Jewellery Talk

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The Mohs Scale of mineral hardness was invented in 1812 by a Friedrich Mohs a German gemologist. This scale tests hardness through scratching a mineral with another mineral to determine which one is harder. A harder substance will scratch a softer one, but not the other way around. The higher the number the harder the material. This is a ordinal scale, so a substance of 9.0 hardness is twice as hard as 8.0, a diamond at 10.0 is four times harder than 8.0.

Cleaning, Handling and Storage
This scale is very helpful in determining how much abuse a gem can take. There are sometimes special exceptions, but as a general rule gemstones of a hardness of 8.0 or higher are considered to be durable. Intermediate stones are over 6.0 and up to 8.0, softer and more delicate stones are 6.0 and under. Gems that are 6.0 and under should be handled and cleaned with more care, and not exposed to chemicals or solvents.

Exceptions to the rule
One exception to the rule is the Emerald. Although it’s tough at 7.5 – 8.0, it should be treated with some care. There are almost no perfect Emeralds found, they have numerous inclusions (flaws), so their resistance to breaking is lower than what its hardness level would imply.

No matter how hard a stone may be on the chart, the quality of the stone also determines it’s hardness. For example a flawed diamond will be softer and more brittle than one that is absolutely perfect. The same is true for all other stones and organic gems* as well.

Made by an artist’s hand, that’s what makes handcrafted jewellery so appealing. Knowing who created the piece you’re wearing, where it came from and even the story behind it makes your purchase a personal experience. Whether you shop locally or globally, getting a sense of its creator and inspiration makes the jewellery you’ve bought even more special and unforgettable.

Quality check
Each piece of handmade jewellery is unique, with no two pieces being exactly the same, unlike mass manufactured merchandise. Crafted with quality metals and hand-selected gemstones, every item is unique, designed and made with forethought and attention to detail. These are the qualities that most people expect to find when they look at an artisan’s work.

Variances from piece to piece should be based on the artists individual style and technique. It should be well designed and consistent with no sharp edges. Since the items are fabricated by hand and not a machine some imperfections are to be expected. But this shouldn’t be confused with a piece being sloppily made, or one that shows flaws in its design and creation.

Gemstones and semi-precious stones
The beauty of natural gemstones, pearls and turquoise includes slight variations in size, shape, cut and colour. For each piece of jewellery created the stones are matched by the artisan as best as possible. Natural materials such as wood, seeds and turquoise have subtle textures. These unique qualities and differences distinguish real stone and natural elements from cheaper plastics and glass.

It’s all in the details
As an experienced jewellery artisan I create elegant jewellery with detail, if you look closely you’ll see slight variations – enough to know it wasn’t made by a machine but by my two hands using simple hand tools. Perfection doesn’t exist in nature, sometimes we try too hard to make things perfect. I strive to make beautiful, well-crafted and enduring pieces of jewellery that have a human touch.

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