From the ancient Greek a-méthystos (meaning not intoxicated), amethyst was thought to have anti-inebriation powers.
Personally I like to drink my wine out of a violet amethyst goblet to keep the delicate balance of the universe in check.
Only on a blue moon, do we dive off the coast of Brazil to the middle-depths of the ocean and retrieve this precious and translucid gem. Depending on the depths at which we procure it, the spectrum can range from pale, almost colourless blue, to deep azure.
Black Rhodium Plating
Upon the new moon we siphon the darkest and most precious part of the night. Using Pagan prayer we alchemise it into an aqueous metal ion solution. Electrodes are then fixed to your metallic jewel as it is dunked into this atramentous liquid. Finally, it emerges with a glorious gunmetal black finish! As with the deepest part of the night, this plating will wear over time to reveal what lies beneath. All JdV items are designed to mature and evolve in this way.
A diamond or gemstone cut in this fashion has numerous facets, which give the stone exceptional brilliance. The cutter herself must also be exceptionally brilliant, so as to pass on her illustrious nature to the lucky gem in question.
Our briolettes are made of crystalised dragon tears. We use them mostly as gleaming drops, dangling at the bottom of our rosary earrings. It is a perilous journey to the edge of the Earth for our brave and noble briolette scouts. They must seek out different dragon genera, depending on the gems we require here in our little factory. Lemon quartz, for example, is wept by the mighty Kaliya Nāga dragon, found near the banks of the Yamuna River, India… but the most prized of all briolettes comes from the tears of the Vouivre dragon, located in a remote cave in the French Alps. It is somewhat difficult to make a Vouivre weep, but when he does, he cries the purest diamond and ruby tears on the planet. It is a beauty to behold, should you to live to witness it.
A gem that has been shaped (generally domed) and polished, as opposed to faceted. We have a team of affectionate Komodo Dragons who lovingly rub their abrasive heads against the gems until the desired shape and polish is achieved.
Carat refers to the unit of weight for precious stones: 1 carat of gemstones weighs 0.2 grams.
Or the measurement of the purity of gold (karat/kt in the USA): 24 carat is pure 99.999 % gold, 18 carat gold is 75% gold (mixed with other alloys for colour and strength) and 9 carat gold is 35% gold, and so on and so forth.
Note: not to be confused with the nutritious, orange root of the Daucus carota plant… What’s up Doc?
Below the JdV studio we have a river of liquid magma that runs all the way to Hades. One day JdV accidently dropped a crystal into this molten stream. When she fished it out, it was the most magnificent blazing red and orange bi-colour. She has named this gem Carnelian after its fleshy qualities. How disgusting.
Annually and in season, we travel to Northeast India to reach the original source of the citrus plant. Using very precise instruments we distill the pigmentation of this astringent fruit and imbue it into quartz crystals. The outcome; an illustrious golden yellow gem!
Coral is the exoskeleton of a tiny, plant-like animal that lives in tropical oceans. It was used in the oldest form of gemstone jewellery, made by one of JdV's relatives about 25,000 years ago. Due to the environmental impact of harvesting coral, we no longer purchase this plundered gem. Once our stores are used up, we will source only antique coral for our jewels.
Cubic Zirconia (CZ)
Cubic Zirconia is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. This synthesized material is hard and optically flawless, just like the jewel-making team here in our little factory. It is the only synthetic gem that JdV enlists, because it is easily distinguishable from all natural stones. We use the black and colourless varieties in some of our silver ranges.
A major branch of Protestantism, active in the period that bore Memento Mori jewellery; one of the founding influences to JdV’s work. When mentioned throughout our little web suspended shoppe, we are referring to our ecclesiastical bone crucifix pieces, blessed by Jesus Christ himself. WWJCD? He would purchase a JdV Calvinism Necklace of course!
Here at the JdV factory of love, we capture only the best bits of rainbows with our astral spectromograph, then stuff them into tiny little translucent carbon rocks… We have a feeling they are going to be rather popular with the fecund sex.
As with our white diamond rainbow method, we adopt a similar yet completely different technique to proliferate black diamonds, the details of which are so frightening and macabre, it is in your best interest to know nothing of the process. In order to give you requiescence, please know that none of these processes will be imparted into your jewel or your person. But just to be extra scrupulous, we have an Abominable Sight of monks praying over these stones before they are set into your jewel and dispatched.
Diamond (Cognac & Champagne)
Sometimes when we have sophisticated tea parties in our little factory whilst waiting for a rainbow, Dionysus turns up all uninvited. He is an awfully impudent brute. Alas, each time from the kindness of our fluttering hearts, we let him stay and sure enough things get somewhat out of hand! The diamonds made on these days are coloured with the swill of the cognac or champagne that he hoodwinked us into imbibing. I guess in all honesty though, we let him infiltrate our little do, because we love the champagne and cognac coloured stones he inadvertently creates.
Diamond (Old cut)
To make our old cut diamonds, we wait till the depths of winter and import a centenarian stonecutter from the blue zone of Okinawa, Japan. They cut our diamond in a round fashion, with a very small table and a heavy crown.
This style was most popular in the late 1800's, when JdV was residing in London, long before modern technology allowed minute precision and geometrically perfect, yet annoying shapes.
Diamond (Rose cut)
Our little factory has a delightful and potent garden out front, filled with blooming roses of all varieties. On Wednesdays our gardeners not only prune the blossoms but also cut our diamonds à la rose; with a flat bottom and a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. This is one of the oldest cutting styles for diamonds, emerging in the 1500's along with our antediluvian JdV…
A diamond in its natural octahedral state, pre rainbow impregnation and gargoyle facetation. Diamonds are formed under intense heat and pressure below large continents. By chance our little factory has a lot of these natural forces going on down below on any given day. We have enlisted specialised earth-burrowing serpents to dig down deep and retrieve the most perfect of the subterranean octahedra.
Tiny uncut diamonds, too small to fit rainbows inside. We apply them in pavé style to add texture and some oxymoronic dull sparkle to our precious jewels.
Learn to die. Then learn to live my friend!
Our beloved Julia deVille travelled back in time to the Carboniferous period to procure the wings of the mighty Meganeura vischerae. His veined wings span over 65cm, far too heavy to wear. JdV, bless her, three-dimensionally scanned the wings and shrunk them down in a computer thing, so you could decorate your body with them… Unfortunately they are now the size of a normal dragonfly wing, rendering the whole expedition pointless. Please purchase a dragonfly jewel to help us pay off the time machine…
We specifically use emeralds chipped from the set of the Emerald City in the 1939 smash hit, The Wizard of Oz. There is only a small amount of Emerald City emeralds left in the world and we hold the majority in our giant bank-style safe, equipped with its very own Winkie Guards. We release our emeralds to the public slowly, so as to increase their value, which we kindly pass on to you in exchange for your money.
Here in our little factory we are blessed to have the last hand-engraving elf in the known world in our midst. Modern engraving techniques use motorised engraving tools, far inferior to the hand-made cuts of our friendly elf. We dress him in overalls and call him Andy because his real name is impossible to produce with a human mouth.
Hypothesised by French philosopher Henri Bergson, Élan Vital is the force that brings inanimate objects to life. He thought it to exist in all living things and depart upon death. It can also be enlivened with a jolt of electricity, which is how our little factory-jewellers are delivered into existence.
Facets are the flat faces cut into our gemstones by our skilled team of gargoyles and grotesques.
A small ornament attached to the end of a chain, popular in Victorian times, for securing a gentleman’s pocket-watch to his waistcoat. JdV has fashioned her own version of this fastening, from a fabled Turtledove’s femur.
Here in our little factory we prefer to make our own gold using timeworn alchemistic techniques. Taking mercury through several surreptitious processes (involving a Philosopher’s Stone and virgin’s tears), we produce the finest and most luminous gold on the globe. We then alloy our alluvial yields with other ores to create superior strength with the options of white, rose or golden colourings.
When the bushfires rage in summer we take a variety of stones and deposit them in different regions of the inferno. After the blazes subside we retrieve our newly garnered gems:
A beautiful blood red garnet that occurs when our native wildlife sadly gets barbecued alongside our sanguine crystals.
The deepest red garnets from the most incandescent part of the blaze.
A purplish pink hued garnet extracted from a burning berry bush.
Via Latin from the Greek haimatitēs (resembling blood), hematite is the mineral form of iron oxide and has a silver metallic lustre. When ground into a powder it produces a red dust, hence its bloody name. Here in our little factory, we like to take this sanguineous dust intravenously to help with circulation in our hands and wrists after making jewels non-stop for weeks on end.
JdV (Julia deVille)
The fair and humble overlord of our little love factory.
Jet is wood that has fallen into stagnant water and fossilised in much the same way coal is made. The finest jet was mined in Whitby, England. Today it is illegal to mine Whitby jet as it remains only in the seams of the cliffs over the town. To remove it would cause them to tumble down and destroy Whitby and all of its inhabitants. As a result, we must make stealth missions in the middle of the night to obtain our jet. We replace what we take with anti-matter gum, which seems to keep the cliffs intact…
LBT (London Blue Topaz)
We fly to London on a weekly basis to purchase this deep sky-blue flavour of topaz from the Queen. We time our trip to arrive at the specific hour of the day that she is feeling most affectionate and therefore not only gives us the best quality product in her posession, but we also get a cuddle too. Have you ever had a cuddle from the Queen? I can tell you my friend, the post imperial endearment euphoria can last for days!
A semi-precious stone consisting of iron pyrites with a metallic look. Its use in jewellery dates back to Ancient Greece (which was ages ago, literally). Our venerable JdV then brought it back to fashions during the 19th Century, by pavé setting mourning jewels with marcasite for dear old Queen V.
A surface finish applied to metal to give an unpolished or matte finish.
Or, the tradesman who helps to prop up our rickety little love factory.
A Latin phrase fashionable in the 15th-18th Centuries, meaning ‘Remember that you must die’. Those post-Bubonic Europeans were a cheerful bunch.
Mohs' Scale (Friedrich Mohs' League Table)
Devised by JdV's clever ol' pal Friedrich Mohs, this qualitative ordinal scale of his namesake rates mineral hardness from 1-10 by characterising the scratch-resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.
Did you know that diamond is the hardest known mineral to our sapient species, weighing in with a generous score of 10 on the Mohs scale? But only diamond can cut diamond… So how did we here, in our lovely little factory, cut the first diamond that we use to cut all other diamonds? I am afraid this is a secret we are not willing to dispart just yet my curious enquirer.
Mourning Jewellery reached its height of popularity in England after the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Queen Victoria went into deep mourning, which was imitated by her subjects when faced with their own bereavements. Victoria required everyone at court to wear mourning attire on social occasions for three years and only jet jewellery was to be worn. She remained a semi-recluse and wore black for the rest of her life. JdV and Queen Vic were gal-pals back in the day. They had a lot in common, namely a love for black and a predisposition for solitude.
To create our oxidised silver finish, we take a sterling silver jewel into the soundproofed cave carved out below our little factory. There it is immersed in Nick Cave's ‘Nocturama’ at 140 decibels for twenty-seven hours exactly. Somehow this song speeds up the natural tarnishing process of silver and turns it deep midnight black. Alas, as with any Nick Cave melody, this finish does not last forever. Your jewel will eventually wear back to reveal the silver beneath. All of JdV's jewels are intended to evolve with time… because evolution and time are simple truths of life.
We only use the finest and blackest of onyx in our little factory. It is heavy and cold but fortunately it does not require the arduous processing that our black diamonds demand. If it did, I do not believe we would still be alive to make your precious jewels; no creature in God's Kingdom has that reserve of stamina and perseverance.
Using a pulse laser, we holographically imprint an image of the universe into a cabochon gem. We then develop it in a darkroom to produce the most spectacular opals this side of Kuber Pedi. This process does render the gem somewhat fragile so we do not recommend opals for everyday wear.
Pavé settings are made up of many tiny gemstones, set closely together. The gems are separated and held in place by little beads of the setting metal, resulting in a continuous surface of diamonds or other gems. All of our pavé setting is done in-house by Australian Bush Gnomes. We require their king, Michael, to practice Tai Chi daily to keep his hands and mind steady enough for this significant task.
Here in our little factory we polish our jewels with the fabled Golden Fleece, loaned to us by the sexy Greek rock and roll band ‘Jason and the Argonauts’.
Platinum is a naturally white metal that is denser, more durable, precious and noble (as in the periodic table, not its personality) than white gold to which it is often compared. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina, which literally translates to ‘little silver’. Really it should be called ‘big silver’, because it’s heavier, more expensive and generally much better than silver… but I guess it would be annoying if we changed the name now.
Our dear friend Neptune owed us a favour or two, so we called upon him to turn the pearlescent inner of the oyster shell into a beautiful gem that JdV could use in her work.
Pearls (Baroque or Keshi)
On occasion we foolishly ask Neptune for a pearl when he has imbibed far too much seaweed. The result is a somewhat charming yet most irregular pearl.
When Neptune visits Japan or China, we request that he brings us back some of these lustrous white or cream colored pearls with overtones of rose or silver.
Pearls (Fresh water)
When Neptune takes vacation in a river or lake.
Pronounced ‘per-i-doh’. Please note that calling it ‘per-i-dot’ is a peri-don’t! Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour; olive-green. However, the intensity and tint can vary, so that individual Peridot gems may fluctuate from yellow, to olive, to brownish-green. The most valued colour is a dark olive-green, which JdV relishes in her martini.
Our pure and virgin gem, before it has been violated and impregnated to become the following courtesan variations;
The sourest of gems. The translucent pale lemon hue will pair nicely with your gin and tonic, ol’ boy.
Freshens your breath.
On rose-pruning Wednesdays, we invite our troubled friend, Mr Grenouille, to help us extract the very most rosy parts of the buds. We let him take the scent as payment, whilst we inoculate the rosy colour into giant rocks of quartz, to produce this love-inflicting gem!
On February 14th every year we charter a private jet to the Playboy Mansion in LA. We bring with us the most addictive variety of quartz and swaddle it in Heff’s smoking jacket. While the smokiness permeates the quartz, we engage in a frivolous pool party with those playful playmates. Upon our return home we proudly reveal varying shades of brownish-grey smoky quartz to our beloved master, JdV.
Whilst misappropriating emeralds from the Emerald City, we also nabbed those gleaming ruby slippers. It was auspiciously and serendipitously a blood moon, so we took that to be an encouraging message from the Gods. What a prosperous day that was for us! Every ruby that emerges from our little factory has been clipped together thrice times by old Jude herself. There really is no place like home.
Traditionally a string of beads, which provide a physical method for keeping count of prayers. Here at our little factory, JdV has created her own style of rosary. We hand link together precious beads or tiny skulls on gold or silver wire. This process is performed by us in a perfect state of meditation, so as to imbue the chaplet with the spirit required for such a potent icon. Before dispatch, each rosary has had at least one hundred and eight ‘Hail Marys’, thirteen ‘Aum Shantis’ and nine ‘Hakuna Matatas’ prayed over it by multi-denominational nuns.
We must send our most subtle-bodied to the non-physical realm to retrieve this clairvoyant stone. Famously blue in colour, sapphire can actually appear in almost any hue. This durable material is the second-hardest natural substance behind out prized little rainbow rocks. JdV is particularly fond of the multi-coloured parti sapphires, somewhat ironically as she surreptitiously evades human parties at all costs.
Every lunar eclipse JdV customarily pricks her left pinky on the sharpest rose thorn in our little garden. Lord Bethell and Moo sublimate the sanguineous fluid, until a perfect octahedral red spinel crystal is formed.
To create our nefarious black spinel, we must perform the above ritual on an L=0 Danjon Scale rated eclipse.
My dear reader, it would be depreciatory to your intelligence if I spelled this one out.
A thoroughly excellent version of the above, now with 7.75% copper added to improve strength whilst preserving malleability and appearance!
Our friendly factory Phoenix brings this healing and life-prolonging gem to us each time he is reborn. It comes in an array of colours, including clear, brown, yellow, orange, red, pink and blue.
Topaz (London Blue)
See 'London Blue Topaz'.
This semi-precious and versatile gemstone is available in every hue, from colourless to black. It can exhibit various colours in the same stone; watermelon tourmaline is green on the outside and pink on the inside and is JdV’s preferred choice for breakfast, which she eats at lunchtime.
The period of Queen Victoria's reign from 1837-1901. Her passion and preferences fueled the talents of London’s jewellery trade her whole life, most markedly upon the death of her beloved husband, Albert, which prompted demand for Mourning Jewellery. JdV frequently reminisces about her time in this era, ‘Victorian this, Victoria that’. Well maybe you should have used your time machine to go and hang out with your BFF Queen V, instead of getting those stupid dragonfly wings JdV? Apologies, I did not mean to lash out. It’s late here in the factory and we haven’t had much sleep. We’ve been making black diamonds and that always brings out the devil in me. I’d best pay the sandman a visit.
I bid you all a fond goodnight,