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Settings For Engagement Rings

Settings for engagement rings. 

So you’re looking to propose to your loved one, you head out to the high street or fire up the Mac to start looking and all of a sudden theres more than one type of Engagement ring available with just about any shape of diamond you can think of. Not only that, once you’ve made your mind up on a shape of diamond you have a choice of settings to go with that particular stone. The choices that lie before you can sometimes be a bit overwhelming! 

Fear not! I am here to help and give you some things to think about.  

Every stone needs a seat. 

So you know what shape stone / diamond you want to go for and now you need a ring for it. The first thing you need to decide is the setting. This is the part of the ring that holds the stone / diamond in place. This is without question the most important part of any ring. Get the setting style right and the stone you’ve chosen will be shown off to its very best. Get it wrong and it could jeopardise the stones beautiful sparkle. 

Light

 

A diamond (or any stone for that matter) is as only as good as the light around it. After all, you cant see a diamond in the dark, no matter how expensive it might be. If the setting is big and bulky, you’re going to be hiding that stone from all the lovely light that could be bouncing its way through the diamond and around the facets (little flats around a stone to help reflect light).

Strength. 

The setting (or collet as its sometimes known) has to be strong. After all, you don’t want that expensive stone popping out on an idle Tuesday afternoon while you’re shopping.. because your never find it no matter how hard you try. 

Light vs Strength.

More light into a diamond means less metal round the diamond. However less metal can sometimes mean less strong.. but it doesn’t have to!

My advise, try and get a bit of both. Something that shows off the diamond but wont fall apart when you least expect it. Having a Setting thats handmade instead of cast will instantly make the setting stronger. If there are four claws on a Round stone, look at bottom of the claws not just the top where the stone sits. Most settings get their strength from the base of the collet, where everything meets together and attaches to the ring. 

Most importantly ask questions. Google is a great tool for finding inspiration and seeing what might work well. Ask your Goldsmith to give you some advise on settings and see if they could do a drawing if they can to see what fits. 

Process of elimination. 

I see many clients thinking they have no idea what they want or where to start. You have to start somewhere so my advise would be to get stuck in. It’s fairy easy to work out what you don’t like and work from there. I like to think in stages. Stage one might be the Diamond, finding the right shape and quality to suite your budget. Each stage leads on from the last so there’s no point thinking about the rest of the ring until you have the first stage cracked. 

Hopefully this has helped in a small way. If you’d like any advise on Engagements rings or any rings in general don’t hesitate to contact me! 

A little history of Sapphires.

 

A Little History Of Sapphires 

Sapphires are one of my favourite gemstones, they’re quite hard, they come in various different colours and each colour comes in different shades and quality. My favourite shade has to be blue, especially when it sits next to a diamond. A vibrant Ceylon Sapphire can really be a beautiful stone. I made such a ring recently, a three stone ring set with 2 lovely quality diamonds and a beautiful Ceylon Sapphire in the centre.

 

Ancient Persians

It was once believed by the Ancient Persians that the stone sapphire was the pedestal on which the world perched, thus giving the sky its colour blue. 

 

Greece and Rome

Ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary folks thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings.

Sapphires are comprised of the blue variety of the mineral Corundum. They are also valued highly for their vivid hue, with violet shades being particularly sought after. This beautiful gemstone can come in other colours too such as yellow and pink, although blue is the most common of these precious gems.

 

Colour

An orangy pink sapphire is called padparadscha. This means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese. The language spoken in Sri Lanka. Stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labeled with this marketable name. There’s no telling how many padparadschas have been sifted from the Sri Lankan river gravel throughout history. Sri Lankans have a special affection for the color that’s traditionally been linked with their country.

 

Caring for a Sapphire

Sapphires are actually fairy hard compared to other gemstones like Emeralds and Tanzanites.  This however doesn’t mean they will withstand anything you throw at them. Typically on rings there will be more wear on a sapphire where the facets meet the table of the stone. This is caused by day to day wear if you never take the ring off.

If you own a sapphire ring then I’d highly recommend removing it when you’re at the Gym or doing the gardening because of the wear than can take. Diamonds will take this kind of punishment but sapphires are a little less forgiving.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning a sapphire is pretty simple really. Warm water, washing up liquid and a soft tooth brush works wonders. Never go from hot to cold water, this can cause serious damage to the stone. Keep the temperature the same throughout your time cleaning your jewellery and dry off with a clean towel.

You could also use a polishing cloth with impregnated polish to bring up a great shine. These cloths are available to purchase at Jason Keith Jewellery.

Thanks for reading!

Fun Facts About Jewellery

Fun facts about Jewellery!

People are really curious about Gold these days, especially since the price has been consistently going up, so I thought I’d share some cool, interesting and practical information about the precious metal:

GOLD PURITY

Pure gold is too soft or everyday wear, so it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel and zinc to give it strength and durability.

Karatage is represented by a number followed by abbreviation “k” which indicates purity or how much of the metal in a piece of Jewellery is gold. This signifies proportion of gold content, and should not be confused with “carat,” which is a unit of weight measurement for precious stones such as diamonds. Karatage is expressed in 24ths, making 24k= 100% gold, 18k= 75% gold, 14k= 58.3% gold and 10k= 41.7% gold.

GOLD COLOR

The Colour of gold is determined by two factors:

1) The type of metal alloys included; and

2) The percentage of each metal alloy

Yellow Gold:  natural gold and colour-saturated alloys are what give yellow gold Jewellery its rich shine. The alloys most commonly used are copper with a red hue and silver featuring a green hue. An expert mixture of copper, silver and pure gold gives its signature warmth.

White Gold: a silvery-white character is what makes white gold Jewellery so appealing. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys (nickel, zinc, copper, manganese) that are silvery-white in nature. It is often Rhodium plated to provide a bright non-tarnishing finish. (Look for our future blog that will be all about Rhodium).

Rose Gold:  The beautiful pink hue of rose gold Jewellery is created by using a copper alloy. The overall percentage of metal alloys is the same for rose gold as it is for yellow or white, there is just a higher proportion of copper used.

GOLD PRICING

*Gold Jewellery prices are dependent upon the purity of the gold or karat weight, the market value of gold, and the level of craftsmanship and design of each piece of Jewellery.

GOLD ATTRIBUTES

Gold, element Au, was one the first known metals. It was the second metal to be worked by humans as early as 3000 B.C. The gold standard defines the world’s currency system, whereby money represents a value in gold. It has unique qualities: resistant to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. Although it is very strong, Gold is also the most malleable of all precious metals.

At Jason Keith Jewellery we’ll  buy your unwanted Gold for Cash!

History Of Diamonds

 History Of Diamonds

 

 

 

 

 

They form deep in the earth under extreme heat and pressure. Made solely of Carbon, Most Diamonds were formed at depths of 93 to 155 miles in the earths mantle and most natural diamonds have ages of between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old.

It all started in India, where diamonds were gathered from the rivers and the streams. Diamonds have been known in India for at least 3000 years but most likely 6000! Many historians estimate that India was trading with Diamonds from as early as the forth century BC! 

As time went on, India’s diamonds found there way to Western Europe and by the 1400s Diamonds were becoming fashionable amongst Europe’s most wealthiest.

By the 1700s Indias Diamonds supplies had begun to dwindle. Brazil had suddenly emerged as an important source for diamonds. They were first discovered in the pans of gold miners as they sifted through the gravel of local rivers. When brazil reached its full potential, they dominated the diamond market for more than 150 years.  

So Why do we wear Diamond engagement rings as Apposed to other Gemstones?

While Engagement rings have been around for centuries, the use of diamonds hasn’t really been around that long. This is simply because there weren’t all that many diamonds readily available on the world market, so diamond engagement rings were pretty rare even up until the late 19th Century. An early exception was Archduke Maximilian of Austria whom proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 with a Diamond Engagement ring. 

So if diamonds weren’t used, what was? 

 

Well during the 16th and 17th century A Gimmal ring was often used as an engagement ring. A Gimmal ring is a ring with two or three links that fit together to form one complete ring, a bit like a puzzle. They were also known as joint rings in Elizabethan England.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, such rings were fashionable in England, Germany, and some other countries. The engaged couple would wear one link each and rejoin them to use as a wedding ring. With triple link rings, a third person could witness the couple’s vows and hold the third part of the ring until the marriage. 

Ancient Times

Although ancient Egyptians are often credited for inventing the engagement ring and Ancient greeks with having adopted the tradition, the actual history of the engagement ring can only really be reliably traced back to Ancient Rome. In the second century, the Roman bride-to-be was given two rings, a gold one which she wore in public, and one made of iron which she wore at home while attending to household duties.

Victorian Era

During the victorian era diamonds were found in 1866 in South Africa. By 1872 the diamond mines were producing more than a Million carats every year! As a result, those of lesser means were now able to afford diamonds and production was increased.

De Beers And Marketing. 

The popularity of the diamond engagement ring really declined after the first world war and even more so in The United States during the great depression. In the 1930s the price of diamonds collapsed and the diamond industry was in a very bad way. In 1938 De Beers alone started a marketing campaign that would change the way we see engagement rings today. After the initial market researching phase, advertising started in 1939. The very first stage of the campaign was educating people on the 4 Cs, Cut, Clarity, Colour and carat. This new information on the Gemstone gave interest and people started to respond. 

More information on the 4 Cs can be found on my Diamond Guide.

Hollywoods biggest stars and Celebrity’s were wearing diamonds. This encouraged leading fashion designers to take note and diamond rings became a new trend.  

By 1947 the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” was introduced. This slogan alone helped underscore the diamond’s significance as an enduring, unbreakable symbol of love and is still used to this day.