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.

Enduring Love – Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Whether it’s Paris & Helen, Mark Anthony & Cleopatra, Dante & Beatrice or Edward & Mrs Simpson, love bonds them all and their stories have lasted throughout history.

Was it Eros, Cupid or Valentine?

…we’ll never know-but their love affairs we can all agree endured.

That one true person who brings you heart felt joy, happiness, warmth, comfort, humour, strength that little spark first felt like never before.

Romeo & Juliette most definitely had it written about them, but since the 3rd Century St Valentine & his place in the Christian church dated the 14th February a special day for lovers everywhere to celebrate their love with one another.

In a simple single moment to share and appreciate their love, gifts will often be exchanged:

  • Flowers
  • Chocolate
  • Sharing a drink or a romantic home cooked meal
  • …and of course, jewellery!

If you’re planning a small trinket to your partner, jewellery is the perfect token to say I LOVE YOU.

We have many unique & beautiful jewellery ideas including:

Pendants

Pendants

From just £105

Earrings

Earrings

From just £115

Pearl Jewellery

Pearls

From just £115

Anything heart shaped is always a winner and popular, especially our ever popular diamond set initial pendants:

Diamond Initial Pendant

Or, perhaps a diamond cut heart:

Heart Shaped Diamond Engagement Rings

Maybe this time of year is the perfect occasion to pop the big question to your forever partner, and we’re here to help. Your proposal ring, your forever gift, a true token of friendship & love to one another, could be one of the hardest gifts to ever choose, but here at Cry for the Moon we have been helping our clients choose that exquisite perfect of rings for over half a century.

From style and design to quality we have an amazing collection of fabulous new and antique rings for the perfect valentine proposal.

See our online stock of Engagement Rings

If you’re after something that is as individual and unique as your true love, why not have a specially bespoke item made in our in house workshop, we will guide you through the design process and you can pick the perfect gemstones and diamonds to a set budget a rare one of a kind original item as rare as you love.

Get in touch today to enquire.

What Jewellery Designs will be hot this Christmas?

It’s difficult to predict which jewellery designs and styles will be the biggest Christmas bestsellers, and this year is set to be even tougher than normal after the year we’ve all had. However, having seen a continuing pattern emerge in our own customers’ wishes over the last few years – we can certainly have a jolly good guess.

Here. we share our most common Christmas bestsellers from the past few years, and those we predict to be popular again this year…

1. Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Studs

Handmade at our in-store workshop, our diamond studs are priced from £495.00 (for a diamond & platinum stud). See all studs, here. One thing many of our customers enjoy about our studs is the upgrade scheme offered with purchase. We will allow the full value of a pair of previously purchased studs against a larger pair, in exchanging and upgrading, so you can quite literally grow your own carats.

Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire Earrings
Brilliant Cut Diamond Solitaire Earrings
from £495


2. Diamond Tennis Bracelets

These elegant and simply designed bracelets are ideal to add to any outfit. A long line of beautifully match diamonds, each articulated to sit comfortably on the wrist. Also referred to as Line Bracelets, these stunning pieces of jewellery were made famous by Tennis star Chrissy Evert wearing one whilst playing on the lush lawns of Wimbledon in 1987. Ranging between diamond and other coloured gemstones, we have a stock certain to suit everyone this year!

Diamond Tennis Bracelet Diamond Tennis Bracelet
Diamond Tennis Bracelet Diamond Tennis Bracelet
£5,750 £4,250


3. Pendants

Pendants are always very popular, and this year we have two new additions that we feel fit with the current trends. First, our new up-cycled gold pendants found here demonstrate classic geometric shapes and designs that have been in high demand since launch and reflect strongly the re-emergence of yellow gold coming back!

Additionally, a new personalised pendant (arriving in stock very soon) is our diamond set Initials. We have commissioned the most popular name initials including A, E, C,J,M or L, though can order any initial in with a lead time of 4 weeks.

These simple 18ct white gold diamond pendants start from £790.00. To order your initial please click here and enquire on the price and delivery.

Diamond Initials Pendant
Diamond Initials Pendant
from £790

Please enquire for more information.

4. Pearl and Coloured Gemstone Necklaces

Pearls have been everywhere this year with varying lengths worn both alone & layered up! The Mary Berry inspired pearl necklace has continued to be a strong seller but many variations of this design are now available with long chain lengths of 66cm plus. These mixture of 18ct yellow or white gold pearl, amethyst, coral or multi varied gemstones will be a guaranteed stocking filler this year.

18ct Yellow Gold and Coral Necklace Freshwater Pearl Necklace 18ct Yellow Gold Chain & Amethyst Necklace White Gold Spectacle Set Diamond Necklace
18ct Yellow Gold and Coral Necklace Freshwater Pearl Necklace 18ct Yellow Gold Chain & Amethyst Necklace White Gold Spectacle Set Diamond Necklace
 £995  £1,285  £820  £5,950


5. Something for him

Cufflinks are always in demand at Christmas and this year will be no different with gold price hitting a record high! The switch to silver may be stronger than normal with hand enamel, and novelty design may be desired once again. We currently have 90 different designs in stock, in both new and antique styles. You’re sure to find something for him to enjoy and wear.

Silver Chain Link Cufflinks Silver Wolf Cufflinks Silver Emerald and Enamel Cufflinks 18ct Yellow Gold Enamelled Cufflinks
Silver Chain Link Cufflinks Silver Wolf Cufflinks Silver Emerald and Enamel Cufflinks 18ct Yellow Gold Enamelled Cufflinks
 £135  £172  £310  £1,985


6. Rings

Rings have always been our strongest sellers and with Guildford’s largest selection of diamond and coloured stone set rings we have something to wow that special loved one this Christmas. Diamond solitaires, Trilogy, clusters or perhaps more of a dress ring design?

We have them all. Third finger rings worn on the right hand have become a must have and we can offer our customer a true range of bespoke and antique design rings. Stacking rings continue to be a very expressive way for rings to be worn, mixing different colours and designs together to create a unique look. Our leaf diamonds set rings are the perfect stackable ring, starting from £835.00.

Leaf Design 18ct White Gold Diamond Ring Leaf Design 18ct Yellow Gold Diamond Ring Leaf Design 18ct Rose Gold Diamond Ring
Leaf Design 18ct White Gold Diamond Ring Leaf Design 18ct Yellow Gold Diamond Ring Leaf Design 18ct Rose Gold Diamond Ring
 £1,350  £1,350  £1,350


These trends are but a small selection of what we have in store here at CftM. We haven’t even brushed on our vintage and antique jewellery from Victorian or Edwardian era, nor classic eternity rings to celebrate your love for one another.

So please visit us to get your Christmas shopping started and beat the rush, with restricted numbers now allowed in store again, we really hope that you visit soon and start early this festive season.

Cleaning your jewellery at home

Whilst we continue to wash our hands frequently and use hand sanitiser at every shop entrance, we mustn’t forget to keep our jewellery clean too.

An ideal time to start writing this blog, with ‘Wash your hands’ ringing in our ears, there is a lot more soap, hand cream and bread dough going into your jewellery – well in our house at least! We are often asked the best way to keep your jewellery clean at home and we have for many years, answered with the same answer:

Firstly

You don’t need to buy any special cleaners or dips, you have all you need under the kitchen sink.

Secondly

Please don’t use gin; it’s much better in a glass this evening once you’ve finished cleaning your jewellery.

cleaning equipment required

Equipment required:

  • Kettle
  • Bowl / mug
  • Old toothbrush
  • Sieve, (For security)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Cloth, (not a duster)
  • Washing up Liquid

cleaning - soak the ring

The Soak

OK, so boil the kettle, you only need a small amount of water, enough to fill a third of the bowl or mug.

Once boiled, tip into the bowl or mug to a third full then drop a few drops of washing up liquid in and drop your jewellery in.

*Tip allow the water to cool a little, don’t burn yourself.

**NEVER put emeralds, opals or pearls into boiling water!
(for pearls see final section)

Do not put too many items in at once; diamonds & sapphires are very hard and will scratch other gemstones if they rub against one another.

Leave them to soak for between 8-15 minutes, depending on when you last had them cleaned.

The Clean

Once they have soaked, use the toothbrush to gently clean the underside of the rings gallery – this will remove the build up of soap and cream etc.

Repeat the soak if the jewellery is still looking dirty.

Once clean, place in a sieve, put the plug in the sink and run under warm water. Cleaning gemstone rings can often identify other underlying problems – so we use the sieve and keep the plug in to stop anything being washed away. We can reset gemstones fairly easily, but it’s much harder to find matching gemstones – so better to be safe.

cleaning - sieve jewellery

The Polish

Once rinsed, dry off with the paper towel and then use the soft cloth to buff up.

Although not essential, you can use one of the many type of polishing cloths (used for different metals) that are available.

If you are interested in purchasing a polishing cloth, we highly recommend (and have used many times) these two companies:

Connoisseurs UK
Town Talk Polish

This will brighten up gold or silver – however, platinum is so hard you may not notice much difference.

Now, your jewellery will look much brighter and more importantly, will be cleaner (and not harbouring any dreaded viruses).

If you don’t want to do it yourself

Cry for the Moon have always offered complimentary jewellery cleaning, and we would love to see you to help with yours. We do not charge, but ask that you make a small donation to one of the Charities we support: Salvation Army, Red Cross, Scope or Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.

We do also offer a more thorough clean and polishing service which that requires a few days in the workshop, subject to workload. This service is charged from £25.00 per item. Please ask for more details with regards to white gold and rhodium plating.

Pearl Cleaning

Pearls are perhaps the one gemstone that dislike water. When I say ‘dislike’, this is because they are formed/grown in water and thus can still be affected by any type of liquid they are placed in.

So, we also suggest that the best way to keep them clean is to not get them dirty (yes, far easier said than done), but the one thing to remember with pearls of any type is ‘last thing on, first thing off’.

Perfume, makeup, creams and moisturisers will all affect the nacre of pearls, changing the colour or attacking the surface.

If you have pearls that are dirty, a damp cloth is the best way to protect them whilst removing any dirt. The majority of pearls are strung on silk, which is naturally strong and not as tough on the drilled holes – but, silk again is not great in any liquid and will discolour very quickly.

We do recommend that pearls are restrung at least once a year, even if not worn as the silk will stretch and weaken over time.

Sustainable jewellery in our 50th year

As Guilford’s oldest running independent jewellers we have, over the years, purchased many thousands of pounds of old gold, platinum and silver. This serves both us, our customers and the environment, in equal measure.

At our Cry for the Moon workshop, we recycle gold and platinum, passing on the savings to our customers. This keeps the price lower than the open market prices, and though many items have been worn and damaged – our recycle and repair service reproduces wonderful commercial assets.

Sell your gold or jewellery to us

We can offer very competitive prices with an instant decision and payment in either cash, cheque or direct back transfer for all types of jewellery. We are just as happy buying broken chains and odd earrings, or that sentimental article that has been sat in the jewellery box for the last 10 years, never to be worn. Many of our customers will happily part exchange these for something that will be worn- producing new, and unique heirlooms.

In doing our part to help the environment, we know that it’s much easier to recycle gold than to mine it – and clearly far better for our planet.

Interestingly, if all the world’s gold was put together it would fill just over three Olympic sized swimming pools or just under 22m cubed as a solid block of gold. On average 2400-3000 tons of gold are mined every year, and since gold is virtually indestructible, this means that almost all of this metal is still around in one form or another.

2020 is our Anniversary- celebrating 50 years as a company, having started out in Haslemere in 1970. In celebration, we are very excited to have designed a small range of upcycled 18ct gold pendants each handmade in our workshop, and each unique. These designs are the first in a range we plan to grow and market with both cost and the environmental issues a key factor.

Starting at £535.00 they represent great value

The designs currently consist; a crescent moon, key, open circle, open heart, double entwined circle, and double star, all in 18ct yellow gold.

18ct Yellow Gold Double Star Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Entwined Circle Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Key Design Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Open Circle Pendant
18ct Yellow Gold Double Star Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Entwined Circle Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Key Design Pendant 18ct Yellow Gold Open Circle Pendant
 £585  £550  £535  £595

 

Bespoke jewellery designs

If you have your own design idea suitable and would like it made, we would love to know! Please contact us for more details.

One of the most interesting and exciting jewellery items we sell are those that have unfortunately, for many reasons, become too worn out to repair and resell. With these, we have a number of remodelling options our skilled jewellers can make:

The first: is to remove the old gemstones and make a replica of the same design period article, this will then have a whole new lease of life which can be lovingly worn and passed on as a future heirloom.

The second: is to use the gemstones to make a more modern design that will appeal to today’s fashion lead consumers. Many old diamonds and coloured gemstones will have small chips and abrasions to the facets- but our own trusted diamond polisher and lapidaries (gemstone polisher) can return these beautiful gems to their former bright and vivid colours.