The inspiration for our latest blog came from a bespoke engagement ring project for a client who wanted to propose to his partner with a ring that, at this stage, only existed only in his head. It was our job to try and extract that vision and bring it to life. This article documents the journey, how we arrived at the final piece and his partner’s answer to the all important question.

The Initial Consultation 

The process of designing a bespoke engagement ring starts with an idea, a vision or maybe even a photo of something similar. In this case, the client came to us with an idea that he had managed to sketch out on paper so that we had a starting base and some idea of what he was looking for. We then took those ideas, along with his verbal requests and our designer sketched out a number of variations of the design for him to peruse. 

Building a Wax Model 

Once we had the drawings agreed in principle, we could then get to work on the next stage in the process. Creating the wax mould of the ring mount so that it could be cast in metal. 

Now, when working with precious metal (in this case platinum), it can get very costly so in the first instance, we always create a silver mount. This way the client can see what the finished product will look like and make any changes to the silver model.

The wax mould

We are able to set the diamonds in the mount and remove them thus creating the overall impact of the finished design. 

This is the ideal time to make any significant changes and ensure that we get the mount absolutely right – including getting as close to the correct size as possible. We can do this using other pieces of jewellery if you are able to sneak them to us under the radar. If not, we can always adjust at a later date. 

The silver mount

Creating the Final Design 

Once the client has inspected the silver mount (and tried it on – if the ring is not intended as a surprise), we are then able to cast the ring in precious metal and set the stone/s in the permanent mount. All that is left to do then is present the finished article to the client. 

The final design

Popping the Question

Once we have created the ring and bought your designs to life and quite frankly, obliterated your expectations (yes we are that confident), its’ over to you. We can’t propose for you although we reckon we’d be great at that too. In this instance, the lady said “yes” and we couldn’t be happier for this lovely couple. The ring will last a lifetime, and those smiles will too! 

bespoke engagement ring proposal

She said “yes”

Additional Ideas and Services

In addition to creating the ring of your partner’s dreams, we can also add a few other bespoke touches such as engraving the ring. Some people choose to have the date they met engraved on the inside of the band, or their names/initials. Some even have the coordinates of where they met engraved. We can also take existing pieces of jewellery, or elements of them, to create stunning designs that are super special.

All you need to do in the first instance is get in touch. Book a time to come in and see us and let’s discuss what you are trying to achieve. We have lots of ideas and inspiration that we can add to the mix too so that you can create a bespoke engagement ring that will win the heart of your beloved.

Diamonds are forever, and like anything that is forever, a big commitment! When selecting the perfect diamonds for you, there are a number of things to consider. In addition to the colour and style, you also need to consider the cut and clarity and your budget. Let’s call it the four C’s and examine each in further detail in our guide to choosing diamonds:

  • Colour
  • Clarity
  • Cut
  • Cost


There are many shades of diamond in addition to the traditional white diamonds. Fancy something different? Looking for pink or blue maybe? You have options. In fact, we have produced a whole article on the various colours of diamonds available which you can find here. Just bear in mind that opting for something other than white is going to increase the budget somewhat.

  • White – the most popular colour and most widely available
  • Champagne – more neutral/pale but you can find champagne diamonds with a pinkish tinge
  • Green / Blue – Among the rarest and most valuable in the world. You will may more if you want to obtain a blue or green diamond
  • Grey – for a more subtle and some might say, more dignified look. Classy and professional

You may not be aware of just how many different colours of diamond are available. In fact, it very much depends on personal taste. If you are buying diamonds as a gift or surprise, it is always wise to stick with white unless you know exactly what you are looking for.


What do we mean by ‘clarity’ when it comes to choosing diamonds?

Natural diamonds are created deep in the earth. They are the result of carbon being exposed to incredible heat and pressure. The diamonds produced have internal characteristics which are referred to as inclusions and then blemishes which are external characteristics. The value of a diamond will depend on the size, position and nature of these inclusions and blemishes While it is almost impossible to find a ‘pure’ diamond, the better the clarity, the more valuable a diamond is.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) use a grading system to assist in the evaluation of diamonds. Within this there are 6 categories, some of which are divided, giving a total of  11 grades. These grades are as follows:

  • Flawless (FL) – no inclusions/blemishes visible
  • Internally Flawless (IF) – no inclusions visble
  • Very, Very Slightly Included – VVS and VVS2 –inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort and charatyerised as minor
  • Slightly Included (SI1and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3)Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance

All of the above relate to the diamonds being examined under 10x magnification.

At The Goldmarket, we are able to value diamonds using this grading system.


guide to choosing diamondsCut

The cut refers to the shape of the diamond. 75% of all diamonds sold are actually round cut but there are many others to consider. We go into much more detail in our blog Which Diamond Cut Should You Choose for Your Engagement Ring? but essentially you can choose from the following:

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Oval
  • Marquise
  • Pear
  • Cushion
  • Emerald
  • Asscher
  • Radiant
  • Heart-cut
marquise cut engagement ring

A Marquise cut engagement ring

Then there are fancy cuts which include modified brilliants, step-cuts, mixed-cuts and rose-cuts. It is definitely worth checking out all the different cuts to find one that you prefer.


Last, and by no means least, there is the matter of cost. All of the aforementioned – colour, clarity and cut, will affect the cost of the diamond that you choose.

Most recently (May 22), The Pink Star, is the largest know diamond to have received a Vivid Pink Colour Grade. It sold for $71 million in Hong Kong. This oval-shaped 59.6 carat pink diamond broke records for the highest price ever paid for a jewel.

Now we don’t suggest for one minute that you have millions of pounds to spend on a diamond but can assure you is that if you come to The Goldmarket, we will help you find the best diamond to suit your taste and your budget.

Diamonds are Forever

Our commitment to finding the perfect jewellery doesn’t end with this brief guide to choosing diamonds. At The Goldmarket, we can create bespoke designs and pieces for you. Have you got a diamond that you would like setting into a new mount? Want to use the diamonds from a sentimental piece to create a new piece? We can help and have years of experience in matching the right diamonds with our happy clients.

Just pop along to The Goldmarket and let us help you find exactly what you are looking for.


With the Queen about to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, we thought it timely to write a piece about this precious metal, where it comes from, why it is so much more valuable than gold and why platinum jewellery is such a popular choice for many.

A Brief Overview of Platinum

Only really used in the production of jewellery since the 19thcentury (unlike gold which has been used for centuries), platinum was actually first discovered in 1557. In the late 16thcentury, it was discovered by Spanish Conquistadors in the rivers in Ecuador. Of course, they had no understanding of its value and simply named it platina, throwing it back into the rivers for it to “ripen” into silver. Fast forward to today and we are much more aware of its benefits and value.

A Rare Precious Metal When Compared to Others

A far cry from the 16thcentury, now we know platinum to be one of the rarest and most durable of the precious metals. In fact, if you took all of the platinum ever mined and put it in one room, it would actually fit into the average living room. That is not a lot – especially when you consider how many platinum wedding rings must exist.

Why Choose Platinum?

Platinum is an extremely durable and hard wearing metal weighing 60% more than gold. It maintains its luminosity unlike other metals which may tarnish. It is resistant to tarnishing and discolouration and it’s strong white lustre makes it an extremely popular choice

Aside from how shiny and hardwearing it is, many choose it as it is a hypoallergenic metal – great for those with sensitive skin that cannot wear other metals.

Some Interesting Platinum Facts

Here are a few snippets about this rare but favoured precious metal that you may not know already:

  • The Hope Diamond is set in platinum
  • It is great for every day wear due to its strength and durability
  • Platinum doesn’t wear away and if you scratch it, you don’t lose any of the metal, it just displaces.
  • It doesn’t fade, discolour or tarnish
  • It’s hallmark is PT or PLAT. In Europe, platinum is identified by the following marks: 950 or PT950.

The Queen’s Platinum Jewellery Collection

Now, we can’t let the occasion pass without discussing some of the Queen’s platinum collection:

Nizam of Hyderabad Brooch


The Queen often wears this brooch, which is actually the centerpiece of the Nizam of Hyderabad tiara.

Fern Brooch

A platinum fern brooch featuring diamonds was given to Her Majesty by the Women of Auckland on Christmas in 1953, when she toured New Zealand. It has also been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara


This particular tiara was worn by Princess Eugenie on her wedding day. It is made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side.

Queen Mary’s Floret Earrings

queen Elizabeth platinum jewellery

The main diamonds from these earrings were a gift to Queen Mary in honour of her July 1893 wedding. They have gone through a number of settings before becoming the centre piece of their current iteration. Set in platinum, the diamonds are surrounded by seven smaller diamonds for a floret effect.

King Faisal Necklace


In May 1967, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia headed to the U.K. for a state visit — and brought this dazzling gift for the Queen in the form of a diamond necklace made by Harry Winston in the 1950s.

These are just a few of Queen Elizabeth’s famous platinum collection but let’s face it, it is a metal that is fit for a queen!

Caring for Platinum Jewellery

However durable and resilient this precious metal is, it is still highly important to look after your platinum jewellery. Avoid wearing it for manual labour or while at the gym/during exercise. Don’t allow your pieces to touch each other. In fact, it’s best if you can store your pieces separately in a fabric lined box. You should also be careful not to handle abrasives or acids while wearing platinum rings.

If your platinum jewellery does become scratched, fear not. At The Goldmarket, we have the tools to polish out those scratches and re-rhodium it to bring it up like new. You could even check out our collection of platinum jewellery while you are here!



Tangled chains, rings that are stuck on your finger, simple cleaning tips… we offer you the benefit of our wisdom with some top jewellery hacks. Of course, not everything can be fixed with a simple hack and for those jewellery issues that aren’t so easy to resolve, we are on hand with a warm welcome and a friendly smile to help. For now, let’s take a look at the things you can fix yourself.

Fastening a Bracelet

Not sure about you, but it’s not always easy to get those bracelets fastened one handed. There are a couple of things that you can try that will do the job though:

Use tape – a small piece of sticky tape will do the job. Using the tape, simply stick one end of the bracelet to your wrist to hold it in place while you fasten.

Use a paper clip or a bobby pin (hair grip) – Take a look at the below reel on Instagram to learn how you can quickly, and simply, fasten a bracelet with items that you have lurking in your bathroom cabinets or bedside tables.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Goldmarket (@goldmarketwsm)


Rings Stuck On Your Finger

If you are struggling to remove a ring from your finger, there are a few things you can try:

  • Try twisting the ring off
  • Use window cleaner – squirt some window cleaner on the the ring and the finger then try gently removing – be careful not to use anything with harsh chemicals in!
  • Reduce the swelling – If you are struggling to remove the ring because your finger is swollen, try submerging the finger in question into a cup of ice cold water for a few minutes while lifting the finger over your head (this uses the ice and elevation theory to reduce the swelling). You may need to repeat the process a few times.
  • Lubricate – using vaseline or a similar lubricant, try to slide the ring off the finger.

If none of the above remedies work then you are going to need to consider having the ring cut off. We can help. Not only will we remove the ring, we will also be able to repair, increase the size and make it good as new. You will get your ring back in once piece and it will fit.

Lengthen a Necklace

Got a favourite necklace that is just a bit short for the outfit you want to wear or want to give a new look to your favourite necklace? Use a bracelet as an extender to make it longer. Simply attach the clasps of the bracelet as you would do when fastening your necklace.

Sore Ears?

When you have left those earrings out for a while, or your ear lobes are a bit tender and you are worried about putting earrings back in, try popping some vaseline on the posts first – this will help the earrings to slide back into the ears.

Stop Jewellery Discolouring

Soap, sweat, salt, chlorine etc. all contribute to the discolouration of your favourite jewellery. Always remove it before you washing, cleaning, exercising, swimming etc to ensure that you keep your precious items in tip top condition.

Tangled Necklaces?

Among the popular jewellery hacks that you will find online, are how to untangle necklaces. If you find yourself with a hopelessly knotted pile of chains, simply lay them out on a flat surface and use baby oil and pin to carefully and gently untangle them. You are going to need lots of patience though.

To avoid them becoming tangled in the first place, when storing your necklaces, you can pop a straw over the end of the necklace, then hook the necklace closed. The chain then rests inside the straw stopping it from getting tangled. You can also cut slits into some card, hang your necklace over the slits and pop the rest of the chain into a small see through bag.

Tarnished Silver

Apparently, storing chalk with your silver jewellery absorbs moisture and stops the jewellery tarnishing so quickly. It is also important to take any jewellery off before cleaning, washing, showering, exercising etc.

Dirty Jewellery

Apart from keeping your jewellery clean with warm, soapy water, we really would advise leaving professional jewellery cleaning to the experts. At The Goldmarket, we take great care and attention when cleaning your precious jewellery. We not only clean the pieces but also re-rhodium then to ensure they come up looking as good as the day you bought them. If you have jewellery that needs some tlc, bring it along to our shop and often we can clean it while you wait.

Do you haver any top tips or jewellery hacks that we haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear them.



The wedding ring is a symbol of love and commitment, usually worn on the ring finger of the left hand where the vena amoris(vein of love) runs from the finger to the heart. When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding rings, we can help!

Where it All Began

While wedding jewellery hasn’t always been a ring worn on the ring finger, it has always been a piece of jewellery worn to signify that the wearer is married. This practise has evolved from Ancient Rome and Greece into a more modern day tradition where a wedding band is worn now on the ring finger of the left hand, usually by both parties. Embedded more in Christian tradition, it is a practise that is carried out the world over.

The Modern Day Wedding Ring

Forged from metals such as gold or platinum, modern day wedding rings are often matching and can be set with diamonds or engraved. They can be made from more than one metal and feature intricate designs. It’s not unusual to see tricolour rings which combine yellow, white and rose gold or a combination of two colours of gold. There are so many options that you don’t have to opt for simple plain gold bands, unless this is what you want.

Our Excellent Wedding Ring Service

At The Goldmarket, we have an excellent reputation for providing wedding rings for that special day. Our service extends from helping the happy couple pick the perfect ring from our extensive range of stock to custom designing and creating rings to individual specification. Let’s take a look at some of the options available to you when it comes to choosing wedding rings for your special day:

Custom Made Rings

Do you have a sentimental piece of jewellery that you would like to encompass in your wedding ring? Maybe it’s a family heirloom handed down through generations or perhaps it was a wedding band or engagement ring of a loved one that you lost. The precious metal from this jewellery can be used to form part, or all, of your new wedding band/s.

choosing wedding ringsDiamond Set Wedding Bands

Maybe you would like to have a band set with a diamond or other gemstone such as a birthstone. One, or both, of you may have the desire to have a diamond set into the shank to make it an extra special piece of jewellery. It may be a stone that was set in a relative’s engagement ring that you would like to feature in your wedding band so that it is always close to you. There are many options when it comes to which gemstones you use and where they feature on the ring (either on the outer shank or inside the ring).

Engraved Wedding Rings

We love receiving requests for special messages to be engraved on the inside or outside of wedding bands. Some of them are so creative and romantic. Have you thought about having the latitude and longitude coordinates of where you met, or where you got engaged, engraved inside the ring? Maybe you want to get the date you met or the date you are getting married engraved? You could have each other’s names or dates of birth or a special quote that means something to both of you. There are so many opportunities to have something special engraved on your wedding bands to make it truly unique and special to both of you. Let’s not forget that having the wedding date engraved on the inside of the ring, serves as a constant reminder to those that aren’t very good at remembering anniversaries (you just have to remember to look)!!  We love getting involved in this personal detailing at The Goldmarket, and have vast experience of different languages too; from Latin to Gaelic to Hebrew!

Choose From Our Extensive Selection

We are proud to offer an impressive selection of ready-made wedding bands here at The Goldmarket. These include both ladies and gents rings in all different sizes, including Z+ sizes. Of course, if you see something you like and it’s not in your size, we would be more than happy to resize it to fit. Our selection of beautiful rings is perfect for all tastes and budgets, with prices starting from as little as £150. There is so much to choose from – platinum, gold, white gold, diamond set…

If you find something you like from our range but want to personalise it, you could look to have it engraved or gem set with something special as mentioned above. You don’t have to have a ring custom made to do this.

One thing you can be sure of is our excellent customer service and attention to detail. We will be part of your journey, ensuring that you get exactly what you want and need for your wedding rings. After all, they are designed to last a lifetime.

To discuss your requirements in more details, pop into our Weston super Mare shop or call us on 01934 628361. We would be delighted to share in the magic of your special occasion.

Property, collectible cars, cryptocurrency, commodities… there are many investment opportunities that, if you get them right, can provide a return on your investments. Let’s face it, with interest rates being so low, even longer term saving options aren’t going to give you the dividends you could get from alternatives. For those that are looking to turn a profit there are a number of ways that you can indulge your passions, while your purchases increase in value. Investing in watches is one such way but, is this the right time to start your watch collection and what should you expect? We offer some tips on what to look out for and what to avoid.

The Art of Investing in Watches

When it comes to investing in watches, you can’t go wrong with a classic Rolex or the right Patek Phillipe model. In fact, some newly purchased Rolex models will almost double in value on the pre-owned market immediately after being purchased. Before you get excited, we aren’t suggesting that you should go out and buy a brand new Rolex and expect it to earn you money instantly.

Instead, you might look to invest in a classic pre-owned model in the right condition. Every Rolex will make you money if bought well and kept for 12-2 months

The Short Term Investor vs The Bigger Picture

There are two types of watch investors. There are the “flippers” who will buy the right watch at the right time with a view to sell it on and make a quick profit and then there are the collectors, the enthusiasts that are passionate about luxury watches and are looking to add to their collection with a longer term view. This bigger picture, playing the longer game, is a wise, and often fruitful way, for investing in watches of the luxury kind.

Demand and Popularity is Key

Many people enjoy success making money buying and selling vintage cars, vintage furniture and luxury watches. They use high profile auctions to attract the right buyers and interests but there is often no rational explanation for the amount paid for a watch or whether it sells or not. It’s usually linked to a hype surrounding a specific model. This could be who is wearing it, where it was featured and the demand for such a model.

Knowing the market, keeping an ear to the ground and learning what is hot and not, is a skill that will reward you with greater returns however, this can be time consuming and take time. Discussing your requirements with an expert that understands the market will not only save you time, but also help you to reap greater rewards.

Brands that Retain or Increase Their Value

Not every watch or brand will increase in value over time. There are those they will outperform the rest though – primarily the Rolex and Patek Phillipe. Other luxury watch brands such as Omega and classic models worn by well-known characters such as James Bond, also become a sought after piece, increasing its value.

Where Can You Buy Vintage Watches?

That’s easy – you can buy them from us. We are watch connoisseurs and know our luxury watches. We are always on the lookout for those special pieces, successfully sourcing them for our clients using our watch concierge service. If we don’t have it in stock, we will endeavour to source it for you. You just tell us what you are looking for and we will do the rest

Looking After Your Investment

Even sat in a box in a protected environment, luxury watches still need regular care and attention. For insurance purposes, it is vital that you get your watch serviced at recommended intervals in line with the manufacturers guides. Some Rolexes now only need service once every 10 years whereas others will require servicing more often. A service is important to ensure that all parts are in working order. We also offer a repair service and as part of our servicing, we can address any issues – a scratch, wear and tear, parts not working… We have certified watch technicians that take care of all of this for you.

Consider the Risks

Be wise with your investment and don’t commit to anything without first carrying out your research.

  • Watch out for fraudulent or stolen watches
  • Be careful of watches that are cobbled together from other parts (Frankenwatches)
  • Buy from a reputable business
  • Ensure your purchase comes with the original box and docs
  • Find out as much as you can about the history of the watch
  • Get it valued and insured

Taking carefully calculated risks is much safer than buying a watch of a mate or the guy down the pub. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is so take your time and ask for expert advice before parting with your money.

The Most Expensive Watches Sold at Auction

We will leave you with this thought. At the Only Watch auction, at Christie’s in 2019 a Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 sold for a record $31.19m.

Other major auction sales include a 1943 Patek Philippe Stainless Steel 1518 which sold for $11.14m in 2016 and Paul Newman’s “Exotic” Rolex Daytona which sold in 2017 for $17.75m.

The most expensive watch in the world currently is the Graff Diamonds “Hallucination”. A price tag of $55 million!

Want to find out more about our watch services? Click here or get in touch with us here at The Goldmarket – 01934 628361.

Many different items of jewellery are brought in to us for repair, resizing and restoration. Below we share some of our recent precious jewellery repairs with you so that you can be confident of just how talented, fastidious and dedicated our wondrous team of jewellers (or as we like to call them, magicians) are.

Tiffany Bracelet

Just the other day we were charged with repairing a Tiffany bracelet that had fallen victim to a lawnmower. Unfortunately, Mrs Summers had lost the bracelet in the garden. It was found by Mr Summers… or should we say, Mr Summers and his lawnmower.

In this instance, the lawnmower got the better of the bracelet but it didn’t get the better of us! Re-building the charm, layer by layer, we were able to restore it to its former glory. Mrs Summers was delighted. We are sure that Mr Summers was relieved!

jewellery repair

Multi-Gemstone Bracelet

A customer recently brought in this silver, multi-gem tennis bracelet for repair as the ‘male’ part of the clasp had broken. In order to fix it, we needed to add and solder new metal. Of course, soldering creates a lot of heat and at high temperatures, precious gemstones such as those pictured below, can crack and sustain damage. In this instance, our jeweller decided to remove a couple of the stones to negate this risk.


A thermo gel barrier solution was then applied to stop heat transference to protect the bracelet further. Once the bracelet had been soldered, the gemstones were re-set and the piece was as good as new.

Opal Ring Resize

This oval cut black opal and diamond trilogy was bought in to be re-sized. Again, applying heat around a gemstone of this nature can cause damage. As it’s more tricky to remove the stone, heat proof thermo gel was applied as a barrier to prevent the heat causing damage to the opal.


The ring was then re-sized, cleaned polished and returned to the customer. All good as new and a perfect fit. We can resize most rings up and down, especially if they are gold or silver. It’s a little trickier with precious metals such as platinum as they require lasering but we can arrange for this to be carried out.

If we need to reduce the size of the ring, we remove a section of the metal and then solder it back together, ensuring that the join is invisible to the naked eye and strong enough to last a good many years. If we need to increase the size of a ring, we will add a new section of metal, again strengthening the ring and making sure that the join is very carefully polished out.

A Missing Sapphire

There is nothing worse than losing a precious stone out of a ring, especially one as beautiful as this. The reason for the missing sapphire was the damaged claw. Not a problem for the team who replaced the claw and the sapphire. One very happy customer! One sapphire and diamond ring as good as new!

Ring Resurrection

Resurrection was actually the term coined by the jeweller who carried out this next repair. This 9ct ring was caught in a door. It got badly bent out of shape. Luckily, we were able to reshape it and ‘resurrect’ it. It is now perfectly round and polished up to look as good as new.


It’s such a pleasure to see these items restored and repaired and to see the smiles on the faces of the happy clients that they belong to. It’s not just an item of jewellery, it’s often a piece that carries great sentiment, a story, happy memories or a lasting legacy. We are able to do so much more than you might think. Our recent precious jewellery repairs include:

  • Resizing – up and down
  • Stone replacement
  • Reshaping bent and out of shape jewellery
  • Building back up weakened clasps
  • Split ring shafts
  • Refurbishment
  • Watch servicing and repair
  • Cleaning and polishing

So, if you have a ring that needs resizing, or your favourite item of jewellery has been run over by the lawnmower,  just pop along to The Goldmarket and let us take a look, Often, we can carry out precious jewellery repairs on site, and within the hour, as you watch our jewellers at work on the bench. On some occasions it may take longer. If the job requires specialist repairs or layering, it will need to be sent away. Even if you think your jewellery is beyond repair, bring it is as you will be surprised at just how much we can do. To arrange a time to bring your items in, you can call 01934 628361 or just pop along to our shop at 23 High Street, Weston super Mare.






Do you know your carat from your karat? Where were diamonds first discovered? We take a look at 10 interesting jewellery facts in our latest blog:

The First Diamond

The first diamond was discovered in India in the 4th century. Of course, back then no-one knew what they had stumbled upon but due to their sparkling nature and amazing durability, they soon became highly valuable.

It wasn’t until the 18th century that people realised that India was not the only source of diamonds and in 1866, a diamond over 21 carats was found in South Africa. Of course, today, the country is one of the leading diamond suppliers in the world. The biggest diamond ever discovered was the Cullinan which weighted an impressive 1.3 pounds.

Diamonds Are Millions of Years Old

All diamonds are over 3 billion years old. They were formed 100 miles below the surface of the earth from heated and compressed carbon. While they are formed below the surface, they are mined in the Earth’s crust. One thing is for sure – if you own a diamond, you can be confident that it’s been around a lot longer than the human race.

The First Engagement Ring 

It is believed that 1477 saw the introduction of the engagement ring. It was given by Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy as a promise of their impending nuptials. Today, engagement rings are a multi-billion dollar industry. Most engagement rings feature diamonds. The reason for this? Well, it’s largely because they are millions of years old, are largely unbreakable and represent an everlasting bond.

The Most Recognisable Engagement Ring

While we are on the subject of engagement rings, the most recognisable of them all is said to be that of Princess Diana. The blue Ceylon sapphire sat in a circle of diamonds, now sits on the finger of her daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton.

The Discovery of Gold

As a naturally occurring metal, it is believed that gold mining actually took place as much as 7,000 years ago. This is evident by the discovery of several artefacts that date back to 4200-4700 BC. Of course, since then gold mining has evolved and during the 19th century, there were numerous gold rushes in various locations around the globe. It was the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand that led to the Second Boer War and, ultimately, the founding of South Africa.

China is now the largest global producer of gold followed by Russia and Australia. Gold has always been a highly valuable commodity which has fuelled many feuds, wars and power struggles but has also become a symbol of love and commitment between lovers. 

Interesting jewellery facts snippet – the weight of gold found in Tutankhamun’s tomb was 9 tonnes! 

A Symbol of Position

The Ancient Romans, used to wear jewellery to symbolise their position. Only senators were allowed to wear gold rings while free citizens could wear silver. Slaves were only allowed to wear iron rings. Druids would wear a gold sickle as a symbol of their position too. 

Carat vs Karat

Diamonds and other gemstones are measured in carats. One carat equals 200 milligrams (0.200 grams). There are 453 grams in a pound. 

When used to measure gold, a ‘karat’ is a measure of purity. 24 karat is pure gold. 24 karat gold is very soft, so much so that you can mould it in your hands. For this reason, gold is often mixed with copper or silver to harden and toughen it. Each karat represents 1/24 of the whole. 18 karat gold therefore is 18 parts gold and 6 parts copper or silver.


Pearls are the only gemstone that actually come from a living creature making it truly organic. Since the introduction of processing cultured pearls in the 20th century, pearl farms were developed – now almost all pearls are cultured.

A Red Sapphire is Actually a Ruby

Sapphires come in a myriad of colours, in fact, you can get sapphires in every colour except red. That is because red sapphires are actually rubies. Other than the colour and the name, the two gemstones are identical.


Did you know that all the platinum in the world would fit into the average sized living room? True story! Ten tonnes of ore must be mined for just one ounce of platinum. This process takes six months. This gives some explanation as to why it is so expensive and such a valuable metal.

Do you have any interesting jewellery facts to share? We’d love to hear them. Just drop them in the comments below. If you are looking for precious gemstones, diamond jewellery, gold, platinum or any other type of jewellery, we would be happy to help at The Goldmarket.

When was the last time you had your valuable items of jewellery appraised? Were you aware that jewellery appraisals should be carried out on average every 2-3 years? The specific length of time between each valuation will depend on the individual requirements of different insurance companies but most will insist on a professional and certified appraisal every 2-3 years. This is important to ensure that you are adequately covered for loss, theft or damage of a valuable item of jewellery or a luxury watch.

The Importance of Jewellery Appraisals

The cost of diamonds, gem stones, precious metals including gold and platinum and watches of significance generally rise over time and are very much subject to rapid changes and trends in demand. As commodities, precious metals can increase in value by quite some margin over short periods which is why certain items of jewellery make such great longer-term investments. What you believe to be worth a specific price could actually be a lot higher in today’s ever changing marketplace.

You might be surprised at just how much that diamond ring you’ve been wearing on your finger for the last 10 or more years is actually worth today. The value of such an item may have risen so much that if anything should happen to it, or you should lose it, you may not be able to afford to replace it. That’s why it is so important to have valuable items of jewellery or watches insured and to do this accuaretely, regularily appraised.

Does it Cost to Get Jewellery Appraised?

The answer is yes, but it’s a savy investment and the cost is more than justified when you consider the value of your precious jewellery items. Imagine losing your beloved engagement ring, wedding ring, gold chain or luxury watch and not having the insurance to cover it for a like for like replacement. That’s not to say that the sentimental value can be replaced but at least the material value can be.

Insuring Your Jewellery

When it comes to insurance, many policies offer a non-specified single item option which will cover you up to around £1,000 on your home insurance. For more valuable items however, you need to arrange specific cover. In the event of loss, theft or accidental damage, it is important to know the true value of your collection and how much they would cost to replace, as home insurance is often based on a ‘new for old’ basis.

To be sure you have everything necessary for your policy, you should obtain an independent valuation document to verify the current, true replacement cost of any ‘specified’ items. If you bought the item new and have receipts, this may be enough information to provide with your insurance application. For pre-owned, vintage, antique or inherited pieces that have increased in value, you may have no idea of what they are actually worth and therefore rick being under insured without obtaining a current professional valuation certificate.

The Value of Jewellery

While the appraisal value doesn’t necessarily reflect the price you could achieve if you were to sell the item privately, it does give you an insurance valuation price for the cost of replacing such an item with a brand new ‘like for like’ option . Most of the time a jewellery appraisal is necessary to ensure that you don’t undervalue the item. If you declare what you think it’s worth rather than what it is actually worth, you may find yourself under-insured and in breach of your policy, therefore forfeiting any entitlement.

Should the worst happen, and you don’t have an appraisal, it’s unlikely that you can prove the value of these individual items to the insurer that you use. If you are making a specific claim for an item of jewellery, it’s unlikely the insurance company will pay out without an official appraisal and photographs of the item.

Our Jewellery Appraisal Service

At The Goldmarket, we offer certified jewellery appraisals and valuations. We charge £100 for any single item with further items charged at £30 each, regardless of value. This could include the following:

  • Diamond rings
  • Gold chains
  • Diamond earrings
  • Luxury watches
  • Vintage pocket watches
  • Wedding rings, engagement rings and dress rings
  • Bespoke items
  • Vintage/Antique items

Pop your items into us, we will give you a receipt and prepare your valuation certificate within a matter of days. This valuation certificate can then be submitted with your insurance application to ensure that you are adequately covered and can have peace of mind. You can also use this link to book a valuation online. Just scroll down the page to the valuations section. We have years of experience in certifying jewellery and, as N.A.J accredited Jewellers, have helped many customers with their insurance claims over the past 25 years.

Why take the risk? Contact to arrange your valuation.

It’s fair to say that our jewellers have been kept very busy during the last few months carrying out jewellery repairs on everything from broken necklace clasps to changing the shank of a ring from yellow to white gold. We’ve repaired bracelets, earring, necklaces, watches, chains… you name it, there’s not much we haven’t seen on our in-house workbench.

Sharing 5 of Our Recent Jewellery Repairs

We are very fortunate to have a team of talented jewellers that are highly skilled and experienced craftsmen with an immaculate eye for detail. But, much as we could extoll the virtues of their talents all day, let’s share with you some of their recent work.

Changing the Shank/Colour of a Ring

Have you ever found the ideal piece of jewellery but just wished it was in a different metal? This was the case for a customer who recently purchased the ring below from us. The original sapphire and diamond vintage cluster was actually in 18ct yellow gold. While the customer absolutely loved the ring, its age and its styling – she ideally wanted it to be white gold. The ladies wish was our command. Wechanged the shank from yellow to white and the results were spectacular.


Fixing a Jump Ring on a Necklace

Even simple tasks can improve the quality and longevity of a piece of jewellery. Take this diamond set cross pendant which had a worn jump ring. Unfortunately, once the jump ring becomes weak it can split, so the danger of losing the pendant increases. With a fine piece like this, it needs to be secure so you can wear with confidence. By custom making gold wire from recycled 9ct, we were able to add a new, solid jump ring which will stand the test of time and last for many years to come. Combining upcycling with helping beautiful jewellery live on.

Strengthening a Wedding Band

A wedding band holds huge sentimental value, so its imperative its cared for in the right way. As a wedding band is worn every day, it can be subject to huge amounts of wear and tear over the years. In this case, this gents wedding band was looking very tired and aged. There also wasn’t much metal to work with to re-size the ring, given that the gold had worn away over the years. As you can see from the photos below, we inserted a new piece of gold to bolster the ring, then this was filed down to shape, buffed, polished and returned to its owner looking as good as the day it was first worn.

Replacing a Lost Stone

When the customer lost the bezel set stone from this ring, they were obviously very disappointed. They bought it to us however and we performed our magic! Not only were they able to have the stone replaced, they could also select which stone they wanted. In this case, they opted for a stunning London blue oval cut topaz. Beautiful!

Increasing the Size of a Ring

While decreasing the size of a ring is a fairly straightforward procedure, increasing the size is a different method entirely. With a reduction, we remove a piece of the metal shank. With an increase in size, we can either cut and add a piece of gold or, in some cases (when working on a plain band with enough substance,) we can ‘stretch’ the ring. The photos below show the latter. The stretching machine is used to increase the size of the ring and then the ring is re-finished. Lacomite is applied to stop the rhodium plate covering the yellow gold which you can see in the 4th image below before the ring is buffed and polished.

Repairing Your Valuable Jewellery

There is not a lot that the team at The Goldmarket can’t do and 90% of our jewellery repairs are carried out on site and often, the same day, or within a matter of days. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and the intricacy of the repairs that our team fulfil.

If you have a piece of jewellery that you would like repaired, re-sized, restored or given a new lease of life to, please give us a call, drop us a message or call into our shop 23 High Street Weston-Super-Mare. You will be greeted with a smile and a warm welcome and we will take good care of you and your valuable possessions.