How does a partner, significant other or family member know which gemstone to buy their loved one for a special gift or occasion? Just pick a brilliant white diamond and be done with it, or get more creative? It’s a dilemma that sparked an idea for Melbourne jewellery label owner Ele Misko, who was repeatedly hearing the same thing from friends and clients. “I had all these people and friends telling me ‘Oh if I get married, this is what I want’,” she tells Broadsheet.

So, the founder of Misko Jewellery – a studio and store in the heart of the jewellery trade district in Melbourne’s CBD – decided to start an online database of jewellery preferences to help partners buy for their loved ones without totally screwing up.

The Vault, as it’s called, is a fun, interactive online shop where customers (and those who want to buy jewellery for them) can learn more about and choose various coloured gems and cuts. For example, deep red garnets in a cushion cut or shimmering opals in a pear shape.

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“It gives us an idea of what [the recipient] wants but it can still be a surprise,” says Misko. “One customer who used the service said, ‘I would have [had] no idea of what to get her, she’s so stylish’,” the designer tells us.

Misko started the jewellery label in Berlin in 2012, after studying gemstones and geology in New York and working for various brands across Europe. She says Australia has “such a rich source of precious metals and stones” and so she wants people to have access to more education on the jewellery trade at their disposal.

When a piece is bought from the online store, it’s sent securely in lab specimen-inspired packaging. “They’re magnetic,” says Misko. “They hold the gemstone in place and then we actually write the type, the carat, the colour, the cut and the dimensions on them.”

Though the service was designed with couples in mind, you don’t need to be getting married to use the Vault – you can also save your favourite metals and gems to commission your own jewellery with the store. If it’s for a gift – such as a birthday present or engagement ring – Misko and the purchaser can choose and craft jewellery ideas together using the person’s registered preferences. If it’s for you, it’s as simple as building the idea online and working with Misko to order exactly what you want.

If you don’t have the patience to build your own, Misko Jewellery also sells ready-to-ship items from its online store, including chain necklaces, gold rings, pearl earrings and individual gemstones.

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