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About Raffles Jewellers

Raffles Jewellers is the e-commerce arm of our successful family business which has been trading as retail jewellers for the past 30 years.

Using our experience we aim to supply Quality Jewellery at the right price with the service to match

We supply a large range of New, Antique and pre-owned Jewellery and Quality Pre-Owned Watches Including Rolex, Brietling, Cartier and Omega. The range in our shop starts from small affordable earrings to large diamond rings up to 40k.

Our reputable business also supplies a number of quality services including Jewellery and Watch Repairs, Valuations, and full design service.

Our Business is a member of recognized jewellery organizations including "The Guild of Valuers and Jewellers"

We have chosen paypal to deal with our transactions to give you peace of mind and security.

If you wish to contact us direct, please phone or our address can be found at the end of our terms and conditions.

If you scroll down you will see we have provided for you some jewellery information that may help your purchase.

We hope you have a pleasant experience with us and come to see us as your Family Jewellers on the internet.

10% OF ALL OUR PROFITS GO TO MARTIN HOUSE CHILDRENS HOSPICE.

Please scroll down to find a number of topics that may help your purchase. These items include:

  1. Diamond Grading
  2. Hallmarking
  3. Anniversaries
  4. Birth Stones
  5. Caring for Jewellery
  6. Conflict Diamonds

1: DIAMOND GRADING

Unless you know a lot about diamonds, it is easy to be deceived by the sparkle of a good imitation. Your best assurance that you will get the quality you pay for, is to buy from a reputable jeweller or gemmologist.

Where possible we give you the weight, colour grade and clarity of diamonds that we sell and will quote these on your invoice, we always supply good quality diamonds that will give beautiful sparkle and fire. Antique jewellery details will be an approximation based on our opinion unless otherwise stated.

The grade of a diamond and its value is determined by four characteristics. The Four "C's"

Cut

Diamonds are cut in different shapes. Some common terms used to describe the shape or cut of diamonds include pear, oval, brilliant or round, marquise, baguette and emerald. Proportions, table diameter, facet angles and symmetry are some of the major factors in cutting which determine the stone's ability to handle light.



Colour

Diamonds range in colour, from colourless to shades such as canary yellow, champagne, cognac brown, sky blue and green. So-called "colourless" stones are rated in terms of their paleness and transparency on an alphabetic scale ranging from D to Z. Stones rated "D" are completely colourless. Stones rated "Z" are yellow in hue. This system of colour grading is based on the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) standards. Other recognised systems are the C.I.B.J.O. (Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres Precieuses) and AGS (American Gemological Society) methods.

Clarity

Some diamonds are clearer than others. They contain fewer tiny imperfections or "inclusions", invisible to the naked eye, than cloudier stones. Clarity is expressed by the following abbreviations: IF (internally flawless), VVS (very very small inclusion), VS (very small) SI (small inclusions), I1, I2, and I3. Flawless is the highest rating in terms of clarity of the stones. This range of clarity is based on GIA standards.

Carat weight

One thing that obviously distinguishes one diamond from another is weight. This expressed in "carats" (or the abbreviation "ct"). One diamond carat weighs 0.2 grams or 200 mg. Therefore, a carat diamond (0.25ct) would weigh 0.05 grams or 50mg.

Consumer Awareness

When you buy a diamond, your receipt or certificate accompanying the sale, should list these characteristics:

  1. The carat weight of the main stone(s), plus the total weight of the main and smaller stones, if any.
  2. The clarity of the stone(s), which may vary from stone to stone.
  3. The colour factor, which also may vary.
  4. The description of the cut.
  5. Ask if the diamond has been treated or enhanced in any way other than cutting or polishing.

If this information is not supplied with your purchase, ask for it. If it is not provided, consider the purchase carefully. Ask the retailer what grading system they use to assist you in making comparisons from one store to another.

Please note that these details are provided for general guidance only and should not be taken as a substitute for independent professional advice.

Diamond Grading Guide

ClarityQualityColour
HRDGIAGIAHRD
LCIFExceptionalDExceptional White +
VVS 1VVS 1ExcellentEExceptional White
VVS 2VVS 2ExcellentFRare White +




VS 1VS 1Extremely Good--
VS 2VS 2Extremely Good
GRare White
SI 1SI 1Very Good
HWhite
SI 2SI 2Very Good
ISlightly Tinted White
P 1I 1GoodJSlightly Tinted White
P 2I 2CommercialKTinted White
P 3I 3PoorL +Tinted White

HRD = Hoge Raad Voor Diamont = Antwerp Diamond High Council.

GIA = Gemmological Institute of America.

2: HALLMARKING

Hallmarking was originally introduced in 1300 by a Statute of Edward I and is one of the earliest forms of consumer protection.

Hallmarking is necessary because when jewellery and silverware are manufactured, precious metals are not used in their pure form, as they are too soft. Gold, Silver, and Platinum are always alloyed with copper or other metals to create an alloy that is more suitable to the requirements of the jeweller. Such an alloy needs to be strong, workable, yet still attractive.

Owing to the high value of gold, platinum and silver, there are significant profits to be gained by reducing the precious metal content of an alloy at the manufacturing stage. Base metal articles plated with a thin coat of gold or silver look the same as articles made wholly of precious metal, at least until the plating wears, and even an expert cannot determine the quality or standard of precious metal items by eye or touch alone.

With volume manufacturing, enormous profits can be made from even a small reduction in the amount of precious metal used. Without compulsory independent testing there is huge potential for deception and fraud.

The UK Hallmarking system has offered valuable protection for over 700 years. Compulsory Hallmarking protects all parties; the public who receive a guarantee of quality, the manufacturer who is given quality control and protection from dishonest competitors at a very low cost, and the retailer who avoids the near impossible task of checking standards on all his goods.

The word "hallmark" originally meant "marked at Goldsmiths' Hall" when the Goldsmiths' Company was the sole authority entrusted with this statutory requirement. A hallmark indicates Who, What, Where, When:

  • Who made the article - the sponsor's mark
  • What the precious metal content is - the fineness mark
  • Where it was hallmarked - the Assay Office mark
  • When it was hallmarked - a unique letter mark for each year

Authority for hallmarking comes from the Hallmarking Act 1973. Articles of precious metal may not be described as being gold, silver or platinum unless they are hallmarked or specifically exempt. In 1999 the Act was amended to reflect developments in the European Union. As a result the fineness symbol and date letter are now voluntary marks.

Example of a platinum hallmark, hallmarked in London with date letter (d)

3: ANNIVERSARIES

Below is a table of Anniversaries and the material associated with it. We have also added a few ideas for gifts some are traditional and some are a bit more inventive!

AnniversaryMaterialGift Idea
1PaperGift Voucher, Diamond Ring with a Grading Certificate, Watch with Guarantee, any Jewellery with a certificate or valuation.
2CottonGold or Silver Cleaning Cloth with a piece of Jewellery to go with it. Sewing kit, silver thimble.
3LeatherJewellery Box, Jewellery in a leather presentation box. Watch with a leather strap, watch winder or collectors box.
4FruitPewter or Silver fruit bowl, fruit styled jewellery, pear shaped gemstone.
5WoodJewellery box, watch winder or collector's box, jewellery in a wooden presentation box. Tree or leaf shaped or jewellery.
6CandySilver or pewter sugar bowl or tongs, a gemstone that looks like a sweet.
7CopperSomething in rose gold or brass.
8BronzeA bronze statue or miniature.
9PotteryAny pottery item
10Tin or PewterVase, tankard, hip flask, goblet etc.
11SteelStainless Steel Watch.
12SilkSilk lined jewellery box, a diamond ring in a silk covered presentation box.
13Coral or JadeAny Coral or Jade item.
14IvoryIvory trade is now restricted by international treaty so how about a pendant in the shape of an elephant with tusks or an ivory coloured watch face.
15CrystalJewellery set with crystal.
20ChinaAny china item.
25SilverCharm bracelet, pendant, bracelet, picture frame, cufflinks, pen etc.
30PearlPearl stud earrings, pendant etc.
35PlatinumDiamond ring set in platinum.
40RubyRuby and diamond eternity ring, stud earrings etc.
45SapphireSapphire and diamond cluster ring etc.
50GoldBracelet, pendant, earrings, cufflinks, gold plated watch etc.
55EmeraldEmerald and diamond pendant etc.
60DiamondDiamond Ring, cufflinks, diamond set watch.

4: BIRTHSTONES

Buying a piece of Jewellery with a Birthstone for a Gift is often a good way to ensure the correct purchase.

Star SignMonthGemstoneAlternatives
CapricornJanuaryGarnet
AquariusFebruaryAmethyst
PiscesMarchAquamarineBloodstone
AriesAprilDiamond
TaurusMayEmerald
GeminiJunePearlMoonstone
CancerJulyRubyCarnelian
LeoAugustPeridot
VirgoSeptemberSapphireLapis Lazuli
LibraOctoberOpal
ScorpioNovemberTopazCitrine
SagittariusDecemberTurquoiseTanzanite

5: CARING FOR YOUR JEWELLERY

Take care of your jewellery and it will shine for years. Each piece of jewellery is individual, but as a general guide it is advisable:

  1. Gently rub gold and silver jewellery with a soft, clean cloth to maximise the shine.
  2. Jewellery set with gems can be brought to life by careful cleaning with a soft brush and soapy water, or with a proprietary jewellery cleaning solution. Try not to get threaded pearl or bead jewellery wet and only wet antique jewellery after specialist advice - you could ruin it.
  3. Wipe pearls with a soft damp cloth after wearing to remove perfume, hairspray and anything else likely to damage them.
  4. Don't use abrasive cleaners on jewellery.
  5. You can use silver 'dip' type cleaners on most silver jewellery - but rinse and dry them thoroughly. Don't use silver 'dip' type cleaning solutions on gold jewellery, only special jewellery cleaners.
  6. Keep jewellery carefully stored and separated - not jumbled together in a draw.
  7. Keep chains fastened so that they don't get tangled up.
  8. A professional should check jewellery for damage or wear, on a regular basis.
  9. Make sure you have a detailed insurance valuation for you jewellery. As a rough guide, the description in a professional jewellery valuation will be detailed enough that a jeweller could use it draw a pretty accurate sketch of the item.
  10. If in any doubt about the care, repair or valuation of your jewellery ask the advice of a professional.

6: CONFLICT DIAMONDS

Facts About the Campaign To Eliminate Conflict Diamonds

There has been a major breakthrough in the campaign to eliminate the traffic in "conflict diamonds." All of the nations with significant involvement in the diamond trade have agreed on a global certification system aimed at preventing criminals from insinuating contraband diamonds mined in African combat zones into the legitimate supply chain. To supplement this government effort, industry leaders have created a voluntary self-regulation programme.

We at Raffles Jewellers welcome this important development and are very actively supporting the new system designed to safeguard our products' integrity. This fact sheet describes highlights of the comprehensive system taking effect 1st January 2003.

Role of Governments

Fifty-two countries have adopted a system to control the export and import of rough diamonds mined from 1st January 2003 onward. Known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, it requires that each shipment of rough diamonds - before stones are cut and polished - be in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government-validated certificate. Each certificate is uniquely numbered and contains data describing the shipment's contents.

Participating countries have pledged to turn back or impound shipments of rough diamonds from any nation that fails to subscribe to the new standards. Shipments lacking proper certification will be treated in a similar way. The Government Diamond Office is responsible for enforcement in the United Kingdom.

In the past, the legitimate supply chain was most vulnerable to exploitation between the time diamonds were mined in African combat zones and the time they were exported from the country of origin. Under the new system that problem is addressed as rough diamonds are packaged with a certificate of origin soon after they are mined. At later stages of the diamonds' journey to market, rough diamonds also carry a certificate describing the shipment's contents and confirming that the stones are coming from a Kimberley Process participant. Any country declining to participate is effectively barred from the international diamond trade.

Role of Industry

To supplement the government programme, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) - representing virtually all significant processors and traders - have established a regiment of self-regulation. Its principal element is a system of warranties that will accompany invoices covering the sale of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and diamond jewellery. The requirement applies to rough diamonds mined after 31 st December 2002 and product fabricated from them.

Each time the diamonds change hands, the seller affirms to the buyer, in writing, that the diamonds come from legitimate sources "not involved in funding conflict [and] in compliance with United Nations resolutions..." Under a new code of conduct adopted by IDMA and WFDB, members are required, among other things, to deal only with sellers that use the warranty system.

Retailers who support the Kimberley Process must buy diamonds from dealers and manufacturers that adhere to the warranty system. At Raffles Jewellers this policy is being followed. We are notifying/have notified all of our suppliers of diamonds and diamond jewellery that merchandise we buy that is derived from rough diamonds mined after 31st December 2002 must be accompanied by a warranty. This warranty assures us that the supplier vouches for the legitimacy of the merchandise and that the supplier, in turn, has required the same warranty from their source of merchandise.

Between the government's certification programme and the industry's warranty system, Raffles Jewellers customers can have a very high degree of confidence that the worldwide supply chain is protected from the introduction of additional conflict diamonds. The new system's effectiveness will be monitored. Participants agree that if experience indicates improvements are needed, they will be made.

Raffles Jewellers Supports the Kimberley Process

We do hope the above items have been of use and interest to you.