Birthstone Emerald: Guide to emeralds

Emerald, the striking green gemstone that is not only the birthstone for May – but also the marker of a couple’s 55th wedding anniversary. A stunning addition to one’s jewellery collection, the intensely glamorous stone has a rich history dating back as far as the Egyptians, and remains a hugely popular choice to this day.

Emerald Origin

It’s believed that the oldest emeralds are circa 2.9 billion years old, with the earliest references to the stone originating from Egyptian times, where they were believed to be a symbol of eternal life. Cleopatra was a particular fan of emeralds and regularly wore jewellery including this stone.

During the Victorian era, emeralds received a royal endorsement when Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with an 18-carat gold serpent engagement ring, which had rubies for eyes, diamonds for the mouth and a large emerald at the centre of the head. Snakes were a common motif during this time in jewellery and symbolised eternal love, much like emeralds, which are believed to represent a bridge between two people when given in love. Before this, engagement rings were a rarity, but they became a fashionable display of wealth for women.

Emeralds were also very popular during the art deco era, with socialites and famous entertainers wearing a variety of extravagant pieces which included emeralds, from rings and necklaces to decorative brooches. Emeralds increased in popularity even more when in 1942, Queen Elizabeth was given the striking Greville Kokoshnik tiara which was made from rose-cut diamonds and featured a large centrepiece emerald, with 12 more emeralds around the sides.

Where are emeralds found?

Emeralds are primarily mined in Columbia, although they can be found elsewhere in the world. Columbia produces around 95% of the world’s supply of emeralds, followed by Brazil, the USA, Pakistan and Zambia. In fact, it’s only in Columbia that one of the rarest types of emeralds can be found – the trapiche. These stones have darker impurities which create a hexagonal core to the gem, with lines that emanate from the centre to the outer edges, creating a wheel-like illusion.

Healing properties of emeralds

For millennia, emeralds have possessed strong symbolic power for the wearer and are thought to represent the prospect of renewal and hope. Emerald jewellery is believed to alleviate feelings of overwhelm, opening up the mind and releasing negative energy. It’s a stone that is said to leave you feeling calm and collected, as well as bringing about good fortune. The elite have long worn emeralds to achieve greater wisdom, but also to protect themselves from disease.

Emerald Qualities

Emeralds usually contain inclusions which are visible to the unaided eye, and as a result, “eye clean” emeralds are incredibly precious because they’re far rarer. The Sandawana mine in Zimbabwe is known for its vividly green stones which, while small, are intensely bright and clear. The stones from this mine average between 0.05 to 0.25 carats, and rarely weigh over 1.50 carats. 1 to 5-carat stones are usually used as centre stones and highly expensive, prestigious pieces can include emeralds of over 20 carats. In fact, since large emeralds are so rare, the price of a 10-carat gem can be as much as 50 times that of a one-carat stone.

Emeralds are relatively hard stones but because they’re prone to inclusions, they can be vulnerable to damage, so they require a lot of care. The ‘Emerald Cut’ is a particular shape used for emeralds, with rectangular step cuts with the corners cut off, as it protects the stones. Jewellery including emeralds is often surrounded by diamonds to protect the edges from damage and chipping.

The colour of an emerald gem is the most important aspect when choosing your jewellery, and it impacts the value of the stone considerably. Unlike diamonds, which have a recognised colour grading system, there’s no such grade for emeralds but instead, many sellers will categorise an emerald’s colour intensity from Deep to Light. Vivid stones are the most sought-after as they provide the perfect balance of tone and saturation. Emeralds can be classed as pure, bluish or yellowish-green. A stone with an intense green colour will be more valuable than one with strong yellow or blue overtones.

Gift inspiration

Emeralds make for beautiful pieces of jewellery that you can truly treasure, and if you’re looking for a unique alternative to the classic diamond, emeralds are a wonderful choice.

Emerald gemstones come in a wide range of shapes, from the rectangular Emerald Cut to Oval or Round. As an engagement ring, emeralds are a stunning option proving the perfect alternative for the bride-to-be who wants something striking, elegant and different from diamond.

As the birthstone for May, emerald necklaces and bracelets also make great birthday gifts for someone special. Or, perhaps a pair of sophisticated earrings are the perfect way to mark a special occasion? With the rich green hue and a variety of shapes to choose from, earrings are a wonderful way to enable the emeralds to catch the light and shine.

Final thoughts

Emeralds have such a rich history and are one of the most striking gems you can buy, making them a wonderful addition to a fine jewellery collection. Symbolising hope and renewal whilst evoking wealth and status, the emerald has long held its place as a prized possession among royalty and the elite.

From rings and wedding jewellery to necklaces, bracelets and statement earrings, we keep a wide range of emerald jewellery in our Guildford shop. Whether you’re looking for a unique engagement ring, a special birthday or anniversary gift or simply a beautiful item to mark a special occasion, please feel free to get in touch with us or come into the shop. Our friendly team would be glad to help you choose the perfect emerald for your collection.

Diamond: Cut, Clarity, Carat & Colour

When choosing a diamond, which of the four C’s should you focus on? With so many diamonds to choose from, finding the right one can be a daunting task. Cut, Clarity, Carat & Colour are all incredibly important to choosing a diamond, so you should have an in-depth understanding of the role they play in this special stone before committing to your new best friend.

Cut

The Cut of a diamond is arguably the most important factor, since it’s the most visible feature to the naked eye. Cut refers to the range of proportion sets the stone has, which provide the best return of light and sparkle.

Brilliant, step or antique?

A brilliant cut diamond has many facets which impart an exceptionally beautiful appearance, while step cut has square or rectangular features, so the facets are larger and parallel to one another. Brilliant cut diamonds include round, which are commonly used for solitaire diamond rings, as well as princess, cushion, oval and marquise-shaped diamonds, while step cuts include emerald and Asscher.

Antique cut diamonds refer to the techniques which precede modern day processes, when diamond cutters would hand-cut diamonds into the desired shape and dimensions. Vintage diamonds are therefore less brilliant but emit a more romantic glow compared to a modern cut diamond, evoking the charm of the era in which they were created. This means that a vintage diamond will be held to a different standard to a modern cut.

The importance of Cut

The higher the quality of Cut, the more a diamond will sparkle and reflect light. Regardless of other factors, such as clarity and colour, if a diamond has been cut poorly it could appear dull. But a well-cut diamond, even one of slightly lower clarity, will still sparkle and scatter beautiful light patterns.

An ideal Cut diamond will interact with light in exceptional ways to create incredible visual effects, including fire, which is the scattering of white light into a rainbow of colours, and scintillation – the pattern of light and dark caused by reflections in the diamond. When choosing a diamond engagement ring, the right Cut can make all the difference to the jewellery’s appearance.

Cut grades

The Cut grades for diamonds range from Poor, Fair and Good to Very Good, Excellent and Ideal, and it’s recommended that when choosing diamond jewellery, you opt for either Very Good or higher for the best appearance and superior brilliance. Diamond Cut incorporates several factors, including symmetrical facets, angles, proportions and finishing details, which contribute to its overall aesthetic quality.

Clarity

The Clarity of a diamond is a metric which grades the visual appearance of the stone. A diamond with fewer inclusions and blemishes will have a higher clarity grade, and this naturally increases the price. However, it should be noted that not all of the imperfections which influence a diamond’s Clarity grade are visible to an unaided eye, and inclusions aren’t always significant enough to impact how a diamond looks to the casual observer.

Clarity grades

The larger the diamond is, the easier those imperfections will be to spot, which is where Clarity becomes more important. Grading for Clarity ranges from Flawless to I3, and the grade a stone is assigned will determine whether the inclusions can be seen easily or with some effort, or whether magnification is required to see them.

We recommend choosing a VS2 or SI1 grade for a brilliant cut diamond, or VVS2 to VS1 for a step cut diamond. Brilliant cut diamonds tend to hide inclusions more effectively, so if you’re opting for a step cut diamond, you may want to move up one clarity grade.

Carat

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, rather than its size. When combined with the Cut, it can determine how large the diamond appears because of how much it will sparkle – a higher cut yet lower carat diamond will appear larger because the sparkle and light reflection will be so much more prominent.

While there may be imperceptible differences between some carat sizes, the price differences can be significant, so this should be factored in when choosing a diamond. Carat should be the last consideration when you’ve chosen the Cut and Clarity, as these two elements can alter how a particular carat appears.

Colour

Last, but by no means least, one of the most important and most visible to the naked eye is the colour of the diamond. Coloured diamonds are a separate category, but for white (or colourless) the jewellery industry adopted an alphabetical scale that ranges from D-Z – with D at the top. The further down the alphabet the grading, the further away from white or colourless the diamond becomes, as it develops a yellow or brown tint.

Colourless

  • D
  • E
  • F

Near Colourless

  • G
  • H
  • I

Slightly Tinted

  • J
  • K
  • L

Whilst comparisons between diamonds far apart in the scale could be more obvious the the naked eye, it is not quite so easy when they are more closely separated. For instance, to determine the difference between D & G is very difficult. With that in mind, and the fact that D are so rare, it’s worth bearing in mind that a G diamond could save you up to 40% compared to a D.

Unless compared side by side, the majority of the scale will appear white under most lights. H grade diamonds are considered to be in between colourless and near colourless, and can again be a good value option when weighed up with the other considerations, as any slight tint would only be visible side by side a higher grade.

The impact of the wearer and setting

Another consideration to make when looking at carat size is the finger size of the wearer. For someone with a smaller finger size, a smaller carat diamond can still appear relatively large. Setting also affects which carat to choose, since larger carat diamonds, such as 2 carat or above, may require a particular style. For diamonds graded J,K or L, it would be advisable to have them set in rose or yellow gold to better disguise any slight colouration.

Choosing the perfect diamond

Do your research when choosing a diamond, based on your available budget, the shape and colour you or the wearer prefer, and the setting of the jewellery. Lighting is also a valuable tool in helping you decide which diamond you would like. Since a diamond has a highly reflective surface, light can impact how it appears, so it’s recommended that you view the diamond in three types of light – diffused, spot lighting and a combination of the two.

Diffused lighting, common in commercial settings, shows the pattern of light and scintillation of the diamond more clearly as there are fewer flashes of colour. Under spot lighting, LED lights or even direct sunlight, you’ll see much more fire, so this is an effective way of seeing how the diamond performs under bright lights. Finally, a combination will deliver the most pleasing visual outcome as you’ll see the pattern of the diamond more clearly along with the sparkle and fire of the stone.

Cut should be the priority when choosing a diamond, followed by the clarity & colour – and finally the carat, since the latter is impacted by the former. Together, these three elements will produce a beautiful diamond that delivers incredible appeal.

Round Brilliant Cut Round Brilliant

From just £685
Princess Cut Princess

From just £1,875
Cushion Cut Cushion

From just £1,950
Cushion Cut Oval

From just £1,150
Cushion Cut Pear

From just £1,265
Cushion Cut Heart

From just £1,265
Cushion Cut Marquise

From just £2,250
Cushion Cut Emerald

From just £1,265

View our extensive diamond collection

To see the collection of diamonds Cry for the Moon have available, please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit us in store. Our friendly team will be on hand to show you the beautiful pieces we have in our collection and answer any questions you may have.

Aquamarine Jewellery and its Rise in Popularity

With its beautiful blue colour and dazzling shine, it’s little wonder that Aquamarine has long been a popular choice for gemstone jewellery. Surrounded by myth and legend, with a long and winding history encompassing healing powers and romance, aquamarine is a timeless addition to any collection. And, as the birthstone for March, it’s not only Aquarians and Pisceans who are attracted to this stone…

Aquamarine Origin

A naturally occurring gemstone, aquamarine’s main mining locations are South America, Africa and some parts of Asia. It is most common in Brazil, but can also be found in Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zambia.

Belonging to the Beryl family of gemstones, it is closely related to emeralds and morganite, though remains distinct for its clear blue colour.

History of Aquamarine

Taking its name from the latin ‘aqua’, meaning water, and ‘marina’, meaning of the sea, it’s easy to understand where its reputation as the gem of the sea originates.

Ancient Aquamarine

Dating back as far back as the Ancient Romans and Greeks, Aquamarine has held its place throughout the centuries as a much admired stone. Unofficially dating back even further still, it’s also been aligned with the ancient Gods – with stories claiming that the God of the sea himself, Poseidon, is made from it!

It is said that the Romans looked to aquamarine to help foretell the future, and turn enemies into friends. Later, in the Middle Ages, aquamarine was rumoured to protect from poisonings, which was a common concern of the time.

Gigantic gemstones

The largest aquamarine ever weighed in at a staggering 110kg, or 243lbs, and was found in Brazil in 1910. When this was cut down to smaller, faceted (or many sided) stones, they collectively weighed over 100,000 carats – that’s a lot of rings!

In the 1980s, the world’s biggest faceted aquamarine was found. Known as ‘Dom Pedro’, it is over 10,000 carats (10,363 to be precise) and is held at the Smithsonian National History Museum in Washington D.C..

Aquamarine in jewellery

Records date that aquamarine has been used in jewellery since around 500 BC. Its affiliation with the sea, aside from the aforementioned reputation and name, also comes from the fact it was worn by sailors, travellers and Naval officers as a talisman for safe seafaring, to protect against being shipwrecked and to ward off sea sickness.

Source: The Court Jeweller Pinterest

Aquamarine and Royals

Alongside its beauty, aquamarine’s protective qualities mean it’s a stone that’s been favoured by rulers and Royals for centuries. Many of those in positions of power have purchased aquamarine jewellery over the years.

It’s included in the Czech crown jewels, and even Queen Elizabeth II has an aquamarine parure, or set of matching jewellery. Given to her by the Brazilian government, as a stone so associated with the country, as a coronation present in 1953. So fond of the colour and clarity, HRH later had more aquamarine pieces added, including a tiara.

The Lover’s Stone

Aquamarine is often considered to be a lover’s stone. In Buddhism and Christianity, aquamarine is believed to promote a happy marriage. And, those of you who have been married for 20 years or more will recognise that it is the official listing of the 19th wedding anniversary.

Keeping tradition alive, Prince Harry gave his new bride Meghan Markle his mother’s emerald cut aquamarine gold ring on the day of their wedding.

Aquamarine is a perfect ‘something blue’ for your Big Day, and we are seeing more couples are opting for it as a unique engagement ring, and an alternative to clear diamonds.

Healing Qualities of Aquamarine

Throughout history, aquamarine has been favoured for its healing properties. In modern crystal healing practices, this stone is still widely used.

Due to its clarity, aquamarine has been used to clarify perceptions, sharpen the intellect and clear any confusion. Its relationship with the sea means it has long been associated with relaxation and soothing fears.

Aquamarine is linked to the throat Chakra, so it can help to encourage communication and is believed to help to soothe sore throats.

Aquamarine & Diamond Tennis Bracelet Aquamarine & Diamond Three Stone Ring Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Stud Earrings Briolette Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant
Aquamarine & Diamond Tennis Bracelet Aquamarine & Diamond Three Stone Ring Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Stud Earrings Briolette Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant
 £2,895  £3,300  £1,050  £9,850


Why choose Aquamarine for your jewellery?

Is aquamarine right for you? Well, as a stone steeped in history and healing properties, it’s also a pretty good investment too. Based on a 2019 study, it is estimated that some £15bn worth of aquamarines are sold commercially each year, with a 75% female share of the market female, though there has been a recent rise in male wearers.

Although not classed as precious officially (only Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires are technically classified as precious), it is a semi-precious stone. Unlike its precious cousin, the Emerald, this means that aquamarine can be a more affordable option that doesn’t compromise on style or size.

As with any gemstone, it is important to consider the four Cs – colour, clarity, cut and carat – when choosing your aquamarine jewellery. For cut and carat, look for the shiniest and the biggest you can afford. With colours ranging from deep blue to greenish-blue, the deeper the blue, the better the quality of the stone.

Cry for the Moon Aquamarine Jewellery

With such a vast history and striking colour, we’re big fans of aquamarine jewellery at Cry for the Moon. From engagement rings, and wedding jewellery to cocktail rings and statement earrings.

If you’re looking for a March birthday gift, ‘something blue’ for a bride-to-be or just a new piece for your own collection, please feel free to get in touch or visit us in our Guildford shop.

Diamond Shapes

We are often asked “what is the best or most popular shape of diamond?”

Through longevity, this has to be a modern round brilliant cut. Ever since Marcel Tolkowsky originally developed the modern round brilliant diamond, it has been modified and perfected over time. However, the diamond industry still uses Tolkowsky’s model as a guide of for the “ideal cut”.

Diamond Cuts

Round Brilliant Cut

By far and away the most popular cut, accounting for more than half of all diamonds sold.A timeless classic, with sparkling brilliance showcasing the life and beauty of the world’s favourite gemstone.

Other cuts include:

  • Princess
  • Asscher
  • Pear
  • Radiant
  • Marquise
  • Old Cut
  • Emerald
  • Heart
  • Oval
  • Baguette
  • Cushion
  • Trillion

Of these cuts, Ovals & Pears are currently the in vogue and on trend. However, Princess, Asscher, Radiant and Cushion are also up there amongst the most popular choices. The square cut diamonds use more of the rough diamond, whilst a round cut can waste around 50% of the original material. In contrast, a square uses around 80% and also will weigh more than a round cut that has the same dimensions.

Oval Cut

Oval cut diamonds have the same makeup as round brilliant cut diamond with the same number of facets, and from side view appear almost the same. One big difference, referred to as ‘the bow tie effect’, where the cutting of the oval shaped is too shallow. This can display a small dark area in the center, which looks like a bow tie. Better cut ovals will not show this feature.

Pear Cut

Pear cut diamonds have become extremely desirable, and with a fine halo surround they particularly lend themselves to drops on earrings and pendants. These have been one of the most popular and highest selling products for at Cry for the Moon over the past few years. Originally developed some 700 years ago by Diamond cutter Lodewyk van Berquem, this unique cut of stone often causes much debate on which way it should be worn on the finger.

Heart Cut

Heart cut diamonds. A timeless symbol of love, a heart shaped diamond is a unique, special alternative to the more common diamond cuts. Heart shaped diamonds make up only a tiny fraction of the total number of diamonds sold every year, making a heart shaped diamond a unique, rare and special choice.

Marquise Cut

Marquise cut diamond is an elegant, elongated cut, and has the appearance of a larger stone when compared to other cuts. The wearer’s finger can appear longer and more slender with this cut, which is based largely upon the cut and facets of a round brilliant cut diamond.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut was typically used to cut emerald stones, but is now a very popular cut for diamonds too. Consisting of 57 facets and boasting an elongated rectangular shape, the cut-off corners is said to display a calm beauty, instead of the brilliance and sparkle of round and cushion diamonds. You’ll see flashes of light in the emerald cut due to its linear, straight facets. A ‘Hall of Mirrors’ due to the flat open window. Only very clear and white diamonds are used for emerald cuts.

Other cuts and diamond shapes not listed include: baguette, tapering baguette, kite, bullets, trillions lozenge, bullets, eight cut, trapezoid and half-moons. These cuts are often used as side stones to accent a central larger diamond and not often seen alone. Each of these are generally purchased as pairs of stones, and the cost of cutting them is higher than many larger stones.

Old European Cut

Old European cut diamonds and transitional cut diamonds can still be cut today, but most are found in jewellery dating back from 1940s or earlier. The old European cut was starting to be uniformed, with new technology and modern polishing developed from the early 1930s. These cuts can appear like modern rounds, but with perhaps less finesse than one cut with today’s methods. We personally love this cut as each diamond has a unique characteristic and an individual feel.

A selection of our diamond cut engagement rings

Round Brilliant Cut

Round Brilliant

From just £685

Princess Cut

Princess

From just £1,875

Cushion Cut

Cushion

From just £1,950

Cushion Cut

Oval

From just £1,150

Cushion Cut

Pear

From just £1,265

Cushion Cut

Heart

From just £1,265

Cushion Cut

Marquise

From just £2,250

Cushion Cut

Emerald

From just £1,265

View all of our diamond range

If you’d like to see more of our collection than we currently have on the website, please don’t hesitate to contact us today or come and see us in the shop. Our friendly team would love to help, and show the other pieces in our stunning diamond jewellery collection.

Amethyst The Purple Gemstone

A gemstone steeped in history.

Amethyst: the birthstone for February and the 33rd wedding anniversary. An intoxicatingly rich, purple gemstone that has long been a favourite of Royals & the Church.

The name Amethyst comes from the Greek – méthystos (“intoxicated”), and have long been the subject of legend and myth, including perhaps the most famous – concerning mental health.

In Greek mythology, a titan named Rhea gave the god of wine, Dionysus, an amethyst to help preserve his sanity. In fact, this myth led the ancient Romans to believe that amethysts could keep them from getting drunk.

A variety of quartz

Amethyst was as expensive as Emerald or Ruby until the 19th Century when large deposits of it were discovered in Brazil and is now found in numerous countries, most notably Siberia, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Of all examples of amethyst the Deep Siberian is the most coveted and as such valuable. What sets the Deep Siberian variant apart is its rich purple hue, coupled with secondary blue and red hues.

The gemstone is a purple variety of quartz that is found in many locations around the world and forms as terminated crystals of all sizes inside geodes, clusters and as long single terminations.

Famous artefacts

The Delhi ‘Sapphire’ – is actually an Amethyst. It was incorrectly identified in the nineteenth century. It is said to be cursed since it was looted from a temple in Kanpur, India, during the bloody Indian Mutiny of 1857. It is now in the collection of the Natural History Museum in London.

amethyst crystal

The Tiffany Amethyst Necklace. A 56 carat square cushion cut Amethyst delicately surrounded by vines, leaves and grapes, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, circa 1915. Procured by George F. Kunz, chief gemologist at Tiffany’s at the time. It is a much larger and of higher gem quality than any others in the National Gem Collection from this Russian locality. It was then generously donated to the Smithsonian in 2007.

View our collection

The famous gemstone has been used in jewellery for centuries, and being a durable gemstone it can be used to form all types of jewellery. Ranging in colour from a subtle pale pastel to a gorgeous, rich velvety deep purple they can be easily set in all types of metal.

View more earrings, rings and pendants in our Amethyst collection. including:

Victorian Amethyst & Seed Pearl Necklace

Victorian 15ct gold amethyst and seed pearl necklace. Four Amethyst 2 smaller squares, 1 pear shape and larger rectangular measuring 12mm x 7mm with 24 seed pearls surround.

Price: £1,950

Amethust 18ct ring

3.18ct Amethyst & Diamond Ring

Or alternatively this modern rectangular cushion shape, with chequerboard facets, 4 claw set in 18ct white gold, with 10 small round brilliant cut diamonds set on stepped shoulders 0.19ct total weight.

Price: £1,325

Contact us today

If you’d like to see more of our collection than we currently have on the website, please don’t hesitate to contact us today or come and see us in the shop. Our friendly team would love to help, and show the other pieces in our stunning gemstone jewellery collection.

Why aren’t all diamonds certified?

When choosing a diamond, should you ever buy without a certificate?

Well, we could argue both yes and no.

Are all certified diamonds better quality than those not certified? No. Many lower-quality diamonds can be independently sold with a certificate, whilst others (for many reasons) will not. These aren’t necessarily inferior to those that are certified, just that they don’t have a laboratory’s printed out statement of their opinion.

We at Cry for the Moon have both, and we happily buy new and pre-owned certified and non certified diamonds.

It’s a much discussed subject, and as such, there are many different opinions surrounding it. The majority consensus is that you should purchase diamonds with a certificate, and that it should be GIA or HRD. It’s also often stated that certain laboratories should be avoided as they aren’t terribly accurate at best, and misleading at worst. Many jewellers provide and/or produce their own in-house variations, including none other than Tiffany’s… so it must be correct, right?

What is the standard?

Well, there is in fact no internationally recognised standard – and more importantly – no one body that regulates the independent labs for verification of grading quality. We aren’t suggesting that the laboratories are wrong, but a study published in July 2013 (page 74-75), by the NAG (National Association of Goldsmiths) and Gem-A (Gemology Association of Great Britain) (page 74-75) found great variations in the grading. Seven previously graded GIA diamonds were sent to six independent UK labs for certification, and the results were quite alarming. In many cases, both the colour and clarity results varied by a number of grades – which would likely alter the price by 20-25% at retail.

Perhaps GIA had graded some of the diamonds to a better standard now than they had 20 years ago, suggesting a softening in the required standard, or perhaps it is that the grading is slightly subjective, with the human factor not allowing 100% accuracy. Let’s face it, diamonds tend to speak for themselves – you don’t walk around with a piece of paper around your neck or in your handbag to show off the colour… and as soon as it’s worn it becomes dirty, affecting the colour and clarity anyway.

Where do we buy our diamonds from?

We have, for many years, purchased diamonds direct from our supplier in Antwerp who have their own source of approved, traceable diamonds that have up-held the Kimberly process. Kathy, Stephen & Harry (who choose and buy all our loose diamonds) have over 100 years of experience between purchasing and grading stock. We are extremely confident in our process of assessing and grading both new and loose diamonds, and happily supply our own valuation stating an honest opinion of the diamond’s grading.

Another point to bear in mind is that diamonds are graded against other diamonds, so the cut and proportions will affect the stone as much as other factors, which is why it’s very important to physically see the diamond for yourself and make your own decision.Be it certified or not, we have a fabulous range in stock at all times – in many different styles and designs across rings, pendants and earrings.

If you would like to see for yourself, please pop into our shop and ask one of our sales team to show you our stunning collection. Any one of the team would be happy to share knowledge on anything you might like to know – to help you make up your own mind. Buying a diamond should always be an exciting, romantic and pleasurable experience. Contact us today to book your appointment, or simply come in to the shop.

Pearls: Nature’s Natural Gems

Almost all gemstones are crystal structures formed under huge pressure, but a select few are created by Mother Nature herself. These organic gemstones are coral, amber, jet, bone or mother of pearl – but the most popular and versatile would be pearls.

Throughout history pearls have been coveted by royalty and the rich and famous. Demonstrated by none other than ‘The Imperial State Crown’ (perhaps the most important item within the Crown Jewels) containing a stunning 269 pearls.

Dating further back, Cleopatra is said to have swallowed a pearl earring to win a bet with Marc Antony in order to host the most expensive dinner in history. According to historians she dropped one of her expensive pearl earrings (said to be worth ten million sesterces) into a cup of wine vinegar and crushed it until ‘melted’ – and then drank it. Not only winning the bet, but also Marc Antony’s heart in the process.

Fortunately, Marc Antony declined to swallow the second earring!

Pearls are formed in a mollusc of either oyster or freshwater mussels

The most popular cultured pearls, or Akoya as they are often referred to, are grown in farms. This process places a tiny bead of mother of pearl into a mollusc for between 10-15 months to protect the nacre from irritant, creating a fabulous gem of irradiance pearl.

These are then sorted for colour and shape, and polished to improve the lustre of the pearl. As a natural product, not all pearls grow perfectly round. The misshapen and irregular pearls are known as ‘baroque’ or ‘blister pearls’ but can have their own special beauty and character. The largest pearl ever found ‘The Pearl Of Allah’ weighs over 14lbs and was found in the Philippines in 1934.

The birthstone of June and the gem of 30th wedding anniversaries

Pearl Jewellery changes with fashion, but will always be a classic ‘must have’ to every jewellery collection. Necklace, Pendants, Earrings, Bracelets, Rings, Brooches & Tiaras.

Pearl Jewellery

Pearls

From just £115

Necklaces

At Cry for the Moon we have a large range of classic modern pearls, alongside traditional two and three row previously owned items. Large Southsea pearls of 12-16mm, Tahitian (Grey), Akoya and freshwater, set with diamonds or plain. Long lariats, short chokers feature design pendants and so much more starting from £510.

Earrings

Pearl earrings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a simple stud to a large southsea diamond set drops, ranging from £115-£7000+. With 70 different designs, we have a design for all tastes.

Pendants

Pendants are an ideal bridesmaid gift and set off any bridal dress, a simple sign of purity to bold strong contemporary features.

Bracelets

Bracelets that match necklace or Victorian seed pearl bangles are an ideal accompaniment for your special occasion.

Now, we’ve touched on several of the organic pearls, such as Southsea, Tahitian, freshwater and seed pearls. South Sea pearls are grown in the warm waters of South China and Japan, forming the great layers of nacre created by the oysters nucleated with a small bead. These are usually farmed for between 2-4 years allowing for longer growth – up to 20mm on some rare occasions.

Tahitian

Tahitian are natural grey or dark grey pearls grown in black lipped oyster’s. Many pearls that are dyed black or grey are called Tahitian, but mistakenly so.

Freshwater

Freshwater pearls have seen a huge boom over recent decades as they grow quicker, proving a more cost effective solution to their Akoya equivalent size. However, the lustre and irradiance may fade quicker with freshwater, and they do not appear as bright.

Seed

Seed pearls were extremely popular in the Victorian and Edwardian era, either small whole or half pearls of perhaps 1-3mm .

So, what is a natural pearl and how can you tell?

Honestly, looking at them with the naked eye it is impossible to tell. Perhaps the age and colouring could give you some indication, but unless you can spot a bead nucleus by looking down a drill hole, the only way to verify is by Xray.

  • If there is no bead, it is natural
  • If there is a visible bead, it is a Cultured Akoya

Are Mikimoto better than cultured pearls?

No, they are the same. Mikimoto is simply a brand that sells different qualities of pearls like many good jewellers… such as ourselves!

Please view our range here for your perfect pearl accessory.

Aquamarine March’s Birthstone

If you’re lucky enough to have been born in March, you’re lucky to have a birthstone as lovely as aquamarine. This beautifully clear, pale-blue to sky-blue stone has a magical appearance of a summer sky, or a clear blue sea. This, perhaps, is why it was a favourite with sailors, believing it would bring them calm seas and oceans.

Aquamarine is part of the beryl family, closely related to both the emerald (which is green), and morganite (a pink / rose gold coloured gem).The colour variations are from the small amounts of chromium in emeralds, manganese in morganite and small traces of iron in aquamarines.

The most sought after aquamarines are often referred to as Santa Maria, in reference to a specific mine in Brazil that produced rich green / blue coloured stone, which is now almost exhausted. Brazil remains the world’s leading source of gem-quality stones, and the stones are still referred to as Santa Maria, even if they are not from this mine.

Found in both pegmatites (within rock) and alluvial deposits, outside of Brazil the leading sources of aquamarines, are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia

Similar to Emerald

Unlike emeralds, this gemstone is very often extremely clear and free from inclusion. It is also the same hardness on the Mohs scale (7.5 – 8), so it is a durable gemstone for jewellery… as long as it is treated with care, to protect against scratching and hard knocks.

HM Queen Elizabeth II has perhaps one of the most fantastic collections of Aquamarine jewellery. During her coronation trip in 1953 the people of Brazil gifted her a beautiful set of glistening diamonds and aquamarines in the form of a necklace with matching pendant earrings. This set has since been reworked into a tiara and necklace, now with a matching bracelet and earrings. Clearly a favourite, as seen worn in the link above – though perhaps a little too much for everyday wear!

Large emerald cut aquamarines remain popular today, with many celebrities proudly wearing them, including Kirstie Alsop and of course Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex – who has been photographed on many occasions wearing items from Diana’s collection.

At Cry for the Moon we have many beautiful items, including:

Engagement Rings

18ct White Gold Trilogy Aquamarine & Diamond Ring Aquamarine & Diamond Three Stone Ring Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Ringe Oval Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Ring
18ct White Gold Trilogy Aquamarine & Diamond Ring Aquamarine & Diamond Three Stone Ring Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Ring Oval Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Ring
 £2,470  £3,300  £2,810  £3,680


Pendants

Aquamarine & Diamond 18ct White Gold Pendant Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Pendant Aquamarine & Diamond Cushion Shaped Pendant Briolette Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant
Aquamarine & Diamond 18ct White Gold Pendant Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Pendant Aquamarine & Diamond Cushion Shaped Pendant Briolette Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant
 £1,650  £1,285  £975  £9,850


Earrings

18ct White Gold Aquamarine Stud Earring Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Earrings Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Stud Earrings 18ct White Gold Pear Shaped Aquamarine & Diamond Drop Earrings
18ct White Gold Aquamarine Stud Earring Aquamarine & Diamond Cluster Earrings Emerald Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Stud Earrings 18ct White Gold Pear Shaped Aquamarine & Diamond Drop Earrings
 £375  £825  £1,050  £645


Book an appointment to visit our shop, or order online today.

November’s Topaz & Citrine

November has nearly finished now, and as we see the golden brown leaves covering everywhere but the trees from which they fell – I always wonder if that is why the similarly coloured gemstones Topaz & Cirtine are the month’s birthstone. For those lucky enough to have these beautiful stones representing their birth, the bright yellow golden to orange shades perfectly represent the season.

Whilst Imperial Topaz is thought to bring about healing, Citrine is considered to be a gift from the sun.


Citrine

Citrine is so named after the french word Citrion meaning ‘lemon’ with its colours varying from a pale yellow to a rich wine colour. The most sought-after / prized are those described as Madeira Citrine, named after the colour of Madeira wine, and not the Atlantic island itself.

Citrine is found as many different gemstones in many different areas, but Brazil has perhaps the finest and most valuable. A member of the Quartz family and largely similar to Amethyst (they can sometimes be found in the same crystal structure, in the rare occurrence known as ‘Ametrine’ where half is yellow and half is purple), Citrine is also mined in France, Madagascar and the Ural mountains of Russia.

Citrine & Diamond Rubover Set Stud Earrings Multi Gemstone Drop Earrings Citrine & Diamond Three Stone Ring
Citrine & Diamond Rubover Set Stud Earrings Multi Gemstone Drop Earrings Citrine & Diamond Three Stone Ring
 £560  £350  £1485


Referred to as ‘The Merchants Stone’ or ‘Money Stone’, Citrine is thought to bring prosperity and wealth if placed on a table or till whilst making a deal. This, along with its bright orange colour representing the sun are some of the reasons that you see Citrine adorning many Scottish jewellery designs.

As well as representing November’s birthstone, Citrine is also the wedding anniversary gift for your 13th year of marriage.


Topaz

Topaz is a naturally hard gemstone measuring 8 on Mohs scales, in a family all of its own. Although most commonly found in jewellers in a sky-blue colour, this is very rarely its natural colour. Blue Topaz stones can be found naturally, but most are irradiated to add the colour to an otherwise colourless or slightly yellow stone.

The stone can also be found in many other colours, including:

  • Colourless
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Reddish/Pink
  • Golden Topaz
  • Imperial Topaz

It is found in deposits around the world, including Topaz mountain in Utah USA, Ural mountains of Russia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Norway, Italy and Brazil… to name but a few.

Large crystals are not uncommon, and perhaps the largest is the American Gold Topaz weighting in at 4.5kg! It has a total carat weight of 22,892 – one of the largest ever cut gemstones in the world, Mined, in Brazil and took 2 years to cut from an 11.8kg crystal, by Leon Agee in the late 1980s.

Along with representing November’s birthstone, Topaz is also the 4th Wedding Anniversary gemstone.


Golden Topaz & Diamond Cluster Ring
Golden Topaz & Diamond Cluster Ring
 £2,875


We at Cry for the Moon are proud to have some fabulous Imperial Topaz rings in stock, so please Get in touch if you’d like to book an appointment to try them on for yourself.

October’s Opals

Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage.

History

The name ‘opal’ is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit ‘Upala’, meaning ‘precious stone’ and later the Greek derivative ‘Opallios’ meaning ‘to see a change of color’. The Greeks believed they possessed the power of foresight, invisibility and prophecy, and the Romans considered Greeks as talismans for protection from danger.

Today, the most valuable opals come from Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, which have been the main producer of opals since their discovery in the 1870s. Opals are mostly found in Australia, Ethiopia, Mexico, the USA, South America, Canada, Brazil, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Australian opal was known as the ‘fire of the dessert’, formed from the weathering of sandstone deposited over older host rock in the Australian basin. The structure of of the gemstone is unique and comprised of tiny spheres of silicon dioxide, forming a pyramid shaped grid, interspersed with water. It’s the refraction of light through the spaces between these spheres that produces the recognisable opal characteristic, and unique ‘play of colour’. Australian opals are also valued for their stability, a key consideration for a gem containing 6-10% water.

Here in our Guildford shop we have a fine collection of opal jewellery, which you can see a selection of on in our dedicated category.

Opal Diamond Cluster Earrings Opal Diamond Cluster Pendant Opal Diamond Cluster Ring Opal Diamond Cluster Pendant
Opal & Diamond Cluster Earrings Opal & Diamond Cluster Pendant Opal & Diamond Cluster Ring Opal & Diamond Drop Pendant
 £4,500  £6,850  £3,995  £2,560

 

There are several classifications:

The preface

Solid means that the stone is a natural cut and polished, which does not have any kind of backing adhered to the stone to enhance the colour (as is the case with the partially fabricated stones – doublets or triplets). Queensland Boulder Opals – even though they have a natural brown ironstone backing which makes the stone darker – are still known as ‘solid opals’ since this is the natural formation of the stone.

Black refers to opal which has a dark grey to black body tone, and is generally mined in the Lightning Ridge area of New South Wales. As a general rule, Black Opal is the most valuable form, since its dark body tone causes the colours to be more vibrant.

Boulder is opal mined in Western Queensland. which normally has a natural brown ironstone backing attached to the stone. Boulder Opal usually has a very dark body tone and is the second most valuable form.

Crystal means any kind of opal which has a translucent or transparent quality. Translucent or transparent stones often have an enhanced clarity of colour, and for this reason it usually increases the value of a stone. The term ‘Crystal Opal’ normally denotes stones with a very light body tone, however Black Crystal Opal refers to a crystal opal, which has a dark body tone.

Semi-Black refers to opal which has a light to medium grey body tone and is therefore not quite dark enough to be called Black Opal. ‘Semi Black’ is generally found in Lightning Ridge, but is also found in White Cliffs and occasionally South Australia and can be one of the lesser valuable forms.

White means opal with a white to light body tone, and is also known as ‘milky opal’. White Opal is found in large quantities in South Australia, and the bulk of it does not have the same vibrancy of colour as found in other forms of the gemstone. For this reason, it is generally one of the least valuable forms.

September’s Sapphires

It’s nearly the end of September already, and we can’t go through this month without addressing its birthstone’s biggest myth:

Sapphires are blue, right?

…Wrong!

Sapphires are perhaps the only natural gemstone that is available in almost every colour of the rainbow. Though blue is the most popular stone colour, and most often thought of when talking about sapphires, colours of yellow, green, orange, pink, purple and even clear (white) can also be found! In fact, September’s birthstone even come in every colour except red (red being rubies).

How can the same stone be so varied?

Both rubies and sapphires are part of the Corundum family of gems – a family in which is highly influenced by the presence of elements such as chromium; more chromium equals more red. Here’s how it works:

  • No chromium or iron and the stone appears colourless
  • Vanadium, and the stone appears violet or purple
  • Iron and chromium give the stones a yellow or orange colour
  • Padparadscha sapphires display a very specific pinky-orange hue
  • (though this is particularly rare and associated with Sri Lanka)

    About Sapphires

    Not only are sapphires the birthstone of September, but they also represent the 45th wedding anniversary gemstone. Since they have such an array of colours, they can be admired and worn by almost everyone!

    Many countries have sapphire deposits, with the most prized and valuable coming from Sri Lanka (formally Ceylon). Still today, the bright velvety cornflower blue stones are referred to as ‘Ceylon sapphires’.

    Here at Cry for the Moon we purchase many of our sapphires from our supplier of many years direct from Sri Lanka. We have built up a strong relationship allowing us to pick the brightest and most amazing sapphires to set in our beautiful bespoke jewellery.

    One of our favourite sapphires, the ‘Star Sapphires’, result from a rare naturally occurring phenomenon and exhibit a six-pointed star known as an asterism (and commonly a ‘Star Sapphire’). These stones will be cut into cabochon cut, finished with the look of a polished pebble, flat on one side.

    But don’t take our word for it! Even British Royalty show an admiration for the sapphire, with perhaps one of the most famous sapphires ever being available to view within the Crown Jewels. The Stuart Sapphire of 104ct is set within the Imperial State Crown and can be viewed with a visit to the Tower of London.

    Visit our sapphire page or pop in store to see our fabulous range of jewellery and rings.

    Emeralds: The Reasons Why I Love Them

    It’s finally May, and the trees are now almost full of leaves; bright and vibrant greens of many shades. Perhaps this is why Emerald is the birthstone for May; it radiates new life with its vivid, bright colour.

    On a personal note, Emerald is my favourite of all the coloured gems. Both my wife and mother own Emerald engagement rings since their birthdays both fall in May. I personally think Emerald engagement rings are both unique and wonderful, but it isn’t just my love for Emerald I wish to share today; I’m hoping to help you discover yours…

    What Are Emeralds

    Emeralds are part of the ‘Beryl family’, a family known for an array of different colours:

     Sky Blue  Aquamarine
     Pink  Morganite
     Yellow  Golden Beryl
     Red  Red Beryl
     Colourless  Goshenite

     

    Emeralds are the green variety, first thought to have been mined by the Egyptians in countries known now as Austria and Pakistan. Today, Emeralds have been discovered at gem-quality by many countries, including Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, Russia, USA, Afghanistan and Madagascar, to name just a few.

    However, the most prized and valuable emeralds are still thought to be mined in Colombia. Featuring a deeper, more intense colour, better fire, brilliance and clarity, Colombian Emeralds are the most sought after for these reasons and hence command a higher value.

    A Stunning Structure

    Perhaps it’s the internal structure of Emeralds and their unique characteristic features that I find so compelling. Whilst most gems are considered ‘better’ if they are clean and free from flaws, Emeralds celebrate a uniqueness known as ‘La Jardin’ which only adds to their natural beauty.

    ‘The Garden’ of gemstones is likened to its unique fingerprint, each one as different and as mesmerising as the next. Yes, some Emeralds are beautifully clear, but this individual character just adds further fascinating appeal.

    Buy Today

    Here at Cry for the Moon, we have conceivably the largest selection of Emerald jewellery in Surrey, and certainly Guildford. We have some magnificent unique Emeralds encompassed within an array of rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, bangles and brooches. We are certain we will offer an Emerald gemstone piece that you will love.

    If this article has inspired you to love Emeralds as much as I do, please visit our Emerald category and browse our fabulous range of options. Perhaps you’re looking to surprise somebody special, whether it be for a May birthday or a 55th wedding anniversary – whatever your reason may be, our team would love to help find the perfect emerald for you.