DIAMONDS and other gems fascinated David Nicholson for more than 40 years, and he became an expert in them.
The Albury businessman, formerly of Nicholsons Leading Edge Jewellers, lost a long battle with cancer on Sunday, his 64th birthday.
He died at the Mercy palliative care centre.
Mr Nicholson and his wife, Debra, closed their shop in the Centrepoint arcade in 2008 and moved into Albury from Splitters Creek.
However, he continued as a qualified valuer while being an active and jovial member of the Rotary Club of Albury North.
The jewellery business had previously been run by his father, Harry, and before that by an uncle and grandfather for more than 60 years.
Mr Nicholson had originally intended to be an electrical engineer and as a student made drawings for the Sydney Opera House during the final stage of interior design and construction.
He also worked for the Sydney Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board.
“One day I got a call from my father asking if I would like to work in the jewellery business,” he said in 2008.
In 1973 he moved to the family’s Albury store, then Nicholson & Smith, which he took over after the manager died.
Mr Nicholson was a Fellow of the NSW Gemnological Association and he and Mrs Nicholson often attended the world’s three big jewellery fairs in Hong Kong, Arizona and Switzerland.
They adjusted their business to changing styles and updated technology, seeing watches go from simple wind-up models to those with a global positioning system, altimeter, barometer or compass.
A memorial service will be held at the Albury Entertainment Centre on Tuesday at 2pm.