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Where to buy jewellery
Looking for the perfect piece of jewellery to complete an outfit? Or maybe the perfect ring to pop the question with? There are some great online jewellers out there to help you make the right decision.
There are many reasons to buy jewellery. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings all make the perfect gift for any occasion: birthday, anniversary, Christmas or even a just-because gift.
Jewellery also plays a huge part in two very important days in a lot of people’s lives, the engagement and the wedding! So whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or the perfect forever diamond, or you just fancy something sparkly, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite online jewellery retailers to get you started.
What does the ‘carat’ rating mean for gold jewellery?
The carat system is a measurement of the purity of gold. 24 carat is considered ‘pure’ gold and it the best quality available. 18 carat gold is another popular quality and is considered 75% pure. The higher the carat number, the more you can expect to pay.
What is the difference between ‘precious’ and ‘semi-precious’ stones?
‘Precious’ stones are considered to be diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. All other gemstones such as amber, amethyst and peridot are considered ‘semi-precious’. Jewellery containing only semi-precious will be cheaper than jewellery containing precious stones but a combination of both stone types within one piece of jewellery is not uncommon.
What do the hallmarks on jewellery mean?
There are a variety of hallmarks used in quality jewellery that can tell you a lot about an item. A traditional hallmark consists of three or four stamps: The sponsors mark, the standard mark, the assay office mark and (optionally) the date letters.
- The sponsors mark tells you who made an item and sent it for hallmarking. They vary but are usually a combination of letters.
- The standard mark tells you the quality of the metal:
- For gold jewellery 375 is 9 carat, 585 is 14 carat, 750 is 18 carat, 916 is 22 carat and 999 is 24 carat.
- For silver jewellery 800 is the lower hallmark, 925 marks sterling silver and 958 marks Britannia silver.
- The assay office mark tells you which office (although not necessarily where) an item was hallmarked (an anchor represents Birmingham, a castle for Edinburgh, a leopard for London and a rose for Sheffield).
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