March 21, 2013

Update your look for Spring with stuff you already have

Posted in estate jewelry, gift ideas, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, rose diamonds tagged , , , , at 3:50 pm by rosediamonds

 

 

Have you gone through a recent bout of spring cleaning?  Here are a few quick ideas to update your look for spring keeping your budget in mind.

 

The side ways cross necklace has been a pretty hot trend lately.  Your jeweler should be able to drill a hole in the bottom of your childhood cross and attach it to a chain where it sits on the side or in the center of the necklace.  Smaller crosses work best for this type of project.  You will see this trend with curved crosses as well as straight ones.  Don’t try bending your cross to get this look though.  If you have the cross and the chain, this project should take one to two business days and cost less than $50.

 

Another trend is combining tiny charms (that have meaning) on a single chain.  This can help smaller pieces (think tiny birthstone charms, puffed hearts, pearl pendants, etc) have more of an impact.  Combine sizes, metal colors, shapes, etc to give depth.

 

If you have some diamonds that are too small to be “impressive” on their own, consider adding them to necklace as stations.  The chain can be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet (if you don’t have many) and you can use contrasting metal colors (like rose or yellow) to add interest.  Uneven spacing will look more artistic than even spacing.  Doubling the chain or combining them with other layered necklaces can also add to the look.

 

 

side charm necklace station necklace

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July 27, 2012

5 Ways to Make Your Diamond Ring Look Bigger (for under $1000)

Posted in bride, diamonds, engagement, estate jewelry, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:44 pm by rosediamonds

the addition of Pintrest, people are becoming more design conscious.  With all of the drool worthy pins out there, it can make a diamond ring you received a decade or so ago look tiny.  Thus, the need for an upgrade.

Not everyone has the budget to replace a diamond with a larger one.  If you do, I usually recommend you go up by at least a full millimeter so you can SEE the difference since you are paying the difference.  A 1/4 carat to a 1/3 carat is hard to tell apart unless you have your calipers on you…  Remember, carat refers to weight, not size, so not all 1 carat diamonds are the same diameter.  Old diamond (they are all old technically) can be moved over as a side stone or made into a pendant.

It may be that you do not WANT to replace your original diamond at all.  It has been my experience that men are many times more sentimental about keeping the same diamond throughout the marriage.  Not necessariy because they are being cheapo, but because they beleive in “luck” and “streaks.”  Ask a man to tell you about the time he wore the same socks to every ball game for an entire season without washing them…

To preserve the peace without breaking the bank, there are several ways to boost your original diamond’s “presence.”

  1. Add a halo.  It adds approximately 2-2.5mm of sparkly to the center of your ring.  I personally don’t like this term–I like “booster ring,” which sounds way more Star Wars–but who can argue with DeBeers?  The final look will depend on your original diamond size.  The diamond in the center can be situated above or level with the other stones.  For those of you in the healthcare industry, a low bezel set center can reduce the nnormal snalling on latex gloves.  Lifestyle matters too!  There are halo versions with varying stone sizes (usually .01-.03ct each)  This new setting can usually be added to your original engagement ring with some slight modifications.  By adding the halo in white, you can update the look of a yellow gold ring and help your jewelry “blend” in more with your other sterling and white gold/platinum pieces.  Also look for expanded halos and double halos.  I personally find the triple halo to be too much…  An expanded halo means there is empty space between yur center stone and your diamond making it look even bigger.  Also check into different prong styles.  Exposed mini prongs have a very different look than the channel set and cocktail setting of the past.  Also there are faux channels with mini milgrain that can lend a vintage look to your ring.  Some halos have stones on the sides of the halo as well.  These add cost, but can be super pretty as well.  Have a fancy shape diamond?  Don’t worry…they make halo heads for them as well!    Estimated cost $850 (depends on stone size and style of course).  
  2. New head.  Usually a thicker one, perhaps with double prongs or tulip prongs.  Some people don’t like the look of halos, so they opt to boost their center diamond by thickening up their prongs.  8 prong heads (octet heads) give a designer finish to the ring that isn’t available “off the rack” at most stores.  Tulip heads are named for their obvious resemblance to the flowers.  Another advantage to the thicker prongs is more durability for everyday wear and tear.  By the way, if you have had your ring for a decade and never had your prongs retipped or at least checked, you may want to consider a replacement head or service work (retipping) anyway.  Its like getting your oil changed–not glamorous, but necessary for the longevity of your ring..Wide and narrow bezel settings also boost the “spread” of your ring, but I find they tend to make an engagement ring look more casual that its prongy cousins;) Estimated cost $150
  3. Have an old set of diamond earrings?  Add them as side stones.  Different shapes?  Doesn’t matter!  This one is a little more tricky as there are three options.  Option one: reset original diamond and two earrings into a new setting.  There are a lot of combinations to three stone rings (some of which have way more than three stones lol).  If your original stone and earrings fit into a standard configuation, an off the rack mounting will do the trick.  Estimated cost $750.  Option 2: Add a wrap to your original ring.  This usually only works with solitaires (no side stones).  The wrap extends over the solitaire shank making it look (kinda) like one ring.  It may need to be soldered together to prevent slippage.  Estimated cost $700.  Option 3: Add smaller earring diamonds in a custom bridge.  This one is more tricky to estimate a price on since every ring is different.  Adding them in a bypass style can also affect how your wedding band (if you have one) will fit next to your new altered ring.  Estimated cost <1000 difinately, but talk to a pro about the feasibility of this one.  Fun alternative to this is adding a pair of gemstones instead.  Sapphires, blue topaz, etc all look gorgeous next to diamonds!  Same price for labor.
  4. Illusion head/plate.  This used to mean white gold diamond cut plate that was used to accent a teeny diamond in a pretty noticeable setting.  There are more modern options to this!  One option is to recreate the vintage box setting.  This illusion setting makes a round stone look bigger, more square, and more vintage.  Estimated cost: Starts at $150.  A free form ring doesn’t make your diamonds look bigger necessarily but by combining it with other medium sized diamonds, it can make the impact of the ring look bigger.  The estimated cost depends on the finished weight of the free form ring (there are stock options and custom options) and how many heads/stones need to be set.  
  5. Narrow or pinch the shank.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat, so now we will take our focus off the diamond and put it on the ring it sits in.  A good rule of thumb is this: the wider the band, the small your diamond will look.  Think about a shift dress.  It looks like a straight column.  If you were to add a belt, it would make your waist look much smaller.  The same thing holds true for rings.  If you use a razor (tiny narrow band) shank, your stone will look bigger no matter its size.  Your jeweler will be able to tell you if your original engagement ring shank can be slimmed down (without causing stability issues) or if you can simply transfer your center head and stone to a more narrow base.  Another fun alternative if you don’t want to give up a wider ring is to get a pinched shank that narrows near the stone.  Use caustion because narrow rings fit differently than wider ones so make sure you are fitted for the new ring style and width (there are different s sets of sizers for this reason).  Also, a narrow shank ring is more likely to rotate on the hand if you have big knuckles.  Most people do…A flared or European shank may help counterbalance to solve  this issue.

June 7, 2012

Tanzanite: Fun Facts

Posted in birthstones, gemologist, gemstones, gift ideas, jewelry, jewelry care tagged , , , , , , at 5:02 pm by rosediamonds

No history or lore was needed for tanzanite to become one of the most popular gemstones in the world.   Discovered in 1967, this gem was once marketed as a sapphire alternative.  Its color spectrum ranges from bluish violet to purple.  Due to the political unrest by the leaders of Tanzania, the gem’s supply fluctuates and has caused historically large price jumps.

  • Member of the zoisite family
  • Marketed originally by Tiffany & Co in 1968
  • Mined in one place only: Tanzania
  • In 2002, tanzanite became an alternate December birthstone
  • Most tanzanite comes out of the ground a creme soda brown and routinely heated to get the trademark blueish violet.
  • Exhibits trichroism (can exhibit three different colors depending on the orientation of the crystal to the viewer)
  • Has been a popular “push present” for parents of new babies which probably led to its recent link with fertility
  • Hardness 6-7
  • Can cleave in 2 diections (ie. prone to chipping)
  • Toughness: fair to poor (also referring to chipping)
  • Care includes NO ultrasonics, NOsteamers, NO rough handling, and NO abrupt temperature changes

April 2, 2012

Judaica: Symbols of the Past Decoded

Posted in gift ideas, Gifts, jeweler, jewelry, judaica, rose diamonds tagged , , , , at 10:42 pm by rosediamonds

Disclaimer: I do not pretend to be an expert in the world of Judaica, so as usual, I went to the library.  Regardless of your religion, I think it is fascinating to understand the history behind ancient symbols–all the better to recognize them.

 

Just in time for Passover: Judaica Decoded.

 

 

Chai-Popular to Jewish tradition, the chai is a symbol of well being and best wishes.  The word chai means “alive,” “life,” or “living.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menorah-Meaning candelabra.  The seven branched menorah was the centerpiece of the tabernacle during the Israelites’ 40 year journey through the wilderness, and of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.  Menorahs are lighted to celebrate Chanukah.  This symbol represents the remembrance of the great miracles that God performed.  Menorahs may have 6,7, or 8 branches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mizpah-To remember the agreement between Laban and Jacob in the Old Testement, the Mizpah is two halves of a coin each worn by a friend to show their friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star of David-The six pointed star is the central symbol for Judaism.  In 1948, it became the central image in the flag of Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Tribes of David Star of David-This Star of David includes symbols for the 12 tribes of Israel, formed by Jacob’s 12 sons: Joseph, Benjamin, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Napthtali, Gad, and Asher.  Before his passing, “Jacob summoned his twelve sons and spoke to them…and blessed them each according to his blessing.” (Genesis 49:28)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chamseh/Hamsa-Meaning “Hand of God,” the chamseh is very popular in Morocco.  It is shaped like a human hand and known for warding off evil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mezuzah-A Mezuzah is often fixed to the doorpost of a Jewish home or worn around the neck.  The first two paragraphs of the Shema (Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21) are inscribed on a parchment and inserted into the container.  The Mezuzah is a reminder of God’s presence everywhere and also serves as protection for the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiddush Cups: Kiddush meaning sanctification, is the prayer recited over a cup of wine in the home and synagogue. The kiddush is recited on the eve of the Sabbath or festival before the start of the meal, since one should not eat on these occasions before the Kiddush has been recited.  Traditional and modern kiddush cups are for Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and Celebrations such as Weddings, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tallit Clips:  Tallis clips for Men and Women have  Judaic designs.   These clips are used with the prayer shawls/tallit.

November 26, 2011

Shopping Key Words to Watch For

Posted in birthstones, Christmas, diamonds, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry care, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:26 am by rosediamonds

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, I am writing out an “off the cuff” list of words to watch for in jewelry ads this holiday season.  We all (myself included) get excited with the thrill of the hunt, and sometimes forget to use our critical reading skills when scanning the ads for bargains.

Gold Plated, Gold Filled, 14K over Sterling, Silver plated, Goldtone/Silver tone, Silver filled–These all refer to a thin coating over another less expensive metal.  Any plating can wear off.  To reduce wear and tear on it, you can opt to coat it with an clear acrylic and reduce its exposure to moisture and chemicals (including sweat and bleach) .

Simulated Stones=look alike stones.  For example a synthetic spinel or even rhinestones are  often substituted for their more expensive counterparts (like rubies).  Wear and tear and durability may vary from the impersonated stone.

Synthetic stones=the exact same as the natural gemstone except it was grown in a lab instead of in the ground.  These will usually have an ideal color and nicer clarity than natural stones of the same price. Same durability and wear/cleaning as its natural counterpart.

Pay attention to diamond clarity & color.  Sometimes, it is difficult to compare apples to apples with diamond jewelry because small differences in color and clarity can make big differences in prices for similar carat weight items.  This time of year, many jewelers roll out some “promo” diamond pieces that are big on looks and low on price.  These can be very pretty, but they are priced for what they are–commercial quality stones.  Many will be cloudy, brown, or specky, crackly, etc.  Ask to see several of the same item.  They vary from piece to piece within the same store…

Pay attention to the weight of the item–This is usually not listed in advertisements, but when you get to the store, if the items feels flimsy, be careful.  The price of precious metals is very high right now, so many manufacturers are making ultra light weight items to keep prices affordable for jewelers and their clients.  A flimsy piece can eventually lead to more repair expenses down the road.  You can always switch to thicker chains for pendants at home or ask to reset stones in heavier mountings.  Most jewelers can make adjustments to size, length, etc. for you.

 

Watch costume jewelry for lead–especially for children’s jewelry.  Some risks just aren’t worth it.  A lot of the imported costume jewelry (pretty much all that’s out there) contains traces of lead.  There are new laws in effect to curb the import of these items, but use caution.  Items could have been warehoused in the US since before the laws went into effect.  The law is great but it is understandably hard to enforce.

 

I’m sure I’ll think of a dozen other thinks to watch out for.   Hope you had a great holiday and we will see you tomorrow at our new second location:

Rose Diamonds 2

1374 E. Republic Rd.

Springfield MO 65804

 

December 30, 2009

Making Sensible Jewelry Decisions

Posted in diamonds, earrings, engagement, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, pearls, rings, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:48 pm by rosediamonds

I am currently working on some jewelry designs for clients that have brought some jewelry issues to my attention.  This is not a post about jewelry trends or fashion.  The key many people overlook is jewelry use.

Most people have a few pieces of jewelry in their collections that are never/rarely worn.  Beyond the usual ghastly gifts, some of these items are self purchases that sit abandoned.  One of the key aspects to choosing the “right” piece of jewelry for yourself is considering how and where you will wear it.

A good example of this is my latest persuasion tactics on the husband.  I decided I wanted/needed a tennis necklace.  I told the husband he could make it over time.  For each holiday he could add a quarter carat diamond.  The finished carat total weight would be somewhere near 80 carats.  Sensible, right?  He stopped me in my tracks when he asked me where I would wear it.  Hmm.  The grocery store?  Barnes and Noble?  Okay perhaps this is not such a great idea.

When clients are in my shop, some might notice that I ask about their occupation or their spouse’s occuption.  It is not to discern income!  I simply want to know if people are typing a computers (where most jewelry is acceptable, although bangles do clank against keyboards) or they are ER doctors (where gloves will snag on high settings and long chains will be ripped off by flailing appendages).

Some quick tips:

Work with animals?–avoid open or tall settings.  Debris gets stuck in the openings and tall settings can scratch animals

Parrot owner?–They love to nibble/crush with their beaks dangly earrings and are known to chew necklaces.

Work with Kids?–avoid tall settings that can scratch, big hoops (kids can pull on), thin chains that can’t survive a tug.  Luckily kids grow up quickly, so dangly jewelry may just be shelved (like the crystal) for a couple years.

Desk job?–avoid bangles that clank on the desk all day, safety chains on tennis bracelets get caught in files, rings that are not sized snugly (in frigid offices especially) will flop around on your fingers ALL DAY.

Work with hand tools?–avoid wide ring shanks.  These are more likely to cause blisters on the hands.  Also I don’t recommend platinum (which gets scratched easily)

Long hair? Look for earrings that won’t tangle in hair–like closed back hoops or straight dangles.

Hope these tips help.  If you discover you have “abandoned” jewelry, don’t fret.  It can be re-designed into a useable piece by a talented jeweler.

December 9, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas (on the cheap)

Posted in birthstones, Christmas, diamonds, earrings, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, pearls, rings, rose diamonds, silver, watch tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by rosediamonds

Due to soaring gold costs and the shrinking economy, I thought I’d go into some inexpensive gift ideas for the holidays.  You may have overlooked these ideas:

  • Engraved anything.  Shop at Target, the clearance isle at Marshalls, etc.  You can add fancy monograms to Zippo lighters, fancy pens, mirrored compacts, pill cases, business card cases, vases, sterling book marks, champagne bottles, wine glasses, etc.  It looks fancy, but isn’t real expensive.  I suggest personalizing with the first initial for ladies and the last initial for men.
  • Silver anything.  White metals are on more popular than ever, so if your budget won’t stretch to accommodate white gold or (gasp) platinum, go silver.  Look for quality and beware of silver plated items.  Top fashion looks come out in silver first, so a cocktail “statement” ring and oval cz hoops in silver allow you to get the look for less (before the trend dies)
  • Re-cycle your old jewelry.  This can be anything from re-furbishing old pieces (polishing, checking stones, replacing missing stones, and sizing) to re-styling.  Our shop has thousands of molds to choose from, and by trading in your old gold and using your stones, it can save you a bundle.  (Ex. turn your ex-relationship bracelet into a star of david charm for your niece)
  • Got kids on your shopping list? Simple ID bracelets.  Bring back the tradition of baby rings and id bracelets.  They’re usually inexpensive and are keepsakes.
  • Teachers on your shopping list?  Try engraved pens or holiday ornaments.  Earrings always fit, so they are an easy gift idea.
  • Teens on your shopping list?  Try engraved dog tags.  There are sterling and stainless options.  (Stainless is less expensive).  You can engrave their name, team number, picture of a sport/hobby etc.  You can even add a private inscription to the back.
  • Fancy jewelry cases.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  An easy gift for a jewelry fanatic without the 14K price tags.
  • Watch cases and watch winders.  Anyone with an automatic watch will like not having to reset it each day with a watch winder.
  • Birthstones.  If diamonds are out of your reach this year, consider adding birthstones to a piece you already have or combining birthstones to symbolize unity in a new piece.  Most birthstones are synthetic, but there are natural options out there as well.
  • Charms.  Charm bracelets are like having a father who plays golf.  You always have a go to theme for holidays.  Start a charm bracelet, and then you’re set for the next few years for gifts.  Charms come in silver and gold.  Fancy and simple.
  • Pearls.  There are lots of ways to wear pearls that are beyond the “boring” strand.  Consider station necklaces and funky mixes with chains.  Just keep them away from hair spray,perfume, and bleach.

Hope some of these ideas help you stay on budget this holiday season.