Yes, it’s another of my hugely popular destash sales, this one is more seconds and funny shapes rather than overstock, but there are some really lovely stones at amazing prices; diamond, sapphire, tourmaline, lost of moonstone and labradorite as well as some sterling silver findings. I’m finally admitting to myself that my jewellery making days are over, and so I’m selling off my stash of silver findings! Click here to shop the sale.
As many of you already know, I am moving the business to the UK. It’s been an amazing ten years in Hong Kong but it’s time for me to return to my home now and give the kids some roots. I’m looking forward to daffodils and bluebells, strawberries, clean air and water, decent pubs, so many things! Before I leave I need to drop my stock levels a bit so I am offering a flash sale – 40% off for the next day. Just use code MOVING40 at checkout! This is the last sale I will run before I leave, so don’t miss it! Click here to shop.
Some of the sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve been doing more offers than usual and the reason for that is that, after 10 years in Hong Kong we are finally moving back to the UK and Joopy Gems is moving too! I’m trying to reduce my stock levels a bit before returning, to try and reduce the overall cost of bringing them to the UK. I’m doing a time-limited 2 day sale of 35% off all stock – unless stocks fall below where I want them in which case I’ll stop it sooner.
Hong Kong has been really good to us and I’ve loved living there. It is still the most interesting, fascinating multi-layered and vibrant place I have ever lived. Although things have been difficult recently, our return is more due to family reasons – to be close to my mum and for the children to attend school in the UK. I’m excited that I’ll be able to offer a better deal for UK customers – no VAT and no Royal Mail international handling fee as well as fast delivery times. For non-UK customers, there will be little change.
To enjoy the sale, you can use code MOVING35 on pretty much all stock. Click here to shop the sale.
Aquamarine is a really great choice of stone; it’s pretty gemmy without being insanely expensive, it cuts well and takes a really high polish. In its transparent form, it’s more pricey but I just love the milky variety; in lovely shades of pale blue to sea-green, it is misty, hazy and dreamy. It’s common to find this material full of fractures and veils, but when it comes clean with a lovely translucency it is a beautiful, glowing stone. It is named after seawater itself: aqua = water and marina = of the sea and it is in fact a form of beryl, the same mineral as emerald. Unlike emerald, it grows in large and frequently clean crystals so it’s relatively easy to find it in large sizes and in fact can be exceptionally clean. Top colour is a moderately strong blue to greenish-blue. It’s a great jewellery stone and versatile as it’s also exceptionally hard – so a good option for a ring stone. The gemstone for March, aquamarine is offer protection in battle and make the wearer unconquerable; what more could you want! Clockwise from left below: CJ Bijoux aquamarine and 18k gold ring, AF Thomas aquamarine, blue topaz and 18k white gold ring, Gemory Design aquamarine and sterling silver ring and Gems Berry aquamarine and sterling silver ring
We sell a variety of really gorgeous, translucent aquamarine in cabochons and rose cuts as well as rose cut freeforms. To check them out, click here
I’ve decided to do a series of posts on inclusions, as it is simply one of the most frequent topics that comes up with customers. Everyone knows the value of a nice, clean gemstone: no-one wants a diamond with a dirty great fracture, or a ruby with a big black crystal under the table. However, the search for a perfectly clean stone is a bit of a fool’s errand. The GIA no longer uses the term ‘internally flawless’ to describe diamonds as there is simply no such thing; with increasingly powerful microscopes, if you magnify anything enough times, you will find something. But above all, I think we need to reconsider attitudes to inclusions. The GIA doesn’t call them inclusions; preferring the term ‘clarity characteristics’, and if you believe that the very words we use are instrumental in influencing how people feel about a thing then we can see that this is a much less judgemental term to use. They describe clarity characteristics in a stone as ‘the eyewitnesses to its birth’. They can provide valuable information as to how and where it grew, indicate events in its history and sometimes on a broader scale, in the the events and internal turmoil of earth’s history. They can help detect whether a stone is natural or synthetic and provide evidence as to whether the stone has been treated or not. They almost always tell a story. And if you’ve ever held a pile of synthetic rubies in your hand you might find yourself thinking, as I have, that stones without inclusions can have all the appeal of a piece of coloured glass.
Inclusions are not always bad, either, and that’s my subject today. Sometimes they have a beneficial effect on a stone’s beauty, and that is certainly the case with needles! Needles are defined as long, thin, solid crystals or hollow tubes; if it’s hollow it might be filled with fluid or gas. A group of fine needles is called ‘silk’. Silk is what gives high quality sapphires their soft, velvety appearance, and can give rise to cat’s eyes and stars, if it is oriented along the stone’s crystal planes. Needles to me are at their best when they are present as visible needles in stones such as quartz and prehnite. These stones are desirable precisely because of their inclusions. In quartz, rutile needles can appear gold, copper, red and black. They can occur sparsely or in clumps; they can be thick and coarse, or they can be fine, the so-called angel-hair variety. You can also get rutilated prehnite; a soft, green bodycolour intersected with striking black needles. When we talk about inclusions it’s easy to see this as always having a negative connotation but it simply isn’t so. Rutilated stones really need only a simple, beautiful setting to show them off to their best, however, I love the setting below, where the design on the body of the ring echoes the spokes of the rutile in the quartz.
To shop our collection of rutilated stones, please click here. Next time I’ll be talking about the dreaded fractures!
What could I be talking about except garnet! You know what I mean; dull, rusty red stones set in gold-plated filligree. Nope. It’s just not fair. Garnet is one of the most exciting and varied of gemstones. It’s got a very wide colour-palette and price-wise it varies from the highly reasonable almandine to tsavorite at the top-end. It is also the birthstone for January.
Garnet has particular gemmological properties that make it reasonably straightforward to cut – it is what is known as singly refractive so what this means in real terms is that it is not at all pleochroic and therefore cutters don’t have to worry about what angle they are cutting it to make sure they are getting top colour. Many varieties also have a relatively high refractive index. What does this mean? Well, it is a measure of what happens when light hits a stone – a high index means that much of the light is reflected back to your eye; a low index means that much of the light passes right through. In real terms, stones with higher refractive indices are more sparkly. With the darker stones it’s not so obvious, but the sparkle on some tsavorites is simply amazing. See below and bottom for some examples of seriously stylish garnet jewellery.
Colour and Varieties
Red is the best-known colour of garnet, and the type that most people think of when they think of garnets is almandine. This commonly comes up very dark, what we call ‘closed’, and especially in larger sizes; however, it can be the most beautiful shade of deep blood-red. I have some almandine pears which just make me think of Sleeping Beauty every time I see them! In fact, the name ‘garnet’ comes from the Latin word ‘granatum’ which means ‘dark red’. Pyrope garnet is also red; you see it more rarely and it often has a slightly pinker note to it – it lacks the rustiness you can sometimes get with almandine. For a more pronounced pink colour there is rhodolite which ranges from pinkish red to a deep raspberry pink. For orange, there is hessonite, with its gorgeous swirling inclusions, and more expensively, spessartite. Malay garnet runs from yellow-orange to a lovely pinkish orange. Then you get the greens; hydrogrossular garnet with its black inclusions, yellowish-green demantoid with its horsetail inclusions, and vivid green, sparkling, firey grossular garnet, more commonly known as tsavorite. This is one of my favourite stones and I would take it over emerald any day. Garnet is also a really good choice for anyone who is not keen on gem treatments as it is not routinely treated with heat or anything else.
Clockwise from top left: Jane Taylor Malay Garnet and 14k Gold Ring, Vintage Tsavorite Garnet & Diamond Invisible Set Cocktail Ring 14k Gold, Quadram Hexagon Almandine Garnet Ring, Pamela Huizenga Hydrogrossular Garnet & Diamond Earrings, William White Hessonite Garnet and Sterling Silver Ring, Henn of London Spessartite Garnet and 18k Gold Necklace
I’ll be doing posts on individual types of garnet so keep your eye out for those. I have a large variety of garnet stones; click here to browse the collection.
My June newsletter is out, and it’s crammed full of new gemstones, including this fantastic chrysocolla – doesn’t it look like the earth from space?! I’ve also got druzy slices, black lily beads (fab!) and mixed lots of rose cut tourmaline (buying in lots gives you a 35% or so discount off the price for single stones), lapis lazuli and sodalite beads. Plus as promised I’ve got price drops on some established lines and I’ll be doing my best to keep prices down this year. Check out my newsletter here: http://bit.ly/2sFgcf5 . Newsletter readers are always the first to learn about new stock and discounts, and some are exclusively for newsletter readers. Why not sign up at https://joopygems.com/ to make sure you never miss out?
It certainly is, with 20% off your entire order from now until Friday 16th February (midnight EST). I’ve got new rose cut freeforms, new beads and so it’s the perfect time to stock up! Oh, and if you fancy that fabulous heart-shaped pink tourmaline in the picture, you can find it here! All over at joopygems.com, discount code for your 20% as in the pic, LOVEGEMS
We have our January sale on and it’s the early bird catches the worm with up to 25% off your entire order! Remember also that we will be closing our USA office on 12th January, so anyone wanting their order to ship from the USA needs to place their order by 5.30 on that day.
For Easter we are offering a fantastic 20% discount for the next 4 days! Those of you who know us well, know that we don’t do these kind of offers very often, and look, it’s so much better for you than all that chocolate. Although, actually, those eggs in the picture, they are entirely my favourite kind – Cadbury’s mini-eggs, with a hard, sugar shell and a milk chocolate centre. I’m normally a bitter dark chocolate girl, but I can’t resist those mini-eggs! Anyway, I digress! Use code EA1D1 to claim your discount! This offer is valid on all stock items, in our international shop, our US shop and our Etsy shop so why not indulge yourself?!