Getting The Right Ring Size
The following chart shows all the Finger sizes with measurements.
if you know the size of your finger in other formats you can compare and see what is the right size for the United Kingdom which is the measurement we use in our store and online shop.
The thicker the ring, the tighter the fit, so if you choose a ring with a deep band width, you will likely need to go one size up.
The best time of day to measure is in the evening, when your fingers are largest. Avoid measuring when you’re cold, as fingers are at least half a size smaller.
what if the ring size turns out to be different?
please remember that the printable ring sizer is no the professional way to get the right size it is just a guide.
however if the ring size turns out to be different, we can resize the ring to your finger size with out expertise, with the exeption of some eternity rings and other gemstone rings which are covered with stones around the band
The most important thing to remember when buying diamonds are the 4Cs which stand for the cut, colour, clarity and carat.
The diamond cut is the most important element to consider when buying a diamond. The cut is the biggest factor in creating sparkle and fire, and without a high cut grade even a diamond of high quality can appear dull and lifeless. A diamond cut poorly and too deep can face-up smaller than it actually is. Use our buying tips, diamond cut grading scale and comparison chart, and expert tips to help you choose the best diamond cut for your budget.
Cut is the most important of the 4Cs because it has the greatest influence on a diamond's sparkle.
Even if a diamond has a perfect clarity and colour grade, if it has a poor cut, it may appear dull.
When diamond cuts are made with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond (which gemmologists refer to as the table). If the cuts are too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.
To maximise your budget, choose the highest diamond cut grade your budget allows. We suggest a cut grade of Very Good or better.
After diamond cut, diamond colour is the second most important characteristic to consider when choosing a diamond. The highest quality diamonds are colourless, while those of lower quality have noticeable colour, which manifests as pale yellow in diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond colour on a scale of D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). D-Z diamonds are also known as white diamonds, even though most diamonds, including H colour diamonds and G colour diamonds, have varying amounts of colour.
Diamond Colours According To The Diamond Colour Chart
The GIA diamond colour scale is the leading industry standard of diamond colour grading. Before this was the standard, other colour grading scales used A, B and C, so GIA started their scale at D to avoid confusion.
There are six categories on the GIA diamond chart, with colour grades that range from absolutely colourless to light in colour. Diamonds rated D are the most devoid of colour and very rare, whereas G colour diamonds and H colour diamonds are near colourless, and since they’re priced lower they are excellent value diamonds. The more you move down the colour chart, the lower the colour grade is, and the more noticeable the light yellow becomes.
Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.
Clarity is one of the 4Cs of diamond grading and quality. Diamond clarity is the least important factor when choosing to buy a diamond because most diamonds have blemishes and small inclusions that are microscopic, unable to be seen with an untrained or unaided eye
Diamond Types According To The GIA Clarity Grading Scale
In 1953, Richard T. Liddicoat and colleagues established the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond grading system and clarity scale. The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into six categories and eleven diamond clarity grades. On the diamond clarity scale, also commonly referred to as the diamond grading chart, the complete list of diamond grading categories and clarity grades are listed below:
Flawless (FL) Diamonds
Inclusions and blemishes aren’t visible on flawless diamonds, even under 10x magnification. Less than 1% of all diamonds are FL clarity. A flawless diamond is incredibly rare because it's nearly impossible to find a diamond 100% free of inclusions. Six percent of customers buy FL diamonds.
Internally Flawless (IF) Diamonds
Inclusions aren’t visible in internally flawless diamonds under 10x magnification. Some small surface blemishes may be visible on IF diamonds. Six percent of customers buy IF diamonds.
VVS1, VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) Diamonds
VVS diamonds have miniscule inclusions that are difficult even for trained eyes to see under 10x magnification. VVS2 clarity diamonds have slightly more inclusions than the VVS1 grade. A VVS diamond is an excellent quality diamond and clarity grade. Twenty-one percent of customers buy VVS diamonds.
VS1, VS2 Very Slightly Included (VS) Diamonds
VS diamonds have minor inclusions that cannot be seen without 10x magnification. VS1 is a higher clarity grade than VS2, which may have some visible inclusions. A VS grade diamond is less expensive than a VVS diamond. Forty-three percent of customers buy VS diamonds.
SI2, SI1 Slightly Included (SI) Diamonds
Inclusions are noticeable at 10x magnification with SI diamonds, the best value diamonds. With SI1 diamonds, inclusions are sometimes visible to the keen eye without magnification. SI2 clarity grade diamond inclusions are usually visible from the pavilion, or cone-shaped lower portion, and from the top. Thirty percent of all diamond customers buy SI diamonds.
I1-I2 Included Diamonds
I1-I2 diamonds have minor inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye. Blue Nile offers a limited selection of jewellery preset with I1-I2 diamonds.
I3 Heavily Included Diamonds
I3 diamonds may have more obvious inclusions at 10x and may be visible to the naked eye. Blue Nile does not carry I3 diamonds.
Diamond carat is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond's weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond's cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut. Use our buying tips, diamond carat size chart, and expert tips to help you choose the best diamond carat weight for you.
Carat is the most misunderstood of the 4Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not the diamond’s size.
Consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.
To maximise your budget, "Buy Shy," which means selecting a carat weight slightly below the whole and half carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.0-carat diamond, consider buying a 1.9-carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money and the slight size difference will never be noticed.
At RICCHA, we apply the same high quality standards to all of our diamond shapes. We have an exceptional collection of traditional round diamonds and we also offer the finest non-round, or "fancy-shaped", diamonds available.
Choose Your Diamond Shape
Since all diamond cut styles are very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape. Select your preferred shape below and learn how to recognise the most beautiful diamond in that shape. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact one of our Diamond and Jewellery Consultants who can help you find the diamond shape that's perfect for you.
Pear Oval Princess Marquise Radiant Round Heart Asscher Cushion Emerald
What is diamond certification, and how are diamonds independently certified? Independent certification is your assurance that you're getting a quality diamond that is accurately graded without bias. All our diamonds have been analysed and graded for quality by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), or similar certificates. GIA is one of the most respected and accurate labs in the diamond industry.
This guide defines the five essential characteristics of gemstone quality. By understanding these characteristics, you'll be able to shop with confidence. Print this helpful information and take it with you shopping so you can make the best choice on a beautiful piece of gemstone jewellery.
The jewellery industry recognises the highest quality gemstones by purity of their hue, the depth of tone, and the colour saturation. The best value is in colours that include "slight" traces of other colours, are not too light or dark, and have a lot of saturated colour.
Nearly all gemstones today, have been treated to enhance their colour. The most common methods of treatment are heating, nearly always seen with aquamarine, citrine, amethyst, sapphire, ruby and tanzanite, bleaching commonly seen with pearls, and irradiation performed on nearly all blue topaz.
Almost all gemstones contain inclusions. Even those most highly prized have at least some inclusions. Flawless gemstones are very rare and very expensive. The best value is found in gems that are lightly to moderately included. Emeralds are typically treated with colourless oil, wax or resin to minimise surface-reaching inclusions.
Unlike diamonds, with gemstones there isn't an "ideal" cut geometrically configured for maximum brilliance. But a high-quality gemstone cut is one that presents the most even colour, exposes the fewest inclusions, and displays the majority of the gemstone weight when set in jewellery.
The carat weight of a gemstone is not necessarily an accurate gauge for gemstone size.
Some of the most famous Gemstones and birthstones are :
Young and Old, Male or Female, one thing that every person has in common is that everyone has a birthstone
Garnet - January
Garnet, the birthstone for January, comes in many different colors; However, the most popular is the deep red colored garnet. Many representations of this stone relate to friendship and trust. Named from the Latin ‘granatum’ meaning "seed" referring to it's resemblance to the pomegranate seed, this stone is nothing but gorgeous.
Amethyst - February
Amethyst, the birthstone representing February, has a long and interesting history. Thought to symbolize royalty with it's purple hue, this quartz stone does have many other colors and can be sourced in many areas of the world. From modern Russia to the ancient Greeks & Romans, this gemstone has tons of symbolism for every culture.
Aquamarine - March
Aquamarine, March's birthstone. Derived from "Aqua", this gemstone was thought to protect sailors out on the open ocean. Formed from the mineral species of 'beryl', this cool blue colored stone is durable and pure. with a hardness of 7.5 on the Moh's scale, this gem is easy to care for and has favorable attributes for jewellery.
Diamond - April
From beautiful diamond engagement rings to jewelers tools and more, April's birthstone - Diamond - is one of the hardest and most important gems of modern times. Whether you are looking for the perfect color, clarity, carat, or cut (4 C's), the diamond is one of the most famous and beautiful birthstones there are
Emerald - May
June - Alexandrite & Pearl
Emerald, May's birthstone, represents youth, growth and intelligence as seen in the deeper green color it has. Coming from Greek ‘smargados’ simply meaning green stone it's rich colour has been seen from royal crowns to rings and more. More rare and valuable than other stones the Emerald is known for the joy it brings.
Having more than one birthstone, Pearl & Alexandrite, June's birthstones are as unique as it comes. Extremely rare and having "colour-changing" abilities, the Alexandrite is green in daylight and changes to a purple-red hue in incandescent or artificial light. The pearl, too, is rare as it is the only Gem that is created by a living animal.
Ruby - July
Ruby, arguably the most famous of red coloured stones, is the gemstone for July. Representing health and wisdom this gem comes from the 'corundum' mineral species. Hardest of natural gems aside from diamond, it is durable enough for daily wear and matches any fashionable outfit with it's deep and vivid red colour.
Peridot - August
Peridot, the birthstone for August, has historic "powers" for healing and warding off nightmares. Formed deep within Earth, this gem is brought to the surface in many ways, but most commonly due to volcanic eruptions. The lime green colour is the most traditional representations of this gem and can be seen in necklaces, beads, and more!
October - Opal & Tourmaline
Opal & Tourmaline have become the staple birthstones of October. Opal and Tourmaline are both some of the most beautiful and nontraditional of all gemstones. Traditionally represented as pink, the tourmaline can come in many colours of the rainbow. Even seen with 3 colours in one stone, known as tri-colored.
November - Citrine &Topaz
Topaz and Citrine quartz, often mistaken for the other, are the representative for November birthdays. Topaz with it's orange-pink undertones of colour has been prized since ancient periods of time. Citrine, known as a healing stone, has represented warmth and energy due to it's orange hues.
Sapphire - September
Protecting lovers for centuries, the Sapphire is September's birthstone. Coming in a variety of colours, but best known for it's blue to violet colour, this 'corundum' mineral has been used to help romance lovers and protect from harm. Like the Ruby, the Sapphire or Corundum mineral is the second hardest mineral. Great for any occasion, all can rejoice about this gem.
December- Blue Zircon, Turquoise, & Tanzanite
December birthdays can celebrate their month with Tanzanite, Blue Zircon, or Turquoise birthstones. All stones famous for their varying shades of blue colour, and each with a unique set of characteristics and structure. These gems have all become a fashion statement across the world.
A pearl is a hard glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk or another animal, such as a conulariid. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate (mainly aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite) in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes, known as baroque pearls, can occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries. Because of this, pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable
What Is A Cultured Pearl?
Natural pearls are so rare to find in nature that most pearls sold today are cultured. To create a cultured pearl, a tiny bead is implanted into the oyster and gradually over time the oyster coats the bead in many layers of natural minerals and proteins. These layers are referred to as nacre (Nay-Ker.) It is the nacre that gives pearls their beautiful lustre and colour.
Type Of Pearls
Akoya Pearls, Freshwater Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and South Sea Pearls.
Akoya Pearls -
The Classic Pearl
For nearly 100 years, akoya pearls grown off the coast of Japan have been the classic pearl of choice. When one pictures a round strand of white pearls, they are usually thinking of akoya.
Although rare baroque shapes and natural colours like silver-blue and gold do exist, akoya pearls are best known for their perfectly round shape and sharp, reflective luster.
While exceptions do exist, most akoya pearls produced today range in sizes from 4 to 10 mm.
If you are looking for a classic strand of round, white pearls, you are probably looking for a strand of akoya pearls.
Freshwater Pearls -
The Fashion-Forward Pearl
The most affordable pearls sold today, freshwater pearls are known for baroque shapes, white and pastel body colours and softer luster than akoya (except in the case of rare metallics).
With natural pastel colours and shapes that range from perfectly round to free-form baroque, freshwater pearls offer a widest range of options.
Common sizes range from 5 mm to 12 mm, but recent advances have led to the development of round and baroque pearls as large as 20 mm.
If you are looking for an affordable piece or something more fashion-forward with unique combinations of colours and shapes, shop freshwater pearls.
Tahitian Pearls -
The Dark, Exotic Pearl
Tahitian pearls grown in French Polynesia are the only naturally dark pearls. Although often referred to as black, Tahitian pearls come in a rainbow of exotic colours.
Round Tahitian pearls are quite rare but other fun shapes like drops, baroques and ovals are highly-sought and still considered very valuable.
When measured perpendicular to the drill hole, most Tahitians range in size from 8 mm to 15 mm regardless of shape.
If you are looking for a naturally dark pearls that go well with almost any style, Tahitian pearls may be your best choice
South Sea Pearls -
The Rolls Royce of Pearls
Grown primarily in Australia the Philippines and Indonesia and ranging in colour from white to gold, South Sea pearls are the largest saltwater pearls grown today.
Because of their tremendous size, perfectly round South Sea pearls are quite rare. Other more common shapes are drops, baroques and ovals. All are considered very valuable.
While South Sea pearls range in size from 8 mm to 18 mm, the most common sizes range from 10 mm to 14 mm.
If you looking for the statement piece of jewellery with large pearls, South Sea may be the way to go.
Pearl experts generally divide pearl shapes into three broad categories based on their overall characteristics:
Spherical shapes are perfectly round or nearly round. They are the classic pearl shape that is most familiar.
Symmetrical shapes are balanced and regular. If you sliced this pearl in half, each half would be a mirror-image of the other half.
Baroque shapes are irregular or abstract. They
are non-symmetrical in nature.
Within these three broad categories, pearls can be
classified into seven basic shapes:
Round: Round pearls are perfectly spherical - the shape most people think of when they think of a pearl. Due to their relative rarity and "classic" nature, they are highly desirable. Round pearls fall into the spherical category.
Near-round: These pearls are not perfectly round. Instead, they are slightly flattened or elongated rather than being a perfect sphere. Nonetheless, they are so nearly perfect that they, too, are classified as spherical.
Semi-round: These pearls are semi-round, similar to near round.
Oval: These pearls are shaped like an oval - narrower at the ends than they are in the centre. Ovals are categorised as a symmetrical shape.
Button: Button pearls are flattened to some degree, making them resemble a button or perhaps a disk rather than a perfect sphere. These pearls are often used in earrings where the flattened side can be attached to the setting. Buttons are also categorised as symmetrical.
Drop: Drop shaped pearls are pear or teardrop-shaped. The drop can either be "long" or "short" depending on its proportions. These pearls make attractive earrings or pendants. This is also a symmetrical shape.
Baroque: This is a pearl which is both non-symmetrical and irregular in shape. The baroque pearl can be purely abstract in its shape or it can resemble a cross, stick or some other shape. Baroque pearls fall into the baroque category.
Semi-Baroque: These pearls are slightly irregular in their shape. For example, a pearl which might otherwise be considered an oval, button or drop pearl but which is not symmetrical in nature, would be considered semi-baroque. Semi-baroque pearls fall into the baroque category.
The shape of the pearl is one of several factors which goes into determining its quality and, therefore, its value. In general, round and near-round pearls are the most valuable due to their rarity. Symmetrical shapes are generally considered to be more desirable than baroque shapes. Baroques, however, can be extremely unique thus increasing their desirability more than might be expected based on their shape alone. A perfectly round pearl is very rare. The rounder the pearl, the more valuable it is. Baroque pearls are not symmetrical in shape and can be lustrous and, therefore, just as appealing as their round counterparts.
The general colour of a pearl is also called the body colour. Typical pearl colours are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver, or black. A pearl can also have a hint of secondary colour, or overtone, which is seen when light reflects off the pearl surface. For example, a pearl strand may appear white, but when examined more closely, a pink overtone may become apparent.
The size of the pearl greatly depends on the type of pearl. Freshwater pearls range in size from about 3.0-7.0mm, Akoya pearls range from about 6.0-8.5mm, and South Sea and Tahitian pearls can reach sizes as large as 13mm.
Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au from Latin aurum and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver (as electrum) and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium (gold tellurides).
A relatively rare element, gold is a precious metal that has been
used for coinage, jewellery, and other arts throughout recorded
history. In the past, a gold standard was often implemented as a
monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a
circulating currency in the 1930s, and the world gold standard
was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971.
A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold exists above ground, The
world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in
jewellery. Gold's high malleability, ductility, resistance to
corrosion and most other chemical reactions, and conductivity
of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant
electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices (its
chief industrial use). Gold is also used in infrared shielding,
coloured-glass production, gold leafing, and tooth restoration.
Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine.
Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewellery, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, colour and other properties. Alloys with lower karat rating, typically 22k, 18k, 14k or 9k, contain higher percentages of copper or other base metals or silver or palladium in the alloy
HISTORY OF JEWELLERY (ANTIQUE JEWELLERY)
The history of jewellery is long and goes back many years, with many different uses among different cultures. It has endured for thousands of years and has provided various insights into how ancient cultures worked.
The earliest known Jewellery was actually created not by humans (Homo Sapiens) but by Neanderthal living in Europe. Specifically, perforated beads made from small sea shells have been found dating to 115,000 years ago in the Cueva de los Aviones, a cave along the southeast coast of Spain. Later in Kenya, at Enkapune Ya Muto, beads made from perforated ostrich egg shells have been dated to more than 40,000 years ago. In Russia, a stone bracelet and marble ring are attributed to a similar age.
Later, the European early modern humans had crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, berries, and stone hung on pieces of string or animal sinew, or pieces of carved bone used to secure clothing together. In some cases, jewellery had shell or mother-of-pearl pieces. A decorated engraved pendant (the Star Carr Pendant) dating to around 11,000 BC, and thought to be the oldest Mesolithic art in Britain, was found at the site of Star Carr in North Yorkshire in 2015. In southern Russia, carved bracelets made of mammoth tuskhave been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels features a perforation at the top, showing that it was intended to be worn as a pendant.
Around seven-thousand years ago, the first sign of copper jewellery was seen. In October 2012 the Museum of Ancient History in Lower Austria revealed that they had found a grave of a female jewellery worker – forcing archaeologists to take a fresh look at prehistoric gender roles after it appeared to be that of a female fine metal worker – a profession that was previously thought to have been carried out exclusively by men.
The first signs of established jewellery making in Ancient Egypt was around 3,000–5,000 years ago.The Egyptians preferred the luxury, rarity, and workability of gold over other metals. In Predynastic Egypt jewellery soon began to symbolise political and religious power in the community.
Although it was worn by wealthy Egyptians in life, it was also worn by
them in death, with jewellery commonly placed among grave goods.
In conjunction with gold jewellery, Egyptians used coloured glass, along
with semi-precious gems. The colour of the jewellery had significance.
Green, for example, symbolised fertility. Lapis lazuli and silver had to be
imported from beyond the country's borders.
An Egyptian 18th dynasty pharaonic era princess' crown
Egyptian designs were most common in Phoenician jewellery. Also, ancient Turkish designs found in Persian jewellery suggest that trade between the Middle East and Europe was not uncommon. Women wore elaborate gold and silver pieces that were used in ceremonies.
Europe and the Middle East -
By approximately 5,000 years ago, jewellery-making had become a significant craft in the cities of Mesopotamia. The most significant archaeological evidence comes from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, where hundreds of burials dating 2900–2300 BC were unearthed; tombs such as that of Puabi contained a multitude of artefacts in gold, silver, and semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli crowns embellished with gold figurines, close-fitting collar necklaces, and jewel-headed pins. In Assyria, men and women both wore extensive amounts of jewellery, including amulets, ankle bracelets, heavy multi-strand necklaces, and cylinder seals.
Jewellery in Mesopotamia tended to be manufactured from thin metal leaf and was set with large numbers of brightly coloured stones (chiefly agate, lapis, carnelian, and jasper). Favoured shapes included leaves, spirals, cones, and bunches of grapes. Jewellers created works both for human use and for adorning statues and idols.
The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewellery in 1600 BC, although beads shaped as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times. Around 1500 BC, the main techniques of working gold in Greece included casting, twisting bars, and making wire. Many of these sophisticated techniques were popular in the Mycenaean period, but unfortunately this skill was lost at the end of the Bronze Age. The forms and shapes of jewellery in ancient Greece such as the armring (13th century BC), brooch (10th century BC) and pins (7th century BC), have varied widely since the Bronze Age as well. Other forms of jewellery include wreaths, earrings, necklace and bracelets. A good example of the high quality that gold working techniques could achieve in Greece is the ‘Gold Olive Wreath’ (4th century BC), which is modeled on the type of wreath given as a prize for winners in athletic competitions like the Olympic Games. Jewellery dating from 600 to 475 BC is not well represented in the archaeological record, but after the Persian wars the quantity of jewellery again became more plentiful.However, as time progressed, the designs grew in complexity and different materials were soon used.
Jewellery in Greece was hardly worn and was mostly used for public appearances or on special occasions. It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by women to show their wealth, social status, and beauty. The jewellery was often supposed to give the wearer protection from the "Evil Eye" or endowed the owner with supernatural powers, while others had a religious symbolism. Older pieces of jewellery that have been found were dedicated to the Gods.
A Greek Gold Wreath
Although jewellery work was abundantly diverse in earlier times, especially among the barbarian tribes such as the Celts, when the Romans conquered most of Europe, jewellery was changed as smaller factions developed the Roman designs. The most common artefact of early Rome was the brooch, which was used to secure clothing together. The Romans used a diverse range of materials for their jewellery from their extensive resources across the continent. Although they used gold, they sometimes used bronze or bone, and in earlier times, glass beads & pearl. As early as 2,000 years ago, they imported Sri Lankan sapphires and Indian diamonds and used emeralds and amber in their jewellery. In Roman-ruled England, fossilised wood called jet from Northern England was often carved into pieces of jewellery. The early Italians worked in crude gold and created clasps, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They also produced larger pendants that could be filled with perfume.
Post-Roman Europe continued to develop jewellery making skills. The Celts and Merovingians in particular are noted for their jewellery, which in terms of quality matched or exceeded that of the Byzantine Empire. Clothing fasteners, amulets, and, to a lesser extent, signet rings, are the most common artefacts known to us. By the 8th century, jewelled weaponry was common for men, while other jewellery (with the exception of signet rings) seemed to become the domain of women. Grave goods found in a 6th–7th century burial near Chalon-sur-Saône are illustrative. A young girl was buried with: 2 silver fibulae, a necklace (with coins), bracelet, gold earrings, a pair of hair-pins, comb, and buckle.
The Celts specialised in continuous patterns and designs, while Merovingian designs are best known for stylised animal figures.
The Eastern successor of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, continued many of the methods of the Romans, though religious themes came to predominate. Unlike the Romans, the Franks, and the Celts, however, Byzantium used light-weight gold leaf rather than solid gold, and more emphasis was placed on stones and gems.
The Renaissance and exploration both had significant impacts on the development of jewellery in Europe. By the 17th century, increasing exploration and trade led to increased availability of a wide variety of gemstones as well as exposure to the art of other cultures. Whereas prior to this the working of gold and precious metal had been at the forefront of jewellery, this period saw increasing dominance of gemstones and their settings. An example of this is the Cheapside Hoard, the stock of a jeweller hidden in London during the Commonwealth period and not found again until 1912. It contained Colombian emerald, topaz, amazonite from Brazil, spinel, iolite, and chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka, ruby from India, Afghan lapis lazuli, Persianturquoise, Red Sea peridot, as well as Bohemian and Hungarian opal, garnet, and amethyst. Large stones were frequently set in box-bezels on enamelled rings.Notable among merchants of the period was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who brought the precursor stone of the Hope Diamond to France in the 1660s.
When Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned as Emperor of the French in 1804, he revived the style and grandeur of jewellery and fashion in France. Under Napoleon's rule, jewellers introduced parures, suites of matching jewellery, such as a diamond tiara, diamond earrings, diamond rings, a diamond brooch, and a diamond necklace. The period also saw the early stages of costume jewellery, with fish scale covered glass beads in place of pearls or conch shell cameos instead of stone cameos. New terms were coined to differentiate the arts: jewellers who worked in cheaper materials were called bijoutiers, while jewellers who worked with expensive materials were called joailliers, a practice which continues to this day.
Starting in the late 18th century, Romanticism had a profound impact on the development of western jewellery. Perhaps the most significant influences were the public's fascination with the treasures being discovered through the birth of modern archaeology and a fascination with Medieval and Renaissance art. Changing social conditions and the onset of the Industrial Revolution also led to growth of a middle class that wanted and could afford jewellery. As a result, the use of industrial processes, cheaper alloys, and stone substitutes led to the development of paste or costume jewellery. Distinguished goldsmiths continued to flourish, however, as wealthier patrons sought to ensure that what they wore still stood apart from the jewellery of the masses, not only through use of precious metals and stones but also though superior artistic and technical work. A category unique to this period and quite appropriate to the philosophy of romanticism was mourning jewellery. It originated in England, where Queen Victoria was often seen wearing jet jewellery after the death of Prince Albert, and it allowed the wearer to continue wearing jewellery while expressing a state of mourning at the death of a loved one.
In the United States, this period saw the founding in 1837 of Tiffany & Co. by Charles Lewis Tiffany. Tiffany's put the United States on the world map in terms of jewellery and gained fame creating dazzling commissions for people such as the wife of Abraham Lincoln. Later, it would gain popular notoriety as the setting of the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. In France, Pierre Cartier founded Cartier SA in 1847, while 1884 saw the founding of Bulgariin Italy. The modern production studio had been born and was a step away from the former dominance of individual craftsmen and patronage.
This period also saw the first major collaboration between East and West. Collaboration in Pforzheim between German and Japanese artists led to Shakudō plaques set into Filigree frames being created by the Stoeffler firm in 1885). Perhaps the grand finalé – and an appropriate transition to the following period – were the masterful creations of the Russian artist Peter Carl Fabergé, working for the Imperial Russian court, whose Fabergé eggs and jewellery pieces are still considered as the epitome of the goldsmith's art.
18th Century / Romanticism/ Renaissance
Many whimsical fashions were introduced in the extravagant eighteenth century. Cameos that were used in connection with jewellery were the attractive trinkets along with many of the small objects such as brooches, ear-rings and scarf-pins. Some of the necklets were made of several pieces joined with the gold chains were in and bracelets were also made sometimes to match the necklet and the brooch. At the end of the Century the jewellery with cut steel intermixed with large crystals was introduced by an Englishman, Matthew Boulton of Birmingham.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, the aesthetics of jewellery underwent several changes. Historians divide the reign of Queen Victoria to three parts
The Early Victorian or "Romantic"circa 1837–60
The Middle Victorian or "Grand" circa 1860–80
The Late Victorian or Aesthetic periods 1880 until 1901
Each of these periods has its specific gems, motifs and metals and fabrication techniques.
The Romantic period represented deep religious and emotional states. Religion was a central part of life, and with this came emphasis on ideas such as love and nostalgia. The period reflected the love of the new ruling couple (Queen Victoria and Prince Albert). Recurring jewellery motifs include: hands, hearts, crosses and knots. Motifs inspired from nature were also common such as serpents and snakes along with bird, flowers and trees. As a matter of fact, snake jewellery was considered a symbol of eternal love. Jewellery reflecting the form of a flower was often lavishly adorned with gold and gemstones. most gems used are agate, amber, amethyst, diamonds emerald and Quartz.
The Grand period marked by the deaths of the Queen's mother and husband is a contiuation of the Romantic era in a sense that a lot of trends that started in the Early period reached their peak in this one. Although a dainty locket containing a picture of a loved one or a lock of hair pinpoint the piece as Romantic Period jewelry, a brooch with a dark gemstone framed with braided hair would indicate that the piece is from the Grand period.
The late Victorian or Aesthetic period, which lasted from about 1880 until 1901 and ushered in the Belle Epoque
In the 1890s, jewellers began to explore the potential of the growing Art Nouveau style and the closely related German Jugendstil, British (and to some extent American) Arts and Crafts Movement, Catalan Modernisme, Austro-Hungarian Sezession, Italian "Liberty", etc.
Art Nouveau jewellery encompassed many distinct features including a focus on the female form and an emphasis on colour, most commonly rendered through the use of enamelling techniques including basse-taille, champleve, cloisonné, and plique-à-jour. Motifs included orchids, irises, pansies, vines, swans, peacocks, snakes, dragonflies, mythological creatures, and the female silhouette.
René Lalique, working for the Paris shop of Samuel Bing, was recognised by contemporaries as a leading figure in this trend. The Darmstadt Artists' Colony and Wiener Werkstätteprovided perhaps the most significant input to the trend, while in Denmark Georg Jensen, though best known for his Silverware, also contributed significant pieces. In England, Liberty & Co., (notably through the Cymric designs of Archibald Knox) and the British arts & crafts movement of Charles Robert Ashbee contributed slightly more linear but still characteristic designs. The new style moved the focus of the jeweller's art from the setting of stones to the artistic design of the piece itself. Lalique's dragonfly design is one of the best examples of this. Enamels played a large role in technique, while sinuous organic lines are the most recognisable design feature.
Growing political tensions, the after-effects of the war, and a reaction against the perceived decadence of the turn of the 20th century led to simpler forms, combined with more effective manufacturing for mass production of high-quality jewellery. Covering the period of the 1920s and 1930s, the style has become popularly known as Art Deco. Walter Gropiusand the German Bauhaus movement, with their philosophy of "no barriers between artists and craftsmen" led to some interesting and stylistically simplified forms. Modern materials were also introduced: plastics and aluminium were first used in jewellery, and of note are the chromed pendants of Russian-born Bauhaus master Naum Slutzky. Technical mastery became as valued as the material itself. In the West, this period saw the reinvention of granulation by the German Elizabeth Treskow, although development of the re-invention has continued into the 1990s. It is based on the basic shapes.
Most modern commercial jewellery continues traditional forms and styles, but designers such as Georg Jensen have widened the concept of wearable art. The advent of new materials, such as plastics, Precious Metal Clay (PMC), and colouring techniques, has led to increased variety in styles. Other advances, such as the development of improved pearl harvesting by people and the development of improved quality artificial gemstones such as moissanite (a diamond simulant), has placed jewellery within the economic grasp of a much larger segment of the population.
The following are innovations in the decades straddling the year 2000: hydraulic die forming, anti-clastic raising, fold-forming, reactive metal anodising, shell forms, PMC, photoetching, and use of CAD/CAM
Also, 3D printing as a production technique gains more and more importance. With a great variety of services offering this production method, jewellery design becomes accessible to a growing number of creatives. An important advantage of using 3d printing are the relatively low costs for prototypes, small batch series or unique and personalized designs. Shapes that are hard or impossible to create by hand can often be realized by 3D printing. Popular materials to print include Polyamide, steel and wax (latter for further processing). Every printable material has its very own constraints that have to be considered while designing the piece of jewellery using 3D Modelling Software.
Artisan jewellery continues to grow as both a hobby and a profession. resources, accessibility, and a low initial cost of entry continues to expand production of hand-made adornments.