Family Heritage

Gold Coast’s oldest family owned business, we are proud of our heritage and all that has brought us into our 110th year of trade.

Birkbecks Jewellers was established in Southport in 1912 by Vic Birkbeck, an optometrist, watchmaker and jeweller. The store operated as a combined jewellery and ‘treasure’ store, and optical centre.

Cedric Birkbeck & Miles Ford

Following in his father’s footsteps, Cedric Birkbeck qualified as an optometrist and together with his sister Helen’s husband, Miles Ford, ran the business from the mid ‘40s to the mid ‘60s, when he retired. Helen and Miles continued to run what had now become one of Queensland’s leading jewellery and fine gift stores and in the late ‘60s they were joined by their son, Michael.

In 1971 Michael was joined at Birkbecks by his wife Liz. Together, they grew and streamlined the business over the next 40 years. Emphasis was placed upon fine jewellery and gemstones, beginning the next chapter for Birkbecks. Overseas sourcing trips became a regular occurrence, with Liz and Michael often travelling to Italy for the finest gold jewellery and to Hong Kong for the international jewellery trade fair for the highest quality diamonds and gemstones. They were often joined by their young daughters, Julia and Joanne, fostering a love for the industry from an early age.

Liz and Michael Ford

Liz and Julia Ford – Mother and daughter management team.

Julia went on to study at the High Diamond Council in Antwerp and then with the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in London and in 2005 she became a Graduate Gemologist. She then returned home from overseas and joined her parents in their Nerang Street store until they retired and sold in 2010. 5 years and 2 daughters later, Julia reopened Birkbecks with Liz, now specialising in diamonds and coloured gemstone fine jewellery. Located at the O Centre on Ferry Road in Southport, Birkbecks welcomes established and new customers on a daily basis. So much has changed over the last 4 generations but the tradition of quality and service at Birkbecks remains the same.