Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

How often should you get your jewelry professionally checked?

Beautiful jewellery is an investment designed to last a lifetime, so it’s important to keep it in good shape and care for it appropriately.

Let’s have a look at when you should take it for some professional tender loving care.

When should you have a maintenance check?

To keep your jewellry in good condition it’s important to take it in for professional maintenance once a year, at a stretch every year and a half. This ensures that any damage or wear from use and age is caught before it’s too late. This is particularly important for rings containing precious jewels where it is essential that prongs are kept strong and tight.

Well trained jewellers are able to tighten any loose fittings as well as file out any dents or deep scratches. This will help to protect the surface of your pieces over their lifetime.

It is advisable to take your jewellry for a check up after getting it first professionally cleaned. This allows jewellers to have an unhindered view of the piece and makes it easier to spot any potential areas of damage and wear.

Even diamonds can get chipped in the bustle of daily life.

When should you have jewellry professionally cleaned?

Fine jewellry should be something worn with pride, whenever and wherever you like – so it’s important to keep them sparkling.

While quite a lot of cleaning can be done at home, for your finest pieces we recommend taking them for a thorough professional clean every six months to a year. This can usually be done at your local jewellers for a very reasonable cost.

Jewellry care tips

A lot of your jewellry will be made of the highest quality metals, diamonds and gemstones – but this does not make them indestructible. Even diamonds can be chipped and worn in the rough and tumble of daily life. To keep your jewellry intact here are a few of our top tips:

  1. Avoid wearing while swimming. Not only is it easy for rings and bracelets to slip off unnoticed, chlorine can tarnish metals and even some gemstones.
  2. Don’t wear your pieces to the gym. It’s not worth exposing them to the risk of getting caught and damaged in moving machinery. Also they will become very dirty from sweat.
  3. Rings especially should not be worn for any physical activities that involve your hands. This includes chores like washing the dishes, gardening or lifting heavy weights. Gemstones can easily be chipped when banged and the ring can become scratched.

Visit us in one of our Showcase stores to shop get your jewellry checked and looking beautiful.

Say hello to Citrine, November’s first birthstone!

tarting with its two birthstones.

That’s right, like October with its enchanting opal and radiant tourmaline, November is yet another month with two gemstones to choose from. We’re going to illuminate the first of this gorgeous pair, the luminous citrine, discovering its various properties as well as seeing how you can incorporate into your jewellery collection.

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or for a beautiful gift for a November baby, here’s what you should know about the stunning citrine.

A quartz by any other name 

The citrine is part of the quartz family, presenting itself in a warm golden-yellow hue, reminiscent of the citrus fruit from whence it got its name. One of the most popular yellow-coloured gemstones sold in the world today, citrines can range from a pale lemon to a rich, almost amber colouring thanks to a trace of iron in its mineral makeup.

However, this hue is hardly natural, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Due to golden citrines being relatively rare, most of the examples you see today are the result of an ingenious heat treatment technique, which transforms the lilac of amethysts into the alluring citrine.

It’s due to this warm colouration that the citrine has been often muddled up with topaz, November’s other birthstone, even though the American Gem Society (AGS) explains that they are completely different jewels.

citrine-facts

Citrine’s properties

The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) notes that the citrine has a relatively high rating of 7 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, just like the rest of its quartz family, meaning that you don’t need to worry about it getting damaged from small knocks due to general wear and tear.

Like any other gemstone, the citrine is said to be imbued with its own unique properties, with the AGS reporting that the stone is associated with healing, as well as nurturing vitality and warmth for the lucky wearer.

The citrine is also the commemorative gemstone for a 13th anniversary, notes the GIA, so whether you’re approaching this special date in your relationship or you know a wonderful November baby, citrine jewellery makes for a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

How can I wear citrine jewellery?

Here at Showcase, we’re excited to offer our customers a selection of Karen Walker’s imaginative jewellery range, including this wonderful owl ring, featuring citrine as well as May’s birthstone of emerald.

What makes citrine truly a great addition to your collection is that its golden hue is almost universally flattering on a range of skin tones, complementing warmer or darker complexions as well as brightening fair ones.

Citrine looks equally as radiant set in either gold or cool-toned metals, but has a special glint to it when matched with either white gold or sterling silver.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the world of citrine! Make sure you keep an eye out for our upcoming feature on the second November birthstone of topaz, and take a look back through our previous birthstone articles here to read up on May to October.

Celebrating October’s birthstones part one: Tourmaline

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October is the month of Libras, Scorpios and everyone’s favourite spooky holiday of Halloween, but did you know it’s also a month with two birthstones? You heard us right, those lucky October babies have two stunning gems to choose from: tourmaline and opal.

These enchanting stones only enhance the sparkling personalities of those born in the tenth month of the year, making a special addition to any jewellery collection.

Here we’re taking a look at the first of the October birthstones, tourmaline

Colourful origins 

You may know tourmaline as having a vivid pink hue, but the fact of the matter is that this gem can come in a variety of different colours. Due to its bi- or tri-colour properties, tourmaline can be found in an almost emerald green, as well as blue, red-brown and even yellow.

The tourmaline owes its variation of colour to a range of elements such as manganese, iron, chromium, lithium and calcium, notes the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

According to the International Coloured Gemstone Association, the azure blue characteristic of the rare Paraiba variety from Brazil is caused by the presence of copper, usually absent from any other tourmaline.

 

facts-about-tourmaline

A surprising discovery 

The beautiful tourmaline had humble beginnings when it was stumbled upon by a Spanish explorer in the 1500s and mistaken for an emerald, according to the GIA. Long confused with various other gems thanks to its broad spectrum of colours, it wasn’t until a few hundred years later that tourmaline was identified as being its own type of mineral.

Its name comes from ‘toramalli’, a word in the Sri Lankan language of Sinhalese that is taken to mean ‘mixed gems’. It’s not uncommon to see two or more colours in the same gemstone, often used for creative or artistic effect.

One example of this is the ‘watermelon tourmaline’, where a cross section of the stone reveals a pink core, surrounded by a thin band of white and then an outer ring of green.

Incorporating tourmaline into your life 

Now tourmaline deposits can be found all around the world, including across the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan and Madagascar, according to the GIA. It’s accepted as being the gem for an eighth wedding anniversary, and is thought to have various healing properties. These include the promotion of balance and understanding, as well as for easing tension and detoxifying the body.

Wearing tourmaline jewellery is a breeze, as the sheer range of colours makes it easy to find a shade that suits you. Our stunning pink tourmaline and diamond cocktail ring is sure to be a hit with any October babies and lucky partners. It is set in 18-carat yellow gold, with white gold accents acting as a bezel to the 0.33 carat of diamonds that form a halo around the oval-shaped central tourmaline.

A modern take on art deco style, this ring adds a splash of colour and sparkle to any outfit, and can be mixed and matched with either gold or silver toned pieces with ease. If you’ve already had your birthday, no need to fear, as you can look back at our previous birthstone articles, including rubies for July, peridots for August and sapphires for September.

Treat your bridal party to something special

A bride’s engagement and wedding rings are hugely important elements to her special day – but who says they’re the only jewellery items that get to walk down the aisle? Treat your bridesmaids as you would like to be treated and shower them in gifts of the sparkly variety.

Your bridal party will likely be made up of the most precious and important women in your life, and they often spend a considerable amount of their own time, effort (and sometimes money) to help celebrate your special day. It’s natural to want to recognise this and show your appreciation through a gift, and one long-standing bridal party tradition is giving bridesmaids jewellery on the day of the wedding. Typically, the bridal party will wear these items throughout the day, and often come in the form of a necklace, earrings or bracelet. This tradition sees couples in Australia spending an average of $204 on bridesmaid jewellery, according to the 2015 Bride to be ‘cost of love’ survey.

The best time to present your gift to your bridal party is at a quiet time before the ceremony when you’re all together. You could add in a handwritten heartfelt note detailing how happy you are to have these women in your life, and have your photographer on hand to capture this special moment. Gifts are usually the same across the bridesmaids, however may vary in colour or style slightly. For instance, you could include the birthstones of each of your bridesmaids in their earrings with the same setting and style, or engrave a special message to each recipient on the inside of a wedding bracelet.

One exception to this gift giving process may be your maid of honour. This person often has an extra special role to play in a wedding and can be responsible for a greater share of help and support, so many brides show their appreciation with a more significant gift. This could be as simple as upgrading the stone used in a gift of earrings or adding in a matching bracelet.

Make this Father’s Day different

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Where would we be without good old dad? Fathers have a special place in our heart, earned a thousand times over with affectionate gestures, overly enthusiastic pep talks and general awesomeness.

Each year, we put aside a day to honour and thank our hardworking, much-loved fathers for everything they’ve done over the years. If you’ve been scratching your head about how to spoil dad this year, whether it’s your own pops or you’re buying something on behalf of your little ones, Showcase Jewellers is here to help.

So it’s out with the boxers and chocolate and in with a meaningful gift your dad can cherish for years to come.

Don’t let time slip away from you 

A watch is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a timeless gift for dad. It’s something that he can wear everyday, and is an accessory that is both stylish and practical. Something like the Mizzano Workmans Watch is built to last, with 100-metre water resistance, quartz movements and a rugged stainless steel structure that can handle whatever your dad can throw at it.

In contrast, if your father already has an everyday watch, why not plump for something a little more dressy, such as the classic style of a chronograph watch? With a brown leather strap and the brassy veneer of rose gold plating, this timepiece has a hint of nostalgia about it, and a good helping of sophistication.

Accessorising dad 

Just because he’s dad, doesn’t mean he can’t pull off some of the latest trends in men’s accessories and jewellery. Men’s bracelets add a personal touch to any outfit without going overboard, such as this stainless steel mesh example or this polished link bracelet.

Cufflinks are a great way to spruce up your dad’s shirts, whether they’re sporting a brushed stainless steel or an onyx affair.

Last but not least, you can top it all off with some quality time with your dad – whether it’s a laid​ back lunch or a day fishing, he’ll love the effort you make to spend time with him on his special day.

Give your dad a gift he can cherish for years to come.

In praise of watches: Why we should never replace these timeless timepieces

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‘Watches are so named as a reminder – if you don’t watch carefully what you do with your time, it will slip away from you.’

So said mysterious philosopher and oft-quoted horologist Drew Sirtors, talking about the timepieces that have adorned our wrists ever since we discovered that a complicated series of interconnected cogs and springs could help us identify the time of day or night.

The ever-advancing march of technology has given us watches that not only tell the time, but the temperature, air pressure, what the weather might do and a whole raft of other functions. They are powered by the sun, kinetic energy or batteries that may last a decade. But even so, is the watch losing its rightful place as the number one way of telling the time?

Not if we have anything to say about it! With Father’s Day fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to seek out a timepiece to adorn the wrists of the dad in your life.

Watching the competition

According to a recent poll by YouGov, an international market research company that carries out wide ranging research across a variety of topics, it was found that more than half of people aged between 16 and 34 do not use their watch as the primary source of telling the time. Of course, they aren’t using the position of the sun like some sort of urban ‘Crocodile’ Dundee – they turn to their smartphones.

Found my Grandfathers pocket #watch. Thought it appropriate bc of the transition tonight #heirloom #gooddesign pic.twitter.com/kA8quKGJ

— Erik (@Erik_Jens) January 1, 2013

That’s right – 60 per cent of people in this age bracket would rather dig out their device, look at the time, get distracted by a load of notifications, and relock the phone before the battery runs out. This is preferred to a simple turn of the wrist for a quick glance at a timepiece that will take mere seconds.

So, are watches destined to be consigned to the annals of history as technology catches up with them?

Almost certainly not. Humans have worn watches, from the classic pocket variety to the ones worn on our wrists today, for over 500 years. This amount of time has, of course, seen them survive just about every major world event and technological revolution possible.

Even today, as innovative companies such as Google and Apple bring forth a new breed of smartwatches, nothing can compare to the classic elegance of a well-crafted wrist watch.

So, are watches destined to be consigned to the annals of history as technology catches up with them? Almost certainly not.

“We’re all extremely attached to our cameras, our phones, our computers, our iPads, and I think there’s something charming about owning something analogue,” said Stephen Puvirent, of watch publication Hodinkee.

“I’m going to replace my iPhone sometime in the next few years. But a really high-quality watch I can wear and enjoy on a daily basis,” he concluded.

Watch where you’re going!

Additionally, watches can become heirlooms, especially ones which are built to last. They aren’t simply used to tell the time – they become a symbol of something lasting, and are often passed down between generations. Could you imagine the same thing occurring with iPhones? This is what makes them a perfect gift for the father in your life – something that will stand the test of time.

We at Showcase Jewellers are huge fans of the wristwatch. Our range of timepieces are designed and crafted by Mizzano, and we have several to choose from, for both ladies and gentlemen. This Father’s Day, don’t plump for the arbitrary socks or bottle of beer – get him something that he will cherish for the rest of his life.

For the hard-working gent, why not take a look at this specialist ‘Tradies’ effort? It’s crafted from durable stainless steel and is water resistant to some 100 metres, so whatever line of work you’re in, you can be sure that this hardy piece will keep perfect time.

This beautiful rose gold effort, replete with leather strap has a timeless appeal that won’t look out of place at any occasion – least of all your father’s wrist.

A watch can be passed down between generations – unlike smartphones!

3 Places You Shouldn’t Wear Your Jewellery

You’ve no doubt built up a wonderful collection of beautiful jewellery thanks to Showcase Jewellers, and every day you find a reason to show off your shiny pieces. In the interests of keeping your jewellery in pristine collection, we’ve put together a list of three places where you should resist the temptation to wear your precious ornaments.

Thermal hot springs

Most people will know this one by now, but in case you missed the memo: Do not wear your silver jewellery in thermal hot springs. The high sulphur content of the water is great for your skin but terrible for your jewellery. Immersing your silver in thermal pools and other geothermal areas will immediately tarnish your jewellery, leaving it looking darkened, dirty, and decidedly dull. The tarnish can be removed, either by yourself or a professional, but why subject yourself to an unnecessary headache?

Sleeping

When you fall in love with a piece of jewellery it can be tempting to wear it 24 hours a day, and there’s something whimsical about falling asleep with your most prized possession against your skin. However, you wriggle around a lot when you sleep, and this movement can put your jewellery at the risk of getting damaged.

Rolling onto your side can force your body’s weight against your arm and wrist, which could potentially caused link bracelets to become irreversibly kinked, while solid bracelets may stretch and get bent out of shape. Earrings should also be removed as they may catch on your pillows and linen during the night – a painful way to wake up that may also damage the earring.

The beach

The surf and sand presents a variety of risks to your jewellery that you should strongly consider before wearing your new diamond ring to the beach. Swimming for extended periods of time can cause your hands and fingers to wrinkle (which is actually shrinking them), posing the danger of your ring loosening and falling off in the sea, probably to never be seen again.

Make sure you leave your rose-gold jewellery at home, as its copper content is very susceptible to the corrosion caused by salt air. Sand is highly abrasive and can damage rhodium-plated and gold-plated surfaces, among others. Diamonds and other hard gemstones should be fine at the beach, but softer gemstones such as amethyst and citrine are also vulnerable to being scratched by the sand.

How And When To Wear Cufflinks

Cufflinks, in this day and age, are often seen as a more formal alternative to standard buttons and, though they may not be as immediately striking as a snazzy tie or beautiful dress watch, they are certainly a worthy addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe. The two situations in which men may choose to wear cufflinks are in a social setting and the work-related arena – but each one has certain guidelines as to how to utilise them to their maximum effect.

It’s all work work, work

It is rare to see cufflinks on the wrists of men in the workplace today – since the emergence of practical button-down cuffs in the 1970s, there has been little call for them on a day-to-day basis. Art Of Style, the revered fashion website for men, states that wearing cufflinks in the office could even cause tensions, as the adornments are associated with formality and it may create rifts between some employees. 

However, if you are the CEO or managing director of a business, then wearing cufflinks on a  daily basis can be a seen as a sign of your seniority. It’s not completely out of the question that rank-and-file employees shouldn’t wear cufflinks, however. If going to meet important clients or attending formal, work-based events, cufflinks can be worn to add a sense of professionalism to proceedings. Wearing cufflinks when away from the office, though still on business, is a great way of showing that you are serious about your firm and presents a great first impression.

Let’s get social

Though wearing cufflinks to a casual social gathering, such as watching the footy with your mates down the pub, isn’t recommended, there is great call for them at something more formal. Such events as weddings and black-tie balls mean that you’re expected to look as dashing and well-turned out as possible, so using cufflinks rather than standard sleeve buttons are a fine way to start. Cufflinks are known for their understated elegance, so to wear them to such an event is a no-brainer.

However, it is important to remember that your cufflinks remain as tasteful, classy and understated as possible. By wearing bright green, bombastic efforts or a pair of deathly, metallic skulls, you will detract from your overall look, meaning that all the time you spent polishing those new shoes or perfecting that cravat will be all for nothing. Remember that the best cufflinks are designed to add a sense of the suave debonair to your outfit – such as these tactful onyx efforts

A Quick Guide To Coloured Diamonds

When we think of diamonds, many of us conjure up images of brilliant, colourless gems set in stunning engagement rings and dazzling feature-piece necklaces.

Public perception of coloured diamonds

While these imaginings are certainly true, they don’t take into account the myriad coloured diamonds that are out there in the world. Some people have the idea that coloured diamonds are made artificially or have somehow had their pigment manipulated during the formation process. However, the truth is that coloured diamonds are formed in the same way as their colourless cousins – they’re both the result of carbon atoms being forced together in extreme conditions deep beneath the surface of the Earth.

What causes the presence of colour in these diamonds?

If all natural diamonds are created the same way, why do some contain colour? Well, during formation, external particles can enter the crystallisation process. Over time, these foreign bodies can have a significant effect on the chemical process, and over time cause the diamond to develop a unique and distinct colour. Let’s take a look at which factors result in the creation of each colour of diamond.

-Pink

The undisputed colour of love and romance, pink diamond jewellery is the perfect gift to show that special someone how much they mean to you. It’s thought that pink diamonds are created due to above average levels of intense pressure and heat, which results in a process known as ‘plastic deformation.’ The Argyle mine in western Australia, the largest producer of coloured diamonds in the world, is home to many of these gorgeous stones.

-Green

Green diamonds are exceedingly rare. Ranging from a mild tone to a deep verdant, these diamonds obtain their unusual colour from absorbing the radiation that naturally exists in the rocks and soil near the surface of the planet.

– Yellow

Yellow diamond rings are steadily gaining popularity in Hollywood as people come to appreciate the warm, gentle hues of the mesmerising gem. The colouration comes from the presence of nitrogen atoms during the formation process.

-Blue

Sophisticated and regal, blue diamonds are typically a result of the presence of the chemical boron. The exact tone of blue depends on the boron content of the diamond.

-Red

The rarest  – and most expensive – colour of all diamonds is red. The jury is still out on how these unique gemstones are exactly formed, though it’s thought to be a similar process to that involved in the creation of pink diamonds.

3 Tokens Of Love From Around The World

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The world is a big place, full of colourful cultures that celebrate love in myriad of different ways. From rings to necklaces and wooden spoons, check out our list of three diverse tokens of affection that people from different parts of the planet give to their loved ones.

Diamond rings

The first evidence of a diamond engagement ring dates all the way back to around the 15th century, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented one to his betrothed Mary of Burgundy. For the next few hundred years, diamonds were too expensive to be accessible to everyday people. It wasn’t until the De Beers Company began work in newly discovered diamond mines in South Africa that the popularity of the shiny gem began to skyrocket, particularly in the years that followed the Great Depression.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, a diamond ring is the number one choice for people who want to spend their life with their loved one. Here at Showcase Jewellers, we’re proud to offer an extensive range of stunning engagement rings that are sure to amaze your partner.

Love spoons

It’s a world away from the glimmering shine of a diamond ring, but love spoons were once a lovely and sentimental way to show your partner how much they meant to you. Centuries ago in Wales, young men would spend extraordinary amounts of time meticulously carving a spoon from a single piece of wood to give to their loved one. These Welsh lads were probably not the greatest communicators, so they would express their emotions through the intricate designs of the spoons. 

Overflowing with meaning, the love spoons were packed with motifs such as hearts, anchors and Celtic knots. What would you say if your partner got down on one knee and gave you a spoon?

Mangalsutra

In Hindu culture, on the day of her wedding a woman is presented with a mangalsutra – a sacred necklace – which is placed around her neck by her husband. The mangalsutra, which may consist of gold chains, gold and black beads and other beautiful materials, is not only a shining symbol of their marriage, but it is also something of a rite of passage, representing the woman’s evolution from adolescence to adulthood.

Following the day of her wedding, the woman wears the mangalsutra for the rest of her life (or until her husband’s death) to show the love and respect shared by the couple. It is considered a bad omen if the necklace should become damaged or broken, and this lends the mangalsutra a sense of power and divinity.

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