As the title suggests, buying an engagement ring is one thing, investing in a piece of jewellery that is symbolic to your relationship and that will stand the test of time is another. Having trained as a goldsmith in the jewellery repair business many years ago it pains me to see the standard of rings for sale in many shops and online. The money saved on buying something cheap at home or abroad will not be worth it when you end up paying for costly repairs or in many cases the making of a new ring because what you now have is not salvageable.
Technology is a wonderful thing, if used correctly and in the jewellery industry, as in other industries the use of technologies such as CAD and 3D printing bring possibilities of design detail that were very difficult to achieve before. However it also brings an ability to produce low quality, mass manufactured products that are not suitable for long term wear…. in particular for engagement and wedding rings.
Some things to look at when choosing / investing in an engagement ring.
*Weight – Precious metal jewellery is bought and sold based on weight .. if its very cheap, its also most likely not very heavy or well made.
*Gemstones – quality of stones.. are the bigger diamonds certified with a proper lab report (GIA,IGI, HRD) that has been verified by a reputable diamond merchant?
Small diamonds of high quality offer more bling than large low standard material. Wether you choose to have a Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby etc as the centrepiece of your ring you should buy the best within your budget. We try to advise our Clients and source the stones to suit each individuals preferences without compromising the quality we want to put our name to. We Source our Diamonds and Coloured Gemstones from the most ethical and knowledgable suppliers available.
*Setting styles – Avoid rings with invisible set diamonds (multiple stones that are held together to look like one larger stone).. they are nothing but trouble. Small Diamonds that are set by hand by experienced diamond setters are less likely to fall out than mass produced equivalents.
*The metal – As we all know, water, ice and steam are all forms of the same thing. Metal too has various states of hardness depending on the way it has been processed which is why handworked jewellery tends to be superior to mass produced products. Avoid Nickel based white golds as they can be quite troublesome for various reasons.
Alchemy Jewellery is an appointment only based Bespoke Jewellery service.. We have all the expert advise you need. You can make an appointment by calling Brian on (353) 0 879363769 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing You all the very best for 2018. We hope that 2018 is an exciting and creative year. Here are a few personal favourites from the past 12 months. A big Thank You to all of our clients who gave us the opportunity to make pieces that are as unique as they are. Your custom, trust and patience was much appreciated.
I had a bit of time over the Christmas to take some short videos of some stocked Gemstones. A few of them are already planned for rings but you can see how they are a great way to inspire a design.
I find the best way to design is by listening to my clients aspirations and ideas, learning a little about them and personalising the Jewellery. Sometimes with rings you need to take into account the type of fingers they have and advise when needed. Sourcing the centrepiece gemstone is always a good way to start and designing around that rather than the other way around. Many of these Gems are very much one offs and it would be a long wait to find a match for them if you had a client who wanted earrings for example.
Best wishes to everyone for 2017 and thank you to all our customers who we had the pleasure to work with in 2016. Here are a few of my favourites from last year.
2016 was the year of Red/Rose Gold becoming popular again along with traditional yellow gold, Platinum and Coloured Gemstones such as Rubies, Sapphire and Tourmalines.
Congratulations to all the couples who got Married or Engaged in 2016!
There were challenges for us too, with wedding rings with hinges and wood inserts to sourcing gemstones and creative designs.
We have already started on some new exciting pieces for 2017.
• Budget & Prices – Have a rough budget in mind and generally a middle priced/quality jewellers would be a decent guide to cost. Remember that you get what you pay for and gold and diamonds are worldwide controlled prices so beware of buying in places like Dubai, New York and Antwerp. In my considerable experience I have observed that people rarely get both good prices and good quality when buying abroad…. And you also have to consider the after sales service.
• Diamond Quality – I personally recommend and use only D,E,F and sometimes G colour Diamonds with a clarity of “Si” minimum. With good to excellent cut grades and symmetry. Preferred lab certs would be IGI , HRD or GIA and forget the rest.
• Diamond Size – This is something that should be controlled by your budget and should be secondary to quality as a small high quality diamond will give more “bling” than a large, heavily included, yellowish stone. Avoid rings with multiple stones joined to make an illusion of one large stone – these are a disaster waiting to happen and shops simply should not sell them.
• Coloured Gemstones – Consider a beautiful Sapphire or Ruby etc. as the centerpiece of your ring…. They can offer size and beauty at a lower cost to large diamonds. Sapphires come in all colours including green, yellow, pink, purple. Emeralds are beautiful but not the most practical for everyday wear. Coloured stones are very much in trend at the moment.
• Metal Choice – Depending on budgets, lifestyle and whether you are matching another ring, there are arguments for and against each precious metal. Platinum works great as a tough white metal and is not much more expensive than 18ct white gold, Palladium and 9ct yellow gold are particularly good for gents wedding rings due to their affordability and strength. We can advise you well here and beware of some misinformed information that is passed around regarding some metals being soft etc… All precious metals are soft if not prepared and worked correctly.
Yellow Gold holds its shine best of all and is trending back in popularity.
• Design – All our products are Bespoke so they are made to your specific requirements. No matter how elaborate the design is, a wedding or engagement ring should be made with longevity and practical wearing in mind. If a ring is made with sufficient weight it can become a family heirloom for generations to come.