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Precious stones

Maison Tournaire uses the most precious stones to design their jewelry with exceptions to the timeless charms. Philippe and Mathieu Tournaire fashioned and created jewels with finesse and elegance thanks to the unique know-how of jewelry.

The color palette

As far as we can go back, man has always made jewelry. Making to mark its passage, to evoke something or to symbolize its success. In general, he was fascinated by what he found in nature, including beautiful stones. But they are only stones, chosen for their color or their particular luster, which will then be sublimated by size and polishing. The value attributed to a stone is not necessarily related to its price, it all depends on what value it is attributed to, sentimental or commercial ... Even a common stone can have value, it depends on what it is, It evokes us. For example, if two lovers walk on the beach and find a pebble together, it will have much more sentimental value than another stone. Price is often synonymous with rarity for a stone, for example, shells had a high market value for people who lived in the land, as it was rare for those who did not travel.

When I choose a stone, it is not only with the eyes but with the heart too, I choose it simply because it is beautiful. His color must "sparkle", let the stone be alive. I do not choose a stone for its name but for the optical effect it creates. But before you present the stones that constitute what I call my color palette, I have to give you the keys to understand how I look at the stones.

The stones that are used in jewelry are "gems", hence the science that studies these stones gets its name: gemology. It is considered that all the elements beautiful enough to be mounted in adornment, are gems.

It is important to distinguish between the different types of stones that exist. There are, of course, the natural stones found by man in nature with their singularity. Thanks to the evolution of techniques and research, there are also synthetic stones. These are manufactured by man but have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as their natural model, such as synthetic sapphire for example. Finally, there are also imitation stones, that is to say counterfeits of natural stones which can be just as natural as synthetic. They imitate their appearance, color and optical effect; But they do not have the chemical or physical properties. For example synthetic zirconium oxide is the most famous imitation of diamond, but transparent glass can also be considered an imitation.

When I choose a stone, I take into account its physical properties and especially its hardness, ie its resistance to scratching and abrasion. To measure this value, we use the Mohs scale, ranging from 1 to the most tender, to 10 to the hardest. In order to have an idea, it is considered that gems with a hardness of less than 7 may lose their brilliance and polish over time due to the presence of quartz in the ambient dust but also because of the things done when wearing the jewelry. These must therefore be worn, maintained and stored carefully.

Another indication is important in the choice of a stone: its weight. We mainly use the carat as the unit of mass of a gem that equals 0.2 grams. This value has been used since antiquity in the trade of gems. The word comes from the Greek "keration", name of the seed of the carob tree known for its constant weight around 0.2 grams. But there is a distinction to be made, the carat is also used for precious metals like gold, it then designates purity. Thus, a 24 carat gold is 100% pure but it is soft, it is for this reason that one uses more often the 18 carats gold in jewelry, like all the major brands. This gold is made up of 75% gold, and the remaining 25% will give hardness and color to the alloy. In this percentage, silver, copper, palladium, etc. can be found in varying proportions.

Until 2002, the term "precious stone" was used to refer to diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. It was an arbitrary historical classification which implied that there were precious stones and less precious gems... Thus, since February 1, 2002, all the qualifying terms of the old classification have been repealed. "Gemstones" characterizes all the stones formed in natural deposits. This is the legislation, I just like to use the terms "stones" or "gems" to talk about these treasures.

The jewelry is thought according to the choice of stone, I can not afford to mount a gem too fragile if it is exposed to shocks, otherwise I adapt the jewel so that the jewel is protected. Finally, carat is important because it will directly affect the price of my raw material. But I do not choose a stone taking absolutely into account its size, as I always say: "Better pretty a little than naughty a lot."

The Mohs Scale


Reference mineral

Means for determining the scratch hardness

1 Talc Scratched under the nail
2 Gypsum Scratched with a fingernail
3 Calcite Scratched with a coin (copper)
4 Fluorite-Pearl Easily scratched with a knife
5 Apatite Scratched with a knife
6 Orthoclase-Opal-Tanzanite Scratched with limestone
7 Quartz-Garnet-Tourmaline Scratched with a limestone
8 Topaze-Emerald Scratched with Tungsten carbide
9 Corundum Scratched with Silicon carbide
10 Diamond Scratched with another diamond

The Gems of La Maison Tournaire

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