With Valentines Day fast approaching we thought it would be a good time to catch up with our friendly neighbourhood jewellers, Joe & Sarah from Blue Salt at their Inverloch studio, to see what exciting projects they have been working on lately and if they have any insider tips on what makes the perfect Valentine's gift!
Why are you so passionate about jewellery?
.Joe: It's kind of in the blood. I moved to Broome, the pearling capital of the world when I was just eighteen months old, and had a wondrous childhood running through the red dirt, fishing, playing cricket as well as raising the odd crocodile in the family bathtub. My first jobs were working on the remote pearl farms in the Kimberley's while I was studying aquaculture and while setting up a salt water fish tank in the showroom of Broome Pearls, was offered a five year apprenticeship with an award winning Master Jeweller. I've been hooked ever since.
What do you love most about what you do
Sarah: For me it's seeing the look on someone's face when they first see a custom made piece of jewellery that's been created especially for them. They have been involved from the initial design process, to seeing the piece take shape, right through to completion - it's a very special moment.
You stock a wide range of Pearls, what are your favourites?
Joe: South Sea pearls are my favourites because of my background. The saltwater pearls are grown inside the largest pearl-producing oyster, the Pinctada Maxima. This oyster can produce pearls in silvery white, cream white or very occasionally gold, with subtle hues of pink, blue or green. The pearls from Pinctada Maxima have a thick and lustrous nacre (pronounced na-ker) coating that is known as orient and this results in pearls of the best quality, in sizes up to 18mm and very occasionally exceeding 20mm. These pearl sizes are amongst the world’s largest, and as such are highly sought.
The waters off Broome’s coast in Western Australia offer the only place in the world with commercial quantities of Pinctada Maxima. As a result, Australian South Sea pearls are some of the most valuable and desirable pearls on the market.
What do you love the most about living in Inverloch?
Sarah: It's just one of the best little corners of Australia - I'm a Gippsland girl so it's been been great to raise our family near the water and do what we love every single day. The beaches and walks are amazing and we get to meet so many interesting people though our work, I honestly can't think of anywhere better to live.
Apart from all the amazing jewellery creations in your studio, do you offer any other services?
Joe: Yes, as well as the custom makes we are kept busy with all sorts of jewellery requests locally from resizing, remodelling, cleaning and repairs through to valuations. It's sad when someone brings in a piece missing a stone especially if it's been in the family a long time. It's worth getting the settings of your expensive pieces checked periodically to make sure everything is as secure as it can be. We'll do this for you when we clean and polish your jewellery.
Some of Blue Salt's custom rings to suit all budgets
Blue Salt Jewellers studio is by appointment only and a must do if you are visiting Inverloch. To make an appointment and view the stunning range of custom handmade jewellery, pearls and gemstones click below - your valentine will thank you ;-)