I am visited by a family of magpies most days of the week. In Australia, magpies are large black and white birds with a beautiful song called carolling. They occupy all parts of Australia with only slight variations in their black and white markings. Every year, the magpie parents bring their chicks, usually one but sometimes two, to visit and to use our bird bath until they have grown up enough to forage for themselves and must leave the parent’s territory. Only once has a female chick being allowed to stay on to help rear the next year’s baby.

Victorian black enamel bangle with white enamel cross

I have quite a lot of black of white jewellery as I am fascinated by mourning jewellery which usually comes in the colours of black (black enamel, black agate, and Whitby jet) and white or cream (pearls of every size, and white enamel). The bangle shown above is a nice example of a mourning piece, with the black enamel band with a white enamel cross inset into the top.

Hardstone cameo gold earrings (in Navettejewellery on Etsy)

Some other black and white jewellery that I have is made of onyx. Onyx is not just black but is layered with white and so has been used to produce cameos as above, where the faces of Roman men has been carved out of the white layer leaving the black layer beneath. Onyx, with its white and black bands, has also been used for beads for use in necklaces and for creating the beautiful Victorian banded agate earrings in the photo below.

Victorian banded agate drop earrings

The other black and white jewellery that I have uses Whitby jet. The Victorian brooch below has a border of black Whitby jet set with a cameo of a woman carved out of la creamy white lava.

Victorian Whitby jet brooch with carved lava cameo (in Navettejewellery on Etsy)