Birth stone for March : Aquamarine

Aquamarine is Latin for ‘water of the sea’ and what a perfect description of the colour of the stone.  

Naturally, the stone should be a seawater colour, with dark blue being the most admired. Less fine quality stones are often heated to turn them to a stronger blue and fashion has influenced this by making the stronger blue more desirable than the natural blue/green of the stone. 

The stone is quite hard, (moh’s scale 71/2 -8) however it is brittle and can be known to chip.  If worn in a ring it is best for special occasions or delicate wear…not gardening and washing up! 

As part of the beryl family, Aquamarine has the same chemical construction (aluminium beryllium silicate) as Emeralds, Morganite (soft pink), golden beryl and Heliodor….so how come they all are different colours I hear you ask?  Well, Emerald’s colouring agent is chrome, Aquamarine’s colouring agent is iron….(there can be green beryl’s that are not green because of chrome but because of vanadium and therefore they can never be called an Emerald). It’s all back to the mix of ingredients when these rocks are formed.

Queen Elizabeth II Aquamarine, Diamond and Platinum necklace

All this may be a bit confusing…but in the silicate slush in the centre of the earth these are the chemicals that naturally may or may not be present….it is like the earth’s natural larder…and what is available that day will dictate the colour and type of stone that is the result.

scissor_cut_aquamarine_and_diamond_ringSassalina-Pendant-1aquamarine_stud_earringsIf you are born in march you are lucky enough to claim Aquamarine as your birth stone…however as there are no rules.  If this is your favourite colour you can still treat yourself to one of these beauties!! Just remember – even though white diamonds complement the Aqua very well…you can be more adventurous as you can see with the gorgeous orange of these hessonite garnets…

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Sarah x

 

 

 

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Red Carpet glamour

As we are now in the thick of awards season, we thought we’d report on the glamour and razzmatazz, in particular the beautiful jewellery we see gracing the red carpet.

The Brits, Golden Globes, Grammy’s, Oscars…it’s all about making an entrance! These statement jewels from some of the worlds top jewellery houses are designed to make a big impact and grab headlines around the world.

Strong colour is clearly of huge importance this year – luscious red rubies…deep violet blue sapphires…forest green emeralds and warm golden yellow diamonds and citrines. As a Gemologist my eye often passes over the reams of white diamonds (even though the sheer size and quantity is breath taking) for the coloured stones which are truly individual hues of colour, size and shape….

There are a couple of US designers who always impress me…Lorraine Schwatrz being one and the incredible columbian Emeralds on Jaimie Alexander really are special, so rare to find a collection with such strong colour ….I also love the work from a jeweller called Martin Katz who is so brave with colour combinations…..in the real world these stones are hard to find and phenomenally out of budget for the majority of us and therefore during the awards season we get to sit back and enjoy the display!!

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Jaimie Alexander

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Léa Seydoux

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Taylor Swift

Pearls are big for 2016 and bang on trend with these gobstopper pearl and diamond earrings is the legend that is Jane Fonda…

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Jane Fonda

There is no point in going small when you’re on the red carpet…!

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Taraji Henson

And of course there are always ice cool diamonds in their pure and natural gorgeousness..

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Lady Gaga / Jennifer Lawrence / Jennifer Lopez

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Helen Mirren

Sarah x

 

Wedding Anniversary : Gifts of Jewellery

Dating back to the Roman Empire, when husbands gave their wives gifts of silver wreaths for their 25th wedding anniversary and gold wreaths for their 50th, generations of couples have adhered to traditional gifts when buying for wedding anniversaries.

There are Paper, Copper, Wood, Cotton, Ivory, Crystal, Lace and a host of others but I have listed below the ones related to jewellery to be your guide with some examples of our pieces to inspire you:

Year 1 – Gold

Star Ruby and Gold cufflinks

Star Ruby and Gold cufflinks

Year 5 – Sapphire

Untreated Yellow Sapphire ring

Untreated Yellow Sapphire ring

Year 10 – Diamond

Diamond and Platinum tennis necklace

Diamond and Platinum tennis necklace

Year 15 – Ruby

Ruby and Diamond ring

Ruby and Diamond ring

Year 20 – Emerald  

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Emerald and Diamond cluster style ring

Year 25 – Silver

Cabochon Amethyst Silver cufflinks

Cabochon Amethyst Silver cufflinks

Year 30 – Pearl

Mabe Pearl and Peridot earrings

Mabe Pearl and Peridot earrings

Year 40 – Ruby

Star Cabochon Ruby ring

Star Cabochon Ruby ring

Year 45 – Sapphire

Yellow Sapphire and Spessatite earrings

Yellow Sapphire and Spessatite earrings

Year 50 – Gold

Gold and Diamond Star pendant

Gold and Diamond Star pendant

Year 55 – Emerald

Emerald ring with Diamond band

Emerald ring with Diamond band

Year 60 – Diamond

Diamond hoop earrings

Diamond hoop earrings

Year 65 – Blue Sapphire

Gypsy band with Sapphire and Diamonds

Gypsy band with Sapphire and Diamonds

Year 70 – Platinum

Diamond and Platinum Polo pendant

Diamond and Platinum Polo pendant

Of the three precious metals – gold, silver and platinum – platinum is the rarest and the most valuable.

Sassalina’s 3 C’s Day

We had fun with the first of our 3 C’s days – Coffee, Clean and Claw-check – and talking all things jewellery.

Some of our favourite clients dropped by to share the Sassalina love…

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Aly and her natural French lemon Sapphire solitaire ring

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Some of our newest designs in our Sassalina boxes

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My friend Valerie wearing the Mabe Pearl earrings I gave her for her 40th

xx

Introducing Dolly…

I started my business in reverse…..

Most jewellers slave over a collection to reap the rewards of a bespoke commission…somehow with no understanding of this I went straight to building Sassalina by focussing on making ‘one offs’ which were exactly what my client desired and often could not find off the peg.

My passion for gem stones lends itself to this beautifully as each stone is a unique shape and colour and each client has a unique style or attitude to jewellery…..however recently I have found clients trying on the jewellery I have made for myself and wanting one the same….hence the birth of the Dolly Hoop….named after my really colourful Auntie Dolly…

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Orange Sapphire and hot pink Tourmalines

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Diamond and Paraiba Tourmalines

Not ground breaking but a practical sized hoop earring which can be made in nearly any colour stone (comfortable to sleep in as one client specified) and most importantly is versatile for event wear with a vast range of drops …..As part of this collection I have designed a very reasonably priced diamond drop attachment, as I know many of my clients would love to wear a great pair of swinging diamond earrings out in the evening, without having to stump up Bond St prices.

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White Diamonds

Where my philosophy has not changed is that these hoops and drops can be ordered with a mix of stones such as hot pink sapphires and diamonds or all in one colour like blue topaz if that is what suits your skin, eyes, hair, wardrobe…whatever is best for you!

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Emerald and Iolites

Therefore we are still all about the bespoke commission….. Only now there is a template to work from and the best bit is you can add drops of all colours, gems and sizes and then as your collection grows you can mix and match…..

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Orange Sapphire and cognac Tourmalines

We have included loads of shots of drop options (snaps taken from my iPhone – so much more gorgeous in real life!), maybe in stones you have never heard of which are great for earrings but which I would never suggest are robust enough for a ring……Caroline and I found playing with different drop options endless fun and worryingly addictive…. we hope you do too!

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Emerald and Aquamarines

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Emerald and Watermelon Tourmalines

Are you a man who needs help with buying an engagement ring?

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Mrs Box

Getting engaged is the most exciting time of your life…however it can also be wrought with stress…for the one proposing!!  Often this is the man who has typically had very little exposure to jewellery buying and especially in this price bracket. Some women have handed over a million tear sheets with confusing hints…some ladies just don’t wear jewellery and others have taste which is of a less conservative style….What do you do? This is a ring to last a lifetime?!??

Diamond Pave ring

Diamond Pave ring

Another issue may be men often view the purchase as an investment opportunity …I find the process of making jewellery with a man requires a much more technical explanation; they tend to want to know the science side of the gems (lucky I am a gemmologist and love that bit!) or alternatively how much the stones will appreciate in value (lucky I have been in business for 9 years and have had to revalue lots of my pieces for insurances purposes so I understand how much they do appreciate in value!). Crucially, without retail overheads, our prices are often substantially lower to start with…

Alternatively, many blokes just do not know where to start…

Princess cut Diamond with Diamond set band

Princess cut Diamond with Diamond set band

Having made numerous engagement rings over the years….I have made rings for a surprise, with partners, with the women on their own and no fiancé involvement…however I thought I would include two testimonials from men who got engaged at the same time and (luckily for me) came to make their rings through me…

Sapphire and Diamond ring

“I sought the expertise guidance of Sarah after my Aunty and her friends all recommended one person to help me with the job of designing and creating the perfect engagement ring to propose to Fran. I knew time was on my side as had over 3 months until I was flying out to NYC to pop the question so got in touch with Sarah to start on my journey to creating the perfect engagement ring. I’ll be honest…I knew only a few things that were needed in the ring…I knew Fran loved Sapphires and Diamonds, that the band should be Platinum or White Gold as Fran would be less likely to wear yellow gold and that Fran wanted something with a traditional look but something different. I’d based this knowledge on the variety of rings that had been pointed out to me on various wanderings past jewellery shops (research trips). Sarah was just brilliant…she met me on a couple of occasions as well as lots of email chat on choosing the main stone and then design of the actual ring and supporting stones. I decided on the untreated Sapphire as the centre stone as Fran has bright blue eyes that this as pointed out by Sarah went perfectly with. From there the ring then took shape and the design was shown by Sarah and agreed on. Sarah was so flexible from then on with the speed that the ring got created and for me to pick up (not too soon as didn’t want to have to hide it for any length of time). Sarah even arranged for a smaller than normal ring box for me as would be less bulky when taking to NYC. When the big proposal day came Fran thankfully said yes and I actually in all the excitement put the ring on the wrong hand for the first 24 hours until Fran realised and switched back to the correct hand and finger…which is the left hand ring finger (the one next to your little finger for any chaps reading). I recommended Sarah to two friends I work with who both also used Sarah to create their engagement rings and I’m sure they will say equally lovely things about the service and end result Sarah did for them. I would whole hearted recommend Sarah and will be revisiting for Wedding Rings in the near future!” M.Brown

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Princess cut Solitaire Diamond ring

“I was first introduced to Sarah through a good friend who highly recommended her. Given this was the first time I’d ever considered buying an engagement ring it was important to me that I felt comfortable, looked after and safe in the knowledge I had someone who wouldn’t take me for a ride. The moment I spoke to Sarah all these reservations disappeared and I knew instantly she was the person to design my ring! I knew roughly what I wanted, a simple elegant princess cut diamond with a platinum setting. Sarah educated me on which diamonds to use and gave me the choice of 5 beautiful stones, she then showed me some amazing settings to choose from. I left it with Sarah and the results we better than I ever imagined, the diamond looked fantastic and sat perfectly in a neat & graceful setting. I proposed to Rachel in a very romantic Abu Dhabi, she was blown away with how beautiful her ring was…so much so she contacted Sarah on our return to thank her for doing such a good job! It goes without saying that I highly recommend Sarah, she was a pleasure to deal with throughout and we’ll certainly be using her for the wedding.” R.Trotter

At Sassalina we are proud of the personal service we provide all our customers – we are only happy when the client is happy, nothing short of delighted (tears of joy if possible),  and we are here to help you get this right….One male client who I made an engagment ring for said to me “This is the first time I have got something totally right form start to finish…” and that’s how I feel it should always be with jewellery….

S

x

images via sassalina.com and Mrs Box

Remembering Lauren Bacall : Bonhams Auction

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Lauren Bacall, the acclaimed actress of stage and screen who passed away in August 2014, assembled an astonishing collection of art, including works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. The Bacall Collection, estimated at $3 million, will be auctioned at Bonhams New York on 31st March 2015 and will include items from her jewellery collection.  Many of the pieces are by the German jeweller Jean Schlumberger:

 

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What I find inspiring about Lauren’s jewellery is that she did not follow the masses in taste, her choice was sometimes unusual and really matched her personality perfectly.  When I make jewellery for a person I really care about their personality, character, attitude, lifestyle and how they want to wear the piece and sometimes I despair at the really mass produced pieces that are marketed purely as recognition of some type of status……the last thing I believe to be on Lauren’s mind when she went shopping….

Sx

Read more about the auction here.

Valentines Day

It’s that time of year again.  The one where we are hoping for a little bit of romance and, for the lucky ones, that will mean a gorgeous gift of jewellery.

Here are some of our favourite Sassalina pieces to inspire the romantic in you!

Valentines Day is also traditionally a popular time to get engaged and I am always delighted to be asked to make engagement rings – and how wonderful when we get to see the newly engaged couple showing how happy they are with their sparkler!

And if those gifts don’t arrive on Valentines Day?  It maybe time for a little gift of love to yourself this year!

Sarah x