Wearing and protecting your jewellery

Tips for looking after your jewellery

1. Variation is key


With the exception to your favourite diamond jewellery, the same piece shouldn’t be worn every day as heavy wear can cause increased damage. The great thing about this is it encourages you to make the most of your whole jewellery box and not just that ‘go to’ piece. Think about wearing gems and jewellery that complement your outfit and make sure you utilise your whole jewellery collection - there’s no point it living in your safe!

2. Get dressed first


Your jewellery should always be the last thing you put on before leaving to go out. This way any skin care products and unnatural oils are kept away from your jewellery. It means you are displaying them in the best way possible.

3. Over exposure to heat & light


Make sure you’re not over exposing your rings to heat and light. Over time light and heat can damage gemstones. Some of the most susceptible gems are Topaz and Amethyst which will both lighten with too much exposure to sunlight. Amber will darken. The key thing is just don’t store them in direct sunlight.  

4. Storing your jewellery


Your jewellery is expensive personal and in many cases an heirloom of the past or the future. So you need to look after it and one of the easiest ways to damage jewellery is storing it incorrectly. If you chuck them all in your bottom draw, not only will you find that every time you go to put on a different necklace they are all knotted together, but it will make them prone to being scratched, bent or chipped.

You should keep your jewellery in a dry and clean place. Ideally in some soft fabric bags with every piece having it own bag. This will make it much easier to get them out and also protect them whilst you’re not wearing them. For bigger pieces feel free to use the boxes that the piece came in and if you need a few more of the velvet drawstring pouches they can be purchased cheaply off the internet.

Crafting a Art Deco inspired engagement ring

We thought we would talk you through how we made this stunning Art Deco Inspired engagement ring. This is an incredibly unique piece that was crafted for a clients engagement.

Lets start with the details of the ring. The central oval set sapphire is Ceylon 0.58ct there are also four more princess cut sapphires all of the same quality.

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When my client and I had fully discussed the design and worked out a rough design of how it could look. I went away as with every bespoke piece and drew up the design on the latest design technology which enables the client to see the ring and tweak the design accordingly. Below are the three variations of the design using different shaped central sapphires.

When the client had decided on the oval central sapphire we started to create the ring for him. To get the perfect polish this was made in several sections and then soldered together.

Initially the ring was cast in four parts after cleaning up 3 of the sections were soldered together and ready for setting the first section of stones. The stone setting was done in three sections as we wanted the princess cut sapphires to be cut nice and square and this would have been almost impossible to do when all the sections were in place.

All the Milgrain (the bobbly detail on the edges of the ring) was applied by hand. This ensures a perfect polished and definition of every little bead. Many of the high street jewelers would cast this in place as its very time consuming to do but here at Veale Fine jewellery we take great pride in using the best of traditional craft along with the benefits of understanding when the latest technology comes into its own.

The next stage was to solder in the centre section. This had to be done with great care to avoid damaging the sapphires that had already been set. Then the setter used a techique called pave to set the halo with small diamonds this is a very contemporary technique which gave a modern twist to this art deco ring.

The final stage was to solder in the little tubes (jewellers call these chenier ). Even more care had to be taken now there were more stones set in place!! then the setter could set the final 12 diamonds and milgrain the edges of all of these settings. The proces of polishing the ring could now begin.

Below are some photos of the ring being crafted, so you can understand the stages I’ve explained above.


If you would like to know anything more about this bespoke ring or designing your own we’d love to hear from you.

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Mens' Diamond rings

This is a subject close to my heart. As a diamond lover I don’t understand why men wearing diamonds is so uncommon. The only gentlemen that I know who wear diamonds on a daily basis are myself and my diamond supplier who both have diamond set wedding bands.

Taking about wedding bands and gents jewellery, I guess this is a prime time to talk about my own wedding ring. I decided to go for a full eternity ring set with the smallest trillion cut diamonds available.

 
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I imagine part of the reason for this is that when you go into a jewellers there is so little choice for men’s wedding rings. Well lets be honest, there is normally only one design to choose from - a princess cut diamond flush set into a wide wedding band. If you’re lucky there might be a round cut diamond equivalent but there is never much choice.

However, from a designer’s point of view you have a lot of scope for men’s stone set wedding bands. This is because they often have wider and deeper bands than ladies rings and this allows for more unusual stone cuts to be set into the ring.

Personally I think geometric designs work really well for a man’s wedding band along with mixed metals, but - the world is your oyster!

Below I’ve created three designs that would all give a stunning detail to a man’s ring:

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How to clean your engagement ring

Lets be honest, none of us want to have our favourite items of jewellery looking dirty or dull. We also don’t want to always have to go to a jewellers to get our favourite pieces cleaned. As a jewellery maker I only know too well how my clients hate having to take their rings off for repairs, alterations and re-rhodium plating etc.

Below, Veale Fine Jewellery have put together some great DIY solutions to keeping your jewellery looking as good as new.

1.Vodka/Gin

Cleaning your rings in vodka or gin works really well. If you don’t have vodka or gin then any white spirit will work but the higher the alcohol content the better. To do this method pour out a small class full of alcohol and pop the ring into it. Leave it for 20 minutes swirling every 5-10 minutes to agitate the liquid then rinse and dry.

2. Fairy liquid and warm water

Get a bowl of water as hot as you can put your hand in. Mix in some fairy liquid and place your ring into the solution. With this technique you’ll also need an old, soft tooth brush. After 5 minutes of your ring sitting in the fairy liquid and water grab it out and use the old tooth brush to clean behind the centre stone and anywhere else where dirt might get stuck. Then put the ring back in the fairy liquid for another 5 minutes before taking it out and rinsing in water before drying with a paper towel.

3. Rennie or any antacids

This works surprisingly well, just get yourself a glass of warm water and put a couple of tablets into it. It will start to fizz. Then place your jewellery into the glass and leave for 5 minutes before removing,. Finally, rinse in water and dry on a paper towel.

4. Ultra sonic cleaner

If you fancy something a bit more full on then purchasing an ultra sonic cleaner is a great idea. These can be pretty cheap off Amazon and work really well for cleaning all your jewellery. Little tip: if your ultra sonic doesn’t heat the water start off by putting hot (not boiling) water into the cleaner. You can also purchase jewellery cleaning solutions which work well in an ultra sonic, or just use fairy liquid.

Engagement Guide

Getting married is one of the biggest moments in your life and the ring will last a lifetime, so it's important to get it right! 

You have a few options of how to go about designing your ring...

1) Go it alone and grantee a complete surprise. Having worked on many engagement rings, I have an understanding of what works really well. I'm always happy to share my knowledge with you and guide you through the process.

2) Ask her/your friend(s) for help in the style and look of the ring. Both asking her friends and your friends for advice is a great option but choose who you ask carefully, you don't want them to let the 'cat out of the bag'. Also think about who she goes shopping with and who knows her style well. I've previously worked with clients and friends during consultations.

3) Propose first, buy the ring second. If you're really unsure it maybe best to pop the question first, then we can all work on the ring together to create the perfect ring for your fiancé.

If you have a design in mind, for a small extra cost I can make it in silver so that you can pop the question with a ring and then we can check the design with your fiancé before I create the final version.

Another option is to create a few different designs which I can print and place in a presentation pack, so you can discuss your ideas with you fiancé over your engagement. 

4) Propose first, buy the ring second. This is a great option if you are unsure as to the design or would prefer you partner to choose we can do this in a way your other half never needs to know the price or we can be completely transparent and copy you both into all correspondents.

How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

As a bespoke jeweller I create rings that cater for all budgets and I'm happy to work to yours too I am often asked, 'how much should I spend?' and the answer depends on how much you want to spend and what you are looking for!

 If you are thinking of very complex design with lots of diamonds it's going to have more work than a single stone diamond ring. This is worth bearing in mind when looking at designs.

My prices start at £1,500 for a platinum and diamond ring and go up from there. 

One of my clients once said to me I’m only doing it once so I want it to last a life time and he decided to stretch himself a little extra to get the next size and quality of sapphire up for the centre of her engagement ring.

How to choose a diamond?

If you are one of the 75% of men who go for the classic diamond engagement ring then you might have heard about 'the 4C's' - but what does this mean?

Diamonds are graded using the 4C's (Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat). All of these will effect the 'beauty' of the diamond and its price. Please follow the link below to my diamond guide. 

My diamonds come with a GIA certificate, unless otherwise agreed. I would recommend being a little careful with other gemological bodies certificates. As with driving licences, the standard vary between different countries in the world. This is also the case when it comes to diamond grading standards. GIA is renowned for being the most consistent and the most stringent in their grading which is why they have the reputation for being 'the best'.

Just remember diamond grading is subjective and "you're buying a diamond not the piece of paper it comes with."

I am a certified Gem-A diamond grader so I am very happy to advise you on stone quality and properties. I check all my diamonds before purchase. 

 

What Precious Metal to go for?

The main consideration is colour - does she like white (platinum, palladium or white gold), yellow (gold) or rose (gold). More information about metals can be found on the link below.

Other FAQ’s

1) Which finger does an engagement ring go on? It goes on the third finger of the left hand. A good way to check you are going for the right (I mean Left) hand is to look for her watch as watches are usually warn on the left wrist.

2) Which order do you wear engagement, wedding and eternity rings? Usually it goes wedding ring first followed by engagement ring and then final the eternity ring.

3) How do I clean an engagement ring? For this please see my blog on cleaning engagement rings .

If you would like anymore information about choosing the perfect engagement ring, please get in touch.

 

Mens Wedding Rings

Men's wedding rings can be the dullest of affairs - Some guys want a plain wedding band and that's fine but, so often they don't have a choice not to. Guys often say to me that they want classic look but with a little twist.

The wedding band is a key piece of jewellery worn by men and in my opinion it should reflect thier personality. Creating a custom ring allows you to express your design flair wheather that's very geometric pattern or a more organic look, any look can be catered for.

Below I've created a look book of some of my favourite gentlemens wedding bands, Maybe it will get the creative juices flowing for what could be done with yours.

1)  A classic look, with a hammered effect running around the outside of the band. This just adds a little interest and breaks up the light giving a really lovely effect. We can do all manor of Hammered effects depending in on what you have in mind. These can also be coupled with different finishes and even mixed metal bands. To come up with a wedding band, which is truly unique.

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2) Another great choice when customising your wedding band is using two contrasting coloured metals. This can tie your wedding ring into your Fiancees or develop a unique look.
Below we used yellow and white gold, high polishing the white gold and matt brushing the yellow gold to accentuate the different colours. We also used small grooves between the metal to make the white gold stand out even more.

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3) Engraving is another technique that can give a truly unique finish.

Below we engraved a pattern that was similar to my clients Grandfather's shotgun. I thought it was a really lovely way to link the generations and to marry the classic scroll engraving into the more modern setting of a wedding band. We also opted of a slight concave to the outside edge of the ring so it had a little shape to the wedding band.

 If you're an artist or graphic designer you could always create a pattern that can be engraved onto the inside or outside of your wedding band.

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4) Sandblasting can be applied to any metal and even used in areas of the ring design. Here we have paired sandblasted the main body of the ring with fluid edges which were high polished help emphasise the contrast in the ring. 

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5) Fluting the edges can really help give a little extra detail to the very edge of the design. This can be done using a single, double or even flue. Or go the whole hog and ridge the whole outside surface.

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6) last but by no means least we have my choice of wedding band. 

I wanted to have a diamond set band but I really didn't want it too in your face or tacky.

To achieve this look I used the trillion cut diamond. These were set full eternity ring, I left some platinum between the diamonds as I wanted the stones to be a detail that was noticed at a second glance, rather than the main event. On the inside I used a very geometric pattern for the back holes which I felt was in keeping with my branding and the engraving that I was planning to put inside. 

On My wife's ring we put a sapphire on the inside of her wedding band but this is a subtle way of adding a little bling. If you wanted to echo your wife's ring on the inside of your wedding band this could be a great way to do this.

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I hope these ideas help with designing your perfect gents wedding ring. If you have an idea but are not sure it'll work, please get in touch, we'd be happy to advise you on it.