Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cocktail Hour

Jewellery is probably my favourite accessory. It doesn't matter how plain the outfit it can always be dressed up with some jewels. I grew up with a mother who was equally as obsessed as i am but, because it was the 80's and everyone was broke it was mostly costume stuff.

It's great to see the bigger design houses making a move towards costume jewellery. It's funny because on the one hand you have Gucci who are phasing out their silver in order to make the brand more exclusive, and then on the other you have Yves Saint Laurent producing pieces for as little as €125.

Top: four claw citrine ring. Unfortunately Lil's ring is currently being sized so this will just give you an idea. Bottom: Yves Saint Laurent ring also comes with white or pale blue stones. Available at Brown Thomas for €125.

Then, of course there is the vintage stuff. Now, as mush as i love vintage jewellery there is always the risk that you are paying way over the odds. Lil bought the most wonderfull 18ct yellow gold citrine ring in the Powerscourt Shopping Centre just a few weeks ago, and i might add she got it at a very good price.

Things to look out for when buying vintage rings;
1) Check the stamp. This is pretty basic. All metals are stamped, with the most common ones being 925 for silver, 375 for 9ct gold and 750 for 18ct gold.

2) Check the stone. If you are spending a lot of money, know your stone. For example Lil bought a citrine ring. What's a citrine? If you don't know the stone you're buying then you will not be very capable of judging the quality. All natural stone's have something called inclusions. These are natural marks in the stone. The higher the quality of the stone, the less inclusions that will be visible to the naked eye.

3) Check the setting. The setting is what the stones are set into to attach them to the band. Claws are what hold the stone in place. Always make sure that none of the claws are damaged or that the stone is loose as this is costly to repair and could result in loosing the stone.


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