Renowned Ibiza jeweller Cyd Hutton of JOY Jewellery is known for her passion for using only ethically mined gold, silver and gemstones in her work, and in 2014 she adds ethical opals to her list of materials, with the introduction of a new high-end collection in earthy organic hues of blazing red, azure blue and dreamy white – jewellery with a conscience.
“The entire collection is completely ethical,” she explains. “The gold and the opals used are completely traceable back to their source. I personally know the person who cut the boulder opals in a mine in Australia, and the gold is hand-panned in Madagascar, and there is only one person between the people in the village who find the gold, and me.”
And the good vibes just keep on getting better. “All the money raised from this gold goes directly back into the community where it was found,” says Cyd, explaining that panners work together as a group, pooling their finds together and sharing the proceeds of each haul. “If one person finds a huge nugget one week, but nothing the next, they won’t see their income suffer, as the group work together as a community project.” In addition, 20 percent of the proceeds are always put back into the village, towards building better infrastructures and providing clean water systems.
The collection itself is very elemental, a nod to the organic nature and heritage of the opals. “Some have red flames flashing through them, many have a watery, blue wavy appearance and others look as though there is a feather on them symbolising air – they are very ethereal,” says Cyd of the precious stones. “I work in a flow of how the stone speaks to me and I try to carry on and accentuate any of the features of the stone through the metal work.”
Each piece is one-of-a-kind and made on a commission basis, which means Cyd can adapt the style to suit your taste – and your chosen opal. “There’s something so mystical and magical about opals,” says Cyd. “They draw you in with amazing colours and the rainbow brilliance – there’s so much going on in them. When you think that opals are actually crystallised water, that were trapped for tens of thousands of years to become like this, there’s just something so special about them.”
Part of the collection’s aim is to bring into peoples’ consciousness the fact that ethical jewellery does still exist, and to serve as a reminder that we should always respect our mother earth by giving something back to her – after all, Mother Earth is nature’s very own jeweller, after all, having spent so many thousands of years creating the opals for us.