The residue of metal polishing compound forever dirties Ben Manning's fingertips, but that's the mark of a passionate jeweller. His store, Utopian Creations, was South Australia's first ethically and sustainably focused fine jeweller. Emerging in 2005, the store moved to the secluded but thriving Ebenezer Place in 2013.
The jewellery industry is a global one, but Utopian Creations goes even further by occasionally featuring prehistoric and outer space materials. Expect delicate silver necklaces displayed on driftwood, or textured metal rings next to seahorse skeletons. The array of vividly coloured unset stones is equal parts entrancing and tantalising.
Everything is made in Australia, with all the handmade pieces crafted in the store's workshop. And every material that enters the store has an ethical trail – a rarity in this profession.
Shining more brightly than the gold are the personal connections they forge, and Manning's attentive knowledge of his pieces. The studio specialises in bespoke creations, particularly engagement and wedding rings, along with alterations and remodelling.