Like most quartz minerals, amethyst is found all over the world. The finest amethysts are found in Uruguay, where it is the national gemstone. It is also found in Brazil, Russia, India, Zambia and Namibia.
Amethyst can be found anywhere where lava has been close to the earth’s surface. Scientists believe that amethyst is formed in two stages. Firstly, an amethyst geode is formed from gas bubbling and being captured in the lava, causing cavities. The cavities then fill up with a liquid that contains a small amount of iron, which over time forms amethyst crystals. The geodes look very plain on the outside but when cut open they reveal a spectacular display of amethyst in the middle. These geodes can be found in varying sizes.
We use amethyst often in our jewellery. We love the rich, purple colour. Below are some examples of amethyst in our work.
This wonderful sculptural piece of work by John came about when he discovered the saw marks left in a wooden off cut when it was pushed too hard through the bandsaw. He decided it looked vaguely like a body, so cast it in silver using the delft clay method of casting. He did the same for the arms and head. Next came the earrings, made from 18ct gold, garnets and cocobolo wood. John wanted the earrings to be long ones, firstly to show off the wood and his carving skills and also so that it balanced the look of the scultpture nicely. He thought that the concentrated, richly coloured garnets worked well with the gold. Finally he made an African blackwood base for the little chap to stand on. The finished piece sold through the Neville Pundole gallery in Canterbury. This gallery subsequently moved to Folkestone but now I believe he only sells online at http://www.pundole.co.uk
To see more of John’s one off sculpural work, see our website at http://www.janddfield.co.uk/johns-one-off-wooden-jewellery-8-c.asp
We thought that the mixture of our silver tubes and hand carved African blackwood, interspersed with little dashes of 18ct.gold, worked wonderfully with the turquoise to create this stunning necklace.
The substance that we now know as turquoise has been treasured for many years under different names. The word turquoise dates back to the 17th century, when the mineral was brought into Europe from Turkey. The word Turquoise is derived from the French word “turques” for “Turks”.
Turquoise is a blue to gray-green mineral consisting of copper aluminum phosphate. Turquoise is formed in drier climates, in rock formations that originated from volcanic activity. In some areas water worked its way through porous rocks and left behind minerals such as copper, Iron and aluminium and through two natural processes, weathering and oxidation, turquoise is formed. It can usually be found as incrustation in cracks or as nuggets.
Copper gives the mineral its blue coloring. If there is more iron present in the mineral then you get a greenish turquoise and if there is more zinc then a yellowish turquoise colour is formed. Veins are often found in turquoise, this pattern is called a matrix or webbing. The veins are the remnants of the rock that originally hosted the turquoise and through millions of years of weathering and oxidation it is formed into veins.
We love to use Turquoise in our jewellery, it’s one of our favourite stones.
All of the above jewellery can be found on our website, including our wonderful new necklace.
These new cufflinks are on show at the Dazzle Oxo Tower Christmas exhibition and have now also been added to our website.
These new “Face” cufflinks are great fun and we are having a wonderful time developing ideas for them, as you can see below.
Although we like our little bald-headed cufflinks, we thought that they would look even more charismatic with hair. This also fits in with the tribal look of African masks that we had seen in various ethnographic museums, which originally inspired the cufflinks.
Getting the right kind of hair is proving to be a challenge. We have tried different materials including fur, which looked wonderful but fuzzed up very quickly. Silicon rubber strands were interesting, as they are available in all kinds of wonderful colours but these broke if stretched too much. We have finally settled on wild boar hair. It is tough and rigid enough to be practical, it is not too bristly and it doesn’t fuzz up.
Unfortunately, they have had to have a trim. Although we really love the long-haired version, they would be very impractical to wear as cufflinks, so it was time for the chop! We are coming up with other ideas for using the long-haired version though. One includes John’s idea for a little kinetic art figure so watch this space.
John is now wearing the cufflinks to test them out before we let them loose in to the world.
We love the simplicity of these cufflinks and because of their simple design, the opal triplet stones are shown off at their best. On our website there is also the option to choose from eleven other different stones.
We occasionally get asked to make matching His & Her jewellery, especially for weddings, so we thought that matching earrings would perfectly complement the 6mm cabochon cufflinks.
As with the matching cufflinks these earrings can be made with other choices of stones, including amethyst, amber, pink corundum, other colours of opal and more. For a full list please check out our website.