Ever fancied jumping behind the scenes at a leading jewellery store? Well, we did and we have the snaps and details to prove it. Let us introduce you to Raymond de Zwart and Davina Adamson – directors at the beautiful Black Finch Jewellery. We sent Michaela of AM For Love Studio along to snap Black Finch’s delish flagship space in Collingwood so you all could take a squiz at their digs and precious gems – their engagement rings are seriously to-die-for. We also chatted to the talented creatives behind the brand about what sets their business apart. Scroll down for all the fine details…
Talk to us about what got you started in the biz?
Raymond: I had to choose between industrial and product design, which lead me into gold and silversmithing. Shortly after finishing my gold and silversmithing studies at the RMIT School of Art, I started Black Finch Jewellery from my first studio in Westgarth. When I started the business, it was just me… 15 years later, Black Finch has really evolved. We now employ a highly-skilled team and have two retail destinations – Collingwood and Sorrento. The premise and end-goal of starting Black Finch was always to produce high-end and bespoke creations. I always wanted to make beautiful and meaningful things.
What inspires your designs?
Davina: I am very much immersed in art, culture, literature and nature. These things provide bottomless opportunities for a depth of beauty, meaning and reverence. Dreams, literature, weird films, my wild cliffs, and having lots of talented, hilarious friends that keep the conversation unbound. Always aiming for my whole world and life to become part of the creative process. I am not trained as a jeweller, so I start with lofty ideas that then the team helps me to land technically.
Raymond: It is really informed by beauty in asymmetry and using natural materials to make unique pieces. We have a large gemstone collection we source ourselves, so combining those pieces into design results in a different outcome. I come from an artist background not constrained by traditional jewellery and have an aversion to making pieces that have existed before.
What are your three most popular designs? It’s always shifting, but we’d have to say our Nightfall Cluster Ring, Lovelight Ring, and then our custom pieces, which allow us to design in the Black Finch aesthetic. A combination of classical elements, asymmetry and colour is very important.
Where do you source your stones from? We predominantly use Australian sapphires – we try, as a business, to source as closely to the source as possible in order to ensure the origin. We focus heavily on smaller scale, artisanal mining – which means family businesses vs big corporations. Artisanal mining is traditionally the way coloured stones, mostly sapphires, have historically been mined. It has been a journey of education. As we are procuring stones, we learn the providence but we also learn about the stones, characteristics and interesting qualities.
You are passionate about keeping your footprint to a minimum. Tell us more… Sustainability and ethical design underpin everything we do at Black Finch – honouring our precious biosphere and investing together to make positive change are words we live by. A major highlight of our careers was when we teamed up with two industry leaders and developed a continuous supply of recycled refined gold, from post-consumer sources. It changed the industry in Melbourne! All the gold in our pieces is now from above-ground sources which is very exciting. This year we also became certified as carbon neutral. Our path to carbon neutrality was a meticulous journey. We thoroughly assessed our entire operations and supply chain, leaving no gemstone unturned. This process empowered us to identify opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint and strategically implementing measures to minimise our environmental impact.
Any advice for couples looking at wedding and engagement rings? The information you will find through Black Finch or a master jeweller is superior to searching the internet, so we highly recommend booking an appointment.
What’s the standard feedback from couples who choose Black Finch Jewellery? Just read our Google reviews to see… We’ve met some thoughtful, beautiful people over the years. We do not take for granted the tremendous emotions and personal stories we get to listen to, and create around on a daily basis. It really is the best part of our job.
What is the price range of your rings? Custom designs start at $3700.
What’s new for Black Finch? Woah, it has been a huge year so far and very exciting! We simultaneously opened our Collingwood flagship store/workshop and second coastal location in Sorrento, November of 2022. Our team continues to grow and flourish, steering the Black Finch ship to new horizons. We launched Cloudbusting, our first-ever diamond collection this past April. More recently CHROMATICA launched; a wild interpretation of the rainbow with each piece one-of-a-kind and never to be repeated. We are also proud to have uploaded a selection of our gemstone collection online, allowing customers to ‘Create Your Own’ interpretation of some of our classic designs. We ventured to Sydney and hosted a series of custom appointments in the beautiful Ace Hotel. Our plan is to visit Hobart, Brisbane and Perth during the first half of 2024 – watch this space! 2023 has been good to us, and there’s still plenty of energy to make the final few months extra sparkly!
To see brides and grooms who have loved the Black Finch style, head here and here, and get in touch with the jeweller here. Big thanks to AM For Love Studio for these gorgeous photos. You can check get in touch here and check out more of this talented Melbourne lens lady’s wedding work here.