Author Archives: Ruthie Gray

Kyanite Cabochon 29mm

Kyanite Teardrop Cabochon

The kyanite gemstone cabochon shown here is 29mm long, and is available to be handcrafted into a custom piece for you.

Azurite Malachite & Chrysocolla Cabochon 19mm

Azurite Malachite & Chrysocolla Cabochon

The lovely azurite malachite & chrysocolla gemstone cabochon shown here is 19mm long.  It is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you.

These three stones are closely related. Dark blue azurite and light to dark green malachite are basically copper carbonate, having the same chemical composition except for one oxygen molecule. Azurite, when in the earth, can slowly change to malachite, so it is rare to find azurite without malachite being present. Chrysocolla, a light green/sky blue stone, is a copper silicate and often occurring in the same stone with them. Turquoise, a copper aluminum phosphate, is a cousin to these three and can frequently be found in the same copper deposit locations.

Jasper Cabchon Pair - Red Earth 22mm

Jasper Cabochon Pair – Red Earth

The amazing jasper gemstone cabochons shown here are 22mm long, and are available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring, pendant or earrings for you.

Jasper is believed to encourage personal bravery and help people gain independence. It is thought to help cure gynecological problems and to strengthen the stomach. Some believe it can help bring rain, and it has been used as a protection against evil spirits and snake and spider bites.

Picture Jasper Oval Cabochon

The beautiful picture jasper gemstone cabochon shown here is 29mm long, and is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you.

Jasper is believed to encourage personal bravery and help people gain independence. It is thought to help cure gynecological problems and to strengthen the stomach. Some believe it can help bring rain, and it has been used as a protection against evil spirits and snake and spider bites.

Sonora Rhyolite Dendritic Jasper Cabochons 21mm

Sonora Rhyolite Dendritic Jasper Cabochons

The amazing sonora rhyolite gemstone cabochons shown here are 21mm long, and are available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring, pendant or earrings for you.

Rhyolite is a volcanic rock. It is sometimes known as Rainforest Jasper. Its occurrence is quite widespread throughout the world. Pre-historic quarries of rhyolite have been discovered in the location of east Pennsylvania, USA. Rhyolite was given it’s name by the German traveller and geologist Ferdinand von Richthofen after his explorations in the Rocky Mountains in the 1860s.

Rhyolite is supposed to spark creativity in individuals who are ready to move forward and make things happen in their life. It apparently helps to break through the mental barriers. This stone is used for meditation, progression in life, focusing on the present moment and resolving issues not yet complete.

Orbicular Ocean Jasper Cabochon 26mm

Ocean Jasper Oval Cabochon

The lovely orbicular jasper gemstone cabochon shown here is 26mm long, and is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you.

Jasper is believed to encourage personal bravery and help people gain independence. It is thought to help cure gynecological problems and to strengthen the stomach. Some believe it can help bring rain, and it has been used as a protection against evil spirits and snake and spider bites.

Red Moss Agate Cabochon 32mm

Reserved – Red Moss Agate Oval Cabochon

The gorgeous red oval moss agate gemstone cabochon shown here is 32mm long.  It is reserved for a lovely client. 

Moss agate is dendritic, meaning it has tree or fern-like inclusions (from the Greek dendron, meaning tree). The inclusions in this piece are iron oxide.

Moss agate is known as the agate of warriors, and of gardeners and agriculture. Moss agate helps balance emotional energy. It helps the user to let go of anger and bitterness. It is believed to enhance concentration, persistence, endurance and success in one’s endeavors. It is thought to assist with sensitivities to weather and pollution. Midwives use it to assist in successful birthing.

Sterling Silver Lotus Flower Pendant

Sterling Silver Lotus Flower Pendant

One of my lovely everlasting besties asked me to make a lotus flower for her yoga teacher.

Sterling Silver Lotus Flower Pendant

It was a joy to create!

Sterling Silver Lotus Flower Pendant

Variscite and Sterling Silver Pendant

Variscite Pendant

My dear friend Aimee asked me to make her a green pendant. I searched around for a stone that she would love and found this fabulous variscite cabochon.

Variscite and Sterling Silver Pendant

Symmetrical, with just enough inclusions to make it apparent that it is a real piece of the earth, in such an amazing colour, it suits Aimee down to the ground!

Variscite and Sterling Silver PendantI know Aimee loves quirky love hearts, so I added a secret one on the reverse of the pendant. I was happy that I completed it in time it to give it to her as a birthday present. Love you Miss Aimee!

Variscite and Sterling Silver Pendant

Ghost Pendants

Ghost Pendants

My smaller son asked if I could make three ghosts for he and his friends.

It’s handy when your mum can whip you and your besties up something special to wear!

 

Malachite Art Nouveau Inspired Earrings

Malachite Art Nouveau Inspired Earrings

For her birthday in December, I made my mum these art nouveau inspired earrings set with malachite, one of her favourite stones.

Malachite Art Nouveau Inspired Earrings

I love my mum! xxx

Malachite Art Nouveau Inspired Earrings

Green Seaglass and Sterling Silver Pendant

Green Seaglass Pendant

A client asked me to turn this gorgeous piece of sea glass into a pendant for his partner.

Green Seaglass and Sterling Silver Pendant

Sea glass is always so beautiful, and how lovely to be able to wear a piece you found yourselves!

Green Seaglass and Sterling Silver Pendant

Haematite and Sterling Silver Ring

Haematite and Sterling Silver Ring

Emma, a gorgeous client of mine, chose this stunning piece of haematite from my  gemstone collection to be created into a ring for herself.

Haematite and Sterling Silver Ring

The stone is 40mm long, and the colour is so versatile – easy to wear with everything.

Haematite and Sterling Silver Ring

Thanks, Emma – you were a delight to work with!

Art Nouveau Inspired Silver Earrings

Art Nouveau Inspired Silver Earrings

Even though my usual design style is ‘striving for elegant simplicity’, I actually love the Art Noveau period – so in that vein, I designed these earrings for myself.

Art Nouveau Inspired Silver Earrings

I’ve been wearing them nearly every day since I finished them. I’ve had quite a few comments and requests, so I may even make some more for my shop!

February 2017 Newsletter Giveaway Prize Winner

Congrats to Heba, who was last month’s newsletter giveaway winner. She won a pair of aqua handmade Czech glass and sterling silver earrings.

Next month’s giveaway is a pair of chartreuse Czech glass earrings. You’ll be automatically entered in each month’s draw as long as you are signed up to receive my newsletter – if you’d like to win some earrings, make sure you’re subscribed!

Botryoidal Golden Carnelian Cabochon

Botryoidal Golden Carnelian Cabochon

The beautiful carnelian gemstone cabochon shown here is 31mm long. It is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you. 

Carnelian is a variety of the silica mineral chalcedony, which has been coloured by impurities of iron oxide. The colour can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black. It is commonly found in Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany. Botryoidal, from the Greek meaning ‘bunch of grapes’, describles the crystal formation on the top of the stone.

Black Agatized Coral Teardrop Cabochon

Black Agatized Coral Teardrop Cabochon

Black Agatized Coral Teardrop CabochonBlack Agatized Coral Teardrop Cabochon

The amazing black coral gemstone cabochon shown here is 37mm long. It is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you. 

Fossil or agatized coral is formed when ancient coral is gradually replaced with agate. The fossilized coral appears as small flower-like shapes on the stone. Fossil coral can be found in brown, gray, black, white, yellow and red. Most specimens are found in Indonesia and the USA (Florida and Georgia).

Coral has been prized as a gem for thousands of years. It is believed to offer protection and to assist with infertility.

Pink Opal Cabochon

Pink Opal Oval Cabochon

The pink opal gemstone cabochon shown here is 32mm long, and is available to be handcrafted into a custom piece for you.

Eudialyte Freeform Cabochon

Reserved – Eudialyte Freeform Cabochon

The stunning eudialyte cabochon shown here is 24mm long. It is reserved for a lovely client.

Petrified Wood Cabochon

Petrified Wood Cabochon

This fabulous petrified wood cabochon is 33mm long and is available to be made into a custom ring or pendant for you. Imagine, a gemstone that once was wood! Wearing a fossil on your hand – what a talking point. I love the contrasting colours and that beautiful coffee speckle!

Green Jasper Huge Marquis Cabochon Pair

The amazing green jasper gemstone cabochons shown here are 51mm long, and are available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you.

This beautiful jasper comes from Minas Gerais, which is in Brazil. The colour and striping is unlike any jasper I’ve seen before!

Jasper is believed to encourage personal bravery and help people gain independence. It is thought to help cure gynecological problems and to strengthen the stomach. Some believe it can help bring rain, and it has been used as a protection against evil spirits and snake and spider bites.

Chrysocolla and Malachite Oval Cabochon

Chrysocolla and Malachite Oval Cabochon

The gorgeous chrysocolla gemstone cabochon shown here is 35mm long, and is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you.

Malachite and chrysocolla both have a high copper content, which is what gives it that fabulous blue/green colouring. The name comes from the Greek chrysos, (gold), and kolla, (glue).

Chrysocolla and malachite commonly form together, and produce some fantastic gemstones!

It is believed to have a calming influence, and also to attract love. It is supposed to help heal burns, fever, and detoxify the liver.

Moss Agate Round Cabochon

Moss Agate Round Cabochon

The lovely soft green moss agate gemstone cabochon shown here is 35mm in diameter.  It is available to be handcrafted into a custom made ring or pendant for you. 

Moss agate is dendritic, meaning it has tree or fern-like inclusions (from the Greek dendron, meaning tree). The inclusions in this piece are chlorite.

Moss agate is known as the agate of warriors, and of gardeners and agriculture. Moss agate helps balance emotional energy. It helps the user to let go of anger and bitterness. It is believed to enhance concentration, persistence, endurance and success in one’s endeavors. It is thought to assist with sensitivities to weather and pollution. Midwives use it to assist in successful birthing.

Be My Valentine

Legend has it that Valentine was a third century Roman priest who was caught marrying Christian couples. He was arrested and imprisoned because assisting Christians was a crime at the time. The Emperor Claudius took a liking to his prisoner, until Valentine tried to convert him to Christianity whereupon the priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stones, and when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded and he was later martyred for his troubles. Poor old St Valentine!

Twin Hearts Sterling Silver Pendant

It wasn’t until the fourteenth century that Valentine’s Day as we know it was born. The famous poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote ‘The Parliament of Fowls’, which included the popular notion that birds paired off to mate on 14 February each year; it also made reference to some Valentine’s Day traditions such as sending anonymous love letters and exchanging token gifts with your lover.

As well as love, young people and happy marriages, Valentine is also feted as the patron saint of beekeeping and epilepsy. So Happy Valentine’s Day!

January 2017 Newsletter Giveaway Prize Winner

Congrats to Shari, who has won herself a pair of azure handmade Czech glass and sterling silver earrings in my latest newsletter giveaway. Way to go Shari! 

Next month’s giveaway is a pair of aqua Czech glass earrings. You’ll be automatically entered in each month’s draw as long as you are signed up to receive my newsletter – if you’d like some too, make sure you’re subscribed so you have a chance to win next time, won’t you?

Shattuckite and Sterling Silver Ring

Shattuckite and Sterling Silver Ring

My lovely client Emma was kindly given some Silver Forge dollars to spend for her birthday.

Shattuckite and Sterling Silver Ring

She chose this one-of-a-kind piece of shattuckite from my gemstone collection to be made into a bespoke ring.

Shattuckite and Sterling Silver Ring

I loved working with Emma, she is so fun and has a good eye for the unusual!

Sterling Silver Emoji Bear Pendant

Emoji Bear Pendant

My son asked me to make him a pendant to give his girlfriend for a special occasion. He wanted the emoji bear symbol:

I think it turned out ok!

Sterling Silver Emoji Bear Pendant

I love those cutie pies!

Botryoidal Carnelian Ring

Botryoidal Carnelian Ring

I love all the cabochons I source, and it is a bit of an obsession with me! I’d love to keep them all, but that’s just silly – so one of the many joys of being a silversmith is sharing these gorgeous finds with nice people.

Botryoidal Carnelian Ring

Once in a while, though, I come across a cabochon that I just can’t part with. This botroidal carnelian is one of those.

Botryoidal Carnelian Ring

It’s a great ring to wear with earth tones, which I’ve been more drawn to lately.

Botryoidal Carnelian Ring

If you’d like a custom made gemstone ring of your own, check out my gemstone collection, and let me know which one you’d like to wear!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Ring

Malachite and Sterling Silver Ring

My lovely mum came to visit me last year, and as we were looking through all the gemstones I have. I asked her to choose one she liked, and this was it!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Ring

I made it into a ring for her, and took it down when I went for a visit.

Malachite and Sterling Silver Ring

I  love my mum!

St Dunstan

St Dunstan’s College in Catford, London, is a school attended by various members of my family since the early 1900s. Recently my Granny told me that St Dunstan was the patron saint of silversmiths. I hadn’t known that!

St. Dunstan was born 909 and died 19 May 988 AD. There is a full story about him on Wikipedia, which tells us that Dunstan became patron saint of English goldsmiths and silversmiths because he worked as a silversmith making church plate while he was living as a monk at Glastonbury Abbey, where he took holy orders in 943 AD. He is also the patron saint of blacksmiths, locksmiths and musicians.

His Feast Day is 19 May, which is why, before the restoration, the yearly span of London Assay Office hallmarks ran from 19 May one year to 18 May the next, not the calendar year. This was changed at the restoration of Charles II in 1660 so that the hallmarking year began on the King’s birthday, 29 May.

There is a story that Dunstan nailed a horseshoe to the Devil’s hoof when he was asked to re-shoe the Devil’s horse. This caused the Devil great pain, and Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe and release the Devil after he promised never to enter a place where a horseshoe is over the door. This is claimed as the origin of the lucky horseshoe.

Also, according to a late 11th-century legend, the Devil is said to have tempted Dunstan and to have been held by the face with Dunstan’s tongs; hence blacksmith’s tongs have become a symbol of St Dunstan.

Thanks to my little granny for bringing this interesting fact to my attention. I wonder what her dad (my great grandfather), who was a blacksmith, made of all that!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Stud Earrings

Malachite Earrings

My gorgeous client Charmaine has a huge malachite ring I made for her, and she wanted some earrings to match. These malachite gemstones are in my gemstone collection, so I created this pair of earrings to give her.
Malachite and Sterling Silver Stud Earrings

This was the first time I attempted this particular style of bezel setting, and I’m pretty pleased with the way they turned out!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Stud Earrings

December 2016 Newsletter Giveaway Prize Winner

Congratulations to Ellen, who won the newsletter giveaway for last month. She has chosen these beautiful lavender drop earrings as her prize!

Lavender Drop Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Earrings

Next month’s giveaway is a pair of azure Czech glass earrings. You’ll be automatically entered in each month’s draw as long as you are signed up to receive my newsletter – and you’ll get news, discounts and eye candy galore!

Dendritic Opal and Sterling Silver Ring

Dendritic Opal and Sterling Silver Ring

Charmaine, a gorgeous friend of mine, commissioned me to create this piece of dendritic opal from my gemstone collection into a fabulous new statement ring for her.

Dendritic Opal and Sterling Silver Ring

A person can never have too many Silver Forge rings!

Dendritic Opal and Sterling Silver Ring

It’s always a pleasure to make something special for someone nice. I feel very lucky to do what I do!

Turquoise and Chrysocolla Sterling Silver Cuff Bangle

Turquoise and Chrysocolla Cuff Bangle

This cuff bracelet was a one-off remodelling job I did for a lovely client using an old cuff which was precious to her but unfortunately broken. It’s a good reminder to be careful when putting on your cuff bangles not to squeeze or stretch them and over-stress the metal!

Turquoise and Chrysocolla Sterling Silver Cuff Bangle

The existing stones were (probably) turquoise, and the addition of chrysocolla adds interest and texture to the piece.

Turquoise and Chrysocolla Sterling Silver Cuff Bangle

It was great working with Juliet, and we discovered quite a few uncanny coincidences that made the experience even more special! Thanks!

Peugeot Sterling Silver Lion Rampant Cuff Links

Peugeot Lion Rampant Cuff Links

I created these custom sterling silver Peugeot cufflinks for a client for her husband.

Peugeot Sterling Silver Lion Rampant Cuff Links

I sawed the lion rampant by hand with my jeweller’s saw – I cherish my tools!

Peugeot Sterling Silver Lion Rampant Cuff Links

Sterling Silver Condamine Bell

Condamine Bell

The Condamine Campdraft Assocation commissioned me to create a custom Condamine bell pendant for their Ladies Draft winner. These bells were traditionally made out of old worn-out sawblades and were worn by cattle. You can read a little more more about them here.

Sterling Silver Condamine Bell

Yes, it even has a clapper!

Sterling Silver Condamine Bell