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Polished Finish

November 11, 2011

When I am in my shop I quite often overhear the conversation of people looking in my window .one of the things I hear quite often is that my jewellery seems so dull compared with other jewellery shop window displays .What these people do not realise is that every time you polish an item you do so by removing the top layer of the surface of the piece
If you polish an item on a regular basics after a few polishes you will find that you are making the piece thinner and reducing its weight and even blurring the details of the design.
Now a days with the price of metals being so high it is very important that jewellery items maintain as much weight as possible as it is the principal factor in determining the value of a piece.
Creative Gold Jewellers has an in-house workshop all articles polished before they are put on display and any that has been purchased can be given a final polish at no addition cost it takes about twenty minutes and the pieces are finished to a mirror finish .

The Crown Jewels as used in the 1953 Coronation

October 21, 2011

British Horology History

October 5, 2011

Britain has a proud history of horology.The science of clocks and timekeeping.The first known mechanical clock in Europe was made in 1283 for the Dunstable Prioy Bedfordshire .Salisbury Cathedral is home to the oldest working clock in the world An iron mechanism built in 1386 which gains or loses only a quarter of an hour per day depending on the air temperature .
Perhaps the single greatest British contribution to timekeeping came from Jonn Harrison. A self- educated clockmaker who invented the first working ships chronometer [a scientifically accurate timepiece].
All sailors,whether they use a sextants and maps or global postioning satellites navigate by latitude and longitude.
As evey schoolchild was once told circles of latitude run horizontally around the world,while circles of longitude -or merdians -run vertically ,passing through the north and south poles.
Since the earliest sea voyages ,sailors have been able to locate latiude-their position north or south of the Equator- by the lenght of the day.the position of certain stars at night ,or the location of the sun at midday.
But working out longitude is much harder. To do so, a sailor needs two things- a fixed line of longitude,or home meridan, to act as reference point and a very accurate clock.
To find out longitude a navigator must compare the time aboard ship [worked out by the position of the sun]with the time at the home meridan.
An hours differance between local time and the time at the fixed meridan is the same as 15 degrees lonitude east or west.
The trouble was that in an era of pendulum clocks ,keeping acccurate time at sea,was impossible.The motion of the ship,changes in temperature,even the salty air, would cause a clock to slow down or speed up .
Without accurate navigation seafaring is obviously perlious, and only with accurate clocks could seafarers work out their longitude and navigate.
Harrison devoted his life to creating a watch that had no pendulum,needed no cleaning or lubrication and which kept accurate time no matter how rough the seas.
It took 40 years of battling with bureaucracy and rivals before his achievements were recongnised and he was awarded his rightful cash prize that from the admirallity in 1773.
His ships chronometer was accurate to 0.06 seconds a day made accurate navigation possible and in doing so saved countless sailors lives .

reproduced from the daily mail from an article by David Derbyshire

Identifying your Pearls

June 18, 2011

Your pearl necklace etc is made of one of five types of pearl this blog will help you to identify which. Firstly there is the NATURAL OYSTER pearl These are very rarely larger than 2.5mm in size this is because it is a very slow process for an oyster to produce a pearl & not all oysters produce a pearl
it is the result of a parasitic worm burrowing through the oysters shell once inside it sets off the oysters immune system which secretes a mucous solution of calcium carbonate to entombed the worm
As oysters rarely live longer than 4 years and the oyster may go several years before being attacked by the worm it explains why natural pearls are so small and valuable.
natural pearls were never going to be able to supply the high demand in the 1930s for pearl necklaces so the japanese seeing a niche market began to farm oysters they pioneered a technique of culturing the pearl by introducing into a young oyster a small glass bead that had been dipped in the slime secreted by the parasite worm the oyster reacts to the glass bead same way as if it is a worm .The oysters are kept in cages floating in inlets and bays around the Japanese coast line they are periodically inspected predators such as starfish are kept away after 3 years the oysters are bought into a sterile environment where the pearl is transferred to another oyster for a further growth period in this way with repeated changes quite large oyster pearls can cultured up to 12mm
Both natural and CULTURED PEARLS are spherical and when of a similar size the only sure way to distinguish one from the other is by x-ray which will clearly show the glass bead centre of a cultured pearl as opposed to entombed worm .
SIMULATED /man-made pearls are very easy to identify when rubbed along your front teeth they appear smooth whereas all shell-fish produced pearls are made of Nacre this has a rough gritty sandpaper feel when rubbed against your front teeth.
Now we come to the FRESH WATER MUSCLE pearls largely produced in China & Philippines lakes These pearls are not natural round they resemble rice crispy cereals The muscle can grow up to 12 pearls at a time making them very economical to produce in the past 15 years the chinese have begun to cultivate the muscles in the same way as the japanese in an effort to produce a more rounded pearls Thier best are almost indistinguishable for their oyster counterparts and command high prices but for the most part they have ridging marking and off centre shapes that makes them easy to identify as CULTURED FRESHWATER PEARLS these pearls are quite often dyed to reproduce the colour that can found in natural pearls as result of different locations having minor variations in their sea water chemical make up .

High Maintance Half Pearl Jewellery

June 18, 2011

Half pearls have a limitted life span ! They begin to disintergrate from the inside after about 10 years The insides layers begin to turn back to powder and disapear leaving a thin outer coating of Nacre skin which evenutaly cracks into pieces and falls from it’s setting
Pearl is made out of calcuim carbonate which can not stand to be heated or emersed in sulphuric acid which is part of the standard soldering & cleaning process We can sometimes get round this problem by lazer soldering but quite often soldering repairs require the complete replacement of all the half pearl stones

WHITE GOLD the Myth and Reality

June 17, 2011

In the past few years White Gold Jewellery has been heavily promoted in ladies fashion magazines as the poor girls equivalent to PLATINUM . But it is anything but that !! platinum has a unique hardness and a resistance to heat it is extremely rare and therefore very expensive material to make jewellery from , It’s extreme hardness means that the metal can resist all wear and tear that a piece of jewellery might be subject too this is particularly important when it comes to setting stones . The last thing you want to do is to lose a valuable gemstone because of a weak or damaged claws .that is why many of the best diamond rings have an 18 carrat gold shank and a platinum collet. White Gold has none of these properties if anything it is softer than its Yellow Gold equivalent . White Gold is [white] because the yellow gold has had silver added to it to make the required 9ct or 18ct alloy and anyone who can remember their painting lessons in junior school that when you mix white paint and yellow paint  together you get off white to cream colour depending on the proportions therefore when you do the same with metal you get similar results an off white colour ! So why does White Gold look so different in the shop windows ? The answer is that the item of jewellery has been covered in a layer of very expensive RHODIUM which is the first cousin to CHROMUIM that used to give a mirror finish on car bumpers and trim in the 50’s and 60’s . Like chromium plaiting with time the Rhodium plaiting is subject to wearing away and instantly should the item needed to be heated to carry out a jewellery repair Therefore not only will the customer have to pay for the price of the soldering repair but will also have to pay to have the item replaited with rhodium if the white appearance is to be retained . This makes White Gold jewellery far more expensive to maintain then their yellow gold equivalent . If you want to have jewellery in a white metal colour and you can’t afford Platinum then buy your jewellery in silver instead ! after all you could always pay a bit extra and have the piece Rhodium plaited and it will look exactly the same as a piece made in White Gold .              author Clive Gilbert

The different sorts of watch batteries

June 13, 2011

After reading a comment posted about batteries I thought it was important to explain about the different sorts of batteries that can be purchased and thier suitablity . The main watch battery used in the watch trade is made containing SILVER OXIDE it is the battery of choice as when it has expired it is inert and will not discharge a silver oxide battery will have an 18 month life span inside a watch with a cheap quartz movement the same battery will last up to 36 months when fitted into a watch with a quality movement such as OMEGA or TAG LONGINES etc .
The next battery we must discuss are LITHUIM batteries these can store more energy so that they can often last up to 5 years beteween battery changes they tend to be fitted in watches that are large in size tend to be digtal and are most often sports design or have a light up dial.
Lithuim battery are also inert when they expire but must be disposed of very carefully as the lithuim is highly toxic and can be released if the battery is crushed.
The third battery we encounter in the jewellery trade is the ALKALINE type although this supplies compareably output of energy and costs a fraction to produce as that of a silver oxide battery it is to be avoided at all costs !!!
ALKALINE battery when they run out of energy begin to sweat a white discharge which will Ruin your watch.
It is not worth the money you saved buying the watch battery if it is going to destroy your watch with its discharge.You have been warned  Clive Gilbert

Watch batteries

March 17, 2011

If you are not going to use your watch for some time and it is quartz, you can save the battery by pulling out the button stem. This will stop the watch from working.
It is good practice to store the watch in an airtight plastic bag. This will stop any dust getting into the case which is particularly important with mechanical watches that are more vulnerable to dirt stopping the mechanism. Gold & Silver case watches never fit together that tightly so it is easier for dust to get inside the case than any other watch.