The waterfalls and fern-laden forests are stunning, but wading through the freezing, leech-infested winter waters must be a turn-off. Not for Chris Hood, one of the only jewellers in Australia who not only finds the gems, but also makes the jewellery they are set in.
Hood has been making jewellery since he was 15 years old. Fascinated by gemstones, he looks for sapphires in the forests of north-east Tasmania by hand-mining in isolated areas. His precise planning helps him to work out where these deep-blue jewels are located.
The beauty of finding a sapphire shining in the sunlight fuels his passion and helps him brave low temperatures in nothing but a wetsuit.
We’re familiar with the concept of “paddock to plate”, and Hood says that, in a similar way, what he does is “mine to market”. Hood polishes the rough sapphires and sets them in silver and gold at his store in Hobart. Sometimes he even takes couples mining to find the perfect jewel for their bespoke creation, which is a particular source of pride.
Watch the video above to see the passion Hood has for finding sapphires and turning them into jewellery.
This video is produced in partnership with Asahi Super Dry.