Birthday in December? Lucky you have a choice of three birthstones: turquoise, lapis lazuli and the beautiful tanzanite.
Despite being a relative newcomer having only been discovered in 1967, tanzanite is an important gemstone that captured the imagination of collectors and wearers of fine jewellery alike. Initially, the supply of good quality stones was limited to collectors but in the 1980’s there was a surge in material from the mines in Tanzania and people really started to take notice of this exceptional stone.
It is no secret that tanzanite needs to be heated and it is this dramatic colour transformation that has led to its success. Colours vary from intense blue (being the most expensive) to pale lilac and lavender.
The beauty of tanzanite is best appreciated in fine jewellery, however, due to it being a relative soft stone (6.5 – 7 Mohs) it should not be set in a ring that will be worn every day. It can be brittle and will chip quite easily. Earrings and pendants work best for showing of your beautiful tanzanite.
From me. To me.
It all started in the 1920’s. Women cut their hair, lifted the hems on their dresses and started wearing trousers (GASP!!). Next thing we knew, they got voting rights (another GASP!!). What was the world coming to? Transparency, is what. Having ruled the roost from the background, women finally realized that their voices counted.
When growing up, I literally had two choices – become a teacher or a nurse. Thankfully, the exciting Eighties dawned. A job was no longer just to supplement the household income. No, we could now have a career. The world was our oyster. We could choose!
Here is the question: if you can choose your make of car, or shoes, even microwave, why not choose your own jewellery? Our shop in Cullinan has experienced the change. More and more women come in and choose their own jewellery. From a simple pair of silver hoops to diamond studs, the purchase is accompanied by “this is to celebrate getting that promotion / getting my degree / being chosen as a leader in my field / my birthday”. The list goes on and on. We hear beautiful stories, women who have overcome impossible obstacles and came out even stronger. Fact is, most of our clients are women. Strong, independent, feminine, clever, compassionate and passionate women.
We get you. And we would love to be part of your story.
In our previous article we discussed opals and now it is tourmaline’s turn.
The ancient Egyptians had a legend about tourmaline gemstones. They believed that these stones got their amazing colors because they broke through a rainbow while pushing their way up to the earth. It is a little rainbow fragment.
Tourmaline was introduced to the Western world in the early 1700’s. They were called turamali, meaning mixed colours. An apt name, as tourmalines have the greatest colour variance of all gemstones. From indicolite (shades of blue), to rubellite (from intense hot pink to red), verdelite (green to yellow) and even bi-colour and watermelon tourmalines.
Reaching 7 – 7.5 on Moh’s scale of hardness, it is a stone that can be set in jewellery and worn without worrying too much about wear and tear. If you want a pair of tourmaline earrings be warned: it is one of the most difficult stones to match up into pairs because of the extensive colour range.
Tourmalines require cleaning more often than other gemstones. When rubbed or heated, they become electrically charged and as a result attract dust, fluff and dirt.
October babies are known for their inborn elegance, style and good taste. It is therefore no surprise that they have not only one, but two birthstones: the timeless opal and the brilliant tourmaline.
In this article we will discuss opals.
Opals come in many types and colours. From precious white and black opals, to boulder and fire opal. Even chocolate opal as found in Ethiopia. It is a relatively soft stone, measuring 5.5 – 6.5 on Mohs scale of hardness. It might be easy to damage and hard to work with, but it is impossible not to be seduced by its sheer celebration of colour. While most gemstones are cut or facetted to calibrated sizes and shapes, opals are frequently cut as cabochons with freeform shapes. The irregular shapes make each opal unique and bring creativity to jewellery design.
When designing your dream piece of jewellery, keep in mind that opal is a soft stone. The setting should not only enhance but also protect your precious investment. As far as caring for your opals is concerned remember that they are sensitive to acids and alkalis. It makes them vulnerable to perfumes, soaps and detergents so remove your jewellery beforehand.
Lastly, opal is composed of hydrated silica gel that has a water content of between 5 and 30 percent. Over time water evaporation occurs naturally. This can be avoided by storing it in moist cotton wool.
Sources: The jeweller’s directory of gemstones by Judith Crowe
Jewellery has been around since the beginning of time. From simple pieces made from bone to elaborate heart stopping jewellery, it has been used to symbolize a milestone, an achievement, commitment and sometimes just “because I can!”
In our line of work, we sometimes hear people say “I am not a jewellery person”. More often than not they will be wearing an heirloom piece. It could be Granny’s wedding band, or a diamond pendant that has been handed down from generation to generation. Meaningful jewellery? Absolutely!
Imagine the ring you had made to celebrate a special event being worn by your great granddaughter one day. Imagine the story she could tell. We vote for meaningful jewellery. Share your unique self not only with the world today, but for generations to come.
We would love to hear your special jewellery story. Send us a picture and tell us why it has meaning. Let us keep the memories alive.
Your jewellery reflects your good taste and individual style and should be handled with care.
To keep your jewellery looking beautiful, take it off when engaging in strenuous activities (yes, that includes gardening!).
Diamonds, followed by rubies and sapphires, are the hardest stones and well suited for jewellery that is worn every day. On the other hand, tanzanite is softer and more suitable for tings that are not worn on a daily basis.
Be aware that over time, clasps and claws will show normal wear and tear. Check for loose stones or worn clasps on a regular basis.
If you are unsure as how to clean your jewellery, please contact us on 079 917 5788 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist with information and advice.
By now we know all about the 4 C’s, but how does one go about choosing the diamond that is right for you?
It all begins with the cut, meaning the shape of the diamond. Traditionally and to this day, the round brilliant cut is perceived to be the perfect cut for a diamond. But what about the other shapes? Does the femininity of the oval appeal to you? Or are you more inclined towards the geometric shape of the princess cut? And if the stark lines of the princess cut do not appeal to you, would you rather go for the softer look of a cushion cut diamond?
Fancy shapes have seasons. Celebrities play a big role in which shapes are popular. When Ashley Judd showed off a big cushion cut diamond on her finger, jewellery designers brought out collections based on the cushion cut and everybody wanted one. At the moment, ovals and cushions are trending, but next year it may change to marquise and pear shape.
Designs change with time. If you have your heart set on an oval, ask yourself if you will still like it when you decide to change your ring a few years from now. The halo cluster may be not what you like in ten years, so make sure that whatever shape you choose can be used in a ring of a different design.
We all love diamonds. They burn with an inner sparkle and convey a sense of mystery. Putting on a pair of diamond earrings, or any other piece of diamond jewellery for that matter, makes you feel different. Invincible. Strong. Fitting feelings, seeing that diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth.
Because diamonds are so rare and unique, it is inevitable that they will be subjected to rumours. (They are like the most popular girl in school, making those around her wonder how she got to be so perfect and beautiful.)
Broken down to basic facts, it is easy to understand diamonds. They sparkle because of their density (did you know they break the speed of light by more than half?) Everybody knows about the “Four C’s, but that is not all you need to know. Of all the factors, the last C which stands for Cut, is the most important. Mother Nature gave us the Carat weight, the Colour and the Clarity. The diamond cutter gives us the Cut. A diamond needs to be cut and polished according to strict parameters in order for it to sparkle.
After the cutting process, the diamond must be graded by an internationally recognized diamond grading laboratory. Not only does it then get a certificate, but also a grading on the cut. It can be classified as Excellent, Very Good, Good or Poor. A diamond that is not Excellent or Very Good on the cut grade will not sparkle is not worth buying. It is worth less than a diamond that is perfectly cut and polished.
So, before you invest in a diamond, make sure that it has the correct documentation.