All gemstones and pearls used in my jewellery originate from the earth or the sea. Some gemstones have been treated and this is noted in the product descriptions where known and applicable.
Please note that natural stones have inclusions and imperfections – these add to the beauty of the stone and attest to its genuine and natural origin. All gems and pearls go through my stringent quality control process and only sound, quality stones and pearls are used in finished products.
The pearls used are all freshwater cultured pearls in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most have been treated by either irradiation or dyeing to alter their colour and this is noted where applicable. For thorough information on Pearls, please see Gemstones P-R: Facts & Lore or have a look at this article on my blog.
The gemstones regularly used in my collections are natural – rock crystal quartz, citrine, carnelian, sardonyx, coral, garnet, hematite, lava, pyrite, obsidian, onyx, banded agate, amazonite, serpentine, jade, aquamarine, lapis lazuli, sodalite, aventurine, peridot, turquoise, rose quartz, topaz, amethyst and a wide variety of agates and jaspers. Lesser known (eg. angelite, nubula stone etc) and traditionally recognised (eg. sapphire, tourmaline, ruby, diamond etc) gemstones are also used when suitable cuts and quality stones are found. Some gemstones may have been treated – this is noted where applicable in the descriptions.
The gemstones I use come from 47 countries (at last count!) around the world and 80% of these gems are from artisanal small scale miners. My high quality AAA-grade stones are cut by a small family business who create beautiful non-commercial cuts you are unlikely to find elsewhere. I am always looking for more unusual varieties and cuts to ensure you get something different!
Availability of these stones is often very limited and so repeating styles or pieces is extremely difficult. This helps to ensure that your piece of jewellery remains unique and one of a kind.
The following precious metals are used:
Sterling silver – 92.5% pure silver, 7.5% alloy metal eg. copper to give hardness and durability.
Argentium sterling silver – 93% pure silver, 7 % alloy metal that includes germanium rather than copper. The result is sterling silver that is tarnish resistant.
Fine silver – 99% pure silver – used where hardness is not a concern. Tarnish resistant due to its purity.
Karen Hill Tribe silver – made in Thailand, this silver is almost pure (98-99%) and are all handmade, supporting a native group maintain their traditions.
(If a mixture of silver is used eg. fine silver, argentinium silver and sterling silver, the description may just read ‘sterling silver’, as this is the lowest silver content alloy used).
12ct or 14ct gold-fill – a thick layer of 12ct or 14ct gold is bonded by heat and pressure to a brass core. 1/20th (5%) the weight of the metal is carat gold. Gold-fill is very durable as it has an actual LAYER of gold not just a microscopic film (as occurs with gold plated materials) and is estimated to last approximately a decade with regular wear. Gold-fill is is ideal for those with allergies to silver or those who prefer the look of gold, but at a fraction of the price of carat gold.
Vermeil – sterling silver that has been electroplated with a high carat – usually 22 or 24ct – gold.
Carat gold – 9ct, 12ct, 14ct and 18ct gold is used occasionally and is available on request.