Thursday, 31 October 2013

Jewelry Through the Ages: Georgian Period

Georgian jewelry encompasses any jewelry crafted between the years 1714 and 1837. This era in time is known as the “Georgian” era in particular because it spanned the reign of four British kings, all named George (George I, George II, George III, and George IV). This period was marked by a mixture of romanticism and Gothicism, embodied by authors like Jane Austen and Mary Shelley. The Industrial Revolution also began during this period.

Jewelry in the Georgian Era tended to reflect other artistic trends, borrowing from the gothic with images of skulls and coffins.

Characteristics of jewelry from this period include:

  •  Made by hand and very rare
  • Nature-inspired themes (birds, leaves, etc.)
  • Precious stones
  • Skull motifs, coffins

The ring pictured right ( is an example of Georgian-style jewelry inspired by the term memento mori, meaning “remember that you must die”.

What is your jewelry style? Stop by Fountain City Jewelers to find out!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Monday Marvels: Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet

This beauty was one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry ever sold at auction ($12.4 million, Sotheby’s). The new owner is rumored to be Madonna.

The onyx and diamond bracelet once adorned the wrist of the infamous Wallis Simpson, who received it as a gift from the former King Edward VIII while they were living in exile in Paris. Why were they exiled?

Well…Wallis Simpson was a notable socialite who was already divorced and still married to her second husband when she met the then Prince of Wales. Things really came to a head in 1936 when Edward became King. Wallis divorced her second husband later that year, but the King was not permitted to marry her due to Church law. Until 2002, one could not remarry in the Church of England if one’s former spouse was still alive. In order to be able to marry her, Edward abdicated the throne in December of 1936; they were married in June 1937. Needless to say, the two were not particularly popular in England after that, and they spent most of the time leading up to World War II exiled in France.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Shades of Quartz

After feldspar, quartz is considered to be the most plentiful mineral with a number of varieties found throughout the world. It is one of the most predominantly used minerals in jewelry and includes amethyst, onyx, and tiger’s eye.

Common varieties of colored quartz include:


Color: Pale yellow to brown

Natural citrines are rare, with most being made by heat-treating amethysts or smoky quartzes. They are very similar in appearance to yellow topaz, differentiated only by their hardness. They are considered one of three traditional birthstones for the month of November.

Rose Quartz

Color: Pale pink to rose red
Rose Quartz is not often found in crystal form. While first discovered in 
Maine, most crystals come from Brazil. These beauties are generally too cloudy to be a popular gemstone and are more often used for carved figures.

Color: Purple

The largest deposits of these gorgeous gemstones (see image, right, for

one offered by Fountain City Jewelers) are found in Brazil, Mexico,
Uruguay, Russia, France, Namibia, Morocco. They can also be found
mixed with citrine, in which case the combination crystal is referred to as
ametrine. Amethysts are the traditional birthstone for February.

Milky Quartz

Color: White

This is the most prevalent variety of crystalline quartz and can be found          
almost anywhere. Because of the cloudiness, however, it’s not often used
for gemstones