The Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is quite different from the popular brilliant cut, and was originally developed (as the name suggests) for emeralds, not diamonds. The idea behind it was to create a series of ‘steps’ and facets round the edge of a rectangular ‘table’, which would catch the flashes of light exhibited by good quality Emeralds. It has since grown significantly in popularity, and … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Moissanite

Moissanite is something of a new phenomenon in the jewellery world, having been created and perfected by Charles and Colvard in the early 1990s. It is in fact a lab created version of a natural gem, which was discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissan who would go on to be a Nobel Prize winning scientist. Moissanite available from Cooksongold  The basis of Moissanite is silicon … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Jet

In terms of mineral classification, Jet is what we call an ‘organic’ as it is derived from something which was once living. Jet is formed over millions of years from wood which has been immersed in water, and subsequently become fossilized as it has compacted. It is black or dark brown in appearance, and is perhaps most associated with the mourning jewellery of the 19th Century … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Jade

What we commonly refer to as Jade is in actual fact two slightly different minerals, known as Jadeite and Nephrite. Both have been used for centuries to produce decorative carvings which are particularly prevalent in China to this day; however the practice is said to date back over 2000 years and has produced some truly magnificent results. Nephrite Jade Both Jadeite and … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Quartz

Rock Crystal (image source: Wikipedia) Quartz is the generic name for stones with a basis of Silicon Dioxide and it covers a broad range of well-known semi-precious stones, including Amethyst and Citrine. It comes in a variety of colours, but the most common and widely available form of quartz is Rock Crystal (pictured above) which is colourless and transparent. It can be … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Onyx

It is easy to assume that Onyx only comes in solid black, as this is by far the most widely used colour in stone set jewellery. It is a shame that this is the case really, as it completely disregards the main characteristics of Onyx, which are its straight bands of contrasting colours which run right through it. Black And White Banded Onyx Round Cabochon (61OX CW06) Onyx, … [Read more...]

Focus on Royal Crowns

The Imperial State Crown of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll (image source: Royal Collection Trust) With Queen Elizabeth’s official 90th birthday rapidly approaching, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the fabulous jewels and crowns that she has been fortunate enough to own throughout her long reign. The ownership of the Crown Jewels and the stones … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia, or CZ as it is widely known, is a man-made diamond substitute which displays many of the desirable features of a diamond without the expensive price tag. It was first developed in the 1970s and has since gone on to be exceedingly popular with consumers wanting a little bit of sparkle. White CZ Stones CZs are actually a little heavier than diamonds (in fact … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a comparatively new gemstone to the market, having only been discovered in 1967. What makes it unique is that so far it has only ever been found in one location, the Mererani Hills of the Manyana Region of Northern Tanzania, which is situated near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Tanzanian government nationalised the mines in 1971 and later split them into … [Read more...]

Gemstone Focus: Aquamarine

Aquamarine has to be one of the most popular semi-precious stones. Its delicate watery tones have a universal appeal especially to the women: even the name is beautiful and actually translates as sea-water not surprisingly! When I worked as a jewellery buyer for a store whose demographic was predominantly teenage girls this was the stone I bought most of … [Read more...]