ETHICAL GEMSTONES WITH A FULLY TRANSPARENT SUPPLY CHAIN
Clio started her jewellery career as a sapphire miner in the Australian outback, unearthing a colourful array of natural gemstones. Many of these gemstones are available to clients for custom and bespoke commissions. Working alongside ethical miners and faceters, Clio also offers a wide selection of natural, traceable gemstones which are sourced from trusted suppliers who respect and protect the land they work on.
"I spent 6 months mining in a small area of the Gemfields in Queensland Australia, where many of the stones in my current collection were discovered. Each of these gemstone's origin is traceable, and all are untreated and completely natural."
The Gemfields are a sapphire, zircon and spinel-bearing area in the Australian outback, which have been mined by locals and visitors under the watchful eye of the Aboriginal Council in Queensland.
Explore the sapphire mining process via the headings below.
Rubyvale, Australian Gemfields
The Australian Gemfields are a gemstone-bearing area in the Fitzroy river basin area of Queensland. Centuries ago, volcanic activity brought sapphires and other gemstones to the surface, which over the years have been weathered out of rock and carried down old river channels.
Specified designated fossicking (small-scale mining) areas have been created, which can be mined by individuals who hold a fossicking licence.
Clio's claim was located near the town of Rubyvale, which is renowned for delivering some of the largest, highest quality sapphires in the Gemfields.
ABOVE & UNDERGOUND
Once you have been granted a fossicking licence there are rules you must abide by in order to mine in the area, such as working only on designated fossicking lands. There are also strict rules around limiting your impact on the land - it is illegal to destroy or injure any trees, pollute any watercourse or interfere with any wildlife, and you are required to refill any excavations.
Alongside these regulations, you are allowed to use a limited selection of mining tools, and no machinery is permitted.
With a lot of hard work and patience, Clio spent 6 months hand-mining like this in the Gemfields, and is delighted to offer these fully traceable gemstones to her clients for bespoke projects.
WATER, DIRT AND PATIENCE
Once you get to what is called 'wash', or the sapphire-bearing layer of earth, it is time to sort the rocks from the gemstones! This is done by collecting the 'wash' into buckets, and rinsing them carefully with a sieve in water. Tipping and shaking brings the heaviest sapphire and gemstone material to the centre, and the lighter rocks to the outside of the sieve, making sorting much easier.
The sieves are then flipped on to a table, ready for sorting with tweezers. You do need a good eye for sorting, as the rough sapphires look a lot like rocks and can easily be missed.
STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GROUND
Rough sapphires are most often described as looking like sea glass, with a matte exterior and a soft glow. Sapphires found in Australia are well-known for showing partition colouration, where two or more colours (such as green and blue, or orange and yellow) are observed in the same stone. These are known as parti-sapphires. These variations in colour are caused by different minerals being present close by as the sapphire crystal form at a depth of 6-18 miles inside the Earth's crust.
Once collected, your sapphire rough are graded by quality. The best quality stones are 'cutters', which will deliver eye clean or slightly included faceted stones. You also find included rough 'star sapphires', where striations in the crystal form geometrically to create a star sapphire once cut into a rounded cabochon shape.
AVAILABLE FOR CUSTOM AND BESPOKE COMMISSIONS
Clio has a beautiful selection of multicoloured sapphires available for custom and bespoke projects. Clients are invited to the studio to explore all the stones available, and select your dream stone, which is fully traceable.
A number of designs in Clio's collection are also made with her own sapphires.
If you have a specific dream sapphire in mind, Clio has a select offering of high quality rough sapphires available to clients, alongside a list of trusted suppliers with a wide variety of natural sapphires.
Australian, Sri Lankan & Madagascan Sapphires
Catering to a wide variety of tastes, Clio works alongside trusted ethical suppliers of sapphires, diamonds and other precious gemstones.
Working to your specifications, Clio is able to source any size, colour and cut of stone for your bespoke creation. Send us a message to discuss your dream piece of jewellery.
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1.12ct, Gemfields, Australia
Yellow Brilliant Sapphire
0.70ct, Gemfields, Australia
Parti-Coloured Emerald Sapphire
Cognac Asscher Diamond
Cognac Pear diamond
1.80ct, Queensland, Australia
Green Emerald Chrysoprase
GEMSTONES FROM THE Vault
Each gemstone's origin is completely traceable, and all are untreated and completely natural. These stones have been handled by only 2 people - Clio and the expert gemstones cutters we work with. All stones are available to clients for bespoke jewellery designs.
ROUND OCEAN-BLUE SAPPHIRE
LIGHT TEAL SAPPHIRE
ROYAL BLUE SAPPHIRE
COGNAC CUSHION ZIRCON
PARTI-SAPPHIRE, FANCY CUT
Multicoloured sapphire with blue, green, yellow and flecks of orange
FIRE RED ZIRCON
LIGHT PINK OVAL ZIRCON
LIME GREEN ROUND SAPPHIRE
EMERALD CUT DEEP BLUE SAPPHIRE
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