Getting to Know Retail

My work experience at Harrington and Hallworth

My name is Olivia. I attend Wilmslow High School and I’m doing work experience for a week at Harrington and Hallworth jewellers. Here’s what happened.

I chose Harrington and Hallworth for my work experience because it is a retail shop in my local community and I wanted to learn how it works and what goes on. I have been visiting the shop since I was a little girl, because my mum and dad have always come here to buy or for repairs. In fact my links charm bracelet that I have had since I was small is from here and so is every charm that I have been given on occasions such as my birthday and Christmas.


On day two I learnt about metals, repairs and gemstones both from Ryan and Jen.

The main types of metals that are used in this shop are known as precious metals. These are gold, silver, platinum and palladium. In this particular shop gold is only sold in 18ct or above. Each metal is hallmarked and precious metals cannot be sold without one. There are four main assay offices that are based in the UK where metals are hallmarked: Sheffield, London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Each one has its own individual hallmark: a Tudor rose for Sheffield, a lion for London, an anchor for Birmingham and a castle for Edinburgh.


On day three I learnt about gemstones and how they are birthstones for different months.

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aquamarine

April – Diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl

July – Ruby

August – Peridot

September – Sapphire

October – Opal

November – Topaz

December – Turquoise (Tanzanite)

My birthstone is an Amethyst.

I have also been taught about repairs. This is important at Harrington and Hallworth as it one of the most requested services. I learnt about the bespoke jewellery service too  – where old jewellery can be remodelled into something new and improved. The most common repair request is a battery and reseal. The most unusual bespoke jewellery request was a person wanting their gold tooth, which had just been taken out, turned into a piece of jewellery.


On day four I learned the differences between automatic and quartz watches. An automatic watch is mechanical and is wound by the movement of the watch on the wearer’s wrist, which turns a weight on a pivot, so it doesn’t need a battery. A quartz watch is powered by a battery and contains a quartz crystal that vibrates as the battery powers through it. The battery needs to be replaced every few years.

I really enjoyed my week at Harrington & Hallworth and I hope you enjoyed reading my blog!

Olivia x

We love Watches

IWC Da Vinci – distinctive and elegant
The Da Vinci is back in the IWC range. The design reverts to the familiar round case
with the flexible lugs that make the watch fit the wrist so well and is now available in
four different sizes: 36mm, 40mm, 42mm for the chronograph and 43mm for the
Perpetual Calendar.
Ideal for women
The 36mm is ideal for women and comes in several variations, including strap and
bracelet versions. Offered in stainless steel or 18ct red gold – a deeper and more
intense hue than rose gold – the watch is available with a diamond set bezel and all
versions feature an automatic movement. As an extra little complication this model
can be purchased with a moonphase placed at 12 o’clock. A particular favourite of
mine is the steel model with silver dial and red gold Arabic numerals, which gives the
watch a distinctive look that is very much an IWC signature.
Special edition
The next model is the traditional three-hand automatic with date. This model is also
available with a silver plated dial and red gold numerals. There is also the
chronograph model and in stock we have the special edition Laureus “Sport For
Good Foundation” model in steel with blue dial and silvered hands, numerals and
dial markings. The case back also features an engraving that denotes it is a special
Two complications
Finally the largest size houses the specialist models, the Tourbillon Chronograph and
the Perpetual Calendar. The Tourbillon Chronograph, with two complications in the
one watch, has a retrograde indicator for the date. This means that when the date
goes from the 31st to the 1st the hands flip back to the start of the date indication. It
happens so quickly, blink and you’ve missed it.
The ultimate
Surely the ultimate model in this range is the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph,
priced at £25,500 in steel. The movement is programmed to know how many days a
month has and when it is a leap year, automatically adding the extra day in February
a feature which astounded the world of watchmaking.
Flower of Life

The new Da Vinci has an engraving of ‘The Flower of Life’ on the case back of the
36mm model. This image was studied extensively by Leonardo and he produced
many drawings of it.
Prices for the new Da Vinci start at £4,450.00.

Written by Paul Millett

August Birthstone


Centuries ago, when we did not have the ability to identify stones as we can today, Peridot was known as Chrysolite. It is the stone of the star sign Leo and also the stone of the 16th anniversary.

One colour

Peridot was also a name used for colours of Topaz until we could differentiate between the stones. The stone only occurs in the colour olive green and most jewellery types are of a yellow-green or brown-green depending on how much iron is contained within the crystal structure. The actual origin of the name is unknown, but the Oxford English Dictionary suggests it is an early alteration of the Anglo-Norman word Pedoretés – a kind of opal – rather than the Arabic word Faridat, which means gem. The earliest use of Peridot in England is recorded in the register of St Albans Abbey in Latin around 1705.

Long history

Peridot was formed early in the solidification of the Earth as magma cooled to form igneous rock. It is also found in lava, the Earth’s mantle and even in meteorites. There is a long history of mining the stones going back to 1500 BC, with details of this recorded on ancient papyri in Egypt. The main source of the stone was Topazo Island (now known as St John’s Island) in the Red Sea. The ancient Egyptians claimed to mine the stones at night as well as during the day thanks to their radiance.


Ancient beliefs say if the stone is set into gold it will develop its full potential as a talisman and have the power to dispel night terrors and fears. For Peridot to work its strongest magic it should be worn on the right arm.

310 carats

The largest cut of Peridot is 310cts and can be found displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Peridot is an affordable gem that can be faceted into many different cuts and also tumbled into beads and cabochons for many types of jewellery styles, so it is not surprising that it is such a popular stone.

Written by Candy Phillips

We Love Watches

The Raymond Weil Freelancer RW1212

I’m very excited to have in stock the new range of Freelancers from Swiss watch
house Raymond Weil. Nowadays many mainstream Swiss brands are owned by large
conglomerates and there are only a few left that are independent. Raymond Weil is
one of these and I consider it a privilege to own two of their timepieces personally.
Classic case
These new Freelancers retain the classic case and bracelet from the core range that
have proven to be extremely popular but introduce an innovation from the research
and development team. The movement takes a step away from tradition by eschewing
the ETA core in favour of an in-house- designed movement. This is a process a
number of other high end watch manufacturers are undertaking in light of recent
reductions of ETA availability.
38-hour power reserve
For the RW1212 they have collaborated with the industry-recognised movement
maker Sellita, and the timepiece boasts a 38-hour power reserve when fully wound.
An open aperture at 6 on the dial (with visual inspiration from the Tourbillon) allows
an excellent view of the diamond polished balance wheel, and a sapphire crystal
back shows off even more of the precision engineering involved in this piece of Swiss
Excellent option
All of this comes in a respectable case thickness of just 10.6mm with a diameter of
42.5. There are black and silver dials available, again protected by sapphire crystal,
with both strap and bracelet options and even a two tone finish colourway. Rounded
off with 100m water resistance and a screwed-down crown, this is certainly an
excellent option in the current market. With a current retail price of £1795 and a 3-
year guarantee that includes free registration of your timepiece, this model will be
on many people’s lists this coming Christmas (mine included).
As a Watch Buyer & Assistant Manager within our company, the chance to offer
these excellent watches as part of our growing ranges is one that I greatly appreciate
and I look forward to showing them to prospective clients, as they are in stock now.

Click here to see our new range now!

Written by Leonard Prescott
Watch Manager

Diary of a Newcomer

Episode 2; getting the inside story

I have now been with Harrington and Hallworth for just over a month and my knowledge of different watch brands and family groups is growing each day. I love discovering the rich history of these luxurious brands, but I also felt it was important to learn about the complex movement inside a watch, so I arranged a personal meeting with our watchmaker, John Gibney.

The man behind the work

The first thing I saw as I walked into his office was John hard at work servicing a watch. Each little part has been dismantled to show the true delicacy and art of making the timepiece. During a break in his work I found out more about John the man. I discovered he has been happily married for 40 years and has two children. He has a passion for music, which he often listens to whilst working as it helps him concentrate on the job at hand.

Decades of experience

John has travelled to many different countries, with the USA being his favourite. His other passion is motor vehicles and he owns both cars and motorbikes.

When I asked him how long he had been in the trade he told me he had been repairing watches for Harrington and Hallworth for 12 years but has been a watchmaker for a total of 44 years, starting in 1973 at the Irish Swiss Institute of Horology in Dublin.

Time takes its toll

I wanted to know why it is so important to service a watch, so that I could tell our clients about it. John explained to me that a service gives an expert the opportunity to take a deeper look inside the watch movement to find any problems and deal with any wear to the parts. He showed me a very interesting picture of a watch with figures on it that explain just why this is necessary. The figures showed that an automatic Swiss watch ticks 691,200 times per day, which means it ticks 21,024,000 times per month and 252,288,000 times per year. When I saw those numbers I realised it was not surprising that the parts of the movement wear down and need to be replaced.

Attention to detail

John talked to me about a job he was completing when I walked in and this showed the lengths a watchmaker goes to whenever he services a watch. The timepiece is completely dismantled and broken or damaged parts are replaced. The watch will then be reassembled, sealed, tested and cleaned so that it is ready for someone to enjoy again.

A matter of pride

I asked John one final question: do you feel a sense of pride when you finish repairing a watch? His body language told me all I needed to know. He suddenly sat up straight with a broad smile on his face, explaining that he takes great pride in his work and is immensely satisfied when a client brings in a watch worn down by everyday wear and he uses his years of experience to bring it back to life. He told me he often receives letters and cards thanking him for his work, something that once more makes him smile proudly.

I found John a very knowledgeable and experienced watchmaker with a great personality.

You’ll find more information about the watch repairs we can do here

Thanks for reading, until the next time!

Harry Pulfer

Choosing Your Diamond

The proposal


Planning your marriage proposal takes time, patience and attention to detail. When, where and how you do it is a personal choice. Perhaps you’ll choose a location that holds a special memory for both of you – like where you shared your first kiss. Or you might plan a trip abroad to some romantic destination. Will you be traditional and get down on one knee, or choose a more unusual way that’s memorable for different reasons? (My fiancé proposed with a little elbow nudge on the train and a ‘shall we get married?’ It might not seem romantic but it’s certainly a memorable and unique story.)

Choosing the ring

However you decide to propose, your next step will be to choose the ring and there’s really no right or wrong way to go about this. In some cases, couples will make their choice together, while in others the bride-to-be will leave hints and tips for their partner to make the final decision. The main things to consider are:

  • Price – choose a budget you are both comfortable with. Traditionally it was equivalent to two months’ salary.
  • Design – there are an array of designs, metals, diamond shapes and sizes to choose from.
  • Stone type – diamonds have long been seen as a token of love but there are many other gemstones you can choose. Princess Catherine wears a beautiful sapphire and diamond cluster for example.
  • Do you have a family heirloom? Perhaps you might want to have it remodelled.


To help you decide what style to choose, start by taking inspiration from her wardrobe. Do you feel she has a classic and subtle style? Or does she wear bold and bright colours? You can also ask family and friends for their advice – but make sure to tell them if you’re planning a surprise. When I sit with a client I take the time to get to know them and find out about their lifestyle. After all, a fully diamond encrusted ring might not be practical for a sporting athlete for example.


Over the coming months I will share with you some helpful tips on choosing the right ring, the different diamond qualities and our bespoke design service.

Written by Kate Tranter

The Big Day!

Planning your wedding

I have been in the jewellery and watch trade for over 10 years now and I can safely say my favourite part of the job is meeting people who are getting married. Every couple I meet is different with their own unique story and it’s a real joy to become a part of their journey. You might wonder after all this time if I ever get tired of weddings and I can honestly say no.

A commitment to love

Weddings are all about love – the commitment for a lifetime between two people, along with a chance for family and friends to join you in your celebration. We spend weeks and months planning the perfect day but in the end, after the celebration is over, it is a few important items that will help your memories stay alive forever. Of course your wedding photos and film will help you relive the celebration and emotions, but I always say it is your wedding rings that will serve as the daily reminder of your love and the vows you made to each other. In some instances they even become family heirlooms being passed on from generation to generation.

The devil’s in the detail

Planning for my own wedding next year, I can appreciate all the time, challenges and emotions that go into it. It is a pleasure to hear my clients’ stories and the amount of thought they devote to every detail. As I have found in my own wedding journey, we brides-to-be often have our own ideas of what we want. We have pictured the perfect dress, the beautiful venue and the tastiest cake one could imagine.

The perfect choice

Having worked for many different jewellery companies, being part of a family run business gives me the freedom and flexibility to offer a completely personalised service rather than being tied down to a ‘core range’. At Harrington & Hallworth, I have the pleasure of being able to offer a wide range of wedding rings, giving my clients a wonderful choice that will help me find the perfect rings for them – from plain and traditional styles to intricate diamond set or shaped bands. And in those instances where we haven’t quite got the right style then our bespoke design service can help us create a totally unique ring.


I look forward to sharing my hints and tips over the coming months. From choosing the perfect wedding rings to taking care of the little details like gifts for your bridal party.

Written by Kate Tranter

Caring for your Coloured Stones

Caring for coloured stones

Caring for your jewellery is very important and of course it’s actually quite satisfying to see dull and dirty jewellery sparkle again. For important pieces we offer a free ring and jewellery cleaning service in our showrooms or our specialist goldsmiths can refurbish your items if required.

Cleaning jewellery at home

If you decide to clean your jewellery at home then please always:

  • Look for any signs of damage, such as cracked or loose stones
  • Check for any signs of wear to the settings such as worn claws, as cleaning could make the settings worse
  • If you have purchased jewellery cleaning products always read the instructions and follow the advice, as every product is different.

Tips of the trade

Your coloured stones need particular care and attention and we recommend the following tips:

It’s safe to clean these stones in lukewarm water using a gentle brush (we recommend a soft baby toothbrush)

  • Rubies
  • Sapphires
  • Topaz
  • Aquamarine
  • Tourmaline
  • Amethyst
  • Citrine
  • Quartz

For silver jewellery with the following stones don’t use silver cleaning dips (always read the instructions)

  • Garnet
  • Jade
  • Peridot
  • Moonstone
  • Haematite
  • Tanzanite

Do not leave these stones to soak in anything:

  • Emerald
  • Opal
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Cameos
  • Coral
  • Pearls
  • Amber
  • Malachite

Do not let these items get wet at all:

  • Opal Doublets and triplets
  • Turquoise
  • Charms
  • Lockets (especially ones with paper/photos inside)

If you are ever in doubt please feel free to bring your items in and our team will check them and give their expert advice.

Written by Kate Tranter

Precious Metals


All about our most loved metal

Of all the precious metals, gold is the one we have always held most dear to our hearts.

The stuff of legend

Gold has long been a symbol of godliness, riches and power and has featured in many of our stories and legends. For example Dionysus granted King Midas the power to turn everything he touched into gold, while another Greek myth tells of Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece. And of course we’ve all heard of the pot of gold guarded by leprechauns at the end of the rainbow.

Going for gold

Our greatest achievements are often rewarded with gold. In sport the winner often receives a gold medal. Other notable awards, like the Nobel Prize, are also made of gold and many others are depicted in gold or gold plate, including the Golden Globes, Emmys and the BAFTAs, to name just a few. Gold is also associated with the wisdom of age and fruition. The 50th wedding anniversary is golden and old age is often referred to as our golden years.

What is gold?

In its purest form, gold is a bright, red-yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and this makes it the perfect metal to use for jewellery. Being very soft and malleable in its natural state, gold is almost too soft to make the long lasting jewellery pieces we wear. To make it more suitable it is mixed with other metals such as silver, copper and zinc to produce a more hard-wearing alloy that is more resistant to scratching and denting. The quantities of other metals added is where we get the term ‘carat’ from. Pure gold is described as 24ct – 100% gold. 18ct gold has 750 out of 1000 parts gold, the rest being other metals. 9ct gold is only 375 parts gold out of 1000.

Measuring hardness

Is 9ct gold harder than 18ct? The simple answer is no. Metal hardness is measured by the Vickers scale. 9ct has a Vickers hardness of 120 while 18ct has a Vickers hardness of 125, meaning 18ct is harder – but the difference is so slight that in practical terms 9ct and 18ct are much the same. There is another difference between the two that should be considered: 9ct is more difficult to bend and is a little more springy, so a fine 9ct ring may be less likely to bend out of shape than a fine 18ct ring. In practical terms, 18ct generally holds up to everyday wear better than 9ct and tends to look better than 9ct as it ages over the years. This is one of the reasons why 18ct is normally preferred for ladies engagement rings.

Written by Kate Tranter

The Jewel Hunter

A personal quest for objects of desire

Cholmondley’s the name. You can call me the Jewel Hunter if you like. I’m on a quest. For style, elegance and dazzling beauty. I’m combing the splendid Harrington & Hallworth collection seeking out pieces of jewellery with those elusive and exquisite qualities that make them true objects of desire. The real deal, so to speak. What’s more I’ll be sharing my experiences and findings with you. Do come along for the ride.

Lalique – the brilliance of crystal

As those wonderful people at Lalique will tell you, the very name evokes the radiance of jewellery, the wonder of transparency, and the brilliance of crystal. Lalique is the genius of René-Jules Lalique and of his heirs who shared his creative flame – a flame which burned jolly brightly in my view. In 1927, René Lalique’s boundless imagination and creative genius lead to the creation of the Bacchantes vase, which is my very first object of desire – and a rather splendid first object it is.

Voluptuous beauty

This imposing vase features the young priestesses of Bacchus with their classic good looks and voluptuous curves. A work of unparalleled beauty, the splendour and sensuality of the vase leave observers pretty much spellbound. Since its original release, it has been a veritable staple in the Lalique collection and has become a lasting symbol of Lalique’s celebrated style. To sum up, a frightfully lovely piece and the perfect start to my quest. Toodle pip until next time. I do hope you’ll join me again on my quest.