What’s happening?

What’s happening?
Abrecht Bird Jewellers is abuzz with activity...
We are excited by a couple of design
competitions taking place in the next few
months. The first is open to our family card
members and offers the opportunity to design
a piece of jewellery incorporating a beautifully
cut rhodolite garnet (refer to Greg John’s ‘In
The Workshop’ article for details). We hope the
prize encourages lots of creative entries. If you
are not currently a family card member, please
contact Margaret who will sign you up and
stimulate you to get that sketching pen moving!
December 2011 ~ Volume 16 Issue 2
ABJ News
& celebrations
Antique-cut rhodolite garnet (2.56ct)
See page 4 for details
Greg John
1. 9ct White gold black and white
diamond hoop earrings $615
New Releases
new designs
The next competition is ‘in house’ – pitting
our staff members against one another to
design jewellery pieces incorporating
the use of black diamonds based on the
theme ‘Eclipse’. The best of the designs
will be made into a collection that will be
exhibited in our showroom in conjunction
with an array of black diamonds of all
shapes and sizes.
With Compliments
2. 18ct White gold black and white
‘swirl’ diamond pendant* $1,110
*Chain not included
We present the final item to complement the
‘suite of jewellery’ Greg designed and produced
for our centenary celebration. Flowing on from
the symbolism and memories of this special
time, however, Margaret decided that she
should be the very proud owner of both the
pendant and earrings, not only to celebrate the
100-year anniversary of J Bird and Son, but to
add to ‘her very own’ 10-year anniversary with
the company.
Gemmology Corner
Beautiful coloured
Wisdom from the Bench
Jewellery design
Market Knowledge
Peter shares some
market information
With the festive season approaching it is a pleasure for all the staff at
Abrecht Bird Jewellers to extend Season’s Greetings and wish you a
Happy New Year abounding with Health, Happiness and Prosperity.
Gift Ideas
Just in time for
p4 & p6
Betty Bird
Sadly we advise the passing of Betty Bird, wife to David and mother to
Peter, lost quickly to cancer on 30.10.11. Betty was admired by a large
and diverse group of friends for her compassion and generosity of spirit.
She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Abrecht Hinged Ring
‘This invention has allowed many people to wear rings again
despite having swollen or arthritic knuckles’.
The ‘Abrecht hinged ring system’ brings us a steady stream of customers.
This invention has allowed many people to wear rings again despite having
swollen or arthritic knuckles. Over the next 2–3 months, Leon Corn will be
visiting hand surgeons and arthritis clinics to spread the word about this
solution. If you have any suggestions or comments to assist in this campaign,
we would love to hear them.
Pictured below, left to right:
1. 18ct White gold diamond ring $12,950 2. 18ct Yellow and white gold ruby and diamond-cluster ring $POA
3. 18ct Yellow and white gold South Sea pearl & diamond enhancer $POA 4. 18ct Yellow gold ruby and diamond ring $1,990
5. 9ct White gold kunzite and diamond enhancer* $1,705 6. 18ct White gold gent’s textured wedding ring $1,485
7. 18ct Yellow and white gold zircon and diamond ring $2,600 8. 18ct White gold diamond-cluster ring $3,815
9. 18ct White gold aquamarine and diamond pendant* $2,950
*Chain not included
New Releases
Gemmology Corner
The multi-coloured gemstone
Ruby and sapphire are the same material, known as corundum, and are the second hardest gemstone after diamond. Red
corundum is known as ruby, while all other colours are referred to as sapphire. While blue is the classic sapphire colour,
sapphire is actually found in a wide range of colours.
Blue is the most widely recognised of the
sapphire colours. The prized Kashmir and
Burmese sapphires have a deep blue that is
intense and velvety and are not often seen on
the market today. Sri Lankan and Madagascar
sapphires are the most common today, with a
wide range of colours from light sky blue to
dark blue. Other producers of blue sapphire
are Australia (at the darker end of the blue
colour range), Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia,
and the USA (Montana).
Pink sapphires are beautiful natural gemstones
that have special properties, making them
very well suited to engagement rings and
wedding rings.
Much yellow sapphire is on the lighter side. These
stones are found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia,
Tanzania and Madagascar. The yellow colour is
caused by traces of iron in the stone.
Heat treatment can produce a more intense yellow
golden colour, and beryllium-treated sapphire may
be a brilliant yellow.
Padparadscha is the Sinhalese word for a Sri Lankan
‘lotus flower’. This very rare sapphire should have a
pink and orange colour simultaneously but we have
found this description to be one of the most misused
or abused terms in the gem trade.
Colour, brilliance, size and clarity will determine
the value of these stones – the best specimens would
rival the price of the finest Ceylonese blue sapphires.
This 1.06 ct pear-shape padparadscha is from the
collection of George Palos – our gem expert who
lectured at our recent customer gemstone evenings.
Pink sapphires are very affordable, far more so than pink
diamonds. They occur in colours ranging from pale to
deep pinks and almost-red colours.
Pink sapphires are priced just slightly above blue
sapphires, making them very affordable for the perfect
engagement ring, dress or wedding ring.
Colourless corundum is rare as faint shades
of colour are nearly always present. Many
small white sapphires used in inexpensive
jewellery are synthetic.
Purple and mauve sapphire is also rare, found
in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Iron and titanium
impurities together may cause the purple hue
of the stone.
It is a certified gemstone, spectacularly beautiful with
a retail value of $8,000.
Green sapphire can occur in colours ranging from a
light mint green to a dark forest green. The finest are
thought to come from Sri Lanka, but they are very
rare indeed. Most of the material seen in the market
is from Thailand or Australia. These tend to darker
green and are often blue-green or yellow-green. The
colour is caused by traces of iron. In some cases the
green colour is due to the presence of both blue and yellow
bands which make the gem appear green. The colour zoning
is obvious under magnification and can sometimes be seen
with the naked eye.
Though there are many choices in green gemstones, the
excellent gemstone characteristics of corundum make green
sapphire a popular choice, especially for rings. You will
find interesting pieces in both faceted and cabochon styles.
Green sapphire, like sapphire in other colours, is typically
heat treated.
In the next issue I will discuss parti, star and colour-change
sapphires and briefly touch on enhancement treatments.
18ct White gold multi-coloured sapphire
and diamond pendant* $330
*Chain not included
Leon Corn
Wisdom from the Bench
Welcome back to the workshop. To kick off the next century
of bespoke jewellery creation, I thought I would share some
of the design principles we employ here at Abrecht Bird.
There is often a misconception that if a gemstone is not a
diamond, sapphire, ruby or emerald, it is not ‘precious’. I
cannot agree. It simply comes down to being able to see
the true beauty in everything Nature provides and then
enhancing that beauty in the best way possible.
When designing jewellery using less-appreciated gemstones
(perhaps not having the brilliance or fire normally attributed
to gems such as diamond and all its buddies), we need to
see and highlight the positives of the particular gem and
enhance or lift the lesser qualities.
in certain light appears a little dull. This is because the gem
in question is a singly refractive (monochroic) material and,
as such, relies totally on its own main colour. On the other
hand, doubly refractive material has the added benefit of
being able to change the wavelength of light within and
create separate colours (dichroism). This is why you may
see flashes of yellow, green and blue coming from a blue
Australian sapphire, for instance. In order to enhance the
single colour of our garnet, we need to minimise the amount
of other colours around the stone. A setting made from white
metal is ideal. This can then be enhanced by other colours
or contrasts of metals. In the case of our garnet, adding any
‘rose’ colour gold next to or near to the gemstone will make
the gem appear to be a brownish red – not recommended.
The simplest and best way to enhance any coloured gem is
to add bright sparkly stones, diamonds, of course, near to
the stone. The trick here is the placement of the diamonds
and, of course, their size and number. Too small or too few
will look lost and not have any benefit, while too large or
too many will be ‘overkill’.
I therefore extend an invitation to you all …
It is important to place any featured coloured gem higher
than any enhancing diamonds. From above, the coloured
gem can appear ‘sunken’ if all the settings are on the same
level. This is particularly true the darker the colour of the
main gemstone.
Design a piece of jewellery using our garnet and submit the
concept in a sketch with a written description by 01/03/2012
and the winner will have the opportunity of having their piece
made by our craftsmen here at AbrechtBird Jewellers. The
garnet, diamonds to the size of 0.10 ct (in any combination),
materials and labour make up the prize.
In the case of our rhodolite garnet we introduced to you in
the last issue, this particular stone has fantastic colour but
Antique-cut rhodolite
garnet (2.56ct)
Greg John
Pictured left to right:
1. 18ct White gold multi-diamond earrings $1,500
2. 18ct White gold multi-diamond pendant* $1,690 3. 18ct White gold multi-diamond earrings $1,445
4. 18ct White gold multi-diamond pendant* $1050 5. 18ct White gold diamond hoop earrings $2,390
Gift Ideas
*Chain not included
Market Conditions
In the past few years it has been common (indeed tedious)
to wake up each morning to news of massive swings
in financial markets. These have two major impacts
on jewellery: the price of precious metals, and
the effect of changes in exchange rates.
Since gold is often used as a safe haven for investors
nervous about the value of ‘paper currency’, its
price has been volatile with overnight movements
in excess of $60 per ounce in recent times. We
were amazed when the price per ounce of gold
topped $1000, yet it continued to climb and
almost broke through the $2000 per ounce barrier.
In September the price of gold actually eclipsed that
of platinum (although this does not immediately translate
to manufactured product in these metals).
The high Australian dollar has meant that our buying
price for most gemstones (usually priced in US$)
has fallen. Engaged couples in the past year
or two have enjoyed being able to buy larger
stones than those on offer previously for the
same price. Prices of diamonds fell slightly
for a brief time after the global financial
crisis, but diamond cutters reacted quickly by
cutting fewer stones and the reduced supply
stabilised prices. In recent times prices of
diamond rough have increased and shortages
of supply have caused a 30% increase in the
price of meleé diamonds (small stones of less than 0.12
ct). Nevertheless, there are still bargains to be found in
larger-sized stones.
‘Prices of diamonds fell slightly for a brief time...’
Impact on ‘Scrap Values’
Record gold prices attract publicity and, not surprisingly,
people take renewed interest in long-forgotten
broken chains and bracelets or worn-out
rings in the bottom of their jewellery
boxes. What happens to this jewellery
when it is sold for ‘scrap value’?
For the most part it is sent to a refiner
of precious metals who ‘unmixes the
recipe’ of the gold – extracting the
pure metals of gold, silver, platinum and
copper (and others) that make up the 9 or 18
carat gold alloy. These metals can then be reused.
In recent times ‘scrap gold buyers’ have surfaced in
shopping centres everywhere. I have never visited
any of their booths, but in the absence of any
regulations that apply to this ‘trade’, I can
only imagine that pretty much ‘anything
goes’ from an ethical point of view.
If you are considering selling ‘pre-loved’
jewellery, I urge you to contact us for
advice that eliminates risk and provides
the best possible outcome.
‘...how sure can you be that the purity of gold in a jewellery
item complies with the carat stamp on the metal?’
Gold Values
Allied to the above discussion is the issue of gold
‘standards’ – in particular, how sure can you be that the
purity of gold in a jewellery item complies with the carat
stamp on the metal? The Jewellers Association Australia
has been engaged recently in a review of the regulation
of these standards and is determined to ensure maximum
compliance. To this end they invited jewellers to submit
items for analysis. We gladly participated by providing
gold we had purchased in the form of imported and
locally made chains, gold alloys we buy for use in our
workshop production and some items sourced from
outside manufacturers. Results of the extensive tests
came back recently and we were delighted to find 100%
compliance by our suppliers. I wonder how internet or
ebay sellers would measure up!
Peter Bird
JAA members since 1931
Gift Ideas
Pictured above, left to right:
1. 18ct Yellow gold South Sea pearl stud earrings $1,300
2. 18ct Yellow gold South Sea drop pearl earrings $705
3. 18ct White gold South Sea pearl and diamond pendant* $930 4. 18ct Yellow gold South Sea pearl and diamond pendant* $930
5. 18ct White gold South Sea black pearl and diamond pendant* $1,050 6. 18ct Yellow gold South Sea pearl and diamond pendant* $855
7. 9ct Yellow and white gold yellow and white diamond earrings $740 8. 9ct Rose and white gold diamond pendant* $595
9. 18ct Yellow and white gold pink tourmaline and diamond earrings $4,995 10. 18ct Yellow and white gold green tourmaline and diamond pendant* $3,720
11. 18ct Yellow and white gold purple sapphire and diamond earrings $3,870
*Chain not included
In our newsletter we offer a complimentary clean and polish
to all our clients (see below). This gives us the opportunity
to check over your items and ensure that any preventive
maintenance can be undertaken if required before any
major issues arise. A light buff to shine the metal and a
thorough clean to enable the check up, and usually you can
be on your way.
If an item requires a full polish to remove scratches or
dents this then becomes a ‘take-in’ job and is chargeable.
It takes quite a bit of time to apply an ‘as new’ finish to a
piece of jewellery. Often a light emery is required prior to
polishing to remove scratches and/or old rhodium plating
in order to restore your jewellery to the high standards you
expect from us.
The exception will be white gold articles that require rhodium plating
(additional charge) – we will endeavour to have these pieces available
at the end of the same day.