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- An Artist’s Flair, an Engineer’s Precision
- Exploring Alluvial & Pink Diamonds – Our Collections
- Jewels of the Kimberley -Immerse yourself in the unique
Creating timeless jewellery is an art form.
We speak with Jewels of the Kimberley director, Jodi Penfold, about intricate techniques, pearl farming and why she loves diamonds.
Jodi Penfold remembers the first piece of jewellery she designed, a pendant for her best friend’s birthday. “I didn’t have much money back then, so I made it from titanium and silver,” she recalls. “It was simple and modern. Geometric lines. She still wears it now.”
It’s a fond memory, even if that pendant is now one piece in the thousands Jodi has created as designer, creator and director of her Broome-based business, Jewels of the Kimberley.
It’s a fitting name. When asked what inspires her most, Jodi replies instantly, “My surroundings. The Kimberley region, with its vast landscapes, intense colours and textures, is an endless source of inspiration … We are so lucky to have the world’s rarest and highest quality diamonds, the world’s best pearls and a soil rich in gold right on our doorstep. It takes ‘locally made’ to an entirely new level.”
Jodi took a practical route into jewellery design. As a third-year apprentice, she started her own business, signing a “handshake contract” with an elderly travelling salesman of Cook Island black pearls and Australian sapphires. In those pre-YouTube days, she researched skills in books in order to create the designs, fuelling a desire to learn as much about the craft and its techniques as possible. This motivation saw her jumping on a flight to Broome to take her experience from the page to real life, grading pearls.
“I have fond memories of just how raw pearl farming can be,” she says, going on to recount the incongruity of “wading waist-deep in a crocodile-infested creek” while holding three million dollars’ worth of pearls in her hands.
Following her pearl adventures, Jodi went on to study gemmology, which she says has been instrumental in learning about care of gemstones and “being able to confidently push them to their limit in both design and manufacture”.
Over the years, Jodi has developed a particularly fondness for Australian diamonds, although she admits to thinking that white diamonds were “a bit boring” before the Kimberley showed her the “rainbow of hues diamonds have to offer … from the rarest pinks to fiery oranges and rich, deep greens”.
“I love the hardness of diamonds,” she explains. “As a diamond-setter, I can literally hit them with a hammer; as a jeweller I can heat them until they glow red-hot to fuse metals together to form designs. I would never dream of using these techniques on any other gem.”
Her passion for the gemstone led her to an exclusive diamond-setting school in Antwerp, under the tuition of a fastidious, unsmiling Russian.
“Over 200 students audition each year to attend and only 10 are chosen to attend … I enjoyed the fact that near enough is not good enough.”
The late nights and weekend practice was all worth it in the end, she confirms: “I completed my course at the top of my class, and even managed to make my teacher smile!”
As her skillset expands, there is one thing that is unchanging: “To me, jewellery must be timeless, a piece that can be passed from old to young and still be in style.“
That doesn’t mean she’s impervious to trends, though. She expresses a fascination for rustic or Earth diamonds, particularly popular with modern brides.
“Each one so unique with different characteristics, some with translucency, others more opaque,” she explains.
“Most feature a distinctive salt-and-pepper matrix … reminiscent of staring into a starry night sky.” She also points out that you can get them for a “fraction of the cost” of their refined counterparts.
Jodi’s passion for honing her skills has now come full circle as she trains her own apprentice. It hasn’t always been easy to find a mentor, but 20 years into her career, she can honestly say that it was worth “sticking out the hard times” to be able to work so closely with the inimitable Australian jewels of the remote region she calls home.
You can read this article inside Signature Luxury Travel and Style Magazine, Current Edition – 2018
Alluvial Diamonds – Nature’s Most Unique Gift
Alluvial Diamonds by definition are rough diamond crystals that over millions of years have been naturally eroded from their original formation (inside Kimberlite rock) and dispersed over thousands of kilometres through rivers and streams. The Kimberley region of Western Australia hosts many of these ancient deposits, many of which still remain undiscovered. The Kimberley mesmerises visitors with the pristine nature of its vast ochre landscape of rocky gorges, cascading waterfalls, deserts and abundant native flora. It is here, in this hauntingly remote vista, where Mother Nature harbours her ultimate treasures – diamonds.
The stunning colours, textures, landmarks and wildlife of the wild and beautiful Kimberley provide never-ending design inspiration for our Jewellers. The rich elements from the earth and sea, which are truly unique to the Kimberley, combine to create our contemporary range.
Our Kimberley Collection and Alluvial Collection are the perfect choice for those seeking a rare piece of jewellery hand-crafted to perfection. These pieces celebrate the Kimberley and are the perfect keepsake for someone who appreciates the unique, exceptional and exquisite.
Argyle Pink Diamonds – Australia’s Most Vivid Creation
Our world-class jewellery designers are extremely passionate about all of their creations, each is handmade with precision by our highly skilled jewellers in our Broome studio. Jodi Penfold, qualified Gemmologist, lead designer and master jewellery has selected perfect Argyle pink diamonds to be part of her breathtakingly unique creations, from engagement rings, dazzling diamond earrings, to unique breath-taking pendants. The design and inspiration for each piece comes from living and being part of the Kimberley where these incredible diamonds originate. Explore our collection and see why the pink Argyle diamond is so rare and exclusive as we capture its beauty in wearable style.
JEWELS OF THE KIMBERLEY have been based on Dampier Terrace in Broome since 2005. With a wall of accolades and highly skilled master jewellers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to our unique designs and manufacturing capabilities.
The jewellery trade is one of the world’s oldest professions and some parts of the trade have still never changed. Our workshop which is part of our showroom is open for our guests and clients to view the master jewellers working on some of Broome’s highest quality bespoke pieces. We would love to offer you an intimate and educational tour by appointment only, while you are here in Broome. Continue reading “Jewels of the Kimberley -Immerse yourself in the unique”
(As featured in Signature Luxury Travel & Style Magazine)
The natural bounty of Western Australia’s vast wilderness is a source of inspiration for the Broome-based designers of Jewels of the Kimberley.
With rust-red canyons, turquoise seas, and waterfalls that seem to defy physics, the Kimberley region is a vast and remote wilderness. It is a land that has created the world’s most desired gems, including colourful diamonds, over millions of years. Continue reading “Beauty Rich and Rare – Magazine Feature”
As featured in Jewellery World Magazine, October 2016
Aspiring, prodigious jewellery apprentice Hannah Alexander is making her mark in the jewellery world at a young age, chosen to represent Western Australia in the National Worldskills Competition in October 2016.
The 19 year old won the honour of a Worldskills national selection off the back of an impressive performance in the state/ regional competition and she will represent Worldskills WA in the national competition alongside one other young WA jeweller, competing for gold and the chance for an invitation to the international Worldskills in Abu Dhabi in October 2017. Continue reading “Young Australian Apprentice Reaching New Heights”
We’re delighted to announce that Jewels of the Kimberley has recently achieved accreditation with the Jewellers Association of Australia. This national body covers every facet of the jewellery industry, including manufacturing, wholesaling, distribution and retail, and acknowledges the top jewellers and retailers in the country through a strict accreditation process. Continue reading “What Our Jewellers Association of Australia Accreditation Means for You”
Soaring to New Heights
Director and Master Jeweller Jodi Penfold takes off to Europe as one of only three Australians to be invited to study at a world renowned diamond setting school
(As featured in Jewellery World Magazine)
Fact: Diamonds are rare, precious and coveted the world over. Here’s another, lesser-known fact: the skill of diamond setting, specifically pave and micro pave settings is so rare that only two Australian women have ever been accepted into the prestigious Alexandre school for optical diamond setting – a school that is not only a world-leader for teaching these very specific techniques but requires prospective students to complete a one week audition and exam to be accepted.
Only ten percent of students who apply are accepted into the course. Jodi Penfold is one of the chosen ones: a jeweller, an Aussie and a woman who is now amongst the exclusive few to hold the certification as rare as the diamonds themselves. Continue reading “Magazine Feature – Jewellery World”
Today, antique and vintage engagement rings are becoming more common as women differentiate from the norm. But you may face some difficulties when purchasing an engagement ring from a different era. Here are five tips to focus on when buying vintage engagement rings to help you find the perfect fit for you. Continue reading “5 Tips for Buying Vintage inspired Engagement Rings”
The sight of a man (or woman) bent on one knee with a tiny box in hand has become an overwhelmingly tangible symbol of the marriage proposal, especially in Western countries.
But in the age of social media and celebrity proposals, the art of presenting an engagement ring is becoming increasingly unique, bubbly and even at times outrageous, with people employing all kinds of tactics to show the ultimate commitment to their sweetheart.
From flash mobs to holidays to proposals while sky-diving, getting engaged has never been so involved. If you’re looking for a unique or quirky way to propose, check out some of these top proposal ideas from around the world. Continue reading “Top Proposal Ideas From Around The World”
Knowing More About Your Precious Birthstone
Using your very own precious birthstone in your jewellery is a lovely idea, and adds an extra layer of symbolism to sentimental pieces. Throughout history, birthstones have been surrounded by myths and legends about the special powers they have, from protection to therapeutic benefits.
Each birthstone has a specific meaning. Read on to find out what yours is, and choose to enhance your next ring, necklace, pendant or pair of earrings with a stone of significance. Continue reading “Knowing Your Birthstones”
A marriage proposal is a big moment for any couple, with a sparkling engagement ring as the focus of the special event. A ring is a symbol of your love and everlasting commitment to each other and should be as unique as the two of you.
Finding an exquisite piece to signify the promise you are about to make certainly sounds romantic, but it can be a real challenge, especially if you are unsure where to start. Whether you decide to pick out a ring or design a custom piece, Jewels of the Kimberley offer a modern and fresh approach to creating unique, timeless jewellery.
Here’s our practical guide to buying the right diamond engagement ring. Continue reading “A Practical Guide To Buying The Perfect Engagement Ring”
Diamonds and pearls truly are nature’s gifts, and whether you love pearl engagement rings or ones featuring the world-renowned Argyle pink diamonds best, it’s safe to say they’re both spectacular and worthy of their reputations. But there is something particularly special about diamonds.
Here’s a look at some of the most famous diamonds in the world. Continue reading “The Most Famous Diamonds in The World”
A diamond engagement ring should always be worn with pride as it’s a beautiful symbol of a couple’s love for each other.
This doesn’t mean though that you should never take it off.
There are times when it would be best not to wear your engagement ring and instead keep it in a safe place away not only from prying eyes, but also from chemicals or outside elements that may only cause damage to it.
Self-expression, fashion, marking a special occasion, or commemorating an event – these are only some of the reasons why people wear jewellery like necklaces made of Broome pearls, diamond encrusted gold and silver bracelets, or pearl engagement rings.
There are many people who enjoy wearing jewellery every day for these various reasons. However there are some who don’t wear them as often as they would like because of the fear of getting jewellery allergy or dermatitis. Continue reading “Jewellery And Dermatitis: Knowing The Real Reason Behind The Connection”
A pearl forms when a foreign object, such as a piece of grit, shell, bone, or even a microorganism, finds its way into a pearl-producing mollusc. Threatened by the uninvited guest, the mollusk secretes a defensive layer, known as nacre, around the intruder. Layers of nacre harden and build up around the object over time, producing one of the most unique gemstones in the world: the pearl.
Pearls formed naturally are extremely rare. In fact, approximately 1 in 1000 oysters in the wild will ever produce one. Given its rarity, pearls had become one of the most coveted treasures throughout history. Everyone believed that it would be impossible for the world to see more of its delicate beauty and adorn more women with precious pearl necklaces or pearl drop earrings—everyone except Kokichi Mikimoto. Continue reading “Getting To Know The Pearl King Kokichi Mikimoto”
Smart bracelets and smart necklaces have attracted hordes of fitness geeks and health buffs who want to track their every step, motion, heart rate and even calories. Continue reading “Smart Jewellery Pieces With Great Design Style: Mixing Tech And Fashion”
If you’re looking for engagement rings in Perth, Sydney or Melbourne you might be asking what’s greater than diamond engagement rings. The answer? A pearl engagement ring adorned with diamonds.
Pearl jewellery has always been regarded as classy and timeless. For most brides, it’s a piece that needs to be worn on their wedding day, whether in the form of a bracelet, necklace or a pair of earrings, to put an elegant touch to their overall look. But now, the pearl is found even on the ring, and what was known as the ‘Queen of the Gems’ is taking centre stage again. This has now become one of the latest engagement ring trends for modern brides. Continue reading “The Latest Trend: Pearl Engagement Ring For The Modern Bride”
Rainbows are one of nature’s most beautiful wonders and natural creations. They are formed when two elements of nature, sunlight and rain, meet.
The same goes with natural coloured diamonds. Another magnificent masterpiece of nature, they are formed when two products of nature combine, a diamond and a foreign particle. The results are gorgeous crystals, like pink Argyle diamonds, that are teeming with magnificence and magical spectral colours.
Jewellery is timeless.
You can wear them for a long time. You can even pass them on to succeeding generations and turn them into a family heirloom that will be a treasure for decades and even centuries to come.
But all these can only be possible if you know how to take care of your precious stones, whether these are Argyle diamonds or Australian pearls.
So how do you do this? You need to know how to wear and store them properly.
For the second year in a row, Jewels of the Kimberley was heralded as one of the finalists in five categories for the Jewellery Industry Awards (JIA). For 2015, these categories include: Retailer of the Year, Best Merchandising and Window Display, Best Enduring Product, Best New Product, and Best After Sales Care and Customer Service.
‘Pearls are always appropriate.’
– Jackie Kennedy
Pearls are one of, if not the most versatile pieces of jewellery you could ever own. You can wear them anywhere, anytime and with just about anything, from a simple blouse to an extravagant ball gown. They are classic pieces of jewellery that exude elegance and beauty no matter the occasion.
And just as there are different occasions where you can wear them, there are also various kinds that differ in shape, origin and value. Some are sourced locally, while others are sourced internationally and sold in Broome, Perth, Sydney and throughout Australia.
To give you an idea of what kind you currently have, or wish to have, here is an overview of the different types of pearls:
Whether looking for pearl jewellery online or from a store, you will seldom find natural pieces. As most pearls nowadays are cultured, it’s very rare to come across truly natural ones. This is due to two factors. First, the possibility of these being produced naturally is very slim. In 10,000 oysters found in a natural environment, only one will produce a pearl that has the right size and shape deemed desirable, and it would take years for one to form naturally. Second, most of the natural pearls in the world have already been harvested, and most of the natural beds have been used up by over-harvesting in the past.
Despite these odds, it is still possible to get a hold of these elusive natural pearls. When you do come across one though, make sure it has an official gemological x-ray certificate, which proves its authenticity and indicates its quality.
These are produced in oceans by oysters. Among the different types, the South Sea Pearls are the largest, and consequently the most highly sought in the world, with sizes ranging from 9mm to 20mm. They grow inside the Pinctada Maxima, the largest pearl-producing oyster, and they come in different colours: silvery white, cream white and gold with hues of pink, green or blue. Aside from their size, they are considered as the most luxurious because of their thick nacre, satiny lustre, round shape and quality. This is why this type is among the favourites when it comes to using them in pearl and diamond rings. These types of pearls are produced in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Tahitian or Black South Sea Pearl is another type. They are grown in the Pinctada Margaritifera, a black-lipped pearl oyster. Despite the name, these are not exclusively grown in Tahiti but are also produced in the other islands of French Polynesia. They range from 8mm to 16mm in size and come in grey, blue, purple or green.
Akoya Pearls are another type, which are produced by the Akoya or Pinctada Fucata. They are also known as the Mikimoto Pearls, named after the pioneering pearl farmer Kokichi Mikimoto. Famous in Japan, they are also grown in China, Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf. They come in 6mm to 8mm sizes and are creamy white with pink overtones. They are most famous for their high lustre that gives off an almost mirror-like effect.
Grown in rivers, lakes and ponds by mussels, these are the least expensive out of the different types, but they are not the least desirable. Although these are rarely symmetrical and come in a baroque or semi-baroque shape, they are still very durable due to their solid nacre formation. Another great feature of these is that they display a strong orient. Since the 1990s, higher quality types have been produced that can compete with saltwater pearls.
Most freshwater pearls are produced in China, while a portion are produced in Japan and the United States. They come in natural colours of white, cream, pink, lavender or orange. Those that are of lower quality though, are dyed. If you find one in black or a chocolate shade, take note that this has undergone colour treatment and is not natural.
There is one kind that doesn’t fall under the three categories above, and these are the Keshi Pearls. These are natural bi-products of the Pinctada species. These are formed when an irritant comes across a previously cultured oyster yet they are produced the same way natural ones are produced. They have 100% nacre, come in baroque or unusual shapes and white, black or gold colours.
All these types of pearls are produced under different types of environments, but all of them can become a beautiful piece you can keep with you forever. From exquisite, rare natural pearls to less expensive mass-produced freshwater pearls, these can be classic accessories you can easily don to exude elegance at any event. With these, you can own a timeless piece of jewellery you can wear anytime and anywhere.
At Jewels of the Kimberley we have a gallery of beautiful pearl necklaces, earrings and engagement rings. Browse through our online collection or come in store today to choose the right one for you.
Just like white diamonds or the pink diamond produced by Argyle jewellers, gold, pearls and gemstones are muddled with myths. If it doesn’t involve their value, it involves their authenticity.
Because of this, you need to know the truth behind these myths and equip yourself with facts. This will help you avoid making a reckless purchase, and ensure the investment you make is a good one you can enjoy for years to come.
Here are the common myths of these precious gems straightened out.
A diamond can stay with you forever, but not all diamonds are worth keeping. When selecting diamonds for engagement rings, earrings, necklaces or other jewellery, you need to choose one that meets a certain criteria and really gives you the best value for your money.
Buying the perfect diamond takes more than just going into a store, picking the one you like and paying for it. Although you can do this and you may choose well, to have the perfect diamond this simply won’t work. Further scrutiny of the stones in a jewellery store is extremely necessary. The same thing goes for gold and south sea pearls in Australia. To really get your money’s worth, you must be willing to invest time and effort to make sure you buy one that’s of the highest calibre you can afford.
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