Metal Studio Jewelry Blog

Faceted ruby ring in 18k rose gold band

7. July ~ Ruby

Ruby is a pink to deep red variant of the mineral corundum. It is common through India and Burma with the Indian version being more pink in coloration with more inclusions. The Burmese variant is especially valuable and sought after. The Burmese rubies are a deep red in colour and very clear. 

The value of ruby is tied into the coloration and how free of inclusions it is and of course the carat weight with the deep red or 'pigeon blood' variation being the most sought after. These stunning gemstones are additionally valuable and prized in Thailand because of the long history of use in Thai and Southeast Asian jewelry. 

Rubies are also incredibly hard with only a diamond and moissanite being harder. 

---> Click here to visit Metal Studio Jewelry's collection of Ruby jewelry

peridot earrings in sterling silver setting

8. August ~ Peridot / Spinel

Peridot, one of the shared birthstones of August is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one colour, green. Various shades of green can be found in the peridot family depending on the amount of iron in the crystal structure. Peridot is a fairly common and affordable gemstone but the deep olive green colour makes it a very pretty gem that really stands out when placed in jewelry. It also makes a very cost effective alternative to the more rare and valuable emerald. 

--> Click here to visit the Peridot jewelry section of Metal Studio Jewelry

Spinel is a stunning gemstone that typically has a very clear internal structure. Spinel comes in a huge range of colours form pinks, purples, blues, to black and even nearly translucent specimens. 

An interesting bit of history of spinel gemstones is that they have been around for a long time however before scientific testing of the internal mineral structure was possible they were classified as ruby. This was especially true of pink or even deep red spinel which can look virtually identical to ruby to the naked eye. 

--> Click here to visit out collection of Spinel Jewelry

round silver pendant with free cut sapphire

9. September ~ Sapphire

Sapphire is another gemstone that is deeply ingrained in Thai traditions and traditional jewelry designs. Its internal structure is very closely related to ruby and is part of the corundum family of gemstones. Sapphire is most commonly a deep blue in coloration but can also be found in pinks, greens, yellow, purple and orange. While many of the best rubies in the world come from Northern Thailand and Burma. Sapphires come from central Thailand on the border to Cambodia. The Chantaburi sapphire markets are world renowned for mining and trade of gemstones. 

--> Click here to visit Metal Studio Jewelry's collection of Sapphire jewelry

silver ring with faceted pink tourmaline gemstone

10. October ~ Tourmaline / Opal

Tourmaline is another gemstone that is very similar to spinel in that it comes in a huge variety of colours. Often tourmaline has a graduation of colours within a single gemstone. Of these gemstones watermelon tourmaline, so called because of the gradient that changes from green to yellow and then to pinkish red, is a hugely popular and stunning gemstone for use in jewelry. Typically these watermelon tourmalines are cut into flat pieces that display the gradient. Tourmaline beads that have a range of colours are also another very popular option for tourmaline jewelry designs. 

Tourmaline is classified as a semi precious gemstones and because of this can be used to create affordable pieces of jewelry with large very high quality gemstones. 

--> Click here to visit the tourmaline jewelry collection

*See April birthstones for a more full write up of opals and their use in jewelry

--> Click here to visit our collection of opal jewelry. 

citrine pendant in sterling silver prong setting and chain

11. November ~ Citrine / Topaz

Citrine is a variety of quartz that produced a brilliant yellow gemstone that can range from very light in colour to yellow that has a nearly dark brown colouration. Most Citrine comes from Brazil and South America and makes a very unique gemstone to use in jewelry because of a lack of other gemstones that have a similar colouration. Citrine and Amethyst are very similar and can often be found together in a single crystal. If you were to cut the citrine and amethyst together to have a yellow to purple gradient in the gemstone it would be known as ametrine.

--> Click here to visit the citrine jewelry section of our shop. 

While all topaz can be used for jewelry the traditional birthstone of November is the more rare orange topaz. Typically topaz comes in a light blue colouration but can be found in a gambit of colours including a very dark blue (known as London Blue Topaz) oranges, pinks and purples. Topaz is closely related to citrine and there is often misidentification between the two gemstones. 

--> Click here to view the topaz jewelry collection

Silver pendant with bezel set green turquoise gemstone

12. December ~ Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise

While Metal Studio Jewelry does not typically have zircon one tanzanite jewelry in stock we do have some loose gemstones and if you have your heart set on a piece of zircon or tanzanite jewelry we would be happy to talk to you about a custom design. 

--> Click here to contact us in regards to creating a one off piece of bespoke jewelry 

We do however have a large selection of turquoise gemstones and jewelry. Turquoise is a gemstone that has been used for jewelry and decoration for thousands of year. Its unique deep blue to green hue makes it very easy to identify. Turquoise is often associated with the deposits in the American South and was commonly used as a gemstone and decoration prior to Spanish arrival. It continues to be popular in the American South West today. However Turquoise is not limited to American deposits and is also found in abundance in Tibet and is commonly used in Tibetan and high Himalayan cultures and traditions. In recent years closures of many of the most prolific American Turquoise mines have caused the price of American Turquoise to skyrocket. 

--> Click here to visit the turquoise section of Metal Studio Jewelry

Boom's jewelry crafting table

6 things to know about handmade jewelry

At Metal Studio Jewelry every piece on the shelf is handmade from start to finish. Here are 6 things you might not have though about when deciding on a piece of handcrafted jewelry. 

1. You are supporting real people
Metal Studio Jewelry is handcrafted by jewelry designer Sirilak Samanasak. She was born and raised in Chiang Mai and her inspiration comes from the art and culture of Chiang Mai. But there is a whole team of people that make Metal Studio possible. Not only do you get an amazing piece of wearable art but you also get a connection to a real person and a great way token of your time in Chiang Mai. Every time you put on a piece of handmade jewelry it tells a story of the people behind it. 

2. These are not mass produced pieces
Every single piece of jewelry at Metal Studio Jewelry is handcrafted and one of a kind. Much of the jewlery produced today is produced by machine or cast in large runs from a master piece in order to produce the most cost effective jewelry possible. Handcrafted jewelry is a time consuming process that creates one of a kind pieces of jewelry. Purchasing a piece of jewelry from a studio jewelry artist ensures you are getting something unique. No two pieces are the same. 

3. Pride 
Every piece of handmade jewelry is a reflection of its maker. They put their time, energy, love and attention to detail into every piece they make. It is a reflection of themselves and speaks worlds about who they are as a person. The quality of each piece of jewelry is higher than it would be with mass produced jewelry. 
Components waiting assembly into final pieces of jewelry

4. Designers expertise 

With handcrafted jewelry you benefit from the designer's expertise. Boom has been designing jewelry for nearly two decades. She has worked in some of the top fashion houses in the UK as a gemstone and jewelry purchaser and consultant. Every single stone that she uses is hand selected ensuring that you are getting the best gemstones possible for your jewelry. The jewelry is also crafted using time tested techniques. You benefit from the artists experience when you purchase a piece of handcrafted jewelry. 

5. Ethically crafted and sustainable 
Metal Studio Jewelry is dedicated to producing ethically crafted jewelry in a sustainable fashion. While mass produced jewelry often focuses on producing jewelry in a way that minimizes costs and maximizes profits the jewelry produced by Boom focuses on ethical sourcing and production in a way that minimizes damage to the planet. Gemstones are hand selected not only for their beauty but also for being ethically sourced and produced in a safe and fair work environment. We have a personal relationship with all our gemstone dealers and producers and regular visit their factories to be sure that their people are being treated fairly. 

6. Locally crafted
Each piece of Metal Studio Jewelry is produced in our Chiang Mai jewelry studio. In a way you are getting a little piece of the culture and traditions of Chiang Mai in each piece of jewelry. Handmade jewelry makes a perfect reminder of a perfect trip. 

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