Amethyst

Amethyst – February’s Birthstone

Amethyst is the birthstone for February (and the gemstone for the sixth wedding anniversary.)

If you’re a February baby, then you’re not only born into the month of love, but you’ve got one of the most popular and highly valued stones of the quartz group to your name.

Its name comes from the Greek ‘methustos’ meaning intoxicated (!), which is why it is known as the ‘sobriety stone’ as it was believed that it would prevent drunkenness (all those people that gave up alcohol for January, this one was a good one to help you stay away from the wine!), as well as any other addictions or obsessions, so a good one to slay those demons (and keep me away from that chocolate cake).

The amethyst is a beautiful transparent purple quartz, although the colours do range from a pale lilac to a deep purple. If you’re in possession of a reddish purple hue, then you’re in luck, as this shade is the most valuable. You can also find green amethysts, also known as Prasiolite. These little beauties have the same properties as purple amethyst, with the addition that they increase a sense of compassion and self-love. So perfect to treat yourself to, and I do have some stunning green ones available for commission pieces, so contact me if you would like something bespoke.

One of the reasons why amethyst is so popular is that it covers all bases where gemstones are concerned. It’s a stone with one of the widest range of powers, so you can’t go far wrong with this one. It’s known as a stone of the mind and creates clarity of thought; Leonardo Da Vinci was a fan, he thought it could dispel evil thoughts and increase intelligence (it obviously worked for him).

In addition, it’s a meditative and calming stone, providing balance, patience and peace. I’ve read that it has a gently sedative energy, which is a great way to describe its powers to provide contentment and emotional stability. So it can also be used at times of stress or grief, as it will help to heal.

It is thought to increase spirituality and enhance intuition and psychic powers of all kinds, so along with my turquoise, I’m going to have it to hand when I choose my Lottery numbers!

So, if you’re going to get only one gemstone, then I would recommend this is the one to get. Not only is it really pretty, its all-purpose properties make it very desirable. So head on over to my shop, I’ve added some new amethyst creations for you to have a browse. If you can’t see anything you like, let me know, and we can come up with something together.  Click here for Amethyst Jewellery

Amethyst, February Birthstone:

 

Gemstones of Love for Valentine’s Day

Gemstones of Love for Valentine’s Day

Garnet, moonstone and rose quartz are definitely a girl’s best friend when it comes to jewellery (and a Valentine’s gift).

This blog is directed towards those men that are beginning to get in a bit of a panic – the Christmas cards have long been replaced by the bright red hearts of Valentine’s Day, and you know that it’s only a matter of days before you have to surprise your other half with something special.

Now, I’m going to give you all a bit of a tip – you don’t have to resort to flowers and chocolate; I’ll teach you how to get brownie points by picking a gift that has meaning behind it, and looks like you’ve been researching for hours.

Imagine the scenario – you give your beloved a piece of jewellery made just for her – you’ve chosen the stones because of their romantic significance, and you can tell her all about what they mean. If that was me, I think I’d fall off the chair I would be so impressed! (and even better, it won’t cost you thousands).

So, gentlemen, here’s your whistlestop tour of gemstones that are perfect for Valentine’s Day, take note!

Garnet – you can read January’s blog post  for an in-depth look into the properties of garnet, but in a nutshell, red garnet represents love, loyalty, devotion and trust. Having it near you will inspire faithfulness, monogamy and commitment. But it’ll also get the fires going, with its links to sexual and sensual energy, one spicy Valentine’s night in store!

Moonstone – is the stone of love, eroticism and also fertility, and is associated with the goddess of the moon, Diana. If you give your lover a piece of jewellery with moonstone in it at the time of a full moon, then you will always be passionate with each other. Plus it can help to reunite lovers who have quarrelled (so perfect if you’ve been in the doghouse for not doing the washing up…)

Rose quartz – the stone of unconditional love. The stone that represents the love in a marriage (use it to propose?). It has a calming influence and makes things right when it comes to matters of love, so you’ll feel more at peace with your love if you wear this gemstone. It’s a stone which makes you feel and look younger, and will do the same for your relationship.

Lapis Lazuli – the Romans believed that lapis lazuli was a powerful aphrodisiac. It is associated with spiritual love, and known for enhancing love and fidelity within a marriage. It’s also the stone of royalty, so how better to tell her that she’s like a princess to you?!

Sapphire – traditionally blue, but sapphires come in a range of colours from colourless and black, pink and purple, orange, yellow and green. Pink sapphires are most associated with love, they are believed to stimulate emotions and encourage love. It helps with release from the past and acceptance, and also strengthens the heart.

So, there you have it. Plenty of choice and information at your fingertips to make this year’s Valentine’s present a lot more interesting.

I’ve got some ready-made items in my stock, some of which have been posted online if you want to have a browse, but if you want to go the whole hog, I can make something which is individual  so perhaps a combination of one or all of the gemstones above (kind of an insurance if you’ve got more than one gemstone in there, right?!)

Do get in contact soon, and hopefully, I’ll give you a present to remember!

 

Lapis Lazuli Sterling Silver Earrings

Lapis Lazuli Heart,  Sterling Silver Earrings, to buy click here

Garnet Pyrope

Garnet, January’s Birthstone

Garnet, January’s Birthstone

 

You’d think that garnet, January’s birthstone would be something white or colourless, to reflect the wintery, snowy weather, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Those with a New Year birthday are blessed with garnet as their stone; its name is derived from the Latin ‘granatum’, meaning pomegranate, because the stone represents the deep red seeds of the fruit.

It’s one of my favourites, which is just as well, as it’s my birthstone. Although most commonly seen in red, garnet does in fact refer to a group of minerals that exist in a rainbow of colours – from black and blue to the rarer green and colourless variations.

In ancient and medieval times, garnets were worn to enhance strength, endurance and vigour, which is why warriors wore them during conflicts, both to encourage victory and protect against injuries.

As you can imagine, the vibrant red of the garnet had a strong link to blood, so the properties of the garnet include remedies for haemorrhages, regulation of the heart and other blood disorders.

By that nature, red garnet also represents love (why isn’t this February’s birthstone?!) loyalty, devotion and trust. In fact, it’s summed up perfectly by this verse that I found:

“Her who in January was born
No gem save garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.”

Representing love and friendship, but also sexual and sensual energy, it’s kind of the ancient version of Viagra (!), but more than that, it inspires faithfulness, monogamy and commitment (it really should be February’s birthstone!)

So, not only a gift for a January birthday, but in general, perfect for a friend or lover, its message says far more than words could ever. It’s also a lovely present for someone that’s going to pastures new, perhaps to university, moving to a new city or a new job, it is also believed to help encourage friendships too.

I was surprised to read that garnet is believed to be extremely beneficial to those in business. If you wear garnet, the properties of the stone cause people to be attracted to you (singletons, take note…) which can be really useful for drawing in customers, especially if your business is one which is people-oriented, and definitely one for those who frequent the networking circuit! Also, taking into account the strength giving properties I mentioned earlier, one to help when overcoming the trials and tribulations of working life.

So all in all, it’s a pretty good stone to have as part of your jewellery collection, passion, energy, love and friendship, what’s not to like about it? Its beautiful deep colour will instantly attract attention and can really bring a necklace, bracelet or ring to life.

I’ve got some lovely pieces in my collection and some are online for you to browse through, but as always, get in touch if you’ve got your own idea in mind. And although it’s January’s birthstone, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, with all those associations with love and friendship, what could be more perfect for a gift for your loved one?       Click here for Garnet Jewellery 

Garnet, January's Birthstone

Garnet, January’s Birthstone

Ensuring your jewellery is safe from the insurer- don’t be underinsured

Ensuring your jewellery is safe from the insurer

Jewellery insurance: December and January are the months where the incidences of burglary are the highest. Burglars are no fools and they know that there’s a lot more gifts and gadgets in houses over the Christmas period.
While they’re there, they’ll also probably have a rifle through your jewellery box, and see what they can pilfer. Distressing though it may be, I’m sure, like me, you’ll be reassured that you’ve got relevant contents insurance in place. Although you may never be able to replace some sentimental items, you’ll at least be compensated in terms of monetary value.

Or will you? I recently read a really distressing article about how a couple had their insurance claim rejected, because they hadn’t taken into account the rise in gold prices. Their jewellery had risen so much in value from the time they had bought them, and so they hadn’t declared them as single high priced items. When the insurer saw pictures of the items, they were worth so much more than they were declared for, that the insurer was well within its rights to not only reject the claim, but cancel the whole policy due to underinsurance.

So the couple lost out, not only on the jewellery, but all the other items that were stolen. They also found it difficult to get another insurance policy, because they’d had insurance declined.

A valuable lesson to learn. It’s worth looking at all the jewellery that you own, or may have inherited and perhaps getting a valuation to determine their value at today’s prices. Most jewellers can do this for a fee, but it’s worth its weight in gold (pardon the pun!). Your contents policy documents will state the value at which an item should be listed separately, it’s usually around £1,000-£2,000.

Then, please, please update the insurer, so that you don’t end up in the same situation as this poor couple. If in doubt, tell them about anything you’re unsure of, it’s better to be too cautious. It’s also worth checking as some insurers automatically raise your contents level for the Christmas period to take into account the additional gifts and items that are in your house.

While you’re at it, you should also photograph each piece of jewellery, and particularly any discerning features such as scratches or engravings to help the police identify it, as there’s always a chance it could be recovered.

So this Christmas, don’t get caught out. If the worst should happen and you’re the victim of an awful burglary (or even fire, flood damage, whatever the disaster), then at least you really will have peace of mind that everything is ok with your insurance.

Turquoise – December’s Birthstone

Turquoise, the Birthstones For December

Turquoise, the Birthstones For December

 

Turquoise – December’s Birthstone

Not only is Turquoise the traditional birthstone for December, but it is also regarded as a lucky gemstone and a stone of prosperity. It is also believed that if Turquoise is given as a gift it bestows wealth and happiness upon its receiver, and brings happiness and good fortune – therefore making it an ideal Christmas present!

Unfortunately I can’t guarantee any of the claims of the properties of gemstones, but there surely must be something in it, given that every culture has its beliefs surrounding the supernatural properties of gemstones, some going back thousands of years.

Gem scholars are of the opinion that the tradition of “birthstones” came from the Breastplate of Aaron which is mentioned in the Old Testament book of Exodus.  This is believed to have been a ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones, each representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and which also corresponded with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year.  Turquoise is said to be the last of the twelve gemstones set in the ceremonial breastplate of Aaron.

Turquoise is thought to be one of the oldest known minerals and was one of the first gems to be mined. It is said to have been mined more than 6000 years ago in Sinai.

Turquoise and marcasite necklace

Throughout history Turquoise has been thought to protect the wearer from evil and bad fortune, guarding against violence and accidents – and was also a valuable amulet for travellers

It is still considered to be a stone of prosperity and some believe that Turquoise brings the wearer good fortune and a prosperous life, inspires cheer, wellbeing and spiritual harmony.  Healers believe that Turquoise attracts healing spirits, making it a premier healing stone. It is said to be a cure for many ailments and is thought to guard against all diseases.

So with all its claims who could resist?!  Not only does it have many traditions and folklore attached to it but it also a beautiful gemstone.  And Turquoise is considered primarily to be a stone of friendship and loyalty, so yes, it makes an ideal Christmas (or birthday) present for a loved one!

For more detailed gemstone information, please go to my Gemstone Information pages.

Click here for turquoise jewellery

 

Citrine is the birthstone for November

Citrine – the Birthstone for November

Citrine – November’s birthstone

Citrine - the birthstone for NovemberIf you were lucky enough to be born in November, then you have a beautiful quartz gemstone associated with the month of your birth. And definitely not unlucky if you’ve been married for 13 years, as this stone is also the present to give to celebrate this anniversary.

Citrine comes from the French word ‘citron’ meaning lemon, which explains its yellow/orange colour, and I think that it perfectly matches the gorgeous autumnal colours of the falling leaves.

Natural citrine is fairly rare (and therefore commands a higher price compared to other quartz stones), and so would make an extra special present for a November birthday.

It began to become popular as a gemstone in Victorian times, and is also known as the “success stone”, or the “merchant’s stone”. This is on account of it having properties associated with prosperity and luck, and business owners would carry some citrine with them, or keep it in the till of their shop, as it is said to attract abundance.

If you know someone that owns their own business, or has an occasion or event which is important for them to do well, then this stone would be a perfect present to give to them.

Other properties associated with citrine include wisdom, generosity (so if you give it as a present to someone that does well, then hopefully they’ll share their success with you!), confidence, joy and happiness. What’s not to like about it?

It’s also used as a healing stone, and is thought to treat depression, stimulate memory, remove toxins, aid digestion, help fight diabetes, and in general is thought to be good for the heart, kidneys and liver.

I don’t know about you, but I know I could do with a bit of citrine in my life! If you’d like to purchase a piece of jewellery with citrine in it, then visit my gemstone page here, or please get in touch if you’ve got something/someone in mind that you’d like me to make something bespoke for, I’m more than happy to help.

Finally, for those that might already have some citrine jewellery, then it’s important to know that it’s easily scratched, so take extra care with it, and if left in the sunlight for several hours, then it can permanently change colour. So if you want to preserve your jewellery, then try to keep it away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat, and enjoy!

For Citrine jewellery please click here.

Opal - October's Birthstone

Opal and Tourmaline – October’s birthstones

Tourmaline - October's birthstoneOpal and Tourmaline – October’s birthstones

Those born this month are lucky to have two birthstones, opal and tourmaline.

Opal, as the name suggests inspires hope. It’s known as the eye stone, possibly because it is so pleasing to the eye, its beautiful rainbow colours reflecting in the light. But not all opal has the rainbow coloured “flash of colour”, the common opal is quite opaque and milky, but still a beautiful gemstone.

It’s considered a stone of protection, and believed to deflect negative thoughts and energies. It is used to bring on a sense of calm, ease stress and depression. But it goes further than that, it’s thought to be a seductive stone, associated with love, passion and desire. You won’t be surprised to hear that it is used to aid conception, and once that goal is complete, is a great aid to pregnant women worried about their pregnancy or childbirth, it is believed to help alleviate fears associated with that, and once the baby arrives too. For that reason, it’s a great present for expectant or new mothers.

When it comes to the body, opal is associated with the eyes but also with hair, skin and nails. Healers believe that it helps to alleviate water retention and to get rid of infections, purify the blood and reduce fever. It is also thought to help with any issues to do with pregnancy and childbirth, unsurprisingly, and also ease pains associated with PMS or menopause.

Tourmaline too, is a protection stone, ancient magicians used it to protect them against demons. It’s quite similar too in that it dispels negative energy and turns them into positive vibes.

Tourmaline occurs in almost any colour. Multi-coloured specimens are common, and some resemble watermelons with two to five colours, a pink centre surrounded by green being the most sought after.

Tourmaline is also used in electrical circuits for conducting television and radio frequencies.  This is because it is so durable.

It basically seems like a stone to absorb a load of rubbish, fears, people that cause you problems, pollutants, etc. and makes it all better. Sounds amazing!  But not only that, it clears the head to focus on positive thinking and action, to give you direction.

Because of the getting rid of rubbish bit, it’s often used to help with diseases associated with bowels (literally getting rid of the bad stuff!) and colon.

It’s also linked to the reflex points of the lower back, legs, ankles and feet and used to provide pain relief for torn muscles, arthritis and numbness.

So I would say that if you were born in October, you’ve pretty much got a lot of bases covered with these two stones, and combining the two together in a piece of jewellery will look just wonderful.

Please take a look at what I’ve got available currently in my shop, and if you do want something designed that contains both stones, then please do get in contact.

Also just a reminder that it’s getting ever closer to Christmas too, so don’t leave it too long if you would like something designed, I don’t want you to be disappointed!

 For Tourmaline jewellery click here

Vermeil & Turquoise necklace -Kathryn Cooper Jeweller

Vermeil Gold – what on earth is it?

Vermeil Gold – what on earth is it?

What is Vermeil gold? Of course you’ve heard of gold jewellery, and even gold-plated, but have you heard of vermeil gold?

Vermeil gold (pronounced ‘ver-may’) is a French term, and it refers to items of jewellery made of sterling silver and heavily plated with gold. It has, therefore, the appearance of gold, but is a lot cheaper than solid gold.

However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a lesser quality alternative. The silver that is used is usually 925 sterling silver, or almost pure silver. The gold is usually at least 18 carats, right up to 24 carats. It also has a lot more gold than other gold plated pieces, and has to be a certain thickness to be named vermeil and pieces usually carry the 925 stamp, which is it the mark of sterling silver.

Because of the fact that vermeil is made of entirely precious metals, unlike some other plated jewellery, it’s more valuable. And because of the amount of high quality gold in it, it should maintain the look of yellow gold for a long time. So from first glance, it looks like gold jewellery, and it can be polished up to a really good shine, or if left to slightly to tarnish can take on the appearance of vintage jewellery.

How should you look after vermeil jewellery?

Vermeil jewellery will tarnish over time, just as any jewellery will. Although it’s made up of precious metals it is less prone to tarnishing, but other factors such as air pollution, use of lotions and perfumes and even chlorine when swimming will also affect how much jewellery tarnishes. NEVER wear jewellery while in swimming pools – chlorine is a bleach that can break down the metal (not good for “shoulders” holding your precious stones in place!) and can leave a black tarnish on the pieces which can be very difficult to remove.

To try and reduce the amount of tarnishing then I advise keeping your jewellery clean and storing it somewhere safe, air tight if possible. (I usually use a Tupperware box or a seal-tight plastic bag).

But if your vermeil jewellery does tarnish, then don’t panic. It’s really easy to remove. Just give it a gentle polish with a lint-free cloth, and that should do it, or invest in a jewellery polishing cloth as they will definitely do the trick. NEVER use toothpaste or baking soda on jewellery, as it scratches the metal.

Vermeil jewellery is being used more often, although the process is many years old, having been first used in France in the 18th century. As gold prices rise, it’s becoming the next best thing to solid gold, and no longer seen as a cheap option, but a high quality alternative found in designer jewellery shops all over the world.

Head on over to my shop to take a look at some of the vermeil gold pieces I have on offer. I have many pieces that are not uploaded onto the website, or I can also create bespoke pieces if you have something in mind, just get in touch, and we can work on a design together.

Also, if you want any more advice on cleaning your vermeil gold pieces, then I can take a look at your jewellery to help get it clean and sparkling again!

Click here for vermeil jewellery

Vermeil and Jade necklace

 

Sapphire: September's Birthstone

Sapphire – September’s Birthstone

Sapphire – September’s Birthstone.

The gem of all gems – the heavenly blue sapphire

The sapphire – well what can I say! It’s considered to be the gem of royalty (think of Diana, and now Kate’s engagement ring) associated with anything sacred and divine. It’s a stone which is mentioned throughout history associated with nobility and religion, for example, Christians used sapphire in ecclesiastical rings and it was cherished by kings for its power to protect.

When you think of sapphire, you think of its beautiful indigo blue colour, but you can also get black, green, orange, pink, violet, white and yellow sapphires too? They each have their own properties, but for the sake of this blog, I’m going to concentrate on the blue sapphire – after all, the word sapphire comes from the Latin sapphirus which means ‘blue stone’, you can’t get clearer than that!

Sapphire is said to help the wearer to embrace order, structure and self-discipline and is ideal for helping accomplish goals. That’s definitely one I need in my life!

Generally, it’s thought of as a stone of wisdom and learning, giving strength and focus, bringing order and healing.

It is believed that its focusing properties allow for the release of negative thoughts, helping to balance the body. It’s great during times of change to help channel your thoughts and see clearly where you have got to go, and how you’re going to get there.

It’s a stone of love (see engagement ring point above!) as it’s a sign of commitment and fidelity. It’s a sign of attachment, and binds people to one another, especially if they have matching stones. A great gift for marrying couples.

In terms of health properties, it’s pretty awesome. It’s associated with the eyes, so thought to help improve eyesight and eye infections. Kind of linked, it also helps to improve sleeping so you can get more shut eye!
In addition, if you have a headache, nosebleed, fever, earache or vertigo, sapphire is supposed to be your answer.

It’s also used when it comes to problems associated with speech and communication, and is thought to help with symptoms associated to dementia and other degenerative diseases.

When it comes to emotional issues, because of its order and strengthening properties, it is believe to aid with helping depression, neuroses and even psychosis. It is thought to give the wearer confidence and help with self-belief issues, overcoming shyness and help with social situations.

It truly is a beautiful stone, one of the most recognised gemstones, and those with their birthdays in September are very lucky! (of course, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear sapphire just because it isn’t your birthstone!)
I’ve made some beautiful creations using sapphires, and they are available to buy, please look in the shop to see what’s there. I have some in stock that may not be loaded onto the site and some not yet made into jewellery, so
I can create a piece just for you, or for a loved one

Please get in touch if you’d like some sapphire in your life!

Kathryn. X

Click here for Sapphire jewellery

Sapphires_Garnets_Zircon_Silver_&_Gold_Pendant_Necklace

Peridot- birthstone for August

Peridot – August’s Birthstone

Peridot – August’s Birthstone

Peridot gemstones were historically called Olivine (and sometimes poor man’s emerald) because of its beautiful lime green colour. Dependent on the level of iron, the colour can actually range from light yellow green through to darker olive green.

As well as being August’s birthstone (and the 16th anniversary stone), it’s primarily known as a stone of prosperity and happiness; how anyone can’t feel happy and richer for wearing a piece of jewellery with this beautiful stone in, I don’t know!

Because of its association with happiness, it’s a perfect stone to help against depression, as it’s believed to counter any negative emotions. It is thought to help with the release of any emotional baggage, getting rid of any guilt and obsessions, bringing inner peace and restoring the balance. It is also believed to soothe nervousness, heal emotional and physical pain and lighten suffering.

Its calming influence also means that it’s really beneficial for anyone that has an anger problem, it is said to help dissolve tensions, again, bringing balance. And is also believed to alleviate jealousy, resentment and spite.

Once all the negativity has been got rid of, then it’s time to move forward. It’s great at boosting confidence and self-esteem, stimulating energies, promoting vitality, invigorating and restoring allowing the wearer to enjoy life, love, and the universe.

It’s basically the biggest pick-me-upper you could imagine!

Peridot is a spiritual stone, which is believed to help you to open your mind to a new level of awareness and understand what your destiny and purpose is. (I’d love it to tell me what my destiny is!)

Interestingly, peridot is good for treating phobias; it’s like your own little nightlight, as it particularly helps those with fears of the dark.

The colour of a gemstone is directly related to parts of the body that it can be of aid to. Because of its yellowish green colour, peridot is said to cure diseases of the liver and aids digestion. It helps problems with the kidneys, bladder, gall bladder, and the stomach. Peridot is also thought to heal such illnesses as ulcers, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also useful in helping to heal insect bites.

Peridot is like a healing tonic – it is said to regenerate tissue, strengthen the metabolism and benefit the skin, and aid the heart, lungs, and spleen.

Some believe that if placed on the abdomen, it aids labour by strengthening the muscle contractions while lessening the pain (fabulous baby shower present!). Peridot is also helpful in treating skin diseases and difficulties associated with the adrenal glands. As if that wasn’t enough, it is also used to treat fevers.

So, if you are feeling a bit blue, then go green! It’s a really positive stone that really just makes things feel a lot better. And that counts for a lot.
Visit my shop to see what designs I currently have on offer, and as always, if you’d like something individually designed, then I can make that too. I have some lovely peridot in my collection which may not be on the website.

Click here for Peridot jewellery.

Peridot and silver necklace2.jpg