One of the great pleasures of a fine piece of jewellery is admiring the skill and craft of the maker; in addition to wonderful gemstones, the best jewellery has as much care and attention paid to the base and underside as to the top of the piece. Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewellery […]

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A Rose Cut diamond is an antique cut, dating back to the early 1500s; it has a flat bottom and a faceted crown. Typically, the flat bottom is a cleavage plain, and the crown is cut with triangular facets rising to a point. They normally have 3 or 6 way symmetry; an optical effect of […]

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Diamond set figurines from the Continent are among the rarest pieces of jewellery known to exist, typically German or Austrian and made with a surprisingly wide variety of diamond cuts. Some were badges of the order of St Michael, an order established in 1469 by Louis XI to rival the Order of the Golden Fleece […]

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A rather magical part of the antiques world is the connection that pieces can have to people and events of the past, and jewellery is no exception. Some pieces can have greatly changed the world around them, perhaps never more so than in the “Affair of the Necklace”, which was one of the events that […]

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During the invasion of Spain in the early 1800s, the King of Spain, Charles IV, knew that Napoleon’s march on Madrid was not going to be stopped. So, for security, he had the Crown Jewels of Spain and a priceless collection of clocks walled up in two of the 365 rooms of the Royal Palace […]

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A whopping 890 carats in its rough form, the Incomparable Diamond is among the largest flawless diamonds ever discovered. It was found in the 1980s, by a young girl playing in a pile of building rubble outside her uncle’s house. The rubble had come from a nearly mine, and had been rejected for being too bulky […]

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Mellerio is a French jewellery house, based in Paris, which claims to be the oldest jewellers in the world. Originally from Lombardia in Italy, their lineage has been traced back as far as the 11th century. Originally just “Mellerio”, customers found it easier to shorten the name to Meller, so one often finds the name […]

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A most interesting, and unassuming, silver ring sold recently for a world record (for a medieval ring) of £297,000 sterling. What makes it worth this extraordinary figure is that the original owner is believed to be none other than Joan of Arc, martyr and patron saint of France. The new owner is Puy du Fou, a […]

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A little post about possibly my favourite ring in the shop, this is a wonderful 19th century opal and diamond cluster ring, on rose gold. The charm of it comes from the quality of goldsmithing, which is typical of the Victorian era, and the softness of the reflection from the diamonds. Rather than brilliant cut, […]

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One of the more mysterious diamonds in history, the story of the Brunswick Blue is an intriguing one, with unusual gaps in the story and tantalising links to one of the most famous diamonds in the world! The backstory begins with the French Blue, a 115 carat rough diamond of a most wonderful metallic-blue shade. It […]

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