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The story of the aquamarine from the Isle of Capri

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Gailey

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So here is the story of the aquamarine from the Isle of Capri.

This ring was left to me by one of my Mother''s close friends. Dorothy was a tiny lady, shorter than my Mum who was barely 5ft. She always wore this honker of a ring and carried it off magnificently. It was huge and I used to stare at it constantly whenever I saw it.

The story goes that she and her husband were on holiday in Capri some 50 years ago and he bought it for her there. They had lots of foreign exotic holidays and I used to love listening to her stories. In her early days she was a dancer in a troup on a cruise ship and travelled the world. I had never met a more flamboyant character.

When I lost my Mum in a car accident 5 years ago, I stayed in the UK for just over 5 months to sort everything out. It was a horrible time. I was 7,000 miles from home, away from my husband and I had lost my rock. Dorothy, who had never had children took me under her wing and looked after me. She became my surrogate mum and I became her surrogate daughter, we were a match made in heaven.

I was touched and delighted when I found out that Dorothy had left me this ring. I never saw her without it being on her finger. Trouble was, as soon as I put it on I knew I would never be able to wear it the way she did - it was huge! I''m not used to wearing a lot of rings and was just really uncomfortable. What a dilema.

More later .......

honker ring montage.jpg
 

musey

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What do you mean, "more later" ?! What a cliffhanger!!!
 

TravelingGal

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Love the ring and story so far!

DSS is real! You''ll grow into it! Hee!!!
 

Gailey

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So the ring languished in my jewellery box for a time. One day I read the story of Ellen''s re-cut and what a beautiful ring it turned into. I was hooked. Instantly, I knew what to do.

Actually, I''m missing a stage in the story. Once I got home with the ring, I thought I had better get it appraised and insured, so off I went and of course, the story takes a new turn. It appears the honking blue aquamarine was not an aquamarine at all. In fact, the appraiser dismissed it as a worthless piece of glass, albeit one sitting in an 18k gold ring!

Gosh, I had a range of emotions that day I can tell you. I had an initial flash of disappointment, but mostly I was flabbergasted at the way Dorothy had carried it off for all those years. Perhaps she didn''t know. I suspect she did, she was a pretty savvy and streetwise lady. Whatever it was I knew that she had loved it for years and years and years. In the end I was kind of relieved it wasn''t worth a huge amount of money, too much responsibility.

aqua honker.JPG
 

Linda W

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Oh my gosh Gailey what a story. It still is a beautiful ring though and Dorothy wanted you to have it.
 

Gailey

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So, the fact that some appraiser thought Dorothy''s treasured Isle of Capri aqua was a worthless piece of glass, did not mean it was worthless to me. Far from it. Dorothy adored it and she adored me. I knew she had given it to me for a reason.

Two jewellery related monumental things have happened to me in the last couple of years. I''ve also learnt a lot about gems and diamonds from all of you along the way - thank you very much! But also, I learnt some things about myself and the important things in life.

Bear with me here, because I need to digress a little.

For a very long time I hankered after substantial diamond ring. For many years throughout bringing up kids, mortgages, divorce etc, it wasn''t much more than a dream. But time progressed, a wonderful new husband appeared, careers prospered, and the kids grew and flew the nest. My husband really thought jewellery was a complete waste of money. Diamonds he despised, or rather De Beers he despised. When De Beers built or re-furbed their head office in London in the 70''s DH was a project manager working for Chubb at the time who installed all the security. Rightly or wrongly, he developed a healthy disrespect for De Beers and everything he believed they represented.

So imagine my surprise a couple of Christmases ago when the gal who got presents like hiking boots and the Readers Digest book on home repairs opened what appeared to be a box containing a pair of gloves only to mask a pair of diamond studs from Birks, considered by many to be the most prestigious jeweller in town. I was over the moon. Over the moon I should say with DH, because he loved me enough to spend a substantial amount of money on something he truly thought was worthless hyped junk simply to make me happy. I''ve never looked at diamonds in quite the same way since. I don''t feel like he does about them, but I''m not obsessed any more. The moral for me was that it wasn''t the diamonds that were important, rather the value was in the fact that someone thought I was worth enough to spend a substantial amount of money on. That was very humbling.

The value of jewellery is begining to mean something different to me......
 

lovindiamonds

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Feb 24, 2009
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All I can say is lovely, lovely story and moral........and what a beautiful ring whether it''s glass or not!
 

Ellen

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Awww Gailey, what a touching story!! I really can imagine all you have felt. And despite its appraisal, it''s such a lovely color, and has such sentimental value. I LOVE it!
 

Gailey

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So back to the story of the aqua from the Isle of Capri.

Dorothy''s ring means even more to me now, but it doesn''t alter the fact that it''s simply too big for me to wear and feel comfortable. Once I saw Ellen''s re-cut I wondered if Dorothy''s stone could be re-cut.

By this time, I''ve developed a relationship with Peter Toracca and I trust him to tell me what''s good and what''s not. So I had the stone un-mounted, parcelled up and sent it to him for evaluation. We joked a bit about it really being a rare blue diamond and how we''d split the profit, buy a boat apiece and retire to somewhere warm!

OK, I have to digress a bit more, but it''s worth it.

I discovered PS on my journey to getting an engagement ring upgrade. Now that''s another story and another project altogether so I won''t digress that far. PS has been something of a revelation to me. It''s a chamaeleon. Initially, it''s somewhere to look at pretty pictures. Then it''s a place to lurk and learn. My Dad always used to say to me as a kid, "Keep your ears open and your mouth closed". I lurked for a long time before I posted anything here. I certainly had far more to learn than to talk about. Truth be told, I felt a little intimidated (not in a bad way) by so many beautiful and obviously expensive gems and I didn''t have anything in my jewellery box that compared. But that''s not what PS is really about. PS has the like of presidents and postmen amongst it''s fellowship and each any everyone is as important as the next. Everyone''s contribution has something to offer, large or small and there is an equality here that you don''t see so much in the non-cyber world.

But PS is something even more than that isn''t it. Along with the wealth of knowledge to be gleaned here, and the sense of equality a camararderie develops as people get to know one another in an anonymous way. The depth of genuine feeling and empathy displayed on these pages amongst many who have no personal knowledge of one another never ceases to amaze me. As Martha Stewart would say, it''s a good thing.

I guess what I am trying to say is that my life is richer from becoming a member of PS and from hearing what people have to say to each other here. What started as a quest for information about jewellery became so much more to me. PS has become important in it''s own right. I learnt another valuable life lesson from jewellery, gems and diamonds. Thanks guys!

So OK, Dorothy''s stone wasn''t an aquamarine, but it wasn''t a worthless piece of glass either. Turns out it''s a synthetic spinel and worthy of a re-cut based on it''s sentimental value, and the following picture shows you what Peter did with it. Now at this point I should add, that he re-cut this stone as a favour to me because he knew what it meant to me. He doesn''t routinely cut synthetics.

Nice job huh? I''m not quite at the end of the story yet, so for those that have persevered this far thank you for listening.

More later .....

Emerald cut square spinel 02.jpg
 

Linda W

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Gailey, you have me sitting on the edge of my chair. Please hurry back. OMG the stone turned out gorgeous and what a surprise to find out it isn''t glass after all.
 

Lorelei

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I love your avatar....



weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!
 

Gypsy

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Wow that is a fantastic story! And I love love love the results. Beautiful! Now... how are you gonna set them?
 

Gailey

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A few responses:

Musey - hope you haven''t fallen off that cliff! Thanks for reading.

TG - Sorry, bit dense today, "DSS is real"?????

Linda - Thank you for reading. I''m glad you did because this gives me the opportunity to say, you are the embodiment of what PS is all about. You''re genuine care and compassion for others is inspiring. It''s almost enough to let you off the hook for the lack of photos - but not quite!!


Ellen - My inspiration! I adore your ring, perfect in every way. Without your story, the pretend aqua from the Isle of Capri would still be languishing in my jewellery box without a real identity or purpose, thank you so much. I hope my tribute will be worthy.
 

Gailey

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Date: 3/11/2009 3:16:08 PM
Author: Lorelei
I love your avatar....



weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!
To the gal that started the trend! It''s a hoot, thank-you.

Captain Scarlet, what''s happened to your avatar?????????????????????????????????
 

musey

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What an amazing story! And, natural or no, that stone (and the recuts, or course) has a beautiful color. Just lovely. Can''t wait to see them set!
 

Ellen

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Date: 3/11/2009 3:18:53 PM
Author: Gailey
A few responses:

Musey - hope you haven't fallen off that cliff! Thanks for reading.

TG - Sorry, bit dense today, 'DSS is real'?????

Linda - Thank you for reading. I'm glad you did because this gives me the opportunity to say, you are the embodiment of what PS is all about. You're genuine care and compassion for others is inspiring. It's almost enough to let you off the hook for the lack of photos - but not quite!!


Ellen - My inspiration! I adore your ring, perfect in every way. Without your story, the pretend aqua from the Isle of Capri would still be languishing in my jewellery box without a real identity or purpose, thank you so much. I hope my tribute will be worthy.
Oh, I don't know whether to respond, or wait for the rest!!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that stone. SWOON!! I'm so happy I could be an inspiration for this.


Ok, I'll wait for the rest now.
 

gwendolyn

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Wonderful story! The recut stones look fantastic too--can''t wait for the rest!
 

Gailey

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Joined
May 14, 2008
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Now a new twist, things didn''t turn out quite as planned. Peter knew I would have liked a stone that was approximately 9mm. Big enough to stand alone without the need for additional diamonds or other enhancement. The stones turned out smaller than he had anticipated so he got hold of more rough of a similar colour and cut me another square emerald at 9mm.

Now the fact that the perfect square emerald cut to me ends up not being Dorothy''s stone kind of detracts from the story somewhat, but it doesn''t detract from the sentiment I still feel for the new stones. Dorothy didn''t have any daughters, so she passed her ring on to me. I don''t have daughters either and although I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who has presented us with a wonderful Granddaughter, I feel the need to eventually direct these particular two stones that did come from Dorothy''s stone in a different direction.

Gems and jewellery now mean something completely different to me than they did a few years ago. I''ve travelled a personal journey, met some fantastic people along the way - not least of all Peter Toracca, whose values I admire and whose talent I am in awe of and of course all of you!

Dorothy was platinum blond (probably as pretend as her aqua was truth be told, but she would never admit that either). She had steely blue eyes that matched her ring. I am blessed with two wonderful nieces who as far as I am concerned are the daughters I never had. Both are natural blondes. One has natural platinum blonde hair to her waist - both unbelieveably gorgeous! So one day, these stones and their story will go to Lisa and Rachael. They in turn have two daughters each, so these stones and the accompanying tale which I hope will grow as all good tales do will travel down the female line in my family. They may at some point get morphed into projects along the way, but I haven''t thought that far ahead, and besides I have projects to complete for me first.

I hadn''t really planned to tell this story today because I wanted to get the ring project underway, but I will be in a position to share CAD''s shortly I hope. What prompted me today was the fact that I posted the picture yesterday to suggest to Stepcutnut an example of a style of cut for her re-set project. She in turn asked me who had cut the stones, so because they are synthetic I obviously couldn''t say very much about them in Coloured Stones, but I did feel that they were worthy of a slot somewhere on PS.

What I can say is the new 9mm stone will go into a substantial ring and be worn with love for a pint sized, bottle-blonde bombshell with a heart as big as a mountain. I may choose to pass it off as Dorothy did as a valuable antique aqua that originated on the Isle of Capri to people who know me in life. But thanks to my PS friends, who know the story and in honour of the lessons I have learned along the way I may just tell the truth - or a version of it anyways!

The most important things in life are not things.

Thanks for reading. XXX

three spinel montage.jpg
 

Ellen

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I love the story Gailey, and I wasn't expecting the end. So how big did the original EC turn out to be? And I can't wait to see the CADS!!

I'm really flattered you like my ring so much. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I am shocked at the response it got, I just never dreamed so many people would feel the way they do about it.
 

stepcutnut

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Aug 11, 2008
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2,400
What a beautiful story!!! Thanks so much for telling it :)

I love all 3 stones from Peter, he does such nice work!

I too hope that your will wear your new stone in good health and it brings you many happy memories!
 

AmberGretchen

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Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
What an AMAZING story - thank you so much for sharing it with us. I think you should print out what you shared here and share it with your nieces when they receive the beautiful pieces these lovely stones will no doubt become - I''m sure it will make them appreciate the gift all the more, and that way the story can be passed down along with the stones
 

bebe

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Nov 20, 2007
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thank you so much for sharing your story with us, I loved every bit of it. The new stones are awesome, what a great idea!
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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That is a wonderful story Gailey! I''m so glad you shared it with us, and that Peter was able to help you.
 

mercoledi

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What a wonderful tribute and story! The sentiment is worth ten times what an aqua would have been. Enjoy your stones, they are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!
 

Maisie

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Dec 30, 2006
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Thank you for sharing that story. Those stones look amazing!
 

Scorpioanne

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Oct 14, 2008
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Your story really touched my heart as I am a very sentimental person. The colours for my wedding came from my grandmother''s amethyst brooch that is very precious to me.
 

LaurenThePartier

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Mar 2, 2004
Messages
10,100
Oh, Gailey! Your story is just incredibly touching, and the stones turned out just gorgeous. I love the idea of getting this story in print and keeping it with the stones!

What a wonderful woman Dorothy must have been!!!
 
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