Those of you who have been to our pearl jewellery store in London will know how much Coleman Douglas Pearls loves tourmaline! Tourmaline comes in so many different colours and shades it complements our pearls perfectly. October babes are very lucky indeed as not only do they have opal as a birthstone they also get tourmaline to pick from!
One of the most interesting facts about tourmaline is that because it does have such a range of colours it is often mistaken for other stones. This is even reflected in its name, which comes from the Sinhalese “thoramalli” which means “mixed gems”. Tourmaline can be coloured from black through all the colours of the rainbow to a highly prized Paraiba tourmaline – an intense bright blue shade originally found in Paraiba in Brazil. Not only does tourmaline come in individual colours it can also come bi-coloured often in shades of pink with green. These colour zoned tourmalines are affectionately known as “watermelon” tourmalines for their resemblance to the fruit.
However, tourmaline is not actually a single mineral, but instead a group of minerals related in their physical and chemical properties. The mineral Elbaite is the member of the Tourmaline group that is responsible for almost all the gem varieties.
We love that tourmaline can be paired with any colour pearl especially our multi coloured tahitian pearls. Tahitian pearls grow in the Black lipped oyster which produces black pigment and are found in the surrounding area of the archipelago of French Polynesia, Panama and Mexico. Their colours are naturally dark and range from grey to black and peacock green to aubergine; however, they can sometimes be very light in colour from white to yellow and pink all of which have grey overtones.
We would love to talk to you more about tourmalines and pearls so pop into our pearl showroom soon!
October is breast cancer awareness month – something that all of us here at Coleman Douglas Pearls are very passionate about supporting. Raising awareness for the disease is very important to us so we have come up with a few ways for you to raise awareness at home! Firstly Breast Cancer Care are holding The Big Pink on 14th October this year. This is the perfect opportunity for you to gather your friends and family and host a pink tea extravaganza!
The theme would obviously be Think Pink with a pink dress code, pink pearls, pink food, pink drinks . . . the list of possibilities is endless! Make sure you register to get your free kit and ask everyone to donate generously of course. Either host it at home or convince your boss to turn your workplace into a pink paradise for the day (mention charity and cakes and watch the idea take off!).
On a similar theme are bakesales at the school gates (guaranteed to raise money as kids+cakes+amazing cause . . . ) why not even get the school to help and get the children involved! If baking cakes is not a possibility maybe decorating could be? Or even just getting them to make decorations in class for the aforementioned party could be a great way of getting the younger generation involved and raising awareness.
However if your feeling active why not take part in one of the hundreds of sporting events across the country and raise money that way. Whether it is a 5km race for life, marathon, or even a triathlon, pull on your sports kit and raise money for a good cause! And don’t forget to wear your pink pearls with pride as you cross the finishing line! Also keep your eyes out for our own special take at our pearl jewellery store located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.
We are excited to announce that we have a new selection of beautiful opals at our London Pearl Showroom!
Opals are the stone of inspiration and are meant to inspire the imagination and creativity – and it is easy to see why with their mesmerizing colours. Opal is the birthstone for October and in the Middle ages was believed to bring the wearer good luck.
With their beautiful rainbow colours opals are the perfect complimentary companion to your pearls. Opals pick up on the natural luster of a pearl through their impressive play of colour. Opals come in a range of colours from white to black! Other common body colours include red and orange “Fire” opals as well as blue and green. Black opals are the rarest with the black body colour allowing the best play of colour to be seen.
Our opals are Australian boulder opals which mean that they are not fully separated from their rock matrix.
We mainly have black opals with predominantly blue and green play of colour which set off our pearls – especially our tahitian pearls perfectly.
We also have some truly amazing black opals showing the full colour spectrum from violet through to red.
Opal is a form of silica and the play of colour that you see is due to its internal structure. Opal is actually made up of hundreds of tiny silica spheres in a tightly packed lattice, and the regularity of the size and shape of these spheres determine the opals quality and how much play of colour you can see through the diffraction of light passing through. Smaller gaps between the spheres produce the blue and violet colours and larger gaps give red’s and oranges. The greater the uniformity of the spheres, the more intense and brilliant the colours produced will be.
If you want to pop in and take a look at our opals and pearls we are open Monday – Saturday, 11am-7pm at our store in Beauchamp Place. We can make a bespoke design to meet your individual needs if you can’t find what you are after in store.
We have been struck with Royal fever here at Coleman Douglas Pearls as we are absolutely hooked on ITV’s new period drama Victoria! Apparently it is not far from the truth with Victoria’s diaries being used heavily in the research to the show. And oh the jewellery – Pearls galore on top of stunning pieces still in existence today!
Below is a brief introduction to a couple of our favourite Victorian jewels.
Up first is the George IV State Diadem made in 1820 originally for King George IV himself! The diadem features a set of 4 crosses pattée alternating with 4 bouquets of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The motifs are set on a band of diamond scrollwork between two bands of pearls.
The front cross is set with a 4 carat yellow diamond, and the piece features an incredible 1,333 diamonds in all. This diadem was a firm favourite of Victoria’s and she even wore it to the christening of two of her children! It is also popular with our current Queen who reserves it for state occasions and to and from the opening of parliament.
Next is Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace given to her in 1887 by a committee of ladies who were raising money for a commemorative statue of Victoria’s late husband Prince Albert. Having raised far more than was needed for the statue it was agreed that the excess money was to go to the St. Katherine’s Fund for Nurses and for a necklace to be made for Victoria. However, some of the committee did not think that the money should be spent on a necklace. With the group divided and Victoria apparently fuming that she would not get her necklace this was the £5000 compromise reached!
Made from gold, diamonds and pearls it features a central quatrefoil diamond motif with a large central pearl, topped by a crown and underlined with a drop pearl. Ever practical this necklace is a multi tasking piece with the central piece and the six largest trefoils can be worn as brooches. Again this necklace has found a fan with Queen Elizabeth II who often pairs it with the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara with pearls.
So now you know a bit about the jewellery…which is your favourite piece?!
In the Autumn we, Coleman Douglas Pearls, will be launching our latest collection “Water For Hot Chocolate”, pairing gorgeous copper brown pearls with smoky quartz and citrine, making the designs so enticing you’re bound to have chocolate cravings!
So with that in mind our pearl team have decided to fully embrace the cravings and are going to talk about all things chocolate!
Being three dedicated chocoholics we could think of nothing better than attending The Chocolate Show in October. Running from 16th -18th October at London Olympia get ready to loosen those waist belts and delve into the wonderful world of chocolate with famous chefs, free tasters and a fabulous chocolate fashion show!
If you can’t wait until October to get your chocolate fix we recommend a good dose of copper pearls and a trip to ‘Chocolatiers to the Queen’ – Prestat. Not only does Prestat produce the most INCREDIBLE truffles in all sorts of fun flavours they also do an incredibly indulgent hot chocolate range! Keep your eyes peeled for our next news update which will surely tempt you chocoholics this upcoming season . . . . .
Whilst the remainder of the summer sun lasts we will try and resist temptation and stick to the fruit at our Pearl Jewellery store. However, as soon as the leaves start to turn and the jumpers go back on we know our faithful friend will be there waiting for us!
Stunning September Sapphires! Coleman Douglas Pearls love a good bit of mid month alliteration! During the Medieval Ages, European lapidaries started calling blue corundum crystal “sapphire”, a derivative of the Latin word for blue: “sapphirus”. Despite the reasoning behind the name, this stone is actually so much more than the traditional shades of blue. Yes, blue sets off pearls beautifully, from White South Sea pearls through to Tahitian pearls, with the palest cornflower hues to deep Kashimir blues, all matching elegantly with pearls. However, sapphire is the popular name given to the mineral corundum which actually comes in a full rainbow of colours.
The word sapphire without a prefix, implies blue only. Sapphires of all other colors are assigned a color prefix (Green Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire etc) or are collectively termed fancy sapphires. If the color is red, it is a “ruby.” Like ruby the most important factor to consider when looking at sapphires of any colour is their hue.
A strong colour is desirable, not too pale and not too dark, with inclusion being not as important in comparison. You can often see colour zoning in sapphires where bands of colour are stronger in some places in the stone than others.
Asterism or the “star effect” is a reflection effect that appears as two or more intersecting bands of light across the surface of a gem. Asterism in sapphires is due to reflections from multitudes of exsolved needle inclusions (silk), which in most varieties consist of rutile and/or hematite. Asterism is rare with the largest star sapphire weighing 1,404.49 carats and would cost you around $300million. So not much then…
Famous sapphires include the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring, formerly belonging to Princess Diana.
Here at our pearl jewellery store we also have a selection of sapphire rings, either for you to give to the ‘Kate’ in your life, or if you just fancy a treat as its Monday! We are open Monday – Saturday from 11am – 7pm so please pop in and have a look.
What a name for a novel! Our very own Chrissie Douglas (pearl specialist and head designer of Coleman Douglas Pearls) has worked alongside Julia Stuart (bestselling author of Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo) to help unfold the secrets of Scottish pearls for Julia’s new novel, The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland.
The story is of one man’s quest to find a pearl to help save his marriage. Being the last expert in the ancient art of pearl fishing, he’s on a quest to track down the pearl that will complete a necklace for his wife, Elspeth, convinced that the love token will save their marriage. But Scotland’s rivers are running out of mussels, Elspeth is running out of patience, and their daughter, Maggie, is running wild with her mustachioed pet rabbit. When Maggie takes matters into her own hands, determined to keep the family together, the McBrides (a fantastic Scottish name!) are soon at the centre of international commotion that will change everyone’s lives forever.
The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland has already had rave reviews. Not only is it a beautiful story, it is filled with fascinating and detailed knowledge on Scottish natural pearls and the ancient way of finding them. Julia Stuart is a writer who completely takes her readers into other worlds and does so by keeping true to her subject matters. Having asked our Pearl Specialist to advice her, which of course Chrissie was extremely happy to oblige, The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland is a novel filled with enchanting insights into the world of pearls. We won’t spoil the story by telling you some of the secrets because it’s all in the romance of this charming story and Julia’s wonderful way of telling it. Go and buy yourself a copy, it’s a lovely, funny and original novel that is certainly a ‘must read’.
Oh, and if you fancy owning your own pearl necklace have a peek through our pearl collections or stop by our showroom in Knightsbridge. We’d love to have a chat about the book over a coffee and you might even be able to meet Chrissie, CDP’s pearl specialist and designer extraordinaire.
The end of summer is officially coming to a close. School is about to start, the nights are definitely shorter. But fear not your summer pearls can have one last hurrah as next week is the last night of the proms – the prefect excuse to wear your Coleman Douglas Pearls necklace to see summer off with a bang!
The BBC Proms are an eight week annual event running throughout the summer season with a classical music concert put on every day mainly in the stunning Royal Albert Hall but also a few chamber concerts at Cadogan Hall and outside events in parks across the UK. The proms were founded in 1895 and is short for Promenade Concert referring to the outdoor concerts in London’s pleasure gardens where people could walk around whilst the orchestra was playing!
These days its a hard fought battle to get your pearls to the prom! Either you are lucky enough to get seated tickets or have season tickets but if your feeling energetic you can also stand. Promming is where you use the standing areas inside the hall where ticket prices are much lower than for the reserved seating. Single-concert standing Promming tickets can be bought only on the day of the concert, which can give rise to the famous long queues for well-known artists or works (us British do love a good queue!).
Either you are able to give your pearls an outing to the Royal Albert Hall (you lucky thing!) or maybe you are planning on going to watch it in Hyde Park? Our Pearl Team also would recommend throwing a Proms party – invite all you nearest and dearest (dress code black tie and pearls obviously . . .) pop on the TV and watch the magic unfold from the comfort of your own home!
If you do throw a Pearls at the Prom party please let us know through our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
The final throws of summer holidays are upon us but back to school needn’t mean doom and gloom! Coleman Douglas Pearls are trying desperately hard to not get carried away buying all the fabulous stationary in the shops . . . . We will have to settle for our colourful pearls instead of pens!
A new school year was the perfect chance for a new look when we were young, but why should the kids have all the fun?! The Autumn/Winter 16 trends were so varied there was the perfect look for everyone. Firstly, ‘alice bands’ are no longer for just your daughters! Embrace the easy elegance like Kate and the rest of the ‘fashion’ pack and banish those pesky kirby grips to the bathroom cabinet and wear our pearl tiara instead of a boring black number.
Next to be dug out of the wardrobe and reinvented is the waterproof jacket. Catwalks rarely combine fashion with comfort and practicality so make the most of this sporty trend this winter! Either dig out your “retro” waterproof (remember the one you bought years ago for it to be banished under the stairs…) or invest in a brightly coloured new one to chase away the grey. Here’s to looking forward to a winter downpour that doesn’t end in your umbrella turning inside out!
And if all else fails back to school means that you no longer have to think up increasingly more difficult ways to entertain the children. With all your time back you may be looking for some me time so pop on down to our pearl jewellery store! We have put the coffee machine ON in anticipation . . . .
Can someone please tell our Pearl Team where the year has gone?! With the end of summer spectacular that is the Notting Hill Carnival already upon us it is only a matter of time before we are plagued with jingling of bells and the murmurs of *cough* Christmas *cough*. But enough of that for now and back to the summer spirit!
Held in August every year the Notting Hill Carnival is renowned as Europe’s biggest street party and originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. Livening up the August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London W11, the Carnival is an amazing array of colourful sights and sounds as well as the most amazing feeling of inclusion and social solidarity.
The carnivals roots itself in early 19th century Caribbean culture where it was a particularly strong tradition especially in Trinidad. These carnivals were all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. The very first carnival in Notting Hill was an attempt to showcase the steel band musicians who played in the Earls Court of London every Weekend. When the bands paraded through the streets of Notting Hill, they drew black residents out on to the streets, reminding them of the Caribbean homes they had left behind.
The most spectacular aspect of the carnival, however, has to be the incredible outfits! The riot of colour, sequins and more often than not pearls that adorn the gorgeous women is truly a sight to behold. Make everyday your carnival by donning your pearls and sequins and lap up the last of the summer sun. Our Pearl jewellery store is open Monday – Saturday from 11am-7pm and we also offer a bespoke design service. Please phone 0207 373 3369 to book an appointment with our pearl designer Chrissie Douglas.