The joy of working with jewellery is that there is so much to learn and so much to really get passionate about. I have to admit though that it's the random facts, myths and old wives tails that tend to fascinate me the most. So with that in mind, in our latest blog entry I have put together some interesting snippets and random facts I have picked up over the years.
Opals are considered by some people as bad luck and others believe it gives you wisdom and good fortune. Many years ago people believed that opals were pieces of heaven that dropped to earth after a thunderstorm which is quite apt really, considering opals can be as much as 30% water.
In some cultures people would swallow pearls whole to relieve sickness with Cleopatra being a famous user of this method but the largest pearl ever found might take a bit of swallowing as it weighs a whopping 14 pounds.
While most of us know that diamonds are one of the hardest substances in nature (although recent research has proved otherwise), we have actually created synthetic nanomaterials that are much harder. Also although diamonds are hard, they are not strong, if you hit one with a hammer it would shatter.
Although we do not produce it any longer, the UK used to produce 12 and 15 carat gold as well as 9 carat which we still have today. These differing carat weights became legal in 1854 for the simple reason that gold before this date was considered a symbol of wealth with 22carat and 18carat. However the jewellery industry wanted to expand their market and started to produce 9, 12 and 15 carat so that the working/middle class could also buy jewellery as well. However in 1936 the government decided to scrap so many different purities of gold and just keep 9 carat as this was the most popular.
The most expensive piece of jewellery ever created for a film was Nicole Kidman’s necklace in Moulin Rouge. The necklace — designed by Stefano Canturi — is estimated to be worth over 1 million Pounds and is made up of 1,308 diamonds weighing a massive 134 carats.
The 'Satine Necklace' was once put up for sale through Christie’s in New York but just hours before the auction, the designer,Canturi, told a Christie's employee he just couldn't part with the piece and kept it as part of his personal collection.
And finally the earliest recorded exchange of wedding rings was in 2,200BC in Egypt and did you know that engagement rings were declared necessary for marriage by Pope Nicholas I in 860 A.D.
I hope you enjoyed these little bit of trivia!