Due to a shortage of coins in the 17th & 18th Century, towns began to issue tokens instead. These were vital to keep local trade going.
Many Kentish towns had their own token, each depicting strong local themes. The Tenterden token portrayed the hop trade and carried the image of a brewer’s horse and dray with the legend “To cheer our hearts”. It was produced in 1796 and was “Payable at I & T Cloakes Brew House” in Tenterden.
We have incorporated some of these beautiful historic tokens into one-off jewellery pieces. You can now own a piece of Tenterden history in the form of a wonderful and unique necklace!
October babies are lucky enough to have two birthstones to chose from - Opal and Tourmaline! Both of these gemstones come in almost every colour of the rainbow. Below we explain a bit more about the beautiful gemstone Opal.
The opal’s flashing play of kaleidoscopic colours is unlike any other gemstone. This stunning play of colour is caused by the diffraction of light by silica spheres. Due to this dazzling display of colours, the Romans perceived it as the most precious and powerful gem of all.
The main source of precious opals is Australia. They are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-colour as possible. Colour, pattern and clarity are all taken into consideration when planning a finished opal. The best opals rival the most expensive diamonds, rubies and emeralds in price.
It's worth noting that opals are softer than most other gemstones and have a hardness of about 5.5 - 6 on the Mohs scale (diamond being 10). Therefore opals are best suited to pieces where wear is minimised e.g. a setting that protects the stone. These photos show a few of our lovely opal rings. Feel free to come in and browse our opal jewellery!
Our customers often ask us for advice on caring for their beloved jewellery. Here are our top tips on looking after your pearls:
1. Put your pearls on last when getting ready in the morning. Pearls are a natural gem that are particularly vulnerable to chemicals found in cosmetics, lotions and make-up. It is also worth avoiding all contact with perfume.
2. Carefully wipe your pearls with a soft cloth at the end of the day. Perspiration is also damaging to pearls and can reduce the lustre. Therefore it is a good idea to gently clean them before putting them away after use.
3. Store your pearls separate to other items and lay them flat. It is important to store your pearls separate from other jewellery to minimise scratching. Necklaces are best stored lying flat rather than hanging to prevent stretching of the string. It is also worth fastening clasps to prevent them becoming tangled.
4. Check for stretching or fraying regularly. To ensure your necklace doesn’t break unexpectedly, it is a good idea to check for stretching or fraying. If you notice either then it is probably time to get them re-strung.
5. Take your pearls off before showering or swimming. It is best to avoid wearing your pearls in the swimming pool or shower as chlorine and chemicals found in shampoo are damaging. It is also best to avoid exposing them to excess heat, for example in a sauna or steam room.
We recently had the pleasure of making this 9ct yellow gold pendant for a customer of ours who used to live and work in Ghana. This pendant is close to her heart and is a reminder of the time she spent in Ghana. This symbol in particular is an Adinkra symbol that means "Love never loses its way home". Adinkra symbols express various concepts that relate to the history, beliefs and philosophy of the Ashanti people.