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…

aquamarine_and_hessonite_garnet_ring

 

Sarah x

 

 

 

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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  

emerald_and_diamond_cluster_style_ring

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.

The allure of coloured Diamonds

Diamonds have been fascinating mankind since these precious stones were first discovered, as early as 3000 B.C. in India.  Collected, treasured and sought-after, they became symbols of power and wealth – desired more than any other gemstone.  Over the centuries, mining has yielded mostly colourless diamonds with a dizzying array of size, shape and clarity…and for these stones the less hint of colour – the more desirable and valuable the stone.

As well as colourless diamonds, nature has given us coloured diamonds, with the same qualities of hardness and refraction as their colourless cousins but in addition they are enhanced by an amazing spectrum of colour….every coloured diamond has it’s own individual hue…which is what makes them so unique and so captivating.

Recently in the news we learnt of two showstopping coloured diamonds going up for auction, both bought by the same Hong Kong based buyer!

The 12.03 carat, internally flawless Blue diamond known as ‘Blue Moon’ was bought for an eye-watering £32 million…and renamed ‘Josephine’ in honour of his 7 year-old daughter.

Blue Moon diamond

Blue Moon diamond

David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said the “Blue Moon” sale broke several records and made the gemstone the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction. It also fetched the highest-ever price per carat, he said.

So why the amazingly high price tag??  Coloured diamonds account for a very small percentage of natural diamonds, and those with strong colour saturation are an extremely rare occurrence.  Blue diamonds are formed when Boron is mixed with Carbon when the gem is created and only a tiny fraction of diamonds mined are found with traces of blue, let alone one with such a vivid hue.

The same buyer also bought 16.08 carat vivid-pink diamond for £19 million just the night before!  It is the largest cushion-shaped fancy vivid-pink diamond ever to come to auction…this one is now called ‘Sweet Josephine’

Sweet Josephine rare pink diamond

‘Sweet Josephine’ rare pink diamond

Josephine is one lucky 7 year-old girl!!

Further reading:  Forever Brilliant: The Aurora Collection of Colored Diamonds by Alan Bronstein

forever brilliant image

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…

Photo 01-10-2015, 11 49 29

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.

Photo 05-10-2015, 10 22 13 (1)

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!

Photo 01-10-2015, 11 49 01

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…..

Photo 01-10-2015, 11 53 23

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!

Photo 01-10-2015, 12 00 14

Emerald and Aquamarines

Photo 01-10-2015, 11 57 24

Emerald and Watermelon Tourmalines

Fathers Day : Time to treat him

Buying gifts for our men at important times, like Fathers Day, is often a tricky business – men are not typically easy to buy for and we are constantly thinking of what they would possibly want or use!

watch

Normally we think of jewellery gifting as mainly for women but in reality loads of men would love to have a special pair of cufflinks given to them…my husband has his cufflinks noticed in the office regularly.  Guys who aren’t wearing a suit often want a cool pair of cufflinks to stand out and make a statement when they want to look smart.

black_star_diopside

Black Star Diopside stones ready to be set into double stone-ended cufflinks

I can make cufflinks to suit a range of budgets…in sterling silver, gold, platinum..whatever suits him.  You can add stones or engrave or stamp plain metal studs…we can even engrave the cufflink bar so for Fathers Day this might be the birth dates of your children (see the gold cufflinks with a wedding date printed on them below).

Star Ruby and Gold cufflinks

Star Ruby and Gold engraved cufflinks

I think men are sentimental, particularly when it comes to their children, and they would love a piece of jewellery they can wear every day, or for smart occasions, that is unique and personal to them.  I once designed a pair of cufflinks for a friend for her 80 year old father and I got special permission to put the London hallmark of the Lion on as the design because he had lived in London all his life!

Cabochon Amethyst Silver cufflinks

Cabochon Amethyst Silver Love cufflinks in Sterling Silver

peach_moonstone_cufflinks

Peach Moonstone Love cufflinks in Sterling Silver

If you’re fortunate enough to have a partner who loves wearing jewellery then it won’t just be cufflinks that will be on your shopping list but perhaps some bracelets or a ring (recently, my 17 year old son really enjoyed the process of designing a ring for his birthday).

mens bracelets

Whether the men in our life are 18 or 80 they can really appreciate the effort and design that has gone into their unique gift and for fathers, what better way to treat them on Fathers Day than to choose bespoke!

S x