Interview
Paving Stones

Maria Tash

Fashion’s favourite piercer reveals all on her fascination with diamonds and precious stones

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Maria Tash has built her brand of personalised, design-led piercing to unrivalled heights, owning the industry with her creative compositions and signature, diamond-studded collections. Precious gems are core to her designs – a dazzling love affair she embarked on in her teens. From clashing purple amethyst with her coloured hair, to lacing belly buttons with drusy sapphires, here Tash talks us through her stone journey.

Maria Tash
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On discoveryMy interest in gemstones emerged before my appreciation of diamonds and coloured diamonds. As a teenager and through my early twenties I wore a lot of silver jewellery - and the dominant gemstones in those pieces were amethyst and Mozambique garnet. I've always loved purple and, at that time, amethyst was an inexpensive way to wear the colour. I had coloured hair, so coordinating titanium anodized metal colours that incorporated semi-precious stones was fun.

Maria Tash
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On evolutionAs my taste evolved and I gained years in the industry, I began to appreciate stones that had more durability, and some with unusual and beautiful colours. My current favourites are diamond, tanzanite and Paraiba tourmaline.

I love diamond because of its vast scintillation with all cuts, hardness, and compatibility with all styles of apparel. It's also available in colours that sparkle, where coloured stones cannot.  I love tanzanite for its glorious blue and purple colour mix, and Pariaba tourmaline for being an uncommon and gorgeous shade of green

Maria Tash
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On sourcingI used to spend a lot of time looking at shades of coloured stones with different suppliers until I established a rapport with certain ones that really know my taste in colouration per type of stone.  For example, I am very close with my opal supplier, and he knows exactly what hues I will accept and which I will reject.  Black opals are so fun and are gorgeous in themselves with a wide dark colour flash (if they are a good quality). For larger stones of tanzanite or sapphire, I still feel the need to inspect each stone.

In the 1990s I designed a lot of navel jewelry and used a lot of oval stones. It was a fun period and clients were open to all sorts of gemstones, from star sapphires to drusy.  My stones are sourced from suppliers that adhere to the Kimberley validation and certification process, which makes sure they are conflict free.  My opals are Australian and of high colour and durability, and not cut from the inferior hydrophane material.

On beautyA gorgeous stone can enhance a wearer’s eye colour or skin tone. I personally love green stones as they draw attention to my eyes. Of course, it is always just a feeling of awe and beauty to gaze at a lovely gemstone and carry it on your body. I have never grown tired of shopping for quality stones and figuring out what to make from them.

Maria Tash
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