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Session 1 – Introduction to Gemstones

In this first session, we have fun with diamond testing and ring sizing as well as looking at fact and folk law of several gemstone properties including their formation. I have a variety of visual, audio and practical activities during the sessions. What was best about the speaker sessions? * “How Amber is formed & jewellery hallmarking (overview).” Bedmond Women’s Institute * “Ring testing… We enjoyed the talk, thank you.” Harpenden Village Women’s Institute * “Andrew’s knowledge of the subject” Sawbridgeworth Women’s Institute * “Excellent session, audience participation excellent. Definitely will confirm (another) date later in the year” Ickleford Women’s Institute

Session 2 – Hallmarking Gold & Silver

This further session, if you wish to book later, looks at: * History of hallmarking * Consumer Protection * “Assay” and what that means * How to test Silver & Gold * Bonded Gold * Jewellery sales at the end of the talk.

Session 3 – History of Jewels & Gemstones

This further session, if you wish to book after session 2, looks at: * History of gems * Significant pieces & influences * Jewellery gifts & meanings * Associations of particular gemstones i.e. birth, love & death.

Precious Amber Gemstones

Historically used in medicine, these days modern copies in plastics, glass and other synthetic resins have tried to make poor copies of this natural gem. It is highly valued today and by digging and burrowing deep into rocks, the raw, rough fossil is hacked away by mallets. When polished it reveals any content that became fossilised along with the sap. Amber is now available in various colours including green, red, orange & yellow and the most expensive being those containing whole frogs or large creatures. The belief that Amber can heal by drawing away negative energies and infusing positives has drawn collectors throughout the ages. A suggested link to sun worshipers is due to its natural orange or yellow appearance. Amber is a powerful healer and cleanser of the body, mind and spirit. It also cleanses the environment. Amber is believed to draw disease from the body, healing and renewing the nervous system and balancing the right and left parts of the brain. It absorbs pain and negative energy, helping to alleviate stress. Amber clears depression, stimulates the intellect and promotes self-confidence and creative self-expression. It encourages decision-making, spontaneity and brings wisdom, balance and patience. Amber worshipers believe it opens the throat centre, treating goiters and other throat problems. It also perports to treat stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, liver and gallbladder. Romans believed that Amber strengthens the mucus membranes and alleviates joint problems.

Silver & Gold

Sterling Silver has 92.5% pure silver and the further 7.75% is nickle to add strength, otherwise the silver would be soft and easily scratch. Sterling Silver, made in the UK is renowned for it’s quality and exceptional property values. Sterling Silver Hallmark 925 We only provide Sterling Silver that is hall marked 925 and manufactured in the UK. Our reputation is staked on sourcing the best suppliers at wholesale prices to ensure that you are only ever likely to receive the best quality silver. Gold in Arabic countries, Far East (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), Malaysia, Indonesia 24-karat “Chuk Kam” (99.0% min) Arabic countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka 22-karat (91.6%) Arabic countries in the Persian Gulf region 21-carat (87.5%), 18-karat (75.0%) in most Egypt Europe – Southern / Portugal 19.2-karat (80.0%) Europe – Southern / Mediterranean 18-karat (75.0%) Europe – Northern Germany etc. 8- to 18-karat (33.3 – 75.0%) Russia/former USSR 9- (37.5%) and 14-karat/old 583 and new 585 (58.5%) United Kingdom 9-carat to 22 carat (37.5-91.6%) United States, Canada.

Gemstone Facts

Sapphires are the second hardest mineral that is formed by a volcanice process deep in the earth’s core with added pressure and high temperatures, the liquid magma cools and crystalises over a period of millions of years. The colours are injested metal elements of titanium or iron that are aparent during the crystalising process cause the blue colouration and this is known as a “ligand-field” effect. Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately sapphire blue, violet and burgundy depending on crystal orientation.[1] Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed under alternate lighting conditions. The blues appear more evident when subjected to fluorescent light and the violet hues can be seen readily when viewed under incandescent illumination. Tanzanite in its rough state is usually a reddish brown color. It requires artificial heat treatment to 600 °C in a gemological oven to bring out the blue violet of the stone.[2] Tanzanite is a rare gem.[3][4] It is found mostly in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The mineral is named after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered Courtesy: Wikapedia Topaz is found in a number of countries: Russia, in Afghanistan Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico; Flinders Island, Australia; Nigeria and the United States. Naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated to produce a more desired darker blue. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent. Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone of the US state of Utah. Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Many brown or pale topazes are treated to make them bright yellow, gold, pink or violet colored. Some imperial topaz stones can fade on exposure to sunlight for an extended period of time. Mystic topaz is colorless topaz which has been artificially coated giving it the desired rainbow effect.