Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. We had a rare night out in Manchester on Friday and stayed over in a hotel. We went to see the Cult and Alice Cooper at the Manchester Arena, and as it was a double bill we enjoyed a solid three hours of entertainment. I was never really an Alice Cooper fan (we went primarily to see the Cult) but he was amazing! It’s a very theatrical performance, culminating in him being “beheaded” at the end! I think I’ve just about got over the late night. I’ve got a busy week at work ahead after today – no two-day Bank Holiday for me! Then, next weekend we will be busy with Isobel’s Rose Queen duties.
Jacqui chose the theme of “Birthstone Beauties” as this month’s Style Not Age theme. My birthday is in July so my birthstone is ruby, a stone I’ve always loved. I was fascinated by jewellery – gemstones in particular – as a child. Probably due to my love of bright colours, I always favoured rubies, emeralds and sapphires over diamonds, which I found quite boring!
Today, there are three separate lists of birthstones for each month: ancient, traditional, and modern. Gemstones on the “ancient” list have been widely recognized and used for thousands of years, while stones on the “traditional” list have been available for use for the past 500 years. The modern birthstone list was established in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers. There are also lists of alternative birthstones based on astrological signs, guardian angels, seasons, and even birth hours!
Rubies are made from corundum, a crystalline form of aluminium oxide. When corundum is red it is known as ruby. When it’s any other colour – such as blue, yellow, or pink – it is called sapphire. The ruby’s red colour comes from trace amounts of the element chromium, which replace aluminium in the mineral and change its colour. Most rubies have a strong red colour, although they can range from blood-red to orange-red, purple-red, brown-red or even a pink-red tone. The most desirable shade of ruby is called “pigeon blood”…that doesn’t sound very appealing to me!
To reflect the range of shades of red that rubies can be found in I’ve created an outfit of different tones of red. My trousers and top are more of an orange-red, while my jacket is more of a “true red”. After putting it all together I was a bit stumped as to what colour bag to go for; a contrasting colour would have looked incongruous with all the other shades of red. In the end I decided to go for a full “ton sur ton” look with a deep wine hue to complete the look.
Of course I had to choose jewellery with red stones – not all are rubies though, sadly. The gold statement ring is just red glass, but the other one is a raw ruby. You can buy raw ruby rings at surprisingly low prices on Etsy. Years ago, when I went to jewellery making classes, one of the ladies decided to make herself a rose gold and ruby ring. She bought the raw, uncut ruby for 80p but spent £80 on the gold! It turned out to be a beautiful ring but I would have been terrified of ruining the gold, which has a much lower melting temperature than silver. We think of rubies as being very expensive, but like any coloured gemstone, you pay the big money for saturation, tone and clarity.
SHOP THE LOOK
Zara jacket (last year’s) | River Island top and trousers | Zara trainers (old) | bag from eBay (old) | Emilio Pucci sunglasses
Jacqui’s birthday is in May, meaning her birthstone is emerald green, although she says she doesn’t have much of that shade in her wardrobe. However, Jacqui spotted these fabulous shoes and worked her outfit around them. She has teamed them with some trousers from Zara and a slinky yellow top from Matalan. The cover-up from F & F is supposed to be for the pool but it makes a super jacket! Pop over to Mummabstylish to find out more.
Gail’s birthstone, topaz, comes in two colours – blue and orange, giving her more outfit options. She combined a powder blue top and electric blue belt from Kettlewell with a denim jacket and blue sandals. For jewellery, Gail added a blue topaz pendant, bought on a Greek holiday, and a bracelet from Etsy. The stunning Kurt Geiger rainbow bag adds a bit more colour. Head over to Is This Mutton for all the details.
Hilda’s birthstone is turquoise – a colour that she struggled with. But luckily she found her daughter had left this fabulous River Island bag behind when she moved out. Teamed with a dress (that was €10 from Dunnes Stores!) featuring lots of blues, it creates a lovely summery outfit. You can read more about it at Over the Hilda.
Anna also found this a hard challenge as she hates her birthstone, Garnet, and doesn’t own many dark red items of clothing. Luckily, she borrowed this jumpsuit from her friend Fiona who takes her blog photos. Underneath the jumpsuit, Anna has layered an old top (from TK Maxx) and added an old belt from eBay. The sandals are new from TK Maxx. See all the details at Anna’s Island Style.
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