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Acrostic Jewellery

In A Nutshell:
Acrostic Jewellery relays covert communiques (normally romantic) by using the first letter of each gemstone it features to spell out a secret word!  Take a ring for example festooned with a Diamond, an Emerald, an Amethyst, a Ruby, an Emerald, a Sapphire and Tourmaline – and the coded word “DEAREST” is deciphered!
Potted History:
The French were early adopters of this trend with Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France, being an enormous fan.  The jeweller to the French court a certain Jean-Baptiste Mellerio is cited as being the relatively modern brain-child of acrostic jewellery (albeit it had been used thousands of years ago) and he created masterpieces for his Queen spelling out “J’adore!”  Napolean Bonaparte too enjoyed the style of gemstone coded treasures and had numerous pieces commissioned for both his wives, Empress Josephine and Empress Marie Louise!  Back in Blighty the Georgians were amused by it and thus spending small fortunes on this trope and by the Victorian era, Acrostic jewellery was really in vogue whilst enjoying further resurgence in the Sixties.  Not only was the notion of surreptitious signifiers suitably clever but it marries the idea that gemstones are eternal reminders of ‘lurve’!
Acrostic Words:
Popular acrostic words used in French jewellery were: j’adore,” “amour,” “souvenir,” and “amitié,” whilst in British jewellery words such as dear, dearest, esteem, forever, love and regard were favoured.
Deciphering abstruse bejewelled words isn’t always plain sailing as depending on the era, gemstones had differing names, for example the Garnet in today’s lexicon started off as Vermeil and would have oft been used as the V in ‘love.’ Pieces may at times not spell a word but instead spell a name for instance in 1862 Edward VII proposed to Alexandra of Denmark with a Garrard & Co acrostic ring!  The arrangement of gemstones: beryl, emerald, ruby, topaz and jacinth (a type of zircon) spelt the Kings nickname “Bertie.”
Beryl, Aquamarine, Ruby, Opal, Quartz, Uranite, Emerald
Rubellite, Opal, Citrine, Kunzite, Sapphire

An A-Z of Acrostic Gemstones:

A Agate, Amethyst, Aquamarine
B Beryl, Brilliant (meaning a brilliant cut Diamond)
C Citrine, Carnelian, Chrysolite (also known as Peridot), Chrysoprase, Chalcedony (Agate)
D Diamond
E Emerald
G Garnet (used to be known as Vermeil)
H Hematite
I Iolite, Iris (Agate), Idocrase (Vesuvianite)
J Jacinth (variety of Zircon), Jade, Jasper, Jet
K Kunzite
L Lapis Lazuli
M Malachite
N Nephrite (Jade), Natrolite
O Opal, Onyx, Olivine (Peridot)
P Peridot, Pearl, Paraiba (Tourmaline)
Q Quartz
R Ruby, Rubellite, Rose Quartz
S Sapphire, Sardonyx
T Topaz, Turquoise
U Uranite (used in Cloisonné jewellery)
V Vermeil (yellow Garnet), Verdelite (Tourmaline), Vesuvianite (Idocrase)
X Santhite (variety of Vesuvianite)
Z Zircon (not to be confused with cubic zirconia)

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