If you want to buy fleur de sel, you have a few options. You could head to flea markets, which are great for picking up odd flea bargains on anything from eggs to chocolate. But if you’re buying for your own household, there are several other options. And some of them actually are better than others.
Fleur de sable is a very delicate stone mined deep underground in France. It involves collecting the soft, almost waxy, layer of coarse salt that forms on the surface of deep coastal pools along the French coastline. Because it forms so naturally beneath very limited circumstances, and since it has to be harvested manually with specialized sieves, fleur de sel actually is, by any measurable measure, an expensive item…
So just how do you know you’re getting a good one? Well, it’s important to understand that there are several different grades of fleur de sel. The highest grades involve more time and effort in harvesting the stone, as well as more specialized equipment. (The stone is extremely delicate and must be harvested by hand with specialized equipment. Many of the other techniques used for harvesting other types of fine sea salt are no longer used for this one.)
The second most important factor in choosing fleur de sel for your next jewelry purchase is moisture content. Moisture content is relative to weight. A light amber shade indicates a high moisture content, while a pale pink indicates a lower moisture content. So the lighter your crystal salt is, the more moisture it will hold. Deeper colors such as sea green signify a lower moisture content, which would make a good salt for a more casual or beach-going style.
A third factor to consider when shopping for fleur de sel crystals is cut. All natural sea salt is mined in the same way: from the bottom up. This means that all crystals are unique, and each cut is representative of the ore deposits from which they were mined. For this reason, each piece of jewelry created with these crystals has its own distinctive look, as well as its own distinctive cut. You want to be sure that your bridal jewelry has a smooth, rounded cut that reflects light and enhances the brightness of your skin and hair colors.
While fleur de sel crystals may be more expensive than many other gemstones, they are still quite affordable. They are harvested in the same manner as much more expensive gemstones, so the moisture content is very low, making them highly desirable and beautiful. They make wonderful accents for weddings held in warm climates because they are cool underfoot, but they can also suit the casual styles of those held in cool indoor environments.
When you buy fleur de sel crystals, you not only get to enjoy their beauty, but you also get to learn a bit more about the place where they were harvested. In some places, the harvesting of this precious gemstone takes place close to shore, while in other places it takes place inland, away from populated areas. This allows a greater diversity in the color of the gems mined from the devious snorkeling and diving areas that these crystals come from. The natural colors of the crystals mined from each area do tend to blend together though, so you don’t have to worry too much about getting the perfect hue every time you wear your jewelry.
Because fleur de sel comes from the sea floor, it is naturally white or near white. As it melts near the ocean, it changes its color to a rose-colored hue due to the mixing of the salt and the sunlight. The high mineral content in the seawater also enables the salt to change its color. Some people believe the color does change because of the minerals dissolved in the water, but the truth is that the change is most likely due to the evaporation of the salt on the bottom of the ocean. Most collectors choose to buy their fleur de sel jewelry from jewelry shops where they can find the top layer of the crystal to be harvested by hand.