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Our new monthly blog”Romancing the Stone”

Lisa and Paul

We came across Debra’s website quite by chance and immediately knew she was the woman for us. Debra is clear, direct and an awesome creator – and all that made her super easy to work with. We wanted wedding rings that were special, well considered, expertly created, and crafted by someone we really respected. After all, we’re planning to wear these every day for the rest of our days and wanted someone who would really put a lot of energy into our jewelry.

My husband loved one of Debra’s rings at first sight, so he was an easy fix…me, a little more complex (!). After just a few emails back and forth (we’re not in Dunedin), Debra sent through a design concept and I loved and we were full steam ahead. We found out part way through the design process that we were expecting twins, so we wanted five little gems to symbolise each member of our little family. I wanted a ring that complemented my husband’s – but in a subtle way – so Debra incorporated some of the texture from his ring onto the back of mine. I’d shown Debra a photo of a ring I wear daily from another awesome NZ designer, and she was somehow able to *seemingly magically* pull together my eclectic tastes and interests to create a ring which is just perfect! It’s practical for home life with three small children, and for running and mountain biking, yet also timeless and whimsical and girly. We couldn’t be more delighted to have worked with Debra. Such an easy and delightful process – even from afar!


Australian sapphire prices are about to rise dramatically

Australia has had a reputation for top quality Sapphires for a long time. Sri Lankan and kashmir Sapphires take the prestigious top place for their beautiful quality sapphires but Australian sapphires have been popular to those in the know because of their deep blue colours and general good quality.Australian Sapphire Prices Are Set To Boom.

Stock Supply

Australian supply of sapphires is small compared to many international gemstones. Many Australian mines have closed down since 1990 when more treated gems were marketed in Asia. The Australia Sapphire could not compete against the price of these treated stones.

Sapphire mines in Madagascar, who supply the majority of the worlds Sapphires, until 10 years ago have been exhausted and old stocks have already been sold. Production of Sapphire in this region is now limited

Sir Lanka has also not increased production and Gem guide tracking shows prices have increased 20-30% per annum since 2011.

Kashmir blue sapphires have already increased 100% in price due to low availability of this deep blue sapphire.

We are now at a cross roads where demand overtakes production. No large sapphire mines have been started and all countries including Brazil now have high environmental studies to complete before production. With current requirements it can take up to 5 years to bring new mine into production.

Chinese Demand

This new emerging market does appreciate deep blue Sapphires and could greatly increase price of Australian blue sapphires.Chinese buyers have steadily increased since 2011. Originally they purchased yellow and parti sapphires but now they prefer deep blue colours.

In 2015 Chinese buyers were strong but they have slowed down recently with strong Anti Corruption Policies being rolled out in China. This  lead to many rich Chinese having stopped or slowed down buying expensive items.

However with hundreds of millions of middle class now emerging from the farming sector it is obvious that demand pressures will build up rapidly for sapphires.

The bottom line is if you are thinking of having a custom sapphire ring made -do it sooner rather than later!


GIFTCARDS

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Gift cards are now available to purchase in ANY amount-they can be sent online or via post just ask!!!

They are valid for LIFE !!!


THE BIG DESIGN MARKET

I am super excited to be exhibiting once again at the Big Design Market ,in Australia.

I will be attending both the Sydney and Melbourne events ,and bringing a wide variety of work.

SYDNEY :25-27 NOV

MELBOURNE :2-4 DEC

http://www.thebigdesignmarket.com/

The Big Design Market is a three day design market featuring the very  best of Australian and overseas designers.

Over 200 stands selling goods ranging from fashion to Homewares.

A once a year event not to be missed!

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Tourism Dunedin do a video..

Tourism Dunedin do a video..

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Thanks for the cool vid Dunedin NZ!

 

https://www.facebook.com/DunedinNZ/videos/10154319781775090/?pnref=story


PRECIOUS -shop opens!

PRECIOUS -shop opens!

As you can see I don’t use the news section much on this site-mainly because it is a pain in the @ss to use!! But… I just opened a fabulous little shop in Port Chalmers Dunedin You have to come visit Hours are a bit variable-currently mainly weekends ,or just call to see if I am going to be in,027 201 4835 PRECIOUS-26A George St Port Chalmers Dunedin SOOOO EXCITING!!!


GEMS AND HARDNESS-‘What gems are good for everyday wear?

GEMS AND HARDNESS-‘What gems are good for everyday wear?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a gem for you jewellery piece.
I LOVE gemstones,so many choices,colours,cut..Sapphire,diamond,ruby-or more unusual like Alexandrite,sphene,Spinel.
Even garnet does not solely come in the jewellery store red,but Mali(vivid chartreuse ,Spessarite)bright orange),colour change,bi colour
Gemstones never fail to surprise me!

Often when gemstones are talked about their “hardness” is also mentioned,this is in basic terms how “scratch able” a stone is,and is something you should really consider when purchasing jewellery(especially things like wedding and engagement rings that may be subject to heavy wear).
This is deemed as the MOHS scale..No,no..Nothing at all to do with Homers drunken buddy in the Simpsons.
At the top is diamonds,followed by sapphires,two gems I thoroughly recommend for everyday”never take off” rings..But if your a little careful(unlike me!) a garnet or tourmaline will give you so many options at a cost effective price,or think moissonite ,the fabulous diamond replacement.

Diamonds are known for being one of the hardest substances on earth. A diamond is so hard it ranks as a 10 on the Mohs scale–the highest level of hardness. But what is the Mohs scale?

The Mohs scale (pronounced MOZE) rates the hardness of gems and minerals. The hardness of a stone indicates the stone’s resistance to scratching or how the surface of the gem will respond to contact with a sharp point. This differs from a gem’s toughness, which is defined by how well a gem can survive an impact or resist breaking, chipping or cracking.
Introduced in 1822, the scale originated when Friedrich Mohs chose ten minerals and assigned numbers to them based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one can be scratched by another. His studies resulted in the scale below, which is still used today.
When looking at the Mohs scale, it is important to remember that the difference in hardness between minerals, or the hardness numbers, is not actually equal, even though the minerals look to be equally spaced. The diamond is only one number away from the Corundum mineral (which includes rubies and sapphires), however it is many times harder then the gems in the Corundum family.
The Mohs scale helps to identify what makes a gem durable. The more durable a gem is, the more suitable it is for use in frequently worn jewelry.

Hardness
6-Apatite too soft for rings
6.5 -tanzanite,peridot
7 -amethyst,citrine,agate
7.5-garnet,amythest,morganite,tourmaline,rubellite
8-topaz,aquamarine,beryl,spinel
9-sapphire,moissonite,ruby
10-Diamond
Diamond Used in jewelry and cutting tools. Four times as hard as corundum.


Creating new jewellery from old jewellery

Creating new jewellery from old jewellery

Probably one of the most commonly asked questions I receive is”Can you reuse my old jewellery to create something new?”
Although I answer this in detail on the FAQ question page-often people seem to miss it!(lol)
However do check it out..
Anyway the quick answer is “yes”*( as long as it is gold) recycling silver or other metals is just not financially viable.
There are a few things to consider before we start..
This kind of work can be very labour intensive,and often more so than just starting from scratch .
Gems are carefully removed ,and the pieces weighed-this gives me an idea of how much more gold I will need to purchase to create the new piece.
As careful as I am occasionally old gems break or crack upon removal-I alway’s check first and if I see anything that bothers me contact you before proceeding- at the end of the day this type of work is entirely at your own risk ,since I cannot guarantee the history of the gems.
Commercially made jewellery can weigh very very little especially those mass produced -often people seem to expect I can somehow turn a couple of their old vintage rings into one of my VERY solid say wide bands but as clever as I am-I’m not Rumpelstiltskin (spelling?) and spinning gold(damn it!) is still something that evades me!
So don’t expect the redo to be a “cheap way” of creating something new-it’s not.
Gold after weighing is then assayed and refined -all this takes time and costs money.
This is more about SAVING -saving something special,a family heirloom,a tradition,a memory..You cannot put a price on that.
I can give you an idea on costs before you start-no obligation
Above is a recent ring I made.The old band symbolized family members with a birthstone set for each one-but one of the gems had fallen out and the ring was tired and old fashioned.
Recycling the gold I fused it on either side of the new ring and replaced the majority of the gems with new ones*(pointless using chipped worn gems in a new ring)-which has sterling through the middle.
The customer was overjoyed -here was a ring she could wear daily 🙂
Turning a draw full of unworn jewellery into something you wear EVERY day..Now that’s priceless!


HELP!!”My ring is giving me a nasty rash!!!”

WHY IS MY RING GIVING ME A RASH?
O.K…
Before you jump up and down,scream”I’ve been had!”,cry and slander your local jeweller to all and Sundry*(It happened to me recently)-there may be a few different reasons WHY your beautiful handmade ring is causing you such irritation.
This seems to happen to less than 1% of my clients-so put that in everyday terms that’s like once a year I get the dreaded phone call.
Many people have an allergy to Nickel-nickel is NOT found in sterling silver,but tends to be used in cheaper silver jewellery -especially imported pieces from Thailand and Mexico.
Nickel can be found in some white gold rings as well-so try to avoid low carat white gold if you have a problem with Nickel.
Sometimes it’s the COPPER in sterling silver that irritates-my husband has an allergy to that..First the ring goes black and leaves a green mark on his finger,over a few day’s the green mark goes red ,then “blisters’ if he continues wear.
BUT I”VE WORN SILVER RINGS BEFORE AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM?
-But peoples chemistry can change,just because you were fine once-heavy metals in the body,stress and often “toxic overload” can cause allergies.I’m not a doctor or a chemist -but diet and lifestyle changes may need to be looked at.
Often silver rings that are manufactured are RHODIUM plated-meaning they are dipped once finished in rhodium to keep them shiny…It’s a popular practise and that may be why the “cheap’ ring on your finger does not give you a rash -unlike the flash fella you just bought!
OTHER POSSIBILITIES?
Bacteria trapped under the ring-I think this can get caught sometimes in the “holes’ or just in the solder lines…
Clean the ring thoroughally in cloudy ammonia and detergent -with HOT water and an old toothbrush..Then dip in hydrogen peroxide*(check with your jeweller first!).
Clear nail polish painted on the inside of the ring often works just fine.
Is it too tight?If you have sensitive skin you need to consider this ,especially with a wide ring.
Speaking of which -do take your rings off REGULARLY -let the skin breathe ..
ON A FINAL NOTE..
Don’t panic,slag off the jeweller to all your friends..
Ring the jeweller(me) ASAP..We will try all we can to make things better.
I have just found a product on goggle that supposedly elimates this-I’m looking into it..Seems only available in the States and it’s a white clear gel you paint on the inside of your ring,that just peels off when you don’t want it there..
stay tuned!!!


“Can you use my old jewellery to make something new?”

…This is a question I’m often asked
It alway’s goes something along the lines of”Hi Debra I have an old ring of my Grandmothers-can you use the gold in it and the stones and set them into a new wedding ring for me?’
O.K. it may not be a wedding ring or even a ring for that matter-but it’s a question customers are often curious about.
Once upon a time I would have said “Yes’ to reusing the gems,diamonds-and “no” to the gold.Back then I did’nt have the knowledge or equipment to use your old gold-but now I can -however there are a few way’s and things to consider firstly before we go ahead.
I’ll try to explain it..
Yes,I can melt down your old gold and use that EXACT gold in a new piece.This is great especially if the original jewellery holds sentimental value.
*Keep in mind often there is’nt actually enough gold weight in old or antique jewellery,I will weigh your pieces to give me some idea,often we may need to add extra gold to achieve the complete piece.(my work is rather heavy compared to other jewellery)
When this happens I subtract the weight of your old jewellery off the weight of the new gold I’ve just purchased-this should save you a little.
Of course you still have to pay for all the work involved-so if your after a bargain-sorry..it ain’t like that!
Yellow gold is by far the easiest gold to reuse-rose can be also reused -but sometimes white gold has too many other things mixed *(such as platinum and silver)with it and then it has to be refined before using.
We can’t MIX gold carats or colours together unfortunately.
I’ll make all this perfectly clear before we start -with free quotes,estimates etc BEFORE we go gung ho into it!
So many examples are on my site -mainly rings these show how I’ve reset clients gems or diamonds.
Chandra,Elaine,are 2 such examples…
Some stones such as emeralds are just too soft to set into styles such as the EROSION rings-but we can claw set or bezel set.
The other day a customer ordered a BLACK DAHLIA ring,she bought in a few old gold chains she never wore,some rings,a pendant..In fact a right old collection of old golds in various carats.After much discussion we figured out she did not ACTUALly like gold and prefered silver…In that instance I bought the gold off her as scrap ,made her a $550.00 Black Dahlia ring-set with 3 small diamonds taken from one of the old rings.
That ring only cost her $50.00-due to her selling off her old gold as scrap.
So come talk to me sometime about the option -lets work together to create something AMAZING!!!!


Debra Fallowfield makes jewellery to fall in love with … Crafting every piece entirely by hand..