Carol, our stone buyer, has over 30 years of experience in the business and is also responsible for creating the designs of most of our solitaires. She will organise a ring to be made to compliment our stones and then our goldsmith would set it. Just like Joseph Ascher who cut the Cullinan diamond, our goldsmith, takes his responsibility very seriously. A slip could de-value the stone and the proportions are crucial to the success of the ring. William is based at out Wilmslow showroom, in fact all three of our Harrington & Hallworth showrooms have a goldsmith on site. Here William talks about setting one of our very special pieces, a 4ct round brilliant diamond in an 18ct rose gold and platinum setting.
The quality you expect
The ring has been pre-made for the stone so I don’t foresee any issues.
The first thing I do is to take the stone out and check the girdle for any small inclusions or nicks. As I expected with a stone from Harrington & Hallworth with a price tag of £160,000, it is absolutely fine. I like to think the price doesn’t affect how I do the work as in theory it’s just the same as setting a small stone.
A perfect fit
The next step is to offer up the stone to the ring setting to see where it will sit.
The fit is perfect and again I wouldn’t expect anything less from such a beautifully made ring mount. Once I have safely replaced the stone in its packet, I mark each claw with a set of dividers. This will help me make sure each cut in the claws is in the same place. Next, I use a small setting burr and cut into each claw to take the girdle. Then I take a small needle file and gently shape the inside of the claw so there is no pressure on the pavilion when I push the claws over. Some setters use a drill to do this part but on a stone of this size I prefer to do it by hand. Once this is done the stone fits into the setting perfectly. I turn the stone so the table sits square on and then gently push each claw down onto the stone. All that remains then is to trim up the claws into a nice round shape and the job is soon finished. A quick polish and we have a truly beautiful ring.
Beauty from hard work
Over the years I have been lucky to set some amazing diamonds for Harrington & Hallworth and I’m sure I will continue to do so, especially with the opening of the new store in Manchester. So next time you look in the window and see all the beautiful rings there you will understand how much hard work goes into creating the rings of people’s dreams.
By William Ackers, Setter and Goldsmith
It’s perhaps fitting that the best-known green gemstone should be the birthstone for May, which is right in the middle of spring. A variety of beryl, a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length, the emerald is a symbol of rebirth. This much sought-after stone’s colour is where its name comes from. “Smaragdus” means “green” in Greek.
Loved through history
The Egyptians mined emeralds as early as 330 BC, but it’s estimated that the oldest emeralds are nearly 3 billion years old. In Egypt they were used in jewellery and were also part of the culture’s burial rites, placed in the burial chambers of Pharaohs as a form of protection in the afterlife. Cleopatra herself is known to have prized emeralds and during her reign claimed ownership of all the emerald mines in Egypt. Another culture that cherished the stone was the Muzo Indians of Colombia, who hid their mines so well the Spanish conquistadors took nearly twenty years to find them.
As with other gemstones, people through the centuries invested emeralds with mystical powers. Many believed the gemstone could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Perhaps due to its soothing green colour, it was also thought to be able to ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and calm. Nowadays the emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a thing of beauty to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured by the receiver.
Santos de Cartier – an old friend makes a new appearance
By Alan Peevers
My first ‘real’ watch
About forty years ago – I’m not very good at dates but I remember I was in my early twenties – I bought my first proper watch. A Cartier Santos. I saw it in a shop in Leeds and fell in love with the rugged yet elegant design. I couldn’t really afford it but I also couldn’t resist. I still have it today and it looks about four months, rather than four decades old.
One of the first wristwatches
Louis Cartier designed the Santos de Cartier to fulfil the wish of the famous Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont, who wanted to be able to tell time while flying. One of the first ever wristwatches, it sealed the bonds of friendship between these two pioneers. Its dial with the rounded angles, the curve of the horns and the exposed screws have since become truly iconic in the world of watchmaking.
Big on style
At first glance the new Santos De Cartier Large Model looks much the same as my 40-year-old model but there are subtle changes that make it even more elegant. The top and bottom of the bezel now flow almost seamlessly into the bracelet and the curves of the corners of the dial are gentler. The date seems perfectly at home at 6 o’clock rather than 3 o’clock and there are several other small modifications. But as the name suggests, the main change is the size. It’s all considerably larger now, in a case that is 39.8mm wide and 9.08mm thick. I must say it looks superb.
Steel or leather
The Santos de Cartier is such a rugged classic it has always seemed perfectly suited to the metal bracelet that features on my watch and most versions of the design. However this latest piece also comes with a second bracelet in calfskin that just looks absolutely right. And because the bracelets are equipped with the “QuickSwitch” interchangeability system, swapping between the two is the work of seconds.
Hard to resist
This version of the Santos de Cartier is priced at £5,900. Can I resist it? I think it’s time to start saving.
Alan is Creative Director at Cake Marketing & Advertising
This month’s birthstone
Yes, this month’s birthstone is the most prized of all gemstones – the diamond. Valued so highly perhaps because of the many years it takes for a diamond to be formed below the earth’s crust and then forced upwards until it is uncovered, diamonds are composed of pure carbon and are so hard they can only be cut by other diamonds.
Diamonds come in a range of colours, including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. The more intense a stone’s colour the more valuable it is and coloured stones will often be worth more than colourless diamonds of the same weight.
Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and it has been estimated that they were traded as early as 4 BC. In ancient civilisations before it was known how diamonds were created it was believed that diamonds were a solid form of lightning, which is perhaps why they have been credited with possessing great healing powers. Amongst other things it was thought that the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.
The engagement stone
Diamonds are of course synonymous with marriage proposals and most engagement rings will feature the gemstone as part of the design. They are classified according to the 4 Cs – carat, colour, clarity and cut. You can learn more about how diamonds are graded by visiting our 4 Cs page.
As a special treat for all the lovely Mums out there, Harrington & Hallworth Wilmslow, have teamed up with the girls at The Mustard Seed florists and have a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to give away for Mother’s Day!
In order to be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize, all you need to do is follow the Harrington & Hallworth Facebook page, like the post and comment on the post what makes your mum special to you! You must be able to collect the flowers from our Harrington & Hallworth showroom in Wilmslow on Saturday 10th March. We look forward to reading your lovely stories!
Terms and Conditions
- Harrington & Hallworth are giving away a bunch of hand tied flowers. Please note the flowers will differ from those in the picture.
- To be in with a chance of winning you must like the Harrington & Hallworth Facebook page and comment on the post before 2pm on Friday 9th March.
- A winner will be selected at random on Friday 9th March at 3pm and contacted via private message.
- You must be available to collect the bouquet from Kate at our Wilmslow showroom, 62 Grove Street, Wilmslow, SK9 1DS
- The flowers will be available from 10am on Saturday 10th March until 4pm.
- You may have a representative collect them on your behalf but this must be prearranged and the name given.
- Should you be unable to collect the flowers on Saturday then you forfeit the above and another winner we be selected at random until someone is available.
- There is no cash alternative prize.
- This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook.
- Flowers will be provided by The Mustard Seed, Laurel House, Springwood Way, Macclesfield, SK10 2XA www.the-mustard-seed-florist.co.uk
The second in our series of short articles where you can catch up on the hottest trends for wedding jewellery this year.
Rose gold continues to feature heavily in everything from designer shoes and handbags to tea light holders, so it’s perhaps no surprise that we will see more copper tones in our wedding themes and decorations this year. With copper coloured cups, cutlery, chairs and lighting, this look is perfectly suited to an autumn wedding. If you’d like to match your jewellery with your rose gold theme you’re really spoilt for choice, with everything from necklaces to rings and earrings, all of which will offer really subtle warm tones next to your skin. For a more traditional idea you could opt for a rose gold locket and keep your loved ones close to you on your big day.
Keep watching this space for more wedding ring trends in the coming weeks, including an article about lucky pearls.
Follow this series of short articles to catch up on the hottest trends for wedding jewellery this year
Violet purple flowers
Pantone have released their colour of the year and this is always a big indicator of what’s to come in wedding trends. Last year’s trend was greenery and brides opted for green decor for their tables, installations and bouquets – you may remember seeing all the succulent plants on Pinterest. This year’s colour has been announced as Ultra Violet Purple (our Wilmslow manager’s favourite colour!) so we expect to see lots of purple floral inspiration and themes this year. If you are a trendy 2018 bride then why not include purple in your wedding jewellery? This very special tanzanite piece would be sure to make a statement framed by your white wedding gown.
Watch this space for more wedding ring trends in the coming weeks, including a piece about copper features.
This month’s birthstone
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and rather than just talking about the stone itself it gives me an opportunity to tell you about a watch I like very much and which features amethyst – the Chopard Imperiale. The rose gold models of the Imperiale have an Amethyst set in the winding crown and the Chopard logo is also in that luscious violet colour.
Stone of emperors
Amethyst has long been associated with emperors and empires and this is very much reflected in the design elements of the watch, with its Roman numerals on the dial and sword-shaped hands reminiscent of the tapered daggers worn by sovereigns and rulers. Look more closely at the mother-of-pearl dial and you will see that there is a finely engraved pattern similar in design to an Imperial rug found in the Tsar’s palace in Moscow after the Russian revolution.
Sacred to the Buddha
Amethyst is believed to have several mystical properties. The ancient Greeks had drinking vessels carved out of this precious member of the quartz family as it was believed to protect the owner from drunkenness. Tibetans believe the stone to be sacred to the Buddha and carve prayer beads from it. And medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts would heal them and keep them cool-headed during the heat of combat. Whether or not you believe the charming folklore surrounding amethyst, there is no denying the beauty of this precious violet gem.
Written by Paul Millett
4. Yellow gold
The most traditional colour of gold has never really been out of fashion but looks to be really trending for 2018. Judging by the fashion awards in December last year, silver hues will continue to be a staple, with platinum and diamond set jewellery still being the most popular. However, whilst platinum may have had the limelight for some time now, you will be seeing more and more yellow gold – thanks to the ‘Markle Effect’. Prince Harry reportedly chose yellow gold knowing about Meghan’s love for the tone and colour. Both yellow and rose gold have grown in popularity over the past year offering warmer hues for different skin tones. Mixing your metals will also be trending in 2018.
Did you know? – Gold is the only metal that is naturally yellow. Other metals can turn yellow or become golden coloured, but only after they have been oxidised or reacted with chemicals.
3. Fancy yellow diamonds
At first thought you might not associate yellow diamonds with engagement rings, but choosing this colour is becoming more and more popular. Celebrities such as Nikki Minaj, Kelly Clarkson and Heidi Klum all wear a yellow diamond and the signs are it will be a big trend in 2018. They are the most common of all the coloured diamonds, but the range of colour is quite large and, as with colourless diamonds, no two yellow diamonds will be exactly the same.
Did you know? – the largest yellow diamond is owned by Tiffany and Co and is called the Tiffany Diamond. It was discovered in the Kimberley Mine in South Africa in 1878 and cut by 23-year-old George Frederick Kunz, who studied the stone for a year. In its rough form it weighed an astonishing 287.42 carats and was eventually cut into a 90-facet antique cushion cut. The diamond has only ever been worn by two women in its lifetime – by Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball held at Newport on Rhode Island and by Audrey Hepburn for publicity photos for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.