Archive for the Category Jewellery


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

The Origins of the Rolex Brand Name

resizedimage600338-watch-legends-rolexThe origins of the Rolex brand name go back to 1908, when Hans Wilsdorf was trying to conceive a name to register for intellectual property purposes. He had it in the back of his mind that a successful name had to havecertain criteria:

–          It had to be short; for instance, no more than five letters.

–          It should be easy to pronounce in any language.

–          It should “have a good ring to it”.

–          It should be easy to remember.

–          It should appear well on the product.

50 successful years later, Hans was quoted as saying “I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me hundreds of names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the city of London, a genie whispered “Rolex” in my ear.”.

rolex defying elementsHowever, in the early years watches didn’t carry manufacturer brand name; in fact, retail jewellers would place their names on watch and try to keep the manufacturers secret. Hans started by putting the Rolex name on one out of six watches, and then two out of six, and so on, without too much pushback from retailers. It was in 1926 when Rolex introduced its first waterproof Oyster that Hans believed it was time that all Rolex’s should bear the name Rolex. Since that day, only the name Rolex has appeared on Rolex watches.

As if to have had a wish answered by a magic genie in a lamp, Hans had registered the name that would now be the most recognized and coveted watch brand in the world.

Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

When Your Ring Doesn’t Fit Properly…

We see it time and time again: clients come in with rings that no longer fit over their joints. Often, the ring is on their finger and can’t be removed; however, for this we recommend you read How to Remove Your Rings Swoolen fingerwhen they no longer fit. Fact is, over the years our joints can start to swell. There can be a variety of reasons for this, but the most common is the onset of arthritis. That being said, you can always re-size the ring so it fits over your joints, but then the ring flops around your inner-finger so loosely that it renders the ring impossible to wear comfortably.


Fear Not! There are solutions available. Here are the most common options:Arthritic Shank Options

1) Arthritic Balls: the ring is sized to fit over your joint and then gold balls are added to your ring’s inner shank. The balls keep the ring from flopping around once over your joint.

2) Speed Bumps: these are identical to the above mentioned arthritic balls, however they tend to accommodate wider rings.

3) U-Shank or Horseshoe: this is best described as a metal lining attached to the inside of your shank. Again, this keep the ring from flopping around once over your joint.

4) Twist On: these are typically temporary and consist of a thin band that is twisted onto your shank.

Athritic Engagement Ring - Cliq - 2005) Cliq Rings: this is by far the most comfortable and long-term option. Cliq designs mounts and custom shanks which are retrofitted with a hinge mechanism. The hinge mechanism enables your to open the ring’s shank in order to get it on and off. And the best part is…it’s virtually seamless!

Whatever option you take, it’s important that your rings fit properly and that you’re capable of getting them on and off your fingers without undue effort. It’s not just a question of comfort, it’s a question of safety…for you, and your precious mementos.

If you’d like to explore these options further, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Kindest regards,

The La Mine d’Or Family

Removing Rings That Don’t Fit

Some of us wear our rings for years without removing them. Unfortunately (or fortunately, sometimes), our bodies change but our rings don’t. Some of us develop swollen joints and are unable to remove our rings. Many choose to ignore this (sometimes for decades), but it can be dangerous.

For starters, your ring may begin cutting the circulation to your finger. Many times after removing rings that are too tight, the client reports tingling sensations in their affected finger. This isn’t good. Essentially, the swelling is so gradual over the years that our finger forms to the ring; kind of like when you tie a wire around a tree…as the tree grows the indent of the wire is apparent.

Secondly, what if your ring needs to be removed in an emergency situation? In our experience, Paramedics care for your health, not the health of your jewellery. So out come the cutting tools!

The point here is, if your rings don’t fit you should deal with the issue right away. The first step is removing them. Here are a few tricks we can offer “do-it-yourselfers”:

Windex1)      Windex: I know what your thinking: “the author of this article is a My Big Fat Greek Wedding fan”. Although I am, that’s not the inspiration behind this trick. Quite literally, we’ve saved hundreds of rings from being cut by using Windex. Forget the vegetable oils, creams, soaps…just use Windex. This should always be your first attempt.

2)      Rubber Band: Take a wide rubber band and begin wrapping it around your finger snugly, starting above your affected knuckle. Wrap it all the way over your knuckle until you reach the ring. Take a loose end of the rubber band and slip it under the ring using a toothpick. Grab the end of the rubber band from under the ring and pull firmly (but not so firmly as to break the rubber band). The ring will begin to spin towards your knuckle, and the tension created by the rubber band will help the ring slip over it. We recommend you watch this video for a demonstration.Ring Cutter

3)      Cutting: If all else fails, come visit and we’ll cut the ring. We have a special tool to do this and it’s free of charge. DO NOT try using power tools or sharp objects to cut the ring…IT’S STILL ON YOUR FINGER!

Vise Grip4)      Breaking: Gold, Silver, and Platinum can be cut; however, some metals such as Tungsten, Cobalt, and Titanium cannot. These have to be broken.  To do this you’ll need a clamping wrench, such as Vise-Grips. Adjust the clamp so it fits snugly over the ring. Tighten 1 turn and clamp. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN as this could crush your finger. We recommend you watch this video for a demonstration.

When in doubt, come and see us. We’ll help you get your rings off safely. In our next article, we’ll talk about options offered to people with swollen joints, such as those affected by arthritis.


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

Music Friday: Tom Jones Belts Out His 1970 Interpretation of the Timeless Love Song, ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you amazing tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. “I (Who Have Nothing)” is a timeless love song that has been covered by dozens of artists, both male and female, for the past 50 years.


The version we like best is performed here by none other than Sir Thomas John Woodward (better known as Tom Jones), whose powerful interpretation launched the song to #14 on the Billboard charts in 1970.

In “I (Who Have Nothing),” a poor man makes an impassioned plea to win the heart of his love interest. Sadly, all he can do is watch from his window as she goes out wrapped in the arms of a wealthy man — a man who can “give her the world,” including “bright sparkling diamonds.”

Jones, whose soulful voice and great looks melted hearts during the 1960s and 70s, has sold more than 100 million records and charted 36 Top-40 hits, including “It’s Not Unusual,” “What’s New Pussycat” and “Delilah.”

The first artists to release “I (Who Have Nothing)” were Ben E. King and Shirley Bassey, both in 1963. Since then, the song has been reinterpreted by singers as diverse as Petula Clark, Luther Vandross, Liza Minnelli and Neil Diamond.

More recently, a new generation of music lovers were introduced to “I (Who Have Nothing) when it was performed by American Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks.

We invite you to enjoy the riveting performance of Tom Jones at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“I (Who Have Nothing)”
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Performed by Tom Jones.

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you, and want you so
I’m just a no one,
With nothing to give you but Oh
I Love You

He, He buys you diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But believe me, dear when I say,
That he can give you the world,
But he’ll never love you the way
I Love You

He can take you anyplace he wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane
I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you, go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else
When darling it’s I
Who Loves you

I Love You
I Love You
I Love You

73.98-Carat Padparadscha-and-Diamond Ring to Make Rare Appearance at Christie’s Auction

Called “a true Rembrandt among gemstones,” natural padparadscha is one of the rarest and most valuable varieties of sapphire. Unlike its blue brethren, padparadscha boasts a salmon color reminiscent of the most delicate orange/pink sunset you’ve ever seen. Fans of this unusual and strikingly beautiful gemstone are in for a big treat on May 28, when an exceptional padparadscha-and-diamond ring hits the auction block at Christie’s Hong Kong as one of the top lots of its Magnificent Jewels sale.


The oval, modified brilliant/step-cut Sri Lankan padparadscha weighs a staggering 73.98 carats and is framed with brilliant-cut diamonds mounted in 18-karat rose gold. Pre-sale estimates put the value of the ring at $1.03 million to $1.55 million.

The poetically named padparadscha gets its name from “padma raga,” which literally means “the color of the lotus flower” in Sanskrit.


Padparadschas of the size and quality of the one offered for sale at Christie’s are rarely seen in auction circles. One gemstone dealer told author and gemstone expert David Federman, “Fine padparadscha is far rarer than either fine Kashmir sapphire or Burma ruby. We’re talking about a true Rembrandt among gemstones.”

Padparadscha belongs to the corundum family of gemstones, which includes rubies and sapphires. The presence of trace elements determines the color of each gemstone. While blue sapphires are naturally colored with iron and rubies with chromium, padparadschas are colored by the presence of both. The delicate interplay of pink and orange hues make this gem one of nature’s greatest marvels.


Kind regards,

The La Mine d’Or Fmaily

So You Think Your Jewellery is Insured

Insurance PolicyWe’ve been getting several calls from distraught clients in recent times regarding their battles with insurance companies. Why? Well, most have recently made a claim and were surprised when their insurance company dictated which jeweller they had to go see and what price they were willing to pay to replace their piece of jewellery. Unfortunately, this makes an already stressful situation, even more stressful; especially when you’re trying to replace something with so much sentimental value.

Does this Scenario Sound Familiar?

You bought your fiance a diamond engagement ring appraised at $6,000 and it was stolen/lost/damaged. Now your insurance company is telling you to go see some other jeweller that’s offering to replace “the same diamond” for $3,000. When you ask if you can go see your original jeweller they tell you that they’ll only provide you with $3,000 of replacement value if you choose to do so.Loop Diamond

Sound familiar? Well, we’ve seen it happen pretty often lately. The problem here is that not all jewellers have the same standards (not by a long shot!). Having an appraisal signed by someone with GIA designations is a far cry when comparing it to someone who doesn’t. The other problem is that no two diamonds are created equal; for instance, on paper two diamonds can have the same grade, but in reality, one may be worth twice as much as the other. Therefore, how can you be assured of the same standards without going to see your original jeweller, or at least, one with the same credentials as the original?

Now here’s the real kicker! When you originally provided your insurance company with that $6,000 appraisal they may have charged you a premium on your insurance policy based on that amount, but now they only want to pay $3,000. Sound fair?

What Should You Do?

1)      Talk to your insurance company and find out if there are limits to your policy. Most do have limits unless you specify a particular piece to be insured; this is called a “rider”. A rider goes on top of your Home Insurance and you will likely be charged a premium for insuring this piece.

2)      Ask your insurance company how they handle repairs and/or replacements if something happens. Specifically, you should ask:

  1. Will you be given “Full Replacement Value”?
  2. Can you deal with the jeweller of your choice?
  3. What kind of coverage will this include? Theft, loss, damage, etc?
  4. How much more will you be paying?

Most importantly, if you’re not satisfied with the answers, consider Jewellery Insurance. Few realize that this is often less expensive and offers a broader, more comprehensive coverage than your home insurance. For instance, Jewellers Mutual insures qualified jewellers in North America and also offer insurance to these jewellers’ clients. Their policies normally cost less than a “rider” on your home policy and their coverage includes theft, damage, loss, and mysterious disappearance…even while travelling. Also, they have GIA trained staff on-hand; i.e., people with certified standards for jewellery, not someone shopping for the best bargain. And here’s the best part, you can choose to return to your original jeweller, as he/she knows exactly what you had purchased.

So next time you get the chance, speak with your insurance company and make sure you know what you’re paying for. If you don’t like what you hear, consider jewellery insurance.

We hope this helps!


The La Mine d’Or Family

Fluorescent Diamonds

Did you know that 35% of gem-quality diamonds fluoresce? Many people don’t even know they may have a fluorescent diamond until they enter a dance club and all of the sudden they’re lighting up the dance floor.

The phenomenon of diamond fluorescence is purely natural and adds to a diamond’s uniqueness. The fluorescence is caused by a diamond’s atoms interacting with UV light and is normally blue; however many colors are possible. Certain jewellery designers have made some amazing pieces with fluorescent diamonds which fluoresce in stunning patterns when exposed to UV light; some even inscribe a person’s name in the piece by setting fluorescent diamonds alongside non-fluorescent diamonds.

Along the same lines as fluorescence is a rare characteristic called phosphorescence. The difference between the two is that the phosphorescent diamond continues to glow momentarily when removed from UV light. In fact, one of the most famous diamonds in the world, the 45.52ct Hope Diamond, phosphoresces an absolutely stunning deep red color. The “after-glow” lasts approximately five seconds after the UV light is removed.

So what implications does this have for you? First off, if you’re about to purchase a diamond and are wondering about it’s fluorescence, ask your jeweller. He/she should be able to tell you right away whether or not a diamond fluoresces by placing it under a UV lamp. Also, most diamond grading reports (particularly a GIA Grading Report) will indicate whether a diamond fluoresces, including the color and level of fluorescence. Needless to say, it’s nice to know if you have a fluorescent diamond before you get surprised by glowing jewellery on your next night out…either way, it can definitely make for an interesting conversation piece!

Kind regards,


The La Mine d’Or Family