Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gemstones and a Wedding by Nicola Jane Barratt

I guess we're all collectors. When we go to a new place, its nice to
bring home something to remind us of all the fun we had - something to
put on the mantle and make us think of sunny beaches on a cold winter
day. Well, moving to and living in different places lends itself to a
more extreme form of collecting for Jeff and me. In Bahrain we
collected carpets – 16 I think in all. In Zambia, it was art - giant
abstract oil paintings, sculptures in ebony and mahogany, masks,
doors, tables and beds from tribal kingdoms. So what do you think
I've chosen here? Here's a hint - I'll be able to bring all of them
home to show off every summer, on my fingers, through my ears and
around my throat - yes - it turns out that Madagascar is the latest
treasure trove of precious gems – some say the world's finest
sapphires and rubies are coming out of this island now, and as
exploration is only a few years old, gem hunters are not in abundance
and gem buyers are in even shorter supply. So the laws of supply and
demand are working in our favor and there's some beauties to be had -
that geology undegrad degree is coming in handy for something! Many
of the less precious gems are in even greater abundance. Amethysts
are literally for sale at the supermarket as are topaz and aquamarines
in sizes up to 4 carats! Jeff bought me a beautiful watermelon
tourmaline necklace – something I've always wanted. More to the
mainstream, he also bought me a 2 carat star sapphire and had it set
as a ring.

All this came about because Jimmy Freeman and Chandra decided to come
to Mad and get married! They asked us to have wedding rings made so
Jeff went about figuring it out. He came across a 2 man team of gem
dealers who are now regulars at our home! Yes – they do house calls!
They came to the house with about 50 stones of every size and hue. We
chose a lovely royal blue sapphire for C and a big red garnet for
Jimmy. Then we decided to get some ruby earrings and some sapphire
earrings as well – what the hell!! Since then we got a beauty of a
pink sapphire for Cindy and some huge jade earrings for me and really
I could keep on going for a while! Did I mention the new petrified
wood coffee table

The wedding was under a big banyan tree on the beach. The kids and i
collected coral and made an aisle for Auntie C to walk down. We
picked hibiscus flowers off the bushes nearby and made a bouquet. Jax
walked her down the aisle, Tigi was best man and ring bearer, Gabby
was flower girl. Jeff did a beautiful job with the service and Billy
and i did photos. Hope you're all well! More soon, Nikki

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