… when it comes to gemstones, coloured ones are gaining popularity.
Marilyn Monroe told us diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but people are increasingly choosing other stones for their jewellery.
Over the past couple of years here at Iain Henderson Designs we’ve noticed a trend towards more unusual coloured stones. We’ve made an increasing number of engagement rings with coloured stones, some cufflinks set with amber, remodelled family jewellery containing rubies and emeralds, and even created a necklace from a piece of coal.
Maybe it’s the celebrity influence – the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring originally belonged to Princess Diana and is a beautiful Ceylon sapphire surrounded by diamonds – and an increasing number of Hollywood stars (Halle Berry, Blake Lively and Carrie Underwood for example) have been seen sporting coloured gem stones in their rings.
Are they a good investment?
Despite the perceived wisdom that you should invest money in diamonds if you want to see a return, coloured gem stones have been setting records all around the world when it comes to sale prices.
At the end of 2014, Sotheby’s set a new world record when it sold a 8.62 carat Burmese ruby for £5.4m, and a new record for sapphires was also set at a recent auction in Hong Kong.
Other sources quote a 2,200% increase in the value of some types of stone over the past decade, so the answer to whether they’re a good investment is clear.
What are your coloured gem stone options?
If you want a piece of jewellery with coloured gem stones there’s a massive range to choose from. And as we source all of our stones to order from specialist merchants, we are confident we can find something to suit your style and budget.
You could use colour as your inspiration and match a stone to the one you choose. If you’re after red there are rubies or garnet; for blue try sapphires, topaz, turquoise or aquamarine; if you want green then go for emeralds or peridot.
Or you could go with a traditional birth stone. Take a look at a list here. (http://www.birthstonesbymonth.co.uk/)
And as if it wasn’t complicated enough, many stones come in a range of colours. You might not know that sapphires come in a wide range of shades of blue, as well as green, pink, purple, clear and black. Ceylon sapphires, like the one in the Duchess of Cornwall’s ring, are named after the area of Sri Lanka where they are mined and are prized for their clarity and beautiful colour.
Diamonds can also be sourced in a variety of colours – yellow, pink, green, blue, chocolate brown, champagne and the current favourite, black. Also when choosing coloured diamonds, say over an emerald for instance, the stone will be much stronger and won’t break as easily or lose its vibrancy.
It can be a bit overwhelming, so why not take advantage of a chat with an expert and call to see us at the studio? We can talk about what piece of jewellery you’re hoping to create, your style and budget, then recommend a design and stones to suit.
How should you wear them?
Coloured stones in engagement rings have been the most popular recently, but we’ve also studded wedding rings with black diamonds, remade some family jewellery into matching earring and necklaces, and created a pair of bespoke cufflinks. We often hear from our clients that they have been given a family piece of jewellery that just sits in a drawer unworn because they don’t like it, however they love the stones. We can remodel this jewellery into more modern pieces, giving new life to the stones and you a new item of jewellery to wear, it’s a win-win!
As all of our jewellery is bespoke, we can create almost anything you choose, so you can incorporate coloured gem stones into pretty much any kind of jewellery. Take a look at our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ihdjewellery for lots of examples of the unusual jewellery we design with our clients.
As well as creating pieces from scratch we can also “retro-fit” stones to jewellery, so if your wedding band is plain and you want to add some colour, we can advise about the size and suitability of stones to do this with.
Inspired? Give the team a call on 01274 551224 to book an appointment to talk to us about your next piece of bespoke jewellery, or contact us here http://www.iainhenderson.co.uk/jewellery/contact-us.php
Life goal: Find the best guy out there, make him want to marry me – check!
Planning a proposal but uninspired by rings in the jewellers’ windows and without a clear idea of what kind of ring he’d like to buy, Glamour of the Kill guitarist Mike Kingswood chatted to a friend about the dilemma.
During that conversation the issue of sentimental value cropped up and Mike realised that, although they are divorced now, his mum still had the engagement ring given to her by his dad some 30 years previously.
“It was a symbol of a time in his life,” said Mike. “A modest stone on a yellow gold band which was the best he could afford as a young man. He’s a successful surgeon now, but the ring still represents that stage of their lives – which is very similar to where Michelle and I are right now.”
Mike’s mum was delighted with the idea of turning her old engagement ring into a new one and liked that the jewellery could be kept in the family. So Iain and the team worked with Mike to update the ring to something more modern.
“It was such an easy process,” says Mike. “Iain took me through all of the options – discussing style, budget and any ideas I had, then came up with a design that met all of my wish list.”
Mike’s fiancée Michelle had moved to the UK just weeks before the proposal from her native Los Angeles, after a two-year transatlantic relationship.
The stone, a classic brilliant cut diamond, was reset in palladium – a derivative of platinum – which is a white metal and much more fitting for Mike’s intended than the original yellow gold. The new ring features an elegant four-claw design and is what jewellers would call “wedd-fit”, that’s to say it will fit with any wedding band.
Michelle was not disappointed when Mike popped the question on Christmas morning – although she did take a while to speak, which was a little uncomfortable for Mike as he waited for an answer!
“To me it’s a more personal thing,” says Mike about re-crafting a piece of family jewellery. “It means more. That will be her favourite piece of jewellery for the rest of her life and when she looks at it in 20 years’ time, the stone will be 50 years old. I like that.”
When asked how she feels about the ring Michelle said: “It’s amazing, I love it! Mike’s so family-orientated, it’s one of the things I love about him. We will definitely be making this a family heirloom and passing it on again.”
And Michelle’s comments on social media say it all – “Life goal: Find the best guy out there. Make him want to marry me. Check.
I am ecstatic to announce that Mike Kingswood has asked me to be his wife. This is the happiest day of my life, so far.”
Mike’s mum, meanwhile, is also delighted that her old engagement ring is being kept in the family.
If you have an idea for a piece of jewellery – be it re-working a family piece or designing something from scratch – the team at IHD would love to help you make that a reality. Give us a call on 01274 551224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week we found out that we were winners for the second year in a row, for outstanding customer service in our category at the North of England Wedding Awards. Every year, many of the wedding industry’s top suppliers all get together for a special awards dinner, to celebrate outstanding customer service in several different categories.
What’s nice about these awards is that they are voted for by our customers – the people that matter to our business. And because the results are not based on volume of votes it means that the scoring system is fair too – so even if the supplier only has six people who vote for them – they are still in with a chance of winning their category if their average point scoring is higher than another supplier who may have had twenty votes for example.
“We are delighted to have won the award two years in succession, it is great to know that our customers are voting for us and that we are consistently delivering a high standard of customer care.”
We’d like to say a big thank you to all those who voted for us – we love doing what we do and hope to continue making bespoke jewellery for many years to come.
Engagement ring design
We often get customers who want to have an engagement ring designed specifically for their girlfriends but don’t really know where to start when it comes to designs, diamond or stone choices, metal colour or price. With this is mind we have put together a couple of compilations with just some of our designs we have done recently for our clients to give you an idea of the range we can offer, the prices and also the different quality diamonds we can use.
As we mention below, everything about our rings are bespoke – which also means we are able to work with our customers budgets too. The size of diamond, choice of metal, number of stones and clarity of stones can all be worked with to help you achieve your budget, no matter what size it is.
Take a look below at some of our designs and do get in touch if you have any questions – we would be happy to help.
We are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as the FSB Awards Micro Business winners for our region.
We have now been invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton in London later in May, where we are hopefully in with a chance of winning the overall award for the Uk.
See all the details here …..
Ring shaping – how to avoid waving goodbye to your engagement ring
Your elegant shaped engagement ring has been admired by all but now it’s time to order your wedding rings.
You pop into your local high street jeweller to make enquiries – and then comes the shock. Not only is it going to cost you extra to have a wedding band specially shaped to fit, but that’s the last you’ll see of your engagement ring for around six to eight weeks.
So what are the reasons for this? Well, high street jewellers often act as middle men, which means that any ring that needs special shaping has to be sent off to an expert jeweller. The result is that:
- The work will take longer as the shaping is done off site and to suit someone else’s schedule rather than your own
- You won’t meet the person who does the shaping or be able to chat to them directly about the design
- There will be additional costs so that the shop can take a cut on the transaction
The shape of rings to come
Before you start wishing you had gone for a simpler style of ring, there is an alternative – go directly to the specialist jeweller yourself.
Not only will you be able to consult directly with the jeweller, but you’re less likely to be without your engagement ring for weeks. And the good news on the money front – it can actually work out cheaper.
Top tips for ordering a shaped wedding band
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips on what to look for when you need a specialist ring shaping service:
- The customer is always right When you make your initial enquiry, do they respond immediately and treat you as an individual? Or do you feel you’re on a conveyor belt with no room for an individual service?
- Speed of service How long do they need to hold on to your engagement ring? Because we are experienced at this work, in nine out of 10 cases, we can return it to you the same day.
- Saving you money Does the bespoke jeweller pass the savings of going direct on to you, the customer? Most people presume it’s more expensive to use a specialist jeweller than a high street chain, but we have lower overheads and no middle agents and so can pass savings on to the customer.
- Does the jeweller specialise in shaped wedding bands? Find out whether the jeweller has experience in this kind of work and ask to see examples and testimonials.
This last issue is perhaps the most important, as there’s no point in choosing the quickest cheapest option if you don’t end up with a well-designed, correctly shaped wedding ring that fits snugly against your engagement ring and matches the design.
Come to our studio
At IHD, we understand how important it is to you to have a stylish wedding ring to match your engagement ring.
Because we specialise in ring shaping – from split designs to unusual shaped precious gems – you can relax in the knowledge that we have the expertise to create a beautiful matching shaped ring.
We encourage you to take part in the design process, and we chat through your ideas on a one-to-one basis without interruptions – and as you might not be sure exactly where you want your diamonds set, we invite you to set them with us, meaning you are completely involved in the whole process.
We believe that it’s these personal touches that make all the difference.
Whether you are looking for an original shaped design for your engagement ring or would like a wedding band shaped to fit perfectly with a ring you already have, please get in touch. We offer a personal consultation at our studios; just call 01274 551224 or email us here.
Pocket-friendly platinum – does it exist?
A ring is for life, not just for your wedding… so the last thing you want to do is skimp on quality. At the same time, soaring gold prices and the high cost of platinum means that a pocket-friendly option is a welcome alternative.
The new kid on the jeweller’s block
Meet palladium, the up-and-coming younger brother of platinum. They might herald from the same family of precious metals, but palladium costs significantly less. If you’re setting aside every spare penny for your dream wedding, this kind of saving can be a major plus. Discovered in the early 1800s, Palladium was named after a recently detected asteroid, which in term was named after Pallas – a figure from Greek mythology.
So what are the benefits of palladium?
Like platinum and gold, palladium is a strong, durable metal, in fact you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference with the naked eye. However, because it’s low density and weighs less, with a lower melting point, a palladium wedding or engagement ring does not require as much metal. This means it can work out less than half the price of a platinum ring.
To give you an example, a 7mm court in palladium (medium weight) would cost £795, while the same ring made from platinum would weigh in at £1,787. Ladies, just think of the shoes you could buy; gents, maybe that season ticket is not such a pipe dream. Or why not shift your honeymoon from Lanzarote to St Lucia?
Save on the cost of re-plating
A palladium ring is also easy to maintain. Like platinum, it has a naturally white patina, which cuts down on the cost of regular re-plating associated with white gold – which can leave an £80 hole in your bank account on each occasion if you visit a high street store (although at IHD we only charge £30 for this service). Because it has a beautiful pure lustre in its natural state, it doesn’t need to be mixed with nickel, which some people are allergic to.
A bespoke palladium ring design will look the part and stand the test of time – what more could you want from your wedding or engagement ring?
If you’d like to know more about palladium or any other ring metals, please don’t hesitate call us on 01274 551224 or drop us an email with your enquiry here. Our studio door is always open to visitors and we can design wedding and engagement rings to suit your price and budget.
How to propose with a diamond
Are you thinking of popping the question? Proposing on Valentine’s Day – or any other day – can feel a little daunting. If you take her to a posh restaurant, will you know which knife and fork to use and how much to tip? If you hide the ring in the dessert, will she accidentally swallow it or break a tooth? And most important of all – when you ask her to marry you, will she say yes?
While we can’t help you with that one, we can suggest a way to take a lot of the stress out of your Valentine’s Day proposal.
All diamond rings are not the same
Look in any jeweller’s shop window or browse online and one thing will immediately become clear: there are thousands of ring designs to choose from out there. You may think that choosing a ring is an easy task, but once you start looking it can feel overwhelming.
You know what it’s like when she’s trying on dresses or shoes – everything has to be the perfect style, fit and colour. Now imagine choosing a ring that she is going to be wearing for the rest of her life. While we don’t want to pile on the pressure, do you know the style of ring she likes, what colour metal, what sort of arrangement of stones? Has she dropped some hints in the past but you can’t for the life of you remember them, even though you can remember who won the 2006 FA Cup Final on penalties?
Propose with a diamond
A problem shared is a problem halved, they say – but how can you apply this to choosing an engagement ring? Well, it’s actually very simple: you choose the diamond and let her choose the ring.
Proposing with a diamond is a unique solution to the challenge of picking out an engagement ring. It saves you all the stress of worrying whether you’ve made the right choice of ring while allowing your finacée the thrill of receiving a diamond, along with the pleasure of selecting a setting for it.
All you have to do is pop down to our studios and choose a diamond to suit your budget – no need to trudge round jewellers’ shops, deal with pushy sales people or risk bumping into her mum, who will be off to buy a hat before your bride-to-be has had the chance to say yes.
You won’t have to take the ring back because you have the wrong size or because it’s not to her taste. And because you will still be presenting her with a sparkler, displayed in a beautiful presentation case, your proposal won’t lose any of its magic – wherever you decide to pop the question.
How to choose the perfect engagement ring setting
Once your nearest and dearest is in receipt of her fabulous diamond, she will have all the enjoyment of picking out a setting she is happy with.
Because we offer a one-to-one personal service in our cosy studios, there will be no one looking over your shoulder or giving you the hard sell. Your fiancé will be able to browse through the options and get expert advice on a bespoke ring design to suit her particular taste. You can even pick out a set of wedding rings to match the engagement ring at the same time. What could be more romantic?
So what are you waiting for – it’s a win-win situation!
Pick up some more ideas from our blog: 5 Tips for Buying Jewellery for Valentine’s Day.
For further information or to arrange a trip to view the diamonds and jewellery at our studios, call us on 01274 551224 or drop us an email with your enquiry here.
5 tips for buying jewellery for Valentine’s Day
If you’re looking for ideas for jewellery for Valentine’s Day, whether earrings, necklace or engagement ring, you’re probably worried that you run the risk of picking the wrong thing. While everyone has their own taste, as bespoke jewellery makers we are experienced at helping you find the right piece of jewellery for your loved one. That way, you’ll win her over with a romantic gesture that will earn you brownie points for the year to come!
Here are some tips for buying jewellery that will show her that you’ve put a bit of thought into your Valentine’s gift.
1. Does she wear gold or silver jewellery?
Do some snooping around and find out what her tastes are. Does she usually wear gold or silver jewellery? Classic jewellery with simple designs and delicate chains or large chunky statement pieces? Just take a few pictures on your phone and we can design something to suit her style – and your budget.
2. Don’t risk getting caught!
Picture the scene: you’re standing at the jeweller’s shop window, wondering what to buy, and her best friend walks past. You can bet that the news of your shopping trip will travel faster than Usain Bolt! Much better to pop by our studios. You can put your feet up and have a chat about the options over a cup of coffee, without having to trek round the shops in wintry weather.
3. Diamonds are forever
They are also a girl’s best friend! No woman can resist diamonds, whether they are set in a stylish pendant or fashioned into a pair of beautiful diamond studs – and they are versatile enough for everyday wear or a special occasion. Another perennial favourite is pearls; our range of pearl bracelets, necklaces and earrings are guaranteed to win her heart on Valentine’s Day.
4. Jewellery has sentimental value
If you ask your partner what her favourite piece of jewellery is, it’s just as likely to be the one that has the most sentimental value as the most expensive. However, sometimes jewellery goes out of date or is an inherited piece that isn’t quite to your taste. If you or your partner has one or more items of jewellery that you don’t want to part with but don’t want to wear, we can make them into a brand new piece for you. For example, an old ring could be transformed into a stunning pendant or the stones from a couple of necklaces could be set in a new bracelet. Equally, we can re-fashion a piece of jewellery that doesn’t fit, such as a ring or a bracelet. You can even trade in your old jewellery and set the value against a brand new item.
5. Don’t leave it too late
“Time goes by so slowly,” according to the lyrics of Unchained Melody – but Valentine’s Day will be with us before you know it. Don’t be a Last-Minute Loser with your Valentine’s Day gift, particularly if you are looking for something unique, designed to show how much you care for that special someone in your life.
In our next blog we’ll tell you how to propose with a diamond, which your fiancée can then have made into a ring that suits her preferred design.
For more information or to arrange a visit to our studios, please call 01274 551224 or email your enquiry here and we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible.
Shaping wedding bands – how we can help.
One of the most common questions we get asked here at Iain Henderson Designs is ‘can you make a wedding band to fit my awkwardly shaped engagement ring?’
And the answer is – ‘of course we can!’
Often with the excitement of getting engaged and choosing a sparkling diamond all thoughts of a wedding band and how it will sit with your engagement ring are forgotten, and thats where we can help.
We specialise in shaping wedding bands to fit almost any design of engagement ring and whether your ring is of a split design, has a square diamond or has an oval stone, we haven’t yet found a shape we haven’t been able to design a wedding band around.
Typically customers who go to the high street for their matching bands will have to send their engagement ring away for 6-8 weeks, and often the ring would be sent to a jeweller like ourselves! Here, 9 times out of 10 we can do all the shaping the same day for you meaning you don’t have to be without your engagement ring for more than a day. Also, if you are having diamonds set, you are welcome to watch this being done – meaning you are part of the design process – you can’t get more personal than that!
And, having a bespoke wedding band doesn’t have to mean expensive either – which is a popular misconception!
Recently we had a customer who came to see us after being quoted £1,300.00 for a plain 18ct White Gold wedding band shaped around her engagement ring from the high street. Not only did we manage to make and this customer a bespoke 18ct White Gold wedding band which was shaped to fit her engagement ring, but we also added diamonds to the band. And, not forgetting the groom, who chose a Titanium wedding band, we managed to do all this for less than the brides original quote from the high street.
Sometimes our customers can find it very difficult to visualise how their wedding band might look. The above set of rings was designed with full involvement from the bride. At first she wasn’t sure how many diamonds to include – or even where to have them set, so we set a few to start with and then the bride came back to the studio to set more with us, deciding how many more diamonds to add and where to put them. We love the end result, and the bride has had personal involvement in the creation of her wedding band – very romantic!
Sometimes we alter brides engagement rings so that they can purchase a plain wedding band instead of a shaped one – and it will still sit flush to the engagement ring. There are occasions when brides are not able to wear their engagement rings for work – like a nurse for example. But they are allowed to wear a plain wedding band. In these situations, the bride may not want to wear a wedding band that is an unusual shape as it may look odd when worn by itself, so we can alter the engagement ring to make sure it sits flush to the wedding band. Often this will involve raising the setting on the engagement ring slightly so that the wedding band fits underneath meaning both rings look perfect when worn together or when worn individually.
If you are looking for a matching fit wedding band that fits perfectly with your engagement ring, or you would like to discuss the design and shaping of your ring then please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you
Telephone 01274 551224
Or get in touch by filling out our contact form here.
- Colour me beautiful…
- Making (family) history – creating the next generation engagement ring …
- North of England Wedding Award Winners – for the 2nd year in a row!
- Engagement ring inspiration
- We are winners!! – FSB awards Micro Business of the year for the Yorkshire region.
- April 2015
- January 2015
- September 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- October 2013
- September 2013
- June 2013