Busy at his well-worn back work benches, surrounded by minuscule tools and his jewel crafting microscope, David Barthau is focused on placing a large Canadian diamond upon a ring that was jointly designed by him and his customer.
Watching David in action is a flashback to the old days when the precision of human touch mattered most. Wearing a tie and buttoned-up vest, he is dressed for the task at-hand.
When David animatedly explains the details involved in crafting custom jewellery, you can tell that this is his happy place – a place where barely visible bits of precious stones are bonded to coveted metals. But, as he explains, the action begins with design. Barthau Jewellers are one of the few jewellers in Ontario that have the latest digital and crafting technology available in-house. He begins by creating a 3-D digital design, followed by the creation of an actual 3-D model to enable you to see what the finished piece will look like before it is made. Finally, he mills or grows the design in wax and casts it in the selected precious metal.
David brought out his iPad, which is filled with photo after photo of one-off jewellery made to a customer’s spec. There is a story behind every photograph – some show a new combination of two or more sentimental family heirlooms, while others are dreams being realized. Barthau Jewellers is a third generation family-run, independent jewellery store. The Stouffville store was opened by Janet and David Barthau in 1978. Darren, the eldest of David and Janet’s three kids, is involved in the business as well.
Beyond retail sales, the store at 5758 Main Street offers watchmaking, engraving, jewellery servicing & cleaning, Gemologist-level appraisals, and trade-in services.