So a diamond solitaire simply isn’t your thing. You and your beloved are looking for an engagement or wedding ring that’s a little more atypical, contemporary or colourful. Perhaps your perfect rings are “worn, weathered, textured and geometric”? With custom pieces starting at around $3000, Melbourne jeweller Georgie Brooks could be the designer of your dreams! Her latest collection is filled with sapphires in dreamy blues and greens and other precious Australian stones. The collection is available to try on at e.g.etal (167 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) now. Georgie shares her inspiration – and why local gemstones are among the best in the world – below:
Do tell us the story behind your new collection…
This new collection has been inspired by exploring how the rough gemstones can inform the shapes of the final designs of the stones. This results in most of my pieces being unique one-off designs because all rough gemstones are one of a kind. I use textures and contrasting materials to generate interaction with my work. I play with surfaces that appear quite rough or present a question about how it is made. But then when the piece is worn it feels almost weathered. There is definitely an element of the hand made in my work but I also strive to contrast this with precision comfort fits for example.
Why is using Australian stones important to you?
The provenance of the stones I work with is really important and often when they come from overseas it is difficult to track where they came from and who cut them. By sourcing Australian stones directly from gem cutters, I can have more control of this and mostly know the exact town a particular stone comes from. I can also request particular designs by working like this so the result is much more bespoke. Furthermore I am collaborating with some very talented people and ensuring these skills continue, there is one gem cutter who I work for example, who is seventh generation gem cutter. If we didn’t support these people these small industries will no longer be here in Melbourne.
What type of brides and/or grooms should seek you out for wedding, engagement or eternity rings?
Anyone who likes a story in the jewels that they wear as all of my pieces have that. Also anyone who wants to collaborate and have a very bespoke service, it is an honour for me to think that an engagement ring will be worn for a lifetime. My work also appeals to people who are wanting something that draws upon the traditional yet has a contemporary slant and those that appreciate design and making by hand. I am also working with same sex couples a lot at the moment, what a relief they too can finally get married.
What are ‘parti’ sapphires?
Australian parti Sapphires are individually unique, like a fingerprint. They are bi or tri-coloured usually yellow, blue and green. I also recently bought one that is orange and yellow. Sapphires are amazing stones because they are also very durable with a more affordable price point, this means a bigger rock in the end…which we all like!
What inspires you?
I am fascinated with Viking or Saxon hoards and how these pieces were lost for hundreds of years and then rediscovered. Often these collections are incredibly contemporary. It also amazes me that some of the techniques used by them are still unchanged today. I am very interested in where things are going now with how pieces are made, how we can merge ancient techniques with modern technologies such as 3D printing.
What do you wish for bridal couples to seek more of in their rings?
So many people purchase something that is really generic and traditional. To be safe with the idea it is going to be worn forever. I also have so many people lament to me about this decision. I think you should have fun designing something. Collaborating with a jeweller as it is a great honour to be part of this process. I also think diamonds are great but there are so many other options such as Sapphires. Unfortunately there are a lot of retail chain stores that are not selling a product of value. It is much better to engage a commission from a reputable contemporary jewellery gallery. There is endless choice and scope from talented artists. It also supports locally made pieces.
Exciting happenings coming up for the Georgie Brooks label…
I am developing a new range of pieces where I am exploring 3D printed silver work which will be exhibited at the end of the year. I am also developing a smaller precious range and I have a few engagement rings which I love doing.
Images supplied by Jeweller Georgie Brooks