How to Authenticate Your Antique Diamond Engagement Ring

As if choosing the right antique diamond engagement ring for your fiancée-to-be was not hard enough; authenticating the worth and age of your antique diamond engagement ring is an even more daunting task.

Age before Beauty

When it comes to antique diamond engagement rings, age is not everything although it is most certainly a focal point when verifying its value. Diamonds have been in circulation since 800 BC when they were first discovered in India, yet the most sought-after baubles seem to originate in the Georgian era (mid 1700‘s to mid 1800‘s) and are commonly known as “regency style”.

Starts with C

When it comes to verifying the value of an antique diamond engagement ring, the other traditional values come into play as well; carat, clarity, colour, and cut.

Carat – A metric carat weighs in at 200 milligrams and each carat can be sliced up into 100 points to provide a very clear, concise weight measurement.

Clarity – Internal attributes that affect clarity are called inclusions, while external attributes are called blemishes and together they dramatically affect clarity and value of a diamond.

Colour – Diamond colours range from colourless to light, leaning towards a yellow colour. The value of most gem-quality diamonds is founded strictly on the absence of any colour in the stone.

Cut – With an assortment of cuts to choose from, how a diamond is cut will affect the overall brightness of a stone due to its ability to reflect light through the rock.

Raw Material Testing

When it comes to testing the integrity of both gold and diamonds, there are standardized ways to do so which have been around for centuries.

Gold - Testing gold has been done the same way since before the world’s obsession with alchemy, which is the practice of (trying to) turn metal into gold. Alchemists were never successful although many people pursued the practice much akin to the great gold rush of generations past and the word now rests largely in metaphor.

In order to test gold, the practice is simple; since stamp marks made by the manufacturer can often help although they were not mandatory until the 19th century. Instead, testing gold is best done by exposing gold to acid.

Simply give the gold a little rub against slate and expose the rub-off to acid. If the little amount of gold that rubbed off disappears under the acid, you’ve got fake gold, also known as “fools gold”.

Diamonds - The science behind testing diamonds is much more recent than that of gold testing, and it can also tell a synthetic diamond from the genuine article. The testing of diamonds is facilitated by measuring the speed of which heat passes through the gem, and it is by no means a simple task. We suggest consulting a professional for this one.

Get Help

When appraising the value or authenticity of any antique diamond engagement rings in Sydney, you are still best suited to seek out an appraiser you trust.

Appraisers have a trained eye and are generally quite honest (especially when you are not buying from them directly). Testing gold or diamonds cost a nominal fee at most and it is good practice when you are considering dropping a few pay cheques on a single purchase such as antique jewellery.

Tips for Searching for the Perfect Homecoming Dress

The only thing worse than not being able to find a suitable prom dress is finding one that you can’t have. It could be for any number of reasons; money, stock, sizes... Finding the right dress takes time and above all patience. Be careful of falling into the trap of loving one dress and hating all of the others. There truly is a massive variety of evening gowns out there, so being uncompromising is never a good start. Whether you absolutely have to have a certain outfit, or genuinely can’t find one that you like, here is a guide to make the dress finding journey easier a bit easier for you.

Have an idea of what you want
Do a little research before you go out hunting; check magazines, fashion catalogues and the internet for styles that tickle your fancy. If you already have an idea of what you want, jot down some of the key features of the dress to narrow down your search. There is, after all, no point in going to the shop if you have no idea what you want to buy. Take into account your body type, skin tones and budget. These are the things which will ultimately make the dress right for you.

Give yourself space to compromise
Limiting your choices to fit an exact style will make the dress far more difficult to find, more expensive to make and ultimately raises the chance of a disappointing dress hunt. While it’s good to know what you want, sticking to a rigid plan could end up being unnecessarily stressful. While there is a huge number of dresses to choose from, the designs are not infinite; so being particular could lead to expenses or problems. Know what you want, but give yourself parameters to cross. You might find that the unexpected change you had to make looks perfect.

Be an investigator
So you know what you want, but not where to get it. Where do you start looking? Well, we do live in the 21st century and information is freely available on the internet. Start by looking at websites of different designers, try searching something like homecoming dresses 2015,’ or browse online catalogues of local suppliers and outfitters. There are plenty of them. Be careful of buying dresses over the internet; you’ll want to try them on, maybe tailor them a little bit or see what other suitable dresses the store has in stock. If the dress you want isn’t in stock, many of the designers’ websites will give you a list of outlets they supply to.

Be prepared to travel a little
Unless you live in fashion central there is always the chance that your local options are limited. Scouring the web for suppliers in your neighbourhood will likely not give you as many results as you would like. Pick a radius out on a map from where you are, and explore your options within it. You may find you need to travel out of town to get what you want, but with the kind of money you are spending on a homecoming dress, you’ll want to get it right. So putting in the extra effort should be a necessity.

Good choices take time to make
If you’re anything like me, you’ll leave the search right up to the last week and then likely panic because you can’t find what you want. Take your time and start early. If you give yourself time, you’ll also give yourself more options. If you force yourself to rush your decision, chances are that you will encounter a disaster somewhere along the way. It’s also important to remember not to jump to a decision too readily. Feel it out and see how it works. Think of the pros and cons of the dresses you’re looking at. Consider everything. Settling on the first dress you see might work for you, but you never know which one of the dresses around the corner may have been absolutely perfect for you. Although having said that, there’s no reason to spend an entire year searching for your dress. Fashions change, we all know this. If you take too much time, your options could end up being a bit outdated.

New Sunglasses- Wishlist- Help Me Choose!

I recently just had an eye-test and confirmed that my eyes have gotten worse for wear again. However the optometrist told me I don’t need to update my regular glasses only my sunglasses as the prescription is a few years old now.

So I have been searching online for some sunnies as I find purchasing them online so much cheaper. I usually buy Ray Ban sunglasses however I am of course open to other brands.

I came across the website iFrames, an Australian website which means I can get the sunglasses even quicker- a bonus!

I decided to check out the Prada and Oakley frames for something a bit different. Here are some of my favourites.

1. Oakley Frogskins -These are so cute- perfect for summer!
2. Prada Handbag - Just gorgeous and so posh looking!

3. Prada PR07PS - These are my favourite- can't go past multicolor!

Which one should I pick?

Thinking of Spring

With Spring just around the corner for us southern-hemisphere people, it’s that time of year to start planning not only a Spring clean but also a Spring wardrobe.

Lucky for us the northern-hemisphere tends to have some awesome sales this time of year on just the things we might need. I recently came across and was surprised at just how awesome the sale prices were.
Some of my picks for my Spring (sale) wardrobe include the following items.

1.       Safari dress (pic)
How cute is this dress! Perfect for weekend casual or dress it up for work. I love the khaki style and vivid print.

2.        Boho floral dress
There is nothing I love more than a cute floral dress. Looks great throughout the year, just change from wearing sandals to wearing boots.

3.      Quilt cardigan
The perfect item to throw on when the weather decides to be cooler than usual. A great thing to keep at work for the days when you are just not sure to layer or not to layer.

4.       Samantha denim jacket
Nothing says Spring like a denim jacket. Enough said.

5.       Chambray striped maxi skirt
My favourite item of clothing for the warmer months is always a maxi skirt. You can’t go wrong with this soft and casual number. A great wardrobe staple.

What are your top picks for your Spring wardrobe- tell me in the comments below!

Vintage finds that only collectors know about

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Nothing helps a space or outfit feel unique better than vintage items. You can keep them as they are or renovate them to give them a different feel and chances are that you will be the only one with something like it! Whilst vintage is really popular at the moment, most people don’t really know what they should be looking for. If you’re interested in vintage furniture, there are lots of items out there that are worth a lot more than people realise, here are some of them:

Sewing Machines

In the latest series of the “Great British Sewing Bee” contestants were challenged to create garments using a vintage Singer sewing machine. Without the fancy stitch settings that modern machines can offer their users, the contestants initially struggled to get to grips with the machines their grandmother’s would have owned. After a while though, they began to appreciate the machines as a piece of history. And they aren’t the only ones, there are even museums dedicated to vintage sewing machines! New machines can cost a small fortune, yet the originals can often be found for a lot less at sales as people assume that old means worthless. However, it’s important to remember when you’re rummaging in fairs or second-hand sales, that these machines will often be kept in a box rather than displayed, so don’t be afraid to ask what’s inside!

Vintage Poker Chips

As more of us are choosing to play poker online, few of us are familiar with the value and prestige of vintage chips. With sites such as, offering the opportunity for us to play our favourite games online wherever or whenever we want, this means that we’re more unlikely to visit a land-based casino and hold chips of our own. Yet vintage poker chips are collector’s items!  Those who are familiar with poker and the world of casinos may be aware of this, but most of us don’t realise the value of the chips that may be part of their own personal collection and so sell them in garage sales without knowing how much they can be worth to an expert in all things vintage. The key is to have a good rummage in shops, and second-hand sales so you don’t miss out on these gems.

Interesting Door Knobs

Brian Cairns, a former builder, is set to become a multi-millionaire after purchasing a 12-tonne collection of brass fittings, that included some vintage door knobs. He decided to have them valued and was surprised to learn that the handles were worth between £150-200 and given the amount he had purchased, this added up to a staggering £2 million. Monetary value aside though, collectors find that vintage handles often have more intricate designs and can easily transform a door. They are easy to change over and yet people often don’t consider the variety of handles available, for chests of drawers or doors, changing the handles can mean your piece stands out from the rest.

Reasons for loving

I recently came across this really cool website that connects buyers and sellers in a completely new way.

The cool thing about the website called Pitchi is that it focuses on buyers who sell new or repurposed vintage items. Two things I am pretty passionate about- vintage and repurposing!

Basically Pitchi s an innovative online video selling platform, designed to help people sell and buy online in the most personal, engaging and interactive way.

The video below shows one of the independent designers promoting her beautiful handcrafted rugs.

It’s a really great way for new designers to get themselves seen and heard within the online world and a great way for buyers to find unique items. Not only this, it also allows the buyer to see why the seller is so passionate and creates a connection between buyer and seller like never seen before.

This innovative tool is a great way for sellers to communicate with their buyers, kind of like having a real brick and mortar store but without the cost!

Pitchi exists as a platform for young businesses or anyone with an entrepreneurial dream to sell their products to a mass audience at no cost.

So whether you are an indie designer wanting to be seen, a buyer looking for cool gifts for friends or even an established online seller, there is something in Pitchi for everyone!

And just because I can, here is another one of my favourites: 

As some one who also designs and sells things online I am thinking about getting on the Pitchi bandwagon- will you come join me?

My Top Favourite Sandals From

As an Australian it is part of our culture to wear “thongs” or what the US call flip-flops or sometimes sandals. Living in a relatively hot country these shoes are a must have summer essential item.

Some of my favorites from include the following:

Similar to Haviana’s these lovely sandals (or thongs!) look like something you could wear casually to a picnic or down to the shops. Sometimes there is nothing more comfortable then basic flat sandals. I like them in green.

For the fashion go-getters these sparkly sandals will suit numerous occasions from the beach to a class at uni. Definitely for the girly girl who loves a little sparkle in her life.

Another stylish option these leather sandals feature a funky animal print strap and look super comfy. I am a big fan of animal print when worn correctly and it pretty much always looks great in shoes.

Another must have item in Australia is boots! Long, calf-length or ankle – boots can be worn with most outfits and are so much fun to wear in the cooler months. I always recommend a pair of boots in knee length, ankle and combat. I love my doc martens combat boots as they are great for rainy weather too!

I recommend checking out the Arabian Braid. These are a good colour, length and style and would look amazing with jeans.


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