Archive for the Category Gold


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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