There comes a time in
every many a woman’s life when costume baubles just don’t cut it any more. With your engagement / wedding frosting on one hand or your splurge sparkles in your ears / around your neck, the plastic, brass and glass one-hit wonders from your local high street seem pale by comparison.
In years gone by, jewellery was the way women accumulated wealth over generations, unable to own other types of assets. Today of course that’s not the case but hey, if ‘investment’ is your excuse you won’t hear any contradiction from me.
In recent weeks I’ve developed a bit of a casual hobby – eyeballing stones and settings on my phone whilst waiting in cafes and so forth. Other than becoming a Google scholar on gemstone grading techniques, I’ve discovered there are two ways to get your sparkle on. Buy a jewel already set, or choose your rock and then have something made around it. Arguably they both have their pros and cons, but given this is something you’ll wear (hopefully a lot), I’d suggest you buy what you love.
For gems in their solo form, here are my current haunts:
Gem Rock Auctions – a marketplace for jewels, tending toward the more affordable end of the spectrum.
AJS Gems – a dazzling range of all kinds of stones across a broad price range.
The Natural Sapphire Company – both set and single stones which can be shipped as-is or set to your specifications.
The Planetary Gems Co – natural only.
Now as soon as you start scoping out genuine bling, you’ll discover the market is absolutely flooded with bridal jewellery and everything else takes a back seat. With this in mind, other varieties tend to get a little ‘samey’. A few of my current favourites that fall at least a little outside the norm below…
Left: Deco 11.37ct rubellite tourmaline ring (price on application), right: Flora 5ct aquamarine ring (price on application), both by Coffin and Trout.
Left: Vasari 9ct onyx ring ($1,250 AUD), right: Palmer 18ct diamond ring ($5,500 AUD), top: Piccadilly south sea pearl and black diamond ring ($1,850 AUD), all by Jan Logan.
Odyssey pearl, ceramic and diamond ring ($2,380 AUD) by Paspaley.
Left: Regina single link sapphire and diamond ring (price on application, right: Regina single row stackable black diamond and rose gold ring (price on application), both by Canturi.