Shopping Basket

 x 
basket is empty


BAFTS-logo

Materials

Amber

Amber can vary greatly in colour from golden yellow through to shades of dark green. What is amber? It is the fossilised resin from pre-historic pine trees. For this reason it sometimes contains fragments of insects or other organic material that was trapped in the resin many years ago. It is believed to be uplifting and to enable energy balancing. It is also thought to have cleansing and calming properties.

Bamboo

There are well over 1000 different species of bamboo around the world.   The hollow stems and the fact that it grows so straight and fast means it is an ideal raw material for use in construction as well as craft work and jewellery. Some of it is edible and also used in traditional medicine.   We have bamboo earrings from Chile and the Amazon

Bone

Animal and fish bone is used in some of our Amazonian earrings and we have a mix of hand carved bone beads from India.

Brass/Brass plate

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and has traditionally been used in jewellery over many centuries and in many cultures. Our vintage coin earrings from Peru are made from brass and some of our pendant and earring sets are plated with brass.

Our pendant and earring sets that are brass plated have a layer of brass over another metal – this metal alloy underneath is nickel free.

Ceramic/Clay

Our wide range of ceramic clay beads and jewellery made from these beads have all been individually hand painted by artisans in workshops in Cuzco and the surrounding Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru.   Beads have an ancient history in South America and have often been found in pre-Hispanic tombs along the Pacific coast.   However these ceramic beads, although often decorated with pre-Hispanic motifs, have a relatively short history.

Each bead has been individually hand painted and is then either lacquered or glazed before being fired.

Feather

Our range of feather earrings from Peru is made from real feathers.   Some of the brightly coloured ones are dyed.   The feathers come from Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos in Peru.

Lapis Lazuli

The use of lapis lazuli in jewellery and adornment has a very long history in Egypt, Persia and Greece.   Until 1834 when synthetic alternatives were found, it was ground up and mixed with binding agents to produce the vivid ultramarine paint used by countless great artists. It is commonly associated with friendship and truth and helps to bring harmony in relationships.

Malachite

Malachite was traditionally used to ward off illness and danger and to help with relaxation. It supports the circulatory system of the body and helps to bring a sense of harmony.

Metal

Our metal beads from India are made from an alloy and given different colour finishes.

Natural

This generic term applies to our beautiful range of Amazonian earrings which are made out of a wide range of natural products. As well as being fairtrade they are also environmentally friendly - the idea behind this range was to create beautiful objects out of readily available materials which would otherwise be thrown away. The basic raw materials used include coconut shell, bamboo, tropical seeds, turquoise nuggets, animal quills, shell and bone.

Obsidian

Obsidian is formed when volcanic lava cools inside the earth. It was valued greatly by ancient cultures and used to make the pointed ends of spears and arrows. It can be found in any area of volcanic activity. It is believed to help guard the wearer against depression and can be used to block negativity of any kind.

Opal

Opal is known as the stone of happy dreams by the aborigines of Australia and the bird of paradise stone by the Aztecs and Mayas. Famous for its iridescence, it is highly valued in many cultures and believed to be a strong healing stone.   It can appear in many different colours but its beauty lies in the way it plays with or diffracts the light.

Pearl

Pearls are made up of lots of layers of nacre produced by molluscs as a means to protect themselves. The pearl is believed to symbolise peace and to celebrate friendship. It is the birthstone for the month of June.

Seed

Acai seeds come from the acai palm (Euterpe oleracea) that grows wild in Central and South America.. The berries are edible and have a high nutritional content. Our beads are made from the dried seeds which have been dyed and drilled.

Tagua nuts come from the female Tagua Palm (Phytelephas aequatorialis) which grows wild in the rainforests of Latin America. When the nuts are polished they have the same characteristics as ivory, which is why the tagua nut is also known as "vegetable ivory." The commercial use of tagua provides an important economic incentive for keeping the rainforests in their natural state rather than clearing them for agriculture or logging. The popularity of tagua dates back to the 1920´s when it was used on a large scale, to produce buttons.

Shell

Much of the shell used in our Mexican jewellery is abalone which is a common name for an edible sea snail found naturally off the coasts of South America, Japan and China  It comes in a lovely range of blues, greens, pinks both strong and less strong which reflect the light and so shimmer when worn.

Mother of pearl is also used (also known as nacre) and this tends to be white or cream but still iridescent. This is also produced inside molluscs providing them with a protective barrier.

Silver

Silver is naturally a soft metal and so it is combined with copper to make it hard enough to make jewellery and other objects out of.   The term sterling silver refers to a certain standard defined by the amount of silver used in the alloy – to be sterling, there has to be 92.5% silver in the alloy – this is also where the term 925 silver comes from.   All the silver in our jewellery is 925 or sterling and this is why our silver items are stamped 925 on the back.

Silver Plate

When items are silver plated it means they are made from another metal, usually an alloy, and then dipped or bathed with a layer of silver. These pieces will behave like normal silver and can be polished in the same way.

Turquoise

Turquoise has been valued by different cultures over many centuries. In the Aztec culture it was believed to have magical healing qualities and was a favourite offering to their gods. Today it is still believed to have healing qualities and to encourage creative expression, communication, friendship and loyalty. It is also believed to be a powerful protector against pollutants. It is the birthstone for December.

Wood

The only jewellery we have made of wood is our range of Argentinian wooden animal and bird earrings. These are made by the Wichi indigenous people of Northern Argentina. The woods used include: palo santo (green), quebracho (red), guayacan (black), mora (yellow). All of these woods are native to this region of Argentina and the Wichi people have turned to craft production as a means of survival and keeping their culture alive.

We also stock some wooden beads which are hand made and carved in India.