Many men will have a lot more experience buying High Spec sports equipment, smart cars or the latest digital device, than they will ever have with fine jewellery. That doesn’t stop some of them going out and spending the equivalent of the deposit on an Aston Martin on an engagement ring without the first idea of what they are really spending their money on.
Unless you’ve done your research, when you take your shiny new bike out for its first ride you will discover all the things about riding it that the salesman in the shop never mentioned. You’ll be less impressed by its trendy colours and fancy stickers, but you will notice how hard it is to ride uphill due to its weight and even on the flat due to the thick off-road tyres that you don’t need.
So it is with engagement rings. There are many things you need to know before you make your final decision – you do not want to discover all the problems no-one told you about after you have made your purchase and she has the ring on her finger.
A keen cyclist will frequently upgrade his or her bike and become an expert on the latest gearing systems or lightweight frames and tyres. You don’t make a habit of buying engagement rings, so you are not likely to be an expert in that field, and there’s a lot to know.
So what might a jewellery sales person NOT tell you about that ring? Here are a few examples:
1. If you want a white metal 9ct ‘white’ gold and 18ct ‘white’ gold are not white at all – the white metal is rhodium, so they look the same, no-one could tell the difference and 9ct is better in almost every respect than 18ct. Check out this video
2. The lay person can’t tell whether a diamond is a GIA colour D or H when viewed in isolation, or that a GIA SI1 brilliant cut looks just as clear to the naked eye as much more expensive clarity. You don’t have to have a DVVS1 to have a good diamond and you can save a lot of money by trading down as long as you know what you are doing.
3. Don’t buy something just because it looks pretty – lots of designs which look good require a shaped wedding band and that doesn’t suit everyone.
AND if you ‘d like to know more – check out the Engagement Ring Handbook
As a jewellery designer specialising in creating unique bespoke rings I’m very keen on the ethical sourcing of the gold, diamonds and other gems I use.
Clients are often more concerned about how much something will cost than how it is produced, and many jewellers don’t even mention ethics. (They don’t want to question the credentials of their other jewellery, OR damage their profits.) But if people REALLY knew what went on, they would be more concerned about how their diamonds, emeralds, gold, rubies and sapphires got to their fingers.
What most people DON’T realise is that it can actually be more cost-effective to source ethical gems.
This ring is made with recycled gold and contains Canadian diamonds and Chatham lab created sapphires – with the same physical, chemical and optical properties as the ones that come out of the ground. It also has the clarity of a top quality mined ceylon blue AND no questionable labour practices are involved. What’s more – it’s about 1/5th of the cost!
The client was thrilled, because his wife got the look she wanted and he could afford the price tag. And I’m pleased there is one more ethical ring in the world.
So for anyone who wants something special and different, who may or may not worry about children going down mines, but who does worry about the household budget, good quality Lab Created gems could be the answer.
It was so good to meet so many new faces at Balham Nightingale BNI this morning. I hope we will see you all again soon Marina Peyton-Jones of the Daily PA; Morris Walkden of Wimbledon IT; Polly Hand, Chiropractor; Patrick from Chiro London in Tooting; Martin Life Coach; Lucinda Peyton-Jones Holistic Heath
After recently selling a property in Australia I needed to move some Aussie dollars to the UK. Through Karl Greenhill, I learnt of Argentex, a company specialising in foreign currency exchange.
Karl put me in touch with Frances who was exceptionally helpful (and thankfully, persistent!) in explaining how Argentex trades, how to set up an account and how the deal would take place. Once we agreed on a trade figure, the whole process was really straight forward. Frances arranged the deal with a broker and before I knew it, the trade had taken place and my money had landed in the UK.
Frances was available to handle my queries every step of the way and in the end, I was very pleased with the service provided. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to trade currencies with Argentex again and would happily recommend their services to others.
Many Thanks, Tanya Nicholas, London SW11
Testimonial for Lucy Holman
It was about a month before Christmas and I was feeling totally overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do before the end of the year. I had a meeting with Lucy and I was instantly impressed with her abilities, organisational skills and flexible approach administrative work.
I engaged Lucy to help with a variety of tasks, which included data entry, producing letters, reports and creating a new client filing system. Lucy was super efficient, never complained that a job was too small, too dull or too boring and was an absolute pleasure to deal with. She was completely up front with how long each task was taking, so I know how much time she had spent, she was also able to make suggestions on how to improve a process which was extremely helpful.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Lucy to anyone who needs a bit of organisation in their life and help with the admin.
Lucy enabled me to meet all my deadlines before Christmas making the festive season a little less stressful.
Claire Powell, HR Specialist. January 2016
We live in a Victorian maisonette with narrow steep stairs and have just installed an extra room in the roof with access via an even narrower steeper staircase. Belmonde Removals helped me to get the place feeling like a home again rather than a place to camp after the building work was completed.
Cicero and his team collected everything from Big Yellow, all carefully wrapped and covered and worked tirelessly to get everything in place within a couple of hours, also helping me to get some large, heavy and very unwieldy items up into loft storage – not an easy or pleasant task.
All cheerfully and expertly completed and not a mark on the new carpets either!
I highly recommend Belmond removals to anyone who is moving home or possessions.
Testimonial for Martin Haughey Electrics from Ben Colenutt
I recently engaged Martin Haughey of Martin Haughey Electrical to provide a report on the condition of my household electrics.
My property is around 100 years old and the fuse board isn’t much newer.
Martin arrived first thing and worked tirelessly until mid-afternoon checking every circuit in my property, and most of the points/sockets/lights/switches individually.
Highlighting several issues with the lighting circuits, including a switch which tended to give the user an electric shock (which Martin replaced free of charge there and then) I was provided with a comprehensive 6 page report on the condition of the electrical systems.
Martin took the time to explain in detail his findings and the contents of his report, and explained what steps I needed to take to make the system safe as well as what further steps would be advisable
I found Martin approachable throughout the process and was amazed at the time and effort he put into the testing.
When reporting his findings Martin was thorough but did not try and swamp me in technical data but made the results easy to digest and understand.
I would recommend Martin’s testing service to anyone and everyone that owns their home, especially those with children as it is so important to make sure the necessary safeguards are in place.
Ben Colenutt, Solicitor
After finishing our loft conversion we needed the whole flat recarpeting.
Ali and his brother Ahmed were very helpful and we chose a lovely wool carpet from their stock to be laid throughout the flat. They came to measure up very promptly and gave us an excellent quote for the carpet and top quality Tredaire underlay.
Ali and his team turned up promptly on the designated day and worked their socks off to get it all done in the day, moving furniture and working the carpet around the tricky base of our new staircase.
I can thoroughly recommend Ideal Carpets for service, quality and price.
I would like to recommend Ashley Green for his fantastic Zumba classes that he offers three times per week at the Bedford in Balham.
The classes are well organised and very well attended and the booking process was simple and straightforward.
Ashley leads the group by example and his enthusiasm is infectious. He generates a brilliant atmosphere in the venue and exuberant dancing takes place.
He teaches the steps clearly and the class were able to follow easily.Not only is it great exercise – I felt brilliant after the class – but it’s also great fun. I can thoroughly recommend Ashley Green’s Zumba classes and would urge others to attend.