Bored of bling?
Fed up with playing it safe?
If it’s amazing character and a touch of the unusual you’re after in your jewellery, then check out these eye-catching stones ..
Citrine is the official name bestowed upon orange to yellow colour quartz gemstone. When it’s this size, and bursts with this much fire, it blows other gems out of the water.
If you want big statement rocks that ooze quality, but are also on budget, then topaz is your best friend! With its huge variety of colours and almost pure water like clarity (even in big stones – few inclusions with this baby!), topaz is the perfect go-to all rounder gemstone.
Is it an opal? Is it a rare rock crystal? Nope, this beauty dates from the 1930s, is made from good old glass.
Though not everyone’s cup of tea, butterfly wing jewellery is made from yep, you’ve guessed it .. the real butterfly wings of the Morpho butterfly. Before recoiling horror too much, the butterflies involved passed away naturally before being collected up and used to create stunning jewelry. There are surprising conservation aspects to this type of jewelry too – areas of South American rainforests have been saved and even re-planted for the sole purpose of encouraging the breeding of Morphos butterflies for jewellery.
Cameos are one of the oldest forms of jewellery in the world. Get a good quality one, and it’ll be a talking point (and heirloom) for years to come.
Pietra Dura jewellery involves placing carefully selected thin slivers of real gemstone such as Malachite and Lapis Lazuli, and setting it into carved out onyx to create stunning pictures. Most examples date from the 1800s, like this exquisite Pietra Dura brooch, which originates from Italy, circa 1870s.
Pools of Light necklaces are made from undrilled and highly polished natural water-clear rock crystal orbs wrapped in patterned sterling silver, and are sought after around the world, both by jewellery collectors and crystal healers. When one these beauties catches the light, you’ll know about it! The necklace shown has the added bonus of being made with an unusual mix of clear rock crystal and black onyx gemstone- some crystal healers believe onyx enhances the effect of any gemstone it is placed with.
Often called the stone of true gem connoisseurs, Alexandrite has a stunning quality which means it changes colour (from emerald green to ruby red) in different light conditions. It is also very rare, and was the favourite gemstone of Russian aristocracy.
Did you know that England has it’s very of internationally sought after gemstone? Deep in the hills of Derbyshire is a gemstone called ‘Blue John’, noted for it’s beautiful blue-purple colour and vivid golden veining.
With its infinite variety of colours and one of a kind range of patterns, the humble yet beautiful agate is found all around the world. This antique Victorian brooch was made in Scotland circa 1870s, and displays the types of agate found around the Scottish coast – agate experts are able to immediately identify the exact part of Scotland each slice came from!
More info about butterfly farming and conservation:
Meet Me On The Bright Side
A blog post I wrote about about butterfly jewellery can be found here
The Blue John from Derbyshire, England:
Blue John on Wikipedia – great article
Blue John mine tours can be found here and here
Here’s a past blog post I wrote about Blue John.