By Maria Nilsson

Atmosea x Kê Lì Jewellery


About the Opal Gemstones and Crafts WOMANship of Kê Lì Jewellery

When it comes to Jewellery, there are SO many types of jewellery, jewellers and jewellery making techniques out there:


1. Some Jewellery designers get things made over seas. 

2. Some Jewellers order pieces and assemble them together and call this 'handmade'. 

3. Lots of jewellers melt wax and get these designs casted and returned to the jeweller in a state where the jeweller needs to finish the pieces off and set the gems. 

4. And then there are jewellers who fabricate their own metals by bending, forming, soldering and setting precious metals from the raw materials.  🫶🏽


In Kê Lì Jewellery, I make my jewellery described in no. 4 - by forming recycled precious metals and soldering it into a setting that I've handcrafted.  When doing so, I only use Solid Gold and Silver - not that gold filled, gold plated, stainless steel stuff.  What further sets my handmade jewellery apart from others - is the fact that I cut each stone by hand, and turn them into unique and at times, unconventional shapes 🪨👉🏼🍑❤️‍🔥

Now very FEW jewellers I know also do this: ✂️ their own gems. 


So not only did I learn metal forming skills (bending, forming, soldering wire to create the setting to hold the gem), but I also spent so many hours learning the skill of lapidary to turn rough stone into gemstones. I purchased a very expensive 6 wheel lapidary machine and placed it in my backyard.  A lapidary machine is a big heavy duty machine uses various gritted wheels that help to take off layers of a stone to help it get to a sparkly shine.  Kinda like going through various grits of sandpaper on wood.  🌈 All the sparkly, shimmery, iridescent colours are natural, formed over millions of years, with no enhancements whatsoever. 

It seriously is two whole separate professions that require double the time the metal forming and gem cutting. Most jewellers purchase already cut gems, and most gems these days are cut by workers overseas in developing countries.  Have you heard of the term 🩸BLOOD DIAMONDS?  It comes from the dirty gem trade where people and the environment are exploited for the gemstones.

 This is why I had decided to cut my own gems so that I have absolutely nothing to do with Blood Gems. I also use only ethically sourced Australian Opals from Lightning Ridge, NSW - Home of the world's ONLY rare BLACK OPAL - which also just so happens to be only 8 hours from Byron Bay - where I call home! How lucky am I?!  What makes the opal trade in Australia ethical, especially here in NSW - is the fact that there are strict Legislations that regulate the industry.  There is no underaged, underpaid labour happening whatsoever.  To be honest, only hardcore Aussies who are familiar with the rough Australian Outback terrain can seriously hack and handle the trade of digging for opals.  NSW has very strict laws and are regularly conducting inspections and audits.  If anyone does not abide to these policies and rules, leases to whole opal claims are terminated on the SPOT.  You better believe this is true because I've been out that way and that's ALL that they talk about out there.  

 My family and I travelled to Lightning Ridge last year and met the most amazing female miner who I now source my rough opals from.  She actually also has a house boat here in the Brunswick River! So she's also a Northern Rivers local.  Such a small world :) 

My family pack and I are booked to go back to Lightning Ridge this July 2024, and I cannot WAIT to drop all my life savings on some rough sparkly rocks. Teehee. 🤭