Our collection of exceptionally beautiful Empress pieces earned their name because of the Imperial Topazes we used in our original pieces. Now Empress is hand-crafted in our workshops, not just with the wonderfully broad spectrum of Topaz colours, shimmering pinks and honey-golds, but in other vibrant stones, Aquamarines, Opals and Orange Garnets among them, and as matching or single earrings and necklaces. Original and striking but elegant and wearable, each piece is unique and timeless and makes Empress a modern classic.

This is where a pattern, design, writing or monogram is cut into metal using a sharp tool. Is the process of cutting into metal (though also stones and glass) to produce an image, pattern or written inscription with a sharp tool. Hand engraving and deep engraving are the most traditional forms of this art, achieved with a sharp tool called a scorper, by an engraver. This can take the form of a few words and dates, as on a trophy, through to the most complicated scenes and images.

Hand Engraving – At this level engraving is a true art form and engravers true artists.

Machine Engraving – Various machines are used for this from what is almost a dentist’s drill through to a wheel (much used in glass engraving). Although inexpensive and reasonably effective with modern techniques, this has none of the depth or artistry of hand engraving.

Engine Turning – Is as it sounds and is used to give the very geometric patterns used on old-fashioned cigarette cases and still much used for the background to transparent enamelling.

Laser Engraving – Gives a very quick and inexpensive but also very shallow finish.

Etching – The process by which metal is taken away to leave metal (or other materials) standing proud. This can be achieved by hand by talented engravers or by photo or acid etching.

Enamelling – this is a process of fusing powdered glass to metal by firing at high temperatures (750-850 degrees C). The resulting melt hardens to a smooth and durable finish. The art of enamelling can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Celts and was widely used in Russia and China. There are several different enamelling techniques used that can create a variety of effects, these include:

Guilloche – this is where the metal of a piece of jewellery or objet is engraved with a pattern, often concentric, and then covered with translucent enamel which highlights the detail beneath.

Plique à jour – the French term means ‘letting in the daylight’ which perfectly describes this technique which is essentially like a stained glass window. Small cells with gold or metal outlines are filled with enamel but have no back to them so when held up to the light the translucent colours come alive.

Cloisonné – the term comes from the French cloison which means ‘partition’ and refers to the small cells or shapes which are formed by wires fused onto a base and then individually flooded with enamel. This typically produces brighter more opaque colours.

The most desirable Emeralds have a good strong colour, and a bright, lively appearance. Traditionally the finest quality are found in Colombia, in particular three key mines, Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor.

Other great mining regions now include Brazil and India not to mention Zambia where the company Gemfields are putting a huge amount of resources into mining some very beautiful stones, take a look at our Kissing Frog ring and our Emerald and Ruby bead ring and tassle necklace for proof!

They frequently have tiny feathers and crystals inside them and this internal landscape is referred to as the jardin; these inclusions can be used almost like a fingerprint to identify the origin of a stone. The emerald-cut is a simply faceted, rectangular shaped style of cut with the corners removed and was developed especially for the emerald to help minimise any damage to the stone caused by its brittleness. 

The earliest record of emerald mining was by the Ancient Egyptians, indeed Cleopatra was such an ardent fan of these green gems that she reputedly had her own mine. 

Throughout history Emeralds have been thought to possess a surprisingly wide range of attributes, from the belief held in the Middle Ages that wearing one would keep a woman virtuous (not so for men sadly) to its ability to soothe tired eyes, aid memory, improve eloquence and attract good fortune to the wearer. 

Combine all that with its reputation as the stone of love and eternal youth and it’s no wonder Theo named his daughter after this delightful and seemingly all-powerful gem!

Description: Emerald is the head of the Beryl family, highly prized for its rich vibrant green colour which is caused by traces of chromium in the crystals. Colombian stones are widely regarded as the crème de la crème, but which colour and from what source is very much a matter of taste. 

Hardness: 7.5 – 8 on Mohs Scale

Birthstone: May

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