Antique diamond engagement rings and much more. Based in Battle, East Sussex.

Friar House Antique Jewellery RSS



September Birthstone- Sapphire

With sapphire being the birthstone of September we felt it an ideal time to look deeper into the history of this gemstone. It has been said that the tablet inscribed with the ten commandments was formed using a sapphire stone. Because of its hardness it would not be able to be broken even with the use of a hammer. A member of the Beryl family, it rates 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness with ruby being the same. A diamond at 10 is many times harder and only a diamond can scratch a diamond. Corundum (sapphire or ruby) can scratch itself, topaz (8), quartz (7), and anything softer. It is typically blue in colour but natural “fancy” sapphires also...

Continue reading



How to Plan a Proposal and Choose the Perfect Ring

    Asking someone to marry you is both exciting and nerve-wracking. That’s why it’s important to take some time to plan how you want to pop the question. For example, do you want to propose with a ring, or wait until you’re engaged and pick the perfect ring together with your partner?   Prices for engagement rings vary hugely depending on things like the cut and quality of the stone and which metal you choose. While in the past, a popular rule of thumb has been to spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring, in reality there are no hard and fast rules, and the most important thing is to find a ring your partner will love.  ...

Continue reading



Jewellery terminology Part 2

Fold over clasp – A clasp used on a bracelet or necklace with a box on one end and a V shaped tongue on the other. The lid of the box opens to reveal a small hook. The tongue moves over the hook and then the lid of the box is snapped shut to secure the tongue in place. Hallmark – Hallmarks are used as a form of consumer protection against fraud. They are stamped onto precious metal by a legally appointed official after assaying, to denote the amount of precious metal contained in the piece. European hallmarks are a legal requirement. Compulsory hallmarking was not introduced until 1950 in the UK. The Hallmarking Act created The British Hallmarking Council...

Continue reading



Jewellery terminology - Part 1

Baguette – A gemstone that is cut in a narrow, rectangular shape similar to a loaf of French bread, hence the name. Small diamonds cut in this way are often used as accents in jewellery such as rings and necklaces.     Bombé – This refers to a dome shaped setting often seen in rings from the 1940’s and 1950’s and means curving or bulging outwards. Channel Set – A style of setting that has a uniform size of small stones set side by side into a grooved channel – usually round cut, princess cut or baguette shaped stones. The stones are not secured individually with claws unlike most settings and there is no metal visible between the stones. Cluster...

Continue reading



Aquamarine Gemstone

The origin of the name aquamarine comes from Latin “aqua marina” which means “sea water” and it references the similarities of the gemstones colour to that of the ocean. It is the birthstone for March and is given on 19th wedding anniversaries. A member of the beryl family, it can range in colour from pale green, bright green and turquoise to pale blue, dark blue and navy. The preferred colour of aquamarine is sky blue so some greenish coloured ones are often heat treated to change their colour to a lighter blue. Heat treatment is almost impossible to detect and results in a permanent colour change. In the past sailors wore aquamarine amulets as they believed that the gemstone would...

Continue reading