Australia is having its worst bushfire season since records began as well as the hottest and driest summer so far.  So, moving away from the hot reds and greens of Christmas, I started to look for jewellery that had cooler colours, ones that would make us think of soft rain and ice rather than fire and heat.

I can’t go past moonstone with its translucent misty colours of grey, shot with flashes of blue, yellowy cream and white. Moonstones belong to the Feldspar family, along with amazonites, labradorites and sunstones. They have an opalescent or adularescent sheen which can be a blue or white. The antique ring below has a carving of medusa.

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Victorian moonstone medusa ring

Aquamarines are a perfect cool colour, a soft blue reminiscent of the sea near the shore. Aquamarines are part of the beryl family. Aquamarine takes its name from the sea, literally, water of the sea.This lovely negligee necklace has two aquamarine drops as well as a slightly smokey moonstone.

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Edwardian aquamarine and moonstone negligee necklace (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

Pearls are next, ranging in colour from white, through to cream, pink, grey and finally black. I am focusing on the cooler end of the colour range, soft pinks and cream. Here is a gorgeous necklace of large fresh water pearls.

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Large freshwater pearls in pink, cream and pale gold colours

Rock crystal is transparent, colourless quartz. Pliny the Elder reported that rock crystal was ice that had been permanently frozen. The name ‘crystal’ comes from the Greek for ice, ‘krystallos’ and rock crystal has been used for jewellery for centuries. It fits into the cooler colour range. Here is a lovely ‘pool of light’ locket. Pools of light jewellery involves the use of crystal quartz as simple un-drilled balls or domed halves. They were described as being ‘pools of light’ because of the way the light reflects through the gem. Sometimes the light passing through results in the gem glowing almost white. They will also render anything viewed through it upside down and in reverse. They were often designed as two halves of a locket so that a photo placed inside the two halves would be magnified

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Victorian ‘pool of light’ rock crystal pendant/locket (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

Finally, diamonds are very cool looking to me, icy cold and clear, as seen in the diamond bar brooches at the top of the post. While diamonds come in lots of colours – pink, green, blue, yellow, black, brown – traditionally it is the colourless diamond that is commonly used for jewellery.

There is still some weeks of summer to go but hopefully we will get rain.