Last week I spent a lovely afternoon trying on rings with a fantastic jewellery brand called Gemporia. Now I hadn’t heard of Gemporia before but…
When they first contacted me and I checked out the website, I was immediately intrigued by their responsibly sourced stones and wide range of interesting and unusual designs. Amid the crazy decor of The Parlour at Sketch, (sipping the most chocolately of hot chocolates) I was treated to a fantastic display. What struck me were the prices – the rings you see above, with stones including rubies, diamonds, white topaz, garnets, citrine and tanzanite (a blueish/purple stone found only in the foothills of Kilimanjaro and 100 times more rare than diamond), range from £34-200, which is amazing considering they are not plated but actual gold as well.
Founder Steve Bennett cuts out the middle man by buying direct from mines in places like Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and China which is why he can offer such great prices. As part of The Genuine Gemstone Company, which Steve set up in 2004, he also founded independent charity The Colourful Life Foundation with the aim of supporting the communities where the gemstones are found. Some of the projects they have worked on include a sustainable infrastructure in Madagascar to provide free efficient eco-stoves to local families, investment in a library for local school children and water harvesting projects in Kenya and (through ACE Africa) investment in rural areas in Tanzania helping provide families with medication and nutritional supplements.
I was really impressed by the variety of styles (all designed by Steve’s wife Sarah). While not everything was to my taste (traditional engagement rings just aren’t my thing) I completely fell for the Indian-inspired Neha collection (1 & 6 above) and the brilliant Rio de Janeiro inspired Copa fruit collection. For a more vintage feel, I loved the Classics pieces, (7 & 4 above).
Even more exciting, is that this week sees the launch of NOWSEEN.com, a fun new jewellery brand from The Genuine Gemstone Company with lower prices (real gemstones but plated pieces) aimed at a younger audience. There are some brilliant stacking rings, outrageous cocktail pieces and my favourite, the Wild & Wonderful animal pieces – see some sneak peek instagram shots below. Stay tuned as I’ll soon be posting my favourites and running a fab giveaway for the launch too!