I am happy to produce jewellery in any of the precious metals available. The most common of these in use today are as follows :
Available in three colours, yellow, white and rose. Generally speaking 9ct and 18ct are the most popular. Whilst 22ct yellow gold is very soft and rarely used, but it is occasionally useful when a
piece requires very strong colour.
Sterling silver is not often used in the manufacture of fine jewellery any more, as it is soft and has a tendency to tarnish. But I like to use it for contemporary pieces that can then oxidize to great effect; the Anvil and The Lough Hyne Collection are good examples of this technique.
Platinum is 95% pure. It is a dense metal with a very high melting point, and requires many years of experience and high levels of skill to produce jewellery from this ‘King of Metals’. It does not tarnish, so remains exquisitely white forever.
When purchasing a diamond, it is important to be familiar with the ’4 C’s’. These factors determine the grade, and accordingly the price of the stone. The Four C’s are Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. Cut This determines the brilliance of your diamond, it’s sparkle if you like. Cut refers to the angles and proportions of the stone. A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light form one facet to another and back up through the table. Poorly cut stones will appear lifeless and dull. The quality of the cut varies enormously from stone to stone and is an important consideration when choosing a diamond.
Colour is an important factor, colourless diamonds are relatively rare therefore more expensive, but they do not have to be colourless to be beautiful. The colours G and H are still virtually white to all but the highly trained eye, and would be excellent value for money. The colour scale is as follows:
- G-J-Near colourless
- K-N-Slightly tinted
- O-Q Tinted
- R-Z-Fancy colour (champagnes and cognacs)
Clarity refers to imperfections in a diamond, called inclusions. They are naturally occurring characteristics and can look like tiny clouds, bubbles, feathers or black spots. Inclusions block light and detract from a stone’s beauty. A diamond free of inclusions is very rare and therefore very valuable. The type and number of flaws in a diamond will determine the grade of clarity and the value. The scale is as follows :
- (Fl) Flawless : No internal inclusions or surface blemishes visible under magnification.
- (IF) Internally Fawless : No interior imperfections but minor surface blemishes are visible under magnification.
- (VVS1-VVS2) Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions, very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
- (VS1-VS2) Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10 x magnification SI-1 SI-2: Slight inclusions – minor imperfections visible under magnification, although not easily detectable to the untrained eye.
- (Pique) These are obvious inclusions visible to the naked eye and are not recommended for jewellery.
- (Carat) Carat is a gemologist’s standard that measures a diamond’s weight. One carat is divided into 100 “points”, so that a diamond of 50 points (pt) weighs 0.50ct. Larger diamonds are found less frequently which in turn makes them more valuable, however carat weight alone does not determine value. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can differ greatly in price, due to cut, colour and clarity. Size isn’t everything!
Cut : The often neglected cut, is all important important. The brilliance of a diamond i.e. its sparkle, is entirely down to the way it is cut, and the symmetry of the facets. This is where the life of the stone presides, poor cut, no sparkle!
Precious and semi-precious stones
Precious stones, where traditionally Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald. But these days good examples of lesser known stones, such as Demantoid Garnets, Aquamarine and Topaz, command a premium. Pearls are held in high esteem in the world of jewellery, and strictly speaking are not stones – but nonetheless stunning!
There is a wide spectrum of semi-precious stones in different shapes, sizes, color, brilliance and clarity. These stones are classified into different groups, species, and varieties. Semi precious stones when properly cut and polished are transformed into beautiful gems.