Hand-Crafted-Rings, by Brian

 Me in my workshop :-)   

I hope this little lot can answer most of the commonly asked questions about Diamonds and what it is I do with them, but if after ploughing through it :-) you have any questions just Email me at:-
enquiries@hand-crafted-rings.com


Sorry I know a lot of the site is out of date now but the M.S. makes life difficult :-( so I update when I can. 
 

 SOLD! The Earth and the Moon in Platinum & Diamonds SOLD! Sold! SOLD! Handmade Platinum 1.08ct Oval Diamond Solitaire Ring Platinum 1.5ct Yellow Pear shape Diamond Solitaire ring SOLD!

SOLD! Hand made Platinum 1.00ct Diamond Solitaire Ring 2499.00 inc. p+p! SOLD! SOLD! 22ct Gold, Pure Silver, Pure Copper, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire Ring Platinum 1ct shield cut Diamond Solitaire Diamond Ring SOLD!


If you are looking to buy a Handcrafted ring from me, please click here to see what I have listed on eBay.
Please note than anything I have listed on eBay or etsy or elsewhere can be usually be bought through this website at a discounted price!
 Please Email me for details at bd.unitt@hand-crafted-rings.com

Or are you looking to commission your own unique, handmade, custom design ring?

A bit about me ...... The 4C's  ......  The Gallery ......  FAQ's ......  Some links ......Terms of Sale   

Video's of current and recent rings

 


A bit about me

I started making rings via a very devious route - I started life as a Telephone Engineer! and during my time with the GPO/BT I did most everything from maintaining the old electromechanical telephone exchanges, to climbing poles, to installing and maintaining the latest Digital Private Exchange equipment. Then BT offered me a largish sum of money to leave (ie redundancy!) which I took and became........ an Antiques dealer (?!) Having lost a considerable amount of my redundancy money learning the many pitfalls of being an Antiques Dealer (ouch) I found myself more and more interested in Antique and second hand jewellery, especially rings. It seemed a shame that I saw so many items broken or damaged, and the cost to repair them was so high that I decided to have a go myself. Many ruined items and expensive mistakes later :-) I decided to read up on what to do and why and how, and with that plus some training I'd had with BT as an apprentice (believe it or not) I gradually got the hang of it. Since then I've been virtually a full time jeweller in my own little specialised field of mostly making Diamond solitaire rings, selling about half through eBay until recently, and I'm a lot happier doing that than when I worked for BT!

Unfortunately I was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a while ago, and when its active the disease plays havoc with my ability to do fine and/or precise work, thus my ability to make and repair jewellery is now much reduced and becoming very unpredictable :-( so I'm having to look at selling other peoples work too now. But I will do my best to ensure I still only sell real quality items, even if I can't make them all myself anymore!

(^top of page^) 


FAQ's

Do I do private commissions / bespoke designs?
Yes I do when I can (see above :-( ). Simply contact me on enquiries@hand-crafted-rings.com with your requirements and specification and I will see what I can do :-)
With regard to choosing your gemstone however a downside of my relatively low prices is speed of acquisition and choice of gemstones. I can of course get certified Diamonds via trade Brokers for you but most of my supplies are recycled from major manufacturers overstock or damaged items. This means they can be relatively cheap which I can pass on to you but I have to take what I am offered, so size, shape and specification of gemstones available is almost totally unpredictable, unless you're happy to pay the premium for the choice a Broker can offer. I will not however buy or use any Diamond that I even slightly suspect may be a 'conflict' or 'blood' Diamond.

Can I come and see you?
Sometimes, but by Appointment only now and subject to the state of my health unfortunately, I can meet with you at the shop in Warwick. Sadly I can rarely be there now unless I am meeting someone as my workshop is in a different location altogether and I find the travelling very tiring now (MS again :-( ). So If you want to see me and any particular ring or rings there Email me first so I can tell you if I can be there.
NB I do not keep high value rings at Warwick due to the risk of theft so please do not make a trip there without contacting me first as neither I nor the rings will be there.

Do you Resize your own rings?
Y
es when I am physically able and its technically possible, and its usually included in the price, as long as I don't have to add or remove any metal. i.e. as soon as I need to cut the band to resize a ring a minimum charge of 40.00 applies. Please ask for details.

Can I be sure the ring is really made of solid Gold/Platinum/Palladium/Silver and not plated?
Yes as all my rings are Assayed and Hallmarked for the required standard at
Birmingham Assay Office and so are absolutely guaranteed to be the precious metal I say they are.
(I just do not sell thinly plated base metal or rather suspect, possibly illegal, and definitely untested '14K', '10K' etc marked items!)

Do you use White Gold?
Yes but I do not use or usually even supply Rhodium plated White Gold rings, because the plating always wears off eventually! Even the very best Rhodium plating will eventually wear through, and the resulting contrast between the naturally faintly straw yellow tinted White Gold and the chromium bright plating looks poor to awful.
Please,
If you want a ring that looks like Platinum please try to get Platinum, or its less costly brother Palladium, the newest Hallmarked precious metal, not plated Gold.

What is Palladium?
Palladium is a bright white precious metal that is part of the Platinum group of metals (Platinum, Rhodium, Palladium, Ruthenium, Iridium and Osmium). Its appearance is very similar to Platinum but it is lighter in weight and considerably less expensive. It was added to Platinum, Gold and Silver as the fourth precious metal that must be legally Hallmarked by an Assay office in January 2010. Its main advantages over white Gold is that it doesn't need to be plated with anything, ever :-) , its harder and costs less than 18ct Gold and its also hypoallergenic like Platinum.

What's this I1, SI2, P3 business?
These are clarity grades for Diamonds. Different Laboratories/companies use different systems unfortunately. But basically if it has an 'I' or 'P' grading you will be able to detect a fault or faults in the Diamond with the Naked eye, though in some I1 grades the fault may well be difficult to detect and you have to look closely to find them. I2, I3 (or P2, P3) stones usually have very obvious faults that can detract badly from the look and even the stability of the stone, they frequently look like cracked, dirty ice! I won't generally use I2's or I3's for my own solitaires. For more information on the '4C's' which includes the Clarity scale(s) please see below and the links.
The less inclusions or flaws the higher the clarity grade and the rarer and more expensive the Diamond will be, but remember it takes an experienced eye and special equipment to detect the difference between the top SI, VS and VVS grades. To the naked eye there may be no difference at all when mounted, but the price difference will be considerable!

What's the real difference in all these Colour grades?
Diamonds are graded for Colour (or colourlessness really :-) ) on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (strongly tinted yellow or brown or a mixture of them). There are also 'Fancy' coloured diamonds including Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, Red etc. which are a whole different ball game!
In practical terms you can usually detect a hint of colour in a Diamond at around about the 'J-K' grading, depending on the lighting, the angle of viewing and your eyesight of course :-) In a solitaire up to around the 'K' grade it will not be obvious unless you can directly compare it with another one of two or so colour grades difference. The less colour the rarer and thus more expensive the Diamond will be, but be again it takes an experienced eye, special equipment and special lighting to detect the difference between D, E and F grades. To the naked eye there may no difference when mounted, but the price difference will definitely be noticeable!

Can I return it if I don't like it after all?
Generally
yes you can. Refunds are given on general items (i.e. not handmade to order or altered) returned for any reason within 14 days of receipt, as long as they are returned in exactly the same condition as they were sent, including any tags, certificates, boxes etc. as per the Distance Selling Regulations.
There is no refund option on specially commissioned or altered/resized items obviously, unless its significantly not as described. For example the metal is not of the fineness stated or the gemstones are not of the type or size described.

 Is a Certificated stone always best?
Basically no, not always, because it very much depends on who issued the 'certificate' in the first place as not all are equal or even close in fact! Some so called 'certificates' are not worth the fancy paper they are written on. Some are known and generally trustworthy and some I will literally throw away (I'm not naming names because I don't want to be sued ! :-)  ) The basic reason for this is that the Clarity of a Gemstone is always a matter of opinion and interpretation, not of science, and a grade or two's difference can make a large difference to the value. The exact Colour grade can also end up being disputed by some, so on the back of or with just about every Diamond certificate including the good ones you will find a long winded disclaimer as to its accuracy.
 


(^top of page^)  

The '4C's' of a Diamond. Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat.

Diamond Clarity.
Probably the most awkward of the 4C's to evaluate!

Clarity grading is rather more art than science, so two people will often give dissimilar grades to the same stone as it depends on the number, type, locations and size of imperfection within the Diamond crystal, and the size of the stone too! So, especially around the I1 to SI2/3 grades, it is important to know where and of what type the flaws are. On any of my stones just ask and I will do my best to describe and picture them for you.
The table below gives the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) Diamond Clarity grades along with some of the synonymous terms used by other Diamond grading labs. For example P (pique) = I (imperfect) in some grading systems, especially European systems. It should not be taken as gospel though because as explained above Clarity always comes down to a personal opinion somewhere.
The European Gemmological Laboratory introduced the SI3 grade to bridge the rather too wide gap between the GIA's SI2 (no obvious faults to the naked eye) and I1 (fairly obvious fault to the naked eye) clarity grades. Some other Lab's have also adopted it.
A point to note is that although EGL-USA started from the same parent company as all the other EGL labs. they are no longer linked in any way except history.
You should also be aware that virtually all real Diamonds will have some inclusions and/or flaws, even if they are only detectable through a X30 magnification microscope rather than a standard X10 magnification jewellers loupe. Its one of the ways you can identify a real stone from a fake - fakes just don't have the characteristic inclusions that Diamonds do.

Clarity definitions should always be based first on inspection with the naked eye, and then under 10 times magnification.

Symbol Meaning Definition
F Flawless Free from all inclusions or blemishes.
IF Internally Flawless No inclusions visible at 10 times magnification. (10X)
VVS1 Very Very Slightly Included #1 Inclusions that are extremely difficult to locate at 10x magnification.
VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included #2 Inclusions that are very difficult to locate at 10x magnification.
VS1 Very Slightly Included #1 Minor inclusions that are difficult to locate at 10x magnification.
VS2 Very Slightly Included #2 Minor inclusions that are somewhat difficult to locate at 10x magnification.
SI1 Slightly Included #1 Noticeable inclusions that are easy to locate at 10x magnification. Not usually detectable with the unaided eye.
Sl2 Slightly Included #2 Noticeable inclusions that are very easy to locate at 10x magnification. Not usually easily detected with the unaided eye.
Sl3 Slightly Included #3* Inclusions not obvious to the unaided eye unless you know what to look for and where, but very easy to locate with a 10x magnification loupe
I1 or P1 Included/Pique #1 Obvious inclusion(s). Somewhat easy to locate with the unaided eye.
I2 or P2 Included/Pique #2 Obvious inclusions. Easy to locate with the unaided eye. May affect the stability of the stone.
I3 or P3 Included/Pique #3 Very obvious inclusions. Very easy to locate with the unaided eye and may cause the cut stone to be unstable.

In practical terms for solitaire Diamond rings around 1carat you don't really want less than a good I1 clarity grade. P2/I2 and P3/I3 grades are very obviously imperfect and will often looked like cracked, dirty ice. Good I2's can look OK in earings or studs, and big ones can be very impressive in a ring in spite of the inclusions, which do have the advantage of instantly proving its a real Diamond too :-)

(^top of page^)  
 


Diamond Colour grades.

This is the G.I.A. Diamond colour grading scale..........

....................and this is the E.G.L.- USA version
(I use this scale when evaluating uncertified stones.)

Again in practical terms, in a solitaire you can usually detect a tint of colour in a Diamond at around about the 'K' grade. It will not be obvious or noticeable unless you directly compare it to a higher graded stone, ie put it right next to it!

Other colours include the 'Fancy' colours - Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green etc which occur naturally and in enhanced form, and the 'Champagne' scale which grades tinted yellow/brown Diamonds as C1 (light colour) to C7 (dark brownish yellow).
 

(^top of page^) 
 


Diamond Cut

Usually 'Cut' is synonymous with the shape of course - Round Brilliant, Princess (square), Emerald etc.

 but it also refers to the process of actually making the gemstone from the rough crystal. Otherwise known as the 'Make', it is critical to the amount of light reflected and refracted by the stone.
Too deep or too shallow a cut and the Diamond will allow a lot of light to escape from the sides or base of the stone, resulting in a darker appearance.

A lot of 1ct Diamonds are deliberately cut so as to be that particular weight, usually resulting in too deep a cut, as the price difference between a 1ct and 0.8ct, even when the diameter and all other factors are identical will be considerably more than just 20%!

The difference in appearance between an 'Ideal' cut and a 'Poor' cut can be fairly dramatic, but the price can be too!
 


Diamond Carat

Carat is very simply a measure of the weight of a gemstone. 1ct is equal to 0.2 grams. It is also shown as a decimal eg half a carat = 0.5ct or is given in 'points', 100 points = 1 carat, so 50 points = half a carat and so on.
It is very important to note that the weight is not the same as the size of the stone. A one carat Round Brilliant Diamond could be anywhere between 5.8mm (too deep) and 7mm (too shallow) in diameter.
so a badly cut 1ct stone could have exactly the same diameter as a 0.8ct, but the 0.8ct could look brilliant and the 1ct dead, all depending on the cut.

(^top of page^) 


Some Links.

 Please also follow this link to EGL-USA's consumer guide for more information on the 4C's

Or this one to see the creation of a solitaire ring in my workshop

Or to see a few I made earlier (just like Blue Peter :-) ) click here

See my items for sale on eBay

Warwick Chamber of Trade

http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/   http://www.mssociety.org.uk/

An excellent guide to html, and free too!

And here are a few more items I made a little earlier :-)
(click on the picture for a BIG(!) version)

(^top of page^) 

Images and text on the website are copyright, and all rights are reserved.