Saturday, February 1, 2014


This heart is not for your sweet heart, for the faint of heart, or for those heart to hearts.

It is for the the heartbreakers.

This collection was designed not as a token of love. It is a shield; a fortress. Guard your heart and be fearless.

An 18k rose gold collection - designed and handmade by 18Karat.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hot Off the Polishing Wheel - The Dichotomy Diamond Ring

2014 feels like it's going to be a big year for 18Karat - we are excited about the new collections to be launched in the next few weeks as well as some incredible events and exhibitions coming in the next few months. Our collective energy is high - despite the record low thermostat - and that sense of adventure is bound to be reflected in our jewellery. Without further ado  - the Diamond Dichotomy Ring.

This ring is the second (possibly third) incarnation of design based on contrast and aesthetic opposition - a diamond, off-set and within a scalloping form, is ballanced by a perfectly matching row of top-quality emeralds. The diamond set in 18k white gold and the emeralds in yellow. It is also hard to see in the above photo, but we drilled a tube into the profile of the ring and set diamonds on either side. It is truly a stunning piece.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ABSOLUTE - a call for entry.

We a thrilled to be hosting Zilberscmuck's 10th anniversary  juried exhibition in May of 2014 - we encourage all Canadian artists to submit work using the below guidelines as this exhibition promises to be exceptional!
Zilberschmuck 2014 Call for Entries in English followed with French
Traduction libre de l’anglais au français : Audrey Boudreault
Zilberschmuck invites Canadian metal smiths to participate in the 10th annual national juried exhibition of fine jewellery and metalwork and this year will be hosted by18Karat – Toronto’s custom goldsmith since 1961.
What does ABSOLUTE mean to you? It is defined as complete and perfect. It can also be free from restrictions, exceptions, and limitations. Absolute is also pure, not mixed or adulterated. It is certain and positive in opinion and evidence.
What can you construct that can be called ABSOLUTE? Will defining a problem, executing an experiment and measuring the results create absolute proof? Or can you illustrate an absolute truth or the opposite, an absolute lie? Will you form something absolutely perfect as defined, like a sphere? Or will you free yourself from all limitations and utilize absolute freedom in your creation?
Zilberschmuck invites jewellers and metal artists to participate in a juried exhibition exploring formal and conceptual manifestations behind the word ABSOLUTE and forge, form or fabricate metal works reflecting their response to the theme.
Create up to two different pieces; hollowware, sculptural or wearable metalwork containing a significant amount of metal, but not excluding gemstones, pearls, glass, etc., reflecting the theme and send the work along with an accompanying essay, 150 words or less, to explain your interpretation. The competition is open to all professional and student metal artists living and working in Canada.
The entries will be judged on their craftsmanship, design and responsiveness to the theme.
ABSOLUTE – May 1st to May 31st, 2014
275 Dundas West, Toronto. 
Mon to Fri 10:30 to 6:00, Sat 10:30 to 5:00, Sun Closed.
Deadline for entries:  Friday, March 28th at 5:00 PM
Opening reception: Thursday, May 8th, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at 18Karat.

ABSOLUTE – Submission Requirements
Deadline for entries: Friday, March 28 - Exhibition: May 1 to May 31, 2014
1.  Entrants must be metal artists living and working in Canada. The submitted design(s) must be original, fabricated metal works reflecting the theme of the Exhibition; works must have been completed after Sept 2013.
2.  Entrants may submit up to two (2) entries for one fee. They may be hollowware, sculptural objects or jewellery. Size restrictions – 8” x 8” x 8” maximum; weight restrictions – 2 lbs. maximum.  Please contact Zilberschmuck to discuss any possible issues so we may discuss alternative display options.
3.  Entries must be available for exhibition at 18Karat, 275 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, from May 1 to May 31, 2014.
4.  Each entry must be accompanied with the title of the piece, entry form and an artist’s statement, 150 words or less, explaining how the work reflects the theme of the exhibition. The statement should be clearly typewritten on a single sheet of paper that does not bear the entrants name or any other identifying marks. Entrants will also include an electronic version of the statement on a CD, in a Word or text file document. Do not send a PDF version. If your submission is multi-functional, please include photographs to illustrate the concept for the jury.
5.  Artists whose pieces are accepted for the exhibition grant permission for their work to be photographed. By submitting work, the artist grants to Zilberschmuck the right to use such photographs for the purposes of promoting and publicizing the Exhibition, Zilberschmuck and 18Karat.
6. All designs must be reasonably priced and available for sale. In the event of sales the artist to receive 50% of the retail price, Zilberschmuck and 18Karat shall each be entitled to a commission of 25% of the retail price, all prices exclusive of sales taxes. In the event of a sale, the artist shall be paid within 30 days of the close of the Exhibition by 18Karat.
7. While on 18Karat’s premises, the work will be at 18Karat’s risk. In the event of damage to the work, compensation will be limited to the reasonable cost of repair. In the event of loss or theft, the artist shall receive the applicable consignment percentage as if the piece had been purchased.
Fee: $25.00 – Cash, INTERAC e-Transfer or cheques made payable to Zilberschmuck. The fee is non-refundable. Do not send cash in the mail.
Packaging Instructions:
Entries must be packed in a box with the artist’s contact information, artist’s statement about the work, CD of statement, entry fee, entry form, return mailing label and sufficient postage for return shipping. (Canada Post’s website, offers shipping prices based on size, weight and distance. You may send self-addressed pre-paid postage envelopes, stamps, or cheques for return postage.) The box must be strong enough to withstand repeated mailings. Zilberschmuck accepts no responsibility for work damaged, improperly packed or lost during shipping to or from Zilberschmuck. Insure as required. Arrangements are required for drop off and return hand pick up.
Mailed or courier for delivery on or before March 28, 2014. Zilberschmuck is not responsible for late deliveries, please allow for shipping and delivery delays. Ship to:
Zilberschmuck Attn: Cheryl Fraser,
1630 Danforth Av, PO Box 72034, Toronto, ON, M4C 1H0.
Hand deliver to Cheryl Fraser at Shao Design, 35 Golden Ave, Unit A101, Toronto, between 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM on March 28, 2014. Please phone 416-871-5885 to make arrangements for hand delivery.
Awards to be presented include:
Best in Show
Best Utilization of Gemstones or Pearls
Best in Design Innovation
Best in Technical Achievement
Honourable Mentions
1ier au 31 mai 2014
Zilberschmuck invite les artistes canadiens qui travaillent le métal à participer à la 10eexposition nationale de joaillerie fine et de travail du métal dont l’hôte cette année sera18Karat – l’orfèvre de Toronto depuis 1961.
Qu’est-ce qu’ABSOLU signifie pour vous? C’est par définition complet et parfait.  Ça peut aussi être libre de restrictions, d’exceptions et de limitations. Absolu, c’est aussi pur, non mélangé ou dénaturé. C’est certain et positif en opinion et en évidence.
Que pouvez-vous construire qui puisse être qualifié d’ABSOLU? Est-ce que définir un problème, exécuter une expérience et mesurer les résultats constituera une preuve absolue? Ou pouvez-vous illustrer une vérité absolue, ou encore son opposé, un mensonge absolu? Allez-vous former quelque chose d’absolument parfait tel que défini, comme une sphère? Ou allez-vous vous libérer de toutes limitations et utiliser la liberté absolue de votre imagination dans votre création?
Zilberschmuck invite les joailliers et les artistes du métal à participer à cette exposition avec jury pour explorer les manifestations formelles et conceptuelles derrière le motABSOLU.  Les artistes sont invités à forger, à former, à fabriquer une œuvre reflétant leur réponse face au thème.
Créez jusqu’à deux oeuvres différentes comprenant une quantité significative de métal, mais n’excluant pas les pierres, les perles, le verre, etc., reflétant le thème et envoyez les pièces accompagnées d’un texte explicatif de 150 mots ou moins qui justifie votre interprétation. La compétition est ouverte à tous les artistes professionnels et aux étudiants qui travaillent le métal et qui vivent et travaillent au Canada. Les candidatures seront jugées pour la qualité du travail et du design ainsi que sur leur lien avec le thème.
ABSOLU – 1ier au 31 mai 2014
275 Dundas West, Toronto.
Lundi au vendredi 10:30 à 18:00, samedi 10:30 to 17:00, fermé le dimanche.
Date de tombée:  vendredi le 28 mars à 17:00
Vernissage: jeudi le 8 mai, 19:00 chez 18Karat
ABSOLU – Exigences de présentation
Date limite d’inscription : Vendredi le 28 mars 17h – Exposition: Du 1ier au 31 mai 2014
Prendre note que la version anglaise des règlements est la version officielle et est disponible sur
1.  Les candidats doivent être des artistes Canadiens qui travaillent le métal. Les propositions doivent être originales, portables, fabriquées dans le métal et reflétant le thème de l’exposition : l’œuvre doit avoir été réalisée après septembre 2013.
2.  Les candidats peuvent soumettre jusqu’à 2 pièces pour un seul coût de participation. Ce peut être des sculptures, de l’orfèvrerie ou de la joaillerie.Restrictions de taille – 8” x 8” x 8” maximum; restrictions de poids – 2 lbs. maximum. S’il-vous-plaît contacter Zilberschmuck pour discuter tout problème et considérer de possibles alternatives de presentation.
3.  Les pièces doivent être disponibles pour l’exposition chez 18Karat, 275 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON du 1ier au 31 mai 2014.
4.  Chaque entrée doit être accompagnée par le titre de la pièce, le formulaire de participation et une démarche artistique de 150 mots ou moins, afin d’expliquer comment la pièce reflète le thème de l’exposition. Le texte doit être dactylographié sur une feuille ne contenant pas le nom du candidat, ni aucune autre trace d’indentification. Les candidats devront aussi inclure une version électronique de cette description sur un cd, en format Word ou document texte. Ne pas envoyer de fichier PDF. Si votre soumission est multi-fonctionnelle, s’il-vous-plaît inclure des photos pour illustrer le concept pour le jury.
5.  Les artistes dont les pièces seront sélectionnées donnent la permission que celles-ci soient photographiées. En soumettant leur projet, les artistes donnent à Zilberschmuck le droit de diffuser ces photos pour faire la promotion de l’exposition, de Zilberschmuck et 18Karat.
6.  Toutes les propositions doivent être disponibles pour la vente et être à un prix raisonnable. Dans ce contexte de vente, l’artiste recevra 50% du prix de détail, Zilberschmuck et 18Karat auront chacun droit à une commission de 25% du prix de détail, les prix n’incluant pas les taxes de vente. Le pourcentage applicable à la vente de l’objet sera payé à l’artiste dans un délai de 30 jours après la clôture de l’exposition chez 18Karat.
7.  Pendant la durée de l’exposition, les oeuvres relèveront de l’entière responsabilité de 18Karat. Si une pièce est endommagée, la compensation se limitera au coût de la réparation. Dans l’éventualité de perte ou de vol, l’artiste recevra le pourcentage applicable comme si la pièce avait été vendue.
Coût de participation: 25,00$ – Payable en argent, transfert électronique INTERAC ou par chèque libellé à Zilberschmuck. Les coûts sont non-remboursables. Ne pas envoyer d’argent comptant par la poste.
Instructions pour lemballage:
Les œuvres doivent être emballées dans une boîte contenant les coordonnées de l’artiste, le texte explicatif sur papier et un CD avec la version électronique, un chèque couvrant les coûts de participation. Vous devez également acquitter les frais de poste pour le retour. (Le site de Poste Canada,, offre des prix d’envoi basés sur la taille, le poids et la distance. Vous pouvez envoyer des enveloppes prépayées auto-adressées, des timbres ou un chèque couvrant le tarif de retour.) L’emballage doit être assez résistant pour supporter le voyage aller-retour par la poste. Zilberschmuck ne prend aucune responsabilité concernant les pièces endommagées, mal emballées ou perdues pendant la livraison vers Zilberschmuck et à leur retour. Assurez vos pièces convenablement. Des arrangements peuvent être pris si vous désirez venir porter ou chercher votre pièce directement.
Date de tombée:
Les œuvres doivent avoir été reçues au plus tard le 28 mars 2014. Zilberschmuck n’est pas responsable des retards de la poste, allouez quelques jours pour la livraison. Envoyez les pièces à l’adresse suivante :
Zilberschmuck, a/s: Cheryl Fraser, 1630 Danforth Av, PO Box 72034, Toronto, ON, M4C 1H0.
Livraison en mains propres à Cheryl Fraser chez Shao Design, 35 Golden Ave, Unit A101, Toronto, entre 12:00 et 17:00 le 28 mars 2014. S’il-vous-plaît appeler au 416-871-5885 pour convenir d’un arrangement pour la livraison en mains propres.
Des prix seront offerts pour ces catégories :
Grand prix de l’exposition
Prix de la meilleure utilisation de gemmes ou de perles
Prix de la meilleure innovation design

Prix de la meilleure réalisation technique
Mentions honorifiques

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ASK A JEWELLER --- investing in diamonds?

This weeks instalment of Ask A Jeweller looks at whether a diamond makes for a good economic investment.

This week we decided to answer a question we have been asked again and again over the last 40 years we have been in business - are diamonds a good financial investment. A lot of the time, this question arises when a client is determining the quality of diamond they are hoping to buy, believing that a higher quality diamond will hold a higher resale value. Does purchasing a diamond make good economic sense?

Absolutely, unequivocally, not. No. Nope. If you view the purchase of a diamond as anything more than an investment in a relationship (engagement ring) or an investment in your jewellery collection (treat yourself!) - you are making a very expensive mistake. Diamonds in no way retain their value, as a matter of fact they depreciate faster than a new car the moment it is driven from the lot.

(In 1947 marketing firm N.W. Ayer coined the phrase 'Diamonds are forever' which would become the enduring slogan for De Beers the following year.)

First consider the concept of intrinsic value versus market value. Intrinsic value can be thought of as the true value of an item whereas the market value can be thought of as the amount someone is willing to pay - very often these are two different things. Gold for example has an intrinsic value, it is a commodity that is traded on the global markets. Gold once it is made into jewellery, also has a market value that includes labour costs, retail mark-ups, and is priced to fit into what one may be willing to pay for it. It's market value as a finished product far exceeds its intrinsic value. If you were to decide to one day to sell that piece of jewellery, it will always be worth something - it's intrinsic value - based on the commodity prices. It will never be worth what you paid for it, but it will never be worth nothing.

A diamond is a different matter. They do not have an intrinsic value or commodity value the way gold does - there value is determined to a large extent by what the market is willing to pay for them. Contrary to what many of us believe, diamonds are not all that rare - there is certainly enough supply to meet our current demand. 

This plays a very important role when it comes to reselling a diamond - most jewellers, us included, have several suppliers with diamonds only a phone call away. Why would we be interested in purchasing a stone from someone other than a supplier - that means you, diamond investor - unless it presented itself as being a fantastic-once-in-a-lifetime deal? In other words, cheap. If you are hoping to sell your diamond to an individual, they will still be looking to purchase something that is less than what is available retail - they will also expect rock-bottom prices. You as a seller are at a serious disadvantage - diamonds lack liquidity; the ability to sell at will.

Diamonds do not pay interest, nor will they earn you dividends. 

There are many reasons why we purchase diamonds. They have been used for centuries as symbols of everlasting and enduring love. They dazzle us with a breathtaking sparkle. We purchase them for the enjoyment they bring ourselves and others. It is an emotional connection, not an economic one. 

Have a question? Email them to us at service(at) with the subject line Ask a Jeweller. We will answer your questions here, every Thursday.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ASK A JEWELLER --- rolex?

This weeks instalment of Ask A Jeweller focuses on high end watches and their maintenance as answered by our Master Goldsmith Dino Giannetti.

I am considering purchasing my first Rolex watch but I have heard from some people with these and other high-end watches that their upkeep can be quite expensive - as much as $500 for a servicing. I'd hate to think that after spending this much on a new Rolex, I will have to keep pouring more money into it. Is it common for these types of watches to require expensive servicing?

- Monique R.

It is important to note that all watches - from the low end to the high end, from mechanical to perpetual motion to battery operated - are machines with moving parts that overtime are guaranteed to fail. The difference between a high end watch and a low end watch in this circumstance is that one is more likely to simply replace one and repair the other.

 (This Bulova watch, from 1945 continues to run - it's original mechanism intact. This is only possible because the watch was regularly cleaned by a professional watchmaker.)

A high end mechanical watch, such as a Rolex, will continue to function forever if there is a degree of maintenance and care invested into it. Overtime dust will infiltrate the mechanism and the grease that oils the gears will dry causing the watch to seize up and stop running. To prevent this, it is recommended that mechanical watches are serviced on a semi-regular basis - every 5 years or so if no problems arise. This servicing will include a complete cleaning or overhaul - in which the watch is disassembled piece by piece, cleaned, and the watch reassembled. It is an incredibly labour intensive procedure, especially considering the intricacy associated with mechanical mechanisms. 

(This photo shows the inner workings of a mechanical watch - this complicated movement would require the skill and expertise of a professional watchmaker, with significant knowledge of high-end mechanical watches. Since most watches sold are now electronic, finding a watchmaker skilled in these types of watches has become increasingly difficult.)

It should therefore come as no surprise that accounting for both the time and expertise required to perform a professional cleaning, such a service could cost anywhere between $300 - $400 and up. The consequences of not maintaining such a watch include the risk of corrosion accumulating within the mechanism, leading to a much more costly repair once the watch fails entirely. 

The best way to think about this Monique, is to compare the purchase of a Rolex to the purchase of a new car - a car will fall apart in no time without regular tune ups, be it a Ford or a Ferrari. The only difference is that a high end watch like a Rolex is made to last a lifetime if it is well taken care of - they become family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.

Have a question? Email them to us at service(at) with the subject line Ask a Jeweller. We will answer your questions here, every Thursday.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ASK A JEWELLER --- does gold rust?

This weeks instalment of Ask A Jeweller focuses on jewellery care and maintenance as answered by our Master Goldsmith Dino Giannetti.

I was given a gold necklace that has started to change colour after wearing it a couple of times. I was told that some people can cause gold to rust/corrode and I am worried that if I try to clean the necklace I will cause it to rust even more. If it is rusting, it must be losing metal and it must be getting weaker. How can I take care of this necklace if I am causing this to happen, just by wearing.

- Amanda L.

Please rest assured Amanda that gold does not corrode and you will not 'eat' away at your necklace through simple wear. Let's first define what rust is - it is the formation of iron oxide caused by a reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water - it is metal turning into dust. Gold in it's pure form is one of the most non-reactive metals on our planet, meaning whether in the presence of water, oxygen, or even acid - gold remains unchanged.

The majority of jewellery however, is not made from pure gold - it is created using various alloys depending on the karat and colour. In the example of 18k yellow gold, 75% of the alloy is made from pure gold whereas the other 25% is made up of silver and copper - both of which are susceptible to tarnishing in the presence of air as well as the various chemicals on the surface of our skin. The change in colour you are seeing is in actual fact the alloy metals (copper and silver) oxidizing on the surface - darkening the necklace to a orange-brown colour. The lower the karat of gold, the more alloy, and the more noticeable the colour change will be as the item tarnishes. Tarnishing differs from rusting because only the surface is effected - whereas rust or corrosion will penetrate into the metal itself. 

This is an example of surface discolouration on jewellery - tarnishing.

A polishing cloth or cleaning liquid will remove the tarnish by removing the oxidized layer from your necklace - a negligible and unmeasurable amount of material that would in no way jeopardize the strength and wearability of the piece. Having the piece professionally cleaned and polished by a jeweller will remove more materials than these processes, but not enough to jeopardize the piece if it was in good condition to begin with. 

After a quick clean and polish, the patina and dark tarnish on this bracelet had disappeared.

Chains are by their nature the most hard-wearing piece of jewellery - as the links move against each other and as a pendant slides along it, the metal will be begin to show signs of wear overtime. This is an unavoidable result of friction. Have your jewellery examined by a jeweller on a semi-annual basis - this is the best way for you to keep an eye on the condition of your pieces as a trained eye can tell you where your gem's vulnerabilities lie.

The bottom line - jewellery is meant to be worn and enjoyed, not to be kept in a jewellery box. If you have any concerns, as your jeweller. 

Have a question? Email them to us at service(at) with the subject line Ask a Jeweller. We will answer your questions here, every Thursday.

Friday, July 12, 2013

ASK A JEWELLER --- appraisals?

And we are back with  Ask a Jeweller the newest feature on our blog in which our readers submit gemstone or jewellery related questions that are answered by our Master Goldsmith, Dino Giannetti.

I recently inherited an assortment of jewellery from my grandmother who passed away earlier this year. I am not sure what most of these pieces are, or their value - but I also do not want to spend a small fortune having them appraised if they are not worth it. When is it a good idea to have something appraised?

- Ruth P.

Let's first approach this question by outlining what an appraisal, at least what a good appraisal is. The most important aspect of an appraisal is not the final value noted at the bottom, but a detailed description of what the item is from the size and quality of the stones, to the type of metal, and the style of setting. Relying on a picture is not enough.

Now to the question of when should an item be appraised - if you have any doubts about the quality of an item you have purchased or commissioned, an independent appraisal can offer you piece of mind that what you purchased in fact what you have received. We have unfortunately heard some horror stories of items being purchased, many times online, that have been sold as one thing but turn out to be 'not quite as described' - from fracture filled diamonds to plated jewellery. 

If you have any questions about a piece of jewellery, it's best not to speculate, have the item analysed by an expert - a highly trained gemmologist and appraiser, never the jeweller or sales person who sold you the piece. We offer an appraisal service, but it is one that is done through one of the top gemmological labs in the country - a third party vs. an in-house service. If we were to do our own appraisals, we would essentially be grading ourselves on the work we do. A appraisal by its very nature requires objectivity.  

If you want to have an item insured, an appraisal will be required by your insurance company. In the event that an item is lost or stolen, a quality appraisal is the best way to ensure your item is replaced for its full value. Without a full and detailed description, you may find yourself at a loss when it comes to replacing the item. We recommend having any item that costs over $1,500 insured.

If you are looking to sell an item of jewellery, it might be a good idea to have that item appraised. That is not to say that you will be able to sell an item for its appraised value - in many cases you may find yourself luck to be able to sell that item for half of its appraised value. But an appraisal is a useful selling tool for the reasons outlined above.

So, to answer your question Ruth, we would recommend having any items that you think should be insured, appraised. A qualified jeweller will be able to give you their opinion as to which items, if any, should be insured.

Have a question? Email them to us at service(at) with the subject line Ask a Jeweller. We will answer your questions here, every Thursday (or Friday!).