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Aquamarine, the Benefits for Believers.

I popped into the showroom last week and discovered some new additions to Afrogem collection. My favourites are these gorgeous aquamarine, sterling silver and cubic rings. I can’t decide if the design is modern or vintage. Perhaps it’s both.

The rings are perfect for a woman like me who is in love with these sea blue crystals but doesn’t have Jessica Biel’s bank balance. The star, a March-born creature so it’s no surprise, has been pretty vocal about her love of the stone.

We’ve looked at various aspects of these gemstones here and here. But these beauties have inspired me to take a look at some of the more esoteric benefits of owning an aquamarine. Whether you choose to believe is entirely up to you.

A Gemstone for Communication

For centuries, people have used the crystalline powers of gemstones for healing, both the physical and matters of the heart. Aquamarines are imbued with the powers of water and of the colour blue, and are considered powerful stones for the throat chakra. They are excellent stones for anyone involved in public speaking, as they can help overcome the anxiety most of us, with the exception of Barack Obama, feel when getting up onto a podium to address a crowd. They’re also thought to enhance intellectual reasoning, and emit a compassionate energy, promoting tolerance. Perhaps everyone at the U.N. should wear an aquamarine in order to bring about world peace.

Healing Energy

Aquamarine has long been considered a stone for breath, so is used for healing respiratory tract infections and the lungs.  I’ve also read it’s effective for hay fever, which plagues so many Capetonians in spring. Next time you’re hit with a pollen count that makes you sneeze, reach for an aquamarine instead of the antihistamines. Our sparkling prescription won’t make you drowsy.

Emotional Healing

Aquamarine is a water element gemstone. As with all water elements, aquamarine is great for detoxifying the emotions. It can bring harmony into the home by opening up paths of communication. Plus, it’s long been thought that aquamarines absorb the atmosphere of young love, so place one under your pillow to keep your romantic relationship constant.

 

Believe it? I’m not sure I do, but that’s not going to stop me slipping one of these beautiful rings onto my finger. And neither is the price. For more information contact Afrogem.

 

Anniversary Gift Ideas, From the First to Forever.

Congratulations on the milestone you and your partner are celebrating. Love conquers all! An anniversary gift can take on many different forms, but jewellery is always a winner. A precious piece is bound to impress and makes for a beautiful expression of love. Here are some ideas for surprising your special someone on your next anniversary.

Pendants

 

Tutti Frutti Southern Cross Pendant. For more information call Afrogem.

Gold 

South Africa is rich in gold, so it makes a great local gift. Johannesburg, where much of it is mined, is even called Egoli, meaning “Place of Gold” in isiZulu. A 24-carat gold pendant is very stylish when worn on a matching chain and can be personalised quite easily. For an anniversary gift, have the first letter of your love’s name crafted in gold. Alternatively, a symbol of great meaning to the both of you could be wrought in gold for the occasion. Traditionally, gold was given on the 50th anniversary. As people seldom marry young these days, you may as well go for gold when the inspiration grabs you.

Diamonds

Diamonds really are forever. They have a timeless elegance and have adorned women as far back as the 4th century BC. South African diamonds are highly desirable. Our mines have been giving birth to internationally renowned diamonds since the 19th century, with the Cullinan Diamond being the most famous. While your bank account may not be as flush as the British royal family’s, an exquisite diamond pendant is within reach of most budgets.

A diamond pendant is a statement piece that will catch everyone’s eye. As it’s worn in a prominent place on the body, it will illuminate and flatter the face and décolletage of the wearer.  Cut, carat weight, clarity and colour are all to be considered when picking out a pendant. Luckily, diamonds come in different shapes and sizes. Select a stone to suit your preferences.

If you’re unsure, go for a solitaire diamond pendant. It’s made up of just one fabulous stone, is sophisticated, sparkly and versatile. The style can accommodate a range of budgets, so it’s ideal for a 1st-anniversary gift – because let’s be honest, who wants a gift made of paper or plastic? – and the 10th-anniversary gift, though you might want to express a decade of love with something more than a solitary diamond. See below.Precious and Semi-precious Gemstones

One doesn’t need to restrict oneself when giving a pendant. There’s a rainbow of sparklings gems to choose from, from the dramatic London Blue Topaz to the subtle allure of Champagne Citrine. For those of you who love tradition, think peridot for a 1st-anniversary pendant, ruby for a 40th. Star-crossed lovers might appease the fates and alter destiny by gifting a unique Southern Cross pendant, only available from Afrogem.

 

Put a Ring On It

Black and white diamond rings and eternity rings. Call Afrogem for more information. 

Gemstone Rings

There’s a reason why Beyoncé said, “If you liked it you shoulda put a ring on it.” Rings make a big impact and they don’t have to include diamonds to do it. Gemstone rings have other precious stones as their centerpiece and there are many to choose from. Tanzanite, combined with South African gold, keeps the gift uniquely African. Emeralds, rubies, aquamarines and sapphires are other popular choices. Semi-precious gems are just as alluring. Think topaz, citrine, amethyst and the ever classical garnet.

Gemstone rings set your lover apart.  Their colour or the stone’s esoteric attributes can reflect personality. Each precious stone corresponds to a birth month. For example, those born in February have purple amethyst as their birthstone. Choosing a gemstone ring to match your paramour’s birth month shows loving attentiveness. They’ll appreciate the personal touch.

Plain or Decorative Bands

Whilst it might have been de rigueur in the 1950s for men to give their wives anniversary gifts, modern couples no longer subscribe to gender roles in the same way. Metal bands like silver and gold are great unisex gifts, while titanium, copper and brushed steel are bold and edgy.  These types of rings are easy to inscribe. An adept jeweller can create decorative inscriptions on the outside of the rings. Pick a line from your favourite poem. Or keep it simple and just etch in the date you met.

Eternity Ring

The first eternity rings (sometimes known as infinity rings) were worn by the Egyptians 4000 years ago. Back then, the ring was emblematic of eternal life or the circular nature of life. The eternity ring is comprised of a band made of a precious metal, like gold or platinum, with a continuous sequence of identically cut gemstones all the way around it. Eternity rings are rich in meaning. The continuous ring of gems, often diamonds, has become a modern symbol of endless love. For a modern look, think black diamonds instead of white, or a combination of the two.

If the wearer is uncomfortable with jewels all the way around the finger, then half eternity rings are a popular alternative. With these, the jewels are only fitted on half the band, the semicircle that is most visible. Both variations look very graceful and are the perfect way to celebrate a big anniversary, like your 10th.

 

Bracelets

 

Tanzanite and White Gold Bracelets. Call Afrogem for more information.

Tennis Bracelets

Tennis bracelets get their name from a famous accident on court. In 1987 champion Chrissie Evert’s diamond bracelet snapped while she was playing in the US Open. She asked that play be stopped until the bracelet had been found. Since then, bracelets of this style have been known as tennis bracelets, although today they have far stronger clasps!

These bracelets are a classic piece of jewellery and compliment the delicate wrist of the wearer. They consist of a line of small uniform gemstones set all the way around in flexible precious metal links. This makes tennis bracelets perfect for both night and day wear as they aren’t too flashy and are comfortable to wear.

Diamond Bracelets

Diamond bracelets don’t end with tennis bracelets. There are many dazzling and unconventional styles that can be gifted. This is where the individuality of your woman can really shine. Have a look at the jewellery she currently wears, or note any pieces she shows interest in. Incorporate elements from them into a custom design. A consultation with Afrogem can help you decide on a fine show-stopping bracelet or set of stackable diamond bangles for an extra special anniversary gift.

Tanzanite Bracelets

Tanzanite is found in only one place in the world, the Meralani Mine in Tanzania. This makes Tanzanite incredibly rare, and it been has named the gemstone of a single generation. Expressing your love with a Tanzanite bracelet sends a message that you think your beau is unique, rare and exceptionally beautiful. It’s a wonderful anniversary gift. Its rarity also makes it a great heirloom, ensuring your love will live on long after you’re gone.

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Aquamarine: Birthstone of March Born Creatures

“A Mermaid” by John William Waterhouse (1900)

 

Aquamarine belongs to the beryl family, a precious mineral found in a spectrum of colours. Aquamarine is Beryl’s second favourite child. Emerald remains more popular, but this cyan gem is no wallflower to her green sister. Just ask any contemporary queen or princess swanning about a state gala in an aquamarine tiara.

 

“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
The Four Chambered Heart, Anaïs Nin

 

The name comes from the Latin phrase aqua marinus meaning “waters of the sea”. Owing to its colour – which ranges from the water off Bakhoven beach where the sand meets the sea, to the hint of a storm off Simon’s Town –  aquamarine has always been tied to the ocean. Once it was thought that aquamarine had the power to calm wild waters and tame the waves. Mariners kept the stone with them on long voyages as a form of protection. Even ancient myths tell of aquamarine-bejewelled mermaids enticing sailors into watery love affairs.

Bespoke Handcrafted Wedding Ring. For more information contact Afrogem.

Qualities

Aquamarine’s main attraction is its water-like beauty. The best aquamarines are a fresh blue, think the skyline in Kalk Bay on a September morning.  Many buyers favour the lighter cyan, cerulean or tropical ocean blues for this jewel. However, a hint of seafoam green can give the gemstone a wonderful extra dimension. Add aquamarine’s startling clarity, and you begin to understand what makes this stone so desirable. But, you’d mistaken to think colour and clarity were all this oceanic gem has to offer.  Trace elements of iron make them hard and extremely durable, adding longevity to the jewel’s list of attributes. Hence, it’s a gemstone that can be handed down through generations and never lose its beauty.

 

It is an easy stone to wear, suiting all skin tones. However, blue-eyed people will find its vitreous lustre especially complementary. Because aquamarines form in the earth in such large sizes they can be cut to whatever shape one’s heart desires. Certain cuts, however, really show off the gemstone’s transparency and make for more striking jewelry. One of these was created by a South African master gem-cutter, Basil Watermeyer and is known as the Barion cut.

On a more esoteric level, aquamarine is believed to release anxiety and fear through its general calming effects.

Gifting

Aquamarine jewellery is the perfect gift for anyone born in March.  The Romans considered it an appropriate morning gift from a groom to his bride upon consummation as they believed it absorbed the atmosphere of young love: a romantic notion that passed into medieval times when it was thought to reawaken the love of married couples. For modern couples, it is the traditional gem to celebrate a 19th wedding anniversary.

 

 

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Which engagement ring is right for me?

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but any woman worth her salt has a couple of other jewels that she goes steady with. Your engagement ring is possibly the dearest piece you’ll wear in your life so its style should be chosen with care.

Pick an engagement ring that delights you so you can gaze upon it fondly every day. It’s a symbol of the love you share with your partner so shop around and consider a fair amount of options before settling on the right one.

Diamonds are traditional. But a woman’s engagement ring should reflect her personality, and although we change over time, every woman has some fixed defining character traits. Here are some engagement ring suggestions to suit your kind of phenomenal woman:

Classical

Classical Engagement Ring

Diamond and White Gold Engagement Ring

The woman who embodies the classical is steady and classy. She loves a well cut Chanel suit and the red soles of a pair of Christian Louboutins. Look for an engagement ring that will endure in style, the same way she does.

A round brilliant cut diamond in a traditional gold or white gold setting will suit the classical woman perfectly. Round brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular for engagement rings as they have 58 facets for light to bounce off of, making for the most generous sparkle.

Quirky

Quirky Engagement Ring. 

Citrine Cabochon and White Gold Engagement Ring.

The Quirky Woman lives in her own fantastical world, disinterested in modern trends. For Miss, well soon to be Mrs. Quirky a vintage ring is perfect. It has the timeless style of a bygone era and she can be sure that no one else will have a love and an engagement ring like hers.

The Art Deco period from jazzy 1920s gave rise to some stylishly complex rings with gracious lines. Think the splendour of The Great Gatsby. Engagement rings from the Edwardian period (La Belle Époque) are known for intimate filigree details, while Victorian engagement rings are full-on romance with hearts, floral patterns and lovebirds featuring in ring design.

These types of vintage rings are hard to come by, but if you see something you know she’ll love while trawling Pinterest, bring the pic to Afrogem. One of our experienced goldsmiths would be delighted to recreate it for you.

Bold

Bold Engagement Ring

Aquamarine and White Gold Engagement Ring

Bold women are often mistaken for show-offs but surely, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Right? These women are striking, powerful and hard to miss in a crowd.

A large diamond will reflect her bold personality the best. As legendary actress and jewellery connoisseur Elizabeth Taylor put it, “Big girls need big diamonds.”

A grand princess cut ring has several corner facets that reflect light intensely. And nothing draws attention to your lovely hands like a princess cut solitaire. Ladylike, romantic and stark it is the perfect choice for the bold woman. The clarity of a polished Aquamarine is another great choice for the bold woman, should you love a bold lady yet not have the pocket for the three carats she’ll need to make her say yes.

Rebel

Rebellious Engagement Ring

Tanzanite and Rose Gold Engagement Ring

The Rebel woman bucks the trend. While other women may want diamonds, The Rebel will be more impressed by your imaginative choice of a coloured gemstone. Princess Diana chose a Sapphire engagement ring, whereas emeralds were known to be a favourite of Cleopatra. Like them, The Rebel is one of the daring women of history.

Tanzanite is perfect for her as the stone comes from a small strip of land at the foothills of the Kilimanjaro. They are about 1000 times rarer than diamonds and with their shades of purple, violet and blue are exceptionally alluring. Their out of the ordinary colour pairs them fantastically well with the warm tones of rose gold for an unforgettable engagement ring.

If your Rebel woman has a wild hippy soul, consider an unpolished precious stone.

Mysterious

Mysterious Engagement Ring

Peridot and Silver Engagement Ring

Not all women covet jewels. Our mysterious woman values subtlety. In a modern twist and a show of affinity she may desire a ring that looks quite similar to her groom’s simple band. For contrast it might be nice for him to have a gold band while you have a delicate silver engagement ring. A silver band can be minimalistic while possessing small details that stop it from being plain. A private quote engraved or initials on the inside of the ring is incredibly romantic. And embossing on the face of the band can bring some charm and design to the engagement ring as well.

Expert tip: If you have shorter fingers try on elongated styles such as a pear, oval, or marquise cut gemstone, and avoid wide bands that could make your fingers look even shorter. If you have larger hands to bring more proportion and delicacy to them try a heart, cushion or round cut diamond.