Top Tips on Choosing a Vintage Engagement Ring

So you’re set on proposing to your special someone and your plan is coming together – the flowers, the date and even the restaurant. You’re ready to make your commitment official and now all that’s left to do is buy a beautiful diamond engagement ring from a reputable jeweller like https://carusjewellery.com/.

Luckily, you already know your partner adores vintage rings. Half the struggle of choosing the right engagement ring is already over when you know what style your partner prefers. You only need to choose the best looking vintage engagement ring and you’re ready to pop the question.

vintage engagement rings - diamond ring on a grey background

Few of us are experts at shopping for vintage engagement rings so here are some tips you may find useful.

Shopping for Vintage Engagement Rings

You will also find vintage and certified diamond rings in the UK from Serendipity Diamonds. Not only do they have a great selection, but they also have a wonderful customer service that makes your shopping experience much easier.

Check the durability 

The ring may be vintage but there’s no excuse for it to break after just a few years of wearing. Check the durability of the engagement ring. It should hold just as well as modern rings.

The great news is that most vintage engagement rings are made with sturdy materials. This was back when mass-produced rings weren’t popular yet and artisans actually took the time to craft jewellery. Quality materials were used to build handmade rings back then.

The setting should not be loose 

Some vintage rings, because they are old, can have loose stones in them. Check if the ring’s stones are firmly held together by the setting. If not, you can have it re-set at the jeweller so it holds tight as if it’s brand new again.

A return policy is a must

If you’re buying the vintage engagement ring online, checking the return policy is a must. You never know when you need to return the ring. It could be because your special someone may want to get it replaced or it’s not what you thought it would be like in person. Whatever it may be, a good return policy is always needed in case you need to return the ring.

All the 4 Cs are estimated

Because vintage rings are already intact, you most likely won’t be able to get a true valuation for your ring. Most jewellers won’t be willing to disassemble a vintage ring simply because you want to know the clarity. Instead, you will be given an estimate of the cut, clarity, and colour of the ring.

A sensible approach is to begin narrowing down your choices at reputable jewellery shops known for providing an accurate valuation for their rings. This helps take off the worry of whether the price you are being asked to pay is reasonable.

vintage engagement rings - two white gold wedding rings on an order or service

Consider the metal used in the wedding band

Vintage engagement rings often stand on their own which means it may be a challenge to find a band with a metal that will go best with your vintage engagement ring.

If you appreciate the beauty of hers and hers wedding rings and plan to get one for your partner, you can wear it on the hand that doesn’t have the vintage engagement ring on it. It keeps the integrity of the vintage engagement ring without neglecting the wedding band which symbolises the union of your love.

Those are just some of the things to keep in mind when shopping for vintage engagement rings. I hope these tips help. And if things come to worst and your partner doesn’t like your choice, remember that return policy!

What other tips do you have for choosing a vintage engagement ring? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Beautiful Mother’s Day Jewellery From Thomas Sabo

As you know it is Mother’s Day this Sunday and if you are looking for a beautiful gift for your mum or nan, I have the perfect piece of Mothers Day jewellery for you from Thomas Sabo.

Mothers Day jewellery - Thomas Sabo Together Forever Heart Link Necklace

Thomas Sabo Together Forever Heart Link Necklace – £99

My mum doesn’t wear much jewellery but she does treasure the pieces she has been given as gifts over the years from my father, sister and I so we try to give her something a little bit special and which is made to last.

Thomas Sabo has been making beautiful high-end silver jewellery since 1984 and the brand has developed an international reputation for its hand-finished creations.  Personally, I prefer silver over gold because I think it accessorizes better with the darker colours I like to wear.

Mothers Day jewellery - Thomas Sabo Together Forever Heart Link Necklace

I was sent the Thomas Sabo Cubic Zirconia Together Forever Heart Link Necklace which features a simple white zirconia heart intertwined into a ring engraved with the words “Together Forever”, a lovely sentiment which would work for mums or as any romantic gift.

The Together Forever range includes rings, earrings and bracelets too with some of the more expensive pieces containing real diamonds.

Made in silver and fastened with a lobster claw clasp, Thomas Sabo says this heart link necklace is designed to represent an eternal bond between you and your loved one.

I found it be well made, easy to fasten and delicate, feminine design.  It also comes in a chic black Thomas Sabo presentation box.

You’ll also find a gorgeous range of Thomas Sabo charms and charm bracelets which is a great idea for a gift that can grow over time.  Once you have your bracelet, your family and friends could give you a new charm on special occasions that means something special to both them and you.

Mothers Day Jewellery - Thomas Sabo Heart Link necklace in presentation box

 

Mothers Day jewellery - Linda wearing the Thomas Sabo Together Forever Heart Link Necklace

You can find more Mothers Day jewellery gifts in the Thomas Sabo brand store.

Does your mum have a special piece of jewellery she always wears?

*I was gifted a Thomas Sabo necklace for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review: Anthony James Of London Ladies Belgravia Watch

If you are still looking for an elegant gift for her, this simple, stylish watch would fit the bill nicely.

The Ladies Belgravia watch by Anthony James of London has a pink dial and a rose gold case.  The strap is in minimalistic gold steel and there are Swarowski crystals at 12, 3,6 and 9 o’clock to add sparkle.

Anthony James of London Ladies Belgravia Watch - simple, stylish watch

This is an ultra quiet, low maintenance watch with no bells and whistles, just a simple bezel to alter the time. The design is simple, yet classy and would suit both casual, evening and business wear.

Anthony James of London are World renowned watch makers and produce the official timepieces for both the Scottish Champions Celtic and Premier Division Club Newcastle United and they have over 40 years’ experience of watch making.

The watch comes in a simple grey and black presentation box with Anthony James of London on the front.  I felt the quality of the box could be improved upon slightly as the branding was a little faded, however, it is perfectly serviceable.

There is one issue with the watch, however, and that is that, although generous, the strap is not adjustable and there is no tool in the box to remove a link. A trip to the jewellers is on the cards which will of course add to the price of the watch.

There is a 5 year extended warranty in the presentation box, however, your watch needs to be registered within 28 days.  There are quite a few things that will render your warranty invalid so make sure you read through them thoroughly.  There is, however, a 90 day 100% money back guarantee.

This is an attractive and elegant watch which looks expensive and is currently available from Amazon at £49.99 reduced from £149.99.

For the price, however, it would be a nice gift, bearing in mind the proviso that the recipient will need to get the strap altered.

This simple, stylish watch is nice enough to warrant that extra bit of expenditure and I will certainly be altering mine to fit.

*PR sample sent for the purpose of this review.  Post contains an affiliate link.

Review: A Unique Glazed Rose Heart Pendant From The Eternity Rose

If you are looking for a truly special gift or keepsake, I have discovered The Eternity Rose  – a company specialising in precious-metal-coated or glazed natural roses.

The Eternity Rose - purple rose heart pendant

They use roses from their own nurseries, tended by their skilled horticulturists. When the roses have reached their ideal stage of growth, they are hand-picked and subjected to a long and complex preservation process which results in a blossom that will never tarnish or deteriorate over time.

Their flagship product is the 24kt gold dipped natural rose (£119) but The Eternity Rose also creates some exquisitely beautiful pieces of jewellery all of which would make a unique gift for birthdays or Christmas and a really romantic gift for weddings and anniversaries.

The Eternity Rose - Purple Glazed Rose Heart Pendant

I was sent a beautiful Purple Glazed Rose Heart pendant (£51) and it is a beautiful and very unusual piece. Made using real miniature rose petals edged with 24kt gold, the heart is surrounded by 21 radiant synthetic diamonds to add sparkle.

The pendant comes on a matching 24 karat gold multi-link chain and is presented in a lovely velvet pouch for safe storage.

My pendant also came with a Certificate of Authenticity, guaranteeing that the piece was made from natural miniature rose petals which have been glazed and embossed with 24kt gold.

The pendant is a decent size and the chain is good quality.  You may wish to substitute the chain if you want a longer pendant but I found mine sat just right around my neck.

There are a range of colour options, including red, pink, white, purple and blue plus sets with earrings, dipped vases and gifts for him such as 24 kt dipped poker cards and even golf balls.

I love the romantic ethos of The Eternity Rose and their pieces would certainly last longer than a bouquet of red roses (and cost a little less!).  The colours of the roses can also be matched to wedding anniversaries (for example red for 2nd, purple for 6th).  Much nicer than cotton or iron!

Actually, Mat and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on 25th September this year and I’m pretty glad he didn’t get me anything made from iron (or an iron, come to that!).  My wedding bouquet was of dark red roses studded with imitation diamonds so my pendant very much reminds me of it.

You’ll also find relationship and dating advice from clinical psychologist Dr Carissa Coulston which, as an online relationship coach myself, I found very useful.  Check out my weekly problem page here.

Wear A Smile Everyday With Smiggle

GIFTED: Take two giggly almost-10-year-old BFFs and treat them to a girlie night in and what do you get?

Popcorn, cocktails (non-alcoholic of course), much make-up and, courtesy of Smiggle, gifts from their new Smile range of jewellery (yes, as if getting out of the shop wasn’t hard enough already!).

Manon and Caitlin

Smiggle’s Smile range of jewellery contains 150 different goodies – bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, hair accessories and gift sets – just right for Caitlin’s approaching 10th birthday (she reminds me daily) and, of course, Christmas.

We received a large pink box filled to the brim with gifts for Caitlin and her BFF, Manon and they didn’t need to be told to start exploring the new Smile range.

Ieuan and I retreated to a safe distance as the noise levels rose, although Lego Dimensions Minecraft isn’t particularly quiet either.

Collage of Caitlin & Manon's Smiggle Smile Girls Night In

The idea behind the range is that there’s a way to wear a smile every day.  Not something I’ve personally mastered but then when I was growing up we only had popper beads or those 1000 piece bead sets you had to assemble by hand and which would scatter everywhere when you got your necklace caught on your bike handlebars.  (True story, sadly).

The girls loved the bright colours – there’s plenty of glitter, sparkle and fluff – and parents will be pleased to hear that the jewellery is solidly made.

Smiggle Smile Locket Heart Necklace Pink

Manon with her Smile Locket Heart Necklace £6.00

Smiggle Smile Shimmery Hair Clips

Smile Shimmery Hair Clips Pack x 6 – £3.50

Smiggle Smile Hearts Jewellery Box Set

Smile Hearts Jewellery Box Set £12.00

Smiggle Smile Charmed Choker Pack x 5

Smile Charmed Choker Pack x 5 £12.00Smiggle Smile Dreamcatcher Bracelet

Smile Dreamcatcher Bracelet £4.00Smile Bits n Bobs Hair Clips Pack x 4

Smile Bits n Bobs Hair Clips Pack x 4 £5.00You can find the Smiggle Smile range of jewellery in selected stores or online.  Pop into store and take a selfie with the Smile prop to share your #smigglesmile. Submit it online and if yours is one of the 7 most creative entries, you could win the entire Smile range.

Sign up for the Smiggle newsletter online and you also qualify for a 15% discount off your next purchase and delivery is free on orders over £50.

Manon and Caitlin

Big thanks to Smiggle for treating Caitlin and Manon and I’m putting in my request now for something glittery and fluffy for those of us whose tween-dom was in the dim and distant past.

But no popper beads, please.

Find out more at www.smiggle.co.uk and see how everyone else is wearing their smile every day on Instagram at @smiggle_.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring

You’re already engaged, and you can’t wait to finally marry your husband-to-be, but one thing is missing – choosing the perfect wedding ring.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring - a beautiful diamond ring

When you’ve already had your engagement ring chosen for you, sometimes it can be difficult to decide which wedding ring is right for you. With so many different types of cut, colour, clarity and carat to choose from, it can be a daunting task before the big day arrives. Together with Angelic Diamonds, specialist retailers in bespoke wedding rings, here are the definitive need-to-knows when it comes to choosing a ring that looks perfect on your finger.

Things to consider when choosing the perfect wedding ring

Diamond cut

Out of the four key characteristics of your ring’s diamond, the cut is the most important. This is because the cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s sparkle, meaning the better the cut, the more the diamond will sparkle on your wedding day.

You should keep in mind that just because a diamond has perfect clarity and colour grade, it can still appear dull. The only thing that keeps a diamond from looking dull is its cut.

To put it simply, a diamond’s cut is dependent on its light performance – or what we generally consider it sparkle. So, the perfect ring with an ideal diamond cut will not be too shallow or too deep, and it will allow light to pass through it so that it reflects evenly throughout the diamond.

Colour

Of the four, this is the second most important factor when considering the perfect wedding ring.  The eye detects sparkle from the diamond cut first, and then detects the colour of the diamond second.

If you want to make the most of your wedding ring on a budget, then choose a near-colourless diamond grade between G-H. Colour will not be detected by the naked eye, which will make you and your diamond look perfect on the day, and in the photos. Colour in diamonds appears as a pale yellow, so if this is evident anywhere in the ring you are thinking about buying, we would recommend avoiding it.

Clarity

If you’re unsure as to what this means, the clarity of your diamond ring refers to the small imperfections that are within all diamonds, which are known as inclusions. The fewer inclusions in the ring, the better the clarity, which means your wedding ring will shine bright no matter where you are.

Don’t worry, if your ring only contains a few inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, it’s unlikely that they will be seen easily. By purchasing an SI (slightly included) quality diamond, you’re able to buy something visually stunning, without having to pay the cost of a diamond that contains no inclusions and no imperfections.

Carat

Many brides misunderstand this all-important factor when it comes to the 4cs, the carat weight of the diamond on your wedding ring. Many believe that it refers to the diamond’s size, and not its weight, this isn’t the case – so try to keep this in mind when choosing your ideal ring for the wedding.

The cut of the diamond will change how large the carat weight appears, so it’s important to get a good balance of both so that your ring sits well on the finger, but also provides you with the shine and brilliance you need to make heads turn on your wedding day.

Go-to quick tips

To make sure your ring matches the perfection of your wedding day, take these other factors into considerations when choosing your ring:

If carat weight is important to you, consider a diamond with a good cut, with an SI1-SI2 clarity and an I or J colour grade.

Keep in mind that based on the size of your finger, the larger the diamond will appear.

Not all ring fittings will fit all diamond carats and shapes, so it’s important to consider what type of diamond shape you’d like before choosing its design.

Choosing the perfect wedding ring needn’t be complicated if you follow these tips and you can use them all over again when you choose an eternity ring!

Review: ChloBo Noodle Disc Peace Bracelet

Hands up, I had heard of ChloBo bracelets before but as I have recently been consumed by all things Pandora, they had passed me by.

Linda Hobbis wearing ChloBo Noodle Disc Peace Bracelet
Me, wearing my lovely ChloBo Noodle Disc Peace Bracelet

Happily, a chance to review one of their lovely sterling silver hand-made bracelets has rectified that, as I was sent the ChloBo Noodle Disc Peace Bracelet to try.

Part of their Iconics Collection, this is one of their best sellers and it’s made from 925 sterling silver large noodles, 6mm discs and 4mm beads. It also features the peace charm which symbolises desire, love and peace.  And let’s face, when you’re a parent you’ll try anything for a bit of peace.

Showing off the ChloBo Noodle Disc Peace Bracelet

ChloBo bracelets are designed to be worn as a stack and there are so many lovely ones I have my eye on.   You can either buy them separately or as a predesigned stack.  They come in silver, rose gold or gold and the featured stones are Black Onyx, Eagle Eye and Pearl. There are also rings, necklaces and jewellery for men.

ChloBo Mini Disc Hamsa Hand Bracelet from the Cuties Collection

One of the major plus points for me with my ChloBo bracelet is… no tricky to use clasp.  Much as I love my Pandora charm bracelet I still haven’t managed to do it up myself on more than a handful of occasions.  ChloBo bracelets simply slip over your wrist as they are elasticated.

ChloBo Feature Bead Tassel Bracelet from the Iconics Collection
ChloBo Feature Bead Tassel Bracelet from the Iconics Collection

Because they are made from sterling silver, gold plating and semi-precious stones, you do have to treat them with care. ChloBo recommends that you keep your jewellery away from perfume, fake tan, lotions and chlorine, and that you gently clean the silver with a polishing cloth.

ChloBo bracelets are designed to be appreciated in stacks but I think my individual bracelet is pretty enough to be worn on its own and would be a great gift that the recipient could add to over the years.

The designs are a little edgier than some of the other jewellery ranges and are, as ChloBo themselves say, bohemian rather than traditional. That said, I think they are as likely to appeal to fashion-conscious young things as they are to us, um, slightly more mature women who refuse to be defined by their age!

ChloBo Gypsy Collection: Dusk Wanderer Stack
ChloBo Gypsy Collection: Dusk Wanderer Stack

They are not inexpensive (my bracelet is £90 and the stack featured above is £350) but they are certainly not costume jewellery and you are paying for the ability to create a pretty unique bracelet which should last for years.

You can search for stockists and find out more at www.chlobo.co.uk.

Why More People Are Investing In Sterling Silver Jewellery

Sterling silver jewellery is by far the shiniest of all the precious metals. A lot of people choose to adorn themselves with sterling silver pieces over any other metals.

In fact, both the popularity and value of silver has risen, making way for even more choices among sterling silver designs, including silver wedding rings.

Here are 5 reasons why people choose to invest in silver jewellery.

1. The Value of Sterling Silver

While it is the most brilliant and whitest metal, sterling silver is also more affordable than platinum or gold. Since it is a fraction of the price of gold, finding a stunning piece of silver jewellery for a modest price makes for more variety and allows customers to feel like they have found something sensational for a good price. You can take a look at the collection of silver jewellery here.

2. Durability of Silver Jewellery

Silver is a harder metal that can stand the test of time. It can be filed down effortlessly and polished to repair a surface that has been damaged or simply worn out with normal wear. Rings can be sized quickly and easily, and repair costs in general for this metal are economical.

3. Artistry and Design

The variety of jewellery designs in silver is abundant. This is mostly because new artists can afford to cast a lot more designs in this metal than in platinum or gold. This means that there are more and more new jewellery designers and new concepts on the market. The Silver by Mail silver jewellery collection has some gorgeous new designs.

4. Different Styles in Silver

Sometimes it is tough keeping up with the latest jewellery trends. But since silver jewellery is more affordable, customers are able to update their wardrobes more frequently and mix and match as they please.

5. Interchangeable

Many customers find that silver jewellery is easily interchangeable with platinum and gold items. They can don stunning silver designs with other items from their jewellery box, which means that a variety of designs can be worn together as unique ensembles.

Many people adore sterling silver for its bright lustre. The marketplace has seen a resurgence in sterling silver simply because it is less expensive to produce and buy compared to its platinum and gold counterparts.

Customers love the fact that sterling silver pieces are great value and highly durable. They can keep up to date with the latest designs without having to pay a fortune to procure them.

Today, many high-end designers enjoy casting their unique jewellery designs in sterling silver. It’s not uncommon to see beautiful precious gemstones being set in silver, either.

Jewellery lovers are enjoying this concept and being able to afford new pieces from popular designers.

While sterling silver may require a small amount of special care to retain its simmer, that doesn’t bother today’s customers. They have learned how to look after their precious pieces and find that it is well worth the effort to continue enjoying all the advantages that purchasing sterling silver has to offer.

My Daily Distraction – Pandora for Breast Cancer Awareness – 03/10/13

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

More than 1,000 women die every month from breast cancer and each year 50,000 women will be diagnosed with the disesase.

You can show your support with this fab Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet from Pandora which is comprised of their Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon charm – a lovely sterling silver ribbon with pink zirconia crystals – on a pink leather bracelet.



Pandora Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Complete Leather Bracelet- £85

Source:  John Green Jewellery

Pandora are supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer by donating 15% of the price of the charm on this bracelet, which is one of a number of pieces available from John Greed Jewellery.


Further information at: www.johngreedjewellery.com, www.breakthrough.org.uk