The gem blog

Can you cut my rough gemstone?

Can you cut my rough gemstone?

Lots of people have been asking me recently about whether I could cut their rough gemstones for them. While I am always very happy to have a look at the rough that you have, unfortunately in many cases it is not that simple, as much of the gemstone rough out there is...

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Did you know that I cut my own gemstones?

Did you know that I cut my own gemstones?

One of the main reasons I got into this industry was my love of gemstones. I have always been fascinated by the huge variety of gemstones, and the way they are formed deep within the Earth. When I started learning to make jewellery I decided I needed to find out...

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The many shades of quartz

The many shades of quartz

Quartz is composed of silicon dioxide, which is also known as silica. It is widely found, and indeed is the Earth’s second most abundant mineral. It occurs in two main types, crystalline (made up of single large crystals), and polycrystalline (made up of lots of tiny...

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The golden touch

The golden touch

Many of us now live our lives with an awareness of our impact on others, and on the environment that we live in. Our knowledge of the damage that has unwittingly (or otherwise) been done makes us want to change our ways to minimise future problems. So how does that...

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September sapphires

September sapphires

Sapphire and ruby are closely related, and are from a family of gemstones called corundum. Although sapphires are commonly thought of as blue, they can occur in a wide variety of colours, indeed pretty much every colour excluding red. Red sapphire is known as ruby....

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Where do gemstones come from?

Where do gemstones come from?

We have a huge amount to be grateful for with this amazing planet that we are lucky enough to live on. Amongst all the more obvious things, I’m pretty chuffed that it’s formed us some amazing gemstones! The huge fluctuations in temperature and pressure, and the...

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What is an ethical gemstone?

What is an ethical gemstone?

Many companies will describe their gemstone jewellery as "ethical", but have you ever stopped to consider what this really means? The more I find out about gems and gem mining, the more I realise that this is an incredibly complex area. There is an idealistic and...

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Will my gemstone last?

Will my gemstone last?

One of the mistakes I made when I started making jewellery was not really understanding that different gemstones have very different properties, particularly with respect to durability. This means that some gems are fantastic for using in jewellery as they will...

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Can I identify my gemstone by its colour?

Can I identify my gemstone by its colour?

I wondered this too, when I was starting out. As far as I was aware, purple meant amethyst. Didn’t it?  Well, as ever the answer is that it’s not quite as straightforward as that. Certainly some gems do have characteristic colours, and that can be very helpful in...

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Gemstone or crystal?

Gemstone or crystal?

Many people refer to gemstones as crystals, and when I started learning about gemmology I wasn’t quite sure what was meant by a crystal. During my Foundation course I learnt all about the seven crystal systems that describe how gems grow, and the different forms that...

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Using your eyes

Using your eyes

When you imagine a gemmologist, you may think of someone peering closely at a gem, trying to uncover its secrets. It’s true that the first tool that most gemmologists turn to is their loupe. An eyeglass that magnifies by a factor...

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Setting out

Setting out

When I began making jewellery I was a bit clueless. I knew that I wanted to make lovely jewellery with gorgeous gemstones, but it was only once I started out that I realised that I knew next to nothing about gemstones. Yes, I...

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