Tag Archive | tourmaline

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!

Through the Loupe with…Nude Jewellery

We’ve been lucky enough to know Nikki for a little while now and it was great to finally meet her (you can read all about this in our last blog post), and we’re delighted that she agreed to be our first subject as we go “through the Loupe” to discover what goes on behind the scenes at Nude Jewellery, an exclusive yet friendly boutique in the heart of Mayfair:


Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Nude Jewellery?


I always wanted to run my own business, even from a young age. I’m very competitive and quite a motivated person I’ve been making jewellery since I began an art foundation course when I was 18 and appreciate the work of many jewellery designers so representing other designers came naturally.
How did you get into this industry?


I studied jewellery design at art school, once I graduated I began selling my jewellery through galleries whilst also working in night clubs, then, when I outgrew working in nightclubs, I started up a stall at a craft market selling my own jewellery and building up my gallery outlets.  Four years later, and with a good following of customers I eventually took the major step and opened Nude Jewellery, that was almost 12 years ago now. (Where did all of the time go!?) [eek we know exactly what you mean!]


How would you describe the collections stocked at Nude Jewellery – we’ve noticed that there’s a real mix of both design, material and texture!


I love unusual jewellery, sometimes a customer calls in and asks if we make all of the jewellery, my reply is always the same “I wish I could take credit for all of the imagination used to create the jewellery we sell” I love innovative jewellery and find that the small independent jewellery designers tend to be the most creative [we completely agree and it explains why there are such a diverse range of collections].

What are your personal influences?

The Glitter Ball collection is slightly inspired by Mary Quant and the sixties style which I love.


[We love this collection too – the cuff is my personal favourite, the texture really draws the eye]



Silver Glitterball Cuff by Nikki Galloway – Nude Jewellery


Silver Glitterball Multidisc necklace, by Nikki Galloway, Nude Jewellery



 Who inspires you?

I think that would have to be my mum she’s a very independent, hard working lady and a little eccentric!


What sort of jewellery do you like to wear?

I love bold jewellery, chunky rings and necklaces. Although as a complete contradiction I am coveting a pair of simple diamond stud earrings.


What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?

There are too many and my favourite changes all of the time. I love a lot of the jewellery we stock at the moment at the moment my favourites are:

Volute Double Curl ring – by Cara Tonkin


[featuring Smokey Quartz – one of our current favourite gems]


Stunning, this is the Ultra Pink Silver ring by Radek Szwed


[this absolutely defies belief, although I must confess that the Caterpillar Eternity ring is my favourite from the Radek Szwed collection]


Vesper Interchangeable Full Swing Necklace by Cara Tonkin


[I couldn’t agree more, the weight and movement of this piece make it just stunning, absolutely love it]


What’s your favourite gemstone?

My favourite colours are green and purple, which is probably why I like green tourmaline and tanzanite, although green and blue diamonds are also gorgeous!


What are your aspirations for the future?

I would love a second shop, more holidays, more time to relax….

This year we want to launch two new collections at Nude Jewellery and are working on these designs now, at the moment they are at the beginning stage, I’ll probably be sketching and developing the ideas tonight, possibly with a glass of cava in hand!

[how exciting, but yes that must be a lot of work – although with cava who can complain!]


How difficult was it to set up your own business?

If you think about things too much then you will always talk yourself out of the things in life you want to do that scare you, I (nearly always) look on the positive. So just hold your nose and dive in, what’s the worst that can happen? Looking back it was hard work and still is, the way people shop has changed so much with the Internet in such a small space of time. But if it was easy then where would the challenge be?

[Great advice – I am going to use that phrase in the future!]


How do you maintain a work life balance when running such a successful business?

I am a bit of a workaholic, always have been, so I start work as soon as I get onto the train in the mornings, checking emails, website orders etc, then again on my journey home.  I generally am only in the store 4 days a week so once the my children are in bed I can catch up with work, drawing sketches and designs which never really feels like work!  At the weekends we have family days out but I’m never far from my phone to keep an eye on what’s going on, when it’s your own business it’s never just 9 – 5.


What did you do before Nude Jewellery?

I was at art school, Central St Martins whilst there I worked in a few nightclubs so once I graduated I continued to work in the clubs for a short while. I was young and it was fun. Then at around the same time I started selling my own jewellery collections, one is the gold ball which we still sell in-store now.


What’s your favourite jewellery material – white gold, yellow gold, or something else…?

I like working with yellow gold and the look of it, but I tend to wear silver as most of my jewellery is chunky.



Thank you so much to Nikki for giving us an insight into your work – if you’re inspired by this piece you can visit Nude Jewellery itself, view the tutorials on the website (such as the one below) and they even offer classes for budding jewellers.  We really hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you are a designer, jewellery or work in any aspect of the jewellery or gemstone industry and fancy coming Through the Loupe with us please do get in touch at adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com.