The Crystal Cove

Famous Sapphires of The Crown Jewels

Knowing a little more about various gemstones is very interesting, particularly when they have a history and story like The Stuart Sapphire and St Edward’s Sapphire.  These have special historical interesting since they are both part of the Imperial State Crown, part of The Crown Jewels, which dates back to the fifteenth century.  You may notice a lack of pictures but since they are The Crown Jewels, their use is restricted.  There is a link at the bottom so you can view the official Royal photos.  

What is the Stuart Sapphire?

The Stuart Sapphire is a large 104 carat blue sapphire.   There is little or no documentation of the stone before 1214 and so we must speculate as to where the stone originated.  Since it is known that Kashmir and Sri Lanka have been known to produce the highest quality of sapphire, we can presume that the stone originated in one of these locations, although this is speculation based on known stones discovered in each region.  We do know that the stone is imperfect and a hole has been drilled at one point for it to be used as a pendant.  This would of course be a major detraction from value for any stone in the market, however this stone is one of huge historical significance and will clearly not be in the market at any time.  

The historical importance of the Stuart Sapphire  

One of the two famous sapphires mounted on the world famous Imperial State Crown is that of the Stuart Sapphire, the oldest known sapphire in the world.  It is thought to have belonged to King Alexander II of Scotland and set into his crown for his coronation in 1214.  The stone has passed between many monarchs over history, sometimes taken during an invasion, as was the case in 1296 when it was taken by King Edward I of England, and sometimes returned, as happened when King Edward III returned it to David II of Scotland.  The sapphire was even sold by Oliver Cromwell when he sold the crown jewels and was returned during the restoration to Charles II.

The stone is known to have belonged to other monarchs over time, such as James II, his son James Francis Edward Stuart who left it to his son, Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, and remained in his possession until 1807.  The sapphire was later returned to the rightful heir, George III and passed to his daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales upon declaration her father was declared unfit to reign.  Sadly, the stone was returned to George III upon the death of Princess Charlotte, who died during childbirth.  

Queen Victoria had the stone set into the imperial state crown in 1838 and at this time, it was set into the front below the Black Prince’s Ruby but was later moved to the rear of the new crown requisitioned by George VI.

What is the St Edward’s Sapphire?

This stone is said to be the oldest among the Crown Jewels. It is a blue, octagonal rose cut stone currently set in the cross of the Imperial State Crown.  The stone is named after Edward The Confessor, who ruled England from 1042-1066.  There is a tale attached to this stone that the King presented a special coronation ring, in which the stone was mounted, to a beggar in place of money.  The beggar, unbeknown to the King, was said to be St John the Evangelist, who in return for the King’s kindness, helped two English pilgrims in Syria and had them return to England with the ring to return to Edward.  The King wore this stone in the ring and he clearly treasured it since it was buried with him in his tomb in 1066, although the tomb was opened in the 12th Century and the ring removed.  After a time on display, it was said the ring was returned to the state treasury and placed into the crown.

Using photographs of The Crown Jewels is very restricted and so you can view the official photographs through this link using the official source 

Created On  14 Sep 2017 16:13  -  Permalink

Forever Together Remembrance Jewellery

Have you ever had one of those moments when you find out something and think "I wish I had known this when…”  This happened to me when I discovered the company Forever Together.  I remember looking at all the different remembrance ranges they carry, such as their pendants and ashes charms to place inside memory lockets, and feeling quite in awe of how beautiful they were making something so incredibly precious.  I also remember that slight tinge of sadness that I had not found this company sooner.  My family had suffered loss a couple of years previously and I felt a disappointment that I had not had this opportunity at that time.  

I discovered Forever Together as a stockist for their sister company Lavish Lockets, who are award winning suppliers of, what I believe, to be the best quality affordable memory lockets available.  What makes this company a bit special is the way they approach the entire process of remembrance and cremation jewellery from start to finish.  The company was founded out of personal loss and so those who run the company have a first hand experience of loss and a caring attitude to how their customers may be feeling at a difficult time.  

The entire process is explained from how to order jewellery to how it is made.  Due to the sensitive nature of the jewellery being created, Forever Together explain the very important questions people may have, such as how ashes of beloved loved ones are used and stored.  There is a vast amount of respect and understanding in the handling of loved ones’ ashes that reveals the caring side of this company.  The empathy they have for their customers’ situations definitely sets them apart. 

Forever Together incorporate their expertise in the area of memory lockets and add another dimension to the special nature these pieces of remembrance jewellery can have.  As an example, you can have a charm created that fits perfectly inside your memory locket and in addition to this they can create an engraved backplate to accompany the charm inside the locket to create the most sentimental and memorable piece.  

Their expertise is cremation and remembrance jewellery combines with their general jewellery expertise to create all sorts of unique pieces that can suit any taste. 

What makes their jewellery appealing is not only the sentimental side but the fact that the pieces are so attractive that you want to wear them for this reason also.  They offer such a variety of jewellery including what you might expect, such as earrings, bracelets, rings and pendants with many style and colour options.

The popularity of the brand is continuously increasing as their reputation grows which is testament to their products and values.  The type of jewellery offered by Forever Together can be an ideal way for many to celebrate a loved one and deal with the loss.

You can view their exquisite range of remembrance jewellery on their website and the friendly them always welcome enquiries

Created On  8 Aug 2017 22:54  -  Permalink

Interesting Facts about Peridot

You may be vaguely aware of gemstones and birthstones but I wanted to share some information about the gemstone Peridot since it is the birthstone for August.  I have family members whose birthstone is peridot and over the years I have often heard them mention how they wish they had a different birthstone, as peridot seems a bit boring.  I hope that reading this blog post will help to change their minds, and perhaps yours, since I think it has a pretty fascinating past making it much more interesting than they may have realised.  So whether it is your birthstone or someone close to you, hopefully this post will be of interest and show a bit more of the meaning behind peridot.  

What is Peridot?   

Peridot is a gem quality stone from the rock-forming mineral Olivine.  

What does it look like? 

Some birthstones have several colours, for example, Topaz, the birthstone for November, is available in different colours such as blue and the more traditional yellow. Peridot is one of the few gemstones which has only one colour and is usually a pale lime green or olivine colour but there is a deeper green and much more rare peridot. Rather than having hues of several other colours it is more of a pure, transparent coloured stone. The iron content of each stone determines the depth of colour with a higher iron content producing a more yellow or lighter green and a lower iron content producing the deeper green colour.  This is much more rare and is therefore higher in value than the more common lighter peridot. 

What are the benefits associated with peridot? 

Peridot is known as a stone of compassion and has many connections to spirituality. Peridot is a stone well documented throughout history and it has been written that the properties of peridot that help ward off fearsome night-time visions are more powerful when set in gold. It is said to be a balancing stone that can help provide peace in a relationship by balancing the mind and calming anger.  It also has properties that protect the wearer from negative emotions such as jealousy, spite, greed, hate, and resentment and is even said to help strengthen the immune system and also promote a sense of happiness.  

Peridot is also given as a 16th wedding anniversary gift, giving it a sense of romance

Which Swarovski® crystals are similar in appearance to Peridot?  Swarovski® make a colour of crystal called ‘Peridot’ which is extremely similar in colour to the real gemstone.  Although not available in every type and size of crystal Swarovski® make, it is largely available in popular sizes and shapes, such as the ever popular xillion bicone crystal. 

Where is Peridot found? 

The more common, lighter peridot is found in several locations around the world, such as Vietnam, Brazil, USA, South Africa and also a large amount from China.  The deeper and more rare peridot stones have more commonly been found in Pakistan and Myanmar.  Housed in the famous Smithsonian museums in the USA is the biggest cut peridot known to date at a whopping 311 carats.  The gem was discovered in Egypt and the links between are discussed below.   

A bit about peridot and its history 

Peridot is different to nearly all other gemstones, as it is formed much deeper inside the earth since the temperature it needs to crystallise is much higher.  Peridot is formed as deep as 55 miles below the earths surface and is brought to the surface through volcanic activity.  This might go some way to explain why, in Hawaii, peridot symbolises the tears of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes.  One of only a few in the world, there is a green sand beach near the southern tip of Hawaii called Papakolea Beach, the sand green due to the high content of olivine mineral in the grains of sand.   

It has been documented that peridot has been discovered within the rocks of meteorites.  This "extra terrestrial” peridot is very rare however and is not a type that likely to be included in retail jewellery. 

Peridot has often been referred to as the poor man’s emerald due to the rarity and expense of emeralds.  However, hopefully it has been shown here that peridot is far from an inexpensive alternative to emerald, or any other gem for that matter, and that it has a rich and interesting background making it a treasure in it’s own right.  In fact, it has been said that many of the so-called emeralds displayed in European churches are in fact peridot, with the most notable being the shrine of the three kings, or the three magi, in Cologne Cathedral.  It has also been suggested by historians that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection was made up of, you guessed it, peridot! So obviously she recognised the beauty in this gemstone.  The ancient Egyptians referred to peridot as the gem of the sun, perhaps as those stones higher in iron tend to show a more yellow hue than the rare deeper green variety.   This link to the sun makes peridot a perfect gemstone to represent the birthstone for the month of August, made official in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers and by The National Association for Goldsmiths in the UK in 1937.

The fact that peridot can be dated as far back as ancient Egypt and remains a popular gemstone in the jewellery and retail industry today demonstrates it’s staying power and popularity. 

Created On  1 Aug 2017 15:35  -  Permalink

Free Memory Locket Shipping

Free Memory Locket Shipping To celebrate the launch of our range of memory lockets, chains and charms we are offering free shipping on these items for a limited time.  This makes it a perfect time to see for yourself just how wonderful these items are.  If you are looking for a special gift then why not take advantage of this opportunity for even better value!

The free shipping includes Royal Mail first class shipping but of course if you need your items in a hurry you can opt for Special Next Day delivery at the regular rates.

The offer includes lockets, chains and charms but excludes charms only.  Offer expires midnight 8th July 2017

Created On  1 Jul 2017 17:24  -  Permalink

Brand New Memory Locket Range!

I was the lucky recipient of a beautiful memory locket last year, it was a gorgeous and sentimental piece of jewellery I didn’t even know I wanted!  This was actually one of the most amazing things about this gift, that I had never really seen one before, that I was not expecting it and couldn’t believe how much sentiment can be placed inside one memory locket.  

Our family is split over both sides of the Atlantic and we do miss each other, to which I am sure many of you reading this can relate.  

When I looked at the contents of the locket, everyone was represented in some way, with some charms representing more than one person.  In my case several of them were birthstones plus some charms to represent family in general.  Some family members are no longer with us, making this all the more poignant in meaning.  Not only do I hold close to my heart those living in another part of the world but I can also hold those no longer with us too.  

There are many ways in which a piece of jewellery can have a powerful meaning to us, such as inheriting a piece and cherishing it or perhaps a special gift from someone who cares for you.  This locket was more of a direct and visual statement making an instant impact in much the same way as my sister who feels a strong attachment to our Grandmother’s engagement ring, which she wears daily as a way of keeping her close in her thoughts.  (You can see beautiful pictures of this ring in our diamond ring blog post

I personally wear my locket quite a lot.  I also have a beautiful silver chain which I wear daily (yes it is a Crystal Cove item!) and so I wear them both which looks very much like a stacking necklace since I wear my locket on a lovely 32 inch chain.        large silver diamante lavish lockets memory locket

I wanted to be able to source such items for my customers for them to be able to give and receive such thoughtful gifts, however, I found so many terrible quality items that I began to think the quality just wasn’t out there.  Yes there were cheap options but they were awful.  This was when I discovered a fantastic company called Lavish Lockets and I soon built up a good relationship with the owner and was so impressed when I received their items.  The quality far exceeded what I had been looking for, and believe me I scrutinise everything when it comes to our products and pretty much expect perfection.  The idea was to repay the favour to the person who had originally given me the gift of my own memory locket.

Lavish Lockets started with a very similar experience, an inability to find the best quality items that don’t cost the earth.  They have not cut any corners with the manufacturing methods, with only the most effective methods and best quality materials used. Their belief that quality should be affordable fits with our own ideals.  Also, both being small family companies, we are both able to serve our customers in a more personal way, ensuring they get just the right piece for them.  And so a partnership was formed.  We are very proud to bring you such a quality and responsible brand to The Crystal Cove and I hope that many of you get the wonderful experience I had of receiving such a meaningful and stunning memory locket 

Why not have a look at our range of lockets, charms and chains and create your perfect memory locket

Created On  30 Jun 2017 20:46  -  Permalink

What are Swarovski® crystal pearls?

Many people are familiar with the brand of Swarovski®, it is now a household name for many reasons, in particular for figurines and jewellery.  Some of our most popular designs are made with Swarovski® crystal pearls and, just like you can find information regarding the crystals on our website, we wanted customers to easily access information about these wonderful pearl creations too.  

Here is a snippet of how Swarovski® describe their pearl innovation:

"CRYSTAL Pearls are a perfect replica of genuine pearls: They are similar in weight and behaviour, adjust to the temperature of the skin and are resistant to rubbing, scratching, perfume, perspiration and UV light. Above all, they are the first pearls in the world with a crystal core and an innovative, silky smooth pearl coating. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and in an extensive colour range.”

Of course no one knows their creation better than the company itself but it is amazing how accurate this description really is.  For example, have you ever wanted some pearl jewellery for a one off occasion to match an outfit? You may not have wanted to spend the earth and bought a pearl imitation since it suited your needs and tastes.  You may have noticed how light they felt and how they felt to the touch?  An amazing aspect of the Swarovski® pearls is how remarkably real they feel, that is, they feel so much like real pearls.  Not only that, they look like real pearls in their finish and lustre.  

Natural and cultured pearls are often matched for their similarities before being strung together for sale.  However, Swarovski® crystal pearls are so incredibly uniform and identical that the hassle of this is no longer.  You get perfect pearls for each and every pearl which is a real plus in creating a piece of jewellery since there are no flaws, which are more apparent with pearls due to their shape and finish. 

Swarovski® crystal pearls are not simply imitation pearls.  As you would expect from a company with a reputation for prestige and innovation, these pearls are special in their own right.  They have a unique crystal inner core with special pearl coatings which adds to the overall luxury of these pearls and perhaps has a lot to do with their realistic feel.

With cultured or natural pearls, we are limited by nature regarding the finish, colour and shape of the pearls.  Although many of the colours Swarovski® offer in their pearl selection remain very true to their natural counterparts, Swarovski® pearls also offer delectable colours and finishes which are on trend and generally just totally gorgeous.  In other words, they have been able to add their own flare to something once only worn by royalty and aristocracy due to their high cost and links to social status.  

Swarovski® pearls remain true to tradition with colours such as cream, pink, white and silver but have also broadened the appeal of pearls through ranges such as their neon and pastel ranges and brought the pearl right into the world of on trend fashion with top designer Jean Paul Gaultier designing a pearl colour and finish exclusively for Swarovski®, Scarabaeus Green.  

There is something for everyone in their range including around 50 different colours and finishes plus a variety of shapes, including round and baroque, which is great news if you want something traditional, such as for a wedding or christening, and perfect if you want something in a nice pastel finish to match a spring outfit or something bright and stunning to stand out from the crowd.  Whatever your tastes, now, there is a pearl for that! 

Created On  28 Jun 2017 22:15  -  Permalink