Fine Jewellery

fine engagement ring

Within the jewellery world, there is a definite distinction between what is known as costume jewellery and what is called fine jewellery. Costume jewellery is usually crafted from more affordable materials such as plastics and enamels, while fine jewellery is almost the opposite. Whilst costume jewellery is suitable for people of all ages and requires little knowledge to properly care for, fine jewellery necessitates greater care.

What is Fine Jewellery?

Fine jewellery is the term used to describe jewellery which makes use of precious and semi-precious gemstones in addition to precious metals such as gold, platinum, and palladium. Because of the luxury materials involved in its creation, fine jewellery typically costs a lot more than its costume counterpart.

It is more common to find unique designs in fine jewellery, as high-quality materials are used more frequently for bespoke pieces. A benefit of buying fine jewellery over costume pieces is that it can become a family heirloom, accruing value as it is passed down through the generations.

Fine Jewellery
Fine Jewellery pendant

Gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies are frequently found in fine jewellery pieces. In contrast to these expensive materials, costume jewellery often consists of acrylic, paste, and coloured glass and foil in the place of such gemstones. As one might expect, given the drastic difference in cost involved in each type of jewellery, fine jewellery requires a specific degree of care to maintain.

fine pearl brooch
fine amethyst brooch

How to Store Fine Jewellery

Whilst a lot of fine jewellery features incredibly strong materials such as diamonds and platinum, there are also precious gemstones which require special storage in order to avoid damage. One such example of these precious stones is the opal. This gemstone displays a beautiful play of colour referred to as fire. These stones are very soft, however, and as such can easily be damaged through exposure to high volumes of water or chemicals commonly found in perfumes and moisturisers.

fine opal cross pendant
fine pearl necklace

Similarly, organic gemstones like pearls are susceptible to losing their lustre if they come into contact with chemicals or other, harder gemstones that can easily scratch and damage them. The stones need to be stored separately from the rest of one’s jewellery, ideally in soft cloth storage bags or boxes which can cushion the jewellery. Providing a barrier such as this is paramount in maintaining pristine condition for fine jewellery.

fine opal bracelet antique
diamond engagement ring fine antique

Another helpful technique for storing fine jewellery is to keep all-diamond jewellery separate from the rest. Diamonds, due to their extreme strength and hardness, can easily scratch or chip other materials. Although it is not very likely that much damage will come to one’s jewellery through being stored together, taking the precaution is always worth it for such valuable items.

How to Clean Fine Jewellery

Just as storing fine antique and vintage jewellery is important, properly cleaning and maintaining it is crucial to its longevity and beauty. For most fine jewellery, the best course of action is to take it to a jeweller’s once a year for a professional cleaning. At AC Silver, we offer a complimentary annual cleaning and checking of all jewellery purchased with us. This allows us to professionally clean fine jewellery and examine it for any signs of damage so that it can be addressed before it becomes a serious issue.

It is possible to clean fine jewellery at home as well, which is especially useful maintenance between professional cleans. For all-diamond jewellery, a cup of warm water with a small amount of dish soap mixed in and a soft-grade toothbrush are all that is needed. With the mixture applied to the head of the toothbrush, use gentle circular motions over your diamond jewellery to bring its distinctive sparkle to the surface.

For jewellery that features any stone other than diamond, and jewellery cleaning cloth is the best option for at-home cleaning. These soft cloths can be used to buff the jewels, clearing them of any surface layers of detritus and allowing them to shine brightly. These soft cloths are also ideal for soft stones such as opals and pearls, nurturing their natural fire and lustre without risking scratches or discolouration.

Fine Jewellery Brands

fine diamond ring
fine vintage diamond ring

For more than a century, certain jewellery brands have risen through the ranks to become world-renowned for their fine jewellery. Well-known names such as Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co, Bvlgari, Garrard & Co, Asprey & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels, and De Beers are among the most famous brands for fine jewellery. Utilising generations of skill and experience, these brands create jewellery in the highest quality.

Jewellery collectors are always interested in acquiring good-quality pieces from brands such as these. Their prestige, in addition to their master crafters, make them incredibly appealing even to the layman. Beyond the beauty of their individual items, these brands also have renown for their relation to iconic celebrities over the last century.

boxed emerald and diamond brooch
fine Asprey jewellery set

Figures considered to be style icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and more have all had extensive relationships with these luxury brands. Although these brands come with a high price tag, they guarantee quality and beauty with every item.

Modern Fine Jewellery

It is not just fashion icons from the golden age of Hollywood who celebrate fine jewellery, however. Just this year, Beyoncé has paired with Tiffany & Co to produce a customised line of fine jewellery.

Whilst modern fine jewellery stands out in its own way, it also makes many references to the styles and trends that have come before. For this reason, lots of collectors enjoy antique and vintage pieces, viewing them as something of an original source of inspiration for modern fine jewellery. A benefit to owning heritage fine jewellery which has been passed through a family is that the pieces can be reused and repurposed. There are many items within our own collection at AC Silver that feature antique diamonds in modern settings. This is an especially common practise for engagement rings.

fine diamond halo ring
emerald cut aquamarine ring
fine diamond trilogy ring

Fine Jewellery Earrings

The most popular gemstones for fine jewellery use are diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Equally, opals, pearls, and amethysts are also frequently used. Fine jewellery earrings can be stud earrings or drop earrings.

fine sapphire earrings
fine diamond clip on earrings

Although the more ostentatious designs are easy to identify as being fine jewellery items, they are not the only examples. Understated earrings can also be considered to be fine jewellery depending on the materials used in their creation.

Fine Jewellery Necklaces

Necklaces are a common option for someone’s first piece of fine jewellery. This is a perfect gift for parents to give to their child on a significant birthday, indicating the beginning of a collection that can last a lifetime.

fine opal gold chain
antique gemstone necklace

Birthstone jewellery is another excellent inclusion for this type of gift. Later in life, spending more on luxurious fine jewellery necklaces becomes an even more special gift, both to give and receive. Waiting until later in life to gift a birthstone necklace for those with more expensive birthstones – such as those born in May and September – can be a good way to properly celebrate the milestone.

Fine Jewellery Rings

Arguably the most easily-recognised type of fine jewellery is the engagement ring. Whether it is the traditional diamond solitaire engagement ring or a more modern and unique take on the concept, these pieces of fine jewellery are seen day after day in many people’s lives.

Outside of the bridal jewellery sphere, fine jewellery rings are often referred to as dress rings or cocktail rings. These can be singular stones, or clusters of gemstones set together in distinctive designs and patterns. Some of these designs integrate whimsy into their style, while others aim to be purely chic.

fine sapphire ring
fine Asscher cut diamond
fine emerald heart ring

Fine Jewellery Bracelets

Similar to necklaces, bracelets are a good introductory item into the world of fine jewellery. There are certain styles that are immensely popular in the world of fine jewellery bracelets. The tennis bracelet, which first rose to prominence in the 1970s, is one such example. Antique gate bracelets are another style which has had enduring popularity for more than a century.

Gemstone-heavy bracelets or bracelets with distinctive sculptural forms are beautiful examples of fine jewellery also. These bracelets demonstrate the artistic vision that is utilised in the creation of fine jewellery.

fine diamond tennis bracelet
fine citrine gate bracelet
fine art deco bracelet

Exemplifying luxury and beauty, fine jewellery is something that can be appreciated throughout the entirety of one’s life. From the simplest brooch or stud to the most complex pendant or cocktail ring, these accessories are easy to appreciate for their uniqueness and quality.

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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