Valuations are subjective and you will generally receive different opinions from jewellers. And they’d all be right. Prices vary from one jeweller to another and opinions differ. Jewellery items will have 4 values:

  1. Insurance value

Valuations are generally sought for insurance purposes. This is the highest value and is the current retail price with about 15% escalation. This valuation is in an estimated cost of replacement with an item of similar specifications.

  1. Retail value

This is the value that one would expect to pay right now if one went into a shop and bought the item new.

  1. Second hand value

This refers to the second hand value of an item. A client can receive between 50% to 75% of its value when selling a jewellery piece to a jeweller if it is bought for re-sale purposes.

  1. Estate value

This is the lowest valuation, usually about 25% of the retail value. It is the value which a piece would obtain on a forced sale.

Valuations are charged either on the valuator’s time, or by a percentage of the value of the jewellery, which can vary from 3% to 10% of the total value of the items. Always request a quote before handing over your jewellery to be valued.

Hallmarks provide evidence of quality of manufacture and metal type. However, the lack of a hallmark does not mean that the piece will be worthless – many countries did not hallmark for years.

Information supplied by the Jewellery Council of South Africa


The Four C’s


The most important step in buying a diamond is to choose one that appeals to you personally.  While it is key to understand the technical aspects of diamonds, it is most important to fall in love with your diamond.

Diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man. The four factors that determine the value of a diamond is known as the ‘Four Cs’.



Carat weight measures a diamond’s weight and size. Originally, the weight of a diamond was measured against the weight of the Carob seed, from here the name ‘carat’ originated. One carat is equal to 100 points. Examples are: a half carat is a 50-pointer and a three quarter carat is referred to as a 75-point diamond.


Clarity refers to the inclusions which naturally occur in diamonds.

Characteristics such as internal spots or lines are called inclusions. Although these marks make each diamond unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the diamond.

Diamond Grading Laboratories use an internationally standardised scale to indicate the clarity of a diamond. All clarity grades refer to inclusions visible under 10X magnification, thus a diamond with slight inclusions may still look clear to the naked eye.

The following terms are used in certificates issued when grading a diamond’s clarity: (inclusions under 10 power magnification)

F Flawless
(No visible inclusions under 10 power magnification)
IF Internally Flawless
(No internal inclusions)
VVS1 Very very slightly included 1
VVS2 Very very slightly included 2
VS1 Very slightly included 1
VS2 Very slightly included 2
SI1 Slightly included 1
SI2 Slightly included 2
SI3 Slightly included 3
(Between SI3 and I1 you could start seeing the inclusions with the naked eye)
I1 Included 1
I2 Included 2
I3 Included 3


Colour of a diamond refers to how colourless the diamond is.

Laboratories use an international scale to determine colour in a diamond. The Chart below illustrates the colour scale from colourless to the yellow diamonds:

Diamonds also come in a spectrum of very prominent majestic colours, known as ‘fancies’ and are valued for their depth of colour. These are exceptionally rare and valuable.



Cut is used to describe the shape of a diamond. Each diamond is cut to very exacting standards. The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, flat, polished planes designed to yield the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer.

This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond’s cut. A poorly cut diamond will lose light and appear dull.

A diamond grading laboratory will indicate the specifications of the stone on all diamond certificates.



How to measure your correct ring size at home

measure_ring_sizeWith the increase of consumers purchasing goods from the internet, it is necessary to ensure that potentially expensive purchases, like rings, are done properly right from the start. The chart below should be helpful in determining and providing your correct ring size. For this you will need:

  • a thin strip of paper
  • a pen
  • a ruler
  1. Wrap the strip of paper around your finger. Make sure that the paper is below the joint of your finger and close to the knuckle.
  2. Mark where the paper meets
  3. Measure on your ruler
  4. Use the “Inside Circumference” on the chart to determine your size

ring_paper_pencilShould you have a Calliper/Vernier to your disposal, use the “Inside Diameter” chart. Remember not to push the Vernier too tight as the ring still needs to fit over your knuckle.

It is advisable not to measure your fingers on very hot or very cold days as swelling and contracting influences the correct dimensions.
Remember to choose the size closest to your measurement. The flesh is flexible and although your measurement is most likely not spot on, it will still provide a comfortable fit.

If still in doubt, use the measurement of an existing ring that fits you well. Push the paper along the inside circumference of the ring, mark where the paper meets and measure on the ruler.

Of course you are always welcome to contact us on 084 895 5775, drop us a line at or visit us at our studio.


Size Inside
Size Inside
A 11.95 37.54 Q 18.19 57.15
A ½ 12.18 38.26 Q ½ 18.35 57.65
B 12.37 38.86 R 18.61 58.47
B ½ 12.60 39.58 R ½ 18.80 59.06
C 12.78 40.15 S 19.10 60.00
C ½ 13.00 40.84 S ½ 19.31 60.66
D 13.21 41.50 T 19.51 61.29
D ½ 13.41 42.13 T ½ 19.84 62.33
E 13.61 42.76 U 20.02 62.89
E ½ 13.83 43.45 U ½ 20.20 63.46
F 14.05 44.14 V 20.32 63.84
F ½ 14.15 44.45 V ½ 20.68 64.97
G 14.36 45.11 W 20.76 65.22
G ½ 14.56 45.74 W ½ 20.94 65.78
H 14.65 46.02 X 21.18 66.54
H ½ 14.86 46.68 X ½ 21.30 66.92
I 15.04 47.25 Y 21.49 67.51
I ½ 15.27 47.97 Y ½ 21.69 68.14
J 15.40 48.38 Z 21.89 68.77
J ½ 15.70 49.32 Z ½ 22.10 69.43
K 15.80 49.64 Z+1 22.33 70.15
K ½ 16.00 50.27 Z+1.5 22.60 71.00
L 16.10 50.58 Z+2 22.69 71.28
L ½ 16.41 51.55 Z+2.5 22.92 72.00
M 16.51 51.87 Z+3 23.06 72.45
M ½ 16.71 52.50 Z+3.5 23.24 73.01
N 16.92 53.16 Z+4 23.47 73.73
N ½ 17.13 53.82 Z+4.5 23.55 73.98
O 17.35 54.51 Z+5 23.87 74.99
O ½ 17.45 54.82 Z+6 24.27 76.25
P 17.75 55.76
P ½ 17.97 56.45

Distinguishing the real from the fake

Unfortunately, apart from costume jewelry such as Honey or Avon, a lot of fake jewellery is purchased unknowingly by many people at a “bargain”. The general rule of thumb is: If it sounds too good to be true – it usually is, and it is never a good idea to purchase jewellery from anyone other than a reliable source or a reputable jeweler.

Although the “quality” of fake jewellery has much improved, the differences between a fake and the genuine article are subtle for the novice, yet, generally distinct to those who have come across them repeatedly:

  • Fake items are generally made from a cheap base metal which is then plated, making them heavier or lighter than the equivalent genuine item.
  • Stones are largely glued into settings instead of set, as typically cheap glass or crystal is used in the place of Cubic Zirconia or other precious or semi- precious stones. Usually no setting holes are visible on the inside of the ring.
  • The links of chains or bracelets are commonly not soldered closed as the melting point of base metals used is very low.
  • Even though subtle, there is a color difference between gold plated and genuine gold items – a 9ct gold plated item is slightly more yellow than the real piece.
  • Identification stamps (9ct/375) are mostly larger and deeper than on genuine items.
  • If all else fails, visit us at our studio where we will gladly test your item for FREE.

Caring for your jewellery, diamonds and gems

  • Diamonds may be the hardest natural substance known to man, but can still be damaged, chipped, abraded or scratched.  Therefore, don’t jumble your diamond jewellery together or with other pieces, because diamonds can scratch other jewellery and each other.
  • It is best to store your jewellery in a fabric-lined jewel case or box.
  • Remove jewellery before chores and do not let your jewellery or diamonds come in contact with chlorine, bleach or other chemicals that can pit or discolour the metal (silver that has come into contact with bleach turns black).
  • Remove all jewellery before showering or washing. Soap can make the metal appear dull and stones will lose their lustre.
  • Put on jewellery after you apply makeup, perfume or cologne.
  • Signs of wear, such as scratches, will eventually appear. It is advisable to have our workshop check your jewellery for loose stones, worn mountings and general wear and tear and to have your items buffed and polished to look like new.
  • Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt as the metal is soft and scratches easily.
  • Silver tarnishes very easily and it is advised to store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a soft bag or wrapped in a piece of felt or cloth.
  • Wipe pearls with a soft, clean cloth after each wearing and occasionally wash them with mild soap and water. Never put your pearls into any sort of jewellery cleaner unless it is specifically formulated for pearls.
  • Pearls should be strung with a knot between each pearl, to avoid abrasion and to prevent loss if the string should break.