Tanzanite, rubelite etc ... what are they?

(183 Posts)
nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:18:45

Am idly watching some shopping channel and these gemstones keep coming up. Are they rare? Are they crap? Have they always been around but people have just started buying them? Also, does anyone seriously buy jewellery from the TV?

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:23:23

I'll be interested in th answer to this!

Last I knew, tanzanite used to be given as the example of the relativity of the value of precious (and semi-precious) gems. Gems basically have a cultural value that is (sort of) linked to scarcity, and scarcity of purity, colour, etc. But, at the same time, diamonds, for example have their value controlled by the big diamond firms controlling the market. Tanzanite is the example of a gemstone that is being marketed quite heavily.

Frankly, I've no idea. Amethyst was prized by the Victorians and its value has plunged.

Any gem experts out there?

I love Tanzanite it's beautiful, it is a genuine gemstone and relatively rare in its natural form however there is a lot of synthetic about as well. Can't help you on the other though.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:25:23

Tanzanite is lovely. Never heard of rubelite. Tiffany has a Tanzanite ring not that I like it much. Could probably live with it though. grin

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:31

Certainly agree that tanzanite looks pretty.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:51

There's another one called citrine. Sort of yellowy colour.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:52

OMG - look at this!

Just wow. If you like that kind of thing. Which I do.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:28:16

Citrine too, I'm familiar with.

silverfrog Fri 03-Feb-12 21:29:08

tanzanite is fairly rare. as is tsavorite. both come from east Africa - one fromt he foothills of Mt Kilinajaro, and the other found in Tsavo in Kenya.

tsavorite is a form of garnet - it is deep green, like a deeper, richer, emerald.

tanzanite is blue/purple (depending on quality) - I have some that is like amethyst, and some that is a beautiful light blue/violet colour.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:29:22

Belledame, that is gorgeous. And not expensive. So I guess it's a semi-precious stone. Like topaz or jade. Though maybe jade is expensive nowadays.

silverfrog Fri 03-Feb-12 21:30:13

grr, clearly that is Mt Kilimanjaro (why my autocorrect mangled that I have no idea!)

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:31:02

Impeccably set tanzanite, blue cuprian elbaite tourmalines

That's what the Tiffany copy says. More gemstones I've never heard of.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:32:29

That's a gorgeous colour, BelleDame.

Doesn't the value increase as the stone moves towards the blue-violet colour range? <hopes someone will come along and give us a lesson in gems.>

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:32:58

£108,000 - a bargain grin

They are semi precious gemstones.

All gemstones can very in price massively depending on quality, you can pick up a piece of Tanzanite jewellery for £20..... but if it's a good quality stone it can go to £200.

Same for Citrine, if you imagine that it's graded same as a diamond, you're looking for inclusions, clarity of colour, depth of colour etc.

Jade is the same. Some jade is cheap but there is a particular colour and type of jade that is EXTREMELY expensive.

I don't have a certificate in gemology (it's really really bloody difficult) but I am qualified to do valuations so I am not entirely clueless wink

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:16

Lots of citrine on the Tiffany site too...

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:29

I liked the first, really violet, ring best. grin <fantasy shopping>

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:40

I hope so because I'm sure they weren't around, say twenty years ago. Presumably someone had the idea of mining a wider range of stones. Perhaps because the more well known stones became too expensive.

I would like to buy myself some jewellery. I have hardly any and can't afford the expensive stuff. I like opals and they are quite reasonably priced.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:35:40

Read the Tiffany price wrong. It's EXPENSIVE.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:35:57

Do you think tanzanite is going to hold its value, MrsCumberbatch?

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:36:51

MrsC - thank you for that. Do you know why they seem to be around more. Or am I just watchign too much Freeview?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:37:03

Yep. Tiffany has a helpful "hint" card you can send re Valentines's day. I've hinted for the bracelet... Since we've split anyway I don't have high hopes! smile

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:38:31

Presumably it's the diamonds that make that bracelet so expensive not the tanzanite. But is the tanzanite used to make it cheaper than a sapphire or becuase the tanzanite offers something sapphires don't?

I want a workshop in jewellery. Mrs C? Can we have a gemstone 101 please?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:40:14

Tanzanite is a different colour. Oddly, I'd find it less appealing with sapphire so it's probably a fashion thing. I'm easily swayed by Vogue!

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:41:27

I agree the colour is gorgeous. Sapphires are often a bit watery (Gosh I sound princessy).

I actually have about five pieces of jewellery and I would like to have a bit more choice.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:41:54

Where is Mrs C?

And animula..... Amethyst was popular in victorian times due to fashion and also the relative expense compared to other stones.

The difference in price between an amethyst and , for example, a ruby, was so enormous (as it is today) that only the gentrified victorians could afford rubies, emeralds et al.
Those not so wealthy but affluent enough to afford jewellery would have chosen amethyst, garnet or seed pearl jewellery as it was more within their means.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:45:14

Don't go, MrsC, we've more questions for you ... .

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:46:22

Okay. Same as nowadays I guess.But are there more gemstones around. For example, I've just had a look at a website and it includes:
tourmaline (in various colours)

I've never heard of any of them.

Hi nkf,

All gemstones will hold their value. But remember that the value of the stone is not necessarily what you pay for it.

To explain : A diamond ring in a shop window may be on sale for £2000. But the cost to get an identical stone and setting may be as little as £800.

You're right that the tanzanite will be bringing the price of the bracelet down relative to a sapphire. There's no reason to use one rather than the other. It's down to preference, design and cost cutting.

Sapphire's are graded on their colour quality as well, so if you're looking at a piece of jewellery with a watery coloured sapphire consider 'is the price worth it?' You are better with a smaller but deeper coloured stone.
(Unless it's white sapphire, but that's a whole other story!)

Peridot is the birthstone for August and was very popular in victorian jewellery. Still has quite a good market.
Jasper is quite common in jewellery but I don't see it worn often.
It's more down to taste, the majority of people are happy with a basic wedding band, diamond pendant etc. There are not as many people who will invest in a jasper ring or tourmaline etc. over and above a diamond/sapphire/emerald (popular stones)

kunzite, I can honestly say I've never actually come across it. But yet again, fashion prevails. If it's not popular or particularly unusual then it won't be as prevalent on the market.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:55:19

Am loving this. More please.
For example, you can buy cheap diamond stuff in say Elizabeth Duke but would you be better off buying something with tanzanite. I know that's not like for like because they are different colours.

But essentially, are we talking stones, mined in the same way and cut and graded and set in the same way - but one type is rarer and therefore more expensive? Or is there a sort of brand name equivalent with stones? People think emeralds are better than jade and therefore it's more expensive.

You know in the same way prosecco is often nicer than chamnpagne but costs less because everyone thinks champagne is the business.

(fully expect to get drummed out of MN for poncery)

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:55:56

Sorry, that was a cross post.

Lol I love the prosecco/champagne.

If we stick with that allegory....

Presecco and champagne are entirely different things but both part of the alchoholic fizzy bubbly fun family.

Tanzanite and diamond are entirely different things but both part of the shiny lovely gem family.

Some gems will be more expensive due to rarity. Diamonds vs Amethysts for example. BUT to make things difficult, you could buy a crap diamond for £20 or a nice amethyst for £50.

Jewellery in Elizabeth Duke etc can be nice, you can't go far wrong with a silver necklace at £30 or whatnot but I find that their diamonds, wedding rings etc are overpriced as the diamond is not as good a quality as the price would suggest. (Same applies for most chain jewellers imho.)

So to answer at least one of your questions; You'd be better off buying a good piece of tanzanite jewellery rather than a cheap set of diamond jewellery.

Although just to set the cat amongst the pigeons, there are bargains out there.

I was at a vintage fair last week and picked up an Edwardian diamond brooch, looking a little bit worse for wear, for £80. Took home and cleaned up, diamond is v. good quality. Would easily sell 3 times the price I paid. (Although I won't because I fell a wee bit in love with it.)

So sometimes cheap is good and sometimes cheap is just cheap.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 22:15:55

You obviously know what you are looking for. I find vintage anything hard to understand. The main high street jewellery shops look as if everything has come from the same source. Seemingly identicial rings, bracelets etc.

There is a shop near where I work which is independent and sells some vintage stuff. Old Rolexes, things like that. I often look in the window and drool a bit. But I don't know what to buy or even what would suit me.

I don't have much money but I would like to have a few nice pieces and leave them to my daughter.

Vintage now is not what vintage was 10 years ago. Now seemingly tat from the 1990's qualifies as 'vintage'. sighs

My guide to buying jewellery would be

1) Find something you like. Be it a style, a stone or an era.
2) Give yourself a rough budget.
3) Window shop like crazy.
4) If all else fails - Message mrscumberbatch and tell her what you're looking for and she will send out her vintage drones..... wink

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 22:24:00

Value is controlled by supply and demand. For example, the Victorians demanded peridot, amethyst and marcasite, yet supply was lower. So back then the price was high. Now that peridot, amethyst and marcasite are relatively abundant, and they are far less fashionable, they are much cheaper. (That said, lots of high end designers are re-discovering gems like these). Tanzanite was only discovered in the sixties by Fredrik Kunz - he also discovered Kunzite and Morganite - and Tiffanys launched it the following year. It is a single source gem (ie - it has only ever been found in Tanzania and they don't think that it will be found anywhere else) and is far rarer than diamonds. We bought my engagement ring from gems.tv because I really wanted a Tanzanite and could never afford De Beers or Tiffany. My ring cost £600 and was valued in Birmingham for £3500 (insurance replacement value)!! My wedding band cost £100 and has 1/4ct of brilliant cut diamonds. I have also purchased lots of earrings from them - you can get a pair of ruby studs in a gold setting for £25.

Anyway, in answer to nkf, yes - generally the stones are more expensive because they are rarer. Diamonds are the most common expensive gem and the most desired as they display a large amount of fire (the rainbow colours they can split light into) and even because of their durability (they are the hardest gemstone). Also, diamonds have been most heavily marketed (De Beers are really to blame for that one).

Either way they are all beautiful and lovely to own.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 22:28:13

Mrs Martin. Thank you for telling me all that. I was watching it this pm and there was an opal ring that I was so tempted by.

Most of their gold is 9k though. | guess that's why the price is lower. Not just because of their "we buy in bulk" message.

Are their things pretty much as described?

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 22:44:36

Also rubellite is a variety of tourmaline - basically it is 'ruby-like' tourmaline. Indicolite is a blue variety of tourmaline but tourmaline basically comes in every colour imaginable - the most desirable is Pairaba tourmaline (think the colour of a swimming pool).

Morganite is a powder peachy-pink - the more colour saturation the better in terms of value.

Kunzite comes in a couple of colours (there are yellow and clear varieties) but is most often a pale true-pink. Again, the stronger the colour the better. It is also phosphorescent so when it has been in light and then goes into darkness it appears to glow.

Kyanite is found mostly in high mountains - nepal and the himalayas seem to be the richest source. It is a deep blue and looks like the best sapphire.

Sapphires are not all created equal - the most highly prized come from sri lanka (and are still referred to as cylon sapphires). However, Sapphires also come in lots of other colours - yellow, pink, green etc - and are referred to as 'fancy'. You can get sapphires from argos for £50 but they are almost black and therefore pretty crap!!

Colour change stones - you can get stones that seem to change colour according to the light they are viewed in. There are sapphires, garnets and other gems, such as alexandrite, that appear blue/green in one light and red/purple in another.

Zircon is not the same as cubic zirconia!! Zircon is a real gem that comes out of the ground and is beautiful - cheaper than diamonds and more fire than diamonds too. Cubic zirconia comes from a lab and is fake and horrible.

Amethyst and citrine come from the same family and there is a gem called ametrine where one half is amethyst and the other is citrine (one part of the earth was cold and the other was hot). This happens with quartz too and is regarded as a true phenomenon.

They are finding new gems all the time - a new gem was launched last year called astraeolite and it is clear (quartz I think) with specks of fools gold that look like stars - really pretty.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 22:57:14

Do you know if there are jewellers/shops that specialise in stones like this? I live in London?

zipzap Fri 03-Feb-12 23:00:09

ooh this has been fascinating. MrsM and MrsC - do you mind if I ask you a quick question, slight divert from original post but reading all this has made me wonder...

at christmas BIL bough my dsis a bracelet that was ruby and diamond. sounds fancy but when we saw it, it was very thin dainty and had teeny chips of diamond and ruby in (maybe 3 or 4 of each). Really nothing particularly special to look at but he was pleased because it was 'little but good'. Plus it was antique and 14 carat gold rather than 18. BIL had spoken to my mum about it beforehand, and she had tried to persuade him to get the shop to sell it to him on sale or return (or at least exchange) in case it didn't fit my sis (she is tall and has big wrists so has previously had a problem with bracelets and watches not fitting). Bracelet barely does up on her arm - it is stretched to breaking point. She showed it to me and was surprised pleased by the thought that he had gone and got her jewellery as it matched her engagement ring but it didn't really fit so was feeling a bit unsure about it.

I've subsequently discovered that he was talked into buying it on the condition that if it didn't fit the shop had an old ring also in14 carat gold that they would use the gold from to make an extra link for the bracelet to make it longer - for a charge obviously. I've also discovered that he paid more like £750 for it rather than the £100-£150 she thinks it is worth. It's basically going to sit in a drawer and never get worn as it will stretch and snap and it catches on things (even in the few minutes she was showing it to me) so you could never wear it with nice clothes as it will damage them. She would be sick to the back teeth if she knew how much he had spent on it; it really doesn't look like it is worth that much. And they don't have that much spare money, plenty of scrimping as she hasn't been working recently due to ill health, so it would seem like a double kick in the teeth iyswim.

Do you reckon that BIL has been done on the price - he has gone to the local jewellers that he has bought their wedding rings from and where he tends to just go to without checking against other places. I reckon they see him coming and have used the chance to offload a piece they have had difficulty shifting (they said as much) at a high price. sad If it does sound OTT is there an easy way to get valuations done and then complain to the jewellers if they have overpriced it?

sorry OP, just realised that this has got a bit long, hope you don't mind, never realised quite how much this could emotionally affect somebody - and the wretched bracelet isn't even mine! Thanks if you do get this far and have an answer!

If you go into any independent jeweller they will have stone cutting contacts who can get a hold of everything. Just name your price and they will try to work within your limits.

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 23:05:19

nfk - Everything I have had has been as described and the one time I had a problem (a morganite came loose in its setting - to be honest it was my fault for being too rough with it) they refunded the earrings no problem. They re really helpful, the courier is great (my only bugbear with qvc) and they also don't use deceptive lighting techniques - I looked at rocks and co a min ago and the lighting in their studios is like trickery!!! Also - if you buy something from gems.tv they will send you a book for free that is like a dossier on every gemstone from A to K (the second book is due later in the year) which is just a great read (a good 2inches thick).

To be honest - I prefer 9ct gold as it is much more durable. My engagement ring is 18ct and my wedding band is 9 but because the shank and gallery of my engagement ring is diamond encrusted you can't tell. I think it is madness that people fork out for 18ct white gold - my best friend's ring is 18ct white and she has to get it re-dipped at least once a year (her ring was £9grand btw). If I was going to get a ring dipped I would rather save my cash and buy silver dipped in platinum!!!

anyway - for gems.tv keep the stickers on the rings and the earrings in the little clear jiffy bags and send them back if you don't like them. Best bit for me was they sold my ring at a later date for £500 so I emailed them and they put £100 in to my account to spend - I got matching earrings for free! grin

Hi zipzap,

That sounds like a nightmare. Without seeing it I couldn't tell you whether he'd been ripped off or not. Easiest thing to do would be to take it into a couple of other jewellers (not chain jewellers as they don't tend to have anyone able to value jewellery at all.) and ask them for a rough price on what they would have sold it for.

Remember that the gold price has gone up drastically in the last few years and so what we were able to buy for £200 in 2005 would easily cost more than double nowadays.

Find out what it's worth and take it from there. If he's been diddled then take it back and demand a return. If it is worth the money then I would consider letting them extend the bracelet. It's not uncommon but yet again I haven't seen the bracelet to comment on whether it would be difficult or not.

A lot of antique jewellery is delicate and not for everyday wear. Just a problem that comes with the territory. If it's not suitable I would maybe suggest arranging an exchange with the shop who sold it for something a bit more robust.

BIWI Fri 03-Feb-12 23:10:22

My enagement ring is Tanzanite.

Just saying!

BIWI Fri 03-Feb-12 23:10:56

Oh, and have had it since 1989

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 23:13:40

zipzap sorry but unless they are super clear stones (ie free of inclusions) I expect that he has been done abit. We went through AnchorCert and were happy with the service so I can recommend them but it would need to be sent off (most good jewellery shops like goldsmiths etc work as agents for them so you can take it into your local store). That is PRECISELY the reason I didn't let Mr Martin choose my engagement ring himself - He would have been conned into buying some wishy washy 15point stone for a grand if he was left to his own devices (I know - I'm so romantic!!).

Get it valued but I don't know if you have any come back against the jeweler.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 23:19:18

BiWi - you are so fashion-forward!

Can I be nosey and ask why you chose tanzanite? I'm wondering if it's a Jilly Cooper-ish thing with your dh saying it matched your violet eyes. for the record, looking at the links Belle put up earlier, I realised my mother had violet eyes when she was younger.

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 23:23:04

My engagement ring is an almost exactly like this, just mine is yellow gold ans the gallery sits slightly higher (more proud of the hand) so my wedding band just sits underneath. It is massive and ostentacious but until I got engaged I had never had anything precious (I had a pretty poor upbringing). I only ever wear stud earrings and I wear a cheap qvc diamonique one when we go camping/on holiday etc.


Also shows the mark-up you get with designer jewellery!

BIWI Fri 03-Feb-12 23:32:08

grin animula!

I knew the kind of style of ring I wanted, and he one in the shop just happened to be Tanzanite (with small diamonds)

pluckingupcourage Fri 03-Feb-12 23:33:03

wow mrsmartin that is an amazing colour.

I love the colour of some of the relatively little known (gemtv) stones, so this is very interesting. I also like the idea of getting a cheapish diamonique ring as an engagement ring replacement, because I tend to keep my engagement ring (which is a family heirloom from DH's family) locked up. I'm just too clumsy for it! Do you find the Diamonique OK?

BIWI Fri 03-Feb-12 23:33:44

Oh, and I went to choose it with my mum, so nothing to do with romance at all!

zipzap Fri 03-Feb-12 23:35:16

MrsC and MrsB - thank you so much for your advice - will try to persuade her to get it valued 'for the insurance' maybe...

I know I shouldn't get so involved but she's my little sis and has had a hard year so it's horrible to see something that should have been such a lovely gesture from bil backfire especially when mum had told him there was likely to be a problem and he didn't listen. It really is a very dainty chain and so not much gold in it I'd have thought!

How much is reasonable to pay for a valuation do you reckon? (sorry to ask more questions!) Hopefully she will be able to find something better at the jewellers and they will exchange it for something that she can wear...

Seeing all this talk of gems reminds me of my weekend wanders with dh - we used to live near Hatton Gardens and it was lovely to look at all the amazing gems and jewels in the windows. And then the excitement of eventually choosing wedding ring and engagement ring. happy days but seem a long time ago now!

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 23:38:13

I don't have an engagement ring. <wry look> I think I'd be very happy with choosing one with my mother.

Actually, that's not true. My mother is a bit puritanical and would spend the visit delivering a monologue on the wrongness of making such a purchase. <double wry look>

<wants to see BiWi's ring.>

a valuation for insurance is totally different zizap as it only covers the cost of replacement. Not the actual retail cost.

If you're trying to find out how much, without letting on that's what you're doing can you not take her into jewellers on the pretext that you are looking for earrings/necklace for work do and while you're in just mention in passing to the jeweller 'Oh my sister got this lovely bracelet, could I be cheeky and ask roughly how much you think it's worth. Just for fun?'

(I've seen a few approached that way) If it's a valuation for insurance it'll cost money as well.

If it's just a quick question about retail prices for a piece of jewellery we do it for free. (If you're friendly and not ripping people off they will always come back!). A valuation for insurance purposes costs a minimum £25 or 1% of the total worth of the item.

I love working in the jewellery industry, (and I wouldn't have been born without it as both my parents are jewellers too!) it's always exciting/fun being in a jewellers. Even if it's just to have an item repaired - you know you're getting something that you love back!

I don't have an engagement ring as we're quite happily living in sin.....

My favourite ring that I wear every day is this

sapphire target

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 23:48:05

pluckingup - tanzanite is so much nicer in person - you get lots of flashes of pinks and violets and royal blues.

My qvc ring is fine - I don't think you can go for any stone bigger than 4or5mm though as then they look like glass. I went for one that has a coloured main stone (I'm just not a solitaire girl) and I tell everyone it is a sapphire when they ask (though the woman in Tiffany just assumed it was a canary diamond and I didn't feel the need to correct her!!)

For some reason I cdan't link to it but it is item 699996 on qvcuk.com - was only £25!

zipzap I can't remember how much our valuation was as we also paid to have a serial number to be laser etched onto my tanzanite(so I can prove it is mine if the worst does happen). I think Mrs C's idea of going to a couple of jewellers is the best option though. I also think the original jeweller will be more inclined to do a deal if BIL goes in and says it doesn't fit with lifestyle etc - if he has given them a fair amount of business before they should recognise the importance of retaining him as a customer. If not, threaten Watchdog!!! grin

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 23:49:36

mrsc - oooh!

mrsmartin Fri 03-Feb-12 23:57:18

MrsC - so is Humphery Butler your family business?

zipzap Fri 03-Feb-12 23:58:16

Thank you ladies - great advice! I've learnt so much on here tonight and completely unexpectedly grin thanks

I will try to persuade her to do what you say...

and MrsC - that's a lovely ring, I can see why you love it! My rings are all sitting gathering dust hidden at the back of my wardrobe as my fingers expanded when I was pregnant and haven't ever shrunk back. I optimistically hoped they would and that I would lose lots of weight too but it isn't happening, so this thread is inspiring me to dig them out and sort out getting them stretched a bit so I can start wearing them again, or at least get a cheap 'interim' one to wear until I can lose weight fit them again!

thanks and wine for you both!

Hi MrsMartin... nooo. We're an independent in Glasgow. (With no functioning webpage.) I have a separate vintage jewellery business (With website launching in April)

pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 00:02:29

MrsC I'd agree to live in sinful bliss with that on my finger.

MrsMartin I have a feeling I might need some tanzanite, didn't realise it had so many colours going on.
I am also not a solitaire person - the diamonique looks lovely in the yellow. Good to kow about the 4/5mm limit - I am always worried about the fog lamp look with cubic zirconia!

I've never actually heard of Humphrey Butler but I did a google image search and it's more or less identical. (My diamond is bigger though *evil laugh*)

Thanks zipzap... if it's just a half size you need it should cost pennies to get them stretched. If you need a couple of sizes up have a look around and see if you have any old or broken jewellery that you can exchange for the repair. Most independents are quite good with barters like such.

I'll take the wine although I daresay I may have had at least one too many this evening. It is Friday after all!

mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 00:03:25

Thanks Ladies - Special thanks to Mrs C too - it is nice when someone else knows what you are on about!!

good luck zipzap - thanks for the ring appreciation grin I won't lie - it is special!!

pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 00:03:42


mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 00:07:37

Oh, also good luck with the new business Mrs C - I'm sure it will be a success (lang antiques is always where I look to for inspiration) thanks

Thanks mrsmartin it's not so new anymore, I've been running for the last 4 years but figured I should really get with the technological revolution!

We've been doing pretty well in Scotland but just broadening our market. If I end up the next langs I'll give you a good discount wink

pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 01:05:57

mrs c, please let us all know when you're up and running online (if that's allowed in the mn world)

I will do... and if mumsnet don't allow it then you'll probably hear about it in the papers ;
"Mumsnetter detained for going completely insane at the helm of computer website and bashing web developer on the head"

I like my technology like I like my clothes and jewellery; Vintage, pretty but fairly useless.

pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 01:46:05

yes I get into all kinds of trouble (especially with respect to cars) as my main criteria are vintage and pretty. Good luck!

Oh jeez you're my kind of woman.

I'm looking into getting a 1979 camaro...... I actually have a friend who specialises in vintage american cars. (I am both very lucky and doomed to spend my life in the red!)

I'm going to ask mumsnet to start a vintage lifestyle topic. To cover everything from clothes, hair and makeup to cars, furniture and homes. (If they do then dd might suffer from neglect though..... hard decision!)

pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 02:02:45

oooh yes we need a vintage lifestyle topic!!

nkf Sat 04-Feb-12 13:27:54

Thanks for all the contributions. I learned a lot.

nkf Sat 04-Feb-12 13:34:00


Can I have your views on the above? I have very little jewellery. Two pairs of earrings, one necklace and a bracelet. All in 18k gold and all very fine.

However, since my divorce, I have this longing to shine a bit. Hence the interest in brighter stuff.

So the above ring. Not real diamonds obviously but I think it could look rather dazzling on my finger when I go out for the evening.

What do you think?

nkf Sat 04-Feb-12 13:35:02
pluckingupcourage Sat 04-Feb-12 14:19:04

I am no expert but I like it - it feeds in to the trend for stacking rings and (as has been said further up thread I think) zircon isn't the artificial cubic zirconia, it's a great stone in its own right.

mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 14:28:35

It's worth ordering - the most you can lose is PandP both ways - so about £8 - and don't forget, you'll get a free book that you won't have to return. My top tip if buying straight from their website is to email them and ask them what their best price would be (they don't tend to do it if you are buying from the sale section but on regular pieces they almost always come back to you with a substantial discount).

ChooChooWowWow Sat 04-Feb-12 14:44:18

What an interesting thread. I love jeary.
I hankered after a peice of Tanzanite for years. Dh finally bought me a ring for our 10th wedding anniversary. It is a very good quality deep purple 1carat oval stone with a quarter carat diamond on each side.
It is a stunning ring and so many people comment on it.

ChooChooWowWow Sat 04-Feb-12 14:45:29

jeary confused I mean jewellary

If you lose a stone from that nkf, no jeweller in their right mind would try to fix it! (It's one of those rings that if you try to solder part of it the rest falls to bits.)

That said, it's nice and if you're not wearing it every day it should be fine as a dress ring.

nkf Sat 04-Feb-12 14:58:21

I'm going to get it. I just need to work out my ring size.

nkf Sat 04-Feb-12 15:00:14

I love the idea of a dress ring. I wouldn't wear a ring every day anyway. Not one with a stone. I'd be scared of losing it. MrsC, you're the expert. What do you think of it?

mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 15:01:27

I think it was only available in a 5 (size j-k in gemstv work but I would say their 5 is more j than k - a tad snug!) and MrsC, correct me if I'm wrong, probably isn't the best ring to get resized.

I'm no expert but if you like it then there's not a lot to lose in ordering it and trying it on. It would be impossible to resize-stones popping out all over the place so if it's not a good fit- don't settle- try the next size.

harbingerofdoom Sat 04-Feb-12 20:17:52

A few years ago I saw a beautiful obsidian ring, a lovely sea watery colour. Now all I can find are black ones. Wished I'd bought the ring but was it obsidian?

mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 21:09:15

It could have been rainbow obsidian? Obsidian is essentially a natural glass formed by volcanic activity - It is usually black or black and white (which is snowflake obsidian). Ocassionally you can get clear obsidian but it is pretty rare.

harbingerofdoom Sat 04-Feb-12 21:19:21

If it was clear obsidian,by price, it probably was, would it have held it's value?
Very interested to read about the rarity of gems holding down their values. I'm a green lover and would buy tsavorite. Would my local jewellers be able to value anything with that gem?


mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 21:29:07

To be honest I don't know an awful lot about obsidian in the rarer forms - the black and snowflake varieties are very common and cheap. Likewise I'm not too sure about the value of tsavorite garnet - obviously it is generally more expensive than the typical red garnet, yet it isn't as rare as mawi garnet (which is like a sphene colour, slightly greeny yellow). Demantoid garnet is green and is rarer still. but to be honest - if you love green and tsavorite green in particular just go for it. You buy all sorts of things in your life that depriciate in value but it doesn't matter because you derive enjoyment from them. And with jewellery it can always be passed down. Do some research, find a design and price you are happy with, and ENJOY it. grin

harbingerofdoom Sat 04-Feb-12 21:40:22

MrsM Thank you so much for your post. I should buy what I can afford and enjoy the items I like.I think you've driven (?) it home that buying jewellery should be like buying art work:buy what you like. Not really my problem,value wise,if I love it for the rest of my life.

You don't need to worry about gems holding down their values. So long as what you buy isn't overpriced it will always be worth what you paid for it.

mrsmartin Sat 04-Feb-12 21:51:04

exactly - it is good to have an idea of value so that you don't get ripped off when you buy your piece(s) but once you have it and you love it you aren't going to want to sell it. But I really would shop around abit and look at a variety of sources - I do purchase from gems.tv alot but also look at jewellers and other online sources and try to find some info on the gem that you want and the properties it has so that you know what to look for (eg with tanzanite you want to see several colours, with kunzite you want it to glow etc). Happy Shopping grin

harbingerofdoom Sat 04-Feb-12 21:58:08

Taken a note of gems.tv and will continue to educate myself with other sites.
Thank you for all of your help.

pluckingupcourage Sun 05-Feb-12 01:02:37

I think MrsM mentioned a stone with phosphorescence which would glow in the dark after being in light? That has made me think about flappers and the 1920s for some reason. Any thoughts about other gems which have that kind of property or other, unexpected, properties?

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 12:46:05

Kunzite. Named after Fred Kunz. I am doing my resarch. Apparently it glows in the dark.

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 13:01:05

If I don't own a ring (poor me), how do I work out my size?

string theory

got a bit of string?

Alternatively go into a jewellers and ask if they can size your finger for you. They shouldnt have an issue doing this as it takes about 30 seconds.

pluckingupcourage Sun 05-Feb-12 13:54:07

Had to stop myself sniggering at mr Kunz, but will have a look at that. I got a ring measurer for 99p off amazon or ebay (similar principle to the piece of string though I think!). That worked well (I wanted a ring for my little finger so had one made by someone on etsy which required me sizing my finger).

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 17:24:55

I'm afraid I did snigger.

mrsmartin Sun 05-Feb-12 20:49:30

Hey plucking - colour change gems can be pretty cool - you can get sapphires and garnets most commonly or alexandrite - they appear different colours in candescent and incandescent light. Or one of my favourites are star gems - star sapphire in black is gorgeous.


mrsmartin Sun 05-Feb-12 20:53:51

fluorite is another gem that has a colour change variety (and is cheaper than the sapphires/garnets)

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 20:56:35

There is a definite pattern to their names I notice. Why do so many end in "ite?" Does it refer to some sort of geological pattern?

Fluorite sounds as if it might double as a toothpaste.

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 20:56:57

Or do I mean geological structure?

mrsmartin Sun 05-Feb-12 21:01:52

to be honest I don't know - I think it is just because they are all 'new-ish' discoveriers so they take some attribute or place name etc and add 'ite' on the end - Kunzite is Kunz, Morganite is JP Morgan, Tanzanite is Tanzania, Fluorite is Fluorescent etc

The 'ite' comes from language. It's just the makeup of the word. 'ite' means it's from rock.

A lot of the naming of gems is similar to stars, chemicals etc and they do end up named after people and places... with ite at the end to explain that it's from rock/earth.

A good one that comes solely from language would be pyrite (fools gold.) Which has the 'ite' suffix because it's from rock and 'pyr' because it sparks when struck with steel. 'pyr' means fire.... see what I mean?

There's our etymology lesson for the day!

nkf Sun 05-Feb-12 23:13:23

I Love your posts, Mrs C. It's great to hear expertise. Did your gem business begin as an interest and become a business? Or did you learn by working?
You really know your stuff. Do you have to take courses and qualificaitions? You mentined earlier about studying gemology

It's another world to me and I'm really enjoying learning about it. I never imagined my query about tanzanite would turn out so interesting.

I'm no expert by a long shot but I'd like to get there one day.
My family are all jewellers (proper jewellers in overalls with dirty hands rather than glam folk behind a shop counter!), so I grew up in the workshop while they pushed their business through the recession in the 80's.
I've been in and out the shop all my life, working behind the counter when I could barely see over it! I realised when I was about 19 (and working in finance- but doing a roaring trade in repairing my colleague's jewellery and watches) that I had learned so much by proxy. It's literally just in my brain and it was completely useless.
As you can imagine, I had a pretty varied and large jewellery collection by this point as I'd had an eye for it ever since I got my first wage. So I started selling the vintage and designer stuff that I no longer wore at vintage fairs....and then it steamrolled from there.

I'd like to study gemology properly and get my certificate, but it's unfathomably difficult. It took my dad till he was 48 to pass it (3rd go!) So I'm hoping I'll be slightly luckier! I have no qualifications in silver/goldsmithing, neither does any of my family although we often give talks and practical lectures in one of the silversmithing classes at a local college (and trained the lecturer!)

Sorry for v. long reply lol.

Henwelly Mon 06-Feb-12 10:41:05

I'm not an expert and just know what I like to look at!!

Have been talking to DP about the type of engagement ring I want, he wanted to get me a solitaire from a jewellers but I really want a tanzanite stone.

I found this amazing jewellers www.hkjewellery.co.uk/ so will be having something made smile

I'm not to worried about the future value, I want it to mean something to me and be unique so I can pass it to my daughter.

There is quite a bit about stones on there.

Does anyone know anything about Palladiam? I'm considering it instead of platinum as its cheaper!!

Palladium I'd slowly becoming more popular. It's from the same family of metals as platinum and looks The same to an untrained eye.

It is, as you said, also cheaper than platinum. Which is great. I love it.

Also iron mans core was part made of palladium for any geeks out there.....

Henwelly Mon 06-Feb-12 14:28:05

oooh my son would like that!!!

mrsmartin Mon 06-Feb-12 19:09:45

Go for the Palladuim - like Mrs C said - none of your friends will be able to tell the difference. And yay for the Tanzanite engagement ring - that's at least 3 of us veering away from the boring, though beautiful, diamond solitaire. Are you the lady that is only 5 miles away from HK?

harbingerofdoom Mon 06-Feb-12 20:51:18

I've been looking at the green tsavorite and demantiod garnet that I can see on basic web sites and they all look a bit yellowish. If Mrs C or Mrs M have seen them in real life, which has the deeeep green hue?
I started of with malachite as a teenager,still like the colour. The only emeralds I've got are so tiny but a good dark colour.
Are darker emeralds the cheapest.....

Henwelly Mon 06-Feb-12 21:04:12

It does amaze me that nobody wants anything other than the standard diamond solitaire anymore.

I live about 50 miles from HK, only found it one day when shopping in cambridge - they were lovely in the shop so when we have finally saved the money I will be going in there.

The more saturated the hue the dearer the emerald would be.... so the deeper the green it is the better. Also you're looking for a clarity through the stone, no inclusions, good cut, good size etc.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money there is good synthetic emerald on the market that is an amazing colour.

I come across more demantiod garnet than tsavorite. If they look yellowish it could be down to the photography editing or it could be because they're rubbish. This is the problem with buying online- you literally have no idea what you're getting.

They're both deep green and come in varying hues. V difficult to tell the difference between the two although some demantiod from Russia has beautiful inclusions known as 'horsetail'. Which is one of the only times I know of inclusions pushing a price on a stone up!!

My opinion is that you can't go wrong with either. Just choose something that you'll get wear out of.

mrsmartin Mon 06-Feb-12 21:19:55

harbinger - if you want deep green then why not go for Chrome Diopside? It is a beautiful bottle-green rich colour and the colour is more consistant.
Tsavorite garnet is definately the deeper colour of the two - demantoid has that yellow-green colour. You could also go for a green tourmaline (though I think it might be more expensive than the others.

Emeralds are all about falling in love with the stone - there are so many different tones and levels of clarity - it just depends on what you prefer. I personally would choose a brighter, richer colour with more inclusions (called the jardin) over an eye clean paler stone, but it is down to the individual to decide what they like and also what they can afford.

Henwelly - You've got to remember, it's generally men who pick and choose the ring and men love to be told what is expected of them when it comes to shopping!! So, De Beers lanch an ad campaign, everyone else jumps on the bandwaggon, and soon every woman in western Europe gets proposed to with a solitaire (but they don't mind because they are pretty and they want to marry the guy). Those of us who decide that they don't want the norm are in the minority, but a growing one (esp with Princess Kate getting Di's ring). I have heard good things about HK - suggested them to another MN a couple of days ago so I think they should consider doing a MN discount!! grin

mrsmartin Mon 06-Feb-12 21:24:26

also, don't forget that demantoid garnet is more expensive than tsavorite. My demantoid earrings cost me 3 times what I've seen similar ct weights of tsavorite for.

harbingerofdoom Mon 06-Feb-12 22:06:28

Off to look at chrome diopside,another one that's new!(to me)
Once a stone is set (ie in a ring etc) do the faults/inclusions make a lot of difference to the 'sparkle'. Especially if it's not sitting proud,as such.

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 00:11:37

It depends on the gem - with diamonds it is of a massive detriment, with rutile quartz or astraeolite it is the reason the gem is special. With emeralds the inclusions are expected and are referred to as 'jardin' (as in the french for garden) in an affectionate way (I have a columbian emerald pendant and some zambian emerald earrings and they are very different - the columbian is brighter, less included and does bounce the light back out in a way the zambian ones don't). Generally inclusions create dark areas in the gem so I would have thought that it would have an effect on sparkle - but that doesn't mean the gem won't be beautiful. I always try to go for an open gallery in my jewellery to let the maximum amount of light through-but it is also a style choice as I hate bezel settings and love filigree work & hidden gems.

I think you will really love chrome diopside - I'm suprised you haven't come across it (esp as you started off with malachite-something I only really associate with the science lab, though I knew it was used in Jewellery). It is usually lovely and clear too, so no inclusion worries grin

MuslinSuit Tue 07-Feb-12 10:56:18

Really interesting thread! Browsing gems.tv on my iPhone and getting v annoyed at the site though, it's crap! Won't let me add to my basket, and if I make a selection eg 'rings' when I go to the next page, it defaults to 'all jewellery' again. Grr. Will try later on computer.

Liking cocktail rings in rose quartz and lemon quartz if only it would let me buy them.

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 11:19:23

Muslin - I've said it further up the thread but if you decide you want to buy directly off their website, email them first with the product code and ask if they can give you the best price - they almost always do it cheaper. Then when it arrives, don't remove the sticker around the ring/the earrings from the plastic bag etc, until you are happy with them as you can't return them once they have been removed.

MuslinSuit Tue 07-Feb-12 16:00:23

Thanks mrsm smile

I have a Pandora bracelet (not popular on here!) and was eyeing up the Pandora rings - they use a lot of more unusual gems. There's a gorgeous green amethyst one, and there's an almost identical one for less than 20% of the price on the gems.tv website shock high st jewellers and chains really do have a massive mark-up, don't they?!

My engagement ring is a savvy one though - my DH bought an old-fashioned solitaire diamond ring at Bonhams and had the diamond reset in a beautiful more modern ring. I think it's romantic that he went to all that effort to get me a beautiful ring with a whopping diamond in it but really I know it's cos he's a tightwad who researches everything before buying and didn't want to pay high st prices for a ring!

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:17:18

The prices on the gems.tv website are pretty bogus - that's why I say email them first. I've seen rings on their website advertised at £750 and then be sold in their auctions for £299. If there is a particular gem you are interested in or you have a budget, maybe watch a couple of their shows (online or on sky) - I generally have it open in another window on my computer and just flick to it while I'm working on my laptop. You get the cheapest prices when they feature the items on their channels. They aren't the best value all of the time but if you educate yourself abit and put in the effort to watch the shows then you can pick up some great deals.

I live in Middlesbrough and Pandora is an institution here but to be honest it isn't my kind of thing. The mark-up is just the same as most things on the high street - I have worked for some really big names and you wouldn't believe the difference between cost price and retail price!

Who cares if your hunny was being abit savvy - you have a great ring with a great story - thats all anyone needs to know!

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:18:09

Hubby - not hunny - I'm not that much of a luvvie!!! smile

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:32:59

muslin did you mean that the gems.tv were cheaper than the pandora? I just had a look out of interest and the only green amethyst I could see was £100 and there wasn't anything similar for more money - there's a plain handmade silver ring with what looks like a cushion cut gem for £22 - most of the silver ones are around that mark (alot of them are silver with gold overlay).

Pandora are poised to go under. I'd steer clear- they'll sell it off cheap to get rid of it

nkf Tue 07-Feb-12 19:17:40

I'm not sure what I think of Pandora jewellery. They're the beads that spell out your life right? Sort of charm bracelet. Am surprise theyre going under. Aren't they very popular?

nkf Tue 07-Feb-12 19:20:12

I can see why the diamond solitaire is popular. A colleague has just got one and it's lovely. Sort of timeless and clear and I can't imagine you could ever go off it.

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 21:06:11

I think Pandora is a regional thing - not very big in the other places that I've lived but massive in Middlesbrough - seriously, I haven't met many women who don't have a bracelet/necklace with half a dozen overpriced charms on it. Each to their own though...

MuslinSuit Tue 07-Feb-12 22:00:21

Mrsm - am only looking at silver rings and under £50 blush there are several green amethyst ones. With a newborn and becoming a SAHM I can't be splashing the cash! The Pandora one I was eyeing up is this one and the gems.tv one is similar !

MrsC - what do you know of Pandora going under? <frantically Ebays jewellery> I started with a simple leather woven bracelet with one charm to be worn with a simple Monica Vinader Fiji bracelet, but it's easy to get hooked on buying charms! I haven't bought any in ages but still do like it and it's not that common where I live. Or maybe my friends all have more taste than me hmm

nkf they've been opening large retails stores of their own to capitalise on this charms trend and the bottom has been falling out of it for the last two years.

They got too greedy. If they'd stayed as a concession within other's stores and online they would probably be ok but they overestimated their hold on the market.

I think they're looking for a buyer for the company last I read in the papers.

If they do go under there will still be loads of their stock on ebay and the like for anyone still needing a fix.

With all the company closures at the start of the year they have been earmarked as one that's been going downhill quite a while.

guardian article on pandora

I like the quote at the bottom
"The main thrust, however, would be to reposition the brand firmly in the mass market and to cut prices.

"We are not a luxury goods business," said Leighton. "If we start to pretend or think we are a luxury goods business, we've got a problem.""

I've been saying this since it came out (we were one of the first stockists in scotland actually) that its overpriced for what it is. Even the company agrees.

Save your pennies, there's no resale value, prices will come down in order for the company to continue existing and you'll get a well priced item of costume jewellery rather than a vastly overpriced one.

mrsmartin Tue 07-Feb-12 23:00:49

muslin the ring from pandora is the same one on their website and in the link you sent for HofF it is £100. What is the code for the gems one?

MuslinSuit Wed 08-Feb-12 00:23:44

BTPS83 is the code for the gems.tv one - my link buggered up. try again

It's £21 for apparently the same thing as Pandora want £100 for hmm

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 11:47:41

The gems one is pretty - much much bigger than the pandora one as the pandora ring looks like a stacker and, although there are no measurements, I'm guessing that the gem including it's surround is only 6 or 7mm across, whereas the gems.tv ring is much bigger - the amethyst alone is 10mm across and 14mm long, and then it has all of those marcasites surrounding it. So, it comes down to style but you definately get alot more for your money than you would somewhere like pandora. I'll be watching today at 2 and flicking between the two channels - one channel is under £50 for the hour and the other is under £30 so I might get a treat today grin

MuslinSuit Wed 08-Feb-12 15:38:41

MrsM - I am holding you personally responsible for my downfall, am watching the channel now.


<gets wallet out>


mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 15:56:30

muslin - don't blame me!! grin and don't believe everything you hear!! But if it seems reasonable and you like it - where's the harm? We really need a cheeky devil emoticon though!!

mrsC - what do you think of moissanite? I really can't understand why people are willing to pay so much for something grown in a test tube? I understand that it has come from meteorites and is found in diamond inclusions, but the crystals people are buying in engagement rings etc are all commercially produced and aren't even diamond simulations? The prices being expensive because of the short run left on the patents I can appreciate but I just can't fathom why someone would be willing to pay £1000 for fake gems?
Any thoughts??

Hi Mrs Martin,

I like moissanite. I think it's interesting and part of the reason it's interesting is because it was grown in a test tube!
I get asked why I like wearing a big pyrite globule of a ring, because it's worthless etc but the value isn't in the stone itself it's in the design and the history of the stone itself.

That sounds a bit woo.

It's not a 'regular gem' or whatnot but i like that the jewellery scene is forever expanding, with new materials, different alloys and metals coming to the forefront and different gems.

If you look back in history, marcasite has always been cheap and easily available- but it could command a great price for some pieces as the jewellery was exquisite. Sometimes it's not to do with exactly what the stone is but what the entire thing comes to.

People used to pay £100s for well made French pastes- they're entirely man made but still beautiful and covetable over and above other seemingly more expensive proper gems. (Nifty collectors item as well.)

If there's a buyer for it, there's a place for it!

harbingerofdoom Wed 08-Feb-12 19:17:25

MrsM I'm afraid my chemistry with crystals probably stopped after growing copper sulphate on a bit of string. I knew that copper gives the green colour.The malachite was quite common n the 80s and was found all over though I recall seeing my first piece at the Blue John Caves. Love the look of chrome diopside (no copper!).
MrsC You touch on something that has nothing to do with jewellery and that is how much we can absorb as children (from our parents) and then continue in the same or similar vein.
I'd like to thank both of you for giving me more confidence to walk into a jewellers. I never like to feel bamboozled and having a little bit of knowledge helps.[thank]

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 19:51:03

mrs c - it is definately pretty - I think it's just because I've only seen it set in designs that are made to look like diamonds. I found a 50point emerald cut solitaire in 9ct yellow gold for £1400 - for that price I would rather have a diamond! I see your point about the evolution of the jewellery trade though - I would definately be interested in comparing moissanite to gems like danburite and petalite.

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 19:54:57

harbinger I thought you would like chrome diopside grin
I'm sure you'll enjoy your visits to jewellers more now...I certainly do. It is nice to be able to chat to a jeweller and tell them exactly what you are after.

Aww harbinger that's lovely. Thank you for indulging us and letting us talk shop wink

Never ever be intimidated by a jeweller. They absolutely rely on people to make their daily wage. It's such a people focused trade that if they're getting it wrong then get out!!

I would never ever spend £20 on something never mind £2000 from someone who was trying to intimidate me. Just because they work in a jewellers doesn't mean that they actually own any jewellery! (I borrow quite often!)

I think that if the gold price keeps climbing as it is, and the same for gemstones, then in the not too distant future people will be looking for alternative and cheaper substitutes for your classic solitaires etc.

Right now, the second hand jewellery trade is booming like never before and palladium is gaining a larger market. People would perhaps never have considered these before but price is such a large factor in choosing jewellery.

I think it's likely that more people diamond cut moissanite at £1400 than a diamond of a similar size at £4000 if you see what I mean?

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 21:00:49

Oh yeah, that I totally get - I just meant in the current market. I'm not a diamond lady anyway - I would almost always go for simulated as I prefer them as accents or in clusters. And in general I would rather have kunzite or tourmaline etc.

I think you are definately right about the different metals - I think rhodium and palladium etc are just as lovely as platinum (have never understood white gold for rings - they just need redipping) and I love that they have made pewter safe to wear and cheap to buy - I think the colour of it is gorgeous.

As an aside - I'm moving to Manchester in a month and therefore jobhunting. I've just applied for a job in a jewellery wholesalers and some of their prices are ridiculous!! £570 for a 1ct diamond cluster in 9ct gold - no info on diamond grade or gold weight but that is pretty steep imho!

harbingerofdoom Wed 08-Feb-12 21:18:42

Hope you don't mind more shop? Feel guilty asking now.
This is a bit academic-MOH Emerald 7,Tsavorite 7-7.5,Chrome Diopside 5.5.
Now that is the hardness. What about the fracture/brittleness?
I've only just found out that emerald eternity rings are not popular because of the brittleness (hit and it cracks?).
Perhaps DH was right to wait so long hmm
That should have been thanks

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 21:28:16

I bought MIL a chrome diopside ring that stands very proud from her finger and it hasn't suffered any visible damage - she has had it 3 years and isn't the most delicate of creatures. That's the most I can comment though. I thank you for the flowers (oohh roses, my favourite, you shouldn't have) and I return the favour with wine

delilahbelle Wed 08-Feb-12 21:40:28

What do you think of this

I am in love, very pretty, I have a around £100 worth of 9ct gold jewellery to scrap, left to me my grandmother, but dated/broken tatty. I am trying to persuade myself I can afford it...

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 21:57:03

delilah it is really pretty, though if it is Tanzanite that you want, I would watch one of their dedicated tanzanite shows - you really can tell what they will look like when you get them home and they go for a cheaper price (I'll say it again - if you do want to buy direct from their site - email them 1st and see if they can do a better price). Also, set up an account with them and add everything to your basket that you like when watching the auctions, as sometimes a better item will come up half an hour later (iykwim). Then just check out the item(s) that you want (this doesn't work with things straight off their website).

mrsmartin Wed 08-Feb-12 21:58:51

Haha - ironically they have a tanzanite and diamond hour starting now...

delilahbelle Wed 08-Feb-12 22:50:12

Have sent them an email asking for their best price... I am going to have to give DH my credit cards again to stop me spending!

Haha Harbinger no problem grin

Imho Emerald eternity rings are v v v popular. Yes an emerald is more brittle than,say, a diamond but to be fair you shouldn't be punching walls wearing your lovely jewellery.

So long as you aren't wearing your rings to the gym etc emeralds are fine. I've had a diamond and emerald three stone ring for 6 years and not even one issue. I wear it every day.

Delilah, I'm suggesting you get DH to change the pins on your cards as well, just for safety's sakes! Heehee!

delilahbelle Thu 09-Feb-12 16:52:35

I been offered 80quid off and free postage. If I avoid all work/pub dinners and take a packed lunch every day for the next month, sell my old gold, and stay in a couple of nights, then I have enough money.

Mumsnet making me buy things again... it's this forums fault!

mrsmartin Thu 09-Feb-12 18:29:14

Well I'm glad they offered you a half decent discount delilah. I fund my habits by selling stuff on ebay (some clever trading on ebay paid for my wedding and now I use my paypal funds to buy weekends away via groupon vouchers - all by getting rid of old boots I don't wear etc).

To be fair - it stops me using DH's cards too...I got kind of sick of hearing 'what is this payment to qvc for' (I hasten to add that I do pay him back for these things btw). So Ebay is definately the way forward if you have stuff around the house that you don't use anymore - also great for the spring cleaning.

nkf Thu 09-Feb-12 20:07:20

Ahh! Jewellery is everywhere. I didn't used to think about it and now I see jewellery shops everywhere. Lots of amber in a shop near me. It's pretty I think. Though I worry it's a bit like jet and I will look like a mad old lady.

nkf Thu 09-Feb-12 20:08:02

I don't know my own taste. That's the problem. But I am enjoying looking.

mrsmartin Thu 09-Feb-12 20:59:12

I like the pretty pastel shades of kunzite, morganite, aquamarine etc and then rich gems like deep green and pink tourmalines. I don't like metallic pieces like marcasite or haematite and I don't like the coated gems like mystic topaz etc. I like quite old fashioned, classic settings and hate bezel settings with a passion. I just go with what I think suits me and what feels comfortable - it is just like any other aspect of your style, as in fashion, hair, make-up etc.

I love amber. One of my first ever pieces of jewellery was a solid amber heart pendant which dd now wears.

It can look a bit rustic and earthy which isn't everyone's taste. I love modern pieces like super modern ring

Also one of my favourite designers Georj Jensen does pieces in Amber. My favourite that i own is this set although I'm lucky enough to have the bracelet too!

Amber= goes with everything. Is casual and dressy all at the same time!

I don't have a particular taste or style, I like bold pieces.
Whether it's victoriana marcasite and onyx for a sophisticated evening or a big chunky agate ring for coffee with friends.

If you love it enough, it becomes part of your style.

nkf Fri 10-Feb-12 07:01:05

That Georj Jensen set is lovely. I think what I like is the way the amber is often set in silver. And the amber seems to warm up the cold silver. Not sure if that makes sense. It's the mix of warm and cold/fine and chunky that is pleasing.

AlmaMartyr Fri 10-Feb-12 08:10:57

Fascinating thread. I know a tiny bit about gems because FIL owns a chain of gemstone shops but MrsC's posts have been amazing! In the shops we always used to tell confused looking men buying jewellery for their wives to go for amber because it was normally returned less than anything else. I have quite a bit of amber and love wearing it.

Thankyou nkf, I love it too! I think that's what i like about amber too. That and the fact that it can be immensely modern and immensely old at the same time!

Given the fact that most gemstones will, in theory, be older or as old as amber for some reason I never think of the years that went into their making as I do with amber.

AlmaMartyr...it's not Tevendales is it? I'd probably chew off both my hands to go play with their stock lol.

And good call on amber- it works for me too. Never gets returned!

AlmaMartyr Fri 10-Feb-12 16:54:47

MrsC - no, it's called Crystals, shops across the South/South West. I used to work in the stores in the summer holidays and it was fantastic. Lots of minerals as well, and big crystal geodes etc. They used to have a jeweller in house but don't think they do any more although he made my lovely engagement ring (big blue sapphire with two blue-green tourmalines and two small diamonds) for me. One of the stones has fallen out though sad

Ahh, totally out of my region but still jealous wink

If you've still got the stone it won't be extortionate to repair!! Get it done and post pictures

AlmaMartyr Fri 10-Feb-12 18:16:54

Don't have the stone sadly sad It fell out once on holiday and got lost. FIL kindly found a replacement stone, I had it fitted and then that fell out gardening hmm so it's still stoneless. I must try and find another stone really and go to a different jeweller to get it fixed this time round.

I was just having a look to see if I could find any pictures but don't have any. I do love having something unusual though, DH designed it with the jeweller and chose the stones so it's very personal.

I'm very jealous of you working in the field though, I did briefly think about going into jewellery but don't think I'd be very good at it (not very creative!).

It really shouldn't be coming loose so easily. I'd get them to repoint the claws. Also if something I repair happens again within a short period of time for no good reason then I know i haven't done it right and fix it for free!

(If the ring has design flaws though, it could be easier just making it a going out ring!)

It's not so much about being creative, but understanding the pros and cons of each setting, or if something you have designed is wearable. Yes it looks pretty but is it going to ruin their clothes/break after one wear etc.

Also understanding the fact that most people don't know what they want, and that they're unbelievably hard to please. wink

It's a great trade to be in. I have entire families as customers as word of mouth recommendation is great.

I can't remember who said it, but there's a quote along the lines of "Every woman needs her own hairdresser,tailor and jeweller."
Quite well put I think. Given that all of them could cost you a fortune and you need to trust all of them to make you look faaaaahbulous darling wink

harbingerofdoom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:55:47

MrsC simple question this time and hopefully useful to everyone.

Can we go into any independent jewellers and ask them to find stones? How would we identify a jewellers that could do this?

My town has two very well thought of 'non chain' jewellery shops plus the usual.
Should they be the first port of call or the more artisnal type?

Any jewellers with a functioning workshop will be able to help.
Just as an aside, I tend to steer away from the arty fartsy designy places because I find that they are overly expensive and you pay more for the name etc.
(for example well recognised brands like the ringmaker- you'll pay OTT for the name but get the same piece of jewellery that could have been made anywhere)

Go in and have a chat. Only do business with places you actually enjoy being in. And often the less pretentious looking the better!

harbingerofdoom Fri 10-Feb-12 20:12:36


coldcomfortHeart Fri 10-Feb-12 22:26:29

I went into a vveeery fancy jewellers once (you had to buzz to get let in) and the girl serving us was wearing the most unbelievable dress necklace, diamonds and pearls. When I commented on it she said they got to choose a piece to wear at work. I still think about that, having the vault at your disposal <faints>

pluckingupcourage Fri 10-Feb-12 22:58:52

thanks for the information about stones with special properties, we've had chickenpox-ageddon here so pretty things have been the last thing on my mind.

I am really inspired to actually commission jewellery now ...

pluckingupcourage Fri 10-Feb-12 22:59:49

AlmaMartyr I've been to some Crystals branches!

Coldcomfort-not just at work- nights out too!

And don't get worried if you have to buzz in. It's not so much a sign that it's posh but a sign of trying to keep their insurance premiums down!! (Have worked for 3 of such establishments!) Although some places have started putting it in to be 'elite' as it harkens back to the olden days where every jewellers was a bell entry system.

pluckingupcourage Sat 11-Feb-12 01:15:59

very envious of the raiding of vaults for nights out (swoons).

MrsC could we have a few photos of your favourite personal items?

I just saw a makeup tutorial with Lisa Eldridge who has a lovely green stone (green amethyst/sapphire or similar) ring. It looks very organic and has an amazing clarity.

In terms of cut for earrings (eg studs) what would you recommend as being sparkliest? I've seen some emerald cut - would they be flattering?

nkf Sat 11-Feb-12 10:59:31

I've just emailed gems TV to ask for their best price on a pair of blue topaz and zircon earrings.

nkf Sat 11-Feb-12 11:00:53

And there is a silver and amber pair in a shop near me. Which would be more versatile. Or shall I buy both?

nkf Sat 11-Feb-12 11:01:14

This could be a very dangerous new interest.

Plucking I'm on mobile today as at work but will see if I can find a few of my favourites when I get home!

nkf if you think you'd definitely get use out of both pairs then go for it. If the price is reasonable and you get that feeling that you would kick yourself later if you didn't bother then all the signs are pointing towards yes! lol

AlmaMartyr Sat 11-Feb-12 17:55:46

Yay Pluckingupcourage! It's a great shop!

MrsC - if I had found the stone, I probably would have taken it back tbh. Good advice about repointing the claws. I wore it for years with no problems so it was OK initially.

We had DH's wedding ring made specially, it was great. The guy who did it was a bit bonkers but very helpful and it's a beautiful piece. We would have got mine done as well except I fell in love with one in a shop.

pluckingupcourage Sat 11-Feb-12 19:21:24

That's great MrsC.

AlmaMartyr I carried a chunk of quartz from Crystals for luck while doing my A-levels! I think it is still around here somewhere.

harbingerofdoom Mon 13-Feb-12 21:23:39

MrsM The Times has an article about emeralds from Zambia (can't link to Times) and mentions a British based company called Gemfields. Interesting, in the light of what you were saying about emeralds. If you can get hold of a copy-have a read.

mrsmartin Mon 13-Feb-12 23:03:03

Hi Harbinger - yes I know quite abit about gemfields - I found out about him through Gems.tv actually. Gems work with them to build schools etc...it's pretty nice to know that when I buy from gems that they are also putting money into schemes like that - don't know if H.Samuel and co do anything similar.

mrsmartin Mon 13-Feb-12 23:03:27

correction - found out about them!

mrsmartin Mon 13-Feb-12 23:16:37

Harbinger Here is a link to an article written by one of the owners of Gems Tv. It describes his trip to Zambia and how he started working with Gemfields
article there are lots of other interesting bits to read about in their learning library section - good for a general mooch...wink

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