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

Chipped Diamonds

Gabi Inspecting DiamondIt happens. You’re wearing your beautiful diamond engagement ring while doing the dishes and you feel your ring hit something hard under the suds. After you’re done, you notice something that wasn’t there before; a chip in your beautiful diamond.

Diamond PolisherOther common scenarios include dropping your ring on a ceramic floor, clipping your ring against a hard surface, you’re ring getting stuck in a piece of equipment…you name it. Although it’s said that diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, it is in fact the hardest stone on earth versus other stones. It’s not impermeable to chipping against man-made materials. Moreover, diamonds are not necessarily the same toughness uniformly. For instance, an inclusion forming a fracture near the side of your diamond could render it weaker in that specific area. All that being said, a chip isn’t necessarily the end of the world (or the end of your diamond).

Depending on the nature of the chip, it’s size and it’s location, a diamond can often be re-cut or re-polished to eliminate the chip. Doing this may cause some weight loss, however, most times this loss is relatively small.

How does the process work?

Chipped Diamond Re-CutBring your diamond to your trusted jeweller. He will usually be able to tell you right away whether the diamond is a good candidate to being re-cut. You diamond will then be sent to a diamond cutter who will assess the new cuts and dimensions needed to bring your diamond back from it’s injured state (“calling Dr Diamond”). Prior to cutting, the diamond cutter will communicate to your jeweller what his intentions are, and more precisely, how much weight will be lost during the process. If you’re OK with this, you’re diamond will come back with a new life. Moreover, the costs of doing this are minimal; especially compared to purchasing a new diamond or versus paying a deductible to your insurance company.

So remember, a chip isn’t the end of the world or your diamond. We’ve given many a second chance at decorating your finger.

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

Diamond Cuts: The Classics are Making a Comeback

In a world where everyone wants to express themselves in a truly unique way, when it comes to engagement rings, nothing speaks louder than the diamond cut you choose. In our last post we spoke about building your custom dream ring, so this time we’ll talk about the diamond your ring will showcase.

Over the past decade, the predominant cuts typically sold have been Round Brilliant and Princess Cut. But  with this newfound affinity to express ourselves in unique ways, we’re seeing a resurgence in a variety of “fancy cuts”, such as the Cushion Cut, the Oval, and the Emerald Cut; we’ll call these fancy cuts from this point forward. That being said, few people know that these cuts come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, some of which are more appealing than others.

Here are a few differences

Fancy cuts don’t have set proportional guidelines; however, some proportions are known to be more appealing than others. For example, a Round Brilliant cut is round. A circle is easy to objectify: is it perfectly round? Yes or No? Same goes for a Princess cut: is it square? Yes or No? On the other hand when we talk about an Oval there’s no set standard: some are narrower, some are fatter, etc. The possibilities are endless. Same goes for Cushion and Emerald cuts (and any other fancy cuts).

So what’s the secret? 

Oval Shape RatiosFind a jeweller you can trust and have him/her show you a few different diamonds. Compare them and talk about what you like and dislike about each. There’s always Marquise Cuts - Shapesone that’ll be most appealing to your eye. The interesting thing about this exercise is that the diamond you find most appealing will be found most appealing by 99% of us. It’s subconscious! Our brain responds by giving us a good feeling when we see something appealing to our eyes. Look at the picture of the Oval cuts and the Marquise cuts, and before reading on, choose which ones looks more appealing to you:

99% of you said the third from the left for either picture. You can repeat the same exercise for all fancy cuts. Some differences are subtle, but seen side-by-side your brain clicks on the most appealing shape every time. In fact, the most appealing shapes are typically more valuable as well. Therefore, and most importantly, don’t base yourself on the grade of a lab report…you have to see the diamond! A lab report won’t tell you whether the diamond is appealing or not, only your own eyes can tell you the truth.

So come and get those fancy shapes and make your custom dream ring a reality!

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

The Difference Between Diamond Lab Reports – Part II

Last week we wrote about a recently conducted study which aimed at comparing the differences in grading standards between different diamond labs. Essentially, the conclusion was overwhelmingly clear that certain labs Lab Reportshave extremely lax standards which often showing variances as much as four grades on either clarity, color, or even cut. Although results may vary from time to time, this study was more a question of the consistency in grading from each lab.

But what does this mean for you? Here’s your answer.

Diamonds are valued based on wholesale price lists. These lists give average diamond prices based on their grade. As you can imagine, there can be a significant difference in value between two diamonds of  different grades. To make this clearer, let’s compare the results of one of the tests shown in our last article and compare what the differences in value would be.

Lab Report Test10

GIA: The full retail replacement value of the diamond using the grade on the GIA lab report would be $9300.00.

EGL Israel: The full retail replacement value of the diamond using the EGL Israel lab report would be $15,100.00.

That being said, even at a significant discount, the same diamond using the EGL lab report is tremendously overpriced. It should be noted that diamonds with EGL lab report are also discounted at the wholesale level, but in the end, the retailer and the consumer has increased odds of overpaying; and typically, they do.

Diamond GradingDoes this mean you shouldn’t buy diamonds because they have an EGL lab report? Not at all. However, a trusted jeweller is one who discloses these types of inconsistencies and shows you what the diamond really is, and then evaluates it for what it’s really worth. Moreover, a trusted jeweller should be using a standard more consistent with GIA’s standard and isn’t afraid to get a diamond properly graded if he/she doesn’t agree with a report.

Always remember:

–          A lab report does not tell you whether a diamond is beautiful or not.

–          Two diamonds with the same grade can have very different valuations.

–          Lab reports are strictly opinions, not certifications.

Kind regards,

 

The La Mine d’Or Family

The Differences Between Diamond Lab Reports – Part 1

A recent study was done regarding the differences between different labs and their diamond grades. If you’ve ever spoken to us or read our blog, you’ll know that we constantly advocate that no two diamonds are created equal, and that even though two diamonds can be graded exactly the same on paper, one can be worth twice as much as the other just by the way it looks. That being said, not all labs are created equal either.

Just like different jewellers have different standards, different labs have different standards as well. In this study, ten diamonds were sent to the same group of labs for grading. Here are the results.

Lab Report Test 1 and 2

Lab Report Test 3

 We’ll refrain from posting every single result; however, if you’re interested in seeing the entire set of results, please email us at info@laminedor.ca. But just in case you’re not yet convinced at the differences in consistency between these labs, have a look at the following results:

Lab Report Test10

It’s important to understand that lab reports are only opinions; just because a stone is graded by GIA as an SI1 clarity, F color, and excellent cut doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a nice stone. You have to see it.

Moreover, every jeweller has their standards. He/she should be able to show the differences between each diamond you’re selecting and then be able to properly explain the differences in value for each. In the end, you make the choice with a full understanding of the diamond you’re purchasing.

In Part II of this series, we’ll be talking about the differences in value which can be caused by inaccurate grading and what that means for you.

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.

Silver1

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.

Silver3

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