Go bespoke with six of Australia's best men’s jewellers
There’s no shortage of striking men’s jewellery to peruse and purchase from the luxury houses of Paris, Milan and Geneva.
But there’s something particularly special about personally meeting a jeweller, telling them exactly what you want, and finally being able to wear that precise design or style with pride.
A growing number of Australian jewellers will craft a ring, bracelet, necklace or set of cufflinks to your precise specification, proudly forging a statement item that is absolutely unique to you.
Sydney-based Sumer Sayan creates men’s jewellery under his “pirate rock star” alter ego, Harlin Jones. Born in Turkey and educated in Australia, Sayan received his first exposure to the world of jewellery while visiting an uncle in Turkey. Returning to Australia to begin an apprenticeship, he began to develop men’s pieces infused with a distinctive Ottoman influence.
In 2010, he was named a finalist in the Australian Jewellery Design Awards for a striking ring (pictured, top) he developed featuring 18-carat white gold and rose gold, with round brilliant cut diamonds. Valued at $35,000, it remains one of his most impressive achievements.
He also shows off an old Greek coin that he has encased in a rose gold bezel. “I love anything with that old-world feel to it. It’s simple but extremely effective,” he says.
“I love fusing silver with gold; it’s really effective, especially when you can oxidise the silver and give it that real black colour and put a polished gold around it, it looks stunning.
“Some guys can pull it off, the whole shiny gold and polished diamonds look, whereas this looks a bit more rustic and to my mind at least, a bit more masculine.”
Sayan enjoys creating jewellery – “the different textures you can get out of one piece of metal, whether it’s polishing it, oxidising it, giving it a rough finish, matt finish …” – but the real satisfaction comes from designing bespoke pieces to order.
“I want to focus more on the bespoke 1-to-1, you come in and give me a few little pointers of what you’re after and then I come up with a design,” he says.
“For me to just sit there and make jewellery, that’s not enough of a passion to do that full-time. But coming up with your own designs and using your own personality and infusing it into a wearable piece of art, that’s amazing.”
Here are five other Australian men’s jewellers who will work with you to create a bespoke piece:
Fairfax & Roberts
In business for almost 160 years and located at the top end of Castlereagh Street in Sydney’s CBD, Fairfax & Roberts specialises in “discerning and stylish” rings, pens, bracelets and cufflinks, and specialises in men’s wedding bands as well as a full range of jewellery for women.
A ring specialist, Melbourne-based MDT Design focuses on men's engagement and wedding rings. Their channel-set rings are designed to convey style and masculinity and can incorporate gold, silver or large diamonds.
Jason Moss Jewellery Design
Working from a small studio in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, Jason Moss takes a ‘less is more’ approach to jewellery and specialises in wedding bands as well as stamped jewellery, a technique of stamping numbers or letters into a ring or set of cufflinks to create unique patterns or messages.
A winner in the Robb Report’s prestigious “Best of the Best” issue in 2014, the jeweller based in the country Victorian town of Bairnsdale has carved out an enviable reputation for producing jewellery, pens and – more recently – watches of uncompromising quality. Despite a giant-killing reputation overseas, the operation remains small and agile enough to smartly bring customers’ bespoke designs to life.
For more than 25 years, Lucas Blacker has been creating bespoke jewellery for men and women, along the way co-winning a Grand Prix Award at the Australian Jewellery Design Awards and becoming a Fellow of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia. He continues to produce rings, cufflinks and bracelets from his studio in Sydney’s Earlwood.
Lord Coconut – aka Melbourne men’s accessories retailer Mark Boldiston – isn’t a jeweller, but his shop at the corner of Melbourne’s Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets is a treasure trove of men’s jewellery gems. His stock is sourced from dozens of top artisans producing unique and fascinating accessories. If you can’t find what you want in his store, Lord Coconut surely knows someone who will make it for you.