Rotary Club of Bathurst East

    The Friendly Club

Precious Memories

Michael Coote, eminent NSW jeweller and Bathurst local, reminisced about the founding of W.J. Coote & Sons and the Australian fine jewellery trade.WJ Coote
Our guest speaker this week, introduced to the meeting by Secretary Lee Rayner, was Michael Coote, a third generation “Bathurstian” who manages the family business, W J Coote & Sons in William Street, and was elected to the Bathurst Council at the last local council elections.
As stated by Michael: “W.J. Coote & Sons was established in Sydney at 691 George Street when William John Coote purchased the Standard Jewellery Shop around 1904.
After a move to 658 George Street Sydney his sons joined him in the business. Robert Alan Coote, WJ’s son with his wife Barbara created a branch of W.J. Coote and Sons at 69 William Street Bathurst in 1953.
Sam Coote, Bob’s son joined the business in 1971 and continues the business “with Ilona and myself along with daughters Melanie and Amelia aged 6 and three respectively”. W.J. Coote and Sons joined the Showcase Group of Jewellers in 1982
Michael stated Australia produces more diamonds than any other country, however only 5% are used in jewellery manufacture with the remainder being used by heavy industry.
He told of one diamond he dealt with recently, a 0.53 carat pink diamond, and although only around a half carat, it was valued at $ 195,000.00. Such diamonds, Michael pointed out, are usually kept for investment purposes only.
Michael entered Council with the sole intention of serving the community and has endeavoured to do so.
Members then asked Michael a variety of questions, with his answers covering the 12 hour race, bi-centennial celebrations, RYDA and associated issues.