Help / FAQ - Lawson Gems

Help & Frequently Asked Questions 

If you have any further questions please contact

Do we have a physical stores?

While we do not have a physical store, we do work with the store Mombasa Rose as an outlet for some of our jewellery, these stores can be found at both Chermside and Carindale shopping centers in Brisbane, Australia. Though our head office is closed to the public, appointments through our Contact Us page can be made for meetings at an open to the public office.

Clarity Explained

At Lawson Gems we use a general scale based on commonly used grading terms as described below:

  • IF: (Internally flawless) no perceivable inclusions or flaws.
  • VVS: (Very, very slight inclusions) Inclusions which can inclusions barely seen under 10x magnification
  • VS: (Very slight inclusions) Very slight inclusions which require 10x magnifications to be seen.
  • SI: (Slightly included), small inclusions just visible to the naked eye.
  • I: (Included) - Inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye


What is Gold Vermeil?

Vermeil is a combination of sterling silver (925), gold and other precious metals, commonly used as a component in jewellery. Gold Vermeil is far thicker and is much more durable than regular gold plate. The table below shows the FTC classifications for different thicknesses of gold plate. As you can see Vermeil is at least 5 times thicker than standard gold plate and almost 15 times thicker than flash gold plating. This thickness and durability makes it a very desirable finish for the jewellery industry.

At Lawson Gems all gold Vermeil adheres to these standards and even our regular gold plate has double the amount of gold (we use a minimum of 1 micron for normal gold plating) used by regular jewellers to meet these standards.

The word "vermeil" is a French word which came into use in the English language, mostly in America, in the 19th century as an alternative for the usual term, silver-gilt.

Vermeil can be produced by either fire-gilding or electrolysis. The original fire-gilding process was developed in France in the mid-18th century; however, France later banned the production of vermeil because over time artisans developed blindness due to mercury involved in the process. Today, vermeil is safely produced by electrolysis.

The Code of Federal Regulations 16, Part 23.5 defines Vermeil: "An industry product may be described or marked as 'vermeil' if it consists of a base of sterling silver coated or plated on all significant surfaces with gold or gold alloy of not less than 10 karat fineness, that is of substantial thickness and a minimum thickness throughout equivalent to two and one half (2½) microns.


F.T.C Classification



Gold Flash



Gold Electroplate



Gold Plate



Vermeil (heavy gold plate)



U.S. Gov. F.T.C. classification for gold plated thicknesses




Why is some jewellery more expensive for different colours?

At times you may see the same piece of jewellery on our website that is available in multiple colours of stones and metals and at times there will be price differences between them. Sometimes the difference is a little and sometime there will be a very large jump. Here at Lawson Gems we like to offer our customers options as to how they want their special jewellery pieces to look and how much they want to spend, so many of our items will be available in gold, gold vermeil, gold plate, flash gold plate and silver. All of these options come at a different price but where we can we try to keep the cost to the customer as low as possible. There is no surprise that the most expensive is always going to be gold and with the gold group we like to try keep consistent prices between yellow, white and rose gold. You may wonder why there is such a large jump between gold plate and gold vermeil, this is because, as you can see above, we are using at least 5 times as much gold to finish these pieces, however the durability, finish and historical romance that comes with gold vermeil is more than enough to make it worthwhile. On some items we will use flash gold, this might be because we want to offer a more affordable option or the piece we are plating may have a more desirable appearance after flash plating.

You may also see the same piece with different coloured stones and sometimes there will be a large difference in price and sometimes none at all. The gem trade is a complex world where many factors contribute to a gems value and these factors are not always equal between different gemstones. For example some garnets may be plentiful in small sizes but incredibly rare in large sizes and once they hit that "magic" sizes range the price can increase exponentially. The cut of a gem, the colour, clarity, the size and rarity are the most important quality when deciding a gems value. Where we can we try to subsidise the cost of the rarer stones to be able to match the costs within the same styles in the jewellery ranges, however sometimes we feel that the beauty of a gemstones is so great that want to use it in a range even if its rarity will increase the cost of a piece. This is why, you may see a piece of jewellery with the option of, say a blue topaz and then the very same ring with a green tsavorite garnet and the cost may be almost 10% higher (and yet as explained above in a smaller size stone it may be the same price).


Though this all may seem very convoluted please be assured that here at Lawson Gems we will always do our best to provide you with the best price possible while giving you the option to spend as much as you feel comfortable with.

Jewellery & Stone Valuation Reports

For added peace of mind Lawson Gems offers an independant valuation service on items once purchased. We use Brisbane Valuation Service,, they are a leading valuation consultancy specialising in gemstone identification, diamond grading assessments and all types of jewellery grading. For further information on this service please contact us at

Coupons & Discounts:

Unless otherwise stated all only a single discount can be applied to a single order.

Scale Items in Gemtone Photographs

Many of the gemstones both rough and faceted are photographed with items to give a sense of scale such as rulers, tweezers, display rings, coins etc, please note that these items are not included with the gems unless it is specifically stated in the item's description.

Paying by Bank Transfer

Payments made by bank transfer may be delayed while payments are processed. Customers will be notified once payment has cleared and goods are sent.

Ring Sizing

Here at Lawson Gems, we use the US sizing system, to check your ring size or convert between systems please see the information provided below.

How to determine your ring size

  1. Wrap a piece of string or a strip of paper around your finger.
  2. Mark the point where the two ends meet.
  3. Measure the string or paper against a ruler to get the circumference of your finger.
  4. Divide that by 3.14 to get the diameter of your finger.
  5. Look up your ring size using the chart below.


Ring Size Conversion Chart:

Ring Size Chart