisfying to work with.”
Prices range from $50 to $12,000. Goldcrafters of London offers delivery, mailing and gift-wrapping.