Monday, October 12, 2009

Diamonds are forever...not!

Diamonds are very hard, an easy comparison would be ice. If you hit either of them with a hammer they will shatter. So over time many diamonds collect small chips where they receive hits, its life, there is nothing you can do about it...well not wearing your jewellery when doing crazy things will help!
Diamonds can be damaged by each other, try not to let them bang against each other. I have seen a pair of rings that someone's grandmother hard worn next to each other for 50 years. the diamonds had rubbed back and forth and worn each other flat, her round stones had been made oval. I have also seen grooves worn into the side of Sapphires from a diamond. If you plan to wear your diamond rings together all the time, solder the bands together!
But the best way to mess up your diamond is not to get it checked every year. Losing a $10,000 stone because you didn't know you needed $60 of claw work done is too sad for words. This is especially important with Estate pieces, grandma's ring should be checked before you wear it. So make a plan, get your treasured pieces cleaned and checked on your birthday or anniversary, its a treat as well as peace of mind thing!
Carol's ring, 18k yellow gold and Platinum.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cleaning your jewellery.

I think keeping your jewellery packed away in a box is a waste! Wear it!!...and then clean it.
The easiest way to keep you gold and gemstone jewellery nice looking is to soak them over night in dish soap and water, then give them a light scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse. Make sure you put them in a nice wineglass and put it on the window sill so nobody will accidentally toss your lovely things down the garborator like my mother did...but I digress.
Silver jewellery can be soaked too, but a toothbrush will scuff the finish, so just rinse it in the morning.
Pearls need special treatment. Your skin oils slowly eat the surface so always clean them after wearing, once again with dish soap and water, just a quick rinse then let them dry on a soft cloth - dont tug the string or you may stretch it. Also beware of perfume on your pearls, the alcohol is very hard on them. Apply your scent then wait a few minutes for the alcohol to dissolve before putting on your lovely strand.
Wow - two postings in one day, I must be avoiding something...

Fair Trade Gold and Gems.

I dont know much about the subject.
I do know that gold is too regulated to be fair trade. The price is the price that is listed on the stock exchange.
The supply of Diamonds is heavily regulated, you will not find Fair Trade diamonds.
But I do know that right now I can sell a 4mm Amethyst from India for $20, which means I bought it from the middle man for less, and he bought it from the gem cutting house for less and they bought it from a middleman in the country it was mined for less and he bought it from the digger/diver/hunter for next to nothing. Its beginning to look like the little guy on the other end had to pay for the honour of risking his health and possibly life for that little purple rock. Fair trade coffee is good, Fair trade coloured stones are good, too bad I have never seen any being offered on the market, but if the customer asks for one, I will search for one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sizing Engineering Iron/Steel Rings

Steel Jewellery is rather unusual. Finding a person who hasn't changed ring size since they graduated from University is unusual too! With my laser welder I am able to size up or down the ring without leaving a seam.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fun stuff with old diamonds.

Charles and Diane had lots of used diamonds which they had been collecting from auctions. The diamonds were an assortment of sizes and fit nicely into the earring design shown above. If you look closely you will notice that the center stones are different sizes, but who will notice with a head put between them!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Diamond Dealers....dammit!

You get what you pay for.
I should just stop there and go get some sleep but I wont! So you are making cinnamon buns for a living, and so are two other people on your street. Now how do you get and keep your part of the market share and thus stay in business??? Well I know 2 (legal) ways, 1. sell a cheaper bun, if you add fewer expensive raisins then you can drop your price. And 2. sell a better bun, if you stuff the bun with juicy fruit and smear cream cheese icing all over the top you can probably sell them at a higher price.
Now imagine that the Bakery Mafia have regulated the requirements for cinnamon buns, and to be called a 'Cinnibun' the dough must weigh a certain amount, a minimum of raisins must be added and a maximum sweet gooey cheese quota has been tabulated....and now we have the diamond industry.
I can buy a 60pt, GH colour, SI2 clarity, round diamond for a variety of prices, because some dealers carry stones that barely make the grade and other take pride in selling stones that are almost too good. Dealers cant fudge the weight, the scale says what the scale says...but maybe the cut isn't as well proportioned so you spend money on a fat girdle which means the stone is a little smaller in appearance, maybe it looks like a 57pt instead. Luckily the guy selling fat stones charges less so the price between the well cut 57pt and the mediocre cut 60pt are probably the same.
Colour is judged with the diamond laying table down and the stone is compared against tinted cubic zirconias...then how come the diamond can be graded differently by two different appraisers? Because the companies that create the cubic zirconias don't use the same grading scale. A sad joke in the business is " Buy an 'I' and sell an 'H'". But the most interesting difference is in clarity, and that's because I can see a colour difference to the naked eye, I can see a badly cut stone, but I cant count all the specks - I can see the amount of dough, I can see the cream cheese but I cant count the raisins. The minimum is 8 raisins per bun, the maximum is 25, and this is where my cinnibun analogy fails because I think more raisins is better but fewer specks (inclusions) in your diamond is better...I guess you have to pretend you hate raisins.... Anyway, some diamond dealers sell the minimum and others the max, and this is reflected in the price. So like i said, you get what you pay for....which leads to my next post, 'If a deal seems to good to be true, it is'.

Diane's Ring

Well Christmas has come and gone again. Its a stressful time in the jewellery business, our busiest season, which is one of the reasons I havent been writing - too busy to rant! The ring pictured above was one of my favorites this Christmas. Chuck and Diane showed up with a collection of rings they had bought at auction and a picture of what they would like...seems easy right? Actually it wasnt bad, but its very important to discuss potential 'unhappinesses' before they happen. The diamonds were of different qualities and colours, after looking at the stones it was decided that it was more important to match 3 stones by colour than clarity because clarity is judged under 10 power magnification and colour we judge with the naked eye. So I could see a colour difference but not see a clarity difference. The next hurdle was altering the ring design to fit the diamonds but keep as close to the feel of the picture. The diamonds in the original picture were not as graduated in size, so the altered design has a step down between the center stone and the side stones, and then to continue the pattern we stepped down from the side stones to the band. This also brought the band down to a width that Diane was comfortable with. The side profile, the part that Chuck liked best, was not altered by the changes.