GROWING up sisters Coco, Remi and Darcie Newbery weren’t sure why their parents and their grandparents loved going out bush to fossick for gems.
They just thought it was their unusual hobby and the attraction of the dusty outback wasn’t something they had any desire to embrace.
Swatting flies, using bush loos and getting covered in dirt was not their idea of a fun holiday.
Years later they are now grateful that fossicking was part of their family’s heritage.
It has enabled the three local women to embrace a new career path and the gems that were found over the years in places such as Rubyvale, Glenn Innes, Inverell and Harts Range are central to a business they hope to grow over the years to replace their current roles.
Diamonds and sapphires that make up the family’s collection were recently faceted by their father Maurie before they were sent to a leading jewellery-maker for setting in 18 carat gold rings.
Now with their first collection of 24 unique designs they are getting set to launch their business “Other Half Jewellers” online.
“My sisters and I started talking about starting a business together and dad encouraged us to give a small jewellery opportunity a try and we liked the creativity we could bring to it,” Coco said.
“Every ring is a one off and the designs have come from either me, Remi or Darcie.”
The girls are now encouraging their father to go bush more often and fossick for more suitable precious stones. Over the past few weeks, he has been working hard on a claim at Sapphire in Far North Queensland.
“They’ll be pleasantly surprised when I return,” Maurie predicted.