No jewellery is perfect, if you look closely enough, even the most luxurious of brands have some flaws in their work - that’s the beauty and curse of human handicraft. Jewellery-making is a complicated process that requires several skilled labour and a few major stages. Craftsmanship should never be taken lightly, and is the greater part of a luxury jewellery. Bad jewellery, even with a beautiful stone, is not worth your money, so be prepared!


It’s rather unfortunate. Bad craftsmanship is promoted and worshipped by media nowadays - independent crafters like those on Etsy, Pinterest, etc.. Bent rings and unrefined ring settings are loved for their rustic look. For better or for worse, amateur shops are being so well supported that not many people can differentiate a professional work from a “DIY” anymore. If your eye isn’t trained to spot out the acceptable flaws from terribly terribly unprofessional work, then you may be overpricing your bling!

No flaw should ever distract you from the overall beauty.

MOUNTING DETAILS

Asymmetrical and unproportioned rings are a definite no-no. Mounting is the parts of the jewellery where the stones are set into and it’s best sides are displayed - typically the metal parts. A centerstone should never look like it is tilted off to the side, why would a professional jeweller accept this in the first place?

The metal bits should always look like a singular smooth piece as well. Bad crafting is when you can see clearly the solder joints, particularly when the prongs and the band meet. The most amateur (and please turn your back immediately if you do see this) is when you realize different metal parts are in different gold colours or porous! Run! Unless intentional, the jewellery piece should never have variations in colour.



PRONG DETAILS

Not sure why it would ever happen, but there are jewellery where the prong heads surrounding the same diamond is of different sizes and shapes. The prong head should always be a unique part of the design, and affects the overall style of the jewellery. If you see your jeweller taking this lightly, you should be fearful of what else he is taking lightly.

The setting should always securely fix the diamond, but it should never be so large that the diamond is covered, reducing it’s brilliance. it should also never be so flimsy that the rock is just loose and unsafe. Oh, and never have stones too closely or stacked on top of each other - it’ll dent/crack them! Did you know it requires a lot of skill and more labour cost to set tiny melee diamonds?


CHOICE OF DIAMONDS

Not all diamonds are centerstones. Most of the smaller stones around your jewellery depend on the professionalism and expertise of your jeweller. While it would be impossible for the stones to all have equal colour, you should never be able to spot out the colour differences easily. If you see obvious colour differences, please do return it. The same goes for clarity. The general rule of thumb is to have the side stones match in colour and cut as the centerstone, so there is no competition and relative comparison, making the centerstone whiter.

The diamonds should always fit snuggly into the settings. If you find your stones too big or small for the settings, you need to question whether what you bought is worth your money. You would hate to wear your ring a couple of times then lose a few stones..



POLISH

Yay the ring looks perfect and shimmery ! Oh wait you say it looks dull and dirty? Are you sure this is brand new? The inside of the ring rough, sharp or unpolished? A good jeweller should never cut corners like that, the inside is just as important as the appearance and outside, he should not undermine the importance of what the customer can't see. In fact, you can really see it, polished insides help diamonds reflect beautifully, while unpolished surfaces can accumulate dirt and make your diamonds look dark in the long run!



YOUR BUDGET

Jewellery craftsmanship is a pricey game. The list above are just the truly unacceptable notes of a bad jeweller, a jeweller that doesn’t deserve your money - it should not be a basis of setting a standard. A GOOD CRAFTSMAN & JEWELLER WILL DO SO MUCH MORE! As much as I wish to say that all jewellers should be professional and experienced, it is truly not the case. Superior craftsmanship comes with a price.

If you are budgeting and choosing your jeweller based on price alone, or based on the price of the centerstone, you might be losing out a lot more than you bargain for..

BY

Janet, the Creative Founder of Fresh Recollection. I'm an avant-garde Jeweller & a GIA Diamontaire who believe in human connection and design collaboration. I love to meet people to create beautiful ideas and develop relationships with my clients.

A Professional Architect by day, I was brought up in a Jeweller’s family - counting diamonds, artistry and design has always been in my blood.

Images Above Courtesy of Piaget, Cartier, and Niwaka


A beautiful and rich Yellow Diamond is one of the rarest shades of diamonds - too extraordinary to look away yet not affordable for everyone! By understanding how Yellow Diamond actually work and priced, you can learn how to save up to a third and still earn a yellow bling on your finger.



RARITY

Natural coloured diamonds are extremely rare. Only 1 in 10,000 carats of diamonds are coloured, and only 60% of the coloured stones are Yellow Diamonds - making it only 1 in 16,665 carats for us to find this nice yellow hue. To find a perfect rare shade of yellow to fit your skin tone, you probably need to pull out a bunch of cash to catch it. But do we really need a Vivid Yellow?


COLOUR & PRICE

Before we go into the cheats and alternatives of getting a big fat Yellow Stone. Basics: There are several colour categories of Yellow Diamonds, depending on how deeply saturated and intense the colour is emitted from the stone, as well as any other colours that may be toned with it.

From lighter shade of yellow to deeper, they are graded as “Fancy Yellow”, “Fancy Dark Yellow”, “Fancy Intense Yellow” (also known as the Canary Diamonds), “Fancy Deep Yellow” and “Fancy Vivid Yellow” as shown in the diagram above. The rarest of Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond, found in the Zimmy Mine in Africa, are a pirate’s treasure; it costs US$20k-30k per carat, which is 2 times as much as a Fancy Intense and up to 3 times as much as a Fancy Yellow. In fact, for easy comparison sake, the pricing of one carat Fancy Yellow Diamond is similar to a normal clear Diamond of the same grade.


THE BIG YELLOW DIAMOND TIP

Get a yellow-tinge White Diamond! I’m serious, don't go away yet! De Beers been doing it for years. Most people ignore Colour Grades beyond G, thanks to GIA’s standard of “colourless”. But in fact, Colours of K and beyond are not that far off from a Light Yellow Diamond. They have their own name: Top Cape or Cape Diamonds as they are originated from the Cape Province of South Africa.

M-Coloured Diamonds are extremely affordable, up to 80% cheaper than a D Colour of the same quality. Z-Coloured Diamonds with a strong yellow tinge are up to 30% cheaper than the Fancy Vivids.

So don’t be fearful of the Cape Diamonds. Choose the right one and encase them in 18K Yellow Gold, and the brilliant yellow from the gold will reflect even deeper through the diamond and achieve the look you desire.


DE BEERS - AS THE EXAMPLE

I’m really sharing you a sincere tip! Follow the leader! De Beers have found great interest in the unwanted Top Cape Diamonds and have been stocking up in large quantities of top quality Grades M or below since 2005. The mastermind behind this movement was founded by Andrew Coxon, the president of De Beers Diamond Institute.

The years of collection was finally manifested in 2016, in the 1888 Masters Diamond Collection. The 11.77 carat radiant-cut diamond as seen below is a W-colour stone, and as suggested in the tip above, it uses yellow gold claws to accent the yellow tone. 


THE INVESTMENT

Of course if you are looking at buying a Top Cape Diamond for investment, that is probably not the best idea. Low colour diamonds may hold the value but it may not increase throughout time. Ultimately, the fact is they have fewer buyers and less demand when looking into resell.

But if you are looking for just your ordinary fashion and an addition to your wardrobe, I think this is the best bang for the buck!


OUR YELLOW DIAMONDS

One of a kind and one of my favourite pieces is The Solaire. It is a beautiful 1 Carat Fancy Yellow Radiant Diamond with 12 pieces of Round Brilliant Yellow Diamonds and 30 pieces of Round Brilliant White Diamonds. The solitaire is set on 18K Yellow Gold prongs to accentuate its yellow brilliance while the ring setting is in 18K White Gold for a beautiful contrast. At the time of this writing, this elegant ring is only going for HKD38,880! It's perfect and unique for engagements as well! We really don't know when we will restock this piece!


Read more about The Solaire here.



BY

Janet, the Creative Founder of Fresh Recollection. I'm an avant-garde Jeweller & a GIA Diamontaire who believe in human connection and design collaboration. I love to meet people to create beautiful ideas and develop relationships with my clients.

A Professional Architect by day, I was brought up in a Jeweller’s family - counting diamonds, artistry and design has always been in my blood.



Images courtesy of Tiffany & Co, De Beers, Pinterest and Fresh Recollection

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