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December 24, 2019

There are three types of opals  WHITE  OPALS  , FIRE OPALS  & BLACK OPALS they were all formed in similar ways  but vary in the location in which they are found   .They are all as a result of Cyanobacteria  that lived in shallow seas as far back as 371 million years ago. Over a matter times these bacteria formed colonies called Stromatolites  they adsorbed carbon dioxide from the water and expelled oxygen  . When they died as they rotted away they turned into sulfuric acid . As inland sea’s dried the bacteria would be killed off making the content of sulfuric acid more concentrated and in places it seeped through cracks in rocks  and mixed with grains of sand driven by gravity as the liquid worked its way downwards  it dried  out and solidified as opal crystals . The best quality of white opals was mined in Hungary but there was only small quantities. Fire Opal which are an orange red colour can be found in North America . The most common opal is white opal is found in the desserts of Australia centered a round a town called Coper Predy  The area is so hot that the miners  use their old digging sites as homes as it is much cooler several feet below ground .This town and its surrounding  have been used in two Mad Max films as a location  also for the Pitch Black movie . The most beautiful Opals are called Black Opals that show a great play of colour  .These stones are mined in another part of Australia  called Lightning Ridge  and the opals are formed in the narrowest of seems  . The Bizarre fact about opal know for its magnificent variations in colour .is that when viewed under a microscope the opals are in fact colourless  it is actual formed of  silicon beads stacked in layered lattice  . As light rays penetrate the stone to

different layers as the stone matrix varies and the light  gets broken into colours of the spectrum

FAIR TRADE GOLD is just a marketing ploy !

January 29, 2015

FAIR TRADE COFFEE and CHOCOLATE  are  genuine schemes  but I consider FAIR TRADE GOLD a marketing ploy I do believe that they do help poor miners get a fairer price for the gold that they find or mine , But newly mined gold is just a fraction of the gold used to manufacture new jewellery . A huge amount of gold used to make new Bullion Coins or Jewellery comes from the general public  sold back to Retail Jewellers or Scrap Buying Establishments and then passed on to the Bullion Dealers for refining . The same particles  of Gold have been endless recycled going back to the earliest  making of gold jewellery in prehistory  Goldsmiths were the worlds first recyclers two and half thousand years before the word was invented. Fair Trade is just a marketing ploy to get people who hold strong Green views to pay more money for a piece of Jewellery then they would otherwise for jewellery made of recycled gold which if anything is much more ethical and uses far less natural resources to produce.

Why do the wires on Brooches or peg fittings for Studs keep bending ? Answer M.E.P.s

January 29, 2015

Now a days both Brooches pins and stud wires keep bending out of shape  ten years ago the same thickness wire was nice and stiff  . This was because the wire used had a tiny quanity of NICKEL added to the alloy resulting in a rigid wire . Unfortunately the Members of the European Parliment  to justify their highly inflated saleries decided to vote for the total exculsion of Nickel from the production of ALL jewellery without properly reseaching the resultant drawbacks of their actionsl would have .Yet another case of the EUROPEAN PARLIMENT using a sledgehammer to crack a wallnut and getting it Wrong

Why we charge more to change a watch battery on a CHRONOGRAPH

January 24, 2015

I find that a lot of my customers have bought themselves CHRONOGRAPHS quartz watches without any knowledge of what the extra three dials do ! They want it because it looks flash with a complicated watch dial what they do not realize is that the three extra dials involve considerable extra working parts and circuitry inside . This extra circuitry uses the energy from the battery that much quicker than a normal basic quartz watch also the three extra dials need to be re-zeroed if the watch is to preform its secondary purpose of being a STOPWATCH recording accurately and separately HOURS. MINUTES & SECONDS . To do this I must past on the CHRONOGRAPH to my watch repairer and the charge is normally costs £20= as a posed to £6= for a basic quartz watch whose back is easy to remove and replace

Quartz ECO or KINETIC DRIVE ,Watches are a BAD IDEA !

January 24, 2015

ECO or KINETIC  DRIVE  QUARTZ WATCHES were heavily promoted as watches you would never need to buy a watch battery .and this is true up to a point because instead of batteries their power source whether it be Solar powered or by movement of an Auto Rotor the energy is instead stored in a CAPACITOR which is hard wired into the watches mechanism so is very expensive to replace and rarely has a life span longer than 12 years  the part will have to be specially ordered from the manufacture and may take several weeks to obtain . Normal QUARTZ watches depending on quality of the movement can have a watch battery last anything from 18 months to up to 36 months and normal can be changed while you wait and for a fraction of the cost of a replacement capacitor

People who are clumsy ,careless or lazy should not have Automatic Watches

January 24, 2015

Watches are categorized as to whether they are  Quartz or Mechanical the mechanical watches are further divided into manual wound and self winding or better know as AUTOMATIC these watch are quite bulky because they contain additional parts to a manual wind watch namely a ROTOR which is a semi circular weight that sits on top of the mechanism . Each time your wrist is moved it causes the Rotor to turn and this is connected to the watches mainspring and gives it a slight wind  .  Therefore if you a very inactive the Rotor will not get sufficient movement to keep the watch going . The Rotor is attached to the mechanism by an extremely thin linkage that is likely to break should the watch surfer impact damage therefore careless and clumsy  people should avoid owning Automatic Watches for them a much better choice would be quartz watches which have far fewer parts and are therefore drop resistant  . Should you want to know if your automatic watch has a broken Auto Rotor or not .If you hold the watch and move your arm as if you were holding a yo yo instead  If the rotor is OK  you will be able to feel and hear the Rotor rotate in side the watch case if you have broken the auto rotor pin it will not spin and you can probably feel and hear the Auto Rotor loose inside the case and now you are in for an expensive repair  You have been Warned !

How to keep the cost of Jewellery repairs down

January 23, 2015

The answer to this question is to avoid owning Lightweight or thin jewellery and specially the same made of high carrat gold ! The thinner or lighter  the piece  the harder the items is to repair, and therefore the more you are likely to be charged to fix it,  and also the easier it is to break in the first place. The higher the carrat of gold the greater the risk that part of the piece will get so hot when trying to repair that it can begin to melt before the solder has a chance to flow .Lightweight thin chains for example cannot be repaired with normal workshop soldering tools and have to be sent to Hatton Garden for a week where they can be repaired with a LASER . These machines are very expensive on average £25.000 each and there are only a few in London , they use vast quantities of electricity especial when  used to repair silver instead of  gold ,because silver has a property of dissipating the heat from the Laser almost as fast as it can be heated  . More substantial made jewellery is stronger therefore needs far less repair and is far easier for the Jeweller  to repair . Therefore the repair charge is Cheaper ! So in the long run heaver jewellery is much better choice .                                 written by Clive Gilbert  [with 40 years practical experience of repairing jewellery]laser repaier