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Gemstone Discovery: Peridot

"Gem of the Sun", that's what the Egyptians called peridots. Probably because of it's vibrant green color. For centuries, peridot was confused for emerald and many people believe Cleopatra's famous emerald collection was actually peridots! This beautiful gem has been around for centuries and we're about to tell you what's so great about this gem. 

Loose Peridot & Emerald

The first known record of mining emeralds was in Egypt in the Red Sea Island Zabargad (St. John's Island). Peridots from this region were some of the most finest and largest peridots found. In fact, the world's largest peridot ever found, 311.78 carats, was discovered in Zabargad. It can be viewed in the National Smithsonian Muesum in Washington D.C. Peridots are mined all over the world. The most known mine in the United States can be found in Arizona at the San Carlos Apache reservation. 

Peridots are formed in the depths of the earth and usually brought up to the surface through volcanoes. There are a small percentage of peridots (not in the jewelry market & rare to find) that come from meteorites. The gem variety mineral of peridots is Olivine which includes iron and magnesium. Iron causes the light greenish color in the gemstone. The color range of peridots are from a pure green to yellowish green to a brown green. Most commonly found color is a yellowish green; almost reminds you of spring or summer. 

In the past, people believed the wearer of peridot would be protected from terrors of the night. Others would tie peridot to the donkey hair & around their left arm to ward off any evil spirits. Whether or not it worked, people believed it had powers just like other gemstones. 

Peridot Necklaces

For all those born in August, peridot is the birthstone for you. It is also the 15th wedding anniversary gift. Celebrate these occasions with a pair of peridot earrings or necklace. The great thing about peridot is it's an inexpensive and beautiful stone. You can get a beautiful large peridot far less than any sapphire or emerald. A great way to celebrate an anniversary or an August birthday. 

Your Guide to Plain Bands

With so many different plain wedding band options, it's hard to tell which you prefer and the difference between all of them. We have broken it down to 5 groups of plain bands and within those groups are subtle style differences. It's important to know the subtle traits for each band to choose the right wedding band for you. Let's begin!

Half Round Wedding Bands

There are two types of half round bands: half round light and half round. Edges are straight and without any comfort. Ring lays flat on the finger with a dome on the outside. The difference between the two are thickness and dome shape. A half round light is approximately 1.17 mm thick; while a half round is approximately 1.55 mm thick. 

     Half Round LIghtHalf Round

Comfort Fit 

Comfort fit wedding bands are rings made to have a round feel against the finger and domed style. The edges are rounded. These type of wedding rings are generally extremely comfortable for most people. And actually most men prefer comfort fit wedding bands because they're not use to wearing jewelry. The comfort fit feature on not only plain bands but other wedding bands are definitely a great option. There are 4 types of plain domed comfort fit: comfort fit, comfort fit with an edge, comfort fit heavy, and comfort fit very heavy. The main difference between these 4 styles is the thickness. For those who want just a little style to their plain band, the comfort fit with an edge would be a great style. 

Comfort Fit LightComfort Fit HeavyComfort Fit Very Heavy Comfort Fit Edge

Flat Bands

If you don't like the dome look, another style is flat bands. There are three styles of flat bands: pipe cut, flat comfort fit, and euro style comfort fit. All offer the same flat band look when seeing it on the finger, but they have a different feel. The pipe cut flat band is as it is named. It's a band that is completely flat with straight edges; flat against the finger and flat on top. A flat comfort fit band is an option for those who want the pipe cut look but with a comfort fit feel. It's rounded on the inside and flat on top. And if you're torn between a flat band or domed band, then the euro style comfort fit may be the best option. The euro style comfort fit band is not completely flat and not completely domed. It's a mix and has a rounded edge against the finger. 

Flat Pipe Cut BandFlat Comfort Fit Euro Style Comfort Fit

Milgrain Bands

The best way to describe milgrain bands are rings with narrow beaded edges. There are small beads all along the edge of the band. This style of band gives the classic plain band look with an extra touch of style. There are 4 common styles of milgrain bands available; milgrain, milgrain comfort fit, milgrain heavy comfort fit, and double milgrain comfort fit. Each offer a different level of comfort. The regular milgrain band is flat against the finger and domed on the outside. All the other milgrain bands with comfort fit are going to be rounded against the finger and vary in thickness. As for the double milgrain comfort fit band, it has 2 rows of narrow beads on the edge. 

Milgrain Band Milgrain Comfort FitMilgrain Heavy Comfort FitDouble Milgrain Comfort Fit

Square Comfort Fit

It is exactly as the name states, it's a square band and plain. If you want something a bit contemporary but plain as well. The surface against the finger is rounded and has a soft square exterior shape. 

Square Comfort Fit     

These are just some of the wide range of plain bands that you could get for you and your significant other. There are other styles that we didn't touch on such as beveled edge, knife edge, flat tapered, flat edge and more. The ones listed here are the standard plain bands that most people choose. It all comes down to finding the style that fits and feels just right for your finger. You'll be wearing it for a long time and want to make sure it's something you love. Need a little help in starting? Check out our collection of plain wedding bands

How to Build a $2,000 Engagement Ring?

On a budget and don't want to break your bank account? These days everyone is looking to find a way to get the most for their dollar. And most think you have to save 2 months salary to get an engagement ring. Well we have some fun tips on building an engagement ring under $2,000. Yes, you heard that right, it's very possible to get an engagement (and a nice one I may say) for under that amount. So, where do we start? 

Choose Simple Engagement Rings

You can find engagement rings with peek-a-boo diamonds, subtle diamond accents or a classic solitaire. These type of engagement rings are usually under $1,000. In fact, the beautiful classic solitaire is usually under $400 and let's add solitaire engagement rings are great for showcasing the diamond. If you get a classic solitaire for under $400 or even under $300; that leaves you with a lot left over to focus on a beautiful diamond. 

14Kt White Gold Rope Engagement Ring

Now, maybe your future fiance wants something more, like diamonds on the side. That doesn't mean it will be difficult. In fact, simple engagement rings with subtle diamond accents or a peek-a-boo diamond are great choices. And may we add it will still display the center diamond beautifully.

14Kt Yellow Gold Round Cut Diamond Accent Engagement Ring   Rose Gold Diamond Accent Engagement Ring

Choose a Diamond Shape Not in Demand

Round and princess (square) cut are and always have been the classic go to diamond shape for any piece of jewelry especially engagement rings. And since it's popular, the demand for those shapes are higher, which means higher priced diamonds. Choosing a diamond shape other than round or princess cut such as oval, cushion, or marquise; will help lower your cost down. Between a round diamond and cushion cut, you can almost save a few hundred dollars; if not more. The best part of the other shapes such as cushion or oval is they are very similar to a round diamond. 

Loose Diamonds

Still want a round or princess cut? That's okay, because there are a lot of great diamonds out there under $1,000 or even under $1,500; depending on the engagement ring you choose. You just need to play with the specifications of the diamond to get there; which brings us to the next tip. 

Play Around with Color/Clarity

One thing we mentioned in an earlier post, is cut is important. This is one factor we believe should be top priority and shouldn't change. It will give off the most brilliance. However, color and clarity is something you can change around and still get the desired diamond you want. You can choose a color range that isn't exactly colorless. Instead, go for the near colorless diamond or just borderline. If you look at our color scale, diamonds between G-J are in the near colorless. When the diamond is in the ring, the difference between G and J color are barely visible to the naked eye. You can find nice diamonds closer to J or K color that still radiate (especially with a great cut) and look colorless. 

Diamond Color Table

And for clarity, well that's something you can be even more lenient on. Clarity are the natural beauty flaws in a diamond. For most people, finding the inclusion with the naked eye is extremely difficult. And people don't walk around with microscopes or loops to examine each diamond on a person's finger. So, why not get a diamond with some natural beauty marks. You can find diamonds that are SI2 (slightly included diamond) with the perfectly placed inclusion that won't be visible to the naked eye. If you're really lucky, you may be able to find an I1 diamond (included diamond) with the inclusions hidden to the naked eye. 

It's all about finding a diamond that is clean to the naked eye. As long as you don't see the natural beauty marks in a diamond and it sparkles (which comes from the cut) then have fun mixing and matching the 4Cs to get a diamond within budget. 

Choose Odd Carat Weights

You would be shocked how much the price can change based on the weight of the diamond. Getting an exact 0.75 or 1.00 carat diamond will be higher compared to finding a diamond that is 0.68 or 0.93 carats. Why focus on the carat size when you can find something comparable and sometimes even better in an odd carat weight. No one will know the exact size. Try not to focus on getting an exact carat weight but something around that size and save a few hundred dollars. 

Go with 14kt or 18kt Over Platinum

Platinum is truly one of the best precious metals to use for jewelry; but if you're on a budget; gold is just as good. If you want the "platinum" look, you can select white gold to create the same look. Gold is also very versatile. You can find it in other colors; yellow, rose, white, black, blue, green, etc. Although, we wouldn't recommend anything except rose, white, or yellow gold for engagement rings. Buying a 14kt or 18kt engagement ring could potentially save you thousands of dollars; depending on the style of the ring. 

Choose a Colored Gemstone

It's not uncommon these days to use colored gemstones in engagement rings. One of the most famous engagement rings in the world is Princess Diana's blue sapphire engagement ring. You don't always need to put a diamond in your ring and a great alternative is using a colored gemstone. Sapphire is very close to the hardness of a diamond and available in multiple colors. You can get sapphires in every color except red. If you don't want to use sapphire, there are an array of colored gemstones that could signify your relationship. We've had couples use Tanzanite, Aquamarine, and Thomasonite in an engagement ring because of the meaning behind it for them. And that's absolutely beautiful! 

Colored Gemstones

In the end, you have to ultimately decide what combination will work for you. But these are just some of the tips you can use to build an engagement ring under $2,000. There are many ways and becoming creative is the best part. Need a little inspiration? Check out our engagement rings under $2,000. 

Gemstone Discovery: Rubies

Passion, love, desire, fire, strength are all symbolic words for the ruby. It's that month of the year, where we celebrate the King of Gems! This colored gemstone has a long history and desire in the world. And how could it not with the striking color it exudes.  And why is it that many desire ruby? Let's take a look at the history, lore, and background of rubies to possibly learn why so many people in the world love this gem. 

Rubies are typically mined in Asia. The most renowned and notable rubies are mined in Myanmar, the Himalayas, and Northern Vietnam. Ruby is part of the corundum family, just like sapphires. However, the reason a ruby is not a sapphire is the one element in rubies that make it unique from sapphires: chromium. Corundum in its purest form is clear and transparent. It's the traces of other elements that make the difference. Higher amounts of chromium will produce a more vibrant red in rubies. And the finest rubies found (also most desired) have a pure, vibrant red with a slight purplish red hue. 

Loose Rubies

In sanskirt, ruby is called Ratnaraj which means "King of Gems". Rubies hold the highest price per carat among any other colored gemstone. Not only is it known as the king of gems, but it is believed that it's one of the 12 stones created by God. Early cultures treasured rubies because the color had huge similarities to the blood that flowed through veins which in turn came the belief it had the power of life. 

Ruby & Diamond Dangle Earring

What else is said about ruby? Here are a few more legends and beliefs known throughout history:

  • Hindus created a castes system for the different ruby colors. The Brahmin ruby, the purest and finest color and quality ruby was used among the highest class in Hindu society. It was believed that those possessing the Brahmin ruby had the advantage of perfect safety. 
  • In India, it was believed that those who owned rubies were to live in peace with their enemies.
  • In Burma (Myanmar), which is where most rubies are mined, believed when the warriors carried or had rubies put into their flesh and body, that they were invincible in battles. 
  • Medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee their health, wisdom and success in love
  • Present day, rubies symbolizes passion, love, wealth, and success

There's so much information about a ruby and we just touched on a little bit. We could go on about rubies, but we'll leave you with one more fun fact about ruby. The world's largest and known ruby is 18,696 carats or 8.21 pounds that has a cabochon cut and is known as the 125West Ruby.

World's Largest Ruby 

With such a long history and a lot of meaning behind rubies, it's no wonder it's a desired gemstone by many people from different backgrounds. This beautiful gemstone is also known for being July's birthstone and celebrating the 15th & 40th wedding anniversary. Celebrate your birthday or anniversary with this beautiful gemstone in either a pendant, ring or earring. A great way to symbolize the passion you have for your loved one.

Your Guide to Popular Chains

It's a questioned asked over and over again. What kind of chain is best for a pendant? Or what can I wear every day and know it will be sturdy? Here's our list of 5 popular chains that not only work well with pendants but also hold their strength over time. 

Box Chain

Whether you are wearing a delicate, larger, or intricate pendant; a box chain is by far the most sturdy style of chain for women. This type of chain gives a boxy appearance with squared links. It's available in a variety of thicknesses. There is a shine to the chain and perfect for most women's pendants.

 Box Chain

Wheat Chain

This type of chain are links that are braided or twisted together. Most of the time wheat chains are created using four strands of a precious metal (either gold, silver, or platinum) which are woven or braided together. These chains are usually duller, in look, compared to the box chain. Wheat chains are also great for women's pendants. 

Solid Wheat Chain

Snake Chain 

The name basically states the style of the chain. It has a similar resemblance to snakeskin. Snake chains are usually made up of a lot of rings fitting closely together. These are by far one of the most elegant style of chains. A little more care needs to be given to snake chains so they don't kink, but they are great for most women's pendants and the luster adds more to the piece. 

Snake Chain

Figaro Chain

This style of chain first originated in Italy and supposedly the name was inspired by two operas. It is made up of small and long oval shaped links together. Figaro chains are most commonly used among men's jewelry because of the sturdiness and masculine look. Thinner Figaro chains work great for women's pendants, as well. 

Figaro Chain

Rope Chain

Just like wheat chain, rope chains are made up of strands of precious metals braided and interwoven together to resemble the rope design. There are different types of rope chains such as diamond cut or regular rope chain. They are available in delicate and thick versions perfect both for men and women's jewelry. Rope chains are extremely durable because the strands are interwoven together.  

These are just 5 of the the many chain styles out there and available. There are an array of chain styles that work with any pendants or charm. You need to determine what style will work best for you and your pendants/charms. 

Gemstone Discovery: Alexandrite

"Emerald by day, ruby by night" is what most gem fans call the Alexandrite gemstone because it changes colors with the light around it. If you've ever seen this stone in person, you would know how unbelievably beautiful it is to the eye. There are other color changing gemstones, but this is one that has the most intense transformation. Let's learn a little bit more about the beautiful Alexandrite. 

It was discovered in 1830 in Russia's Ural Mountains and named after the Czar Alexander II. Some of the finest and brilliant colored alexandrites came from the mines in Russia. However, today most alexandrites are mined in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil which tend to be less vibrant color changes compared to those from Russia. Alexandrites mined in these locations tend to be more brownish or purplish red. 

Most natural alexandrites are under 1.0 carats. The largest alexandrite mined to-date is 65.7 carats and was found in Sri Lanka. Russian alexandrites are usually around 30 carats, rarer, and more vibrant in color. 

Alexandrite is a rare color changing variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. In daylight or fluorescent light, the color is more green; while in incandescent light or evening, you will see more brownish-purplish red in the stone The stone has unusual light absorbing properties which is one reason many love the gemstone. 

Along with pearl and moonstone, alexandrite is a June birthstone and used to celebrate a 55th wedding anniversary. Just a few things to know about this beautiful gemstone that works with any piece of jewelry and rarely celebrated among jewelry fanatics. 

Graduation Gift Guide

It's that time of year, lots of new high school and college students graduating and embarking on a new chapter of their life. What better way to celebrate an accomplishment than with a gift they will remember for a long time. Here is our gift guide to a graduation gifts for your graduate! 

Gifts for her

  • Pearls - These are timeless gifts every woman should have in her jewelry collection and are great gifts to congratulate her on achievements. For those graduating college, she will be able to wear them to her next job interview. For the young women graduating high school, it will be a great start to her fine jewelry collection. 

         Pearl Jewelry

  • Personalized Initial or Name Bar - In recent years, personalized necklaces & bracelets are increasing in popularity. There are some great simple styles that she's bound to wear. Something petite and just for her to remember.  

  • Diamond jewelry - Either stud earrings, diamond pendant, or a beautiful heart necklace. Just like pearls, they are a great gift to give on her achievement and to start her fine jewelry collection that she can wear throughout her life. 

     Diamond Stud Earrings  Double Leaf Diamond Necklace

Gifts for him

  • Cuff links - These are great choices for him because he can wear it with his dress shirts which will give him the professional look especially for a college graduate. High school graduates would also appreciate cuff links because he will have them ready when he begins college internships or for potential job interviews. You can add an extra touch by personalizing it with his initials.  

          Engravable Square Cuff links

  • Watches -  Oddly, watches have increased in popularity the past couple years. Many young adults are buying watches as an accessories for their daily wear and as a statement piece. It's a great accessories to wear day in and day out. 
  • Tie clips  - Just like cuff links, tie clips are a great gift to give for your college graduate. It will prepare him for future job interviews or future networking events that he can wear with his suite and tie. 

In the end, any fine jewelry; either personalized or not; will be a great gift to give your graduate. They will appreciate and remember the gift for years to come. And as an extra tip, you can't go wrong with a gift card. They can choose what they want. 

Tips for Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

Getting engaged is a big step in the relationship. It shows a promise for a lifetime of commitment. And with this big step, choosing the right ring is very important. Every person has their own version of what they want to wear for the rest of their lives; or at least until the 10 or 20 year anniversary mark. We have some great tips for finding and buying the perfect engagement ring for your significant other. 

Pinterest, Pinterest, and Pinterest

There are a lot of women who have boards dedicated to jewelry; either ring styles, engagement rings or jewelry. This is a great place to start when figuring out the style your significant other likes. You can see the exact style she is attracted to and may love wearing. 

Pinterest Engagement Ring Board

Determine Her Overall Style

Pay attention to her style day in and day out. Does she wear simple clothes? Contemporary? Trendy? What type of jewelry does she normally wear? Is it simple and classic? Or is there an edge to the jewelry? These are all great indicators for knowing the type of engagement ring she may like. 

Asymmetric Infinity Diamond Engagement Ring 14Kt White Gold Rope Engagement Ring 0.66 Diamond Accent Engagement Ring

Close Friends and Family

Pinterest is the easiest way to figure out the perfect engagement ring, but if she doesn't have a Pinterest account or her style is all over the place on Pinterest, then the best if not safest bet is her close friends and family. They will most likely know exactly what she wants. If they don't, then that's a perfect time to utilize them to find out for you. Family and close friends can go with her shopping and find out what she likes. 

Choose a Solitaire

And if you can't get much information from the above 3 suggested and trying to keep it a surprise, then a classic solitaire ring is the way to go. This allows you to keep it a surprise and you get to choose the diamond you want to give her. Once she says yes, both of you can come in together and select the engagement ring she loves. Sometimes, a classic solitaire is just perfect for the engagement ring. You can't go wrong because it showcases the diamond beautifully. 

14Kt White Gold Round Solitaire Engagement Ring Classic Solitaire Engagement Ring Platinum Princess Cut Solitaire Engagement Ring

These are just some of the many tips to picking out the perfect engagement ring for your significant other. Pay attention she will always give subtle clues and it will be easy picking the right one. Shop our wide selection of engagement rings with different diamond shapes and ring styles. 

Gemstone Discovery: Emerald

The allure & beauty behind emerald is desired by many, most notably Cleopatra. She had a passion and obsession for emeralds. The first known emerald mines were in Egypt. Another notable emerald lover was Elizabeth Taylor and her passion grew while filming Cleopatra. This beautiful green gem is also May's birthstone. We're going to take some time to discover some fun facts about emeralds. 

Emeralds are mined around the world and the first known mine was in Egypt (as mentioned above). Today, emeralds are mined in Zambia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and most notably Colombia. This green gemstone is a variety of beryl and the most famous of the beryl family. Most emeralds have a lot of inclusions and flaws. It is a brittle gemstone and can scratch/chip easily. The hardness of emerald on the Mohs scale is 7.5 to 8; softer than a sapphire. Emerald comes from the ancient Greek word "smaragdus" which means green. The cut of the emerald is usually a step, trapezoid, or rectangular cut because of the natural gem shape and to enhance the green color. 

Some myths and beliefs behind emerald include: 

  • Changes color if a lover is unfaithful
  • Green color is known to relieve stress & eye strain
  • When placed under tongue, the person could foresee the future
  • Reveals truth & protected against evil spells
  • It was believed to cure diseases like cholera & malaria

Aside from the myths and beliefs of emeralds, it is the perfect gemstone for May because of all the beautiful spring green colors blooming. Emerald is also a gift you can give for the 20th or 35th wedding anniversaries.

    

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

A mother is the woman who has given so much to her children without any question. She is the definition of unconditional love. Not only do we express our gratitude to our moms throughout the year but we can celebrate it fully on Mother's Day! Just as she has given so much to you, she deserves the very best and we're excited about the great gift ideas to give to your mom this year. Here are our top 5 choice for the perfect Mother's Day gift: 

1. Posh Mommy Jewelry: We're so in love with this jewelry collection. They are simple, cute, and modern version of family jewelry. You can get engravable pendants, discs, and necklaces that are small or large. You can stack the discs together or have all the children on one pendant. Posh Mommy Jewelry gives the option of adding birthstones, children's names, and birthdays. The perfect gift for a mom. 

  

2. Designer Sterling Silver Jewelry: If you're not interested in personalized jewelry, then this is a great choice for your mom. You are able to select designs that will match your mom's style. We love Frederic Duclos Sterling Silver line. They're unique yet classic. It's something she can wear on a daily basis. 

3. Pearls: Every woman and mom needs pearls in her jewelry set. Whether it be pearl earrings, pendants, or pearl strands. It's a necessary piece of jewelry and she will thank you for giving it to her to add to her collection. 

Freshwater Pearl & Diamond EarringSterling Silver Freshwater Cultured Pearl BraceletSouth Sea & Black Tahitian Pearl Pendant

4. Heart Pendants: These symbolize the love you have for her. You can add birthstones, engrave them, or get something simple. Heart jewelry can be worn every day. 

Sterling Silver Triple Bangle BraceletPetite Diamond Heart Necklace

5. Mother's ring, pendants, and bracelets: Our final choice for Mother's Day gifts is the classic mother's ring, pendants, or bracelets. Just as with Posh Mommy, you can place the birthstones of each child in the pendant or do the whole family birthstone. 

You still have a few days to get a great Mother's Day gift that your mom will appreciate.