Tag Archive | ruby

Call it what you will

We’re all used to the majority of gems being called by their name:
Diamond is diamond;

Opal is opal;

Turquoise is turquoise;

Even in it’s many different colours Topaz is still Topaz.

Emerald is emerald…well actually it’s Beryl…as is Morganite, Aquamarine, Heliodore and Goshenite!  What distinguishes each of these is the colour that the gem comes in (green, pink, pale blue, yellow and colourless respectively).

Ruby, well that’s actually a form of Corundum, called Ruby only when it is red, when it is pinky orange it is called Padparadscha.  All other colours of Corundum are called sapphires so you can find all kinds of sapphires, such as the green one below.



Green sapphire


Tourmaline comes in a variety of colours and several of these have particular names too.  When it is red/pink it is Rubellite, green is Verdelite, blue is the fabulous Indicolite and colourless is Achroite.

Tanzanite is a form of zoisite, Morganite is a Beryl and they were both named by Tiffany and Co.

Amazonite is a type of Feldspar, as is Labradorite.  Incidentally Feldspar is the most prolific mineral in the Earth’s continental crust and can be found on Mars!  This is a good example of two types of mineral which are chemically related but clearly very different.

Quartz (the second most abundant mineral behind Feldspar) has another wide variation in colour, and many names or nicknames to go with it.  From the yellow citrine, to stunning purple amethyst (and of course the incredible ametrine is therefore part of this family).

Another variation is green quartz, sometimes referred to as green amethyst although if we were going to be strict about it that’s not it’s real name!  So we are going to go with the official Prasiolite, and here’s an example:



However the quartz pseudonyms don’t stop there, even more strangely Chalcedony (see ring below), Agate, Onyx, Jasper, Tigers Eye, Aventurine and Carnelian are all types of quartz that you might not guess from the name!



Blue Chalcedony



Smokey Quartz


Of course the feminine pink of rose quartz to the stunning brown hues of smokey quartz (ring above) and the fascinating Rutilated Quartz are also, more obviously part of the family.

Another slight confusion may arise when considering the names of gems in that often the gem quality variation of a type of mineral has a different name to the non-gem form, Csarite/Diaspore, Peridot/Olivine and Iolite/Cordierite by way of example.


Call them what you will, they’re all beautiful to us!

Styling post #2 – day to evening LBD

In the run up to Christmas we thought it was time to run another styling post, this time looking at those situations where we want to take an office outfit with us into the evenings.  There are lots of tips and tricks from the beauty bloggers out there about how to adjust make up, but we think that simple jewellery boosts can do the same trick but in a quicker and more effective way…that doesn’t involve leaning over the sinks in the office toilet to get your eyeliner right and soaking your dress from the spillage that your colleagues didn’t clean up…but maybe that’s just the toilets in my office!

Anyway, to this end we have selected a generic black dress with a V neck (below) and we’re going to have a look at a way of taking it from day to night.


To give you an idea of my normal work attire I would team this with something really classic, as an example we have a ruby set below.  The ring and pendant are very simple and smart (I work in an office in the city) but the earrings (also ruby) are a drop so add some interest.  You could use simple studs (either a ruby or a plain silver/white gold stud) to match with this set for a really professional look, but if, like me, you have some flexibility or leeway in your work “uniform” I think the longer drop add some interest to the very plain outfit.



The joy of a LBD is the magic that can be worked with the right accessories, for moving onto an evening outfit you can really go crazy!  The current trend for large collar type necklaces won’t really work with a deep V-neck like this, but you can use the opportunity to go really over the top with your bling!

As we’re planning a work do we haven’t gone too far over the top, sticking with a classic silver look we have gone large and chunky to really distinguish the change of accessories.  We’re using a fabulous set from Oliver Bonas by way of example, but there are similar beautiful looks out there both on the high street and in designer boutiques, we’ve listed a couple of our favourites later in the post.



You can see in the picture below that there’s a lot of detail and size in the design without being too fussy – you could get away with something much sparklier depending upon the nature of your evening do.


Wearing a matching set keeps this formal enough to reflect a slightly smarter occasion, such as a work event, rather than a more casual evening with friends.



So for alternative suggestions for your evening ‘do’ how about blinging it up with a Swarovski Stardust bracelets, which would go brilliantly with the Swarovski Baron collection from Ernest Jones.  There are also some fab neckwear pieces in Ernest Jones from Adami & Martucci whose mesh pieces would have a really effective look with a plain dress.

A plain dress can happily take something structural such as the artistic designs of Ute Decker.  Even if you want to remain with more daytime jewellery how about topping it up with a statement ring from Tina Engell.  The Cara Tonkin Vesper collection (below) would add real movement to an outfit such as this.



On the high street this statement necklace from Accessorize would be great for the evening.  We also love Alexis Bittar for fantastic statement pieces, ideal for the party season!  If you’re all about the colour how about the bright and bold Phase Collection by Lynne MacLauchlan.


The colour of love?

As it’s July we thought we should do a quick shout out for July’s birthstone today (particularly as one of us is a July baby!)

Ruby spray

Ruby is a gem quality variety of corundum, and is essentially a red variety of sapphire.  Fine rubies are actually rare as they are formed when a soft limestone rock was put under extreme heat and pressure within the Earth’s crust, but more than that the limestone then had to come into contact with just the right elements, including chromium, which makes them relatively rare.

Due to the way they are formed all natural rubies have imperfections which include colour differences or markings, and silk, although this silk is an imperfection it is important to enable natural rubies to be distinguished from synthetic rubies.

Rubies reach 9 on the Mohs scale, which

The majority of us will identify a ruby simply because it’s red, but there’s actually more to this gem’s colour than simply one word.  As they are part of the sapphire family different countries take a different approach to colour identification, for example in the United States a minimum colour saturation must be met before a “ruby” becomes a ruby rather than a pink sapphire.  The ICA takes a more liberal approach, but it’s something you should certainly turn your mind to the issue of colour.


 True or false?

Synthetic rubies are relatively common and were first created in 1937, by 1910 the annual production of synthetic rubies had reached 1000kg.  The fewer imperfections in a ruby the more likely it is to be treated with suspicion and identified as synthetic.  In addition to its use in gemstone jewellery synthetic ruby has use in industry as they can be used to make lasers or other production where it’s hard nature is useful.

What is interesting is that in addition to having to detect synthetic rubies, a number of imitation rubies are often found in the form of glass, or the genuine gemstones such as garnet and spinel.  The confusion between ruby and other gems has been a long standing issue, sometimes not helped by the use of some trade names such as rubellite, but one of the most famous examples of this confusion can even be found in the Crown Jewels!  A stunningly large spinel can be found on the Imperial State Crown, known as the Black Prince’s Ruby.

Myth & Legend

Back in time, as with many precious stones, people used to believe that ruby had powers to preserve the health of the wearer.  Particularly ruby was seen to help the wearer by changing colour when danger was close at hand, protect from poison and plague and even make the wearer invulnerable to steel weapons.  Ruby is absolutely surrounded by acres of legend, particularly stemming from the reverence it was given in South East Asia. and it’s definitely worth a read as some of the stories are interesting.  Star rubies were even more highly prized, it was believed that the star was formed by three benign spirits which had been imprisoned in the stone for a misdemeanour, the spirits represent faith, hope and destiny and it is thought that this type of stone can bring good fortune to the wearer.


Due to their nature and the naturally occurring imperfections the overwhelming majority of rubies are treated before coming to the jewellery market.  The most common treatment is heating, but other treatments include colour alteration, fracture filling or dissolving silk defects within the ruby.  Heating can improve both the colour and silk within the ruby.  Fracture filling does what it says on the tin, essentially using lead glass (or similar translucent) to fill the cracks within the ruby, which improves the translucency.

Unlike with some gems the treatment can be observed through a 10x loupe, and the majority of treatments are acceptable due to the nature of natural ruby.

Ruby pendant

If you do manage to find a natural, high quality, untreated ruby then snap it up as they are extremely rare!  However you should be warned that you will need deep pockets (far beyond our own means sadly) to keep hold of it!