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Advice or tips, Jewellery, Special event days

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution last year that you didn’t keep or achieve?

By now you have probably recovered from your New Year’s festivities and made a few New Year’s resolutions. Ironically there are probably a number of them that you have recycled from last year. All those things that you want to change or improve, but never got around to doing. Whether it is something physical like losing a few kilos or business orientated like reaching more clients, having an incentive to achieve your New Year’s resolution is sure to increase your chances of success.

Goal Planning

When I sit down with clients we discover together what pieces are on their jewellery wish list and what major goals they would love to achieve for the coming year ahead. For some it might be a promotion or a number of successful client transactions, for others it is the completion of a project. Whatever your goal is, having a piece of jewellery to symbolise your achievement will not only give you the enjoyment of wearing it, but also spur you on to hit your next goal. One of the things that my clients often overlook is the power of goal setting – using diamonds as the carrot (pun intended). I always say that if a picture tells a thousand words, then your jewellery is a novel with a lifetime of memories. When I look at a piece of jewellery I am reminded of all the memories associated with it – how I designed it, where I sourced the diamonds from, how the jeweller made it etc…

Sally’s Story

One of my clients, Sally, had a goal of reaching 150 active recurring clients in her business. Sally’s incentive for working towards that goal was a new pair of gorgeous diamond studs. Throughout the year Sally worked tirelessly, putting in extra hours, sacrificing personal leisure time and even visited her diamond studs in the showroom as a motivator to stay on track.   By the time the end of the year came around Sally actually ended up with 186 clients. Sally had been so motivated to achieving her goal that the extra momentum she had built up allowed her to blow her target out of the water. Now we use Sally’s earrings as a memory anchor to help her go after her next target of 250 clients. You see, every time Sally now looks in the mirror, she doesn’t just see her diamond studs, she sees everything those diamond studs represent. Sally is reminded of all the hard work she put in to achieve her goal, and ultimately how successful it makes her feel, which is a great sense of fulfilment for her. It also makes her excited about going after her next goal, which is a diamond bracelet.   It doesn’t have to be a set of diamond studs for you; it might be a bracelet, a ring or a strand of pearls. Whatever your taste in jewellery is, link it to S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Set yourself one SMART goal

S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Achievable, R – Relevant, T – Time sensitive.

I find limiting it to one main goal at a time works best, that is until you develop the skill set to handle multiple goals at once. That way you will avoid the vicious cycle of recycling your New Year’s resolutions. While the beginning of the year is a great time to set a goal, there is really no reason that you can’t do it at any time. Just follow the S.M.A.R.T acronym and link it with whatever is going to be your greatest currency, and you will be sure to achieve it. Accountability is also a great way to make sure that you stay on course to achieve your goal.

So what is your goal this year, and what is going to be on your jewellery wish list to motivate you to achieve it?

Like the old saying, “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. The time to set a new goal is now. So don’t wait another week or month to start putting your diamond S.M.A.R.T. goal together. I guarantee that when you look back in 12 months’ time, you will not only be amazed by the results, but you will have a lovely piece of jewellery to remember the journey.

About Karl

kschwantes-rock-cover-webuse-xlgeHis recently released book, ” Rock Her World” is available now. If you would like help, in choosing the perfect diamond to help you achieve your goals for 2016, there is a lot of great information in Rock Her World” or you can even listen to a sample chapter hereKarl believes that choosing a piece of jewellery should be a phenomenal experience, and over the last 21 years has helped more than 5800 clients choose a special piece of jewellery that tells their story.


Advice or tips, Engagement rings, Frequently Asked Questions, Jewellery

Resizing rings is something of a daily occurrence for manufacturing jewellers. However it never ceases to amaze me how many times I hear from clients who have been to other jewellers that a ring can not be resized to suit their fingers. While it may be difficult at times to resize a ring, it is rarely impossible. The following is a list of some of the rings that we often resize.

resizing engagement rings

Resizing Engagement Rings

  1. Simple wedding rings
    1. Can be as simple as stretching, compressing or tapping to change the size by 1-2 sizes.
  2. Diamond set engagement rings 
    1. Provided the original settings are secure, changing the size up to at least 3 sizes is no problem. 
  3. Coloured stone engagement rings
    1. While a little more challenging, as long as the stones are protected from the heat, the change in size should be fine.
  4. Multi stone engagement rings
    1. Depending on the way the ring was made, and how many solders were used this ring is also no problem for a trained master jeweller. 
  5. Pave set engagement rings
    1. At times the most problematic, especially if the stones have been micro pave set. While stones might come loose during the resizing a professional diamond setter, should have no problem tightening the stones. 
  6. Platinum Rings
    1. Resizing a platinum ring should not be any trouble, as the metal part being heated is usually at the bottom of the ring and far away from the diamonds. Diamonds can be burnt if the high intense flame used to solder platinum is put near the top of the setting. 
  7. Titanium rings 
    1. While a titanium ring can not strictly be resized. Sometimes it can be stretched up half a size, or the inside of the ring can be taken out to increase the internal diameter. 

If you ever have any questions about resizing your diamond engagement ring, please don’t hesitate to email me, or post a comment below. If your ring doesn’t sit well, don’t put up with it, come and see us.The Xennox Diamonds team are always here at your disposal to answer any of your jewellery questions. With our onsite master jewellers there is almost no ring that we can’t resize. 





Advice or tips, Frequently Asked Questions, Jewellery

10 things you must ask your jeweller to make sure you are getting the best advice

1. Ask your jeweller where was the ring made ? 

Ask your jeweller if the ring is hand made

Is the ring made locally or overseas ? Hand made rings manufactured locally are not only better quality, but will last longer as well.  A master jeweller is someone who has spent their whole life perfecting the art of making jewellery. The quality of the piece created by a master jeweller is far superior to that of a mass produced ring.


A lot of the overseas made rings are of lightweight manufacturing design and are not built to stand the test of time.

2. Ask your jeweller – Will the engagement ring sit flush with the wedding ring ?

This is a must. Having a ring specially designed by a professional jewellery designer is incredibly important. Almost every ring can be designed to sit flush with a wedding band. It just comes down to the skill of the designer. Make sure it is drawn for you in 3D before having it made. 

3. Ask your jeweller – Where do you source your diamonds ?

Russian and Belgian diamond cutters are the best in the world. While they usually cost a little extra, they will definitely sparkle more . If you are trying to compare apples with apples, it is important to find out where the diamond was cut. 

4. Do you have a qualified diamond grader check every stone ?

All diamond grading is done by the human eye, which is not infallible. It is vital to have a strict diamond grader with knowledge on diamond cutting check your stone to ensure you get what you pay for. 

5. What warranties do you offer ?

Any reputable jewellery manufacturer should be able to stand behind the quality of their work. A lifetime manufacturing warranty gives you the greatest piece of mind.

6. Do your rings come with free professional cleaning ?

Most jewellers have ultrasonic machines specially designed to keep your rings clean. The ultrasonic literally shakes the dirt out from all the hard to reach places. This should be a free service that comes with all your jewellery. 

7. How long have you been in business ?

Longevity and legacy in a business is essential in building credibility and trust. Look for jewellery stores that have ideally been around more than 10 years. Jewellery stores have been known to come and go. A warranty is not worth anything, if the business is not around to fulfill it.

8. Ask your jeweller – What happens if a stone falls out ?

If a minor stone falls out for no apparent reason. Most reputable jewellery stores should replace the stone free of charge. To a manufacturing jewellery it is usually obvious why a stone has fallen out. If it is not due to wear and tear the stone should be replaced free of charge.  

9. Ask your jeweller – What happens if a stone comes loose ?  

It is quite normal for a stone to come loose through every day where. For a jewellery store with a professional diamond setter, it is a simple task to secure your stone. This should also be checked every time the ring is cleaned. 

10. What insurance do you recommend for the rings ?

Because jewellers are often dealing with insurance companies through the claim process, they generally have a good idea about which insurance company is going to look after you the best, in the event of a loss. 

Would love to hear from you. What questions did you ask your jeweller ? Please post your questions below. 


Advice or tips, Jewellery, Wedding

Do you know a tradie that would like a scratch resistant metal ?

rough wedder

While some guys can be a little unfazed by the metal of their wedding bands, more and more are looking for low maintenance better wearing wedding rings. As time goes on, new technology and advancements are bringing new metals to the market. The latest metal out is now even better than the current range of platinum wedding rings. 

Normal platinum wedding rings are stamped with 950 (when means there is only a 5% alloy added), whereas with the new Dora platinum 600 they have added in a new alloy – tungsten (which is considered one of the best scratch resistant metals available). The downside of tungsten is that like titanium, it can’t be resized. To combat this the metallurgists came up with a solution – combining it with platinum. By doing this they have combined the best of both worlds – a strong scratch resistant metal that can also be resized. There is also another benefit of being alloyed with platinum – the Platinum600 never has to be rhodium plated, as it is a naturally white metal.

Here are the facts according to the vickers hardness scale of hardness (an international hardness testing application).

Hardness Rating

Platinum wedding rings

375: 110750: 150
Pt950: 200
Pt600: 220-240


Plat600 is 2 x harder than 9ct.
Plat600 is 50% harder than 18ct. 
Plat600 is also 20% harder than plat950.

So as you can see it is harder than all the other metals. The hardness has a direct impact on scratch resistance. As it is a hard metal, it will be very resistant to getting scratched.

Platinum wedding rings with Tungsten

If you have been considering purchasing some platinum wedding rings and would like to know more about our range of Plat600 platinum wedding rings, please feel free to shoot me an email.


P.S. Interesting Fact – Platinum is only found in 7 countries on Earth where gold can be mined from all countries. Which is another factor that shows the rarity of platinum.



Advice or tips, Engagement rings, Jewellery, Wedding

Diamonds in your wedding bandMatching a wedding band to your engagement ring should be an easy process if your engagement ring has been designed with this in mind. Almost every engagement ring can be made to sit flush with a wedding band. It just takes extra time and precise direction to angle the wires to a small base. While some ladies might be inclined to change their engagement ring at one time or another, most feel extremely sentimental about their wedding bands. So it is important to choose a band that you can see your self wearing for the next 40 -50 years.

Making a wedding ring to match your solitaire engagement ring

Having your wedding band compliment your engagement ring perfectly can make all the difference to the way the set looks. An expert craftsmen can shape the profile of the wedding band to match the engagement ring so it looks like the two were made at the same time.

What style of wedding ring will match my engagement ring ? 


traditional wedder

The great thing about a classic solitaire engagement ring is that you can have either a classic wedding band or a diamond wedding ring. It really depends on whether you love the”traditional” look your mum used to have or whether you would like something that reflects a bit more or “your style” The traditional wedder will generally give a a constant level of wear all around that band, as it will constantly spin on your finger. 

2. Engagement rings with shoulder set diamonds

matching diamond engagement rings

If your engagement ring has diamond set shoulder stones, the best matching option is to hand make the matching diamond band with the same setting. For example – If you have channel setting in the engagement ring, then your perfect match would be a channel set wedding band. Ideally one that starts and finishes as the same spot as your engagement ring. 

When choosing the size of the diamonds in your wedding band, I always recommend choosing the same size, and shape. Remember it is not just the wedding ring you have to think of, in a years time there will be an “eternity ring” on the other side. If you do want to go bigger in the diamond size, then make sure it is noticeably bigger. Otherwise it will look like you tried to make it matching but couldn’t. 

3.Wedding bands to avoid

mircopave wedders

Micro pave – the philosophy behind this setting style is to make the beads holding the diamonds in as small as possible to accentuate the diamonds. The problem with this is that the settings are not as secure and the diamonds are more likely to fall out. Unfortunately with this style it is not a case or IF your are going to loose a diamond it is a matter of WHEN. 

If you are looking for some advice on the best wedding ring to compliment your engagement ring, our friendly and helpful staff are always on hand to offer guidance and help you pick the perfect match to your engagement ring. 


Advice or tips, Engagement rings, Jewellery

Poor cutomer service

Bad customer service has become one of the central talking points of the modern retail experience. Have you ever walked into a shop and had to jump up and down, or stand on a soap box just to grab the attention of a disinterested salesperson? In an age where an increasing amount of transactions are completed online, one has to ask – are we losing the human touch? Customer service is becoming less about what the client wants, and more about what the sales person’s targets are or what they are trying to move. Here’s a list of six things one simply should not say to a client!

Customer Service No-No’s

1.This is what you should have…

A prime example of words usually uttered by a sales person that wasn’t interested in taking the time to learn about their client or what was going to serve their needs and desires. A professional sales person should be attentive to their clients, after all, they are the paying customer. Our job, as professional sales people, is to guide the client along their journey, even if just a little. 

2. No, you can’t have that…

disintersted staff

Let’s face it – who likes to hear the word no? Murphy’s law dictates that if there are two ways a product can be made, you will find the opposite to the one that you wanted. The role of a sales person is to find a way to make the object of a client’s desires attainable. My favourite mantra is – “The answer to every question is YES!

 3. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility…

This always strikes me as professional “buck” passing. A business should always confidently stand behind the products that they sell. You can’t be willing to accept a client’s money at the time of the sale and then hold them at arms length when something goes wrong. Not every transaction goes right 100% of the time, but the way that a business handles the occasional lapses in product quality and customer satisfaction, says a lot about an organisation and their staff. Have you ever had an Apple retail assistant turn around and say, “its the manufacturer’s responsibility”?

4. If you don’t buy it today, the price will go up tomorrow…

Often heard in stores that specialise in annual sales. This one always reminds me of the “Rug Man” sales. No one likes to be pressured into a sale with the threat of a price hike should they not make a purchase decision that fits with the sales assistant’s timeframe. Purchasing a stunning piece of jewellery should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, that isn’t solely focused on price.  

5. That’s our policy…

bad customer serviceNo two transactions are the same. Every piece of jewellery is as unique as the client wearing it. Having a blanket rule that is a one size fits all, is bound to leave some clients feeling left out in the cold. There is no reason a business should be inflexible to a client’s concerns. In business, there is always a compromise, where both parties can reach an outcome which is mutually beneficial. The last thing a business wants or needs, is for a disgruntled client to verbalise their concerns in a public forum. 

6. What’s your budget?

I find sales people that lead with this very abrasive. I find that it is better to avoid pigeon holing clients. It is far more advantageous to the client, and your business, to devote time to finding the perfect ring that ticks all of their boxes. If you only ever look at the rings in your budget, you may miss the perfect ring style. Almost every design can be customised to incorporate a different sized diamond. Not to mention that I have often seen clients come in with one figure in mind and leave with another, once you have taken the time to show them the differences in product quality. 

You should never have to settle for bad customer service. Shopping for an engagement or wedding rings should be an enjoyable experience. If a business does not show you, that you are one of the most valuable pieces to their organisation. Then show them, in the best way you can, by shopping somewhere else.

Those are my top six offending customer service phrases; feel free to add yours below. 


Diamond Advice, Engagement rings, Jewellery

diamonds used in Antique diamond rings Do you have some antique diamond rings lying around in your jewellery box sitting on your dresser? Not sure what to do with them? Why not have them remodeled into something more modern that you can and want to wear? Unfortunately a lot of the rings containing antique diamonds are very out dated and, more often than not, don’t do the diamond justice. You might be surprised, not only will remodeling grandma’s diamond ring make it a more beautiful, wearable piece, but it may increase the value of it too. The four most common types of antique cut diamonds are; the European cut diamond, the Old Mine cut diamond, the Rose cut diamond and the Single cut diamond.

Old European Cut Diamonds

antique diamond rings using an European cut diamondThe old European diamond is considered one of the most popular, traditional cuts. It has a very small table (top facet), a high crown and usually an open culet at the bottom (central circular window you can see in the middle of the diamond). This diamond cut was the precursor to the modern round brilliant cut. Unlike the modern round brilliant, most old European diamonds are slightly irregular in their circular shape. It is also quite common to have a few inclusions in these stones. While this might worry some who are looking at a modern round brilliant cut diamond, there are some that believe that it merely adds character. 

Remodelling Tips For Antique Diamond Rings

If you are looking at remodelling and breathing new life into your antique diamond ring, here are a few tips;

  1. Set the diamond in a bezel setting;
    • Because of their irregular cutting and girdle (outside perimeter), it can sometimes be a good idea to hide some of these imperfections in a bezel setting. This will make the diamond look more round and larger in size.
  2. Surround the antique diamond with a diamond halo;
    • Below is a remodelling commission that we completed recently with an old European cut diamond. If you look closely you can see the off center table facet (to the left of centre), and the little culet window at the bottom of the stone. The diamond halo does a great job of disguising the irregularities. 
  3. Set the diamond in white gold;
    • The white gold colour is also great for improving the colour of the stones in antique diamond rings, as most of them are in the H-I colour range. 

antique diamond rings remodeled

If you would like some ideas on remodelling old diamonds that have been handed down to you or inherited, please email me to arrange a time to draw up some 3D designs. We can also value your diamonds for you and prepare insurance valuation certificates where necessary. 

Recutting Diamonds from Antique Diamond Rings 

As you can see from the illustration on the right hand side, it is often better to leave some antique diamond rings in their current form. With the outside shape representing the old European cut diamond, and the inside diamond the modern brilliant cut diamond, you can often lose as much as 25% of their weight by having them recut. While the diamond might become brighter from recutting, it is usually not advisable if the diamond has a large culet or high crown unless the original diamond is quite large. 


Every old cut diamond is unique. The only way to decide whether recutting your diamond is the right option for you, is to have it assessed by a diamond cut expert. At Xennox Diamonds we have expert diamond cutters at our disposal who can provide free, professional advice on the best course of action. If you have any questions about remodelling antique diamond rings or recutting your diamond, please post them in the comments section or visit us in store. 



Advice or tips, Engagement rings, Jewellery

Jewellers and setters are very different trades even though they are connected to the same industry. Just as plumbers and electricians are separate trades but connected to the building trade, so too are jewellers and setters unique. Jewellers are involved in the construction of the ring, while setters are the ones responsible for securing the stones.   While some jewellers can set stones, it is usually best to leave it to a professional gem setter.


In Brisbane to become a jeweller, you must complete a four year apprenticeship under a fully qualified jeweller. As in all apprenticeships, apprentices of the appropriate age are able to receive a learning wage, which makes it economical for the employer to train them. In their 4 years, apprentices should learn all the basic techniques of making simple rings and carrying out repairs. At present, and at least for the next few years you are able to complete your jewellery apprenticeship in Brisbane. However due to falling numbers at Tafe and reduced government funding the future of jewellery apprenticeship scheme seems uncertain. 

Why do you need a hand made jeweller ?

Jewellers hand making fine jewellery

Jewellery that is made especially for a particular stone is always going to be better than an “off the shelf” setting that is trying to be squeezed or stretched to fit the stone. This is especially important in three stone settings, where it is vital that the stones overlap. A professional jeweller, must not only make sure that the stones and claws are positioned in the correct places, but the shoulder stones must be angled correctly to create a pleasing level appearance. When a jeweller is making a ring, they are constantly making adjustments to improve the aesthetics of the ring, something that is impossible to do in CAD or mass produced style rings. Metal that has been hammered is also always harder and tougher than cast metal. A mass produced ring, has very little room for modification, because all the pieces are set in their current positions. 



In Brisbane there is currently no provision for completing a setters apprenticeship. In England, a setters apprenticeship is normally five years. However here there is no such apprenticeship for setters, neither is there any subsidy for employers to train setters. Consequently there are no new setters being trained. The only new setters entering our industry are those that have traveled here from overseas, or are jewellers that have crossed over to become full time setters.jewellery setters bench

What exactly do setters do ? and why are they so important ?

Setters are crucial to maintaining the highest quality finish of a piece. Even if the ring is expertly hand crafted, if it is set poorly, the finished ring will look terrible. It is the setters job, to ensure that the stones are not only secured correctly and tightly into the ring, but they are also set level and straight. Stones that are not securely are prone to coming loose and falling out over time. If the shoulder diamonds  have not been set well, there may be gaps between the stones. Channel set rings, will not have straight bright cuts (the inside lines between the stone and the metal) , and their may be gaps at the end of the channel. This will become noticeable as the rings become dirty, as the dirt often gets trapped in the gaps. It goes without saying that the centre stone should be properly set. Poorly set centre stones, will not only through off the symmetry of the ring, if they are not set in the middle, but they can also be prone to coming loose, and if not regularly checked – lost. Another symptom of a stone that hasn’t been set correctly is catching of threads under the claws. A properly set stone should be nice and smooth on top, and have no gap between the stone and the claw. If you are finding that your clothes are catching on your claws, simply bring them into us, and we can secure the claws correctly on your stone.

At Xennox Diamonds, we have full time jewellers and a setter, to make sure there is never any compromise in the finished product. Our standard for choosing to only work with the best diamonds and metals, applies to our jewellers and setter too, to ensure that you will receive enjoyment from your treasured piece for many years to come. If you are finding your are having problems with your setting, please don’t hesitate to email us, or pop in for a free inspection.