02 Mar Birthstones for Spring Months & Astonishing Mimi Lipton Collection
The origin of Western birthstones can be traced to the sacred linen breastplate worn by Moses’ brother Aaron, the first Israelite high priest. A gold chain linked 12 engraved stones to each tribe and the 30-day zodiac constellations. The popularity of birthstones has grown over the centuries, along with extended secondary birthstones each possessing their own qualities, myths and legends. Their healing and therapeutic powers are widely accepted today. Birthstones are no longer just for those with a birthday during the assigned month. They are believed to heighten powers for anyone wearing them at any time.
Aquamarine is the primary gemstone for March, protector of the sea – cool, calm and collected. Its serene pale blue colour is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and level-headed. Here on the left is an aquamarine buckle from the amazing Mimi Lipton collection; https://www.mimilipton.net/ The book is entitled ‘Untamed Encounters‘. (c) Mimi Lipton, Thames & Hudson 2014. She is an antique dealer and she got her collection of uncut gemstones made into stunning contemporary pieces, all of which are outrageously brilliant. They blow your mind and completely transform your idea of gemstone jewellery. They did mine. Truly outstanding.
Bloodstone – the second birthstone of March, a dark grey-green jasper flecked with vivid deep red spots of iron oxide. This ancient stone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets and was believed to have curative powers for blood disorders.
April birthstone is Diamond, the hardest and toughest gemstone around. It’s made of one element; carbon. According to American Gem Society diamond’s structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature and can only be cut with another diamond. I happened to meet an ex-De Beers diamond salesman on a TV shoot. He was selling the synthetic diamond, which is primarily for industrial use but also used for jewellery. Since the discovery in 1797 that diamond was pure carbon, people have been trying to convert cheap carbon into the queen of gemstones. As always profit is what drives people but in jewellery craftsmanship and artistry as well as rare and valuable material is regarded highly, and rightly so, but I wonder how different is a perfectly cut piece of diamond from an equally perfectly constructed artificial diamond in the ultimate goal? In the same vein with furs, some synthetic diamond jewellery are claimed to be ‘ethical’. That is debatable but having seen Mimi Lipton’s collection, I believe man’s interference on natural beauty and power must always be measured.
Another stunning Mimi piece on the right is a gold ring with uncut Emerald, the birthstone for May. This powerful piece embraces a rough emerald rock of deep midnight blue. We have to respect the technical excellence of a gem cutter transforming something like this to a green transparent mesmerising jewel that appeared on magnificent crowns in world history. Yet you can’t deny the energetic and mysterious beauty of this ring and its rock that holds its own long history within.
Check below a couple of bloodstone necklaces in my collection;
Related article on synthetic diamonds; http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2076225/de-beers-fights-fakes-technology-chinas-lab-grown-diamonds