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James Ness & Son has been committed to helping our customers find the perfect piece of jewellery for that special occasion for over 100 years. We are experts in our field and are proud to have built our reputation as one of the UK's finest suppliers of fine antique jewellery.
We are here to make your jewellery buying experience an enjoyable one. You will find some jewellery related explanations below which will hopefully assist you in finding that perfect piece of jewellery.
Antique Jewellery: Jewellery that is at least 100 years old.
Vintage Jewellery: Jewellery at least 50 years old.
Pre-owned Jewellery: Jewellery that was previously owned, from any era.
Antique Jewellery Periods
- Georgian: circa 1714 - 1837
- Victorian: circa 1837 - 1901
- Art Nouveau: circa 1895 - 1915
- Edwardian: circa 1901 - 1920
- Art Deco: circa 1920 - 1935
- Retro: 1935 - 1950
- January - Garnet
- February - Amethyst
- March - Aquamarine
- April - Diamond
- May - Emerald
- June - Pearl or Moonstone
- July - Ruby
- August - Peridot
- September - Sapphire
- October - Opal
- November - Topaz or Citrine
- December - Blue Zircon or Turquoise
Also known as Prong setting. This is the most popular style of setting for most items of jewellery. A claw setting will hold a stone securely whilst allowing optimal light to reflect through the gemstones.
Also referred to as Bezel setting. The gemstone is surrounded by a metal border. Half rub-over/half bezel settings are also available.
Setting stones of similar size into a metal channel. This is a popular setting for eternity rings.
A technique using very small stones on a metal surface to give the illusion that the surface is made up entirely of stones. Pavé is the French word for pavement or cobblestones.Pronounced pa-vey.
A style where numerous stones are set closely together. The centre stone is commonly larger than the surrounding stones.
Gemstones are individually held by a bar of metal to either side.
The gemstone is held in place by the pressure of the metal giving the illusion that the stone is floating.
A shiny metal setting surrounds the stone and is shaped to give the illusion that it is part of the gemstones. This setting is often used to enhance the appearance of small gemstones.
Pure gold is naturally yellow in colour. Mixing it with different alloys can change the colour of a gold item of jewellery. The most popular colours of gold in jewellery are yellow, white and rose.
There are several carats of gold available. The carat of gold refers to the unit of purity for gold alloys.
9ct gold is 37.5% pure gold, containing 9 parts gold and 15 parts other alloys.
18ct gold is 58.5% pure gold, containing 18 parts gold and 4 parts other alloys.
Other carats also available: 10ct, 15ct, 14ct & 22ct gold. 24ct gold is considered too soft for use as jewellery.
Gold colours: yellow, white and rose.
White gold is commonly coated with rhodium. Rhodium is a white metal and plating white gold with rhodium will give the white gold a much whiter appearance than in it's natural state. The rhodium plating will wear over time so re-rhodium plating will be necessary, particularly with rings. This is a service we provide in store.
Platinum is a white-grey metal. Unlike gold it is used in almost it's pure form making it an ideal metal for people with sensitive skin or jewellery allergies. It is very strong and durable. It does not require rhodium plating like white gold. Platinum is not commonly used to make earrings, pendants, bracelets or necklaces.
In the UK it is illegal to sell or describe any item as Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium unless it is hallmarked*.
One of the requirements of the Hallmarking Act 1973 is that all dealers supplying precious metal jewellery shall display a notice explaining the approved hallmarks. This must be the notice produced by the British Hallmarking Council. Click here to view the Dealers' Notice (this link will open in a new window on your browser)
* "Jewellery which was manufactured before the year 1950 and has not since the beginning of the year 1950 been the subject of any alteration which would be an improper alteration if the article had previously borne approved hallmarks."
Source: Hallmarking act 1973 - click here to view in its entirety (this link will open in a new window on your browser).
Ring size guide
|UK||United States and Canada Ring Size||Diameter in Inches||France||Germany||Japan|
|D||2||0.52||41 1/2||13 1/4||2|
|D-½||2 1/4||0.528||42 1/8||13 1/2||---|
|E||2 1/2||0.536||42 3/4||13 3/4||3|
|E-½||2 3/4||0.544||43 3/8||---||---|
|F-½||3 1/4||0.561||44 5/8||14 1/4||---|
|G||3 1/2||0.569||45 1/4||14 1/2||5|
|G-½||3 3/4||0.577||45 7/8||14 3/4||6|
|I||4 1/4||0.594||47 1/8||15 1/4||---|
|I-½||4 1/2||0.602||47 3/4||15 1/2||8|
|J||4 3/4||0.61||48 3/8||---||---|
|K||5 1/4||0.627||49 5/8||16||---|
|K-½||5 1/2||0.635||50 1/4||16 1/4||10|
|L||5 3/4||0.643||50 7/8||---||11|
|L-½||6||0.652||51 1/2||16 1/2||12|
|M||6 1/4||0.66||52 1/8||16 3/4||---|
|M-½||6 1/2||0.668||52 3/4||17||13|
|N||6 3/4||0.676||53 3/8||---||---|
|O-½||7 1/4||0.693||54 5/8||17 1/2||---|
|P||7 1/2||0.701||55 1/4||17 3/4||15|
|P-½||7 3/4||0.709||55 7/8||---||---|
|Q-½||8 1/4||0.726||57 1/8||18 1/4||---|
|R||8 1/2||0.734||57 3/4||18 1/2||17|
|R-½||8 3/4||0.742||58 3/8||18 3/4||---|
|S-½||9 1/4||0.759||59 5/8||19 1/4||---|
|---||9 1/2||0.767||60 1/4||19 1/2||19|
|T||9 3/4||0.775||60 7/8||19 3/4||---|
|U||10 1/4||0.792||62 1/8||20 1/4||21|
|U-½||10 1/2||0.8||62 3/4||20 1/2||22|
|V||10 3/4||0.808||63 3/8||---||---|
|W||11 1/4||0.825||64 5/8||---||---|
|W-½||11 1/2||0.833||65 1/4||21||24|
|X||11 3/4||0.841||65 7/8||---||---|
|Y||12||0.849||66 1/2||21 1/4||25|
|Y-½||12 1/4||0.858||67 1/8||21 1/2||---|
|Z||12 1/2||0.866||67 3/4||21 3/4||26|
|Z-½||12 3/4||0.874||68 3/8||---||---|