Tiara wearing is joyous, fun, and feminine
The word Garnet derives from
Latin for 'pomegranate', which has bright red, garnet like seeds.
Garnet is one of the most requested semi precious stones I work with because you
can't beat its beautiful rich claret colour and can complement rich ruby roses
in your bridal flowers. Garnets were thought to cure depression, protect against
bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver and haemorrhages. According
to legend, Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet to illuminate the ark.
The colour Garnet is available either as Swarovski crystal or as Garnet semi-precious stone; however do not forget that Garnet also occurs in green and black, as well as a multitude of reds.
- Aquarius; January 21 - February 19
Birth Flower - Carnation: Symbolising love, pride, beauty, distinction, and fascination
February born shall find sincerity and peace of mind, freedom from passion and
from care, if they, the Amethyst will wear."
Occurring in shades of purple, lilac and mauve, Amethyst is the most valuable of the quartz group and is currently very popular indeed when offset either with silver or gold colours; it ranges in colours from palest lilacs to deep purples, and because of this it matches in with the colour themes of many brides.
In myth and magic; amethysts were thought to induce a wise and sober mind, the name is derived from the Greek word 'amethystos', which means 'against drunkenness' -which may be one to remember during your wedding breakfast!
In traditional Chinese medicine, ground amethyst is prescribed for stomach pains and bad dreams - both of which are sometimes caused, incidentally, by too much drunkenness!
The colour Amethyst is available either in Swarovski crystal or in various colours as a semi precious stone. Don't forget that Amethyst is also available in the heat treated form - which makes it green!
Alternative - Rose Quartz - a lovely delicate pale pink gemstone available readily - it is known as the "Stone of Gentle Love", the 'Marriage Stone" or the "Stone of Unconditional Love". The stone is said to mend broken hearts, promote forgiveness and to assist during times of great emotional turmoil. Wearing or carrying a heart-shape Rose Quartz pendant or charm is believed to attract love. Rose Quartz is the anniversary gemstone for the 2nd year of marriage.
- Pisces February 20 - March 20
Birth Flower - Iris; Symbolishing faith, wisdom and hope
Aquamarine is my birthstone and therefore, obviously, I am biased
towards it, the seawater colour of aquamarine has given this gemstone its name.
In the 19th century, sea green varieties were the most popular - but blues are more valued today. There are deposits in most continents, although the best quality aquamarines come from Brazil.
It is possible to incorporate
aquamarine semi precious stone into bridal accessories - alternatives to consider
would be some beautiful aquamarine Swarovski crystal, and of course these colours
also go beautifully with silver and freshwater pearls.
In Medieval times, this stone was thought to awaken the love of married couples, and was also believed to render soldiers invincible. Aquamarine is known as the sailor's gem, ensuring safe passage across stormy seas - buy one before your honeymoon!
- Aries March 21 - April 20
Birth Flower - Daffodil; Symbolising rebirth, respect, regard and unrequited love
"She who from April dates her years, diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears for vain repentance flow."
Diamond - the
girls' best friend, also known as the 'King of Gems', the diamond is the most
precious of gemstones, famed both for its fiery brilliance and being the hardest
mineral on earth. Its name derives from the Greek word adamas, which
Diamonds are a form of carbon, occurring in a range of colours, the most popular being colourless. If diamond is your birthstone, I suggest rock crystal or Swarovski crystal as an affordable alternative...also consider beautiful vintage crystal pieces which sparkles and shines without comparison in pieces of jewellery, many of the vintage pieces are Swarovski crystal, the absolute crème de la crème of crystal which I scour the earth for.
In myth and magic, the Greeks believed that diamonds could protect against poisons, and in medieval times, those who could afford to wear a diamond believed they were safe against the plague...however, those who could afford to wear diamonds could probably immigrate to the Caribbean for the duration of the plague!
Diamond is the anniversary gemstone for the 60th year of marriage.
Birthsign - Taurus April 21 - May 20
Birth Flower - Daisy, Sweet pea; Symbolising modesty and simplicity
The beautiful green shades of the emerald derive from the presence of chromium and vanadium. Only the finest quality gemstones are transparent and flawless, most have tiny fractures or mineral inclusions known as 'jardin', French for garden.
Hundreds of years ago, emeralds were thought to possess healing powers, particularly for restoring eyesight (especially after a drunken night out with your friends!).
renaissance, emeralds were exchanged among the aristocracy as symbols - and tests
- of friendship - the stone, it was said, would stay intact only if the friendship
lasted. If you wish to incorporate emerald-coloured stones in your
tiara, Swarovski crystal produce a beautiful emerald green. Another lovely
green semi precious stone is aventurine.
Emeralds, of course, tend to bring on envy in girl-friends when they haven't got one and you have!
- Gemini May 21 - June 21
Birth Flower - Lily of the Valley, Other lilies; Symbolising humility, chastity, purity, and sweetness
"By her who in June was born, no gem save pearls shall be worn: they will ensure her constancy, true friendship and fidelity."
thought of by Arabians as tears of the gods, pearls are created by certain
shellfish, mainly oysters and mussels. They form when an irritant such as
a grain of sand enters the shell. The mollusc then secretes layer upon layer
of calcium carbonate, known as 'nacre', around the foreign body. It is their
defence mechanism that creates the pearl.
The Roman, Pliny, wrote that Cleopatra dissolved a priceless pearl earring in her wine and drank it as a testament to her love for Anthony; I saw this done on the programme 'Supersizers' once - as I remember they decided it tasted revolting!
Pearls have long been used medicinally. They were thought to cure everything from fevers to stomach ulcers, and they come in a range of colours from the traditional whites and creams through pinks, peach, greys, blues, coppers and a myriad of dyed colours.
Alongside the ever-increasing-in-popularity Swarovski crystal pearls which are durable and perfect, .I often use the more naturally random-shaped freshwater pearls in tiaras and jewellery - they are deemed a symbol of innocence and purity and are popular with brides everywhere....one tip about pearls is that they need the oils from your body to thrive and continue to glow - from time to time, take them out of their wrapping and rub your fingers over them (or wear them!) as they need the precious naturally occurring moisturising oils from your body to continue to glow - care for them properly and you will get years of happiness out of them...just like your husband to be!
Pearls are the anniversary gemstone for the 30th year of marriage.
Birthsign - Cancer June 22 - July 22
Birth Flower - Rose; Symbolising love and appreciation
"The gleaming ruby should adorn all those who in July are born, for thus they'll be exempt and free, from lover's doubts and anxiety."
classic ruby is a deep, rich red, although the stone can appear in shades
from pink to purple to brown, depending on the chemical content. Rubies
are second only to diamonds in terms of hardness, and this, along with the vibrancy
of their colour, makes them highly prized for jewellery.
The finest stones come from Burma. At the time of the Borgias (15th - 16th Centuries), rubies were thought to counteract poison - and were therefore much in demand! Rubbed on the skin, these gemstones were once thought to restore youth and vitality - hmmm...this would probably cost as much as some anti-wrinkle creams! In the Middle Ages, the ruby was viewed as a stone of prophecy - people believed it would darken when its wearer was in danger.
If you want the effect of rubies in your tiara, I would suggest using Swarovski crystal in Siam Ruby colour...
Ruby is the anniversary gemstone for the 40th year of marriage.
Birthsign - Leo July 23 - August 23
Birth Flower - Larkspur; Symbolising levity and lightness
"Wear a peridot or for thee no conjugal fidelity, the August born without this stone, `Tis said, must live unloved; alone."
Peridot - a beautiful olive green colour which is associated with healing, sometimes with hints of lemon-green; this stone is the only gemstone found in meteorites. An abundant gem which has been mined for many thousands of years in many places across the world and is mentioned in the bible in Exodus 28:16-19 as being 'Chrysolite', one of the stones in the breastplate of Aaron.
It is believed
it was the favourite stone of Cleopatra and that many of the emeralds she was
so famed for owning were in fact Peridot.
The stone was named 'Sun Gem' in ancient times, it was believed that Peridot could break enchantments and drive away evil spirits, it is also the gemstone of choice to celebrate a 16th Wedding Anniversary. The stone is believed to attract love, calm anger, soothe nerves and dispel negative emotions.
Alternative - Sardonyx
- The group of quartzes that includes Agate, Chrysoprase, Carnelian, Jasper and
Bloodstone makes up the family of gemstones known as 'chalcedony'.
They are linked by their microcrystalline structure and waxy or dull appearance.
I can incorporate striped Sardonyx into your tiara if you wish. In Renaissance times, Sardonyx was worn by wives to bring about marital happiness...
Birthsign - Virgo August 24 - September 23
Birth Flower - Gladiolus; Symbolising remembrance
"A maiden born when autumn leaves are rustling in September's breeze, a sapphire on her brow should bind; to bring her joy and peace of mind."
Sapphires come in a range of yellows, pinks, and greens,
as well as the better-known blue variety, which gives September-born brides a
huge range of colours to choose from. The deep blue 'heavenly' sapphires
were, and still are to some extent, considered holy: popes, cardinals, and bishops
have worn them since the middle ages.
Sapphires are known as the jewel of chastity. At one time, sapphires were believed to exude heavenly rays that had the power to kill all poisonous creatures, and the Persians thought the earth rested on a giant sapphire and that the blue of the heavens was its reflection...its a nice thought.
Sapphire blue options for inclusion in your wedding jewellery would be Swarovski crystal sapphire, you could consider the alternative stone Lapis Lazuli which itself is an incredibly beautiful blue gemstone.
Birthsign - Libra September 24 - October 23
Birth Flower - Forget-me-not, Aster; Symbolising patience and daintiness
Unlike other gemstones, opal is non-crystalline and is formed
from a hardened silica gel. It is known for its rainbow iridescence.
The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit 'upala', meaning 'precious
The opals used in ancient times came from the former Czechoslovakia, but today most are mined in Australia. Opals can be a costly jewel and are delicate and more suited to jewellery that is only occasionally worn, and given lots of tender loving care.
In myth and magic, and even today, the opal was thought to be unlucky and people seem to have a bias against them which is rather sad, because as I understand it the basis for this is perhaps that if the stone is allowed to dry out by being in a hot place for too long, opals can split and crack. In Asia the stone is viewed favourably, where it is a symbol of hope.
Over the course of time, I have had the pleasure of handling some beautiful antique and vintage opalescent glass which does not reflect the temperamental delicacy of the natural gem which is just lovely incorporated into a tiara, Swarovski also produce crystal with an opalescent effect.
- Scorpio October 24 - November 22
Birth Flower - Calendula (Marigold); Symbolising winning grace
"Who first comes to this world below, in dreary November's fog and snow, should prize the Topaz amber hue, emblem of friends and lovers true."
The name 'topaz' is
thought to come from the Sanskrit 'tapas', meaning 'fire'. The stone occurs
naturally in a range of different colours and is also heat-treated to produce
the more popular hues. Pink topaz, for example, is usually an irradiated
form of the more common yellow, and another beautiful topaz is called 'watermelon'
which ranges in hues from golds to pinks and reds in the same stone, and are sometimes
found hand carved into roses. In 1255, St. Hildegard offered a remedy
for failing eyesight: steep a topaz in wine for three days and then lightly rub
it over the eyes - personally I would suggest you drink the wine, wear the topaz,
and your eyesight probably won't worry you too much at that point...
Worn round the neck, topaz was thought to cure madness...
Options for including Topaz in your wedding tiara and jewellery can be found in semi precious stones (I have some lovely blue topaz and pink topaz which would look beautiful in necklaces or earrings) or if you are looking for the more traditional golden variety, Swarovski produce a 'topaz' of their own in crystal.
Birthsign - Sagittarius November 23 - December 21
Birth Flower - Chrysanthemum; Symbolising compassion, friendship, and secret love
"If cold December gave you birth, the month of snow and ice and mirth place on your hand a turquoise blue; success will bless whate'er you do."
mined over 6,000 years ago, turquoise has a rich and colourful history.
To the Aztecs it was the 'stone of the gods' and was used extensively for religious
artefacts; in medieval Europe it was thought of as a powerful talisman.
Today most commercial turquoise comes from China and the south-western states
of the United States.
Turquoise has always been considered lucky and able to safeguard or bring happiness, and it would be easily possible to incorporate this stone into your bridal accessories as it goes beautifully with either goldstone or silvertone metals. According to a 15th Century legend, the stone loses its colour when its owner is unwell or in danger and regains its brilliance when the illness, or danger, has passed.
Swarovski crystal produces an opaque 'turquoise'. Turquoise as a gemstone is readily available as an option in your tiara and bridal jewellery, and I have come across some lovely vintage pieces of either turquoise-coloured or actual turquoise jewellery which will look beautiful incorporated into your ensemble.
Birthsign - Capricorn
December 22 - January 20
Birth Flower - Paperwhite; Symbolising the sweetness of whoever receives it
All Content, Design, Text and Photographs Copyright Stephanie Lewis-Cooper
www.beadaddict.com, www.tiaraonline.co.uk, www.slcdesigns.com, 2002-2009
The poem quoted above in italics was sourced from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac_stones