The story behind Shimell and Madden’s Lifeline brooch, created for Annette Austin, again demonstrates theemotional power of stones.
Each of the gemstones in the brooch told a tale of my life and travels –
“I have been trying to simplify my life – selling, giving away or throwing out, and this included going through my jewellery box,” Austin tells BBC Culture. “Having given away all the unwanted pieces, I was left with a number of gemstones in old-fashioned settings, each of which told a tale of my life and travels. Shimell and Madden reset the stones in a single brooch which I now wear regularly. They include a garnet – my birthstone – from a ring given to me on my 16th birthday and an amethyst found by a great uncle when fossicking [gem hunting] in the Outback, and presented to me when I was 21.”