The jewellery I create is to celebrate the wearer and the materials, and, naturally, the materials are of the highest quality and made to the highest standards. You want your piece of jewellery to stand the test of time and to always look great.
I use a mix of traditional and new technologies to create my jewellery. In my workshop I have all the traditional handtools and equipment like rolling mills, tools that Renaissance craftsmen would recognise as their own, alongside items like a laser welder and CAD technology.
I am a certified diamond grader and with my many years experience I will be able to advise you and guide you through the exciting and sometimes daunting world of diamonds and coloured gemstones.
Where possible, for diamonds over approx 0.25ct they will always be accompanied by a diamond grading certificate issued by GIA or IGI. These certificates reassure you that the stone you have bought is graded correctly. Although they give the exact measurements of a stone, seeingtwo diamonds side by side, with very similar characteristics, one stone may just have that little bit more “life” to it, and appeal to you more than the other. That’s why it’s so important to see a diamond before you just buy one off a list somewhere. This is especially true for any shape other than a round.
I’m sure you will have heard about the four C’s: Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat.
With the first three I stay within D-G colour (D being the very highest colour grade, with A, B & C still available if a higher coloured stone were ever found ), IF- SI1 clarity (dependant of where the inclusion is located), excellent and very good cut, and when these are all met, then I look at the stone size (carat). I will always choose quality over simply size.
The small round diamonds, known as melee, used as accent stones in shoulders or halo’s are always the highest quality I can get, D-E colour and eye clean (no visible inclusions). These stones really pop when they are set. All the diamonds I source are compliant with the Kimberley Process to prevent “conflict diamonds” entering the market.
Coloured gemstones like sapphire, ruby, emerald, morganite, spinel and many, many others, don’t typically come with a certificate. I buy all my stones from reputable trade sources and if the stone has undergone any treatments, this will be noted. Common treatments, especially for sapphire is ‘heat treated’. It is safe to say if a sapphire is offered for sale it will be treated unless it is listed as ‘natural’. This indicates the gemstone has received no treatment other than cutting. When it comes to the cut of a stone, the better the cut, the better a stone will look as it will reflect the light better and have more life to it.
Lab Grown, Synthetic or Simulated Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds have grown in popularity in recent years. These are being marketed as being a more sustainable, greener and eco-conscious choice. Although this is true, to a certain point, you must take into consideration the significant amount of energy required to create a diamond in a laboratory, where these labs are located, and how they source their energy. Being able to trace a gemstone back to a lab gives peace of mind for workers and their conditions and treatment. It’s also worth considering the significant impact mines have on sustaining employment and education within communities.
All the precious metals used in the workshop are 100% recycled materials. This is achieved by recovering precious metal from the jewellery and other industries. I regularly send away all my waste metal – sweeps, dust and scrap bits of metal from the workshop. The metal is refined and fabricated into the desired form like bars, sheet or casting grain.
It’s also possible to have your own precious metal recycled for use in a new piece or swapped out for “fresh” metal. When melting down customers old jewellery, things like solder or other impurities can make the metal difficult to work with, so I will always recommend the best course of action to ensure a dazzling and sustainable finished product.