Jewellery makes an ideal gift for all occasions. Macintyres has small gifts for loved ones as well as future family heirlooms.
You can rest assured that an item of jewellery from Macintyres is designed and made to the highest possible standards. Each item is hallmarked and, if stone set, contains a natural gemstone of superior quality. Here is a short guide to precious metals and precious stones.
By precious stones we mean gemstones of superior quality. As with diamonds, coloured gemstones come in a myriad of different colours, shapes, sizes and quality grades.
Macintyres use only superior quality coloured stones, with strong hues and minimal inclusions – if any – and excellent cuts. We source gemstones directly from source whenever feasible. Emeralds from Columbia and Brazil, rubies from Myanmar (Burma), sapphires from Sri Lanka and Thailand, pink sapphires from Madagascar, tanzanites from Tanzania, aquamarines from Afghanistan and South America and opals from Australia.
In addition to our regular coloured stone rings and jewellery, we stock cheaper “semi-precious” stones such as aquamarine, blue topaz, amethyst, peridot, citrine and garnet and a fabulous range of very unusual collectors’ stones such as Paraiba tourmaline, blue and lavender spinel, black and fire opal, rubellite, Tahitian pearls and many more. Contact us for further details.
Gold, silver and platinum are the three precious metals used to make an item of jewellery. Each piece is independently assayed (tested) by the Assay Office and stamped with a Hallmark.
A hallmark is made up of the following
- A fineness mark indicating which metal it is and how pure it is
- A sponsor’s or maker’s mark
- An assay office mark indicting which office hallmarked the item
- A date letter indicating which year it was hallmarked
Silver is used for in-expensive designer jewellery and is marked as 925 (that is, 92.5% pure).
Gold comes in a number of different purities.
- 9ct which is marked 375 (37.5% pure)
- 14ct which is marked 585 (58.5% pure)
- 18ct which is marked 750 (75% pure)
- 22ct which is marked 916 (91.6% pure)
Coloured gold such as white and rose gold also come in the same purities. For example, 18ct white gold is 75% pure yellow gold mixed with palladium to give it its white colour). White gold is normally plated with rhodium to give it a silvery finish.
At Macintyres we primarily use 18ct gold for most diamond and stone set items but we also use 9ct gold for heavier or cheaper pieces. Many pieces can be ordered in unusual gold purities such as 14ct and 22ct.
Platinum is the most durable metal used in jewellery. It comes in four purities, 800, 900, 950 and 999 (parts per thousand). We use 950 for its superior purity combined with its better working qualities.