Hi everyone! This weeks post is about my crystals, gemstones and mineral stock and also a little about how you can try and tell by eye if it is genuine. For my crystals and minerals that I have, I trust in a few select UK businesses (Sorry but cannot specify which ones as it is not good business!). They are family companies who I have gotten to know really well and they know exactly what types of pieces I am interested in. I know that they travel to various different places such as Hong Kong, Brazil and India to get their supplies. India and china are the main cutters for the majority of gemstones that we have on the market today! I also personally handpick from my suppliers the pieces I buy, it is my number one rule! For me, I have to see and feel the pieces as many of you would agree. That means I can make sure I get quality pieces at the best prices! For example, pearls can easily be tested whether real or not – Firstly if it is perfectly round - its fake! Unless it has a price tag that is massive! This is because no pearl is perfectly round as it is an organic material. You will also sometimes see ridges in the pearls. This is completely normal. Another way - though I suggest you don't do it in front of the seller - is rub them against your teeth. If they are gritty against your teeth, they are real, if they are smooth against your teeth they are fake. Gemstones should be cold to the touch even at room temperature, they should only warm up when held in your hands for a couple of minutes! Exceptions to this is organic materials like pearls and amber. If you want to be 100% (as the Chinese and other cultures are amazing at faking crystals nowadays) get the proper tools and learn about what to look for!
Always buy from reputed buyers and not from certain sites online and hoping they are real! If you buy from UK suppliers they have to follow UK trading standards so it means that you have a fall-back position if it is not the real deal. Anyways, back to how I pick my gemstones from my reputed and trusted suppliers, I always touch and feel them as each crystal has a different energy and the energy needs me to be good to buy it. If you know about crystal healing you will get this, if not try it out with crystals at home or next time you go to a fayre.
The Crystal also tells you whether its right for you. Each crystal then becomes 'fostered' by myself temporarily till it finds its forever home. So it is highly important for me to handpick them and for you too! That is why I always ask you to touch and feel the crystal before purchasing, even if it does sometimes mean that its loses me money. I would rather you feel good vibes from the crystal than purchase it and regret it. Regarding my handmade jewellery some of our new customers are usually tentative when buying as my prices seem too good to be true. I usually get from customers: 'I would get them but they are so cheap in price! And how do you know they are genuine?' Our main supplier it was a family based company who love gemstones and want to make sure it is accessible for everyone. They go travelling around the world going direct to the sources and buying them. They go direct to the mines and the people who mine it, which means that they see the conditions of the workers and believe me it looks a lot of hard work! If you want to read about these mine stories I would highly recommend Steve Bennett's book 'The Lure of Gems' as it has all the information you could need about gemstones (even ones you have never even heard of!) but also he retells the stories of visits to mines in Brazil, Madagascar and other places around the world! Plus he owns the company in question I use. When I first watched the documentaries (which you can purchase I believe on DVD) that they did on the mines they go to I did not realise how much work goes into sourcing and mining these incredible gemstones! The suppliers have really good relationships with the mine owners and they go visit the mine workers homes too. They saw that some of the miners’ families had to travel to get water so Steve Bennett founded a charity called the Colourful Life Foundation. This fantastic charity gives back to the workers who find these amazing stones by funding wells, schools etc. check out https://www.colourfullife.org/projects/ for just a few of their projects. So the money I spent with our supplier has contributed to this charity. Where did the gemstones go from there once they were brought by the company from the mines? They went to Jaipur, India, where the best gem cutting houses are. They first check that the stones they have are the correct ones that are supposed to be shipped through. If not the shipment is sent back. Once checked it is then painstakingly analysed to find out where to cut and facet by experts that have trained for years. Then once cut and maybe faceted it is then polished and colour sorted into strands. As I have said these guys are experts in their fields, spending years of learning where to cut, facet and polish. Their eyesight has to be incredible to colour sort the most minuscule colour changes and to facet each small gemstone to perfection. When I first saw from one of the small documentaries what they did and what it took just to make a strand of gemstones it shocked me but it also wowed me as I appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty that these people help to bring out of each gemstone. Once this process is done it is weighed and checked and given a certificate of authentication to prove what it is before being shipped to the UK. Once in the UK it is then checked again by qualified in-house gemmologists to make sure the shipment is the right one. Again if it isn't it is rejected and shipped back. Then it is sold to people like me to create a beautiful piece of jewellery for you guys and girls to buy! Every time I purchase a strand of gemstones I have an online certificate of authentication of all the gemstones that are purchased that I can access. Here's one of the many certificates of authenticity that I have:
Sorry for rambling on so long but hopefully this helps to make you as a customer or a potential customer feel confident that Aphrodite designs is selling Genuine Gemstone Jewellery and that I know where they are coming from!
Any questions please ask (Obviously not going to tell you all my suppliers, I have to keep my big guns a secret, just trust they are the best of the best!) but I hope you understand that my ethos is all about making sure that everyone can have access to genuine gemstones and crystals, via reputed UK family companies!
Thank you again for reading, and hope you continue to follow my blog!