Australia is known for many things, as we’re discovering all throughout this month on The Australia Issue. From the mystical beauty of the opal to the elusive and stunning pink dimaond- have you ever considered that these Australian specialities might just be the ticket for your wedding day jewels? Today, we’ve got all the tips and tricks from choosing Australian gemstones for your wedding day jewels from two of our favourite Aussie jewellers Zoe Pook & Larissa Landinez.
Ethical jewellery designer and expert Zoe Pook says:
In a world of mass overseas production, it’s reassuring to know that when it comes to diamonds, they can be sourced (almost!) from your back yard. Australia has a glittering array of precious gems to offer from diamonds to opals and every colour in between. Many of our wedding and engagement couples these days are conscious of their footprint and want to support local businesses. Getting an Australian gemstone in your engagement or wedding band is a great way to do both.
A diamond is a clear choice for engagement rings. Australian diamonds come from Western Australia from the Argyle Mine and until recently, the Ellendale Mine too. Pink diamonds are possibly the most well-known but a lot of people don’t know that diamonds come in green, yellow, blue, grey, purple, light and dark brown, black, orange and of course white.
However, if you are not a diamond lover, Australian sapphires are a huge trend right now because, well, they are gorgeous! The Australian specialty is a Parti Sapphire. They can have a combination of blue, yellow and green and there are no two that are the same. If a Parti is not your style, then classic blue, deep blue/black, green or yellow might suit. The added bonus with Aussie sapphires is that they don’t (always) break the bank, so they could be used to make awesome bridesmaid gifts.
Another favourite at the moment is the Australian Opal, iconic, beautiful and on-trend. Opals, unlike sapphires, can be delicate flowers, so it’s best to have them set in such a way as to protect the opal as much as possible.
So, we’ve covered the big 3. Now onto the more unknown beauties. My personal favourite is a Zircon; a beautiful, natural Australian gemstone, not to be confused with Cubic Zirconia. It’s very high dispersion and refractive index give it a brilliance and fire that rival those of diamond. It comes in a cognacy brown, an autumnal orange, a muscaty red, a bright sky blue, a lemony yellow or clear white.
Then you have aquamarine, a classic beauty, amethyst, topaz, garnet, ruby, on occasion jade and a Torrington Emerald…! All beautiful in their own way and a colour for everyone. So, whether it be in your engagement ring, wedding band, gifts or as part of your honeymoon (fossicking for gems in Queensland), Australian gemstones are not to be overlooked.
About Zoe Pook Jewellery: As a classically trained jeweller, attention to detail is first and foremost. She uses traditional tools alongside modern techniques to create beautiful and durable pieces. She finds that working with clients during the design process adds something special and more personal to the jewellery that she produces.
European trained Jewellery designer and expert Larissa Landinez says:
Harlequin Opal Triplets and Solid Black Lightning Ridge Opals courtesy of Larissa Landinez
The Opal is not only the birthstone for October, but this stunning gem is also Australia’s national gemstone, therefore wearing it on your special day as part of your bridal jewellery can make it even more significant.
Opals are multi-coloured gems and display a rainbow burst of colours according to light. The intensity of how these colours are sparked can influence the price. If you are choosing an opal, you might like to close a statement Boulder Opal with a Harlequin pattern – an irregular pattern of coloured squares forming a stunning patchwork.
The Black Opal is the most valuable compared to a light or crystal body tone because it is rich in colours. The best black opals are generally mined from Lightning Ridge (NSW), so make sure you ask the origin of the gem before you commit to purchasing.
The hard facts:
The Opal has a hardness of 5.5 – 6 in the Mosh scale, therefore is not recommended as an engagement ring or an everyday piece, but something extra special that can be the perfect anniversary ring, pendant or earring set on your wedding day. It is absolutely a must-have Aussie gem for your jewellery box!
Here are some dreamy Lightning Ridge Opal cocktail rings from Larissa’s collection available for custom pieces.
Larissa Landinez is Venezuelan born, formed as a jewellery Designer and Goldsmith in the wonderful city of Florence, Italy in the best European contemporary jewellery schools. She also was trained by Pontevecchio goldsmith Masters. Her Cosmopolitan background helped her envision the perfect stylish woman that appreciates craftsmanship and Jewellery pieces with unique taste.