Briolette you say? Is that some take on a French baguette? .
. mmmm, no.
A briolette is an elongated pear-shaped gemstone cut with
triangular facets. Approximately 800 years ago, the cut was very popular during
the Victorian period. Although its popularity waned thereafter, this shape has
enjoyed a recent resurgence to precious and semi-precious stones. To which I
say, “YEAH !”
Because of its three dimensional shape and faceting,
briolettes are not suitable for rings or styles of flat jewelry and instead
lend themselves well to drop style pendants and necklaces.
Most luxurious example? The Napoleon Diamond Necklace. To
celebrate the birth of his son in 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte presented his second
wife, Empress Consort Marie Louise of Austria with a 263 (yes, that’s two
hundred and sixty three) carat diamond briolette necklace. It consists of 234
diamonds; 28 cut diamonds on a single thread, off set with alternating
pendeloupe and briolette diamond cuts. After her husband’s death, Mrs.
Bonaparte returned to her native Austria with the necklace. Two of the
pendeloupe clusters were removed from the necklace and made in to a set of
earrings for her sister (today, the whereabouts are unknown . . . sad face). The necklace
exchanged several hands before being purchased by Harry Winston (yes, THAT
Harry Winston . . . of Harry Winston Diamonds) in 1960. Thankfully, he decided
to keep the necklace intact rather than remove the stones and sell them
individually, as was common practice at that time. The necklace was sold that
same year, and then donated in 1962 to the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, DC, where it remains on display (I’ve seen it….two words . ..A MAZING !)
Now, you may not be able to fit a 263 carat diamond necklace
into your budget, but having a piece of jewelry with briolettes is worth the
investment. There are many price point options, and briolettes are cut in a
wide variety of different coloured gemstones. There is added life to a briolette
cut, the facets allow for extra light to enter them and refract which makes
them beautiful against any skin tone. Couple that with the elegance and extra
sparkle and you’re sure to garner compliments and curiosity when wearing this
My mom loves rum balls. So the other day I thought I would
pick some up from the local bakery as a Valentine’s gift for her. Oh My Word…..EXPENSIVE
! Yes, I know they are hand made in house. But at $3.50 each, I decided to
Two nights later I decided to bake a chocolate cake. It was
beautiful, it was moist. It was in a ring form pan. I turned the pan upside
down too early, and the cake split in the center. Half stayed in the pan, the
other half was on the cooling rack. Rather than despair, my immediate thought was
“hey…I know, I’ll make rum balls.” So I left the cake to finish cooling
completely, then put both halves on a plate, wrapped it and put it in the
The next day I took the cake out and let it come to room
temperature. Then I crumbled the cake into a bowl and added dark rum. Don’t
know how much; just kept adding rum a little at a time until the cake began to
hold together when pressed into balls. Then I rolled the moistened crumb
mixture into bite sized balls and set them aside.
Next I got out a couple shallow bowls and put my decorating
finishes in each. One for powdered sugar mixed with cocoa powder, another for
the traditional chocolate sprinkles, another for pastel and one more for
I discovered there is a trick to making the different
coatings stick. For the powdered mixture, I could just roll the ball in the
bowl to coat them, and then place them in the mini paper cups. But for the
sprinkles I had to find a way to make them stick. I found the best way was to
lightly brush the outside of each ball with a bit of the rum, and then roll it
around in the bowl with the sprinkles. A bit tedious, but it got the job done.
I have a few candy and chocolate boxes I’ve saved. I find
they are perfect for when giving a treat gift; you don’t have to worry about
getting your container back and the packaging can be recycled by the recipient.
So after placing each rum ball in a mini paper cup, I arranged them in a gold
Godiva chocolate box. Tied the box with a pretty red bow and stored it in the
refrigerator until the next day.
When mom got the box, she was confused, because a box of
chocolates is not something I would normally give her. So when she opened it,
she was delightfully surprised.
And for the next couple days I had to smile whenever I heard
her say to a guest “Want a rum ball? My daughter made them for me”. It’s nice
to have a gift appreciated, but even nicer to know it’s so well received that
the recipient wants to share it with others.