Long before the days of clandestine messages being sent on the Dark Web, there was a way of sending secret messages to your loved ones, friends or family that was far more enduring and far more romantic than anything the digital age allows for.
Elizabeth Hunt, Jeweller Elizabeth runs courses in Argentium and classic Pearl stringing from her workshop in Lincolnshire.
The correct name for this jewellery is Acrostic jewellery and it consists of items of jewellery, often rings and bracelets made up using a variety of coloured gemstones stones where the first letter of each stone spells a word or message.
It is believed that the first person to design this was a renowned French jeweller called Jean Baptiste Mellerio (1765 to 1850), from one of the oldest jewellery houses in Paris, Mellerio dits Meller. His firm and particularly him were favourites of Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France. In later years during Napoleon's reign, items were commissioned for Joséphine Bonaparte from the very same jewellery house. The tradition has carried on through Edwardian and Victorian times to the modern day with French Jewellers Chaumet, London Jewellers Jessica McCormack, Lyon & Turnbull and many more using this subtle and fun way to mix colour with love and romance.
With Valentines and Mother’s Day just around the corner why not consider making your next piece of Argentium Silver jewellery with a secret message hidden in stones. We are offering you some stunning Amythest Cabochons for February’s birthstone so have a look at your stone stock and see what you could spell, it doesn’t have to be romantic it could be fun, witty or even risqué!
Below is a key to decipher the stones - What will you spell?
A - Amethyst, aquamarine, agate, alexandrite, amber, ametrine, apatite, aventurine
B - Beryl, black opal, boulder opal, beryl
C - Citrine, carnelian, coral, chalcedony, chrome diopside, chrysoberyl
D - Diamond, demantoid garnet, diopside, dioptase
E - Emerald
F - Fluorite, faustite
G - Garnet, goshenite, girasol
H - Hessonite garnet, hematite, hawk’s-eye, heliotrope
I - Indicolite, iolite
J - Jade, jasper, , jet
K - Kyanite, kunzite
L - Lapis lazuli, labradorite, lepidolite, larimar
M - Moonstone, morganite, malachite, Moissanite, magnesite, moukaite
N - Nephrite, neon apatite
O - Opal, onyx
P - Pearl, peridot, pyrite, prasiolite, prehnite
Q - Quartz ( so many colour options with this)
R - Ruby, rose quartz, rhodochrosite, rubellite
S - Spinel, sapphire, sunstone, smoky quartz, sodalite
T - Tourmaline, tanzanite, topaz, turquoise, tiger’s-eye, Tahitian pearl, tsavorite.
U - Unakite, umbalite
V - Variscite, verdite, vandanite, Vlasovite or you could cheat with Verneuil Ruby or Sapphire
W - Watermelon tourmaline
X - Xenotime, xonotlite
Y - Yttrium fluorite, YAG, yuksporite
Z - Zircon, zoisite, zebra stone
Elizabeth studied silversmithing and jewellery design at Sir John Cass School of art, part of the Guildhall University. Her degree covered not just the use of precious metals but also mixed materials including ceramics and glass ... Read more.