The Jewellery Guide
Adding the final touch to complement your look, jewellery is a treasured accessory that varies from the everyday to the collectible. Whether you are sourcing a logo branded fashion piece or looking to invest in a diamond drenched heirloom, our jewellery guide will help you find your new favourite item.
Use the Browns jewellery guide to explore the difference between fine, demi-fine and fashion jewellery, discover the kaleidoscope of varied gemstones and learn how to care for your precious pieces.
With any precious purchase, there is much to discover about every element, which is why we have a team of Fine Jewellery Specialists to assist with any enquiry you may have. From style, sizing, shipping and gifting, ask one of our experts to help you with any jewellery queries.
A timeless addition that can be passed through generations, fine jewellery is an investment that can be worn every day or kept for special occasions. Crafted in gold that is 18 karat and above, or platinum, these luxurious pieces often feature settings of precious gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Brands including By Pariah, SHAY and Suzanne Kalan offer a mix of sparkling rings, diamond necklaces and rainbow constellations that will be heirlooms for generations to come.
Bridging the gap between fashion and fine jewellery, demi-fine jewellery opens the door to luxury jewellery at a more attainable level. This fashion forward jewellery collection features trend led pieces in solid 9 to 14 karat gold and gold vermeil, as well as a dusting of semi-precious gems such as opals, topaz and pearls. More is definitely more with demi-fine pieces and brands including Loren Stewart, Roxanne First and Alison Lou are a few of our stackable favourites.
From logo embellished runway styles to intricate costume pieces, fashion jewellery is a varied collection of statement accessories. Crafted in gold-plated brass, silver and base metals, these trendsetting styles are often adorned with beads, faux pearls and crystals. These collectible creatures include GG logo rings from Gucci, chunky chains from Brinker & Eliza and leather bracelets from Miu Miu.
With an ability to add a touch of effortless elegance to a finished look, men’s jewellery has evolved into a bold collection of logo pendants, statement signet rings and investment watches. From industrial fashion jewellery by the likes of 1017 ALYX 9SM, to diamond encrusted treasures from SHAY and Spinelli Kilcollin, these fine materials go far beyond Connell’s chain.
A few of our fine jewellery brands offer a custom service which allows you to edit elements of a piece to suit you. From changing the metal and gemstone, to adjusting the size and length, our in-house fine jewellery specialist can help you to create your own bespoke piece.
Our collection of solid gold jewellery uses 9,10,14 and 18 carats. The higher the number the purer the composition and colours include yellow, rose or white.
Using silver as a base, gold vermeil is plated with a thick layer of gold usually 14K and above. More durable than other gold plated metals, it needs a bit of extra care to prevent it tarnishing.
With a base metal that is often brass and using a thin layer of gold, gold plated jewellery mostly uses 10K and above.
Crafted from 92.5% silver which is why you often see the stamp of 925, sterling silver jewellery is great for everyday wear.
One of the most coveted precious stones, diamonds are made of a single element. 100% carbon, these sparkling jewels form under intense heat and pressure beneath the Earth’s surface, resulting in a variety of beautiful stones. The birthstone for April, diamonds are determined by the four ‘C’s.
Diamond weight is measured in carats and one carat equals 0.2 grams.
Diamonds vary in colour including classic white, yellow, pink and black.
Diamond clarity measures the purity of the stone.
The diamond cut helps to determine how many facets interact with light. Cuts include princess, emerald, cushion and brilliant.
Famously deep blue in colour, sapphires are made from the mineral corundum and can appear in a variety of different colours. The birthstone of September, sapphire is a durable gemstone that often features in the crystal used for fine watches.
Made from the mineral beryl, emeralds get their vibrant green colour from trace amounts of chromium or vanadium. The birthstone for May, emeralds are one of history’s most ancient treasures and were worshipped as gods by the Aztecs.
Like sapphires, rubies are made from the mineral corundum and can range from pink to deep red in colour. The birthstone for July, ruby jewellery has been worn by royalty throughout history.
The only gemstone to come from a living creature, pearls are found inside oysters. Both saltwater and freshwater pearls can vary in colour, size and shape with an unmistakable lustre. The birthstone for June, it can take at least six months for a pearl to form.
One of the most unique and diverse stones, opals do not have a defined structure and can take on many different shapes and colours. Due to the mix of colours they appear iridescent under the light. The birthstone of October, opals are amorphous and formed when rain settles in rock crevasses, leaving behind the silica crystalline structure.
A hard and durable gemstone, topaz can appear in a wide range of colours. An alternative to diamonds, topaz is the November birthstone and a rare silicate mineral.
Part of the same mineral family as emerald, aquamarine is a beryl stone. The birthstone for March, aquamarine takes its name from the Latin for ‘sea water’, referencing its soft blue hue.
A type of silicate mineral called olivine, peridot is one of few gems that appears in just one colour. Its soft green pigment comes from traces of iron and can appear light or dark depending on the amount of iron. The birthstone for August, peridot is frequently found in meteor craters.
Known for their deep red colour, garnets are found in metamorphic rocks. The birthstone for January, garnet takes its name from the Latin ‘garanatus’, meaning seedlike, referencing the brilliant red seeds of a pomegranate.
A variety of quartz, citrine comes in shades of pale yellow to orange and is a modest alternative to yellow diamond. Natural citrine is rare and can be formed through heat treatment on an amethyst, another type of quartz. Along with topaz, citrine is a recognised birthstone for November.
One of the most colourful gemstones, tourmaline can form in a mix of colours due to different minerals blending together. Well known for the ‘watermelon’ colour blend of red and green, tourmalines are also recognised as a birthstone for October along with opal.
Found in few places on earth, turquoise is an opaque blue green gem found in copper rich ground. What they lack in sparkle they make up for in unique composition and have long been associated with ancient relics. Alongside tanzanite and blue topaz, turquoise is recognised as a birthstone for December.
A metamorphic rock that is known for its deep blue colour, lapis lazuli often features flecks of gold pyrite, resembling a night’s sky.
Lab Grown Gemstones
A conscious approach to fine jewellery, lab grown gemstones are chemically and physically identical to their mined counterparts but with a lighter carbon footprint. Lab created gemstones use the same mineral compositions in a process similar to what happens beneath the earth but in a fraction of the time. Designers such as Bleue Burnham use lab grown sapphires alongside recycled metals to create a range of sustainably focused jewellery.
An investment piece and future heirloom, a fine watch is a rare item with a legacy in luxury craftsmanship. A timeless timepiece, these artisanal creations can take months to complete, with meticulous attention to detail across every part of the complex mechanism. At Browns, we have sourced some of the finest chronographs from brands such as MAD Paris and 777, with a selection that includes customised pieces from Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Patek Philippe. You can even try them on for size with our Virtual Try On feature by downloading the Browns mobile app here.
Caring For Your Jewellery
Store your jewellery pieces in the cloth bags or boxes they come in, or in separate compartments in your jewellery box.
Avoid wearing gold next to harder metals such as silver or bronze as it can scratch easily due to its softer composition. Harder metals can also scratch off gold plating and vermeil if worn alongside.
Light and heat can affect a gemstone's durability and colour, it is best to avoid wearing in direct sunlight where possible.
Do not spray perfume or other cosmetics around your jewellery as this can discolour precious metals, tarnish plating and damage porous gems such as pearls and turquoise.
Try not to wear plated or vermeil jewellery in the sea or shower as this can wear away the gold coating. Remove rings when washing hands or cooking to prevent tarnishing.
Remove tarnishing with a polishing cloth on precious metals. Use a gentle liquid soap and a soft bristled brush to brighten your gemstones but avoid using this on pearls.
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