One thing which excites me, and I don’t quite know why, is the sound of the mail arriving in the morning. The anticipation of several strands of semi-precious gemstones being delivered is akin to the feeling I have after a fabulous shopping trip where you come home with something amazing, something you have been waiting for!
These days I shop in a different way than I used to and only buy things that I love, things that I know I will wear and feel good in. It just so happens, the things that I love are beautiful stone beads, Swarovski crystals in all their glory, and gorgeous baroque pearls.

Semi-precious gemstones have a unique beauty – two stones are never the same.Even with stones of the same size and shape, the markings and inclusions are all different. This and the beauty from the imperfections is what makes each piece of jewellery created from them so unique.

I recently took delivery of some frosted amazonite beads in several different sizes. These beads are beautiful muted colours of duck egg blue, taupe, ivory, charcoal, grey and caramel. As they are a frosted (matt) finish, the sparkle from Swarovski crystals sits perfectly with the stone and glints of light are reflected from the crystal’s facets. Swarovski do such fabulous colours, it is never a struggle to find one which is a perfect fit for your chosen stone.

If multicolours are not your thing, there are plenty of stones which are more consistent in colour, such as delicate rose quartz, chalcedony or the stunning lapis lazuli. Each one still has variations within, but there is not the range of colour or patterns you may find in Botswana agate or the lilacs, greens and purples of fluorite, for example.

If you are trying to accessorise a printed fabric – and florals are very on trend this season – then a more uniformly-coloured stone will probably work better for you. It will ‘pull’ the colour out of the fabric, and it wont get lost amidst the print.

Blue goldstone, said to resemble the night sky, complements many colours and is therefore a very versatile stone. It is perfect if you like pieces of jewellery which will dress up lots of outfits. Interestingly, the Venetian family of Miotti was reported to be the first to manufacture this glass ‘stone’ in the 17th century, but there are also stories of it being evident in 12th century Persia. It isn’t a stone from the earth as others are, but it is still considered to be semi-precious.

Relatively even in colour, this glass stone has inclusions of copper within and will glitter as it moves on your neck, wrist, or in your earrings. It looks beautiful with orange, fuchsia, blues, greens (the pantone colour of 2017), yellow and earthy neutrals. I love it!

However, if you have a blank canvas as your outfit, you can really go to town on the type of stone you are choosing. A jazzy Botswana agate will look fabulous with all of the colours mentioned as it is a fantastic contrast to a simple fabric.

The semi-precious stones have a certain class about them. They are usually in items of jewellery that don’t date in the same way that ‘fast fashion’ dates. You can bring them out year after year, and if looked after well, will keep working for you for many seasons. A definite wardrobe staple – something which we all need!

It’s fair to say that I wake up thinking about jewellery and go to bed thinking about jewellery; most of the time between spent planning what I can make next. And as for the stones, I don’t think I will ever tire of them and their natural beauty. It is a small luxury that everyone should have to make them feel special.

Visit Aura’s Facebook Page now for some ideas and inspiration