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Sapphire Rings and Jewellery

Sapphires are one of the hardest minerals on earth after diamonds, and they come in a gorgeous rainbow of colours. They are hardwearing and make excellent stones to set into jewellery, and sapphire rings and sapphire pendants are perennially popular. What are Sapphires? Sapphires are members of the corundum family, and come in every colour except true red - red corundums are known as rubies. They are very hard - coming in at a 9.0 on the Mohs hardness scale - which makes them an excellent choice for jewellery.  History and Lore of Sapphires Sapphires have been known to history for millennia, although it is thought that the stones referred to in the Bible and by Greek and Roman writers...

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How to Clean Jewellery

The best way to clean your jewellery is always to take it to an independent jeweller who has the equipment to really make it sparkle! However, if you need to give your jewellery a quick shine-up at home, here’s what to do and what to avoid. The best way to clean jewellery at home Make up a solution of warm water and a few drops of detergent. Soak your jewellery in that solution for around fifteen minutes. Then, gently scrub your jewellery with a baby toothbrush (these are softer than even regular soft toothbrushes, and small enough to get into little corners). Wipe dry with a soft lint-free cloth. Other items that may be helpful for cleaning include cotton buds...

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NZ Greenstone - Pounamu

New Zealand pounamu is a stunning greenstone, sometimes nephrite jade, sometimes bowenite or serpentinite. Most pounamu now refers to nephrite jade, and it is a gorgeous semi-precious stone used in Māori carvings and modern jewellery. It is found only in rivers in the South Island of New Zealand. In Te Reo Māori, the South Island is names Te Waipounamu, meaning water and greenstone. Pounamu is a Māori taonga (treasure) protected under the Treaty of Waitangi. While we have a few pounamu-set rings in store at Albany Village Goldsmiths, we encourage you to buy your pounamu taonga from Māori craftspeople. Types of NZ Greenstone (Pounamu) Geologically speaking, NZ Greenstone is classified as either nephrite jade, bowenite, or serpentinite. However, Pounamu is...

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Sovereigns and Sovereign Ring

The British Sovereign is a coin with a long history, and it is no longer a circulation coin. However, it is still issued as a collector’s coin, and it is commonly used in jewellery. Sovereign rings and sovereign pendants are very popular, and many jewellers offer to mount gold sovereigns and half sovereigns into sovereign rings and pendants. The History of the Sovereign The first iteration of the sovereign was minted by Henry VII in 1489. It was half an ounce in weight, and 1.7in in diameter. These gold coins were worth too much to be of any use in circulation, and were probably used as presentation gifts from the king to dignitaries. The first sovereigns to be valued at...

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Eternity Rings

Eternity rings are a fairly recent tradition, but they hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Tradition holds that they are given on the occasion of the first wedding anniversary. The History of Eternity Rings The first type of ‘eternity’ rings known to history appear in ancient Egypt, where husbands and wives would sometimes exchange ‘ourobouros’ rings, made in the shape of a snake consuming its tail. These rings still appear today, but they are not as common as diamond or precious stone eternity rings. In the 18th century, eternity rings featuring paste gems, white topaz, and mixed stones began appearing, but they were mostly confined to wealthier couples. Like the diamond engagement ring, diamond eternity rings are a...

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