- ABOUT US
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Buying a piece of jewellery should be a pleasurable experience, and a little knowledge can enhance your time within our store. There are so many things to take into consideration when making your special luxury purchase.
We believe in the finest quality when making your jewellery purchase, and most of our gold is 18ct gold, which is 75% pure gold. We also offer 9ct gold. In its natural state gold is yellow, however by carefully missing the gold with alloys we can create white or rose gold. Our white gold is of the highest standard, using the best alloys. Although we do plate our white gold with Rhodium, this is to maximise the shine, as the gold is white not yellow underneath.Silver
We offer several ranges of silver jewellery. This requires slightly different care than gold as it can tarnish. If it tarnishes, it can be professionally cleaned by ourselves or you can dip it at home with one of our specialist silver cleaning pots. Silver is softer than gold.Platinum
This is one of the hardest wearing metals. It is a white metal, and very high in purity, 95% platinum is the quality that we use. As a result, it is often suitable for people that suffer from metal allergies. It makes an excellent choice for engagement and wedding rings. Its high polish white finish makes it perfect setting for diamonds.
One of the most important purchase of jewellery you will ever make is likely to be an engagement ring. Engagement rings are most often a solitaire diamond. When buying diamonds you should consider what we call the 4C’s. The 4C’s stand for Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight.
Cut is firstly about the shape of the diamonds. There is the classic round modern brilliant cut, but you can also have a diamond that is square, (princess) rectangular (Emerald cut or ascher cut or Radiant cut), Oval, Pear shaped or Marquise cut. We can show you a selection when you visit the store. Secondly cut is about how well the stone has been cut. If a stone has been cut to deep or too shallow, it will not sparkle and shine in the same way that a stone that has be cut to perfect proportions will.
Colour is about how white the diamond is. Although most diamonds are white, they can be graded from a perfect white which is labelled as a D colour, through the alphabet to an H colour, which is still regarded as white, through to I which is beginning to show a hint of colour and on all the way to XYZ. The change in whiteness is due to tiny amounts of trace element impurities within the diamond. Of course you can get diamonds that are actually yellow, or pink or blue, and these are very rare and command high prices.
Clarity is about how clear the diamond is. All diamonds have tiny imperfections in them, as they are made by nature. However these inclusions, as we call them, vary from completely invisible to the naked eye, through to big marks that are easily visible. The highest clarity is FL or flawless. This means under 10x magnification no marks can be seen. The next is VVS standing for very very slight inclusions, then VS, very slight. It is not possible to see these grades of diamonds with the naked eye. SI or slight inclusions, can be seen if you look carefully, but they do not detract from the beauty of the diamond or its overall brilliance. Stones that are classified as I or Pique, have imperfections that are easily seen.
Carat is all about the size, well actually it is about the weight of a diamond. You can have 2 diamonds both weighing a carat, that measure different millimetres. There are 100 points in a one carat diamond.
Books have been written on this subject, and we could fill a whole website dedicated to gemstones, but here it is in a nutshell. The big three of coloured gemstones are Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald. Sapphires are usually expected to be blue, the best blue being a deep cornflower blue, however sapphires can come in every colour of the rainbow. Except red, because when a sapphire is red we call them rubies. Rubies are only red, and there is a fine border line between a deep pink sapphire and a ruby. Emeralds are green, and the deep and more grassy the green and the fewer inclusions that are present the better the emerald. We have four fully qualified gemmologists at Lumbers, who love to talk about gemstones, so please feel free to visit the store so we can explain more about these beautiful gems.
There are a multitude of other gemstones that we sell.
Tanzanite:- a wonderful purple/ blue gemstone that in some lights looks like a sapphire and in others an amethyst.
Amethyst:- a purple quartz, that is relatively inexpensive, but gives a wonderful depth of colour.
Peridot:- a lime green stone that is only found in a few places around the world.
Morganite:- this light peachy pink stone is a member of the beryl family and related to Emerald
Aquamarine:- another member of the beryl family, it is, as the name suggests, a light sea blue, the finest colour is the like a Mediterranean sky
Opal:- Completely different from all of the above as it is opaque, and can show flashes of colour right across the rainbow. The most sought after are the darker black opal, but this is a misnomer, they are usually deep blue with vivid flashes of red, green, purple and orange.
- Try to remove your rings while doing housework or gardening, this will help reduce wear and dirt.
- Make sure you don’t get hairspray and perfume on your pearls or other soft beads and gemstones.
- Don’t subject your gemstone to scalding hot water, warm water and gentle soap with a soft toothbrush will suffice when you are cleaning your rings and jewellery at home.
- Regular cleaning will keep your gems sparkling.
- Try to keep all your jewellery separate in your jewellery box, diamonds will scratch most things they come into contact with.
- Don’t leave your jewellery box with lots of precious jewellery on show. If you have something of high value, tuck in away somewhere hidden and safe.
For accurate measurement of fingers, the best way to make sure you get the right size is to visit the store and get your finger measured. If this isn’t possible, measure as accurately as possible the diameter of an existing ring so that we can convert it to a finger size. British finger sizes go from A to Z+. Most ladies have a ring finger size between J and O.
There are two types of pearls used in jewellery - natural and cultured.
Natural pearls are formed naturally, without any human intervention and are very rare and expensive. Cultured pearls are not imitations but are cultivated on oyster farms.
To create a cultured pearl, a tiny bead is implanted into the oyster, and gradually, over time the oyster coats the bead in many layers of natural minerals and proteins known as nacre. It is the nacre that gives pearls their beautiful lustre and colour.
Pearls come in lots of different shapes:
Round: the rarest and most valuable
Button: slightly flattened
Drop: referred to as tear drops, ideal for pendants
Baroque: unique and interesting shapes
The larger the pearl, the more valuable it is. The most valuable pearls in our assortment are South Sea and Akoya; black Tahitian pearls. Cultured pearls grown in rivers are called freshwater pearls. They vary in colour and shape and are less expensive than sea water pearls.
Lustre is the primary characteristic by which pearls are judged when shape, colour and symmetry are equal. The unique lustre of pearls depends on the reflection, refraction and diffraction of light from the translucent layers. The thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl, the finer the lustre.Freshwater and saltwater pearls
The pearl oyster lives in the sea while the fresh water pearl mussel lives in freshwater.
Saltwater pearls are grown within pearl oysters in oceans. Today, saltwater pearl oysters are cultivated in protected lagoons and volcanic atolls.
Natural freshwater pearls are formed within various species of freshwater mussels living in lakes, rivers, ponds and other fresh water.
Although freshwater and saltwater pearls may look quite similar, pearls from the sea are more highly valued than freshwater pearls.Tip
Pearls should be worn as often as possible, as the natural oils in the body keep them shiny and lustrous.Semi-precious stones
For an alternative to more pricey precious jewels, semi-precious gem stones are a great choice. Stones like amethyst, citrine, garnet, topaz, quartz, amber, chalcedony, lapiz lazuli, aquamarine, peridot, and agate come in a profusion of kaleidoscope colours and patterns.