How to buy jewellery that lasts a lifetime

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 April 2020

45pt centre platinum sapphire

45pt centre platinum sapphire


Charlotte Gatward, eighth generation of jewellers at Gatwards of Hitchin, looks at how demand is changing the industry

Charlotte Gatward outside the 260 year old business in HitchinCharlotte Gatward outside the 260 year old business in Hitchin

While footfall on the high street may be down, people are spending their money on fewer but quality items of jewellery. We live in uncertain times and it is worth noting that an investment piece of fine jewellery will hold its value whereas several items of fashion jewellery may not.

When buying a piece of jewellery think about what you love and what would suit you rather than what is in fashion. You want to enjoy that piece for a lifetime and hope to pass it on to future generations. Having said that, we have noticed that yellow gold is having a renaissance where white gold was so popular before and coloured gemstones are enjoying a moment. Of course, diamonds are a girl’s best friend and they will never go out of fashion.

Of course there is plenty of information and jewellery available for sale online but it will never replace the experience of spending time with a trusted jeweller to choose that perfect piece. Our aim is to put the sparkle into buying jewellery.

Repair & repurpose

As people value what they have, and the ‘make do and mend’ culture grows, the repairs business at Gatwards has grown. Consumers are becoming much more conscious of their impact on our environment and are looking to repair their jewellery or bring a forgotten piece of jewellery back to life.

Many people inherit items of jewellery from loved ones which they may never wear as it may not be to their taste and we can help them repurpose it into something that they will love and enjoy wearing whilst still retaining the stones from the original piece so that their loved one is never forgotten.

Jewellery is already a sustainable commodity. Gold, platinum and silver are recyclable metals and gemstones, having come from the natural world, will last forever and not end up in landfill like plastic. Fine jewellery is made to last and even if tastes and fashionschange over the years, gemstones can be removed and re-set into more modern designs.

It is a common misconception that ‘lab grown’ diamonds are more sustainable as they are not being mined, but in fact the way they are made uses a huge amount of energy. The diamond-producing machines have to equal the heat and pressure of a volcanic eruption and so the carbon offset for this would be enormous.

Diamond mining has helped communities in places such as Botswana, which is the source of many of the world’s largest and most beautiful diamonds. The revenue raised from selling these precious stones has gone into improving the lives of Botswana’s small population of two million people.

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