BLACKNIGHT SME AWARDS 2015

I MUST SAY IT’S A LOVELY SURPRISE ON A MONDAY AFTERNOON TO FIND MYSELF AMONG THE FINALISTS FOR THIS YEARS ‘SME AWARDS 2015′

THEY’VE EVEN GIVEN US A BADGE!

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IT’S VERY FUNKY! ALMOST AS GOOD AS BEING A WINNER!

TAKING PLACE ON  THE 25TH OF APRIL AT THE RADISSON HOTEL, CORK AND WITH 14 CATEGORIES SHOULD BE A FULL EVENINGS ENTERTAINMENT.

FULL LIST OF FINALISTS HERE

NAKED EYE – NAKED TRUTH

THIS MORNING I POSED A QUESTION (QUESTIONS REALLY) ON BOTH TWITTER AND FACEBOOK. I PUT UP AN IMAGE OF A PAIR OF MARQUISE CUT GEMS. BOTH THE SAME WEIGHT (CARAT), CLARITY AND APPROXIMATELY THE SAME PROPORTIONS.

I ASKED ‘CAN YOUR NAKED EYE TELL ME THE DIFFERENCE?’

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

 

 I ALSO ASKED WHICH ONE WAS THE BETTER GEM? THE ANSWERS WERE VARIED.

SOME THOUGHT THE DIAMONDS WERE A DIFFERENT COLOUR, SOME DIDN’T. SOME THOUGHT THERE WERE ONLY 1 OR 2 DIFFERENCES IN THE COLOUR GRADES, SOME 7 OR 8.

SO WHAT ARE THE ANSWERS? THE FIRST QUESTION I MUST ADMIT WAS A LITTLE UNFAIR. YOU SEE THE NAKED EYE, AT THE BEST OF TIMES, CANNOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN COLOURS, UNLESS THERE IS QUITE A DIFFERENCE.

 THE DIAMOND ON THE LEFT IS A ‘K’ COLOUR, THE DIAMOND ON THE RIGHT IS AN ‘F’ COLOUR. CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

PROBABLY, OR MAYBE NOT. THE SIMPLE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THIS IS A PHOTOGRAPH!

HERE ARE THE GIA D – Z COLOUR EXAMPLES. COLOUR RANGES ALPHABETICALLY FROM D, E, F, ALL THE WAY DOWN TO X, Y AND Z

 

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YOU’LL NOTICE IN THIS IMAGE THAT THESE DIAMONDS ARE ‘TABLE’ OR FACE DOWN. THESE ARE ALSO GRADING STONES. THESE ARE A SELECTION OF DIAMONDS THAT ARE USED TO CORRECTLY CLASSIFY COLOUR. ONCE A DIAMOND IS TABLE UP OR SET IN A PIECE OF JEWELLERY, IT IS DIFFICULT TO TELL. ESPECIALLY TO THE NAKED EYE!

THE SECOND QUESTION WAS, WHICH WAS THE BETTER GEM? THE ANSWER IS SIMPLY THIS:

IT ALL DEPENDS.

 IF I WERE TO PRICE TWO DIFFERENT 2.08CT MARQUISE CUT GEMS WITH SIMILAR CLARITY AND SIMILAR PROPORTIONS FOR COMPARISON.  

AN ‘E’ COLOUR WOULD COST CIRCA €38,000 RETAIL.

A ‘J’ COLOUR IS CIRCA €19,000.

THE DIFFERENCE? THE PRICE!

TO THE NAKED EYE, TWO GEMS SIDE BY SIDE WILL HAVE TO BE SO FAR APART IN COLOUR FOR YOU TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE. YOU WOULD ALSO NEED GRADING STONES TO CLASSIFY AND COMPARE.

TO ADD SOMETHING TO THE EQUATION, SETTING A WHITE DIAMOND IN YELLOW GOLD WILL MORE OR LESS YELLOW THE STONE, AS THE YELLOW WILL BE ABSORBED. SO IS A €38,000 STONE BETTER THAN A €19,000 STONE IF YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO GUESSED THAT THE STONE ON THE LEFT WAS A DIFFERENT COLOUR, WELL DONE. FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT GUESSED THE COLOUR I’M SORRY TO SAY IT WAS ONLY A GUESS. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL. 

NATIONAL MUSEUM DONATION

IT WAS AN UNEXPECTED PLEASURE TO FIND MYSELF IN THE NATIONAL PRESS ON WEDNESDAY THE 18TH OF MARCH.

IT SEEMS MY 13,000 CARAT GEM COLLECTION IS QUITE A BIG DEAL AFTER ALL!


Img_1139THE  NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND WILL BE TAKING POSSESSION QUITE SHORTLY WITH SMALLER DONATIONS PLANNED THROUGHOUT THE COMING YEAR.

THANKS TO THE RALPH RIEGEL AND THE IRISH INDEPENDENT FOR THEIR FEATURE.

WEDDING SHOWCASE AT THE CLARION HOTEL

On Sunday the 1st of March, I will be holding a talk on all things Diamond at Cork’s Clarion Hotel.

How to pick the ‘perfect’ diamond, what to look for, ask for, and more importantly what to avoid.

Some myths, some truths, and some facts about gems that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear.

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A brief chat, with a small concise presentation will leave plenty of time for you to come and have a Q&A session with me face to face.  

You can read about the days event HERE 

There will be plenty of exhibitors on the day, so be sure to put the date in your diary. I look forward to seeing you there.

If you have any questions, or would like a private consultation call me on:

086 8687456


Under Lock and Key

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When people think of safe deposit boxes, they usually think of movies like James Bond or The Bourne Identity and boxes full of cash and gold! The simple fact is safe deposit boxes are generally used for more everyday uses such as safe-keeping of jewellery, sentimental items and important documentation.

Let me introduce Merrion Vaults

With private safe deposit boxes at Merrion Vaults starting from less than €4 per week and 7 day access, renting a safe deposit box is becoming increasingly attractive and affordable for most people.  “It’s really ‘peace of mind’ that we offer to people” says Nigel Doolin of Merrion Vaults, “and the one thing we can assure you is that your true valuables, and sentimental items will be kept completely safe and secure at Merrion Vaults.”

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 There are other advantages to having your own safe deposit box out of your home.  Savings on Insurance is one.  Depending on the number and value of ‘specified items’ you may have on your home insurance policy, more often than not if you keep these items in a safe deposit box, your policy premium will drop by more than the safe deposit box rental cost. 

Other insurance terms and conditions that we should all (but most are not) be aware of are things like:

In a lot of policies – if your home is unoccupied for more than 30 days the contents may not be covered on the Insurance if you are burgled.

When you consider the number of families that go away either abroad or elsewhere in Ireland for months at a time during the Summer, this is a potentially disastrous situation for a lot of them.

If you have specified items on your policy such as jewellery and you leave them on a bedside unit and they are stolen, they may not be covered – as a lot of policies state in the Terms & Condition’s that specified items must be worn “on the person” when they go missing or are stolen.

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Make sure you have a “new for old” clause in your policy. Instead of paying for the full replacement value of an item that is stolen or damaged, some insurance companies are paying a heavily discounted value offering a voucher instead, or paying up to 30% less if you insist on cash. They are entitled only to pay for the “actual loss” (what price is a five-year-old sofa worth?) A “new for old” clause means you get the full value for a brand new replacement item.

With criminals getting smarter and cleverer also, it is most definitely a wise move to keep your jewellery and valuables secure in the only truly safe way….. in a safe deposit box at Merrion Vaults.

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 If you are interested in a safe deposit box or have any questions on keeping your valuables secure please call Merrion Vaults on (01) 254 7900 – visit their website at: www.merrionvaults.ie or email them at: info@merrionvaults.ie

Happy Christmas

 

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

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Many thanks for all your custom and support throughout the year, for dropping by to read my posts, for your comments and your feedback. It has been very much appreciated.

So to you and yours I wish the very best wishes over Christmas, and continued success for 2015.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

MICHAEL WALL

Be My Guest – Rachel Swan

 

This months guest post is from Dublin goldsmith Rachel Swan.

Rachel is a Dublin  girl born and bred, and lives there with her husband and their cat ‘Tabs’.

Rachel Swan Logo

Rachel, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me.  I’ve been a fan of your

 designs for a while, could you tell us how you first got started?

“Thank you Michael. I started my studies in Fashion Buying and Merchandising but soon realised it wasn’t for me.

I had to find something more hands on and creative.

I’ve always loved jewellery, ever since I was a young child when my Granny used to take out her jewellery box and let me rummage through it every Sunday.

I loved looking at all her little trinkets, and in particular, a little silver hedgehog, which I still have today.”

Fashion buying no less? Not for you then? Tell me a little more. 

“I discovered a Crafts course in the Liberties College in Dublin and signed up immediately after I realised that my fashion buying career was not going to work out!

From there, I took part in a FAS jewellery manufacturing course. This course has since been cancelled, which is a shame, as it was a  great launch pad for jewellers in the industry.

From there I secured an apprenticeship in Alan Ardiff’s studio in Dublin.

I work for Alan for about 5 years, until 2008, when I created my own collection and decided to take a leap of faith and become self employed.”

Oxidised Orb Pendant © Rachel Swan

Oxidised Orb Pendant
© Rachel Swan

Your studio is very pleasing to the eye. I’ve admired your videos and images across all your social media sites. Where is it based?

“Why thank you. I now work from my studio in RUA RED in Tallaght. It’s a gorgeous light filled space with enough room for my workshop and display area.

The studio is close to where I live with my husband and cat, who models for me the odd time, the cat that is, not the hubby!”

'Tabs' in model mode © Rachel Swan

‘Tabs’ in model mode
© Rachel Swan

I see ‘Tabs’ has become an online favourite. She’s quite the model!

 “Watch out for Tabs on Twitter and Instagram. You might also see my ‘nephews’ Bertie & Arthur the bulldogs modelling too. I’m a sucker for pets wearing jewellery.” 

As I mentioned, your collection is stunning. I know they’re available online, but tell me your thoughts and how you came to design them.  

“My collections are very geometric and structured and I tend to stick to a minimal aesthetic. I love to use repeated geometric patterns to create designs like the Orb collection. I take inspiration from architecture, interiors and sculpture. I have great appreciation for the Scandinavian style of design.”

© Rachel Swan

© Rachel Swan

What are you currently working on?

“I’m currently working on smaller scale pieces in 9ct gold, making the jewellery even more wearable, luxurious and elegant, while still keeping the symmetrical and minimalist design in mind.

The new gold Central pendant is one of my favourites, and I haven’t taken it off since I made one for myself.

I always maintain that I design and make pieces that I want to wear, I would never make anything that I would not want to wear myself.”

Rachel, it’s been a pleasure to talk with you. Finally, where can we see some of your collection?

“Not at all, you are very welcome. You can visit Rachel Swan Goldsmith to view some pieces in my current collection” 

Rachel thank you for guesting with me this month. I look forward to seeing ‘Tabs’ on Facebook

© Rachel Swan

© Rachel Swan

RACHEL SWAN IS AN AWARD WINNING CONTEMPORARY GOLDSMITH BASED IN DUBLIN, IRELAND. ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT: RACHEL SWAN GOLDSMITH

FOR MORE  INFORMATION ABOUT RACHEL VISIT WWW.RACHELSWAN.COM

ENDED – October Giveaway -ENDED

1.45ct Golden Yellow Citrine © Michael Wall 2014

1.45ct Golden Yellow Citrine © Michael Wall 2014

Showing here is a 1.45ct Brazillian Citrine.

A trilliant/trillion cut gem.

8mm in size.

Golden yellow colour.

Nice eye clean gem with excellent lustre.

Yours to win!

How?

1.45ct Golden Yellow Citrine © Michael Wall 2014

1.45ct Golden Yellow Citrine © Michael Wall 2014

Simple:

Throughout the site you’ll find lots of articles. Just leave me a comment on one post, or two if you like. Tell me you’ve liked or even disliked a post. Maybe you’ve found it useful? Maybe not, but tell me. If you want to know something or ask a question, feel free to do so

That’s it! That’s all it takes. I’ll be on the lookout for your name and one winner will be picked this Friday, the 10th of October.  

The T&C ‘s bit:

You don’t have to subscribe (Hint: It will help if you do!)

You can enter as many times as you like (as many comments as you like, it will help if you do!)

You don’t have to follow on Twitter or Facebook (Hint: It will help if you do!)

Open to ROI, UK, and overseas. Please be sure to enter a valid email address, along with your name.

Only  one 1.45ct carat Citrine will be given as a prize. No cash alternative. 

COMPETITION ENDS FRIDAY 10th OCTOBER 2014

Winner announced on Twitter and Facebook


 COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
WINNER ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER WEDNESDAY 15th OCTOBER 2014

In addition to….

I was having a discussion on WLRFM this morning and mentioned what I thought was a well recognised gem; Citrine.

I forget sometimes that just because I see different gems each and every day, other people do not.

So don’t just think precious gems are limited to Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby. 

© Michael Wall 2014

© Michael Wall 2014

They’re  not, and please don’t think that’s all I carry either.

I’ve seen the Alexandrites and Apatite, the Emeralds and Enstatite. I’ve handled the Flourites and Goshenites, the Iolites and Kunzites. The full A-Z through the Sphenes to the Topaz and Tsavorite and up to the Zircons.

There is quite a staggering array of gems out there. All of them come in different shapes, sizes, structures and colours.  

Above all remember, not all Diamonds are white and not all Sapphires are blue. 

If you have a question about any gem, feel free to ask about them. 

TWEET ME:


How Much?

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND ON AN ENGAGEMENT RING

 “As much as you can afford to.”

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A ring should be a symbol of love, friendship and commitment.

It’s an important purchase and probably only once in a lifetime.

If you wish it to be a symbol of wealth and affluence, so be it.

But don’t get hung up on ‘How much should I spend?’

There are no rules.

If you have a budget of €500 and find your perfect ring, so be it.

The same can be said if your budget is €20,000. 

NO RULES

That’s it. No more.

ASK ME A QUESTION ON TWITTER: