Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Are Diamonds Rare?


 
A diamond engagement ring must have matching diamonds
 

There is a YouTube video in circulation, I believe created by a disgruntled suitor that explains how diamonds are not rare. He goes on to say that diamonds are a commodity like any other but controlled by monopolistic companies that hoard them. They only let a certain number of diamonds out into the world each year in order to control the demand. This guy probably believes the CIA killed Kennedy.

 

If you can't afford diamonds buy cubic zirconia, B. Tiff of New York
 
 
Now I’m not saying that these companies that own the diamond mines don’t have a stash in some vault somewhere, I’m just saying there probably is a good reason. I’m sure that there are great variations in the diamonds pulled from a mine each day. Not all the diamonds are of good quality. A diamond that would go into an engagement ring needs to be a certain size, color and clarity in order to make the grade. Not all diamonds come out of the mine ready to be slapped into a setting.

 

Even though the diamonds are small they match, David Yurman Chelsea Watch
 
 
A good quality diamond or diamonds that are used for jewelry have to have some commonality. Even a ring that is pave must have diamonds of the same color and clarity. You wouldn’t tile a floor with tiles from different batches; there would be color variations that are unattractive. Yet there are people who think all diamonds are the same. They believe that a diamond is a diamond and that it is all a grand conspiracy cooked up by the diamond companies.

 

Pave Diamond Pendant, small but beautiful
 
 
Now I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot of overpriced jewelry on the market. Let’s face it; a pair of Chanel earrings gets a much larger price simply based on the brand than an unknown brand with similar quality, weight and size. So basically this guy misses the point. Yes there are a lot of diamonds out there, but a diamond is rare not based on quantity alone and just because the girl he was trying to woo wanted a big expensive diamond isn’t the diamond companies fault, he just picked a girl with expensive taste.
 
 
Go for what makes sense financially, Gabrielle Bruni white sapphire or diamonds semi-custom earrings

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jewelry Like You've Never Seen It



18K gold and gray agate geode earrings
 
 

Jewelry can be ordinary. We sometimes go through life and we see nothing but solitaire diamond rings, simple stud earrings in a variety of gemstones, or maybe some other conservative piece. Now I’m not saying that the world should abandon these staples of jewelry, but once in a while it’s nice to see designers taking chances.

 

Australian black opal pendant
 
 
Take the geode, this is a formation that I first saw while visiting a natural history museum when I was very young. I loved the craggy raw gemstone and crystal interiors. They varied in color giving off tons of sparkle and a rainbow of shades. They came in a multitude of sizes, colors and shapes. The most interesting part was how the plain exterior hid a treasure trove of colors within.

 

Rose gold and black opal earrings
 
 
Designers such as Kimberly McDonald are using geodes and other natural crystal formations to make jewelry. She uses these beautiful and unusual gems to make stunning, bold and very contemporary jewelry. It is safe to say that she is thinking entirely outside of the box. I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing her jewelry in person but the images in magazines and on her website are great. She also makes other amazing pieces.

 

Turquoise chrysocolla druze ring
 
 
I love when designers take chances; it gives the world a view of jewelry as art. While I will be the first to admit that some designs are too bold for many of the population it’s nice to think that creativity in jewelry design still exists. Much of what we see today is bland and it’s fun to see jewelry like we’ve never seen it before.
 
Love these, Montana agate earrings

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jewelry Stores Hide Their Price Tags



Had someone order these in 18K gold and diamonds, Gabrielle Bruni GAL1133
 

My husband sent me a little blip on how jewelry stores hide their price tags. The reasoning behind this lack of tags was to promote discussion. The jewelry store believes that if you see the price tag and view the price as too high, you will simply walk out of the store without discussing price or even the possibility of negotiation. I don’t believe this is true.

 

She also order a matching necklace, Gabrielle Bruni GAL1134

If most or all of your jewelry is astronomically priced and your customers retreat like they’ve just been introduced to the devil, then maybe your store is located in an area where your jewelry is out of reach for the local consumer. Jewelry stores draw customers from the local area and those looking for a particular brand you may carry. To assume that the price tag along is what is scaring your customers away is silly.

 

I negotiated for days and the customer didn't buy, I guess she just didn't want it unless I was giving it away for free, Gabrielle Bruni GAL0890-WY
 
 
Customers come to your jewelry store to look at jewelry. I’ve been to many stores that after a quick look around I don’t see anything of interest. This is when I leave. I’m not going to hang out and engage in a fruitless discussion about pricing for jewelry I simply will not want to wear. Now on the other hand, if I see a piece of jewelry I love I will want to see it closer and to know the price. It’s free to try it on.

 

Some pieces are reasonably priced, Gabrielle Bruni GAL2255
 
Wanting jewelry and knowing the pricing are simply two different things. If you want something bad enough or have been making plans to buy a particular piece you will stay to try it on and make sure it is what you want. Then you will either negotiate for the price or try and figure something out on credit. High priced jewelry is just sometimes unobtainable for some customers but it shouldn’t chase them out of the store. Take my word for it, something else is making them leave, and it’s not a price tag.
 
 
Some pieces are too pretty to resist, Gabrielle Bruni GAL2542-BT

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Invest in Gold




Get ready for the colors of fall, the perfect match for gold jewelry
 
 

Now this is in no way investment advice, I have absolutely no background in investing and I can honestly say I’m pretty bad at saving, but I do know what a hot look is for fall. Gold is now in season. Gold jewelry looks particularly great with all the fall colors of rust, brown, garnet, olive and copper. Now is the perfect time to add gold jewelry to your collection.

 

 
 
Now I know what you’re thinking, gold is super expensive, how can I afford any meaningful pieces? While gold is expensive you don’t necessarily have to invest in solid gold or even 18K or 14k gold plate. Since you are trying to make a fashion statement, you can simply purchase some gold toned jewelry. A great place to start is a gold toned watch. There are many gold toned watches on the market that won’t break the bank and with quartz accuracy you’ll be on time.

 

Jorge Revilla Hiedra Pendant, $265.00 includes chain
 
 
Gold necklaces can be very expensive which is why I recommend gold plate in these instances. It gives that beautiful burnished gold color you’re looking for at a fraction of the cost. It also allows for larger statement pieces at affordable pricing. If you carefully select your pieces you’ll be in fashion and have money left over to purchase that great gold toned clutch. Remember, not all gold has to be real gold. This is especially true of seasonal fashion.

 

 
 
Although there is nothing wrong with investing in good gold jewelry pieces. Many of us cannot afford larger gold pieces due to the astronomical price of gold, but hey, if you can afford it I say go for it! Gold earrings and necklaces in classic styles have been around for centuries so purchasing a beautiful 14k gold chain certainly won’t go out of style. The same is true of most hoop or dangle earrings. Gold is a perfect wardrobe enhancer for fall, so go out and invest in something gold.
 
Don't forget the gold clutch, $42.95

Friday, September 19, 2014

The T-shirt Necklace


 
Add some interest to a plain white t-shirt with a necklace or two
 

Probably one of the most ubiquitous wardrobe pieces is the plain white t-shirt. For many men and women it is the go to shirt for a casual outfit or even an evening out on the town. Tons of articles have been written about the white t-shirt, from which company makes the best ones to how it became so engrained in American culture. The white t-shirt is here to stay. So how does one dress it up?

 

Earth Gems add an organic flair to a white t-shirt
 
 
One of the easiest ways to make a plain white t-shirt a little dressier is to add jewelry. You can go with something earthy or organic. Drusy, granite, natural stone in various shapes all convey a naturalist style. Another option is edgy. Stainless steel chains, spiked necklaces or pendants with skeletons or crosses all look great with a t-shirt and a leather moto jacket. You don’t necessarily have to keep it simple with a t-shirt; it’s a blank canvas that shows off jewelry to advantage.

 

Go edgy with a thick stainless steel chain necklace $99
 
 
In order to make a piece of jewelry look its best on a white t-shirt remember to keep proportion in mind. You want to find the “balance point” on your torso. This is the point where a necklace looks its best because the proportion is correct. Measure from you hairline to the bottom of your chin, your necklace should fall an equal distance from your chin to your torso. It doesn’t have to be exact. This balance point elongates your torso giving you the most flattering look.

 

Lower cut tops look great with shorter necklaces
 
 
Another consideration when picking a necklace is the neckline. When wearing a very low neckline or a high crew neckline you want to break up these long expanses. Choosing a necklace that is half the distance of your balance point will create just enough interest to break up the expanse of skin or t-shirt. So the next time you put on a plain white t-shirt and want to make things more interesting, add a necklace, it’s sure to dress things up.
 
 
You can break up a large expanse of skin with a multiple strand necklace

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

One of a Kind Jewelry


 
The cut of this ametrine stone makes this one of a kind, Michael Schofield Ametrine Pendant
 

What is one of a kind jewelry? Is it jewelry that is made especially for one person? We can consider engagement rings for celebrities that are designed and made just for them. No other pieces will be made; it isn’t a design that will be duplicated by the designer. So this can mean one of kind jewelry. There are also other ways to get one of kind jewelry and sometimes it has to do with material.

 

Handcrafted pure silver necklace, Michael Schofield Silver & Coral Necklace
 
 
Occasionally, natural gemstones are found that can be considered one of a kind. The size, color, clarity and other attributes make it either rare or just unique. We see these articles all the time. The largest pink diamond in the world, the largest chunk of gold, the only know diamond or gemstone of a particular color. The reason they are one of a kind is because of nature. The conditions were just right to make a spectacular gemstone of enormous size.

 

You can customize these earrings with chocolate diamonds or white diamonds
 
 
Not all gemstones that are unique are huge or unusually colored. Sometimes a natural gemstone is unique because of its natural coloration. Ametrine is a combination of amethyst and citrine. While the gemstone is forming the two different color stones blend or merge. They create a unique color combination that becomes one of kind when the stone is cut. Bi-tonal stones are almost impossible to duplicate due to the cutting process.

 

Available in onyx, blue topaz or maybe amethyst
 
 
Another aspect of one of a kind jewelry is the pieces that are handcrafted. Each piece will be slightly distinctive based on the way it was made; handcrafted items usually have slight variations in each piece. The real joy is finding that one of a kind piece of jewelry and not breaking the bank. So go out there and look for usual gemstones, handcrafted items or something that can be changed to fit your personality or tastes. One of a kind does exist and can be had for ordinary people for amazing prices.
 
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Miley Cyrus Jewelry


 
Miley Cyrus and Jeremy Scott NYFW
 

Okay, now I can say that I’ve seen it all, Miley Cyrus debuted her jewelry line at Jeremy Scott’s runway show during New York Fashion Week. Apparently she is tentatively calling the line “Dirty Hippie” but I think a more appropriate name would be either “Cheap Plastic Bauble” or “Really Bad Acid Trip.” After seeing some of the pieces I have a hard time figuring out why Miley Cyrus is considered relevant.

 

Some of the models at the show
 
 
Most of the pieces are in a rainbow of colors, I’m sure this will appeal to all those “tweens” she markets to, and of course anyone who still thinks they’re thirteen. Not only are these jewelry pieces bright, they are made of plastic and fuzzy things. They feature plastic beads, block letters and puffy pompoms. Be prepared for lots of teddy bears, fuzzy centered daisies and a multitude of gumball machine rings.

 

You would think this is what you would find in the school backpack of an 11 year old girl, but no, it's Miley's jewelry
 
 
Basically this jewelry line reminds me of the goofy crap you give out at a little girl’s birthday party. It would be perfect for a goody bag. While I’m probably being a cranky old woman for dissing on Miley Cyrus who is obviously the poster girl for fun, flirty and carefree, I think her jewelry line has been done before by a factory in China who make plastic products. Basically, her jewelry line is neither original nor attractive. She even professes to get her material for her "handcrafted" jewelry at the local Dollar Store.

 

Puffy pompoms and daisy ring, I think the liver spots clash with the plastic jewelry
 
 
My only hope is that these pieces will be sold very cheap so at least the hapless Moms and Dads who have Miley Cyrus crazed tweens will be able to afford these little wearable eyesores. It’s kind of a shame that Miley Cyrus is getting so much attention for her psychedelic nightmarish monstrosities when there are so many other designers worthy of attention for beautifully crafted jewelry. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder and a mask made of fuzzy miniature teddy bears and a wig of friendships bracelets is considered art nowadays.
 
Art is truly in the eye of the beholder, I think this mask might make it hard to breath

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Loving Some Chunky Jewelry


 
Classic statement large link necklace, Gabrielle Bruni Regina Collection Link Necklace
 

Chunky jewelry makes a statement; it says “Look at me!” While this might not always be the statement you want to make, at certain times it is appropriate. Generally speaking a piece of chunky jewelry is a large chain choker, wide cuffs or anything that has huge stones or a lot of bulk behind it, think of a heavy chain necklace.

 

Or maybe one chunky bangle, Gabrielle Bruni Regina Collection Bangle
 
 
These chunky jewelry pieces are great because they make a big statement without a lot of pieces. That chunky choker looks great with a simple little black dress. A flirty white sundress only needs one wide cuff or a large cocktail ring to look pulled together. That fisherman sweater, jeans and cute leather booties look finished with some large earrings, no other jewelry required.

 

Dazzle them with a pair of Rock Crystal Earrings 30.9 carats
 
 
Statement pieces do just that, make a statement all on their own. They don’t need a supporting cast or a bunch of accessories to hold them up. They are the star of the show and should be treated that way. Make that chunky piece of jewelry the center of attention; make it stand out as the focus of your outfit. Keep everything else simple so that piece of jewelry can really shine.

 

 
 
Letting a large piece of jewelry stand out on its own really isn’t that hard. They generally can impress in a simple setting. This is why you’ll never see large jewelry pieces photographed or shown on anything but a plain background. They don’t need a lot of bells or whistles to be noticed. So the next time you think your outfit might be leaning towards bland, add something large and bold to the mix, that’s why I love chunky jewelry, it’s easy.
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Affordable Gold


 
 

Gold is one of those metals that is experiencing a bit of costliness for consumers. Actually gold has been costly for quite some time now. Many people love the look of gold and how it makes them feel. Gold has a connotation about it; it exudes “money.” When people wear gold not only do they look good they feel rich. One of the biggest problems is gold is currently at $1250.00 an ounce.

 

 
 
Many of the gold vermeil and pure silver bangles on my website are anywhere from around 2 ounces to 3 ounces. That would make a bangle somewhere in the market of $2500 to $3750 for the cost of pure gold. This doesn’t include the actual labor of turning said gold into a piece of jewelry and we all know the jewelry manufacturer would like to make a little money too.

 

 
 
This is why a pure silver bracelet or gold vermeil is so much more affordable then a 14K to 18K solid jewelry piece. There is absolutely nothing wrong with gold vermeil or pure silver jewelry. Gold vermeil gives the look of gold, because it is gold, but at a fraction of the cost. Do not confuse gold vermeil with gold plate. To create gold vermeil, you must cover sterling silver or pure silver with a layer of gold at least 10K and 1.5 microns thick.

 

I just think these are pretty
 
Gold vermeil is at least 50 times thicker than gold plate so it will wear like solid gold. Additionally, gold vermeil is usually covering sterling silver or pure silver. Gold plate can sometimes have a core of copper or nickel under that thin layer of gold. So if you’re looking for jewelry with the look and feel of gold, consider gold vermeil, it meets all your gold jewelry requirements at a fraction of the cost.

Sterling silver and a two carat amethyst, very affordable


Friday, September 5, 2014

Sapphire in Your iPhone


 
The iPhone 6 is said to have a sapphire screen
 

I live in the land of computers, better known as the Silicon Valley. The big news in this morning’s paper is how Apple is researching the possibility of using sapphire for their phone screen. According to the article, sapphire is an extremely hard mineral, second only to diamond. In its natural state it is clear, which makes it perfect for an iPhone screen. This hard plus clear material can potentially make a better iPhone screen that is more resistant to cracking and has a more sensitive touch screen.

 


I prefer my sapphires in rings, Gabrielle Bruni White Sapphire Ring
 
 
The real trick here is how to come up with so much sapphire. There are tons of iPhones on the market and when people starting upgrading to the iPhone 6 it can be daunting coming up with enough sapphire to cover all those screens. Apple has signed a deal with a specialized manufacturer to grow synthetic sapphire in a plant in Mesa, Arizona. Apparently, this plant will manufacture more sapphire than all the other synthetic sapphire plants in the world combined, that’s a lot of sapphire.

 
 
 
In order to make synthetic sapphire you need a sapphire seed, approximately the size of a hockey puck which is then placed into a molybdenum crucible. Next you add raw crystalline aluminum oxide with a similar chemical makeup as sapphire gems. You can also add leftover sapphires from previous runs. The mixture is heated to more than 3,800 degrees then undergoes various cooling cycles for about 16 to 17 days. The end result is a 250 pound cylindrical piece of industrial sapphire called a boule.

 

 
 
This large block of sapphire can be laser cut into any shape that you desire. An iPhone 5 screen is approximately .02 inches thick so it is easy to estimate that the new iPhone 6 will be similar. While this process produces a synthetic sapphire, I would love to see a 250 pound boule; it’s still a sapphire after all. I’m not sure how I feel about this use of sapphire; there are so many jewelry applications for 250 pounds of sapphire. In the end I guess I can always tell people I upgraded my phone because the screen is made of sapphire, a girl has to have her gems.