Our Story

Australian silver jewellery that’s a little bit boho, a little bit sparkly

We believe you’ve worked hard your whole life, and now you can have whatever you like. We make Australian silver jewellery for women who know what they like and want to enjoy treating themselves.

Our beginnings, with our founder Janine Leghissa

Desiderate was born when I found myself with a chronic incurable illness and I had to find a way to support my family. 

After being diagnosed with Lupus SLE, my health went downhill and I couldn't work. I lost my eyesight, my hair and so much more, but this is about how I turned it around.

Before becoming so unwell, I owned and lived in my dream home. I had worked so hard to achieve this and yet it all came tumbling down.
I w
as left with no home or income, and I needed cash—fast. I did anything I could think of, which included selling my jewellery collection to cover my rising bills. 

I knew I had to rebuild my life into something I wanted to live and with my health what I could do was restricted, and I'd lost my home, my career and my health. I was really desperate to survive

I had no idea of starting a jewellery business, I was only worried about providing for my children and building a new life.

But as the jewellery began to sell on my Facebook page, I realised my love of gems also presented an opportunity. Word spread and people began coming to me, asking for particular styles and pieces.

I fell back on my background in colour and design. Previously I was an award winning artist and had a career in senior management in with international hairdressing companies specialising in colour and design.

I began sourcing stones and commissioning jewellers to produce pieces to my specifications. My own struggles showed me that finding Australian silver jewellery can be difficult. I knew what I liked, and didn’t fancy all the trends. I also wanted quality, with pieces that would last decades without staining, fading or breaking.

Desiderate was born in 2017 and since then, I’ve grown the business to employ a team and support overseas silversmiths and artists (many of them female) with commissions of unique pieces. I’ve built our website and taught myself how to run a successful ecommerce business. 

I’m beyond grateful for the support of my valued customers. Desiderate is my phoenix rising from the ashes. I didn’t know then that it would be the catalyst to living a more complete life, one that I could only dream of years ago. 

We give back to the community by supporting Lupus NSW

A portion of our proceeds is donated to Lupus NSW to raise funds for lupus education, treatment and support. It makes us incredibly proud to be able to support this very worthy cause.


 In everything we do, we celebrate women

You know what you like and you expect quality, but not at outrageous prices. 

Now’s the time to treat yourself. You have precious memories, and often your jewellery is a memento of those times. 

You love a sparkly treat that shows your style and personality. 

We see you, we hear you, we know you and we create jewellery with you in mind.

 Meet the Desiderate team

We are:

  • Janine —  founder and head designer (And quite often? She’s the hand model in our product photos) 
  • Dannielle, Dayna, Sam and Mel — Customer service and order pick, pack and delivery
  • Aaron (Janine’s son) — Social Media Customer Care and Special Project Manager
  • Jacqueline (Janine's sister) - Customer Service Manager 
  • Charlotte (Janine's Daughter) - Marketing Manager
  • Kate - Copywriter
  • Ruth - Virtual Assistant (Specialising in Pinterest)
  • Zeke - Janine's school aged son who helps out with packaging, packing and moving boxes around, putting together office equipment and taking things up to the shop for customers. He also catches lot's of fish.

What Desiderate means and how to pronounce it

Desiderate means ‘to feel a keen desire’. 

For us, it means the feeling you get when you see a cute piece of jewellery and you really want it! 

Some customers aren’t sure how to pronounce our name. 

Phonetically, it’s DEE— ZID — ER— ET. 

Or check out this online guide on how to pronounce desiderate. You can hear it pronounced in different accents from both male and female speakers.

Quality jewellery

Every piece is made to the highest standards from top quality materials and stones. 


Affordable prices

We strive to keep prices competitive and affordable while maintaining excellent quality.

Limited editions

We source limited runs from our artisanal silversmiths from around the world.

Australian owned

We’re 100% Australian owned and a local, family operated small business.

Fast dispatch

Janine assumes her customers are as impatient as she is, so we dispatch your order fast.

 We’re boutique, not mass market

Our pieces are sourced internationally, gathering together jewellers, gem dealers and silversmiths to create unique, limited run exclusive pieces. 

We purchase some items from wholesalers, and others are designed by Janine who sources the stone, has it cut and set to her requirements. 

Manufacturing using a myriad of artists and suppliers isn’t an overnight process, so when products sell out, it takes time to produce the next batch. 

When you buy from Desiderate you can be confident that you’ll get a limited edition piece, made from quality stones and metals that you can enjoy for decades to come. 

If you’d like a custom design, Janine would be happy to help — please get in touch to discuss what you’re looking for.


Try on our jewellery virtually

If you’ve ever shopped for jewellery online and wondered how it will actually look in person, you’ll love the innovative try-on tool. 

We are proud to be one of the first Australian jewellers to offer a jewellery virtual try-on tool. 

It works by superimposing an image of the jewellery over your own photo, so you can see the size and colour of the piece against your skin. 

It’s easy, fun, fast and accurate, so have a play and enjoy trying on jewellery virtually in the privacy of your own home.

CLICK HERE: Learn more about the virtual try-on tool


Acknowledgement of country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Dharawal county. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, craftsmanship, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

Diversity statement

We work with a diverse array of people of varying background, gender identity, sexual orientation, beliefs, ethnicities or ability. We strive to make everyone feel welcomed, heard and recognised for the unique perspective they bring to the world