Recently I was able to attend and exhibit at Contemporania in Barcelona. Here are some highlights from my time there! The event took place at the extravagant Palau Reial de Pedralbes.
Emeralds are green stone, highly valued for its moss green or forest green colour, though as mentioned by the Gemological Institute of America;
“Gem experts differ on the degree of green that makes one stone an emerald and another stone a less-expensive green beryl. Most gemologists, gemological laboratories, and colored stone dealers call a stone green beryl when its color is “too light” for it to be classified as emerald. Even among that group, however, there’s a difference of opinion about what’s considered “too light.””
As mentioned in the quote above, emeralds are the name we give certain colours of Beryl, a family of minerals which comes in a variety of colours, some useful for jewellery purposes, and some too fragile.
Emeralds can be either naturally mined, or made in a lab. Lab grown emeralds tend not to have the ‘jardin’ (the internal inclusions which give it its mossy look), though this does make them less prone to breaking during gem setting.
Emeralds are often cut octagonally, sometimes referred to as ’emerald cut’ due to how common it is. These stones can present a large challenge for setting in metal. Although they are a ‘hard’ stone for a coloured gemstone, they are often riven with internal flaws and inclusions which creates an unstable material prone to breaking.
Although beautiful emeralds should only be cleaned with a soft brush, and a light soap to prevent damage!
I’ve been teaching how to create flush settings in my Gem Setting course recently and decided to have some fun with one of the samples and to share it here!
Flush settings are a very versatile setting style which can be applied on almost any surface, though they work best on curved surfaces. You can also flush set just about any shape of stone, though round stones are most common.
This little guy was created using some random Cubic Zirconia we had laying around, and a small synthetic ruby for his clown nose!
When we craft jewellery, we begin with a small step in what may be a project that involves many different processes, challenges and new learning. Even an experienced jeweler regularly tackles things they are less comfortable with that may involve new challenges and techniques. Below you can see a selection of the numerous steps that go into making a custom 18 karat and opal necklace. Head to our instagram to see a more in depth video reel of the creation of this piece. This piece was created by Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution.
Gemstones are graded by hardness, this helps jewellers choose appropriate minerals and gems based on the wear and tear they might encounter.
The Mohs scales uses 10 minerals as its reference, these are:
Generally jewellery appropriate gemstones fall in the 7-10 range with some exceptions being Amber, Pearl, Opal, and Coral (Organic Gem Materials)
The Mohs scale measures a minerals resistance to scratches (hardness) using a reference mineral. Developed in 1812 by German mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs. The scale uses a NON-linear numbering system from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest)
The scientific definition of hardness is the ability to resist scratching. Hardness depends on the bonds that hold the atoms together within a crystal structure. If a material is harder it will disrupt those bonds leading to what we would call a ‘scratch’.
Using this chart for reference jewellers can get a rough idea of how delicate a material is.
Enjoy a brief video of part of the bead setting process. Below is a picture of the finished piece!
This post is going to be for the organised.
Having just come through an intense holiday season, you may not be ready to talk about Valentine’s. However, if you are thinking that you or a loved one would adore a gorgeous custom creation on February 14th, this is exactly the time to get that started.
Custom pieces do not fall to a specific timeline, so it is good to come to us with an idea as soon as you can. We can start the ball rolling by email, in person, or even over the phone. Not only do we assist people directly, we also can take notes or create a wish list of someone’s desires for a special piece. This way, a loved one in need of direction and guidance is sure to get it right, just by coming into the studio with their loved one’s name as a reference.
Recently, we made a gorgeous gift for a couple who wanted their connection to be reflected in a couple’s creation. They requested matching necklaces that come together to form a symbol of harmony and balance – the Yin and Yang.
If you have ideas about special people or moments you would like to express in a beautiful custom piece, reach out to us and let us create something wonderful.
My favourite works from the Meanderings exhibition at NYCJW this year.
Just in time for Holiday Shopping, our goldsmiths at Jewel Envy have stocked our display bubbles with gorgeous new pieces.
Whether you have been eyeing a favourite all year and hoping to see variations, or you have been waiting on fresh options as a sign to start your gift-getting, we have the sparkle to inspire you.
From our established artists to our new members, the new pieces we put out today run the gauntlet of skill and style, wish-lists and price-points.
We are open until 6pm today, and would love to guide you through the showroom, so drop-by and let us impress you.
These sterling silver oak leaf studs are so comfortable to wear and go with everything. Come into the store to see the other leafy pieces by Aurora of Handmade Revolution.