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Archive | Jewelry 101

Art Deco Inspired Diamond and Onyx Statement Ring

Complement your black or white summer looks with a standout Art Deco inspired diamond and onyx ring. The use of onyx goes back to biblical times and derives its name from the Greek word “onux” which means “fingernail.” Ancient Egypt used onyx to make bowls, the Romans carved cameos with it and, during the Victorian era, onyx was worn when Queen Victoria mourned her husband Prince Albert. Onyx was also a very popular stone during the very creative Art Deco era.
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For lovers of Opal

When buying a mysterious opal, Australia’s national gemstone, look for brightness of color(s), transparency, clarity and cut. Read More >

Plique a Jour Enamel Earrings Available Online

Plique a jour stands for “letting in daylight” in French, and refers to the enamel technique used to create these gorgeous hoop earrings. The technique creates enamel that is transparent. It is very hard and time consuming to make. The Plique a jour technique stems from the Byzantine period and became popular again during the Art Nouveau period. Read More >

Traveling with your Jewelry

Tomorrow is one of the biggest travel days of the year. How do you secure your jewelry while you travel? Here are some suggestions.

1. Determine whether this Thanksgiving get together is a casual or formal one. This will help you decide which pieces to bring and which pieces to put in your safe.
2. Make sure the list of jewelry that you own is up to date or take pictures of all your treasures. Just in case something happens, you can compare your pieces with this list.
3. Insure your jewelry.
4. Wear the jewelry you’re taking with you or store them in a carry-on; never check your jewelry.
5. When you arrive at your destination, ask if your host or the hotel has a safe to place your jewelry. Read More >

The Origin of Cuff Links

In the 13th century tailors began to use buttons to fasten clothes. Before that, men used strings, pins and belts to tighten their clothes. Then, in the 17th century, following the renaissance period (which also meant the end of the decorative lacy cuff) sleeve buttons were introduced, which looked like bejeweled buttons. Initially only the wealthier wore the bejeweled buttons, which were joined by a little chain. But at the beginning of the Victorian Era in 1837, these bejeweled buttons became more mainstream. The men’s shirt had evolved and the use of starch increased. Pushing a cuff link through a starched sleeve is easier than pushing a button through it. At the same time, cuff links were also made of more affordable material making it accessible to everyone. In the early 1900s, jewelers like Faberge, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. began creating cuff links as well. When fashion became more casual around the 1930s and the use of starch decreased, the use of cuff links decreased. According to a 1991 New York Times article “cuff links became associated largely with formal wear, both for evening and business.” Cuff links experienced a revival in the late 90s. Now they’re worn by both men and women, in all different types of metal, gemstone and enamel, reflecting the personal style of the person wearing them. Read More >

Lapis Lazuli

The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out that ancient lapis is having a modern moment. Lapis means simply stone in Latin. The blue stone (Lapis Lazuli) was found in Afghanistan mines more than 6000 years ago and Afghanistan is still the main producer of Lapis today. Lapis is used in jewelry and for carving objects and was coveted by the ancient Greek, Egyptian, Persian and Mesopotamian civilizations. In ancient Egypt, the color blue represented royalty, which made lapis a very important stone during that time. For instance, lapis was found in one of the greatest archeological finds, King Tut’s tomb. The eyes of his mask are decorated with the deep blue lapis. Read More >

The Most Valuable Ruby in the World

For many years, one of the finest rubies in the world was the Alan Caplan ruby, named after a famous geologist and mineralogist who bought the ruby during the 1960s. The ruby is also known as the Mogok ruby because that is where it originated. It’s a 15.97 carat ruby and it was bought by Graff in 1988, who paid a record-breaking price of $227,301 per carat. Since then a number of rubies have surpassed that record and since 2015, the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59 carat Burmese ruby, is the most valuable ruby in the world. It was auctioned for $30,335,698, which is an unprecedented $1.1 million per carat. Read More >

A Brief History of Spinel

Spinel has an interesting history. For centuries, spinel was often mistaken for a ruby. For instance, it was only recently discovered that the famous Black Prince Ruby set into the Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom is actually spinel. But now, spinel is very much appreciated among serious jewelry collectors and dealers. Not only for its color, which ranges from red, pink, purple and even bright blue, but also for its hardness and brilliance. Spinel is extremely rare. Ironically, even more rare than ruby. Like rubies, spinel is also found in Myanmar as well as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand and Madagaskar. Read More >

Pavé Diamonds

Pavé diamonds are diamonds that are set very close together on the surface of a piece of jewelry. The word “pavé” means “paved” in French, as if to say that the surface of a piece of jewelry is paved with diamonds. The result is limitless sparkle. Read More >