Gem Day is finally here and to share a little more about the day with you, we caught up with gem experts Laurie Wickwire and Guy Clutterbuck to chat about their favourite stones and what to expect on Gem Day…
Hi everyone, I'm Laurie Wickwire,
I've just popped by to tell you a little more about Tahitian pearls as today we're offering you a gorgeous Tahitian pearl necklace TSV!
Tahitian pearls really stand out because of their unique character and individuality – it's very hard to mass produce jewellery with Tahitian cultured pearls, or even to make a necklace out of them. This just shows the value of a strand of Tahitian pearls in matching colours.
I love how an individual pearl speaks to people in different ways. I personally gravitate to the baroque pearl shape as I adore the randomness of the shapes. However, one of my good friends and QVC presenter Claudia Sylvester, adores the round pearls, and I have to say – they look wonderful on her!
It's a 3-year long process in order to raise a single pearl oyster and it requires considerable care and attention as they're extremely fragile. The delicate nature of this species of mollusc means that out of every 100 nucleated oysters, only thirty will actually produce pearls. Furthermore, of these 30, only one or two will be the desired round shape!
When visiting top jewellery shops around the UK, I notice that they never seem to have a true offering of pearl jewellery. It's for this reason that I adore the range of pearl designs on offer at QVC.
It's like I'm being taken into a luxury jewellery shop specialising in Tahitian pearls, maybe somewhere in the exotic South Pacific next to a beautiful blue lagoon off the French Polynesian Islands…
Hey everyone – I've been very much looking forward to Gem Day today, firstly because I've always enjoyed working at QVC where the friendliness and enthusiasm of all at the studios is so great! I'm also grateful to QVC for giving me the chance to share some of the stories behind the stones – from the miners through to the final cutter.
A few of the stones on the day today have really caught my eye. Rubelite, firstly, as it's a wonderfully versatile stone from Africa and South Africa. It's a tourmaline, and perhaps the most exciting of the 'family'. Its deep red colour makes it an excellent alternative to ruby.
Opals are always a winner in terms of the endless curiosity and the fascination they inspire with the play of light across the stone. I've always been a fan of turquoise with its association to native American jewellery and viewers will also be aware of my enthusiasm for morganite. Its really feminine pastel pink colour lends itself very well to delicate jewellery.
Perhaps it would be helpful if I mentioned that Tina, who is one of the really welcoming co-ordinators at QVC, asked me to return for the day, and I immediately said yes! The reason she had to ask is that I don't actually live in England. I've spent a sizeable amount of time in difficult and interesting parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, East Africa and Sri Lanka.
I thought you all might be interested in seeing one or two of my photos – see left. There's one of me on the front line buying emeralds in Afghanistan, and the mine from which they came.
Tune in all day today for the best of gemset jewellery on Gem Day
Visit our jewellery department to see all items and offers on the day