Recreating Celebrity Designer Jewellery in Brisbane

When it comes to inspiration for designer jewellery in Brisbane, you can’t go far wrong with looking to the celebrities. You don’t have to copy their designs exactly, because some of these rings cost a small fortune, but you can achieve the same style and look to both your wedding and engagement rings within your own budget.

In Brisbane, at our Design Studio, customers often bring in photos of their favourite celebrity engagement rings, asking us to recreate a similar design for themselves. So to help give you some design inspiration for your own engagement or wedding rings in Brisbane, let’s take a look at three of the most famous celebrity engagement rings.

Examples of celebrity designer jewellery

If you have thought of an emerald cut diamond for your engagement ring, then you must have seen the 3 stone ring design featuring a 7ct emerald cut diamond that George Clooney gave to his wife Amal in 2014. Flanked by 2 tapered baguettes, this stunning designer jewellery is one of the classics and with a hint of art deco, will give you plenty of inspiration for your own engagement and wedding rings.

In Brisbane, another popular cut with our clients, which also heralds back to the art deco era is the Asscher cut diamond made famous by Pippa Middleton in 2017. Pippa’s fabulous 3 ct Asscher cut diamond is mounted in an art deco inspired channel set octagon halo design of magnificent round diamonds. If you are interested in an Asscher inspired diamond cut for your designer jewellery in Brisbane, why not drop into our Design Studio for a chat?

The third example of popular celebrity engagement rings in Brisbane are the Marquise cut diamonds, made famous by Victoria Beckham. This is an elegant cut featuring 58 sparkling facets and dates back to the 18th century. This cut was first commissioned by Louis XV who wanted a diamond that resembled the lips of his mistress, and without a doubt, the Marquise diamond cut does have this resemblance!

For romance and brilliance, you can’t go past the Marquise cut, however there are many more fabulous cuts of diamonds that are equally perfect for engagement and wedding rings. Why not make an appointment to see us at our Brisbane Design Studio and we can discuss your ideas?

How to choose the best designer jewellery company in Brisbane

When you are looking for designer jewellery in Brisbane, whether for wedding rings or engagement rings, there are lots of options, so how do you make the right decision? After all, you can walk around a dozen different jewellery stores and find similar looking pieces for vastly different prices.

Well, for most jewellery items in Brisbane, including wedding rings and engagement rings, you generally have two different types of buying options. These options are between the stores that sell jewellery designed for the mass market and jewellers who specialise in bespoke or customised jewellery.

Buying your Designer Jewellery from Mass Market Jewellery Stores in Brisbane

Without a doubt, wedding rings, engagement rings and other items of designer jewellery will be cheaper when purchased from jewellery stores in Brisbane that cater to the mass market. This is because they cut their costs as much as possible, usually by using as little gold, silver or other precious metals as possible in your jewellery. Unfortunately, this can shorten the life of your rings and make diamonds pop out of their settings easily.

Don’t forget that the diamonds in mass produced jewellery (including your diamond wedding rings and engagement rings) will have been bought in bulk lots. Each of these diamonds will have a different quality and the diamond in your ring was simply randomly selected, so it could be the best or the worst in the bulk lot.

The sales people are also not experts or jewellers themselves, as their purpose is to show you the jewellery in their cabinets and facilitate the sale.

Buying your Designer Jewellery from Bespoke Jewellers in Brisbane

A jeweller who specialises in custom made or bespoke jewellery is an expert, which is instantly recognisable the moment you walk into their design studio. There will be no untrained sales people behind a counter ready to make the sale, instead you will speak with one of the jewellery designers themselves, who has been making bespoke jewellery for years.

Ashley Douglas are specialists in custom made wedding rings, engagement rings and designer jewellery in Brisbane. All of our jewellery comes with a lifetime guarantee and is made to the very highest quality with handpicked diamonds and other precious gems. Purchasing our jewellery is an experience, not a sales transaction.

Please call Ashley Douglas on 07 3012 8112 to make an appointment to see us at our studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

Why do some white gold engagement rings in Brisbane turn yellow?

Have you purchased engagement rings or designer jewellery in Brisbane and noticed that they have turned yellow fairly quickly? Maybe over the last one to two years?

This is a common problem and most of our customers are concerned at one time or another about their designer jewellery or their engagement and wedding rings turning yellow over time. The solution of course, is rhodium plating, however this is not a ‘set and forget’ solution, because the rhodium plating eventually wears away, revealing the yellow gold underneath.

So one of the most frequently asked questions at our Design Studio concerns the issue of why does the rhodium plating wear away and how quickly does it need to be replaced. We have noticed that these issues tend to cause our customers a lot of headaches when they are purchasing wedding rings or engagement rings in Brisbane.

This is why we always discuss rhodium plating with our customers, as this is the best way to keep their white gold designer jewellery looking sparkling new. We also discuss a maintenance schedule for rhodium plating as well.

There are two factors that affect the rate at which the rhodium plating will wear away on your engagement and wedding rings in Brisbane: the thickness of the plating and the quality of the original metal.

Thickness of the rhodium plating

Firstly, the rhodium plating that is applied to wedding rings or engagement rings in Brisbane is only a very thin layer. The plating process is performed by using an electroplating system and this can only apply a very small amount of rhodium to your rings or designer jewellery – literally micron layers in thickness. This is why you need your white gold wedding and engagement rings to be rhodium plated on a regular basis, as this maintains the brilliant white colour and sparkling lustre that caught your eye when you initially made your purchase.

Quality of the original metal

The second factor (and one we see too often in Brisbane) is the quality of the original metal.  This is because the quality of the alloy can make a big difference to the frequency of rhodium plating needed to maintain a brilliant white lustra on your designer jewellery or your wedding or engagement rings.

Many of our customers who use our same day rhodium plating service tell us that they need to repeat this process far too frequently and wonder why this is happening. The problem we tell our customers – is the quality of the underlying alloy.

It is the quality of the metal alloy that causes some white gold metal wedding and engagement rings in Brisbane to appear very pale, almost yellow in appearance. It is important for you to understand that when jewellery is bought from manufacturers overseas, who sell their jewellery on the world market – the jewellery is often sold by the gram.

Therefore selling white gold engagement and wedding rings that contain a high quality alloy such as Palladium, which is very expensive, actually costs the customer a lot more than a ring manufactured using a cheaper metal alternative, for example nickel.

Considering that the alloy is rhodium plated and the cheaper alloy is not visible, the foreign manufacturer will not spend the money on more expensive alloys, as it has the potential to price them out of the market – so the cheaper alternative is always used. This is why many customers who purchase mass produced wedding rings or engagement rings in Brisbane find that they need to repeat the rhodium plating far too frequently.

Using cheaper alloys is great for retailers who cater to the mass market because it helps to maintain their profits. Customers also love to snap up a bargain and purchase engagement and wedding rings in Brisbane that appear to be the same quality as the locally manufactured equivalents, but at a much lower price – this can be very appealing.

Don’t be fooled by cheap wedding and engagement rings in Brisbane

Purchasing high quality designer jewellery, as well as wedding and engagement rings always wins out in the end. If we take palladium for example, as part of the Platinum group of metals it is a very dense and durable metal (unlike nickel which is much softer). This means that wedding and engagement rings made with palladium not only maintain a white appearance when the Rhodium plating wears off, but they also have greater longevity and resist wear and tear much better than cheaper alloys.

So when a customer believes that they have found a great deal and are saving lots of money, they end up spending on costly repairs for worn claws, lost diamonds and a constant yellow appearance when the rhodium plating wears off.

At Ashley Douglas, we only use the highest quality palladium based alloys in all of our white gold designer jewellery, wedding and engagement rings in Brisbane, ensuring the investment you make today is around for many years to come.

Keep your white gold jewellery sparkling white with our same day rhodium plating service.

Insuring your engagement rings, wedding rings and designer jewellery in Brisbane

As creators of high quality designer jewellery in Brisbane, we hear many stories from our clients about the loss of uninsured wedding rings and engagement rings. In Brisbane, we always recommend that our clients insure their designer jewellery, as well as any other sentimental pieces of jewellery, because whilst the money is no consolation against the loss, it does allow you to replace the items.

Some of our clients mistakenly believe that their home contents insurance will cover any such losses and whilst we are not insurance experts, more often than not, this type of insurance only covers part of the monetary value of your wedding rings or engagement rings. In many instances it doesn’t cover their total replacement value.

Two options for insuring your designer jewellery in Brisbane

The first option is to add your designer jewellery, wedding rings and engagements rings to your home contents insurance policy in Brisbane, as an extra optional cover. This will incur an additional premium, but it should insure your jewellery items for their full replacement value, rather than just part of their value.

However, it is worth noting that most insurance companies that let you add your jewellery to your home contents policy, actually limit the total that can be claimed to $5000 with a maximum of $1500 per item.

Your insurance company may also require an expert evaluation of your designer jewellery, wedding rings and engagements rings for this extra cover, as they will estimate your additional premiums as a percentage of their value. They will certainly need a valuation when you make any claims against your policy, as well as proof of purchase.

The second option is to insure your jewellery through an independent jewellery insurance agency. This is a good option for anyone who doesn’t have home contents insurance, but is also the preferred strategy for many people, because it covers you from the minute you leave the jewellery store.

At Ashley Douglas, we perform expert valuations of your wedding rings, engagement rings and designer jewellery in Brisbane at our design studio. We also have access to specialist jewellery valuers, if you have a rare or unusual piece.

Please call 07 3012 8112 to make an appointment to see us at our studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

Top tips to keep your custom jewellery looking good

We’re very well-known for our specialist custom jewellery, so we’re often asked for tips to help our clients keep their jewellery looking great all the time. Unfortunately, many people tend to forget to clean their designer jewellery, either simply wearing it every day or returning it to their jewellery boxes after use.

This may be fine for about six months or so, but eventually you’ll notice that your diamonds have lost their sparkle, and the precious metals are becoming tarnished. When you have your custom jewellery cleaned by specialists however, you can instantly notice the difference in the shine and sparkle of your pieces.

To keep your designer jewellery looking fabulous at home, here are the answers to some of our more frequently asked questions.

Can I use an ultrasonic cleaner for my designer jewellery?

If your jewellery has bits of dirt and grime in the settings, then an ultrasonic cleaner might do the trick. Caution is required however, for soft gemstones or pearls, because the vibrations can loosen the settings or damage the Gems.

Can I use a silver dip for my silver pieces?

Yes, you can use a silver dip to remove the tarnish from sterling silver custom jewellery items. A dip is particularly useful for cleaning silver chains that would be near to impossible to clean with a polishing cloth. Always be wary of using these dips if your jewellery has soft gemstones or pearls and in the case of silver, if it has blackened etched areas incorporated into the bespoke designs then do not use it (in Brisbane some of our designer jewellery has coloured etching).As with the ultrasonic cleaners however certain Gemstones should not be cleaned with this machine.

Can I use toothpaste to clean my custom jewellery?

No! Anything that is abrasive, and that includes toothpaste and baking soda, will eventually wear away at your designer jewellery, removing tiny pieces of metal each time it is used, So only use the products mentioned above to clean your jewellery and wash each piece in warm water with a little liquid soap as well.

For bespoke, custom jewellery in Brisbane, make an appointment to see us at our design studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

Bespoke diamond engagement rings

Ashley Douglas Jewellers are makers of fine custom jewellery, and we specialise in bespoke diamond engagement rings. In Brisbane, many of our clients want their engagement rings to dazzle their fingers with diamonds, but with such an endless variety of choices available, where do you start?

After all, you need to decide on the size and cut of your diamonds, whether you want just one central stone or one stone surrounded by an array of other diamonds, and you can even have the band covered in sparkling diamonds as well.

For those of you who are ready to purchase your diamond engagement rings, let’s take a look at some of our more popular designs to give you inspiration and clarity in the wonderful world of stunning diamonds.

Bespoke cut diamond engagement rings

At our studio In Brisbane, we meet with many people who are looking for something a little bit different. They recognise our reputation for designing unique custom jewellery and tend to select a bespoke cut diamond, such as an oval or pear shape, even an emerald or princess cut, rather than the more traditional round cut diamonds.

Round cut diamonds tend to be more expensive, because more of the actual diamond has to be cut away to create the perfect round presentation. So a bespoke cut diamond is not only more unique, but can also be less expensive, compared to more traditional cuts.

Diamonds as a central focal point

Another more recent trend we have noticed in diamond engagement rings with our Brisbane clients is to buck the system and have a setting without a centre diamond. These non-traditional engagement ring settings have a dazzling mass of smaller diamonds, which are perfect for ladies who find that one large diamond is a cumbersome problem in their daily lives.

You can also go in the complete opposite direction and design an engagement ring with a large central Hollywood style diamond – think of Kim Kardashian’s ring – this type of high-end custom jewellery is perfect for ladies who live for their bling! However, if you can’t quite afford the 15 carat diamond of Kim Kardashian, then you can make a more modest diamond look larger by having smaller diamonds set into the band.

So why not make an appointment to see us and view our collection of bespoke diamond engagements rings in our Brisbane studio?

Same day rhodium plating & resizing services for diamond wedding rings in Brisbane

At Ashley Douglas in Brisbane, we understand that sometimes you want a same day service, however this is not always possible, due to the complexity of the design. Many custom jewellery requests require days to perfect the design and then a number of days or even weeks to finally complete the project.

This means that a same day service for custom jewellery is not an option, but we do offer a fast turn around and a same day service for resizing diamond wedding rings and engagement rings, as well as for rhodium plating at our Brisbane studio.

Resizing diamond engagement and wedding rings doesn’t take very long at all and is a very popular service that we offer to our Brisbane clients. Rhodium plating is another service with a fast turnaround time and makes a huge difference to the look of your jewellery.

Resizing diamond wedding rings: When you have selected the perfect diamond wedding rings, you don’t want to walk away with rings that don’t fit! This is why we offer a same day resizing service for our 9ct and 18ct white and yellow gold wedding rings at our studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

Resizing engagement rings: Proposing to the woman you love and then presenting her with an engagement ring that doesn’t fit is not a great idea, which is why our same day resizing service is so popular. We resize both 9ct and 18ct white and yellow gold engagement rings, so simply let us know the correct ring size and we will have it ready when you return from browsing around the Arcade and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Rhodium plating: We offer a same day service for rhodium plating in Brisbane to both renew your existing plating or to change the colour of your older jewellery. As we all know, rhodium plating doesn’t last forever, so when it needs to be updated, it is good to know that you don’t have to wait days before your jewellery looks as good as new again. Rhodium plating is also a sensible choice if you are bored with some of your jewellery, as it can update them and give them a clean, modern look.

For a fast turnaround on resizing diamond wedding rings and engagement rings, as well as rhodium plating, make an appointment to see us at our design studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

Is your birthday in June? Find out about your birthstone!

Anyone born in June will know that their birthstone is the pearl, a symbol of purity since the times of the ancient Greeks and most probably, even further back into history. In fact, the Greeks so adored these lustrous globes of iridescence that they believed they were tears of joy, spilled from the eyes of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

Pearls are a particular favourite of our clients in Brisbane with many requests for custom jewellery designs throughout the year. Rings, brooches and earrings can all be adorned with one or more flawless pearls, but the key to the perfect jewellery design for pearls is elegance and simplicity.

There is no need for complicated settings, as the pearls themselves are the very centre of attention. In Brisbane, we find that rhodium plating is a good match with pearls, because the white gold setting highlights their lustre and doesn’t compete with their beauty.

If you are considering purchasing a gift for the lady in your life with a birthday in June, a simple strand of beautiful timeless pearls is always a winner.

Types of pearls used in jewellery design

In Brisbane at our jewellery design workshop, more often than not we tend to use cultured South Sea and Tahitian Black pearls in our designs, because the availability of natural pearls is so limited. Cultured pearls are farmed throughout the South Pacific with some of the more popular pearls being farmed in Broome. Most of the cultured pearls are marine in origin however, but you can purchase freshwater pearls that have been farmed in China.

Broome pearls: These pearls are particularly exceptional in their colour and depth of lustre and are often used as centrepieces for custom jewellery orders at our Brisbane studio.

Tahiti pearls: The waters of Tahiti and French Polynesia are famous for producing brilliant black Pearls with an incredible dark, deep lustre. Sizes available range from very small, well suited for Pearl strands to large stand alone pieces which go nicely custom made into pearl enhancers.

Akoya pearls: Some of the more affordable pearls are farmed in Japan, but they are renowned for their perfection and are often used in necklaces.

Freshwater pearls: Farmed in China, freshwater pearls are the least expensive choice and are not as symmetrical and perfect as other options. These pearls are often used in mass produced jewellery designs, rather than custom jewellery.

Make an appointment to see us at our studio in the Brisbane Arcade, view our range of jewellery designs or order your custom jewellery.

Trends in custom jewellery design in Brisbane for 2017

There’s no denying that there’s a lot of mass produced jewellery available in Brisbane. Custom jewellery design has always been a popular choice, though, because nothing can replace a handcrafted and unique piece of jewellery. Custom jewellery design in Brisbane is really taking off.

When you want something special, such as an engagement ring, there is no point in buying the exact same ring worn by everyone else. This is one of the problems with mass produced jewellery and it’s why so many people veer towards personalised jewellery design in Brisbane.

You might be interested to know that trends in jewellery design are not quick to change, however, the popularity of precious metals and gemstones does tend to rise and fall over the years. For example, large hoop earrings used to be very trendy during the 1980’s, mainly mass produced at the time, but are now making a comeback with more customised settings.

So let’s take a look at some of the growing jewellery design trends in Brisbane during 2017.

Earring jewellery trends for 2017

Large drop pendant earrings hot fashion tips for this year (many famous female celebrities love this trend!), and geometric shapes filled with clusters of gemstones are making waves as well. Ear climbers and ear jackets are still looking good for this year and make a spectacular display when made from white gold (infused with rhodium plating for a brilliant white shine) and a cascade of diamonds.

Art Deco is also having an influence on earring jewellery with the trending geometric shapes inspiring some sensational and decorative statement pieces. Asymmetry is also becoming popular with designs for the left and right earrings being complementary, but distinctly different.

Engagement ring trends for 2017

In 2017, Halo settings for engagement rings are hot, but so are coloured diamonds. Just imagine a large centre diamond surrounded by a cluster of coloured diamonds or gemstones, giving you a truly unique engagement ring. Rose gold and vintage inspired custom jewellery is also on the rise, taking inspiration from the Art Deco style as well.

Custom jewellery design in 2017 is all about taking more traditional designs and giving them a fresh, new twist. Make an appointment to see us at our studio in the Brisbane Arcade and discover the pleasures of custom jewellery for yourself.

How long does rhodium plating last?

In our Brisbane studio, we often coat our diamond engagement rings with Rhodium plating, which is a process that gives a lovely bright, white lustre to yellow gold. Rhodium is one of the most expensive of the precious metals, belonging to the Platinum group and it is very rare. The process of Rhodium plating is called ‘electroplating’ and whilst the Rhodium is only a few microns thick, it is perfect for keeping your jewellery bright, shiny and white.

It is important to remember however, that even though this thin layer of Rhodium imbues a brilliant and luxurious white shine to your diamond engagement rings, Rhodium itself, plays little part in preventing wear and tear. In fact, Rhodium plating only lasts between 3 months and a year, depending on the amount of wear that can be seen.

You will know when your rings need to be re-plated again, because you will start to see glimmers of yellow gold showing through the coating of the Rhodium plating. In Brisbane, we can re-plate your diamond engagement rings and wedding rings at our design studio in the Brisbane Arcade, with prices start from $65.

Tips on extending the life of your Rhodium plating

If the Rhodium plating on your diamond engagement rings needs to be replaced too soon, then it is best to have your rings examined by an expert jeweller to ensure that the layer of plating is not too thin for your purposes. Even though the usual layer of Rhodium is extremely thin, on occasion it can be too thin and if so, this problem can be easily rectified, resulting in fewer trips to the jewellery store.

Don’t forget that because the layer of Rhodium is so fine, continual rubbing will increase the wear of the Rhodium on your rings. This increased wear and tear can be an occupational hazard in jobs where you are required to wash your hands frequently, such as in the healthcare industry. In these cases, it is best to remove your rings at work, otherwise you will need to have them re-plated more often than normal.

Also, avoid strong cleaning fluids that might react with the Rhodium plating, causing it to wear away faster than normal. Wear protective gloves if possible, and if not, remove your rings to keep them looking bright and shiny for longer.

If you live in Brisbane and your diamond engagement rings need to be re-plated with Rhodium, you can make an appointment to see us at our CBD studio.

What types of metals are available for wedding rings?

The metals available to designer jewellers in Brisbane for crafting handmade wedding rings varies, particularly for bespoke wedding rings. There is however, a core group of traditional metals that are generally available for use in designer jewellery in Brisbane, including 9ct (9k) yellow or white gold or 18ct (18k) yellow or white gold, as well as sterling silver and platinum.

How to select the best metal for your designer jewellery in Brisbane

One of the factors that is important when selecting the metal for your wedding rings is the hardness of the metal itself. Each metal has a different density, hardness and malleability and it is important to choose the correct metal for your wedding ring.

As one of the leading designer jewellers in Brisbane, we usually recommend selecting the same material for your wedding ring as used in the crafting of your engagement ring. This is because the two metals will sit next to one another on your finger, and on a daily basis will wear away at each other. The same metals in each ring will wear against one another evenly, whilst different metals with wear unevenly.

For example, if you were to wear a sterling silver ring beside a platinum ring, since platinum is harder than silver, the silver ring will be worn down by the platinum ring. However, if you were to wear an 18ct white gold ring alongside an 18ct yellow gold ring, the difference in density and hardness between these two metals, is a lot less. This is because the same quantity of fine gold exists in each ring (750/1000) it is just the alloy that is different, so the wearing is much more even.
If you are considering purchasing wedding bands in the near future, we recommend speaking with our highly qualified designer jewellers in Brisbane, as they can discuss the finer details of selecting the correct metal for your wedding ring.

As an aside, one of the current trends concerning designer jewellery in Brisbane involves couples purchasing palladium wedding rings. Unfortunately, as this metal is very soft it is usually used as an alloy alongside other metals, and it is this softness that makes it unsuitable as a standalone metal in wedding rings. We therefore recommend that you do not use this metal for your wedding rings.

For bespoke, handcrafted wedding rings, you can make an appointment to see us or call us on 07 3012 8112.

How long does it take to repair jewellery?

As designer jewellers in Brisbane, we have many customers who ask us to repair their jewellery. Sometimes the jewellery has simply broken for a variety of reasons and other times, they have lost a diamond or other precious stone, because the settings have become loose.

Our customers are often surprised to learn that it can take up to two weeks for us to repair their treasured items, but there are very good reasons why it can take this long. Once we explain the reasons behind our repair schedules, our customers are more than happy to leave their precious jewellery with us for repairs.

Scheduling your repairs

As one of the leading designer jewellers in Brisbane, we both design and repair jewellery. This means that we need to schedule repairs to fit in with our time frames. Once one of our craftsmen begins designing a custom piece of jewellery or commences to repair an item of jewellery, he or she will continue until the piece is perfect.

This means that our repairs times must be flexible enough to accommodate our roles as both expert designer jewellers in Brisbane and professional repairers of jewellery. Every piece of jewellery deserves the complete attention of our master craftsmen to ensure that each piece is perfect.

Handcrafted repairs

Our customers bring their repairs to us because we are professional designer jewellers in Brisbane, and they appreciate the quality and the time we invest in every single design or repair. Some repairs are quite simple and others far more complicated, taking hours of precision and an expert eye. In some instances, we need to source the best diamonds or other precious gems as replacements for stones that have been lost and of course, this takes time.

On some occasions, repairs can be completed very swiftly, it simply depends on the amount of design and repair work we have on our books. Since we are well known for our exceptional work and our high quality repairs, and because people know that we are designer jewellers in Brisbane, our expert craftsmen are in great demand.

To make an appointment to see us for jewellery repairs, please 07 3012 8112 or visit our design studio in the Brisbane Arcade.

How to select the best wedding rings in Brisbane

When you are arranging your wedding, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is to choose your wedding rings. In Brisbane, you have the option of selecting your wedding bands from our existing stock or you can design your own, unique wedding bands.

Many people don’t realise that designing their own wedding rings doesn’t have to break the bank and can be quite similar in price to purchasing a stock wedding ring. So it pays to talk to our designer jeweller, and weigh up all of your options, before you make your final decision.

So if you are ready to purchase your wedding rings in Brisbane, here are a few guidelines to help you decide on the style of wedding rings that you want, making your final selection so much easier and faster.

What type of precious metal do you want?

For wedding rings in Brisbane, you can choose between white, yellow and rose gold and between 9ct, 14ct, 18ct and 22ct. The higher the carat of gold, the softer the metal, so if you perform a lot of manual work, it might be better to opt for a lower carat of gold, as these are stronger and more durable.

You also have other options, such as platinum, titanium or zirconium, and your choice usually comes down to your personal preferences. Rhodium plating is also a consideration, particularly for white gold, as this increases the durability of white gold and increase its resistance to scratching.

Matched engagement and wedding rings

If you already have an engagement ring, do you want your wedding ring to be shaped and styled to match? Our designer jewellers are experienced at crafting quality wedding rings in Brisbane to match existing engagement rings. This ensures that your two rings not only sit comfortably side by side on your finger, but they also look as if they were designed to be a matching pair.

Do you want diamond wedding rings?

Some people like plain bands, whilst others want one or more diamonds included in the design. Now is the time to decide whether you want to include diamonds or other precious gemstone in your wedding rings. In Brisbane, our master craftsmen can design the perfect wedding bands for your wedding, leaving you free to organise the rest of your wonderful celebration.

To make an appointment to see us, call us on 07 3012 8112 and we will be happy to discuss the design of your wedding rings in Brisbane at our studio.

What is rhodium plating?

Rhodium plating is used to give yellow gold a beautiful white sheen and a protective coating to safeguard against wear and tear. Many people prefer white gold to yellow gold, but the problem is that there is no real white gold, which is why we need to use rhodium plating.

In Brisbane, we use rhodium plating on silver, platinum and gold jewellery, because all of these precious metals can be easily scratched and dulled over time. Rhodium on the other hand, (which is also a precious metal) is more strong and durable than these softer metals, not only imbuing a protective layer, but also because rhodium never loses its beautiful shine.

When your jewellery is coated with a layer of rhodium plating, it will look sparkling and brand new for many years. The length of time the plating lasts is determined by how often you wear your jewellery. For example, a white gold wedding ring may lose its shine and sparkle in about 2 years, whilst a broach that is worn every now and again, might last for ten years or more without needing to be recoated.

What’s the cost of rhodium plating in Brisbane?

The cost depends on the thickness of the rhodium plating that is required. This is related to how much yellow there is in the metal of your jewellery and how often you wear the item. A thicker coating of rhodium will ensure that your jewellery looks beautiful, white and sparkly for longer and protects the precious metal of the item from wear and tear for longer.

We suggest that you select a thicker coating for items of jewellery that are worn often, as this reduces the frequency of rhodium plating that is required. As rhodium is a precious metal itself and is quite rare, it is actually more expensive than gold. This means that rhodium plating in Brisbane can hover around the $100 mark for small items of jewellery, depending on its thickness. Even though rhodium plating is an additional cost, it is actually less expensive to have a thicker coating less often, than a thinner coating more often.

For professional and high quality rhodium plating in Brisbane, please make an appointment to see us at our artisan gallery in the Brisbane Arcade.

Designing custom Engagement Rings in Brisbane

There is nothing quite like the pleasure and satisfaction of being able to design your own engagement rings. In Brisbane, many of our clients are quite happy to make their selection from our in-house stock of hand crafted unique designs, whilst others prefer to design their own one-of-a-kind engagement rings.

Designing custom engagement rings in Brisbane is one of our specialities and with more than 65 years as professional artisans, we bring your unique designs to life in front of your eyes. Our craftsmen take great care with every engagement ring and their attention to detail is absolutely perfect.

3 benefits of custom engagement rings in Brisbane

Create a unique expression of your love: An engagement ring is an expression of your love and a promise to spend your lives together as man and wife. This is a very special time in your life and the rings that express your promise of unending love should be both unique and exquisite. After all, when you design your own engagement rings in Brisbane, they are imbued with all of your love, and with your hope for a beautiful future together, as two individuals with a shared dream.

Design the ring of your dreams: Have you always tinkered with a design in your head? Is there a particular gem or setting that has always attracted you? If you have a design for your engagement ring that demands to be expressed, then why waste hours, days and weeks looking for your perfect ring? At Ashley Douglas we help you create the engagement rings of your dreams and put your ideas and designs into rings that are not only a symbol of your love, but also an expression of your inner self and creativity.

Create an heirloom for your family: A unique, custom designed piece of jewellery deserves to be passed down through the generations. Your custom designed engagement rings, created with love and hope can be given to your children and their children, creating a family heirloom that will be cherished into eternity and beyond.

If you want to design exquisite and hand crafted engagement rings in Brisbane, we encourage you to make an appointment to see us at our artisan gallery in the beautiful Brisbane Arcade.

Trends in Jewellery Design

Just as fashions change each year, there are also trends in jewellery design in Brisbane every year. These trends don’t change the popularity of rings, necklaces and bracelets, they change how they look and how they are worn. So let’s take a look at some of the popular trends in Brisbane jewellery design this year.

Trending Jewellery design in Brisbane

If you want to be on trend with your jewellery this year, then you need to revamp the more traditional view of jewellery and take note of the following trends.

Jewellery Stacking

Whether it is necklaces or rings, the trend of stacking is becoming more and more popular. No longer is it only appropriate to wear one ring on a finger or just one necklace, now you can wear multiple rings on the same finger and lots of different necklaces all at once.

Different metals

Traditionally, if you wear a rose gold ring, you also wear the same necklace and bracelet – wearing mismatched metals was so gauche! Now however, anything goes and there is an increasing trend in Brisbane jewellery design circles for wearing different types of metals all at once. So ferret out all of your favourite pieces and if they are made from different metals, you will be right on trend.

Coloured diamonds

Some people have always believed that white diamonds are the most popular, but jewellery design in Brisbane has seen a significant uptick in different coloured diamonds being used in custom pieces. Yellows, pinks and champagne diamonds are being increasingly used in customised jewellery designs in Brisbane, so keep your eye on this trend and consider coloured diamonds for your next purchase.

The humble wrist watch
With the massive increase in smart phones, wristwatches were relegated to the back closet, but no anymore! The humble wristwatch is making a comeback and the designs to watch for (no pun intended!) are retro designs with large watch faces. Watches can make a real fashion statement and it is great to see them making a resurgence in the market.

So if you want to keep on trend with all of the changes in Brisbane jewellery design, pop into Ashely Douglas in the Brisbane Arcade and check out all of their fabulous custom designs.

Trends in Diamond Rings in Brisbane

We all know that diamonds are forever, but there are trends in diamond rings in Brisbane, just as there are trends in fashion and hairstyles. Some settings for diamond engagement rings become very popular for a time and then they wane as other settings start to trend higher.

The same happens with precious metals, with white gold being very popular a few years ago, taking over from yellow gold which had remained popular for a long time. So let’s take a look at what settings and precious metals are trending today for diamond rings in Brisbane.

Rose gold is very popular for diamond rings in Brisbane
Rose gold is a metal that many people tend to think of as ‘old’, something their grandmothers used to wear. Rose gold has always seemed old-fashioned and has tended to trend behind both yellow and white gold as the preference for diamond rings. Well, all that has changed, because rose gold is now becoming much more popular and fashionable and is rapidly taking over from white gold, being seen as having a more vintage and warm feel than white gold.

Halo rings are the most popular setting for diamond engagement rings
Halo ring settings are very popular right now because they look absolutely fabulous and give you a lot of bang for your buck. This is because the Halo setting is one diamond (or other gem stone) in the centre surrounded by a host of other diamonds or precious stones. The design of the Halo setting makes it look as if the centre stone is much larger than it really is, so you can have a one carat setting looking more like one and a half or even two carats, simply because of the way the stones are set.

The new upcoming trend in diamond engagement rings is the Princess setting
Jewellers are seeing an uptick in Princess settings for diamond rings in Brisbane as this setting offers a very clean and angled approach to jewellery. The design is based on a perfect square cut diamond, which to keep its futuristic and streamlined design, is matched with a white gold band. The result is a stunning diamond ring which is quickly catching up with the Halo setting in popularity.

So if you are looking for jewellery in Brisbane, keep an eye open for Halo or Princess settings and rose gold bands.

Why is Rhodium Plating Good for Your Jewellery?

In Brisbane, Rhodium plating is very popular and is used on a variety of different pieces of jewellery. The reason that rhodium plating is used so much is because when you spend your time and money on selecting a wonderful piece of jewellery, you want it to remain sparkling and fabulous forever.

The problem is that some types of precious metals can easily tarnish or scratch over time and so your jewellery loses its ‘new’ sparkly look and attractive quality. This is why plating your jewellery with rhodium is so good, because it helps to keep your jewellery looking beautiful for much longer than normal.

The benefits of rhodium plating for your jewellery
Rhodium plating is used on silver, platinum and white gold jewellery because it gives these pieces an added layer of protection. Rhodium itself is a rare, precious metal, so rare in fact that it usually costs more than gold.

This precious metal is very strong and durable and it is highly resistant to scratches and corrosion. Its strength and protective qualities are the main reasons why rhodium plating in Brisbane is so popular, but there is also another reason as well. This reason is that rhodium has a natural high reflective quality, so it never loses its shine or sparkle.

Coating your white metal jewellery with rhodium will help to keep your jewellery looking brand new and sparkling forever.

Are there any disadvantages to rhodium plating?
There are no disadvantages to plating your jewellery with rhodium, the only factor you do need to keep in mind is that this plating does not last forever. You will need to have the plating renewed as it does wear away over time and the reason it wears away is because it is only a coating over your jewellery.

The thickness of the plating and how often you wear the jewellery will dictate how often you need your jewellery replated. High quality jewellers usually use a thickness of between 0.75 and 1.50 microns, giving you a few years of wear before replating is required. Some jewellers use plating which is less than 0.75 microns, but this can wear off in literally months and can make your cheaper jewellery very expensive in the long run. So always be sure to go to a high quality jeweller for your rhodium plating in Brisbane.

Where can I find trendy diamond engagement rings in Brisbane?

If you are in the market for a trendy diamond engagement ring, you can easily pop into any jewellery store and take your pick of many ready-to-buy diamond rings in Brisbane. The problem is that these rings are made for the masses and there are thousands of people wearing the exact same ring at any one time.

Most people however, don’t want a copy of someone else’s ring, they want a unique and exquisitely designed diamond ring in Brisbane. So in this case, your best bet is to drop into Ashley Douglas Jewellers in the Brisbane Arcade.

Ashely Douglas create one of a kind diamond engagement rings

Ashley Douglas are master jewellers and have over 50 year’s collective experience creating customised designer jewellery for their clients. They are so good at what they do that you can take in your ideas for a piece of jewellery and they will turn your dreams into reality, right there in front of you.

This is one of the reasons why Ashley Douglas are so popular, because their highly experienced and talented jewellers sit with you to create your design. You can actually watch them creating your jewellery in front of your eyes. Even better, because their design studio is in their window, you can walk along Brisbane Arcade and stand outside to watch these master jewellers at their work.

A diamond engagement ring is a commitment to the one you love and should be as unique and exquisite as your beloved. The master jewellers at Ashley Douglas will bring your design to life and there is no better way to show your love to your partner than by giving a diamond engagement ring that you designed yourself – this is truly an act of love.

So if you are ready to purchase a diamond ring in Brisbane, seriously consider dropping into Ashley Douglas in the Brisbane Arcade and sharing your design thoughts with their master jewellers. Just image your beloved’s smile when you present them with a diamond engagement ring that is your own design and infused with your everlasting love.

How to Choose an Engagement Ring

There are a lot of elements to consider when choosing an engagement ring or designing an engagement ring. Band, stone and cut are the most considered factors, however you must also consider clarity, colour, setting and carat. Over the months or years, your partner may have hinted they would love a solitaire ring – which went straight over your head, until now. Or you may have been instructed to get a 1-carat ring. This is good information, as it shows what the person considers most important – in this situation it is the size of the diamond.

If you need further help designing an engagement ring, Ashley Douglas have a special program to show your vision come to life, allowing you to make edits to ensure you love it  from plan to proposal.

If your partner is very independent, determined and likes to make all the decisions, you may go shopping together to choose a ring, or she might show you one she loves. In this case, it is still important you understand what quality and features you are buying, as you should get it insured, or incase it goes missing and you want to get it replaced. Whatever situation you are in, here are some guidelines and recommendations you will need to buy the perfect ring.

Please note, Ashley Douglas offer insurance valuations for all our clients. It is recommended for purchases over $2,000.

If you want the proposal to be a surprise, there is a little digging you must do. It also helps if you know your partner well enough to choose something they will love.Start by checking out out the jewellery (if any) she normally wears. Here are a few tips:

1. Look for the type of gold she wears i.e. yellow or white

This will help you determine what type of gold to choose. Then you must decide the quality of the gold. 18 kart is ideal, however 14 karat is also common. The higher the karat the more yellow, bright and shiny it will be.

2. Is her jewellery normally flashy and sparkly or is it simple?

Flashy may mean more than one diamond/stone or something out of the ordinary and real fancy. Simply may mean solitaire (one diamond/stone).

3. Does she take her jewellery off often, or at all?

If you are leaning towards white gold, and you notice she wears her jewellery everywhere, consider platinum as it is more durable.

4. Traditional and classic or unusual and vintage?

Traditional and classic = solitaire diamond
Unusual or vintage = antique, but not necessarily a diamond. Also consider Sapphire, Emerald and/or Ruby.

If you notice she doesn’t wear that much jewellery – you could decide the gold type based on skin tone, as mentioned in ‘different types of gold and metal for jewellery’. If she has a fair complexion – white gold or platinum are more suitable. White gold is plated with other metals to make is stronger, but this can wear off over time. Some jewelers re-plate their rings when necessary – some do it for free (ask about this before purchase if it is important to you). Also consider platinum as it is very strong and durable for everyday wear, however it can become dull after time. If she has olive to darker skin – yellow gold is the perfect choice – 18 karat is most suitable.

Now have a think about her personality and social life to determine the setting style. The most common settings are: Bezel (suitable for significant activity), invisible, prong (most   common, especially in solitaire), channel, pave, cluster and bar (photos beside for each).

Diamond or other stone:
Diamond is the most common stone in engagement rings. Many would suggest, the larger the diamond the better, however this is determined by personal preference – quality vs size (unless budget is not important). The stone used in an engagement ring is the feature of the piece. You can have one stone (solitaire), three stone (trilogy) or more diamonds such as diamond bands (depending on budget). Other popular stones to use in engagement rings include: Sapphire’s and Rubies.

Diamonds of lower quality show a yellow tinge, and higher colour grade/quality diamonds are colourless. This is measured by the colour of the diamond on a scale from D (best quality, rare) to Z (light yellow).  This is important in general, however very important in large high set diamond rings as the lower the colour grade the more noticeable the yellow tinge in the diamond. The recommended grade for an engagement ring is E-H.

The cut of the stone is also important – round/circular stone cut is called brilliant, which is the cut that shows the most sparkles – very important to some. Other popular cuts include: princess cut (square), cushion (rectangle with rounded corners), pear, radiant, marquise, emerald and oval. Different cuts looks better than others, depending on finger and hand sizes.

Diamonds and gemstones are a natural product; therefore they may have some imperfections. A perfect looking diamond clarity wise will be more sparkly and essentially have a better clearness than a diamond with lots of imperfections. The clarity scale is: F1 (flawless – very rare), VVS1-2 (very very slight imperfections), VS1-2 (very slight imperfections), SI1-2 (slight imperfections) and I1-3 imperfect. Before purchase, ask to look at the ring/diamond with the magnifier to look for imperfections as many VVSI –VSI are difficult to find with the naked eye.

A carat, is the size of the diamond, not to be confused with the quality of gold which can also be referred to as carat or karat. The larger the carat doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, as the cost is also based on colour, cut and clarity. For example a 1-carat diamond with a M-colour and SI1 may be a similar price to a .5 carat with a H-colour and VSI2.

The current trends in engagement rings are:

–   The more diamonds the better: image (diamond surrounded by diamonds on a
diamond band
–   Solitaire ring with diamond band
–   Solitaire (brilliant or princess) is the most classic where cut, colour and clarity are
most important
–   Solitaire ring with diamond band with a unusual diamond cut –
–   Mix of diamonds and other stones on a plain band

For more information on engagement rings, or to schedule an appointment call us on (07) 3012 8112.