Jewellery Blog, Gemstone Information

July 9, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge of Brazilianite

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 4:18 pm
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Gemstone Knowledge of Brazilianite

Brazilianite

Brazilianite

Family: Brazillianite belongs to the Phosphate family of Gemstones.

Country Location: Brazillianite can mostly be found in Minas Gerias, Brazil (hence the gemstone’s name) and New Hampshire, USA (very small deposits have been found here).

Rock Type: Brazillianite can be found in coarse grained igneous rock (known as pegmatites), which are rich in phosphate. This is considered an unusual combination as pegmatites are more known to contain other elements. Feldspar’s and Muscovite are found with Brazillianite.

Hardness: Brazillianite’s hardness measures at 5.5 making it a softer gemstone, preferably used in cocktail jewellery worn infrequently. Brazillianite is considered to be one of the hardest phosphate based minerals, hence why it is the only one considered as a gemstone.

Popular Cuts: Brazillianite can be found using the Cushion and Pendeloque cut, which accentuates colour and brilliance. The most common cut used in the Baguette/Step cut. This not only shows its distinctive colour, but also helps the Brazillianite be more durable. Cutters can make better use out of its fractures and inclusions.

Colour: Brazillianite’s colour ranges from “Chartreuse” yellow, pale yellow to yellow green. This gemstone can also appear as colourless in transmitted light

Lustre: Brazillianite’s lustre is Vitreous

History: Brazillianite is a fairly recent gem, having only been discovered in Brazil in 1944, where it was first thought to be Chrysoberyl.

Folklore: Brazillianite is believed to encourage sociability and the creation of new friendships. It also helps the wearer deal with nerves and bad skin conditions.

Family: Brazillianite belongs to the Phosphate family of Gemstones.

Country Location: Brazillianite can mostly be found in Minas Gerias, Brazil (hence the gemstone’s name) and New Hampshire, USA (very small deposits have been found here).

Rock Type: Brazillianite can be found in coarse grained igneous rock (known as pegmatites), which are rich in phosphate. This is considered an unusual combination as pegmatites are more known to contain other elements. Feldspar’s and Muscovite are found with Brazillianite.

Hardness: Brazillianite’s hardness measures at 5.5 making it a softer gemstone, preferably used in cocktail jewellery worn infrequently. Brazillianite is considered to be one of the hardest phosphate based minerals, hence why it is the only one considered as a gemstone.

Popular Cuts: Brazillianite can be found using the Cushion and Pendeloque cut, which accentuates colour and brilliance. The most common cut used in the Baguette/Step cut. This not only shows its distinctive colour, but also helps the Brazillianite be more durable. Cutters can make better use out of its fractures and inclusions.

Colour: Brazillianite’s colour ranges from “Chartreuse” yellow, pale yellow to yellow green. This gemstone can also appear as colourless in transmitted light

Lustre: Brazillianite’s lustre is Vitreous

History: Brazillianite is a fairly recent gem, having only been discovered in Brazil in 1944, where it was first thought to be Chrysoberyl.

Folklore: Brazillianite is believed to encourage sociability and the creation of new friendships. It also helps the wearer deal with nerves and bad skin conditions.

June 26, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge of Bloodstone

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 2:32 pm
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Gemstone Knowledge of Bloodstone

Bloodstone Jewellery

Bloodstone Jewellery

Family: Bloodstone belongs to the Chalcedony family of gemstones

Country Location: Bloodstone can be found in diverse locations including Australia, Brazil, China and Wyoming (USA). The main source of Bloodstone is found in India and the Kathiawar Peninsula.

Rock Type: Bloodstone can be found in silica rich deposits.

Hardness: Bloodstone’s hardness measures at 7, making it durable to wear during the day.

Popular Cuts: Bloodstone can be found using the Cameo cut, which was very popular during the Roman times as it made the perfect background for raised reliefs.  It is also found using the cabochon cut which highlights its special colour, spots and veins.

Colour: Bloodstone has a unique colour design.  Its background is a combination of dark-greens which has deep red, brown and multi-coloured spots falling upon it.   It is the iron minerals (which also make bright red Jasper) that cause these coloured spots.  The red spots are thought to look like drops of blood, hence the name Bloodstone.

Lustre: Bloodstone lustre is Vitreous

History: Bloodstone has a long, intriguing history.  Roman soldiers used to be given a Cameo of Bloodstone if they had won a battle.  In the middle ages, the drops of red were considered to be the blood of Christ; so many religious people wore Bloodstone.

Folklore: Bloodstone folklore beliefs have varied throughout time.  During Ancient times, Bloodstone was used to heal haemorrhages, stomach pains and bladder infections. It was also considered very magical.  In the middle Ages, Bloodstone was believed to purify organs and blood circulation, hence why it was carried by soldiers.  In the 19th century, Bloodstone was considered the stone for gamblers as it was said to bring luck, strength of mind and success.

Birthstone: Bloodstone is the alternative birthstone of February

June 22, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge of Bixbite (Red Beryl)

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 3:02 pm
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Gemstone Knowledge of Bixbite (Red Beryl)

Bixbite (Red Beryl) Gemstone

Bixbite (Red Beryl) Gemstone

Family: Bold Bixbite belongs to the Quartz family of gemstones

Country Location: Bixbite has a very restricted amount of sources.  The two locations known are the Wah Wah Mountains (Utah, USA) and Mexico.

Rock Type: Bixbite can be found in pegmatites (a coarse grained igneous rock), metamorphic rock and silica rich volcanic rocks.  To crystallize, Bixbite needs low pressure and high temperature conditions, often found in the gas phase along fractures and cavities.  Bixbite is often found where Topaz, Spessartite and other Quartz have formed.

Hardness: Bixbite’s hardness measures at 7.5 making it resilient when mined for jewellery use.

Popular Cuts: Bixbite can only be found using the Brilliant Cut which accentuates its birefringence (double refraction), rich colour and fire.

Colour: Bixbite is most commonly found in a rich, clear red hue with blue tinges. This rich red colour is created by the elements of manganese and caesium, whereas the blue tones can be attributed to titanium elements.

Lustre: Bixbite’s lustre is Vitreous.

History: Bixbite, also known as Red Beryl, is named after Maynard Bixby, a well known mineral collector.  Because Bixbite is considered very rare and expensive, those stones faceted for jewellery use are no larger than 3 carats.

Folklore: Bixbite has a fanciful folklore around it.  Many believe that it increases physical energy, creativity and awareness.  It also promotes harmony in relationships.  Some believe Bixbite helps those to deal with anxiety and depression.  Physically, Bixbite helps quell digestive disorders and strengthen the heart and lungs.

Birthstone: Bixbite is an alternative birthstone of April.

June 17, 2009

Gemstone Jewellery of Baryte

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 4:02 pm
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Gemstone Jewellery of Baryte

Gemstone Baryte

Gemstone Baryte

Family: Blazing Baryte belongs to its own family of gemstones

Country Location: Baryte can be found in a multitude of locations. These include Sweden (Karlsborg, Uppland, Dansland and Varmland regions), Finland (Sodakyla region), Italy (Bologna), Romania, Germany and even in England (Cumbria, Cornwall and Derbyshire)

Rock Type: Baryte can be found as bladed white masses; in clusters with its crystals growing adjacent to each other; tabular crystals or replacement deposits in sedimentary rocks (formed beneath the earth’s surface). It can also be found in limestone deposited by hot springs

Hardness: Baryte’s hardness measures at 3- 3.5, making it a fairly soft gemstone; best used in pieces worn infrequently

Popular Cuts: Baryte can be mostly found using the Step cut, which helps maximize protection against damage; the Mixed cut to display the gemstones brilliance and warm glowing hues and the Polished cut to show the structure of Baryte crystals in concentric bands.  Baryte’s perfect cleavage means it is only faceted for collectors and not specific jewellery pieces

Colour: Baryte’s brilliant colour ranges from colourless, white, yellowish-brown (most common), grey and blue.  In daylight, a yellowish-brown tinge is more apparent.  In UV light, shades of orange or pink are more apparent.  Baryte has the optical property of birefringence, meaning it splits light rays in two (also known as double refraction)

Lustre: Baryte’s lustre is Vitreous to Pearly

History: Baryte adopts an interesting history.  Its name is taken from the Greek word “bapos”, meaning heavy.  This is because being a non-metallic mineral; it has a specific gravity of 4.45.   Baryte can also be referred to as “Bologna stone” as specimens were found in the 17th century, by Vincenzo Cascariolo, an Italian alchemist.  In 1959, the spelling of Baryte was changed to the more Americanized spelling “Barite”, although, in 1978, this was reversed

Folklore: Baryte has a fantastic folklore surrounding it.  Firstly, it is believed to improve decisiveness, writing mannerisms and muscles.  Secondly, it is believed to promote clearer insight, increased patience and the natural flow of energy

Special Care: Baryte is slightly soluble in water and very soluble in salt and acid solutions; therefore to clean, only use a soft cloth

Extra Info: Baryte has the physical properties which enable it to be used in the manufacture of paper and paints

June 11, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge of Andalusite

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 3:00 pm
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Gemstone Knowledge of Andalusite

Andalusite Gemstone

Andalusite Gemstone

Family: Amazing Andalusite belongs to the Quartz family of gemstones

Country Location: Andalusite can be found in mines located in Andalusia, Spain (where the stone is named after), Brazil and the USA

Rock Type: Andalusite can be found in metamorphic rocks, formed in low pressure, but high temperature conditions. The unique combination of kyanite and sillimanite often decipher Andalusite gems

Hardness: Andalusite’s hardness measures at 7.5 making it as durable as Aquamarine.  You can wear Andalusite day or night

Popular Cuts: Andalusite is mostly found using the Oval, Marquise or Emerald cut.  These types of cut allow the gem to display one colour in the centre, surrounded by a darker colour at each end.  If the cutter wants a mosaic-like colour, they will choose to use a Princess or round Brilliant cut to blend the colours

Lustre: Andalusite’s lustre is Vitreous (glass like appearance)

History: Andalusite is considered to be a more recent gemstone.  Despite it being discovered in 1789, it had not been considered as a gem for jewellery use until the end of the 20th century

Folklore: Andalusite is believed to lower fever, rheumatism, arthritis, and gout and balance immune systems It also helps the wearer during trauma

Extra Info: There has been a unique version of Andalusite discovered called Chiastolite.  This stone contains black clay like material

June 10, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge – Amber

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 2:49 pm

Amber

Amber Pendants

Amber Pendants

Family: Astonishing Amber belongs to the Organics family of gemstones

Country Location: Amber can be found along the coasts of Eastern Europe (mainly Poland, Romania and Russia), Mexico, Canada, USA and even along the southern coasts of England

Rock Type: Amber can be found in deposits along shorelines.  It is thought that it took millions of years for Amber to form, as in essence, it is the preserved resin of prehistoric trees that have captured different species.  These species can sometime be seen, making each piece unique

Hardness: Amber’s hardness measures at 2.5 making it a perfect evening piece

Popular Cuts- Amber is mostly found using the Bead cut to highlights its warm glow, cloudy and transparent areas; the Cameo cut in brooches and the Polished Cut to accentuate its unique inclusions

Colour: Amber’s alluring colour ranges from golden yellow, golden orange, green, red, violet and black

Lustre: Amber’s lustre is resinous

History: In ancient cultures, Amber was considered as a commodity to purchase land, animals and slaves worldwide, as it was found on beaches when waves threw them out during storms

Folklore: Amber has an interesting folklore history.  It was believed to protect, attract happiness and luck, guarantee success when hunting or fishing and prevent evil from coming near

Birthstone- Amber is the alternative birthstone for November

Special Care: Amber is considered to be very delicate, so ensure that your Amber jewellery is placed in its own section in your jewellery box, to prevent it being scratched.  To clean Amber, use lukewarm water on a soft cloth or cotton bud.  To maintain Amber’s polish, clean as above, dry carefully, rub olive oil over it very lightly and remove excess oil by rubbing it with a soft cloth

June 5, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge – Amethyst

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 9:38 am

Amethyst

Click here to view our amethyst jewellery

Amethyst
General
Category Mineral variety
Chemical formula Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
Identification
Color violet
Crystal habit 6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid (typical)
Crystal system rhombohedral class 32
Twinning Dauphine law, Brazil law, and Japan law
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal
Mohs Scale hardness 7–lower in impure varieties
Luster Vitreous/glossy
Refractive index nω = 1.543–1.553 nε = 1.552–1.554
Optical Properties Uniaxial (+) (Positive)
Birefringence +0.009 (B-G interval)
Pleochroism None
Streak White
Specific gravity 2.65 constant; variable in impure varieties
Melting point 1650±75 °C
Solubility H2O insoluble
Diaphaneity Transparent to translucent
Other Characteristics Piezoelectric

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used as an ornamental stone in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek a- (“not”) and methustos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

Birthstone

Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February. It is also associated with the astrological signs of Pisces, Aries (especially the violet and purple variety), Aquarius, and Sagittarius. Its the official zodiac stone of pisces. People born in February on the 19th or later have amethyst as both their birth and zodiac stone. It is a symbol of heavenly understanding, and of the pioneer in thought and action on the philosophical, religious, spiritual, and material planes. Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office.

Lore

The Greek word “amethystos” (αμέθυστος) may be translated as “not drunken”. Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. In greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, which the goddess Artemis granted and transformed her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos’s desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life is spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears then stained the quartz purple. Another variation involves the goddess Rhea presenting Dionysus with the amethyst stone to preserve the wine-drinker’s sanity.

Geographic distribution

Amethyst is produced in abundance from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in South Korea. The largest opencast amethyst vein in the world is in Maissau, Lower Austria. Many of the hollow agates of Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks. Many localities in India yield amethyst. One of the largest global amethyst producers is Zambia with an annual production of about 1,000 t.

Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States, but these specimens are rarely fine enough for use in jewellery. Among these may be mentioned Amethyst Mountain, Texas; Yellowstone National Park; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Haywood County, North Carolina; Deer Hill and Stow, Maine. It is found also in the Lake Superior region. Amethyst is relatively common in Ontario, and in various locations throughout Nova Scotia, but uncommon elsewhere in Canada.

Chemistry

Amethyst is the violet variety of quartz; its chemical formula is SiO2.

In the 20th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it is capable of being greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate was suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

More recent work has shown that amethysts’ coloration is due to ferric iron impurities. Further study has shown a complex interplay of iron and aluminium is responsible for the color.

On exposure to heat, amethyst generally becomes yellow, and much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely “burnt amethyst”.

Synthetic amethyst is made to imitate the best quality amethyst. Its chemical and physical properties are so similar to that of natural amethyst that it can not be differentiated with absolute certainty without advanced gemological testing (which is often cost-prohibitive). There is one test based on “Brazil law twinning” (a form of quartz twinning where right and left hand quartz structures are combined in a single crystal which can be used to identify synthetic amethyst rather easily. In theory however it is possible to create this material synthetically as well, but this type is not available in large quantities in the market.

Composition

Amethyst is composed of an irregular superposition of alternate lamellae of right-handed and left-handed quartz. It has been shown that this structure may be due to mechanical stresses.

Because it has a hardness of seven on the Mohs scale, amethyst is suitable for use in jewelery.

Hue and tone

Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and/or blue. The ideal grade is called “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80 percent, 15–20 percent blue and (depending on the light source) red secondary hues.

History

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios. The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication.

A huge geode, or “amethyst-grotto”, from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was exhibited at the Düsseldorf, Germany Exhibition of 1902.

Alternate terminology

Several descriptive terms have been coined in the gem trade to describe the colors of amethyst. “Rose de France” is usually a pale pinkish lavender or lilac shade (usually the least-sought color). The most prized color is an intense violet with red flashes and is called “Siberian”, although gems of this color may occur from several locations other than Siberia, notably Uruguay and Zambia. In more recent times, certain gems (usually of Bolivian origin) that have shown alternate bands of amethyst purple with citrine orange have been given the name ametrine.

Purple corundum, or sapphire of amethystine tint, is called Oriental amethyst, but this expression is often applied by jewelers to fine examples of the ordinary amethystine quartz, even when not derived from eastern sources. Professional gemological associations, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gemological Society (AGS), discourage the use of the term “Oriental amethyst” to describe any gem, as it may be misleading.

The Second Book of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus, Of the Vertues of Certaine Stones, refers to amethysts by the name Amarictus.

Value

Traditionally included in the cardinal, or most valuable, gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald), amethyst has lost much of its value due to the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil. The highest grade amethyst (called “Deep Russian”) is exceptionally rare and therefore its value is dependent on the demand of collectors when one is found. It is however still orders of magnitude lower than the highest grade sapphires or rubies (Padparadscha sapphire or “pigeon’s blood” ruby).

June 4, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge of Agate

Filed under: Gemstone Knowledge — pangsheng @ 3:22 pm
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Gemstone -Agate

Family: Agate belongs to the Chalcedony family of gemstones

Country location: Agate is a gem that can be found mostly in Germany (the Idar-Oberstien region), Uruguay and Brazil. Smaller deposits can be found in India, China and the USA

Rock Type: Agate can be found in nodular masses which occur in fossilized wood or from volcanic lava.  This location is unique to Agate and Amber

Hardness:  Agate’s harness measures at 7- making it a sturdy and decorative gem

Popular cuts: Agate is mostly found using the Cabochon cut for rings, the Cameo cut for brooches and the Polished Cut for accentuating the distinctive angular, wavy or concentric banding

Colour: Agate’s stunning selection of colours includes Teal, Aqua, Pearlescent White, Grey, Black, Brown and Orange

Lustre: Agate’s lustre is vitreous (glass like appearance)

History: Agate has a fascinating history.  It was used by the Babylonians to make weapons to protect their property It was also used to determine royal blood in the Byzantine Empire.  The most popular and well known carver of Agate is the Idar Oberstein region in Germany, who specializes in Agate bowls

Folklore: Agate has a fabulous folklore history.  The Persians believe Agate divert storms Hindu’s believe Agate is key in enabling children to balance, walk and overcome fears.  Modernists believe Agate promotes pleasant dreams, mellow constitution and agreements as well as preventing insomnia and conflict

Birthstone: Agate is the alternative birthstone of May

Special Care: Agates should be kept out of sunlight to prevent colour fade.  Agate should be cleaned using soapy water and a soft cloth

Extra Info: The vivid varieties of Agate include Blue Lace Agate, Crazy Lace Agate and Rainbow Agate

May 27, 2009

Rings in the UK

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 11:50 am

There are large numbers of different companies in the UK competing in the UK’s jewellery marketplace.  Jewellery products are almost everywhere in the UK.  The jewellery market has  several different items, such as bracelets, necklaces, pendants and earrings. However, rings in the UK are purchased on an extremely large scale and take up the majority of the jewellery market.

Different metals are used in rings.  The most common metal types are yellow gold, silver, white gold. The majority of the silver used in rings is sterling silver. There are also many choices for gold. Among them, 9ct and 18ct gold are the most popular ones.

Different rings have different stone types. The most common stones are cubic zirconia and diamond rings, whilst sapphire, pearl, and ruby, topaz, tanzanite, opal, garnet, swarovski crystal, aquamarine, peridot and quartz can also be purchased.

Different stone shapes can be found at a variety of retailers.  Some of the most common shapes include brilliant, round and heart, whilst oval, emerald, marquise, princess, baguette and square can also be found. Colour is another factor which can make a ring look completely different from the next.

Rings can also be bought for different occasions, and some of the most special ones are made specifically as engagement rings and wedding rings.  These can be however, at the top end of the market and are only ever purchased for the occasion.

Obviously, some are better than others but again it always comes down to what each individual customer wants and what they like best. Again, different styles appeal to different consumers.  Some consumers like big square rings to go with their own style whilst other, perhaps more sophisticated ladies will only ever wear princess cut rings. It is always the individual’s decision which one to buy but a decision will be made with all the necessary information to hand and based on which one they like best.

May 26, 2009

UK’s top ten online jewellery websites

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 3:47 pm

The UK’s top ten online jewellery websites list is produced based on a recent online survey. All surveyees were asked to rate UK’s jewellery websites by  product range, website usability, VFM(Value for Money), customer service and return policy.

Here is the result of this survey.

1. Ernest Jones

H. Samuel is a UK Jeweller with an extensive collection of diamond, gold and silver jewellery, as well as the most popular watch brands.

2. H. Samuel

Offers fine selection of gold and diamond jewellery, premier and designer watch brands, including Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Gucci, TAG Heuer and many other reputable watch brands.

3. Gold Smith

Ernest Jones is the UK’s diamond, jewellery and watch Specialist which offers a wide range of wedding rings and jewellery in classic and contemporary designs.

4. F. Hinds

One of the UK’s leading independent jewellers with over offers extensive collections of diamonds, jewellery, watches, collectables and gifts direct online at local store.

5. Astley Clarke

Astley Clarke is an online boutique for Designer Jewellery, where you can find the most gorgeous pieces of Contemporary Jewellery from around the world.

6. Gemondo

Gemondo is the UK’s largest online jeweller which offers over 5000 pieces of top quality gold, silver gem-set jewellery and wedding Jewellery at amazingly low prices!

7. Warren James

At The Warren James website you can buy a good selection of the products which are on offer in their stores.

8. Jewellery TV

A UK’s independent e-jeweller offers precious luxury and style jewellery through a fantastic selection of pieces, all at great value.

9. Tiffany & Co

Tiffany & Co is one of the world’s most famous jeweller’s brands. You can browse and buy their latest collections of jewellery, watches, diamonds, tableware, accessories and gifts online.

10. SWAG

SWAG offers a selection of diamond, dress & wedding rings, earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, pendants and birthstones online.

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