The Browns Diamond Heritage

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The Browns story began back in 1934 when Larry and Gavin's late grandfather, Jack, opened a boutique jewellery store in downtown Johannesburg. Jack was a talented and highly skilled goldsmith having been taught by his own grandfather.

Jack worked hard and gradually word of his skill began to spread.  It wasn't long before Jack was able to move to larger premises and clients began to travel from far and wide to view his wonderful creations and purchase his exquisite designs. In time Jack married and had a son and three daughters. The family all helped in the jewellery store and over the years his grandchildren too spent many hours watching him work. His youngest daughter Myra married Bernard Brown and went on to have four sons; Sandy, Johnny, Larry and Gavin.

Barely tall enough to see over the dark wooden counters, Jack began to teach the boys all they needed to know about the jewellery business. He inspired in them a passion for fine jewellery and nurtured their artistic and creative flair. As they grew older they were taught the fine craftsmanship and goldsmithing techniques of their grandfather, ensuring that the legacy of jewellery making would continue to pass down through the generations.




Larry BrownLarry

Younger Years

Larry Alon Brown was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 6th of November 1964. He was Myra and Bernard Brown’s second youngest son in a family of 4 boys. Growing up, the family jewellery business started by his grandfather, the late Jack Friedman, was always central to his life and many hours were spent in the store watching and learning. Jack, recognising Larry’s natural talent and flair for design, spent many hours teaching him about the business and most importantly the goldsmithing techniques taught to him by his own grandfather.
 
Education
 
During his schooling career Larry recognised his other passion, finance. In 1989 Larry Brown was awarded his Bachelors Certificate in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the following year received his Honours. Larry went on to complete his articles with the South African firm of auditors, Grant Thornton.


Career
 
Inspired by their own unique and creative vision it was during the early 1980's that Larry and his younger brother Gavin embarked on building Browns into what it is today. As South Africa’s largest and most successful jewellery store Browns epitomizes exceptional quality, enduring designs and outstanding customer service. Larry constantly travels the world in search of inspiration for the brand’s next spectacular collections, he is intimately involved in the creation of every single piece in stores. A great deal of his time is spent studying the jewellery retail industry, he is an expert in the field of store design and ambiance from lighting to furnishings. This unique combination of experience and talent means that every aspect of a Browns store has been carefully considered ensuring that your experience will be both special and memorable.

However it isn’t just the brand that Larry investments his time in, he is as equally passionate about the people who work alongside him to make Browns a success. Larry strives to employ and educate the South African youth about the jewellery industry, just as his grandfather had done for him, with the Browns Learnership Academy. He also encourages a company culture steeped in respect, personal growth, and excellence.

80 Years Of Craftsmanship

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At Browns our guiding design principles are balance and proportion ensuring that all of our jewellery has a timeless elegance that will not date. Our talented designers draw on their natural flair and creative imagination and combine it with an inspiration drawn from the fire and life of our exceptional gemstones to create a design that is a unique celebration of the wearer.

Jewellery made in the Browns Workshop is handcrafted and our exacting standards of quality ensure that every piece is truly remarkable. Some items are so intricate that they require several hundred hours of labour to complete. The settings are customised around each diamond’s specific size and proportions. Craftsmen pay special attention to individual diamonds, ensuring they are lifted above the setting and into the light, maximising brilliance.

The Diamond Investment Programme

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Purchasing a diamond is an emotional and important occasion. At Browns we ensure that your diamond investment is safe with us, leaving you free to enjoy and celebrate this very special time. Through our 4 step Diamond Investment Programme, when you purchase a diamond from Browns you can rest assured that by investing in your love today, it will reward you for a lifetime.

The 4 Pillars of the Diamond Investment Programme



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Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

When you purchase your diamond from Browns you will receive a Browns Jewellery Certificate. This documents the characteristics of your diamond allowing us to offer you a lifetime authenticity guarantee.




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Unique Identity

Each piece of diamond jewellery engraved with a unique identity number allows us to trace your diamond’s history from source to finished piece. At Browns we subscribe to the Kimberley Process and support Fair Trade, therefore you can have peace of mind that your diamond comes from a legitimate source.




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Grow Your Diamond

The Diamond Investment Programme allows you to reset your  engagement ring either utilising your centre diamond in a new setting or you may exchange your diamond for a larger more valuable one only paying the difference.




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Buy-Back Guarantee

At Browns we have confidence in the quality and value of our diamonds allowing us to offer a 5 year Buy-Back Guarantee on diamond jewellery with a 1 carat diamond or more. This means that should you wish to sell your diamond jewellery after 5 years we will buy it back from you for at least the price you paid for it.

Insurance Claims Services

Design Studio

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Design Studio is an exclusive service that offers you the opportunity to be involved in every step of the creation of a one-of-a-kind piece of jewellery that is designed and crafted to your personal requirements. We are also able to special order one of our existing pieces to your specifications.



Your journey begins at our jewellery design studio where you will meet  one of our qualified designers to discuss your initial inspiration and bring your dream to life. During the consultation, you will learn more about the jewellery manufacturing process that your creation will undergo and receive a sketch of your unique design. After 5 days in our workshop your very own bespoke piece of jewellery will be ready for you to treasure for generations to come.

Uniquely Yours

An engagement ring is an important and lifelong purchase, and budgets vary greatly. At Browns, our professional consultants will work within your budget to help you attain the greatest quality and value.



With the help of our exclusive programme, Uniquely Yours, you can choose a specific diamond to set in your engagement ring to suit your budget and diamond requirements. It may surprise you but Browns engagement rings, with their exceptional quality, begin at less than you may imagine. 

Ergofit

‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’
Leonardo Da Vinci





1. Form


The form of the Browns ErgoFit bands have been designed and sculpted for comfort and  durability. They are available in three different profiles; Regular, Heavy and Extra Heavy.

a)      An ideal balance between the round shape and the flat wedding bands, there are no           sharp or protruding edges to cause discomfort.

b)     Hardened by our unique tempering process, ErgoFit is made to last a lifetime.

c)     The contours are shaped to expel moisture, allowing the skin to breath during wear.

 2. Width


Subtle and understated or bold and expressive? Choose the width that best suits your personality.

3. Metal


Colour your love in either pure Platinum, traditional Yellow Gold or stylish Rose Gold.








4. Texture


A combination of our different finishes helps you add a unique touch to your wedding band, truly making it yours.
















5. Diamond


Nothing seals a promise like a diamond. Add a touch of brilliance to your ErgoFit band by setting a diamond or two.
















6. Personal Engraving


Engrave a special message inside your ring and carry it with you wherever you go, forever.




Style Code


The number corresponding with the ring profile

Ring Size


Measured finger size

Metal Hallmark


A stamp showcasing the amount of precious metal used in the piece

Browns Hallmark


Our stamp of approval esnuring your ring has passed through our extensive quality check process.

Guardian Angel Symbol


A promise of Guidance and Protection

Unique serial number


The ‘Green Gold’ mark: 6 digit code ensuring our gold is responsibily sourced and refined through environmentally friendly means

Social Responsibility

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"At Browns we endevour to strike a balance between our business interests and the obligation we feel towards the environment, our workers and the community. To this end we have involved ourselves in a number of projects enabling us to give back to our community, our country and the world"


Larry Brown, Designer & Director

Plum Tree Project

The Browns Plum Tree Project is a project aimed at providing fruit bearing trees in low-income communities. The project is particularly close to our hearts because it directly affects the lives of children. We specifically chose fruit trees as we wanted children to have the opportunity to experience up-close the wonder of Nature’s cycles, the abundance of Her harvest and finally to enjoy a tangible sweet result.

We at Browns have committed to this project for at least three years which will result in an estimated R1 million being spent on fruit trees. Every time one of our clients purchases an item of jewellery from our Private Collection we will purchase and plant a tree on their behalf. By entering your unique tree number as it appears on your original invoice you will be able to see exactly where your tree was planted.

This project is being run in conjunction with Food & Trees for Africa’sTrees for Homes project. Trees for Homes is a highly successful public greening initiative that addresses climate change whilst improving quality of life in areas which have been traditionally disadvantaged.

  • Some of the benefits of trees:
  • Trees help heal the environment by improving soil and water quality, reducing the effects of soil erosion and by improving our air quality by absorbing dust and pollution.
  • Trees provide a place for children to play and a mature leafy tree produces enough oxygen to support 2 people.
  • Trees help to reduce the temperature of cities and are a significant factor in reducing global warming and helping to combat climate change.
  • Trees provide an opportunity to observe the change of seasons and the wonder of nature. They beautify the communities we live in and increase the value of property.
  • Studies show that sick patients recover more quickly when they have a view of trees.
  • Fruit trees planted in low income areas help provide children with their daily dietary requirements.
  • The latest studies suggest that living in places where there are  trees improves relationships and reduces domestic violence and child abuse.
Carte Blanche Making a Difference

Moved by the plight of the children featured on Carte Blanche, we at Browns felt compelled to help make a difference by contributing a million Rand towards assisting child headed households.

This money was donated on behalf of all Browns customers and staff for without their loyal support it would not have been possible. Forming part of the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Campaign, this donation will contribute towards supporting the numerous children, some as young as 6 or 7, who are trying to cope with caring for their younger siblings and making a home.

At Browns we understand that these children are our future. We believe that all South Africans need to pull together today because it is only by providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children of today that we will be able to secure a safe and successful South Africa for tomorrow.
Christmas Bears from Browns

Christmas is traditionally a time for giving and for the past four years Browns and the Teddy Bear Campaign have found a way to give back and bring a cheerful smile to those children less fortunate than our own.


In the year 2007 we decided to gift our clients with a unique Browns bear; it would be a collector’s item and a token of our appreciation for their continued support. We introduced Mr Brown, a cuddly bear, who became a much loved surprise for our clients. We followed him up the next year with the very adorable (chubby) Tubby.

Benji bear followed in 2009, and in keeping with our company ethos of touching people’s lives, we decided to spread the joy the teddies brought our own clients by starting up the Browns Teddy Bear Campaign. We made it our goal to donate 1,000 teddies annually to orphans, disabled, impoverished or abused children nationwide. We furthermore gave the opportunity for all of our employees to get involved. We invited nominations for orphanages or care facilities within their own communities to receive bears over the festive season. Groups of our staff then personally took the teddies to these children, which of course was accompanied by many a tear of joy.

We have been reaching our goal and the campaign subsequently thrives with the introduction of a different teddy each year. In 2010 we met rugged Rufus, in 2011 came the debonair Eddie and in 2012 we welcomed the charming Rupert. This year is no different with the introduction of a fluffy rose amongst all the Browns gentlemen our first lady, Lucy.

To date our staff, together with the Carte Blanche Making a Difference campaign, has donated in excess of 4,000 teddy bears to hospitals and orphanages across the country.


Teddies we've handed up to date:

Precious Moments Require Precious Metals

PLATINUM

Platinum is the hardest and rarest of all precious metals making it the most valuable. Platinum’s wear and tarnish resistance characteristics are well suited for making fine jewellery. Unlike white gold, platinum is naturally white and will therefore always retain its colour. South Africa is the world’s leading producer of platinum.


GOLD

Gold has been used as a means of storing wealth and for adornment in the form of jewellery since the beginning of recorded time. Gold is one of the most malleable of all metals - a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1m². Pure gold is too soft for creating durable jewellery and is typically hardened by alloying with copper or other metals.

24 carat = Pure Gold
18 carat (.750) = 75% Gold
14 carat (.583) = 58% Gold
9 carat (.375) = 37% Gold

Gold is also available in yellow, white and rose colours. The colour of the gold is dependent on the alloy used. At Browns we use the precious metal rhodium to further treat your white gold jewellery ensuring  that it will stay white for longer.

All Browns pieces are fully inspected after they are cast to ensure the metal is free of air bubbles or foreign material which may cause weakness or discolouring

Royal Tanzanite

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Browns Birthstones

Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a birth month, each having a unique meaning and historical significance. Traditionally, each month is associated with a single gemstone, but as you’ll find below there are a few months with multiple  birthstones. The birthstones associated with birth months today are not necessarily the same ones that were used in ancient times. In those days, colour was the most important feature of a gemstone so they did not distinguish between gems the way we do today. For instance, they did not distinguish between a Ruby and a Garnet.

Gifts of gemstone jewellery with a loved one’s birthstone are very popular because of the desire to wear beautiful colour as well as something which has personal significance. You don’t need to become a gemstone or birthstone expert to find the perfect gift.

NB: As with all coloured stone jewellery, care should be taken when the jewellery is worn and should never be placed in the ultrasonic!

  January: Garnet 

  SYMBOLISM

  • Garnet is the January birthstone and is said to bring the wearer ‘guidance’.
  • The garnet was believed to protect from nightmares and give guidance at night.
  • The garnet is a fiery red colour.
  • Garnet is classified as a gemstone

ORIGIN

  • Garnets are found in Africa, India, Russia, South America Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, the Garnet has a 6.5-7.5 rating.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The most sought after garnet is the vivid green Tsavorite.
  • Legend has it, that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination!
  • The Crusaders used them as protection against wounds and accidents during their journeys. Today, it is a symbol for guidance and constancy.

  February: Amethyst

  SYMBOLISM

  • Amethyst the February birthstone is said to provide the wearer with wisdom.
  • It was also believed, by the ancient Greeks, that Amethyst stone protected the wearer from intoxication.
  • The Amethyst gemstone carries a spectacular purple colour that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue.

  ORIGIN

  • Amethysts are found mostly in Western India, Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Madagascar, the United States, Soviet Union, Australia, South Africa, South-western Sri Lanka, South America and Africa.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, the Amethyst has a 7 rating.

  INTERESTING FACTS

  • It is believed that the Amethyst is the stone of Saint Valentine, who we celebrate  on Valentine’s Day.
  • Saint Valentine wore an Amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid.

  March: Aquamarine

  SYMBOLISM

  • Aquamarine, the March birthstone is known to bring the wearer happiness.
  • The ancient Greeks and the Romans knew the Aquamarine as the sailor’s gem,ensuring the safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas.
  • The oceanic colour of this gemstone is the inspiration behind its name, is derived from the Latin word for seawater.

  ORIGIN

  • Aquamarine is found mostly in Brazil, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, the Aquamarine has a 7.5-8 rating.

  INTERESTING FACTS

  • Depending on which angle you look at an aquamarine, it may look blue, green, or colourless. This is called a pleachroic effect.
  • Many aquamarine stones are virtually free of inclusions and have the lustre of glass.

  April: Diamond

  SYMBOLISM

  • The Diamond, Aprils birthstone, is perhaps the greatest symbol for everlasting love.
  • Ancient Greeks named the diamond "ädamas" meaning "invincible," "indestructible," "proper,", and "untamed,"
  • Since ancient times, diamonds have been treasured for their brilliance and fire.

   ORIGIN

  • Diamonds are known to be mostly found in Australia and more importantly South Africa.
  • Diamonds are the hardest natural substance, they have 10 rating on the Mohs scale of hardness and only a diamond can cut another diamond.

   INTERESTING FACTS

  • The diamond is also the stone that marks the 60th anniversary of marriage.
  • Diamonds can occur in any colour though yellow is the most common and blue the most rare.
  • The famous Persian poet Hafiz remarked that,the rainbow is confined in a ;diamond forever.

  May: Emerald

  SYMBOLISM

  • Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May and is said to bring the wearer foresight, hope and success.
  • The Emerald is a green that brings to mind the colors of spring.
  • Romans dedicated the gem to the goddess Venus because it symbolized the reproductive forces of nature, making it a symbol for fertility.

  ORIGIN

  • Our Emeralds are sourced from Columbian and Zambia.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Emeralds have a 7.5-8 rating, however they are to be worn carefully because they scratch easily.

   INTERESTING FACTS

  • It was known that Emerald was a favorite gem of Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, and the Emerald mine in Upper Egypt, rediscovered a hundred years ago near the Red Sea, was one of the earliest Emerald occurrences in the human history.

  June: Pearl

  SYMBOLISM

  • The Pearl, the June birthstone, is a universal symbol of purity and of friendship.
  • According to Indian mythology, a pearl was formed when dew drops during a full moon fell from the heavens into the sea and were captured by shellfish.

   ORIGIN

  • Pearls are formed when an irritant, such as a piece of sand, enters an oyster. The oyster coats the piece of sand over and over and a pearl is formed.
  • The Browns Pearls are Shikito Pearls, cultivated in the tranquil and ancient lakes of Japan.

   INTERESTING FACTS

  • The most valuable pearls are perfectly symmetrical, relatively large and have a shimmering iridescence, which is called lustre and a smooth glossy surface.
  • Browns uses cultured freshwater pearls, which are of the highest quality.

   July: Ruby

   SYMBOLISM

  • Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July and is the gemstone of passion.
  • In some parts of the world the Ruby was perceived as self-luminous and was called the glowing stone.
  • In the Orients it was believed to be the spark of life and was thought to be drops of blood from the heart of Mother Earth.
  • The name ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, which means red.

  ORIGIN

  • The highest quality rubies, the most transparent with the best colour, are sourced from Burma modern day Myanmar.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Rubies have a 9 rating.

   INTERESTING FACTS

  • A rubys most important feature is its colour, its clarity is only of secondary importance therefore inclusions do not impair the value of the stone.
  • It was red Ruby slippers that led Dorothy back home in the Wizard Of Oz.
  • Ruby is the gemstone to be given on the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

  August: Peridot

  SYMBOLISM

  • Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August and is said to bring the wearer success.
  • Ancient legends considered the Peridot as a powerful amulet that warded off evil.

   ORIGIN

  • The Peridot is formed by a volcanic action.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Peridots have a 7 rating.
  • Peridot’s colour can be described as yellow-green, green with a golden tone,olive or bottle green, deep chartreuse, or simply a brilliant light green.

  INTERESTING FACTS

  • Peridot is the stone given to celebrate the 16th year of marriage.
  • Peridot is the National gem of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians knew it as the "gem of the sun."

September: Sapphire

SYMBOLISM

  • Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September and is the gemstone of loyalty.
  • The name Sapphire is derived from the Latin word ““saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue.
  • In parts of the Orient, Saturday was the day to dress in blue and wear blue sapphire

    ORIGIN
  • Our Sapphires are Ceylon Sapphires – modern day Sri-Lanka.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Sapphires have a 9 rating.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • The Museum of Natural History in New York is home to the one of the most notorious sapphires in the world, the "Star of India," a sapphire of 563 carats!

October: Tourmaline

SYMBOLISM

  • Both Pink and Green Tourmaline are the birthstone for the month of October and are said to keep the wearer safe.
  • The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term turmali, which was the name given to all coloured crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time.
  • Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colours because it travelled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbows colours.

    ORIGIN
  • Tourmalines are found in a variety of colours, the Browns collection includes the deep forest green and the vibrant pink (which are the most valuable).
  • Tourmalines are mined all over Africa including Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Tourmaline have a 7-7.5 rating.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • The Chinese have engraved and carved figures with tourmaline for many centuries, and ancient examples are still displayed in museums, a testament to the durability of the stone.

October: Opal

SYMBOLISM

  • Along with Tourmaline, Opal is also the birthstone for the month of October and is said to bring the wearer hope.
  • The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning  "precious stone" and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”
  • Ancient kings treasured Opal for its beauty and fiery colors.

    ORIGIN
  • The most valuable opals come from Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, which have been the main producer of opals since their discovery in the 1870s.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Opal has a 5.5-65 rating.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • Opal is given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage.
  • Opal is the most colorful of all gemstones due to the myriad of colors that are displayed. No two opals are alike.

November: Topaz

SYMBOLISM

  • Topaz is the birthstone for the month of November and is said to bring the wearer courage.
  • Topaz is available in a rich rainbow of colours and the most prized is the Blue Topaz.
  • Topaz gets its name from the Greek word topazion, which may originate from the Sanskrit tapas, meaning, “fire.”

    ORIGIN
  • Topaz was once predominantly found in Egypt there but is now also found in Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Burma, and Mexico.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Topaz have an 8 rating, however they are to be worn carefully because they scratch easily.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • Topaz is the stone given in celebration of the 4th and 19th anniversaries of marriage.
  • In 1740, the “Braganza” diamond (1,640 carats) was found in Ouro Preto, Brazil. It was set in the Portuguese crown, and was thought to be the largest diamond ever found. The fact that it was a diamond was never confirmed, and it is now believed to have been a colourless topaz.
  • November: Citrine

    SYMBOLISM
  • Citrine the birthstone for the month of November and is said to bring the wearer  great health.
  • The name citrine is from the French word citron which means lemon.
  • The ancient Romans used it for beautiful jewelry and intaglio (engraved work) work.
  • It was also very popular for jewelry in the 19th century. During the Art Deco period between World Wars I and II, large citrines were set in many prized pieces.

    ORIGIN
  • The gemstone is also found all over the world, in Spain, Brazil, Africa, South Africa, France, Britain, Madagascar and the Soviet Union.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Citrine has a 7 rating.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • Citrine has found favor with budget minded women looking to expand their wardrobes with affordable pieces of jewelry.

December: Tanzanite

SYMBOLISM

  • Tanzanite is the birthstone for the month of December and symbolises new birth and new beginnings.
  • Men of the Masai tribe would bestow their wives, who had just given birth, with a Tanzanite gemstone.
  • Tanzanite is named after its country of origin, Tanzania.

    ORIGIN
  • Tanzanite has only one source, Tanzania, and because of this the gemstien is exceptionally rare.
  • According to the Mohs scale of hardness, Tanzanite has a 6.5- 7 rating, the stone is soft and brittle and should be handled with care.

    INTERESTING FACTS
  • According to legend, the Masai herders were actually the ones who originally discovered the stone, when a lightning strike set the surrounding grasslands on fire. When they returned to the land with their livestock, the blue stones were all;over the ground.
  • In the movie Titanic the “Heart of the Ocean” blue diamond was actually depicted using a 28ct Tanzanite gemstone as blue diamonds do not possess such a deep blue saturation.