June’s Birthstones: Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Every birth month has at least one gemstone associated with it, dating back to ancient times when it was believed that gemstones had the power to bring luck, health, and prosperity. Most birth months have just one gemstone, but those born in the month of June are lucky enough to have three gemstones to choose from! Alexandrite, moonstone, and pearl are all significant for the month of June.
Pearls have been used in jewellery for many centuries. They were one of the favourite gemstones during the Roman Empire, and the 1500s in England, under the reign of the Tudors, were known as the pearl age. Many gemstones require polishing and faceting to reveal their natural beauty, but pearls, which grow inside living sea creatures, are naturally beautiful without treatment.
The first successful commercial culturing of saltwater pearls occurred in the early 1900s, and since the 1920s cultured pearls have replaced natural pearls on the market as they are more cost-effective and easy to obtain.
Pearls are known for their positive effect on the health and have been used in Chinese medicine for many years to treat stomach, heart, and spleen problems. These beautiful stones also help to calm the mind, prevent hysteria, and promote mental stability.
First discovered in Russia in 1831, alexandrite is a relatively modern gemstone. It was named after the Russian ruler at the time, Czar Alexander II. Alexandrite is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like properties; in daylight and fluorescent light it is green, but under incandescent light it changes to a purplish-red!
It’s amazing to watch this colour-changing ability, and probably one of the reasons why alexandrite has had mysterious magic and lore ascribed to it. It is also one of the hardest gemstones after diamond, sapphire, and ruby.
It is believed that alexandrite heightens creativity and intuition, and even helps the wearer to predict events that will happen in the future! Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but it does have calming abilities and helps to balance the emotional state, and circulatory system, of the wearer.
Moonstone consists of two types of naturally-occurring feldspar, albite and orthoclase which stack up in alternating layers to form moonstone. When light falls on these layers it is scattered in a multitude of directions, with the beautiful reflections appearing to float to the surface.
Pliny, a natural historian in Roman times, believed that the unique appearance of moonstone changed with the phases of the moon, hence how it got its name. This birthstone is very rare and originates in India.
It is said that moonstone helps to balance the digestive system and purge the body of toxins. It is also an excellent stone for women to wear during pregnancy and childbirth as it helps to balance hormonal functions and emotions.
How to create a different type of engagement ring
Choosing your dream engagement ring is going to be a challenge, especially if you are a guy with a healthy budget to spend but no idea where you are going to start. If you are brave enough, you could do away with tradition and dare to be a little different, engagement rings don’t necessarily have to be conventional – there are other alternatives you can take to make the proposal extra-special.
This is your chance to show your beloved how ingenious you are so why not pull out all of the stops and really go to town with the engagement ring design. Just use your imagination and you’ll discover different approaches to take and plenty of suggestions that make a ring one in a million.
Dare to be different with engagement ring design
Opt for coloured diamonds
Do the very basic research for diamonds and you will discover the delights of the four c’s relating to cut, colour, clarity and carat of the stone. The most desirable diamonds have little or no inclusions, they are blemish-free, and most people opt for a clear colour, with no visible shade apparent. Do you want to follow the pack or do something different? If so, consider an engagement ring that has a coloured diamond at its heart.
Diamonds are gemstones that come in a range of colour options including blues, browns, yellows and greens. This is one way to make the stones stand out.
Refashion an existing design
Do you have an existing gemstone that you would like to remodel into an engagement ring? This could be a family heirloom passed down to you from an elderly relative, the stone set in a diamond ring for example, could be removed and fitted into a brand new setting.
A word of warning if you take this approach, don’t use a ring you kept from an ex. If your girlfriend finds out she’ll go ballistic and the wedding could be cancelled at short notice.
Don’t have a diamond
Here’s a quirky idea. Most engagement rings have a diamond stone set in the middle, that’s conventional, and it’s a popular choice for brides-to-be. Diamonds don’t have to be a girl’s best friend though, there plenty of other gemstones you could use, so look around for other alternatives that catch your eye.
Choose a quirky ring setting
Another way to give your engagement ring the cutting-edge is to have jewellery designed for you in-house, by an experienced jewellery maker. This gives you the golden opportunity to have something bespoke made from scratch, to suit the style and personal preference of your girlfriend.
Everyone is different and personal tastes vary, by now you should know your partner better than anyone, and be able to have an input into the ring creation, so it perfectly matches their expectations.
Should you require assistance in this area we can guide you through the various steps at Chris Winspear Design jewellers, contact us for further details.
Remarkable Ruby Reveals
Rubies are beautiful red gemstones used for a wide variety of jewellery making applications. Their stunning red colour is attributed to the traces of chromium present during the stone’s crystallization process, they look gorgeous, and they’re highly desirable amongst fans of expensive jewels.
Ruby is the birthstone of July. If you know somebody that is born during this month and you are looking for a special type of gift, a jewellery item containing ruby gemstones could be the perfect gift.
Rubies are vibrant, full of appeal and allure. To celebrate this special type of stone we list some of their most remarkable facts.
Rubies are one of the hardest gemstones
Don’t be deceived by its handsome looks. A Ruby is pretty but it’s also a really tough stone, measuring 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Rubies are corundum, or rock-forming minerals, they are extremely hard and share their status with other familiar gemstones in the category, such as sapphires. They are the third hardest minerals after diamonds and moissanite, rubies are rock hard, but have stacks of appeal.
Flawless examples are highly sought-after
It’s hard to find rubies without flaws or inclusions. Blemish-free examples are in high demand and due to their rarity thy command much higher prices than diamonds of a similar weight or size. If you have the money and can find a flawless example of a ruby, pay a premium, and have it custom designed into your choice of jewellery.
Rubies are different colours
Ask somebody to name the colour of a ruby and it’s a safe bet they’ll say red straight away. Did you know that rubies come in different shades of red though, varying from light, almost pinkish red to a deep ruby colour. The ideal colour for a ruby is a strong, concentrated crimson, perfect for a host of jewellery designs.
Size affects the price
Like most gemstones, larger rubies command higher prices than smaller examples, if they are cut correctly and have minor flaws or inclusions. The largest uncut example of a ruby weighs a whopping 150 kilograms and was believed to be bought by a wealthy emirate businessman from miners in Tanzania. It’s hard to put a price on this gemstone but once cut by experts it could make a beautiful and rather expensive item of jewellery.
They’re popular with the rich and famous
Countless celebrities find the allure of rubies hard to resist. Actress Elizabeth Taylor had a passion for the blood red gemstones and one of her ruby-encrusted rings fetched an eye-watering $4 million when it was sold at auction back in 2011. Rubies have a celebrity status and they appeal to a diverse range of buyers, especially those looking to create custom jewellery pieces such as rings, necklaces or earrings.
If you are interested in ruby gemstones, or want to create your perfect piece of jewellery, get in touch with us here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers.
What you need to do one week before the wedding
Your big day is just one week away. You’re nervous, right? Course you are, but did you know that those nerves can make you forget some last minute essential jobs?
To help you make sure everything’s on track, we’ve put together a list of things that need to be done one week before the wedding day.
- Last minute cosmetics. Do you need your nails painting? Do you still need to pick up your makeup? Have you confirmed the time your makeup artist is arriving? Do them all now!
- Communicate the schedule to all those important people arriving at your wedding. Your parents, the bridesmaid, and the wedding coordinator will all need to know exactly what’s going on and when.
- Contact the venue and your caterer to confirm every last detail. Tell them to alert you immediately to any changes they make too. You don’t want any nasty surprises on the big day!
- Contact guests that haven’t replied to your wedding invitations. You need to know exact numbers that are attending to arrange things with the caterers and the venue.
- Try your dress on to double check that you don’t need any last minute adjustments. Make sure your husband-to-be tries his suit on too! You don’t want him packed into that jacket.
- Pack a bag of necessities. Do this towards the end of the week and fill it with things like deodorant, makeup, a camera, and chewing gum. Anything you think you might need on the big day.
- Pack your honeymoon bag. Again, do this closer to the wedding so that you have plenty of clothes in the run up. You don’t want to be packing on the night of the wedding before you jet off though. So make sure you get it done!
- Provide your transport with the details they need. That probably includes phone numbers, addresses, and names.
That’s our rundown of week before the wedding essential jobs. If you think we have left anything off the list, then let us know!
May’s Birthstone: Emerald
The emerald is from the beryl family of minerals which also include aquamarine (which is one of March’s birthstones) and heliodor.
They can vary in colour, and can be found in either a light or deep green. The colour is thought to derive from the presence of chromium and vanadium, which replaces some of the aluminium in the mineral’s structure. If heated well enough an emerald can actually lose its colour.
Where are they found?
Emeralds are most frequently found inside a form of shale, which is fine grained sedimentary rock. An emerald bearing shale has most likely undergone recrystallization caused by changes in pressure and temperature in the environment. Columbia produces the highest amount of quality emeralds, but can also occur in Zambia, Brazil, Norway, India, Australia, Pakistan, and Madagascar.
Where does the name come from?
Emerald’s name is derived from the Greek work “smaragdos” which is a term applied several kinds of green stones. They were once worn by royalty in Babylon & Egypt. There have also been tools dating back to 1300 B.C found in emerald mines in Egypt. Which suggests humans have been looking for these green gems since the reign of Rameses.
There are quite a few myths associated with emeralds. It was once thought that an emerald could prevent epilepsy, stop bleeding, cure fever, and stop a wearer from panic. It was also thought that the magnificent green colour could rest and relieve the eyes when looked upon.
Romans dedicated the gem to the goddess Venus. This was because the emerald symbolised the reproductive forces of nature.
The Madurai Minakshiamman – one of India’s most famous temples – has a deity named Minakshi. Their idol is made of emerald, and is most likely carved out of one single emerald stone.
So if you were born in the month of May, that’s everything you need to know about your birthstone. Got any other interesting facts about emeralds? Let us know!
Tips For Choosing The Perfect Men’s Wedding Band
Men often like to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to jewellery which is why choosing the right wedding band becomes a low priority. As well as all the preparation for getting married and finding that perfect ring for the bride, men’s wedding rings should be given some thought too. At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we have a few things you should consider before buying.
How will the ring fit into your everyday lifestyle?
There are a number of factors to think about relating to how the ring will fit into your everyday lifestyle. The first thing to decide is whether you will wear the ring all the time. You may encounter problems where you cannot wear the ring because it is inappropriate or it may get damaged. If there are special requirements for wearing jewellery at work take these into consideration. Also if you are a tradesman, manual labour may be tough on your hands and so will have a big effect on your ring.
Other external things such as sport may determine your decision on a ring. For men that regularly engage in sports such as rock climbing, football, basketball, swimming or racquet sports, wearing your ring may not be advisable. Many rings can be worn during sport though.
Do you want a ring that’s a little bit different?
Most men aren’t largely bothered about the style of their wedding ring and would prefer something quite plain. There are a lot of designs to choose from though and the market is growing so that men can find the right ring for them. More and more men are choosing to move away from the traditional gold wedding band and embrace something a little bit different.
When looking for a men’s wedding band, try on multiple designs to find what’s right for you. For something a little different, consider mixing up the metals, having a unique pattern or engraving, or opting for an unusual shape. No matter what your style, when it comes to wedding rings for men and women, you can keep it as simple or extravagant as you like.
Is comfort one of your major concerns?
Usually men are concerned that wearing a ring will be uncomfortable but this is largely because they are not used to wearing one. The comfort of a wedding band relies on the shape of the ring and the width of the ring though so getting the ring properly fitted is essential. Various rings have been specifically designed now with comfort in mind.
Create your ideal wedding ring with our help here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers, home to beautiful designer jewellery. Book an appointment to talk to us or get in touch today. For more wedding advice and jewellery tips, check out the rest of our blog.
March Birthstones: Bloodstone
The modern birthstone for March is considered to be aquamarine, although the more traditional birthstone associated with the month is the bloodstone. The stone is rich in its own symbolism and meaning, just like any other birthstone, and carries with it legends and lore.
(via Earth Sky)
Symbolism and significance
Possessing a bloodstone is believed to increase self-appreciation and self-confidence, making it a particularly special stone. It can also promote feelings of love amongst family members and provide clarity of thought during difficult times.
Meaning and origin
The bloodstone is also sometimes referred to as heliotrope, which means ‘sun turning’ in Greek. This is rather surprisingly due to the colour of the stone being anything but sun like. The dark green of the stone and the red flecks make it instantly recognisable. Technically, the gemstone is a green jasper with presence of iron oxide. The iron oxide is what produces the red spots in the stone, making ‘bloodstone’ a more relevant name for it.
It is most commonly sourced and mined in India, as well as the United States, Australia, and Germany. To a lesser degree in can be found in Brazil, China, and the Isle of Rum in Scotland too. Bloodstones have their own Gregorian birthstone poem as well:
Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.
Religion and the bloodstone
By the time of the Middle Ages, the stone began to be surrounded by religious myths. The red spots on the gem are believed to be the blood of Jesus Christ that flowed from His wounds to a piece of jasper below the cross during his Crucifixion. Indeed the spots do appear like red droplets of blood, and give more meaning to the gem’s name.
Birthstones are believed to carry with them healing properties. In the case of the bloodstone, Indians in particular have long been convinced of its medicinal properties. It is common for them to use a finely powdered bloodstone to make many traditional medicines. Usually it is uncommon to find quality pieces of the gemstone on the jewellery market because it is instead reserved for medicines. A number of healing and special properties are associated with bloodstones, including:
- Its use to fight evil, and avoid jealousy or envy
- Its use to stop bleeding, aid poor blood circulation or cure blood poisoning (by venomous animals or otherwise)
- The ability to boost up your spirit and add longevity
- The ability to ease a broken heart, whilst bringing good luck
If you are interested in learning more about the different birthstones, we have more information on our blog. Create your perfect piece of jewellery by getting in touch with us here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers and booking an appointment.
March Birthstones: Aquamarine
Birthstones have a lot of symbolic meaning and reflect the lives of those born within that specific month. They are considered to be tokens of luck, prosperity and happiness, with these ‘healing powers’ being heightened during the relevant month. The custom of wearing birthstones and their lore dates back many years. At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we found out more about March’s Aquamarine.
March is known for having two birthstones, but perhaps the most widely spread is aquamarine. This precious gem is deep sea green in colour, with symbolism to match. Traces of iron in the beryl crystal cause this tranquil colour.
(via Birth Stone Zodiac)
Symbolism and significance
Those born in the month of March are believed to be blessed with serenity, tranquillity and majesty. The gem itself is associated with courage, loyalty, fealty and friendship. Wearers of aquamarine are said to be more aware within relationships and have stronger communication skills. This leads to the gifts of honesty, faithfulness and beauty which March babies are blessed with.
The gods and the sea
Aquamarines were considered sacred to Neptune, Roman God of the Sea. As such the gem became sacred to sailors, promising them a safe and prosperous voyage across the sea, and protection against any perils or sea monsters. It is no surprise that March’s gemstone is deeply rooted in symbolism relating to the sea though, as March’s zodiac sign is Pisces which is the Latin plural for fish.
Meaning and origin
The word ‘aquamarine’ derives from two Latin words, ‘aqua’ meaning water, and ‘marina’ meaning the sea. It is mined is various places across the world, including Nigeria, Zambia, Pakistan, Mozambique and Madagascar, although Brazil has the largest source.
Each birthstone has its own poem too, which accompanies the symbolism of the precious gem. The poem for the aquamarine is as follows:
A March born shall always be
Soothed by Aqua, gem of the sea
This mermaid’s treasured stone you wear
Will bring happiness, love, affection and care.
All birthstones are believed to have healing properties, and, particularly in older times the gems were used medicinally or to provide cures. The aquamarine is said to be most effective at curing ailments of the liver, jaws, stomach and throat. People have been known to use the gem to alleviate the pain of or treat symptoms relating to stomach and liver disorders.
Find out more about various precious gems and birthstones by visiting our blog. At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we create beautiful designer delivery especially for you. Contact us today to book an appointment and let us craft your ideal piece of jewellery.
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For Her
Now that the New Year has started there’s just a month until Valentine’s Day. There are many ways to make the weekend special for you and your loved one. Giving a gift to show you care is just one of the things you can do to celebrate the day but spending time together is more important. If you’re stuck on what to get her though, here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we’ve come up with a few ideas.
Commemorate your relationship by giving your partner some jewellery. This doesn’t mean you have to propose to her but a necklace, earring, bracelet or ring that symbolises your love for her will be well received. If she already has a charm bracelet you could buy a charm relating to something you both like or that is important in your lives. When giving her a ring just be careful to make sure that there is no misunderstanding about marriage plans. One of our Winter Blue Collection would be perfect for the season.
There may be a new bag, shoes or coat she’s had her eyes on. As Valentine’s Day approaches make a conscious effort to notice the little things that might come up in conversation or whilst you are out shopping. Surprise her by getting that fashion item she really wanted. It’ll show you listen. Be wary when it comes to buying clothes though. Getting the wrong size is extremely embarrassing and can create a sensitive situation. Similarly lingerie or nightwear should be avoided unless she’s said.
Picking the right perfume can be tough so make sure you test them and try to get some ideas directly from her. Don’t buy a perfume she already has even if it’s running low. Choosing a different scent will mix up your relationship. Switching between perfumes makes their beautiful aromas more powerful because the skin is less familiar with them. If you don’t want to directly ask her, try taking a girl friend or female family member with you to the shops for help. New scents on the market such as Chloé’s ‘Love Story’ are good places to start as well.
Although you want to make her feel beautiful in her own skin, a few select beauty products can be nice gifts. You could buy her a new luxury lipstick, manicure set or pampering kit, or if you’re stuck on ideas, a gift voucher for her favourite cosmetics brand will be greatly appreciated. Remember to offer a personal massage to go alongside any pampering or relaxation gifts though!
Find out more about our custom made jewellery by looking through our collections here at Chris Winspear. Book an appointment to start your design process of your ideal jewel creation. Have a read through our blog for other jewellery ideas and wedding advice should you choose to pop the question.
5 Signs You Are Ready To Propose
Marriage is an extremely big step in life and so needs to be something that both you and your partner want. As the New Year is well under way it opens up the opportunity to think more seriously about your relationship together in 2015 and the wider future. At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we’ve come up with some of the top signs you are ready to pop that question and spend the rest of your lives together.
You can have a stable future together
Many people wouldn’t consider marriage if they hadn’t been together for a number of years and are living together. As well as being an expensive event, marriage carries so many values that cannot be fulfilled unless both of you have the potential to have a stable future together. If one of you is still living at home, you are both in debt from former spending days, or one of you is unemployed, now is not the time to think about marriage. You should already be in a stable condition together before proposing.
You’ve spoken about marriage a lot
If marriage often comes up naturally in conversation and you are both on the same page then it can be worth turning your talk into a reality. Only when you are certain that both of you feel the same way and have the same views on marriage should you consider proposing. Risking the uncertainty of your partner’s feelings or personal thoughts could result in your proposal causing doubt or discomfort, for both your partner and you alike.
You speak of ‘we’ not ‘me’
Leaving behind former bachelor years and frivolous dating without the regret is a sure sign you are serious about this relationship. When you drop the singular thoughts of ‘me’ and ‘I’ and start thinking about ‘we’ and ‘ours’ you are ready to commit to something more. Living together can quicken this process and you will soon start to find that many of your belongings become shared belongings. During conversations with family and friends, if you start to refer to ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ you are viewing your life collectively rather than separately, which is what marriage should reflect.
You love spending time together whenever
No matter how many dates you’ve been on, evenings spent watching TV, or grumpy strops both of you have thrown after a long day at work, if you still love spending time with each other something is working. Often relationships wither out due to becoming bored or tired with the repetition, but managing to keep the feelings and spark alive is essential and proves that the relationship is worth a lot. These are the relationships that you need to hold onto.
Your aspirations don’t get tangled up
The ritual of marriage requires both of you to be fully committed to one another and as a result can cause aspirations to become tangled up, neglected or problematic. If you both have very different aspirations in life that can no way come together or work alongside one another, marriage is not the best option. It will only push you both further apart and cause resentful feelings of a life unfulfilled. Although a part of successful relationships is making compromises, giving up a lifelong dream shouldn’t be. Have a proper understanding of your partner’s aspirations and see how they fit with your own.
Once you can tick all of these boxes, you are ready to plan your proposal! Here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we can design the ideal custom-made ring for engagements and marriages. Simply book an appointment today. Read through the rest of our blog for more marriage advice.
Everything you need to know about pearls
Pearls have been popular throughout history and worn by everyone from kings and queens to the high-street blogger. Their unusual appearance and the process by which they are made make them that bit more special. Find out more about pearls with us here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers.
Why are pearls so special?
Unlike most other gemstones, precious jewels, or fine metals, pearls aren’t found buried deep in the Earth. Pearls are also formed naturally but as a result of a living creature rather than originating from the Earth’s depths itself.
How are they made?
Pearls are formed as the result of a biological process inside an oyster, within either freshwater or saltwater environments. As a way of protecting itself from foreign substances, oysters end up producing a pearl. The formation of a natural pearl starts when a foreign substance enters the space between the mantle (an organ that produce’s the oyster’s shell) and the shell of an oyster.
An oyster instinctively tries to cover up the irritant by forming layers of the same nacre substance which is used to create its shell. The result is made up of calcium carbonate in a small crystalline and iridescent form, otherwise known as a pearl.
Can pearls be created by man?
Whilst many high-street stores are known for replicating the form of a pearl as a cheaper imitation pearl alternative, real pearls can only be formed during the process outlined above. Other molluscs such as clams and mussels have also been known to create pearls although this is a rarer occurrence.
(via Wise Geek)
Pearls can be coaxed into formation by man, and are referred to as cultured or farmed pearls. Pearl harvesters open the oyster shell and cut a small slit in the mantle tissue, inserting small irritants within the layers. This provokes an oyster into creating a pearl. The most valuable pearls however, are those formed naturally in the wild.
How do you tell the difference between imitation and real pearls?
Often artificial pearls are easily distinguishable from real pearls. Depending on the quality of production, the iridescent is normally very poor in comparison. If you rub pearls gently against each other or on the front of your teeth, the textured surface of the nacre in real pearls will feel gritty. Imitation pearls are instead very smooth or glassy in texture, as well as a lot lighter.
Are all pearls round and smooth?
Although the ideal pearl is created as a perfectly round and smooth crystalline form, not all pearls turn out so well. Many other shapes of pearls are produced by molluscs, the uneven formations being called baroque pearls. These can range from just minor imperfections to distinctly curved, pinched, or lumpy shapes. Many valuable baroque pearls that come from cultured environments are teardrop-shaped.
Do pearls have the same cream-white colour?
Pearls come in a variety of colours but perhaps the most common is the cream-white iridescent formation. Coloured pearls including white, grey, pink, blue, and green can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.
Have a look at our full range of jewellery at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers. Whether it’s engagement or wedding rings you want, or occasion jewellery and charms, we create pieces that are unique to you. Just like the formation of pearls, every piece of our jewellery is custom made with complete care and attention. Contact us today to talk through your design.
Three steps to protecting jewellery and heirlooms
Protecting old family photos has become so easy in the past ten years. With improvements in technology we’re now able to digitise our pictures and store them in the cloud – a safe place where moths and temperature can’t take their toll.
But unfortunately there are something’s we can save with a little technology. Jewellery and other family heirlooms will deteriorate in time. That is, unless you take the necessary steps to protecting them.
Where are you storing them?
More often than not things like heirlooms are stored in lofts or basements; out of the way of children and your day to day life. But these aren’t smart places to store delicate and valuable items. Lofts fluctuate in temperature a lot, and basements often have a problem with mould and damp.
Consider carefully where you store these precious belongings. Thankfully, there are a whole host of specially designed cases and containers for various items. Purchase one to ensure that your heirloom is safe from the elements.
If you think that your jewellery or heirloom is worth a significant amount, then have it valued by a professional. From there you can decide whether or not it’s worth getting hold of standalone insurance for that item rather than leaving it under contents insurance.
Taking photos of your heirlooms doesn’t take long at all and has a number of benefits. Chief of which is that if the items become damaged or lost, you can remember them forever. It means you can also track the condition of the item over time. Re-take your photographs each year and asses if they’ve deteriorated in that time. If they have, you need to take action to prevent this deterioration.
Caring for and protecting valuable jewellery and heirlooms is important. And thankfully, isn’t that hard to do!
Insuring your jewellery – our guide
Items of jewellery are often the most sought after by thieves. They’re worth a lot of money and are smaller enough to conceal with ease. And this is why insuring your jewellery is such a good idea.
Thankfully, in most cases your contents insurance will cover such a theft. But if you own pieces that are worth a serious amount of money on their own, it may be worth considering a standalone policy. One such item that may be worth insuring is an engagement ring. Not only are they usually more valuable but they often hold sentimental value too.
While you can cover your engagement ring through contents insurance or offshoots of, you can also take out specific jewellery insurance. This often provides a more comprehensive coverage and will replace a ring, rather than pay a set amount of cash for it.
Who needs it?
Anyone that has a high worth jewellery item, or one that holds specific sentimental value to a piece of jewellery should insure it. It isn’t just about honouring an items worth, but what that item means to a certain person/people – which is especially important for those who are engaged.
How does it work?
To obtain insurance for your item of jewellery you’re going to need your receipts as well as an appraisal. Don’t forget to change the address that you’ve insured the ring to (perhaps your parents) after you’ve moved in with your partner too.
What to ask
Here are a few questions to ask when you’re taking your policy out:
- Is the ring insured to the full cost?
- What circumstances aren’t you covered for?
- How will the ring be replaced?
- Are you covered for accidental loss, or just theft?
- What do you need to do to prove that the ring has gone missing when making a claim?
So that’s a quick look at jewellery insurance. If you’re unsure of anything you should contact your specific insurer for more information.
5 of the world’s most expensive engagement rings
Getting engaged is, hopefully, a once in a lifetime event, so it’s important to make it special and memorable. The spherical shape of an engagement ring represents the everlasting and infinite nature of marriage, whilst the metal of the ring is a symbol of the strength of your love. The precious gem, be it diamond or other stone, speaks of the worth of the lady’s love, and is also a reflection of her man. The wealthiest lovers scour the earth for the most expensive tokens of affection, just like these examples…
Garrard 18ct blue sapphire white diamond engagement ring – Given by Prince William to Kate Middleton on their engagement. The ring belonged to Prince William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, which was given to her in 1981 when she got engaged to Prince Charles. Valued at £85,000 it is not particularly unique or extravagant by today’s standards but it holds great sentimental value which is priceless.
Fred Leighton vintage diamond engagement ring – Given by Michael Douglas to Catherine Zeta Jones on their engagement. This gorgeous vintage marquise-shaped, 10ct diamond ring has a vintage 1920s vibe, and is worth a cool £1.5m.
Neil Lane blue diamond engagement ring – Given to Jennifer Lopez by her now ex husband Marc Anthony, this stunning ring boasts an 8.5ct diamond as its centrepiece, mounted on delicate metal. Neil Lane is widely regarded as the jeweller to the stars, and this ring is said to be the rarest and most prized diamond among Lopez’s collection of bling, which is hardly surprising when it is worth £2.5m!
Cartier emerald-cut diamond engagement ring – Given to Grace Kelly by Prince Rainer III of Monaco on their engagement. This legendary Cartier 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamond is flanked either side by two stylish diamond baguettes, and is valued at just under £3m.
Lorraine Schwartz platinum diamond engagement ring – Given by Jay Z to Beyonce on their engagement, this 18ct flawless octagon-cut diamond ring set in a platinum base is worth just over £3m. It has been certified as an exceptional, internally clear, premium stone!
If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring then speak to us here at Chris Winspear. We design and make bespoke jewellery, so whatever style of ring you’re looking for, we can help. Contact us for more information today.
Topaz – the birthstone for November
Birthstones are precious and semi-precious gemstones that are associated with each month of the Gregorian Calendar. The birthstone for each month is considered lucky, and their healing powers are allegedly heightened during their month.
For example, if you are born in January then your birthstone is garnet, and you’ll get the most benefit from this stone whilst wearing it in January. That’s not to say that those who are not born in January can’t also benefit from wearing garnet throughout the month too. In fact, some people have a set of all 12 birthstones which they rotate throughout the year.
Topaz: the birthstone for November
There are poems associated with each birthstone; November’s goes as follows:
“Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November’s fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.”
Here are some facts about the semi-precious gemstone that brings luck to those who wear it throughout November:
- The word ‘topaz’ comes from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘fire’; and according to ancient lore topaz could be used to control heat, cool boiling water, and cure fever.
- Topaz occurs in a range of beautiful colours, including blue, pale green, different shades of yellow, pink, red, brown, and sometimes even black.
- Pure topaz is actually a colourless stone; the colours mentioned above occur due to minor element substitutions and defects in the crystal. When brilliantly cut, pure topaz can often be mistaken for diamond.
- Topaz is a rare and expensive gemstone, with the rarest – and most valuable – colour variation being red. Light blue and pale yellow are the most common colours, but are nevertheless stunning in their beauty.
- Imperial topaz – sherry coloured varieties of brownish-yellow, reddish brown, and orangey yellow – and pink topaz are the most popular stones, and therefore command the highest prices.
- Topaz was once thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders; and powdered topaz was added to wine and used as a treatment for asthma and insomnia.
White gold vs. Platinum
White gold and platinum are both silver in colour, making them pretty much identical to the untrained eye. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two metals which make them both unique, and both great choices for wedding and engagement rings.
White gold is an alloy made up of 75% gold and 25% other metals like silver and palladium. The natural colour of white gold is actually a light grey colour, so white gold jewellery is plated with rhodium to give it the shiny white-silver colour. Rhodium is a very hard metal, but the coating will eventually wear off, so you should have your white gold jewellery re-rhodium plated every 12 to 18 months.
Platinum is a naturally white metal which is usually used in jewellery in its pure form. It is extremely long wearing and durable so it doesn’t need to be rhodium plated at all. Platinum is a very dense metal, so 18ct of platinum will feel much heavier than 18ct of white gold.
White gold vs. Platinum: Cost
White gold and platinum are actually a similar price per gram, but platinum is denser so more of it is required to make a ring. Therefore platinum rings tend to be more expensive than white gold rings.
White gold vs. Platinum: Durability
White gold and platinum are both strong, durable metals; however platinum is actually the stronger of the two. Despite being stronger and more durable than white gold, platinum is actually a softer metal and scratches more easily. When platinum gets scratched, the metal moves from one place on the ring to another, developing what is known as a patina finish – an antique or worn look which is highly desirable by many.
White gold vs. Platinum: Comfort
Platinum is more dense than white gold, so platinum rings are heavier. Some people prefer the heavier weight on their finger, while others find the lightness of white gold rings to be more comfortable. If you suffer from allergies then platinum may be the best option, as some gold rings are made with a nickel alloy which causes an allergic reaction in some people.
If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring then get in touch with us today. Chris Winspear Design Jewellers specialise in bespoke jewellery design. We’ll work with you to create the perfect engagement ring to give to the one you love.
Diamonds: The Four ‘C’s
At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we understand the importance of buying quality diamond jewellery. Before you buy there are certain characteristics you need to look for that determine the value of the gemstones. Whether you’re looking for an engagement or wedding ring, or something for another special occasion we can provide beautiful diamonds for you.
The term may be misleading but cut actually refers to the diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish, rather than its shape. A diamond’s cut is the most important of all of the four ‘C’s. Determining the cut of a diamond is rather difficult but is based upon three primary appearance traits:
- Brilliance – the brightness created from the heart of the diamond by its ability to handle light.
- Fire – the flashes of colour that are seen when light is dispersed.
- Scintillation – the sparkle of a diamond and flashes of light/dark when it is moved around light.
A diamond’s cut proportion refers to the relationship between the shape, size, and angle of each facet. Various combinations determine how the diamond interacts with light. When a diamond is well-cut, light enters and reflects off the diamond to produce the brilliance diamonds are known for. Poorly cut diamonds that are too shallow or deep reflect less light back to the eye, making them less mesmerising.
It is hard to find a diamond that does not contain some inner flaws that have occurred during the formation process. Clarity is the grading process of these flaws, or lack thereof. There are two types:
- Blemishes – found on the surface of the diamond, such as scratches, pits, and chips.
- Inclusions – found within the diamond, such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals.
Due to the intense amount of pressure under which diamonds are naturally formed, those with no or few blemishes and inclusions are very expensive and highly valued.
Colourless diamonds are the most sought after due to their brilliance and sparkle in light. The colour of a diamond never changes over time and is the result of the diamond’s composition. Only a few, rare diamonds are truly colourless, making them more valuable.
Jewellers follow the GIA professional colour scale to determine a diamond’s colour value. The highest rating begins at D for colourless diamonds and continues to the end of the alphabet for gemstones with various faint or light yellow/brown colourations. Diamonds graded between D and F are most desired although the colour of a diamond can be more or less visible depending on the overall design of the jewellery piece it is set in.
A diamond’s carat is the unit of weight it is measured by. Large diamonds are less common that small diamonds so the size of a diamond affects its price. One carat equates to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Diamonds with the same carat weight can vary in cost due to the other determining ‘C’ factors. It is largely down to personal preference as smaller carats can be better suited to many people.
Book an appointment with us today at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers to talk through your ideal diamond jewellery. Follow our Pinterest account to get inspired by our portfolio of work. From rings and earrings, to necklaces and charms we can help you dazzle with diamonds.
How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
Knowing what to spend on an engagement ring can be hard. Different gemstones, diamonds, and metal bands all have various costs. The most important thing when looking for rings is not to be pressured by the growing trend of giving incredibly expensive tokens of love. Here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we can talk through your design ideas and work out a budget to suit you.
Rings are not a measure of love
In the twenty-first century particularly, the market for increasingly expensive jewellery has expanded. It is superficial to relate cost to love though. Don’t get swept up in the notion that the price of a ring is equal to the measure of your love.
Purchasing or designing something with your partner in mind is a better show of your affections than the price tag. We can help design a custom made engagement ring that will add a personal touch to your proposal. Consider using a stone mined in the country your partner was born or raised in, or including their birth stone.
Be realistic with what you can afford
Dominating diamond mining and trading company De Beers has suggested in the past that a month’s salary is spent on a diamond engagement ring, and some say you should spend three month’s worth. Setting such a figure is immaterial for a number of reasons.
Before you look at rings or talk to a designer you need to have a basic idea of what you are able to afford. Being realistic about a figure is essential to avoid spending large amounts of money (which you might not have) just for the sake of it. Although most engagement rings are invested for, think wisely about how much you can spend over a timeframe, and look for engagement rings within this market.
Talk to each other about it
Whilst most marriage proposals are planned secretly, you and your partner will likely have talked about marriage before the proposal. There are ways to be subtle to prompt answers from your partner and understand what it is that they want or like.
It is a largely misleading idea that all women consider a bigger stone better. They may have already expressed distaste for large expensive gestures. Think about what jewellery they already like and how simplistic or extravagant it is. Another thing that should not be forgotten is the size of your partner’s hands. Placing a large gemstone or thick band on a slender finger can look out of place or unfitting.
Get in contact with us and book an appointment to talk to our specialists at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers. We can guide you through buying or designing that special engagement ring. There are a number of factors that affect the cost of diamonds; read our blog article to learn more. Have a look at our Bella Signora Collection of engagement rings, and let us craft a beautiful ring for your partner.
The Process of Custom Made Jewellery
From the jewel to the band, the size to the occasion, at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we love sitting down and collaborating with our customers. As one of the leading names for engagement rings in Johannesburg and Cape Town, our customers across South Africa have been delighted with our designs. With over twelve years of experience, let us talk you through all you need to know about the process of custom made jewellery.
Initial sketches and plan
In order to best realise your jewellery dreams we recommend our customers book an appointment with us. We can discuss your ideas and offer guidance on how to make the right piece for you. The process involves drawing hand-sketches which can be reviewed and approved in order to render what the final piece will look like. If the piece is not a surprise we can do a full fitting before final alterations are made.
If you’ve got a dream ring in mind then there is no better way to have it than by ordering a custom-made piece. We can take your ideas and design something that is truly unique and perfect for you. Once we have the overall shape and size of your ring or jewellery in mind, share your thoughts with us on all the parts that will make it that bit more special. Don’t worry if you have nothing specific in mind; our specialists can guide you through examples to inspire the right piece for you or your loved one.
We offer a wide selection of the finest metals, including white, yellow, and rose gold, platinum and more. Often the band of a ring is forgotten amidst the search for the perfect gemstone or jewel. Our specialists can talk you through what colour of metal will best compliment your overall design and skin tone also.
Gemstones and jewels
Diamonds aren’t the only precious gemstone we have to offer although they are our most commonly selected. The stunning deep red of rubies and the intense blue hue of sapphires also make beautiful finishing touches to your jewellery. Why not use of combination of jewels to produce a truly unique design. For inspiration, have a look at our Gems page.
Like any special occasion from a wedding or engagement, to a particular birthday or anniversary, setting a budget needs to be an essential part of your planning. Let us know how much you are able to or are willing to spend so that we can provide realistic advice on your preferred materials and gemstones.
The length of time needed to create your order depends upon the individual design of each piece as well as the availability of materials. We will set a time frame for completion and expertly craft all of our pieces as quickly as we can.
Find out more about our services and how we can help you by getting in touch with us. At Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we can also offer more custom services such as polishing, resizing, repairing, and plating your jewellery. Have a look at our Bella Signora Collection of engagement rings to get you inspired. We look forward to hearing your design ideas.
Caring for your jewellery – what you need to know
It’s likely that your jewellery collection is a prize possession. Something you cherish and love. And the thought of it diminishing in quality over the years is a scary one, right?
Here at Chris Winspear our jewellery is made with the finest materials and built to last. But general care is required, with all jewellery, if you want it to look great all the time.
So you want to care and maintain your jewellery. But what can you do to prolong its life and ensure that it looks great for a long time?
We’re going to look at a few ways to do that here.
While you’re wearing it
All of us put jewellery on and then forget that it’s handing round our neck or on our wrist as the day wears on. But to truly preserve its beauty, there are a few things you can do while wearing it.
- Remove during tasks – If you’re performing manual tasks it’s a good idea to remove your jewellery. It can easily scuff and if exposed to chemicals in say, cleaning, it can start to fade.
- Water – Whether you’re jumping in the swimming pool or heading to the spa, chlorinated water can affect jewellery in a number of ways including colour change and structural damage.
- Sports – If you’re going to play contact sports the rule is simple: don’t wear jewellery. They don’t mix well. You could end up hurting someone else and damaging your beloved piece of jewellery.
- Makeup – Throw your jewellery on after applying makeup. Hairsprays, perfumes, and cosmetics all contain chemicals that could harm your jewellery.
While you aren’t wearing it
If you have a large jewellery collection you’ll know how difficult it can be to keep it all stored away safely and organised. Here are a few tips to help.
- Don’t let it tarnish – If jewellery isn’t worn for a while it tends to tarnish. This is especially so for silver and gold (two materials we’re sure will make up the majority of your jewellery collection). Place an anti-tarnish strip in your jewellery box to ensure oxidants are absorbed.
- Create an inventory – Sadly, jewellery is often lost or stolen. Creating an inventory of your collection will prove incredibly useful if you have to make an insurance claim or contact the police. Ideally you should take a photograph and write a physical description.
- When travelling – Purchase a travel case for those times you’re heading on holiday or a long trip. Travelling can take its toll on jewellery so buying travel rolls are a wise investment.
Cleaning your jewellery
If you wear every item in your jewellery collection regularly then you’re going to need to ensure it’s clean. But some cleaning techniques could actually damage your jewellery. So here are our guidelines.
- Polishing cloths –For the best result when polishing your gold or silver jewellery, purchase a specially designed cloth. Tissue or other purpose clothes could potentially cause scratches because of the fibres they hold.
- Avoid damaged jewellery – Cleaning jewellery that has been cracked or broken isn’t a good idea. The extra handling could quite easily worsen the problem.
- Clean with care – You can purchase specialist jewellery cleaning solutions or make one yourself. Be careful with the product you use. Bleach could ruin your precious jewellery, whereas alcohol could work wonders. Read the instructions carefully and if you are creating your own solution, try it on a piece of jewellery you aren’t interested in.
- Regularly check it – Check through your jewellery collection regularly to see if there’s been any discolouring or damage caused. The sooner you spot it, the more chance there is that it can be reversed.
If you’re worried about an item in your collection, contact us. We have a wealth of experience creating custom jewellery pieces and know exactly what’s required to ensure that yours is long lasting.
Smart jewellery – the future or a fad?
We’ve all heard of wearable technology. It’s been making waves recently with Google Glass, Apple’s newest smartwatch and the other plethora of items that link you to your phone. But there are many men out there who think Google Glass too nerdy or a smartwatch not quite his style.
Never mind the huge amount of women who wouldn’t be seen dead in any of it
There’s been a distinct lack of wearable tech for women.
That is, until now.
Cuff are a business providing a range of jewellery items with smart functions. These smart functions are numerous – from notifying you about a text, tracking your activity, to guaranteeing your safety – they’re everything wearable tech is supposed to be.
So how would you make use of it? First there’s the notification feature. This will prove to be the most consistently useful. When you’re out shopping or behind the wheel of your car, you don’t have access to your phone. So you don’t know when someone’s trying to contact you. With Cuff, you’ll be alerted by a slight vibration, allowing you to pull over or drop what you’re doing to check your phone.
They can help in an accident or when you’re in immediate danger too. A long press on the jewellery will send out an alert to selected friends and family members providing them with your GPS location. And it’s these sorts of safety features that make wearable jewellery such an attractive idea. Not to mention how good they look.
What’s more, information such as allergies, blood types, and insurance details can be pushed to your jewellery, ensuring that authorities know what they can and can’t give you.
It’s one of the first pieces of wearable tech that hasn’t been designed by tech geeks for tech geeks.
You have to admire the company’s ambition
Cuff are attempting to dive into a market currently lead by the world’s biggest companies. The world’s biggest. Apple, Google, Samsung – they’re still finding their feet in wearable technology. So for a start up to come along and attempt to change the wearable landscape is a bold move.
This could resonate with everyone from the 16 year old school girl to office workers. They’re attractive. But that doesn’t mean they’re sure to take off. The jewellery market is a busy one and bringing a new product along isn’t something that was expected.
Would you wear Cuff’s smart jewellery? Let us know!
4 things brides forget on their wedding day
Your wedding is on the horizon. You’re excited. It’s been months in planning, you’ve shed tears, had arguments and plenty of sleepless nights. But it’s here.
You need to remember though; it’s not just in wedding planning that you could forget something. The day can still be ruined yet (cue ominous music).
To help ensure it goes off without a problem we’ve listed 4 things that brides always forget.
There are lots of little bits you’ll want on hand for your big day. Because there are lots of little accidents that could happen. Your make up could run. Your hair might fall apart. Your dress could tear.
Prepare an emergency kit in a little handbag. But things like deodorant in there, a mini sewing kit, make up and whatever else you think you might need. And then ask one of your bridesmaids to keep it on hand.
You never know when an emergency could occur.
The right shoes
You spent months browsing through wedding shoes. And you found the ones you love and they go so well with your wedding dress.
That’s great for you walk down the aisle. But what about when you get to the reception afterwards? You aren’t going to dance in those heels, are you?
So make sure you pack some comfortable shoes to dance the night away in. If you try doing it in heels, you could break your neck!
Thank you gifts
You aren’t the only person that made this wedding happen are you? I’d bet there were tons of people who’ve helped you along the way, and they shouldn’t be forgotten.
Buy the people who went above and beyond a gift each and hand them out at the reception. They’ll be so thankful and it’ll make your day that little bit more special.
A lot of brides don’t eat on their wedding day, which as you can guess, isn’t a great idea. You’re going to be running around all day. You’re going to be feeling a whole different mix of emotions, and so eating might not be at the forefront of your plans.
But you shouldn’t neglect it. Not eating will leave you feeling weak. Not something you want on your big day.
Breakfast, dinner, tea. Make sure you have all 3.
4 things you need to talk about before getting married
Marriage is a big move. You’re committing to someone for (potentially) the rest of your life. It takes dedication, love and skill to keep a relationship going for so long.
It’s all about being on the same page.
To make sure that this is right for you, here are 4 things you both should have discussed with one another.
Kids: The next big step after marriage, more often than not, is to have children. But do you both want kids? If yes, how many? When do you want them?
Starting a family really is wonderful, but it can also put a strain on a relationship. Make sure you both know what’s coming.
Money: Money. It makes the world go round apparently. But it’s also one of the biggest causes of break ups. Once you’re married, how are you both going to deal with money? It could be awkward if one of you earns more and isn’t willing to share.
How are you going to pay bills? What about debts that one of you might have? Not figuring out your money situation could break the marriage apart before it’s even begun.
Work: Are both of you going to work? Or will one of you work more hours than the other? And what if one of you needs to relocate for your job? How will you feel moving across the country?
Work takes up a big portion of your life and often dictates the things we can do. If you don’t balance working life with home life, it could spell disaster.
Spare time: What kinds of things do you like to do together? Will you have time to enjoy those things once you’re married?
Think of the chores too. How will they be delegated? One person washing up, the other drying?
Not being on the same page could put an early end to your romance. So make sure you both understand where the other person is in their life!
This stunning piece is a Platinum tri-row pave set diamond ring with decorative scrolls in the gallery shank. Elegance on another level!
We love the contrast of this hand engraved 18ct white gold ring with diamonds and centre Garnet!
Our 4 step guide to calming your pre-wedding jitters
Trying to relax when one of the biggest days of your life is on the horizon isn’t easy work. Getting stressed out is a normal occurrence before a wedding, and we’ve all heard of ‘bridezilla’ haven’t we?
Thankfully for you, there are a few things you can do to calm those pre-wedding nerves, and that’s what we’re going to look at here.
Get plenty of sleep – It doesn’t matter what day it is, if we haven’t had our beauty sleep we become stressed. And quick. If it’s the day of your wedding times that stress by 10.
Wedding prep will leave you exhausted, so make sure you get plenty of rest the night before the wedding. You don’t want to wake up with bags under your eyes screaming for coffee.
Delegate – Too many brides try and take on every, single, job on the day of their wedding. It is their day after all.
Don’t be this girl. Put trust in your bridesmaids and family. They’re there to help you, so make use of them! Something goes wrong; call upon your best friend or mum. Don’t try and go it alone.
Take time out – There will be so much to do on the day that it’ll fly by. And that in itself can make you stressed. So don’t be ashamed to take a few minutes out to yourself every hour or so. Those 15 minutes are the perfect opportunity to take stock of everything that’s going on and to recharge your batteries.
Eat! – Another one brides always forget to do!
If you don’t eat, you’re going to get grumpy. Get grumpy and you’re going to become stressed. So when you wake up eat a hearty breakfast to fuel your day. And don’t skip out on meals either! There’s probably going to be lots of champagne on the way round, and drinking all that on an empty stomache isn’t a good idea.
So there you have it. Our 4 tips to keeping those wedding jitters at bay.
Remember, it’s your day, so enjoy it!
Pick of the month – June
Our ‘Pick of the month’ for June is this beautiful 18ct white gold ring with a round cut brilliant in a unique setting.
Chris Winspear Design Jewellers is known for their unique creations and this time the popular jewellery designer found his inspiration in different cultures from around the world.
The brand new range has influences from various countries and people from all 5 continents. The complete range will be revealed over the next six months and is started with the Spanish rings.
Inspired by the Flamenco dancers and their fluttering skirts performing the traditional dance, Chris Winspear presents his four Spanish rings. From Platinum with black diamonds to 18ct rose gold with champagne diamonds, to 18ct white gold with emeralds and 18ct yellow gold with blue sapphires – each piece has its own elegance and unique shape.
The designer doesn’t give away his secret of which country will be expressed in his next pieces from the “Around the world with Chris Winspear” range, but they’re sure to be as authentic as the Spanish rings.
5 apps you need to help plan your wedding
You don’t need us to tell you that trying to organise a wedding is overwhelming. What you might want us to tell you is that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the wonders of technology (and apps) the planning can be a breeze.
We’ve put together a list of apps you must download to help you sort everything from the playlist to the seating arrangements.
Appy Couple – This handy app help bride and groom create their very own wedding app and website that helps keeps all those details in check. Flick through hundreds of different designs and personalise it with various details of your big day including photos, lodging info, and your story. And you can customise which guests see what on the app/site. So you can choose that only the bridesmaids see a certain areas of it which you can update with wedding plans!
Top Table Planner – The seating arrangement is probably the most boring part of organising your wedding. And it can take a long time to find the arrangement that’s the right fit. This app makes the process a whole lot easier. Simply add the names of your guests into the app and then you can drag and drop them to the appropriate tables. No more trying to arrange them with sticky notes!
Evernote – Wedding planning is full of scribbled notes, half baked ideas, and a huge list of things to remember. Keeping all these different things organised isn’t easy work. You have things written down on scraps of paper, online articles, ideas in your head – how can you collate them all? Evernote. It’s the best app to help you stay organised and you can create notebooks that you can share with the groom or other people helping you organise the wedding.
Wedding party – This app allows friends and family upload pictures that they took of your various wedding events in one place. Because trying to put everyone’s photographs together isn’t easy work. Simply invite them to the app and see your special day from every angle!
Spotify – You probably already have this app downloaded to your phone, but if you don’t, you should. For a little a month you have access to pretty much every song on the planet. And you can create your own personal playlists for your wedding. So if you haven’t booked a DJ or a band, you can do it all yourself with ease!
So those are our top 5 apps to help you planning your wedding. If you have a your own favourite app that you think makes the whole process easier then let us know! We’re always looking to help those soon to be brides!
Mother’s Day Gift
This Sunday is Mother’s Day! Celebrate your Mom with this stunning 18ct white gold Eternity Band with Pink Sapphires. Share the love…
Michelangelo Towers Expo
Come visit our stand at the Michelangelo hotel wedding expo this weekend.
Here are 4 tips to hosting an engagement party
Recently engaged? Thinking about holding an engagement party? Then here are our top tips to help make sure it goes off without a hitch.
Are you hosting?
The first decision you’re going to have to make is whether you want to host it yourself or let someone else take the reins. Doing it yourself is a little more common, but sometimes the bridesmaids or family members may offer to host the party for you. If someone else is hosting it, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, it is your engagement party after all.
Should guests bring gifts?
One of the things you’re going to have to decide, whether you’re hosting or not, is if you want the guests to bring gifts or not. The gift scenario is often a source of confusion for guests, usually bringing up a “should we, shouldn’t we?” scenario.
Make sure you’re clear on your gift policy and if you expect them, provide a list to give them an idea of what you want. It might sound cheeky, but it’ll save a lot of confusion.
Prepare a toast
You’re going to be asked, at some point in the evening, to say a few words on your recent engagement. And so it’s best to be prepared. Write a short, sweet speech thanking everyone for coming. Just make sure it doesn’t drag on. The guests are there for a good time, not to hear you drivel on for hours on end!
The engagement is going to be a great time to get together with your nearest and dearest before the wedding, so make sure you get round to seeing everybody at least once. You shouldn’t spend the whole evening in the corner of the room with your best friends. Get out there, speak to people, they have come out to celebrate your engagement after all.
Oh, and don’t forget to take a camera! You’ll want to remember the engagement party, and those pictures will be a great addition to your wedding album!
Pick of the month – May
At the moment big centre stones are very popular. We love the combination of Emerald and Diamonds.
Pick of the month – April
We start April with our “Pick of the month”, which is this beautiful amethyst and diamond eternity band. It is an 18ct band, and the purple amethysts are right on trend for the Autumn colour palette.
5 to-dos after the honeymoon
One thing no one prepares you for is after you’re married, when your honeymoon is over and you need to settle back in to the real world. But you’ll still feel in wedding mode; not good when you have to return to work.
And it’s probably because you still have a few things left to do.
Clean and store your dress – The sooner you have your dress dry-cleaned the better. There are services out there that specialise in cleaning your wedding dress. You should aim to find one of these as they’ll use specifically designed solvents to make sure your dress comes out as good as new. Once you have it back, keep it stored in a cool dry place.
And if you didn’t buy your wedding dress, make sure you return it on time!
Thank you notes – Now all the hectic wedding stuff’s over you have time to thank everyone that made the big day happen. It’s easy to just move on, but it’s a nice gesture that goes a long way with friends and family. Take time to write personal notes to each and every person that helped put the day together. Sure, it’ll take a while, but they deserve recognition!
Money – Make sure that everything that needs paying off has been paid off. You don’t want caterers or the DJ chasing you for money when you return, so do it as soon as possible. And chances are, you’re going to have to open a few new bank accounts relating to you and your new partner!
Order the wedding photos – You’re probably itching to see all the photos from the special day, so speak to your wedding photographer and organise to have your pictures sent over to you on a DVD or however the photographer prefers to do it. You might have to choose all the pictures that you want editing and putting in an album too, and the photographer won’t wait forever.
Your new address – If the marriage involved a move, then the time after the honeymoon is the perfect time to tell everyone you’re new address. A quick email will suffice. But if you’d rather be more traditional you can purchase cards informing everyone that needs to know about where you now live.
It’s hard to move on from the wedding, but you have to do it at some point, and there’s a lot that needs doing. The sooner it’s done the sooner you’ll be able to start enjoying your new life as a married woman!
Competition for lovebirds
We think it is time for you to win something again!
Therefore we thought of a very romantic competition for couples!
What to do:
Send us photos or videos of your special wedding proposal!
In the end we will create a video with the most beautiful entries.
What to win:
We will be giving away these two elegant white gold onyx earrings.
How to enter:
Please send us your entries to email@example.com
Latest entry date:
12 April 2014
We’re looking forward to receive some fun, romantic, crazy and unique photos and videos!
Our quick guide to learning her ring size
If you’re picking up an engagement ring, it needs to be perfect. You’ve spent a long time selecting the ring that looks nicest. But you aren’t sure of her ring size.
Do you wing it? Or take time to find out the right ring size.
Ask a friend
Your first port of call should be friends and family. Chances are, her mother will have bought her a ring in the past. Failing that, her best friend should know her ring size. Just make sure you ask someone who doesn’t blab. They need to be good secret keepers.
And if they don’t have her ring size they can invite her out for a day of shopping and they can try a few ring sizes on “for fun”.
Become a thief
If she’s always wearing a ring on the engagement ring finger, you’re in luck. Just make sure she’s out, and then steal the ring and take it to jewellers for a sizing. Remember though, you can’t just take a ring that she wears on another finger. Different fingers are different sizes, so if you pick the wrong finger the size could be way off.
Buy the ring for someone else
So you’re both in store looking at rings. Why not pretend you’re looking to buy for your mother or sister. But oh wait. You don’t know a ring size. Tell your wife to be that it looks like she shares a similar sized finger. Ask her to try a couple on and bingo, you have her ring size.
Find a ring
This one’s a little risky. Especially if you aren’t a good liar. It involves taking a few rings home and saying you found them. Get your partner to try them on, if one fits, it’s her ring size. Simply take it back to the store!
It isn’t easy to pull off so use this as a last resort.
Here at Chris Winspear we stock a large variety of engagement rings suitable for any bride. And we can help you find her size too.
Pick of the month – March
This month’s birthstone is the beautiful aquamarine. Therefore, we have designed this unique 18ct white gold ring with an aquamarine centre stone surrounded by diamonds. Everybody born in March should have one!
Pick of the month – February
We present a unique pendant with 18ct white gold, a champagne centre diamond, a dual row of pav? set blue diamonds with yellow diamonds in the gallery posts. It is finished off with decorative scrolls in the gallery and we have made use of millgrain to frame the blue diamonds.
8 gift ideas for your significant other this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and with it comes the unavoidable dread of purchasing a gift for your loved one. You don’t want to blow your savings, but you want something that’s meaningful. Something that’ll bring a smile to their face.
Thankfully, there are gifts out there that hit the mark every time. To help you get out of the gift-block bog that you’re stuck in we’ve come up with 8 gift ideas for your significant other that’ll work a charm this Valentine’s Day.
Perfume – It’s one of those things that a girl always needs, but doesn’t always have time to buy themselves. So why not treat your girl to her favourite scent. Or, you could buy a perfume box with a whole host of smelly stuff in there.
Chocolates – Some women avoid chocolates like the plague for most of the year. It’s a guilty pleasure in which they rarely indulge. So let them have it this Valentine’s Day. Buy them box upon box of chocolates. They’ll love you forever.
Custom jewellery – If there’s one way to a woman’s heart it’s jewellery. And so what better way is there to say I love you than customised jewellery? A ring or necklace that means something to the both of you is always better than a store bought piece.
Flowers – The requisite gift for every Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t usually do much for February 14th you should at the very least, buy her some flowers. It really does show that you care.
Racing day – If you’re struggling to think of what you can buy him this year, why not consider a racing day? What guy doesn’t love the idea of racing round a track in a fast car? It’s a sure-fire way to make them happy.
Self grooming kit – If you think your man could do with a little grooming, why not give him a kind nudge and the tools he needs to cut back those nose hairs. You’ll appreciate it, and he’ll have no excuse not to bother shaving!
Home brewing beer kit – If your man likes a social drink, but doesn’t like the cost of going to bar every weekend, why not give him the chance to brew his very own beer? But remember, it’s going to take up a little room in the house, so if you don’t fancy allowing him that luxury, give this one a miss.
An e-reader – If he’s always got his head in a book, this is the perfect Valentine’s Day present. With it, he’ll be able to download and read a book just about anywhere. And it’s lighter than carrying his favourite hard back novel around everywhere he goes!
So there you go. If you’re a little stuck on gift ideas this Valentine’s Day, pick one of these and surprise your loved one!
Hiring a caterer for your wedding: a 6 step guide
There’s a lot to remember about a wedding day – the best man’s speech, the bride’s dress, the theme and of course, the food.
That last one is pretty important. If you poison everyone, it’s going to stick in their minds for quite a while. Regardless of how well everything else went.
So don’t leave your guests with a bitter taste in their mouths. Get the caterer right.
Only DIY if you must
Sure, you want to cut down on costs. But you want the food to be great and have time to enjoy the day, right?
If there are more than 20 people, hire a caterer. Don’t spend the wedding running around making sure everyone has their food.
The best way to find a reputable caterer? Listen out for recommendations and check testimonials on websites. If countless other people have used them and thought they were great, you can’t go wrong.
Tastings are fun, but you don’t have time to visit every caterer in town. Narrow your list down to around 5 caterers that have a good reputation.
There’s a caterer out there for any type of budget. But remember, you get what you pay for.
Of course different catering companies have different requirements. Some have their own serving dishes, pans, pot etc. Others rent them, and some ask you to rent them.
Take your time to find out exactly what you’re paying for.
You probably have guests attending with special diet requirements. It’s important that your caterer is prepared to offer vegetarian meals, children’s meals etc.
It’s important that there’s somewhere in the venue for your caterers to set up. Speak with the venue beforehand and discuss the fact that you will be hiring someone to provide food. They may be able to open a specific room for them to use.
Now that you’ve narrowed it down, head out to each one for a tasting. Meet with the cooks. Get to know their options.
Nothing will give you a better indication as to which is right for you.
Choosing your dream wedding venue
Choosing the wedding venue is one of the most difficult decisions you have to make when planning your wedding. Choose the wrong place and the day is ruined.
That’s why it’s so important to take your time.
To help you make the right decision we’ve put together a guide on choosing the wedding venue that’s best for you.
It’s not something that people like talking about, but it’ll be one of the biggest influencers when it comes to choosing the wedding venue.
What can you realistically afford? There’s no point blowing your whole wedding budget on the venue. So think carefully how much you can set aside.
How many people are attending?
After the budget, size is the next big consideration. You need something big enough to hold all of your guests, but not so big that it makes your wedding look like a small get together.
And remember, the more people you invite, the more likely it is to be an expensive ordeal.
Where will the ceremony be?
You don’t want to have to travel the width of the country to your reception. So make sure you book two places that are reasonably close.
It’ll make the travelling time nice and short.
What time of year?
Nearly all wedding venues are open all year round, so whenever you want to get married, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Remember though, if you want a winter wedding there is a chance you’ll be snowed in. So make sure that the venue is easily accessible when the weather is bad.
Will you be staying there?
A lot of venues nowadays offer you and your guests the chance to stay overnight, because let’s face it, you won’t be feeling too good.
It’s an excellent choice if you want to extend your wedding, but may not be wise for those planning their day on a budget.
What does the venue offer?
Some venues offer extras as part of their package. For example the place you’re looking at might provide catering or decor. Make sure you know exactly what you get in the package you’ve chosen.
5 ways to know if you’re ready to swap the rings
The lure of having someone to turn to when you’re down, someone to always laugh with, someone to go on long walks with.
We aren’t built to spend our lives alone.
But it’s hard to know when you’re ready to pop the question. You need to make sure that you’re ready before you get down on one knee.
So to help we’ve put together 5 signs that let you know you’re ready.
You tell each other everything
One of the most fulfilling things about being in a relationship is knowing that you have someone to talk to. But in most relationships, we hold things back. We feel that if they knew, they would think badly of us, or at worst break apart. If however, you tell your other half everything and they support you, then it’s a tell-tale sign that it’s meant to be. It’s going to be tough living through marriage if you’re both holding something back!
You’re heading in the same direction
Committing to life together, as I said, is a big deal. So it’s important to understand what your partner wants in the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years. Do they want children? Do they want to move abroad? Are they going to give up their day job to pursue that career in art? If it’s going to work, you have to be on the same page. Otherwise the next few years are going to be fraught with arguments. Agree and support, always.
You’re prepared to fight each other’s corner
You aren’t always going to be in complete agreement with your other half. It’s natural. But if someone else is arguing against your other half, who are you going to stand behind? Which side are you going to take? If you’re truly ready to commit, you’ll know the answer.
They’re fun (even in the dullest moments)
Unfortunately, marriage isn’t how it’s portrayed in films. You don’t see the actors having a great time as they head out to do the shopping, or sitting round watching TV. It’s important that you enjoy each other’s company regardless of what you’re doing. You should make each other laugh, be able to talk about absolutely anything and never feel uncomfortable in silence.
You both understand the exclusivity
Marriage is about committing to one person for the rest of your life. And yes, that’s pretty daunting. So, if you still feel you haven’t done everything you want to do in single life, or haven’t sown your ‘wild oats’ then marriage isn’t for you yet. If you feel strongly about the person you’re with, and can’t see yourself with anyone else, it could be time to get down on one knee.
Charms for Charity
We are auctioning off our Fairy Tale charms from the Beauty and the Beast, the Frog Prince and Red Riding Hood. The starting price is R300 per charm and everybody is welcome to bid until Friday, 13 December 2013. 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Cotlands. We are looking forward to receive your bids!
We work with many different metals and one of our favorites is Platinum. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina, which means “little silver”.
It is remarkably resistent to corrosion, even at high temperatures, and as such is considered a noble metal. Platinum’s resistance to wear and tarnish is well suited for making fine jewelry. Its use is not as common as the use of gold or silver though.
Because of Platinum’s rarity as a metal advertisers started to associate it with exclusivity and wealth.
Blogger CompetitionIf you have a blog, we invite you to write about Chris Winspear Design Jewellers or your favourite piece of jewellery designed by us. Please send us the link to the blog post, which we will share on facebook.
On 29 November, we will announce the winner of our lovely New Year’s charm and bracelet!
Good luck to all our supportive bloggers!
Everything you always wanted to know about diamonds
We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
What is it? Diamond is pure carbon created under high pressure and temperature. The only place that such high temperature and pressure exists is below the surface of the Earth. They reach the surface through volcanic eruptions and are then mined.
How do we mine them? There isn’t just one way to mine diamonds. Many techniques are used to extract the material. Some techniques are large scale, where as others are relatively small jobs that require manual labour. It’s estimated that for every 250 tonnes of rock processed just one carat of diamond is found.
What is a carat? Diamonds are weighed in carats. One carat weighs around one 5th of a gram.
Are diamonds forever? As one of the hardest natural substances known to man, it’s safe to say that they’ll last you a while. But will they truly last forever? Well the answer is, probably. As there are few things that match the strength of a diamond on Earth it’d take a lot to destroy one!
Where are the biggest diamonds? The majority of the largest diamonds ever found are in the hands of either the elite or royalty. The biggest, the Cullinan diamond is in the Tower of London, England. It was mined in South Africa in 1905 and handed to King Edward VII. It’s around 3,106 carats and worth over £1 Billion.
Are diamonds running out? Diamonds can be manufactured in labs. They’re chemically identical to natural occurring, but many say that they can’t be considered ‘the real deal’ because they don’t naturally occur. Rarer coloured diamonds are said to be in short supply. In fact, some say that they could run out in as little as a decade!
5 of the most romantic places to propose
Trying to find the perfect setting to get down on one knee? Read the following hot-spots to ask somebody to marry you.
If you have found the perfect woman, you’re head over heels in love and you know this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with it’s time to ask that special question.
Invest in one of our beautiful engagement rings at Chris Winspear and you are ready to go down on one knee but what would be a grand setting for such a special moment? We’ve compiled a short list of places you might like to propose, not just in South Africa, but around the globe!
- Atop Table Mountain: We had to start our list in South Africa and where better to propose to a special lady than the top of Table Mountain? It’s got everything going for it. There are stunning views and you can either hike your way up and propose en route or take the cable car and get down on one keep as the car makes it way up to the top of the mountain.
- Venice: Go for a gondola ride around the waterways of Venice and dig into your pocket for the engagement ring whilst you are enjoying the spectacular scenery. Venice is a beautiful city and a romantic boat trip around this beautiful setting is the perfect way to propose.
- Paris: Another romantic city that’s home to the Eiffel Tower so that’s one option you could choose. Just to be different though, you could propose at the Canal St Martin which is a beautiful tree-lined waterway and enjoy a celebratory dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant afterwards instead.
- Central Park: Take a trip to the Big Apple and treat your loved one to a romantic weekend in New York. Book a carriage ride through Central Park and propose to the clip-clop of horse hooves, how could she resist?
- Niagra Falls: Stood next to the roaring water of the falls, it’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of moment. This natural wonder is a popular place to propose so try your luck in Canada and make your trip all the more memorable.
November’s birthstone is the beautiful citrine. We have created this gorgeous pendant using white gold and a citrine. This specific gem stone is actually a golden-yellow variety of quartz. Citrine quartz gained its popularity as the poor-man’s topaz. And topaz is the other birthstone for this month.
October is Breast Cancer month and we go pink as well! Therefore, we would like to give you some more facts about the rose quartz.
Rose quartz is a type of quartz which exhibits a pale pink to rose red hue. It is not popular as a gem, because it is generally too clouded by impurities to be suitable for that purpose. Rose quartz is more often carved into figures, such as hearts.
Do you have a special Christmas gift for your man yet? Last week we presented the unique skull earrings for her and this week we have our skull cuff links for him.
Our winner Sonette is more than happy with her prize sponsored by Original Cocktails! Thank you for the lovely image.
Many jewellers like to work with cubic zirconias, because they are hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in various different colors. Compared to a cubic zirconia, only the rarest of diamonds are truly colorless. Most have a hint of yellow or brown to some extent. However, some sellers offer near colorless or yellow cubic zirconia, along with other colors, such as pink, green, blue…
For our brand-new skull earrings we used gorgeous black cubic zirconias.
October’s birthstone is the Opal. The majority of precious opal comes from Australia, Mexico and the Horn of Africa. This colourful stone is very sensitive to any impacts and low temperatures. Known as ‘potch’ is the Opaque Opal, which is of very little value. On the contrary, precious opal types are the Black Opal, the Milky Opal and the Volcanic Opal.
Follow the link below to have a look at the gorgeous feature of our Winter Blue Collection in the latest edition of the luxurious LIVE OUT LOUD magazine.
Our top 5 wedding gift ideas
You’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding. Luck you! You’ve bought a suit, organised travel and now all there’s left to do is buy them a gift. But you can’t think of anything. What will everyone else buy? You don’t want your gift to cash with someone else’s right?
Here, we’ve put together 5 of the best gift ideas out there that’ll work for pretty much any couple.
You can thank us later…
A gift from their registry – The first port of call should be their registry or gift list. This will give you an idea of the kinds of things they’re in need of. Some of it will be way out of your budget, but then there will be stuff more inclined towards the money you have.
What you must make sure of is that you don’t buy the exact same gift as another guest. That would be embarrassing.
Money – It sounds a little thoughtless, but what you must remember is that the bride and groom are probably in need of help financially. Perhaps they’re saving for something big like a new house or a new car, or maybe they need a little help climbing out of debt.
Regardless of what it is, I guarantee that they’ll be happy with money as a wedding gift.
Something personal – You’ve been invited to the biggest day of their lives so you probably have a reasonably close relationship with them. Why not remind them of that relationship or give them something to cherish that’s personal to the both of you.
A photo frame filled with pictures of you both for example. Or an old toy you once both played with when you were younger.
Personal gifts often prove to be the most popular.
Jewellery – If you’re buying specifically for the bride, you can’t go wrong by purchasing personalised, designer jewellery. Here at Chris Winspear we have a selection of pieces perfect for those of you looking to buy the perfect gift for the next wedding.
We even have the more corporate gifts for the groom too!
Gift basket – For those of you on a tighter budget then why not consider a wedding gift basket? Fill it with champagne, flowers, bath treats, sweets and anything else you think the bride and from might like. It’s a lovely gift that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.
We are so proud, that Chris Winspear is one of the Semi-Finalists of this amazing competition!
The vastly majority is colourless, but there are natural blue Topaz, that are found in Brazil, Russia and Zimbabwe. The intensity of the colour of blue Topaz can vary from pale blue to intense blue. A natural pink Topaz is very rare.
Emeralds are green by definition, because the name is derived from the Greek word “smaragdus”, meaning green. Emeralds are the green variety of beryl, a mineral which comes in many other colours that are sometimes also used as gems, such as the blue aquamarine.
In antiquity Emeralds were mined in Egypt, India, and Austria.
Colombia is by far the world’s largest producer of Emeralds, constituting 50–95% of the world production, with the number depending on the year, source and grade. Emerald production in Colombia has increased drastically in the last decade, increasing by 78% from 2000 to 2010. Zambia is the world’s second biggest producer, with its Kafubu River area deposits.
Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It nearly always features a raised (positive) relief image.
Although occasionally used in Roman cameos, the earliest prevalent use of shell for cameo carving was during the Renaissance, in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Since the late 19th century, the species most used in good-quality cameos has been the bullmouth helmet, the shell of which can be up to 6 inches long. In this species, the upper shell layer is whitish, and the lower shell layer is a rich orange-brown. Modern sources for this shell are Madagascar and South Africa. Some of the finest hand-carving of these shells takes place in Italy.
You can win a delicious new prize sponsored by Original Cocktails!
The hamper will consist of 6 x Gluhwein 750 ml bottles and 4 x Gluhwein 2 litre boxes. Altogether you could win 13 litres of Glühwein!
What you have to do:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org why you should win this hamper and with what special people you would share it!
Competition ends on 30 September! Good luck!
Did you know that sapphires are not only blue? They can also be pink, yellow and orange.
This is caused by various chemical components that were present when the stones were forming.
Chris Winspear launches its latest engagement ring range called the Eternity Collection.
The inspiration for this collection came from nature and it’s awe-inspiring eternal beauty, for instance the sun with it’s gorgeous golden colour, reflected in the stunning Sun ring. Another one of earth’s most wondrous creations is the Ocean, personified in our gorgeous blue sapphire Ocean ring. The Swan is one of nature’s most beautiful examples of lifelong love, and it’s grace and beauty comes to life with the striking Swan ring. Inspired by the rolling green hills of the countless valleys around the world, comes the Emerald ring surrounded by diamonds, another of the earth’s glorious eternal creations. Equally stunning are the red sand dunes of Africa, reflected in the elegant Dune ring.
Naturally occurring pink diamonds are a result of the stone being exposed to exceptionally high pressures which result in the crystal structure warping when it forms.
Due to this, when light travels through the stone, all wavelengths other than pink are refracted, resulting in the stones pink colouration. Pink diamonds occur in different colour intensities.
Naturally occurring pink diamonds are exceptionally rare.
And the winner of our Luxury Competition is….Anusha Naidoo!
Here is what she wrote about her personal luxury she couldn’t live without: “The luxury I can’t live without is each year on my birthday I have to invest in a new pair of earrings. No matter how tight my budget is I will not deprive myself of this luxury. I’m widowed with a daughter and life isn’t easy for us but this “earring” luxury of mine is here to stay.”
Competitions, competitions, competitions
Have you entered the Original Cocktails Glühwein competition yet? You can win our beautiful Tea Cup charm from our Fairy Tale Charm range.
And then we also have our luxury competition with the luxurious prize of the latest Live Out Loud magazine. Good luck!
Here at Chris Winspear Design Jewellers we create stunning, unique designer jewellery and thanks to our consistent quality we now deal with an international demand for our products. With over 14 years experience creating jewellery like no other we have built a reputation as one of the best offering custom jewellery in Johannesburg.
We understand that jewellery which is unique to you is important, especially when it comes to weddings. That is why we can guide you through the process to design beautiful custom made engagement rings and bridal jewellery. Blending creativity, aesthetics and charm we are able to fulfil your dreams.
August has two birthstones – peridot and sardonyx. We have already spoken about the peridot, so for our Friday’s Facts, we will give you some more information about the sardonyx.
Onyx was the traditional name of chalcedony, which showed parallel black and white layers. Sard is a plain material in brown/red colours. So when the white layers are combined with the brownish red colour it is called sardonyx. Onyx and sardonyx are perfect to use for cameo, intaglio and relief carving.
You can win the latest edition of the luxurious Live Out Loud magazine!
Just send us an email to email@example.com and tell us which luxury you couldn’t live without. Whether it is your daily piece of chocolate or driving in your expensive car or a regular spa treatment – we want to know more about it!
A random generator will then choose the winner of our luxury competition. We will announce the winner on 30 August 2013!
We are busy creating some new beautiful designs for all the ladies in Women’s Month!
This is a sketch of an 18 carat white gold pendant with stylised claws, which are decorated with micro pave beading. The primary stone is a marquise cut diamond, with our signature detailing in the gallery.
Celebrate Women’s Month
Have you seen our latest competition in collaboration with Original Cocktails? You could win our lovely Tea Cup charm and a beautiful silver bracelet.
Find out more about this competition on our facebook page!
The Peridot is a gem variety of olivine. It has been mined as gemstone for thousands of years and the major source is in Arizona. The Peridot is also found in Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mexico. The colour ranges from green, yellow-green to olive.
The Tanzanite is a very popular choice these days. The first deposits of gem-quality zoisite were dicovered in Northern Tanzania in 1967.
The Tanzanite is known for a special violet-blue hue, which is relatively rare in nature. The original colour is more a brown, yellow or khaki and only becomes this beautiful violet-blue through heat treatment.
This is a concept sketch of a pendant that we are busy working on. It is an oval cut centre Rhodolite Garnet, surrounded by a combination of tapered baguettes and key stone cut diamonds.
The gallery consists of filigree wirework intersected by round cut diamonds, with a key stone cut diamond and modified baguette cut diamonds in the bale.
There is high decorative detail in the backplate, which is not visible in the sketch.
All white gold, oblivious of the carat rating is alloyed with white metals and then rhodium plated. All manufacturers have their own “recipes” of what metals to use to achieve the desired alloy.
Some of the metals used are: Palladium, Silver, Nickel and Zinc. Each metal as well as metal combinations will provide different characteristics.
It comes to each manufacturer to identify the characteristics they need as well as their target market they are catering for as certain alloys are more costly than others.
To honour Nelson Mandela we have designed this elegant brooch with 18ct yellow gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
We hope it was a special birthday!
July’s birthstone is the beautiful ruby!
The finest stones are found in Myanmar. They are called ‘Burmese rubies’ and are known for their unique red colour. Rubies mined in Thailand tend to have purple or brown shades, but with modern heat treatments these unwanted tones can be eliminated.
Winter Blue Collection
Winter is here and Chris Winspear Design Jewellers has been inspired by the frosty weather. We proudly present our Winter Blue Collection with premium metals and beautiful gem stones. Diamonds, Sapphires and Tanzanites reflect winter’s blue icy hue and give every woman a cool and fresh appearance. From the Snow Crystal to the Ice Flower – there is an icy creation for everyone.
See the complete range here:
Something to remember when purchasing diamonds:
There are always exceptions, but generally diamonds over 0.25 carats will be certified by a diamond grading laboratory such as G.I.A and E.G.L.
Here you see the different steps of designing a ring:
1) Consultation + Design brief
2) 3D Computer Modelling + Rendering
3) 3D Wax Printing + Prototyping
4) Manufacturing of final product
“Thank you so much Chris Winspear Design Jewellers for a fabulous Mother’s Day prize of a wonderful evening spent at Moemas!” – Carryn Williamson Paikin
Rhino Conservation in South Africa
We are very proud that we were invited to be part of the Sumsaré Wines’ project to save our rhinos. During the Robertson Wacky Wine 2013 festival that took place from 6 – 9 June Sumsaré Wines donated R2 for every bottle of their wine sold towards Rhino Conservation in South Africa. They were supporting The Wilderness Foundation Rhino Initiative, just like we support this project with our Big Five range.
Most of us wear our engagement and wedding rings everyday, so it is important to have the stones in your rings checked and tightened, as well as have your rings polished and plated on average every 8 – 12 months, to ensure the longevity of your jewellery.
June’s birthstone is the pearl. Those oysters, that can produce pearls are called ‘wing shells’. They have this name, because they can open and close both shells contrary to normal oysters. There are two different sorts of pearls: Marine pearls and Freshwater pearls.
Find out more about the various stone settings on our facebook page.
This image was created by the ‘Southbound Bride’ for us.
Unique Father’s Day gifts!
Have a look at our brand-new cuff link designs on our facebook page. Please contact us directly for prices.
It’s Father’s Day on 16 June!
We would be honoured to create custom made cuff links for the best dads out there.
Please let us know as soon as possible and we’ll create a unique pair for your father.
We started a new tradition of “Friday’s Facts” and explained the 4 Cs of diamonds.
An honest and good jewellery designer will always explain and show to you, what you need to look at when purchasing a diamond.
This image was created by the ‘Southbound Bride’ for us.
We just love this Rose Gold and Blue Topaz ring that we recently made for a very special client of ours!
We are always busy working on new designs. This is a rendering of a rose gold and amethyst ring, available in either 9ct or 18ct rose gold. The stone is customizable either with your birthstone or just your favourite stone.
The prize is a Manicure (60 minutes) to the value of R160 sponsored by the Melville Wellness Centre and Day Spa!
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo or tell us a story, why your mom is the best and deserves this great prize!
We will announce the lucky winner on 9 May and we will post the email on facebook to share the love with you all. Good luck!
What a lovely article about our Fairy Tale charms on iFashion!
For more information, please follow this link:
We are proud to be part of this stunning new app!
Come and visit our stand at the Wedding Expo on 6 and 7 April! You can stand the chance to win an amazing prize.
For more information, please visit:
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
To honour our home South Africa, we present the “Big Five” range consisting of five charms, five cuff link sets and five pendants.
Chris Winspear Design Jewellers is advertising on Southbound Bride.
Have a look at this lovely website for brides to be:
Congratulations to our Valentine’s Day winner Maria Pita! We hid a Chris Winspear cocktail glass on our homepage and she found it and emailed us. The random generator chose her to win an amazing package of 30 cocktails sponsored by Original Cocktails!
Enjoy your prize, Maria! And thank you to everyone who entered our competition!
Visit our brand-new facebook page for the latest news, exciting competitions and more unique jewellery!
Just click on the link below and have fun exploring.
We invite you to our world of fairy tales! Chris Winspear has designed a new range of silver charms.
Chris Winspear presents his first official engagement ring collection inspired by women from around the world – Bella Signora.
Chris Winspear launches the tantalizing cocktail collection!
Chris Winspear Design Jewellers features their unique Aids Ribbon Brooch in the Autumn 2012 Issue of the prestigious Live Out Loud magazine.
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