Month: November 2015

Embodying the balletic grace of George Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’

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In all the world, there are few individuals as graceful as classical ballerinas. These professionals who have trained their whole lives to be onstage embody a fluidity of movement and effortless poise that is almost regal in nature.

They hold the audience enchanted for the duration of the show, a visual feast of physical prowess and stunning costuming and set. Today, we pay homage to one of the most iconic ballets of the 20th century by George Balanchine, inspired by beautiful jewels. 

A little about George Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’

Vanguard choreographer George Balanchine got the idea for a jewel-themed ballet from the work of master jeweller Claude Arpels, as reported by The George Balanchine Trust.  

“Of course, I have always liked jewels,” Balanchine explained. “I like the colour of gems, the beauty of stones, and it was wonderful to see how our costume workshop… came so close to the quality of real stones (which were of course too heavy for the dancers to wear!).”

Each of the three acts has a distinct musical sound and quality of movement, intended to imitate the properties and personalities of three gems.

Act I – Emeralds 

The opening act is set to the music of Gabriel Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande, a grand, yet sophisticated score which Balanchine thought evoked the elegance and aesthetic of France.

The dancers are dressed in Romantic style tutus, their movements fluid and refined. You yourself can take the lead from the opulence and regality of this first act with the Karen Walker emerald and citrine owl ring. To find out more about emeralds, you can read our blog post here.

Act II – Rubies 

The spritely second act speaks of the mischievous glamour of dazzling rubies. Dancers dart across the stage in fairy light steps, demonstrating agility and an almost feline litheness. 

Set to the somewhat jarring, avant garde music of Igor Stravinksy, Rubies encapsulates a joie de vivre that you can echo with our dazzling ruby and diamond ring. The dancers are dressed in more modern attire to clearly denote the act as having a different personality from emeralds.  Read up more on this bewitching gem in our blog series here.

Act III- Diamonds 

The third and final act is a celebration of splendour, a glittering last show of skill with a touch of flamboyance. The dancers take to the stage in glistening white tutus with a cool confidence befitting this queen of jewels, whose brilliance never fails to impress. 

Diamond jewellery is all at once the ultimate signature of sophisticated style, as well as offering a flash of intrigue as it catches the light. Why not try following in the elegant footsteps of Balanchine’s ballerinas with this timeless diamond pendant from Dreamtime

In addition, much like diamond jewellery, Balanchine’s ‘Diamonds’ act is timeless – the traditional ballet tutu is paired with a choreography that echoes the grand tradition of several other balletic masterpieces. However, watch closely, and you’ll still see much of the flair that denotes Balanchine’s modern style. 

Matched with a score by Peter Tchaikovsky, this act is the crowning jewel of the show, blending triumph, romanticism and effortless style, much like the gem in real life. You can learn more about Dreamtime diamonds here, or click here to find your own musical diamond muse! 

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Say hello to Citrine, November’s first birthstone!

tarting with its two birthstones.

That’s right, like October with its enchanting opal and radiant tourmaline, November is yet another month with two gemstones to choose from. We’re going to illuminate the first of this gorgeous pair, the luminous citrine, discovering its various properties as well as seeing how you can incorporate into your jewellery collection.

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or for a beautiful gift for a November baby, here’s what you should know about the stunning citrine.

A quartz by any other name 

The citrine is part of the quartz family, presenting itself in a warm golden-yellow hue, reminiscent of the citrus fruit from whence it got its name. One of the most popular yellow-coloured gemstones sold in the world today, citrines can range from a pale lemon to a rich, almost amber colouring thanks to a trace of iron in its mineral makeup.

However, this hue is hardly natural, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Due to golden citrines being relatively rare, most of the examples you see today are the result of an ingenious heat treatment technique, which transforms the lilac of amethysts into the alluring citrine.

It’s due to this warm colouration that the citrine has been often muddled up with topaz, November’s other birthstone, even though the American Gem Society (AGS) explains that they are completely different jewels.

citrine-facts

Citrine’s properties

The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) notes that the citrine has a relatively high rating of 7 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, just like the rest of its quartz family, meaning that you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged from small knocks due to general wear and tear.

Like any other gemstone, the citrine is said to be imbued with its own unique properties, with the AGS reporting that the stone is associated with healing, as well as nurturing vitality and warmth for the lucky wearer.

The citrine is also the commemorative gemstone for a 13th anniversary, notes the GIA, so whether you’re approaching this special date in your relationship or you know a wonderful November baby, citrine jewellery makes for a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

How can I wear citrine jewellery?

Here at Showcase, we’re excited to offer our customers a selection of Karen Walker’s imaginative jewellery range, including this wonderful owl ring, featuring citrine as well as May’s birthstone of emerald.

What makes citrine truly a great addition to your collection is that its golden hue is almost universally flattering on a range of skin tones, complementing warmer or darker complexions as well as brightening fair ones.

Citrine looks equally as radiant set in either gold or cool-toned metals, but has a special glint to it when matched with either white gold or sterling silver.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the world of citrine! Make sure you keep an eye out for our upcoming feature on the second November birthstone of topaz, and take a look back through our previous birthstone articles here to read up on May to October.