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An Appropriate Budget for Buying an Engagement Ring

An Appropriate Budget for Buying an Engagement Ring Engagement rings hold symbolic value and they last a lifetime, but every couple is different. In the 1980s, De Beers started the "two months' salary" campaign asking potential customers to connect the amount of money they were willing to spend to the worth of their relationship. Engagement rings hold symbolic value and they last a lifetime, but every couple is different. It’s highly unrealistic these days, since it considers gross income rather than net, and doesn’t look at debt load (at an all-time high for young adults due to student loans). Despite what the jewelry stores may want you to spend, it’s never a good feeling to spend the first several years of your marriage paying off the engagement ring. We don’t believe there should be any rules or guidelines on the budget you set. What is most important is that you are [...]

An Appropriate Budget for Buying an Engagement Ring

What is it with Cushion Cut Diamonds?

What is it with Cushion Cut Diamonds? The cushion cut diamond was once referred to as "old mine cut" which combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow. The origins of this beautiful diamond traces back to the 19th century. In the past, the shape was originally referred to as the “mine cut.” The mine cut was a square diamond that had rounded corners. It was named after the Brazilian diamond mines. Once diamonds were discovered in South Africa, the Brazilian diamond mines became known as the “old mines.” The old mine cut had 33 crown facets and 25 pavilion facets. The modern cushion cut resembles a cross between the old mine cut and a modern oval cut. Instead of 58 facets like the old mine cut had, the modern cushion cut has 64 facets. This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, and for [...]

What is it with Cushion Cut Diamonds?

History of Cartier

History of Cartier When you hear the word Cartier, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Beautiful necklaces? Iconic watches? Or maybe a signature gold bracelet? Regardless which of these appeared in your imagination, one thing is for certain: Cartier is synonymous with luxury. Since the mid-19th century, they have been building a name as a classic, yet innovative jewelry and watch maker. Their pieces are iconic and timeless. Founded in 1847 by master jeweler Louis-François Cartier who took over from master watchmaker Adolphe Picard, Cartier built a reputation on his ability to create extravagance. Cartier’s son Alfred took over in 1874 and expanded into new forms of watchmaking including the trendy wristwatch, but it would be his three sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, who built the brand you know today. Louis, Pierre, and Jacques wanted to make Cartier an international name. In the early 20th century, they quickly [...]

History of Cartier

Understanding Gold Jewlery

Understanding Gold Jewelry Karat is the term used to measure the purity of gold. Before we understand the difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold, you must know what karat stands for. Karat is basically a unit used to measure the purity of gold. Due to this, the higher the karatage, the purer the gold. Here’s a simple guide to understanding the difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold. 24 karat = 99.5% pure gold and above 22 karat = 91.7 % gold 18 karat = 75.0 % gold 14 karat = 58.3 % gold 12 karat = 50.0 % gold 10 karat = 41.7 % gold In the West the karat is expressed in fineness. For e.g. 24 k gold is expressed as 1000 parts out of 1000 pure or fineness 1.000. 22 k is expressed as 22 divided by 24, multiplied by 1000 which as a result will [...]

Understanding Gold Jewlery

History of Van Cleef & Arpels

History of Van Cleef & Arpels: When Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a dealer in precious stones, met Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stonecutter, it was the beginning of a love story that would have an enduring legacy more than a century later. The young couple married in 1895, bound together by their pioneering spirit and shared passion for precious stones. The following year, Estelle’s father, Salomon Arpels, helped Alfred start a jewelry business. In 1906, after the passing of Salomon Arpels, his son Charles Arpels and son-in-law Alfred Van Cleef founded the Maison of Van Cleef & Arpels, a boutique in Paris. The original boutique had an exceptional location. It was right across the street from the Hôtel Ritz. Most noteworthy, the hotel was a magnet for European aristocrats and important American business and industry tycoons. One of the first standout pieces by the company was a [...]

History of Van Cleef & Arpels

Art Nouveau: The Beauty of Nature

Art Nouveau The Beauty of Nature Art Nouveau or New Art is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art – especially the decorative arts – that was most popular during 1890–1910. Inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines, Art Nouveau horrified the Victorians, frightened the Edwardians, and had a great time doing so. Although Art Nouveau's time in the sun spanned roughly the period from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Some say, it also extended from the mid-19th century to World War I. Either way, it co-existed with the Victorians and the Edwardians in an unwanted and often volatile alliance. The jewelry vastly influenced Western art and architecture. Metalwork, textiles, interior design and, of course, jewelry were influenced as well. *Source: Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine Image Source: Lalique. Those with such highly-respected names such as; [...]

Art Nouveau: The Beauty of Nature

Retro Period: Jazzing up the Post World War II Years

Retro Period: Jazzing up the Post World War II Years The Retro jewelry period, or Cocktail jewelry as it is sometimes called, took place after World War II. As a reaction to the dire world conflict, jewelry became bolder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k80QvGtOyrw&feature=youtu.be Unlike the Art Deco style, Retro jewelry has soft curves and feminine motifs. Gold regained popularity, as platinum was essential to the war effort and scarcely available for commercial use. Different colors of gold, such as yellow, rose, and green, were used in striking combinations. Popular gemstones included aquamarines, topaz, and citrines, as well as synthetic rubies and sapphires. When set in huge rectangular cuts used in cocktail rings, oversize bracelets, and watches was very popular. Patriotic themes were also popular. When diamonds, sapphires, and rubies were often paired together, and three dimensional sculptural ribbons, bows, and folds made out of metal were common. In the Retro period, jewelry was [...]

Retro Period: Jazzing up the Post World War II Years

History of David Webb

History of David Webb David Webb was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina in 1925 and began designing jewelry at a young age. At age 9, David Webb was introduced to metalwork and quickly developed a passion for jewelry making. He eventually apprenticed at his uncle’s factory and at 17 and then moved to New York City to pursue his craft full time. In 1948, Webb opened his own business with three employees around the corner from New York’s Diamond District. He crafted his own jewelry designs in his workshop. He then caught the attention of elite department stores like Bergdorf Goodman. Webb also became popular with the Ladies Who Lunch crowd. These women would travel in their chauffeured limousines to Webb’s business to make a number of jewelry purchases before returning to their Upper East Side homes for the day. By the time he was 25 years old, [...]

History of David Webb

Mid Century Period: An Underrated Period of Jewelry Design

Mid-Century: The design period known as the Mid-Century ranged from about 1950-1965. The years following World War II were a welcome return to prosperity and led to a demand in luxurious jewelry to match the increasingly feminine styles of the time. The designs of Mid-Century jewelry changed as well from the masculine, military styles of the ’40s to a more elegant, feminine look. Jewelry designers began creating stunning confections of glistening diamonds, or bold, modern looks with gemstones. As a result, the linear styles of the previous decade gave way to voluptuous curves as in the pearls so popular in that era, or whimsical portrayals of animals, flowers, branches, and vines. Signed designer jewelry from such notable brands as Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels became popularized through the mediums of film and magazines, especially in such movies as the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” A concurrent Modernist movement introduced abstract [...]

Mid Century Period: An Underrated Period of Jewelry Design

Top Quality Tourmaline

Top Quality Tourmaline Tourmaline is derived from the Sinhalese word “tourmali,” which means “mixed parcel.” Color is king for Tourmaline, which is found in more hues, shades and nuances than any other gem. Indeed, not only does tourmaline come in every possible color, but some tourmalines have more than one color in the same stone. Other varieties are sold simply with a color prefix, as in “pink tourmaline.” As with most gems, the color should be as intense as possible, not too dark or too light. When buying any gem, it is always a good idea to examine it under a variety of light sources. This eliminates future surprises. Different varieties of tourmaline tend to have different clarities. Thus while large clean tourmalines in the blue and blue-green colors are available. But almost all red and pink tourmalines will show eye-visible inclusions. The most common inclusions in tourmaline are fractures [...]

Top Quality Tourmaline

Top Quality Topaz

Top Quality Topaz Topaz is a very popular gemstone due to the variety of colors it is available in, its relative durability, and its affordability compared with stones such as ruby, emerald, or sapphire. Topaz is a mineral that is colorless in its pure form. However, this gemstone often contains impurities that color it in a variety of tones. You can find topaz in orange, yellow, pink, gray, brown, blue, and green colors. Rated 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, topaz is a relatively hard mineral, but it can be scratched or even broken by metals and stones that are harder. In general, topaz gemstones with fewer internal flaws are more valuable than stones with more inclusions. To examine a gemstone’s clarity, look at the stone with the naked eye in a well-lit setting – the cleaner the gem looks, the better its clarity. Since hue [...]

Top Quality Topaz

Top Quality Citrine

Top Quality Citrine Citrine is classified as a semi precious stone. A yellow variety of quartz, citrine has an attractive luster and excellent clarity. Amongst the yellow colored gemstones, citrine is the most desired due to its color, quality, and price. The name Citrine is derived from French word ‘Citron’ which stands for lemon. Citrine has energies of fortune and luck. The only difference between amethyst and citrine is the oxidation state of iron impurities present in the quartz. Citrine is an inexpensive and relatively affordable gemstone. Color is the most important factor for citrine. It has a wide color range from lemon yellow to reddish brown since a yellow quartz is very rare in nature. Typically, the deeper colored stones are more valued than the lighter tones, including those with reddish tints. The most common cuts for citrine are oval, round and rectangular cuts. The best quality citrine is “clean” and free of [...]

Top Quality Citrine

What is it with Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds?

What is it with Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds? The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape of diamond. The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape of diamond. For hundreds of years, diamond cutters have been developing this cut to maximize its brilliance and fire. Brilliant cuts were first developed by Marcel Tolkowsky (1899–1991). He came from a Belgian family of diamond cutters, and derived the cut from mathematical calculations that maximized the brilliance and dispersion of light. Since its creation in the early twentieth century, the round brilliant cut has become the most researched and popular of all cuts. It is comprised of 58 facets and naturally follows the crystal shape of a rough diamond therefore designed to give maximum scintillation, beauty and fire. The simplest cut is a single cut, a form of cutting a round diamond with only 18 facets. This progression has [...]

What is it with Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds?

Harry Winston

Harry Winston Founded in New York City in 1932, Harry Winston sets the standard in fine jewelry. Few jewelry brands have such an illustrious history as the House of Harry Winston. Founded in New York City in 1932, the brand continues to set the standard for the ultimate in fine jewelry.  In addition to high-end watchmaking. Mr. Winston's innovative design philosophy – in which the individual gemstones, rather than the metal settings, would dictate each design. Likewise, he helped to revolutionize fine jewelry designs, and remains at the cornerstone of a timeless aesthetic. As result, the jewelry continues to inspire all Harry Winston creations. In November of 2018, The Pink Legacy, an 18.96-carat rectangular-cut fancy vivid pink diamond, the largest and finest pink diamond Christie’s has offered at auction to date. This is now part of the Harry Winston collection. Christened the “The Winston Pink Legacy,” it sold to the iconic [...]

Harry Winston

Vivacious. Vintage. Victorious.

Vivacious. Vintage. Victorious. The History of Victorian Jewelry officially starts with the coronation of young Queen Victoria in 1837 and ends with her death in 1901 at the age of 82. The Queen loved jewelry. She designed it, wore it, and gave it away as gifts throughout the rise of the British Global Empire to the inception of the Industrial Revolution. Her passion ignited the talents of the jewelry trade in London, especially during the death of her beloved husband, Albert. The expression “The sun never sets” grew during the British Empire as Britain controlled 25% of the world’s economy. From India and China to the British Virgin Islands, and everywhere in between, the phrase supports that there was always at least one part of their territory that was in daylight. Moreover, the Industrial Revolution created the 1st middle class in the history of the world. Also, England was known as [...]

Vivacious. Vintage. Victorious.

Beware of Buying Jewelry While on Vacation

Beware of Buying Jewelry While on Vacation Be alert when buying high-priced diamonds and estate jewelry items when away on vacation. Duty free or discount does not necessarily mean a good deal. You don’t want to impulse buy a high-priced jewelry item because it could be a gamble. Remember to never spend more than you can afford to lose. Purchasing jewelry at home takes the pressure off. Diamond ring buyers near you, will have time to compare prices or items or maybe you have a trusted jeweler who has never led you astray before. Vacation is about having fun so it’s easy to wing it and just purchase an item but you may regret that purchase later. If you do realize your mistake later and want to return, exchange or alter your piece you may find it difficult to do. Or you may be stuck with what you got. Instead, purchase a [...]

Beware of Buying Jewelry While on Vacation
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