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The Turquoise Gemstone is the December birth stone

Turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. It has been popular all over the globe for centuries. It is worn as a symbol of opulence and was originally mined in Egypt around 5000 years ago. Most of us wrongly believe that the name came because of the colour of the stone. In fact it originated from a French phrase “pierre turquoise” as “pierre” translates as rock or stone.  It was incorrectly thought that turquoise came from Turkey whereas in fact it would have originated from Persia (which is now known as Iran). The colour is commonly bluish-green with the finest stone being an intense blue. Turquoise may contain delicate veins or mottled webbing throughout and they can be black,...

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The Perfect Gift This Festive Season.

Finding The Perfect Gift This Festive Season. The Perfect Gift This Festive Season. The festive season is well and truly upon us. If you are looking to buy the perfect gift for someone this year, and are struggling, then why not treat them to an antique piece of jewellery. Every year it can be hard to surprise the people close to you with an original gift. Antique jewellery makes the ideal present for many reasons. The intricate and exquisite designs of an antique piece are filled with sentimentality. An antique item maybe pre-owned but every little blemish tells a story. Modern jewellery does not give you the character and charm that you find in the older pieces. Each piece has been...

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A brief history of enameling.

A short history of enamelling.   The word enamel comes from the High German word “smelzan” which later became “esmail” in Old French. Hence the current usage of “smalto” in Italian, “email” in French and German and “enamel” in English. Enamelling is a vitreous, glass like glaze fused on to a metallic base by intense heat to create a brilliantly coloured decorative effect. It is an art form noted for its brilliant, glossy surface, which is hard and long-lasting. The term is also used for the application of decorative fusible glass applied to glass objects. A brief history of enamelling. The earliest known enamelled objects were made in Cyprus in around the 13th century BC during the Mycenaean period. Six...

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Amethysts

  Amethyst is a variety of Quartz and the most valuable of the quartz family compared with Citrine, Rose Quartz and Smoky Quartz. Amethyst is violet in colour and ranges from light pink violet to deep purple. Pale stones are called ‘Rose de France’. The transparent deep purple tone, is the colour that is most highly regarded. Amethyst is a semi-precious stone and the traditional birthstone for Pisces in February and is also used to mark a 6 year wedding anniversary. The violet colour is produced from iron impurities and trace elements and irradiation of the stone. The hardness of the minerals is the same as quartz – a 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, making it suitable for...

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A selection of gemstones

     Aquamarines A member of the Beryl family as is the Emerald. The colour is sea blue and can quite often have a greenish cast that is reduced by heat treatment. The stone is very popular with the larger sized stones being more valuable. Smaller aquamarine stones can lack the intensity of colour. The stones generally have very few inclusions unlike emeralds. Mainly found in Brazil, Russia, Africa and the USA. Legend has it that this stone would be placed in a glass of water as a remedy against eye trouble, sore throat, toothache and liver problems. It was also thought that this stone would promote a happy marriage. When the stone is ground into flat plates it enhances...

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