Treasures of the Stone Age

Passionate about Scotland and its varied geology, serial adventurer and gem hunter Adam McIntosh of jewellery specialists Two Skies sources beautiful yet sustainable native Scottish gemstones to use in his bespoke creations.

It has been used to construct the mysterious standing stones of Callanish on Scotland’s Western Isles as well as the historic abbey of Iona and now Lewisian gneiss has been made into stunning jewellery.

Treasured for many centuries by the clans of Scotland, the semi-precious gemstone has been turned into beautiful pendants by the 20-year-old Two Skies company.

The business was set up by Adam McIntosh, a member of the Scottish Gemmological Association, and whose family originate from the Outer Hebrides.

From a young age, he was intrigued by the landscape around him on the Island of Lewis, especially Lewisian gneiss, which is up to three billion years old and one of the oldest rocks in the world. It is a unique composition of many minerals including feldspar, epidote, and quartz, all of which are part of the Lewisian gneiss complex.

“It is a very unique rock that you don’t see anywhere else in Scotland and is quite intriguing,” says McIntosh. “It is a very durable and hard rock – castles are built out of it – and has been traded, treasured and used for something like 5000 years.”

However, to find gneiss of gem cutting quality takes a lot of time and hard work. “You can’t just walk around Scotland whacking away at rocks,” laughs Adam.

The pendants he makes from Lewisian gneiss are wing-shaped with a high hand polish on a cotton cord with an adjustable knot so the length can be changed. “They come with a wee storybook as well that tells you all about them,” Adam explains.

It is just one of the Scottish gemstones that the company turns into stylish jewellery, designed by Adam who often gives a modern twist to centuries-old Celtic designs.

“We are proud of our provenance and the guarantee on our gems,” says Adam.