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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.

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