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Article: Understated Luxury - London Style

Understated Luxury - London Style

Understated Luxury - London Style

Embracing Understated Luxury: The Timeless Appeal of Antique Styles and Old Cut Diamonds

Hello again, diamond lovers! Katherine here, welcoming you back to the KJJ Diamonds blog. This evening, we’re sashaying into the world of understated luxury, luxuriating in the elegance of antique jewellery styles and going weak at the knees for the captivating charm of old cut diamonds. We’ll also take a journey through the rich history of London as a global centre for fine jewellery, and look at how the city itself has influenced the jewellery we wear and love today. So, grab a cup of tea and settle in for a sparkling read!

The Essence of Understated Luxury

In a world where trends come and go, there’s something incredibly special about the enduring appeal of antique jewellery styles. Understated luxury is all about elegance that whispers rather than shouts—pieces that exude sophistication through their craftsmanship, and timeless beauty. At KJJ, we’re passionate about bringing this time honoured sense of refined elegance to our collection, and it’s especially prevalent in our selection of old cut diamonds in the Heritage Collection.

The Allure of Old Cut Diamonds

Old cut diamonds, also known as antique diamonds, date back to a time before modern cutting techniques were developed. These diamonds were hand-cut, often by candlelight, which gives them a unique charm and character. Unlike the precision of today’s brilliant cuts, old cuts have a softer, more romantic glow, with larger facets that create a distinctive, mesmerising play of light.

Old Mine Cut: With a slightly cushion-shaped outline and a high crown, these diamonds have a vintage charm that’s hard to resist.
Old European Cut: The predecessor to the modern round brilliant, these diamonds feature a round shape with a smaller table and larger culet, offering a soft, elegant sparkle.

Timeless Antique Styles

Antique jewellery styles are characterised by their intricate designs and meticulous craftsmanship. From Victorian and Edwardian to Art Deco and Art Nouveau, each era has left its mark on the world of jewellery, offering a rich look book of designs that are as unique as they are beautiful.

Victorian Era: Known for its romantic and ornate designs, Victorian jewellery often features intricate metalwork, colourful gemstones, and symbolic motifs.
Edwardian Era: This period introduced delicate, lacy designs with a focus on platinum and diamonds, creating ethereal, elegant pieces.
Art Deco Era: Characterised by geometric patterns, bold lines, and a sense of glamour, Art Deco jewellery remains a favourite for its timeless appeal.

The History of London as a Jewellery Centre

Londons oldest jeweller, Garrard, predates the signing of the Declaration of Independence by over fifty years. London has long been a hub for the jewellery trade, with a history that spans centuries, way further back than Garrard first opening their doors in 1735. The city’s reputation as a centre of excellence in jewellery making can be traced back to the medieval period. However, it was in the 14th century that London truly began to shine as a major player in the world of jewellery, thanks in part to the establishment of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

The Assay Office: Ensuring Quality and Purity

The Assay Office, a cornerstone of London’s jewellery history, was established in 1300. Its primary role is to test and hallmark precious metals, ensuring their quality and purity. This hallmarking process gives buyers confidence that they are purchasing genuine and high-quality items.

  • The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office: Located in Goldsmiths’ Hall, the Assay Office is one of the oldest in the world. It has been testing and hallmarking precious metals for over 700 years, playing a crucial role in maintaining the standards of the jewellery industry.
  • A Mark of Trust: Each piece of jewellery that passes through the Assay Office is stamped with a hallmark that includes the maker’s mark, the assay office mark, the fineness mark, and the year of hallmarking. This hallmark serves as a guarantee of authenticity and quality, a tradition that has stood the test of time.

And at three doors up from the London Assay Office, in the heart of the city’s jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden, we are right in the very thick of it. London has been the beating heart of the UK’s diamond and jewellery trade since the medieval period. Here’s a brief look at London’s illustrious history as a jewellery hub:

Medieval Period: Goldsmiths and jewellers began establishing themselves in London, laying the foundations for what would become a thriving trade.
16th and 17th Centuries: The discovery of new gemstone sources and the influx of wealth from overseas expeditions fueled the growth of London’s jewellery industry.
18th and 19th Centuries: The rise of the British Empire brought an influx of exotic gems and materials, cementing London’s reputation as a global jewellery centre.
Modern Day: Today, London remains a beacon of fine jewellery, with Hatton Garden at its core, housing some of the world’s most skilled craftsmen and prestigious jewellers.

Bringing History to Life at KJJ Diamonds

At KJJ Diamonds, we honour this rich heritage by offering pieces that celebrate the beauty of antique styles and old cut diamonds. Each piece in our collection is a testament to the timeless elegance and enduring appeal of classic luxury. We believe that true beauty lies in the details, and our jewellery reflects this philosophy, combining tried and tested designs we love, with the newest cutting edge materials, and the finest craftsmanship.

Join the Journey

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the history of London’s jewellery scene. Stay tuned for more insights, stories, and updates from KJJ Diamonds. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest news and exclusive offers. Share your own KJJ Diamonds moments with the hashtag #KJJDiamonds, and you might be featured on our page!

Keep shining, and I’ll see you next week!

Warmest regards,

Founder of KJJ Diamonds

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