The Briggs Blog

February 2015 - The Briggs Blog

Gemstone of the Month: Peridot

The French word “Peridot” is originally derived from “faridat” in Arabic, meaning gem. Ancient peridot can be traced back to Egyptian jewelry in the 2nd millennium B.C. The stones came from a deposit on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea, some 45 miles off the Egyptian coast, which was not rediscovered until about 1900 and has since been exhausted.

Peridot is gem-quality “olivine,” a common mineral in mafic and ultramafic rocks. Formed as a result of volcanic activity deep inside the earth’s surface, gem-quality peridot is a rarity in olivine.

The demand for this beautiful stone was reignited a few years ago when peridot deposits were found in the Kashmir region; and the stones were so incredible in color and transparency.

Although it’s one of the only gemstones found in just one color, the intensity and tint of the olive green hue depends on how much iron is within the crystal structure. Varying from yellow to olive to brownish-green, peridot is most valued as a dark, emerald-resembling gem.

If you were born in August, you may be fortunate enough to receive a peridot as a birthday gift. If received as a ring, wearing this birthstone carefully is important, as it isn’t as tough as it looks. Prone to breaking, peridot are better suited for bigger necklaces; a bonus being that larger stones carry a richer color.

Throughout history, peridot has been thought to possess great mystical powers to ward off anxiety and inspire happiness, strength and loyalty. It is also believed to promote success in relationships and marriage.

Once called the “gem of the sun” in ancient Egypt because of its dazzling appearance in the sun, the curiosity and enchantment that surrounds peridot has made this radiant gemstone timeless.

Good energy, fabulous jewelry

As someone in the field of gemology, I believe in the energy of metals and stones. The properties of these beautiful rocks made by Mother Nature come with the same purity and vulnerable qualities that we are all comprised of. This same energy plays an important role in the creative process as well as the overall client experience. What I have learned along the way is that my happiest customers and best pieces have been a result of relationships built on positivity and dynamic energy shared by all involved.

When a client comes to me with a project, it is most often a collaboration, I do my best to create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing with me their ideas and expectations.  This helps avoid the introduction of angst- the artist’s nemesis! Bottom line: it is paramount that not only the jewelry be fabulous, but that the entire experience is positive from start to finish.

As an artist, I actively look to avoid stressful situations that may impact how the piece is achieved. Bottom line: when my customers are collaborative and upbeat, I feed off of that energy and it shows in the finished product.

Of course not every situation is ideal and there are ways we can overcome a little negativity together. Let’s say a client, “Kate,” has wanted to re-design her engagement ring for several years, but has put it off. She has a hard time envisioning her perfect ring and has convinced herself that she is not creative. Kate may ask, “How will I know what style I’m looking for without trying it on?”

Finding the answers are all part of the design process. It’s about sitting down with a customer, building a relationship, learning their taste, and discovering exactly who they are. Often, that also includes uncovering what someone may dislike as well.

Working together can really produce incredibly energy that leaves many of our “Kates” at J Briggs & Co wearing their gorgeous new rings, saying, “I definitely should have done this sooner.”

As your expert explorer at envisioning that perfect new piece, I love creating fine jewelry with good vibes. Come in and share yours with me.

Here is an example of the remounting process I did for a customer:

 

Various pieces were given by the customer to merge into a re-mount project.

Various pieces were given by the customer to J Briggs & Co to merge into a re-mount project.

After conversations and exploring their style, I draw sketches of that best capture what the customer is looking for.

Jewelry artist Jennifer Briggs Jenkins draws sketches of the piece that capture the conversations she has had with the customer.

A life-like rendering of different angles comes back to show customer what to expect. After any edits are made, a casting mold is then taken.

A life-like rendering of different angles comes back to show customer what to expect.

A gorgeous finished design is born!

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