Australian Gems That Pack A Punch


Australia truly is a jewellery lovers dream with such an abundance of magnificent gems to captivate the imagination. I love incorporating home grown gems in my jewellery designs, with Champagne, Cognac and Pink Argyle Diamonds, Australian Sapphires, South Sea Pearls and Opals frequently featuring in our handcrafted creations. How beautiful is it that alongside all of our unique flora and fauna, we produce spectacular and unusual gemstones that come in a superior quality and are predominantly unique to Australia.

We source all of our Australian gems from a very select few gemstone suppliers who are specialists in their fields. My parents established many of these connections over 50 years ago and these ongoing relationships ensure that we can offer our customer’s the best and highest quality stones and still remain competitively priced. This includes our Sapphire supplier who we’ve been working with for 40 years, our Opal supplier who we’ve been working with for 45 years and a number of different diamond partners and cutters who’ve been in the industry their entire lives.

While each Australian gemstone is exquisite in its own unique way, one of my favourites would have to be Champagne and Cognac Diamonds. They offer the scintillation of a diamond in a spectrum of tones and hues that can’t be found in any other gemstone and they possess timeless elegance while still being reasonably unconventional.

It’s hard to contend with the incredibly rare and exceptionally beautiful Argyle Pink Diamonds, which are considered to be the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. They lend themselves to delicate, classic design and look best when set alongside a sprinkling of Australian white diamonds. However, along with this, I’m also partial to the famous Australian Opal, these mesmerising stones are so incredibly different to any other stone on the planet and the design options are endless! Our classically beautiful South Sea Pearls are world-renowned and probably one of the most elegant of gems.

When it comes to the popularity of Australian gems, my customers tend to be people who desire something a little bit different, as a result I find that Parti Sapphires are very interesting stones, because they have 2 or 3 colours in the one gem. Like all Sapphires, they are second hardest to diamonds, so great to wear in engagement rings or other every-day jewellery.

For customers who are interested in designing a piece that exclusively features Australian gems, I tend to combine a bold or brightly coloured stone with White Diamonds to create contrast and enhance the beauty of the gemstone. Australian Pearls, Opals, Sapphires and Diamonds all look magnificent in their own right, but can become even more eye-catching when highlighted using White Diamonds. If I’m working with a customer who wants something a little outrageous and likes colourful jewellery, then I might combine two coloured gems in one piece.

Australia certainly is home to some of the world’s most incredible, natural gemstones. If you’re interested in creating a piece of jewellery featuring an Australian gem, make sure you’re following us on Instagram where we showcase many of our stunning one-of-a-kind designs using gems sourced and created locally.

 



Truly Yours: Three Ways To Incorporate Your Style Into A Bespoke Piece


Creating a bespoke piece of jewellery enables you to express your personality and style in a unique and eye-catching way. When customers come into the boutique to design a piece, I’m instantly inspired by their character and make it my goal to create a piece that is uniquely them and one that they will cherish forever.

There are three easy ways to ensure you incorporate your personal style into a bespoke piece: identify a coloured (or colourless) stone, a shape of a stone and a design style that speaks to who you are.

Select A Coloured Stone You Love

If you weren’t after a white diamond, colour is an emotional and extremely personal preference. There will always be certain colours that will make you feel secure and happy and by using these colours or tones in a bespoke piece you can ensure that you’ll treasure your personalised creation for years to come.

I often find that a woman’s preference for a stone can stem from what her mother or grandmother wore. You’ll be drawn toward similar pieces to what your mother wore because they spark that sentimental feeling that jewellery should produce for you.

You can also look to your clothing to get a feeling for what colours you love. Certain colours and tones will stand out in your collection and help you identify what gems you should use.

Select A Shape Of Stone You Love

Like colours, you’ll tend to be drawn toward shapes that are prevalent in your home. Maybe rounded stones offer inspiration; maybe it’s geometric shapes or angular pieces? Remember that whilst bigger is sometimes better, toning it down will help make the piece a more timeless representation of your style.

Select A Design Style You Love

If you’re confident and outgoing and want to make a statement with your jewellery, you could select a bold design, or colour for your bespoke piece. If you’re more conservative and want an understated piece that you can wear every day, you may opt for a classic and sleek design.

Engraving something personal or setting a secret stone within the piece is a thoughtful and sentimental way to include unique elements in a more minimal design while maintaining a clean aesthetic. You’ll know what design styles you are drawn to because your personal style is usually consistent and your preferences usually flow through everyday aspects of your life. Your coffee table, couch and other home décor items will be especially helpful in defining your style. Ask yourself; do you lean toward clean lines and contemporary design, or vintage and antique pieces?

I love working with customers to find the perfect balance between colour, shape and style to create a piece wholly reflective of their personality. I like to start with big ideas and then peel them back so the end result is very simple, stylish and timeless and one that captures your truest essence. Before you design your perfect bespoke piece, I suggest you take some time to think about what makes you uniquely you.

The most important aspect of bespoke jewellery is that it speaks to you on a personal level and becomes something you treasure for a lifetime.

Looking for some inspiration before you step into the boutique to start designing your one-of-a-kind creation? Follow us on Instagram to view some of our stunning pieces!

 



Our Guide To Successfully Stacking Rings


One of my favourite jewellery trends is stacking rings, because it means that my customers no longer have to choose just one or two of their favourite rings to wear each day, but can now wear multiple and create individual looks that reflect their own style and personality. Successfully executing this bold trend can take some thought and consideration, but ultimately is a fun and exciting challenge.

The ring-stacking trend is essentially now a contemporary mix of tradition and fashion and is a real extension to a daily wardrobe decision versus being the traditional domain of brides. To really nail this trend you need to keep your look clean and cohesive.

Seek out a range of slim, delicate rings as well as chunky, modern styles that can allow you to combine a really personalised look. Many of our customers consider ring stacking to celebrate major life events such as anniversaries, the birth of their children, engagement ring upgrades, promotions and personal milestones. They’re also a great gift to go with any existing jewellery.

How many rings, which fingers, the sizes and shapes you choose really depend on your personal preference and what you’re comfortable wearing. Jewellery is about expressing yourself and stacking rings enables you to combine different aspects of your personal style in an eye-catching way. For an eclectic, multi-dimensional look, I like to stack my white diamond bands against black sapphire bands.

For an element of consistency, I suggest choosing oneaspect of the rings to keep cohesive. For example, choose a particular metal and then stack rings of different sizes, shapes and stones across your fingers for a unified look that’s still interesting. Something should remain consistent to tie the rings together, so they look great against one another without being too matchy-matchy.

Alternatively, you can choose one shape and then experiment with textures, metals, stones and sizes of the bands. Off setting chunky, bold rings with smaller, delicate bands can add a more dynamic element to your stacks and help you avoid going overboard with the look. Different colours that have similar tones and hues can also look magnificent when stacked next to each other.

Buying your rings from the same designer can contribute to a cohesive look when stacking –while the individual rings will be different, specialised underlying elements from the jewellery designer will tie them together.

At our boutique, we present rings that are already stacked on display. This enables our customers to get the finished look from the beginning and hence we can collaborate with them to develop and select a stacking option that they feel works for them.

To find your perfect stacked ring look, play around with your rings and see what works for you. Start with your favourite ring, be inspired and most importantly have fun with it – there’s no set rules when it comes to jewellery! If you’d like to start experimenting with stacking rings, pop into our boutique or book a complimentary consultation.

 



What To Expect From Designing Your First Bespoke Piece


One of the best ways to acquire a beautiful and unique piece of jewellery is through the bespoke design process, guaranteeing that you will leave with a special, one-of-a-kind creation that no one else in the world will have.

When designing a bespoke piece, I like to involve the customer as much as possible to establish exactly what they are looking for. In the first meeting, it is important to gain an understanding about what you, the customer desires. This is a fun and collaborative process; I absolutely love having the opportunity to get to know my customers better and secure a strong understanding of their personal aesthetic, desires and style.

During this initial consultation we ask an array of questions, such as are you drawn to more contemporary, classic or vintage styles? By delving into your world and understanding small details like the shape of your coffee table, style of dress and favourite car, we can determine what shapes and forms you love and what colours and tones suit you to begin the process of creating a design you will treasure forever.

We then start thinking about metals, gems and colour. This is often one of the most exciting aspects for the consumer as they select the specific materials we’ll use to create the piece - that’s the beauty of bespoke, you can bring your vision to life.

Whether you already have an idea of what you would like to create or aren’t sure where to start, we take great pleasure in assisting you on your journey towards designing your dream piece. It can also be extremely helpful to bring in some visual representations of styles you are drawn to. Some clients bring in images of pieces they like or even a mood board all of which can be used as inspiration.

Many of our customers have a specific budget in mind, which we can easily work towards. Whether it is a ring, earrings or necklace, we can make any design work to your budget. The price will simply change based on your gemstone selection. Another beautiful thing about bespoke is that it actually doesn’t cost any more than simply walking in and selecting a piece from the window! We don’t add any additional charges for sitting down with a designer to create your piece, making creating a unique piece of jewellery accessible to everyone.

Often I find that customers wonder how long the bespoke design process will take from start to finish and honestly, it changes for each individual customer. Depending on the complexity of the design and how unusual and hard to source the gemstones are will determine how long it will take to complete your piece.

In most cases, if you are looking for a diamond for an engagement ring, the stones can be sourced within a couple of working days. If you’re wanting coloured stones and something more exotic it can take a few weeks. With this in mind, if you are designing a piece of bespoke jewellery for a specific event, we recommend starting at least two months prior to the event.

Designing bespoke pieces with my customers is what I enjoy most about my work because every piece is different and offers a new creative challenge. With the customer being such an integral part of the design process, I find that they often have an even greater emotional connection to the piece, ensuring that they will treasure it for an eternity. There’s nothing as special as seeing one of my customers leave the boutique with excitement and delight on their face as they prepare to show off their creation to the world!

Ready to get started on your bespoke journey? Contact us to make an appointment or pop into our boutique located in Sydney’s Strand Arcade and say hello!

 



Answers To Common Engagement Questions For Same -Sex Couples


Marriage is one of the oldest and most widely practiced rituals in human history. Heavily steeped in traditional beliefs and customs, I truly believe there is no right or wrong way to approach marriage in the modern era. I find that historical events such as Australian Marriage Equality breathe new life into the institution of marriage and make it more exciting through diversity and inclusion.

Many same-sex couples who might be considering marriage have an abundance of questions that might be running through their minds. One of the most common questions I hear from same-sex couples is, who should propose to who? I think the best way to solve this dilemma is to think about the dynamic of your relationship and if now is the right time to take this huge step in your relationship.

While traditionally, it has only been women who wear an engagement ring, same-sex couples are redefining this tradition and giving it a modern twist. Regardless of gender, either one or both partners can receive an engagement ring if they would like to wear one. Some women don’t really like wearing jewellery and some men love it. It’s all about honouring the wishes of both partners. This way, everyone has the opportunity to choose a ring that reflects both their personal style, as well as their union.

If you are preparing to propose and you’re wanting to keep it a surprise, but are unsure of what’s the best ring for your partner, an option that I like to offer my customers is to select the stone alone, pack it up in a beautiful gem box and propose with that and the intention of designing a piece together. Alternatively, if you’re unsure of what stone your partner would love, use a simple band in a beautiful box to propose, which can then be used as one partner’s wedding band later on, adding an additional layer of sentimentality. Following the proposal both of you can then visit the boutique to begin your engagement ring design journey together.

During the design process, often couples wonder if they need matching engagement rings. What’s most important is reflecting the style, taste and lifestyle of each individual, whilst retaining a thread of similarity so that the rings compliment each other. This can be as simple as using the same gemstones, metals, stone hues or shapes. An example of this might be both partners opting for a white diamond for their engagement ring, but one choosing a Pear Shape and the other choosing an Oval cut. With an increasing number of men deciding to get engagement rings, often I’m seeing male couples select two different styles of rings that sit alongside each other, with one of them featuring a gemstone.

It brings me so much joy to be able to be a part of the journey with couples as they begin their next chapter together. With Marriage Equality being newly introduced in Australia, I get couples in every second day that have been together somewhere between 20 and 30 years.It makes me very happy that finally they get the recognition and acceptance they deserve and get to celebrate their love and relationship.

If you and your partner are seeking guidance on your engagement rings, make sure to pop into our boutique in Sydney’s Strand Arcade or contact us to make an appointment!



Discover The Largest Collection Of Wedding Bands In Australia


If you are on the hunt for the perfect pair of wedding bands, look no further than our cosy little boutique. Home to Australia’s largest collection of wedding bands, we offer our customers a vast assortment of styles to choose from and have something special and unique to suit everyone’s individual tastes!

Boasting approximately 300 wedding band styles in our collection and an additional 200 versions of those styles, we craft each piece to last for an eternity. If you’re going to be wearing something forever, it’s important that it’s comfortable – so we design our wedding bands to be beautiful, durable and enjoyable to wear. Wedding bands are a symbol of lifelong commitment to another person and are supposed to be passed through the generations, thus durability and wearability is hugely important to me.

Along with this, when we were developing our collection, I wanted to include a wide variety of unique and unconventional designs, so that we could offer something to everyone and include the tastes and styles that appeal to people from all walks of life.

When it comes to designing the bands in our collection, I maintain an emphasis on simplicity and quality. Wedding bands should be beautifully made with the highest quality materials, but they do not necessarily have to be extravagant in their design. It’s what they mean and represent to the wearer that makes them special. The true beauty of wedding bands is their symbolism; a piece of jewellery with no beginning or end, just like the unconditional love between a couple.

However, often my customers desire a means of subtly personalising their wedding bands. Engravings, hidden stones or even incorporating metals from an heirloom piece are excellent ways to achieve a simple touch of personalisation and gives our customers the opportunity to combine trend and tradition. The beauty of custom design is that you can rest assured that your wedding band is truly unique and one-of-a-kind!

While wedding band style trends are constantly evolving, zirconium and precious metals are particularly popular for men at the moment. I generally find that men are more focused on comfort and simplicity, as they are unaccustomed to wearing a ring everyday.

For those women who wish to divert from conventional bands, we also create beautiful wedding bands using fancy shaped diamonds and intricate details.

Most women’s wedding band choice is greatly influenced by their engagement ring style, as they want to ensure that they compliment each other.

Whether you and your partner are seeking a bold and modern or a minimal and dainty wedding band design, make sure you visit our beautiful boutique in Sydney’s iconic Strand Arcade to discover Australia’s largest collection of wedding bands!

To view a selection, of our handcrafted wedding bands follow us on Instagram!



The Truth Revealed: Sapphires Are Not Only Blue


Sapphires are considered highly coveted precious gemstones in all corners of the globe, but what surprises most people is that these magnificent stones actually come in a spectrum of vibrant colours.

All Sapphires are made from the mineral corundum and the beauty of corundum is that it presents itself in a wide range of colours including black, pink, purple, orange, yellow and green. In fact, corundum comes in every colour under the sun and all colours are referred to as Sapphires except red corundum, which is actually Ruby.

In the past, the most gorgeous Sapphires could also be found in Burma and Kashmir, however these mines do not produce the same quality of stones that were found there during the 1920s to 1950s.

Most of the Sapphires we work with at the boutique come from Sri Lanka, home of the world’s finest quality and most beautiful Sapphires currently available. The depth, colour and intensity of Sri Lankan Sapphires is truly outstanding.

Any ‘fancy’ coloured Sapphire looks magnificent when set with white diamonds to complement the intensity of their colour, add contrast and give the sapphire even more brilliance. Depending on the tones and hue, I love experimenting with setting Sapphires in different coloured metals. Even when making white gold or platinum jewellery, we find introducing very small elements of rose or yellow gold details into a piece tends to bring out the warmth in the stone.

Another wonderful thing about Sapphires is that they are exceptionally durable, meaning that they can be worn everyday and still retain their quality over time. This is one of the reasons why Sapphires are great stones to consider for engagement rings and any other piece that gets worn regularly.

I’ve been asked many times which Sapphire colour is my favourite and in all honesty, it’s very hard to choose between these beautiful stones. I am particularly fond of a very rare fuchsia sapphire we have in the boutique and I look forward to meeting the customer who falls in love with this stone.

I’ve always found it very hard to choose my favourite coloured sapphire as each has their beauty and appeal, but one of the most spectacular and striking varieties is the Parti Sapphire, which is an incredible mixture of green and gold.

I also love black sapphires because unlike black diamonds, black sapphires are completely natural, with an impressive lustre. Black sapphires are very striking and hard wearing and look incredible against a backdrop of diamonds.

Whether you desire a classic blue sapphire or wish to enter the realm of eye-catching pinks, purples, greens and yellows, there’s a sapphire out there to suit everyone’s taste and style.

As long as your piece is well made, you can be assured that due to the quality and durability of your beautiful sapphire piece, it will stand the test of time and last for generations to come.

For some sapphire inspiration, make sure you are following us on Instagram to see our latest creations!



Champagne and Cognac Diamonds – The Next Frontier of Must Have Gems


Cognac diamonds are a natural coloured diamond hailing from the Argyle mines of Western Australia that present themselves in an array of stunning earthy tones, making them one of my favourite stones to design with.

While the Argyle mine is best known for their rare Pink diamonds, the Argyle Cognac diamonds are among the spectrum of beautiful coloured diamonds produced by Mother Nature.

There are so many things I love about champagne and cognac diamonds, their name alone is reason enough to celebrate! What is so beautiful about these stones is that they have the scintillation and sparkle of a diamond, along with a variety of colour and tones that are not found in any other gemstone.

Another beautiful thing about cognac and champagne diamonds is that no two are the same. Aside from the weight and clarity of the stone, each diamond is graded by the strength and intensity of its colour. Each one having different tones and hues, some have flashes of orange, cinnamon, caramel, peach and the list goes on!

Depending on the lighting, you may notice that your champagne or cognac diamond changes colour from rich chocolate to soft suede. The beauty of these stones is that each champagne and cognac diamond is truly unique and unlike any other stone, which is why I love designing with them so much.

Cognac and champagne diamonds have an elegance and neutrality to them that allows you to set them in either classical, traditional jewellery or modern, contemporary designs. I also think warmer metal tones, such as rose and yellow gold bring out the very best in these beautiful gems. Surrounding them in a sprinkling of white diamonds brings out just how spectacular and unique they truly are.

On a personal level, I am particularly fond of these gorgeous stones as we, the Mondial Group, have a very long history working with them. My parents were one of the first jewellers here in Australia and around the world to incorporate them into their designs, sourcing them, along with Argyle Pink Diamonds, directly from the Argyle mines of Western Australia in the late 80’s.

With over 30 years of including champagne and cognac diamonds in our beautiful creations, we are experts in bringing out the true beauty, vibrancy and magic of these spectacular gems through our jewellery designs.

For the customer who is seeking something a little bit different, a champagne or cognac diamond piece is a wonderful option. Each stone is unique, making them extremely special and ensuring that every champagne or cognac diamond piece is personal and one of a kind.

To see some of the stunning pieces we have designed with champagne and cognac diamonds, follow us on Instagram!



Metal Wars: Platinum vs White Gold


While they may look similar, Platinum and White Gold are very different metals with their own unique properties. For those wondering which is best for them, I recommended considering a few different factors; composition, durability and care to help you decide which is ideal for you.

Composition

An essential difference between Platinum and White Gold is what the metals are composed from. To create White Gold, Yellow Gold is mixed – or alloyed – with white metals to give it the silvery colour. This White Gold mixture is then rhodium plated, giving it a shiny finish. Platinum, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring greyish metal that is sourced from many locations around the world, including Russia, America, Colombia, South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and more.

Because the cost of precious metals is determined by weight, Platinum tends to be more expensive than White Gold. However, this does not mean that it is a superior metal to White Gold. While Platinum is more expensive, the Premium White Gold used by fine jewellers is a better option in many ways.

If you’re allergic to nickel, you may experience some reactions to White Gold that contains nickel. Platinum is considered a hypoallergenic metal because it does not contain other alloys. However, this problem can be easily overcome by simply asking your jeweller for a White Gold alloy that does not contain nickel.

Durability

While Platinum is often said to be more durable than White Gold; this is not necessarily the case. It all comes down to the quality of the White Gold, with Premium White Gold being a much more durable metal than Platinum. Platinum is a soft and malleable metal that scratches and dents far easier than Premium White Gold. Due to the mix of alloys in Premium White Gold it is far better at resisting dents, scratches and other types of wear and tear damage.

Even the most high quality Premium White Gold’s rhodium plating will wear off over time. However, Premium White Gold does not go yellow when the plating has worn off and can be easily replated at a low cost.

Care

Both White Gold and Platinum jewellery require care to be kept in perfect condition over time. With Platinum, the dents and scratches that it incurs over time will need to be polished out more frequently. White Gold is best maintained with the occasional polish and rhodium plating, which can be performed by your jeweller.

Most people are under the impression that it is only White Gold that is plated with rhodium, but Platinum jewellery is also often plated with rhodium to give it a greater shine, due to the fact that Platinum is greyer metal.

Whether you prefer White Gold or Platinum, both are gorgeous metals that have pros and cons. I can guarantee that if the jewellery is well made and well taken care of, both metals can create pieces that will be cherished for generations to come.

To see some of our stunning White Gold and Platinum creations, follow us on Instagram

 



Love Wins: Standing Up For Equality


At such a poignant moment in our nation’s history, it’s only fitting that we take a moment to reflect on why love will always win and the importance of standing up for love and equality. Last month we proudly launched our All Love is Equal campaign, inviting Australian’s to join together in a celebration of equality.

In developing this initiative we wanted to unite our passion for love, commitment and equality, fusing together our business and personal crusade for equality on all levels across all generations.

This message of equality is eternally important for the younger generation of the LGBTQI community. Equality represents the doorway to a life without fear of discrimination or unequal treatment and acceptance by peers, classmates and workmates.

As part of this campaign, we proudly aligned with the charity headspace donating 10% of sales from our collection of Wedding bands with the intention of ensuring all Australian’s young and old, have the opportunity to discuss their own situation and mental health –devoid of judgement and regardless of sexual orientation, gender and individuality.

Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation and provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting overall young peoples’ wellbeing. Advocating the need for equality and acceptance, headspace acknowledges discriminatory legislation only impedes LGBTQI people from achieving the highest attainable standard of health.

We strongly believe in the underpinning principles of headspace and the ongoing work it continues to do for the LGBTQI community. With this in mind, we felt that it was a worthy opportunity to give back to the community and continue in our support of love and equality.

 

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