Month: October 2015

How can I wear multiple ear piercings?

If you have more than one piercing in each ear, there’s a good chance they took place in your teenage years – either as a statement of personal style or as your own feisty streak of rebellion. However, as we leave our student days behind us, people can begin to phase out those stacked hoops and studs in favour of a more demure aesthetic, often in the pursuit of a more professional look.

But if you find yourself reminiscing about the days of bejewelled ear lobes, you can perk up, as multiple studs have made a roaring return to fashion. One needs only look to the purveyors of celebrity style, from Beyonce to Kylie Jenner and Scarlett Johannson, to know that glamming up your ears is in, and that there are plenty of trendy ways to pull it off.

Can I wear multiple earrings and still be classy? 

Of course you can! There are an infinite number of earring combinations, that just like the rest of your jewellery collection, can transform your entire look. A modest dress and blazer can suddenly gain a cool, interesting edge with a white gold stud earring at the top of your ear, paired with a hint of sparkle from some bar Swarovski studs that just brush past the bottom of your ear lobe.

If you are concerned about keeping things professional, stick to quality earrings, conscientiously paired for a look that is fashion forward, rather than tacky fashion faux pas.

Can I mix and match different earrings, but still look put together? 

Absolutely. One of our favourite combinations is cool tone metals such as silver and white gold, paired with some timeless pearl earrings. Why not match pearl studs with some of our adorable Karen Walker range? Add some nautical flare with these miniature anchor studs or maybe even these tiny silver skull studs, as a nod to those rebel teen days.

Whether you’re rocking a tragus, industrial or multiple lope ear piercing, there are endless ways to make multiple earrings look good. Why not check out the Showcase range online now and start mixing and matching?

Celebrating October’s birthstones part two: Opal

We’re back with our second installment of our spotlight on October’s birthstones, and after getting to know tourmaline, this time we’re focussing on the bewitchingly beautiful opal.

Like tourmaline, opal is renowned for its colourful allure, coming in a range of different hues that ensure each stone is unique and just a little bit magical. Whether you’re offsetting this technicolour gem with some classic gold jewellery, or you’re rocking it on its own, opal is a sure head-turner.

Here’s a look at the background of the opal, and what makes it so special as a birthstone.

A gem by any other name 

The name ‘opal’ comes from the Greek word, ‘opallios’, which referred to a change in colour. The gems are indeed one of the most changeable you are likely to encounter, with examples ranging from a pearly white to a fiery orange red or peacock blue.

The opal owes its flashy appearance to its unique chemical makeup of hydrated silica, formed from the seasonal rainfall that takes place in arid locations such as the Australian Outback, as explained by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In fact, 95 per cent of the world’s opals are sourced right here in our back yard, according to Tourism Australia. 

What makes the opal stand out is the famed ‘play of colour’ effect which produces rainbow-like flecks within the gem – a result of light waves bouncing off microscopic sphere of silica. 

An illustrious past 

With its enchanting colouring, it’s little surprise that it was much revered in ancient times. The GIA notes how Roman scholar Pliny equated opals to having “the deepest and richest colours of painters”, such as the “flaming fire of burning sulphur and even the bright blaze of burning oil”.

The Ancient Greeks were also thought to value opals for their gift of prophesy and protection against disease, whilst Aboriginal Dreamtime legends describe the opal as the result of a rainbow, and a sign of the Creator’s visit to Earth.

Lastly, it was due to the work of writer Sir Walter Scott that the gem got its reputation as a bearer of bad luck for those who wear opals if their birth month is not October. You’ll be glad to know that this belief is not based on any traditions or old legends, and that the only thing you’ll get from wearing opals are compliments!

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Celebrating October’s birthstones part one: Tourmaline

tourmaline-ring-SJ16111

October is the month of Libras, Scorpios and everyone’s favourite spooky holiday of Halloween, but did you know it’s also a month with two birthstones? You heard us right, those lucky October babies have two stunning gems to choose from: tourmaline and opal.

These enchanting stones only enhance the sparkling personalities of those born in the tenth month of the year, making a special addition to any jewellery collection.

Here we’re taking a look at the first of the October birthstones, tourmaline

Colourful origins 

You may know tourmaline as having a vivid pink hue, but the fact of the matter is that this gem can come in a variety of different colours. Due to its bi- or tri-colour properties, tourmaline can be found in an almost emerald green, as well as blue, red-brown and even yellow.

The tourmaline owes its variation of colour to a range of elements such as manganese, iron, chromium, lithium and calcium, notes the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

According to the International Coloured Gemstone Association, the azure blue characteristic of the rare Paraiba variety from Brazil is caused by the presence of copper, usually absent from any other tourmaline.

 

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A surprising discovery 

The beautiful tourmaline had humble beginnings when it was stumbled upon by a Spanish explorer in the 1500s and mistaken for an emerald, according to the GIA. Long confused with various other gems thanks to its broad spectrum of colours, it wasn’t until a few hundred years later that tourmaline was identified as being its own type of mineral.

Its name comes from ‘toramalli’, a word in the Sri Lankan language of Sinhalese that is taken to mean ‘mixed gems’. It’s not uncommon to see two or more colours in the same gemstone, often used for creative or artistic effect.

One example of this is the ‘watermelon tourmaline’, where a cross section of the stone reveals a pink core, surrounded by a thin band of white and then an outer ring of green.

Incorporating tourmaline into your life 

Now tourmaline deposits can be found all around the world, including across the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan and Madagascar, according to the GIA. It’s accepted as being the gem for an eighth wedding anniversary, and is thought to have various healing properties. These include the promotion of balance and understanding, as well as for easing tension and detoxifying the body.

Wearing tourmaline jewellery is a breeze, as the sheer range of colours makes it easy to find a shade that suits you. Our stunning pink tourmaline and diamond cocktail ring is sure to be a hit with any October babies and lucky partners. It is set in 18-carat yellow gold, with white gold accents acting as a bezel to the 0.33 carat of diamonds that form a halo around the oval-shaped central tourmaline.

A modern take on art deco style, this ring adds a splash of colour and sparkle to any outfit, and can be mixed and matched with either gold or silver toned pieces with ease. If you’ve already had your birthday, no need to fear, as you can look back at our previous birthstone articles, including rubies for July, peridots for August and sapphires for September.

Looking good for a good cause with BCNA

When it comes to lending a helping hand, the wonderful people of Breast Cancer Network of Australia (BCNA) have been doing an incredible job for over 15 years.

First coming together in 1998 under the guidance of founder and former CEO Lyn Swinburne, BCNA is dedicated to providing the best support, information, treatment and care for all Australians affected by breast cancer.

Fighting the good fight for Aussie women

Many organisations have partnered with BCNA to help raise awareness and funds for this incredible initiative, and now Showcase Jewellers is one of them. As part of our range of jewellery, we now offer the BCNA collection. A percentage of every sale will go directly to BCNA to support their ongoing work throughout the country.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Australia, with over 1.7 million new cases diagnosed around the world in 2012, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.

So if you’ve been looking for a way to contribute towards an amazing cause, here are a few of BCNA’s wonderful pieces to consider. Not only will your money go to a good place, you can also show your support by sporting the BCNA’s iconic Pink Lady silhouette.

The Faith, Love & Hope Circle Pendant is a simple, yet elegant piece that embodies three of the most important values for anyone to hold dear. $5 from each sale goes towards supporting women around the country who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The BCNA Pink Lady Pendant comes with a beautiful Swarovski crystal set into it on a 45 cm sterling silver chain. For each sale, we’ll donate $10 to the BCNA. You can also get a similar design with Swarovski crystal in a pin form.