Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fossilized gemstones

Fossilized coral. Rough variations and polished cabochons.

Opalized wood variations.

Fossilized pharyngeal plates from fish. The rough variation shown above with cabochons below. Commonly called "snakeskin cabochons."


More and more we are finding interesting gems online. The exciting thing about online finds are the breadth of possibilities and unique pieces that would be overlooked by most gem suppliers. There are so many options that overlap with people that collect fossils and minerals that can easily be used to make unique jewellery pieces. If you are interested in a unique piece made into jewellery we can work together to source the perfect specimen!
- Alexis

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Summer in Toronto



Summer in Toronto

Dear Sunday reader,

It's the time of year when Torontonians spill out onto the streets, filling parks, patios and bike paths. Summer in the city means food, music and cultural festivals nearly every weekend.

Among many great things to be part of this summer, we have CANADA DAY July 1st, a celebration of  joy and pride for all Canadian; you can stick around for spectacular fireworks in the evening.
 
The renowned TD Toronto Jazz Festival returns with jazz artists performing in and around the city. Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin will be in Toronto among many great artists.

Summer in Toronto means seeing Canada’s longest-running outdoor theater event, Shakespeare in High Park. 

The internationally acclaimed entertainment company Cavalia brings its latest production, Odysseo to Mississauga this summer, a great opportunity to enjoy the summer with our kids.

Toronto is a city full of activities, do not miss the great outdoors, SUMMER IS HERE.

At the corner of Roncesville and Marion is Jewel Envy.  We are excited to share our new ideas for the summer and explore new creations:  for redesigning your jewellery or custom making something special that you have been dreaming of.


                                                 Custom Diamond ring. hplafaurie.ca


You are always welcome to browse and be inspired at Jewel Envy.

Have a nice Sunday!


Helena


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Tips from a goldsmith

One of the pieces of info that we give customers continuously is about white gold. Gold starts out yellow and to change it to white either nickel or palladium is added. Rings in North America are most commonly a mixture of nickel and gold. *The EU actually has a nickel directive to restrict the use of nickel in jewellery* The benefit of nickel is that it is less expensive; the downside is that you can have an allergy that you may not be aware of, or even develop an allergy overtime to it. Rhodium plating is most commonly used to serve as a barrier and gives the metal a bright white colour. However, all plating eventually wears off dependent on the thickness of the plating, your own skin acidity, how you treat and wear your rings exposing the nickel to your skin. This could mean maintaining your ring by rhodium plating when needed. 


Another alternative is selecting a metal that is hypoallergenic (see above image). Palladium and platinum are white metals that will not aggravate your skin. Palladium is part of the platinum family of metals and shares the same hypoallergenic properties and can be added to gold to create white gold (just as nickel is added to create nickel white gold).

Sometimes even having a ring made with a hypoallergenic material is not enough, then what?!




Irritation can also be caused by build of soap or lotions that are being caught underneath the ring. Surface irritation dermatitis is often associated with moisture being trapped between the ring and your finger, causing unpleasant friction and the breakdown of your skin’s protective layer. To help prevent this, make sure you dry your hands thoroughly after washing them. This will reduce the chance of unwanted friction. We always recommend that you take your jewellery before showering, swimming, and before you go to bed so you are not trapping any moisture under your ring and to give your finger a bit of a break.



If your finger has developed an irritation be sure that you are exploring all your options. Also be sure that you are taking your ring off (please don't just leave it on!) Switching fingers if necessary and allowing your skin time to heal. Hydro cortisone can help with reactions to nickel combined with keeping the skin moisturized to help it heal. Another tip that I've come across lately is using a barrier cream which can also help to reduce irritation. Regardless, as a goldsmiths we are always happy to field questions like this. 

-Alexis

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Pre-Columbian Jewellery




Hello Sunday Readers,



Today I will talk a little bit about one of my favorite themes, jewellery history.
It is very special to me because the theme is Pre-Columbian Jewellery, and I’m Colombian.
One of the four most advanced civilizations of the Americas apart from the AztecsMayans, and Incans, was the Muisca civilization on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes

The Muisca (or Chibchacivilization flourished in ancient Colombia between 600 and 1600 CE. Their territory encompassed what is now Bogotá and its environs, and they have gained lasting fame as the origin of the El Dorado legend. The Muisca have also left a significant artistic legacy with their superb gold work, and much of the excellence of this work has never been reached by any other Americas culture.


The most well-known piece of this civilization is The Muisca Ralf, which is exhibited at the Gold Museum in Bogota. It is a lost-wax casting in gold with a small amount of copper.



 


                                                           The Muisca Raft




It represents the ceremony of investiture of the Muisca chief, which used to take place at Lake Guatavita.


The raft was found by three farmers in early 1969 in a cave in the village of Lázaro Fonte in the municipality of Pasca (Cundinamarca), Colombia, in a ceramic pot, adorned with a human figure whose face has sharp teeth.



Typical Muisca designs include spirals and other geometric, inter-locking forms. Also produced were ceramics (including clay figures) and carved semi-precious stones. 





                                      Muisca's Charms Braceler. Sterling Silver. hplafaurie.ca






All this heritage full of meaning and unavailable richness has been passed down through generations and is part of the pride of being Colombian. And in a miraculous way, it has come to my hands and imagination to help me transform materials into wonderful things!



Have a nice Sunday!

Helena


References,
Muisca Raft, Wikipedia
Ancient History Encyclopedia