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Stephen Hughes

  • Septembers Birthstone – Sapphire

    Sapphires are the modern birthstone of September. Historically they are also associated with the zodiac signs: the planetary stone for Libra and the zodiac stone for Virgo, with both of these signs occurring in September.

    Sapphires were first thought to be mined 3500 years ago in Myanmar (Burma) and 2500 years ago in Sri Lanka. Today sapphires can be found in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, Australia and the USA state of Montana.

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    Sapphires Shimmering Hues of Blue

    The word sapphire comes from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’ meaning ‘blue’ therefore when we think of sapphires we tend to conjure up images of blue gemstones, but sapphires naturally occur in many different colours. These range from colourless to black, including colours such as pink, purple, grey. The only colour sapphire doesn’t come in is red; as this is known as a ruby. Rubies and sapphires belong to the same corundum family but rubies have chromium present in their chemical compound.

    Blue sapphires come in ranges of hues from a dark midnight blue to a bright and vibrant electric blue. They suit any skin tone and the colours are accentuated when set in any metal. When blue sapphires are set in white gold and surrounded by diamonds they remind me of blue seas with white horses crowning the waves. The diamonds show a good contrast on colours between the blues and whites.

    However the rarest type of sapphire is the Padparadsha, a pinkish-orange sapphire. Padparadsha means lotus flower in Sinhalese, the Padparadsha and the lotus flower share the same colour hues.

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    Kings, Queens, Princesses and Sapphires

    In ancient Greece and Rome, Kings and Queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. Sapphires also symbolize nobility, truth, sincerity and faithfulness.
    The world’s most famous sapphire engagement ring now belongs to Princess Kate Middleton with the previous owner being Princess Diana.

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    Sapphire Engagement Rings

    Sapphires are a lovely alternative to diamond engagement rings due to them representing faithfulness.
    The photos below show just a small selection of sapphires we have to offer at Stephen Hughes Fine Diamonds.

    Photo A: - 5 Stone sapphire cluster with 0.92ct sapphire and 0.21ct diamonds set in white gold.
    Photo B: - Oval sapphire 1.42ct with 0.63ct in total between the 2 round brilliant cut diamonds set either side of the sapphire set in 18ct white gold head with 18ct yellow gold shank.
    Photo C: - Cushion cut Sapphire set in a rub over setting, with diamond set halo and shoulders
    Photo D: - Oval sapphire 1.25ct with 1.00ct total diamond cluster set in 18ct white gold.
    Photo E: - Sapphire and diamond peacock style earrings set in 18ct white gold, these are my favourite earrings they are so elegant and have a lovely sparkle with the movement they have.

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  • August Birthstone - Peridot

    Peridot is formed in rocks created by volcanoes. On rare occasions it can also be found in meteors that have landed on Earth from outer space. For over 3,500 years this gemstone was mined on the island Zabargad (known today as St Johns Island) in South Egypt. Today, Peridot can also be found in places such as Norway, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, the USA state of Arizona and the Island of Hawaii.

    One of only a few gemstones found in a single colour, although the shades of green differ quite considerably. Peridot has a colour range from brownish green, yellowish green to pure green dependant on the amount of iron present in the area it is found.

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    Peridot was believed to glow even after the sunset

    It was believed that the gemstone glowed with its own inner light even after the sunset. It is said that miners would use the radiance of the stone to locate Peridot at night and mark the spot to mine the following day.

    Did you know that Peridot was known by the ancient Egyptians as the gem of the sun? This is due to the yellowish green hues found within the stone. In later time Romans believed the gemstone had magical powers that could protect against nightmares. Even today it is believed by many to increase the energy of love, happiness and prosperity.

    Peridot: The perfect gemstone to complement your summer wardrobe

    Peridot’s warm bright green hues makes for the perfect August birthstone, the wonderful green colour is the perfect complement to a summer wardrobe. This lovely pre-owned ring of ours is light lime green in colour, its oval cut shows off the double facets making it ooze with lustre. Surrounding the stone is a halo of round brilliant cut diamonds which brings a little sparkle to the piece.

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  • July Birthstone Ruby symbolizes love, health, wisdom and good fortune

    Did you know that the word ruby derives from the Latin word rubers meaning red? Rubies are found in many shades of red, from rich darkish reds to pigeon blood red which has a blueish hue. The ruby’s red hues come from traces of the mineral chromium (aluminum oxide).

    In history rubies have been regarded by ancient Hindus as the "King of Gems”. It was believed to protect its wearer from evil and bestowed good fortune on its owner.

    "The glowing ruby shall adorn those who in July are born, then they'll be exempt and free from loves doubts and anxiety" extract from a Gregorian birthstone poem.

    Rubies are one of the most desirable gems due to its hardness, durability, luster and rarity. Rubies are the second hardest natural mineral, second only to diamonds, the hardest of all gemstones.

    In 1960 Theodore Maiman created the first laser based on a ruby and known as The Ruby Laser. The ruby laser is still used today in medicine and photography.

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    Rubies are red, diamonds are white, alone or together, a romantic sight

    This month's birthstone is Ruby and I want to share with you this exquisite ruby and diamond claw set tennis bracelet. It is exquisitely set with 21 oval cut rubies totaling 9.80ct. These are linked with 40 brilliant cut bright diamonds totaling 1.85ct. All of which are set in 18ct white gold. The bracelet has a box safety clasp which is stylish, secure and hidden.

    Set in an X formation the diamonds are representative of kisses as they join the beautiful rubies. The bracelet has a lovely fluidity and sparkle from every angle.

    There is no nicer way to express love and passion than by giving a gift of rubies, this bracelet would be perfect as a gift for a July birthday or for a ruby wedding anniversary for lucky couples celebrating their 40th anniversary together.

    Personally I wouldn't just keep this bracelet for special occasions; it should be worn and enjoyed. It’s beauty will be the talking point for anyone who sees it and with its secure clasp there is no need to worry about losing it.

    There is no need for there to be someone special in your life to buy this for you though. You could treat yourself… they say diamonds are a girl's best friend and here with the added bonus of 9.80ct of rubies, this bracelet certainly has the feel good factor.

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  • June Birthstone - Pearl

     

    June Birthstone Pearls symbolising purity, power, wealth and beauty

    The birthstone for June is represented by pearls.

    Pearls come in all shapes, sizes and in a range of colour. These days the majority of pearls are either freshwater cultured or saltwater cultured.

    Freshwater cultured pearls are cultivated in mussels rather than oysters, and are mainly found among lakes and rivers in China. Mr Kokichi Mikimoto was the first person to successfully create the cultured pearl in Japan in 1893.

    Pearls have been worn from as early as 3500BC and in ancient China pearls were believed to guarantee protection from fire and fire breathing dragons. They have long been a symbol of purity, power, wealth and beauty, the ancient Greeks believing that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite the goddess of love.

    Pearls require no polishing to reveal their true beauty. I find myself mesmerized by the pearls mirror like mirage from its lustre.

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    Beautiful Cherry blossom ring by Shaun Leane

    One of my favourite pieces we have in store that I wanted to share with you, is the outstandingly beautiful Cherry blossom ring designed by one of our innovative designers Shaun Leane, who fuses elements of tradition with contemporary design. As a keen photographer this ring just makes me want to smile. There is nothing nicer than watching cherry blossom petals blowing in the breeze.

    Shaun Leane has used oxidised sterling silver, ivory enamel and complimented with diamonds and freshwater cultured pearls.

    The ring depicts delicate branches that wrap around your finger, with the pearls representing closed buds and the enamel petals and diamond stamen of the open blossom.

    In Japan the cherry blossom serves as an emblem for love and affection, they symbolize the shortness of life and existence as the blossoms only flowers for two weeks every year.

    So with this ring you will be lucky enough to enjoy cherry blossoms all year round.

    Kath

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