This recent commission for Arbor proved to be a wonderful exercise to showcase "all Australian made".
It is a little known fact outside of the jewellery trade, that the absolute majority of Australian mined gemstones, such as sapphires, are shipped offshore, usually to Asia, to be cut and then re-sold back to us. The simple fact is that this works out a lot cheaper for the consumer, as there are not many Australian gem cutters or lapidarists (stone-cutters) who specialise in this high end market. The issues surrounding the sustainability of both the environment and the Australian economy are obvious, so I will not delve into that here. However, I would like to point out that for the local manufacturing jewellers, such as myself, to maintain a competitive price point and provide the plethora of gemstones that are in demand, many of the stones used are indeed from all over the world and even if they are Australian stones, they are most likely processed overseas. I will also add that it is absolutely understandable from the Australian miner's point of view, that the majority of the material gets sold overseas because that's where the market is and there just isn't enough demand from inside Australia.
However, it is just so lovely when I have the opportunity to create something truly Australian made. This ring was a bit of a process to complete. The customer had originally seen a similar ring of mine which had sold, but contained a pentagon shaped green sapphire. It was a total one-off, but alas, she wanted one too! So after some investigating I managed to find a local Victorian gem cutter who cut me a selection of these freeform sapphires for her to choose from. The one she picked was a gorgeous deep green with some interesting natural inclusions, mined in New South Wales. It was set into a simple box bezel and offset on the band, with the addition of some fine chased lines, all in 9ct grey gold.