Ronald Benjamin at Olympia in 1991 when Princess Margaret visited.

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From John C Benjamin:

It is with much sadness that I now have to report the news of his death at the age of 96.

Ronnie was one of the few remaining representatives of a generation of jewellery dealers active after the war who enjoyed remarkable success – particularly during the boom years of the 1970s and 1980s.

Many of these ‘old school’ dealers traded from premises located in Hatton Garden and the West End and included many highly respected names, now sadly fading from memory, such as Manfred Seymour, Paul Hirschfeld, Ted Lapidus, Paul Fisher, Frank Wasinski, David Drager and Charles Rotenberg.

Fortunately, there are a small number of their contemporaries who are still very much with us; those which immediately spring to mind include Anthony Landsberg, Bernard Silver and Kurt Eichner who, incidentally, was still trading at the age of 93.

Talent realised

Ronnie started as a manufacturing jeweller at the bench in 1948 and, realising he was far more interested in the finished article, quickly found he had a talent for buying and selling.

He soon established himself as a regular face at Portobello and Kensington and built up a reputation for trading antique jewellery which at that time was both readily available – and affordable.

This led to him setting his sights overseas and he began to ship goods to and from the US, exhibiting in trade shows and building up an unrivalled book of private clients on both sides of the Atlantic who appreciated his discerning eye for rare and precious gems and jewels.

Good friend

I worked for him for three months in 1976 (we were not related) and, while it became apparent to me that my own future lay in the auction world rather than in dealing, we always stayed good friends.

After retiring to live in Florida he ultimately moved back to London and passed away in a nursing home on April 14.

As successful as Ronnie surely became, none of his considerable achievements would have been possible without the unwavering support and vision of his wife and business partner Anita who, together with Ronnie’s son Mark, both survive him.