I swing the door open, push the screen door back, and step to the railing several times an evening to check the sea, the moon, and the stars. Every night I must know, every night year-round, summer or winter. Even on cloudy nights I step to the railing to see what can be seen at sea and in the stars above.
I call this my Sea Star necklace. A long oval blue sapphire, set horizontal east to west like the horizon, and two diamonds north and south – a star above and its reflection below. It’s serious, solid, and brave. Wear this and you will always find your way home.
Blue sapphire – Blue sapphire usually comes from Southeast Asia. It’s a color nature feels generous with in this part of the world. We love blue, particularly blue that shows well after the sun goes down. We tend toward a lighter brighter true blue color in all of our sapphire pieces.
Diamonds – world sourced, natural diamonds, cut in Belgium. Well cut with a full complement of 58 facets, rating a 3 on our quality cut scale. Nice white color, beautifully matched. Hardness 10 for ultimate durability.
I described what I thought I wanted. I said, “North and south, east and west a diamond above, a diamond below, and oval blue sapphire in the middle.” I didn’t say which way. I imagined it would go north and south. Keith interpreted it his way and set the gem east to west. I’d told him Compass Rose was a perennial classic in our store, that it foretold destiny and guided souls on the path of life.
Two months later, Keith shipped us two. When I saw them I was surprised because the sapphires went east-west. I was delighted because they were an unanticipated beauty. We photographed them both, put them up on our website. I was shocked that within 48 hours we sold both. This often happens when we send an email to our 16,000 followers; things sell quickly. Without an email, on our website with over a thousand fine jewelry pieces shown, it can take weeks for a great new item to be seen and to have someone claim it for their own. These first two necklaces went fast. We try to notice speed, pressure, velocity, It’s a clue. We immediately asked Keith to make five more with an intent to send an email this time.
I know when a new design is about to become a most loved piece of jewelry. It’s when at first glance I see it and say, “I want it and when is Nancy’s next gift giving event?” First, it’s beautiful in blue and gold and it’s a perfectly poised compass rose in harmony. Second, it’s almost a Christian Cross, arms east and west are 12mm, the north and south poles are 17mm. The bail loop at the top is free moving, the 18-inch chain slides freely through the loop.
The Blue Sapphire is a 7 x 5mm oval, it’s a bright, light, brilliant blue. The diamonds are from Belgium, white, pure little stars. The sapphires are the same, all bright brilliant gems. The prices differ slightly by their weights. The dollar amounts are odd because Keith does sharp pencil pricing on all elements. He works close, we follow along and price accordingly.
This piece more powerfully than any of our Compass Rose designs has a positive sense of direction because the north-south line is the longer of the two. If asked, Keith would say I described to him exactly what to make. I would claim a genius stepped in to my words and made a Goldilocks perfect design. Not too large, not too small…just right.
Place a magnetized needle on a piece of cork, set it in a bowl of water, and it will point north. Two thousand years ago the Chinese first developed the magnetic compass. The Vikings are rumored to have done the same a thousand years ago..
Humanity has an affinity for True North and all devices that can seek and find north. One’s future and destiny are closely tied to proper orientation of the Compass Rose.
Today is April 26, 2021. My girlfriend on the car phone this morning said the wind on her farm was fierce. “How is it down there?” I said, “I don’t see wind in the trees, but two flag poles the American flags are right out straight.”
As I went by the bay white caps and its blue water was sapphire blue. The bluest water of the year. Full sun, fifty-three degrees and 35 mile-an-hour winds make for true blue sapphire water.
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.
Prompt free delivery is offered on all purchases shipped to mailing addresses within the United States.
Purchases under $1,000 are shipped free FedEx (please allow 4 business days for delivery). Upgraded to expedited delivery for $20.
Purchases over $1,000 are shipped free overnight. A signature is required on delivery.
Need a delivery to arrive on a specific day? Ask, we can arrange that. Would it be more convenient to deliver to your business address or directly to the recipient? We can do that too.
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.