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!!

golden globes emerald

Jaimie Alexander

golden globes 2016

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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

 

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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)

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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

 

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

Taking care of your jewellery……

Jewellery is like a luxury car…it requires care and servicing from time to time… gems and especially metals can wear with use…white gold rings are typically rhodium plated when bought and this coating can wear off over time giving a brown tone to the metal, claws on rings can receive the odd knock and become loose, the stones themselves can get chipped or even eventually fall out!

One of the most common problems is white gold becoming browner with age and a simple Rhodium plating treatment can completely rejuvenate and regenerate your piece of jewellery.  Rhodium plating transforms metal as it is very bright and mirror-like and reflects light.  It is particularly good for diamond jewellery as it bounces light around much like diamonds do. Platinum is a naturally whiter metal and therefore does not discolour but loses its’ shine and becomes more matt, this can be buffed to return to its’ original glory.

The following image shows:

1. 18K yellow gold

2. 18K white gold, rhodium plated

3. 18K palladium white gold, not plated

three rings gold

If you just want to change your jewellery from yellow gold to white gold then in many cases rhodium plating is the best option.

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You do have to be careful when rhodium plating jewellery that is set with porous stones as the plating process would adversely affect such stones such as peridot or certain treatments of rubies.

What is Rhodium?

Rhodium is in the platinum family of metals.  It is rare and quite precious.

What is Rhodium plating?

Rhodium plating, also known as rhodium flashing, is a process that coats a fine layer of rhodium over white gold rings to make them appear whiter and improve the shine. I have seen some jewellery from the Far East which completely changes colour when the Rhodium wears off and this is because they have used a poor quality of gold mix to make the original ring.

How long does plating last?

Rhodium plating is not permanent. The time the plating lasts depends on how much the piece of jewellery is used and how thick the original plating was….a wedding ring which is worn everyday will require re-plating sooner than a pair of earrings which may retain their plating for many years.

Can I change yellow gold into white gold?

Yes….but we would need to chat about the stones in the piece and the fact it is not a permanent change!

How much will it cost?

Surprisingly affordable, from as little as £40…I have clients who were overjoyed by the result and even one lady who said it looked better than when the ring was new!

images via Joseph Schubach and ultrasoniccleaning.com