Category Archives: Semi-Precious

Happy New Year 2018

Sue and Dave hope you had a most enjoyable Christmas and we wish you a very happy new year 2018. We haven’t been as busy in 2017 with craft fairs and events as we have in previous years and we are going to be quite selective about where we take Sue’s collections of hand-made and carefully selected jewellery in 2018. We will,of course, put all our events on our calendar page.

Happy New Year 2018 from LoveTaliesin Jewellery
Happy New Year 2018 from LoveTaliesin Jewellery

However, we are going to renew our commitment to this website by ensuring that we add new products and refresh some of the existing ones in our online shop.

You will find a lot of sales online and in the shops, however, we don’t just offer good prices for a limited time. Our prices stay low all year. Also, you get your  usual bonus of free second class postage to all UK addresses.

Here are a few ideas of ways to treat yourself to a Happy New Year 2018, or to treat someone else.

Tourmaline or Opal – October Birthstone

The October Birthstone is actually two birthstones, Tourmaline and Opal. These both offer an amazing range of colours to suit the personality of every October baby of any age.

October Birthstones
October Birthstones

Tourmaline – October Birthstone 1

Tourmaline is a favourite gemstone for many because it’s available in a rainbow of beautiful colours.

Tourmalines come in an amazing variety of coloursOctober Birthstone, Tourmalines come in an amazing variety of colours
October Birthstone, Tourmalines come in an amazing variety of colours

Tourmaline lives up to its name, which means “mixed stone”. With a rainbow of colours, Tourmaline can easily enhance any jewellery collection. Cranberry red, hot magenta, bubblegum pink, peach and orange, canary yellow, mint, grass and forest green, ocean blue, violet: Tourmaline is all of these and more.

Tourmaline is also known for displaying several colors in one gemstone. These bi-colour or tri-colour gems are formed in many combinations and are highly prized. One multi-colour variety is known as Watermelon Tourmaline and features green, pink, and white colour bands. To resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink centre, white ring, and green edge.

Opal – October Birthstone 2

Opal gemstones are truly unique because each individual gem is adorned with a one-of-a-kind colour combination.

October Birthstone, Opals also show an amazing range of colours
October Birthstone, Opals also show an amazing range of colours

In ancient times, the Opal was known as the Queen of Gems because it encompassed the colours of all other gems. Each Opal is truly one-of-a-kind; as unique as our fingerprints. Some prefer the calming flashes of blues and greens; others love the bright reds and yellows. With its rainbow of colours, as you turn and move the Opal the colour plays and shifts, giving you a gem that can be worn with a plethora of ensembles.

Brightly colored Sri Lankan gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. Tourmalines were used by chemists in the 19th century to polarize light by shining rays onto a cut and polished surface of the gem.

Opal – Australia’s National Gemstone

As well as an October Birthstone, Opal is also the National Gemstone of Australia which holds a national collection. The image above shows a part of that collection.

Australia’s Lightning Ridge is known for its rare and stunning black Opals. The ideal Opal is one that displays broad patterns covering the surface, with all the colours of the rainbow, including red. Since Opals are the most individual gemstone with its range of colours be sure to choose one that showcases your colour preference and pattern.

Bad Luck?

In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose colour was represented in the colour spectrum of the opal. It was also said to confer the power of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand.

Following the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein in 1829, opal acquired a less auspicious reputation. In Scott’s novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott’s novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death.

Even as recently as the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that when a Russian saw an opal among other goods offered for sale, he or she should not buy anything more, as the opal was believed to embody the evil eye.

Nowadays, we recognise the beauty of opal and such superstitions are relegated to history.

Opalite

While opalite is NOT the same as opal, it can be a more affordable alternative for the October birthstone.

Opalite is a trade name for synthetic opalised glass. Opalite is a clear or milky coloured iridescent glass, or sometimes even plastic, that is available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The glass appears to be yellowish red when held up to the light and has a blue glow against dark backgrounds. This is a phenomenon known as Opalescence, named after the appearance of Opals.

Opalite is a man-made material that is readily available but it can often be mistaken for other more valuable gemstones.

 Healing properties of Opal and Opalite

Both Opal and Opalite are wonderfully serene crystals, good for depression and relationships.

they are stones of love, but only reward faithful lovers. They are said to help form lasting romantic bonds.

Opal and Opalite are believed to alleviate depression, soothe frayed nerves and help us to step away from anxiety. They bring inner peace and a sense of calm in any situation.

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Sapphire - September Birthstone

Sapphire – September Birthstone

Sapphire is the Birthstone for you if you were born in September.

The Imperial State Crown showing the St. Edward's Sapphire.
The Imperial State Crown showing the St.Edward’s Sapphire.

It has been a popular gemstone since Ancient Greek and Roman times. Polished sapphires have been found that date back more than 2000 years. In the Middle Ages, according to folklore, they will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Medieval clergy wore them to symbolize heaven, while their parishioners thought the gemstone attracted heavenly blessings.

The sapphire was said to represent the purity of the soul.  Medieval kings of Europe valued these stones for rings and brooches, believing that it protected them from harm and envy. Warriors presented their young wives with sapphire necklaces so they would remain faithful. It was believed that the stone’s colour would darken if worn by an adulterer or adulteress, or by an unworthy person.

Ancient Persians called sapphire the “Celestial Stone.” It was the gem of Apollo, Greek God of prophesy and was worn by worshippers visiting his shrine in Delphi to seek his help. It was used by ancient Etruscans as far back as the 7th century B.C.

The most sought-after sapphires are a medium to medium dark blue or slightly violet-blue. However, these stones, or their very close relations, are found in every colour of the rainbow. Sapphire is a variety of the gem species corundum and occurs in all colours of the rainbow. Pink, purple, green, orange, or yellow corundum are known by their colour. Ruby is the red variety of corundum.

Where do the colours come from? Find out here.

Where is Sapphire Found?

The biggest source of sapphires world-wide is Australia, especially New South Wales and Queensland. Found in alluvial deposits of weathered basalt, Australian sapphires typically are blue stones with a dark and inky appearance. Kashmir, in India, used to be a well-known source of the cornflower-blue stones. In the United States, a major source is the Yogo Gulch Mine in Montana that mostly yields small stones for industrial use.

Yogo Gulch Sapphire Mine
Yogo Gulch Sapphire Mine. Image by bal_agates

Sapphires were once believed to be protection against snakes. It was said that if poisonous reptiles and spiders were placed in a jar containing the stone, the creatures would immediately die. The French of the 13th century believed that sapphire transformed stupidity to wisdom, and irritability to good temper.

One of the most famous sapphires rests on the Imperial State Crown, worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It is normally kept with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. This gem is called the St. Edward’s Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone on a ring during his coronation in 1042.

 

August Birthstone - Peridot

Peridot – August Birthstone

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour, an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. Therefore, the colour of individual gems can vary from yellow to olive to brownish-green. The most valued colour is a dark olive-green.

Peridot can be found in a variety of colours
Peridot can be found in a variety of colours

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.”

Most peridot were formed deep inside the earth. They were delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial gemstone is extremely rare. You’re not likely to find this in a retail jewellery store.

It also appears in Hawaiian folklore as originating from the tears of the goddess Pele who is associated with fire and volcanoes.

Peridot and Cleopatra

Cleopatra’s favourite jewel was reputedly Peridot, perhaps linked to the fact that the ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad. This is the source for many large fine peridots in the world’s museums.

The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun”. Today this gem is still prized for its restful yellowish green hues and long history. Large strongly-coloured, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewellery at all price points.

This stone has always been associated with light. In fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits.

Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green gem on an island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising Pharaoh drove them into the sea. From the earliest times, people confused this stone with other gems. It was one of many gems labelled as “topaz”.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.

August Birthstone - Peridot

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Semi-Precious Bracelets set in 925 silver

Why Do Women Wear Jewellery?

On International Women’s Day, we take a look at one of the biggest differences between the sexes; the wearing of jewellery.  We acknowledge that some women wear little or no jewellery and some men wear lots, but in general, women are far more likely to love, and wear, jewellery. So why do women wear jewellery?

Jewellery in History

Gold and gemstones have been part of human adornment for thousands of years. People buried in Egyptian and Mesopotamian tombs were wearing jewellery and it has been part of religion, cultures, class (and gender). The Aztecs and the Tibetans both valued turquoise as personal decoration.

Why Do Women Wear Jewellery?

There are a number of psychological studies that suggest that many girls and women are drawn to shiny, sparkly and colourful things. Perhaps this is why  jewellery is almost  always associated with women.

Is it because women love to look pretty?

Beyonce with Diamond Collar
Beyonce with Diamond Collar

There is a great deal of social pressure on women to look fashionable and presentable. From images of Cleopatra to Liz Taylor and Beyonce, an important element of a woman’s beauty is her jewellery.

Anthropologists and psychologists have long cited the role of jewellery in the dating-and-mating world. Humans lack the natural decoration of many animals and birds, so jewellery replaces this.

So it is possible that women have given in to that pressure and have simply accepted that clothing, shoes, accessories and jewellery are the way that this is done. Could it be that some women wear bright, large and coloured pieces in order to really grab other people’s attention? Also, the more interest shown, the more the piece makes the wearer feel good.

Similarly, a child born December may develop a life-long attachment to turquoise for no reasons other than it is the December birthstone.

Is it the intrinsic value of jewellery?

Value is not just the monetary cost. Every piece of jewellery has the potential to evoke memories and carries a sentimental value. There is lots of evidence that women have a particular attraction to rings, necklaces and bracelets, especially if they were gifts or if they represent significant moments in their lives.

Women are also more likely to be interested in the symbolism and of their gemstones and understand the meaning behind them.

There is also the fact that many men enjoy giving jewellery to their wife, girlfriend, daughters, mother and other important women in their life.

It has long been the case that rare gemstones fetch astronomical prices. In November 2015, the Blue Moon Diamond sold for $48.4m, setting a world record for any jewel at more than $4m a carat.  (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/12/blue-moon-diamond-sells-for-world-record-48m-geneva)

What is the Human Need for Jewellery

Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs
Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

In answering the question, Why do women wear jewellery, let’s ask if they need to, or want to?

If jewellery is a need, it must fit somewhere into Abram Maslow’s classic analysis. The need for jewellery will in Belonging  or Esteem needs. Belonging is about the need to belong to a group and esteem is about recognition and status.

Jewellery can never be a basic need like food, water or sex. But the living standards of an average person in most Western societies are such that there is no real worry about food and shelter so people we find ourselves seeking  jewellery as a sign of status.

It is also reflection of our personality.  If ruby symbolizes passion and if amethyst symbolizes sobriety, we may feel these characteristics asserted in ourselves by wearing them. In this way our self-esteem is reinforced.

This symbolism runs throughout the wearing of jewellery. At a simple level, the wedding ring is a simple metaphor for the idea that two people are united and committed to this union “for better for worse, in sickness and in health”.

While we often think of women wearing jewellery, it is also common for men to wear rings and bracelets.

Spiritual Benefits from Jewellery

Crystals catching the light
Crystals catching the light

Every gemstone has esoteric properties. Gemstones in jewellery are said to protect, heal or help the wearer. Indeed, the writer Judy Hall has published many books about Crystals, which are simply gemstones, semi-precious stones and minerals.

Buying Jewellery

Buying beautiful jewellery has never been easier. Visit our Calendar page to see where we will be in person, or go straight to our online shop.


 

Content adapted from:

Aquamarine Chips

Aquamarine – March Birthstone

Aquamarine is the March birthstone. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 19th Wedding Anniversary.

Aquamarine Chips and Nuggets - March Birthstone
Aquamarine Chips and Nuggets – March Birthstone

Sue has been making some bracelets with these Aquamarine Gemstone chips and nuggets. We also have some beautiful Swarovski Crystal jewellery in Aquamarine. Both are perfect gifts for a March birthday.

Aquamarine – The March Birthstone

The name Aquamarine comes from the Latin words “aqua marinus”, meaning “water of the sea,” and refers to its sparkling ocean-like colour. It is member of the Beryl family of gemstones and its colour, like that of the sea, ranges from pale blue to blue green.

In ancient times, Aquamarine was considered to me mermaids’ treasure and has long been a good-luck stone for sailors and people making sea voyages, helping dispel fear of water. It also has a role in guarding anyone on any long-haul travel such as flying or driving long distances. It is also a good stone for learning to swim.

It is also an aid to meditation, allowing us to explore the depths of our souls and to come face to face with ourselves. 

It is a love crystal, given to encourage a lover to return, and to help two people to live together in harmony. It is even supposed to be able to reduce arguments! Aquamarine jewellery is often given as a love token and to increase commitment.

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Ukraine.

Other Varieties of Beryl

Aquamarine is the blue variety of Beryl, though the Beryl family forms in other colours used as gems, such as green Emerald, yellow Heliodor and Golden Beryl, pink Morganite, Red Beryl or Bixbite, and the colourless variety, Goshenite.

Aqua Marina – From “Stingray”

For those of us who remember 1960s television, Aqua Marina will also be associated with “Stingray”.

March Birthstone Jewellery from LoveTaliesin

When you’re looking for a gift for someone with a March birthday, you’ll find some great ideas here in our jewellery collections. Sue’s gemstone jewellery range has some unique, one-off hand-made Aquamarine bracelets and our Swarovski Elements collection also offers the sparkle of these crystals in the sun-soaked seaside blue of Aquamarine.

Gemstone Jewellery with March Birthstone

Swarovski Elements Jewellery with March Birthstone

https://www.swarovski.com/


Adapted from: http://www.4facets.com/birthstones.html#aquamarine

February Birthstone - Amethyst

Amethyst – February Birthstone

If you’re looking for a gift for someone born in February, consider the February Birthstone, Amethyst. It is a fairly common stone hand has been used in jewellery since the Ancient Egyptians.

February Birthstone - Amethyst
February Birthstone – Amethyst

Amethyst is quartz crystal in shades of purple, lilac or mauve. It is a stone that traditionally  guards against drunkeness! The word amethyst is from Greek and means “without drunkenness”. It is also said that it can protect from poison.

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed Amethyst would ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, and keep the wearer clear headed and quick-witted. For centuries, Amethyst has been associated with many myths and legends as well as religions in numerous cultures.

Amethyst Crystals
Amethyst Crystals

Properties of Amethyst

As well as providing us with some stunning jewellery, there are lots of people with strong beliefs in the mystical and spiritual properties of Amethyst.

Among it’s many properties, Amethyst is said to help insomnia. Put an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams, or rub it across your forehead to offer relief from a headache.

The ancient Egyptians used Amethyst to guard against guilty and fearful feelings. It has also been worn as protection from self-deception, as well as a protection against witchcraft. Amethyst has a long history of being used to open the spiritual and psychic centres. It is also used as a meditation aid when worn as a necklace.

Some people within the spiritual community believe that Amethyst is the perfect stone to symbolize The Age of Aquarius.

The Bishop’s Stone

Amethyst is also the Bishop’s Stone and worn by Catholic Bishops to this day. In this use, Amethyst is a symbol of piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom.

Bishop's Ring with Amethyst
Bishop’s Ring with Amethyst

Amethyst for Healing

You will often see healers wearing several pieces of Amethyst jewellery, especially an Amethyst necklace set in silver. This is said to focus energy. The person receiving the healing may also have an Amethyst to hold during the healing

February Birthstone From LoveTaliesin Jewellery

You can see an ever changing selection of semi-precious jewellery set in 925 silver on our craft fair and sales stalls. See our calendar page to find out where we are going to be.

Our semi-precious jewellery range includes some stunning hand-made Amethyst pieces.

You can also find the February Birthstone in our Swarovski Crystal Elements range on the stall and here on the website. The deep purple colour known as Heliotrope is a great match for the darker Amethyst colours.

More Information

http://www.wixonjewelers.com/education/gemstones/gemstone-guide/#amethyst

https://crystal-cure.com/amethyst.html

Heart Pendant 18mm Light Siam Swarovski Elements

Garnet – January Birthstone

Garnet, the January Birthstone, is mined in a rainbow of colours. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized colour of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.

This gem is also available inthe deep red Bohemian Garnet, the vibrant green of the Russian Demantoid. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron.

January Birthstone - Garnets in various colours and cuts
January Birthstone – Garnets in various colours and cuts

Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travellers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the January Birthstone, but with its stunning variety of colours and its mystical powers it has been given as a gift for all occasions for centuries.

Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays and jewellery.

See more at: Wixon Jewellers Website

January Birthstone from LoveTaliesin Jewellery

You can see an ever changing selection of semi-precious jewellery set in 925 silver on our craft fair and sales stalls. See our calendar page to find out where we are going to be.

You can also find the January Birthstone in our Swarovski Crystal Elements range on the stall and here on the website. The red colour known as Siam are a great match for the deep red Bohemian Garnet.

Click on the images below to see more about the Swarovski Siam jewellery available at the moment.

Heart Pendant 18mm Light Siam Swarovski ElementsHeart Pendant 18mm Dark Siam AB - Swarovski ElementsSwarovski Heart Set Dark Siam ABSwarovski Butterfly Pendant and Earring Set Light Siam
Semi-Precious Gems

Semi-Precious Gems – Coming Soon to LoveTaliesin

Semi Precious Gems Semi Precious Gems Semi Precious Gems Semi Precious Gems

Sue is really excited to be the proud owner of lots of semi-precious gems that are just itching to be made into beautiful jewellery.

Our ranges are set to evolve yet again and you can see the progress here on our website.