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Whilst I cannot admit to having expensive tastes, I love both beautiful jewellery and designer perfume and when my friend showed me her Clogau Milestone bracelet during the winter of last year I was totally in love with the brand. After dropping a few subtle hints to my husband he agreed to purchase one for me for Christmas 2012 and this review discusses my thoughts.
A LITTLE ABOUT CLOGAU
I must admit that when my friend and I were initially discussing Clogau the only thing I knew about the brand was that they were Welsh. As I was born and bred in South Wales and have lived here all of my life I was keen to learn a little more and it was after looking on their website that I discovered that in was in 1989 that William Roberts discovered the Clogau St David's gold mine. Whilst he was keen to re-open the mine in the hope of discovering gold, he was turned down by Snowdonia National Park and consequently, Roberts decided to take a gamble to see if it still contained gold. He clearly hit the jackpot as within a couple of years, Clogau's famous and very rare rose gold began to be extracted.
Clogau produce a wide range of beautiful jewellery with all of their pieces containing some of their precious gold. The jewellery is either available in sterling silver, which include touches of rose gold or 9ct yellow gold. After learning of the business and how they began, my journey along the Clogau road began and has slowly turned into a rather expensive addiction.
MILESTONE BEAD CHARM BRACELET
There are two variations of the Milestone Bracelet and when attempting to place my order online I was rather confused, as there is one that contains a silver and rose gold clasp with the other bracelet offering a lobster style clasp. I eventually placed my order for the version with the silver and rose gold clasp, which looks far superior to the lobster style, as the clasp carries the familiar and very distinctive "CG" markings, which have been created from rare rose gold and nestle gently on top of the sterling silver. The clasp, which offers a hexagon shape, also displays the Clogau logo, which has been etched into the silver together with the authenticity marking for sterling silver.
The bracelet is available in two sizes, namely 19.1 cm and 21 cm with me choosing the smaller size, which is obviously a good thing, as I won't be able to add so many charms! The concept behind the Milestone Bead Charm Bracelet is that each time you reach a significant milestone in your life you can add the relevant charm and as there are so many from which to choose, there is sure to be something to suit all tastes. The bracelet is fairly lightweight at just 17.9 g without any charms and can be described as a solid rope style with each charm needing to be threaded similar to that of a Pandora bracelet. I'm not a fan of link bracelets, as they easily break and the appeal to me with the Milestone bracelet is that it is very unique and looks absolutely beautiful even when empty.
When I received my bracelet, which was provided in a cushioned presentation box, it included two sterling silver beads, which can be described as stoppers with their appearance being similar to that of Polos albeit a lot smaller. These are easily moved along the length of the bracelet, so if you decide not to fill the bracelet with a variety of charms, the stoppers will hold those on the bracelet in place.
I was fortunate to receive a couple of charms with my bracelet last Christmas, which my husband had already threaded. However, I soon purchased a couple more and I struggled a little with the clasp, as it is quite secure and requires the point of a finger nail to unlock the tiny catches. It was then a case of moving the charms around on the bracelet with the stoppers being removable although they can only be taken off from the one side, as the silver and rose gold clasp with its measurements of approximately 1 cm in length, is permanently fixed to the one side. As I have long finger nails I struggle to close the clasp especially when I am trying to hold the bracelet in position on my wrist and as a result, my husband always needs to assist me.
As I began to build up a collection of charms I was afraid to wear my bracelet without purchasing a safety chain and whilst the clasp is extremely secure, I worried that it would undo on its own and the bracelet slip off my wrist never to be seen again. The safety chains are rather expensive with the cheapest being £140, but it is something I would definitely recommend especially if you wish to protect your investment. My bracelet is currently half full with fourteen charms with prices ranging from £49 for the silver and rose gold up to £500 for the 9ct gold, so it is a very expensive addiction. However, my bank balance doesn't stretch to the 9ct gold, so my bracelet consists of the silver and rose gold charms.
However, each of my charms mean something to me as the majority have been purchased by my husband and family such as a silver mesh heart containing a gold fairy, a Welsh 9ct gold daffodil from my parents and a heart with a key, which my husband gave me for our anniversary. Despite the bracelet being only half full, it is quite heavy on my wrist and for that reason I am unsure if I will fill it. Clogau are attempting to make further money by selling a bracelet doubler charm, which will enable you to fix two bracelets together although this is not something I am likely to do.
Accompanying my bracelet and each of my charms was a cleaning cloth, which enables me to gently dry wipe them to bring up the shine. However, since owning my bracelet and wearing it on a number of occasions, I have only had the need to clean it once, which took a matter of minutes. The charms do not easily scratch although I am very careful when wearing it.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
When my husband purchased my bracelet last year it was £179 and as I had a £50 voucher code in my possession, it was a pretty good deal considering the bracelet will now set you back £199, as Clogau hiked the prices of all of their jewellery in April of this year. If you want to splash the cash and own the 9ct gold version it will set you back £2,000 and whilst it is stunning it is well out of my price range. I generally tend to purchase the majority of my charms directly from the Clogau website as each order costing over £29 will enable you to receive a £10 e-voucher, which can be redeemed against your next order. I also make good use of our Tesco vouchers, which generally quadruple at Christmas time for Goldsmiths Jewellers, which I then use to purchase some additional charms.
I adore my Clogau Milestone Bracelet and for that reason it receives my recommendation together with five stars.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.