What to be aware of when buying diamonds over the internet and why buy my diamond from a good jeweller instead of over the internet?

All diamonds and gold have a base price and it really comes down to profit margins. Buying something as personal and expensive as a diamond without having the opportunity to look at it would not be something that an astute person would consider. Most diamonds that are considered NOT good enough to sell in shops are sold over the internet and although on paper they may seem good, when you actually receive them you find that they are not always as good as you first thought. We have had many clients learn from this mistake and are bitterly disappointed and when returning stones (when they can) incur extra expense or find that the internet company does not actually own the stock and therefore will not take it back. As a gemmologist I always recommend that you look at and compare a minimum of 5 or 6 diamonds and we are happy to do this and show you the stones under a microscope and help you make an educated selection and our prices are usually the same and in some cases less, for genuine stones. Nearly all of our diamonds come from Australian and Canadian mines. We are very aware that quite often diamonds on the net are not always mined through ethical and legitimate sources and can often involve the exploitation of communities and people. We believe in ethical and sustainable mining.

What is the difference between buying a handcrafted piece of jewellery and an off the shelf piece of jewellery?

Not all jewellery shops are owned by a qualified jeweller and most mass produced jewellery is cast and made to a much lower standard than a custom made individually designed and handmade piece. Gold is a work hardened metal and for the little bit extra in cost, you have that individual piece that nobody else has and a much more durable item that should eventually become a family heirloom.

What is the difference between a natural, treated and synthetic gemstone?

We have seen many people who have been taken advantage of in this area. Many coloured gemstones have very good synthetics and nearly all have been treated in some way. There are also some very good diamond synthetics around. Our advice is, if it is too cheap, then there is probably a very good reason for that. The base price for diamonds and gold is the same the world over. You should avoid fracture filled stones at all costs as these will only ever end in disappointment.

Treated: Gemstones can undergo various treatments to enhance their value. These gemstones are still natural gemstones. Example: Natural Blue Sapphire are heat treated, Natural Emerald are oiled.

Synthetic: A synthetic ‘gemstone’ is a man-made material having the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and most physical properties of a (natural) gemstone. For example, Synthetic Ruby or Synthetic Diamond. Synthetic gemstones are sometimes called “lab-created, “created” or “man-made”.

Imitation: Imitation gemstones are predominantly human-manufactured products that only visually resemble the gemstone they are intended to imitate. Examples: glass and composite stones (which are made from several components), have been used to ‘imitate’ gemstones. A gemstone can also be an imitation of another more valuable gemstone, eg. A Blue Topaz may imitate an Aquamarine, or a Rubellite Tourmaline may imitate a Natural Ruby, and they are all natural gemstones. Imitation gemstones are sometimes call simulants.

What is a natural pink diamond and why are they becoming so rare?

The three rarest colours for diamonds are pink, blue and green. All of these colours occur naturally, but in very very limited quantities. 95% of Pink diamonds (the most sought after colour) are found in the Australian Argyle Mine and these are known for their stronger colouring and extra brilliance. However, this mine is forecast for closure somewhere around 2018. Pink Diamonds are already fetching the highest price per carat of any diamond in the world and when the mine closes they will become almost impossible to obtain and therefore the price will dramatically increase.

Where do opals come from?

Christensons own and operate their own opal mine in Australia. Australia is the major source of gem quality opal. No two opals are ever the same and they come in all colours. Again, be aware that there are synthetic opals, doublets and triplets and these are always cheaper.

Can I design my own piece of jewellery?

Yes. We have won over twenty awards, many of these for design. We encourage you to come in and sit down and help create your own individual piece of jewellery and we can show you as we make it in our own workshop at different stages of its manufacture.

I want a really white metal used for my ring. Which metal is best to use?

Here at Christensons we were one of the first to develop and use a platinum/palladium 18ct white gold alloy. This metal is very durable and very white and although is similar in colour to pure platinum, it is much stronger as platinum on it’s own is quite soft.

This alloy is a little bit more expensive and is not available in many places and is not used at all in Asian made jewellery as it is not an easy metal to cast in.

What is the safest type of setting for my ring?

There are many ways to set diamonds. The most common ways are claw setting, bezel setting, channel setting and pave setting. The most secure of these is bezel, however, it does tend to cover some of the diamond but generally speaking if you are using a good jeweller there should be no problem with any of these. Most of the problems come from jewellers using poor quality cast mounts rather than handmaking. But like all things you should get them checked and serviced on a regular basis.

Is 9ct gold harder than 18ct gold and how does Platinum compare?

No. This is a common myth. 18ct is the most durable of all the gold alloys and 18ct white gold is harder than platinum.

Can I use my old pieces of broken and unwanted gold or silver jewellery to make a new piece of jewellery?

Yes, you can, although when melting old metal, it can become quite brittle and is quite often also porous so I would only recommend that more simple pieces be made out of re-melted gold such as a solid bangle or a solid ring.

I have some jewellery that I no longer wear but is very sentimental. Can I give this jewellery a fresh new look but still keep all the original parts?

Yes. This is something that we specialise in. We understand how important a sentimental piece of jewellery can be and we can create designs around all of your special requirements.

What do I do if a gemstone falls out of my jewellery?

This usually happens when the setting has been damaged or the stone has been broken. Again, if you have knocked your jewellery or notice something catching it is always best to bring it in to be checked over.

If I am travelling oversea’s can I buy jewellery Duty Free?

Yes. Christensons Jewellers offer a Duty Free Service. You will need your flight details and passport.

How often should I have my rings polished, cleaned and the settings checked?

Every six months to twelve months and at the same time have the claws and other settings checked. We at Christensons offer a free clean and polish service for the life of any jewellery that we have had made for our clients.

How do I look after my jewellery?

Jewellery is made from precious metals and in most cases the settings are kept to the minimum to show off the stones therefore it is not that difficult to do damage to your rings. If ever you feel something catching or if you knock the jewellery in any way it doesn’t cost anything to have a jeweller check it out for any damage. When we clean and polish jewellery we always check the settings and advise if anything needs repairing. (It is not a good idea to sleep or play sports in all types of chain/necklaces as this may cause kinking, snagging or breakage)

How often should I have my jewellery valued?

We would recommend that you have your jewellery re valued every 2 to 3 years. Definitely every 5 years.