How to care for your favourite pieces of jewellery

How to care for your favourite pieces of jewellery


Caring for your Jewellery. 


I often get asked about Cleaning and Caring for Your Jewellery, whether its for a piece I’ve made or not. It really goes without saying that if you look after the jewellery you have it will last and stand the test of time. There are a few pieces of corse that will last longer than others even if you do nothing with them.

For example if you own a pair of simple diamond stud earrings that you never take off, then these aren’t really going to get loads of wear compared to say a ring because there in your ears! They will however get very dirty very quickly if you never take them off! If however you are constantly taking them in and out every day to clean or you simply don’t like wearing them at night you may find that after a while the clasp holding them will feel a little looser compared to when you first brought them. General wear and tear!

In my opinion, rings are the one piece of jewellery that should be looked after more than others. Bracelets, bangles, necklaces, pendants and earrings all of corse need looking after but rings generally are more susceptible to everyday wear. This generally means you just need to take a little more care of the rings on you fingers. I’m definitely not saying don’t wear them, but just be a little more conscious about wearing them at the gym or doing the gardening. If you wear a ring everyday and never take it off thats great, i’m a strong believer of wearing your expensive pieces. Whats the point of having a lovely piece of jewellery and only wearing it now and then.

So what to do?

Well I’ve listed a few ways in which you take take care of your rings so you can keep them looking fresh and the diamonds sparkling.

First off, if you wear hand cream and don’t take off your rings then they’ll need cleaning maybe a bit more often. The cream can get into lots of little holes and parts of the ring that can be much harder to clean. Some holes are there to let more light through, so if its clogged up with cream then the diamonds wont be looking there best.

Heavy gym user and use free weights a lot? Your rings aren’t as strong as those dumbbells! Take them off or wear gloves. I’ve seen a lot of damage done by weights at the gym so by just padding up your hands with gloves will do the world of difference.

Of corse if your job is very hands on then you will see your ring wearing more than someone who sits a computer or desk all day. I’m not saying take it off for work, its entirely up to you. I just want to make you more aware.

Now to cleaning.

A soft toothbrush works wonders! Hot hot water, making sure you don’t burn yourself, fairy liquid and a soft toothbrush. Use the toothbrush inside the ring to get into the little holes and round the diamonds. The hot water works to loosen the dirt and the Fairy works well as a degreaser to remove the oils built up on the ring. This is also very cost effective. There are other products on the market that work ok but in my experience this method works just as well. You need to be careful if you have a ring with other stones like Pearls or Turquoise as these cant really be submerged in hot water for long periods. They are very absorbent stones and contain natural oils that can be damaged if care isn’t taken. This might be more for a professional. For diamond rings on the other hand this method works wonders!


If you have scratches that you’d like removed then this again is one for a professional. Don’t try and remove marks yourself as you could easily damage the ring. This generally isn’t too expensive, but varies from ring to ring and places to take them. I’d be more than happy to give you a quote, just get in contact via my Contact Page. 


Thanks for reading.


The Difference between Platinum and Gold

The difference between Gold and Platinum. 

The Difference between Platinum and Gold. Is Platinum really better than Gold? How strong is platinum really? These are just a couple of questions I’m going to tackle in this short but sweet post.

To answer these questions we have to understand a little history of Precious Metals, how it’s used and why we like it so much. I’ll also be taking a dive into the Molecules that make up these metals to see how they behave under force.

Gold has been used for thousands of years for making Jewellery. It’s very colour suggests Luxury, expense and shine. Gold in its rawest form is soft and very malleable, meaning it’s very easy to make things with. Gold is so soft if you had a 999 fine gold bar 2mm thick and a few centimetres long you could easily bend this with your own fingers. Because gold is so soft it’s usually mixed with other precious metals like silver to bring the gold content down to make the metal a little stronger. For example 9ct Gold in the Uk has a Hallmark code of 375. Simply this means that there is 375grams of fine gold per 1000grams of metal. Meaning there is 625grams of other metals per 1000grams like silver mixed with the gold. The more gold is added the higher carat of Gold the metal contains.

Gold is also a metal that doesn’t rust, corrode, stain or change colour. It’s also a great conductor so it’s used in wiring and circuit boards. Polished Gold is also a great heat reflector to keep objects cool.

My point is that Gold has so many different uses and is unlike any other metal on earth.


So why do we all want Platinum now for our Jewellery? 

Over the years white metals have become more popular. Sterling silver has always been popular for making Jewellery and Silver cups ect.. its very soft and malleable and even has healing properties. The problem with silver is that it’s quite a dirty metal, its softer than 18ct gold, it Tarnishes easily and is much more readily available than gold meaning its cheap. In older Jewellery silver was often used to set in the diamonds and then the rest of the band would be gold. Because silver is soft this made for the perfect metal to set in precious stones like Diamonds into Jewellery without too much risk of breaking the stone when setting.

During the early 17th Century Platinum was discovered but wasn’t used in Jewellery until the late 17th century due to the difficulty in working with its high melting point. Platinum soon became a popular alternative for collets and settings due to its harder wearing qualities.

As the years go on white metals became more popular and white gold was introduced, a blend of Gold and white metals to bring the carat down but keeping the metal as white as possible. Due to White gold not really being completely white, its then finished with a plating of rhodium. In recent years palladium is now mixed with the Gold to give a much whiter finish, reducing the need for plating as often. This is really where platinum comes in. Platinum doesn’t need plating at all, so this and its Harder wearing qualities makes for the perfect combination for an Expensive luxury engagement ring that will stand the test of time.

There is however another side to Platinum that isn’t well-known to the average buyer or sales person. Platinum is a great metal for use in jewellery making, when polished correctly it has a brilliant shine. Its a very dense metal, so it feels heavy and substantial. Platinum is harder wearing than all the other Precious metals too so it will last you longer. But …. Platinum is still a soft metal. Its will still scratch, it will still break, and it will still go out of shape when hit hard enough. In fact in some cases platinum will have heavier or deeper marks compared to at 18ct ring put through the same stress. This doesn’t mean its not a hardwearing metal but it does mean its just as venerable to damage.

Taking a closer look into the structure of platinum reveals that all the molecules are very tightly compact, as you would expect from such a dense metal. However when Platinum is struck with an object with force the small molecules move slightly. They move in the direction of the force implemented. This means that if you had a Platinum ring and you went to the gym and picked up dumbbells with a metal mesh grip you would be marking the metal and you’d be able to see it. It works the same for flat smooth objects too. If you had a platinum ring and at the Gym you picked up dumbbells with a completely smooth metal grip. This would mark the platinum but over a greater surface area, meaning you wouldn’t really notice a mark even though it has marked, much like a Planishing hammer. My point is that platinum will mark and scratch like other metals.


So why is Platinum harder wearing then?

Simply put, Platinum is harder WEARING because the particles and molecules move! Your noticed I empathise the word harder WEARING as opposed to Harder metal. Platinum isn’t a hard metal … its a harder wearing metal compared to Silver, Gold and Palladium. Because the particles move and don’t chip off as much, they just move about. Meaning you may have a few marks and scratches over the years but most of the platinum is still there. The particles of 9ct Gold or 18ct Gold on the other hand don’t move as much so they chip off more easily. Have you ever noticed how older Gold rings seem to be thinning round the back of the shank? This is where most of the wear and tear happens. I’m not saying a platinum ring wont do this of corse, because it will, but over a longer time. The question should be, what metal is actually harder.. 18ct Gold or Platinum. The answer is, there both as hard as each other. Platinum will last longer but will incur more marks over time. 18ct will incur less marks but will wear down over a shorter period.

So what metal is better?

I dont really think one metal is better than the other. There are advantages for having both.

For Platinum, we don’t need to have it Re-plated every 12 months. Its as shiny as other white metals when polished and finished correctly. White gold can be just as durable on the correct piece of jewellery. So really it comes down to personal taste and professional advice. Check them both out before you decide and base your decision on what you feel comfortable with given the facts.

Thanks for reading.

Guide to buying an engagement ring

In the market for an Engagement ring? Look no further. I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help.

About My Guide.

When choosing an engagement ring, wedding ring or diamond, there are many factors to consider: What shape, what size, what colour, what quality, what cut, what setting?  The list can be overwhelming.  When investing your money to buy jewellery it is important to understand how those characteristics affect the appearance and price.

I love to help with your decisions and so I have created a comprehensive guide to help you make sense of the many options.

An engagement ring should represent your love and commitment to your partner, so choosing the ring can be daunting.  My guide aims to help you with the key decisions such as size, shape, setting and budget.

How Much Should I Spend?

This is a big decision and should be the first step in choosing your ring.  Tradition suggests an investment of between one and three month’s salary, but I really think it is most important to spend what you are comfortable with.

What Setting?

Once you have a budget in mind, a great second step is to choose a setting or collet as it’s sometimes referred to.  I would recommend picking a setting prior to the diamond as this allows you to choose a setting to compliment the diamond.  A further advantage is that you can work out how much money you have left for the diamond.

The two main types of setting are claw and bezel, with claw being the most popular.

Claw Setting

This setting holds the diamond in place with ‘claws’. You can have up to 8 claws to hold your diamond.  This style of setting allows light to freely travel through and around the diamond, ensuring maximum brilliance and sparkle is achieved.  It also draws emphasis to the most important part of the ring, the diamond.

The number of claws you have is determined by the shape of the diamond and personal taste.  Four claws are a good place to start and will let in most light.  Six or eight claws are a little more secure, but allow less light to shine through the diamond.  Four claws are still secure, as long as the diamond has been set correctly and is checked every 12-18 months.

Bezel Setting
This setting creates a rim or collar around the diamond and the main difference between it and a claw setting is its style.  Although claw settings are more popular, the bezel setting is sometimes considered more modern or contemporary. The bezel setting offers better protection to your diamond as the diamond is sunk into the metal and so is recommended for people with active lives. The disadvantage of this setting is mainly the lack of light that penetrates through the diamond.

Side Diamonds
Another option for your ring is to add side diamonds, these can really set your ring apart. The aim here is not to distract from the main diamond, but to enhance its allure. Again, this is personal taste and I could advise you as to what might be suitable during an appointment.

What Rock?

The obvious choice and by far the most popular is a diamond, but I can use any rock you desire. Maybe your girlfriend has dropped hints that she would like something different?!  Perhaps a Sapphire or an Emerald?  Generally, you can’t go wrong with a girl’s best friend–the diamond.  For a comprehensive guide to buying a diamond follow my link to my website: diamond guide

What Metal?

I work with both gold and platinum.  A good starting point would be to choose a colour and this can often be based on what your partner already wears.  The options include yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum.  The most popular trend at the moment is white (White Gold or Platinum).  White gold is a silvery grey in colour and platinum is virtually the same.

Coloured Golds

Yellow, rose and white gold are all ‘real’ gold.  When gold is used to make jewellery, pure gold is not used as it is too soft.  Instead alloys of other metals such as silver, palladium and coper are added to it.  The type of alloy used determines the gold’s colour.  All colours retain the same percentage of pure gold and therefore both their cost and quality characteristics are very similar.  The percentage of pure gold determines the carat (not to be confused with carat, a diamond’s weight).

Carat Gold

If you have decided to go for gold, then I would recommend using 18 carat (18ct) gold.  It contains 75% pure gold and is the best quality for making rings.  If a cheaper option is specifically requested, we can use 9ct (which is 38% pure gold).  Higher carats such as 22ct are too soft for making diamond jewellery and so are not recommended.

Platinum vs White Gold


In short, platinum is a more durable, hardwearing, heavier and expensive metal than


white gold. It also remains white and shiny for its lifetime unlike white gold.

The process of making white gold ‘white’ includes a plating of rhodium.  This plating


gives white gold a better initial shine in comparison to platinum; however, this plating wears off over time.  Because white gold is made from pure gold, as the plating wears off a tinge of yellow will be seen.  We therefore recommend that white gold is re-plated approximately every 18 months.


Having engraving on the engagement ring, or not?  Again, it’s personal preference.  If you’re going for a vintage look, then some rings can look great with hand engraving around the shank.  If however you’re unsure, then it may be best to go without engraving; you can’t go wrong with a classic look.  You could always opt for engraving after you have proposed.  Engraving the date you got engaged is always a nice personal touch.  Engraving is one of my specialities and lots of our designs incorporate hand engraving, making them truly unique to you.  From patterns to dates and names, just ask; the possibilities are endless.

To conclude, there are many different variations of styles and metals and diamonds, so my best advice is to give yourself enough time.  You know your partner better than anyone, so you are the best tool in choosing the perfect engagement ring.  Ask questions if you’re unsure about what you’re buying. You can never ask too many questions.

I hope I’ve helped in some way.

Tanzanite And Diamond Ring

My Client and The Tanzanite Diamond Ring.

My Client. 

First off I should say I love blue stones. So I was pretty excited to get a call to potentially make a Tanzanite and Diamond ring. My Client wanted something to wear on special occasions but without being to dramatic. They wanted a tanzanite, oval and nothing too big. Its always nice when a clients knows exactly what they want. The tanzanite was to be the focal point of the ring. Diamonds were also to be incorporated into the ring. My client showed me examples in the way of pictures to give me a good idea of what they had in mind.

The design.

I set about drawing up a design of the ring I thought would work best biased on the information I took from my client. A ring with an Oval Tanzanite, some diamonds on the shoulders and nothing too big. I then showed the design to my client and we had the go ahead. The next stage was sourcing the tanzanite and showing them the diamonds. I like to give my clients as much control over the design and selection of the stones as possible. By doing this I feel the piece of Jewellery becomes much more personal.


After showing the customer the stones and the deign as been agreed its time to start making. I first start by making up the collet for the tanzanite. Its all done by hand so taking my time and concentrating is crucial. I then make the shoulder collets and fit the three pieces together. Once this is complete I make the shank and fit it to the head. After all the pieces are made and tacked in place, its then time to solder all the joins with hard solder. Once the assembly stage is complete the ring gets a good clean up and sent for Hallmarking at the Goldsmiths Hall Assay office.

Setting The Stones And Showing The Client. 

Once the ring is back from the Assay office its then time to start setting in the stones. This is a crucial stage of the making process. Making sure the seats for every stone is cut correctly and no movement is visible insures the stones are properly set and will not fall out. A final polish and Rhodium plate and its ready for my client.

My client came to pick it up and she loved it. She was so pleased that we were able to make something that was exactly what she wanted. It looked beautiful on her finger and I’m really pleased she was so happy.