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Category: London Jewellery Boutique

  1. The Cheapside Hoard - The Lost Jewels

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    I had the pleasure of visiting the Cheapside Hoard Exhibition at the Museum of London this week and what a treat it was!

    This is the first time the ‘lost jewels’ have been shown in their entirety for nearly a century and it still remains a complete enigma as to whom these treasures belonged.

    The hoard of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery was unearthed by workmen in the cellar of a Cheapside house in 1912. It was then handed over to a character known as Stoney Jack Lawrence. Lawrence was an antiques dealer who also held a job as Inspector of Acquisitions at the then London Museum. He was well known to the navvies working in London at the time, as he would exchange any trinkets and ‘old rubbish’ unearthed during house demolitions for the price of half a beer.

     

    The Cheapside Hoard

      

    So, it was in this manner that this find of incalculable value was discovered. 

    For me to try and describe some of the craftsmanship in this breathtaking collection would do it an injustice. It really does have to be seen with your own eyes.

    The sheer beauty of the long hidden pieces, combined with the mystery of it’s original owner and how it came to be lost/hidden, all makes for an enchanting tale. The curators of the exhibition have done a fantastic job of setting the scene for the period in during which the jewellery would have been crafted. Allowing you to imagine what London would have been like at this time, as well as learning about the gemstones the construction of the adornments and who would have worn them.

    Magical and educational, this really shouldn’t be missed. It has something for everyone whether you’re a jewellery diehard or not! 

    The Cheapside Hoard at the Museum of London runs until 27th April 2014.

    Entry fees available here http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/cheapside-hoard-londons-lost-jewels/
  2. What you need to know about the 4c's...

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    Rivoir Ring

    The 4c's are a universal grading system for diamonds that is in place to keep consistency within the diamond industry. Developed by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), diamonds purchased within jewellers often come with a GIA certificate describing the diamond in terms of the 4c's.

    Colour

    GIAColorScale_2014_636x200

    • The less colour, the higher the value

    This of course refers to 'colourless' diamonds and not to fancy-coloured diamonds (pinks and blues) that lie outside of the colour scale discussed here. The scale refers to body colour of the diamond which may be completely lacking in colour (the ideal) or may feature hints of yellow or brown. The scale runs from D to Z, with D being completely colourless and Z exhibiting light colour. Even though the colour difference may be subtle it does have a profound impact on the value of the stone.

    Clarity

    GIAClarityScale_2014_636x200

    • Natural imperfections

    Diamonds are formed within the mantle of the earth and pushed to the surface during volcanic eruptions. A diamond completely free from inclusions or blemishes is quite rare and the clarity grade refers to the size, nature and location of these imperfections.

    Flawless-Internally Flawless (FL - IF) no inclusions are visible using a 10x lens, very rare

    Very, very slight inclusions (VVS1 – VVS2) difficult to see inclusions with 10x lens, excellent quality

    Very slight inclusions (VS1 – VS2) difficult to see inclusions with 10x lens

    Slight inclusions (SI1 – SI2) easy to find with 10x lens but difficult to see with naked eye

    Inclusions (I1 – I3) may be seen by naked eye

    Rose diamond ring

    Carat

    • 1 carat = 0.2 grams

    Carat is the unit of weight that is used for diamonds, it is not necessarily representative of it's size.  A small difference in carat weight can greatly affect the price of the diamond.

    Cut

    • The cut for a diamond has been mathematically pre-determined

    Diamonds have a complex relationship with light, cut too shallow the light falls straight through, cut too deep and the light struggles to reflect back to the eye, generally moving out of the side of the stone. Diamonds have optimum angles that they must be cut at to produce maximum brilliance and dispersion – this is what gives them their sparkle!

    Cut grades are classified as:

    Excellent - Very Good - Good – Fair - Poor

     

    At Nude Jewellery we can source a variety of diamonds for your bespoke commission.  For information on bespoke diamond pieces or for general advice regarding diamonds please call our customer service advisors on 07957 371 254

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  3. What you need to know about the Mohs scale of hardness...

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    Invented by Friedrich Mohs, a German mineralogist, in 1812, the mohs scale of hardness is primarily used to assist in the identification of minerals. Offering a scale of 10 minerals varying from the very soft (talc) to the very hard (diamond), the scale can be useful within jewellery to determine what the gemstone can be used for:

    ie is a certain gemstone too soft for everyday wear in a ring?

    Can two gemstones be set next to each other without damaging the other?

    The idea is that each mineral listed on the scale has the ability to scratch the stones poistioned below it, or to be scratched by the stone in the position above.

    So, diamond can scratch all stones positioned 1-9 as diamond is the hardest mineral. Topaz will not scratch corundum or diamond but it will scratch any stone positioned between 1 and 7.

    Below is a table breaking down the 10 minerals and the common substances that they are similar to with regards to hardness.

     

    Position Mineral Similar to
    1 Talc Fingernail
    2 Gypsum (amber)  
    3 Calcite (ivory) Copper Coin
    4 Fluorite (pearl)  
    5 Apatite (obsidian) Glass
    6 Feldspar (labradorite) Steel File
    7 Quartz (amethyst, citrine)  
    8 Topaz  
    9 Corundum (ruby, sapphire)  
    10 Diamond  

     

    It is worth noting that this scale of hardness is not linear. The difference in hardness between corundum and diamond is not the same as the difference between talc and gypsum. Also, minerals within the same position can still scratch each other.

    For further information or for advice on gemstones please call our customer service team on 0207 629 8999

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