ABOUT NORTHUMBRIA GEMS
Northumbria Gems began in 2010 when I started handcrafting jewellery in locally-found natural British gemstone. With a lovely collection of genuine sea glass from years of trips to beaches along our north-east England coast, I also began making sea glass jewellery.
My interest in geology was inspired at an early age, prospecting for gemstones with my family in the gem fields of Queensland, Australia. We found raw amethyst, sapphire and smokey quartz, and my father began gem-cutting using our finds.
JEWELLERY WITH A DIFFERENCE:
Combining lapidary and silversmithing skills enables me increasingly to make unique jewellery handmade from design to completion, using more ethical silver. I use stone-cutting techniques to shape my own gemstone, so cabochons are ethically made. The silver jewellery pieces are also hallmarked at Sheffield Assay Office.
I collect natural gemstone and sea glass along Northumbria’s unspoilt coastline and among Northumberland’s wild, remote hills, places which inspire my designs. These local and sustainable resources lend themselves to beautiful and unique jewellery pieces.
Where I use other varieties of gemstone the cabochons will be cut and shaped by hand either by me or my father.
The glass art is a recent addition to Northumbria Gems, and includes small trinket dishes and glass art in designs inspired by nature and local landscapes. I make these in coloured, fused glass.
COLLECTION OF NATURAL STONE & NORTHUMBRIAN SEA GLASS:
A BIT MORE ABOUT THE MATERIALS:
Natural stone & semi-precious gemstone
The natural stone and gemstone in my men's and women's jewellery includes natural, untreated British quartz, as well as carnelian, jasper, flint, agate and fossil stone. I collect this in Northumbria, northern England, to handcraft into cabochons for earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and brooches in sterling silver. Some raw quartz and flint stone is polished in its original shape. I also handcraft jet jewellery in genuine Whitby jet from the North Yorkshire coast sourced from an established Whitby supplier.
Where I use other types of gemstones these will also be cut and shaped by hand locally, either by me or my father.
Northumbrian sea glass
The genuine British sea glass in my jewellery is formed from decorative glassware, discarded bottles, even industrial glass which found its way into the North Sea. Some is evidence of north-east England’s industrial heritage and famous glass-works, the glass-making tradition continued today by Sunderland’s National Glass Centre. The sea glass has been shaped and frosted naturally, tumbled by the North Sea's waves over many years, then washed up by the tide. I collect it by hand on beaches along Northumbria's beautiful coastline. These unique 'sea gems' come in a variety of colours and textures, some quite rare.
HANDCRAFTING A CABOCHON IN NATURAL BRITISH GEMSTONE:
Identification of rocks and minerals can be difficult due to their variety. Each stone I collect is identified to the best of my knowledge, along with careful reference. To preserve our natural environment I follow UK guidelines on sustainable collection of natural resources.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch via my contact page.
You can see Northumbria Gems jewellery and glass here.
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Northumbria Gems - established 2010