Blue Gemstones

Blue Gemstones

Blue Gemstones

Blue Gemstones

Different types of blue gemstones

Search the internet for ‘blue gemstones’ and you will find a list of at least 33 stones ranging in alphabetical order from agate to zircon, but from these you might only recognise six or seven. In our June 2007 issue we featured 20 gems which had blue as the dominant colour.

Not all blue gemstones are the same

In this article we will feature the most commonly recognised of these stones in order of the ‘hardness’ (or wearability) – in other words those most suitable for jewellery. The globally recognised system of measuring gemstone hardness is known as the Mohs’ scale (named after Friedrich Mohs, a mineralogist who invented a scale of hardness based on the ability of one mineral to scratch another.

There are ten minerals in Mohs scale, from the ‘softest (1)talc, (2)gypsum, (3)calcite, (4)fluorite, (5)apatite, (6)feldspar, (7)quartz, (8)topaz, (9)corundum, to the hardest, (10)diamond.

Here are some of the most common gemstones:

Sapphire  (9.0)  the richest, saturated blue

Blue Gemstone - Ceylon Sapphire                                  Blue Gemstones - Australian Sapphire

Ceylon sapphire                                           Australian sapphire

Blue is by far the most popular colour for sapphires, but they can be almost any colour, including yellow, green, white, colourless, pink, orange, brown and purple.

Topaz (8.0)    translucent, from very light to medium blue

Blue Gemstones - London Blue Topaz                                  Blue Gemstones - Swiss Blue Topaz

London blue topaz                                  Swiss blue topaz

The two most popular treated topaz. Swiss Blue is bright blue with a light tone and light to moderate saturation. London Blue is dark blue with a moderate to dark tone and saturation.

Aquamarine (7.5 – 8.0)   light translucent blue

Blue Gemstone - Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family  (which includes emerald) and ranges in colour from an almost colourless pale blue to blue-green. The most prized colour is a deep-blue aqua.

 Zircon (7.5)    medium to dark translucent blue

Blue Gemstones - Zircon

Zircon is routinely heat treated. This has two effects on the gem: It alters the colour to colourless, blue or golden (the most preferred colours for zircon) and orange to red colours.

Tourmaline  (7.0 – 7.5)      shades of light to dark blue

Blue Gemstones - Tourmaline

Found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Kenya and in the USA. This variety of tourmaline comes in various shades, including a clear blue colour.

Compared to the other varieties, the blue stone is quite rare.

Tanzanite (6.0 – 6.5)    dark translucent violet blue

Blue Gemstones - Tanzanite

First discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, East Africa. It is part of the zoisite mineral species and is only found in East Africa. Tanzanite is very rarely a pure blue and usually exhibits rich purple overtones.

Lapis Lazuli (5.0 – 5.5)   medium rich blue

Blue Gemstones - Lapis Lazuli

Sometimes with a hint of violet. Its value decreases with the presence of white patches (calcite), while small veins of pyrite are often prized.

Spinel  (8.0)     translucent medium violet-blue

Blue Gemstones - Spinel

A favourite of gem dealers and collectors on account of its brilliance, hardness and wide range of spectacular colours. Beautiful blue tones, called cobalt spinel are very rare.

Agate  (7.0)     a soft blue

Blue Gemstones - Agate

Variety of chalcedony formed from layers of quartz that usually show vari-coloured bands.

Design your own blue gemstone jewellery

With many a blue gemstone to choose from the possibilities are endless. Whether it be designing an item of jewellery from scratch or simply purchasing a loose gemstone for your collection, let us help you design the heirloom piece of your dreams. Contact us today to make a no obligation appointment and select your favourite coloured gemstone. 03 9650 3830. info@abrecht.com.au

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Congratulations to Ryan and Anna on their recent engagement with this one off custom designed black diamond creation.
https://abrecht.com.au/…/120179-black-white-diamond-hand-m…/

Ryan and Anna selected the stones, custom designed the ring and Ryan even helped to start the process of making the ring by rolling down and annealing the metal in our workshop.

The centre stone is a  3.21 carat black diamond surrounded by a multitude of complementary white diamonds in a floral basket setting and shoulders.

Custom design your engagement ring ring today 03 9650 3830 or email us to make an appointment info@abrecht.com.au

Need some design inspiration? Visit our gallery for past creations made for clients here.

 

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We are so proud of our three talented jewellers at Abrecht Bird. Greg John, Eleanor Hawke and Yuki Mathwin have all submitted a hand made item of jewellery as part of the Jewellers Association of Australia Jewellers Awards 2019, with Greg John chosen as one of the finalists. Now it is time for the People’s Choice Award and we need your help. Follow the link below to vote for one of our jewellers designs and give one of our talented jewellers the credit they deserve.

https://www.jaa.com.au/vote/

Like the style of our jewellers designs? Contact us today to schedule an appointment to design your piece of jewellery with one of our talented jewellers. 03 9650 3830 or email us info@abrecht.com.au

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Tourmaline jewellery

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Tourmaline jewellery

Tourmaline is a boron silicate mineral which comes in a variety of colours due to the trace elements found within, and is the birthstone for October.

The most common colour of tourmaline is green, followed by pink, yellow, blue, black and brown. Tourmaline is also found in bi and tri colours, the most common is ‘watermelon’ tourmaline consisting of a green outer colour and fading to a pink hue in the centre.

The most expensive and highly prized colour is the Paraiba tourmaline

The most expensive and highly prized colour is the Paraiba tourmaline. Found in 1980 in Paraiba, Brazil, this vivid green/blue gemstone exhibits depth of colour like no other gemstone.

Other tourmaline colours

Other forms of tourmaline are found all over the worLd. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and the United States are all suppliers to the jewellery market, as well as some African countries like Madagascar.

It is well suited for all jewellery from rings, pendants and earrings due to it’s hardness of 7-7.5 on the Moh’s hardness scale, and is a great alternative to gemstones like peridot and varying colours of sapphire.

These tourmaline pieces were custom designed and handmade in collaboration with our lovely clients.

Fancy a piece of tourmaline jewellery for yourself? Call us today to schedule an appointment 03 9650 3830 or email for an available appointment info@abrecht.com.au

A beautiful Paraiba tourmaline, recently shown to our client. This colour is not found in any other natural gemstone.

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From sketch to final product

It all starts with an appointment, a gemstone and a sketch.

A clients gemstone was transformed into something extraordinary with the help from our talented jewellers. Hand made in 18 carat three tone gold, this creation was custom designed and a one off piece that can be found no where else.

What to do with those stones lying around at home

Do you have gemstones at home not being used or fancy an upgrade on your current items? We specialise in redesign and hand made creations. With well over 100 years experience, our jewellers and staff at Abrecht Bird can help create the ring or jewellery item of your dreams.

A no obligation appointment is the only requirement.  Our staff are trained Gemmologists, Diamond graders, Diamond Technologist and Valuers. All with years of experience in the industry.

To make an appointment today call us on 03 9650 3830 or email us at info@abrecht.com.au to make a time that suits you.

Browse our gallery here for inspiration

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Argyle diamond mine to close 2020

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Pink and cognac diamond jewellery available in our showroom. Custom made pieces also available.

Argyle diamond mine to close 2020

Argyle diamond mine

The Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia is owned and operated by Rio Tinto and has been operating since 1983. It has produced more than 800 million carats of rough diamonds and is one of the world’s largest suppliers of diamonds and the world’s largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds.

Argyle to close by 2020

The diamond industry is soon set to change however, as Argyle is due to close by 2020 due to the low proportion of gem-quality diamonds now available.

Diamonds from Argyle will see a significant increase in price

As a result coloured diamonds (pink and cognac colours) from Argyle as well as colourless will see a significant increase in value once the mine has ceased production.

We are delighted to announce that we have secured a source of diamonds that are guaranteed to be of Australian origin. Each stone comes with a certificate of authenticity, a GIA grading certificate and is laser inscribed. These stones won’t be around for long.

Call us today to make an appointment and select your own Australian diamond before they disappear.

03 9650 3830 info@abrecht.com.au

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Find us on Instagram

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Did you know you can find us on Instagram?

Come follow us for updates on whats happening in our workshop. This includes the newest hand made items from our workshop, before and after repairs and client designs from start to finish.

Follow the creativity of our talented jewellers here or make an appointment to design your own 03 96503830. info@abrecht.com.au

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The Truth Behind Mass Produced Engagement Rings

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The Truth Behind Mass Produced Engagement Rings

Mass produced engagement rings are more common than you think!

The vast majority of engagement rings for sale through ‘main street’ jewellers are the result of mass production techniques. An initial model of a design will be created, then all subsequent rings (in their thousands) will be produced using casting methods – gold poured in a mould. These are far from the custom engagement ring designs that many couples would prefer.

What can you do to avoid purchasing a mass produced ring?

If you wish to have direct input into the designing process, it’s better to consult with an experienced and skilled custom jewellery designer / maker.

One of the first questions you will be asked to consider is the colour of the gemstone – the hero of the piece.

Diamonds are often the first preference, but other coloured gemstones are valid – sapphires come in all shapes and a variety of colours – the traditional blue, green, pink or golden (the red variety is called ruby). Aquamarine is also a popular choice – the sky blue, transparency and brightness appeal to many.

Do I have to choose a diamond for my ring?

As opposed to diamond, other gemstones introduce colour and size to help the design be truly unique – to stand out from the crowd. Smaller diamonds, sometimes of different shapes, are introduced to compliment, accentuate and lift the central coloured gemstone. A skilled designer can help you create a ‘one-off’ coloured stone engagement ring that reflects your personality and sense of style.

Another consideration when planning to use a coloured gemstone is the gemmological properties of the particular variety. Because engagement rings are generally worn on a daily basis, durability is a key factor. Diamonds are the hardest of all (with a hardness of 10), sapphire (and ruby) rate next (both alone on 9), while aquamarine (and emerald) have a rating of 7-8. The softer the coloured gemstone, the more likely for it to be damaged or suffer from worn facets over time.

Opal engagement rings are less common – having a hardness rating of 5.5-6.5, they are more prone to damage. There is no doubting that this unique, fiery coloured gemstone can be made into beautiful and unique designs, but they are better suited to dress rings, worn less frequently than an engagement ring.

How will I know if my stone is genuine?

A skilled designer / jeweller should also be qualified as a gemmologist and will bring this knowledge into play when assisting with a design that protects the coloured gemstone. The limitless variety of colours and shapes of sapphires, aquamarines and other coloured gems provide a wonderful opportunity to design a handmade engagement ring, one to treasure forever.

If you would like to book in a FREE consultation for your custom engagement ring, please call us on (03) 9650 3830

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Congratulations to Matt and Simone of their recent engagement. Matt surprised Simone with this stunning hand made morganite and diamond ring.

Want to create your own individual piece of jewellery? Contact us today to design the piece of your dreams. Call us today 03 9650 3830 or email us for an appointment. info@abrecht.com.au

 

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Emerald and diamond halo ring

Emerald is the birthstone for May and is part of the Beryl mineral family. This also includes morganite, aquamarine and heliodor (golden beryl) as well as others. The colour of emerald is due to trace elements of chromium and vanadium.

Emerald rings are a little more unique than diamond rings, and it takes a special person to wear them as they are also not quite as hard as a diamond (as diamonds are the hardest gemstone).

Custom made emerald and diamond rings

These rings were custom pieces, handmade and designed in collaboration with our lovely clients. The pear shaped emerald and diamond ring was specially created as an engagement ring. The halo emerald and diamond ring was a masterpiece by our in house designer Greg who was inspired to create something that would make people green with envy.

Get your own customised ring

Click on the images to see the details and specifications of each ring. Or, call us on (03) 9650 3830 to schedule a free consultation and get the design of your dreams.

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When a client wants an individual item of jewellery, this is what Greg our jeweller created. Set with an orange sapphire and white and cognac diamonds, this enhancer pendant was made that extra bit special and personalised with the clients initials saw pierced into the back.

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Top 5 Most Popular Engagement Rings

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Top 5 Most Popular Engagement Rings

Top 5 Most Popular Engagement Rings

Popping the question to your special someone is always an exciting (and nerve-wracking) moment, but it can be so much easier if you know you’ve found the perfect engagement ring. If a trip to the jewellers on your own or with your significant other seems daunting, here’s a quick roundup of some of the best and most popular engagement ring styles. You’re sure to find something that appeals to you both.

1. The Classic Solitaire

A ring as timeless as your relationship, you can’t go wrong with a solitaire engagement ring. A beautifully cut diamond takes centre stage in this engagement ring style, a ring that’s as precious as the person who wears it. Said to have been around since the 1800s, this is one design that hasn’t changed much through the years – and with good reason. Elegant, graceful, and oh-so-beautiful, a solitaire engagement ring has ‘tasteful’ written all over it.

2. An Infinity Ring

As the name suggests, the infinity engagement ring style adds another dimension to the design with the inclusion of a stylised infinity symbol. A lovely way to let your significant other know that you are in this together, forever. The gentle curves of the infinity symbol lend themselves to being inlaid with diamonds or for the use of different shades of gold to make something that’s truly unique.

3. Princess Cut Engagement Ring

The princess cut diamond sits beautifully on an engagement ring that’s both classic and modern. The contemporary style of the cut makes it an updated style to wear, while the brilliance is as evident as in a more traditional round cut stone. You might even trade in the classic diamond for a stone of your choice. The deep blue of a sapphire, fiery red of a ruby, or the endlessly rich green of an emerald perhaps?

4. Vintage Cushion Cut Engagement Ring

Many people love a style that stands the test of time – and for some, a vintage engagement ring design can be the epitome of everything great about an engagement ring. The cushion cut allows a stone to show off its every facet, catching the light and creating a luminous announcement to the world that you’re now officially engaged!

5. A Halo Setting

If you can’t choose between the shimmer that little stones bring and the brilliance of a large centre stone, the halo ring setting is ideal for you. Popular with couples who love a little extra sparkle in their lives, the halo style engagement ring has one centre stone surrounded by a number of smaller celebratory stones.

Visit us to pick out an Engagement Ring

At Abrecht Bird Jewellers we’ve helped so many discerning couples like you make and design an engagement ring. With a host of options, both classic and contemporary, you’re sure to find one that sings to you and fits perfectly into your love story. If you’re unsure about which one to choose, we’ll help make things easier for you by showing you some of our specially curated options and answering your questions on everything from stone choices to our best-sellers.

To book your appointment consultation with Abrecht Bird please phone us today on 9650 3830

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How Do I Clean My Rings?

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How Do I Clean My Rings?

How Do I Clean My Rings?

Are your rings starting to lose their lustre or beginning to appear old and scuffed? Cleaning your ring regularly is an important part of jewellery upkeep and doesn’t have to be too complicated if you know how. Unfortunately, most people don’t know where to start and trial and error based on tips found off the internet may not deliver the results you want. So, what is the right way to clean your ring?

Get It Right: The Correct Way to Clean Your Ring at Home

It’s important to clean your ring at home regularly (at least once a week) if you wear it all the time. This helps gets rid of any dirt and oil build-up that might have happened over the course of the week and makes it easier to handle when you do a major clean-up of the ring. This can be done easily at home with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid soap. Just soak the ring in the mix for about 20 minutes or so and then wipe dry gently with a soft, clean cloth. Avoid using any kind of chemicals to clean it. This could damage the metal and the stones permanently.

Even toothpaste and baking soda should be avoided because they’re abrasive and could spoil the appearance of the gold. Strong cleaners like acetone can affect the integrity of the materials in the ring making them susceptible to damage. Stick to gentle cleaning with the warm water solution and rinse off under lukewarm water. Nothing more is needed. Super-soft toothbrushes can be used for stubborn build up under settings.

Leave it to the Professionals

Did you know you can also get your rings cleaned and serviced at  a Melbourne jeweller? Most high-end jewellers offer jewellery restorations services, including cleaning and polishing old rings. Doing this can take the uncertainty out of your ring maintenance and prevent damage from rookie mistakes! Especially with high value-rings, it may be wiser to leave the job to the pros.

How Often Should You Clean Your Ring at the Jeweller?

Rings certainly don’t need to be cleaned by the jeweller every other week, but what frequency is ideal? It really depends on a number of things like how often you use the ring, whether you exercise frequently while wearing your ring, whether you work a lot with your hands and also the kind of metal and stones it has. Typically, about twice a year is good. If you can’t manage that, ensure you have it serviced at least once a year.

Jewellery Restoration Services in Melbourne

If you are in and around the Melbourne area, your needs are easily taken care of! Abrecht Bird Jewellers has a team of professional for your jewellery restoration, a team who are skilled at looking after delicate heirloom pieces that need special care. Ensuring your ring is in the best possible condition is our expertise! Besides metal and gem polishing and cleaning, the team will also replace any missing or chipped stones or do plating if required. If your ring is a little worse for wear, or you haven’t had it checked out in quite some time, it could be well worth getting the jewellers to give it some TLC.

If you’d like to bring your rings or jewelery in for us to take a look at please give us a call on (03) 9650 3830 to book an appointment.

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How To Select A Good Jeweller

How To Select A Good Jeweller

How To Select A Good Jeweller

How To Select A Good Jeweller

Finding a good jeweller in Melbourne that you can trust is important when you’re making those big-ticket purchases or trying to acquire beautiful pieces of jewellery that will one day become family heirlooms. With a quality jeweller, you’ll find creating, selecting and buying jewellery becomes even more exciting. But how do you select the right choice? Here are some things to look for in a good jeweller, one that will give you quality, experienced advice on your next potential piece!

Find a Trusted Name

The biggest thing when it comes to buying jewellery is ensuring you get what is promised. It pays to go with businesses that have been around for many years and have established themselves as a clear market leader. If the jeweller has been around a few decades or longer, chances are they know their stuff when to comes to knowing quality and grading the piece for accurate valuations. After all, the fact that they’ve stood the test of time means they’ve had customers who have stood by them through the years and recommended them to the next generation of their family for their service, craftsmanship, exquisite stones and quality materials.

Check for Experienced, Certified Gemstone Specialists, Graders, and Valuers

As a buyer, you might not always know how to tell the quality of one stone from another, which is why the expertise of your jeweller becomes ever so important. Try and find a business that puts emphasis on retaining a team of well-qualified gemmologists and diamond graders and valuers so they can do the hard work for you. That way, as a customer, all you need to go by is what you love and want to own and not worry about second guessing your choices.

Look at their Products!

This one is obvious but is possibly a decision that’s most personal. You’ll need to find a jeweller who makes designs that you truly love. Take a peek at their social media or visit their shop to see what kind of pieces they create. Most good jewellers will have a range of collections to suit different tastes. Spend some time looking at everything and don’t hesitate to ask the staff any questions or perhaps to see if they have more pieces that may not be on display.

Interact with the Staff

A mere wander through a jewellery store isn’t going to tell you the whole story. To get a true picture of the experience, do interact with the staff. Are they warm and friendly? Is the service efficient and do the staff inspire confidence? Were they accommodating of your requests? Could you have all your questions answered? If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to a lot of these questions, they’re probably a good choice for you.

Your Perfect Match in Melbourne

Abrecht Bird Jewellers has been present in the heart of Melbourne since 1875, serving generations of families from the area and beyond. Experienced professionals from the industry make up the team at this jewellery stalwart. With Abrecht Bird, you can tap into their knowledge and expertise to help make the right choices for your purchases whether big or small. And with award-winning designers creating gorgeous, bespoke pieces for clients, you can really indulge your creative side!

If you would like to have a chat today with one of our jewellers you can call us on (03) 9650 3830

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Why Should You Invest In A Quality Engagement Ring?

Why Should You Invest In A Quality Engagement Ring?

Why Should You Invest In A Quality Engagement Ring?

Why Should You Invest in a Quality Engagement Ring?

When you have found the love of your life, the sky is the limit as far as your happiness is concerned.  As it is with every couple, you would want to make your engagement memorable and special with the perfect engagement ring.  Whether you go for gold or diamonds, investing in a quality engagement ring is important in the long run.

Signs of poor quality

The most popular engagement ring metals are yellow, white or rose gold and platinum. While white gold and platinum look similar, platinum is much more durable. Whatever metal you chose to wear for the rest of your life should be made with the utmost attention to detail. Diamonds should be perfect in terms of cut, colour and clarity while being evenly set. Mass produced or cast rings often can be cheaper but are of lower quality.

Poor casting, porosity, uneven cuts and hollowed foundations are the hallmarks of poor-quality engagement rings. These rings are cheaper but break down over a period of time, which means higher costs of repair. They are light in weight, thus saving money – to begin with.

Examining how the diamonds are set in a channel set engagement ring is important to understand the quality of work. A channel set ring has diamond accents which are placed in the “channel” that is formed by the precious metal’s strips. Grooves on the metal walls are meant to hold these diamonds securely. Small gaps or unevenly set stones may result in them falling out altogether or extensive chipping.

The other aspects to look for are porosity and rough spots on the metal. Porosity refers to tiny holes on the surface of the metal. These holes can cause breakdown of the metal over time while rough spots can mean the ring can attract dirt or chemicals.

Poor quality engagement rings can feature little bubbles that make the metal brittle and weak. Improper alloy mixing, over or under “cooking” and poor casting can cause porosity.

When you are looking for top quality jewellery that is blemish-free, evenly set and long-lasting, Abrecht Bird Jewellers is the most obvious choice.

A stunning array of jewels

 When you walk into our stunning showroom, you are sure to be mesmerised by the array of dazzling top-quality engagement rings. Browse our catalogues to see some of our inspired bespoke creations or sit down for a free consultation with our custom jewellery design experts.From handmade Australian gemstone bracelets to uniquely designed coloured stone or diamond engagement rings, we have the jewellery for every occasion.

Our master designers present hand-drawn designs based on your expectations which can be modified as you wish. The end result is always a stunning masterpiece that is sure to delight you.

Concerned about swollen knuckles?

At Abrecht Bird Jewellers, we have the ideal solution for swollen knuckles in the form of hinged rings.

Contact us today or visit our showroom to get the engagement ring of your dreams!

Would Your Partner Prefer To Design Their Own Engagement Ring?

Would Your Partner Prefer To Design Their Own Engagement Ring?

Would Your Partner Prefer To Design Their Own Engagement Ring?

Would Your Partner Prefer To Design Their Own Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring is the stunning symbol of everlasting love and the favourite piece of jewellery your loved one wears forever! While traditionally, if you were going to propose, you’d choose the engagement ring – but that trend is changing!

Of course, the element of surprise is the most important factor that makes popping of the question and the presentation of the engagement ring all that special. But while your partner might love to be surprised by the love of their life, they may also dream of wearing the most exquisite engagement ring. It comes as no surprise that today your loved one might want to have a say in the engagement ring.

A survey showed that one out of three people who have been proposed to opt for a custom-designed engagement ring. Close to 75% of recently engaged people that had a surprise engagement ring wished they had been consulted first!

There could be many reasons why purchasing a ring without consulting your partner could be problematic:

  • Stones that are ill-fitting or too small
  • Wrong colour of stone or precious metal
  • Dislike for the design choice
  • Wrong shape or size of the engagement ring

Why your partner prefers to design their custom engagement ring

  • Each individual is unique, and so are the design choices! Even though you trust and love each other, you may not always have the same design, style or colour preferences. Many people have a fair idea of how they want their engagement ring to look. As the engagement ring is something that will be worn for the rest of their lives, your loved one would want to wear a ring of their liking.
  • The engagement ring is an eternal symbol of romance and trust, but the aesthetics and quality of the ring does matter to many people. If you’re the type that doesn’t pay close attention to the minute details such as colour combinations, pattern, gems or precious stones or the current fashion trend, and your partner is detail-oriented when it comes to precious jewellery it might be a good idea to choose the ring together.
  • Choosing their own engagement ring is also important to your partner as it indicates that their choices and opinions count. Being proactive in custom-designing the engagement ring is a way of respecting their choices. For many others, selecting the engagement ring together with the jewellery consultant is a joyous adventure in itself! Many couples would love the experience of browsing through hundreds of custom designs, discussing with an expert and designing the ring.

Custom-design your engagement ring at Abrecht Bird Jewellers

When you want nothing but the best of professionals to handle your custom engagement ring design and manufacturing, Abrecht Bird Jewellers is the standout choice.

Our master designers work closely with you to offer expert advice and guidance on the style, colour, pattern and stones so that you can be inspired to come up with your unique design.

You can also browse through our extensive catalogue that features amazing creations while discussing every detail with our experts including width, thickness, setting and type of metal.

Get in touch with us today to custom-design your engagement ring.

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Synthetic diamonds

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Columnar growth pattern in CVD synthetic diamond – not seen in natural stones

Synthetic diamonds

Synthetic diamonds

Synthetic diamonds are quickly becoming a regular occurrence in the jewellery industry. As technology is becoming more advanced, synthetic diamonds are now being produced in sizes of up to 3 carats. To the surprise of many, diamond company DeBeers, previously only trading in natural diamonds, now has a subsidiary company supplying a synthetic diamond jewellery range to the world.
It is essential the jewellery industry is educated about determining the difference between these types of diamonds, to ensure clients are not only educated about their purchases but are getting what they pay for and jewellery is valued accordingly.

What is the difference between natural and synthetic diamonds?

To the untrained eye, synthetic diamonds can look as real as natural ones, creating a cause for concern. The prices of synthetics are less than their natural counterparts, and predictions of synthetic prices dropping have been made as the technology becomes more advanced over time.
To produce natural diamonds takes millions of years. The vast majority of natural diamonds are low quality ‘industrial grade’ crystals. Specific temperatures, pressure and a suitable chemical and geological environment are required to ensure that the diamonds are of gem quality.
By comparison, to create a piece of synthetic rough by machine takes approximately 2–3 weeks. Synthetic diamonds are made by machine in two ways: one by CVD (chemical vapour deposition) in a vacuum using a gas phase carbon or by HTHP (high temperature high pressure) using carbon and mimicking the environment in which natural diamonds form with pressure and heat. All are technically a diamond (made from the same components as the natural).

With an interest in these techniques, Kylie recently partook in an advanced diamond grading course where she learnt the different ways to distinguish between natural and synthetics.

How to tell between a natural and synthetic diamond

CVD and HTHP synthetics display different graining patterns to naturals, as seen here, as well as different reactions to ultraviolet light and colour or growth zoning. Separating such stones from natural diamonds requires the use of advanced spectroscopic techniques and certain
gemmological equipment. After attending a workshop on detection of synthetics, Greg and Peter decided to invest in a digital spectrometer for our gem laboratory so that we could better protect our customers.

We can sadly no longer assume a diamond is of natural origin.

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