We maintain a modern, fully-equipped workshop to support any and all types of jewellery making in house and in full view. You can have your custom jewellery designed by Koukii designs and see exactly where the piece will be created, we can explain and show you how real handmade jewellery is created.
Koukii Designs Guide to Keeping your Jewellery Sparkling
· With silver, gold and platinum jewellery (with the exception of opals, pearls and emeralds, as these are porous, please see below information on selected gemstones and how to care for them) you can leave to soak for a short time in a bowl of warm water mild liquid detergent and a spoonful of cloudy Amonia to soften the dirt, then use a soft toothbrush to take away any residue, for example, hand cream, soap and everyday dirt (more details below)
· Always store your jewellery individually in the packaging it came in or a jewellery box, to avoid tangled chains or tarnishing
· Check your jewellery regularly for any wear and tear –
Try really hard not to…
· Expose your jewellery to any chemicals such as household cleaners and perfumes as these could cause damage and discolouration to the surface of your jewellery (that means ‘no’ to cleaning any of your jewellery with vinegar, gin and coca cola, which can be very acidic!)
· Wear your jewellery during activities such as exercising or gardening to avoid knocking or scratching. Stones do not come loose unless knocked
· Let it have prolonged contact with hard or abrasive surfaces. Avoid carrying heavy bags when wearing delicate rings or bracelets as these can cause damage or misshapen your jewellery.
Cleaning your jewellery at home
Tarnish: Silver can tarnish (turn dull or grey) over time if unworn or stored against other items of jewellery. Tarnish can be removed with a non-abrasive silver polishing cloth or liquid silver dip. Both are available from Supermarkets and/or shoe repair shops. We’d recommend that silver dip is only used occasionally as over-use can be detrimental to your jewellery. Full instructions for use will be given on the packaging.
Sparkle: To get your jewellery sparkling again (with the exception of opals, pearls and emeralds, as these are porous) leave to soak for a short time in a bowl of warm water with a mild liquid detergent and a spoonful of cloudy Amonia. Then, using a soft bristle toothbrush gently clean over the surface and in and behind any stone settings. Avoid harder bristled brushes or new toothbrushes as these can leave scratches on the surface of the metal. Rinse the piece under running water and use a soft cloth to dry the piece. Be careful if the diamonds are in claw-settings as these may catch on certain cloths.
Pearls: The golden rule with all pearl jewellery is to put it on as the final touch - after you have dressed, styled your hair and applied your make-up. Avoid wearing your jewellery when bathing, allow all creams to soak in and perfumes to dry before putting-on any pearl jewellery - this will also keep any chains, ring shanks or earring settings which feature pearls clean. When you remove your pearl jewellery, wipe it over with a lint-free cloth. This will not only lift any surface dirt, but will also gently polish the pearls.
Pearls can be cleaned using a mild detergent and water solution, and a soft cloth. Avoid chemicals or strong soapy cleaners and abrasive cloths. Allow your pearls to air dry.
Store them in a soft bag made from leather, velvet, or the equivalent. If you wear a string of pearls regularly, make sure you have them re-strung once a year; a regular 40cm single strand can cost from $35 and up to be re-strung. Likewise, a pearl necklace which may not have been worn for sometime should be checked for any wear before being worn.
Special finishes explained:
Diamond texture: Being a rough finish you may find over a long period of time the surface starts to becomes flat, this ring is designed to be a dress ring only and not an everyday ring. Please brinig the piece in to the studio for re-texturing cost starts from $30 and up.
Matt finish: When a piece of jewellery has a matt finish you may find over a long period of time the surface starts to become polished. If this happens it's not a problem as we are able to re-finish the item for you.
Rhodium Plating: A member of the platinum group, rhodium is a rare silvery-white hard metal and is one of the most expensive metals worldwide. Found in the use of jewellery, it is used as a coating on white Gold (seeing there is a yellow gold content, a slight ting yellow shows through) Rhodium is used to make the metal look whiter and diamonds sparkle brighter. It is occasionally used on sterling silver to strengthen the metal from tarnish caused by the copper contained in silver and if a customer request it. If you have purchased a 9ct, 14ct or 18ct White Gold ring you may wish to have it polished and re-rhodium plated annually (Approximately $65 per piece). It will walk out looking like new again!
Gold plating: Gold plating (also called Gold vermeil): Some of our fashion pieces (or requested by our clients) are sterling silver with a gold plate finish. This process is achieved by microns of gold being fused to the surface of the silver. Gold plating is a surface finish so it can be susceptible to wear, but if looked after correctly signs of wearing should only occur over a long period of time. Avoid wearing gold plated jewellery when swimming or bathing, and remove rings before applying hand cream as the acids in moisturisers can affect the longevity of the plating. Perfumes can also affect gold plated necklaces, so allow your perfume to dry before putting on gold plated jewellery. Gold plating is available at Koukii Designs for already plated pieces or silver items you might wish to plate. There are some restrictions on items containing some materials as they will not be able to be gold plated.
Matt and polished finishes: When a piece of jewellery has a matt finish – a smooth, non-shiny surface – you may find over time the surface starts to become polished. Similarly, polished rings will take on subtle surface marks with wear, and their appearance will dull slightly. If this happens, both finishes are easily achieved, we are able to re-finish items for you at Koukii Designs.
All care is taken to produce an original Koukii Designs piece. Warranties extend to manufacturing faults only - these will be repaired at no cost. The warranty does not extend to normal wear and tear and the warranty expires 3 months from the date of purchase.
We repair items made by Koukii Designs, but when it comes to other jewellers work we put as much care as we would our own jewellery but, will take no responsibility if something that is to happen to the piece that would be out of our control, for example, older Jewellery may look strong and in good condition but the appearance is often deceptive and the metal may have become weak and brittle. Some jewellers may have used the wrong solders and even repairing the piece the wrong way, weakening the piece even more.
Here at Koukii Designs we use an array of precious metals. Below is a list of the metals found in our range with an explanation of their make-up.
Used in a very pure form, Platinum’s wear and tarnish resistance characteristics make this almost white metal particularly suited to ﬁ ne jewellery. While Platinum’s popularity is higher than ever, its value changes in line with its availability, but is normally around 200% the value of Gold.
Platinum and 18ct Gold are both malleable metals and will dent if hit on surfaces harder than themselves. Settings may become loose if knocked. Stones do not come loose unless knocked.
Yellow Gold Jewellery
Gold is the softest and most malleable of the precious metal family. As a pure metal, it is too soft for most jewellery applications and must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength and durability. Fine Gold is also a very rich yellow, therefore to colour the Gold, it has to become an alloy. That is to say, the 24 carat, 100%, Gold has other metals added to make it 18ct or 9ct coloured Gold. 18ct Yellow Gold can be made from 75% Pure Gold with 12.5% Silver and 12.5% Copper. 9ct Yellow Gold may have 37.5% Gold, 15% Silver and 47.5% Copper.
The Gold Myth
In Australia, there is a choice between 9,14 and 18 carat (ct) gold. It is a common misconception that 9ct gold is harder wearing than 14 or 18ct gold. 9ct has a Vickers hardness of 120 and 18ct has a Vickers hardness of 125. While this shows that 18ct is harder, in practical terms 9ct and 18ct are much the same. 9ct is however, more difficult to bend and is a little springier than 18ct. Therefore a thin 9ct ring may be less likely to bend out of shape than a thin 18ct ring. However, if your jewellery is of good sturdy construction, neither metal will be likely to bend out of shape. The gold content in 9ct gold is very little, it has more parts copper and silver than actual gold. But, it is not so much about the proportion of gold but the types of metal it has been alloyed with that dictates how hard wearing the item of jewellery will be. It is, in fact, more likely that 18ct gold will be harder wearing than 9ct.
Because using 9ct is often mixed with softer inexpensive metals, whereas 18ct gold is often alloyed with more expensive and harder wearing metals; 9ct uses less expensive alloys to help maintain the price structure between 9 and 18ct gold. You could; of course, mix 9ct gold with hard wearing metals but the added costs would be closer to that of 18ct gold.
White gold jewellery
To produce White Gold, a combination from either Silver, Platinum, Palladium or Zinc will be added.
White gold jewellery may be cared for in the same way as yellow gold. As most white gold products have been rhodium plated, it is important to note that rhodium plating is not permanent. Rhodium plating will fade or wear over time. As it wears, the original colour of the metal beneath will show through. The length of time rhodium plating will last on a piece of jewellery depends on the individual wearer. Some people may find that the plating wears quite rapidly, while others will find that the colour lasts for a long period. In order to maintain the bright white colour, jewellery may be re-rhodium plated by a jeweller, as often as desired.
Rose gold Jewellery
For Pink Gold, Copper will be added to the mix of Gold and white metals.
Rose gold has a higher copper content than yellow gold, giving it a rose-reddish colour.
Sterling Silver is actually an alloy of Silver, containing 92.5% Pure Silver and 7.5% other metals, normally Copper. Fine Silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for making most jewellery items, and so it is alloyed with Copper to give it strength and durability. Like other white metals, Fine Silver is fairly resistant to tarnishing, however, when alloyed with other metals (normally Copper) it can react with Oxygen. Other white metals can be used in the alloy (at extra cost), which will improve resistance to tarnishing and preserve the metal’s whiteness.
Silver is quite soft and not as durable as other metals, the advantage however, is the price, when compared to gold, platinum etc. Sterling Silver will tarnish, requiring regular cleaning. Some people may experience skin reactions to sterling silver.
White Gold Diamond Jewellery
Gemstones that we use:
Our natural stones include diamonds, sapphires, garnet, aquamarine, rubies, agate (white & black), onyx, howlite, amethyst, carnelian, lapis, jadeite, chalcedony, amazonite, turquoise, chrysophrase, prenite, pearl, coral and quartz (with colours including clear, black, smoky, pink, and green), just to name a few.
Natural stones have a unique quality with some containing inclusions. (An inclusion is any foreign object, be it solid, liquid or gas, trapped within a rock or mineral during the formation).This leaves the stone with a natural and unique pattern, for example, tourmaline and rutilated quartz.
Synthetic & reconstructed stones.
Synthetic stones: Include cubic zirconia (CZ), which is fashioned under high temperatures
(up to 2300 degrees Celcius) and high pressure in special chamber known as a skull crucible. Special oxides of copper, titanium, iron and nickel are added during the final processes
to create various colours.
Hydro-thermal quartz: Produced in a chamber under high temperature and pressure but using a water base and is best described as being a 'grown' gem.
Reconstructed stones: A mixture of a natural stone crushed and mixed with a strong acrylic resin creating an inexpensive alternative to its costly counterpart. There are many different gemstones, all with individual characteristics, colours, cuts and care-guides.
Below we have outlined the most popular gemstones used in our jewellery sold at Koukii Designs, and how to care for them:
Garnet - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (a warm liquid solution bath which ‘shakes’ trapped dirt and removed grease from the surface of jewellery). At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Emerald – Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner, due to its brittle nature. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Opal - Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner, as opals are soft porous stones which can crack under extreme changes of heat or atmosphere. At home, use a dry or damp cloth to clean the surface of the stone.
Peridot - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (available at Koukii Designs). Use a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Ruby - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (a service available at Koukii Designs ). At home, use a soft toothbrush with warm, soapy water. Ammonia-based cleaners are OK to use. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Sapphire - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (available at Koukii Designs). Use a soft toothbrush with warm, soapy water, ammonia-based cleaners or rubbing alcohol. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Tanzanite - Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use warm, soapy water and dry with a soft clean cloth.
Topaz - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (available at Koukii Designs. Use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Tourmaline - Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (a service available at Koukii Designs). At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.
Diamond: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.
Quartz: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.
Aquamarine: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.
These are just to name a few, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or contact the studio on 02 9267 0122.