De Beers give synthetic diamonds the green light
The recent announcement by De Beers that they will be producing gem quality synthetic diamonds caught the industry by surprise. De Beers has been a long term outspoken critic of lab grown diamonds, so on the surface the revelation is both unexpected and controversial, and will have far reaching consequences for the diamond industry as a whole.
For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, synthetic diamonds share all the physical, chemical and optical properties of natural diamonds- it is simply their synthesis (i.e. their formation) which is...
Cleaning and safely storing diamond jewellery
Diamond has many extraordinary attributes. Not only is it exceptionally beautiful, it is supremely hard, extremely lustrous, chemically resistant, can withstand high temperatures, can be subjected to day to day wear with little or no damage, and disperses light to create wonderful flashes of colour. What's not to love? Well, there is one drawback- it LOVES grease.
This particular characteristic is exploited...
Evolution of a bespoke piece of jewellery
If the prospect of having a piece of jewellery commissioned has aroused your curiosity but you have felt intimidated at the prospect, here is a recent example which had unexpected twists.
A client had inherited two ruby rings and approached us with a view to having the stones re-set. Both rings had been worn for many years, so the stones exhibited significant signs of abrasion- rounded facet edges and scratched and damaged facets which produced a notable loss of lustre. We explored the merits of having the stones re-cut/re-polished to restore them to their former glory. This was...
We are very selective about our partners- they need to share our passion for unique jewellery and have a history of quality craftsmanship. This enables us to present diverse collections which are largely customisable- in essence, a bespoke piece of jewellery from a ready to wear collection. This represents the ultimate opportunity to indulge in affordable luxury.
A recent example was a client who...
VAT reclaim scheme
Carob & Co participates in the VAT Retail Export Scheme which permits qualifying international visitors to reclaim VAT on goods which have been purchased in the UK, but exported outside the EC upon departure.
A minimum spend of £300 is required. The process is straight forward but it is essential to ensure that all criteria are met. At the time of purchase, the invoice will be marked to indicate that the goods have been included on a VAT refund document. A VAT reclaim form (VAT 407) will be completed, including passport details of the customer, and travel dates in and out of the...
The importance of Hallmarking
First introduced in the 14th century by King Edward I to combat rogue goldsmiths selling underweight or fake gold and silver, the role of the Assay Office represents one of the earliest forms of consumer regulation and protection. In its infancy, a group of trusted assayers would travel to perform the task of verifying precious metals, and would "mark" them to confirm quality and purity. Over time, the travelling became impractical and items were brought to Goldsmiths' Hall for testing and marking- hence the evolution of the term "hallmarking".
The term "assay" is derived from...
Think Pink- Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising campaign
In recognition of the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness month, Carob & Co will be supporting the charity "Breast Cancer Care". We will donate 5% of October sales proceeds of all pieces of jewellery featuring something pink.
Embracing the spirit of the campaign, the interpretation of “something pink” is generous. It includes stones, rose gold, and enamel, and applies to all bespoke and ready to wear...
Snapshot of current trends
If a week is a long time in politics, then the past 12 months have been an eternity in retailing, and the ramifications are evident in a seismic shift within the jewellery sector. This time last year I had the pleasure of witnessing a plethora of flamboyant designs with inventive use of colour, form and technical innovation. The reality of diminishing consumer confidence over the past year, combined with political uncertainty and a plummeting pound have all had an noticeable impact on the jewellery market.
A visit to a recent...
Hatton Garden Festival
In recognition and celebration of the unique history and heritage of Hatton Garden, there is an open invitation to all to join the festivities at the upcoming Hatton Garden Festival this Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July 2017, Hatton Garden, London EC1N from midday to 6pm.weekend. The festival is free and there are two competitions open to all visitors which offer the opportunity to win diamond prizes worth £10,000.
Jewellery for brides
This is an exciting and busy time if you have a big day to plan for this summer. Your dress is probably already chosen, but in order to complete any bridal outfit, searching for the right jewellery will complete the ensemble. Finding the right pieces is fun, and pearls are a great place to start. We have an extensive range of high quality pieces across a spectrum of budgets.