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.

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Bejewelled Treasures at the V&A

Bejewelled turban

Spinel, Diamond and Kundan Turban jewel (c 19th century)

This is a stunning exhibition, featuring treasures from the early 17th Century Mughal empire, Indian sub-continent, and Europe – influenced by India and the Ballet Russes – right up to the present day with modern interpretations of Indian jewellery style, design and techniques.

Almost all items in the exhibition have been loaned by the Al Thani ruling family of Qatar. As well as the earliest known example of Mughal jade, the gobstopping Timur ruby (which is neither from Timur nor a ruby!) on loan from her majesty the Queen, and several examples of modern indian-influenced jewellery on display, there are 400 years of indian jewellery represented here.

From the V&A website:

From ancient times, the royal treasuries of India contained vast quantities of precious stones.

“You’re able to see the very important position of jewellery in Indian society at all times and at many levels,” she said. “Indian courts have always had huge treasuries … if you lose the treasury you lose power, so jewellery has a fundamental importance in Indian history.”

Diamonds were found within the subcontinent, most famously in the southern region of Golconda. The best rubies came from Burma. Sri Lanka supplied sapphires, and from the 16th century emeralds were brought from South America to Goa, the great Eastern market for gemstones. These were of a size, colour and clarity that had never been seen before.

Bejewelled b&w

At the Mughal court, Iranian traditions shaped the culture of the Persian-speaking elite. Here, the classification of gemstones was completely different. From the late 16th century, the most valuable stones were deep red spinels, found in Badakhshan in Central Asia. Spinels are similar to rubies, but are gemmologically distinct. The finest were appreciated for their colour, size and translucency, and were engraved with the emperors’ titles. Their spinels were not usually faceted, but the royal gem-cutters gouged out any unsightly inclusions and simply polished the irregular surface.

Bejewelled spinel necklace

Imperial Spinel and Pearl necklace (N.India c 18th century)

 

Bejewelled art

A crescent shaped emerald

Another piece, a brooch with a large crescent-shaped emerald at it’s centre, dates from 1910.  It was given to the beautiful Spanish flamenco dancer Anita Delgado by the Maharaja of Kapurthala. The story goes; seeing her dance in Madrid, he fell in madly in love with her, married her and brought his new 16-year-old bride back to India.  When, aged 19, she saw the emerald on an elephant, the Maharaja handed her the precious stone and remarked: “Now you can have the moon, my capricious little one.”

Bejewelled crescent moon

Crescent Emerald with Diamonds, (Paris c 1910)

Delgado

Anita Delgado wearing her crescent Emerald

Another of the Maharani’s jewels is Parisian jeweller Meller’s peacock corsage or aigrette (hair ornament). The Maharajah had bought the piece and gave it to her at their civil wedding ceremony in Paris. The peacock ornament is made of gold, diamonds and enamel which, as the exhibition’s curator Susan Stronge says in her accompanying book, “produced a shimmer closer to that of real feathers” and decorates the body of the bird and the blue/ green tips of the sweeping gold and diamond feathered tail.

Bejewelled peacock

Gold, Diamond and Enamel aigrette (Meller, Paris c 1910)

If you haven’t been yet this spectacular collection is only on view until the 28th March 2016.

xx

Photographs: Al Thani Collection

 

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