Museums of the Future: More Relevant Than Ever Before

museum

Image by: Nico Trinkhaus

Museums have changed little over the centuries; objects are presented in a one-way medium, as all the information about the life and times of any given object are presented on information placards behind a velvet rope.

Human tour guides are available in most museums, and they will happily recite to you all you need to know about each object in a linear fashion. From start to finish, they will provide details with prescribed descriptions and historical anecdotes.

And this process may have been all fine and good in previous centuries, before technology raised our expectations for the availability of information, and the experience to which it is delivered.

In order to remain relevant, museums such as the Smithsonian, Andy Warhol Museum, Roald Dahl Museum, and the National Media Museum, to name a few –are fighting hard to keep visitors flowing through their corridors, and they are turning to technology to accomplish this.

Art has the ability to cross borders, break language barriers, and speak to every unique individual who observes it –and museums are beginning to follow suit.

Here are a handful of ways museums are enhancing the “personal discovery” element that contemporary museum-goers are looking for.

More Focus on Visitors: Socially Integrated Exhibits

Today’s “selfie culture” provides a number of opportunities for museums to increase online visibility while engaging with visitors.

Exhibitions are going above and beyond, by creating immersive experiences that leave digital crumbs in visitor social feeds.

Contemporary museums effectively engaging in a digital strategy are aware that cross-platform social media engagement includes a blog, and spreads deep across multiple social media channels including; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Flickr, and Tumblr – the focus will be on social networks with a high probability for reshares.

Some examples of how exhibition stand contractors are changing the way we experience museum exhibits;

Free Portraits at Headlining Exhibits

Providing free portraits for exhibit visitors by sending them over social media create a stir on social feeds, and compelling (branded) subject matter increases reshare probability.

One of my favourite examples of visitor focus which museums might choose to draw from is Intel’s “Museum of Me”.

By visualizing elements such as your Facebook friends, photos and Likes, The Museum of Me reveals who you are as a reflection of your social graph.”

Share Options on Touch Screen Exhibit Terminals

Touch screen terminals are an excellent way to provide a complete set of non-linear data on a particular object to a visitor. Visitors have the flexibility to explore points of interest, as opposed to a pre-canned description. Additional information may include video, images, or live feeds.

If a museum is already providing touch screen terminals at their exhibits, it is a small jump to add social share functions. Implementing a share or Like option on existing or proposed systems could highlight the information the visitor found interesting, with comments, or a photo.

Live Feeds

Live-Tweeting events is also the norm, from the Pistorius trial and TED talks, to NASA’s recent Philae comet landing –allowing the world to join in an event, exhibitor seminar through Twitter, Google+ Hangouts, or the like is definitely key to raising awareness of your subject matter to a much broader audience.

Going Deeper

With larger museums possessing millions of objects, the process of three dimensional scans for each will take decades. In the meantime, museums are also engaging with visitors through crowdsourcing their research and exhibits.

Building upon how museums will integrate digital platforms in the future, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G. Wayne Clough sums it up best;

In the past, the creative activities were entirely behind the walls of museums and collection centers. The public only got to access that through labels in exhibitions, which told them what we thought. Now, in this new world, people actually will help us design exhibitions, and it will be interactive.

The future of the museum is interactive, and location independent.

The Works – Voucher code

Here is a great voucher code to give you a head start on the Christmas shopping.  Books are always great gifts, and The Works is offering 15% off orders in November with the code NOV15

 

*T&Cs: Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Excludes multi-buys, bulk buys, trade orders and some lines. Online only.

Promotion Code Exclusions

The following items are excluded from promotion codes as they are already discounted by up to 50%:

The following items will be discounted by 5%:

  • Gardners
  • VOW
  • Kits
  • Black A4 Pocket Display Book
  • The World Of David Walliams – Best Boxset Ever
  • The World Of David Walliams – CD Story Collection
  • My Busy Books – Disney Frozen
  • The Divergent Series – Box Set
  • The Hairy Bikers Asian Adventure – Over 100 Amazing Recipes
  • Compact Maxilight Torch – Truelight
  • Black Intempo Pulse Table Top Bluetooth Tower Speaker
  • White Intempo Pulse Table Top Bluetooth Tower Speaker
  • Dancing Water Speakers – Assorted
  • Frozen Products
  • Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect
  • Mary’s Complete Cookbook
  • Tom Kerridges Best Ever Dishes
  • The Viz Annual 2015 – The Dutch Oven

The following items will be discounted by 10%:

  • A Song Of Ice And Fire – Game Of Thrones – 7 Book Collectable Box Set With Westeros And Free Cities Poster Map

All other items will be discounted by the advertised amount when you add the code to the basket. Please note that only one promotion code can be added to each order.

Soak and sleep – voucher code

I discovered Soak&Sleep years ago when it was then know as the Duvet and pillow warehouse.  Since then it has been my only click-to when I am shopping for bedding.  The products really are high quality, and I sleep on little white pillow-clouds, enshrouded by super-soft Egyptian cotton pillowcases.

They have an offer on at the moment where customers can save up to £65.  Now your bed can be as awesome as mine!

Hurry though, it ends on the 20th, but they also have a Christmas offer, which I have listed below as well.

Offer: Spend £75 save £12, Spend £150 save £25, Spend £350 save £65
Voucher Code: BIRD65
Start date: 13/11 @9am
End date: 20/11 @9am

Xmas Flash Sale – 20% Off Everything

Voucher Code: XMAS20

Start date: 19/11/14

End date: 26/11/14

T&C’s: Min Spend £75

*the above link is an affiliate link, you don’t have to use it but it’d be kind if you did :)

Introducing the new Jack Daniel’s sauces

If you’re a great believer in using up everything in your cupboards – and in this day and age who isn’t – then you need to be able to get creative with your ingredients. I was thinking of this the other day as I looked at what I would consider ‘summer’ items in the kitchen, such as a jar of barbecue sauce.

When you think about it, the flavours we like about summer barbecues don’t have to stop just because the sun’s gone away and we don’t get to eat outside for a few more months. You just have to think a little differently.

The people at Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces have had the same idea, clearly, as they have a series of great recipes on their website (www.jackdanielsbbqsauces.com) that work all year round.

This year, Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces introduced two new flavours to their range that use the flavour of their famous whiskey – a Hot Pepper Steak Sauce and Extra Hot Habanero Barbecue Sauce.

All of the Jack Daniel’s range works extremely well used in slow-cooked, winter warming recipes.

The one I’m going to share with you below is top of my list to try out when I next get the chance.

SLOW COOKED BEEF STEW WITH A PUFF PASTRY TOPPER

jd1

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

220ml (one bottle) Jack Daniel’s Hot Pepper Steak Sauce
700g beef stewing steak or rump steak, cut into 3cm chunks
2 large carrots, cut into thick rings
2 large onions, roughly chopped
150g button mushrooms or field mushrooms, quartered
400ml water
1 beef stock cube
400g canned chopped tomatoes
75g flour or for richer beef flavour add gravy granules
Pastry
500g puff or shortcrust pastry
1/2 egg whisked or 1 tbsp milk
Sea salt, crushed

Sides

Baby new potatoes
Butter
Fresh parsley – roughly chopped
Fresh sugar snap or frozen garden peas

Method

Place the carrots, onions, beef, full bottle of Jack Daniel’s Hot Pepper Steak Sauce, and water in to a slow cooker or casserole dish, crumble in 1 beef stock cube and place the lid on.

If using a slow cooker – cook on low heat for 8 to 9 hours or a high heat for 4 hours depending on the amount of time you have.

If using a conventional oven, use a casserole dish with a lid and cook for 3 hours at 325°F/170°C/Gas Mark 3

Once all ingredients are tender, add the mushrooms, water and sifted flour or stir in the gravy granules to thicken.

Take the lid off the casserole dish or (if you have used a slow cooker) pour into a casserole dish and gently top with rolled puff pastry – brush the topper with the whisked egg or milk to glaze and pinch the sides to make sure the topper is secure. Optional: sprinkle with a light coating of crushed sea salt.

Turn the oven up to 400°F/200°C /Gas Mark 6 and bake for approx 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown and crispy.

To serve

Serve with buttered baby new potatoes, chopped parsley and peas.

All about the Most Famous Diamonds in the World

What Makes a Diamond Truly Special

Diamonds are an extremely rare find, but did you know that only around 30 percent created diamonds are actually gemstone quality? That’s partly why natural diamonds are revered, partly because of the stunning quality and partly because of the historical stories that accompany each of these diamonds.

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous diamonds, in part because of the legends surrounding it. It was first found in India by Jean Baptiste Tavernier before 1668 and weighed over 100 carats as a rough crystal. While some of the history varies, almost everyone who owned the diamond from Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette were killed.

That diamond disappeared when the royal treasury was looted in September of 1792 and all of the Crown Jewels were stolen. Exactly 20 years later, a London jeweller located the presence of a 45.52 blue diamond that Daniel Elliason, local diamond merchant owned and which may have been cut from the original. In 1830, Henry Thomas Hope purchased it, and it became known as the Hope diamond. It was insured for a million dollars, because it was the largest diamond of its kind at that time period. The curses continued until Harry Winston purchased it and he sold the diamond to the Smithsonian to keep on display. It’s currently worth at least $2 million.

The Regent Diamond

The Regent diamond was also discovered in the late 1600’s around 1698 in India and was originally owned by Thomas Pitt, the Governor of Madras. After it was sold to Philippe II, the Duke of Orleans in 1717, the royals used the diamond to make new crowns for Louis V and Louis VI. It was also stolen in the raid of the Crown Jewels in 1792 but found soon after. The jewels were only used sparingly until Napoleon Bonaparte took ownership in 1801 and used the diamonds in his personal sword.

After Napoleon was exiled, the diamond was transported to Austria but it never stayed there no matter how many times people tried. The French government kept a close eye on it and it is now stored with the other French crown jewels at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Great Star of Africa

Cut and faceted from the original Cullian, the Great Star of Africa weighs just over 530 carats and holds the title for the largest cut diamond worldwide. The pear-shaped diamond features 74 facets. It’s part of the Royal scepter and is stored among the other Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. While the fact that it was discovered in 1095 is fascinating in itself, it’s most infamous because of its relation to the original Cullian diamond.

The Centenary Diamond

This is another more recent diamond as it was only discovered in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1986. The 599-carat diamond is considered to be both internally and externally flawless with a colour rating of D, the highest rating possible for a colourless diamond. It took five years to cut and facet the diamond into smaller pieces and, it ended up into 13 different designs. It was completed in February of 1991 and is insured for $100 million dollars. Would have made 13 elegant diamond engagement rings with those 13 different designs.

The Spirit of de Grisogono

The Spirit of de Grisogono weighs just over 310 carats, making it the fifth largest diamond worldwide, and the world’s largest cut black diamond. Black diamonds are still extremely rare because they have a different composition than other colored diamonds. The Spirit of de Grisogono features the mogul diamond cutting style, which was developed in India years ago and works well on historic diamonds, especially black ones, where symmetry and sparkle don’t matter as much. It’s been used on other black diamonds like the Orlov Diamond. The Spirit of de Grisogono was mounted into a white gold ring with 702 white diamonds, totaling 36.69 carats.

The Golden Jubilee

The Golden Jubilee weighs just under 550 carats and holds the honor of being the largest faceted diamond worldwide. Gabi Tolkowsky designed the diamond, which was presented to the King of Thailand for the 50th anniversary of his coronation in 1997. Tolkowsky describes the diamond as a fancy yellowish brown shade, with fire-rose cushion cut facets in them. It’s only 15 carats larger than the Star of Africa.

Steinmetz Pink

The internally flawless and vividly pink diamond was originally unveiled in 2003 at Monaco. It was originally discovered in Africa and it took a group of eight people and 20 months to cut and re-fashion the rough 100-carat stone to the 60 carat diamond. It features an oval cut with a step-up crown. In 2003, the diamond was showcased at the Smithsonian Institute in an exhibit, titled the “Splendor of Diamonds,” featuring others like The Heart of Eternity and The Millennium Star.

The Steinmetz Pink was renamed the Pink Star, and now that it has been purchased by famous diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, has been renamed again to the Pink Dream.

Purchasing unique and elegant diamond rings

If you want diamond engagement rings with one of these stones, it’s almost like a status symbol for people because blue diamonds are especially expensive. They’re more affordable if you purchase a treated blue diamond versus a natural one, and blue diamonds do symbolize inner strength, grace, and harmony in relationships.

 

Father’s Day Traditions Around The World

family

Image by: Patrick

Whether it’s soap on a rope and Old Spice or socks and the latest gadgets, Father’s Day is a time to spoil dad and let him know just how much you appreciate him.

Father’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. Besides thinking up the perfect gifts for dad, take a look at some of these customs you might like to try!

Thailand

Father’s Day in exotic Thailand is celebrated alongside the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej not on in June, but on the 5th of December. The King is the most important person in the country and very loved by the Thais, that is why they consider him the father of the nation. On Father’s Day everyone wears yellow which represents Monday – the day of the week on which the King was born. Children awake to give their dads gifts of a Canna flower, a masculine plant.

If you want to start something similar in your family next Father’s Day, instead of gifts for dad, have everyone wear dad’s favourite colour and give him his favourite plant.

Germany

In Germany Father’s Day, or Mannertag, started back in the Middle Ages and was actually a religious procession. Today, celebrations tend to begin with a man’s only hike which is accompanied by wagons will with beer, wine and local food. The men pull the wagons. In the cities, though, dads tend to tone it down a bit and head to the beer gardens for an all-day drinking session. Germany celebrates Father’s Day on the Thursday 40 days after Easter.

If you fancy implanting some German tradition, why not get together all the dads you know who enjoy cycling, golf or a bit of wine tasting and let dad have a guy’s only dad of fun.

South Africa

Celebrations in sunny South Africa are similar to the U.K and U.S. Children awake with gifts for dad like neckties, soaps and novelties. South Africans often enjoy a picnic on Father’s Day or a BBQ or even let dad go off fishing. It’s all about celebrating dad’s role in his children’s life.

To us that sort of theme, your family could start a new tradition of fishing together or having a family picnic.

Japan

In Japan, flowers are in important part of Father’s Day celebrations. Children also enjoy giving their fathers Japanese candies, homemade beer glasses or even Japanese sweets. Lunch or dinner is usually a meal of prawns, crab or any other seafood. Personalised beer bottles or champagne glasses are also popular gifts on this special day. Japanese men also enjoy receiving gifts of perfume.

You can bring in Japanese traditions on your Father’s Day by going out for a seafood dinner and wrapping up some of dad’s best sweets for afterwards.

Mexico

Father’s Day in Mexico is also similar to the U.S celebrations. Meals are prepared and gifts for dad are handed out in appreciate of everything dad does for the family. There’s a strong emphasis on family values here. Also, there is a city-wide 21km race that is held in Bosque de Tlalpan for dads to take part in.

If you’re an adventurous family you could start the tradition of a family jog or hike every Father’s Day. You don’t need to run for 21 kilometres but you may well start a fun new thing to do as a family and not only on special occasions!

Whichever way your family chooses to appreciate dad on Father’s Day, make sure dad has a special and enjoyable time filled with his favourite companions, activities, foods and of course, gifts for dad that he will treasure.

 

How to Turn Off Potential Buyers of Your Home

Unless your home was purchased very recently, or has recently undergone some big renovations, your home is probably not ready to sell. Homes go through natural wear and tear. There are inevitably things need to be replaced, repainted, or renovated. It’s also very likely that the style of your home is too outdated for a current market, especially if rooms like kitchens and bathrooms are reminiscent of the styles of your parents. If you have no intention of getting your home sold, the best thing you can do for your home is absolutely nothing.

Don’t Repair

Your home probably has a leaky faucet or two, maybe even more major repairs. If you want to turn off potential buyers to your home, dimply don’t fix these issues. A buyer walking through who sees dripping water, carpet stains, mildew, or shipping paint will immediately run for the hills.

Don’t Consider Current Styles

If you have gold bathroom fixtures, wall paneling, or floral knobs on your kitchen cabinets, you are rocking some style-don’ts of today’s modern world. Buyers who walk through your home and see outdated accessories like this will immediately be turned off. Making changes to account for modern style trends is only something you do if you have every intention of selling your home quickly. Keeping it antique will guarantee it stays in your hands for quite some time.

Keep it Cluttered

Clutter and organizational chaos are huge turn-offs for potential buyers, and if you want to scare them away, be sure to highlight the clutter in your home. Keep your big, clunky furniture in your smaller rooms and be sure to accentuate the fact that your house cannot possibly contain all the stuff you have accumulated over the years. Buyers who walk through a cluttered home will write it off as a possibility, which is good news for anyone who does not want to sell their home.

Leave the Kitchen As-Is

Upgrading your kitchen before putting your house on the market essentially guarantees that your home will be sold quickly, primarily because kitchens are a top priority for potential homebuyers. A beautiful, quality, organized kitchen will probably seal the deal for anyone on the fence about your home. A Bespoke Kitchen design by Mike Taylor (http://www.miketaylorbespokekitchens.co.uk/bespoke-kitchens) will get your home sold much faster than if you were to leave your outdated kitchen in place. But if you want to turn potential buyers off of your home, be sure to leave your kitchen alone. Do not install a new kitchen.

Final Tips for Turning off Home-Buyers

In today’s market, you never know for sure whether or not your home will be sold quickly. The only way to keep it on the market as long as possible is to follow the tips above. However, if you change your mind somewhere down the line and decide you want to sell your home as quickly as possible, make sure to do all the proper updates and renovations, including your kitchen.

Pool Games for Kids

Pool games are fun for everyone, but they are especially useful for encouraging children who don’t particularly like water to get involved. They can help children to feel more comfortable in the water, and encourage exercise. Whether you want to introduce your children to a traditional game like Marco Polo, or want to encourage competitiveness with some races, your children are guaranteed to be entertained for hours. Keep reading for a description of some of the best pool games for kids.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is perhaps the most well known pool game for kids. Especially suited to confident swimmers, and those who feel slightly competitive, this game can be played with three or more children. To start, one child needs to be nominated to be ‘it’. They then have to close their eyes and try to tag one of the other children. The child who is ‘it’ can shout out Marco whenever they feel like it, and the other players must shout out ‘Polo’. The child who is ‘it’ can then try to follow the sound to try and reach the other players.

Fish Out of Water

Fish Out of Water is very similar to Marco Polo, however in this variation of the game, the children who are trying to escape can climb out of the pool to try and minimise their chances of being tagged. However, should the player who is ‘it’ shout Fish Out of Water whilst a child is out of the pool, they then become it. If more than one player is out of the pool when ‘Fish Out of Water’ is shouted, the child who is ‘it’ can choose who will be ‘it’ next.

Mermaid Swim Races

Mermaid swim races are ideal for competitive children, who want to feel like mermaids for an hour. Simply tie a piece of string through a shell and ask every child who is competing to wear the necklace. You can then create your own races for every swimmer to take part in. Anything from a simple back crawl race, to an obstacle course can be enjoyed by your little mermaids. If you have children of differing ages, you can also give them different start times to try and make the races slightly more equal.

Scavanger Hunt

If you have a selection of pool tools, a scavenger hunt is sure to be a lot of fun. To start, wait until your child looks away from the pool, and then scatter a selection of toys. If you have some that sink to the bottom, and some that float, this is ideal. Then give your children buckets, and let them race to collect as many items as they can. If your children are good swimmers, you can also give them different points determined by the items they collect.

If your children love swimming, and you are forever taking them down to the local pool, you may want to consider having your own pool installed. Compass-pools.co.uk can help you to decide on a design and finish that will be perfect for the whole family.

Write Christmas

I heard about a competition offering my child to write a festive story:

Would your little one like to see their work published in a festive collection of short stories?

We’re encouraging parents to help their children become excited about winter/the festive season by taking part in a competition fronted by Sam Hay, children’s author of the Undead Pets books.

The competition will see 50 stories/pictures from children across the country published in a special edition book. Each child featured will receive a hard copy of the book and the collection will be available to download for free – making the perfect gift for grannies, grandpas, uncles and aunts.

There are three age groups: 4 – 6, 7 – 9, 10 – 11 and on top of receiving a hard copy of the book, the very best entry in each age group will win: £500 for their school to spend on books or writing equipment; a visit from Sam Hay to narrate their story/talk about their picture; plus a stocking packed with festive treats worth £50.

Sam Hay has also produced some short videos to help you and your child to think about how to create a festive story, including what Christmas was like for you as a child versus their own experience. They are available on our website Write Christmas.

When I asked the Cub to have a go, this wonderfully festive story was the result.  He is a four and a half year old boy who loves Thomas and has a wicked sense of humour.  I transcribed his story exactly, here (there may be copyright issues, and he has a big runny-nose cold at the moment):

The first version:

“Malachi and his Mum stood at the window, looking out at the rain.  One of them left, to go to the toilet that’s name is Malachi.  Malachi came back to his Mum and then came back to what he was doing.  One of them left again and came back with a tissue stuck to his nose covered in green snot.  Malachi said urghhh.”

The final version:

Bogey the train went for a run in the park.  It was a hot sunny day and all the children were playing bingo.

Suddenly, he came off the track because he was going too fast, excited for the points to change.  Then the points lighted green.  He had to wait for a breakdown car to come any minute, his driver said.

Victor came along and heaved him really fast and then Victor came off the track too, now they were both off the track.  Then Thomas buffered up very fast and he heaved Victor back onto the track and then Thomas’ coupling uncoupled and then Victor saw something on the track and he had to go forward and he screeched his brakes because something was on the track.

Some snow, it started to snow on the track and all of the trains had to have their snow ploughs on.  The children played throwing snowballs at each other and one of them throwed one in one in Thomas’ mouth and one threw one in someone’s eyes and then Malachi got snow in his eyes and then they were playing snow eyes.

The breakdown train was late and then they all put balloons on the line welcoming all the engines to meet Bogey.  Snow got up their chimneys and snow supposed to come out of Bogey’s funnel as he is specially designed for snow with grippy wheels that can grip to the snow and he runs on snow.  Bogey didn’t have bogeys coming out of his nose.  He was the same colour as snow and he had snow for his paintwork.

They all had a party to welcome him to the island of Sodor with crisps.  His surname is Bogey and his first name is Snow.

Someone put people in his funnel and it was all chilly and Malachi and his Mummy and that big dog, they all came out of Snow’s funnel.  The snow was stopping and starting.  All of Victor’s way was blocked bout he got free with the help of some magic fairies and the help of their magic.  Victor came alive and started to move lively.

They all danced until it was night time and the one dark train that couldn’t be seen came around the corner and then Diesel came around the corner. They all had a game.

Thank you for listening to this story.

The End

 

 

Jewellery 101: Learn the Lingo of the Antique Jewellery Industry

Diamond LingoToday is a special day. It could be a wedding anniversary, a birthday, or a “just because” –but today is special, there’s no other way to look at it. You’re going to walk into a jewellery store, and you’re going to put down some of the contents of your savings account and come out with a lovely new bauble for the apple of your eye.

That sweat in your palms? Yeah, that’s because A.) You’re about to spend a fair chunk of change, and B.) Because you know all about technology, cars, movies –but you don’t know the first thing about jewellery buying.

And what you don’t know could wind up costing you.

A Familiar Feeling

Remember when you had your first beer, coffee, or glass of wine? The taste was unexpected, and every different variety or type of any one of these beverages all tasted the same to you. You couldn’t tell the difference between champagne and white wine, a lager from an IPA, or instant coffee from the real thing.

Heck, suffice it to say that perhaps it was the packaging that helped you make your early beverage buying decisions; the idea, the way it was presented.

Well, if you’re in the market to acquire some jewellery and have never pondered the attributes which dictate the value of a piece; this guide is for you.

Read on to learn about the lingo used by jewellers, and industry dealers, buyers, traders, and the like.

Start at the Beginning

Diamonds are by far one of the most traditional and widely sought jewels to be worn, and because of this we thought we’d start with them.

Diamonds

Diamonds are incredibly durable, and even a genuine antique diamond engagement ring can look as new as the day it was cut with a little polish.

But what sort of diamond are you looking for? How will you know if you’re getting a square deal?

Here are a handful of terms commonly used to explain the quality of a diamond:

Cut

The cut of a diamond commonly refers to its geometric proportions and shape, which typically range from round, square, oval, pear, and so on.

Facet

A diamond facet is a polished flat surface on the diamond face.

Brilliance

A quality cut diamond will appear brighter, due to an increase of light reflection. A round diamond with a “brilliant cut” has 57 facets all arrange in a particular way to enhance its brilliance, that is to say, reflection of light.

Fluorescence

Some diamonds present a light blue hue to them when exposed to ultraviolet light, other less expensive stones can appear a little yellow; a diamond ideally has little to none of either hue to them.

Clarity

Diamond clarity is defined by its imperfections, or the lack thereof. The less imperfections, the greater the clarity, and a bigger price tag. Clarity grades range from flawless to I3. I3 meaning many flaws are clearly visible to the eye, which could lead to the diamond chipping or cracking.

Carat

The weight of a diamond is expressed in carat, and one carat is the equivalent of 200 mg. This means that the more carats in a diamond, the heavier it is, and the heavier it is, the more it is worth. Another unit of measurement is a point, and one point is 1/100th of a carat.

Girdle

The girdle of a precious stone is its outer circumference, the part that typically holds a stone to the piece of jewellery it clings to.

Table

The table of a diamond or gemstone is the flat are on the top of the piece.

Step Cut

Typically a style used in diamond cutting, a step cut consists of a series of four-sided facets, in sloping parallel rows.

Micron

A micron is a metric unit of measurement for the length of a particular object, equivalent to 1,000th of a millimetre.

Malleable

The malleability of a substance is defined by its ability to bend and be shaped.

Gemstones, Pearls, Metals, and Beyond

Beyond diamonds, here are some additional kinds of stones which may not be as costly, however just as meaningful.

Jade

Jade is a semi-precious stone that can come in various colours, even a near black. Translucent jade carries a greater perceived value than jade that is opaque. Beyond jewellery, jade has also been used historically in dishware and vases.

Fluorite

A mineral which comes in a wide range of colours, these beautiful crystals can appear either translucent, or transparent, and come from all around the globe.

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl is an iridescent coating from the inner parts of oyster shells, and is also used in clothing buttons and other accessories when not being used in jewellery.

Kyanite

Kyanite is a gemstone that comes in a rich, deep sapphire blue, green, gray, or even white. It’s colour is very organic, and often not symmetrical.

Freshwater Pearls

As opposed to pearls from oysters, jewellery adorned with the pearls that freshwater molluscs produce is much more affordable. These pearls are more oval in shape, and appear translucent with a milky appearance.

Feldspar

This classification of gemstone pertains to a large family of minerals which are found plentifully around the world, however only a select few of its members are suitable for jewellery. Most commonly, moonstone is a kind of feldspar used in jewellery.