Have you heard of the mineral Zirconium? It has absolutely nothing to do with cubic zirconia (fake diamonds). This exciting product has recently been reimagined for use in jewellery.
The mineral is dark grey in colour but when exposed to extreme heat it forms a strong black coating, similar in appearance and touch to ceramic. The main deposits of zirconium on earth are in Australia and Florida. BUT it has also been found in S-type stars. How cool is that?
Zirconium is mainly used in nuclear reactors – the nuclear power industry uses nearly 90% of the product mined each year and it has also been used in space craft because of its strength and resilience.
The ancient Egyptians used zirconium in jewellery. Thankfully we are finally catching up!
Zirconium rings are comfortable and hypoallergenic and are available in a wide range of styles for both men (very masculine) and ladies (strong and very feminine). Did we mention they are as black as midnight? Often crafted with gold and set with diamonds making a stunning piece of jewellery.
Here at Flair Jewellery, we really love this range of jewellery. Come in and take a look and pick up one of our free catalogues which display the entire range.
CLICK HERE to view our amazing selection of men’s rings which include black zirconium rings.
Whatever you choose, aim to stand out and be confident … black is back!
Well this one did!
The beautiful young lady was dreaming of the day her charming prince would go down on one knee and propose with a gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring.
Wait on ….
This really did happen! On November 16th 2010 worldwide news broke of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Of course the ring was once the engagement ring of the late Princess Diana. It features an 18 carat blue sapphire surrounded by 14 magnificent diamonds. One of the most famous engagement rings of the modern day it was purchased for A$60,000 in 1981. It is now valued at A$649,500.
If your birthday is in September – lucky you! The gorgeous sapphire is your birthstone.
The Greek meaning of the word sapphire is “Blue Stone” – but it is also found in green, yellow and pink. Known for its magnificent blue shade it’s so bewitching that the ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire and that the blue of the sky was simply a reflection of the stone.
It is sometimes called the wisdom stone and is said to cure depression and spiritual confusion….
Sorry – we are unable to confirm that here at Flair Jewellery – but we are happy to let you know that we have a great range of sapphire designs in our shops. And of course if you can’t see anything which grabs you, designing what is in your imagination is our speciality! Come on in and talk to one of our craftsmen – we would love to help with your unique piece.
The quality of diamonds is measured all around the world by these 4 standards.
CUT: Of the 4 C’s cut has the greatest effect on a diamonds beauty. You know that unmistakable ‘SPARKLE’ of a diamond? The better and more precisely it is cut, the more light is reflected from its facets and the more dazzling it appears to the eye.
CLARITY: Most diamonds have small internal flaws called inclusions. It is rare for a diamond to be found with no inclusions although they may not be visible to the naked eye. The less and the smaller the inclusions – the more valuable the diamond.
COLOUR: Although referred to as ‘white’, traditionally the best quality diamonds have no colour. Like a drop of pure water. Have you noticed that coloured diamonds including yellow, brown or chocolate, red and pink have gained in popularity lately? Magnificent pink diamonds are extremely rare and are very expensive.
And now to our favourite – carrots. OOPS – make that …
CARATS: Sometimes mistaken for size, the carat is actually a weight relating to diamonds. A metric ‘CARAT’ weighs 200 milligrams. And just as a dollar can be divided into 100 cents, a carat can be divided into 100 points. For example a 50 point diamond = ½ a carat.
At Flair Jewellery we like to add our own ‘C’ to the other 4 – CONFIDENCE. Come in to one of our shops and one of our qualified tradesmen will gladly talk you through the information above and take the time to show you the difference in the quality of various diamonds, which is sometimes tricky to spot.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the 4C’s when it comes to diamonds. We are proud of our own “C” – CONFIDENCE. We are confident that you will walk away brimming with confidence! Come in and see us or contact us!
As a jewellery lover do you look for jewellery which has meaning? Many of us do, and often birthstone jewellery provides the perfect solution.
August’s birthstone is the peridot – an enchanting stone!
Not only that, it is believed to remove any evil spells which may have been cast on the wearer….
Maybe not. The peridot is one of the few birthstones which is found in only one colour – a vivid green with just a hint of gold. Its vibrant colour does not change, even under artificial light, leading it to be nicknamed the ‘emerald of the evening’. The perfect colour to cheer up winter wardrobes. It is a very old stone mentioned in the Bible and made popular by Cleopatra. The peridot symbolises purity and strength and is often used in Christian jewellery.
The peridot gemstone can only be seen
In a truly remarkable colour of green
It makes the wearer feel well – then fall under a spell
Whilst making her look like a queen
This ancient gemstone has recently become popular again. And now comes the best part – there is still enough raw peridot (also called olivine) in the marketplace to allow the helpful staff at Flair Jewellery to source the ‘right stone’ for your individual taste and, importantly, your budget. Then of course our jewellers can draw up a design with you and craft it into a magnificent individual piece of jewellery.
And not forgetting wedding anniversaries, this enchanting “evening emerald” is the 16th wedding anniversary stone. So meaningful isn’t it, to associate wedding anniversaries with gemstones.
Need ideas for different styles of jewellery? Have a browse around our website to see all our different designs and be inspired for your own piece of peridot jewellery.
Contact us and our friendly staff can help you decide!
Real gold is bright, shiny and yellow – right? Well this is the natural colour of pure (24 carat) gold. Pure gold is rarely seen in jewellery as it is too soft to be durable enough for every day wear. Have you ever wondered how or why there are different shades of gold? Pure gold is often alloyed or mixed with other metals to make it stronger and less expensive. Or to change its colour.
At Flair Jewellery our craftsmen most commonly create our stunning designs using yellow, white and rose gold, or a combination of two or even three colours.
The most popular colour is yellow gold which has been alloyed with copper, silver or zinc to make it harder and more suitable for every day wear and tear. It can be reduced to either 18 or 9 carat.
The next most popular colour is white gold which became popular in the 1920s. White gold is made by adding white metals such as platinum, silver, zinc or nickel. White gold which, is made with platinum, may be more pricey than pure gold as platinum is extremely expensive.
Third in popularity is beautiful rose gold. Rose gold can be made into a variety of hues by adding different amounts of copper to the gold.
Did you know that in recent years new technologies have allowed gold to be produced in less common colours such as green, blue, purple and even black? These new colours are usually used in combinations to highlight each other or to add contrast to the more traditional colours.
It’s fascinating to know that gold has these beautiful shades and how they come about. Perhaps you have a picture in your mind about a unique piece of jewellery? At Flair Jewellery we can help you make this a reality! Contact us or come and join us on our Facebook page to find out more about beautiful gold jewellery and what is possible. Or leave us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.
This month’s stone is the magnificent ruby. Known as the stone of devotion, love and romance its value is determined by the depth of its colour – the deepest red known as “pigeon’s blood” is the most valuable.
This precious stone has many interesting legends. However it originated, isn’t it fun and charming that we have a special stone associated with our month of birth? With its intense richness of colour the ruby is sure to catch everyone’s eye.
The vibrant ruby will warm her heart
In this winter chill
Your gift will bring her joy today
And it always will
So, if you have a Cancerian in your life – was your Mum born in July? Does your wife need a new pendant? Or your boyfriend may like a signet ring – make it a special gift by keeping their birthstone in mind.
Beautiful ruby rings are part of our exquisite range, designed by our jewellers and manufactured in our own workshop. You can speak directly to our jewellers during working hours or online at your leisure.
Do you have a special story about ruby jewellery? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
WHAT IS RHODIUM PLATING??
What is rhodium plating? Why is it needed? How long will it last? How much will it cost?
“White gold” is a popular choice for jewellery including wedding and engagement rings as well as bracelets and neck chains. Of course gold is not white To make it white it is alloyed with white metals – usually platinum, or silver and nickel or zinc and manganese. At best the colour then becomes “greyish”. For the sparkling silver/white colour desired by most jewellery purchasers the items are plated in pure white rhodium by a process known as electroplating . This process is referred to as rhodium plating in the jewellery industry. Rhodium is a rare metal, part of the platinum family. It makes the jewellery appear pure white and shiny and enhances the appearance of diamonds.
Rhodium plating will eventually wear off, especially in heavy wear areas such as the back of the band and will need to be reapplied from time to time. How long it will last depends on how well the item is cared for.
The cost of rhodium plating a ring at Flair Jewellery is $55.00.
Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. The best explanation is that asking for the price of a diamond is like asking for the price of a house. A real estate agent can’t quote you a price for a house without knowing its size, condition, location, etc. This process is the same one used when buying a diamond. A diamond’s beauty, rarity and price depend on the interplay of all the 4Cs – cut, clarity, carat and colour.
The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are more rare and, consequently, more expensive. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the 4Cs will not diminish in value over time.
Once you have established those 4C characteristics that are most important to you, we can then begin to show you various options and prices.
Refers to the weight of a diamond.
Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points”. A .75-carat diamond is the same as a .75-points or ¾ carat diamond.
A 1-carat diamond costs exactly twice the price of a half-carat diamond, right? Wrong. Since larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, which places them at the rarest level of the Diamond Quality Pyramid, a 1-carat diamond will cost more than twice a ½-carat diamond (assuming colour, clarity and cut remain constant).
Cut and mounting can make a diamond appear larger (or smaller) than its actual weight. We can help you to find the right diamond and setting to optimize the beauty of your stone.
Refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond.
Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers.
To view inclusions, jewellers use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows jewellers to see a diamond at 10 times its actual size so that inclusions are easier to see. The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable.
Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). The clarity scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to Included (I), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x.
Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant.
The greater a diamond’s clarity, the more brilliant, valuable and rare it is – and the higher it is on the Diamond Quality Pyramid.
For more technical information on clarity, see the diamond-grading chart.
Refers to the degree to which a diamond is colourless.
Diamonds range in colour from icy winter whites to warm summer whites. Diamonds are graded on a colour scale established by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D (colourless) to Z.
Warmer coloured diamonds (K-Z) are particularly desirable when set in yellow gold. Icy winter whites (D-J) look stunning set in white gold or platinum.
Colour differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference between, say, an E and an F. Therefore, colours are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy.
Truly colourless stones, graded D, treasured for their rarity, are highest on the Diamond Quality Pyramid. Colour, however, ultimately comes down to personal taste. We can show you a variety of colour grades next to one another to help you determine your colour preference.
Refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond
Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.
Cut also refers to shape – round, square, pear or heart, for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines.
Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes”, will have their own guidelines to be considered well cut.
What to Spend
When you start to think about buying a diamond – and the love it will symbolise – you naturally want the best you can afford and a beautiful stone you will treasure forever.
Diamonds can be found in a range of prices – and you’re certain to find one that suits your taste and what you plan to spend. If you’re about to buy a Diamond Engagement Ring, you may want to consider spending the commonly accepted guideline of two months’ salary. But it’s up to you to settle on a diamond that will truly represent your deepest emotions and the promise for the future you will share.
Since the dawn of civilisation, gold has been one of the most highly valued and most sought after of the precious metals.
At various times it has been accorded magical and mystical properties, has been fought over, prized as the basis of many currencies, has had the badge of royalty and wealth and has lured people of all cultures to vast unknown lands in quest of it.
Over centuries of growing sophistication and technology, gold has assumed many additional roles. Not only is it still prized for jewellery, it also has many new applications in contemporary modern-day life.
Gold soared into space with the astronauts, it’s reflective ability used on the heat shields that are crucial to life in space. This same ability to reflect the sun increases the aesthetic and practical and beauty of today’s glass skyscrapers. The gold in tinted windows makes the difference obstructive glare and glamorous gleam.
Among the many other specific applications gold is used in telephones and telecommunications, TV sets, computers and calculators. It also has important applications in medicine and dentistry.
But, above all, gold has enjoyed its finest glitter through the ages in its ultimate form – jewellery. In fact, the wearing of gold for personal adornment may actually be our oldest surviving tradition.
Every day, most of us continues the centuries old ritual of gold adornment. Men, women and children of all cultures are caught up in gold’s allure through the acquisition and wearing of any number of pieces of gold jewellery, whether it be a ring, chain, earrings, watch or bracelet.
Rarity – Although gold is everywhere around us – in the earth’s crust, in our seas, rivers and plants – the difficulty and expense of obtaining gold from these sources makes recovery of any substantial amounts unlikely. Where gold is found to exist, several tonnes of ore may be required in order to extract just one ounce of this precious metal.
This rarity alone is enough to bestow a certain status to gold, but when combined with it’s other inherent characteristics, this lustrous and beautiful metal becomes an even more desirable possession.
Durability – Gold virtually lasts forever.
When you buy gold jewellery, you are buying enduring beauty that reflects the properties of this previous metal. A gift of gold has always been the symbol of lasting love and devotion.
Ease of Workability – Gold has the best working qualities of any metal, thereby making it the ideal precious metal for fine jewellery.
To give you an idea of it’s workability, gold is so soft and malleable that one ounce can be stretched into a wire an incredible 80 kilometres long or hammered into a sheet so thin that it covers well over 9 square metres and becomes transparent. It is gold’s workability that enables it to be alloyed with other precious and base metals to produce special qualities or to achieve variations of colour.
Gold can be remelted and used again and again and it can be made into a vast array of jewellery items. From the most intricate baby bracelet to the heaviest chain, gold’s workability gives it the ability to exist in a multitude of forms and shapes.
The purity of gold is described by the same word used to designate the weight of gemstones – carat (sometimes written as ‘karat’). However, when used to describe gold, the word ‘carat’ has nothing to do with the weight – it relates to the purity of the metal. Pure gold is described as 24 carat (usually abbreviated to ‘24ct’). For practical purposes, gold is often mixed or alloyed with other metals to make it more durable, to change its colour, or to make it less expensive. The most common alloys of gold used to manufacture jewellery in Australia are 18ct (i.e. 18 parts of gold mixed with 6 parts of another metal), or 9 carat (i.e. 9 parts of gold mixed with 15 parts of another metal). The type of alloy added to the gold depends largely on the colour required.
Colour of Gold
Combination of MetalsPink / RedGold + CopperYellowGold + Copper + Silver & ZincWhiteGold + Palladium (or Silver & Nickel)GreenGold + Silver & CadmiumPurpleGold + AluminiumBlueGold + Iron
Less costly jewellery is generally made with a base metal with real gold on the surface. The two most common ways to give the appearance of gold at a lower cost are:-
|(i) Rolled Gold||Where a thin skin of gold is put onto the surface of base metal by a lamination process under great heat and pressure. A thin block of gold is fused onto the surface of a thicker block of the base metal to form an open sandwich and then the sandwich is rolled out repeatedly between highly polished rollers getting thinner and thinner, but always maintaining the ratio of the gold to the base metal.|
(ii) Gold PlatingWhere the article is made in a base metal alloy or silver and then gold in whatever purity (24ct gold or one of the lower alloys) is plated onto the surface by an electro-chemical process. Gilt is the general term for a thin layer of gold applied to any surface but not thick enough to be legitimately called gold plating or rolled gold. Gilt usually means very poor quality jewellery.
How do you know it is real gold?
When purchasing an item of jewellery, you should always look for a carat mark, which should be stamped on the item. The carat mark is a quality mark and refers to the proportion of pure gold in the item. Pure gold, which is 24ct, the metric equivalent being 1,000 is generally considered too soft for practical use in jewellery and is alloyed with other precious metals and base metals to increase it’s durability and workability.
Some of the common markings found on jewellery (with their metric equivalents) are as follows:-
22ct or 916
18ct or 750
14ct or 585
9 ct or 375
Some other previous metal markings you may find on jewellery are:-
Silver – Sterling or 925
Platinum – Plat, Pt or 950
Palladium – Pall, Pd or 900
Markings on jewellery items are not limited to the carat or quality mark. You may find a manufacturer’s trademark, logo or initials on some jewellery, particularly items made in the United Kingdom where a comprehensive hallmarking system is in place.
If you are in doubt about the markings that appear on any piece of fine jewellery, ask our jeweller next time you are in our store.
Our gift forever to you
It is recommended that you return to us at Flair Jewellery once per year to have your jewellery professionally polished – to assist you we provide a free polish and inspection service for up to 4 items on Thursday at our Kawana store. We use ultrasonic and steam cleaners which will get rid of built up grime which cannot be removed at home. This will also give our jewellers the opportunity to ensure that the diamond is secure in the mount for your ongoing peace of mind.
How to care for your treasured diamond ring
A diamond ring is so much more than a piece of fine Jewellery. It’s a symbol of commitment that will last a lifetime. If you take care of it, you can enjoy wearing it as often as you like, as a diamond does truly last forever. Whether your diamond ring is the first piece of diamond jewellery you’ve owned, or just the most special, it’s important that you learn how to take care of it.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR TREASURED JEWELLERY
Caring for your diamond ring involves learning how to store and clean it. You should always store your diamond ring in a clean, safe and dry place. Your ring will be safest in a fabric lined box or compartment, and should be stored separately from other jewellery items. Although your diamond isn’t likely to scratch or chip, the metal it is set in may be damaged by being jumbled with other jewellery items. Your diamond may also damage your other jewellery. If you must keep your diamond engagement ring in the same compartment as other jewellery, wrap it in a soft cloth or silk for protection.
You can wipe your diamond ring with a soft 100% cotton jewellery cloth daily. Cotton is the only cloth that is guaranteed safe for whatever precious metal your diamond is set in. A clean cloth will not scratch fine jewellery. If your diamond needs more intense cleaning, soak in a container with warm water and baking soda or non-detergent soap for several minutes, then use a soft brush, or baby toothbrush to gently brush away any dirt. Rinse with tap water, and dry off well.
WHAT TO AVOID
There are some damaging items that need to be avoided when it comes to the care of diamonds and jewellery.
Lotions: lotions can get under the diamond’s setting and settle, leading to a dirty looking piece. The lotion can also form a film over the diamond which noticeably diminishes its sparkle and leads to a ‘milky’ effect.
Hairspray can also cause a film and make diamonds appear yellow.
Bleach and other corrosive liquids can actually cause damage to the metal holding the diamond. So if you are using these products, it is best to remove your rings.
Likewise when going for a swim in the pool or spa, it is best to remove your jewellery as chlorine can badly affect it. In addition, lengthy exposure to water may cause your fingers to contract, allowing your treasured ring to slip off and be lost in the water.
YOU MAY NOT EVEN THINK OF THIS
Ring settings are very strong but there are some conditions that we don’t even think of that may potentially damaging.
It may be as simple as clapping your hands causing two rings to bang against each other, or tapping your hands against a shopping trolley, or maybe even jingling keys in your hands. These everyday actions all have the potential to cause damage and denting to the back of the ring.
OUR GIFT FOREVER TO YOU
It is recommended that you return to us at Flair Jewellery once per year to have your jewellery professionally polished – to assist you we provide a free polish and inspection service for up to 4 items on Thursday at our Kawana store.
We use ultrasonic and steam cleaners which will get rid of built up grime which cannot be removed at home. This will also give our jewellers the opportunity to ensure that the diamond is secure in the mount for your ongoing peace of mind.