Stepping back in time at Chiswick House and Gardens

So after our trip to the Chiswick Carboot Sale the other week, my friend and I went to Chiswick House and Gardens, which she had heard to much about – and boy was I in for a surprise!  I entered the grounds thinking that it would be just another lovely park and yet this is the view that greeted us:

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

A glorious neo-Palladian villa built in 1729

Chiswick House and Gardens

the stunning stairs leading up to the “house”…

Chiswick House and Gardens

… the architectural details were just breathtaking!

My friend and I had a little wander outside the house before we decided that it was time for some afternoon tea – of course!  It was one of those warm late summer Sundays so we sat outside and enjoyed the most delicious cream tea:

Afternoon Tea at Chiswick House and Gardens

Afternoon Tea at Chiswick House and Gardens

We then continued on to having a walk in the garden, which was just so stunning with soft gravel paths and perfectly maintained lawns with flowers of all sorts covering the grounds:

Chiswick House and Gardens

The beautiful Chiswick Garden

The gardens at Chiswick cover an impressive 65 acres, so there is plenty to explore.  We walked down a hidden pathway that ended up by a tall monument and a beautiful rose garden, before continuing our stroll past some impressive old buildings and statues (you will see a gorgeous lion a bit further down in the post!)

Chiswick House and Gardens

Some romantic late summer roses 

Chiswick House and Gardens

I can’t imagine a more romantic place for a walk with a loved one

I learnt that Chiswick House Gardens is the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and that it has been the inspiration for some stunning gardens around the world – including Central Park in New York.  It was originally created by Lord Burlington and William Kent in 1729 and you can probably see that they drew inspiration from Italy and Italian landscape painting.  Before becoming this romantic and luscious garden that it is today, the style of the garden was very formal, designed in the renaissance style.  One of my favourite things about the garden is that there are so many little paths that you can follow, which means that you are bound to run into new and unexpected details throughout your visit!

Chiswick House and Gardens

The Conservatory at Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

The inside of this lovely conservatory, which is the home to the oldest camellia collection in England 

Chiswick House and Gardens

Some interesting historic facts in the Conservatory

Chiswick House and Gardens

The Beatles made some promotional videos at the Chiswick Gardens back in the 60s

For all of you that adore camellias, a visit to the Conservatory is a must!  The 6th Duke of Devonshire commissioned this grand conservatory and had it designed by Samuel Ware, who completed it in 1813.  It stood as the forerunner of many subsequent glass buildings, among others the extraordinary Crystal Palace in Sydenham, London.  As for the collection of camellias (a flower commonly found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia) the Conservatory still features some plants surviving from those planted in 1828.  No surprise that this is thought to be the oldest camellia collection in England, and possibly also outside China and Japan!  According to the Chiswick House and Garden website it includes what is thought to be one of only two surviving ‘Middlemist Reds’ in the world.

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

Lion Statue at Chiswick House and Gardens

Overlooking his kingdom…

Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

When it comes to visiting these stunning gardens around the UK you will always have a unique visit, no matter what time of the year you decide to go.  Mid-winter invites us to a steaming hot cup of tea and cake after a walk in the winter garden, whereas springtime shows an explosion of colours and beauty… not to mention the enchanting autumn coat in yellow, gold, orange and green that you will experience within the next few months!  So give yourself a little treat in the shape of a visit to this beautiful haven that is Chiswick House and Gardens, and do tell us about your visit afterwards!

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South African handmade vintage necklaces – chapter III

Oh I couldn’t help but create another colour boost-post after this glorious summer!  We are back in Cape Town where we made the acquaintance of Jeanette, the necklace designer from last year’s two posts: South African handmade vintage necklaces – chapter I and South African handmade vintage necklaces – chapter II.

Handmade vintage necklace, Cape Town, South Africa

Rose quartz gives this necklace such a soft, romantic look

Handmade vintage necklace, Cape Town, South Africa

A closer view of Jeanette’s design

I have two more necklaces from her collection to show you today – a pink and a purple one and they are both just radiating colour and joy!  This first one contains the lovely gemstone rose quartz.  Rose quartz is a very special crystal when used in healing because of its powers to attract and keep love.  In feng shui it is used as a love cure.  It is believed to help healing the heart from pain and disappointment, and dissolve painful memories in one’s love-life.  It is a happy and loving stone and it embraces all kinds of love: family, friends, love for yourself and romantic love.  It also brings peace to us by relieving stress, bringing forgiveness, easing feelings of guilt and bringing families together.  What a precious little stone it is indeed!

Handmade vintage necklace, Cape Town, South Africa

Handmade necklace, Cape Town

And then there is this purple necklace in which Jeanette has used beads in various shades that complement each other and tousled around to create an illusion of movement.  She also incorporates parts from vintage pieces of jewellery to give the necklaces another dimension of charm and uniqueness, which we just love.  So thank you dear Jeanette for letting us look closer at your beautiful pieces.

A very happy Friday to you as well my dear!

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LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair in Berkeley Square 24-28 Sept 2014

 

The beautiful Marilyn Monroe - photo from the book Marilyn Monroe - Icons of Our Time  Copyright: Getty Images

My desk this morning: an invitation to LAPADA Art & Antique Fair in Berkeley Square, a few silver rings and of course the beautiful Marilyn Monroe in the book Marilyn Monroe – Icons of Our Time.  Copyright: Getty Images

Good morning my dear!  This week is a fabulous one in London’s antique jewellery world, as LAPADA opens up its gates and treats us to the most beautiful displays of jewellery in Berkeley Square.  Last year I went with a friend and wrote a few blog posts about it:  LAPADA on Decades of Elegance.

Just to refresh our memory from last year; LAPADA is the UK’s largest Association of professional dealers in antiques and works of art, and between them members cover everything from jewellery and silver to paintings, furniture, carpets, clocks and ceramics.  When you visit the fair you will find that all the items are just exquisite, and they keep the standards this high by letting a committee of specialists vet all the items to ensure authenticity and quality.

Entrance is £15 per person and opening hours are:

Wednesday 24th September 11am – 5.30pm
Thursday 25th September 11am – 9pm
Friday 26th September 11am – 7pm
Saturday 27th September 11am – 7pm
Sunday 28th September 11am – 5pm

I hope to see you there – and if you see me running around with my camera do make sure that you come over and say hello!

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‘Anna Nicole’ at the Royal Opera House

Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, London

Some extracts from the opera ‘Anna Nicole’  Copyright: the Royal Opera House

Last week I went to see the opera Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House here in London, which was such a wonderful experience that I just couldn’t wait to share with you!

The opera is shocking and brutally honest to the tragic tale that was Anna Nicole’s life, yet it is written and performed in the most extraordinary way.  The language was so offensive but presented in a way that made the audience burst out laughing time and time again and the performance of the singers and actors was just amazing.  Anna Nicole is played by the Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and I was just blown away by her voice; as a dramatic soprano she has such a strong voice that reaches above the orchestra, and her acting is just wonderful, as you can tell how much she enjoys playing the part!  She really just gives such an all-encompassing performance, so if you haven’t yet seen the opera I would warmly recommend that you book your tickets now!  Oh yes, here is where you can book yours:  The Royal Opera House – Anna Nicole.

It really was the most magical evening, as we also had supper at the restaurant at the opera house and I easily had some of the best food of my life.  I took a cheeky little picture of the spectacular Paul Hamlyn Hall Balconies Restaurant, which used to be a part of the Covent Garden Flower Market.  It was also such a treat to step back into the restaurant in the interval and have some dessert and probably the world’s tastiest mint tea!

As for my outfit I obviously had to think long and hard at what would be suitable for such a special evening, and this is what I ended up going for:

Maxi dress in pink with grey lace sides

One of my favourite maxi dresses in pink with some lovely grey lace down the sides and you can catch a glimpse of one of the Decades of Elegance vintage rings:

Decades of Elegance Pearl and Marcasite ring ca 1930

… obviously I had to wear a Decades of Elegance ring, and went for the beautiful pearl and marcasite ring ca 1930

Decades of Elegance Pearl and Marcasite ring ca 1930 at the Royal Opera House

Just about to have supper in the stunning Paul Hamlyn Hall Balconies Restaurant

… and I learnt my lesson never to take a ring off when I am out, as I left it on the side of the basin in the powder room on top of my scarf just for a minute, then forgot all about it and swept my scarf back into my back and left; only to realise this in the restaurant, where I was luckily able to retrieve it from my handbag after a few second’s panic searching.  It had gotten tangled up in the scarf, phew!!  Lesson learnt: keep your rings on at all times!

Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, London

The tragic tale of Anna Nicole is told in this opera, commissioned by the Royal Opera, with music by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Libretto by Richard Thomas, with Sir Antonio Pappano as the Music Director and Kasper Holten as the Director of Opera

2 thoughts on “‘Anna Nicole’ at the Royal Opera House

  1. Love your review. The fact that you enjoyed yourself at the Royal Opera House really shines through. It is such a special place and I would have loved to be there. I do have a copy of the Anna Nicole Opera blu-ray, but just being there and seeing it for yourself must be something else. I’ve only seen and heard Eva-Maria Westbroek once, at Christmas time in 2010. She sang Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. It is true, she does have a powerful voice. I remember. Thanks for sharing your experience at the ROH. A classy review from (what looks like) a classy lady.

    • Thank you for this lovely comment Rob. I do hope that you get the chance to see the opera at some point, as it really is such a wonderful experience! All the best to you, iida

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The most eclectic collection at the Chiswick Car Boot Sale

So in Monday’s post Mr Salvager’s Treasure Trove at the Chiswick Car Boot Sale we made the acquaintance of the Chiswick Car Boot Sale, and I have one more stall that I just have to tell you about!  The collection was so quirky and curious, and with the light shining so beautifully on the colour coordinated sections I was obviously in photographer’s heaven:

Chiswick car boot sale

The perfect place to get your funky buttons and threads of all colours…

Chiswick car boot sale

Seashells, anyone?

Chiswick car boot sale

And more buttons! 

As you probably know, sewing is really popular again – and especially among my Swedish friends I see the most beautiful needlework and designs (in fact, at the Christmas Market at the Swedish Church in London you can buy the most wonderful handmade hats, mittens etc.  I must come back to this closer to the time of the fair, but it takes place late November here in London, and is just the most wonderful experience!)

So if you are a keen seamstress, or if you are just doing it for the fun of it, then a visit to this car boot sale is definitely in place!  There are buttons and threads in every colour of the rainbow, which is perfect for when you want to put a unique touch to your designs.  There was also a great collection of old sewing patterns if you want to make your own vintage style dress!

Chiswick car boot sale

Books on vintage cars… this would be the perfect present for my father! 

Chiswick car boot sale

Glasses, cups and vintage postcards…

Chiswick car boot sale, vintage boxes

Vintage pastille containers…

Chiswick car boot sale, vintage medicine bottles

Things I don’t even have the name for!

So if you have a lot of time on your hands this place is scavenger heaven!  All you need is an open mind and obviously some cash, as you can’t pay with credit cards, and you can make a really fun day of it.  Bringing a friend is definitely the way to go, as we ended up at Chiswick House and Gardens, which I will tell you about in another post, as it was just the most beautiful place!

I am afraid that the lady running this stand didn’t have a card, as she just does it for the fun of it, so we must just make an adventure out of finding her there next time!!

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A bohemian adventure at Cape Town’s Cafè Mozart

South Africa, Fishoek and Kalk Bay Ocean View

Dreaming back to South Africa – above you can see the east coast of Cape Town with the beautiful False Bay

Hello my lovely one!  So I am having some serious Cape Town fever at the moment and I would just love to go back to those stunning views, spend an afternoon at a wine farm and enjoy the beautiful weather (not that there is anything wrong with the weather here in London at the moment – I am wearing all my favourite summer dresses still, which is just heaven!)

I was organising my photos the other day and found a bunch of pictures from this beautiful, eclectic café in Cape Town, called Cafè Mozart:

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

The lovely bohemian interior of Cafè Mozart on Church Street in Cape Town

We had just spent an hour or so in our favourite antique jewellery shop Jewel Tree and decided to go for an early lunch, when we came across this lovely café on the pedestrian street Church Street.

We sat down at a table in the shade of these beautiful, tall trees with a lovely view of the little antique street market and ordered some food that turned out to be absolutely delicious! It was so hard to choose as everything on the menu looked so alluring; from the breakfast omelettes and filled croissants to the gourmet sandwiches featuring from smoked salmon to pastrami and pickles… and if you don’t believe me here is a link to their menu!  I am so hungry now ;)  On their website they describe the café as having a “laid back Parisian ambience” and I couldn’t agree more:

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

Beautiful inside and out – the Madame Zingara Group supports and acknowledges the work with under-privileged children and cultural arts development in the non-profit sector of South Africa

Cafè Mozart belongs to the Madame Zingara group, which also includes the Theatre of Dreams, The Sidewalk Cafè, The Bombay Bicycle Club and Cafè Paradiso.  The Theatre of Dreams is described on their website as:

“a travelling dinner theatre extravaganza housed in the last remaining antique mirror tents in the world.”

I was also delighted to see that they take their responsibility and give back to the community by supporting and acknowledging the work that is being accomplished with under-privileged children and cultural and arts development in the non profit sector of South Africa.

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

Nothing quite like feel like a princess when visiting the ladies’ powder room, don’t you think?

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

I love the detail that has gone into decorating the café 

As I ascended the stairs inside the café I was taken aback by the lovely bohemian style decor, and restaurants and cafés that put down a lot of effort on their powder rooms always get a gold star in my book.  You can see above the view that met me upstairs…

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

The upstairs of Cafè Mozart…

Café Mozart Church Street Cape Town

An eclectic mix of furniture and objects d’art that made the whole experience all the more delightful!

The place is adorned with antique furniture, vintage lamps and beautiful mirrors… the only way to really experience it is of course by visiting!  So when you are next in Cape Town you can find Cafè Mozart on 37 Church Street – and make sure to combine it with a visit to the Jewel Tree just around the corner, what a perfect way to spend a day!

The Jewel Tree, Antique Shop in Cape Town

Do combine a meal at the café with a visit to the Jewel Tree on Long Street… what a perfect day spent! 

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Mr Salvager’s treasure trove at the Chiswick car boot sale

Mr Salvager's at Chiswick Car Boot Sale - miniature bicycles

Antique miniature bicycles from Mr Salvager’s at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Ladies and gents, I had the most enjoyable time the other week at the extraordinary Chiswick car boot sale that a friend took me to!  We arrived around 11am, when more or less all of the participating car boots had been opened and their secrets revealed to the world.  The lawn of Chiswick School was filled to the brim with cars, visitors and an array of things for sale: everything from contemporary fashion to antique furniture, jewellery, paintings, old medicine bottles, seashells… you name it!

I was very soon drawn to a stand where it looked a little something like this:

Mr Salvager's Antique Bicycle Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Such beautiful miniature bicycles at Mr Salvager’s stand at the Chiswick Car Boot Sale

My nose for antiques didn’t fail me this time either.  My camera came out when I saw these beautiful pieces and we found out that we had reached Mr Salvager’s collection of “Garden and Home Delights – If you can dream of it, together we will achieve it!  Because you deserve it!”

Deer as Garden Decorations from Mr Salvager's Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Mr Salvager’s collection at the Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Deer as Garden Decorations from Mr Salvager's Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Garden decorations in the shape of deer at Mr Salvager’s 

Karl, the owner, showed us his lovely pieces and told us that we can find him at the car boot sale as well as at other antique fairs around the country, and you can reach him on 07769 63552 if you see anything here that you just can’t live without!  I just adore the deer-couple above and would place them in my garden in a heartbeat.

I can also think of a couple of my friends who would love this spectacular lamp:

Antique lamp from Mr Salvager's at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

Antique lamp from Mr Salvager’s at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

… not to mention this beautiful brass birdcage.  Although I wouldn’t keep a bird in it, maybe just something decorative:

Antique birdcage from Mr Salvager's at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

A beautiful brass birdcage from Mr Salvager’s at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

I do have a great love for kitchy pieces and one of my favourite places to date was this wonderful café in Cape Town… hmm I think I took some photos in there so will actually write a post about it and try to get it up on Wednesday for you!

Fish plate from Mr Salvager's at Chiswick Car Boot Sale

… in fact, I can think of a friend who would love to decorate her house with these pieces!

The Chiswick car boot sale is indeed one of the most successful ones in the South East; all money raised from the entrance fees goes to the school, and parent volunteers from the school PTA run the sales.  What a clever idea indeed and I am just so impressed by the size of it all, and also by how well organised it was.  I will definitely be coming back – and apparently it is on 11 months of the year, just not in January.

Lots of love dear and I hope that this sunny Monday has been a lovely one for you so far!

2 thoughts on “Mr Salvager’s treasure trove at the Chiswick car boot sale

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The Chelsea Antiques Fair is coming up! 18-21 September 2014

 

Chelsea Antiques Fair September 2014

Chelsea Antiques Fair September 2014

So the stunning month of September is upon us and an invitation to the Chelsea Antiques Fair has arrived!  The venue is again the beautiful Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London SW3 5EE – you might remember our March visit from the blog post The Hearing Dogs Charity at Chelsea Antiques Fair?  Around 40 specialist dealers will be showcasing their selected pieces and we are delighted to see that affordable price tags from £50 will also feature at the fair.

Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.  Admission £6 and more information on www.penman-fairs.co.uk

Hope to see you there my lovely!

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Interview with Andrew Prince – Downton Abbey’s jewellery designer

Today’s post is a dream come true for me, as we are meeting Andrew Prince – the jewellery designer who puts the sparkle and brilliance into our favourite Downton Abbey:

Andrew Prince, Jewellery Designer, photography by Catherine

Andrew Prince – photography by Catherine

For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, Downton Abbey is a tv-series set in a (fictional) Yorkshire country house called Downton Abbey.  We are following the lives of the aristocratic family Crawley and their servants during the reign of King George V, and as you can imagine. every episode brings us the most stunning outfits, jewellery and intrigues.  In the midst of all this style and elegance is Andrew Prince, who started working his magic on the jewellery in the third series.

Downton Abbey Lady Rose wearing Andrew Prince jewellery

The beautiful Lady Rose in an Andrew Prince necklace.  The other stars also wearing some of Andrew’s creations.  Copyright: Carnival Films

Andrew, what was the first piece of jewellery that you ever designed?

The first piece I ever made was a ring for my grandmother out of wire when I was 3.  It gave her a rash and she still has the piece.  A few years later I made a necklace for my mother using the embellishments from her wedding dress.  She was not happy.

Downton Abbey Maggie Smith wearing jewellery designed by Andrew Prince

Maggie Smith wearing jewellery designed by Andrew Prince  Copyright: Carnival Films

What do you do for Downton Abbey?

I did the majority of the major pieces, especially for Maggie Smith (Lady Violet Crawley in the series); the tiaras and mainly the impact pieces.  I also do many of Lady Cora Crawley’s jewellery (played by Elizabeth McGovern) and in total I have made about 40-50 pieces for them.

Mysore Tiara by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

Mysore Tiara by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

When did you start designing for them?

Caroline McCall the costume designer contacted me to work on the third series.  I always try to ensure that the pieces are absolutely correct for the characters, as it is vital to get it right in such an important tv-series.

Pendant earrings by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

Pendant earrings by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

Have you visited the set of Downton?

Yes I have and visiting the set makes you realise just how much work is being put in.  Being there is certainly interesting and seeing the jewellery and the costumes together is always thrilling, not to mention how lovely the stars are in real life.

Wide Scroll Choker Flat by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

Wide Scroll Choker Flat by Andrew Prince for Downton Abbey

What piece of jewellery has been your favourite one to design?

One of the biggest pieces that I ever made and it was something that I had in mind for years!  It was made out pearls and crystals and draped down the back.  Surprisingly it sold to a lady who was just under 5 foot (150cm) but it looked magnificent on her!

Large drop back jewel necklace by Andrew Prince

Large drop back jewel necklace by Andrew Prince

People in the industry who have worked with Andrew keep praising the historic accuracy of his designs, and whenever I have a very specific question about antique jewellery my colleagues always say that I must ask Andrew, as he is like a “walking encyclopedia of antique jewellery”!

Andrew Prince Crystal Combe

A crystal encrusted comb by Andrew Prince

Also, as quoted on Andrew’s website: “He realised that beautiful jewellery didn’t require expensive stones, and that it was the elegance of the design and the quality of the workmanship that truly mattered.”  And it really is such a treat to be able to buy the most exquisite pieces of jewellery, knowing that they are all within our price range (the medium sized earrings are all under £100 and wedding tiaras tend to cost between £220-£450).

Video: Television Costume Design – Andrew Prince

If you click on the link above and go to the third video from the top, you will see a clip of Andrew talking us through some of the Downton Abbey costume designs – and I just love how passionate he is about the subject of jewellery design!

Andrew Prince crystal wedding tiara

I may have managed to get my hands on some of Andrew’s crystal tiara’s at Richard Ogden

The other day I was able to have a play around with a few of Andrew’s tiaras at Richard Ogden in Burlington Arcade, and as you can imagine I was in jewellery heaven!  Now all the tiaras, hair accessories and special pieces are all still made by Andrew himself; he meets clients individually to discuss the pieces, which then allows him to fit the jewellery perfectly.  Smaller pieces are mostly created in his two workshops, and he oversees the creation of them all to make sure that they achieve his exacting standards.

A selection of Andrew Prince's Jewellery Collection   Copyright: Sophie Mutevelian

A selection of Andrew Prince’s Jewellery Collection         Copyright: Sophie Mutevelian

Andrew’s pieces have also been worn by celebrities like Michael Jackson (a large crystal and pearl shoulder jewel) and Shirley Bassey (necklaces). For all of you Swedish readers it might be fun to know that Countess de Gunzburg Backman wore one of Andrew’s tiaras to Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding.

You can see all of Andrew Prince’s beautiful pieces on his website: Andrew Prince – fine crystal jewellery.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Andrew Prince – Downton Abbey’s jewellery designer

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Sapphire – the September birthstone

A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September’s breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.

Bailey Banks Biddle for Tiffany & Co - a late 1920s diamond and sapphire bracelet

Bailey Banks Biddle for Tiffany & Co – a late 1920s diamond and sapphire bracelet from Moira Jewels at Richard Ogden in Burlington Arcade

Oh you lucky September children, you get the beautiful Sapphire as your birthstone!  The word Sapphire itself is derived from the Greek word Sappheiros, which means blue stone.  Through history sapphires have been such treasured gemstones that they have been assigned all kinds of different properties, for example truth sincerity, constancy, dignity, loyalty, serenity, faith, purity and wisdom.  What a wonderful stone to carry around indeed!  Sapphire was the gem of Apollo, the Greek God of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry and so much more – and his worshipers would wear sapphires when they visited his shrine in Delphi to seek his help. (1)

Loose Sapphire and a Sapphire Diamond Ring

Loose Sapphire and a Sapphire Diamond Ring

As we already know, sapphires and rubies are closely related, as they are both a form of the mineral corundum, and while red corundum is called a Ruby, all other forms are called Sapphires (except the pink/orange version: Padparadscha, which is very special and deserves its own blog post!).

Sapphires in all colours of the rainbow

I do wish that I had taken a better picture of this stunning selection of sapphires but at least you can see that they come in a rainbow of different colours!

Blue sapphires are the most well known ones, but sapphires do come in all other natural colours as you can see above: colourless, brown, purple, green, orange, pale pink, yellow, and are then referred to as fancy sapphires.  These various colours are caused by different chemical elements appearing in corundum, so if there for example is a presence of vanadium we will get a purple sapphire, whereas iron will bring us a pale yellow to green gemstone.

Grays Antique Market, Sapphire and Diamond Rings

Grays Antique Market, Sapphire and Diamond Rings

The most sought after colour in sapphires is a medium-deep cornflower blue (a little bit lighter than the sapphires in the photo above) but I think that it is just such a personal preference when it comes to deciding one which one is the most beautifully coloured sapphire.  I have seen so many people come into the antique jewellery shop and fall in love with a completely different colour – everything from a very pale blue to one that takes on a purple hue and resembling a Tanzanite (here is a previous blog post that will remind you what a Tanzanite looks like: You Brilliant Tanzanite).  Personally I just adore the deep blue sapphires, that create such a beautiful contrast to all the white dresses that I always wear – and the combination in turn reminds me of my beloved Finnish flag in white and blue!

Sapphires can be found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the US.

The Jewel Tree, Cape Town, Sapphire and Diamond Ring

A Sapphire and Diamond Ring from the Jewel Tree in Cape Town – sapphires are so beautiful when joined with diamonds in various jewellery designs!

A dear happy birthday to all you lovely September children!

Sources:

(1) Earthsky.org

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