General Information

Learn more about the intricacies of our jewellery brand with general information about our artisanal design and production processes. 

Points of Note

GENERAL INFORMATION: Please note that because the jewellery is entirely handmade and not mass production, it is likely that variations and sometimes some minor imperfections can occur, which makes every single piece unique. All jewellery pieces are made using natural gemstones. The unique properties of gemstones (which are inclusions, textures, colour and marking variations) are typical features of a natural product. These variations do not affect the appearance of the jewellery, but highlight the fact that each piece is unique!

 

AGATE 

Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in host rock. As a result, agate is often found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. The bands sometimes look like eyes, fanciful scallops, or even a landscape with trees. Therefore, no gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate, chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colours and textures. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect against fever.

 

 AMETHYST

 

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz and is a very popular gemstone. Its depth of colour comes from high levels of iron during formation. Amethyst is a transparent gemstone with a colour ranging from a light violet to a deep purple. The colour purple is traditionally the colour of royalty and amethyst has been used since the dawn of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs and rulers.

In ancient times, amethyst was thought to have numerous mystical and protective powers and it is known for spiritual upliftment.

Birthstone for February

 

GREEN ONYX

The green onyx is enhanced with natural dyes to attain its strong, pure bright green colour.
This vibrant and bright colour makes a stand out to any everyday outfit.

Donatella Balsamo's green onyx comes from India.

 

RED ONYX

Onyx is a chalcedony consisting of fine bands of quartz and morganite in a variety of colours and is enhanced with natural dyes to attain a deep red colour.  Red onyx is a classy, subtle colour which adds a sophisticated touch to any outfit.

Donatella Balsamo's red onyx comes from India.

CORNELIAN

The name carnelian is said to be derived from the Latin word carnis ("flesh") due to its colour.

Cornelian is an A-grade agate. What a lot of people call "true carnelian" is the fiery red/orange colour, and in theory, carnelian is naturally that colour. However, most of that fiery red/orange "true" carnelian is heat-treated in secret before it reaches the gemstone-cutting factory. This apparently has been a secret for thousands of years. In fact when held against the light, the colour-treated carnelian shows its colour in stripes, while natural carnelian shows a cloudy distribution of colour.

Natural cornelian is a red variety of chalcedony which is cryptocrystalline quartz. Its red colour is due to the presence of iron impurities in the form of iron oxide or hematite. It can vary from a flesh red to a clear red. It is usually cut as cabochons, or into beads, and is also used for intaglios and cameos.

 

CITRINE

Citrine is a member of the large quartz family and the name is derived from the colour – the yellow of the lemon. Varying in shade from a light citrus yellow to a deep orange, the most sought-after stones have a clear, radiant yellowish to brownish red. Citrine takes its colour from small traces of iron in the crystal. Citrine is known as ‘the healing quartz’ as it is said to support vitality and health, encourage and guide hope, energy and warmth within its wearer. It is a stone of joy, youth, openness and optimism. A classic locality for natural citrine is Olkhovka in the Northern Ural Mountains, Russia. Other locations where natural Citrine is found is various parts of South America; Lubumbashi in Katanga (Shaba), Congo; Madagascar; Salamanca, Spain.

Birthstone for November

 

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CHALCEDONY

Chalcedony is a form of quartz in a microcrystalline form. Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semi-transparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colours, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

Chalcedony is a catch-all term for cryptocrystalline quartzes ((quartz with microscopically small crystals). "chalcedony" refers more specifically to semi-transparent or translucent chalcedony with a solid colour (commonly pale bluish-grey) and nearly wax like luster. The colour can also be white, blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange. Blue and purple are the most popular hues. Chalcedony has made other great marks on history. In ancient times, it was used as a talisman against depression. Today it is still believed to banish depression and mental illness and is also thought to reduce fever, aid eyesight, stimulate creativity and stimulate calm and peace. The stone is found in Brazil, Germany, Russia, the U.S.A., Canada, Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

CHALCEDONY

Chalcedony is a form of quartz in a microcrystalline form. Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semi-transparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colours, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

Chalcedony is a catch-all term for cryptocrystalline quartzes ((quartz with microscopically small crystals). "chalcedony" refers more specifically to semi-transparent or translucent chalcedony with a solid colour (commonly pale bluish-grey) and nearly wax like luster. The colour can also be white, blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange. Blue and purple are the most popular hues. Chalcedony has made other great marks on history. In ancient times, it was used as a talisman against depression. Today it is still believed to banish depression and mental illness and is also thought to reduce fever, aid eyesight, stimulate creativity and stimulate calm and peace. The stone is found in Brazil, Germany, Russia, the U.S.A., Canada, Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

 


 

LABRADORITE

Labradorite is a mesmerising, iridescent stone from Madagascar. It can be grey, grey-black or brown in its base colour, with beautiful blue and green metallic flashes. The light dispersion that you can see around the stone as it moves is due to the crystal lattice structure and internal fractures within the mineral, which create the vitreous effect, making the light bounce around. This effect, known as labradorescence, gives labradorite its unique appeal and name.

Labradorite is said to detoxify the body and slow the aging process. Labradorite is found in Labrador (Canada), Madagascar, the Ukraine, Australia, Mexico, Norway and the U.S.A.

 

LAPIS

The name Lapis Lazuli derives from the Latin lapis, “stone,” and the Persian lazhuward, “blue.” or blue stone. A stone with a rich history that has been used in jewellery since pre-historic times. In fact, since ancient times Lapis Lazuli was most highly regarded because of its beautiful colour and the valuable ultramarine dye derived from it  which becomes the basis for the artists’ colour.

It is rock formed by multiple minerals, mostly Lazurite, Sodalite, Calcite and Pyrite, and is a rich medium to royal blue with gold flecks (pyrites). Lapis Lazuli is mostly lazurite but commonly contains pyrite and calcite and some other minerals. The bright blue colour is due to the presence of sulphur during formation and the mineral is often interspersed with striated pyrites that look similar to flecks of fine gold. The beauty of this stone is in its fascinating imperfections, which make every piece unique.

Lapis is reputed to have a number of healing properties, especially for the nervous system. It can be found in Afghanistan, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, Russia and USA.

Birthstone for September

 

LEMON QUARTZ

Lemon quartz is a light yellow stone that gets its colour from the presence of iron when its crystals are formed. The stone's green undertones make it different to Citrine, which has more golden hues. Lemon quartz is a much paler yellow than citrine but apart from the colour difference the stones are very similar and belong to the same family. It is mostly mined in Brazil and usually cut in larger sizes.

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ROSE QUARTZ

Rose quartz is a translucent and cloudy gemstone and as the name suggest, a very delicate pink, it varies in colour from an off white pink to rose pink colour..

The early Chinese used Rose Quartz for carvings of the Goddess of Peace as the colour was thought to reflect her gentleness and wisdom. Today it is said to enhance all forms of Love. Most rose quartz is used as cabochons and is also a very attractive ornamental stone. It is mined in Madagascar, South-Africa, Namibia, U.S.A. (South Dakota), and Brazil.

Birthstone for January

 

SMOKY QUARTZ

Smoky quartz is a close relation to amethyst and citrine but serves as a more affordable alternative to both of them. Ranging in colour from pale to dark brown it is a useful, inexpensive gemstone. It is also called smoky topaz, but this is incorrect as the stone has no relationship to topaz at all. It’s supposedly an aid to anxiety, stress and depression.

Smoky quartz comes from Europe and Brazil.

 

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MOONSTONE

Moonstone is a fascinating stone that really does look like it's from another planet. The moonstone has a glowing shimmer and is named after the 'Moonshine' due to its white iridescent sheen. As it is moved, a blue sheen becomes visible which can vary in strength and gives the stone its ethereal quality.

This enchanting gemstone belongs to the large mineral group of the feldspars, of which almost two thirds of all the rocks on Earth consist. The moonstone is characterised by an enchanting play of light. Indeed it owes its name to that mysterious shimmer which always looks different when the stone is moved. This gemstone is surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic. In many cultures, for example in India, it is regarded as a holy, magical gemstone. It is also believed to be a true balancer of emotions

Birthstone for November

 

PEARL

Pearls are organic gems, created when an oyster covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for just one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance.

Today pearls are cultured by Man.Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are later harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre. Most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured in mussels, in lakes, ponds, mostly in China.

Cultured freshwater pearls are pearls that are farmed and created using freshwater mussels. These pearls are produced in Japan and the United States on a limited scale, but are now mainly produced in China. Freshwater pearls are cultivated in mussels rather than oysters, and most of the world’s supply are farmed in the lakes, rivers and ponds of China, often along the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) river. Pearls have been long associated with sincerely, loyalty, purity and truth and they are attuned with the water & moon energies.

Birthstone for June

 

GARNET

Garnet derived from the word granatum, meaning seed, and is so called because of its resemblance to a pomegranate seed. Garnet comes in a variety of colours, but the most popular is a rich and deep red. Garnets are also found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.

The warm red of the garnet illuminated Noah's Ark during the dark night. Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years. The garnet was popular as a talisman and protective stone. Today, science has taught us that the garnet's proverbial luminosity comes from its high refractive index.

It is true to say that red is the colour most often encountered, but the garnet also exists in various shades of green, a tender to intense yellow, a fiery orange and some fine earth-coloured nuances. The only colour it cannot offer is blue. Garnets are much sought-after and much worked gemstones.

It is believed garnet inspires love and stimulates blood-flow. It is supposed to aid creativity, and enhance passion. Garnet signifies eternal friendship and trust, faithfulness and friendship are some of the properties with which the garnet is associated. It comes mainly from the gemstone mines in East Africa, India and Sri Lanka.

Birthstone for January

 

 

PERIDOT

Peridot is the gem variety of olivine. Peridot has been mined as a gemstone for an estimated four thousand years and is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name of Pitdah. This stone in Roman times was described as ‘the evening emerald’ as it lost none of its lustre at night and was still visible by lamplight. Peridot is one of the most important green stones and is one of the few gemstones to only come in one colour – green. Although the green can be different shades.  Peridot is a very old gemstone and it has become widely popular today.

Peridot comes from the ancient source of Zagbargad Island in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, but it can also be found in Pakistan, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Australia, and Hawaii. Few years ago peridot deposits were located in the Kashmir region; and the stones from those deposits, being of an incomparably beautiful colour and transparency.

It is said that peridot helps to regenerate many organs including the liver, pancreas and heart.

Birthstone for August

 

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WHITE TOPAZ

Pure topaz is colourless and transparent, but it is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown.

Topaz is commonly associated with igneous rocks of the granite and rhyolite type. Topaz (aluminum fluorite silicate) is the hardest of the silicate minerals, due to strong chemical bonds within the stone. Yellow is the most familiar colour, red the most rare. The stone is also found in brown, clear and blue.

According to legend, this stone was intended to serve in protection against enemies and as a symbol of beauty and splendour. The ancient Greeks believed topaz had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz was also used as a medication to cure fever. Today it is believed topaz can stimulate the endocrine system, balance emotions and improve eyesight and is referred to as the spiritual rejuvenation gemstone. Topaz is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Germany, Russia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Japan, China and the U.S.A.

Birthstone for December