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Lavender Eclipse Pearl Ring by Winterson luxury jewellery

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In reference to the coming collections, an introduction to the sapphire will give our readers a sneak peek into the beauty of the imminent jewels.  The blue sapphire, with its similarities to the lavish pigment of lapis lazuli, used by Florentine painters in the fifteenth century, has an extensive history.

Sapphires can be found naturally, in rock formations or sediments, they are the second hardest minerals, next to the diamond.  The sapphire is in the same family as the ruby, and in a similar way they are classified by their colour, clarity, size, cut and overall quality.  The blue sapphire is the most recognized, but they are also found in shades of grey and black, and can even be colourless.  Blue sapphires are classified in terms of the clarity and vividness of their primary and secondary colour hues, with secondary colours varying from purple, green, pink, orange, brown and violet.  Violet and purple are the more sought after.

The Logan sapphire is one of the most famous, mined in Sri Lanka; it is one of the world’s largest faceted blue sapphires, of an astounding 423-carats. With a violet secondary hue and exceptional clarity for such a large gem.  It is on display at the Gem Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington D.C.

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 Young and Inspiring Spotlight:  Pearl Ellis takes a look at  the very bright Fahma Mohamed.

 

As a junior trustee of Integrate Bristol Mohamed has petitioned for Michael Gove to end FGM in the UK, by urging every school to train teachers and educate parents.  The campaign has gathered momentum with over 250,000 people signing the Guardian backed petition, leading to a meeting with the Education Sectary who has agreed to send guidelines to schools on keeping children safe by Easter. The campaign aims to save thousands of school age girls from being cut during the summer holidays, it is believed that some  take their daughters abroad to have them cut. 

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Onyx is the black stone used in our jewellery collection.  Tiny onyx beads form the ‘Black necklace’ and one bead accompanies the seed pearls in the ‘Black bracelet’, adding an accent to the pure white of the pearls. The stone itself signifies both protection and healing and is a complement to the collection.

Onyx has a long history, having been used for carving and jewellery pieces from far stretched locations around the world. Known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, mentioned in the Bible, and with records from the Second Dynasty in Egypt where it was used to make bowls and pottery items; it is a truly ancient gem.

Often used in cameo carvings, as onyx is formed of bands of chalcedony in alternating colours.  These bands, parallel to one another acted as contrasting dimensions that the craftsmen could use to create beautiful scenes or silhouettes.  The pendant below is a prime example, it is English in origin, made ca. 1865 from enamelled gold, set with rubies, sapphires and pearls with a cameo of carved onyx.

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An Exhibition recently opened at the Courtauld entitled: 'A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany' showcases just 26 works, however each work acts as an insight into the practice of the greatest 18th and 19th century landscape painters.  Artist's include the most well known, such as JMW Turner and Casper David Friedrich to less known artists, such as Carl Phillip Fohr. 

The exhibition reveals a time where Industrialisation and uncertainty surrounding religion created works that explore a way of feeling, paintings that evoke a sense of emotion in the viewer.  Romantics did not want their work to be conceptualised, instead they wanted to elicit a spontaneous emotional response.  We are to look into the distance of a great landscape or to put ourselves in the place of the tiny figure surrounded by towering mountains, and to let a sense of awe wash over us...  

The links between art and science that begin to develop can be seen in the exhibition, with Constable's studies of clouds showing that artist's were observing nature to a greater degree.  Constable's interests were in portraying nature and a place repetitively to attempt to capture its essence, whereas JMW Turner moved towards capturing a sense of the mood of a scene.  Although this is a relatively short comparison, it attempts to show how wide ranging Romantic practices were.  If you would like to be astounded by the intricacy and immensity of the landscape, go and visit 'A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany'.  The exhibition runs until the 27th April at the Courtauld Gallery.

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