Carlo Romeo


If you are thinking about owning a diamond, be it a solitaire or a piece of jewellery set with diamonds, you are entering an enchanted world of romance, intrigue, legend and history that was once reserved for kings and emperors. Until a century ago, only the wealthy could afford the luxury of diamonds.

Fortunately, since the discovery of large deposits in Africa and throughout the world, diamonds are now available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and affordable price ranges.

The reasons for buying diamonds are as different as the people who desire them. Through the years, diamonds have provided fulfillment for emotional and practical needs. They are sought after as gifts, status symbols, tokens of romance and even as long-term investments.

Diamonds are beautiful.

Their exquisite beauty and mystique provides us with an outward expression of love for "that special one." They create an aura of success and inspire feelings of pride.

Diamonds are durable.

A diamond is the hardest substance known to man. Because of this fact, it is resistant to deterioration or deformity and its beauty will be enjoyed for many generations.

Diamonds are rare.

Although there have been new discoveries of gem diamond resources, the supply is still limited. It is a fact that larger diamonds are increasingly harder to come by; when 250 tons of ore are blasted, crushed and processed, chances are there will only be one carat of rough diamonds recovered and only 20 percent of all rough diamonds are suitable for cutting into gem diamonds.

Diamonds retain value.

While diamond prices may fluctuate with economic conditions, even after years of being worn and enjoyed, a diamond retains value.

The "Four C's" - Carat weight, colour, clarity and cut - explain why diamonds range in value:


This is the unit of weight used for diamonds, a word derived from carob seeds used to balance scales in ancient times.

A carat is equal to 200 milligrams and there are 142 carats to an ounce. Carats are further subdivided into points. There are 100 points to a carat. For example, a 45-point diamond weighs a little less than half a carat. Because larger diamonds are quite rare, they have a greater value per carat.


Although a diamond may be any colour of the spectrum, grading a cut stone for colour means deciding the amount by which it deviates from the whitest possible (truly colourless). Completely colourless, icy-white diamonds are rare, and therefore, more valuable.

The best way to see the true colour of a diamond is looking at it against a white surface. Although most diamonds are a shade of white, they do come in all colours - pale yellow, canary, pink, red, green, blue and brown. These are called "fancies," and they are valued for their depth of colour, just as white diamonds are valued for their lack of colour. The famous Hope Diamond is blue, and the well-known Tiffany Diamond is canary.


A diamond's clarity is determined by taking into account the number, size, placement, colour and nature of any internal "inclusions" or external surface irregularities. Inclusions are Nature's birthmarks - imperfections such as spots, bubbles or lines - included in the stone when it was crystallized from carbon millions of years ago. These marks make each stone unique, for no two diamonds have the same inclusions in the same places. When inclusions do not interfere materially with the passage of light through the stone, they do not affect its beauty. However, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the diamond.


Diamonds are cut according to an exact mathematical formula. A finished diamond has 58 "facets," which are the small, flat polished planes cut into a diamond, so that the maximum amount of light is reflected back to the viewer's eye. This reflection is called "brilliance," and is extremely important in evaluating the quality of a diamond. The widest circumference of a diamond is the "girdle." Above the girdle are 32 facets plus the "table," the largest and topmost facet. Below the girdle there are 24 facets plus the "culet," or point. Cut also deals with the shape of the diamond. Traditional shapes are round, emerald, marquise, pear, oval and heart.

Your diamond engagement ring marks the beginning of your life together. And, it will remain a symbol of your love and commitment to marry.

Your first decision, even before you look at any rings, is how much you will be spending.

A good rule of thumb when buying a diamond engagement ring is to set aside two months' salary. Remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that will last. Think of the many purchases you make for your home and yourself which don't last, which depreciate as they are used, and which you will have to re-purchase several times. Your diamond engagement ring, on the other hand, has lasting value and will always be the enduring symbol of your love. It will also become an heirloom for your children.

It's important for both of you to understand that this two months spending guideline will get you the biggest and best diamond that you can afford without breaking your budget. And your diamond engagement ring is something you'll both be proud of. Forever.


A rectangular-shaped small diamond often used to enhance the setting of a larger stone.

Channel Setting

Type of setting often used in mounting a number of smaller stones of uniform size in a row. Stones are not held by individual prongs but rather continuous strips of metal forming a channel into which are fitted the outer edges of the row of stones.

Fancy Cut

A diamond cut other than round - such as baguette, emerald, triangle, pear, star.


(pronounced Pay-Vay)

A type of setting in which a number of small stones are set as closely together as possible to appear as an all-diamond surface without any metal showing.


The mounting of a single gemstone.

Tiffany Setting

A four or six-prong setting generally round in shape and flaring out from the base to the top, having long slender prongs that hold the stone.

DO NOT use these methods for diamond watches. The best method for cleaning them is a jeweller's polishing cloth.

Keep your precious jewellery pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case or a box with compartments or dividers. Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewellery case, because diamonds can scratch other jewellery - and even scratch each other.

Diamonds get smudged and soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even the natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Chemicals in the air can discolour the mountings of precious jewellery. So, clean your diamonds regularly.

Commercial jewellery cleaner, or a mix of ammonia and water, or mild detergent will do the job well. Dip the jewellery in the solution, scrub gently with a soft brush. (Be sure to brush between and underneath the prongs.) Rinse in clear water and dry with a lint-free cloth. Also, there are many ultrasonic cleaners on the market that will clean any piece of jewellery that can be dunked in a liquid in a matter of minutes. A high frequency turbulence creates the cleaning action.

Don't wear your diamond engagement ring while doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow. Don't let your diamond come in contact with chlorine bleach when doing chores. It can pit and discolour the mounting.

Do see your jeweller at least once a year and have your jewellery checked for loose prongs and wear of mountings. Your jeweller can also give them a professional "shine up" at the same time.

Because every diamond has its own characteristics, and no two stones are exactly alike, knowledge of the diamond industry and the nature of diamonds requires years of extensive study. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that you purchase your diamond from a local jeweller whom you know and trust, one who is established in the community and has earned an excellent reputation for integrity, service and reliability.

Know the firm you are dealing with. Ask questions: Can you return for service and advice in the future? A reputable jeweller can explain why diamonds that appear to be virtually identical may show a wide range of value.

Let your jeweller become your counsellor - much as your doctor, lawyer or accountant.


The allure of gold - and the desire to own it - dates back as far as the history of mankind itself.

The place of gold has been extraordinary in every society. In earliest times, it assumed magical importance. All of the great empires of the ancient world used golden objects, mainly in their religious rituals.

Over centuries of growing sophistication and technology, gold has assumed many additional roles. Not only is it still prized for jewellery, it now has many new applications in contemporary life.

Gold soared into space with the astronauts, its reflective ability used on the heat shields that are critical to life. This same ability to reflect the sun increases the aesthetic and practical beauty of today's glass skyscrapers, as gold in tinted windows makes the difference between obstructive glare and glamorous gleam.

In medicine and dentistry, in industry, in a hundred applications from TV sets to telephones, computers to calculators, this eternal metal is an important component.

But, above all, gold has enjoyed its finest glitter throughout the ages in its ultimate form - jewellery. In fact, the wearing of gold on the body may actually be man's oldest surviving tradition.

Every day, virtually each one of us continues the centuries-old ritual of gold adornment. Men, women and children of all cultures are caught up in gold's allure through a ring, chain, earrings, watch or bracelet.

Of all the world's precious metals, only gold combines the four basic characteristics that make it a universally and eternally treasured possession:

Lustrous Beauty

The naturally intense colour and distinctive luster of gold combine to give this precious metal its unique and lasting beauty. Gold's natural beauty is further enhanced by the soft and exquisite shades of colour achieved by combining it with small amounts of other special metals.

Yellow, pink, green and white golds - each exquisite in its own right. There is always fashion acceptance of all the colours and colour combinations of gold. One of today's trends features combining colours of gold - yellow, white and pink - in jewellery.


Although gold is everywhere around us - in the earth's crust, in our seas, rivers and plants - the difficulty and expense of obtaining gold from these diverse sources makes recovery of any great amounts unlikely.

First of all, any new gold mine represents a capital investment of hundreds of millions of dollars! Then, where gold is found to exist, several tons of ore may be required in order to extract just one ounce of the precious metal.

This rarity alone is enough to bestow a certain symbolism of status to gold. Now, combined with its other inherent characteristics, this lustrous and beautiful metal becomes an even more desirable possession.


Gold lasts, and lasts. Since it does not rust, tarnish or corrode, gold virtually lasts forever. An example of this incredible durability is witnessed in the gold coins found in sunken galleons centuries-old - they're as bright and shiny as the day they were cast! Another familiar example has overwhelmed the millions of people who have seen the Treasures of King Tut. When the boy King Tutankhamum died in 1350 BC, he was buried with vast quantities of gold artefacts and jewellery. Today, more than 3,000 years later, viewers marvel at the breathtaking golden array, as gleaming and lustrous today as on the day it was buried with the young king.

Today, when you buy gold jewellery, you are buying enduring beauty. Reflecting the properties of the precious metal itself, a gift of gold has always been the symbol of lasting love and devotion.

Ease of Workability

Gold has the best working qualities of any metal, thereby making it the ideal precious metal for fine jewellery whose designs are meant to reflect and appeal to so many different personalities.

To give you an idea of its workability, gold is so soft and malleable, one ounce can be stretched into a wire an incredible 80.5 kilometres long or hammered into a sheet so thin, it covers 9.3 square metres!

It is gold's workability that enables it to be alloyed with the other special precious metals to produce special effects or to achieve variations of colour.

Gold can be re-melted and used again and again. And, gold works for everyone. From the most intricate baby bracelet to the heaviest man's chain, gold's workability gives it the ability to achieve the look and the feeling of importance.

All that glitters isn't gold!

When buying gold jewellery, always look for a carat (karat) mark, such as 18K, 14K, 10K, etc. plus the manufacturer's trademark. Stamped somewhere on each piece, this mark of quality indicates you are buying real gold.

The carat mark refers to the purity of gold. Gold in its purest state, 24 carat, is generally considered too soft for practical use in jewellery.

It must be alloyed with other special metals to increase its durability and workability.


For its beauty and value, platinum has always been the ultimate expression of celebrations of all kinds: from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.

One of the rarest precious metals on earth, platinum is found in only a few locations in the world.

Platinum has a rich and noble history. It was first used by the ancient Egyptians about three thousand years ago. Eight hundred years later, the South American Incas worked with platinum. The first platinum jewellery in Europe appeared around the year 1780, at the court of Louis XVI of France.

It may surprise you that, although platinum has been around for centuries, it has only been used to fashion jewellery for less than two centuries. It is both an ancient and a young metal.

Platinum is among the finest, purest and rarest precious metals on earth, and has an understated elegance that appeals to both men and women.

Platinum is strong.

Platinum, one of the strongest and most enduring metals in the world, is also one of the heaviest: it weighs 60% more than karat gold. It is ideal for jewellery worn every day because it exhibits little material loss, even after prolonged wear.

Platinum is pure.

Platinum is rare.

To produce a single ounce of platinum, a total of 10 tons of ore must be mined. In comparison, only three tons of ore are required to produce one ounce of gold. Rarity lends platinum its cachet.

Platinum is lustrous.

Platinum's rich, white luster perfectly complements diamonds and other precious gems. Its neutral colour enhances a stone's brilliance and depth.

Platinum is fashionable.

Platinum jewellery appeals to many people today because of its subtle beauty and elegant understatement. Many platinum jewellery designs are accented with 18 karat gold, creating a sophisticated, versatile and fashionable look.

Many jewellery designers and manufacturers feel that platinum is best suited for both diamond and coloured stone jewellery because of its strength and durability. Platinum prongs show little wear, and thus offer precious stones greater protection.

Platinum is also one of the most enduring jewellery metals. That's why the world's most famous diamonds, like the Hope, Jonker Diamond Number One, and the Koh-i-Noor, are all secured by platinum settings. Faberg, the famed nineteenth century Russian jeweller, prized platinum, as did Louis Cartier of Paris and many of the great jewellers throughout history.

Choosing a stone is only part of the jewellery-buying process. Its setting is just as important, and platinum jewellery offers unusual strength and durability. Fine platinum jewellery endures. Classic design outlives the whims of fashion and retains its character forever.

As platinum's pure white luster, strength and durability are recognised and admired, bridal couples worldwide are rediscovering platinum as the metal of choice for bridal jewellery.

A diamond and its setting should be forever. Because platinum is superior to other metals in strength and durability, it offers a diamond greater protection. The breathtaking radiance of a diamond fused with the timeless elegance of platinum creates a rare and enduring symbol of lifelong love.

Whether you are choosing a ring, pin, bracelet, necklace or bridal jewellery, new, sophisticated designs have created a wide range of platinum jewellery. Many current platinum designs feature 18-karat gold accents. This combination of metals enhances the unique qualities of each.

Owning a piece of platinum jewellery is a distinct pleasure. You can feel and see the difference; platinum is heavier and denser than other metals and it has an elegant, rich white luster. Buying platinum jewellery is a wise investment. Platinum is one of the rarest, purest and most enduring metals available.

An experienced jeweller can assist you in selecting platinum jewellery that will bring pleasure to you and the recipient for years to come.

Why is platinum's purity important to me?

Platinum is hypoallergenic, resists tarnish, is one of the strongest precious metals in the world and is extremely durable.

Is platinum the same as white gold?

No, it is quite different. To create white gold, yellow gold is alloyed with nickel and zinc (and small amounts of copper and silver), thereby achieving a white metal look. Platinum has purity, strength, rarity, durability, and a natural rich, white colour.

How should I care for and clean my platinum jewellery?

Platinum jewellery should be cleaned the same way you clean other fine jewellery. Use a good pre-packaged jewellery cleaner available from your local jeweller or have it professionally cleaned by your jeweller. As with all precious jewellery, store with care, not allowing pieces to touch or scratch each other.

Will platinum scratch?

Signs of wear, including scratches, will inevitably appear in all precious metals, even with platinum. Due to platinum's amazing durability and strength, however, there is little or no material loss when it is scratched.

Is platinum fashionable? How will it coordinate with my gold jewellery?

Yes, platinum is fashionable! It is very fashionable to wear platinum jewellery with your other fine gold jewellery. Platinum jewellery often contains karat gold design accents, just as karat gold jewellery is sometimes accented with platinum. Platinum's white colour beautifully contrasts with yellow gold and adds versatility to your existing jewellery wardrobe.

Is platinum a good value?

Yes! Platinum is an excellent value because of its inherent qualities: its purity, its strength, its durability and its rarity. When you purchase platinum jewellery, you are buying jewellery that is almost 100% pure.

No other precious metal is as pure or bears all the qualities of platinum. Worn over a lifetime and passed on to future generations, platinum is the jewellery metal of choice.


Your desire to own or wear a coloured gemstone isn't new or unique. Throughout all civilizations, gems have held a fascination - sometimes even a legendary power - for man.

The mystery and romance of gemstones goes back as far as we can trace - to those primitive days when man coveted these beautiful stones as "charms" or "amulets" to ward off evil. And later, as man became more sophisticated, the rarity and beauty of gems established them as the ultimate symbol of status to the rich and powerful.

Today, the pride of possessing a rare and beautiful gemstone is as great as ever. There is, however, one major difference. At one time, only the very wealthy - or the very powerful - could hope to own a gemstone. Today, thanks to discoveries of rich mining and alluvial sources, you no longer have to be a millionaire to afford a gemstone

Most simply stated, the majority of gemstones are minerals. (Important exceptions: pearl and coral are animal origin; jet and amber are vegetable.) These minerals have been crystallized as a result of the high temperatures and pressures exerted by nature on the elements that form the earth's crust.

Of the more than 3,000 minerals found on earth, only a small percentage qualify as "gemstones" due to their beauty, durability, colour and rarity. The most sought after are transparent gems, drops of pure colour cut from single crystals. These gems were once divided into precious and semi-precious categories, but this is no longer true today. Gem discoveries have added new varieties to the traditional selection of ruby, emerald and sapphire. Some of these more unusual gemstones command higher prices than more well known gemstones due to their beauty and rarity. For example, fine jade and fine opal, tsavorite or alexandrite would be more valuable than lesser quality diamonds or emeralds.

The selection of fine-quality gemstones includes such stones as alexandrite, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, chrysoberyl, citrine, garnet, iolite, jade, kunzite, lapis lazuli, moonstone, opal, peridot, sugilite, spinel, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, tsavorite, turquoise and zircon. Each of these gemstones has a particular charm, colour and identity.

Each person has his or her own reason for wanting to buy, own, or wear a coloured gemstone. There are, however, several basic - and valid - reasons that make gemstones a desirable possession.

Gemstones are primarily beautiful.

Every stone is a natural work of art, each one having a distinct and separate personality possessing unique and distinguishing beauty marks.

Gemstones are durable.

Gemstones are capable of lasting for generations - even, in some cases - for centuries. The Treasures of King Tut prove that gemstones endure through many lifetimes.

Gemstones are rare.

While it is true that there are new sources of gemstones, today's economy has brought "expendable" income to more people than ever, and this affluent public shares the historic love of gemstones. Therefore, since the demand for gemstones is greater than ever, the supply is, in fact, limited in its ability to meet this demand.

Gemstones retain value.

Rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds were treasured as portable wealth in times of war. In recent years, there has been such a widespread interest in all gemstones, and so many fine new specimens have been discovered, that the prices of all gemstones have risen dramatically. Gemstones are a way to store value while enjoying beautiful jewellery. Finer quality gemstones in smaller sizes will hold value better than a larger gemstone that is less fine because of the rarity of fine quality gemstones.

There are several factors that determine the value (and price) of a gemstone:


The strength and purity of a gemstone's colour is of prime importance. There is no established "right" or "wrong" colour, and there are literally thousands of shades of red, blue and green, for example. Therefore, you should make your selection according to your own personal taste.


The cut of a gemstone is of extraordinary importance. The proper cutting emphasizes the richness of the gemstone's inherent colour, which is the focal point of the gem's beauty that attracts the eye.


While the clarity of a gemstone is an important feature, it is equally important to remember that completely "flawless" gemstones scarcely occur. Inclusions are inherent to practically every gemstone and are nature's way of adding variety and individuality to a gemstone. Even the most expensive contain some inclusions.

Carat Weight

Obviously, the size or weight of a gemstone also affects its value.

Admiring and reading about gemstones may make you feel knowledgeable, but you're still not an expert. If you're thinking about purchasing a gemstone, you need a trained professional jeweller whom you can trust. He can counsel you on quality and advise you on the right type of setting and mounting.

Your jeweller can recommend a setting that will best display your gemstone, allowing the right amount of light to reach the stone while still providing maximum protection. The right colour mounting can add to the attractiveness of your gemstone. If you're using more than one gemstone in your mounting, you especially need professional advice.

Buying a gemstone is your investment in lasting beauty. Treat it accordingly. A gemstone's durability makes it capable of lasting for generations - but it must be handled with care.

Here are some easy guidelines for taking care of your gemstones:

• Keep your jewellery separated when you put it away. Never let one item touch another, and always put it on soft fabric.

• Apply your colognes and toiletries before you put on your jewellery.

• Clean your jewellery regularly. Ask your jeweller to recommend the proper cleaning methods.

• Bring your gemstones to your jeweller every year for expert cleaning, and to check that the stones are secure in their settings.

Finally, rely on your jeweller - before and after your purchase. He's here today, not only to sell his merchandise to you - but, he'll also be here tomorrow, to give you service and advice.


Just about everyone knows what his or her birthstone is. Why is that?

Because people still enjoy the folklore associated with the tradition of the birthstone. They like believing that wearing a birthstone brings them good luck and protects them.

Early civilization as far back as the Assyrians (1400 BC) invested rare and beautiful gemstones with magical properties. Some minerals were thought to contain a force or possess certain values and powers. For instance, amethyst was said to prevent intoxication.

Tradition associates a gem with each sign of the zodiac based on a colour system. Colour was thought to unleash the power attributed to the stone. In time, birthstones became associated with calendar months rather than the zodiac. And people began to select birthstones in colours other than the original.

The Roman, Arabic, Jewish, Polish, Russian and Italian lists were all different.

The following list of birthstones, which is the one commonly used today, was adopted in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewellers, which later evolved into the Jewellers of America.

The following list of birthstones, which is the one commonly used today, was adopted in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewellers, which later evolved into the Jewellers of America.

Month Birth Stone Colour
January Garnet Dark Red  
February Amethyst Purple  
March Aquamarine Pale Blue  
April Diamond White (clear)  
May Emerald Bright Green  
June Moonstone Cream Pearl  
July Ruby Red  
August Peridot Pale Green  
September Sapphire Deep Blue  
October Opal or Tourmaline Variegated  
November Topaz or Citrine Yellow  
December Turquoise or Blue Topaz Sky Blue  

Garnet is the accepted birthstone for the month of January. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage.

When most people think of garnet, they picture the dark red bohemian garnet that was popular in Victorian times. You may be surprised to learn that garnets are found in every colour except blue, including brilliant green tsavorite garnet, raspberry pink rhodolite garnet, and orange malaya garnet. Bright red "anthill" garnets are found in Arizona. The Tsars of Russia favoured rare green damantoid garnets.

Garnets offer enough variety in appearance to suit every taste, as well as an outstanding price range to suit every pocketbook.

Legend holds that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. It reportedly also gives its wearer guidance in the night, protection from nightmares, and according to the Egyptians, is an antidote for snake bites and food poisoning. It was also thought to have a special affinity with the blood.

Garnets are durable and brilliant and will give years of pleasure.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, and extreme temperature changes.

Garnets are found in the US, Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil and India.

Amethyst is the recognized birthstone for February. It is also thee accepted anniversary gemstone for the sixth year of marriage.

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and comes in pale lilac to rich, deep purple shades. Ideally, it is a deep medium purple with rose-coloured flashes that give amethyst its beauty and fire.

Because of its abundance, it is readily available in all sizes and shapes. It is durable and can be worn every day. Coupled with the folk legend of the Greeks that it will prevent intoxication when worn, it becomes a most desirable gem!

Amethyst was said to have a sobering effect on the wearer-not only those who indulged but on those over-excited by love's passion as well. It has symbolized peace, protection and tranquillity. Some say it will prevent baldness and improve the complexion, as well as protect from treason and deceit. Because royalty has always adored the colour purple, amethysts abound in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and in the British Crown Jewels.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

It is found mainly in Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.

Aquamarine is the traditional birthstone for March. It is also the accepted anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage.

The ideal colour of aquamarine is a refreshing pastel sea blue. Stones with a clear blue colour without green or gray are generally the most valuable.

If you are looking for a big, durable gemstone, aqua is readily available in larger sizes and is truly dramatic when cut in rectangular or oval shapes. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald.

In ancient times, the stone was said to aid seafarers; thus it is an excellent gift suggestion for sailors or one who takes frequent cruises! To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends; to wear aquamarine earrings brings love and affection. It is a universal symbol of youth, hope and health.

As part of the normal finishing process, some aquamarines are heated to remove traces of yellow.

To maintain the brilliance of this beautiful gemstone, it should be immersed in jewellery cleaner or in lukewarm soapy water and cleaned with a small bristle brush.

Do not use a home ultrasonic machine.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Ukraine.

Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April.

Besides being the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, diamond is the accepted anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage.

The name "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" meaning unconquerable-suggesting the eternity of love. In fact, diamonds have been the traditional symbol of love since ancient Greece. Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars, perhaps crystallized lightening or hardened dew drops.

Although diamonds are associated with being a colourless stone, they are occasionally found with a strong, bright colour-green, red, pink, blue, canary yellow and amber. These "fancy" coloured diamonds are highly-prized.

Occasionally, to improve appearance, diamonds are laser-drilled and, sometimes, a foreign substance is used to fill surface cavities or fractures. Diamonds may also be irradiated and/or heated to induce "fancy" colours.

Even though it is the most durable of gemstones, care should be taken to protect a diamond from sharp blows. Household chemicals may discolour or damage the mounting. To clean, you may use a jewellery cleaner, lukewarm soapy water and a small bristle brush, soak in a half-and-half solution of cold water and ammonia for 1/2 hour, or use a home ultrasonic machine with its recommended cleaner.

Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 20th and 35th years of marriage.

Emerald is one of the most highly-prized of all the gems. The name comes from the Greek "smaragdos" which means green stone. The most prized is pure grass green.

Emeralds are often characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within, known as the "jardin", because under magnification you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling foliage in a garden. A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found in only small sizes. Small to medium sized stones are often faceted in the "step" or emerald cut. The gem is also lovely when cut into a cabochon or dome shape. Sometimes emeralds are even carved.

According to legend, the wearing of emerald not only cured a wide range of ailments, including low I.Q., poor eyesight and infertility, but also enabled the wearer to predict the future.

As part of the normal fashioning process, most emeralds are immersed in colourless oil or resin so small voids are not as noticeable.

Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals, and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine.

Emeralds are found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Pearl is the birthstone for the month of June. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage.

A pearl is the product of an oyster's defense mechanism. When a foreign irritant is introduced either by man (cultured) or naturally, the oyster immediately surrounds it with layers of a substance called nacre. This forms the exquisite gemstone know as pearl.

Pearls come in a wide range of colours. They should be relatively free from skin blemishes. The more perfectly round the shape the better. The higher the lustre, or "orient", the more valuable the specimen. The larger the pearl, the greater the value.

Besides the popular round shape, there are stylish mabe (large hemispherical cultured pearls), fresh water (elongated in interesting shapes and colours), and South Sea (large cultured pearls 10mm and up from Australia's and Indonesia's waters), to name a few.

Pearls have been recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity and purity. They have come to symbolize a happy marriage.

Avoid household chemicals, cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfumes. Don't use ultrasonic cleaners. Wash with mild soap and water and store in a protective chamois pouch or tissue paper.

Moonstone is sometimes used as an alternative by those born in June since it physically resembles some pearls.

Ruby is the accepted birthstone for July. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 40th year.

Ruby is known as the "Lord of the Gems" because of its rarity and beauty. Derived from the Latin word "ruber", it simply means red. Ruby, like sapphire, is a variety of corundum and only exists as a true red in colour. The finest colour is a vivid, almost pure spectral red with a very faint undertone of blue, as seen in Burmese rubies which are considered the finest.

The highest quality rubies are said to protect their owners from all kinds of misfortune. A fine ruby assured the owner he would live in harmony with his neighbours. It would protect his stature in life, his home and land. Its protective powers were intensified when set in jewellery, and worn on the left side. Many believed rubies possessed an inner flame which burned eternally.

As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all rubies are heated to permanently improve their colour and appearance.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

The finest rubies emanate from Burma, having been mined there since ancient times. Other sources include Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan and India.

Peridot is the accepted birthstone for August. It is also the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage.

Peridot should be a lively lime green, without a brownish or olive cast.

Peridot is the child of volcanic action. Tiny peridot crystals are sometimes combed from the black sands of Hawaii.

Peridots were favored by pirates, considered powerful amulets against all evil, and when set in gold, were said to protect the wearer from the terrors of the night. They had medicinal uses, too. If fashioned into a chalice from which medicines were drunk, they intensified the effects of the drug.

Care should be taken to protect peridot from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine for cleaning.

The peridot is abundant, and is available in larger sizes. It is found in Burma and the U.S.

The most important source of peridot in the world is the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, Arizona, where it is mined by native Americans.

Large sizes are mined in Myanmar (Burma) and peridot is also found in China.

Sapphire is the September birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gem for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.

Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colours except red (the red variety being known as ruby), but is especially popular in deep blue. Fancy coloured sapphires-including pink, green, orange, and golden yellow-are magnificent when combined in a necklace or bracelet.

Prince Charles chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana's engagement ring. The stone's durability, combined with its beauty, makes it the perfect alternative for an engagement ring.

Ancient priests and sorcerers honored sapphire above all gems, for this stone enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Ancients believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Marriage partners put great faith in the stone. If its luster dimmed, one knew his or her spouse had been unfaithful. Sapphire refused to shine when worn by the wicked or impure.

As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all blue, yellow and golden sapphires are heated to permanently produce or intensify their colour.

As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows.

Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the US.

Opal is the October birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 14th year of marriage.

The well-known Roman naturalist Pliny described opal as "made up of the glories of the most precious gems... the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, glittering together..."

White opal has a white or light body colour with flashes of many colours. Black opal has a black, dark blue, dark green or gray body colour with vivid flashes of colour such as red, pink and bright green.

Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity through the ages. In the Middle Ages, young, fair-haired girls wore opals in their hair to protect its lovely blond colour. Medieval writers believed opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. It was also said to have a beneficial effect on eyesight. It was thought to banish evil spirits and favour children, the theatre, amusements, friendships and feelings.

Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, household chemicals, and extreme temperature changes. To maintain the brilliance of opal, it should be wiped clean with a soft cloth. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine or jewellery cleaner.

Opal sources are Australia, Mexico and the U.S.

Sometimes tourmaline is used as a birthstone for October and spans the spectrum from red to violet. It also occurs in colour combinations in one stone which accounts for its popularity. It is not as fragile as opal and is sometimes selected by those who prefer faceted stones.

Topaz is the accepted birthstone for November. Blue topaz is the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 4th year and Imperial topaz for the 23rd year of marriage.

Most people think of topaz as a transparent golden yellow gemstone. However, this gemstone occurs colourless as well as orange-yellow, red, honey-brown (dark sherry), light green, blue and pink.

The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning "to shine" and also implies "fire". Orange-red "Imperial" topaz and pink colours are rare and most valuable.

The lore, magic and romance of topaz goes back many thousands of years. It holds the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of curative powers. The Greeks felt it gave them strength. In addition, it supposedly cooled tempers, restored sanity, cured asthma, relieved insomnia and even warded off sudden death. Topaz is said to make its wearer invisible in time of emergency. It proved the loyalty of associates by changing colour in the presence of poison.

As part of the normal fashioning process, most brownish to sherry brown topaz are heated to produce a permanent pink colour. Certain types of topaz are irradiated and heated to produce shades of blue.

Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China.

Citrine is often used an alternative to topaz because it appears in many of the same colours as topaz. Unlike topaz, citrine is readily available and inexpensive even in large sizes.

Turquoise is the accepted birthstone for December and is the accepted anniversary gemstone for the 11th year of marriage.

Colours in turquoise range from sky blue (most desirable colour) to blue green and apple green.

The name means "Turkish stone" because the trade route that brought it to Europe used to come via Turkey. The best qualities are found in north east Iran (Persian turquoise). However, the United States south west is now the world leader in production.

The deposits in Sinai were already worked out by 4,000 BC. At that time the stone was used for jewellery, amulets and in the preparation of cosmetics.

During the 16th century turquoise was used as currency by the South west Indians. They believed the gemstone could bring spoils to the warrior, animals to the hunter, and happiness and good fortune to all.

Although large quantities of beautiful turquoise which have not been colour enhanced are available, today's turquoise is commonly stabilized with plastic to improve its colour and durability. Chalky varieties of turquoise are normally impregnated with oil or wax to enhance colour. This colour change may not be permanent.

Care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, hot water, and household chemicals. Do not use a home ultrasonic machine.

Blue topaz has become a popular alternative in recent years for those who prefer faceted stones.

To find out more about your birthstone, or any gemstone, consult your local professional jeweller. He or she will be able to show you the widest variety of colours, cuts and designs to suit every pocketbook. Your jeweller can also tell you how best to care for the gem, and will be available in the future to service your jewellery.

Cultured Pearls

A Cultured Pearl is a pearl formed by an oyster, composed of concentric layers of a crystalline substance called nacre deposited around an irritant placed in the oyster's body by man.

Natural pearls are formed by deposits of nacre around an irritant which accidentally lodges within the body of an oyster.

Everything else which resembles a pearl but has a surface created by a manufacturing process is an imitation or simulated pearl - and must be labelled as such!

The value of a Pearl comes from the unique ability of the crystalline nacre to absorb, refract and reflect light, imparting a distinctive quality, termed orient, to natural and cultured pearls.

Orient is the deep inner glow and shimmering iridescent characteristic of sea-grown pearls. The deeper the lustre and iridescence, the more precious the pearl.

Size contributes to the price of a pearl. As it is more difficult for oysters to grow large pearls, they are scarcer. But two pearls of different sizes may be valued the same if the smaller pearl is superior in orient to the larger.

Shape determines value, too. The more symmetrical the shape, the more valuable. Examples of symmetrical pearls are: round, pear shape, tear shape, oval. Pearls of irregular and asymmetrical shape are termed baroque. Oysters grow pearls in many different shapes, from perfect spheres to long flat angel wing pearls.

Surface perfection contributes to value. The surface of a perfect pearl appears satiny smooth. But when viewed closely, natural or cultured pearls may appear to have irregular surfaces which do not detract from value, as do disfiguring blemishes. You need no magnifier to detect blemishes; when present, they are readily apparent to the naked eye.

Rarity increases the value of any jewel. Cultured pearls themselves are relatively rare, as they can only be grown in limited areas of the world's oceans and take years to grow. A perfect pair of pearls are very rare, because nature makes few pearls exactly alike in orient, size, shape and colour.


The most familiar type of cultured pearl, grown in true pearl oysters off the coasts of Japan. Akoya pearls are known for their lovely orient and warm colour. They rarely grow more than 9 mm in size.

South Sea

Large cultured pearls (10 mm and larger) grown in large oysters off the coasts of Australia. Usually silvery in appearance, and sometimes not as lustrous as fine Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls are rare and costly.


Large cultured pearls (10 mm and larger) grown in large oysters off the coasts of Burma. Warmer in colour tone than South Sea cultured pearls, rare and costly.


Large hemispherical cultured pearls grown against the inside shells of oysters instead of within the body. Less expensive than regular round cultured pearls and, because of their hemispherical shape, used mounted in such jewellery as earrings, rings and brooches.


A fresh water pearl cultivated in a mollusk only in Japan's Lake Biwa. Smoother and more lustrous than fresh water pearls from China.

Fresh Water

Pearls cultivated in mollusks, not oysters, found in fresh water lakes and rivers. Fresh water pearls generally are elongated in shape and have a milky translucent appearance.

Their wide range of interesting shapes and colours make up in fashion appeal for their relatively low value.


Tiny pearls, some a little bigger than a grain of sand, which form naturally in many cultured pearl oysters.

Look for lustre and orient in the shadow area of the pearl, not in the area upon which the light is shining. Clear colour tones, not dull or muddy. Look for cracks, chips or disfiguring blemishes.

In addition, all pearls in a strand should blend well together, particularly in regard to lustre, orient and colour. Roll a strand of pearls along a flat surface to determine if all pearls are strung through their exact centres. All pearls should roll evenly, without an eccentric wobble.

Buy the best pearls you can afford, then choose the clasp. A decorative jewelled clasp can always be purchased later.

Choose a cultured pearl necklace, too, for its effect on your appearance and personality.

Long necklaces are slinky and sexy. Short necklaces can be demure or sophisticated. Dog collars enhance a long neck. Longer strands slenderize and appear to elongate the neck. For fair skinned women, roseate hued pearls are most flattering. Cream and gold colour pearls set off darker skin tones best.

Let your expert jeweller customise your necklace so that its proportions and colour tones are exactly matched to yours.

Here is a guide to necklace lengths and terminology:


36mm to 38mm in length. Should nestle around the base of the neck.


46mm in length. Halfway between choker and matinee length.


56mm to 58mm; in length. Should fall to the top of the cleavage.


76mm to 91mm in length. Should fall to the breastbone.

Sautoir or Rope

Any pearl necklace longer than opera length.

Dog Collar

Multiple strands of pearls fitting closely around the neck.


Multiple strands of pearls, each shorter than the one below, nested together in one necklace.


A necklace composed of pearls which taper downward in size from large pearls in the centre.


A necklace which appears to be composed entirely of pearls of the same size, though there generally is a slight difference in size between the centre and the end pearls for a more proportionate look.

Should consist of matching pearl necklace, earrings and bracelet.

Add to it with a ring, a variety of clasps, brooches and a tiara or hairpiece.

A long strand of cultured pearls, with invisible clasps at several points along its length, is very versatile. It can be shaped into many different styles, such as a dog collar, a choker, or a bib.

Cultured Pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such.

DON'T toss them carelessly into a purse or jewel box where they can become scratched by hard metal edges or harder stones.

DON'T expose them to acid-based hair sprays, cosmetics, or perfumes.

DON'T clean them with chemicals or abrasives.

DO treat pearls gently. Place them in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.

DO put on pearls after applying cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume.

DO wash your pearls with mild soap and water after taking them off. This will remove all traces of perfume, cosmetics or hair spray from the pearls.

DO bring your pearls back to your jeweller for restringing once a year. Cosmetics and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the nylon threads on which the pearls are strung. It's better to be safe than sorry.

DO have pearls strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.

Your expert Jeweller has been specially trained to select, match and individualise cultured pearl jewellery for you. He has ready access to the world's finest pearl resources and chooses those with investment jewellery quality.

He can help you replace, add, or assemble pearls to enhance your pearl jewellery collection for greater investment and fashion value.

Selecting Fine Jewellery

Real Jewellery offers you beauty that lasts.

It also represents your personal statement of style. Another wonderful fact is that there is real jewellery to fit every taste and every budget.

There are no firm rules of right or wrong jewellery choices. However, just as you consider your personal features and build when choosing clothing fashions, you might also do so when you're selecting jewellery.

Whatever your body proportions or height, there are real jewellery styles to fit your "look." Your local jeweller has a wide variety of fashions for you to compare, try on and select what flatters you. Rely on your jeweller for advice, information and service before and after your purchase.

The purpose of this information is not to set down rules, but to offer general guidelines for selecting jewellery that flatters you!

Remember that the most important rule for buying jewellery is to buy what you like because its beauty will last a lifetime.

The first and most important factor for you to consider is your overall body size and shape. To help you apply the fashion guidelines to your specific type, we have divided height into three separate categories, with discussions of pertinent bone structure. For your purposes, simply refer to the category in which your height is included.

Petite (Under 5'4")


Petite women best wear collar-length or longer necklaces. Styles with "V" shapes and ones that fall below the breast but above the waist elongate the figure.


Bangles flatter petite women. Several narrow ones are more flattering than one wide one because they are more in proportion to the petite's overall size.


Concentrate on styles that sweep upward, pulling the viewer's eye up. Full-figured petites look especially well in sharp geometric shapes.

Average (5'4"- 5'7")


The average-height woman can wear necklaces of any length unless she is full-figured. In that case, she should avoid necklaces which rest on the breastline.


Wide bracelets are more in proportion to the average-height woman than very narrow ones.


Earring choices are unlimited and should be considered in connection with face shape and, of course, hair styles. Feel free to select exciting geometric shapes such as triangles, squares and ovals.

Tall (Over 5'7")


Almost any length goes well. The thin tall woman may select chokers which cut the line of the neck and de-emphasize height. Necklaces made of stones or pearls of the same size are especially flattering to the tall woman.


The tall woman has a wide range of bracelet choices as long as she stays away from too-delicate pieces. The full-figured tall woman should wear several thin bracelets together to give a more balanced feeling, or a couple of wide bracelets.


Long dangling earrings are especially flattering to tall women. Because there is plenty of space between the ear lobe and shoulder, she can wear any shape earrings except tiny buttons which look lost.

Now, let's combine the information pertaining to height and bone structure with the shape of your face. There are four basic shapes: oval, round, heart-shaped and rectangular. Analyse your face shape, and determine the fashions that will best complement it. Remember to select jewellery that is in proportion to the size of your face.


The oval face is considered to be the perfect shape. The proportions at the forehead are not too wide, and the line from the forehead flows into high cheekbones, then narrows slightly to a rounded chin.


Any shape necklace will work with the oval. A choker looks just as good as opera-length pearls or any necklace that comes to a "V."


Round shapes, button or hoop earrings look well on the oval face, but triangular shapes are especially flattering. Dangling earrings look well, if they are not too long. Earrings that move up the ear or have wings that sweep up minimize a too-thin face or long nose.


The round face is a circle-the width is equal to the length, with no discernible angles at the cheek or chin. The aim of jewellery is to add length.


To give a dimension of length, look for long necklaces, 28" to 32".


Squares, oblongs, rectangles work well as do dangling and angular designs. Elongated styles also go well because they draw attention down instead of around.


The rectangular face has more length than width and it has distinguishable angles. The width of the face at the forehead is the same as the chin. This face needs jewellery that adds width and camouflages the length of the face.


A high choker reduces the length of the face, particularly if the neck is too long. Also, a 16" or 18" necklace that ends in a "U" flatters this face.


This face is wide at the forehead and cheeks, then narrows sharply to a point at the chin. Think of this face as a triangle. It likes jewellery that adds width to the chin to draw the eye away from the point.


A choker necklace is a favorite style because it softens and diminishes the sharp angle of the chin.


Look for earrings that are wider at the bottom than the top. Dangling earrings that form a triangle are especially flattering.

One final area to take into account when buying jewellery is the hand. This is a body area that attracts a great deal of attention because people "talk" with their hands or otherwise bring attention to them. It is important to select your ring with the same attention as other jewellery, striving to have a ring that flatters your hand.

The length of the fingers is the determining factor when purchasing rings. Women with long fingers, like tall women, can handle almost any style. In all cases, rings, like all jewellery, must be selected in proportion to the size of the hand. For example, if the long-fingered hand is also overly thin, oval or round settings are best because they soften the look. Also, wider bands are more flattering than thin ones.

The hands with short fingers look best with settings that remain within the knuckle. The setting or stone that extends past the knuckle only accentuates the hand's shortness and makes it look less elegant. Oval or marquise shape stones elongate the hand and make good choices for short fingers. Round solitaire settings are also good because of their simplicity. If you want a large ring, opt for a dome shape of a high setting that won't overpower the short hand.

Finally, when buying a ring, it is most important to keep comfort in mind. The hand is a working, functioning body area, as opposed to the earlobe which doesn't put forth any effort. Don't forsake comfort for looks. Measure the length of your knuckle and buy what allows you to move your finger freely.

Bargains and Discounts

Jewellery Bargains and Discounts

Jewellery is the gift of lasting beauty, but if you are susceptible to the mail-order and discount promotions, TV commercials, street peddlers, and even some friend offering glittery bargains that sound tempting, your enjoyment and the jewellery may tarnish sooner than you expected.

Here are some typical promotions which should make you wary.

40% – 60% off

The public is being bombarded by all kinds of outlets-even well-known merchants-offering jewellery and related items through ads and promotions claiming so-called discounts which are so exaggerated that you should question whether they are true discounts:

• Was the merchandise ever sold at the regular price?

• For how long?

• Was the "retail"..."former"..."reference" price purposely inflated and then lowered to lure you into thinking you're saving money?

There is nothing wrong with legitimate discounts...but, deceptive pricing offers you no bargain. To avoid being ripped off, shop around... compare quality and service as well as price...and ask questions!

Always look for the Karat Mark - 14K or 18K

When buying gold jewellery, always look for a karat mark such as 14K or 18K, with the manufacturer's trademark. Make sure the mark appears on a part of the chain besides the clasp. Sometimes, if only the clasp is marked 14K, the chain may not be real gold.

Genuine and Counterfeit Watches for low $$$

Be wary of promotions for genuine name-brand or counterfeit watches for as low as $10.00 or, familiar brands that normally sell for $2,000-$5,000 offered at unbelievable prices as low as $50.00. These watches are not genuine, carry no manufacturer's warranty, and have little value. Usually, certain brand names are stamped on the dials of the counterfeits by promoters.

To avoid this scam:

• Be wary of extremely low-priced items

• Look for correct spelling of brand-names and karat gold mark

• Ask for a warranty

• Check with your local jeweller

Mail Order Bargains

Anyone considering a mail-order bargain should check beforehand with the better business bureau in the postal area of the promoter. Because most promoters are reached only at a post office box number rather than a street address, it is very difficult to contact the firm directly in the event of non-receipt or dissatisfaction. The Better Business Bureau could provide useful information before any monetary commitment is made.

Compare quality and service, and ask your Jeweller. He is available to answer your questions about real jewellery and can offer you a selection of the newest styles in all price ranges

Cleaning & Care of your Jewellery

Fine jewellery is a precious possession that is designed and crafted to last a lifetime. The proper care will assure the lasting qualities of your jewellery.

General Care of your Diamonds

Even though you may wear your diamond engagement ring 24 hours a day, you should still give thought to its care.

DON'T wear it when you're doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow.

DON'T let your diamond come in contact with a chlorine bleach when you're doing household chores. It can damage and discolor the mounting.

DO see your jeweller at least once a year and have him check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings. He'll usually give them a professional "shine-up" too.

Putting Diamonds Away

When you're not wearing diamonds and precious jewellery, they still require attention. Keep your precious pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case, or a box with compartments or dividers.

lf you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in tissue paper.

DON'T jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewellery case, because diamonds can scratch other jewellery-and can even scratch each other.

Traveling With Diamonds

The packing of your diamonds and other precious pieces for travel should be given care.

There are many types of carry-alls, especially designed for jewellery travel, available in all price ranges. They come in all sizes, shapes and patterns. Most have velvet pads inside to attach pins and earrings,and special compartments for bracelets and necklaces. Pack a small plastic bottle of prepared jewellery cleaner with your cosmetics. Then you can give your precious pieces a quick "shine-up" any time. Don't leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can easily slip down the drain.

Cleaning Your Diamonds

Diamonds get smudged and soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even the natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Chemicals in the air can discolor the mounting of precious jewellery. Clean diamonds "glow" because the maximum amount of light can then enter and return in a fiery brilliance. It takes just a little care to keep them that way. Here are four ways to clean diamonds. One of them is pretty sure to fit the time, place, and the job.

Detergent Bath

Prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any of the mild liquid detergents used in the home. Brush the pieces with an eyebrow brush while they are in the suds. Then transfer them to a wire tea strainer and rinse them under running water. Pat dry with a soft lintless cloth.

Cold Water Soak

Make a half-and-half solution of cold water an household ammonia in a cup. Soak the pieces 30 minutes. Lift out and tap gently around the back and front of the mounting with an old soft toothbrush. Swish in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.

Quick-Drip Method

Buy one of the brand name liquid jewellery cleaners, with its kit, choosing the kind most useful to you. Read the label and follow its instructions. Don't touch your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle your jewellery by its edges.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean, in a matter of minutes, any piece of jewellery that can be dunked in a liquid. They consist of a metal cup which you fill with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high- frequency turbulence creates the cleaning action. Since each machine is slightly different, read the instructions very carefully before use.

General Care of your coloured Gemstones

DO wipe your precious gemstone jewellery thoroughly with a clean, soft, damp cloth after wearing. This will enhance the lustre and assure that your jewellery is clean before being stored.

Store in a soft pouch when not being worn.

DON'T expose your precious gemstone pieces to salt water and harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of the gems.

Use of hair spray, perfume and the presence of perspiration may cause jewellery to dull.

DON'T subject gemstone jewellery to sudden temperature changes.

There are so many different types of coloured gemstones, some of which require specific care and cleaning procedures, your jeweller is an expert and can advise you on your particular coloured gemstone. He is your best source of information.

General Care of your Karat Gold Jewellery

Always separate your gold jewellery in a compartmentalised jewellery box. This protects against scratching.

Remove all jewellery before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on karat gold jewellery, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film, you immediately reduce the occasions your pieces will need to be cleaned.

Useful Tips

Remove jewellery when applying make-up and face powder.

Wash hands after applying makeup and powder and before putting on jewellery. Keep your jewellery in a dry place.

Cleaning your Karat Gold jewellery

To clean your jewellery at home, you'll find many commercial cleaners available. Ask your professional jeweller to recommend one for your jewellery. In addition, you will find a soft chamois cloth from any hardware store an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous and shining.

For certain gold jewellery, an 'ultrasonic' cleaning machine may be appropriate. The machine can be purchased in many retail outlets. Once again, ask your professional jeweller to advise you.

Remove tarnish with a prepared jewellery cleaner or by using soap and water mixed with a few drops of ammonia.

Brush with a soft bristle brush. An old toothbrush is perfect. After the soaping, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry.

Grease can be removed from karat gold jewellery by dipping the jewellery into plain rubbing alcohol.

General Care of your Silver Jewellery

As with other precious metals, sterling silver will oxidize with time. Properly maintained, silver improves with age and develops a lush patina. Treat your silver well, care for it properly and it will reward you with a long life and lustrous look.

DO clean with a mild soap-and-water solution, allow water to bead up, and pat dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, a jewellery cleaner labeled for silver use is appropriate.

Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish preventative bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth.

Store pieces individually so that they don't knock together and scratch.

DON'T rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or fine piece of felt. Use of tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in these products.

DON'T expose to air and light when storing because it will cause silver to tarnish.

DON'T wear sterling silver in chlorine water.

General Care of your Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such. Some tips:

Put on pearls after applying cosmetics, hair sprays and perfume, not before.

DON'T toss them carelessly into a purse or jewel box where they can be scratched by hard metal edges or harder stones.

Place cultured pearl jewellery in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.

Bring your pearls back to your jeweller for restringing once a year. Cosmetics and ordinary wear weaken and stretch the threads on which the pearls are strung. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Have pearls strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.

Cleaning your Cultured Pearls

DON'T clean cultured pearls with chemicals or abrasives.

Wash them with mild soap and water after taking them off. This will remove all traces of perfume, cosmetics, or hair spray from the pearls.

General Care of your Watch

A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweller and serviced according to the manufacturer's suggestions. This is important because tiny particles of dust can get into the works, increasing friction of moving parts.

Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Take it off your wrist so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.

Although many watches are equipped with shock-resistant devices, it's not wise to subject it to overly vigorous treatment.

Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately: even a hairline crack can let dust or moisture into the mechanism, threatening its accuracy.

Unless the degree of water-resistance was clearly specified when you bought your watch, don't risk wearing it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.

No matter how handy you are, don't attempt any "do-it-yourself' watch repairs. Only an expert watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.

It's best to replace a battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode and ruin it. Also, don't attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. Take it to a jeweller.

Batteries run for about two years. Those in some less expensive, multi-function digitals have shorter lives, as little as six months, if the wearer frequently uses extra features such as a calculator or game. Finally, if you have any questions, ask your jeweller.

Your jeweller values you as a customer, and you should trust their judgment.