First of the new

New products as promised!  Beautiful 8mm rose cut peridot, a really vibrant apple-green colour with just a touch of gold, and such a nice, big size for this stone.  I allowed just a few inclusions into this so as to keep the stones affordable, but I am so pleased because they are barely noticeable.  I can see this looking great for the autumn perhaps with some golds and pinks and purples.  Also pink tourmaline in 4mm cabochons – yes, I got the pinks sorted!  We have dark and light pink and dark and light apricot.  This is really gorgeous quality material – a few inclusions; you always get that with tourmaline unless you are as rich as Croesus – but very clean for this stone and still an excellent price.  Check them all out at !  And look out for more coloured 4mm tourmaline which I will list over the coming days.

Mixed tourmaline


A mixed bag of tourmaline.  Cheaper if I buy it like this, with all the colours, rather than just pink or blue or whatever (so obviously better for you guys), but an exciting task ahead of me separating them all out! These are 4mm round cabochons, beautiful material, really very clean for tourmaline.  I’m going to have pinks, apricots, blues, greens, yellows, all sorts.  I will be listing all of this once it is all sorted.  Then for my next task I will be plucking needles from haystacks…!

Can we talk about the price of jewelry?

This always gives me pause for thought.  I don’t mean the kind of gold and diamond bling I see in Luk Fook every time I wander through Central Hong Kong; no I mean the prices I see whenever I browse through the shops on Etsy and Artfire and other homes for hand-made artisan created one-off stuff.  I often take a look through the jewelry shops not just through intrinsic interest, but also because I like to see what kinds of colours and cuts people are using, and I am constantly amazed by the low prices that so many artisans place on their work.  Not everyone, of course, but there are an awful lot of people offering hand-made jewelry for insanely low prices.  Can someone explain this to me?  I can’t understand how these artisans are even covering their costs, let alone their time.   I suspect that it is in many ways a function of sites like Etsy (and that it is not just jewelry that is prone to this kind of competitive undercutting); great though they are for establishing yourself and getting known, when you are in the same cyber space as many other people in the same business as you, there is constant downwards pressure on prices.  I do know that pressure; I felt it myself at first, until I realised that if your only USP is price, then someone will always undercut you. Pricing is difficult and it is a brave thing, sometimes, to price at something’s true value, but I know that if I am buying jewelry, I buy things I fall in love with.  Price is always a consideration of course (I love the Koh-i-noor diamond; it won’t be in my collection anytime soon!) but not the most important one.  Anyway, I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I just think it’s an interesting issue, and I would love to hear some designers’ views.


Well, thanks to all of you lovely customers, I can offer even better prices on my 6-6.5mm half-drilled button pearls.  They are now $0.75, down from $0.85 with great discounting if you buy in bulk, up to 30% off.  As I replace my old stocks of pearls, I am hoping to bring down prices across the range and will notify as and when that happens.  Also newly listed today are 4-4.5mm and 6-6.5mm loose white round pearls, full-drilled.  Check it all out at

Coming soon…

I have a large amount of new stock coming in, and I’m hoping it’s going to be here by next week before everyone goes on holiday in August.  So, no pictures as yet, but look forward to the following:

  • beautiful intense blue clean kyanite in a 4mm and 5mm rose cut round
  • Tanzanite in a 4mm rose cut round and a 6mm round cab
  • 4mm checker cut cushions in a variety of stones – peridot, citrine, white topaz, London Blue Topaz, amethyst and rhodolite
  • labradorite in an 8mm and 10mm rose cut round
  • translucent rose quartz in a 4mm, 6mm and 8mm round
  • lilac chalcedony and chrysophase in a 4mm rose cut round

Lots and lots of stuff to keep a look out for – I will be posting as and when it comes in.

When is white topaz not white topaz…?

These earrings are just incredible; made by L. Sue Szabo using the old fashioned technique of foiling.   She has placed coloured foils behind white topazes (supplied by me!) in a modern day revival of the old technique for colouring rhinestones back in the 1920s.  She wanted to see what would happen if she used beautiful gems instead and I think they look fantastic.  I for one know that the topaz is completely clean and in addition, she has sealed the coloured foil in resin to ensure that it does not fade.  I really like the old-style elegance of the filligree settings and the way that they really make those colours pop. You can find these at and see more of her award winning designs.

I love to see what people make with ‘my’ stones, so please keep the pictures coming in.

Home thoughts from abroad…

I’ve been very quiet recently, I know.  It’s because I’ve been away, and then when I returned, was so backed up with orders and admin that I feel I have been struggling to surface.  Oh, and we moved house as well.  Anyway, after a month of freezing and shivering in the UK (10 degrees, raining.  Raining sideways, no sensible clothes/shoes packed for me or the Critter) we are back to the opposite extreme, steamy hot Hong Kong.  But just to give you an idea of my travels, heres a picture of my husband, mum and child, like True Brits, picnicking in the rain.

Actually, my husband is Canadian so shortly after this photo was taken, he said ‘This is depressing, I’m going to the cafe’ and so we traipsed off after him without putting up much of a fight.  My blood has definitely thinned after several years in Hong Kong.  That house in the background is sadly not the family seat; it’s Parham House in Sussex and it has beautiful walled gardens, lovely mixed beds bursting with colour (which the husband nonetheless described as ‘messy’).

It also had a kind of summer house/wendy house built into the garden wall, which the Critter absolutely loved, could hardly get her out of it. Apparently, every summer, the lady of the house organises a barbeque for her children and they stay there overnight and tell each other ghost stories.

We also went to a place called Mottisfont Abbey , famous for its collection of old shrub roses, left the husband at home for that one, good thing as it turned out as the higgledy-piggledy planting and trusses of heavy-headed blooms shedding their scent into the summer air may have caused him to have a conniption fit.  He’d have been in there with his long-handled pruners, back-hoe and graph paper.

They also had, to my great happiness, my favourite rose of all time:

This is called ‘Mme Pierre Oger’ and is an old fashioned Bourbon Rose.  It’s got terrible resilience to disease and is horribly prone to black-spot but it is such a delicate colour; those pearly white petals blushed with pink.  It’s got that beautiful globular shape as well, the petals furling tightly around each other, and best of all, the scent is sweet and intoxicating.

We also had a visit to London (picture of me with the Critter and my niece), went crabbing and had some fun making sand-castles in the dunes (the observant viewer will notice that it has by now stopped raining – this merely reflects the fact that this was our last week in Blighty, so obviously the sun came out and apparently shone for a good couple of weeks after we left…!)

Right, that’s it for now, before you all think this has turned into a gardening blog.  Next time it will be something gemstone/jewellery related, I promise!