Leif Benner, Goldsmith

Concept: 4 out of 5
Execution: 4 out of 5
Yeah, but: I even like his watch.

The Long Version: When I write a review, I try to combine an expansive breadth of knowledge with incisive specificity. This time I can't do that – while I do know a bit about jewellery and jewellery stores, I don't spend any time researching and shopping around. Whenever I need something nice in gold, I just head down to see Leif Benner. He's a goldsmith and designer located in Toronto's Distillery district, an arts incubator that's something of a tourist attraction in its own right.

As often happens, I needed to see a jewellery designer because I wanted to get married, and found the perfect ring as soon as I walked into Leif's studio. Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work – I should know, I've watched someone do it – but working with Leif has always been easy. When Penny and I were looking for wedding bands, he deftly talked us away from a significantly more expensive design by showing us how it wouldn't be a good compliment to Penny's engagement ring. For my band, he took the time to go through a number of different options that I never expected to have, and I've come away with a ring that's exactly right for me - it's square. What more can I say?

Leif's clearly enthusiastic about his art, and I never hesitate to recommend him to anyone who's looking for something special in gold or precious stones. He's both a talented designer and a pleasure to work with. Either trait is hard to find, but getting them both together is remarkable and worth supporting. After getting an engagement ring and a wedding band set from Leif, I can't see ever going anywhere else.


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