Pillaton WI Report - April 2011

Diamonds are forever . . . or do you prefer garnets, or pearls, or maybe gold? Ann Argyrides of Pengelly Jewellers in Callington, our guest speaker in April, tempted us with a gorgeous selection of pretty pieces during her presentation.

For the past eleven years, she has run the business founded by her parents during the 1950s, when literally everything was done in-house, and she has memories of her father staying up till 2 am mending clocks and watches for customers.

Ann’s passion for jewellery shone through as she talked about nature’s store yielding its precious harvest of metals, gemstones, shells . . . As she talked, she let bracelets and neck chains slide gently through her fingers, turning them to catch the light and bringing the colour of the stones alive. Carefully laid out in trays, they passed around the room, giving us a chance to hold and admire them.

Nature’s store seemed an apt description as we handled amber – imagine! Millions of years old – and the colour is determined by the tree the sap came from, so for example cherry amber has that lovely rich, almost red colour. Then jet, beloved of Queen Victoria, and essentially the remains of centuries old wood. Ann showed the differences between freshwater and open sea pearls. The freshwater ones are whiter (and cheaper), but when you realise that the open sea pearls are found by divers in far away places like Japan, you begin to understand why they are so prized.

Of course she saved the best till last and ended with the precious stones we covet so much; diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies. Diamonds are the most highly valued stones, but could we tell the difference between a ring set with real diamonds and an identical, but considerably cheaper one set with cubic zirconia, the synthetic man made stone? They circulated the room, and Ann took the vote – hands up for the real diamond ring! And of course, as WI ladies are a discerning bunch, we got it right!

The business meeting was the first chaired by our new President, Liz Llewellyn Jones, who suggested a few changes to reduce time spent on routine matters at meetings. These agreed, we moved on to discuss planned activities and diary dates for the coming month. Members are attending both the Brunel Group meeting and the County Spring Countdown meeting and items of interest from the County News were brought to our attention.

Within Pillaton, two community activities were noted; the proposal that we organise a workshop to create ceramic tiles for the project to enhance the area surrounding the Village Hall, and the Village party planned to celebrate the Royal Wedding on 29 April.

Our next meeting will be on 9 May, when we will have a lively debate on the WI Resolutions prior to the WI National AGM in Liverpool this June, where the Resolution will be put to the floor.

Pillaton WI is a friendly group and welcomes new members. We meet in Pillaton Village Hall at 7.30 pm on the second Monday of each month. Come along and meet us! If you would like to know more about Pillaton WI, please contact me on 351289.

Ann Henderson

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Last updated: 17 April 2011 Contact Us