Posts Tagged Jewellery

You are cordially invited…..

Coming to the Radisson Blu, Little Island Cork this March is a Charity Wedding Fair.

Wedding Fair Invite

Wedding Fair Invite

Run by Cork Weddings and Events, it will be held on the 24th, from 2 – 5.30pm and it is run on behalf of the wonderful Irish Dogs for the Disabled.

Based in Cork, Irish Dogs for the Disabled attempt to enhance the quality of life for young people and adults.

They provide fully trained assistance dogs that in turn provide physical and psychological support to their partners. They receive no funding.

So on the day there will be over 50 suppliers, myself included, covering every aspect of your wedding.

Michael Wall Bespoke

So what will I be doing on the day?

I will be on hand to offer advice on all things bling. Will be happy to talk with you about jewellery styles, metals, and of course Diamonds.

I also offer a pre-wedding service, which is a full complement of services for brides to be. Ring resizing, inspection of settings and mounts, polishing and plating service.

Do ask me on the day.

As well as the above I will be offering a Full Valuation Service** to include:

  • 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 donate €10 directly to the charity.

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

If you wish to make an appointment, you may call me on: 086 8687456 or e-mail:

Booking is advised. You can also drop by my stand on the day. As mentioned the fair is running from 2 – 5.30pm

The Entrance Fee is €5 for adults. Prize giveaways and a fashion show throughout the day. There might even be a fabulous give away from me too!

Do please check out the wonderful work Irish Dogs for the Disabled are doing, and do please come along the 24th March 2013 to the Radisson Blu, Little Island.

Below is Breffni, held by Irish Dogs for the Disabled patron Graham Norton. Breffni was matched with 8 year old Patrick, a young man from Cork with cerebral palsy.

Irish Dogs for the Disabled patron Graham Norton with Breffni

Irish Dogs for the Disabled patron Graham Norton with Breffni

Patrick is now 10, walking independently and is also managing to ride his own bike.

For more information about the Wedding Fair visit Cork Weddings and Events:

For more information on Irish Dogs for the Disabled:

If you have any questions you can contact me by phone or by e-mail.

Alternatively you can join in the conversation on Twitter:

Would love your feedback, your comments and thoughts.

Thank you.


**Multiple Items of Jewellery appraised by Michael Wall, Accredited Jewellery Professional.
I am NOT buying or selling any gold, or precious metals. If you do have any items that you want to bring along to ask advice about, I will be happy to oblige.

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‘Can it clean a Diamond Ring?’ Probably, but may do more damage. Here’s how.

There is an ad on the telly box that annoys me slightly. Now I don’t really mind the fact it is mainly trader’s puff, and in all fairness the claims in the advert are true.  It will clean anything.

However even though it may ‘clean’ your Diamond Ring it may do serious damage to the metals, other stones and finish.

When I sent a Tweet pleading with all you lovely people not to clean your Diamond Rings with this product, I forgot to say do not clean any jewellery in that manner. There are one or two correct ways, and a plethora of incorrect ways.

The most you need to do is use a soft lint free cloth, or a polishing cloth.

There’s a distinct difference between cleaning and removing a tarnished look.

Is your Ring dirty? Is there grit or dirt or foreign substances on it? If yes, it may need a clean. If it’s a little off colour or tarnished then it needs a polish etc.

Now I hear you all saying ‘Oh I clean mine in Baking Soda’, or ‘Granny cleans hers in Gin’, ‘I use Vodka’, and ‘I scrub mine with an old toothbrush’.

Firstly, if you are using Gin, or Vodka, or any other clear Alcohol here’s what you do. Take a glass, fill with ice, add sliced lime (or lemon), then pour in a decent measure of Gin or Vodka, top with your favourite mixer (I use Tonic, but any mixer will do), some garnish if you are so inclined, then sit, relax and enjoy. End of. The Gin is for drinking. So is the Vodka, so no more of that.

Toothpaste is an abrasive, especially the whitening pastes etc. It can scratch stones, even the metals. Yes it can, as Gold is not indestructible, and neither is Platinum. So no more of that either.

Using a toothbrush to clean it can be a dangerous method if it is old or stiff bristled. As well as dislodging dirt, it may dislodge a stone. Dirt may have also dislodged a stone as it caked on, so an overnight soak in a proper cleaning solution would be the best option. From there you can see if your stone(s) are loose. I’ll get to that in a bit. If not, use a soft bristled brush and the same cleaning solution to gently clean the setting and the stone(s).

Carefully pace ring into solution, to leave soak.

Let’s just look at the simplest, most effective method to clean your Rings.

As I mentioned previously if it is caked in dirt it is best to soak overnight in a solution of warm water and washing up liquid. Yes, washing up liquid. What you need to do is just use that soapy solution to allow the dirt to soften so it will become easily dislodged with the minimum of effort.

For the majority of you they won’t be caked in dirt, so here you go.

Take a small bowl, preferable plastic or any material that won’t damage the Diamond Ring lest you drop it.

Apply soft bristle brush, and gently clean.

Using warm water and a drop or two of washing up liquid, immerse the Ring in and leave to soak. Take the ring by the shoulder (the pieces to the left and right of the setting), hold firmly, and clean gently with a soft brush. An artist’s bristle brush or a soft unworn toothbrush is fine for this.

Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft lint free cloth.

Your Ring is clean. If there is still some dirt remaining repeat the process, or consider soaking for a longer period.

That is it. No more.

Keep Jewellery boxed when not in use.

If your Ring still has scratches or looks dull after cleaning that does not mean you have done it incorrectly. Cleaning won’t remove that. To remove scratches it will need to be professionally done.           

There are a few points I want you to note:

Ultrasonic cleaners: Never ever put an Emerald, Tanzanite, Opal, Coral or Pearl in. Some mineral and organic Gems will crack, fracture and even dissolve! Stones that have been thermally enhanced or treated in some way can lose their colour. Be aware of your Gems, even Diamonds can come out worst for wear. So if in doubt leave it out.

Vigorous Cleaning: There is no need. As mentioned earlier a stone can be dislodged or pushed aside if dirt has built up. Here’s something you may not know. A Diamond will scratch, erode and wear metal if it is loose in its setting. Surprised? I thought so. Diamond is a very hard substance and will wear a setting if it is loose. If a stone is loose in its setting it can become looser over time by wearing away the surrounding setting.

Loose Stones: After you soaked the Ring overnight how can you check if the setting is loose? Here is a very handy way of doing this. Get yourself a cotton bud (cue-tip) remove the cotton ball, and just tip the Stone with it. If the stone moves, or appears to move, get it checked as soon as you can.

Detergents and cleaning agents: Some of these leave a soapy scum, some remove oils from Emeralds and other porous minerals. Some contain harsh chemicals and abrasives, that not only affect the Gems, but the Gold or Platinum and the metals mixed with them. So no more use of toothpaste’s or any chemical substances that could damage your jewellery.  

Care: Yes I’m going to tell you to keep your Jewellery in a pouch, or a box. I know in the real world we all don’t sit at home in front of mirrors unclipping our Diamond Earrings before we go to bed, but a little care and attention goes a long way towards maintaining your Jewellery. It minimises the amount of knocks, and possible damage.

So there you go. I hope that covered the basics. Any questions feel free to ask. As always I welcome your feedback.


As always you can connect on Twitter:

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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

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:



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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



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Not worth the Paper it is written on

Diamond Certification is a wonderful thing. It informs you of the essentials such as the Carat, the Colour, and the Clarity. Some fine Institutions are eligible to do this, such as the I.G.I, and G.I.A.

Certification however is not a Valuation. And when we seek such information for our own peace of mind, or for Insurance or other purposes we usually go to the trusted Jeweller.

This is where you will get a detailed ‘Item Classification’, be it a Stone/Stones or a Piece of Jewellery, a Description of Same, and a Valuation for Insurance Purposes.

Or at least this is what you ‘should’ get.

You should not get a generic A4 headed note, with a description amounting to ‘Diamond Ring’, and nothing more. That is, if you’ll excuse the expression, a crock of ‘Shit’.

Too often I have seen Jewellers print out generic Valuations that are quite frankly NOT worth the paper they are written on. Yet they still find the time to charge for it. This can be anything from a €50 flat rate, to a quantified measure such as €50 for the first €1000 worth, €10 per each additional €500, or a percentage of the final Valuation.

The Diamond has a value, along with the Gold, and to some extent the design. In other cases the ‘Brand’ will have a value more so than the sum of its parts. But a Rolex for example needs to be qualified. What Model is it? What Year, what Calibre, what metals are used. A Fabergé Brooch, the same. A Diamond Ring also.

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.

It is ridiculous to charge for something that merely corresponds to a similar item in stock and base it on that.

That is purely guess-work.

I am happy to offer advice on what a Valuation should amount to, and will readily discuss with a Client whether or not I think an item should be valued for Insurance Purposes.

If you need a Valuation, one that is specific to each item of Jewellery, then it will be catalogued and described in as much detail as possible. It will be valued based on each individual aspect.

I would value your feedback, and if you have any comments feel free to offer them.

If you would like some further information, or just have a question you need answered, feel free to contact me at or call 086 8687456.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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