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October 24, 2016

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What is Dhanteras? Why is buying gold on the day considered auspicious?

The festival of Dhanteras falls in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov) on the first day of the five day long Diwali festival.  It is considered a day to celebrate prosperity as the word 'Dhan' means wealth. In 2016 the festival is on Friday 28th October, but will also be celebrated on Thursday 27th, October.

It is largely believed that on Dhanteras, goddess Lakshmi visits the homes of her devotees and fulfills their wishes.  The Lord Kubera, the God of assets and wealth is also worshipped on this day.

Dhanteras - Lakshmi

The Legend of Dhanteras

An ancient legend about the 16 year old son of King Hima is linked to the day.  The boy's horoscope predicted his death by snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage.  On that day his new wife refused to let him sleep - in an attempt to save him from coming to any harm.  She lit lamps and laid out all her ornaments along with piles of gold and silver coins around the entrance of their sleeping chamber.  She then narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep.

Dhanteras Gold

The next day, when Yama, the god of Death, arrived at the Prince’s doorstep in the guise of a Serpent, his eyes were dazzled and blinded by the brilliance of the lamps and the gold and silver. Yama could not enter the Prince's chamber, so he climbed on top of the pile of coins and sat there the entire night listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, he silently went away.  Thus, the young prince was saved from the clutches of death by the cleverness of his new bride, and the day came to be celebrated as Dhanteras.

The buying of Gold

Dhanteras is the biggest gold buying occassion associated with the purchase of physical gold in India.  It is also therefore important for Indian communities across the world, including the UK.

It is generally believed that if you buy gold or silver on Dhanteras then it brings good luck to your family.  So it is not merely a precious metal or an investment opportunity, but it also holds great sentimental value for people.

Purchasing gold during this time is believed to be auspicious and a sign of continued prosperity in the year to come. The highest demand for gold is either in the form of jewellery or gold coins that are embossed with images of Hindu gods and goddess; the latter being particularly popular for gifting purposes.

The beauty of investing in gold is that there are products to suit every budget. From simple rings, earrings and ear studs at the lower end of the price range to heavy and intricately-made necklaces at the higher end.

Auspicious times to buy Gold on Dhanteras

Thursday 27th October

Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 11:45 - 15:10

Evening Muhurta (Amrit, Char) = 16:23 - 21:11

Friday 28th October

Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit) = 07:53 - 11:31

Afternoon Muhurta (Shubh) = 12:44 - 13:50

 

References

http://hinduism.about.com

 

September 14, 2016

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What to look for when buying a Gold Chain

There are plenty of options available for shoppers looking to buy gold chains - we aim to look at the kind of questions that these shoppers should be asking.

 Gold Chains

How often will I wear the chain?

If you are looking for a chain to wear on a regular basis then you should look at a more strong and durable design, and you should probably stay away from hollow chain designs as they don't tend to be as strong. 

 

What different designs are available?

Curb - The links of a curb chain interlock with each other when laid flat.  This style of chain has the greatest variety of widths available.

Curb Chain

Figaro - In this design a number of standard links (usually three) precede an elongated link all the way through.

Figaro Chain

Rope - These have an intertwining feature that is made to look like a rope. Rope chains have two main designs: a delicate version (straight rope) and a stronger designs (twisted rope)

Rope Chain

Rolo - The links of a rolo chain are usually identical and often round.

Rolo Chain

Wheat - When oval and twisted oval links are connected and intertwined together. The result is an intricate chain with a great deal of visual texture. This is known as a wheat or spiga chain.

Wheat Chain

Snake - This design consists of a very tight-linked chain that has a round or square cross-section and has links that create a slight zigzag look.  Whilst giving a fantastic smooth effect, they are also prone to catching on clothing and twisting or kinking.

Snake Chain

Box - A box chain is made up of square links that are connected to create a smooth chain.

Box Chain

 

What material is the chain made of?

An important thing to consider when buying a gold chain is the purity of the gold.  Chains will be offered in a variety of purities - 9ct (37.5% gold) 14ct (58.33% gold) 18ct (75% gold) 22ct (91.66% gold) 24ct (99.99%).  Quite simply the higher the number of carats, the more gold there is.

22ct gold

               22ct Yellow Gold Chain

Whilst it is great to have a 24ct gold chain, the properties of gold itself are such that it is very soft and is therefore not the most practical choice.  We would therefore suggest 22ct or 18ct as the best balance between high gold purity and strength / durability.  22ct gold chains are often yellow (their natural colour) whereas 18ct chains provide more of a choice of colour with the gold itself being plated (which means there is a risk of it tarnishing eventually)

18ct White Gold Chain

                  18ct White Gold Chain

It is also important to conisder gold purity if the wearer has any allergies -  quite often to nickel.  The lower the gold purity, the more nickel the chain may contain.  If you have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies then it is wise to stick to 18ct chains or above.

 

How do I know the gold is real? Or is the indicated carat weight?

To verify how genuine gold sold in the UK is, all items above 1g in weight must be hallmarked - this is UK law.  When a gold chain is hallmarked it shows that it has been independently tested and verified and therefore conforms to all legal standards of purity or fineness.  A hallmark will tell you where the item has been purchased from, the metal and its purity fineness and an Assay Office mark to show where it was tested and hallmarked.

Hallmark

A Minar Jewellers hallmark on a gold bangle

You can find out more about hallmarking here

 

Is the chain solid, plated or hollow?

Solid gold chains are the most expensive option, but they are also the strongest and most durable.

Hollow chains are less expensive, but there is a potential problem with them: These chains are easy to break or dent, and if that happens, they are difficult to repair.

Plated gold chains are cheaper, but the plating will wear off after time, exposing the metal underneath, and you will need to have the chain replated if you want to restore its colour.

 

What kind of clasp does the chain have?

Another important factor when buying a chain is the type of clasp that comes with it.  Lobster clasps are very popular as they are easy to release, are more durable, and are less likely to snag on clothing.

Lobster Clasp

               Lobster Clasp

 

Hook Clasps are very easy to use, but maybe not as safe as lobster clasps.

Hook Clasp

                   Hook Clasp

 

The ring clasp is again a safe option but you might need help when putting on or removing your chain.

Ring Clasp

                     Ring Clasp

 

What length of chain should I get?

The length of chain that you choose to wear will emphasise different parts of the wearer's chest.  For example a 16 inch chain will be closer to the neck line and will lie above the collarbone.  The more common length, the 18 inch gold chain, will lie over the collar bones, and longer lengths will lie on the skin but also on clothing, and with the right choice of clothing it can have a dramatic effect.

Chain Length

 

Will there be a pendant on the chain?

If you are going to put some kind of pendant or charm on your gold chain, make sure it is strong enough to bear the additional weight, but not too thick or large so that the pendant is over powered.  Box chains and wheat chains are good choices for this as they are both sturdy and relatively flexible.

 

August 31, 2016

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September Birthstone - Blue Sapphire

TRUTH | SINCERITY | FAITHFULNESS | NOBILITY

 

Blue Sapphire

The Sapphire is one of the 'Big 3' of coloured gemstones - the other two being Emerald and Ruby - like Ruby, the sapphire is a form of the mineral corundum.  Sapphires come in a wide range of colours but are most famously blue.  The most highly valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue.

 

Blue Sapphire

Blue Corundum

 

The word sapphire has its roots in several ancient languages: the Arabic safir, the Latin sapphirus (meaning blue), and the Greek word sappheiros for the island of Sappherine in the Arabian Sea where sapphires were found in ancient Grecian times. Ancient Persians called sapphire the “Celestial Stone.” It was the gem of Apollo, Greek God of prophesy and was worn by worshipers visiting his shrine in Delphi to seek his help. It was used by ancient Etruscans as far back as the 7th century B.C.

Over the course of history blue sapphires have decorated the robes of royalty and the clergy.  One of the most famous sapphires rests on the Imperial State Crown, worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It resides in the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. This gem is called the St. Edward’s Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone on a ring during his coronation in 1042.  A recent example is the blue sapphire adorned engagement ring of Princess Diana (given to her by Prince Charles in 1981)  Following her death the same ring was given by her son Prince William to his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.  This stunning engagement ring features a 12 carat oval blue Ceylon Sapphire.

Blue Sapphire

Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

 

View our newly designed Sapphire Collection....

 

 

References

Gemmological Institute of America - https://www.gia.edu

 

 

© Minar Jewellers, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Minar Jewellers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

August 15, 2016

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Benefits of wearing Sterling Silver Jewellery

Silver jewellery has often been left behind by its Gold and Platinum equivalents, but there are plenty of reasons why Sterling Silver jewellery should not be overlooked! 

Affordable, yet fashionable

- First of all since silver as a precious metal is more affordable than gold and platinum there are many more designers using it to experiment and come up with new, modern and consequently fashionable designs.  It is the brightest of all the precious metals, and many people choose to wear it because they love its bright and shiny lustre.

- With its low cost, consumers can keep up with the latest trends and designs without having to pay a high cost to obtain them.  With the wide variety of styles, looks and colours they can buy silver pieces to match with their gold and platinum jewellery.

Versatile and Durable

- It is only not only versatile but also durable, meaning it is a perfect option for everyday jewellery.  It is possible to wear Sterling Silver Jewellery with so many different outfits and on many different occasions.  Silver in its purest form is very soft, but when mixed with an alloy it becomes strong and durable.  All of our silver is hallmarked to ceritify its 92.5% silver content - the remaining 7.5% consists of alloys mainly copper, which helps to strengthen the silver. 

- If looked after properly silver jewellery can last a long time.  It can react to air (oxidise) and start to tarnish if left unused - but there are simple ways to prevent this from happening.  First of all, keep wearing silver jewellery on a regualr basis.  Sterling Silver is designed to be worn regularly, so just by wearing it often, the natural oils in your skin will help to maintain its shine!  Secondly there are silver polishing clothes and solutions available which will bring back its shine in no time at all!

Beneficial to your health

- Historically silver has a strong link with the moon as well as aspects of Chinese philosophy.  Its colour is said to stimulate calmness and tranquility, since it evokes the qualities of reflection, coolness and space.

 

© Minar Jewellers, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Minar Jewellers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

July 26, 2016

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Tooting Street Party - 24th July

We were very proud to be a part of the 2016 Tooting Summer Street Party and show our support to our very own Cowick Road this year.

Cowick Road

There was a variety of entertainment including music, dancing, food and beverages.  We also had some selected items of our Sterling Silver Jewellery collection on offer!

Tooting's new MP, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan was there to show her support....

The new London Mayor and life long Tooting resident, Sadiq Khan was also there to show his support!

 

 

May 05, 2016

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Minar Jewellers' Pravin Pattni featured in the Financial Times

Our very own Pravin Pattni has been featured in the Financial Times.  The FT Special Report discusses the Asian Jewellery in the UK.

 

"India consumes approximately 1,000 tonnes of gold a year — about a third of the world’s supply — according to India’s Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). This appetite has been exported with its diaspora; the 2011 UK census had 2.99m people of South Asian origin. In the UK, Asians spend more than £220m a year on 22-carat gold and diamonds, says Pravin Pattni, a former chairman of the National Association of Jewellers and the first person of Indian origin to hold the position.

According to Mr Pattni, the average South Asian family spends between £20,000 and £25,000 on a woman’s wedding jewellery — but now assimilation into British culture is changing this.

Mr Pattni says that ethnic Asians arriving in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s from east Africa, where their ancestors were taken as indentured labourers, clung to the idea of gold as insurance — a safe investment in a strange land. “First-generation Indians came here and bought lots and lots of gold and gave it to their children so they wouldn’t need a plan B.”

In Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, once the heart of Britain’s jewel trade, shopkeeper Ken Taylor smiles knowingly. “That’s the way Asians see it,” he says. “Gold is gold if you can sell it any day of the week.”

But as the price of gold rises, Mr Pattni says it will become less affordable to buy 22 carat, the Asian staple, and even stalwarts will move to lower quality gold, silver and platinum.

He grins as he acknowledges the wisdom of forebears who recommended the metal to him for investment purposes; at the time of our interview in February, gold had reached a one-year intraday trading high of $1,260 an ounce.

“With Indian jewellery there’s always going to be the independent store that people know of and go to, but we’re seeing a bit more in terms of brands.” Ms Rendle says even if shops close, Indian designs will survive and influence fusion trends in the mainstream.

Mr Pattni, however, says the direction of influence is the other way around: from the British population to the immigrant.

 

 

You can see the full Financial Times special report here

Credits (Financial Times Special Report)

Written by Aliya Ram
Photography by Neville Williams and Anna Gordon
Edited by Josh Spero
Graphics by Graham Parrish
Filming by Alan Knox
Production by Alan Knox, George Kyriakos and Josh Spero

August 03, 2015

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What is Raksha Bandhan and why should we be celebrating it?

Raksha Bandhan is a festival that celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters.  It is a day when siblings pray for one another's well being and wish for their happiness and well being.  In many parts of India it is known as Rakhi Purnima, or simply Rakhi and its origins date back thousands of years.  Although predominantly a Hindu festival, it is also observed by Jains and many Sikhs in many Indian communities across the world.

 

 

The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar.  This year (2016) it falls on Thursday 18th August.

The word Raksha means protection while Bandhan means to tie - which basically translates to a 'bond of protection'.  Over time the festival has grown to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters but also between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated.   

Traditionally on this auspicious day, sisters tie a Rakhi (a sacred thread) on the wrist of their brothers, while the brothers make a promise to protect their sisters - and all siblings pray for each others well being.  Usually, brothers give their sisters a gift to mark the occasion.

A Rakhi may be a simple thread, woven and colourful; or a Rakhi may be intricate with amulets and decoration on top of it.  Often, a Rakhi may be a fancy wrist watch or men's wrist accessory in the form of a bracelet or jewellery.

Typically the brother(s) also shop for gifts for their sister, ahead of Raksha Bandhan. These gifts from the brother can be anything from a simple thoughtful token of love - like a pair of earrings or a pendant.

 

 

References

Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India - http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/

Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raksha_Bandhan

 

© Minar Jewellers, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Minar Jewellers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

July 14, 2015

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How do I calculate Zakat on jewellery?

* This blog post was updated on 16th May 2017

Over the past few weeks we have been receiving a considerable amount of enquiries about Zakat on Jewellery and specifically how it is calculated.  So we have decided to write a blog post about it to help inform those who are unsure.  If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to call us on +44 208 767 7627

What is Zakat?

In Islam offering Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam.  It is a charitable contribution that every adult, mentally stable and financially able Muslim has to offer in order to support those less fortunate. 

Zakat is obligatory when a certain amount of money, called the nisab is reached or exceeded. Zakat is not obligatory if the amount owned is less than this nisab.  The nisab threshold for gold is 85g (or 7.2 Tolas / Boris' / Voris')

Zakat is based on giving 2.5% of total savings within a lunar year.  These savings include cash in hand, income earned on investments, funds currently in bank accounts and precious metal objects (e.g. Gold or Silver)  There is no Zakat due on platinum or palladium or other precious metals apart from gold and silver.  Diamonds and gemstones (pearls, sapphires, rubies, corals, etc) are also exempt from Zakat.

 

Zakat on Jewellery

Calculating Zakat on your jewellery is often seen as being complicated and can leave people confused.  This is mainly due to a lack of concise and clear information on the subject.

If your jewellery is made up of a mixture of metals you are only required to pay Zakat if half or more of them are gold or silver. 

It is permissible to give actual gold and silver in Zakat.  For example, if someone has gold jewellery that weighs 100 grams, they can give 2.5 grams of gold as Zakat on the jewellery.  Any gold and silver that you have should be weighed separately. 

It is also permissible to pay Zakat in cash. This is done by giving the market value of 2.5% of the weight of the jewellery in Zakat.  For example, if someone has gold jewellery that weighs 10 grams, they will have to give the market value of 0.25 grams (i.e. 2.5% of 10 grams) of gold as Zakat. Hence, if the market value of gold is £25 per gram, they will have to pay £6.25 (0.25 x 25) as Zakat.

The calculation for Zakat on Gold & Silver is as follows:

 

 

 

Giving Zakat is important. Ensuring you give the right amount you are liable for is equally important.

 

References

National Zakat Foundation - http://www.nzf.org.uk/

Islamic Aid - https://www.islamicaid.com/

Muslim Aid - https://www.muslimaid.org

 

© Minar Jewellers, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Minar Jewellers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

July 03, 2015

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