To our valued customers
we will be temporarily closed to do our part to flatten the curve. We are
following all WHO recommendations as well as provincial and federal
requirements. This means no one from the public is allowed into the store at this
We can however continue
to consult on custom work through phone, email, Skype meetings with the
individual goldsmiths from the comfort of their homes so feel free to get in touch
to set up those meetings.
If you would like to
support us during this difficult time remember we have an online shop through
our website but you can also purchase pieces you see on our Instagram. We will
ship orders within 1-2 days of payment. You can also like our posts, share our
content, and leave us reviews so that when we are able to open our doors again
we will have an influx of new and returning customers!
We might have seen them in antique stores, or on our grandmother’s jewellery box, small portraits, usually from a woman on a profile view carved in a white shell and added to a coral oval back, surrounded by many ornamented accents and being a versatile piece that could double as brooch or a pendant.
Most cameos represented women in classical Greek attires or pictorial scenes drawn straight from Greco-roman mythology, Artemis Or Diana on a profile with a crescent moon on her forehead, the three graces prancing delicately like ballerinas and other images are very common in this remarkable piece of jewellery.
Greco-roman influence gives us an amazing start point for this pieces
of jewellery to enter the world of fashion as discoveries in
archeological expeditions and the uncovering of many ruins and temples
at the beginning of the 19th century sparked a neoclassical wave that
influenced painting, music, sculpture, attires and many other forms of
art, including jewellery.
The most versatile of the jewellery pieces in my opinion, cameos were
not only worn by women, as men would also wear then in the cravats, side
pockets or the fold of a coat. Of course cameos for men depicted
masculine scenes, like a water bearer almost naked, profiles
representing classical heroes from literature like Achilles and roman
Most men and women from the higher classes would commission their own portraits on a cameo.
Not as common today (sadly) many cameos remain as amazing legacies of intricate design and fashion from the previous century. We can find them in antique shops commonly, but there are still goldsmiths and carvers that will create them, and you can even commission your own portrait.
I hope this small article was informative and spark your curiosity about cameos and vintage jewellery!
Goldsmiths are more than just craftsmen, they are artists. From sketches and renderings of designs to sculpting and fabrication of the final piece, we goldsmiths truly are multi-talented artists and at Jewel Envy we mean business.
While some items are meant to be worn, others are meant to be displayed. Take our resident artist Peter van Walraven. We have a sneak-peak of his more unusual custom work, like canoe paddles.
Armed with a wood burner, the sills of a goldsmith/lapidary artist, two purchased canoe paddles and a crazy, artist eye he was able to create these ceremonial wedding paddles for a lucky couple. All that you see what created by Peter by hand, even central the stones.
Keeping with the canoe theme, Peter used the windswept rocks of Georgian Bay and quiet inland lakes of Algonquin Provincial Park for inspiration. Like all works of art, there is a story to this piece. The commission came from a couple that wanted to replicate a set of paddles that got as a gift for their wedding. The bride originated from Russia, while the groom was Ontario. Peter loves to make sure his work has a personal touch for the owners. The maple leaf a symbol of Canada can be found on the groom’s paddle with the copper sun. The Siberian fir and white birch are symbols of Russia found on the brides with the silver moon. The celestial bodies also carry a personal meaning within them. Inside the groom’s sun is amber, a national symbol of Russia, while inside the bride’s moon is sodalite, a stone native of Ontario.
His work doesn’t stop there, Peter has a few more tricks and ideas up his sleeve in theme with the cottage feel of these paddles. How about a cutting/serving board, or coffee coasters? The possibilities are pretty endless, you just need an artist with the right ideas and skills.
We love seeing our creations out in the wild! We recently got DMs from a customer with wonderful pictures and I couldn’t wait to share them! Jade came into the studio last fall and after introducing her to our space and giving her the run down on what we offer including repairs, redesigns, custom, and classes she was immediately curious about custom creations. She had a vision in mind for the engagement ring of her dreams and we were more than happy to make it happen. Parul searched around for the perfect gem that had a magical colour shift (green/red) called andalusite and it paired beautifully with the leaf pattern of the ring made in rose gold. Then Alexis matched the leaf pattern with a mixed metal rose and white gold band for David. Please enjoy the fabulous pics sent our way!
I can’t believe that we’re already in the middle of August! Where did the summer go?
Today, I thought I’d talk just a bit about August birthstones, since gems are always a fun topic! The most well known birthstone for August is the Peridot. Here are a couple of images of peridot: an image of rough stone in matrix, and a faceted one….
Peridot is a magnesium and iron-rich silicate, and is sometimes known as chrysolite. It can vary in colour depending on the amount of iron in the crystal, from yellow, to olive to a more brownish-green. Occasionally, they can be darker, or a more pure green, but this is relatively rare.
The other main birthstone for August is the spinel. Sometimes mistaken for a ruby, it often has a pink to red colour. With crystals incorporating Magnesium and Aluminium, although its main colour is pink, you do sometimes find them in other colours including blue, green, yellow, brown, black, or violet.
Know anyone with a birthday in August? Why not come see what we can design incorporating peridot or spinel for an extra special birthday gift!
As you may know, if you visit the big blue house, approaching from the
south, we have three amazing street level windows, which we use to
showcase one of our resident goldsmiths, a special theme, or a special
collection of work from the studio group. We like to rotate the
displays, and we have just recently changed out the windows to showcase
one of our newest additions-the work of Alex Kinsey of Kinsley Vey Designs. Alex has a number of pieces from his ‘Growth’ collection available in the retail shop of the studio, like these earrings and pendant:
However, the windows showcase Alex’s more recent work, some large
exhibition pieces from his ‘Iron Identity’ collection, which you can
read more about here (as well as see some great photos of his jewellery scale pieces).
I have to admit that my photos don’t really do his fascinating pieces
justice!! Why not wander along Roncevalles and take a closer look at
his work yourself. While you’re there, check out our class list and
maybe visit us in the studio retail area, we love visitors!
For thousands of years, emeralds have been mined and considered one of the world’s most valuable jewels. The first ever recorded emeralds date back to ancient Egypt, where they were particularly admired by Queen Cleopatra. In addition to their aesthetic value, emeralds were highly valued in ancient times because they were believed to increase intelligence, protect marriages, ease childbirth, and thought to enable its possessor the power of predicting future events. An emerald is actually a beryllium stone that owes its special color to beryllium, chromium, and vanadium, all of which are chemical elements that are very scarce, and the reason for the color of an emerald.
Colombian emeralds are much more on demand, and not just because of their superb quality and color. A gem’s value depends upon its size, purity, color and brilliance. Even when they are mined in the same area, each individual emerald has its own unique look that sets it apart from the rest. Dark green is considered to be the most beautiful, scarce, and valuable color for emeralds. An emerald of this color is considered rare and is only found in the deepest mines of Colombia. The eastern portion of the Andes, between the Boyacá and Cundinamarca departments, is where most Colombian emeralds are mined. The three major mines in Colombia are Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor. Muzo and Coscuez are on long-term leases from the government to two Colombian companies, while Chivor is a privately owned mine. Muzo remains the most important emerald mine in the world to this date. One of the most famous Colombian’s emeralds are: Patricia Emerald – this 630-carat, Di-hexagonal cut was first discovered in Chivor in 1920. It is named after the mine owner’s daughter, Patricia. This emerald currently resides in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Fura Emerald – the second-biggest emerald in the world, with 2.2 kilograms (4.9 lb) or 11,000 carat, found in Muzo, in 1999
Tena Emerald – the most valuable emerald in the world, 400 grams (0.88 lb) or 2,000 carats, found in Muzo, in 1999
Come to visit us at Jewel Envy with the gorgeous one you have in your magic box; grandma will be very proud to know you are going to enhance it! we can make an incredible design, we can resize it, we can clean it and more, and you will add even more great memories to it! Have a nice Sunday! Helena
Greetings from the Blue House in Roncy! I’ve got some exciting news for you on a sunny Saturday…
*drum roll please….
Our new website has officially launched and its filled with all kinds of goodies for your viewing pleasure! With updated bios on our in house goldsmiths, an updated gallery of our exclusive jewel envy pieces, updated workshop schedule and our NEW ONLINE STORE!
So click here and visit —-> https://www.jewelenvy.ca to check it out – I personally guarantee you will not be disappointed!
Happy browsing, shopping and indulging this weekend!