Tuesday, 30 January 2018

How To Buy An Engagement Ring

The season for romance approaches with Valentine's Day on 14th February and a perfect day to "pop the question" . So, you've rehearsed the proposal, perfected your pitch and ?? she said YES! And you thought the difficult part was over. Oh No! You now have to get The Engagement Ring (never mind organize The Wedding).

Engagement ring shopping can be a fraught experience; what sort of style? Something contemporary might look great now but what about over the coming years? Or something vintage or antique instead? - well, at least you're not likely to see another couple with the same ring. A diamond solitaire, a diamond cluster, a coloured stone? What quality of diamond will you both be happy with. Decisions, decisions. Not to mention the bit no-one likes to mention - how much to spend.

At Nicholsons, we talk our couples through the pros and cons of different engagement ring styles, suggest settings and styles appropriate to you and the way you live and can even handmake your own design or design a ring for you with CAD technology.

A few tips for the Valentine's Day engagements:

Check your jeweller can talk you through the 4C's (cut, colour, clarity & carat).
Take some magazine photos of the sort of styles you both like
Give your jeweller a call before hand to let them know the ball-park figure you'd like to spend.
Let your jeweller know you'll be back for wedding rings and you may get a discount on that second purchase.

And finally, enjoy it, don't make a hurried purchase just to show off a rock.

Art Deco Diamonds

It's no surprise that everyone loves Art Deco Jewellery. The epitome of luxurious, decadent designs using diamonds, platinum, jade, opals and enamel - the only pity is that, as Art Deco was such a short period, few original pieces in good condition exist and those that do command high prices. At Nicholsons Jewellers, we are delighted to be associated with Art Deco Diamonds, a range of superbly crafted jewellery inspired by the Jazz Age of the 1920's and 30's. The Art Deco Diamonds collection is produced a small Atelier led by a master craftsman and his small team, whose previous work would normally be seen at glamorous "red carpet" events. As the Collection is not a mass produced, machine-made product there is, naturally, limited availability and Nicholson's Jewellers are delighted to be one of only a handful of jewellers in the UK to represent the brand.

The term Art Deco refers to the designs of the early part of the 20th century, particularly those from around 1910 until the end of the 1920's, althouth the phrase Art Deco wasn't actually coined until the 1960's. Europe, and in particular Paris, was the epicentre of the Art Deco movement, which gained popularity after the First World War.

Under the influence of Cubism, the organic motifs of Art Nouveau jewellery gave way to the angular, geometric designs and patterns such as chevrons and arrows by which we all recognise Art Deco. Colour, too, played a great part in Art Deco jewellery; Jade and opals were widely used and often accompanied by diamonds, and jewellery with green, black or terracotta enamel was also popular. After the discovery of Tutenkahmun's treasures everything Egyptian style was in great demand.
Platinum, although not a newly discovered metal, became the metal of choice in this period and has become irrevocable linked with Art Deco Jewellery and luxury jewellery in general. Diamonds in Art Deco jewellery were often cut as baguette or emerald cut diamonds, reflecting the popular angular designs prevalent in this era.

Sadly, with the onset of the the Second World War, the Art Deco period came to a close. It seems that the subsequent austerity and make-do-and-mend culture forced upon the people after the ravages of the war left little time or energy for the decadence and luxury of Art Deco.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Valentine's Day - Don't Forget Your Man

In all the excited anticipation over your Valentine's Day gift, don't miss the opportunity to make an impression on the man in your life - or even the man you'd like to be in your life!

Nicholson's Jewellers are now stockists of the BLOG for Men range from Lovelinks. Similar in idea - a design-it-yourself range of links for bracelets and necklaces - , to Lovelinks Jewellery for women the similarity ends there. BLOG is a range of silver links, many with a rhodium finish but all with a very masculine look. BLOG takes its inspiration from Viking or Norse legend with links in the design of swords, shields, knight's helmet; the armed forces - bundles of TNT, a handgrenade; hobbies such as motor racing, card playing or golf. BLOG bracelets and necklaces are available in silver or leather. (Tip: Buy BLOG for him then borrow it yourself. These links, the skull for example, look seriously good on women - just wear lots of black (as usual!), pull on your favourite jeans and throw on a biker jacket to complete the look

If BLOG is too casual for the occasion, then Nicholson's Jewellers have a great selection of cufflinks from everyday to super-smart. Choose from antique cufflinks in classic styles, some with hand-engraving in rose gold or yellow gold or contemporary silver and enamel designs.

These cufflinks from Nicholson's Jewellers are sterling silver with enamel and diamond. The subtle colouring make them perfect for a business day shirt right through to evening wear (Hint: you could even "borrow" these from him your own perfect white shirt).

Apart from a Valentine's Day gift, cufflinks also make really great "landmark" birthday presents or even to celebrate the birth of a baby boy from doting grandparents or godparents.

Watches are a perennial favourite and Breil Milano have Italian flair and styling that's second to none. Founded in the 1930's, there are Breil watch designs with a retro/vintage influence right through to designs suitable for water sports. Popular with men for their casual through to smart styling, Breil watches are also discounted by 20% at Nicholson's Jewellers (subject to availability).
"Don't Touch My Breil" so the saying goes so maybe you'd better leave this all to him. After all, you've already "borrowed" his BLOG and his cuffliks!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Valentine's Day

St. Valentine, Patron Saint of love and lovers, is celebrated on 14th February but who was St. Valentine and how did the custom of Valentine's Day begin?

Well, Valentine appears to have been a Roman priest living during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II. Needing troops to enlist in his armies, Claudius II declared marriage illegal for young men in the expectation they would enlist. Valentine, defying Claudius II's edict, persisted in conducting illegal marriage ceremonies and was eventually was imprisoned for his crime. Although during his imprisonment Valentine initially found favour with Claudius II, his attempts to convert Claudius to Christianity sealed his fate and Claudius sentenced Valentine to death in the late 200's - although it took another couple of hundred years for Valentine to have a recognised Day.

During his imprisonment, legend has it that Valentine restored the sight of the jailer's daughter. The couple fell in love and, on the eve of his death, wrote in farewell to his love, signing it, "From your Valentine" and this letter is generally considered to have been the first Valentine's "Card".

In Englamd, Valentine's Day has been celebrated since around about the 1600's. By the mid-1700's sending love-letters and exchanging tokens of affection was quite popular but with the advances in printing and an efficient postal system, the custom of sending "Valentine's Cards" really took off to become the celebration of romance and love we know today.

Of course, apart from the red rose and chocolates, jewellery has always been a popular Valentine's Day gift and the Victorians, with their highly developed sense of the sentimental, produced some of the most beautiful love tokens.

Today the heart motif obviously still features strongly in sentimental jewellery. Many modern designs, including Hot Diamonds, feature hearts in their collections. Hot Diamonds silver jewellery is set with diamonds and often has a gold plated detail. The presentation boxes are of a quality normally associated with the luxury market and give an extra special touch to a Valentine's gift of Hot Diamonds jewellery.

Love Hearts jewellery, designed on the famous sweets, has a fun theme. Silver heart-shaped pendants and charms have coloured enamel decoration and are inscribed with mini "love letters". The Love Hearts have messages that start with the "good friends" stage right through to the wedding and, with a Love Heart inscribed "Girl" or "Boy" even a christening is catered for.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year Witchery

What a year! Nicholson's Jewellers' website is just a year old and I can now bore for England on google ranking, search engine optimisation, social networking and html colour codes. But, seriously, I've had a wonderful time meeting new people via the website, courses I've attended and new customers visiting the shop in Ilkley after viewing the website.

And, to round off 2009, today I've met a witch - yes, honestly. Well, at least a witch's grand-daughter - though I'm convinced she has witchy potential too. She told me all about her opal ring changing colour depending on her mood. Now, of course, as a jeweller I have heard this before but have never actually seen it or had anyone own up to it. I still haven't seen the colour change as Mrs. Witch was apparently calm and friendly today and the opal remained a lovely bluey/green but she told me, and her husband attests to this, the opal becomes pinkish when she's roused (aroused?) - it didn't seem polite to enquire further. So impressed was I with this tale, and thinking it only fair to give the old OH a bit of notice with my mood swings (30 years married and he still has to ask?), I considered getting an opal ring for myself - something big and flashy with a diamond or two thrown in. Then I remembered Lady Penelope and her article on unlucky opals http://nicholsons-jewellers.blogspot.com/2009/11/opals-are-girls-worst-friend.html Read it and you'll see what the problem is. Of course, don't let that put you off but after such a great year I don't want to risk it. After all, despite what others might say - I'm not a witch. Although, there is something about witches toes - but that's a story for another day.

I'll sign off 2009 wishing all our friends and customers a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Watch Out - Discounts About

Christmas is just around the corner and, if you're anything like me, it's probably taken you by surprise. Although goodness knows why -it's not as though the date changes every year! At least the old me was disorganized. In contrast, the new me had the Christmas cards written, and posted, at the start of December, the presents are bought and wrapped, the turkey is on order, menus have been planned and visits from relatives happened last weekend. Which is just as well as I'm typing this in snowy Ilkley and I don't think that my Newcastle based brother and family would have made the journey this weekend.

The thing is, though, that after all this organisation I'm left with the nagging thought that there's something, or worse, someone, that I've missed off a list or two. If you are bothered by this too have you thought about a watch?

Traditionally, watches are a good fall back option and do seem to be a typical Christmas present. At Nicholson's Jewellers we've been stocking Breil Milano watches for a few years now. Italian styling at its best, Breil watches are designed for men and women and are available with either a leather strap or a metal bracelet strap. Some of the Breil watches are set off with diamonds whilst others are chronograph styles for those who like lots of dials and things (some people, but not me, even know what all the dials do!)

As a design led watch brand, Breil Milano will be introducing new designs next year and, as special website promotion, we are currently offering 20% discount on our normal retail prices of current Breil Milano watches that we have in stock. Quite a few have already sold and stock is limited.

Head on over to the website soon and there's still time to get your Breil Milano watch to give as a Christmas gift, or to treat yourself, in time for Christmas.