Organic Gemstones Part 2

Organic Gemstones Part 2

Written by on 24 May 2012

Amber Engagement Ring

One thing we get asked regularly by customers at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery is; what gemstone should I choose for my engagement ring, eternity or wedding rings? Its bit of a tough one, there are so many and of course personal preferences have a big impact on which lovely sparkler you should opt for. If you’re looking for an unusual option you could choose something from the organic gem group… read on for a little breakdown of organic engagement rings and your options!

Amber
Amber engagement rings and wedding rings are a lovely option, particularly if you are a fan of autumn or citrus colours. Traditionally it can be sourced in lovely transparent golden yellow and orange colours… but has been found in green, black, red and, violet! It is actually formed from tree sap that has been fossilised over thousands or even millions of years… so if you are looking for a stone with a history this might be right up your alley! Its name actually comes from ambergris which was used for perfume making and actually came from the sperm whale!

Although inclusions are generally not thought to be a positive when looking for a gemstone, this is not often the case with amber… in fact this often adds to the value of the gemstone! This interesting gem can include inclusions which add to its distinct appearance e.g. moss, lichen, insects, pine needles… even lizards have been found in these gems! So if you are hoping for a gemstone with a unique appearance this can be a great way to ensure your engagement ring really is one of a kind!

Amber is a fairly flexible and popular option for beaded pieces of jewellery, but can also be sourced en cabochon if you are looking for something for your engagement ring or wedding ring! It’s even a great option if your baby is teething… try an amber teething necklace! Just be careful as amber is a fairly sensitive gemstone with a hardness of only 2 ½ on the Mohs’ scale and needs to be treated gently. It does have a tendency to dehydrate if left to the elements… so try to be careful of how and where you wear or leave these gems.

If you still aren’t sure there are some great sites across the UK if you are hoping to take a gander at some lovely amber in the flesh… for a true tourist visit take a trip down to Lyme Regis in Dorset on The Jurassic Coast. It’s a popular spot for geologists, palaeontologists and gemmologists where there are places literally filled to the brim with some stunning pieces… certainly a sight to be seen!

Shell
There is a whole variety of shells types, sizes and shapes available in the jewellery market so it can be a lovely flexible option. They are usually available as cameos, polished slabs and cut en cabochon, and you can even source shell pearls… so there is plenty of choice. Just like amber they are not very hardy so they do need to be treated with care… but luckily today there are some imitation options on the market if you are concerned about this or the ethical aspect of this option.

If you love the idea of lovely iridescent engagement rings have a look at abalone, pearl oyster, and top-shell for their beautiful mother of pearl linings! Or if you prefer white, golden brown or peach colours you could choose to have a conch shell incorporated into your design. Weirdly enough tortoise shell doesn’t actually come from a tortoise; instead these are actually taken from the shell of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle! Sadly these turtles are actually endangered… but luckily today you can choose to source a synthetic option!

Of course if you are hoping to go for something really unusual you could decide upon an ammolite… sadly it is a very rare option so you could have some trouble finding the right piece! This amazing stone is made up of the fossilized remains of ancient ammonite, a sea creature from over 65 million years ago. Its name actually comes form the ancient Egyptian god Ammon! It has a similar appearance to an opal in terms of its iridescent and cracked or mottled appearance, sometimes referred to as a stained glass window or dragon skin effect! It can be found in a variety of colours such as red, blue, pink, green, yellow and gold. They aren’t the most durable of stones so they might not be the best option if you’re deciding on wedding rings or an engagement ring… however they would look lovely in a pendant or maybe even cufflinks!