The dos and don’ts of looking after engagement rings

You have most probably spent weeks or even months searching through all the engagement rings in Brisbane looking for the one ring that perfectly represents your love for one another. That being said, the last thing you want to happen is for your new ring to lose its sparkle and begin to look dull and lacklustre after just a few months.

Unfortunately, and with our busy lives in Brisbane, we tend to forget our engagement rings and they stay on our fingers when we change a tyre, go swimming, take a shower and even dig the garden. The question that needs answering is – how do women keep their beautiful, sparkling engagement rings looking as fabulous as the day the ring was first placed on their finger?

So, for all the women in Brisbane, here are four tips for making sure that your engagement ring is always kept safe and beautiful for many years into the future.

  • Do keep your rings clean: All jewellery needs to be kept clean and for many pieces, the home cleaning kits are more than suitable. However, we always recommend that in Brisbane, engagement rings are expertly cleaned by trained technicians who know how to protect your precious ring during the cleaning process.
  • Do stay away from chemicals: Brisbane ladies who leave their engagement rings on their fingers when they use bleach or other harsh chemicals are asking for trouble. This is particularly true for rings with precious gems, for example sapphires or emeralds, as these porous stones can quickly become dull and lose their sparkle. Always wear protective gloves or take your ring off in these situations.
  • Don’t always wear your ring: Even though ladies rarely want to remove their beautiful engagement rings, it’s always wise to remove them to prevent the stones or settings from becoming damaged or scratched. Consider leaving your engagement ring in a safe place if you are going to the gym, spa, beach or local pool.
  • Don’t forget annual check-ups: Once a year, engagement rings benefit from a maintenance check by a trained specialist in Brisbane. It’s very important to keep the settings nice and tight to prevent losing the diamonds or other precious gems, because over time these settings will loosen; we have seen many ladies who have experienced losing a diamond from their engagement ring, because they didn’t check the settings often enough.

If you’re searching for engagement rings in Brisbane or you would like a maintenance check on your engagement ring, why not make an appointment to see us at our Brisbane CBD jewellery studio?

What’s been trending in engagement rings in 2017?

In Brisbane, engagement rings tend to have trends, some styles gaining popularity for a few months and then out of the blue and for no particular reason, we find that another style starts to take off instead. We have looked at the trends for engagement rings in Brisbane at our design studio this year and here are the top five most popular styles and settings.

1. Nature designs

This trend involves settings that evoke the beauty of nature with leaves, vines or buds woven into the band with a number of diamonds as the ‘buds’, but we are increasingly seeing colourful gemstones being requested instead of diamonds. These colourful rings are one of the hottest trends for engagement rings in Brisbane right now!

2. Halo designs

These beautiful and delicate rings feature a traditional round central diamond surrounded by a circle of smaller sparkling diamonds and they are very popular with ladies who like vintage style engagement rings. In Brisbane, we often customise these rings to give our clients a unique setting that suits their style and their personality.

3. Geometric designs

Whilst some ladies prefer a traditional or vintage setting, others love the modern geometric styles that are sleek, modern and contemporary. The most popular of these geometric designs have a central diamond cut into a hexagonal shape, surrounded by a very narrow row of stunning diamonds, matched with a superb golden band.

4. Gemstone designs

A very modern trend for engagement rings in Brisbane that is gaining momentum is to have sapphires or emeralds instead of diamonds in the settings. Matched with rose gold (which is also another popular trend), these colourful, modern and very beautiful rings create a stunning impact and are popular with younger ladies.

5. Art Deco or vintage rings

Always popular, Art Deco or vintage rings trend up and down and we have recently seen an increased demand for vintage engagement rings. Brisbane ladies are very discerning in their choice of rings and the Art Deco or vintage rings seem to resonate with their personalities. This style of ring isn’t for the faint hearted however, because they offer serious bling and only ladies with charisma can pull it off!

If you are ready seal your commitment to one another, why not make an appointment to see us at our Brisbane Studio in the CBD?

The five most popular engagement rings in Brisbane

When you’re ready to propose to your girlfriend, it’s time to start researching engagement rings in Brisbane, ensuring that you select the perfect ring for the occasion. However, once your girlfriend has said ‘yes’, you will need to select matching wedding rings for your big day as well. This won’t be a problem because you can discuss these with our specialist designers when you visit our design studio in Brisbane.

To help clarify your thoughts and give you an idea of the types of rings that are available on the market, here are the five most popular engagement rings that we sell in Brisbane.

Pear settings

Pear-shaped engagement rings have an oval and elongated diamond in the centre, shaped like a pear that are often called teardrop diamonds. This is a very striking and unusual setting that is both elegant and sophisticated and has lots of sparkle and brilliance. It is often desired by women who like to stand out in a crowd.

Oval settings

Similar to a round or emerald cut diamond setting, these rings have a large oval shaped diamond in the centre that is often encircled by smaller diamonds. This setting is very popular with women who like a more traditional engagement rings in Brisbane, but still want something a little different.

Marquise settings

Similar to the oval cut diamonds, a marquise cut is more boat-shaped than oval and is considered a vintage cut. This type of diamond cut can be worn as a solitaire or encircled by diamonds and tends to be appreciated by women who walk to the beat of their own drum, bucking trends and always on the lookout for unusual or unique items.

Emerald cut settings

This rectangular cut diamond has step-up faceting that exudes grace and class. This cut is not as popular as some of the other engagement rings in Brisbane, but this actually makes it less expensive and more affordable as well. This cut has a large central diamond and is perfect for women who don’t like fussy jewellery, instead preferring clean and modern settings.

Asscher cut settings

An Asscher cut is similar to an emerald cut diamond, but is square rather than rectangular with the same step-up faceting. These designs are loved by women who have an affinity with vintage jewellery and who appreciate sophistication and elegance over bling.

If you are looking for unique engagement and wedding rings in Brisbane, why not make an appointment to see us at our design studio in the CBD?

Looking for engagement rings in Brisbane? 3 Tips for the perfect proposal this Christmas.

Did you know that the lead up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for buying engagement rings in Brisbane? Maybe it’s due to lots of Christmas cheer or because people are more relaxed during the holidays, having the time to reassess their lives and make plans for their future. Whatever the reason, we sell lots of engagement ring in Brisbane before Christmas, whilst wedding rings are more popular in the new year.

Ashley Douglas is well known for crafting one-of-a-kind engagement rings and wedding rings in Brisbane, so now is the perfect time to visit our Brisbane design studio and chat to one of our specialist jewellery designers. Once you have the perfect engagement ring to hand, you are ready to orchestrate the perfect proposal using our top 3 tips below.

  1. Decide on the best venue: Some women absolutely love a romantic proposal in front of their friends, family and even in front of strangers. Other women wouldn’t take kindly to this type of dramatic public display, preferring a quiet romantic dinner for two for a wedding proposal. If you want your beloved to say ‘yes’ then make sure that the venue suits the occasion.
  2. Plan ahead: You don’t want any mishaps to happen during your ‘proposal’ date, so make sure you have picked the right venue and that you have rehearsed your speech. Asking your girlfriend to marry you is always a stressful time, but it’s also a time that your loved one will always remember, so it needs to be as romantic and special as possible.
  3. Relax: If you have made all your plans and rehearsed your speech, you need to relax before the date, so that your girlfriend doesn’t become suspicious. Try to make the evening appear to be no different than any other date, so that you can really surprise her with your proposal.

Of course, you can’t have a proposal without the right ring, so it pays to spend some time before your proposal researching your girlfriend’s likes and dislikes. Our most popular type of engagement rings in Brisbane are Halo rings that have a large central diamond encircled by a ring of smaller diamonds. At Ashley Douglas, we design fabulous engagement and wedding rings in Brisbane for our clients, so why not make an appointment to see us soon?

How to select the right band for your diamond rings in Brisbane

In Brisbane, selecting the best band for your diamond rings, particularly for engagement and diamond wedding rings can be time consuming, even though there are only three general categories of bands. This is because there are lots of options and customisations available, which is why an expert in jewellery design can be invaluable in helping you to pick the right band for your rings. So let’s take a look at some of the bands you can choose for your diamond rings in Brisbane.

Paved bands for diamond wedding rings

A paved band is covered by very small diamonds that are set so close together that the band looks as if it’s actually paved with diamonds. If you want a wedding ring that looks stunning and glitters whenever you move your fingers, then a paved band ticks all the boxes. A paved band is a long-term favourite for diamond rings in Brisbane and is available in either a thin, medium or thick band with the corresponding size diamonds, as well as a bright cut setting or a fishtail setting. The bright cut setting has prongs on either side of the diamonds with a slim border of metal along the sides, whereas a fishtail setting cuts away this slim border, giving a more streamlined look to your diamond wedding rings.

Multi-row bands for diamond rings

A multi-row band has a row of diamonds on all three sides of the band, giving you maximum sparkle. Again, you can choose from a thin, medium or thick band, but these bands will be thicker than those for a paved band, simply because of the extra room needed for all the diamonds. Multi-row bands give you the option of including different sized diamonds running down the bands as well, and are one of our trending jewellery designs in Brisbane this year.

Bezel bands for your diamond rings

A bezel band is very sleek and minimalist in appearance and is a popular and distinctive jewellery design in Brisbane. This band has a circular metal setting that surrounds the large centre diamonds (either a single diamond or multiple large diamonds), each with their own girdle of metal. Bezel bands are ideal for engagement rings or designer diamond rings when ladies want a small and delicate looking ring.

For professional jewellery design in Brisbane or for help selecting the band for your diamond wedding rings, why not make an appointment to see us at our Design Studio?

Secrets to buying diamond engagement rings in Brisbane

Unless you have already ridden the roller coaster of buying diamond engagement rings in Brisbane, you have no idea of the process you will actually go through, as the time comes for you to pop the question. In the weeks and months before you ask the woman you love to be your wife – you will pass through many different stages that can only be understood by someone who has travelled the same path.

So if you have your eye on a couple of halo engagement rings and are ready to make your final choice, why not learn a few hidden secrets from someone who has already ridden the pre-engagement wave successfully?

You suddenly become alert to halo rings and jewellery

Never before in your life have you ever paid attention to women when they talk about diamond engagement rings, but now all of a sudden you have an antenna that swivels at the mere hint of halo rings, diamonds and jewellery. You might have guessed that you are searching desperately for any hint about your girlfriend’s ring preferences, and will go to any lengths to find out which type of ring she likes the best.

You even talk to other guys about diamond engagement rings!

There are not many times in a guy’s life when he talks about jewellery with his mates, but you are going to find that you actively look to these friends for help and advice. How did they propose? How did they choose the ring? Did she like it? Will they go with you to look for diamond engagement rings in Brisbane? No guy ever believes that he will ask these questions, but when the going gets tough – the tough turn to their mates!

You realise that looking for halo engagement rings is hard work!

One of the problems you will face is making the right selection out of hundreds of diamond engagement rings, because quite frankly, you can’t rely on what you like, it’s what she likes that’s important. At this point, your jeweller is your best friend and with all of the hints you have picked up over the past few weeks and months, together you should have enough data to make the right choice.

If you getting ready to propose to your girlfriend and want help selecting the right engagement ring, why not make an appointment to see us at our Brisbane Studio?

Redesigning your wedding and engagement rings in Brisbane

Has your partner been secretly searching for engagement rings in Brisbane? Whilst wanting to surprise you with an engagement ring is really romantic, the flip side is that you might end up with a ring that isn’t your cup of tea!

In Brisbane, wedding rings can also be a problem, because many are bought when the budget is low and our clients bring them in for a makeover when they have more money. The good thing about designer jewellery however, is that you can make changes to the design when either your needs change or your budget allows.

Just remember that if you really don’t like your engagement or wedding rings, your partner has most probably spent days or weeks searching for the perfect rings – so go gentle on them when you discuss making changes to your rings.

Tips on altering your wedding and engagement rings

At our Design Studio in Brisbane, we are often called upon to make changes to both engagement rings and wedding rings, so if you are in the same boat, here are a few design inspirations that may help you through the process.

For example, we can change the profile of the band from a flat profile to a sharper profile or we can even soften the profile if you prefer to give the band a more delicate look. We can also adjust the height of the setting if you find that it will be too high and might catch on your clothes or be a problem at work. We can also add diamond accents to your designer jewellery in Brisbane, for example by switching the band to one that has diamond accents, so that you can keep the original centre diamond.

We can also add two more diamonds to a centre diamond to give you a three stone ring setting, replace the centre diamond with a larger size diamond or add a halo to the centre stone. There are so many different options for you if you find that your engagement or wedding rings are not quite right for you.

Why not make an appointment to see us at our Brisbane Designer Studio and we can chat about your options?

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.
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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.