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Clockwise fromtop:Pieces by designer-makers AllenBrown, LucyMartin, JosefKoppmann and NicholasYiannarakis will all bedisplayed atGoldsmiths' FairPreciousmomentsSince time immemorial, man hasused the colourful minerals thatthe earth provides as a fabulousmeans of adornment andbeautification. AmandaStucklinexamines how today'sdesigner-makers at theGoldsmiths' Fair make themost of this preciousbounty Every civilisation has cut orchiselled colourful gems andcrystals, strung them to makebeads, or set them into precious or non-precious metals to make rings,necklaces, brooches, earrings, hairornaments and other forms of jewellery.Jewels set with rare and 'precious'gems soon became regarded asoutward symbols of wealth and status -the most traditional being diamonds,rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires,with other varieties being defined as'semi-precious'. But in truth, every stoneis precious in its own right and themodern distinction between preciousand non-precious is in fact founded onan ancient perception of valuebased essentially on what wasrare at that time. Today, manylesser-known, rare stones areconsiderably more valuableand desirable than a poor-qualityexample of a so-called'precious' gem.One of the main andmost obviousattractions of theseminerals and rocks iscolour, followed bytheir translucency,lustre and brilliance -and in many cases, thefact that they are oftenvery hard substances.Generally speaking, itwas the Art Nouveaujewellers - most notablyRené Lalique - whointroduced the revolutionaryuse of mixed media and beganto incorporate stones and gemsthat had previously been disregardedor overlooked. There is the most staggering variety ofrare and exotic gemstones in all shapes38NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 2011www.nadfas.org.uk

and sizes, providing a kaleidoscopiccolour palette that is rich and vibrant. Avisit to the annual Goldsmiths' Fair, theleading showcase of contemporarydesigner jewellery, at Goldsmiths' Hall inthe City of London, provides anenlightening glimpse into themesmerising world of gemology. Withmore than 100 jewellers from all over thecountry exhibiting over the two weeks, itis fascinating to witness the differentways in which they incorporatestones into their work, creativelycombining colour, size and cut. The stones are sourcedfrom all over the globe. Manyjewellers buy directly from specialiststone dealers or cutters, while somesuch as Allen Brown travel tocentral Brazil, often going directlyto the mines themselves. Allenexplains: "While the quality ofthe stones I look for is always ofthe highest importance, I amalso looking for the unusual: inmaterial, size, cut and colour. I go on astone-buying trip with no preconceiveddesigns or ideas as I never know what I am going to find. I often sketchdown designs within hours or evenminutes of coming across somespectacular new gem."More often than not the stones arethe starting point for adesign. For example,Ingo Henn says:"I always getinspired by thegemstone, itsshape andpersonality. Thestone should alwaystake centre stage!" This isperhaps not surprising as Ingogrew up surrounded by exquisite gems- his family are leading gem-dealers andcutters in Germany. DaphneKrinoscelebratesthe beautyof multi-colouredrough-cuttourmalines bysimply framing themin precious metal toaccentuate their beauty.Likewise, Ulla Hörnfeldtsearches for the most unusualpieces of rare minerals she can find.Drusy, a gemstone with a naturalsurface texture, which looks like a finedusting of sparkly sugar crystals, is aparticular favourite. David Fowkes's jewellery ischaracterised by his choice ofparticularly rare examples of gems such as hematite, ammolite (one of the rarest of all gemstones) anddumortierite. Jeweller Ming also uses a huge variety of unique stones in her work from chrysoberyl cat's eye to peachy padparadscha and violet sapphires. Her designs arecarefully considered tospecifically complementthe colour and cut ofher chosen stone. Favouritegemstones of LucyMartin are white onyx,chrysoprase, yellowberyl, black moonstone and spinel, andshe uses their inherent qualities to makeher distinctive jewellery, which is inspiredby the beauty of city landscapes. While diamonds remain a firmfavourite, people are becoming moreaware of the fact that, like many stones,they come in a wide variety of colours,including pinks, yellows, fabulousautumnal hues and even black. Sonia Cheadle has made a stunningbracelet out of 30 carats of blackdiamond beads, finished off with 18ctyellow gold. For those who prefer traditionalsparkle in the form of white diamonds,or rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires- they too are available in abundance.Whatever the stone - its colour, shapeor form, all have been incorporated intostylish jewels with the skills, artistry andcraftsmanship of the cream of Britain'sjewellery designer-makers. The Goldsmiths' Fair runs for twoweeks. Week One is Monday 26September to Sunday 2 October.Week Two is Tuesday 4October to Sunday 9 October. Open: 11am to 7pm Mon-Fri, 10am to 6pm Sat-Sun. Seewww.thegoldsmiths.co.ukfor more details.For details of a NADFAS National Event, turn to page 10www.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 201139Above (l-r):Designer-makersUlla Hornfeldt,Catherine Bestand Ingo Hennuse gemstonesto create unique pieces Below (l-r):Gemstonescome in allcolours, shapesand sizes, suchas these piecesfrom BarbaraChristie andAlison Bradley