June13

June Blog

June’s birthstone is pearl, representing purity and devotion and a firm favourite of the Royals from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II. In Elizabeth I’s day, the only pearls available were natural, found growing in oysters on the sea bed.  Nowadays, most pearls are farmed or ‘cultured’ to keep up with industry demand.  The bulk of pearls are freshwater cultured, which means they are farmed in freshwater rivers, in mussel shells.  It is intensive farming with each mussel having a small grain inserted with tweezers, usually with a spot of antiseptic.  The mussel naturally grows nacre around the grain to protect...

May25

May Blog

  May’s birthstone is Emerald, that fabulous beryl gemstone, named from the Greek for ‘green’.  It is  one of the original ‘precious gemstones’, famed for its rich green colour, first mined in Egypt from 330BC, but nowadays there are two main sources – Columbia and Zambia. The availability of fine quality emeralds is limited and treatments such as glass filling are widespread, in order to produce enough commercially viable stones. Legend has it that emeralds have the power to make the wearer more intelligent and quick-witted.  It was once also believed to cure diseases such as malaria and cholera.  Its...

April25

March Blog

This month’s birthstone is aquamarine, a beautiful subtle pale blue gemstone, named after the colour of seawater – who can forget Aquamarina in Stingray!  Its my birthday in March so this is my stone too, although prices for the deeper blue stones, which I prefer, put them outside my price bracket, generally as the deeper colour comes in the larger stones.  But if you love sky blue topaz then you’ll love the paler shades of aquamarine too, especially if you get a well cut stone with plenty of sparkle as this is a much cleaner stone with plenty of clarity. ...

April08

April Blog

Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend – thank you Marilyn Monroe! Diamond is April’s birthstone, and to my mind they really deserve their place as the king of gemstones. Apart from the unparalleled beauty of a large, beautifully cut and polished diamond, I love the fact that they are the hardest of all the gemstones, so will never get scratched or roughed up when worn as a ring or bracelet, as is the case with so many other stones. Diamonds are in fact 140 times harder than the next closest gemstone. So much has been written on diamonds, how...

January04

January Blog

  January is always a time of hope as we look forward to a fresh start, but particularly this year when we eagerly await our vaccinations.  A little retail therapy always helps cheer us up, and with garnet – a stone of strength and empowerment - as January’s birthstone, there’s an obvious purchase on the horizon!     Garnet comes in a variety of hues from browns and oranges to vibrant greens and pinks.  As far back as 3000BC, Egyptians along the Nile worked garnet into beads and inlays.  Even Noah is said to have used garnet as a lamp...

December01

December's Blog...

Christmas is almost upon us once again.  It’s time for festive fun, parties and gathering of friends and family.  As we’re constantly told, it’s all in the planning, and that goes for your Christmas wardrobe as well as the food, presents, cards etc etc. There’s so much to think about at this time of year and sadly much of it falls on us ladies!  So it’s worth spending half an hour now, selecting your Christmas outfits; I usually have 3 on standby – smart party dress, smart casual for drinks and a dinner out number.  The rest of the time...