December happenings!

So, the studio party was Friday. I wish I could show you a load of pics, but unfortunately I was too busy having fun, and talking to my colleagues and our amazing clients and friends who attended. (It was so nice to meet some new people and hang out with friends!) However, here’s a teaser of the fun we had with the Photobooth and some of the awesome decorating Gillian and Alexis have done of the studio-it’s iridescent-tastic!

Still lots of exciting things happening in December at the studio! The #RoncyReindeer contest is still going on until December 31st!

teaser of the blinged up reindeer to spot around the studio

Our workshops for 2019 are finished for the year (but you can already sign up for making fun for 2020–have a look at the courses currently taking bookings here. Wouldn’t they make a fab gift??)

Have you ever tried precious metal clay? It’s a moldable clay that contains metal particles that you can shape. When fired, the clay particles burn away leaving the metal , and a cool new shape! This month, Jewel Envy is visiting the Stakt market to give some family friendly maker workshops December 12th, 14th and 15th. You have your choice of making two quick fire clay pendants (December 12 or 15th), or hand stamping your own unique copper book mark (December 14th).

The market looks pretty exciting! I might have to go and try out the Crockicurl! In any case, you can see more here.

Don’t forget that SHOP1km is still happening on Roncevalles. If you live in the area, you should have received a coupon book. The promotion for the studio is over now, but you have until December 15th to drop the stickered back page to enter the general raffle put on by SHOP1km to win all the cool stuff on the cover. You can drop these at any of the participating shops, but we always love to welcome you to the studio!

Don’t forget, there’s loads of new work from the resident goldsmiths out in the bubbles-you’re sure to find that perfect gift for the someone special in your life. Come visit to say hi and see what we’ve been up to!

Hope to see you soon, and enjoy the surprisingly warm Sunday!


Celebrating the Success of our Goldsmith

This post is overdue but never too late to celebrate. This past October our own Peter van Walraven, of van Walraven Goudsmid, won 1st place in the 2nd Annual Emerging Artist, nation wide competition presented by the Canadian Gemmological Association. Peter joined the blue, jewel house of Roncy in May after graduating top of his class from Georgian College in Barrie.

His piece titled “Metal, Stone and Crystal” is a unique kinetic neck-piece that has caught the eye of many. The piece is all completely hand-made, aside from the chains. Peter cut and polished all the stone and crystalline material by hand. The center piece is made of synthetic cobalt-blue spinel set with in the center of cast sterling silver and 10 karat yellow gold accents. The side pieces or weights are cast in sterling silver with howlite and black jasper inlay accented with lapis lazuli and gold tips.  

Interestingly this piece was originally inspired by the hoodie. The stings you pull on the side to draw the hood in tighter is the idea behind the kinetic aspect of the piece. By pulling the sides you can wear the central crystal as a coacher or have it lay lower on your chest, you decide how you want to wear it.

Peter has many ideas for this design as he loves to use synthetic material. Why not have a synthetic sapphire bar? Or do you prefer ruby, or emerald, maybe amethyst, or even alexandrite? Stay tuned for more! You can view Peters work in studio or via his Instagram @vwgoudsmid or his website

Let us help you pick the perfect holiday gift!

With December just around the corner, I know you’re starting to think about your Christmas shopping! Our ace display wizard, Alexis of Glaciale Goldsmith has worked her magic to create some great new displays of fabulous gift suggestions in the retail shop.

With several levels of budget-friendly suggestions of awesome work from our resident goldsmiths, I know you’re sure to find something unique and perfect for that special someone!

Browse the shop and spot the tags:

Like this one on these stunning lapis lazuli rings from Shafiq of Shafiq’s Jewelry, or these gorgeous new earrings from Vera Wei. (I really want a pair of these!)

…..And these earrings from Skye of Cosmic Skye Jewellery

Don’t forget that our holiday party at the studio is coming up, featuring a once in a blue moon discount! Plus fun with all of us, including a photo booth. Hope to you there!

Finally, have you heard about the Roncy Reindeer competition? Running now, until the end of December, shop on Roncesvalles and snap pictures of the reindeers for a chance to win a gift certificate from the Roncevalles Village BIA!

Spot: the reindeer in store front windows and gardens and along Roncesvalles Avenue
Snap: a photo of the Reindeer (you can include yourself if you’d like!)
Send or share: email to  or share on Instagram or Facebook page (but make sure you include the hashtag!) to be automatically entered #RoncyReindeer! See the link to get more info!

Make sure to tag us too, if you spot our reindeers (#jewelenvy). Here are a couple of teaser photos of the totally bling reindeer we have at the studio:

I totally want to take that iridescent blinged out reindeer home! In any case, have fun spotting all the reindeer on the street, and hope to see you soon!


Indian Jewellery

Hello Sunday Readers,

Jewellery (British English) or jewelry (American Englishsee spelling differences) consists of small decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as broochesringsnecklacesearringspendantsbracelets, and cuff-links. Jewelry may be attached to the body or the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal, often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewelry, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials can be used too.

Among the many traditional jewelry, the Indian jewelry is one of the most ornamental and meaningful.

The use of jewellery in India goes back to more than 5000 years ago, touching the eras when the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana took place. The physical traces of some ancient Indian jewellery are found from the Indus Valley civilization.

Indian jewellery is enchanting, captivating the hearts of people globally by its ornate varieties, heavy embellishments, and diverse design and materials. The use of jewellery in the Indian subcontinent traces back to a long history.

Over time the use of jewellery, its making, modes of creation, have been influenced by socio-cultural and political factors. So, it’s absolutely not surprising that the present-day varieties of Indian jewellery and its legacy has charmed the world, igniting new ideas of creative fusions between western and Indian trends.

India had always held a high status in the imperial world for being a leading exporter of gems. India was the first to mine diamonds. The first mines were at the Godavari Riverbanks near Hyderabad.  The use of diamonds too had much diversity. Sometimes it had been used as royal gifts for appeasement, regaining trust and also for gaining immortality.

Among the most traditional Indian Jewellery, we have the Maangtika a traditional head piece worm most often at weeding by the Hindu bride. It consists of a metallic string, with an attractive pendant attached at one end, which may be if any shape and adorned with precious stones. The Maangtika is worn at the middle parting of the hair.

Maangtika 18k jellow gold with rubies and diamonds

The Bajuband and Vanki, are armlets worm on the upper arm. They often have to be secured in place with a gold string. Some common designs on them include creepers or snakes entwining.

Vanki in 18k jellow gold with rubies, emeralds and

The Nath, a nose ring, most commonly worm on the left nostril.

Nath in 18k jellow gold with pearls and emeralds

We are celebrating at Jewel Envy our 13th anniversary the 6th of December, and the same day we will hosting our Christmas Party. You are very welcome to joying us from 5 pm to 10 pm. We will be serving light refreshments and we have just for you a 10% discount on jewellery currently in display!

Have a nice Sunday!


Some of the information was taken from Wikipedia.

‘Tis The Season!

Well …. its one month and counting until Christmas Eve, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and many other cultural events – where does the time go!? Not to worry, we have got you and your jewellery lovers covered this Holiday season 🙂

For ONE NIGHT only, Jewel Envy will be offering 10% off of our featured jewellery – a rare event! On Friday December 6th between 5pm and 10pm, we are opening our doors to you for some holiday refreshments and one of a kind shopping!

Friends and family are welcome, come one and come all – our doors will be open. Now off I go to my bench to fill my display case with pieces that might come to the rescue for someone.

Lots of love, Jess 🙂

Know Your Gemstones!

Do you know that different gemstones have their special inclusions? Do you know how to differentiate natural, synthetic and treated gemstones? Here are some fun pictures help you to know your gemstones!

Synthetic Blue Sapphire

The curved colour bands are the evidence tells you the sapphire is synthetic. Natural sapphire would show straight colour bands.

Treated Blue Sapphire

This sapphire was treated by a method called surface diffusion to produce or increase the colour of natural sapphire. After this treatment, some stones would show colour concentrations on the bottom facet junctions under the water.

Glass top doublet stone

Normally, glass topped doublet would show a red rim under the LED light. This is one way to test your stone to see if it is doublet or not.

Demantoid Garnet

This inclusion is called horsetail (a form of asbestos). This kind of inclusion only can be seen in demantoid.

Natural Diamond

The tiny rough surface is called natural. It is a portion of the original surface of a rough diamond left on a fashioned stone. Usually on or near the girdle. This is the proof of natural diamond.

Now it’s time to check your gemstones!

Pieces created in 2019 classes

Classes are a great gift certificate idea for the creative person in your life. And if you have already taken classes with us we have Open Classes listed for the 16th/17th of November to create gifts yourself!

I have been organizing class photos today and wanted to share a few. We’re gearing up for the holidays and although our class schedule slows down this time of year we already have our first 2020 classes listed online

I started organizing pics by class, so I figured I would group them together that way below, enjoy! – Alexis

8 week Introductory Casting

Casting starts with carving pieces from wax or natural materials. If you are artistic you can flex your skills in this class. In the Intro Casting students create a ring, a cuttlefish casting, and one final piece using the carving skills we teach along the way. Check out pics I selected created by different students:

Ring project created in our 8 week Casting
Cuttlefish project created in our 8 week Casting
Earrings created in our 8 week Casting class

8 week Introductory Fabrication

In fabrication you are starting from sheet and wire to build pieces. These are the basic skills that take time and patience to learn and develop. In the Intro Fabrication class you create a band ring, a textured piece, and one final piece using the fabrication skills we teach you along the way. Check out some of the pics I found of student created pieces:

Band ring made in our 8 week Intro Fabrication
Textured earrings created in our 8 week Intro Fabrication
Another Ring! Created as the final project in our 8 week Intro Fabrication

Customer Appreciation Display

Hello Saturday browsers! Hallowe’en is over, and we’re well into November, so, if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking about Christmas (or your holiday of choice, of course!) and gifts. Alexis has done an awesome job on our new windows display (which, as usual, have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated!). The window displays are slightly different this month (and running up to the holidays): it’s all about our customers, and the wonderful pieces they’ve commissioned from the goldsmiths here at Jewel Envy.

The windows show the diverse range of requests that we get and the amazing synergy in creativity between our customers and the goldsmiths at the studio.

Rings, cuff bracelets, pendants, earrings, cufflinks, if you can think of it, we can realise it, starting from the kernel of an idea to a well-defined idea.

I thought I would share a story with you about one of the pieces I recently made, a pendant carrier. What’s that you ask? Well, we had a customer come in with a set of lovely torsional multi-stranded pearls. She told me she loved them because they had been given to her by her children, but she rarely wore them because she felt they were a bit dated in style. She also had a large amber pendant she thought would look well on them. So, my brief was to design something that could be worn on the pearls by itself, or with a pendant. This required some thought, as with the pearls being all-in-one (so, no clasp!), some creativity was required to make something that would fit over them without it being permanently attached. This was the final piece:

This sleek and elegant contemporary design hides a more complicated backing and hardware that allow it to be attached:

And here it is fulfilling its functions!

With a pendant!
….and on its own with the pearls. The brushed finish means that it doesn’t overpower the pearls!

With the holiday season approaching, why not have that something special you’ve been thinking about made-either for yourself or as a special gift for someone else? We’re here, we’re ready and we love custom work! Whether it’s redesigning a piece you already have, recycling sentimental jewellery into a more contemporary design, or just the wonderful thing you thought of last week in the shower, we can work with you to realise something truly special.

In any case, we hope to welcome you to the studio soon, and enjoy the grey, chilly Saturday (Winter is coming! Winter is coming!).


Cameos: portraits from the past

Antique Carved Shell Cameo pin and pendant Set in Rose and image 0

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.

This 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 emperors.

Image result for cameo portrait men

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!