Category: Engagement Rings and Diamond Jewellery (Page 1 of 3)

How to Care For Diamond Jewellery

Blog about how to care for diamond jewellery

Buying diamond jewellery is something of an important undertaking, as a lot of time, care and attention goes into choosing that perfect piece. Perhaps it was the brilliant sparkle or enigmatic shine that attracted you to a certain ring or necklace – either way, you’ll want your jewellery to look as fabulous as the day you bought it! As with clothes, watches and other items that we wear everyday, jewellery collects dirt and grime through ordinary activities like cooking, cleaning and exercising. Learning how to keep your diamonds in tip-top condition is a simple process and, by following this guide, you’ll ensure that your jewels stay shining brightly for years to come.

Clean Machine

Keeping your ring, necklace or pendant clean is an integral part in ensuring that it’ll keep that effervescent gleam that so attracted it to you in the first place. Keeping your jewellery cleaned at home is a simple, quick task that you can do, in between coming into one of our specialist stores to have it professionally maintained.

Stunning Passion8 Diamond Ring
Image: Passion8 Diamond Ring

Purchase a soft toothbrush to be used solely for this purpose, and prepare a bowl of warm water mixed with a reputable liquid detergent. Bubbles are good! Proceed to brush the diamonds carefully, removing any build-up of dirt and grime you can see, attempting to get under the stones and any other hard-to-reach places. After you’ve finished brushing, rinse your jewellery under running water. Use a strainer or colander to ensure that your ring doesn’t get washed away, but ensure the plug is in anyway, for extra reassurance. Whilst rinsing, continue to brush – this should help to remove any excess grime and soap remaining on your jewels, before drying with a lint-free cloth. Try and carry out this process at least once a month.

Save Them From Themselves

Storing your diamonds in a suitable location is just as important as giving them a regular clean. Diamonds are renowned as the hardest materials on Earth, but that doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. In fact, they can be surprisingly brittle – they are formed in layers, and those layers can peel away if met with enough pressure. Like two tough men at loggerheads, a diamond can scratch another diamond if chucked nonchalantly together. It’s good practice to store your jewellery in a specialist box, with compartments for each separate stone, protecting them from each other. Most gemstones are harder than the metal that they are set in and so can ruin the fine finish of your precious band or watch strap, so by treating them carefully and you should encounter no real problems.

Wearing a fine jewellery item is not advised when doing activities where it is likely to come into contact with dirt or come to harm, so store it away safely when hitting the gym or taking to the rugby field. It’s also important to remember that everyday chemicals, such as chlorine, can have a drastically detrimental effect on your diamonds, so remove them if you’re heading to the spa or going for a few lengths in the swimming pool.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

By following this simple advice, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are doing everything possible to maintain your diamonds and keeping them looking their brilliant best. However, the finest way to keep your diamonds nice and sparkling clear is to have them professionally maintained at your local Showcase Jewellers, who will give your precious stones the care and attention that they deserve, giving an sparkle so impressive you’ll think they’ve never been worn before. By treating your jewellery to regular inspections at Showcase Jewellers at least once a year, you can ensure that you won’t be subjected to unnecessary repairs over the lifetime of your piece. Additionally, we’ll check that your diamond is still securely set in its mount and set to sparkle for years to come.

Alternative engagement rings to give to your partner

Australia is home to nearly 25 million people according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It also appears that we’re all one big, loved up bunch! There are just under 120,000 weddings each year across Australia, according to McCrindle –  that’s a lot of big questions popped!

With so many weddings and a lot of different preferences, here at Showcase, we appreciate that a diamond-adorned engagement ring isn’t always going to be everyone’s best friend. Therefore, we’ve made sure we cater for those seeking out non-traditional styles, while still offering just as much showstopping sparkle.

Ready to pop the question? Check out some of our fabulous and favourite alternative engagement rings.

1. Pearl

Coveted for centuries, pearls are timeless and classic; a jewellery fixture that truly stands the test of time. With a rich history and recognised as the ‘Queen of Gems’, a pearl engagement ring is the perfect way to showcase your love for the everlasting beauty in your life. Therefore, we’ve taken this time-honoured style and given it a subtle and modern makeover. Our understated, yet beautiful 9ct yellow gold 13.5mm mabe bezel ring places full focus on the precious pearl while exuding sophistication and elegance.

Pearls are recognised as ‘Queen of Gems’ due their timeless beauty

2. Morganite

Morganite was discovered in 1910 and can be found in various parts of the world such as South America, South Asia and Africa. Over one hundred years later, it remains just as beautiful. Subtle in colour, morganite takes on pale and pastel-like hues of peach, pink and salmon orange, due to traces of manganese within. To accentuate this petal-pink stone, we have created the glowing and gorgeous morganite cushion halo ring. Surrounded by diamonds that tail off onto the rose gold band, this ring is delicate, pretty and exudes romance, making for a divine yet alternative engagement ring.

morganite-jewellery

3. Tanzanite

Although you may be familiar with the blue gems of sapphires, there’s a rarer alternative that is equally, if not more striking. Tanzanite is a pleochroic gem, which means that it showcases different blue shades when viewed from different perspectives . With a plethora of blue hues available in each gem, the wearer will have no trouble matching it to clothing choices.

Tanzanite was only discovered in the 1960s after being unearthed in – you guessed it – Tanzania! Sparking global interest, it’s no surprise that we decided to create a sparkling tanzanite engagement ring. Fall in love with our 9ct white gold diamond and tanzanite cushion halo ring that brings together both stones for a complete match made in heaven and divine alternative engagement ring.

Whatever style you prefer, with such an extensive and exquisite range at Showcase Jewellers, you can be sure that your choice of engagement ring will be brimming with love no matter what. 

Get that royal sparkle with a limited edition ring

Have you ever wanted to feel like a princess? Or do you think your partner deserves some royal sparkle to show them just how much you value them? We have the bling you’ve been looking for!

Showcase Jewellers are proud to announce that this April, we are launching a collection of limited edition rings. Elegant, high quality and unique, pieces such as the Sophia ring are set to not only stand out in their own right, but make their wearer sparkle like a princess herself.

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Feel like a royal with the limited edition ring Sophia.

Getting the royal look

If you think about the jewellery of Kate Middleton, Sarah Fergusson and Princess Grace, they all have one thing in common: gorgeous, prominent gems.

While they each have their own style, rocking your own sparkler with a royal feel to it means paying attention to the details. You see, not every diamond is equal. On the contrary, you need to pay close attention to the cut, carat, colour and clarity.

1. Cut

Every diamond’s brilliancy depends on the way it is cut. This means the way the gem and its facets are polished directly influences how the light is reflected and dispersed through it.

When the angles are correct, the light enters and exits through the top facets. If, however, the stone is cut too deep or shallow, you end up with light getting lost at the bottom or through the side – diminishing your ring’s much loved sparkle .

2. Carat

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. So, the higher the carat weight of your bling, the more rare it is.

There are more nuanced differences than simple carat though. Each carat is categorised into 100 point weights, meaning that a 75 point diamond weighs .75 carats. It’s important to note that carat-weight doesn’t necessarily determine the value of your stone though. Two rings with a one carat diamond can vary drastically in price depending on the cut, clarity and colour of the stone itself.

3. Colour

White diamonds are the traditional favourite gem stone – even though they naturally come in a wide variety of colours! So what’s the difference?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a rating system for white diamonds from colourless (D) to light yellow (Z). The aim of the game is to get a diamond that’s as close to no colour as possible.

Fortunately, the differences between grades aren’t always obvious. So even though you know your significant other deserves the absolute best, she won’t sparkle any less if her diamond isn’t a D grade.

4. Clarity

The final C, clarity, refers to the amount of flaws in the diamond. Again, you want to come as close to flawless as possible as some blemishes can interfere with the light radiating through the stone.

So we know the royal princesses of this world have sparklers that are as rare as they come. But, just because you might not have the treasure chest of a kingdom, it doesn’t mean you can’t give your other half a rarity.

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The unique touch of limited edition 

When it comes to unique jewellery, limited editions are the ultimate way to show your love. Rare, beautiful and high quality, these gems give your princess the sparkle of a real-life royal.

Showcase’s Sophia ring, for example, is a gorgeous 18ct white gold cluster cut at an impressive 1.00 carat total diamond weight. What makes this particular style so stunning is that it brings together the classic sparkle of diamonds with possibly the most royal of all other gemstones: the sapphire.

And to make sure you have prove of the rarity of the limited edition bling, your ring will come with a certificate stating which number in the series it is.

Do you want to surprise your love with the most special jewellery gifts possible? Get in touch with your local Showcase Jeweller today.

Dreamtime Diamonds: Capturing the essence of Australia

Of the treasures we collect throughout our lives, from our first CD to the concert ticket stubs from your favourite band, there are a rare few which will accompany us through the decades, holding a place close to our hearts. 

It’s these treasures which carry a story, or a special meaning, reminding us whenever we set eyes upon them. We may keep such pieces for years, but their significance will remain as fresh as ever. 

Jewellery, one of the most personal gifts you can receive, becomes a part of your life when you wear it. Diamond jewellery is especially iconic, representing purity and strength of spirit which will never fade. 

Dreaming of Dreamtime 

When it comes to choosing a jewellery gift that will accompany the wearer through the many years to come, Dreamtime Diamonds come with a story all of their own. A distinctly Australian treasure, Dreamtime Diamonds are sourced from a remote area in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, from the Argyle Diamond Mine. 

Diamonds were first discovered in Australia in 1851, with the majority of Australia’s stunning gems now sourced from the Argyle mine – operating in the heart of the Outback for over 30 years. 

Each Dreamtime piece is designed to enhance the natural beauty and brilliance of these special Australian jewels. Give your loved one a twinkling of star like diamonds in the form of Dreamtime’s elegant, yet modern rose gold earrings, with their delicate central cluster setting. 

Filled with ancient symbolism, the boab tree, also known of as the ‘tree of life’ represents solidarity and eternity due to their incredibly long life span. The Dreamtime diamond boab tree pendant is a beautiful illustration of this poignant symbolism, with the fine branches of the tree set with six beautiful diamonds. 

The source for Dreamtime’s precious diamonds, the Argyle mine is also known for producing stunning examples of coloured diamonds, which can be found in the Dreamtime 9ct gold diamond ring.

Its shining, interwoven golden bands are encrusted with champagne coloured and white diamonds to create a luminous, perfectly balanced effect, sure to have a special place in the heart of the receiver. 

Say Yule Marry Me? 5 Christmas Proposal Ideas To Win Her Over

wow-her-over-this-Christmas-with-a-diamond-ring-proposal-present

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but nothing will make her happier than a stunning diamond on her finger and the promise to spend a lifetime together. We all know that good things come in small packages, which is why a diamond ring is the perfect gift – just imagine the look on her face as the stone shimmers and reflects the Christmas tree lights!

So, how should you pop the question over the yuletide festivities? Unleash your most charming smile and tell her, “say yule marry me?” after you’ve set in motion one of these epic proposal plans with the help of Santa’s elves (aka your friends and family!). 

1. Oodles of ornaments 

Place the ring inside a sparkling bauble ornament, or sneakily hang it around a candy cane or reindeer antler ornament. Hang these proposal ornaments right at the bottom of the Christmas tree, hidden away in the thickest branches so they aren’t in plain sight. Next, create clues for her to look through the tree branches until she stumbles upon the most opulent, outstanding ornament of them all – one that will soon adorn her finger! 

2. Adorable advent calendar 

This proposal idea is so literally and figuratively sweet that you’ll stay on her nice list for years to come. No coal in your stockings, no sir!

Purchase any advent calendar that she will like, such as with pictures of pugs or flowers, but for the Christmas Eve pocket gently open up the compartment and replace the chocolate with your ring. Softly seal it shut so it looks unopened, using a piece of tape on the inside flap to secure it shut. When she opens the calendar on December 24, she’ll know Santa has already taken a trip down the chimney and gifted her an everlasting special present!

3. De-lightful Christmas lights 

String up the words ‘Say yule marry me’ in LED fairy lights or Christmas lights along a room, or, for a more dramatic reveal, across the exterior wall of your house. For an even more elaborate and extravagant proposal, go door to door at the homes of your local Christmas-lights street and ask if one of the home-owners would be willing to add the proposal lights to their existing set-up of snowmen, reindeer and so on. Then, take your soon to-be Mrs. Claus on an ‘innocent’ trip to see the neigbourhood’s Xmas lights. Stop in front of that house, get down on one knee as the lights go on, and blow her away! 

If you’re unsure which local street is getting dolled up for Xmas, check out ‘Christmas Light Search.com’ to find the one closest to you, or even road trip to the major ones in bigger capital cities!

4. A cracker of a Christmas

This idea has the benefit of being in front of your friends and family as you share a scrumptious Xmas meal. As you go around the table opening your crackers, she will be completely surprised when she pops hers open to find a glittering ring instead of a joke or party trick. Choose silver, white or gold crackers to add to the precious metal theme – you could even match your cracker to the ring, as here at Showcase Jewellers we have bands in all the metal tones. We also have a lovely new custom ring design service, so you can actually craft a design inspired by Christmas using snowflakes or other festive symbols. 

5. She said sea shells yes

Finally, since we have a summer Christmas, take her to the beach for a classic Aussie Xmas picnic and propose by opening a sea shell with the ring inside! Simple, sweet, seasonal and summery. 

perfect-christmas-gift

Embodying the balletic grace of George Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’

Which-act-of-George-Balanchines-Jewels-are-you-inspired-by

In all the world, there are few individuals as graceful as classical ballerinas. These professionals who have trained their whole lives to be onstage embody a fluidity of movement and effortless poise that is almost regal in nature.

They hold the audience enchanted for the duration of the show, a visual feast of physical prowess and stunning costuming and set. Today, we pay homage to one of the most iconic ballets of the 20th century by George Balanchine, inspired by beautiful jewels. 

A little about George Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’

Vanguard choreographer George Balanchine got the idea for a jewel-themed ballet from the work of master jeweller Claude Arpels, as reported by The George Balanchine Trust.  

“Of course, I have always liked jewels,” Balanchine explained. “I like the colour of gems, the beauty of stones, and it was wonderful to see how our costume workshop… came so close to the quality of real stones (which were of course too heavy for the dancers to wear!).”

Each of the three acts has a distinct musical sound and quality of movement, intended to imitate the properties and personalities of three gems.

Act I – Emeralds 

The opening act is set to the music of Gabriel Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande, a grand, yet sophisticated score which Balanchine thought evoked the elegance and aesthetic of France.

The dancers are dressed in Romantic style tutus, their movements fluid and refined. You yourself can take the lead from the opulence and regality of this first act with the Karen Walker emerald and citrine owl ring. To find out more about emeralds, you can read our blog post here.

Act II – Rubies 

The spritely second act speaks of the mischievous glamour of dazzling rubies. Dancers dart across the stage in fairy light steps, demonstrating agility and an almost feline litheness. 

Set to the somewhat jarring, avant garde music of Igor Stravinksy, Rubies encapsulates a joie de vivre that you can echo with our dazzling ruby and diamond ring. The dancers are dressed in more modern attire to clearly denote the act as having a different personality from emeralds.  Read up more on this bewitching gem in our blog series here.

Act III- Diamonds 

The third and final act is a celebration of splendour, a glittering last show of skill with a touch of flamboyance. The dancers take to the stage in glistening white tutus with a cool confidence befitting this queen of jewels, whose brilliance never fails to impress. 

Diamond jewellery is all at once the ultimate signature of sophisticated style, as well as offering a flash of intrigue as it catches the light. Why not try following in the elegant footsteps of Balanchine’s ballerinas with this timeless diamond pendant from Dreamtime

In addition, much like diamond jewellery, Balanchine’s ‘Diamonds’ act is timeless – the traditional ballet tutu is paired with a choreography that echoes the grand tradition of several other balletic masterpieces. However, watch closely, and you’ll still see much of the flair that denotes Balanchine’s modern style. 

Matched with a score by Peter Tchaikovsky, this act is the crowning jewel of the show, blending triumph, romanticism and effortless style, much like the gem in real life. You can learn more about Dreamtime diamonds here, or click here to find your own musical diamond muse! 

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How can I hide the engagement ring before I propose?

Where-are-you-going-to-hide-the-engagement-ring-preproposal

If you’ve set your heart on proposing to your beloved, then congratulations! It’s going to be an exciting time ahead. First things first, you’ll need to pick the perfect ring, so be sure to check out our infographic for a step by step guide. 

Before you get too carried away dreaming up how you’re going to pop the question, however, you’ll need to figure out how to keep things under wraps so your other half doesn’t cotton on to your plans. 

Hiding the ring until the right moment 

Whether you’re planning a romantic proposal on a specific date, or you’re waiting until the right moment to drop on one knee, you’ll need to keep the ring hidden. The stakes are high, as your proposal plans could be dashed should your partner stumble upon the engagement ring early, so think hard about where you’re going to stash it. 

Here are some of our favourite spots: 

  • In the medicine cabinet, in one of your empty vitamin or supplement bottles
  • In a pair of your socks – just remember which ones! 
  • In your sports bag – with your golf clubs, running shoes, gym gear, you name it
  • At a family member or friend’s house

Travelling with your engagement ring

Planning on popping the question overseas? It’s a good idea to keep the ring on you at all times, not just for security, but also secrecy. One of the easiest places to keep your ring is in your wallet, preferably in a zipped compartment where it is unlikely to fall out. 

One fantastic creation by designer Andrew Zo is the Clifton case; a slim ring compartment that will slide invisibly into your wallet or briefcase. No bulky box to give the game away with this beauty! 

What if my partner finds the ring ahead of time? 

If, in spite of all your best efforts, your loved one stumbles upon their diamond ring ahead of time, they may not even mention it to you straight away. In fact, you may be a few years happily married down the line before they bring it up.

In the worst case scenario and they find it with you there – maybe the cookie jar wasn’t the best idea – then sometimes all you can do is just go for it and propose on the spot. If you two are right for each other, it won’t matter whether the moment is grand or informal, all that’s important is the answer that comes next. 

shop-engagement-rings-at-showcase-jewellers

Showcase Jewellers ABCs: C is for cut, clarity, colour and carat

When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, it’s likely you’ll find yourself being bombarded with a whole new vocabulary of words you’ve never encountered before. Not only do you have to work your way around carats, but also a diamond’s cut and clarity.

But what does it all mean? Well you’re in luck, for it’s time for another handy jewellery guide with the Showcase Jewellers ABCs. 

C is for… carat

Apart from sounding uncannily close to the vegetable, carat is the term used to identify a diamond’s mass. The word carat is thought to be derived from the carob, which was a small hard seed once used as a counter balance on the scales when weighing gems. 

Although you’ll hear the same terminology being used to describe gold, in the case of the precious metal, a carat refers to the fineness or purity of the material, rather than the weight. 

The metric carat has been used as a form of measurement for gems since the early 1900s, where one carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. A the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) explains, from here, each carat is then divided into 100 points, allowing for more precise measurement of the diamond. Therefore, 0.5 carats could also be classified as being 50 points. 

“All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable,” explains the GIA, going on to note that carat weight isn’t the only deciding factor on the value of the diamond. 

C is for… cut 

This one is fairly easy to wrap your mind around, simply describing the way the diamond has been cut. Like many gems, diamonds require skilled craftsmanship to mould them into a shape that will showcase its inner brilliance. 

Different cuts allow the light to bend and reflect in the diamond in a way that gives it its special sparkle. In terms of shape, you have anything from a square princess cut, to a classic round cut as demonstrated in the stunning Canadian Fire engagement ring

However, as the GIA explains, the shape of a diamond doesn’t dictate the quality of the cut, which is determined by the way the light interacts with the gem. 

C is for… clarity 

In order to understand clarity, you first have to know the terms “inclusion,” and “blemishes”. Inclusions refer to any internal irregularities or markings in a diamond, whilst blemishes refer to external marks. 

Flawless, rather than being a Beyonce song, is also used to define a diamond with no inclusions visible at 10 times magnification. Diamonds rank from ‘flawless’ to ‘slightly included’, or simply ‘included’ at the opposite end of the scale. 

While there will never be a perfectly pure gem, the American Gem Society notes that the further up the clarity scale a diamond is, the more rare and valuable it becomes. 

C is for… colour 

Last but not least, and the final of the four ‘Cs’, is colour. This is used again, as a determiner of the value of the diamond, with the clearer the diamond, the more valuable. The scale ranges from colourless, to ‘light’, where the colour of the diamond becomes more off-white, says GIA. 

While you’re most likely to see engagement rings with a classic white, or diamond, you can also get diamonds in other hues, also called ‘fancy diamonds’. For example, you can add a unique touch to an engagement ring with a yellow or pink diamonds, such as those found on the rose and white gold diamond ring

Creative proposal ideas

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Asking someone to marry you is one of the biggest decisions – and questions – you’ll ever make, so taking the time to ensure that your proposal goes down with aplomb and is memorable is hopefully a life long investment.

While asking over a cosy dinner for two or on an exotic getaway is becoming commonplace, get creative with these proposal ideas to really ensure this once-in-a-lifetime event is truly remarkable.

Rent a billboard

If you’re going to ask someone to marry you, why not let the whole town know too? Renting a billboard is an excellent alternative to standard proposal formats, and is surely likely to be remembered by your loved one as well as everyone else who sees it.

Contact your local council or other relevant authority to investigate how to make this proposal dream become a reality, and consult a graphic designer to create a unique font to emblazon the all-important question in a stylish way.

Go viral

For a thoroughly modern proposal, use the internet as both the source of inspiration and platform for your proposal.

If you and your partner are always in fits of giggles, consider making a meme to propose in a sweet but humorous way.

Another option could be organising a flash mob to totally take your fiance to-be by surprise. Add to the excitement and drama by adopting a theme relevant to both of you, and pop the question when they least expect it – with the help of hired actors who are all in on the plan to make your proposal go as smoothly as possible.

Spell it out

Those important words don’t just have to be spoken. Consider writing them in the sky with an aeroplane, decorating balloons with each letter or even carving onto a pumpkin for a spooky proposal if you so wish, there are many ways to communicate ‘will you marry me?’

However you decide to propose to your partner, be sure to dazzle them with jewellery – a sparkling diamond ring is the perfect way to complete your proposal plans!

Showcase Jewellers ABCs: B is for bezel

We’re back with another instalment of the Showcase Jewellers special series, the jewellery ABCs. Last time around, we took at look at the story behind the beautiful gemstone, amethyst. As we move onto ‘B’, we’re exploring own of the building blocks of jewellery making, the bezel setting. 

B is for… bezel

If you own a ring with a mounted stone, such as a dress or engagement ring, there’s a strong chance you’ll likely have already encountered a bezel setting. It involves a metal rim to secure a gem in place, rather than a classic prong setting which clasps the gem in place. 

A bezel setting is often considered to be the most secure of all gem settings, as it protects the edge from being knocked or damaged, as well as lessening the chances of the precious cargo coming loose. In addition, unlike a prong setting, bezel-set rings as less likely to catch on your clothing and cause a ladder. 

An elegant solution for beautiful gems 

Despite the technique dating back thousands of years, a bezel setting can be a beautiful, modern approach to stone setting. It is also used in designs involving smaller gems to create a halo effect around the central stone, such as in this stunning yellow gold diamond engagement ring

According to Gem Select, bezels are often employed to protect more vulnerable gemstones which have a rating under 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, such as opal, turquoise and fluorite. 

As their lower hardness rating makes these gems more easily scratched, a bezel setting can add an extra level of protection. 

A bezel is also employed in making men’s and women’s watches, with the metal rim framing and securing the crystal casing over the watch face. As part of the watch case, it provides the structure to the time piece, protecting it from wear and tear.

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