Designer Jewellery Misconception #1: Jewellery Has To Be Name Branded To Make It Designer Jewellery
Designer jewellery is considered to be a priceless, work of art. Many people think of owning designer jewellery to be exactly like owning a pair of designer shoes. While this holds some truth, it’s not the entire concept of designer jewellery. Just because it holds an expensive name attached to it doesn’t necessarily make it carry its weight in designer value.
What gives jewellery its title of ‘designer’ is the fact that there isn’t another single item like it available – anywhere. If a demand increases for, let’s say a designer necklace, the jeweller may decide to duplicate it which will decrease the value since it’s no longer unique. It’ll still be worth a hefty amount of money but the exclusivity value has now been lowered.
To expand more on what makes designer jewellery so special, let’s travel back in time for a couple of minutes!
Jewellery, itself, has been around since cavemen wore necklaces of bones around their necks over 100,000 years ago. A little known fact, however, is that jewellery only became symbolic 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.[i] This was the beginning of designer jewellery.
Instead of just being materials to hold clothing together or crack coconuts for, jewellery began evolving into using rare, newly discovered materials. This alteration began carrying the status of wealth and stamina with others wishing they had that special one-of-a-kind design to proudly display.
Stepping out of the time machine back into present day…
The tradition of owning designer jewellery has carried on all of these centuries later with each jewellery designer competing to make an exceptional masterpiece that can’t be outdone by any other craftsman.
Instead of using coloured pebbles, fishbone or fossils, now precious metals, precious and semi-precious stones and beads are creatively used to make the most extraordinary pieces of art giving you that special, unique piece of jewellery others dream of having.
Designer Jewellery Misconception #2:Designer Jewellery Is The Same as Designing Jewellery
Another common misunderstanding is that people often confuse the terms ‘DesignER Jewellery’ and ‘DesignING Jewellery’ with each other. Although they go hand-in-hand, they are two separate descriptions of what makes up designer jewellery.
Because of this mix up, it blurs the line between jewellery designers and designer jewellery.
Jewellery designers who craft remarkable designer jewellery aren’t just your average Joe-the-Jeweller. To create the best designer jewellery, a designer has to have an artistic flair with full knowledge of precious metals and gems.
We’re not talking about those adorable, little 5-year olds who design colourful macaroni necklaces, we’re talking about skilled, educated designers who have the knack for coming up with astonishing designs; designers who can cut and shape jewels and metals into intricate fashions completing the designer look.
Huge amounts of craftwork and dedication are put into each piece with the use of the most valuable assets making designer jewellery worth its weight in gold – pun intended!
Now that those misconceptions have been cleared up, you can start your search in finding that perfect designer jewellery for you to show off to all of your friends and family.
I’ll leave you with this little inside tip: Whether you’re buying designer jewellery for yourself or someone else, start up a conversation with jewellery designers. Every jeweller has different tastes in what design means to them personally and they’re more than willing to talk about it in detail with you.
As with any great artist, there’s usually a fantastic story behind each particular piece – such as where they’ve acquired the stones or what their inspiration was – making jewellery that much more meaningful to both parties.
Don’t be afraid to get out there and find someone that listens to what you’re looking for, understands it and converts it into your own priceless piece of art!
Claw setting – is a setting made from either gold or platinum with prongs or wire like structure to hold your diamond secure
Bezel setting – is a setting which fully surrounds the diamond or gemstone in place with gold or platinum being “rubbed over” the edge of the stone
Half bezel setting – the same as above but where only half of the diamond or gemstone is covered
Bead setting –Tiny beads are raised by pushing gold or platinum over the edges of the diamond
Thread setting – a series of diamonds are set generally in a line down the shoulder of the ring using the same technique as the above
Pave setting – is a style of setting multiple diamonds using the same technique as a bead setting. This is generally used in a blanket effect with small diamonds
Channel setting – a channel is opened to fit exactly the size diamond and then a groove is cut to allow the diamond to sit inside the channel. Once the diamond sits correctly the gold is pushed over the girdle of the diamond to hold it secure
Shank – the jewellery term for the band component of a ring
Shoulder – the part of a ring that is between the shank and the setting, generally there are diamonds set into the shoulder to enhance the beauty and sparkle of the centre diamond
Setting – the component of a ring that holds the diamond or gemstone in place
Platinum – a precious metal used in jewellery manufacturing which exhibits a superior whiteness and brightness compared to white gold
Palladium – a natural element from the platinum family of elements, generally used in the alloy when making premium grade white gold to help improve the whiteness and brightness of the gold
Rhodium – a natural element found in the platinum group of elements.
Rhodium plating – a liquid solution that coats the white gold through a process called electrolysis and makes it whiter and brighter compared to its natural state which is considered grey compared to platinum
24ct gold – pure gold with no other metal or element being added to it
18ct gold – a 75% pure alloy of gold silver and copper. Considered the perfect mix for working in gold, it retains most of the inherent shine, strength and other properties that gold has compared to the other metals it is alloyed with.
9ct gold – a 37.5% pure alloy of gold, silver and copper. Is a more commercially affordable alloy of gold because the actual content of gold is less than 50% in the mix. Because of the amount of extra alloy being added to create 9ct gold, it makes the alloy particularly brittle and can be prone to stress fractures and breaks, often mistaken as being stronger than 18ct gold.
Ring mandrel – a rod of steel used to measure the correct finger size when making a ring
Gold plating – a liquid solution that coats most precious metals with gold through a process called electrolysis
Enamel – comes in two types
Vitreous enamel – which is in a powder form when raw, once applied to the gold or platinum and then heated, it forms a glass like layer of colour in the area it was applied to. This can be colour blended and produces a very high lustre similar to that of glass
Cold mould enamel – is more like a plastic acrylic. It goes on like a paint and once cured it forms a high lustre finish where applied
Solder – an alloy of gold to the same carat but mixed with various elements to reduce the melting point so that when heated the gold solder will liquidise
Hard soldering – the process of heating up a piece of jewellery and applying silver, gold or platinum solder to a join between two or more pieces.
Soft soldering – the process of heating up two separate pieces of metal, not necessarily silver gold or platinum, and then applying a lead based type of solder. The melting point for the solder is considerably lower with this type of soldering than it is with hard soldering
Ring re-sizing – the process where your ring is either increased or decreased in finger size
Re-tipping – the process of repairing any worn out claws on a setting, by adding new strips of gold to the setting
Laser welding – a relatively new technology in the jewellery industry which allows us to use lasers which is super heated beams of light to spot weld two or more pieces of gold or platinum together. This process allows a far greater level of accuracy and cleanliness, than the traditional hard soldering technique.
CAD – a computerised designing system being introduced worldwide in the jewellery industry. It is the same idea as architectural CAD software.
Wax model – a wax mock up at 100% scale of a ring that will be created for you.
Fitting – an appointment with me that lets you look at the ring or piece of jewellery before any diamonds are set in it. I get the opportunity to make sure the size is 100% correct and that you are 100% happy with the look of the piece of jewellery
Engagement ring – a symbolic ring which represents the love and bright future a couple will share – given by the man to his lady love when he asks her to marry him.
Wedding ring – a ring presented to your fiancé on the day of your marriage. It is traditionally an unbroken circle representing “no end” in the relationship and everlasting love.
Eternity ring – a ring presented either at your 1st year anniversary or the birth of your first child – which ever happens first – it represents the fact that you are now wed for eternity
Wedding day Gift – traditionally this is a pair of earrings that match her engagement ring or a pair of cuff links that has some kind of family resemblance for him
Engraving – the process of marking gold or platinum with an inscription or pattern
Carat – the unit of measurement designed to measure the weight of diamonds and gemstones
Karat – the unit of measurement designed to measure the purity of gold
Can you believe it has been exactly one month since I began my journey of becoming a jeweller with Eskae Private Jeweller. I know I can’t! And what a fantastic 1st month it has been.
The most exciting activity I did this week was finishing the silver gents wedding ring I made and told you about in week one. All I needed to do was polish the ring and it would be finished. I would have to say that polishing is not as easy as it looks, Sam definitely threw me in the deep end by letting me create a not so simple wedding band. A plain wedding band would have been a lot easier to polish, as you would essentially need to polish the one area on the outside, but because the design I created had three edges to polish it was quite tricky. I enjoyed the challenge and it was fun to be able to learn polishing.
This was the most important lesson I learnt this week; the angle on which you must hold the ring, to enable you to only polish one particular part of the ring at the one time, and to not curve or smooth the lines I had created by putting a chamfered edge on each side of the ring. What this does is helps me keep the sharp or definite edges in the design of the ring, giving the finished ring more definition.
A chamfered edge is a design feature or technique where we put a 45 degree angle on the outside edge of the ring or any other piece of jewellery. In this piece I put the chamfered edge on to not only give interest and definition to the ring but to learn this essential technique of polishing different areas on a piece of jewellery while keeping the definite edge or line between the surfaces.
Wedding Ring with a Chamfered Edge
The goal here with learning to polish a chamfered piece of jewellery, is to keep the straight edges on the side and to keep the top flat.
I began using a hand polisher and then later used the big mops on the polishing machine. Each process is important to do correctly as it builds up to the next step which will give you the final look and finish.
My lines created with the chamfered edge are still nice and clean after polishing, so as you can imagine, I am very proud of myself as this technique I have been told is not so easy to do when you are an apprentice.
I am very happy that I was able to learn this technique so early on in my jewellery making journey, as I will now be able to apply this technique this week to the cufflinks which I have now finished making and are ready to be polished.
Until I speak to you next week, a very excited apprentice, who has just finished her very first ring, is signing off,
Almandine garnets are classic gemstones that, thanks to their abundance, remain excellent value in terms of price.
But don’t let their affordability fool you! Almandine garnets possess a charm that has attracted people from all walks of life, including royalty – most notably the millennium-old Hungarian Royal Crown – for centuries.
Almandine Garnet History and Info
The deep red, dark purple, intense brown and/or almost black almandine garnet is found throughout the world, most notably in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Brazil, India and the United States. Deposits vary in size and typically only the small to mid-sized garnet stones are used to make jewellery. (Unlike many types of gems, larger is generally not better when it comes to a garnet’s quality.)
Almandine Garnet - has an incredibly rich and deep colour
Because the colour of the almandine garnet is so murky and naturally opaque, the underside of the gem is usually hollowed out regardless of the cut that’s chosen. This hollowed-out interior allows light to bounce from facet to facet, enabling the vibrant garnet hues (hidden before the gem was cut) to burst forth.
Though most almandine garnets are inexpensive compared to other similar-sized precious gemstones, there are some garnets containing asbestos fiber inclusions that are quite rare. These types of almandine garnets carry a higher price tag due to their scarcity and complexity.
Folklore and Legend
Like many gemstones, almandine garnets are steeped in folklore.
Numerous past civilizations believed that having almandine garnets close to one’s body offered protection and wisdom. Physicians in the middle ages (and possibly before that time period) were even known to place garnets at the site of physical injuries or painful body parts to encourage healing.
Almandine garnet is the birthstone for January babies as well as for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. This makes it a good choice as a “starter” jewellery item given for one’s birthday!
Caring for Your Almandine Garnet
One of the distinct advantages to buying almandine garnet jewellery is that it’s a very easy gemstone to care for. Having a Mohs hardness scale of roughly 7.0-7.5, garnet isn’t easily scratched. This makes cleaning at home trouble-free.
Though you can definitely take your almandine garnet necklace, ring or bracelet to a jeweller to bring its sparkle back, you can also get a great deal of shine out of it by cleaning it with a soft cloth, non-abrasive cleanser and water.
As with all jewellery, it’s important that you store your almandine garnet in a dry place and, if possible, within a soft cloth.
Is an Almandine Garnet Right for You?
There’s no doubt that the almandine garnet is a good buy; from a purely financial standpoint, it’s a great way to make your jewellery budget stretch farther. But it’s just as important to consider aesthetics when determining if almandine garnets fit your style. For instance, do you like the colour? Is the look of a garnet something that “calls” to you on a personal level?
The almandine garnet comes in many shapes, so it’s best to check out a number of jewellery items before making your final decision.
This couldn’t be truer than when going on a job interview. Attending an interview is the most important time to make the best first impression possible making it one time that books are definitely judged by their covers – contrary to popular adage of not doing so.
Did you know that when someone looks at you, an opinion is formed in the first 3 seconds and the lasting impression is formed within 8-30 seconds?[i] It’s true!
Here are the exact statistics of what your first impression makes:
55% of the first impression is made by how you dress, act and walk as soon as you enter the room
38% accounts for the quality of voice grammar
ONLY 7% of the first impression is made from what you actually say[ii]
Knowing that looks count as the major factor entering a job interview, how can you make the best, first impression to ensure you get the job position you desire?
That’s what I’m here to help you with. We’re going to take a look at what you can do to not only make you look your best but also make sure that position doesn’t go to anyone else but YOU!
Look The Part
Dressing well to help make a good impression doesn’t mean taking a stroll down the catwalk – it means knowing how to appear as polished, presentable and as brilliant as your favourite piece of jewellery so that you can represent yourself in the highest regards as possible.
When getting dressed, think conservative: You’re not going on a date, you’re not going to a party but you are going to an interview, therefore, take the conservative path. According to a survey conducted by Management Recruiters International, more than 34.2% of executives believe that casual dress has gone too casual which in turn, shows employers a sign of disrespect.[iii]
For men and women, wearing solid, neutral-coloured conservative business suits work wonders for presenting your professional look. If you have too much going on with your clothes, such as patterns or textures, it can draw attention away from your face and distract from your overall professional appearance.
To head you in the right direction, here are some helpful tips:
Iron ALL parts of your clothing – It’s important to make sure clothes are ironed properly. Wrinkles can look like you don’t take the time to care for yourself which could end up portraying the wrong message of how you would care for your future position.
Assess your jewellery and accessories – Wedding rings and everyday-worn jewellery can especially take a lot of wear and tear. Keeping them sparkly clean shows pride in how you care for important and valuable items just as you would with company assets.
Check your clothing – Check for any holes, tears, stains or runaway wrinkles. Even the smallest stain can make you look sloppy and unkempt.
Polish your shoes – Scuff marks on shoes can completely ruin the most perfect of suits. If you’re dressed impeccably but your shoes are dirtied or scuffed, it sticks out like a sore thumb and as a result, spoils the rest of your ensemble.
No hidden surprises – This generally applies to women: If in doubt, cover it. Shirts shouldn’t fall any lower than the collarbone and if wearing a skirt, it should at the very least, cover your thighs when sitting down.
The key is to not draw attention to your attire – if you’re remembered for your outfit, most likely it was a bad choice to have made for the interview.
Grooming doesn’t only account for showering (although it should go without saying), it also includes taking the measures to care for your hair, nails, use of cologne/perfume and proper shaving to name a few.
Harris Interactive recently conducted a survey for Gillette which reports that 90% of HR professionals believe that being well groomed makes a stronger impression than a firm handshake does. Out of the 500 HR professionals they surveyed, 84% of them stated that neat, clean employees climb the corporate ladder much faster than employees who aren’t well groomed.[iv] The reason behind this is the fact that people who take the time to care for themselves often feel better about themselves, therefore, are able to portray confidence on a higher level.
Obviously, you don’t want to look like this when going for an interview:
But perhaps, more like this:
Let’s see what measures men and women should take to properly groom for an interview:
Hair – Regardless of current style trends, hair should be neatly trimmed. Short and traditional is the best way to go. If it’s hard for you to accept this type of haircut, remember that hair does grow back and if you can part with your locks for a couple of weeks, by all means, do. If using a hair product, try to use a minimal amount so that it doesn’t appear greasy.
Shaving –Having a clean, shaven face looks classy on any man. The 5 o’clock shadow is all the rage for some people but never during an interview. Please note that shaving doesn’t just apply to only the beard and moustache areas. For those blessed with an abundance of hair, make sure to trim ear and nose hair. Believe it or not, it can be rather distracting toward an interview.
Cologne and aftershave – Smelling good is great but usually interviews are done in closed rooms making too much cologne and/or aftershave become overwhelming. Deodorant will do just fine, however, if you must wear an extra scent, choose either cologne or aftershave and do so sparingly.
Nails – Manicures are not just for women. It doesn’t necessarily mean book an appointment in a salon; it means learn how to groom your nails properly. Scrape all dirt from underneath your fingernails, push back your cuticles and file the ends of your nails if they’re ragged.
Hair – For women with long hair, the best look is to tie it back out of your face in a simple bun or ponytail. Hiding your face during an interview can come across as shyness and having low self-esteem. For those with short hair, you can clip your hair back with pins or a headband as long as it doesn’t draw attention to your hair. Try to keep hair products looking natural and not overdone.
Perfume/body spray – As with men, keep it to a minimum. One spray will do just fine in an enclosed room. You want to smell fresh while not sending an interviewer’s smell sensory into overdrive so stick to fruity or light musk scents.
Eyebrows – On a female, eyebrows that aren’t maintained can overpower the face. If you’re a woman who isn’t a fan of tweezing or waxing stray eyebrow hairs, remember that it’s only one day of having to do it and it can make all the difference in your overall appearance.
Makeup – Although you’re dressing to impress, keep your makeup light. You want to bring out your features, not cover them up with bright or dark colours.
Nails – Book that nail appointment! Having buffed, clean nails is the perfect look for your interview. If you choose to wear nail polish, keep it in tow with your makeup – neutral, light colours.
A little word of advice: If you’re a coffee drinker, be sure to carry mints with you and pop one in right before stepping into your interview. Bad breath can make conversation very awkward!
Accessories And Jewellery
Accessories can make or break an outfit. As with your dress attire and grooming etiquette, accessories should be worn in the same fashion - to match your overall appearance and not to divert attention away from it.
Accessories For Men:
To wear accessories properly, you must match all of your metals. This means if you have a belt with a gold buckle, then your wristwatch and cufflinks must also be gold. As with matching your metals, the same principle applies with matching your belt colour to your shoe colour. For example, if you’re wearing a black belt, then you should wear black shoes – brown belt and brown shoes.
As for rings, men should wear only one ring during an interview. The exception is if you’re wearing a wedding ring, then you can add one additional ring which should be worn on your right pinky finger.
A very stylish accessory that many men opt for is a tie clip (also called tie bars) which is a great look that implies sophistication. If haven’t worn a tie clip before, an interview is a great reason to get one!
In order to get the best look out of your tie clip, be sure that your tie is adjusted exactly the way it should be before placing the clip since you won’t be able to readjust it once you’ve attached it. While the latest style is to tilt the tie clip at a 45-degree downward angle higher up, the professional way of wearing it is to place it between the 4th and 5th button of your dress shirt horizontally.
The last accessory to top off your look is to bring along a crisp briefcase or business folder complete with your resume inside.
Accessories For Women:
When going on a job interview, wear your jewellery with class. Avoid flashy, jingly and oversized jewellery and aim for accessories that enhance the business look. Women can get away with wearing more accessories than men as long as it’s done the right way.
If you decide to wear a chunky necklace, then tone down your earrings by wearing studs. If you prefer dangly earrings, then nix the necklace and opt for single coloured chandelier earrings or teardrop earrings. For those that keep more than one piercing in each ear, take the extra earrings out and keep to wearing one pair of earrings.
Like men, women who love rings should also keep the number of rings down to 2 – one ring on each hand. Surely you have beautiful fingers but remember that you want to accentuate your business look, not overshadow it.
The same rule applies to bracelets – less is more. An interview is not the time to wear big, plastic bangles. Instead, wearing a delicate gold or platinum chain will keep the look traditional and yet elegant.
Act The Part
Now that you know how to look the part, it’s time to know how to act the part. Self-confidence is everything in an interview. Sometimes it can be hard to show it when nerves get in the way but by presenting your self confidently, no one will ever be able to tell the difference!
When you step into the interview room, pretend that you’ve already got the job. Instead of feeling like you’re in an interrogation room, you’ll feel more a part of the company team which will allow you to converse more freely. Remember, you’re obviously qualified for the position you’ve applied for, otherwise, they wouldn’t have called you in for a meeting!
You’ve made it in the door, what comes next? The famous handshake does.
You may not know the weight a handshake carries but it takes you quite far IF you know the proper way to confidently shake a future employer’s hand. Keeping eye contact while firmly shaking hands shows them you’re all courteous but at the same time, all business. Allow the interviewer however many shakes he or she wants while getting your own personal impression of what kind of manager you might be working for!
During the interview, certain questions might come up that you may know about ahead of time. If you aren’t quite sure how to answer, rehearse the question with a friend or family member to practise answering appropriately and confidently. Fred Pryor Organisation states that good preparation and rehearsal will reduce your nerves by 75% increasing the likelihood of avoiding errors to 95%.[v]
Since we know that employers judge more on voice tone and grammar rather than the words falling out of your mouth, keeping your voice steady and calm will give some flexibility when answering their questions. Maintain eye contact without staring and always remember to smile!
Be The Part
Applying the proper aesthetics to your entire business look will show confidence and put your book-judging cover on the top best-seller’s list!
Here’s a little secret I bet you didn’t know: Employers tend to hire a person based more on their personality rather than their technical skill. Now companies are beginning to jump on board to include personality testing within the workplace. Although there aren’t any hard statics yet, testing experts report that 40% of employers are now including it within employers’ initial evaluations.[vi]
By using all of these tips and topping it off with a great personality, who knows how far it will get you? You might just boost yourself all the way to the top of the entrepreneurial chain!
I am back to tell you how my week has been going in my new world of jewellery making. I last spoke to you at the end of week two and I have now completed week three.
Like the first two weeks, I found this week quite challenging at times. This week I practised and focused on how to correctly and efficiently use the handsaw to cut out different shapes and various files to clean up and make rue the different shapes I was working on.
One of the tasks I was given was to find various images of either shapes, architecture or anything really which appealed to me and could somehow later be turned into jewellery. One of the images I decided to focus on was an Art Deco style wallpaper print, I segmented a piece of the print and duplicated it to make a pair, then I placed the copies onto a sheet of silver and traced out the interesting design onto it. I then began to cut out the shapes using my handsaw. This can be quite tricky and frustrating at times as parts of the design were hard to get to with the saw. The fine corners were especially tricky, as well as the cut outs I had decided to incorporate on the inside.
I was shown how to get into these inside cut outs with a very sneaky technique, unfortunately I cannot tell you, as it is a jewellers secret!
Other challenges arose whilst cutting the designs out, as I had decided that these particular designs would eventually become earrings, therefore they needed to be identical and symmetrical. Being that they were cut out separately and had curved edges and internal cut outs, it was quite difficult to get the two looking perfectly alike. I did my best using various shaped files and techniques and so far they have turned out quite even.
Learning how to use the different shaped files was the most important lesson I learnt this week. I learnt which file can be used to get into the more intricate parts of the design and which file can be used to create a rounded or curved edge or which file creates a more straight edge.
Its now time for me to get back to turning them into a pair of gorgeous earrings. I hope week four is just as exciting as the first three, so I will have lots of interesting news to tell you, until next time, have a great week.
There is a number of different traditions that make each wedding special. While some are born of the culture, others get their start in a unique family. Still others begin during a specific period of time and reach beyond culture to embed itself in the nature of the event. One tradition that falls into this last category includes this English version that got its start in the Victorian era:
Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.
Many a bride understands this poem is a representation of good luck on her wedding day. It is said that if she attends to each detail in the design of her apparel on her special day, the marriage overall will be happy. What you may not know, however, is that not every phrase in the poem refers to something that bride must wear or carry.
From the beginning, “Something old” was to symbolize the continuity of the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” is to represent optimism and hope the bride has for her new life ahead of her. A happily married friend or family member generally supplies the “Something borrowed” with the expectation that the good fortune in his or her marriage will be bestowed upon the new bride. This item is also meant to act as a reminder to the bride that she can depend upon her friends and family.
Selecting something blue is said to date back to Biblical times when the colour was associated with purity and fidelity. What may have once gone so far as to be a blue dress or blue trim sewn into the outfit has become a colour that is included in the garter worn by the bride under her dress. Wealth and financial security – which is also offered in a wealth of happiness and joy – is then promised in the sixpence included in the bride’s shoe.
Whether you are the bride preparing for your wedding day or the groom staying out of the way as your betrothed makes all the plans, there are many considerations that go into your big day, not the least of which are your wedding bands. I can show you a wide range of styles that allow you to incorporate the past and present into a beautiful display you will be proud to wear for a lifetime of happiness.
To take the sentiment in this English tradition as it is, check out World Coin Cufflinks. This company specializes in creating wedding cufflinks using old coins, many of which are no longer in circulation. This unique approach to linking the past with the present provides you or your groom with a unique sense of identity. A wide range of options includes: coins from more than 20 countries and listed in 6 languages or check out the cufflinks using the English sixpence.
If you are not so keen on using the coin idea, here at Eskae Private Jeweller we have the skills and technical expertise to custom create your ideal wedding day jewelry. I have many clients who take this tradition one step further where the happy couple buys each other wedding day gifts.
Generally speaking, the groom will buy his lovely bride a pair of earrings to match her engagement ring. The bride may buy her man a pair of cufflinks that have some form of symbolism – either engraved or cut into them – that is from his family or a more personal significance that only the two of them will appreciate.
Of course there are no hard and fast rules that need to be adhered to, as your wedding day is YOUR wedding day and you are free to celebrate it any which way you choose! However, I do believe that your wedding should be a unique experience, while still holding onto traditions that mean something to you. I’d love to show you how you can get the best of both worlds through your bridal jewellery.
Bridal jewelry isn’t only about looking great on your wedding day – although that’s part of it – it’s also a representation of custom and culture.
For different parts of the world, bridal jewelry is worn very differently. Let’s take a look at how three different cultures portray their tradition through bridal jewelry.
Indian Bridal Jewelry
For Indian women, wedding dresses are the accessory to their jewelry. They pride themselves on how much jewelry they can wear for their week of wedding festivities since it’s more focused on religion and culture.
It’s customary for the bride’s family to give the bridal jewelry to the wife-to-be – mind you; this includes extended family meaning down to the 3rd and 4th generations. That’s quite a lot of jewelry to accumulate!
Yellow gold is the metal of choice since it’s considered to be exceptionally sacred for Indian weddings. It’s adorned with precious jewels such as ruby, jade, garnet, amethyst, pearl and diamond that are designed to complement the wedding dress.
Other bridal pieces include waist bands, bracelets with rings, finger and toe rings, anklets, arm bands and nose rings that are often attached to the Maang Tikka – which is the thin, jewelled chain worn down the part-line in the centre of the woman’s head which hooks on hairs, resting in the centre of the forehead.[i]
An interesting cultural fact: Toe rings and gold earrings are designed and worn during the ceremonies to mark an Indian bride’s evolution from bride to wife. During the wedding, the mother of the bride again gives her daughter more jewelry called bangles.
Bridal Jewelry from India
These bangles are thin and most often gold that is welded closed to fit the bride’s wrist perfectly which must be worn 40 days after the wedding.
While that is the traditional length for wearing bangles, most Indian women continue wearing these bangles for the rest of their lives, much like other cultures wear engagement rings for the rest of their lives.
Sri Lankan Bridal Jewelry
Kandyan brides use precious metals and jewels quite differently than the Indian culture we just described.
Where Indians decorate every inch of their bodies with bridal jewelry, Sri Lankan women wear most of it within their traditional wedding sari.
If you’re not Sri Lankan, you may be wondering how someone can wear jewelry within a sari, right?
Here’s how: Kandyan women stitch their saris with gold and silver thread, using pearls, beads and jewels to sequin their wedding gown. Talk about creativity!
The most stunning Kandyan bridal jewelry piece is called a nalalpata, which is the traditional bridal headgear designed by early Kandyan Kings and to be worn only once and only by the bride on her wedding day.
Bridal Jewelry from Sri Lanka
It’s placed on the middle of the forehead with one stem extending down the middle parting of her hair and another two branches extending across the forehead to each ear.[ii]
Although these rich headgears were traditionally designed to incorporate red jewels, it’s now creatively handcrafted using different stones and jewels with a figure of the sun and moon placed on either side to represent eternal love and a fulfilling relationship.
An interesting cultural fact: Sri Lankans are very superstitious regarding numbers so you’ll never find a single piece of bridal jewelry containing an even amount of jewels or stones.
Not only do they consider odd numbers incredibly lucky, the number ‘7’ is considered the magical number and for this reason, Kandyan brides wear 7 pendants around their necks.
Swedish Bridal Jewelry
As with other cultures, Swedish brides wear extremely unique pieces of bridal jewelry.
Their most exquisite piece of jewelry is called the brudkronan. While it may look similar to a tiara to some people, it’s actually a true crown made up of silver, gold or brass. Because it’s a true crown, it’s created entirely of precious metals and adorned by precious jewels and stones making this headpiece quite heavy to wear.[iii]
The brudkronan is important to Swedish brides because it represents purity and virginity. Its history originates from the Catholic Church and more specifically, the Virgin Mary dating all the way back to the Middle Ages.
Since brudkronan’s require such a large amount of precious metals and jewels, these crowns are either passed down from generation to generation or donated to Catholic Churches for brides to rent or borrow on their wedding day.
Bridal Jewelry from Sweeden
An interesting cultural fact: Swedish women definitely luck out in the ring department!
Swedish brides wear not two rings, but three rings after completing their marriage vows. The first ring signifies engagement, the second ring represents matrimony and the third ring is for motherhood.
The point of explaining differences traditionally and culturally is to show you that bridal jewelry is valuable and an absolute must no matter which geographical location of the earth you live in.
Bridal jewelry is respected, honoured and admired whether it’s sewn into your wedding gown, worn in your nose or atop of your head.
Because of its significance and value, it’s passed down from generation to generation and treasured for lifetimes to come.
Picking bridal jewelry that not only complements your wedding gown, but yourself as an individual, is truly and without a doubt – priceless!
Firstly I would like to introduce myself to you, my name is Holly, I am 23 years old and last week I started my jeweller’s apprenticeship with Sam at Eskae Private Jeweller.
So far it has been a very exciting week and a half. I have been lucky enough to start not only making jewellery straight away but begin creating and designing my own pieces of jewellery too.
My first day began with making probably the most exciting piece – a silver gents wedding style band. This is my first ring and piece of jewellery I have ever made, which made it even more special and exciting.
I started creating the ring by rolling out a piece of silver on a machine called a ‘rolling mill’, I then used a handsaw to cut the metal to size, I then learnt a very important technique in making jewellery – ‘soldering’. This is where you are able to join two or more pieces of metal together, in this case the ends of metal are soldered together to form one flowing circle. After soldering, I was shown how to file the metal to make it even and smooth. Lastly I put a bevelled edge on each side of the ring, which gives the ring interest and definition. All I need to do now to finish the piece is to polish it so that it comes up nice and shiny.
One of the other pieces of jewellery I hand-made was a pair of 18ct yellow gold and Akoya salt water pearl earrings. Sam gave me a design to create – a smooth shepard hook of fine wire, with one Akoya pearl suspended on the end of each pair. I found this piece quite challenging, as I had to begin by rolling and drawing out a piece of gold into very thin wire. (I must say, muscles are definitely required for this kind of work). Another reason why the earrings were challenging to make was that earrings of course need to be completely matching. And as the hooks were hand made individually, it was tricky matching and bending them into the same shapes. During the making of the earrings, I was able to learn a lot about using pliers and which directions and positions to place them, in order to achieve a particular curve.
18ct Yellow gold and Akoya Pearl Earrings
This week the most important technique I learnt was what sort of flame to use on various heating techniques e.g. if I am soldering something I need to use a stronger smaller flame, which has more blue in the tip of the flame, as opposed to a technique called ‘annealing’ which is where you heat up the metal to make it more malleable. In annealing I need to use what Sam calls a ‘fluffy’ flame, which not only has a blue flame, but the tip of the flame has an orange colour to it, it is softer and less aggressive than a soldering flame, which allows me to achieve a more even heat across the length of the gold or silver I am working with.
18ct Yellow Gold and Akoya Pearl Earrings
All in all, last week has been great! I met suppliers, began my journey as a jeweller and even got to create some fun pieces of jewellery.
The cufflink is an interesting adornment rooted in tradition. Before cufflinks were ever conceived, buttons were used by tailors as decoration for clothing as a gentleman’s attire was typically held together by pins, laces and straps. The cufflink was not even a possibility until the worked buttonhole was developed during the Renaissance. This advancement drove the button to the mainstream as a means to fasten clothing.
The post-Renaissance era in the 1600s saw the birth of the cufflink, displayed as two ornate buttons, attached in the middle with a link of chain. Thus, the upper classes of Europe, Great Britain especially, had a unique way to customize a man’s clothing.
To meet a growing demand, jewellers created “sleeve buttons” with designs etched or stamped into silver or gold. Such buttons were often encrusted with previous stones and the mark of a gentleman was affixed in the wearing of the cufflink.
The London Gazette in 1684 featured one of the earliest descriptions of a cufflink, which included a pair of what was referred to as cuff buttons set with diamonds. In 1686, the same publication referred to cuff buttons made of golden enamel. Further evidence of cufflinks in the 17th century was found in Suffolk, England. A decorated gold single chain cufflink has been found that originated in that era.
While the history varies somewhat depending upon the source, the use of cufflinks on a consistent basis was not seen until the mid-nineteenth century. It was at this time that the ever-present ruffles on the shirt were replaced with minimal sleeves that allowed more functionality in the wear. In particular, the French Cuff arrived – also known as the Double Cuff, Poignet Mousquetaire and the Musketeer’s Cuff – creating the perfect platform for the introduction of the cufflink as a standard part of attire for first class gentlemen.
This piece of adornment was not meant only for the upper class, however. By the 1860s, the cufflink found a place in the mainstream. Credit can be given to jewellers such as Child & Child in London and Krementz & Co in New York as they both were responsible for introducing cufflinks within a price range and style that fit the budget and taste of the general public.
While the cufflink enjoyed widespread acceptance as a must-have adornment on the gentleman’s shirt, the industry suffered a setback in the late twentieth century when shirt manufacturers began to mass produce dress and tuxedo shirts with buttons on the cuff. Companies such as Tiffany and Cartier found this merely a distraction and instead created cufflinks that continue to appeal to the masses.
As personalization is one of the biggest trends at play today, cufflinks are the perfect way for you to personalize your attire. Whether you hope to demonstrate a tradition, match a suit or simply make a statement, cufflinks offer a world of possibilities that perfectly top any style today.
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I would not hesitate in recommending Eskae Private Jeweller to anyone, especially if a personalised, unique service and piece of jewellery is what you are looking for. My partner and I both wanted to create and receive rings that were reflective of our individuality and that showed we knew the other almost better than we know ourselves – and together with Eskae we were able to achieve this vision.
Nothing was ever too much to ask, they consistently went above and beyond to create both pieces...
Bec and Petra
Hunters Hill NSW
Through this rather intense emotional experience of having a jewellery piece custom made, where I had commissioned a creative set of engagement and wedding rings, Sam has displayed strong understanding of the context, great listening skills, calmness, creativity and expertise.
My wife is truly delighted by the design, the look and feel as well as the fact that we were able to recycle and incorporate her existing engagement ring into the new version...
I would best describe my experience with Eskae Private Jeweller as effortless and enjoyable.
I had little idea of what I wanted and Sam helped me design from scratch a beautiful pendant in which I can see how important getting the correct style of the setting was in making my diamonds sparkle, shine and stand out even more!
It is always so nice to get professional advice from someone who is not only reliable and trust worthy but also passionate and experienced...
North Sydney NSW
I have known Sam for over 15 years and trust his judgement. His work really speaks for itself – not just with my ring – but all of the other pieces in Eskae Private Jewellers portfolio.
My engagement ring is so beautiful and I cannot stop starring at it, people often stop me to comment on the style and craftsmanship...
Simon and Nat
Many thanks for your help in designing an engagement ring for my new fiancé. You made what could have been a very stressful time a lot easier than I thought possible.
My girlfriend is quite fussy and the proposal was to be a surprise. I really appreciated how you were able to meet me after hours to show me diamonds and talk about different designs. I am happy you were able to transfer my ideas into a beautiful design that she loved.
I am also very impressed that you followed up to make sure the proposal went smoothly and the ring was the right size. We are also amazed at how quickly you were able to resize the ring so it fitted perfectly...
My wife and I would like to thank you for the fantastic service we received from you.
The engagement ring you crafted for Nic is absolutely stunning and exactly what she wanted, and her wedding ring sets it off perfectly.
You were thoroughly professional at all times and the fact that you made yourself available at 10.30pm to pick up the rings shows the level of service you provided us.
We are very grateful for everything and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending you to our friends...
Mark and Nicole
Dee Why NSW
Having purchased a few pieces from Eskae already we decided that Eskae would be the perfect choice to make our engagement and wedding rings (not to mention the fabulous wedding day gift that Sam helped design – a special and rare touch placed with 2 brilliant pink diamonds that Sam sourced especially for this commissioned ring).
The quality of his work is astounding, the effort put in to make sure the piece is exactly what we are looking for...
Thank you for advising my husband and I in regards to my 40th birthday presents. We decided to look for a jeweller who could offer us a personal service and advise us with regard to a few special diamond set pieces of jewellery, and by choosing you, you certainly made the process easy for us.
From travelling to our home at a convenient time for us, choosing the design and advising us on the correct diamond choice to suit the jewellery and the size of the rings, then crafting the jewellery and delivering them back to our home...
James and Daniela
Thank you so much for your help and advice throughout the entire process of selecting the diamonds and designing the engagement ring of our dreams! Your advice about selecting a higher colour and cut grading was perfect, our diamond definitely out sparkles those of our friends, which makes us feel really special.
We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Eskae to anyone at all, even though we are in Melbourne, Sam was able to serve us as if we were just around the corner; with care, understanding and expert knowledge that gave us confidence throughout the entire process…
Caleb and Annabelle
Just a quick note to say thank you so much for the wonderful and very attentive service you have given both my husband and myself.
We are absolutely delighted with the way our jewellery looked when you had finished working your magic with it, it literally looks better than I remembered it looking before I gave it to you! To be honest I was a little hesitant about the distance between Sydney and Geelong, but your communication and attention to detail in this area was more than enough to help us get past this, in-fact the distance ended up proving to be of little significance…
My fiancé Hope and I are writing this letter to thank you for doing such a wonderful job on our engagement ring.
You were exceptionally helpful in putting your ideas onto paper and taking into account my fiancés personality to match the design of her ring.
Your craftsmanship is brilliant and we have had nothing but compliments on the jewellery you have made for us.
You are professional and a pleasure to deal with...
Greg and Hope
It really has been a great experience and you have definitely gone above and beyond my expectations in terms of not only the ring but the whole service and experience. You have really made us feel super special and the quality of the diamond that you got for us really shows against our friends’ diamonds, not to mention the design of the ring is so classic, exactly what my fiancé wanted!
Simon and Chantelle
I cannot compare the “Eskae Private Jeweller experience” with other jewellers. It is so nice to witness such passion and perfectionism.
I was involved and informed at every stage of the creative and creation stages, I appreciate Sam’s ability to ascertain what I wanted, he also offered his opinion based on his experience and his feeling of what would work the best for me.
I sincerely believe that Eskae Private Jeweller’s priority is to custom design and then hand craft a piece of jewellery that is treasured by the client. The service is outstanding, professional and...
A friend referred Sam to us and now we owe her massively! Sam has been an absolute gem (pardon the pun) He came over to our house and asked us what we were looking for with patience and guidance as he clearly has a much better understanding of what works with jewellery.
Sam came around to our house personally and was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, he sketched up several designs and then re-did them after our feedback, just to make sure we were all on the right track. Once we had the direction sorted out he then went away and re-drew the designs into 3D colour renderings – by hand, then emailed them over to us...