Archive for the Category Gold


Wedding Bands: Finding the One




We are headed into wedding season again. If you are lucky enough to be planning a wedding, then picking out wedding bands is probably somewhere on your lengthy “To Do” list. Here are a couple tips we would like to share with you to help you find the wedding band that lasts a lifetime!

When looking for wedding bands there are so many things to think about! You may already have a picture of exactly what you are looking for, or you may just walk into a jewellery store and wing it. We are here to tell you that there is no right or wrong, and a good jeweller will be sure to inform you about the advantages of each ring you are considering. Keep in mind, sometimes what you are imagining may be different when you try it on and see it in real. This is why, in some cases, it may be easier to start from scratch, trying each ring on and admiring what it truly looks like on your hand and skin tone.


So whether or not you have browsed online, here are some FAQ’s that we have answered for you to make your shopping trip that much simpler.











What is the difference between 10k, 14k, and 18k gold?

This question is usually one of the first questions asked and is definitely one of the most important ones. Getting to understand the metal you are wearing will help you to know how to treat it and in turn, prolong the life of this sentimental piece of jewellery you are looking to buy.

The answer to this question involves a little bit of math, but don’t worry we won’t make you punch the numbers. Here is a quick explanation of different karats of gold:

  • 24kt= (100% gold)
  • 18kt = (75% gold)
  • 14kt = (58.3% gold)
  • 10kt = (41.7% gold)

The alloys used in different karats of gold are there to make the gold stronger, more durable and also create different colours of gold(which we will get to in a bit). Of the three gold karats listed above, 18kt will be the softest as it contains the highest percentage of gold. 14kt will be slightly less soft as it contains more alloys, and 10kt will be the hardest as it contains a higher percentage of alloys than gold.

You might think that these numbers make no difference to you, although your everyday lifestyle can play a huge part in which karat of gold you should be choosing. This is where your hobbies and occupation come in to play. Even things like being left-handed can make a huge impact on how your ring wears.

For example, most of our ladies engagement rings are crafted in 14kt or 18kt gold. Meanwhile mens wedding bands are most often made using 10kt or 14kt gold. You can determine which karat you prefer based on your everyday activities.


What are the different colours of gold? 

The three most common colours are yellow, white and rose gold.

Since it first caught the eye of its discoverer, James W. Marshall in 1848, gold is notoriously “gold” in colour, or as we call it in the jewellery industry “yellow gold”. Many people may think that gold is no longer in style or that other colours of gold have taken over. However, a jeweller will be sure to tell you that you can’t go wrong with gold in its natural, classic colour.

White gold made its appearance in the 1920’s. It is obtained by mixing gold with other alloys such as palladium and silver. We recommend an 18kt and palladium blend, which fabricates a true and long lasting greyish colour that does not contain any hints of yellow. Most of the time, white gold rings will have a rhodium plated finish to ensure a complete, silver colour.

Finally, there is rose gold which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only is it popular, but it also doesn’t require much maintenance. The rose or pink colour is obtained by using copper as an alloy. The formula used to make rose gold will produce a pure “pinkish” tone and does not require any type of plating.

How often should a white gold ring be rhodium plated?

Some of you may not know, but white gold jewellery is usually rhodium plated as mentioned above. This plating may wear off over time however it is something that can easily be reapplied. Some things that may wear off the rhodium plating quicker are lotions, sanitizer and even body oils. We recommend having your rings polished and plated about once a year to keep them shining and sparkling.

The details on Alternative Metals like Tungsten?

Tungsten is a trending alternative metal for men’s wedding rings. It is known for its extreme hardness and durability, gunmetal grey colour, and attractive price point.

As mentioned above, Tungsten is gun metal grey in colour, giving the ring a masculine appearance that usually goes over well with the men. Although its hardness can be a great advantage, there are a couple things to be mindful of when purchasing a Tungsten wedding band. First of all, Tungsten cannot be cut. Therefore these wedding bands cannot be resized or altered/customized to suit your style. For this reason, a Tungsten band is not always allowed in the workplace.

We just threw a lot of information your way and hope that you were able to learn something from it! Each metal has its own unique qualities; this is why we carry a large variety of wedding bands to ensure you find the right one.

Kind Regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family


Holiday Shopping Made Easy!

So the holiday season snuck up on us once again, and some of us may be more excited than others. However, this year we are here to tell you, Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be complicated! We are sure we have something for every type of person on your shopping list. Whether or not you or the one you’re shopping for falls into one of these categories, these top 10 gifts ideas are sure to be a hit!

“The Guy Who Has It All”


These Gucci cufflinks are for the “Has It All” business man in your life! From his perfectly pressed suit, down to his  polished shoes, he just seems to have it all together, all the time! Don’t panic thinking about what to buy him this year, this is where our Gucci cufflinks come in. These designer sterling silver cufflinks are a classic gift that can be worn as an everyday accessory.


“Toys Are Not An Option This Year”


It happens so quickly, one year your daughter is asking for the latest toy on the shelf and the next year toys are the furthest thing from her mind. So why not make this big milestone in her life that much more exciting and treat her with her first birthstone and diamond ring. These bezel set birthstone rings are a sentiment that she definitely can’t outgrow, a gift that is sure to be treasured for years to come!


“The Guy That Doesn’t Ask for Anything”


You might know a guy whose style, technology and accessories have remained the same for the last two decades (but who’s counting anyway, right?). We’ll give you a hint for the man who doesn’t need the latest technology to make his world go ‘round (but don’t tell him it was us).  This Tissot Heritage watch is a classic 1936 Mechanical, swiss-made timepiece that has literally stood the test of time. Let’s be honest though, there is no going wrong with a classic watch like this no matter whom you want to buy it for!


“Extensive Wardrobe Fashionista”


Does your shopping list include a lady who seems to have a never ending supply of clothing and accessories? Honestly you wonder what her closet looks like in real life, and if you know what it looks like you probably hope you never have to search through it for an article of clothing. If by chance this lady happens to be your spouse, don’t waste time looking for a gift for her this year because we have the most unique piece of jewellery to add to her collection! This rose gold necklace with its impressive 25.64ct charcoal grey hematite and pure white topaz gemstone, surrounded by diamonds,  is such a one of a kind piece. You can be sure she has nothing quite like it!


“Anniversary and Christmas Combined”


So you might have accidentally forgotten to get her an anniversary gift this year, well why not make up for it and get her one of these fashionable rings that are great for achieving the stacking ring look (which is huge this year)? Whether she ads this to her wedding set or mixes it up day to day, these rings are a sure way to make up for the lost brownie points! Don’t worry we’ve got your back no matter the situation!


“Brand Names are Always a Hit”


Some people are on top of all the latest trends in the fashion world and are always able to name a brand when they see one. If you know someone like this, you are going to want to buy her this Gucci 18k yellow gold necklace and earrings set. A brand name that absolutely cannot be missed!


“Stocking Stuffer Christmas”


Has anybody else ever agreed to keep the gifts “small” this Christmas?  Here is a pair of rose gold diamond hoop earrings we are sure would fit as a stocking stuffer! Diamond hoop earrings are not only a classic piece of jewellery, they are a must have accessory for every woman. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Christmas shopping has never been this easy!


“Living Life on the Fast Track”


You might know somebody who just can’t seem to slow down, even during the holiday season. Whether they are driving or flying through life we have the perfect watch for their style. The Autavia, a combination of “AUTomobile” and “AVIAtion”, is suited to fit the “Fast Track” lifestyle. You can’t go wrong with a thoughtful gift like this one!




“She Has Everything”


Because “She Has Everything”, she will most likely insist that she doesn’t want anything this year. We all know better so that’s why this tennis bracelet, from the world renowned designer Simon G, is the perfect gift for her. With its unmatched craftsmanship and design, this piece of jewellery is red carpet worthy! Even if her red carpet consists of everyone’s gift wrappings spread all over the floor!


“She Lights Up the Room”


Do you know a special lady who just happens to light up the room no matter where she goes?  Why not buy her Forevermark diamonds to match her sparkling personality? After all, “A Diamond Is Forever”! Only the top one percent of diamond are chosen to be Forevermark, and her one-of-a-kind personality deserves nothing less!


Happy Holidays!

The La Mine d’Or Family

How the Value of the Canadian Dollar Affects Jewellery Prices: is it time for an appraisal?

We’ve been hearing it a lot lately: oil prices drop so the value of the Canadian Dollar is going down. While not all of this is bad news (i.e., the value of the Canadian Dollar going down can help with a resurgence in Canadian Manufacturing through exports), it does affect what we pay for diamonds and gold.

Here’s the scoop. Like many imports, diamonds and gold are normally traded in US Currency. When the value of the Canadian Dollar goes down, we pay more to exchange our CDN currency into US Currency.

For example:

  • On February 6th, 2014, one dollar US would cost us $1.10CDN.
  • On February 6th, 2015, that same US dollar costs us $1.25CDN.

CDN Dollar


For example, a $1000US Diamond on February 6th, 2014, would have cost you $1100CDN. But fast forward to February 6th, 2015, and that $1000US Diamond now costs you $1250CDN. That slightly more than a 13% hike. That’s quite the increase for one year, and the same goes for gold and all other precious metals.

These price changes are typically gradual, but have definitely started to take affect in Canada. Diamonds and Gold aren’t the only commodities to succumb to these changes, but just about anything being imported from our neighbours in the US.

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A major thing to take into consideration when you see these increases or decreases is the appraised value of your jewellery. Make sure your appraisals are up to date when you see price fluctuations stick; i.e., don’t chase the volatility, the market only changes when prices really stick.

It’s an  inverse relationship:

  • If the Canadian Dollar goes down (such as is the case now), the CDN dollar value of your jewellery increases.
  • When the value of the Canadian Dollar goes up, the CDN dollar value of your jewellery decreases.

Make sure your properly insured. You don’t want to overpay or be under-insured.

Check with your trusted jeweller and see if now is a good time to have your jewellery re-appraised.

Kindest regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family

Making New Jewellery out of Your Old Jewellery

Custom Remade Ring (2)We’ve been seeing it a lot these days: people clearing out their old jewellery boxes and selling unwanted jewellery for old gold. Of course, this is a viable option; why keep something you’re not going to use. Heck, we evenoffer increased trade-in values for those of you who see something you love in the showcase; again, a very viable option. But not many people consider the idea of re-using these materials to make something new.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? In fact, it is. You can use you’re unwanted jewellery to make something you’ll be proud to wear. Not only that, but if you have certain pieces which hold some sentimental value, it’s nice to finally be able to make something personal and wear it.

What’s the catch?

Well, there’s really only one: old gold can seldom be used. Many casting houses won’t allow it as it can render the gold brittle and cause future heartaches. The solution, you get a credit for the old gold towards new gold.

The key is to re-use some or all of your old diamonds or stones in your new jewellery. You’d be amazed at what can be created.

All you need is a bit of inspiration. Surf Pinterest, Google images, take a picture of a piece you like, or even make a sketch on a napkin! If you still can’t find anything, come and see our Goldsmith, he’s got more than enough ideas.

The goal is to get you enjoying your jewellery again. Styles come and go, but the meaning of certain pieces should make you proud to wear them.


Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

Custom Design your Engagement Ring

We see it more and more, people see a picture of a ring (or any piece of jewellery) they love and that’s “the one”. But where do you find it? Many people don’t realize that with today’s technology, anything can be made.The Inspiration - final

Here’s a common scenario: a guy walks into the store with a picture of a ring. He says, “She pinned this on her Pinterest account with a note saying “This is my dream ring!”, The Design - finaldo you have it?”. As is often the case, there are several variations to a particular style, but the common answer is “No, but I canThe Finale - final definitely have it made”. The picture is then sent to a CAD designer who, to the best of his ability, makes a rendering of the ring in the picture. Slight variations are expected because a single picture doesn’t offer all angles of the ring. A preliminary design is then shown to the client, who can then make small variations based on style, detailing, color of the gold, etc.

Once approved, the design is sent to a 3D printer which cuts a mould of the ring. The mould is then cast in gold or platinum (the client’s choice). The ring’s details are then added, such as custom engravings, etchings, etc. The diamonds are then mounted into the ring which is then polished as a finished piece.

Voila! You have the ring she’s always dreamed of…you’re her hero!

I know what you must be thinking right now…”Yeah Right! Who can afford that!?”. Well, you’d be surprised. A custom ring typically only costs, on average 10 to 20% more. This is normally due to the design costs. But think about it, you’re giving her exactly what she wanted. Deep down, she’s going to know you’ve been paying attention. And then you can say, “I built this just for you!”.

If you’re lucky enough to know what she likes without ruining the surprise, the added effort will be worth it. The memory of the look on her face when she sees the ring will be worth every second, and will last forever.

If you’d like a custom designed ring, feel free to come and see us. We guarantee your complete satisfaction.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

Scientists Revisit Healing Properties of Silver; Tiny Amounts Added to Antibiotics Make Medications 1,000 Times More Effective

The mystical medicinal properties of silver — widely used by ancient civilizations — are back in the headlines, as a new study reveals that tiny amounts of the element added to common antibiotics make the medications up to 1,000 more effective in fighting infections.


The lustrous fashion-forward precious metal could be the medical community’s silver bullet in its battle against drug-resistant “superbugs” — bacteria that has grown immune to standard drugs. Some doctors have feared that superbugs, left unchecked, could make the most common surgeries extremely risky because the arsenal of effective antibiotics is nearly tapped out.

The World Health Organization has warned that “many infectious diseases risk becoming untreatable and uncontrollable.”

Since the days of ancient Greece, silver has been cherished on so many levels — from fine jewelry and ornaments to currency and utensils. The ancients also discovered that silver had unique healing properties, such as protecting wounds from infection and preserving food and water.

Privileged families in the Middle Ages benefited health-wise from using silver eating utensils even though the side effect was often a bluish-grey discoloration of the skin. These fortunate families became known as “blue bloods.” And North American pioneers routinely dropped silver coins into their drinks to ward off infection on long journeys.

Silver’s place in the medical community continued all the way until the 1940s, when newly developed antibiotics were favored to fight sickness and infections. Now, 70 years later, the ascension of drug-resistant superbugs has scientists revisiting their old friend silver, the same element that the “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates, prescribed to treat ulcers in ancient Greece in 400 BC.


In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Boston University found that by adding trace amounts of silver to common antibiotics, the medications became up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections in mice.

“We went from basically no killing to substantial killing,” said senior author James Collins, a professor of microbiology.

The silver attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: It makes the unusually tough cell membrane of superbugs more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins said.

Although the experiments have yet to be performed on humans, initial findings are more than promising.


Kind regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family

Gold Allergies vs Gold Purity

About a week ago a client inquired as to whether we used unpure gold because her ring made her finger turn green. So we’d like to shed some light on the subject.

Pure gold is defined as 99.99% and is normally termed 24K gold. Although having jewellery made out of pure gold would be nice (and shiny!), but pure gold by itself is too malleable to be used in jewellery. Therefore, gold is mixed with other base metals which include copper, tin, and nickel; however, other metals have been used in recent times such as iron, palladium, cadmium, platinum, and silver (more on this later). Depending on the percentage of pure gold in the mixture, the gold is designated as 18K (75% pure gold), 14K (58.3% pure gold), or 10K (41.7% pure gold). In Canada, the percentage of gold inside each mixture is strictly regulated by the Precious Metals Marking Act and must adhere to strict tolerances. There is also oversight from the Canadian Jewellers Association in this regard.

Over the years, certain metals were popularly used in gold mixtures. One of the best examples was the use of Nickel in making white gold. Nickel fell out of popularity in more recent times because some people were getting allergic reactions to the metal. Thus, other metals such as Palladium have become more widely used because of its hypo-allergenic properties.

Can you be allergic to gold? Almost impossible. Allergies to 24K pure gold are so rare that it’s considered hypo-allergenic by many. The allergic reactions always come from one of the base metals mixed with the gold. If you see allergic reactions to 10K gold, try purer gold; i.e., 14K or 18K. If all else fails, stick with platinum.

Why is my finger turning green? What normally happens is a chemical reaction from the acids in your skin and the metals from the ring which causes an allergic reaction. Also, this (and other irritations) can be caused by the ring coming into contact with other substances such as lotions or chemical cleaners on your hand.

What do I do? If you really want to know where the allergy comes from, you should definitely have an allergy test done. Try different qualities of gold; most allergies will show themselves within 24 hours, so try 14K and 18K gold to see if you get the same allergic reactions. Visit this link for a good overview of what 18K gold can be mixed with. You never know, you may be allergic to a base metal used in white gold but not in yellow gold.

We’re always inspired by you. If you’d like us to write about a jewellery related topic, please send us an email at

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

All Appraisals are Not Created Equal

Appraisals are an imperative part of making sure your jewellery is safe. Albeit, all jewellery appraisals are not created equal, and we’re going to tell you why.

Whenever you acquire a new piece of jewellery, your jeweller should be giving you an appraisal for items valued over $1000. Appraisals are important so you can keep your jewellery properly insured; either through your home-owners insurance or a specific jewellery insurance you may have purchased. The key for you and your insurance company is that the appraisal is accurate; you don’t want to overpay for your insurance and you want to make sure you get proper replacement value if something happens. Here are a few things you should be aware of and careful about.


Most jewellers have a plethora of certifications on their walls that you might not understand. The best in the industry are GIA Certified. The GIA created the diamond grading standards which everyone uses today. It’s a non-profit organization and their certificates come at a premium in the industry because they’re known to be the most consistent. There are, however, many other laboratories and certifications but none have the same standards and consistency. That being said, if your jeweller does not have a gemological certification he/she should not be doing your appraisal. Furthermore, a certified Diamond Grader should not be appraising Colored Stones if he/she is not Certified to do so; this requires a Certified Gemologist.

Types of Appraisals

There’s a long list of different types of appraisals, such as:

–          Retail Replacement Value (Insurance Appraisal)

–          Liquidation Value

–          Estate Appraisals

–          and the list goes on.

The most common type of appraisal you’ll need is for insurance purposes, i.e., Retail Replacement Value. This isn’t necessarily the price you paid for the item, but rather the actual retail value of the item. Your insurance company wants to know what it would cost to replace the insured item new and at full-price if they were to buy it today. That doesn’t mean the insurance company would be paying that price for the item, it just means you’ll be paying the premium for that value. Hence, an accurate appraisal saves you money because you won’t be paying an inflated premium. When it comes to jewellery, your insurance company will replace the item, not write you a check.

Keep Your Appraisals Current

You want to make sure that you keep your appraisals current, especially if gold and diamond markets have fluctuated drastically in recent years; which they have, so it might be a good time to have your appraisals updated. You also want to keep an eye on exchange rates, as gold, diamonds, and other commodities are traded in US Dollars. Thus, currency fluctuations will affect the value of your jewellery, up or down. Keeping this in mind, if the markets have drastically changed it may be a good idea to have your jewellery re-appraised.

In closing please remember the following: use a certified and trusted jeweller; he/she will be open with you and use a consistent formula for appraising your items. Also, keep your appraisals current to make sure you’re not overpaying for you insurance, and that you have a proper replacement value for your precious mementos.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

The Truth about Old Gold

How many flyers have you gotten in the mail lately from companies wanting to buy your Old Gold? How about the full page ads in the newspaper or the cheesy TV commercials? I can’t count them anymore. It seems like everyone has jumped onto the Old Gold bandwagon, literally! Just last week my mailbox was packed with travelling “roadshow” ads wanting to buy old gold at a local hotel conference room. A few other ads wanted me to mail-in my gold…really!? There’s a recipe for disaster, and I’m sure FedEx would love to sell me insurance on that package (but that’s a topic for another day).

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