Tag Archives: sapphire

Birthstone for September-Sapphire-Barnacles of Bling

Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is famous for its deep blue colour, caused by the presence of iron and titanium. But these stones can be found in almost every colour and when non-blueness occurs they are termed ‘fancy’. A nice compliment, although it makes the gemstones less valuable.

It’s tough to write about sapphires without mentioning ‘that ring’ (you know, the one that now belongs to Kate). However, I intend to sidestep it to not seem like a big fawning royalist and just say it’s iconic. (Iconic enough that my American brother-in-law thought it might be mandatory to propose to British ladies with a blue-stoned ring. He didn’t, but I like the story.)

If you are born in September you are graced with the qualities of tolerance and wisdom. You are also inspirational. The thing is with these gemstones, they do lend themselves to be used in significant pieces of jewellery on account of their value. So they may be better for inspiration rather than aspiration for now.


Even this little skeleton merperson brooch by Lydia Courteille has an indicator of once being a marine monarch in its dinky crown.


Yet jeweller Polly Wales has left no stone un-cast in these two examples of her signature technique of casting stones in place rather than setting. The skull encrusted with sapphires of different sizes could be the remnants of an underwater pirating accident producing a facial of sparkling barnacles of bling.

Maybe Leo wouldn’t have come to such a sticky end if (the other) Kate’s blue diamond necklace had been a sapphire instead. That ‘heart of the ocean’ could have gone for a light dip in a pool with a parrot rather than being brutally chucked into the waves by old lady Kate.

Anyhow, all’s well that ends well. And even if it’s not your birthday, don’t get the blues. Give yourself a present and join us on one of our stone setting courses and learn techniques to bring your own inspiration to the nation.

Stone setting in silver (2 days)

Intermediate stone setting

Channel setting in silver

Collet setting in silver

Grain setting in silver

Stone setting in metal clay

Introduction to gemstones (evening taster class)

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

When high-tech meets jewellery

London Jewellery School tutor Anna Campbell has spotted a new trend – technology in jewellery.

 hi tech jewellery

As someone who has previously worked in an IT department (yes, I used to spend a lot of time telling people to switch things off and then on again!) I can be a little bit geeky when it comes to gadgets. So when I saw the Ringly I was sorely tempted to get one!

Ringly sell 18 carat gold plated costume jewellery rings in a choice of four different stones; emerald, pink sapphire, black onyx and moonstone (my personal favourite).

high tech jewelleryInteresting, you may say, but not particularly unusual. Well, this is a ring with a difference. It has a clever bit of Bluetooth technology inside it that allows you to connect it to your smartphone. You download the app and choose the notifications you would like including phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook and Twitter. You can choose to be notified of just one of these (so just when your phone is ringing) or any combination. Then, when you have a message or phone call the ring discreetly lets you know. It vibrates and has a small light on the side that flashes the colour you have assigned via the app. For example, using the settings on the photo of the app below, if the ring was flashing blue it would be notifying you that you have a phone call, green means a text message etc.

 From $195 per ring (currently available on a pre-order price from $145 plus shipping) it’s not cheap but it looks great for the gadget girl who loves her jewellery!

 Anna Campbell is a self confessed neo-geek, an experienced teacher and enjoys different types of jewellery making including metal clay and beading. She runs her own business, Light Boat Jewellery and has made jewellery for celebrities.