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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Colour change garnet ring

I got this unique suite of colour change garnet and got them set in 18k yellow gold with some simple designs.

I think it really matches a Hugo Boss cufflink I got.

Some facts about colour change garnet:

Color Change Garnet is one of the most rare, interesting, and phenomenal of all gems. The color change can be intense and equal to the color change of top quality alexandrite. Color change garnets can easily be mistaken for alexandrite. Some of the best stones are from the deposit in Bekily, Southern Madagascar. Stones from this mine are well known for their strong alexandrite like color change. To appreciate the full range of color change in these stones, one needs to observe the stones under early morning light, fluorescent light, late afternoon sunlight, and incandescent light.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Carved Amethyst Lionhead Cufflinks

After all that waiting...

I am finally the owner of this pair of cufflinks that feature a pair of beautifully carved amethyst lion heads, set in 18k yellow gold!

Look how unique they are...

Special thanks to Far East Gems and Jewellery!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Montblanc update

My Montblanc Marlene Dietrich Roller Ball Pen is on its way back to Hamburg in Germany to get repaired after its sapphire dropped out!

I popped by the boutique to enquire on the status of the product as there was no updates from Montblanc for at least 2 weeks. The staff were friendly enough to call their HQ and find out the status for me and I was told that as their HQ staff were very very busy, they did not have time to call me...

Thus, I will have to wait for 3 months before my Montblanc pen actually arrives back to me. I wonder if they know that companies like FedEx and UPS exists. If it really requires 3 months to be repaired, they should really have plenty of repair jobs to be done there... so does that mean that there are a lot of defective goods?

I guess I am really going to stay off this brand for some time!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jewelled Christmas Tree

i walked past Bugis Junction today and came past this Christmas Tree that was put up by Lee Hwa. It is decorated with ornaments which are replicas from the Destinee range of diamond jewellery.

Parts of the proceeds from the sale of these selected Destinee items at Lee Hwa boutiques will go to charity.. do your part today!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Polished Nautilus Shell

I got this polished Nautilus shell when I was in Taiwan some time back.

Nautiluses are the sole cephalopods whose bony structure of the body is externalized as a shell. The animal can withdraw completely into its shell, closing the opening with a leathery hood formed from two specially folded tentacles. The shell is coiled, calcareous, nacreous and pressure resistant (imploding at a depth of about 800 m). The nautilus shell is composed of 2 layers: the outer layer is a matte white, while the inner layer is a striking white with iridescence. The innermost portion of the shell is a pearlescent blue-gray.

Beautiful isn't it?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fancy a drink?

Fancy a drink from a jade tea pot??

Unfortunately, this pot is a miniature carving from jade. In fact, it is done so well that you can even see that the tea pot is hollowed and has a detachable lid!

This is one of a interesting curios I got from a friend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cambodian Silver Ornaments

I was browsing through my collection the other day and I came across these Cambodian silver ornaments that i bought a long time ago. They got pretty badly tarnished so I got some silver polishing cloth to work out the lustre of silver!

These are crafted silver (90% as hallmarked on the bottom of the pieces) are handcrafted by village artisans in Phnom Penh, applying the repoussé technique. Silver from Cambodia and Burma are among the most beautiful and interesting art objects in Southeast Asia. Several countries in Asia have a long tradition in silver making for jewellery and "exclusive" decorative items. In Cambodia, the tradition is mostly aimed at making betel boxes where people used to keep ingredients needed for betel chewing. Betel leaves, betel nuts and lime are the main ingredients in betel chewing. The custom is still widespread in parts of Asia, in particular among old people. The Cambodian silversmiths have been considered experts at chasing, repoussé, niello, enamelling, and gilding. Boxes featuring animals are divided lengthwise into two with the head, back, and tail comprising the upper section and the feet and stomach the lower half.

A pumpkin silver box:

This is supposed to be a bird sculpture:

Silver papaya box:

Silver prawn sculpture:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue Apatite

Apatite is a group of phosphate minerals, usually referring to hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, and chlorapatite, named for high concentrations of OH−, F−, or Cl− ions, respectively, in the crystal. The formula of the admixture of the three most common endmembers is written as Ca5(PO4)3(OH, F, Cl), and the formulae of the individual minerals are written as Ca5(PO4)3(OH), Ca5(PO4)3F and Ca5(PO4)3Cl, respectively.

Apatite is one of few minerals that are produced and used by biological micro-environmental systems. Apatite has a Moh's Scale hardness of 5. Hydroxylapatite is the major component of tooth enamel. A relatively rare form of apatite in which most of the OH groups are absent and containing many carbonate and acid phosphate substitutions is a large component of bone material.

This blue facetted apatite I got recently is meant as a collectors item and not really meant for wearing!

Look at that intense blue!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

White Sapphire

I managed to get this white sapphire recently:

White sapphire is an excellent diamond substitute as it is brilliant and second only to diamond itself in hardness.

White or "Colorless" Sapphires have a great deal of brilliance, are attractive, durable and well priced. Gem quality Colorless Sapphires are not common.

This particular piece of mine has quite a good cut and is relatively eye clean.

Errant goldsmiths told to toe the line

From the Straits Times

Jewellers' group takes steps to ensure purity of gold not misstated

Stung by the news that three of its members were selling gold jewellery that was less pure than claimed, the Singapore Jewellers Association is taking action.

For starters, association president Ho Nai Chuen said it has set up a hotline on 6533-4053 for the public to call if they require assistance in getting a refund from association members whose 24k or 22k gold does not meet fineness standards.

The initiative comes in reaction to a recent survey by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), which found that gold pieces from five jewellers failed the purity test.

Three of the jewellers - Chan Foon Jade & Jewellery, Boon Lay Goldsmiths & Jewellers and Teng Huat Jewellery - are members of the association.

The body, the only one for the jewellery trade which is worth over $1 billion, has 155 members with about 335 outlets across the island.

There are about 500 jewellery outlets in Singapore and Mr Ho estimated that 100 of them have a substantial gold jewellery inventory.

He also said that its disciplinary sub-committee is giving the three members a chance to look into their inventory to ascertain if there are any problems with their stock.

Members can be blacklisted or kicked out of the association for flouting the rules, although this has not been done before.

'We are counselling the three members involved and telling them to send large batches of their inventory to the Singapore Assay Office for strict testing,' said MrHo.

'We have also reminded them not to trust their suppliers blindly and to check their stock. It is most important that consumer confidence is kept intact,' he added.

The association is looking into getting a special X-ray device in its office that can give members an analysis of an item's gold content in minutes.

This will help jewellers overcome the backlog at the Singapore Assay Office, which is now testing every piece instead of just a sample of items sent to it, following Case's actions.

Said chief assayer Ng Siew Hua: 'I usually test a sample of three or four out of every hundred. Now I'm very careful to test every single piece.'

Association members that The Sunday Times spoke to pinned the problem of impure gold on their suppliers.

'I've had the same supplier for 30 years so I trust him like a friend...I'm now very scared, so I will get every piece that I can checked,' said Mr Wan Yu Shu, 59, owner of Chan Foon Jade & Jewellery.

Gold buyers such as housewife Luzviminda Vancapelle, 37, feel that the new moves are good for boosting consumer confidence.

She said: 'The new checks are a very good idea because I don't really check the jewellery myself.

'It's good that I can trust the association to check for me. I will look out for the sticker when I shop now.'

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Book from Montblanc

Bought my damaged Montblanc Marlene Dietrich pen, which had its missing sapphire, back to the Montblanc Botique..

The outlet staff handled the matter well and immediately took action by sending the pen and the warranty card to their local office for analysis.

Was also told that the repairs if done locally, would take about 3 weeks. If done back in Montblanc Germany, it could take 3 months or even 4 months...

I am so glad, I do have other pens to use in the mean time..

Anyway, the staff gave me a book about the watch collection from Montblanc:

Interesting pictorial book.. but at this point of time, I shall not think of whether to get a Montblanc watch, lest I end up with dropping/faulty parts again!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Montblanc missing sapphire!

I got a shock of my life when I took out my Montblanc Marlene Dietrich pen from my pocket today!

A missing sapphire, the setting of the blue sapphire on the clip of the pen appears to have been merely pasted on.

For a pen, that I have not been using that frequently, I am rather dismayed by the fact that such high end pens would be of such a quality. Looking at the warranty that came with it, I just bought the pen in October, and it is barely even 2 months and such a thing happened!

I wonder how Montblanc will actually be looking into this matter!

Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tips on buying Gold Jewellery in Singapore

From Today

Tips for consumers

• Ensure the jewellery is weighed in your presence and without the price tag. Ask for a detailed breakdown on the receipt, which should show the unit price per gram, gold purity and net weight of the gold item.

• You can also send the jewellery to the SAO for testing. Each item will cost $2.40 for an x-ray test, which does not damage the item. Simple pass/fail results can be obtained in an hour, while a fuller report of the actual content of gold and alloy used takes a day.

• If an item fails the test, lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, under the Consumer Proctection (Trade Description and Safety Requirements) Act. Consumers who are overcharged can approach Spring Singapore under the Weights and Measures Act.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Was at Sookee Jewellery's event, You're a Star that was held outside Ngee Ann City in the afternoon.

There were more staff then visitors thought, which could probably be due to the fact that it was in the afternoon. More people buy jewellery at night?
Anyway, there were some nice designs like those from Versace at the booth!

Case finds errant jewellers in random test

From Business Times

Some overcharged in the consumer association's survey

IN a survey of 30 jewellery retailers here, the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has found five that failed its test for gold fineness and eight that overcharged customers.

The body said yesterday that it had randomly bought a piece of gold jewellery from each retailer, about half of which are located in Little India and Chinatown and the other half, mostly in the heartlands.

The gold jewellery included rings, bangles and pendants.

'All 30 test items were 22K or 916 gold articles, and hence it meant that the gold articles should contain at least 91.6 per cent by weight of gold,' said Case.

The articles were tested by the Singapore Assay Office for their fineness standard, using fire assay cupellation.

Five fell short, with gold content ranging from just 85.94 per cent to 91.04 per cent.

In the other test to see if retailers charge more than the actual value of the gold jewellery based on the weight and price at the point of purchase, eight were found to have overcharged.

Ho Nai Cheun, president of Singapore Jewellers' Association, said in Case's report that Singapore has developed a reputation as one of the best places worldwide to buy gold jewellery, because members of the trade uphold standards of reliability, quality and integrity.

Errant or unscrupulous jewellers who sell gold jewellery below the specified fineness tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the trade and they should be taken to task and dealt with by the authorities, he added

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How did diamond fall out of ring?

This article was orginally by:
Elaine Yeo
544 words
21 November 2008
The New Paper

Couple upset because engagement ring bought only last year

LADIES, beware. Without tender loving care, diamonds may not always be a girl's best friend.

Mr Alex Ng and wife Ng Guo Sijia, both 26, found this out recently.

The couple were looking forward to their first wedding anniversary next month.

Instead, they made a surprising discovery - the diamond on Mrs Ng's wedding ring had fallen out.

The couple were collecting movie tickets at the Golden Village cineplex in Jurong Point Shopping Centre on 2 Nov, when she noticed that the 0.05 carat diamond on her wedding ring was missing.

They never found it.

Mrs Ng last saw it in the late afternoon that day while waiting for husband to pick her up to go to the cinema.

With a discount, her white gold diamond ring cost $484.

They had collected their pair of $790 rings from the Suntec boutique of Lee Hwa Jewellery on 10 Nov last year.

They bought them as engagement rings, but Mrs Ng's ring was the only one with a diamond.


She said: 'It's not the type that protrudes, but the kind that is embedded in the band. How can it fall out?'

Two days later, they took the ring to the Suntec boutique.

After investigation by the quality control department, a staff member informed the couple that the diamond had fallen out due to 'wear and tear'.

But Mrs Ng, a product development executive, objected.

She said that although she had worn the ring every day, she had a desk-bound job that involved typing on a computer keyboard.

She said: 'I don't work with machines or chemicals the way my husband does as a senior technical officer, so how can this be due to wear and tear?'

It will cost the couple an extra $240 to replace the diamond with one of the same size, colour and clarity.

A similar case was reported on the Straits Times online media portal Stomp on 5Jul.

In that case, a woman allegedly lost the diamond from her ring six months after her wedding.

Lee Hwa Jewellery said in a statement that the cause was probably mishandling. It offered the woman some form of redress.

Delicate due to setting

On the case of Mrs Ng's ring, Lee Hwa Jewellery's senior brand manager, Ms Irene Ling, said that the way the diamond was set into the ring (called the gypsy setting) made it more 'delicate and sensitive to any physical contact that comes with daily wear'.

She recommended extra care for rings with such settings. (See report below.)

Added Ms Ling: 'Even accidental rubbing or light knocks may cause damage over time.'

Mrs Ng said it was possible she had hit the ring by accident when she knocked on doors at work.

She said: 'Still, I can accept that explanation if the diamond fell out two years after we bought it, but it hasn't even been a year.'

The couple are now deciding what to do.

Their formal wedding ceremony is next year.

Said Mrs Ng: 'We don't really want to spend on a replacement diamond, so we may just get new rings.'

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Amethyst Lion Heads

I bought this pair of Lion Heads carved out entirely from amethyst! Met this dealer of fine quality gems today and out of the whole lot of gems he had, these really caught my eyes..

They do really have a Rome like feel to it, right?

The carvings are very intricate and a lot of detail can be seen on the pieces. Have already gotten some ideas in mind to use these as jewellery. So stay tuned.. Metamorphosis in progress!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hugo Boss Cufflinks

This is one of my favourite cufflinks.

Crafted out of brass, this pair of cufflinks from Hugo Boss eludes a kind of classy elegance through its display of spots on its metallic brassy surface. I bought this pair when I was in transit at Frankfurt Airport Duty Free on my way back to Singapore from New York in the middle of the year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Platinum: What exactly is it?

Platinum is a chemical element with the atomic symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. It is in group 10 of the Periodic Table of Elements.

Its nearest stimulant 18karat purity white gold is often rhodium plated (it is a technical misnomer to be called white gold anyway), and as such, after a period of wear, the plating would yield to scratches and might reveal a pale yellow layer, which is really the alloyed gold, beneath the coating.

During periods of sustained economic stability and growth, the price of platinum tends to be as much as twice as the price of gold. Platinum is an extremely rare metal, occurring as only 0.003 ppb in the Earth's crust, and is 30 times rarer than gold which is why it is more expensive. It is sometimes mistaken for silver (Ag) but platinum is whiter in appearance. Also, silver tends to oxidise easily on exposure to air and sulphur and readily turns a blackish colour!

With so many advantages over metals like gold and silver, it therefore makes sense to get a ring out of platinum. After all, a ring is meant to evoke all the precious and wonderful memories, so what could be more appropriate other then a platinum engagement ring?
Doesn't that just reminds you of my precioussssss in the movie "Lord of the Rings"?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is a certificate forever??

Being on several mailing list by several jewellers, I recently got this advert with a huge, screaming slogan that read: "A Certificate is Forever - Accept no substitutes"

Diamonds are the only precious gems with a clearly defined, internationally recognized evaluation process that allows for independent verification. The value for each individual gem can therefore be retained.

As creators of the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™, the G.I.A. is known for unbiased, scientific information that has guided Diamond buyers for generations. It is regarded as the "Supreme Court" of Diamond grading. G.I.A. certificates add to the liquidity of your Diamond and should be accompanied with every purchase you make. Accept no substitutes.

At XYZ shop, we always provide G.I.A. certificates. This report gives the most technologically advanced Diamond evaluation possible. It is a unique blueprint of your Diamond’s attributes, and illustrates an indisputable record of its quality - thereby providing the world’s most comprehensive analysis of a Diamond.

What puzzles me most is that how can a certificate be forever???

Another smart marketing ploy? While it can be true that in today's technological advanced era, back ups of such certificates can be stored easily on a server, and accessed can be granted 24/7, we should not forget the fact that gradings of a diamond is done as of the point when it was sent to the lab, and over time, due to frequent wear and knocks, there could be little stress fractures that form within the stone and are generally classified as inclusions. Diamond is the hardest substance on earth, but it is not unbreakable!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Learning how to shoot photos better

For all those who have been following my blog, you would probably have seen how the pictures have improved over time, from those taken by a handphone camera to those taken by a digital camera...

Of course, photography is really a skill that I still have not mastered completely...

But today, John from Jam Creations taught me some tricks on how to capture close up shots easily...

Here's a pic:

Looks good enough?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Astronaut Space Pen

Got this Astronaut Space Pen recently!

Made by Fisher, its pen cartridge is made under pressure with a tungsten carbide tip, and therefore, according to the manufacturers, it is able to write under any conditions, which was probably the reason why it is marketed as a space pen!In terms of aesthetic design, this pen comes with the words Apollo 11 on it, to commemorate the use of such pens on the space ship!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rose Cut Diamond Cufflinks

Got this pair of 14k Rose cut diamonds cufflinks yesterday at the JewelFest 2008.

The rose cut was first introduced in the early to mid 1500s by jewelers experimenting with unique geometrical diamond shapes. The rose cut is unlike any other diamond cut – it has a completely different anatomy to its facets and planes. Rose cuts are flat bottomed without the distinctive tapering body; instead, the crown of the gem is elevated in a faceted dome where triangular facets mimic the progressively tighter spiral of a rose. As the between 3 and 24 facets come together they mirror the central focal point of a rose bud and offer a unique perspective of diamond beauty

I really like the antique enthic feel to it. It doesnt give the overly bling factor that normal cut diamonds have!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Exclusive Report and Photos from Jewelfest 2008

Was at the Lee Hwa Jewellery Private Event at Jewelfest 2008. This post is basically a "seen and heard" report of the whole event.. so there will be plenty of pics... starting off with the fashion show.

Models strutting down the aisle with their stuff:

Famous jewelled bikini:

Huge diamond rings by Habib Jewellers:
This finger is now worth nearly SGD$ 633, 000!!!!