Ask Roni

There are so many questions about jewellery. Their value, how to clean them, will they do the job you require of them,…..?

Veronica is fascinated by the history and all aspects of jewellery. She has a wealth of experience in the business, and a thorough knowledge of “the trade”, from antiques to very modern jewellery. She has a down-to-earth approach to the wonderful world of adornment.

Gemstones, precious metals and jewellery can all be confusing and there are many things to be considered when buying (or selling). If you need good solid advice on anything jewellery related, Veronica is your go-to person. Well known in the jewellery world, both locally and overseas, she will give you a no-nonsense answer to any question!

She, with her colleagues Elize and Louise can help you make to make informed decisions which suit both you and your pocket.

Demystifying Jewellery VAJ
There are so many questions about gems, jewellery, their value, how to clean them…..?

Turquoise is a blue to green mineral that is the result of acidic groundwater seeping into the earth and reacting with phosphorus and aluminium to create this beautiful mineral compound which is very valuable in the finer grades.

Birthstone December Turquoise

Turquoise - December


Tanzanite is a transparent violet-blue gem that is formed when the brownish Zoisite is exposed to high heat. It is found only in the Merelani hills in Tanzania.

Birthstone December Tanzanite

Tanzanite - December


This vibrant gemstone ranges in colour from pastel yellow to intense fiery orange. The name is derived from Citron, a lemon-like fruit. Citrine’s yellow hues are caused by iron in quartz crystals. A member of the quartz family, it’s well known close relative is amethyst, and the two can be found in single gemstones carrying both yellow and purple, known as Ametrine.

Birthstones November Citrine

Citrine - November

This “Queen of gems”, Shakespeare called it. Impossible to resist for its sheer celebration of colour and beautiful opalescence.
Opal’s meaning comes from the Greek word Opallios, meaning to see a change. It is the product of thousands of years of natural formation where a silica type gel seeped into the rocks of the earth and hardened into opal.

Birthstone October Opal

Opal - October

Sapphire is a gem variety of the mineral Corundum and occurs in all the colours of the rainbow, except for red, which is reserved for Ruby. This member of the “Big Three” is traditionally blue, its most valuable colour.

Birthstone September Sapphire

Sapphire - September

Peridot is unique in that it is the only gemstone that comes in one colour. The most valuable is a dark olive green, but it is charming in the other tones - pale yellowish green, olive green, bottle green or intense, vibrant apple green.
One of the oldest known stones - ancient Egyptians created beads from it and Greek and Romans used it for their pendants and rings.

Birthstone August Peridot

Peridot - August

Ruby is a member of the corundum family, and is one of the “Big Three”of precious gemstones, together with sapphire and emerald.The intense red of rubies, added to their durability and versatility, contribute to their popularity.

Birthstone July Ruby

Ruby - July

Created by a living creature over many years, every pearl is unique in colour, lustre, size and shape.“Real” pearls can be natural or are cultured.

Birthstones June Pearls

Pearls - June

Emerald is the most famous of the “Big Three” precious gemstones, and a member of the beryl family.Emeralds are believed to be 2.97 billion years old – and in not so ancient history, made Cleopatra’s mines famous throughout the world.

Birthstones May Emerald

Emerald - May

Aquamarines are part of the beryl family of gemstones and can be found in sea green, sky blue and dark blue. Fashions change as to the most desirable colour – today the more costly is likely to be icy dark blue.

Birthstones March Aquamarine

Aquamarine - March

If you asked your Grandmother what the colour of amethyst is, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that it is purple.Think of the ring you would kiss if you were to meet the Bishop! A very regal stone, highly prized and rare in days gone by.But today it is more readily accessible – and the good news is that it is available in different colours.

Birthstones February Amethyst

Amethyst - February

When we think of garnet, we think of a stone in deep red – which is the traditional colour. But it comes in other exciting hues as well.

Birthstone January Garnet

Garnets - January

Diamonds remain the gem of choice for that most significant of occasions – the betrothal. For lovers of this stone, there is nothing as special as a diamond.

Birthstone April Diamond

Diamond - April

The facinating world of Birthstones, read all the details here.

Birthstone information

Garnets - January

I would like to know more about pearls. Why are they so popular and why should I buy them? Are pearls a good investment?

Buying pearls, the ins and outs
Dear Pearl Lover,

Pearls are fascinating – and one of Nature’s most enchanting gifts.

Learning more about them, in theory, is relatively easy. But, as with everything, really knowing enough to make informed choices requires hands-on experience – and lots of time spent looking, touching and feeling.

I am confused as to the many types or pearls and their significance, can you help me?

Pearls, the various types
Dear Connoisseur,

Pearls are created by oysters, mussels and clams. Natural pearls form when an irritant works its way into the shell. The creature secretes a fluid as a protection against this irritant. This 'nacre' is deposited in many layers, and the pearl is formed.

I want to propose to my girlfriend – and I want to do it in the traditional romantic style, on one knee with a diamond ring in a box! My granny gave me her diamond brooch and has said that I can use the diamond.
How can I make this all happen?

Diamond brooch to be remodelled
Dear Mr Romantic,

How lovely to hear your story! We can certainly help you with the ring part of your endeavour! Have a look at this design, created specially for you with your diamond in mind…….

What can I do with these earrings which I have had for many years? I am not wearing them anymore because they are looking old and scruffy. They were a gift from someone special and I don’t want to throw them away. I would like something more contemporary – and which I can wear with gold or silver jewellery. Have you any ideas?

Jewellery to be Remodelled
Dear Jane,

We suggest that we remove the old pearls which have served you well, but have earned the right to a gracious retirement! We have had this pair of Sterling Silver and 18ct Yellow Gold Centre pieces made-for you to consider. We have oxidised the silver to give the earrings more definition.

My wedding day is in December and I have chosen to wear a fashionable hairclip or fascinator, but it is made with diamante. My mother-in-law has expressed her disapproval saying that no-one in the history of her family weddings has worn fake diamonds.
The trouble is I really like the fascinator (very Kate Middleton) and want to wear it, without displeasing my mother-in-law. She hasn't yet offered to buy me a fascinator with real diamonds, mind you.... What do I do?
Bling Bride, Nelspruit

Veronica Anderson | Platafrica 2011 competition
Dear Blinging,

Yes, that could be a cause for problems!  While I know that you like the fascinator you have chosen for the big day, I would probably agree with your mother-in-law and aim to find something with real diamonds!

My boyfriend has asked me to marry him – but hasn’t given me a ring. His mother suggests I wear her diamond engagement ring which although is a kind thought, is not my style or taste whatsoever!  I don’t want to be ungrateful, but I really would like my own ring! How do I broach the subject?
Janet, Bedfordview.

Veronica Anderson | Rings
Dear Janet

Firstly, congratulations on your engagement! It is an exciting and bewildering time especially since family politics and preferences enter the fray!

My husband gave me a white gold diamond half-eternity ring for our 10th anniversary.I wear it constantly, but have noticed that it has become very dull and grey – and cleaning does not seem to help.I no longer enjoy wearing the ring, and think that we were taken for a ride.   Perhaps the metal is not gold, even though it is marked 750, which I am told is 18ct.
Yours sincerelyDull & Grey

White gold ring dull and grey before and after cleaning
Dear Dull and Grey

I am sorry that your ring is no longer bringing you joy.  But, in all likelihood,  the problem is easily resolved and your husband was not crooked!

Dear Veronica | How do I clean jewellery?

There are obviously  different answers to this, depending on what you are trying to clean. But most cleaning is very simple – give it a wash!  One seems to forget that jewellery is like anything else you wear – it gets grubby both from being close to your body, and from the general grime that is...

Dear Veronica Blog | Why is Platinum Jewellery so Expensive?

Platinum is one of the rarest metals in the world.  It is naturally “white”, does not fade or tarnish – it keeps its natural white colour forever.

The bullion price is higher than gold and is also denser than gold. Platinum jewellery has 95% pure metal, while gold is usually 75% pure...

Ask Veronica

If you have a question about jewellery, please fill in the form below.

Recent Articles

Published: Mon, 04/11/2019 - 08:07
Published: Mon, 04/11/2019 - 08:00
Published: Mon, 04/11/2019 - 07:57