Well Blog’on It!

blog awards ireland

This is a Thank You.

Amanda, Lorna, and Beatrice, thank you. Maura, Wendy and Margaret, and all those tireless volunteers that finished the long list for the Blog Awards 2012, thank you.

Friday 10th and late in the evening the lovely, but ‘Awful Bloggard’ limmster alerted me to the fact I had been nominated for the 4 categories below.

Now as you can read from her post World Naked Gardening Day you can understand why she herself has been nominated 8 times.  No mean feat, and even though my 4 nominations pale in comparison, I’m nonetheless ecstatic with each and every category nomination.

They are:

 Best Beauty/Fashion Blog – Long List

Best Personal Blog – Long List

Best Craft Blog – Long List

Best Lifestyle Blog -Long List

The biggest Thank You of course goes to the Lord Jesu… no I’m kidding. No offence intended.

It’s goes to the wonderful person(s) that took the time out of their schedule to not only read, or be one who perhaps left a comment, but to click that important little button I discreetly added to the Sidebar. It was the ‘Nominate Me’ button. And yes it was discreetly added. Unlike the flashing neon one I was trying to add.

This you will notice has now been replaced by a glorious sized ‘Nominee’ Badge.

This is not just because I want to let you know I’m nominated. The reason behind it is because of that person(s). I am genuinely touched that the information contained here is of benefit to at least one person.

I don’t know who you are. So that badge is for you, in the hope you see it and understand that I am thankful. To you who have read, commented and made that nomination(s) I am grateful.

I thank you.

 You can check the #bloggm hashtag on Twitter so if you are dropping by you can check what’s happening. You can also leave a comment below. Let me know how you feel about your nomination. As always the outlets are there to get in touch.

Do. It’s why I’m here. And I’d like to hear from you.

You can read all about Blog Awards Ireland and get a feel for how and why it is organised.

As always you can say hello to me here.

On the Tweet machine you’ll get me:


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Peridot. That’s ‘doh’ don’t you know.

Pronounce it ‘Per ‘i’ doh’, Peridot is the Birthstone for August.

The Peridot is an ancient gemstone, so ancient that it can be found in Egyptian jewellery from the early second millennium B.C. In all likelihood, Cleopatra’s Emeralds may well have been Peridot due to the proximity of deposits.  

The stones used at that time were called Topazion as they came from a deposit on a small volcanic island, Topazios (now St. Johns) in the Red Sea, some 45 miles off the Egyptian coast. These deposits were not rediscovered until about 1900.Rough Peridot

The Romans too were fond of this gemstone and revered its radiant green shine, which does not change even in artificial light. For that reason it bears the moniker ‘Emerald of the evening’.

Peridot is also found throughout Europe in medieval churches where it adorns many a treasure, an example being one of the shrines in Cologne Cathedral. During the baroque period, the rich green gemstone once again enjoyed a brief heyday, and then it somehow faded into obscurity.

It received its name Peridot in the Eighteen Century. It is a Gem of the mineral Olivine.

The Peridot as we know it is a modern gemstone, for it was not until the 20th century that Peridot deposits were located in the Kashmir region. The stones from those deposits, being of an incomparably beautiful colour and transparency, have succeeded in contributing to the image of this beautiful green gemstone.

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in one colour and one colour only. Green. The intensity of the green however, depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. The colour of Peridot gems can vary from yellow, through olive, to brownish-green. The most valued colour is a dark olive-green.

In history and folklore:

  • In Hawaii, Peridot symbolizes the goddess Pele’s tears. Some Hawaiian beaches are packed with tiny grains of Peridot that are too small to cut.
  • The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., houses the largest cut Peridot, a 310 carat gem.
  • Ground Peridot, taken internally, was once used as a treatment for asthma.
  • It was thought that Peridot brought power and influence to its owner.
  • Napoleon used Peridot to assure the empress Josephine of his undying love and admiration, which, of course, happened before he had their marriage annulled.

The Peridot is a gemstone that you should definitely get to know better as its fine pistachio to olive green is the perfect complement to the Irish complexion. It looks particularly good set with Diamonds, in Gold.

It’s a soft compliment to the Autumn wardrobe, and works well with Kelly Greens’ and Ochre.

Today Gem quality Peridot comes from Arizona, Burma, Norway, and St. Johns Isle. Peridot may also be found in Meteorites.

It is thought to bring its wearer good luck, peace and success. Supposed powers include Health, and protection from Nightmares.

If you would like to get in touch and Tweet me: 

You can always get in touch and leave a comment below.


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Pre-Wedding Service

Before any Wedding I always offer an additional service to my Clients.

That is an inspection of your Engagement Ring, a clean and polish. After all everything must be right on the day. 

I also offer this to potential Clients, which means you, or someone you know. 

If you need a Ring cleaned, polished, or have the settings checked before your wedding do get in touch.

Here’s a few examples of work carried out:

Full Inspection of the Claws, Prongs, and Settings. 

A Clean and Polish of Metals.

Rhodium Plating (for White Gold Settings and Jewellery)

Re-sizing Service. 1/2 to 1 size up or down.

Full Bridal Party service available. Call for Quote.

To make an appointment, call 086 8687456 or mail michaelwallbespoke@gmail.com

If you have a question you can ask me live (almost live) here:



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Going for Gold

Quick Blog. Very Quick.

Gold is Gold. Platinum is Platinum. They are different metals.

Gold is available in it’s pure form as 24kt or 999. It is a Yellow Metal.

Platinum is 999. It is a dense precious Grey/White metal

Both are measured in parts per thousand of pure metal by mass. Hence 999.

I see 950 on my Platinum. Why is this?

950 is the most common purity for Platinum jewellery.

Why don’t I see 999 or 24kt on my Gold Ring?

You must remember Gold in it’s pure from is soft/malleable and needs to be alloyed with other metals.

I see 750 stamped on my Gold jewellery. What type of Gold have I got.

You have 18kt Gold. Why? Well it’s 75% Gold and 25% metals. These can be Copper, Palladium, Base Metals and even Nickel.

And 585? What is this?

That is 14kt because you have 58.5% pure Gold. The balance is made up of other metals.

Gold Bars

Where are White Gold and Green Gold and Rose Gold from. Are they Mined specially?

No. You don’t naturally get coloured Gold.

They must be made by introducing metals to actual Gold. So for White Gold,metals such as Nickel, Tin, Zinc, and Manganese may have been added. For Rose Gold, Copper is added, or a mix of Copper and Silver. Green Gold has high proportions of Silver and Cadmium.

So Gold is Gold and Platinum is Platinum. Two different metals, not the same.

If you have any more questions Tweet me live (almost live) here:


Michael Wall Bespoke

Showcase of Designs and Pieces in Gold and Platinum.

Fully Bespoke Service with G.I.A Certified Diamonds. in Gold or Platinum.

If you would like to chat to me live (almost live) you can find me here:

Video courtesy of Nobomedia

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To Quote you Happy

A few calls during the week got me thinking.

I am normally blessed with clients who pretty much know what they are looking for. Although from time to time I will still be asked some questions like ‘How much would a Diamond cost’, and ‘How much would it cost to get a ring made in Platinum’?Platinum Comfort Fit Wedding Band

I could ask, ‘How long is a piece of String’? There is no definite answer, as all the criteria differ. Do you want a 1 carat stone, a half carat stone, and what type of Platinum ring would you like?

There are variables to be considered. The difference in all these will be the reasoning behind my final answer.

Now there is one variable that some but not all of don’t want to bring up. It is something that I discuss with everyone.

It’s Budget.

Don’t worry. It isn’t an ugly term.  Don’t be afraid to mention it. To my mind a Budget is the price you are willing to pay. Don’t be worried about it. If you want to spend small, big or astronomical, you will still have a budget in mind.

Talk to me about it. Let me know what I can do for the Budget you have in mind. Do not be put off by it.

Daisy Yellow and Blue Marquise Sapphire EarringsYou are as important to me as my last and prospective customer. More so in fact as it is the first time I get to look after you, and hopefully build a relationship with you for many happy years to come.

One of my calls yesterday was a little disappointing as I did not quote my client happy.

Now this I like to do. I don’t like to be beaten on price. I won’t sacrifice quality but I would prefer to know that I have quoted a higher price. Why?? It’s because I want to work with you, bring my experience to the table, and bring the best of what is available to me to you.

Yes it is that simple. No matter how grand or small your piece of Jewellery, it is the satisfaction of knowing that I have found you the exact Stone or Stones that you have searched for.

Customer service to my mind is a little more than you buying from me, or me selling to you for that matter. It is more than that. It is talking with you. It’s understanding you. It’s delivering exactly what you come to expect, and then exceed that.

If you have been searching a long time for a stone/piece that is uniquely you, then I want the privilege to find that for you.Pear Shape Sapphire and Fancy Diamond Pendant

Out of all the people I speak to on a daily basis, friends, colleagues and clients, you can be assured of one thing. I am approachable. I will happily look after you, and enjoy sitting down with you to hear what you have to say. So talk to me.

I honestly hate to see anyone including myself settle for second best because a Budget brings you there.

So if you think you can find the same Certified Diamond or Coloured Stone that I have quoted you for less, I want to know.

My promise to you is that I will do my best to meet or exceed your expectations.

So call me, or mail with you questions.

086 8687456 michaelwallbespoke@gmail.com

If you have a question you can ask me live (almost live) here:


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Valuation Service

My last few posts throughout February and March were more or less pointers to keep your jewellery in proper order, with some little tips thrown in. I was scrolling down through a post in February and noticed that although I touched on Valuations, I didn’t really say where to go to get a proper one.

Now as I mentioned before, to my mind it is not acceptable to have a schedule of items with little or no information about the contents. All well and good to have a Ring listed as ‘Diamond Ring’, with a Value attached, but if you can’t tell why it is Valued at that, then it is absolutely no good to you.

Pear Shaped Fancy Diamond

As mentioned in one of my February posts; Any Jeweller that undertakes to write and ‘charge’ for a Valuation should be qualified to do so. Expect a Colour, Clarity, and Carat. Expect description of Metals used, and type of setting. Expect dimension sizes, expect a detailed description. Otherwise that Valuation is rubbish.’

For Insurance purposes, many items you have covered under your house and contents, may or may not be covered in the event of loss or theft. It is worth noting that items of lesser value may be, however items that are of significant value need to be insured separately.

Fancy Pear Shape Diamond

From May, I will be offering a Fully Comprehensive service to you all. The details of which are as follows;

  • A full Valuation service on ‘Multiple Items’ of Jewellery.
  • An Itemised list of all Items of Jewellery.
  • A full check of the Settings, and Stones in your Jewellery.
  • A printed Schedule of all Items for Insurance Purposes.

  Flat Rate of €60 for all of the above.

I will NOT be charging a ‘final value fee’ of the Item(s).

Along with the above I will be on hand to take all questions, offer you advice on any aspect you might like addressed.

All is on a ‘by appointment only’ basis. The reason for this is to devote as much time to you, making sure all items are properly classified, and to answer all queries you may have. I will be available each week where you can come and have all the above carried out for €60.

Grey/Green Pear Shaped Diamond

I am not buying, selling, or receiving any scrap, old, or broken jewellery.

If you do have any broken pieces, and would like some advice on repairing or re-modelling, then feel free to bring them along.


To get in touch by telephone: 086 8687456                To get in touch by e-mail: michaelwallbespoke@gmail.com



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Check your Settings

ImageSo it’s my third little post in a week. Very rare occurrence for me, but it was a random question that got me thinking.

It’s something that isn’t covered, nor promoted at point of sale, although it’s one subject that does need to be addressed.

I was asked today whether or not Settings in a Ring should be checked. Surprisingly it annoyed me slightly that I rarely think to mention this as part of my service. Just to let you know I do, but it is a rare occurrence that a Client requires such.

Nonetheless it is quite important to have your settings checked.

Bear in mind that Gold and Platinum are metals, and are prone to wear and tear from the everyday contact, the rubbing, the brushing etc.

ImageThese metals, over time do wear down, so it is prudent to have them checked from time to time, to make sure the stones do not come loose.

The long and the short of it is, a loose claw or setting could mean the difference between having a Diamond Ring and a Ring where a Diamond used to be.

I’m sure you can appreciate the difference!

I would recommend that you use the following as guidelines:

  • When your Jewellery is not in use, then do keep them in boxes.
  • A regular clean will maintain the cleanliness and overall look. A simple warm water and liquid solution, will keep most dirt at bay. Avoid vigorous cleaning, and abrasives. Dry, and polish with a lint free cloth.

ImageFor Bracelets, Earrings, and other Pieces coming into contact with clothing causing them to snag, do check that you haven’t teased a claw away from a stone.

If you purchased from a Retail Store, do return to your Store, and have your piece looked at. Once a year is fine, apart from when a piece is subject to heavy knocks, or obvious damage.

I am quite happy for you to give me a call, regardless of where you bought an item of Jewellery.

All part of the Service, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

As always, Comments are very welcome.



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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

ImageOften times we come across pieces of Jewellery long past their ‘sell by’ date. Pieces that are broken, much loved, but worn so much that it is nigh on impossible to wear for fear of it breaking apart and being lost. Other times it’s a piece bequeathed by a relative, so out of style and fashion it just sits in a box, unloved and unworn.

Don’t despair, dust down those little treasures, as help is at hand.

I’m not a fan of so called Commercial Outlets offering cash prices for your old, worn or broken Jewellery. There’s a reason it’s old and worn. That is because it probably has been worn with love for years, and in the event of it being passed down to you, then was previously worn by a loved one.

So why part with it?

I have a pretty logical way of looking at this. A piece of Jewellery in its entirety is commercially saleable, but when you take it apart, the components are based on their values in today’s market. Specifically gold.

But why try and realise a fraction of a Rings value by breaking it up and discarding the stones?

Gold and Platinum or any metal used in a piece are for the Settings. They hold the Stones, and show them off to their full glory. You won’t get the value of the stones, and they are most likely thrown away.

So here are the options available.

  • Have a Ring, or another piece of Jewellery? Not wearing it? Ask advice about remodelling. You have all the components, so apart from an extra gram or two of Gold you are only faced with the Labour cost.
  • Have broken Ring or another Piece of Jewellery, and there is a stone missing? Replace the stone. If the setting is good, then there is no problem. And if there has to be some other work carried out, then it won’t cost the earth to repair.
  • If you have been left a Ring or other Jewellery, and don’t want to wear it, then you have the option of getting it valued for Sale or Auction. This of course will differ to getting a flat rate from a Commercial outlet dealing in Gold and Precious Metals. It will be valued as a piece. Once you have a value you can offer it to an Auction house if you so wish.
  • If you have a lot of broken Jewellery then why waste it by giving it away? It can be used to make something you will wear for the rest of your life, and hopefully pass down to another generation.

ImageThat’s pretty much it. It is as simple as that. And seeing as this is the shortest Blog piece I have written, I’ll leave it at that. As always I’m here to help. So if you have any questions feel free to mail me at GemInfo@iol.ie



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And now for something completely different


No, not a Monty Python intro, with big feet, and silly walks. This post is a break from the normal, albeit infrequent posts about Gems, Jewellery and the like. Apart from the Pictures of course. I thought it might be nice to look at something pretty, while having a read.

I had a very quiet week thanks to a little wobbly episode on Monday evening. All fine now, thanks for asking (I know you wondered, of course you did.) But I’m not telling. Suffice to say it took the wind out of me a little bit, so rest and recuperation was needed for the last few days.

Prior to this, I had an eventful week. Thanks to Enterprise Ireland, I had a ‘Twitterrific’ Day as Business of the Day last Thursday. I was glad to see a welcome amount of congratulations, e-mails, and enquiries, and got stuck in as best I could to answer all. If I haven’t gotten around to you don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. I will get to answer all e-mails as best I can this coming week.

It was part of a week that was altogether random, intriguing and eventful. The kind I like.

Ok, so what am I blathering about? Oh yes, something completely different.

It’s actually directed at you dear reader. So if you have reached this far, then you are’ required’ (only if you are generous and kind enough) to leave a comment. Would help. After all I don’t want to look like I’m idly rambling ad nauseam.  

ImageThe crux of the question is based on the idea of doing the best you can every day of your life, being forthcoming, and generally as nice as you can be to all around you. (I hear the sniggers and scoffs of hard hearted cynics, but you do it too. So read on.)

Last week I was being asked to provide an amount of information based on certain criteria, and after all had been discussed I was asked the inevitable ‘off the cuff’ question, as to how much it would cost. Duly obliged, was asked to send this in an e-mail, was thanked. End of.

Not even ten minutes had passed when another call came in, with another set of questions along the same lines as above. Different criteria this time. Another lengthy conversation, and some time spent checking whether or not the items(s) could be secured, and at what cost. I made a quick call back and was sent a request to put all this into another quote and send through e-mail.

The third phone-call came, and so I asked what ‘exactly’ was needed. I had a fair idea at this stage that items were being compared. I don’t do sales pitches and don’t do spiels. I do however make sure you understand ‘bespoke’ is not the same as ‘buying off the shelf’. Handmade Jewellery is a quality process, one that takes a little time, one that is designed for you. Stones hand set, and Jewellery finished by hand.    

ImageAt this point I brought up as delicately as I could that any budget can be catered for.

I offer advice as best I can on what is available. In simple terms if you’d like an ‘Art Deco’ style ring, with certain shapes and types of Stones I will put together sample ideas on paper, balancing everything to get the most out of what is available.

In this case, ‘Budget’ was no issue. And so in the ‘Final’ quote, I put together a selection of ideas and styles and stones that would meet the requirements.

No call back this time. Instead an e-mail came stating I was too pricey, and that the ‘Budget’ would not allow for it.

A textbook case of ‘Maximus Arsing Aroundus’, the Latin I believe for wasting one’s time. Names of Deities were taken in vain, and copious amounts of coffee required to steady nerves. Inner calm restored, and all was well in the World.

And so, the question to you is as follows. When do you just draw the line? Wave off the ‘Tyre Kickers’, and say goodbye to the time-wasters.

 I genuinely appreciate when I’m approached with any type of question. I will answer to the best of my ability, and I hope that you will continue to ask. If questions amount to something else, as in quotes, or answers given that constitute same, and time gets spent wasting both parties time am I right to be slightly annoyed?

Is there a line to be drawn, or should I just accept that I’m not taken as seriously as I take my clients?

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Beauty, Food , Travel... The Glam Life

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Living the good life at Hunters Lodge


My life and views on everything from living with facial disfigurement to how I view the world.


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