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BIJOUX | GEMOLOGY SESSION WITH ASTLEY CLARKE

There’s nothing I like more than getting my geek on. Any opportunity to geek out on a subject and learn from the experts (while drinking prosecco) and I’m there! So when Astley Clarke invited me to one of their gemology evenings I jumped at the chance. Held in their London showroom, the evening saw a small group of invited guests sitting in rapture as their resident gemstone expert talked us through how different stones are identified, mined, cut and set.

Coquette_3888

— { top left earrings, bottom right earrings } —

It took a while to get used to using the loupe, it’s apparently much easier to do with both eyes open (which seems completely wrong when you try it!) and with one hand balancing the other, I eventually got the hang of it. We examined the stones in their raw state, various stages of cut and polish, and then as they’re used within the exquisite pieces in the Astley Clarke collections –  morganite, labradorite, tourmaline, ruby, amethyst, chrysoprase, hematite, aquamarine – nothing escaped our inspection (or lustful gaze!)

The Coquette Bride_3884

Coquette_3887

— { earrings } —

It wasn’t long before we were lost in stories of secret Indian market deals, explorers parachuting into remote jungles to drill for pockets of undiscovered gems, hidden mines and much more. My grandfather has long had an interest in coloured gemstones and amassed quite a collection for my grandma over his lifetime’s visits to india and the east for work. He’ll wax lyrical on the subject matter for hours, so it was a treat to find out more from an expert, especially a woman in what is predominantly a male industry. Indian gemstone dealers won’t have any women working in their offices as it’s considered bad luck, and the work can have an element of danger involved.

The Coquette Bride_3885

— { ring, earrings } —

The Coquette Bride_3886
— { left pendant, right pendant } —

At the end of the evening, we stepped out into the evening light with sparkles in our eyes, gemstone books under our arms and goodie bags in our hands. The minute I got home I passed the geek on to my sister, regaling her with ‘did you know’s’ all evening. Thank you Astley Clarke for a truly wonderful evening.

P.S. this is not a sponsored post, I just love Astley Clarke, their products, their customer service and their passion for what they do.  

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