When Easter comes grocery stores fill up with lilies. Then on Sunday churches fill with lilies. It’s a beautiful time of year. We make “Lily Bay” with many gems, this one is a rose-colored garnet. Rose garnets are found in East Africa. This “Lily Bay” is a beautiful piece.
Rhodolite Garnet – One of the great delights of gemology is the discovery of a new gem or discovery of a new location for an important existing gem. Years ago rhodolite seemed rare. It was an occasional gem that appeared in jewelry from time to time. It was always a surprise because they so seldom showed up. Then garnet was discovered in East Africa, and a particular variety of rhodolite – with a vibrant pink color that welcomes light to dance through its interior and bursts forth in sparkling brilliance and scintillation. Rhodolite was suddenly available. We love African rhodolite. Garnet has a high refractive index which means extra sparkly, if cut nicely. This is a superb specimen of rhodolite garnet. Hardness 7-7.5.
About the Trade Wind Collection:
Where does inspiration come from? Where do the creative sparks for design begin? For Cross’ new Trade Wind Jewelry Collection, we find ourselves drawn into the story of Captain John Henry Drew, from Gardiner, Maine. Born in 1834, he grew up the son of a Ship’s Carver, and went to sea at the age of 15, eventually becoming Captain of a series of clipper ships, and traveling from New York to China and back home, when that voyage took more than seventeen months.
Instead of carving or knotting or other hobbies that were characteristic of sailors, this mostly self-educated man read books, memorized details from newspapers, and wrote about his journey—his literal and his inner journey. His hand-written and personally illustrated journals tell us of his longing for Maine, for his family, and for “making something of himself”. He is very much like you and me, and it makes his story that much more compelling. He savors apples from home, as tasting better than apples from anywhere else. He imagines the scene he might see looking in the window at home, where his family sits, and he chastises himself for not getting more done at home when he was there.
The jewelry in our Trade Wind Collection is made by his great-great-great grandson, Keith. This young man went to sea as well, at age 18. As part of his service to the US Navy, his travels took him to many of the same places his great-great-great grandfather’s clipper ships visited. Keith also had a hobby unconventional for sailors— he had a fascination for gems and he studied gemology. He studied so that when his service was completed, he could become a jeweler. As Keith traveled the world, he collected exquisite gems, and after leaving the service and returning home, he mastered the art of fine jewelry making.
It is now decades later. We met Keith for the first time in March, 2014. We were impressed with his jewelry, and as we talked further, discovered he had a clipper ship sea captain ancestor and became intrigued with the parallels of his journey in life with that of his sea captain forebear.
The parallels in the two stories are expressed in the jewelry itself—the exotic colors, the flow of the designs, the attention to detail which is something passed down in this family—whether it is to protect the ship, its cargo and its crew, or to create a design that will last and protect its valuable gems, giving the wearer the same pleasure we experience when a ship at full sail goes by. You can’t help but stop and exclaim, “Isn’t that beautiful?”
We were hooked by this story, and by the jewelry. We think you will be too. In fact, we’re posting pages from Captain Drew’s journals from the Voyage of the Franklin in 1868. Take a few minutes to join in the journey, and think of those you love most, and rejoice if they are right there with you.
Curbside Pickup – Give us a call by noon, December 24th to arrange a curbside pick-up. Bring your sleigh into Portland and we’ll load it with jewelry gifts. Pickup is available until 4pm Friday, December 24th.
For curbside pickup, please give us a call to place your order.
Orders Under $1,000 – Free shipping via FedEx (allow 4 business days). You can upgrade to overnight delivery for $20.
Orders Over $1,000 require a signature on delivery and ship your choice of free FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express.
By providing us your e-mail address, you will receive tracking information on the progress of your delivery once it is shipped.
Orders Under $1,000 – Ship Free FedEx to arrive within 4 business days. Upgrade to overnight for $20.
Orders Over $1,000 – Ship Free FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express. A signature is required on delivery.
Our extended ninety days, for a small business, is almost unheard of. Truth is, we shop for gifts too, and rather than scrambling at the last minute and feeling the tension of time, we like this more relaxed approach. We wish everyone did something like this… it would be a kinder, gentler world.