Rhapsody in teal

May 25, 2018


Love at first sight

“The sense of excitement was almost overwhelming. I just had to hold the mysterious gem, sparkling blue-green in the gem dealer’s hand. It was cool to touch, its oval form as big as a small egg. My nervous fingers held it gingerly while I admired its magnificent sparkle and flashes of colour,” Lizunova Fine Jewels founder, jewellery designer Maria Lizunova recalls. “I fell in love with it almost instantly.”

What could it possibly be? At 109 carats, it was way too big to be an indicolite tourmaline, which are as rare as hen’s teeth in sizes above 1 carat. Matthew, Lizunova’s trusted Sydney gem dealer, finally broke the suspense, “It’s a London topaz, but this colour – it’s a miracle, in all my years of travelling the world and scouring gem fairs, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

A rare gem

Natural blue topaz can vary in colour from very pale to inky blue, called London Blue, the most valuable of this spectrum. Topaz also naturally occurs in white and amber colours, the latter, Imperial topaz, is highly prized. Blue topaz never crosses into the green spectrum, and this teal-coloured wonder is a true freak, or gift, of nature.

A cherished possession in Matthew’s mother’s personal collection, it was bought over 20 years ago on a whim – she simply could not resist its highly unusual colour. This enigmatic gem would emerge from time to time to be shown off at gem fairs and trade shows as a showpiece, on the condition it would not be sold. Finally, after years of pleading by her son, she agreed to part with it on one condition, that it would be sold to a jeweller who would set the gem into a design worthy of it.

A master gem cutter steps in

Lizunova decided to change the gem from its original cut, a commercial oval with a typical diamond checkerboard, to something much more contemporary and crisp. Cue Doug Menadue, a renowned Sydney gem cutter - a true gem connoisseur and a master of his craft. He was beyond excited at the opportunity to transform this rare gem.

“I was as thrilled about the opportunity to work with Doug as I was about buying the stone. I have admired Doug’s work for years, and all the gems he cuts bear his unmistakable signature – they’re crisp, contemporary and very beautiful,” says Lizunova.

For Menadue gems and gem cutting are a true passion. Taking a leap to pursue his passion for gemmology and stone cutting, Menadue ended a 20-year career in IT to explore and hone his knowledge in the gem field. His craftsmanship is second to none and every gem he cuts often surpasses expectations, highlighting the beauty of each gem he touches. After much deliberation, Menadue designed a cut especially for this remarkable gem, to optimize light and accentuate the vibrant colour. The new, crisp rectangular octagonal cut, named Rhapsody Lizunova Variation, brings out the best of this magnificent gem, with strong flashes of teal throughout its beautiful, 68.6 carat form. The definition of rhapsody is an ecstatic or enthusiastic expression of emotion, and the newly recut gem truly lives up to its name, inspiring awe and emotion in all who see it.

A bespoke jewel

“We are so excited to hold this beauty in our gem collection,” says Lizunova. “The minute I had it back from Doug, I was sketching ideas for setting it. I would love it to be a cocktail ring, as topaz is 8 on a Mohs hardness scale. Imagine it in platinum or white gold and diamonds! It would take one brave lady to wear such a large cocktail ring though, so I also sketched ideas for a pendant necklace. The bespoke designs respond to the lines of the Rhapsody cut and would make a truly magnificent, one of a kind jewel.”

Lizunova has a true appreciation for design, with a career in graphic design and art direction spanning over 15 years. For her, just like for Menadue, gemstones and jewellery design are a true passion, worth a radical career change later in life. Similarly to Menadue, Lizunova is self taught, with a truly fresh, contemporary approach to jewellery design. The home of her eponymous fine jewellery label founded in 2012 was relocated in late 2017 from its original Potts Point location to the elegant, Art Deco inspired Chifley Plaza. The brand is fiercely loyal to local, ethical craftsmanship, and uses Australian-made gold, silver and platinum in its designs, with hand-picked gemstones, ethically sourced from local, Sydney gem dealers, front and centre.

“We invite you to view Rhapsody in our boutique. It is a true masterpiece, where natural providence meets craftsmanship.”

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Ring sizes

We use Australian ring size measurements, which are in an alphabetical range from A-Z.

As your fingers contract and expand due to the temperature, humidity, exercise, etc, your ring will fit on your finger tighter or looser. Your ring should fit comfortably and you need to find a balance between too big and too small. It is recommended that you should have to push your ring on tightly over your knuckle and it should spin slightly around the base of your finger. There should be some resistance when the ring is taken off – this will help to keep the ring on when your fingers are cold or wet. The correct size is the one that you feel the most confident and comfortable with.

We suggest that you size the finger you intend to wear your ring on at room temperature – this should provide you with a size that should be close to perfect most of the time.

Top-heavy rings can tend to spin on your finger, as the base of your finger is usually thinner than your knuckle. We suggest when sizing your finger for a top-heavy ring, that you err on the tighter side, rather than a loose fit. This will mean that the ring will stay on the top of your finger and it will ultimately be more comfortable to wear.

If you’re choosing a wide ring, you will tend to go up a size. There is more surface area on a wider ring and therefore more metal to grip to your finger.

If you are interested in a ring that is 5mm or wider, we suggest going up a size (one size larger than the sizing gauge). We suggest going up another size if the ring you are interested in is 9mm or larger (two sizes larger than the sizing gauge).

If you are buying a ring as a gift for someone, we recommend that you measure the inside diameter of a ring the person you’re buying the gift for, regularly wears on the finger your gift will be worn on.

Measuring your finger

If you do not know your ring size you can use this guide to obtain an approximate measurement.

Before measuring the finger on which the ring you’re purchasing will be worn, please ensure the following:

The number that lines up with edges of the opening is the ‘interior circumference’. Please note this number and then refer to our Ring Size Chart to choose the correct ring size.

Download Ring Size Guide PDF

If you do not know your ring size you can use this guide to obtain an approximate measurement.

If you have a ring that is worn on the finger you need sizing, print out the ring size guide (take care to print it at 100%), and place the existing ring over the circles. Measure the inside of the ring against the outside of the circle. If you can hardly see the black line which goes around each circle, you have chosen the right size. Compare the ring to the adjacent circles to check that you definitely have the right size.

You can then double check this measurement by measuring the inside diameter of the ring, and matching that against the ring diameter measurements shown.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a ring available, you can measure the finger itself to obtain an approximate ring size. You can do so by wrapping a piece of string or thin strip of paper around the finger on which you wish to wear the ring, marking it with a pen where it overlaps. Measure the piece of string with a ruler to obtain the circumference of the finger, and compare that to the European Size measurement shown on the chart. We would recommend that in order to obtain the most accurate measurement when taking your ring size in this way, you do so at the end of the day when the finger is at its largest, and not when your hands are unusually cold as this would lead to a smaller ring size.

If you require any further assistance in obtaining your ring size, please  contact us and we will be happy to help.