How can you be priced more favourably than the high street?

Our prices are for hand-made, bespoke jewellery and not off the shelf items commonly found in the high street or internet based businesses. Despite our jewellery being hand-made and unique for you, comparative items with similar metals and jewels are often more expensive on the high street or internet retailers. This is due to their high advertising and property costs as well as middle-men dealers – which we don’t have. We buy our precious stones direct from the Worldwide Diamond Market and manufacture all our designs in-house.

Do you rework old pieces of jewellery or precious stones such as hand-me-down rings or heirlooms etc. that we can reuse?

Yes. We love that. We like to breathe new life into older, sentimental pieces of jewellery and give them a fresh, contemporary or a well made traditional look. Furthermore, we are able to re-cut diamonds and precious stones to make them ‘as new’ for your new design. Contact us to find out more.

Buying a diamond ring? – What to look out for…

Most people when thinking about buying a piece of diamond jewellery, can simply go online and read about the basics and the 4Cs:
Carat: The size or mass of the stone, which is a very straight forward measurement.
Clarity: The amount of inclusions or flaws in a diamond.
Colour: The range of how white or how yellow a diamond is.
Cut: How well the diamond has been cut with reference to proportions (round brilliant only), polish and symmetry.

At Blair and Sheridan, we like to give our clients more in-depth information and advice on what types of stones to buy. With this information, we can source the appropriate diamonds direct from the Worldwide Diamond Market.

For Clarity, we advise to go for diamonds that are around the VS to good SI categories (very slightly included to slightly included). The reasons for this are multifactorial. Firstly, you will seldom see any inclusions with your naked eye. You will require a level of experience looking at diamonds through a loupe (10 x magnification) to see any inclusions. Secondly, the difference in price at market between a VS2 / SI1 compared to a Flawless / VVS is vast and can account for as much as £1000 for a similar size / quality of diamond. This can allow clients to focus on a better colour or cut of diamond.

For Colour, we advise our clients to go for diamonds that are colourless (D-F) to near colourless (G-H minimum). To the trained and untrained eye, this is often the most noticeable of the ‘C’s. A yellowish tinge to a diamond lessens it’s quality and lessens its value in the diamond market. It is the presence of nitrogen atoms that are slightly bigger than carbon atoms that give diamonds their yellow colour. However, if a diamond has a very intense yellow colour, these are very rare stones and command a high price at market. These diamonds are called Type 1b and have a very high presence of nitrogen that absorbs green and violet visible light. The result is a very bright yellow, yellow-orange or orange colour.

For Cut, we advise our clients to go for diamonds that are good, very good or excellent proportions, polish and symmetry. This is the only true human element that can influence a diamond’s value. If a diamond is cut poorly, it will be a ‘dead’ stone with poor light qualities. If a diamond is cut well it will have good brilliancy, dispersion and scintillation. In plain speaking, the diamond will have ‘life’. Computers are not as good as humans for cutting diamonds. Computers have an inability to ‘feel’ the grain of a diamond which is essential when making each individual facet. Every diamond we sell at Blair and Sheridan has been cut by humans to ensure the best quality for our clients.

For more information about buying a diamond, please give us a call for expert advice.
https://www.blairandsheridan.co.uk/contact-us/

What are the differences in the precious metals used for jewellery making?

PLATINUM

This is the most exclusive and costly precious metal. It is very robust and has a uniform grey / silver colour that can be polished to a bright finish or brushed to a matt finish. In a finished jewellery piece, the maintenance involved with platinum is minimal. It does not tarnish and does not require to be rhodium plated. It is an ideal choice for a ring where there may be regular contact with other day to day objects. Like all precious metals, platinum will be susceptible to superficial scuffs and scrapes, but these can be easily polished out.

GOLD

In the U.K. gold tends to be made into jewellery in either a 9kt or 18kt alloy. In real terms this equates to 37.5% or 75% gold content respectfully. The remaining percentages are made up of other metal elements to give the jewellery strength or a particular colour. 24kt gold is far too soft to be used in jewellery and needs to be alloyed in this way. Broadly speaking gold can be best described in the following terms: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and red gold. It is a superbly versatile precious metal and can be used in many aspects of bespoke jewellery design to give a particular look. 18kt gold sits just below platinum in terms of price and 9kt gold is positioned below this due to its lower gold content. Gold is also an ideal metal to work with when remodelling jewellery as it can be melted down easily and reworked into a different design. White gold is usually rhodium plated in finished jewellery to give it bright lustre. Over time white gold, particularly in rings, requires to be re-rhodium plated. This may even be as frequent as every year depending usage.

PALLADIUM

This is the newest of the precious metals to be given Hallmarking status. The Edinburgh Assay Office recognised it as so in 2001. It is part of the platinum group of metals and has an almost identical colour, melting point, lustre and hardness. The two most recognisable differences between platinum and palladium is its price and density. Palladium is less dense and less expensive than platinum. Palladium is a very popular metal used at Blair and Sheridan. When our clients are designing a ring to a specific budget it can allow for more costs to be applied to a higher quality centre stone(s).

Do I need insurance for my jewellery?

It is advisable that you have insurance for your jewellery. Some customers simply name it as a specific item on their home contents insurance. However, depending on your policy, your jewellery item may not be properly insured. i.e. you may not be guaranteed a like for like replacement if your item is lost, damaged or stolen. To avoid this scenario, many of our customers take out separate specialist insurance for jewellery. We can guide you on this and give you the necessary information required. In addition, all jewellery that we make for our customers comes with a valuation certificate for insurance purposes to give you the adequate cover.

How long does it take for my jewellery to be made?

We will work closely with you to have your piece ready for a mutually agreed deadline. Each jewellery item requires hours of work, from the meticulous positioning of each diamond and coloured gemstone to the creation of your unique setting. The production of your bespoke piece of jewellery will normally take around four to six weeks from design approval.

What is the process for creating a bespoke piece of jewellery?

We’ll work with you throughout the whole process to create your stunning piece of unique jewellery. We’ll also make it as easy as possible, providing all the advice and guidance you need. Whether you have an idea of a design or not, we’ll work with you to agree on one. We have many examples and styles to inspire you as well as computer-aided design software to help you visualise your future piece. We’ll help and advise on precious metals and precious stones, and explain the whole process. Only once you’re delighted and ready to proceed will we take your idea from design concept to production, and keep you up-to-date on the production process. It won’t be long before your beautiful, unique, hand-made item is ready for collection or delivery.

How do you work out your prices?

Our pricing is straightforward. Once we ascertain what you are looking for, we will cost everything out for you. We always work to our customers’ agreed spending limit. In the majority of instances if you are set on a particular style of design we can usually achieve this by adjusting the type of precious metal and precious stones that we use. Whether our customers are spending a few hundred or a few thousand pounds, the amount of work that goes into each piece is very similar. The only variables are the materials that we use, hence why our items of jewellery can be priced differently.

I can’t see any prices on your website?

All of our work is hand-made, bespoke and made to individual requirements, so it’s difficult to give standard prices for such unique jewellery. The final pricing varies depending on the design, precious metals and choice of precious stones required. We do have some example prices for items that are currently in stock. Furthermore, there are prices for items that reflect the cost for making them at the moment. You can view this on our jewellery prices page. As all of our work is specially commissioned to our customers’ requirements and budgets of previous designs, it’s difficult for us to provide exact prices for any future work until we have exact specifications. This is because precious metals and stones can vary in price for similar looking designs. The prices of commissions differ greatly depending on what metal and quality, size and type of stones are used. Each enquiry is dealt with and quoted on a one-to-one basis.

How do I know what kind of diamond I am getting?

All our diamonds, unless stated, are bought directly from the Worldwide Diamond Market. This means that you will get the best value diamond for your money that you possibly can. There are no middle men taking a commission as we get our gems directly and specifically for you.

Are your diamonds conflict-free diamonds?

Yes. We guarantee that all our diamonds are 100% natural and conflict-free.

Is my jewellery Hallmarked?

All our jewellery is Hallmarked in the UK.

Can I see my diamond/precious stone before it is set in the jewellery?

Yes. As we source our diamonds and gems specifically for you – unless we have one in stock that you love – you’ll see the diamond/gemstone and we’ll explain all of its unique characteristics and grade before we set it in your item.

What payment options do you offer?

We have finance options available to our customers. This offers the flexibility of commissioning or buying a piece of jewellery from us and spreading out the costs. Customers may wish to pay in part for their jewellery with the option of financing the balance if that is their preference also.

Is your jewellery guaranteed?

Yes. We offer a year’s guarantee on craftsmanship. In addition to this all our larger centre diamonds are certified either by GIA, HRD or IGI. In addition all our items are Hallmarked.

Can you make a wedding band to fit and compliment my existing engagement ring?

Absolutely, yes. We are expert jewellery designers and take pride in the fact we can craft any design and shape to suit you, your budget and any existing requirements. We have vast experience in creating wedding bands that enhance and compliment engagements rings.