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Birthstones – April

Some say that diamond’s are a girl’s best friend, and we’re definitely a fan of them over here at Rogue. As April begins, and we’re starting the embrace Spring once again, let’s take a look at one of the most well-known gemstones in history! Those born in Aprils, definitely have an exciting celebratory stone.

Seasons handmade ‘Installation 2’ 14k Yellow Gold – 2xVS White Diamond

April only has one birthstone, which we can completely understand why! It’d be very hard to compete against the famous diamond. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

The vast majority of diamonds are colourless and transparent. They show an amazing display of colours and flashes of white under the light. However, they can rarely come in a rainbow array of colours, including green, yellow, black, blue and so on. The colour of a diamond stone is dependant on the impurities present in the stone. Chemical elements such as Nitrogen, Sulphur, and Boron can cause the colour changes (for example yellow diamonds have traces of nitrogen.) Colourless diamonds (that have less amounts of colour) are much rarer, thus much more valuable. The precise levels of colours present (if any) have such a drastic effect on the price-per-carat value. The standardized scale describing the exact amount of colour in a stone (the D-Z colour scale) was developed by the GIA and is now accepted globally. Diamonds with a colour of ‘D’ have absolutely no colour in them, while gems graded ‘Z’ have the most colour allowed to still be considered colourless.

BVLA ‘Oasis’ – 14k Rose Gold – 6x VS Ocean Blue Diamond

It is speculated that Diamonds have been around since the biblical times, when the breastplate of a high priest (also known as Adams’ Breastplate) was decorated with 12 stones. As time continued moving forward, these stones became connected to Zodiac symbols and then birthstones.

April’s birthstone is now mined all over the world. By the early 2000s, South Africa had been joined by other African nations (such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana) as major producers of rough diamonds. Diamonds mined in Botswana are typically found in the hot and dry eastern region of the country. The mines have brought a massive increase to the economy, which has resulted in creating a growing middle class society.

Russia is also now one of the biggest producers, opening its first major mine in the 1960’s, and the opening of the Argyle mine in Australia (1983) expanded the mining of diamonds massively, and are the primary source for the rare red and pink diamonds.

However, one of the original sources for diamonds, was India! They were credited for being the ones to introducing diamond mining into the world, and was the only major source of diamond mining until the 18th century. Now a days, most diamonds you come across on the market will not be from India, but instead one of the many major sources globally, but there is an estimate that 90% of these diamonds are processed there!

The current Diamond collection at Rogue!

Those who are April born are lucky to have this gem as their birthstone! Often seen as a symbol of clarity and strength! Diamond is actually so strong and durable, it’s name actually comes from the Greek word “Adamas” which means invincible or unbreakable. They have been a representation of love and life across many religions and centuries. It is also the gift of choice for 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries! Alongside being a symbol of love, Diamonds have been thought to be an antidote to poison (although we wouldn’t recommend any self treatment with a doctor, if you think you have been poisoned please see doctor!).

Diamond is a 10 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it incredibly durable! You do not want to store a diamond amongst others as they can scratch each other. We also wouldn’t recommend storing them with other gemstones as Diamonds can scratch and damage those too. They can be placed in an ultrasonic to be cleaned, however if it has any inclusions or has been treated it is best to clean with a lint-free cloth and some mild soapy warm water. You can also choose to use a soft bristled toothbrush and a commercial jewellery cleaner!

BVLA ‘Afghan’ + 2x ‘Prongs’ – White Diamond

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Custom Order Favourites – BVLA

In Rogue we pride our selves with our vast collection of jewellery. However with limited space in the studio, there is only so much we can hold, and with the 7 main jewellery companies we stock plus all the others that are available, we certainly cannot hold one of every single piece. This is why we offer custom orders! By doing this we can offer every single piece of jewellery, in every single size and colour of gold and gemstones the company allows! We can order custom fitting lengths and gauges of jewellery that we don’t normally carry. We can order a full curation of beautiful pieces for that special event, or just because you want to!

With the next BVLA custom order deadline looming over us, I thought I’d show you some of my personal favourites from the pieces you guys have chose to order through BVLA with us!

My first favourite is this gorgeous 14k Yellow Gold Marquise Crown Charm with Green Tourmaline. Delicately paired with a 14k Gold Seam ring from APEX jewellery, this was perfectly positioned in an incredibly well healed rook piercing.

Next up is this stunning ‘Dino’. 14k White gold with impeccable details all round. This was pierced straight into a fresh flat by the wonderful Breo.

How could we miss this beautiful rook! 2x gummy bear green Chrysoprase gems set in 14k Yellow Gold. It’s not often people order custom rook pieces, but we’d definitely love to do more. This Bezel with Tri Bead rook curve was perfectly pierced by Gemma!

I may be a little bias with this one, as I pierced this myself! But how cute is this Pear Prong Ring in this fresh Daith! 14k Yellow Gold with Green Tourmaline! (I’m definitely starting to see a reoccurring theme of yellow gold and green gems here).

Mini Kandy’s will always be a fan favourite, they are perfect for any position, including this super cute Forward Helix By Aiden. 14k White Gold with Rose Cut Swiss Blue Topaz! Super cute.

We’d absolutely love to order some more fun shapes and designs, as well as more charms and chains for that extra movement! Here’s some of my personal favourites that I’d love to see get ordered from BVLA!

If you’d like to enquiry about any of the above pieces, or any of your own ideas or designs, just shoot us an email at customorder@roguepiercing.co.uk and we can work with you to find your perfect piece of jewellery! If you’d like to know more about or custom ordering process, have quick read of this blog that details how the process works! And to stay up to date with our deadlines for custom orders, follow us on Instagram!

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Birthstones – March

March is full to the brim this year with both a very early Easter weekend and mothers day happening. And what better way to celebrate than gifting a very beautiful shiny gemstone. This month we are specifically looking at the gemstone Aquamarine, which is March’s birthstone.

Now technically, March does have two birthstones: Aquamarine and Bloodstone, however bloodstone isn’t typically used in body jewellery so we wont be going into great depths this blog post. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

BVLA – Miel

Aquamarine is a gorgeous light toned crystal, often seen in pale blues but can range between greenish-blues and blue/greens. It typically doesn’t achieve dark tones or deep saturations, but the few that do can be compared to that of Sapphire, but still being lighter. The intensity of the colour is determined by the size of the stone, typically being the larger the stone the deeper the tones and saturations.

It is a pale/lighter version of Beryl, and the colour can be changed through heat treatment. This actually means it is a close cousin of Emerald!

The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has been a predominant root of sourcing aquamarine for the last two centuries. Aquamarine is found in hard rock and weathered pegmatite deposits in the eastern portion of the state. Pegmatite is the host rock for many rare mineral deposits. Often composed of quartz , mica and feldspar. More often than not, the mining processes is quite small with less than a dozen employees.
 
Aquamarine can also be found in the Karakorum foothills of Pakistan. To reach the deposits, miners must climb steep paths to elevations, around 3,000 to more than 4,000 meters, and work the sides of forbidding cliffs. Below this uninviting rocky world lay valleys, rivers and small towns. Aquamarine from this area has been described as “water clear” due to their incredibly pale colour.

There is also many other sources of Aquamarine though, including Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia and many more countries.

This ocean coloured stone has some beautiful history behind it. Often thought to protect sailors at sea and calm the waves for a smooth journey, the stones name is a direct reference to its colour. Originating from Latin, “Aqua” meaning water, and “Marina” meaning “of the sea”, there’s no question on why there is much ocean lore surrounding the beauty of a gem. This March birthstone was also believed to have brought happiness into marriage, which is no surprise that while also celebrating march births, it is the gem is also given as a present for the 19th year of marriage.

It also has some famous history as well! In 1963, the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt received a deep blue, rectangular cut piece of Aquamarine that weighed in at 1’298 Carats. This was gifted by the government of Brazil when both the president and the first lady stopped in Rio De Janeiro where they met Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas. The gift was actually the larger of two pieces that had been faceted from a much larger piece of aquamarine rough that and weighed 1.3kg! The stone is now held at the ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’ in Hyde Park, New York.

Lady Roosevelts Aquamarine gift.

This sea tone stone scores a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh’s Hardness scale, meaning it is durable for everyday wear. The cleaning of this stone is easy too, with mild and warm soapy water, and a toothbrush. This will also help clean out dirt from those tricky to reach places. And as long as there isn’t any fractures in the gem, both ultrasonic and steam cleaners are absolutely fine to be used!

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Moving into Spring!

As the evenings slowly start to get lighter again, and that frosty chill is starting a steady exit, we begin to make our way into the spring season, which i’m sure we’re all ready for. However, before we say our goodbyes just yet to the winter months I thought we’d have a quick look at how 2024 has started for Rogue, from piercings to jewellery it’s definitely been a fun one.

Aiden started his year with a nice long break from the studio, using his annual leave for a fun adventure. Upon return to the studio though, you guys definitely didn’t make it easy for him! From 2g cheeks to intimate projects Aiden’s been working hard to fulfil all the piercing dreams you guys have given him!

A fresh set of 2g Cheek Piercings.

Breo is another one who has been taking some plentiful time away from the studio, and taking a much needed trip back to his home town in Spain. He was definitely missed though, upon arrival back in the studio his first day back was busy with rooks and helix piercings, and even a large gauge set of lobes chucked in there.

A forehead surface piercing for Phebe!

Gemma’s had a an interesting start to 2024, and has begun to take on more responsibility within the studio! She has been putting out some excellent work, from a classic helix’s, lower navels and fun intimate projects. Next month is Gemma’s turn away from the studio as she embarks on a week long journey to visit Andre in Germany, and progress her body modification journey.

Lower Navel Piericing!

Jay’s 2024 has started off with lots of training, from tongue piercings and septum’s, to VCH and Prince Albert piercings, Jay has started the ‘weird and wonderful’ and has been producing some amazing work. She also put some of her own training into practice when Kade shadowed in the studio, and helped pass on knowledge of bevel theory and blade needles.

A fresh set of paired central eyebrows!

Kat has been working alongside clients to continue to bring their jewellery dreams alive! From placing custom orders and helping put together that one unique piece, to helping curate ears, Kat has been kept on their toes. They’ve also taken a further step into the jewellery side of piercing and is now assisting FLUX Jewelellry!

A Custom BVLA Septum Jewellery

We’ve also had a few guests and shadows join us this year!

We ended January with a two day visit from Phebe, who came up to shadow septum piercings! Phebe is an absolute delight to work with, and we can’t wait to have her back, hopefully to guest next time and put her skills into practice. While she was here, Breo pierced her and gave Phebe a gorgeous forehead surface piercing which suited her set up brilliantly.

A sweet forehead piercing for Phebe!

February started with a week long visit from the wonderful Hika, who came and guested while Breo was travelling to Spain. She helped assist Jay on apprentice piercings and fed her some new knowledge, while also producing her own amazing work. She also got pierced by Aiden and left with a shiny new tragus and lobe duo.

Hika in action! Marking a bridge piercing!

Last but not least, we had Kade come and stay for a week too. He came to do some shadowing, and was an absolute delight to have in the studio, and we can’t wait for him to return. He left with some knew found knowledge and a new best friend (Jay). Not only did he get pierced while he visited, but Jay, Aiden and Gemma all pierced him as part of an ear project consisting of 5 vertical helix’s around his ear. Between them, they pierced three, leaving four and five for his next visit.

Kade putting knowledge into practice with Jay’s help.

Overall it has been an absolute whirlwind of a start to 2024, and hopefully we will see this continue through the warmer months! With two more guests planned in March and a conference, the Rogues are definitely going to be kept on their toes. Don’t forget you can book your own appointment with us here, and discuss anything from piercings to jewellery with us and fulfil your own dreams.

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Birthstones – February

Love is in the air this month with Valentines day quickly and surely approaching. We’re also celebrating another birthday at Rogue (Hi Gemma!). And what better way to show off your birth month than with the February birthstone: Amethyst! (Possibly the studio’s favourite genuine gemstone).

Following on from January and Garnet, February is one of the few months that only has one birthstone, rather than two or three. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). So what about the February birthstone?

With a great contrast to the colder and short lived month of February, the February birthstone Amethyst is a gorgeous and rich-coloured gemstone that should be enjoyed for an eternity. Being a purple variety of Quartz, it comes in all sorts of hues including lilac to deep purples. For Amethyst to get its colour, the quartz needs to have trace amounts of iron. This iron has tiny impurities which are then exposed to natural radiation (irradiation) which results in oxidation of the impurities. This process changes the absorption spectrum of the Quartz, resulting in the beautiful purple shades we see.

Russia was the main source of Amethyst until the 19th century, when large deposits were found in Brazil. Originally being super rare, this new found discovery led amethyst to suddenly become quite common . Today, the most important sources of amethyst are in Africa and South America however Brazil is still a major supplier, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, although the amethyst mined there tends to have a lighter colour than most found in other countries. .

In Africa, Zambia’s Kariba mine is one of the largest amethyst producers in the world. The Amethyst that is mined here typically tends to have excellent quality with richly saturated colours. There is also the ‘Four Peaks Amethyst Mine’ located just outside of Phoenix is the United States. This mine is is in a remote location, with extremely challenging conditions for Amethyst to form, yet somehow forms some of the deepest purple, and purplish red crystals.

This purple stone also has a great history behind it, often being found in collections of royal families across Europe and Asia. Because of the original rarity of Amethyst, it was held as high as a diamond, and was incredibly favoured royalty, or the Clergy as a symbol for the deity of Christ. It wasn’t until the discovery in Brazil that made Amethyst more available to a wide range of wearers.

Amethyst lore is just as great as its history. The lore includes many claims of bringing personal empowerment or inner strength if worn, as well as it’s claims to mystical powers. Leonardi Da Vinci once wrote that this stone has the power to protect against evil thoughts and quicken intelligence. Apparently he was well known for making use of this stone. Throughout time Amethyst has been ground down and ingested for medicine, or been used to make drinking goblets due to the reports of preventing intoxication. Although Amethyst is not toxic, it is no longer recommended to ingest through eating or drinking. So please do not try this at home!

In the modern day, Amethyst is the stone that is traditionally given to celebrate the 6th year of a marriage!

This purple quartz scored a 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, making it appropriate for daily wear in jewellery, although over time may show wear and need a repolish. As it is more susceptible to damage than harder stones (such as rubies and diamonds), it should be stored away safely from anything harder to avoid it being scratched or damaged. As always, the safest way to clean this stone is with a soft toothbrush and some mild soap, but it is also safe in an ultrasonic. However, steam cleaning should be avoided. This is because extreme treat (or some heat treatments) can change the shades of purple , or make it more brittle.

BVLA TRIO
Afghan, Mini Kandy, Mini Reema.

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Birthstones – January

We’re officially into the new year, with Christmas gone and passed, but it’s not all doom and gloom in the studio. This month we’re celebrating the birthday of our apprentice, and this weeks blog is all about the January birthstone (well not just theirs). Garnet! Mostly known for it’s very intense red that will surely keep that fire going in the cold long days of January.

January is one of the few months that only has one stone, rather than two or three. For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

But don’t worry, if that brilliant Red of Garnet isn’t your personal choice of colour, you’ll be happy to know that the January Birthstone comes in a whole rainbow of colours; green, blue, oranges, pinky/oranges, and purplish reds. There are even Garnets that have a colour-change effect when under different lighting or Star Garnets, which is where the stone displays a ‘multi-rayed’ light reflection on its surface that resembles a 4 or 6 pointed star. However, despite the wide range of colours available, this stone is well known for for their deep red varieties, that often are compared to fruit seeds of pomegranates.

Star garnets are found in India, the U.S. state of Idaho as well as Sri Lanka. Green garnet ranges in location. For example, Tsavorite is mined in Kenya and was named after the Tsavo National Park where it is mined nearby, while Demantoid garnet is hugely sourced in Russia. Yellowish/orange, or bright orange Garnet is named after Spessart in Germany where it was discovered but Namibia and Tanzania are also key sources for Spessart Garnets. The colour changing Garnets are found in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Garnets are also found and mined in many other countries. So many different ways to celebrate the january birthstone!

According to Indian astrology, Garnet helps eliminate negative feelings (such as depression or guilt) while improving self-confidence and mental clarity which helps promote creative thinking and peace of mind. In ancient and medieval times, gems like garnet were also thought to be remedies for inflammatory diseases and to soothe the angry heart. Garnets are also a symbol of eternal love thought to held protective healing powers, which makes it another good reason to gift Garnet to your loved one to celebrate your second wedding anniversary.

The different types of Garnet which change where it sits on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, but it typically ranges between 6.5 and 7.5, making it more susceptible to damage than diamonds or rubies. Be careful on storage for Garnets, because it can be scratched by other stones. While Garnet is not ideal for everyday wear, it is ideal for earrings (including body jewellery), brooches and pendants. Most garnet stones are not treated except in rare instances where they might be fracture filled. However, the best way to clean your garnets is with a soft toothbrush (we always recommend baby tooth brushes the bristles are always softer) and warm soapy water. If you have an ultrasonic at home, you’ll be happy to know that you can give your garnets a quick whizz about in there, unless they are fractured, or fracture-filled. Steam cleaning is not recommended.

BVLA – Round Prong

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Stop Touching Your Piercings!

When you walk through the doors at Rogue you will instantly see signs on our main desks, our mirrors and even in our jewellery display cabinets, all telling you not to touch, change or remove your jewellery. You may have noticed both our piercers and counter staff asking you to stop touching your piercings, or to sanitise your hands. We also ask that all jewellery brought into the studio is inside of a small bag or pouch and isn’t handled inside the studio with bare hands.

Image from Jef Saunders Blog courtesy of Dannielle Greenwood

Now you may think this is over bearing, or that we are on a power trip, or even that it might just be a weird obsession over cleanliness/hygiene, but we can assure you that it’s not! We do all of this to avoid the risk of any cross contamination in the studio. Hygiene at Rogue is one of our biggest focus points, and we have consistent measures in place to ensure that we are doing the best we can. From working with aseptic techniques during the piercing procedure, as well as having both daily and weekly cleaning tasks. Every member of the team at Rogue takes annual training in Bloodborne Pathogens (keep your eyes out for our certificates around the studio). This is so we can stay up to date with any changes in standards and protocols to keep both you and ourselves safe.

In the studio we have very careful procedures that we perform every single day to minimise any spread of cross contamination. We thoroughly clean and sterilise any tools and equipment at the end of each working day. We continuously wash and sanitise our hands while also donning and doffing PPE (wearing and disposing of Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves) appropriately. Any of our disposable work tools that may have touched anyone are also disposed of correctly, through sharps bins and dedicated waste disposal bags and services.

So, what is cross contamination?

The definition of cross contamination from Oxford Languages English Dictionaries is: The process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect.

Outside of piercing, most people think of cross contamination when it comes to food, especially raw chicken. For example, if you are cutting raw chicken you may end up with some of the raw juices on your fingers and hands, and once dried you may not know it’s there. The bacteria from the chicken can be spread across the kitchen on cutting boards, towels, and reusable wipes. If you don’t wash your hands and touch your mouth or nose or a small/large wound, you can become sick from the bacteria even if you don’t see it. This is because bacteria (such as salmonella) is easily transferable through open wounds and mucous membranes.

The same happens with body jewellery. At some point, the jewellery you have worn in your body has been in direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood. We as piercers have to assume that everyone’s blood, or any other bodily fluids that has been in contact with your jewellery, is contaminated with a bloodborne pathogen that has the potential to carry or spread viruses. The reason we do this is because, just like raw chicken juices, we cannot always see potential threats or dangers, and we’d rather be over-cautious and keep everyone’s health in tip-top shape.

Imagine the journey that bacteria might take across our studio. A client touches their grumpy piercing, and then touches the front desk or a display cabinet, or the arms of the sofa. This is then touched by the next client, who then touches their eye or mouth, or their own piercings! This bacteria can be transferred from one person to the next. Imagine not one client, but dozens per day! By not touching our piercings, washing our hands, and not allowing worn jewellery to touch any of the studio surfaces, then we break this chain of spread.

This is also part of the reason why we cannot reuse, refund or resell body jewellery that has left the studio. We have to assume that any body jewellery that has been purchased has been worn. We also recommend that you never buy and wear pre-used or pre-worn jewellery – You can read more about this in our ‘Sharing Jewellery’ blog. It is the equivalent of clothing stores having a no-returns policy on underwear. It is not safe to risk sharing fluids between clients.

As scary as it sounds, we’re just trying to show you that cross-contamination is super easy to avoid. So, all in all, please top touching your piercings and sharing body jewellery. It is unsafe and unsanitary! Practice regular safe hygiene processes, such as washing your hands and sanitising when and where needed.

Keep an eye on our blog as we post a new informational blog every single Friday! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Birthstones – December

December is officially Holiday season, and all over the world people will be celebrating their own holidays in their own special way. This month, we are looking at 3 special gemstones to commemorate you December babies. Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Zircon are three beautiful December birthstone that vary in their hues of blue, which is perfect for that cold chill of December!

Three Birthstones?

The majority of months know how to celebrate with their stones by having multiple stones. December is one of two months that decided to ramp it up to three for an extra kick – So what options do you have for the December birthstone?

For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). Turquoise is Decembers traditional stone, with Tanzanite and Zircon being the more modern and newer stones.

Whatever your style, budget, taste or preferences are, there is definitely something for all you cold December babies.

Turquoise!

Turquoise is well known for it’s bright blue colour! With shades ranging from sky blue to apple green, and its standout veins of matrix (black, brown or grey remnants of the rock it was formed in), it’s no shock that Turquoise is very well recognised. Turquoise is formed when mineral-rich water seeps in-between the gaps of rocks, and over time the water dissolves, leaving only behind the formed minerals, i.e. Turquoise. The minerals left that form the stone, are the ones that give it its colour. For example, copper gives turquoise its shades of green and blue.

Purple Copper Turquoise – BVLA Round Prong

There is an assumption that the gemstones name can be translated to ‘Turkish Stone’ which hints that this is where it may have first been found. If it was, it definitely didn’t stay there long. Apparently they were buried (and later found) in the mines in The Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, which date back to as early as 4000 BC. This makes Turquoise one of the oldest gemstones in history.

The ‘sky blue’ stones were originally sourced in Ancient Persia (now Iran) are often still referred as ‘Persian Blue’. The U.S is currently the biggest supplier of Turquoise, where most production comes from Arizona and Nevada. The ‘Kingman mine’ in Arizona is a historically important source that is known for producing intense blue turquoise. Although it is no longer open for turquoise mining, Arizona’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ mine was a prolific producer for more than four decades.

Turquoise Prong- Anatometal

For centuries, Turquoise has believed to be a protective stone, often being worn as amulets. From the 13th Century it was believed that the stone would protect its wearer from falling (particularly, falling off of horses. We’re not sure how relevant this is these days…), as well as the common belief that the stone would break into many pieces at the face of danger. There are also many other beliefs, such as the guarantee of good health and fortune. Hindu mystics maintained that seeing a turquoise stone after beholding the new moon ensured fantastic wealth. Turquoise was often seen through many royal families, such as the Duchess of Windsor who wore a beautiful Amethyst and Turquoise necklace. Queen Mary had a collection of Persian turquoise jewellery, including a tiara, necklace, brooch, and earrings. The Persian Turquoise Tiara was eventually passed down to Princess Margaret, who wore it until her death in 2002. In the modern day, Turquoise is also the gem of the 11th wedding anniversary.

On The Moh’s scale of hardness, Turquoise is typically around 5-6, although some Turquoise is treated to improve its durability. Turquoise can be dyed or chemically enhanced by adding an epoxy or acrylic resin for greater hardness or better colour. Typically, Turquoise is pretty durable when it comes to light, but can be sensitive to high heat , which can cause discolouration or breakage. It is for this reason hat Turquoise stones should not be cleaned with steam or an ultrasonic. Acids, chemicals, and cosmetics can also damage or discolour your stone. The best method of cleaning is warm soapy water.

A large amount of Turquoise is synthetic these days – This improves it’s day-to-day wearability!

Tanzanite!

Tanzanite is the newest addition to the December birthstone, being the first gemstone added to the official birthstone list in almost 100 years. It is one of the most fascinating gem discoveries of the 20th century. Harry Platt (the president of Tiffany and Co.) stated: “The most Beautiful stone to be discovered in 200 years. And honestly, we might have to agree. Often described as ‘velvety’, Tanzanite comes in an array of shades, ranging from pastel and pale lilac, to rich blues, flirting with violets, lavender and cornflower blue hues on its way. In 1968, Tiffany and Co. became the biggest distributor of Tanzanite, advertising of its vivid colours, high clarity, and ability for larger cuts, caused this stone to rise massively in popularity.

Tanzanite is one of the most unique and rare gemstones we have, and works perfectly as the December birthstone. It was formed over 500 years ago under extreme geological conditions that are seen as completely unique. It is also only found in one small area of the foothills of the mountain it was discovered, and to be found anywhere else it is believed to have a on “one in a million” chance. In 1967 it was discovered in the “Merelani Hills” . It is believed that sometime in the future, we will have completely run out of this stone.

Most of the Tanzanite found on the market is actually heat treated, to enhance the blue/violet hues and remove the brown that is naturally found. The colouring of this is permanent, and there is no durability concerns. The stone typically ranges around 6-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is resistant to normal heat, light and chemicals. But if exposed to very sudden high or rapid changes in heat, it can cause the gem to crack. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended to be used to clean this stone, and therefore the best option is warm soapy water.

The below photos were kindly borrowed to us by the amazing Becky Crossan at Inkhaus Piercing!

Zircon!

Zircon is a classic gemstone, that has often caused confusion with synthetic Cubic Zirconia due to its similar name. Very few people realise that it is its own special naturally formed gemstone which ranges in a fantastic array of colours. The broad colour palette of this December birthstone includes red, blue, orange, yellow, brown and green. It is well known for its intense flashes of multicoloured light (called fire), and its brilliance. This resulted in Zircon being confused with diamonds for centuries.

Zircon is one of the many gems that are found in Sri Lanka. It is often found close by to Sapphire sources, so in addition to Sri Lanka, it is also found in Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia. Mining for Zircon in Australia dates back 4.4 billion years, possibly making it the oldest mineral as a gemmological found. Australia’s Hart Range is most commonly known for producing the Zircon birthstones in yellow and brown, however Australia dominates in Zircon mining, producing 37% of the worlds supply.

During history, Zircon has had many symbolic beliefs attached to it. In the middle ages, the most common belief was that it would help lull people into a deep and peaceful sleep, while getting plenty of rest. There were other beliefs during that time, such as Zircon bringing forth good fortune and warding away evil spirits. The ‘luck’ associated with Zircon is said to present itself in different ways. For example, it is often believed that Zircon will promote discipline and self confidence, thus leading to better opportunities.

Zircon ranges from 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is often heat treated to produce blue and colourless varieties, as well as orange, yellow and red. The gem is typically stable when exposed to light, but after prolonged exposure to bright light some heat-treated stones may revert back to their original colours (which is usually a light-ish brown). Exposure to heat can alter the colour of some zircon. Because zircon tends to wear away or chip by friction, it is best to avoid wearing it in rough conditions, such as gardening, playing sports or doing dishes. Cleaning your zircon using a soft brush and mild soap in warm water is the best method. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended for this December birthstone.

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world such as the December Birthstone, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Piercing Gift Guide 2023

It’s that time of year again, folks! It’s time for the Rogue annual piercing gift guide, where we show you all the options you have for the piercing lover in your life. And if that piercing lover is yourself, then who are we to judge?

The run up to Christmas can be a difficult time for independent businesses – Who are we to compete with the big box stores and online retailers like Amazon? If you can, always support local businesses. High quality, ethical piercing studios are the lifeblood of this industry. Support us however you can, as we will always be here to help you feel at home in your body. Whether that be through purchasing jewellery, booking for piercings, bringing us your piercings to troubleshoot, we are always here to help in ways that big retailers or chain piercing shops simply can’t.

We’ll talk you through some options for a few different piercing placements, and some more general options as well.

Piercing Gift Cards

The quickest, easiest, and sometimes the most thoughtful thing you can do as part of your piercing gift guide is to purchase a gift card. We know, gift cards have a bit of a reputation… But buying a gift card at Rogue is more like buying someone a personalised service than it is an item – Being able to come in, work with the team, get a piercing or choose your own personal piercing upgrades is a really epic gift. Don’t snub it just because!

Within the realm of gift cards – Did you know that you can use gift cards to place custom orders through Rogue with all of your favourite brands? If your partner, sibling, mum, dad, or any other loved one has been yearning after a particular piece of jewellery, or wanted something that we stocked that has since sold, then getting them a gift card to use as part or all of a custom order is probably the sweetest thing you can do!

You can read all about custom orders HERE.

Buying Jewellery

Buying jewellery is kind of like buying someone perfume – It is really difficult to capture who they are as a person and get them something that they truly love! But if you know the person well, and you get them something that they adore, then… There is literally no better feeling in the world. So if you think you can nail it, absolutely go for it!

You can buy jewellery from Rogue a couple of different ways – Firstly, you can do it in-person under the expert guidance of our jewellery specialists by booking a Jewellery Consultation here. That way you can bring reference photos, inspiration, and generally help us figure out the perfect gift to match their vibe.

You can also purchase our entire jewellery collection online! Simply head to our WEBSTORE and scroll through our vast array of options, with in-depth descriptions on sizing, gemstones, and pricing available at your fingertips. You can also click HERE to find an excellent guide on how to get the best out of our online shop!

Piercing Gift Guide – Lobe Piercings

Lobe piercings are really, really versatile. There are so many ways to style them! See the above slideshow for some inspiration on how you can purchase for your loved one. Some of our favourites are:

Piercing Gift Guide – Nose Piercings

Nose piercings are quite personal – The choices go far beyond ‘ring or stud!’ If your loved one is a ring person, we always recommend booking them in for a checkup where we can measure and fit the right size for them, unless you know the exact size they need. You might be able to do this by sneaking a ring out of their collection and bringing it to us to be measured… Studs however, are a little bit more straightforward. Especially if they already wear threadless (push-fit) jewellery!

We personally love…

Piercing Gift Guide – Cartilage Piercings

Cartilage piercings are a really fun place to buy jewellery! They tend to be versatile placements where a lot of different ends will look really cool. You can do either lots of gems and sparklies, or keep it relatively toned back!

Our recommendations are:

Thank you for reading! We will be back again next week with more piercing related awesomeness.

If you have any questions, just contact us via email or instagram! Follow us on social media to keep up to date.

See you next week!

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Birthstones – November

November is a special time in the studio, with us celebrating two birthdays within the team at Rogue. November is also special because there are two November birthstones to represent this chilly month of the year! Topaz and Citrine are the two beautiful birthstones that November babies will have the difficult decision of choosing between. Which November Birthstone would you pick?

Two Birthstones?

Many months of the year have between 1-2 birthstones that represent them, and a select few even have three! But why is this?

For the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice). Topaz was the original birthstone for November, however most Traditional birthstones have become too rare in the modern market, making them much less accessible.

The good news for our November babies, is that most Topaz and Citrine are affordable priced!

Topaz!

Topaz is the original November Birthstone. It is known for its variety of hues which include colourless, yellow, pink, blue, orange, brown and in rare instances, red. Topaz is typically a colourless gem but gains its soft and warm hues from compounds or metals trapped in the crystal structure. You may have heard of Mystic Topaz, which has a brilliant rainbow effect with a deep colour of purple. This is actually created by coating a colourless piece of Topaz with a thin artificial metal film. Most blue Topaz seen is also a colourless crystal that is treated with heat and radiation. Blue Topaz is extremely popular across the market, but is incredibly rare to be formed naturally.

Throughout the eras, the gemstone had been confused and mixed up with many others. However, it was first believed to be discovered in Germany in 1737, shortly followed in 1740 in Brazil.

Topaz’s main source has been Brazil, where it has been being mined for over two centuries. However Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and many other countries are also leading countries in the sourcing and mining of Topaz.

This beautiful gemstone has a great history of belief surrounding it too. Many people believe it comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Fire’. On the other hand, it has also been traced back to the Ancient Greeks, who believed it to give strength to its wearer. Between the 1300’s – 1600’s Europeans believed it to relieve anger and break magic spells. And for centuries in India it has been believed that Topaz worn above the heart (such as in a necklace) would provide long life, beauty and intelligence. In the modern day, Topaz is the symbol of love, warmth, and affection. Blue Topaz is the gem for a 4th wedding anniversary, while Imperial Topaz is the gem for those celebrating their 23rd year of marriage.

On The Mohs Scale of Hardness, Topaz comes in at an 8 which is quite a hard and longwearing gemstone. Care is needed when wearing and cleaning to avoid chips and cracks. To clean your Topaz gemstones or jewellery, a mild solution of warm soapy water works best. A soft polishing cloth can also be used. Harsh or abrasive cleaning products, such as bleach, should be avoided when cleaning. High heat or sudden temperature changes can cause internal breaks in Topaz, so it is recommended to avoid using steam cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners at home to clean this November Birthstone.

Anatometal – ‘Trio’ Mystic Topaz

Citrine!

Citrine is the modern gemstone for all you November Birthstone babies. This cutie is the transparent yellow to orange variety of Quartz. The hues of this gem can range from a very pale yellow colour all the way to a deep honey orange tone. Since the yellow hues are so similar to the yellow-orange hues of Topaz, they often get mistaken for each other. Citrine actually gets its yellow tone due to the presence of iron in the Quartz. The colour of Citrine is dependent on the concentration of iron found. The more iron, the deeper and richer the colour. The golden shade of Citrine is the most prized by collectors. Natural Citrines are incredibly rare, therefore in todays market most Citrine is heat treated Quartz.

Natural Citrine can be found in the Ural Mountains of Russia as well as Madagascar, Bolivia, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay. Most heat treated Amethyst-Citrine are mostly mined in Brazil, although other sources include France and the USA (particularly North Carolina, California and Colorado). The history for this gemstone though, dates back several hundreds years between 300-150BC Ancient Greece, where they used the gems as talismans. During this time, it was also found on the handles of swords and daggers in Scotland. It was believed to be ‘first’ discovered in the 1600s by a Spanish Conquistador in a Bolivian mine, where he found large deposits of Citrine and also Amethyst.

It is no surprise that Citrine shares many beliefs with Topaz, due to its shared mistaken identity throughout history . It’s warm colour is said to be a gift from the Sun, which is perfect to keep you warm during this chillier season. It is believed to help ground its wearer, while bringing warmth and happiness as well as prosperity. For some its considered a ‘healing’ gemstone, with its ‘calm and soothing’ powers. Or if you’re more of a creative mind, it is also said to spark imagination. Today though, Citrine is known as the ‘Merchants Stone’ which brings forth wealth and success. Of course, there is no scientific evidence of any of this.

Citrine comes in at around 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, but often ranging between 7-7.5 due to Citrine often being a form of Amethyst. This means they are quite a hard stone, but care should still be taken to ensure it isn’t knocked too hard, as this can lead to chipping and cracks. It is best cleaned with warm and mild soapy water, alongside a soft cloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles (such as a baby toothbrush). Steam cleaning is not recommended, as using such a high heat can risk damage, but using an ultrasonic is usually okay.

A massive thank you to RollerSkatingPiercer for the above beautiful pictures of Citrine Gemstones!

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!