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:-
Sorry I know a lot of the site is out of date now but the M.S. makes life difficult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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Or are you looking to commission your own
unique, handmade, custom design ring?
about me ......
The 4C's ......
Some links ......Terms
current and recent rings
A bit about
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^)
Do I do private commissions / bespoke designs?
do when I can (see above :-( ). Simply contact me on
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
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.
you Resize your own rings?
Yes 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
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!)
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
I return it if I don't like it after all?
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
(^top of page^)
'4C's' of a Diamond. Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat.
Probably the most awkward of
the 4C's to evaluate!
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
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.
should always be based first on inspection
with the naked eye, and then under 10 times
from all inclusions or blemishes.
inclusions visible at 10 times magnification.
Very Slightly Included #1
that are extremely difficult to locate at 10x
Very Slightly Included #2
that are very difficult to locate at 10x
Slightly Included #1
inclusions that are difficult to locate at 10x
Slightly Included #2
inclusions that are somewhat difficult to locate
at 10x magnification.
inclusions that are easy to locate at 10x
magnification. Not usually detectable with the unaided eye.
inclusions that are very easy to locate at 10x
magnification. Not usually easily detected with the unaided
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
inclusion(s). Somewhat easy to locate with the
inclusions. Easy to locate with the unaided eye. May affect the
stability of the stone.
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^)
is the G.I.A.
Diamond colour grading scale..........
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!
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
(^top of page^)
'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.
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!
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^)
Please also follow this link
to EGL-USA's consumer guide for more information on
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
excellent guide to html, and free too!
And here are a few
I made a little earlier :-)
(click on the picture for a
(^top of page^)
Images and text
on the website are copyright, and all
rights are reserved.