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  1. Autumn


    Birthstone for September is the amazing Sapphire, which you think of as dark blue but actually come in lots of colours.   I have some lovely green sapphire cut stone beads.

    Birthstone for October is the opal.

    This is one of my most favorite stones. Opal is a form of silica, it has a high water content ranging from 3% to 21%, and therefore it is classed as a mineraloid. It is deposited at a low temperature and occurs in the fissures of any kind of rocks, I have also seen them on fossils and shells. The internal structure of the opal makes it defract light so it takes on many different colours from white through to black and all the colours in between, from transparent to opaque. They are mined mainly in Australia but quite a lot are coming from Ethiopia now. There are Mexican fire opals and I have a few transparent opals from Peru also light green opal beads from Madagascar.    I have a lovely supplier called Opallink. Debbie brings them over twice a year from Australia. However most of the pieces are sold before I finish them.


    This has been the most interesting Autumn and a great adventure.

    Jack has always wanted to visit Tokyo and we finally just booked the seats on Virgin Atlantic to come. We were lucky to have the help of one of my daughters friends and the son of our friends who had both lived here. They gave us a few very helpful  pointers in the right direction. I can highly recommend The Cerulean Tower Hotel in Shibuya. We stayed on the Tower Floor, which was very nice as you have your own clubroom with concierge. We got a JR rail pass which was a fantastic way to travel (you have to buy this outside of Japan).

    The people of Japan are very kind and courteous.  Whenever we stopped with a map people came up to us to help point the way….and when we ask those that didn’t speak English they helped with sign language.

    We visited Meiji Shrine, Senso-ji Temple and the Yasukuni Shrine. A very interesting war museum and galleries and little shrines and temples which seem to be all over the city.

    I love the architecture taking lots of pictures of stone lions and other creatures. One of my favorites were the roofs the structures.

    The food was good, skewers of meat on bbq’s, raw fish, noodle dishes and ramen soup restaurants. Some of them have a ticket machine outside that you put your money into the slot take your ticket then hand this to the waitress who brings the food over. The Japanese also have a sweet tooth as every other street has a sweet shop selling anything sweet.

    We went to a jewellery fair where I got the chance to buy a few Akoya pearls,

    They are cultured sea pearls and very beautiful.

    If you check out jillbelldesigns on facebook I will post some pictures in a couple of days.

    I think the next pieces of jewellery will have an oriental influence.

    Can’t wait to return.

  2. Late Summer Blog


    Birthstone for July are the Ruby and the Carnelian.

    Birthstone for August is the Peridot


    June for me was a very busy month for me lots of thing happening.

    From all the shows on, going up to London twice a week and the visits of my lovely children.


    We had a lovely long weekend away in Eastbourne,  with a visit to a gem importer on the way down.  I have never been to Eastbourne  before what a lovely  seaside town.  We had a great weekend with friends.  Shopping and a fab contintal  market along the front, finishing with a paddle in the sea, and collecting  stones on the beach for my tumbling machine.


    I went to the Saatchi gallery to the jewellery  and watch show.  It was very good  I saw lots of new designers but the one piece that caught my eye was a piece by a German company Heinz Mayer made for Rolls Royce it was a gold and diamond bracelet with the most beautiful rolling mechanism.

    Reminded me of golf tees…Now there is a great idea..


    I had a lovely few days in the end of July working with Vicki Ambery Smith.

    Vicki makes building on rings, using very fine detail. Truly inspiring.

    I am in the middle of trying to make a castle of my own…really tricky, pictures to follow probably in six months knowing my work load.


    I have made the most beautiful semi precious bead necklaces  with coral onyx and pearls  an inspiration from our shore line walks.



    The summer seems to have flow by..I don’t know where July has gone and August seems to be going the same way.


    Do register and go along to IJL see below.



    Exhibitions & Places To Go


    Next Friday I managed to get tickets for a craft  show at Stonor Pk by Henley on Thames I think this might be a great family day out for all the family. A showcase full of all different crafts and how they are made, with some workshops.


    International Jewellery London or IJL 

    This show is at Olympia.

    It is one of the best shows during the year in my opinion.

    It is free to attend but you must register with them first and bring your badge with you otherwise it is £25 each on the door.

    The show is full of new designers, jewellery trade  tools, packing, Cad designers and gems for sale. Really worth the visit.


    On 31 August till 2 September



    Kevin Coates  a fantastic designer has a show traveling the country  check out the page for more info or google  kevin-coates-a-bestiary-of-jewels The next show is on at the Harley gallery….




    From Saturday 23rd August  until 19th October  and meet Kevin on the Saturday 23 between 1pm and 3pm.


    The Goldsmiths Fair


    Check out


    Week One 22 to 28 September

    Week Two 30 Sept to 5 October


    I know these dates are a long way off but a great show for Christmas Presents and to meet up with new jewellers.



    Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Mima) is opening a permanent Jewellery Gallery. The exhibition will feature pieces from Wendy Ramshaw and Caroline Broadhead  and will showcase more 100 other items. It opens from the 4th October.