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Rocktalk: Four industry insiders explain the finer points of buying and wearing precious jewels


What kind of piece would you recommend for someone shopping for their first item of fine jewellery?

"I think a perfect 'entry piece' would be something simple in material yet unique in design. I personally love Delfina Delettrez or Anissa Kermiche's pieces, which use pearls and diamonds, but in styles that you would normally see in costume jewellery. Fine jewellery is an investment, it should be something that goes with everything, and is true to your personal style and lifestyle. Find a piece that you will treasure day in and day out."

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What should young fine-jewellery shoppers know about precious materials?

"The world of coloured stones goes far beyond sapphire, ruby, emeralds, diamonds and pearls. There are so many 'fancy' colours of sapphire, which I personally love and work with a lot. They come in white, lavender, orange, green, pink, yellow, and in many shades and intensities of each. A very fine pink sapphire can compete with fine blue on value and price. I encourage clients to look at lesser-known stones and learn about them and wear them – there are so many choices. It's important for clients to know how stones are treated, and jewellers should be able to tell clients if and how they are treated. The majority of coloured stones in the jewellery world are treated at some level, and have been for decades. For example, gems including beryls and tanzanites are heated to enhance the colour."


How do you incorporate fine jewellery into your everyday wardrobe?

"I love wearing big costume jewellery out to events, but I like my fine jewellery to fit like a second skin. I tend to favour the classic aesthetic of white gold, diamonds and pearls. I generally wear the same pieces every day and rarely take them off; these are items that have great sentimental value that I want to keep close to me at all times, a family heirloom or a memento from someone special. One of my favourite new jewellery purchases is a stackable diamond ring my husband found for me on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence to commemorate the birth of our first child."


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What considerations elevate or lower the value of a piece of previously owned fine jewellery?

"Gemstones, diamonds and jewellery have been treasured by civilizations for millennia, but wherein lies their value and what makes one jewel worth more than another? In fact, value is a concept not well understood. That which is valuable to one may be worthless to another. For this reason, in order to properly assess the value of a jewel, the professional jewellery appraiser must first determine for what utility the valuation is made and for whom. A jewel can have many different values. One must consider important attributes such as rarity, desirability, utility, condition and provenance. The jewellery appraiser ranks all these attributes of a jewel, but it is the market that ultimately dictates the value."

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