The term Mabe is pronounced mar-bay and derives from the Japanese ‘mabe-gai’, the word describing the Pteria Penguin oyster, which is often used to produce mabes. A Mabe pearl is a cultured blister pearl, usually quite large in size, varying from 12 to 20 millimetres in diameter. The pearl is produced by attaching a tiny hemispherical nucleus to the inside wall of a mollusc. Mabes that are cultivated inside the Pinctada Maxima oyster – usually used for South Sea pearls – are white or silver, but also exist in golden hues.
Moonstones are found in a number of colours, including iridescent silver or blue and in hues of blush, green and brown. The most treasured moonstone is deep blue. According to legend, moonstones protect travellers. Nearly all moonstones are quarried in Sri Lanka.
Smoky quartz is a grey, translucent variety of quartz. It ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to a brownish-grey crystal that is almost opaque. Some can also be black and a very dark brown to black opaque variety is known as Morion. It is believed that the smoky quartz removes negative energy of any kind. Smoky quartz crystals have been found in Africa, Brazil, Australia and in the United States.
Slender hair-like crystals of rutile are sometimes seen in clear quartz, which is then known as rutile quartz. The stones have been formed deep within the Earth’s crust and are found in Brazil and Madagascar. With their transparent golden tones and needle-like crystal inclusions, each stone is unique.
Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony quartz. The colour hues vary from pale orange and intense red to dark brown, tangible to black. Thus some carnelian is wrongly mistaken for amber or red coral. Carnelians are retrieved many places in the world, and mainly from India and South America. Carnelian is the perfect gift; the stone is said to provide its owner with a sense of humour, protect against bad vibrations and have a soothing effect on a hot temper.
Corals are pure magic. We use corals that come from the Mediterranean Sea. We seek out corals of superior quality to be used in our jewellery. Corals are always appropriate, whatever the occasion. Corals can vary in hue from pale pink to strong orangey-red. Corals are considered timeless.
Rose quartz is a type of quartz, with colours ranging from pale pink to rose-red hues. Known as the ‘Love Stone’, rose quartz is said to bring harmony, love and peace to the person wearing it. Natural rose quartz is often a very pale pink, and for many years it was believed that the stronger the pink colour, the more valuable the stone. However, metaphysically the paler pinks are equally valuable.
Ancient sailors believed that the lustrous aquamarine secured them safe passage through treacherous waters. Aquamarine takes its name from water, and most stones are transparent with a slight blue or turquoise colour suggestive of seawater. Most of these gemstones are quarried in Africa, but mining also takes place in Brazil and Pakistan.
Finding tourmalines of the quality and size we seek is a challenge. Every tourmaline is unique and no two stones look the same. Contrary to most beliefs, tourmalines come in a variety of colours, with green being the most treasured one, which also symbolises hope.
Amber is fossilised tree resin, which has been appreciated for its colour and natural beauty since ancient times. Because it is originally a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions. Amber occurs in a range of different colours, from pale yellow to orange and brown. Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties or as an ingredient in perfumes.
Onyx is a variety of chalcedony, and is formed of bands of chalcedony in alternating colours. The colours of its bands range from white to almost every colour. Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and white. Black onyx is perhaps the most famous variety, but not the most common. Throughout history, onyx has been thought to bring powers of protection to the wearer.
A coveted gemstone treasured through millennia for its purple hues. Formerly preserved for nobility and people of the church, the amethyst was once more coveted than diamonds. Today the amethyst is sourced in Uruguay, Brazil and Africa. The shades vary from pinkish lavender to deep purple. The most sought after colour is medium purple with red secondary hues.