The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process – What You Should Know

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a perfect string of pearls, which is why it’s such a tragedy when it breaks. Pearls are usually strung with nylon or silk, which are strong enough materials. However, with age or enough force, the string can break.

If you currently have unstrung pearls lying at the bottom of your jewellery box, it’s about time you restring them so you can enjoy them once again.

In case you’re worried about whether your pearls will be returned in the same condition, we thought it would be helpful to take you through the restringing process.

The Basics of the Pearl Restringing Process

Collecting Your Pearls

Before you can repair your pearl necklace, you will need to carefully collect all of the original pearls and place them in a secure box. Keep in mind that if you no longer have all the original pearls, your jeweller will need to source pearls to match your necklace. There is a slight chance the replacement pearls will look slightly different to the originals.

Knotting the String

Once your jeweller has your pearls, the restringing process can begin. Each pearl is carefully placed onto a new string, ensuring no damage occurs. Your jeweller can also either leave the string as is or place small knots in between each pearl, which is highly recommended. Not only does this prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, but if the string ever breaks again, you won’t lose all the pearls.

Replacing the Clasp

If you still have your original clasp, your jeweller will simply replace it. However, if the clasp is old, you may want to consider replacing it to make the necklace more secure. If you have a multi-strand necklace, a strong clasp is recommended to support the extra weight.

The Finishing Touches

Once the pearls have been restrung and the clasp is in place, a soft cloth is used to clean and shine the pearls. If your necklace has natural pearls, ultrasonic and steam cleaning techniques cannot be used due to their fragile condition.

The pearl restringing process is simple and straightforward when you have a professional assisting you.

Caring for Your Pearl Necklace Going Forward

Now that you can enjoy your pearl necklace again, here are a few tips to help you care for them.

  • Store them correctly. To avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the string of the necklace, don’t hang it up. Rather lay it flat in a lined box and away from any other pieces that could scratch the pearls.
  • Take care during cleaning. Pearls should never be cleaned with water or chemical cleaning products. Wiping the necklace down with a soft cloth is enough to get them looking brand new again.
  • Schedule regular checkups. Lastly, let a professional take a look at the state of your pearl necklace once every two years to ensure you won’t end up with unnecessary breakages or lost pearls.

If you would like to start wearing your pearl necklace again, get in touch with us about our restringing services.

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New – Is It Possible?

Not every piece of jewellery is timeless and not every piece you inherit will suit your unique style. Does this mean you should try and sell some of your jewellery or is there another option?

Jewellery remodeling has become increasingly popular.

In the hands of the right jeweller, you can turn an older piece into something unique that you will want to wear all the time.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Why Remodel Older Jewellery?

There are a number of great reasons to remodel a pre-loved piece of jewellery.

For one, remodelling is the ideal way to update your collection without having to pay for brand new jewellery.

If you happened to inherit the piece, remodelling ensures you can hang onto the memories and still enjoy wearing jewellery suited to your taste. The same applies to jewellery you received as a gift. If you don’t love the style or the memories are ones you would care to forget, remodelling is the perfect solution.

Lastly, updating jewellery instead of buying something new is sustainable and eco-friendly. If this is important to you, remodelling is right for you.

Inspiration for Updating Your Jewellery

If you are ready to remodel your jewellery, here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Merge several older pieces of jewellery to create one unique piece.
  • Increase the sparkle of an engagement or wedding ring by adding clear diamonds or colourful gems.
  • Reset stones by turning a necklace into earrings or vice versa.
  • Upgrade rings by opting for a different coloured metal for the band.

You might also want to decide whether repairing a piece of jewellery could turn it around instead of remodelling it completely. It all depends on the design you have in mind.

What About Remounting?

Remounting is also an option but not for all jewellery. Before you consider resetting your rings, evaluate the damage of any stones. Due to the various hardness ratings, some stones require extra care and attention to repair any scratches or dents.

Whether or not a stone will be difficult to remove should also be considered. If removal is complicated, it increases the cost and risk of damage. You should decide whether it’s worth it.

If you are unsure about what to do with a pre-loved piece, rather get a professional jeweller to evaluate it.

Overall, though, there is no need to throw away old pieces because the style is outdated or it’s slightly damaged. There is almost always a way to turn an old piece into something brand new that you can enjoy for years to come.

Discover Your Partner’s Ring Size Without Them Finding Out

Discover Your Partner’s Ring Size Without Them Finding Out

If you have finally decided to pop the question, you are going to need a ring. But how do you find out what your partner’s ring size is?

This is a common question amongst people who have decided they want to spend their lives with their partners.

Here are a few tips that will guide you through this exciting process.

  • It’s a Subtle Art

If you want the proposal to be a surprise, you will need to find a subtle way to find your partner’s ring size. One way to do this is to pretend you want to buy a ring for your mother, aunt, or sister. Just make sure whoever you choose has hands of a similar size. Ask them to help you with the purchase process by trying on rings. This is a roundabout way to get an idea of average ring size.

  • Use an Existing Ring

If your partner already wears rings, find one that they wear on their ring finger or a similar size finger. By bringing the ring in to a jeweller, it is possible to come up with a size approximation. You might just want to make sure they won’t notice the missing ring too easily.

  • Ask Someone They are Close To

If one of the above methods don’t work, you can always ask a close friend. Many times, friends or family members already know this information. If someone doesn’t know, at least they can casually work the ring size question into conversation without it seeming suspicious. Another way to get an estimate is to have your partner try on a friend’s ring.

  • Sketch It

If you feel that your partner would notice one of their rings is missing, you can always trace the inside and outside of the ring. Create several traces to ensure your jeweller has the best chance of figuring out the diameter of the ring.

  • Just Ask

If these tactics prove to be more difficult than you thought, you can always ask your partner outright. This is not unusual for couples who have been discussing marriage for quite some time. Plus, even if your partner knows you are ring shopping, it doesn’t mean they know when to expect the proposal.

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Whether you are shopping for an engagement ring or having one made, keep in mind that the final size of the ring might be slightly off. Unless you ask your partner about the size directly, of course.

The average ring size for women is anything between 5 and 7, and 10 for men.

It’s always recommended that you have the most accurate size estimate possible if you are designing a custom piece though. If anything, rather opt for a slightly larger size if you are unsure. It is easier to make a ring smaller rather than bigger.

You should also keep in mind that a dominant hand tends to be slightly larger, so make sure you are measuring the left hand.

The Temporary Setting Alternative

If you simply don’t want to take a chance, there is always the option of proposing with a temporary setting. After the big moment, you can bring your partner in for a custom fitting, ensuring the engagement ring fits as it should.

You could also use this as an opportunity to make sure your partner is happy with the design you have in mind.

Not all jewellers offer the option of a temporary setting, so you may need to ask around. Custom jewellery designers are more likely to offer this option.

Choosing a Diamond Shape_Martins of Glasgow

Choosing a Diamond Shape for Jewellery: A Beginners Guide

Whether you’re designing an engagement ring or simply want a beautiful piece of jewellery for yourself, choosing a diamond shape is going to be a part of the process.

The shape is a key part of the design and while some shapes are more modern than others, the shape you choose is mostly dependent on your personal style and preferences.

If you are planning to design a ring for someone else, you might want to get an idea of their shape preferences first. Choosing the shape that you (or your loved one) wants, instead of what’s popular right now, is the first and important step. Colour, size, clarity and price are aspects that will factor in thereafter.

The shape of a diamond is also known as a cut – not to be confused with a rating for diamond cut, which you will find on a grading certificate. A cut in these terms refers to the symmetry and polish.

Understanding Your Diamond Shape Options

Here are the different shapes that you can choose from when designing a ring or piece of jewellery.

Round

This is definitely the most popular diamond shape. Round, brilliant diamonds are well known for their sparkle because of the many individual facets. They’re also popular because they’re so symmetrical and above all else, timeless.

Oval

A popular variation of the round cut, an oval diamond has the same number of facets as a round cut, it’s only the shape that’s different. Many people choose this shape because the elongation tends to maximise the appearance of carat weight. If you or your loved one has smaller hands, an oval shape will lengthen the appearance of your fingers.

Pear

This teardrop-shaped diamond is more modern than its round and oval counterparts. Symmetry and proportions are something to pay attention to when choosing a diamond of this shape. This diamond also has the same number of facets (58) as the round and oval shapes and is ideal for smaller hands.

Marquise

The marquise is similar to the oval shape except, it comes to a dramatic point at each end. This is another shape that tends to maximise the appearance of the diamond’s carat weight. This diamond has the largest surface area – something to keep in mind during the design process.

Princess

This contemporary diamond shape is one of the top five most popular options on the market today. As one of the square-shaped diamonds, the princess cut is most brilliant and can have up to 76 facets, which are arranged to achieve maximum sparkle.

Emerald

An emerald cut is rectangular, but the corners are trimmed. The diamonds long, flat facets look similar to stairs if you look at the stone from above. This unique shape makes it easy to see within the stone, so you want to pay careful attention to clarity and colour when shopping around.

Cushion

When purchasing a cushion cut, you can expect broad facets and rounded corners. This is probably one of the more vintage looking diamonds and because the facets are larger, the diamond produces broad flashes of light instead of the traditional sparkle.

Trillion

If you want something unique, this diamond has a signature triangle shape. When placed in the centre of a ring, the sides of the diamond will be convex with extra facets. If they’re used as side stones, the outer edges are flattened. If you want strong geometrical features, this is the ideal choice.

Radiant

A radiant shape is a combination of a round and emerald cut. Available in a square or rectangular shape, this cut has very distinct corners. This specific shape tends to be cut with a deeper profile to achieve the best possible sparkle.

Heart

While the heart is a sweet and playful shape, it’s normally associated with novelty jewellery. However, many people adore this unique cut. You want to pay attention to brilliance and evenness due to the complexity of the facets.

Asscher

Similar to an emerald cut, an asscher shape is known for its excellent dispersion of light and memorable sparkle. This specific shape can have up to 74 facets but 58 is more common. This is another great pick for those who value a more geometric appearance.

Baguette

Lastly, there’s a baguette shape, which is long and rectangular. With only 14 facets, you want to pay attention to clarity and colour if you want this diamond to look good. This specific diamond shape is most often used as an accent stone.

Knowing there are so many diamond shapes might be overwhelming. However, if you have a good idea of what you or your loved one wants and the assistance of a reputable jeweller, this can be a really enjoyable part of the designed process.

Designing Custom Jewellery_Martins of Glasgow

Things You Need to Know About the Custom Jewellery Design Process

Most jewellery that has a back story is a custom design. If you’re considering gifting someone with a custom piece that’s unique and can carry its own story from generation to generation, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Engagement rings are one of the most common custom designs and incorporate a mix of different elements, including metal, diamonds, band style and gemstones. Using these elements, it’s possible to create a ring that’s as unique as your relationship.

Why Go the Custom Jewellery Design Route?

Before you go ahead with a custom design, it helps to understand the benefits and trade-offs of going this route.

Let’s start with some of the benefits:

  • Your custom piece will reflect your personal style, interests and values
  • There won’t be any other ring or piece of jewellery quite like yours out there
  • A custom design is a conversation starter for years
  • There’s always the option to create matching rings, necklaces or bracelets

Next, let’s look at the potential trade-offs:

  • A custom design can be slightly pricier, depending on what you want to do
  • If you’re after quite an intricate design, it can take a lot longer to produce a custom piece
  • The process requires a good deal of collaboration but if you’re working with the right designer, this won’t be an issue
  • In many instances, you won’t be able to see or touch the piece until it’s completely finished

Understanding the Custom Jewellery Design Process

The specifics of the process will differ slightly for everyone but here is a general idea of what you can expect:

  • Sketching Your Idea

If you want to go the custom route, it means you should have a design in mind. If you simply want something unique, you can always shop around for something that appeals to you. If you think you can put a basic sketch together, do so before seeing a designer. If you’re not sure that you can accurately sketch a design, you could always describe it to your designer. If you are going this route, make sure that you can accurately describe what you’re looking for.

  • Search for the Right Designer

Next, you want to take your time to find a designer who specialises in the metal, stones and style you’re interested in. If you can, ask for referrals from those who have gone through this process before and are happy with the results. While it’s important for you to get along with a designer, it’s essential that you ask to see their previous work too.

  • Start Collaborating

Now that you have a design and a trusted jewellery designer, you can start discussing a timeline. Before the physical design process starts, make sure that you’ve seen an illustration of what it will look like. If you have any questions during this process, don’t be afraid to ask them. Your designer has several years of knowledge and should be able to give you all the information you need to feel comfortable throughout the process.

  • Ask about Warranties and Guarantees

If you’re going to be working on a custom design, ask your designer to put the details of the design in writing. This should include the elements you agreed on as well as a final appraisal that outlines the design and designer. Lastly, don’t forget to insure your custom piece of jewellery.

The custom jewellery design process doesn’t need to be complicated. Speak to us if you have any additional questions about what to expect.

Tips for Cleaning Jewellery_Martins of Glasgow

How to Care for & Clean Your Favourite Jewellery at Home

Whether it’s a unique piece or just a piece that you love to wear often, jewellery looks its best after a good clean. Specific types of jewellery is also more prone to getting dirty, rings being the prime suspect. Lotions, dirt, soap and dust can all clog jewellery settings and create a dull appearance.

Since we will all be spending some additional time at home, we might as well use this time to care for and clean our jewellery – here are some top tips.

Cleaning Silver Jewellery

The best way to clean silver jewellery is with a high-quality silver polish. This specific type of polish contains ingredients that dissolve dirt and grime and create a protective barrier. You will also need a cloth that you can use to clean and shine the jewellery. If you don’t have this lying around the house, there are some other ways to get your silver to shine once again. One option is to mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water, clean the jewellery and rinse it off with cold water. The second is to mix three parts baking soda with one part water and use a cloth to clean the jewellery. Don’t forget to rinse well. Lastly, you can also use white toothpaste to gently clean jewellery with your finger. Rinse well with warm water afterwards.

Cleaning Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery also responds really well to a few drops of dish soap in warm water. Let your jewellery soak in this solution for about 5 minutes before you lay them on a soft cloth. You can now use a soft toothbrush to clear away dirt in some of the smaller crevices. Rinse the jewellery under running water before you polish it with a cloth.

Cleaning Stones and Pearls

Precious and semi-precious stones can be cleaned in the same way as mentioned above but instead of using regular warm water, add the dish soap to some seltzer water. The carbonation works really well for loosening trapped debris. You can also use a soft toothbrush to get into the smaller gaps. Rinse the jewellery under running water before buffing it with a soft cloth. If you want to clean pearls, never soak them in any kind of solution as this can damage the string. Rather lay them on a soft cloth and use some shampoo mixed with warm water to clean each pearl with a small makeup brush. Rinse the pearls with a damp cloth and let them dry on their own.

Making Jewellery Last Longer with the Right Care

Here are a few tips that will help you to enjoy your jewellery for longer:

  • Take your rings off before you apply creams and makeup and before you do things around the house such as wash dishes.
  • Believe it or not, your silver jewellery retains its shine the more you wear it. It’s also best to store it in an anti-tarnish bag.
  • Keep your jewellery away from water that contains salt or chlorine.
  • Have your jewellery repaired by a reputable professional if you want it to last longer.
  • Stop oils and perfume from destroying your pearls by cleaning them with a soft cloth on a regular basis.

There you have it. Cleaning your jewellery at home is simple because there’s a good chance you already have everything you need. Now’s as good a time as any to care for your most treasured pieces.

How to Get Your Money’s Worth When Buying Second-Hand Jewellery

Affordability is one of the main reasons why people choose to purchase second-hand jewellery but finding quality pieces at the right price can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’ve never purchased second-hand jewellery before.

Tips for Buying Second Hand Jewellery

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Huge Engagement Rings – Are You Worried Your Betrothed Is Expecting One?

Many men assume huge engagement rings are at the top of the wish list of their beloved, but not every woman is like the beautiful Jennifer Lopez.  Ms Lopez has been proudly sporting her new huge engagement ring – an emerald-cut diamond from her wealthy fiancé, estimated to be worth anywhere from $1 million to $5 million plus.

If you’re thinking about popping that all important question soon, and don’t have the same budget as the rich and famous, are you worried that your lady will be disappointed with a smaller ring?

huge engagement rings

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Bridal Jewellery For Rent – Great Idea Or Simply Tasteless?

Have you heard about bridal jewellery for rent? It may sound tasteless but it’s every bride’s dream to be draped in fabulous jewels on their wedding day – and these accessories can come with a hefty price tag.

Many brides simply can’t afford to spend a fortune on jewellery for their special day – they and their groom are already spending thousands of pounds on the main event. But with bridal jewellery to rent, being decked out with beautiful jewels is suddenly in the realm of possibility.

Bridal Jewellery For Rent

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How Much To Spend On An Engagement Ring

How Much To Spend On An Engagement Ring?

In days of old, how much to spend on an engagement ring was easily answered: the equivalent to the man’s monthly salary.  Back in 1950 the average full-time weekly salary was around £7*, so spending £28 on an engagement ring sounds very attractive.  But if we take into account inflation, that monthly salary was nearer £2000 in today’s money, which is close to the average UK salary nowadays.  So would you spend £2,000 on an engagement ring for your beloved?

How Much To Spend On An Engagement Ring

 

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