Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Ivane!!!

 For those of you who don't know, Ivane Thiebaut is a resident goldsmith here at Jewel Envy. A lot of her work is inspired by nature, and if you stop by the studio you should definitely take a peek at some of her shell and flower jewellery.

She also has a range of pieces that find their inspiration in Canadiana - perfectly simple and classic, that make me very impatient for summers at the lake, or winters on the trail.

 Classic canoe cufflinks in sterling silver $145

Toronto xoxo postcard bracelet in sterling silver $50
 (our city's skyline features on the reverse side, and it's on an adjustable leather cord)

Fan favourite antler necklace in sterling silver $155
My favourite pine cone in sterling $170 (both on silver chains)

Show some hometown (and handcrafted!) love with jewellery by Ivane Thiebaut! You have plenty of time to get yours for the Canada 150 celebration this summer:)

Saturday, March 25, 2017


You might be familiar with engraving from custom initial rings or pendants you have been given as a gift.
Well! Engraving done by hand uses tools like these called gravers that scrape into the surface as you draw across a piece of metal.

Here is a sample piece that really shows each step it takes to add the detail you see in engraved designs.

Imagine the skill it would take to draw INTO metal. Most work is done on flat surfaces (like the initial on the ring and sample above). Building up skill over time engravers take on custom creations especially on one of a kind rings, check these out:

Engravers can work on older pieces bringing them new life or even on the work of one of our goldsmiths here at Jewel Envy. We can custom create a ring and work with an engraver to create a beautiful and one of a kind ring. Check out more rings below! - Alexis

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

the world is your oyster!

#pearls #jackieO  #jackie #the crown #Hair #debs #classicjewellery #standofpearls #pearlearrings #pearlstrands #debutante #jewelenvy #culturedpearls #mikimoto #bivalve #southseapearls #necklaces

  1. you are in a position to take the opportunities that life has to offer.

Oyster with pearl
Shutterstock image.

This is a really strong statement.  Almost the cry of a great warrior.  Yet the pearl inside the oyster is so fresh, delicate and an absolute mesmerizing to behold.

The formation of a pearl is really a wondrous thing.  

I also think that Pearls represent women coming of age.  They are symbols and demarcations of their stages in life.  In society and cultural circles, young girls received small pearls for their first pair earrings, followed by gift marking sweet 16, 21, and marriage.  Later gifts to demonstrate the power and wealth of the woman's husband and position, or place in the Royal Court. 


The Crown, Jackie and Hair.

These three moves are demonstrations of this.  

The Crown shows how paramount pearls were to the image of the Queen, and The Queen Mom.  A daily ritual putting on pearls.  Jackie, it was if she was putting on a costume and stepping into a role when she, put on her perfume,  fastened her pearls, (put on her gloves) and greeted the public.   

How are Pearls Formed?

Understanding the basics of pearls, how they occur and are formed, provides a basis for the classification and valuation of these gems.

Make no mistake, Pearls are the King of Gems.  

Pearls were discovered long before Rubies, Sapphires, Emerald and Diamonds.

Pearls are talked about in the Bible, 5,757 years ago. 

I came across a law, which I can't locate now.  

It states that you must not charge a premium when you sell 2 items that match instead of one by itself.

Unless the matched pair is so rare, and hard to find and that it might take a long period of time and incur a great expense to the match pair.  

The bible talks about pearls being that rare items that is it so very difficult to find a naturally occurring matched pair of pearls.  


Pearls are formed when a foreign matter is introduced into the inside of the Bivalve.  The species protects itself by isolating the irritant and coats it which protect the oyster from this damage.

Calcium carbonate is the material that is deposited on the irritant.  It is gathered by the organism from the waters that it lives in.  

The layers of this material is built up and we collectively called these layers the nacre of the pearl.

Each variety of Bivalves, grow for different periods of time, produce different types of pearls, colour, size and shape of pearls.  

Naturally occurring pearls are very rare.      

To read more information on this topic I refer you to Pure Pearls web site that has excellent information on Natural Pearls.

Natural pearl beds,  were over farmed and natural pearls became extremely rare.  


In the early 1900's when natural pearls started to disappear experimentation began where by the Bivalves were implanted with seeds and irritants introduced into the pearls.

The challenge was to not kill the Bivalve when inseminating it, and removing the pearl, are when it is mature.  

Below is a collection of three cultured pearls that are matched in colour.  All are golden pearls from South Seas, salt water pearls.  

I am going to continue this next week, talking about, Mikimoto Pearls and Majorica Pearls,

sound so similar, could not be more different.

Then we will start the exciting journey of lusting after strands of pearls. How to choose a strand of pearls, worthy of a Kings Ransom....


Sunday, March 19, 2017


Amanda Henderson is one of the resident goldsmiths here at Jewel Envy. Her company is called Jewelust, and she designs and creates amazing jewellery.

Today is all about Amanda’s earrings!

Here is a little sneak peek of one of her earrings that she created here in the studio:

These ones have pretty little roses; you can enjoy too lovely stacking rings,  with the same design.

For a sparkling night, this sparkling and incredible pair of earrings.

To feel sophisticated choose this magnificent pair

For the great days, when everything is on your side, be bold with these ones!

For any day, just to feel unique!

Amanda is a great designer, she also does incredible custom work, her creativity and fine work are one of her trade marks.

Have a nice Sunday.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Choker Neclace... did you know

I love choker necklaces but not all in their history is rosy!

Choker necklaces are all the rave at the moment, a "must" item of current fashion trend. This is old news however, it was already big in various antic civilisations such as in China centuries ago, American history as well as India and Egypt.


 Also around 1798 during the French Revolution, women used to wear a red ribbon around their necks to honour the people that had been de killed.


 Then around 1860, the ribbon around the neck could mean that a woman was a prostitute, however it was also a favourite item for the ballerina to wear as seen in Degas Ballerinas paintings. Towards the mid century the choker necklace became a Royal Fashion item following princess Alexandra who was wearing them to hide her scar on her neck.

In 1944 it had a revival as shown in 'Life Magazine" for the modern woman.  In 1990 even men were wearing it such as Mike Jagger, Jimmy Hendrix and even Elvis. It had a big revival in the mid 90s as it became highly fashionable again with a "goth' trend with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.

Again recently every youngster would wear a choker "edgy sexy,  cute but bad ass" too!


Well it's here to stay, and you can even make your own in one of our classes.


Saturday, March 11, 2017


Happy weekend everybody!

I was browsing through my website analytics the other day (a handy and very important feature that I use sparingly/almost never), and noticed something interesting. Some of my traffic had been directed by a website that I recognized immediately - - a recommendation from a professor many moons ago.

It is a shop that specializes in rings specifically made from alternative materials. The owner is allergic to metals, and so she scours the internet to source the most interesting and beautiful, non-metallic pieces in wood, lucite, jade, resin, and you get the idea.

She also posts regularly on her blog, showcasing rings from makers the world over. These features are not limited to alternative materials, but include any and all fabulous wearable rings in all different styles. Anyways, one of my rings was featured here - so yay!

Go check out the blog, there is SO MUCH INSPIRATION and SO MANY RINGS! She's been blogging since 2003, so you definitely have some catching up to do. Have fun!

xx sash


Friday, March 10, 2017

The Classics Revisited

Is there anything that is really considered classic in jewellery?

Maybe  are there no real classics, just the style of the day?  A la Mode?

I have been staying in a lot during these cold, dark short snowy winter days.  Hibernating and watching movies and award shows

Turner Classic Movies are such an inspiration.  Hollywood Glam.  Netflicks' The Crown shows Queen Elizabeth coming to age.  Royalty.  Block Busters - The New Hollywood -

When I think about the classics I think about pearls.  Long before the discovery of diamonds and platinum pearls were the most valued gem in the world.

According to the Cultured Pearl Association of America Inc.  Luster, Size, Shape, Colour, Nacre Thickness and Surface Quality are the factors that determine the value of the pearl.

I would also add in to this the variety of Pearl i.e. Origin Salt Water -vs - Fresh Water Pearls. Virtually all pearls today are cultured.

What does cultured mean?  Man introduces a seed or a bead usually round into a a Bi-Value mollusk. The bivalve forms a coating around the bead called a nacre.  In a natural pearl, a pieces of sand or debris enters the bivalve naturally and the nacre is formed.  This does not happen very often so, seed are planted in the oysters.

Natural pearls are highly valued. An example of this is that Cartier purchased his building on Fifth Avenue in NYC with two matching natural pearls.

While single, double and triple strand pearls are still the ultimate in classic jewellery,

pearls incorporated into contemporary designs offer the best of both worlds.

This series will continue to talk about  how to choose a classic strand of pearls that is worthy of becoming a family heirloom to be handed down to future generations.

Below are some examples of contemporary designs using pearls

The first image is of work by resident goldsmith Hyewon Jang, the second is of student work.