The Allure of 18ct Gold

I've fallen hard for 18ct gold this year. I'm so excited to have introduced this exquisite metal into my collections. The buttery yellow glow of it has bewitched me and I look forward to sharing more fine jewellery with you in the future. Working with it makes me feel like I’m weaving rays of late afternoon sun into my jewels. You know, that richest, most awe inspiring glow you get from the summer sun at sundown.

18ct gold hammered his & hers wedding bands Marcia Vidal 2.jpg

My rustic, hammered wedding rings are now available in 18ct gold, both the men's wedding band and the women's wedding band. These hammered rings work so beautifully as a full set with my 18ct Sapphire Engagement Ring

 Wedding rings and sapphire engagement ring set - Image by  Peach & Jo Photography

Wedding rings and sapphire engagement ring set - Image by Peach & Jo Photography

Any of my wedding rings can be made in 18ct gold, so please get in touch if you see something you'd like in 18ct that isn't on my site.

Other than my wedding rings, I have a couple of small items available in 18ct at the moment. I am excited to pair this beautiful metal with some of the delicious gemstones I cherry picked out in India earlier this year and bring you some special pieces of unique jewellery. 

Much golden love,

Marcia

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Gem Shopping in Jaipur - What Would You Like?

This Wednesday 14th February I'm on my way to my beloved India for a month of much chai, much meditation and much being-in-the-momentness. I feel a strong need to get reconnected to the natural flow of life. This helps me to tune in to my inner guide, reboot my spiritual sat-nav! 

I will be closing up my online shop from Tuesday. But I will be working whilst I'm away. Part of taking this time out is to give myself the space, in my head and my schedule, to design some new pieces for you. I'll be doing some deep communing with my muse and seeing what beauties she delivers up into my noggin! I will be working a lot more with juicy juicy gemstones this year. The dizzying visual splendour of the places I will be in India will, no doubt, have a massive influence on me. Varanasi, Pushkar and Jaipur are such colourful delights that I reckon I'll be back with an array of brightly coloured stones. I also want to work on more deeply symbolic pieces as I get so much out of making them. I will be making more of my Totem necklaces (above) in a range of stones and also introducing some earrings once I'm back. Oh, and there'll definitely be some more 18ct gold pieces, I've fallen HARD for it's beauty. There's no going back!

I'd love to hear what stones you would like to see my Totem collection in. I love making these symbolic necklaces bespoke for customers, in their choice of gemstones so do get in touch if there's anything you'd like me to pick for you when I'm stone shopping in Jaipur. I'll be there the second week in March. And if you have any thoughts of pieces you'd like to see made with gemstones, let me know. I'd love your input in my collection design. 

 What gems would you love this ring made in?

What gems would you love this ring made in?

I'd love to know, what gemstones really speak to you? What do you love about them? Leave your comments below, I'd really love to hear. They could be a real source of inspiration for me.

Jewel of The Month - Goddess Totem Necklace

I'm a bit of a donut when it comes to keeping track of time! I think it must be something about working from home and never knowing what day of the week it is.....it's resulted in me not even knowing what month it is! Ha! My Jewel Of The Month blog was originally intended as a  monthly thing but, well, that ain't happened! So let's just say it's something I do SOME months! It's boring to be predictable, eh?!

The main inspiration behind my Totem necklaces was the symbolic way in which jewellery used to be worn. I wanted to design a collection of talismans to aid people in calling in certain states of mind or emotions. I, personally, wear certain pieces of jewellery as symbols to remind me of where I'd like to be mentally and emotionally. These jewels, when my gaze falls on them, serve as prompts to shift my mental focus over to the feeling I'm wishing to manifest in my conscious mind. 

My jewel for October is my Goddess Totem necklace. It's in a rich, luxurious combination of glowing tanzanite and magical star ruby. I designed this necklace with the intention of whipping up inside the wearer a sensation of sensual Goddessness! You put this one-of-a-kind necklace on and step confidently into your divine feminine incarnation. There's something so sexy about these colours together and the gold enhances the richness of the colours. I love the symbolism of both stones and thought they would work beautifully together in ushering in a Goddess mindset. Ruby is a stone that symbolises passion and tanzanite symbolises heightened spiritual growth. A true Goddess attitude combines both passion and a spiritual awakeness, a beautiful balance of lower and higher chakras.

Is there any feeling or attitude you'd love to be reminded to embody in your life? We can all tap into so many different sides of ourselves at will, but it helps to have a reminder. Jewellery is the prettiest way of guiding us to make these shifts in our attitude. If you imbue a talisman with a particular meaning, it will always create a shift inside when you put it on, even if only a subtle, subconscious one. I love making bespoke pieces for people so get in touch if you would like your own unique Totem necklace designed to help you call in a particular attitude or perception shift. I'd love to work with you and design a necklace to fit your desires using the perfect gemstones for your tastes. 

Divine Feminine: Hilma Af Klint

Symbols, symbols, symbols. I looooove me some symbols. So this wonderful woman of yore gave me such a lovely buzz in my tummy when I, only very recently, heard of her.

I'm fascinated by how Hilma Af Klint was guided to create. Along with 4 other women, named The Five, she conducted seances to make contact with the High Masters. Communion with these spirits guided her to paint these beautiful, symbolic works filled with a language of colours and shapes.

Hilma Af Klint.jpg

Hilma's will insisted that her paintings not be shown to the world until 20 years after her death. She died at 81 in 1944. When she, posthumously, received attention from the art world, it was concluded that her work predated artists such as Kandinsky, who was always credited as creating the first abstract art.

Hilma Af Klint 3.jpeg

I love the idea of art being channeled from a higher realm. Whether you believe in the spirit world or not, the act of ritual definitely connects us with some kind of power. A material explanation for such unseen creative guidance could be the removal of over-analysis in such ritualistic gatherings. Surrendering yourself fully to ritual results in a loss of (or shrinking of) self. Most of our everyday creativity is performed whilst we are very conscious of the self. It's most definitely this awareness of self that can piss on my creative chips and cause me to overthink whatever I am working on. Will people like it? Is it original? Is it my style? All of these egoic questions can totally turn off a more intuitive creative urge in me. I read that Hilma engaged in automatic drawing, a method involving allowing your hand to move freely and randomly over the paper with no pre-considered design. A technique to access and express your subconscious. I have definitely found that a deep connection with my subconscious mind has brought about the best creative results. I came up with my favourite designs (which inspired me to properly launch my brand) after a 10 day silent meditation retreat. In these 10 days, the bellowing, ego-mind was turned down to a gentle whisper. My designs felt like they "came" to me. They sprung up from an intuitive place within that quietening the mind had allowed me access to. The pieces I created were the first designs that truly came from an authentic place, rather than an attempt to create something that I thought other people would like.

Hilma Af Klint 4.jpg

But maybe quieting the mind removed the screen between myself and the spirit world. Maybe I communed, unknowingly, with my own High Master. I'm totally down with that possibility. (Although I'm not at all claiming to have pioneered any kind of definitive new creative movement, like Ms Af Klint!). I'm also totally down with the idea of experimenting with my own creative seance. Get in touch if you want to join me and see what comes up! 

Hilma Af Klint 5.jpg

A Jewellers Guide to Caring For Your Gold Plated Jewellery

Gold. It does something to a soul. It's so pleasing to the eye and makes you feel a lot more special when you're wearing it. There's nothing like opening a gift box to see a piece of gold jewellery glinting out at you, all seductive and sophisticated (such a saucy minx, is gold). But, what to do if you have champagne taste and lemonade pockets? Gold plated jewellery to the rescue!!

Gold plated jewellery makes a great alternative to real gold jewellery. The cost of even 9ct gold can be quite prohibitive these days but nobody should deny their gold lust! Never! Gold plated jewellery looks just as beautiful as the real thing....well, it is kind of the real thing. With plated jewellery, a layer of real gold is applied to another metal so it has the same appearance. In the case of my jewellery, I use 24k gold to plate on sterling silver. Due to the fact that this jewellery has a layer of gold on it, different care is needed than with sterling silver or real gold pieces. And, be aware that, in time, the plating can wear off, especially if not taken care of properly.

I've seen sooooo much terrible advice online about how to clean and care for gold plated jewellery so I'd like to right that wrong! See my tips below for the best way to make your gold plated jewellery last as long as possible.

 Gold Earth Necklace

Gold Earth Necklace

  • Remove all gold plated jewellery when doing pretty much anything that involves heat or moisture...so...bathing, swimming, exercise....and anything else you can think of where the jewellery may get wet.
  • After bathing/showering, wait until you're dry before putting on your gold plated jewels and apply all lotions and perfumes on before putting the jewellery on. Different chemicals in lotions and perfumes can seriously tarnish jewellery. It's best to avoid tarnish with gold plated items as they aren't as easy to clean as silver and gold pieces.
  • Store gold plated jewellery in the box it came in. Don't chuck it in your jewellery box with everything else as the friction of rubbing up against other metals can wear away at the layer of gold. And leaving it lying around increases the risk of tarnishing.
  • Don't sleep in your gold plated jewellery for the same friction-y reasons!
  • DON'T use any abrasives to clean your gold plated jewellery! So ignore all of the advice online to use baking soda or a toothbrush to clean your gold plated items! Anything abrasive will remove the layer of gold. This includes a lot of polishes used on real silver and gold as polishing metals usually involves slightly removing a layer of metal as you buff.
  • My jewellers secret trick for polishing up gold plated jewellery is to spray some window cleaner onto a piece of kitchen towel and gently rub it over your metal. Bada bing! Hello bling!
  • I plate all of my jewellery in a layer of palladium before gold-plating as palladium tarnishes much much slower than other metals and this under-layer slows decreases the tarnishing risk.

Lastly, if your plating has worn off your jewellery, which can happen eventually, you can always have it replated. It's not an expensive thing to have done and is a service I offer for smaller pieces of jewellery. Please contact me for further details and prices https://www.marciavidal.co.uk/contact-1/

 Wonderful multi-purpose kitchen roll!

Wonderful multi-purpose kitchen roll!

June Jewel Of The Month

Ok. So I'm not great at keeping track of the month I'm in and totally lunched on creating a Jewel of the Month blog post for May! Time goes so fast and I've just checked the calendar to see that it's the end of June! So here is the Jewel of the Month for June (just in time!). But to make up for the missing month, it's more a Collection of the Month!

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that the sun is one of the most important entities in my life. I'm a different woman when the sun shines on my bones. As a teenager, my mum once observed that I grew visibly taller when the sun came out, like a flower. I feel this expansion in every part of me when I go for a stroll in the sun's nourishing rays. I'm flooded with a serene positivity and feel more confident, more empowered.

 Some pieces from my  Sunburst  collection

Some pieces from my Sunburst collection

Living in a country that doesn't always see the sun inspired me to create my own sunshine. On those days when the sun don't shine, I can wear a piece from my Sunburst collection to take me back to the Marcia that comes out in the sunshine. Each time my eyes fall upon the piece of jewellery, I take my attention back to feelings of warmth and expansion. I focus on feeling the warm, golden glow of the sun coursing through my body. This is jewellery to chase the clouds away. A little bit of mind-over-matter can convince your soul that it's a beautiful day, no matter what the weather is doing outside. On days when the sun is shining, I wear my Sunburst jewellery to remind the Sun how much I love him and invite him to please stick around awhile. 

The traditional symbolism of the sun often relates directly to the ways it makes us feel. It is a symbol of vitality, passion and energy. But my personal favourite meaning to attribute to a piece of sun symbolism I'm wearing is "rebirth". The sun heralds the dawning of a new day, every day. It's a beautiful reminder to start anew, recalibrate. A message to ourselves to shake off the shit from this chapter and step, cleansed, into a new one.

World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day. A day to honour and remember the millions of people around the globe who have been forced to flee their homes. But, most importantly, it's a day to remember that, although the refugee crisis has faded from our headlines, the suffering and displacement has definitely not faded.

 Image from the  CalAid  website

Image from the CalAid website

According to the UN, this past year has seen the highest ever number of displaced people since they started recording these figures. By the end of 2016, 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes due to conflict or persecution. I can't even begin to process the magnitude of suffering that implies. 

There are so many organisations out there striving to help as many as they can find a level of comfort in their uprooting. CalAid is a grassroots charity that is now mainly focused in the camps in the Epirus region of Greece. I am proud to donate a portion of all of my sales to this wonderful charity. Have a read of their About page to find out more about what the money they raise goes towards http://calaid.co.uk/about/ They are doing such great work. They rely on donations and are always in need of our financial support. 5% of every sale I make is donated to CalAid but you can also donate to them directly here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/calaid

Choose love. Spread love.

Peace.

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