Where are the jewels made?
I travel to India twice a year and work directly with the artisans to make the jewels. I practice fair trade with them. I believe every transaction in the world should be a win win for everyone and so I apply this in the making, selling, buying and banter we might have when we meet too. You tell a story and I’ll likely tell one too.
Do you practice fair trade?
I started this business on the concept of circular giving. My definition of this means the following. I design the pieces. I source the gemstones and produce the pieces with the artisans (stonecutters, silversmiths and goldsmiths) in India. I practice fair trade with them. There are no certificates to prove this but I have always believed that every transaction must be a win win for everyone involved. I pay them well above the daily wage. They are very happy to work with me. I likely sell them to you in the Western world. You pay a fair price for them. You love to wear the pieces and also benefit from the vibrational energies of the gemstones. I return a portion of the proceeds to educate girls in India thus completing the circle. There is a lot of my own philosophy of how I would like the world to work in here. I believe everyone should have the right to a good education. I believe that education can change the world. I believe curiosity can change the world. We realise we are more aide than different. For starters everyone is trying to take care of their children and educate them. Part of what I am trying to create here is a consciousness about where things comes from, where and how they are made and by whom: that we are connected with them through this beautiful piece of jewellery we have created together. I am also advocating conscious buying and wearing and living with intention. When you buy a piece of jewellery from me you will undoubtedly receive my ‘set a daily intention’ spiel. I believe we become who we wish to be by building on whom we are, little by little every day. If you want to be a kind person, be kind daily. If you want to be a writer, write a little every day. If you want to be a banker, learn a little about money every day.
Where do the gemstones come from?
India is like the most multicultural city in the world for gemstones. More than 70% of the world’s gemstones are cut there. They arrive from all corners of the world as what is called rough. The rough is them cut to reveal the beautiful glistening and sparkling gemstones you wear. It’s incredible really that what to the naked eye starts off like a piece of dirt can become a dazzling gemstone, you want to put on your fingers. They truly are gifts from the earth. The fabulous thing is when a stone merchant buys rough he doesn’t really know how good or bad the final gemstones will be. He can’t tell how good the inside of the rough will be. Exciting eh!
Now, the above doesn’t tell you where the gemstones come from. They come from everywhere. Russia, Brazil, Africa, Australia, et al. Some can be found in many places and others only in one spot. For instance, Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania (obviously I hear you say). Labradorite though initially found on the Isle of Labrador (off Canada for those of you who didn’t know that. I didn’t know there was an island called Labrador until I discovered Labradorite). Labradorite now mainly comes from Russia. Aquamarine mostly comes from Brazil or Sri Lanka. Peridot from the USA – the native Indians control its supply. Lapis Lazuli mainly from Afghanistan. They have a lot of tourmaline too. Sugilite’s only from South Africa and on it goes. India gets to cut most of them because they have been doing it for hundreds of years so they are very good at it and have the skilled artisans needed to do it brilliantly. Check out some images of stone cutters at work here. It’s mesmerising that they can produce these delicate and precisely cut stones on these primitive machines.
Now as an aside China is cutting a lot of stones these days but they do it mostly by machine and after looking at thousands and thousands of stones I can tell a Chinese cut bead from an Indian one. I prefer the imperfection and imprecision of the Indian handcut ones. They seem to catch the light more, the cuts are less exact and less consistent but they are also less flat. They seem to sparkle more, catch the light more. I believe like us they are imperfectly perfect and like us and when we find our light we are multidimensional too.
What materials are used?
I use a huge variety of natural gemstones from aventurine (stone of opportunity and luck – have one in your pocket when you buy your next lottery ticket) to citrine, green amethyst (prasiolite), blue topaz, aquamarine, labradorite and, and and . . . I spend days hand selecting each of the stones so each stone that arrives on my table or in my store is very special as its often chosen from hundreds or thousands more.
The metals are 925 or above sterling silver (nickel free). This is occasionally gold plated and I make gold jewellery on commission. At more than $1500 an ounce, gold is not to be used upon a whim.
How does shipping work?
You complete your purchase and smile. I select your jewels with a smile and pack them with love and care. I include a card with information about the stone and how you can cleanse and activate it. (You don’t really need to do this but if you care to It’s a lovely getting to know your new gemstones ritual.) I tie the package with a nice bow and attach a greeting card for you to write a note. (just in case you forget to buy a card) . I put them in a bubble envelope, address them and send them by registered/tracked/signature required on delivery mail and you receive them within a day or a week depending on where you are in this big world of ours. Shipping over $100 is free in Australia and over $150 everywhere else.
Do you ship worldwide?
Yes of course. Otherwise it would be called teasing, showing you these beautiful gems that are calling your name and you not being able to get them.
Are the products pictured actual size?
Computer monitors vary in size so it is impossible to show an actual size image via the internet. I do however give fabulously detailed measurements and as much as I can try to show each piece worn by a real person or on a mannequin so you have a true idea of scale.
What is Vermeil?
Vermeil is sterling silver covered with a layer of gold. The gold must be at least 9 carat and be at least 1.5 micrometers thick to be called vermeil.
How do I measure my ring size?
There is a chart to measure it on each ring page. It’s here beneath the description of the chakra ring. If in doubt please email and I will walk you through it.
Can you choose a gem for me. I am not sure what I need?
Yes of course. Please email with a little about you and what’s going on for you at the moment and/or what you need help with and I will tune in to you and suggest a gemstone/piece or two. You don’t have to feel obliged to follow my suggestions but I have an uncanny hit rate and people often return or email me to tell me just why. It amazes me every time but I have learned to trust it. Read a few testimonials here.
Do you do bespoke pieces or will you design and make a piece just for me?
Yes of course. (I say that a lot :-) I really only do this when I go to India so there’s a long or a short wait depending on when my next trip is. These pieces are obviously at a higher rate as it requires a significant amount of time finding just the right stone for you and design of course. The exact size and shape may not be possible but I will always send you a photo of the gemstone options before I go ahead and make it. A 50% non refundable deposit is required for these pieces to allow for the research and production costs. To date no one has not been excited and delighted when they have received their pieces. Please email me if you have any other questions.
Can you source gemstones for me?
Yes, I can do this locally and also when I go to India so there can be a long or a short wait depending on when my next trip is. The exact size and shape may not be possible but I will always send you a photo of the gemstone options before I buy it. If you choose not to take the stone (s) I choose for you. I will just charge you a research fee. To date no one has not loved their gemstones. Please email me if you have any other questions.
If any of your questions are not answered here, please email me. If I get asked it more than 3 times or if I think of course, you would want to know that. I’ll add it here.