If you believe Marilyn Monroe, every woman aspires to lots of diamond jewellery, be that rings, bracelets, necklace or earrings. There’s no denying that a glittering diamond is striking and beautiful, but with a huge choice of precious and semi-precious stones available, are we being a bit blinkered in focusing purely on diamonds?
Engagement rings are traditionally a diamond solitaire, but adding a splash of colour by incorporating a ruby, emerald or sapphire into the ring can make it even more striking. Kate Middleton’s ring, a huge sapphire surrounded by diamonds, is one of the best known rings in the world and this high profile engagement may made the use of gemstones more popular. Every colour of the rainbow is available, and choosing a purple amethyst or orange topaz can create a truly individual ring.
Many women like to wear jewellery associated with the month they were born, and there is a specific gemstone for each month of the year. Garnets, aquamarines, opals and pearls all have months linked with them, so when buying an item of jewellery for a gift it is thoughtful to choose something for the month the recipient was born. There are also lesser known days of the week stones, so combining the two stones in one item can make it even more personalised.
Weird and wonderful stones
Everyone has heard of diamonds, rubies and sapphires, but what about carnelian, morganite or tourmaline? Gemstones such as these are every bit as beautiful as a diamond, and can be cut and mounted in exactly the same way. Due to the economics of supply and demand, many lesser known stones are far more reasonably priced than rubies or diamonds as they are more widely available, meaning you get more for your money.
Keeping it British
Although we don’t mine diamonds and rubies in the UK, we do have some home grown gems which are every bit as gorgeous. Blue john jewellery is made from a gem which is mined from one location only, in Derbyshire. This unusual gemstone means that the recipient of a piece of blue john jewellery will have something very distinctive and unusual. Other gemstones found in the UK include agate, beryl, jet and cairngorm, so buying an item of blue john jewellery or an agate bracelet means you are supporting local craftspeople also.
Mix and Match
There are no strict rules about wearing jewellery any more, and it’s fashionable to mix and match different styles and stones. Whereas in the past women had the matching set of earrings, necklace and bracelet, many of us buy bits of jewellery as we can afford it, or get given pieces as gifts. Matching everything perfectly can look a bit contrived, and having a mixture of different stones and pieces of jewellery gives a more casual look to an outfit. It’s also a great idea to match an expensive pair of earrings with some costume jewellery or vice versa. Jewellery should be about what you like and what suits you, not what is the conventional choice.