In 2021, the leading Sydney jewellery auction house Leonard Joel’s brought the hammer down on a record-breaking Australian sale. One lucky bidder took home a solitaire ring containing a 25.02 carat diamond for a whopping $1,125,000.
Of course, if you’re shopping for rings for women in Australia, you’re most likely looking for something a little more unique (and affordable!). Maybe even something crafted by Australian makers or independent jewellery brands. Thankfully, the country’s active and creative jewellery industry offers a vast range of stunning rings to suit any budget.
But where are the best places in Australia to look for the ring of your dreams? Read on to find out!
Bricks-and-Mortar Jewellery Stores
It might seem a bit old-fashioned in the age of e-commerce, but it’s still quite possible to buy jewellery by visiting a manufacturing jewellery store. This is an especially good option for choosing significant investment rings, such as wedding and engagement rings.
Handmade jewellery is a thriving industry in Australia. Many jewellery designers and ring makers still combine their workshops with a store, although they often tend to be manufacturing jewellers specialising in more traditional pieces rather than indie designers.
Some jewellery designers might work with a store to sell their small batch pieces on commission, so it’s worth hunting down stores that do this. For instance, we sell some of our designs through Hahndorf Academy outside of Adelaide.
Whether you’re treating yourself to some fine gold jewellery or looking for a special investment ring, the experienced staff at a high end bricks-and-mortar store can help you in person with sizing, gemstones and more.
There are several benefits to shopping for rings in person:
- You can better assess the quality of the item
- You can try jewellery pieces on
- You may be able to work with a manufacturing jeweller to create a bespoke ring
- You can easily ask questions about the pieces you’re interested in
If you’re not sure which are the best jewellery shops to buy rings from in your area, start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Then, head to Google maps and peruse the customer reviews.
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Online marketplaces featuring different sellers can be another resource for finding women’s rings in Australia, especially when shopping for more affordable costume or vintage jewellery, or artisan made gold and silver jewellery.
Historically a popular platform for jewellery sellers has been Etsy, where Simone first got started selling jewellery online many years ago. Here, you can still potentially find affordable women’s rings crafted by independent makers from all over the country.
Just be aware that Etsy is open to sellers from all over the world and that in spite of the marketplace promoting itself as selling handmade products, there are now huge numbers of items that are actually mass-produced and often poor quality. If you can weed through what’s available, you may still find some great local jewellery designers who are just getting started with selling online.
There are some other smaller marketplaces with work by independent designers which may be Australian-based, so it’s worth Googling to see what you can find, as they do tend to come and go.
If you do find a jewellery maker on a marketplace whose work you like, then do some searching to see if they have their own independent online store, where you can support their business more directly.
And, of course, there’s Amazon … which has all sorts of ethical issues and we don’t recommend if you want to support Australian businesses. We encourage you to be more creative in your shopping habits!
Secondhand and Vintage Stores
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not look for your next ring in your local op shop?
There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon rummaging through boxes and perusing glass-fronted shop cabinets for unexpected treasures. In 2018, a Sydney couple found diamond rings worth $18,000 inside a board game they bought at an op shop!
If shopping in person isn’t your thing, there are lots of secondhand ring shopping options online. Etsy Australia, the platform we mentioned before, offers secondhand finds. Other platforms with secondhand rings for sale online include Gumtree, The Closet, and Melbourne icon Retrostar Vintage Clothing.
Auction houses are another option for sourcing secondhand rings. However, buying at auction at any price level requires experience to ensure you get the piece you want at a price you can afford.
Be wary of those selling old (or new) jewellery on Facebook Marketplace. The platform is rife with scams and offers little to no protection for buyers. It’s also best avoided.
Independent Online Stores
One of the safest, most cost-effective, and most convenient ways to shop for truly beautiful jewellery, rings included, is to peruse the online stores of Australia’s best independent makers.
Many jewellers in Australia have their own online stores where you can shop their entire collection of rings and other jewellery items. Here, you can:
- Get a feel for the artist’s style
- Understand more about their brand ethics (such as dedication to sustainability or use of ethically-sourced gemstones)
- Read through customer testimonials
- Learn about their payment, shipping, and guarantee options
- Shop in comfort and privacy at any time, day or night
If you fall in love with a jeweller’s style but want a ring with a specific stone or metal not offered by the jeweller, reach out to them. Many Australian makers will be able to make such changes for you, depending on what they have available in their stash.
How to Shop for “Made in Australia” Rings for Women
When shopping for rings for women in Australia, don’t be afraid to take your time. Whether you’re buying for someone else or yourself, you want to ensure you get a ring you’ll treasure for a lifetime. This means researching jewellery quality and shopping around to find ring styles you resonate with.
Australia’s well-established retail landscape offers consumers various ways to shop for jewellery: from buying handmade diamond rings online to rummaging through costume pieces in an op shop. Try out a few different methods before settling on the one you prefer.
If you’re keen to support independent designers, browse the ring collection at Simone Walsh Jewellery. Our founder Simone is a South Australian jeweller with over 25 years of experience crafting unique fine jewellery for creative Australian women. We’re sure you’ll find just the thing.