ABOUT NORTHUMBRIA GEMS
Northumbria Gems was established in 2010, when I began handcrafting the natural British stone and gemstone I found locally, in the north-east of England, into jewellery. With a lovely collection of genuine sea glass, from years of trips to beaches along our North East coast, I began to include handmade sea glass jewellery in my range.
My first interest in geology was inspired early on, when prospecting for gemstones with my family in the gem fields of Queensland, Australia. It was exciting to find raw amethyst, sapphire and smokey quartz, and my father subsequently began gem-cutting using our finds (see some fine examples of more recently-cut Queensland sapphires here).
JEWELLERY WITH A DIFFERENCE:
I use stone-cutting techniques to cut my stone and gemstone, so the cabochons in my jewellery are all ethically made. Lapidary and silversmithing skills also enable me to offer pieces handmade from design to completion, as well as increase my use of ethical silver, for example, in my made to order range.
I still use many local resources, stone and sea glass collected sustainably by hand by the North Sea, along Northumbria’s natural and unspoilt coastline and among Northumberland’s wild, remote hills.
COLLECTION OF NATURAL STONE & NORTHUMBRIAN SEA GLASS:
A BIT MORE ABOUT THE MATERIALS:
Natural stone & gemstone
I use a variety of natural stone and gemstone in my jewellery, which includes British quartz, carnelian, jasper, flint, agate and fossil stone collected by hand in Northumbria, northern England. I handcraft some into cabochons to set in sterling silver earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and brooches, or polish raw quartz or flint stone in its original shape. I handcraft my jet jewellery in genuine Whitby jet from the North Yorkshire coast, sourced from an established Whitby supplier.
All of the stone used in my men's and women's jewellery is natural and untreated.
Northumbrian sea glass
I use only genuine British sea glass in my jewellery. Some is evidence of the North East’s earlier industrial heritage and famous glass-works, a glass-making tradition carried on to this day by Sunderland’s National Glass Centre. Some comes from discarded bottles, decorative glassware, even industrial glass, which found its way into the sea. This sea glass has been shaped and frosted naturally, tumbled by the North Sea's waves over many years. It is washed up by the tide onto beaches along Northumbria's beautiful coastline where I collect it by hand. These unique 'sea gems' come in a variety of colours and textures, and some pieces are quite rare.
HANDCRAFTING A CABOCHON IN NATURAL BRITISH GEMSTONE:
Though identifying rocks and minerals can sometimes be difficult due to the variety and often similarity, each stone I collect is identified to the best of my knowledge, supported by careful reference. I also follow UK guidelines on sustainable collection of natural resources, to preserve our natural environment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch via my contact page.
You can see Northumbria Gems jewellery here.
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Northumbria Gems - established 2010