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- What is Blue John?
Ceirys Designer Jewellery FAQCeirys Designer Jewellery Questions and Answers
I have never purchased silver jewellery from Ceirys Designer Jewellery. How can I trust your company?
Is it safe to buy from your website?
Can I pay with PayPal if I do not have an account?
Do I have to register to buy from your website?
Do you offer any discounts?
Why is my silver jewellery not hallmarked?
What is Blue John?
I have never purchased silver jewellery from Ceirys Designer Jewellery. How can I trust your company?You can certainly trust us. But trust is built up over time and we do understand that it is a worry buying first time from a website. We buy from the suppliers we trust. We expect you to be the same. Naturally, we would like to establish a good and trusting relationship with you. If it would give you more comfort before you buy anything, please give us a ring. We are real human-beings and like talking to our customers!
We find that many new customers start with a small order so that they can judge the quality of our silver jewellery and silver gifts while getting to know us better and gaining confidence in our products and service.
Please take a look at our Customer Reviews which you can see in the menu at the top of your screen to see what previous buyers have said about our products and services. We hope that gives you the confidence that you can trust us and buy from us also.
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Is it safe to buy from your website?Yes! It is perfectly safe to buy from Ceirys Designer Jewellery as the payment gateway we use is PayPal. We do not see any customers card details at all and we are PCI DSS compliant.
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Can I pay with PayPal if I do not have an account?Yes! Anyone that owns a credit/debit card can pay via PayPal as a guest.
PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay online. The service allows anyone to pay through credit cards and debit cards but without sharing financial information with us or any other vendor.
PayPal has quickly become a global leader in online payment solutions with more than 153 million accounts worldwide. Available in 190 markets around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce by making payments possible across different locations, currencies, and languages. For more information, please go to www.paypal.com
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Do I have to register to buy from your website?No. You do not need to register in order to purchase jewellery from Ceirys Designer, you can simply check out as a guest.
But if you give us your email address, you could have a discount on your order and we can keep you up-to-date with our latest products.
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Do you offer any discounts?Yes!
We offer a discount for you to enter your email address into our database so that we can keep you up to date with our regular newsletters and offers. This discount is for a "one-off" reduction on your entire order (excluding postage).
From time-to-time we offer discounts on individual products so sign up to our mailing list to know about those too!
Sometimes we have a once only discount for first time visitors to our site. You will see it appear if you have never been to our site before and it will not appear if you leave the site and come back. You have been warned!!
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Why is my silver jewellery not hallmarked?In some countries, mainly European countries such as the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and in some Eastern European countries, the statutory control and hallmarking of silver jewellery is required to be undertaken by an independent body. However in some of these countries, such as the UK, items weighing less than 7.78 grams are exempt from hallmarking. (7.78 grams is the weight of silver excluding any gemstone). Therefore in these countries (including the UK), you will find that many rings and earrings and pendants do not need to be hallmarked.
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What is Blue John?Blue John is now a very rare and mysterious gemstone mined around the Peak District village of Castleton, Derbyshire.
It is believed that it was the Romans that first discovered the gem some 2000 years ago and instantly fell in love with it's unique qualities.
The Blue John mines were first discovered around 1750 in Treak Cliff, just outside Castleton, Blue John very quickly became popular for use as a decorative ornament.
Within ten years there were sixteen mines working the area to supply over thirty local firms who fashioned it into fireplace and other ornaments for the stately homes of England.
Goblets, urns, bowls, obelisks, clocks, paperweights, chalices and pyramids were all created from the distinctive Blue John. No two pieces look totally identical thanks to the colour variations in the stone. It was also used to create decorative stained-glass window panels, an example of which can be seen in Buxton Museum & Art Gallery.
The earliest dated example of decorative Blue John from Castleton is from 1762 in Kedleston Hall, near Derby, where there are Blue John panels mounted in a marble fireplace surround designed by Robert Adam.
The Blue John love affair lasted until the end of the Victorian era, but by that time whole Peak District industries were dependent on it and so another use needed to be found. It continued to be mined but instead of being used for decorative ornaments it was used as a flux in the steel industry.
Today there is very little Blue John waiting to be harvested, and although it is still mined during the winter months in Castleton, only small pieces suitable for jewellery are found.
Despite its name, Blue John isn't blue in the way that sapphire or turquoise is blue. At best it's purple, but very often the predominant colour is either white or yellow with narrow purple veins or bands, or even no purple at all.
Smaller jewellery pieces tend to appear more blue than larger items and this is probably due to careful selection of the area of stone that is used.
There is some debate over how it came to be called Blue John, with some claiming that the name originated in France, and others that it came from Matthew Boulton, an 18th century engineer and manufacturer and craftsman who pioneered ormolu ornaments and used the stone, which he called blew john, as bases for the ornaments.
The most popular, and most recounted version, is that Blue John is taken from the French "Bleu-Jaune" (which means blue-yellow). During the 1770s Blue John was exported to France to have ormolu decorations added and it is believed that it was during this time that the name stuck.
The Blue John Cavern is at the top of the Winnats Pass, a few kilometres west of Castleton, Peak District. 25km from Sheffield, 45km from Manchester.
There are very few pieces of Blue John left today and the little that remains is either mined during the Winter months or sorted from the spoil heaps from past mining.
No two pieces of Blue John are identical making this a very unique gemstone to possess.
Now that you know more of the origins and history of Blue John, we hope that this has whet your appetite sufficiently to tempt you into owning a unique piece of Blue John set into sterling silver from our beautiful collection.
Our Blue John silver jewellery range can be found by clicking on the Blue John menu to the left of the screen.
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