Tucked away in a quieter part of Ang Mo Kio, the inconspicuous neighbourhood shop of Da Kwong Jewellery is constantly filled with a surprisingly pleasant Cantonese banter between customer and shopowner. While jade, yellow gold and pearl remain staples in the acrylic casings that line the shop, Da Kwong and its resident ring maker, 57-year old Mr Yeo, have slowly been attracting a younger audience thanks to his prominence as Singapore’s resident ring-resizer.
Like many others before me, I had dropped by Da Kwong a couple months back to resize my fiance’s engagement ring, having realised through research, that he is actually the man that many big name stores like Jaan Paul outsource their resizing jobs to.
Together with his wife, Mr Yeo has been running the barely 200sq ft shop for just over 20 years, having arrived here in 1995 after spending a bulk of his early professional life in Hong Kong. Like any old-school craftsman, Mr Yeo started learning jewellery making back in 1975 when he was just 17 years of age. After spending over three years mastering the craft, he spent much of his early professional career creating masterpieces worth well over $200,000.
His workstation is as simple as you can imagine. A sturdy wood desk complete with worn but experienced tools, a warm white lamp, and hands that move in tandem precision. Humbly, Mr Yeo admits that he is perhaps the most experienced jewellery maker left in Singapore, a fact that actually attracted him to our nation back in 1995 when he realised that there were far too few quality products produced in our increasingly affluent nation.
Mr Yeo’s workmanship is impeccable and extremely affordable, even willingly adding some gemstones on top of resizing my fiancé’s engagement ring.
When you step into his space all you can feel in a sense of trust. Perhaps it’s the neighbourly hospitality that permeates the room, or maybe its just their casual sense of professionalism and utmost respect in keeping to your budget.
I spent close to an hour chatting/consulting with them before eventually coming back a couple of weeks later to make our wedding bands, and let’s just say I couldn’t be happier.