OUR MINIMUM STANDARDS
While the 4C’s are the universally accepted method of measuring stones, at Sutcliffe our strict quality standards go well beyond this popular, but oversimplified method.
Many jewellers choose to place the size of the stone above its potential beauty. We will always recommend considering the cut, colour and clarity of a gemstone over its size. The beauty and sparkle of a gemstone should be the primary considerations, and we work meticulously to source only the very best gemstones available.
Every gem is unique, but some, even from the same grade, are more unique than others. This is where Sutcliffe offers you the greatest value, by ensuring that you are getting the absolute best gemstones possible.
THE METALS WE USE AND WHY
18 carat gold and platinum are the most commonly used metals in our engagement and wedding rings. Sutcliffe jewellers do not use 9 or 14 carat gold in their jewellery as it is typically an inferior metal to work with. 9 carat gold is only 37% gold! We are also very careful where we source our metals from. Some metals produced contain alloys and treatments that are actually toxic when worn! Below you’ll find our guide to all things metal.
The main distinguishing characteristic between gold and platinum is the colour. While platinum is naturally white, gold is naturally yellow. The choice is one of style. If you prefer a yellow ring, then gold (also termed yellow gold) is the best option for you. However, if you want a white ring, you can opt for either platinum or white gold.
So what’s the difference between yellow and white gold? 18 carat white gold and 18 carat yellow gold have the same gold content and purity, but the alloys in white gold (and the rhodium plating) make it appear white, while the alloys in yellow gold do not.
While gold and platinum are similar in price (when measured by weight), platinum is denser, and so more of it is required to make a ring. Also, platinum rings are usually made from 95% pure platinum, while 18k gold is 75% gold. The price of gold and platinum is also heavily influenced by international markets. When designing your ring with us we can help you understand the cost implications here.
Though both gold and platinum are strong and durable precious metals, platinum is the more durable of the two. For example, the claws holding the center stone of a platinum engagement ring are less likely to break than those of a gold engagement ring.
SCUFFS AND SCRATCHES
Despite being stronger and more durable, platinum is a softer metal (than 18k gold). This means it will get scratched a little easier than a 18k gold ring would.
However, an important thing to note is that when gold is scratched, the gold is lost leaving a scratch on the metal. When platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the ring to another. This develops something called a patina finish (which looks like an antique or worn ring). This patina finish is often the desired look of platinum lovers.
Because Platinum is denser than gold, platinum rings are heavier to wear. This comes down to personal choice while some prefer the heavier weight; some find the lightness of gold rings to be more comfortable. If comfortable is a concern, you could opt for one with a comfortable design, like this men’s fingerprint wedding band.
SIZE VS QUALITY
These two features will contribute the greatest amount to your ring’s final appearance and price, so we take great care to guide you through these crucial decisions.
We will always recommend that you select the stone with the best-cut grade for your budget. The quality and precision of a diamond’s cut contribute the most to the overall fire (coloured light reflected from within the stone) and brilliance (white light reflected up through the top of a diamond) of the stone. It is these characteristics that create the overall beauty of the diamond.
At Sutcliffe, it is our goal to find the best diamond for your budget and to balance the factors that are most important to you. You may choose a larger, lower quality diamond, or you may prefer a smaller, high-quality diamond, it all depends on your preferred look and feel of the ring.
SELECTING A COMBINATION THAT WORKS FOR YOU.
When you work with us, our easy and informative process will step you through each decision in the creation of your beautiful and unique engagement ring.
There is a misconception that you must pay a premium for custom engagement jewellery, however, at Sutcliffe, this is simply not the case. We work with you and your budget, and by using the gemstones and metal options available to us; we can tailor the perfect ring at a price that suits. There is no pressure to spend more, and we’re always happy to talk through options.
Drop us a line, or make an appointment to come in for a chat. We’re happy to help.