My good friend Julie is an avid traveller, if you’re interested in travelling, then you might want to take a look at her travel blog. She loves visiting Australia to see her close friends. Back in 2006, she had arranged to join a couple of British friends on a roadtrip from Townsville to Brisbane. They took a detour to the Rubyvale gemfields in Central Queensland (300km west of Rockhampton) to go fossicking for sapphires. They went to the Bobby Dazzler Sapphire Mines. She learned how to 'fossick' and used the panning techniques to sift through the wash. She found a few pieces of sapphire, and luckily one stone was large enough to have cut into a 4mm gemstone. That was over 10 years ago…
Here are some of the photos she took at the mine.
She wanted to make a piece of jewelry with it, but couldn’t decide what, a pendant, a ring, something else? She finally gave me the sapphire in October 2015 (yes that long ago) and we have been talking about it since then. Finally before my recent trip I told her we needed to make a decision! So, she sent me a few ring designs.
She was leaning towards a design that wrapped the sapphire. She wanted it to be silver and so I went to a few websites to see if they had any rings with prongs already in the design so that I would only need to get the ring set. I found one that I thought fit the bill at Rio Grande and bought it. Since Julie lives in London, I sent her a few photos of the ring with the sapphire in it (unset), so that she could see what it looked like and I brought it with me when I went to London so she could see it in the flesh.
Before visiting, I got in touch with a company in Hatton Garden called Just Castings (who don’t do just castings) to see if they could set the sapphire into the ring for me. I spoke via email to one of the people that work there called Theo. He seemed to think that there would be no problem (though he’d need to see it) and that he should be able to get it done within a few days so that I could pick it up before I met with Julie later in my trip.
But, before that, I needed to show Julie the ring to make sure she liked it before I got it set. So, I met her in Hatton Garden and showed her the ring mount that I had chosen along with the sapphire (which she hadn’t seen for a couple of years). Thankfully she liked it and the more importantly, the ring fit!
So, off we went to Just Castings to see Theo. He was impressed with the sapphire and how unusual it is (sapphires can be many colors, purple, blue, pink), but this one seems to be many different colors, it truly is unique and I haven’t seen anything like it before. He didn't seem to think there would be any problem setting it, so we left it in his good hands. A few days later I went back to pick it up and it was ready! It looked really lovely.
That evening I met with Julie again and gave her the ring. It was love at first sight!