My father is a farmer and one of the farms we grew up on was a little piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere. After travelling through what seems like endless kilometres of dirt road, nothing but baobabs and dust as far as the eye can see – you reach a little oasis… nestled in between the hills bordering Namibia. There is a river, rustling and roaring, breathing life into a place that looks completely dead… and a little further on there is a house. It is in this house that I made some of my fondest childhood memories.
Splashing in the pool when it is 40 degrees + outside, climbing the walls that were roughly built of slabs of rock and taking in the breath-taking scenery. We disappeared for hours on end, picking pomegranates from the trees in the garden and eating them in the smallest bit of shade. We would climb the hills, discover caves and let our imaginations run wild. At night, we would drift off to sleep listening to the sound of crickets, frogs and far away… the sound of leopards hunting baboons.
The most magical part of this place is the Amethyst rocks and crystals that lay scattered across the surface… The farm used to belong to a geologist, and he discovered an amethyst and copper mine on the property many years ago. Finding these purple treasures as a child was unlike anything I can explain – and I have been collecting them ever since. My home has raw amethyst rocks from the farm scattered all over.
When Cole and I got married 7-years ago, he bought me the most incredible antique wedding ring. It did not have a traditional diamond… in the centre of the ring was a huge dark purple amethyst. I knew this man “got” me. That ring was so special, it had a story that spanned back hundreds of years – I absolutely adored it.
It went back into its old, vintage box when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with my son back in 2014, and into the safe. My swollen fingers just would not play along… After my son was born and my fingers returned to their normal size, I excitedly removed the box from the safe only to find that the ring inside was no longer there. Our nanny at the time had disappeared to Zimbabwe, I assume with the ring safely in her pocket – there was no hope in hell that I would ever track it down again.
I was heartbroken. I started toying with the idea of melting down my diamond cluster ring and having something new made – but I was uninspired and financially the timing just was not right. Towards the end of last year, as I was playing with one of the amethyst rocks on my desk (an old habit), it came to me… I called up Janine Binneman and asked her if she was up for a little bit of a challenge. Of course, she was.
We set up an appointment and started brainstorming. The first meeting I showed her some of the amethyst rocks from the farm, I wanted to incorporate one of the stones – even though years of it lying in the sun most certainly meant it would be flawed. We chatted about my vision, what I wanted and the story I wanted it to tell… she just got it. I truly believe that stones, crystals and metals absorb energy and have incredible powers. I would not want anyone else to work with these beauties and insert their energy into them. It had to be Janine, and if you ever met her – you would understand why. Her positivity and energy is infectious!
At the next meeting, we discussed colours/ stone combination. We chose a stone to represent each member of my family to surround the amethyst from my favourite place on earth. I gave her the diamond cluster ring that Cole bought me as a gift when Knox was born, which she would melt down to finish the story.
This exquisite stone represents my amazing husband, who is an October baby. Both Tourmaline and Opals are October’s birthstones. We chose a tourmaline as it promotes inspiration, happiness, reduces fear and builds self-confidence. It is also believed that it balances yin-yang energies. In general, tourmalines are excellent tools for energizing and balancing the chakras.
Garnets are one of the birthstones for January. It was only fitting that we choose one of the rarest garnets – a Tsavorite – to represent Mikayla’s birth. It’s a growth stone that is also a powerful conduit of birth, creation, development, and renewal. It’s a stone that’s brimming with hope and powerful energies to brighten your future.
Topaz is one of the birthstones of December. We chose a beautiful blue one to represent Knox’s birth. Topaz is one of the sacred stones of the Hindu’s Kalpa tree. It is well known and very sacred to the Hindus. It is one of the 9 sacred stones upon a talisman of nine gems. Traditionally, the icy blue shades of topaz gemstones are associated with learning, understanding, creative inspiration and peaceful communication.
Our newest addition is represented by the diamonds from my old ring to signify his birth which will take place in April. A symbol of perfection and illumination, activating the Crown and Etheric Chakras. It enhances inner vision and stimulates creativity, imagination, and ingenuity, opening the mind to the “new” and “possible. How fitting for our miracle baby.
This was chosen to represent my own birth. A Peridot is born of fire and brought to light, one of only two gems (Diamond is the other) formed not in the Earth’s crust, but in molten rock of the upper mantle and brought to the surface by the tremendous forces of earthquakes and volcanoes. It is known as a talisman of luck and as a sunstone to prevent personal darkness. It adds charm and eloquence to your presentations, evokes a positive, helpful response from normally unhelpful people, and increases profit in trades. It is naturally protective against envy, gossip behind your back, and people who would deceive you.
Amethyst healing properties are as plentiful as the stone itself. It is thought of mostly as a protective stone. As it is linked to the crown chakra, it is helpful in purifying the mind and clearing it of negative thoughts. This includes the negativity of stress and anxiety, which is why many meditate with amethyst to rid themselves of that darkness. The stone is also associated with abundance and emanates prosperity.
Having a piece of jewellery custom made means you have something with a unique story. This ring is unique in every single way, and I hope to pass it down for generations to come so that its story may live on for hundreds of years and a piece of my history will be with my family forever.
You can spruce up a tired old piece, start something from scratch or just breathe new life into an heirloom. Contact Janine for a quote, you won’t be sorry.
You can contact her via telephone at 082 468 3201 or reach her on e-mail at