Bespoke jewellery designed and handmade for you. I specialise in designing and making by hand unique pieces of jewellery for individuals. From sourcing gemstones to designing and making your jewellery you receive a bespoke service.
I am an independent Welsh bespoke jewellery designer, silversmith and goldsmith working mostly to commission, primarily using precious and semi-precious gemstones mounted and set in gold, platinum or silver. I have been making jewellery for many years, and a representative sample of my previous work is displayed on this website. I work on my own and do not use third party makers to produce work for me.
From the initial approach to the finished piece can take as long as 6 to 12 weeks depending on the complexity and the other commissions on my bench at the time. I do, however, have work on sale or return available on this website and also work which is for viewing or sale at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff Bay
Having a custom made hand crafted ring, earrings, necklace or brooch to suit your budget is both attractive and affordable see Commissioning fine handmade jewellery designed and made in Wales.
I'm based in Pontypridd a valley town 12 miles outside Cardiff in South Wales and I'm pleased to meet prospective clients to discuss their requirements without obligation. For those living further afield and abroad communication via email and telephone is very effective.
To view my work please click one of the images at the top of the page or enter a query in the 'Search' box. Please accept the modest photography which is mine and is not professionally manipulated or enhanced. The advantage is that the jewellery is always better than the photograph!
You can also find out more about me from the National Association of Jewellers of which I am a member.
You can see my work at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, Wales where as a member of the prestigious Makers Guild in Wales I have a permanent exhibition in the Guild's gallery. If you haven't been to Craft in the Bay you are missing the largest display of fine contemporary Welsh craftsmanship in the country. I exhibit only at Craft in the Bay consequently you will not see my work elsewhere.
While rubies and sapphires are second to diamond in hardness. Diamond is a very great deal harder than rubies and sapphires
Diamond is the hardest natural material but because it’s very hard doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged by a hard blow. For example, if I put a diamond on a steel plate and hit it with a hammer it would probably shatter
Diamond can withstand very high temperatures but the outer surface can become cloudy if it is subjected to prolonged direct heat. The stone then has to be repolished
The old tale that you can check if a stone is a diamond by scratching glass is a myth. There are many precious stones that can scratch glass
When sold the description ‘Diamond’ eg diamond ring must mean that the diamond is a natural mineral with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, a specific gravity of approximately 3.52 and a refractive index of approximately 2.42. It always means a natural diamond. Buyer beware if terminology such as ‘laboratory grown or created’, ‘synthetic’, ‘cultivated’, ‘real’, ‘natural treated’ terms are used. Please see my website for much more information on diamonds.
I am often asked what is the difference in the use of the term carats in stones and precious metals. When the term is used with precious stones it is a measurement of weight i.e one carat equals 0.2 grams. A one carat stone is written as 1ct. In the case of diamonds this is further divided into 100 points so a half carat stone might be described as 50 points or 0.5ct
When the term carat (as opposed to when it is used to weigh precious stones) is used with gold it is a proportional measurement of quality. 24 carat gold is pure gold and too soft to be used effectively in jewellery. Increasing proportions of other metals are added to pure gold to make it more appropriate for the intended application. 22ct gold has 22 parts pure gold and 2 parts other metals and 18ct gold is 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts other metals while 14ct gold has 10 parts of other metals and 9ct has 15 parts of other metals.
Gold is a very versatile metal. It is malleable and ductile. It’s a good conductor of heat and electricity, immune to tarnish, and resistant to acids. It has widespread industrial uses particularly in electronics as well as its use in jewellery.
The cost of gold has never been higher in my memory so there will now be a push by companies urging you to sell your unwanted gold jewellery and indeed this is a really good opportunity. However, the danger of sellers incurring high and undeclared processing costs is again a concern to be wary of. While buying and selling scrap gold is not my interest I continue to offer to sort and sell your gold at trade price. The fee to cover my costs is a 7.5% deduction from the total I receive from the sale of the gold for sums below £500. For returns above £500 I will negotiate a lower percentage. I provide you with a copy of the sales document.
If you have only a small amount to sell we can agree the price per gram having consulted the Cookson trade price for scrap gold that day. I sell scrap gold to the UK's leading bullion merchant and get the best price available. Please contact me if you wish to discuss this service. Any stones included in your jewellery will be removed and returned undamaged if possible.
If you are on Facebook then you can contact me directly https://www.facebook.com/Selwyn-Gale-Bespoke-Goldsmith-and-Jeweller-114315116984912/
I can sometimes use your gold to make a piece but this should only be considered if the piece to be used is of sentimental significance as it is a more expensive route to take. If the piece isn't significant I'm pleased to take it in part payment or sell it for scrap on your behalf. There are two preferred ways to appoach remaking an existing piece of jewellery into a new piece and they are both dependent upon having sufficient metal to work with although I can add metal to yours.
The first is to hammer the metal directly into a new shape and the second is to melt the metal and cast a small ingot which can then be rolled or drawn into wire or sheet and then made into a new piece. The higher the quality of the metal the more successful the process is likely to be eg 18ct gold is better than 9ct gold. Casting is not a solution unless there is a least twice the quantity of metal required for the piece. Making jewellery this way is labour intensive and only worth considering if the piece to be reformed is of sentimental significance.
I am increasingly designing and making wedding rings which fit or match engagement rings. I've developed a technique of making individual wedding rings by hand accurately fitting engagement rings of different shapes at an economical cost. I do not use a CAD/CAM machine which takes the individuality out of rings. There is also the opportunity to design unusual wedding rings, sometimes with flush set diamonds. I'm pleased to do this with engagement rings which are not of my making. See my wedding ring section for some examples.
The gold price is very high so using your 'scrap gold' is an economical way of offsetting costs. I can either use your gold, sell it on your behalf or use it as payment for the work. Let's hope the Covid crisis is solved with a vaccine, world economies improve and the price of gold goes down!.
The British Jewellery Association (BJA) supports a new Gemstone Industry and Laboratory Conference (GILC) ruby committee measure saying retailers should ensure the proper identification of lead glass-filled rubies. It voted that retailers should label the gems as: "Composite-Ruby, Glass-Filled, Requires Special Care."
The committee's measures are recommendations and are not enforceable. Composite rubies consist of around 50 percent ruby, 50 percent glass. They are cheaper than traditional rubies, but can require special care, as lemon juice, soda and even gem cleaner can cloud the glass filler.
Composite rubies have become increasingly common over the last few years, particularly in the US market. The majority of rubies are also heated to improve their colour and it's not uncommon for them to be filled to disguise fissure.
There has been a warning from the British Jewellers Association that there has been a sharp increase in the number of diamonds sold as natural but are in fact synthetically produced. While there is nothing wrong with synthetic diamonds, there is a very big price difference between synthetic diamonds and natural diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds have been available since the 1960's, but the stones were only of industrial quality. Recently gem quality diamonds were finally brought to market. There are currently two different processes used ("High Pressure, High Temperature" and "Chemical Vapor Deposition") both create gems which are chemically, optically and physically the same as diamonds made by nature.
Testing laboratories are working to develop procedures so that they can reliably and quickly differentiate between natural and lab created diamonds. The necessity for sophisticated equipment clearly indicates that synthetic diamonds will be indistinguishable from natural diamonds even to professionals. If you spend a lot of money on a diamond make sure you get a reputable certificate. Synthetic diamonds should not be confused with diamond 'lookalikes' such as YAGs (yttrium aluminium garnet) and moissanite which can be detected with less sophisticated equipment.