If you pay a great deal of attention to the accessories you wear and the quality of the product you wish to purchase, it’s only natural that you spend some time choosing and researching the best options available for you to buy. This is especially true when it comes to gold jewelry. Not only will you have to pick the style you fancy the most, but it would be wise to focus on the matter of quality as well. After all, you want your gold jewelry to last you a long time with as little tarnish as possible, right? In that respect, you’d probably want to invest in gold that’s marked with karats (k). The most popular types involve 14k and 18k gold, so keep on reading to learn more about the 14k and 18k gold difference.
What Exactly Do Karats Entail?
Karat is not the same as carat. Karat (k) describes the purity of the gold while carats describe the weight of a diamond. For example, the description of this lovely 14k white gold black diamond ring features the purity of the gold, which is 14k, as well as the diamond weight, which is 2.85 carat.
So, when we talk about gold karat, we’ll be talking about how much gold there is in the piece or the purity of the gold item in question.
That said, the numbers used in front of the k (karat) are there to suggest the gold’s purity. Essentially, the scale goes from 1 to 24, with 24 karat gold being the 100% pure gold. Gold items that are under the 24 karats will also have some other metals thrown in the mix, known as an alloy.
In order to learn how much gold a jewelry item you’re interested in has all you have to do is divide the number stated in front of the k (karat) with the number 24. A rather simple task when you have a calculator on your phone. For instance, this 14k gold necklace has around 58% of gold. How to get that percentage? Divide 14 by 24 and then multiply the result by 100.
Since we’re talking about the difference between 14k and 18k gold, it’s important to mention that 14k gold is approximately 58.3% gold, while 18k gold is approximately 75% gold.
What Is Alloy Then?
As mentioned, only 24k gold is pure gold, with a percentage of 100. Gold that’s labeled under 24k includes a mix of other metals known as an alloy. In order to get a finished product, a jeweler would mix alloy with gold. This means that 14k gold requires more other metals (or alloy) in order to get to the final look compared to the 18k gold, for instance.
The most common metals used for the alloy mix include silver, copper, nickel, and zinc. If you’re looking to buy a jewelry piece made of yellow gold + alloy, you can be sure that the added metals won’t change the color of your chosen piece. Still, if you don’t plan to take off your jewelry pieces all that often, it’s always better to opt for timeless items made of 14k gold such as this butterfly pendant necklace or this beautiful diamond ring.
Different gold shades such as rose gold or white gold will usually involve the mix of different metals to change the said shade. In that respect, rose gold will have more copper, while white gold will have more nickel and/or silver.
Why Not Just Buy Pure Gold?
While we’re discussing the difference between 14k and 18k gold here, you might be wondering why you shouldn’t just buy 24k gold, when it’s known to be pure. Well, the thing about pure 24k gold is that it’s incredibly expensive. What’s more, pure gold is very soft. This means that the money you’d pay for pure gold jewelry items wouldn’t guarantee durability at all.
That said, it’s very rare to spot a jewelry piece where the seller claims it to be 24k. If you feel like the price is too reasonable for such an item, chances are that the seller is lying about the item’s purity in the first place.
What You Need to Know About Allergies
In general, gold is completely hypoallergenic. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about allergies being caused by gold at all. The issue may occur with other metals mixed in the alloy, most commonly nickel. If you’re aware that you or someone you’re buying the jewelry for has a nickel allergy, you can opt for other metal mixes such as palladium or platinum.
14k vs. 18k Gold: What Are the Differences?
So, why is all the focus on 14k and 18k gold? Well, if you’re looking to buy a good quality gold jewelry piece, going with either 14k or 18k would be the best choice since anything under 14k contains more alloy than actual gold. And, as we already said, by going over 18k you’d be paying a hefty price for a piece that’s not really durable or scratches-free.
But how are you supposed to choose between 14k gold and 18k gold? In all honesty, both 14k and 18k jewelry pieces look rather similar. 18k may be slightly deeper and closer to the true yellow gold while 14k gold tends to be slightly brighter. However, appearance-wise, that’s the only difference and most of the time, it’s a rather difficult one to spot.
The obvious difference is the amount of gold used in the making of the jewelry piece, with 14k being 58.3% gold and 18k being 75%. In that sense, the price of the 18k gold will be considerably higher compared to 14k gold items, too.
On the other hand, 14k gold is more durable compared to 18k gold precisely because it contains more alloy. Other metals used in the mix typically make the final product harder and less prone to tarnishing, bending, and scratching. That doesn’t mean that 18k gold is not durable, because it is, but it’s still less durable than 14k gold.
Making the Right Decision
If you’re not dead set on owning an 18k gold jewelry piece, 14k gold will win this battle. Of course, it all comes down to what you want, the style you prefer, the budget you have, and so on. But, in terms of money and durability, you really can’t go wrong with 14k gold. This is precisely why we suggested going for 14k gold if you don’t want to take off your jewelry all that often.
The difference in appearance between 14k and 18k gold is rather small, which can easily make it trivial. It’s up to you to decide whether sacrificing durability and affordability in favor of a slightly better appearance is justifiable. After all, 14k gold cannot be considered “cheap” whatsoever, even if it may be more affordable compared to 18k gold.
If you’re looking to buy top-quality gold jewelry pieces, be it 14k or 18k gold, don’t hesitate to check out our jewelry store in Miami for unique and trendy yet timeless and stylish jewelry pieces. We pride ourselves on delivering the much-needed personal touch and statement piece to one’s own style without making compromises on quality.
There are many different factors you should take into account when purchasing a diamond. After all, this is how you can end up with superb diamond quality. That said, one of the very important factors you should consider has everything to do with diamond fluorescence. Ignoring this particular aspect of the diamond can lead to a rather costly mistake.
What Is Diamond Fluorescence?
Essentially, diamond fluorescence is the diamond glow that’s visible when you place them under blacklight (UV light). In general, around 30% of diamonds tend to glow more or less. Once they’re put under the UV light, they glow in different colors. More often than not, this particular fluorescent color is blue, but there’s a possibility of other colors showing up as well, including red, green, white, and yellow.
There are 5 diamond fluorescence grades:
- None: complete lack of fluorescence
- Faint: the slight amount of fluorescence that doesn’t affect the way diamond appears
- Medium: some fluorescence is present and, as a result, may affect the brightness and color of the stone
- Strong: there’s a higher level of fluorescence which will affect the appearance of the diamond
- Very Strong: solid fluorescence is present which will considerably change the color and appearance of the diamond
Fluorescence varies from diamond to diamond. In some instances, it can actually improve the color of the diamond, while in others, it can make the diamond hazy.
Is Diamond Fluorescence Good or Bad?
There’s no Yes or No answer to this question. Basically, fluorescents in diamonds can be either good or bad, depending on whether its glow makes the diamond clearer or hazier. For example, slight or faint blue fluorescence in diamonds may be the ideal level of glow as it prevents the cloudy diamond look and can even make it appear whiter. On the other hand, when fluorescence clouds the diamonds and makes them look hazy, the actual stone is not clear and bright as preferred. This automatically reduces the beauty and value of the diamond.
If you’re wondering about the bad fluorescent effects on diamonds, consider the following examples:
- Strong and Very Strong Fluorescence: even though you might think that stronger fluorescence is better, the fact is that such high grade only tends to make the stone hazy and cloudy.
- Medium Blue Fluorescence with G+ Color Grade: more often than not, these diamonds tend to be hazy and milky.
- Colorless Range Diamonds (D-F Color Grade): these diamonds don’t typically benefit from fluorescence at all and they’re generally less valuable.
So, Why Does Diamond Fluorescence Matter?
With everything that’s been said, you might be under the impression that diamond fluorescence doesn’t matter at all! After all, you probably don’t plan to spend time under backlights for the glow to affect the look of your stone. But there’s more to it than that.
In the end, you don’t have to find yourself under blacklights for your diamond to glow differently. The fluorescent level of the stone will also affect how your diamond looks in regular lighting, too. Not to mention that UV lights also include natural sunlight. Therefore, fluorescent characteristics should still be an important factor when you’re choosing a diamond for purchase.
Fluorescence Could Improve Diamond Color
Whatever may be said about diamond fluorescence, one thing is true – it usually improves the color of the diamond.
Essentially, if you’re set on purchasing one that has an H or lower color grade, you could benefit from picking out the one that has medium blue fluorescence, for example. Basically, the lower you go in color grades, the less likely will the diamond appear to be hazy or cloudy with higher fluorescent levels. That said, even though strong fluorescence seems to be problematic, a J-grade color diamond might benefit from it quite nicely.
Also, if the diamond has a yellowish tint to it, medium blue fluorescence might be the ideal combo because it will make the stone appear whiter. Furthermore, diamonds that have fluorescent properties tend to shine and sparkle more compared to those that don’t.
6 Things You Should Know About Diamond Fluorescence
As mentioned, only about 30% of diamonds have a fluorescent quality to them. In that respect, you might not even have to take this particular property into account when choosing a diamond to purchase. However, if you do happen upon a diamond with this property, it’s important to know the following:
- In the end, it’s up to you and your preference to make a decision about whether the fluorescence in a diamond is a good or bad thing to you.
- It’s also true that fluorescence often tends to improve the overall diamond color.
- Even if the diamond has strong blue fluorescence, it’s not written in stone that the said diamond will be affected negatively by it.
- Faint diamond fluorescence may be the ideal middle ground as it allows you to save money on the diamond purchase and get the brilliance effect at the same time.
- Make sure that you address the seller’s return policy when you’re buying a diamond and only put trust in renowned and reputable retailers such as Santayana Jewelers.
- Don’t hesitate to ask the seller to show you the diamond under blacklight and regular lighting, and maybe even ask them to accompany you outside to check the diamond’s appearance in daylight.
How to Go About Diamond Fluorescence
Among the factors you need to consider when buying a diamond, its fluorescence is still a widely misunderstood concept. As mentioned, the fluorescent properties of the diamond refer to the stone’s glow that appears under the UV light. Once under this light, exhibiting blue color can actually make the diamond’s color stronger.
Still, no one can suggest you to just go to the store and ask for medium blue fluorescence for a color grade G or higher diamond. It might be rare, but even this fluorescence could make the stone appear hazy or milky on occasion.
It would be ideal to purchase diamonds in person as this will allow you to check and inspect the diamond, its appearance, color, and fluorescence yourself. What’s more, you can ask the retailer to help you right there and then. In case you’re interested in purchasing one online, make it a point to contact the retailer and ask them as many questions that could help you with making the final decision as possible. You might even ask for additional pictures.
If you’re looking for top-quality diamonds store in Coral Gables, as well as beautiful fine jewelry with unique design and timeless style, don’t hesitate to check out Santayana Jewelers. You can visit our jewelry online store as well as our store locations in Miami and Coral Gables. Some of our signature designs include Interchangeable Necklaces, Cuban Coin Collection (shown online as Crests), Palmar Collection, and the Cuban Bead Charms for Pandora-style bracelets, to name a few. With these very recognizable and striking designs, you’re bound to have people stop you in the street to marvel at your bling or even compare the pieces with their own! Feel free to contact us at Santayana Jewelers if you have any questions or comments.
If there’s one perfect accessory for gents that’s both practical and stylishly personal, it has to be cufflinks. And if you’ve never tried them before, what are you waiting for? Cufflinks can effectively spruce up your outfit, and depending on what style of cufflinks you choose, you can switch between formal and casual shirts with ease. After all, all you need is a long-sleeved shirt with cuff holes to rock the cufflinks however you see fit.
What Are Cufflinks?
If you’re not completely sure about the purpose of cufflinks, think fancy buttons. Essentially, cufflinks let you close the cuff of your shirt. But these accessories can be so much more than that. As rather personal and unique bling, cufflinks instantly elevate your look and style. And unlike buttons, cufflinks can easily be removed and switched out whenever you want to wear a different pair.
Cufflinks are very ornamental, and as such, they come in a variety of shapes and styles. The contrast they provide in the cuff area is both subtle yet striking enough to be considered ideal for formal occasions. However, there’s no limit to wearing cufflinks for your semi-formal or business casual outfits.
How Do Cufflinks Work?
Basically, cufflinks are used to close the shirt’s cuff by going through the cuff holes and then clicking into place in their fixed position. You have probably seen or maybe even owned the traditional cufflink design that involves a larger decorative front head, an extending post, and a hinged toggle at the end used to fix the link. You’d slide the post through the holes and then close the toggle to prevent the post from sliding out and opening the cuff. That way, the cuffs are neatly closed and the decorative front head lies on top of the buttonholes for added bling.
When and How to Wear Cufflinks?
The most common way to wear them is for formal and semiformal occasions. These are a very common button alternative for these types of shirts, especially when paired with the traditional black or white tie look.
However, it’s not only the dressier shirts that come with cufflink holes. From plain white shirts to more colorful and unique ones, it’s possible to find a shirt design that features cuffs with cufflink holes. What’s more, it’s incredibly simple to convert any regular shirt into a cufflink-ready one at the tailor. All they have to do is remove the button and create a small buttonhole. If you’re good with your hands, it’s even possible to DIY this particular project.
In the end, this means that you can wear cufflinks for every occasion you want with any outfit of your choosing, as long as you like the look it gives you. Mixing high and low fashion has become increasingly popular, and there’s a burst of look books involving cufflinks on simple flannel shirts.
If you’re not fond of other accessories, cufflinks are an amazing way for every gentleman to add a touch of personality to their looks, be it for formal and semiformal attire, or casual day/night out. After all, when you opt for a less extravagant pair of cufflinks, you’ll be able to pair them rather nicely even with a sports jacket.
Different Types of Cufflinks
So, what are cufflinks for? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. In this day and age, a stylish accessory like this has become a staple for anyone who simply wants to add some flair and elegance to their outfits, or is interested in a playful mix of different styles. They’re for whatever purpose you want them to be; an elegant décor, a personalized piece, a fun alternative to buttons, or all three. And with its rising popularity, there are plenty of different types available on the market.
Whale Back Cufflinks
This is one of the most common cufflinks types these days. The mechanism is simple and easy to use. Essentially, the decorative front head is flat, the post stretches from it in a straight line, and the toggle at the end is in the shape of the “whale tail” that flips flat against the post.
Bullet Back Cufflinks
Bullet back cufflinks are rather similar to the previously mentioned whale back ones. However, the post is hollow and the toggle at the end is a cylinder that fits into the post’s hollow space perfectly. The cuff can be closed by flipping the toggle away from the hollow, thus creating a stronghold.
Stud or Button Style Cufflinks
When stud/button style cufflinks are concerned, there’s no actual hinging mechanism to deal with. A lot of people prefer this particular style as it’s quick, simple, and secure. The head and post have a traditional design, but instead of the hinge at the end of the post, there’s another smaller head that locks when straightened.
Chain Link Cufflinks
These particular cufflinks may be fancied by someone with an acquired taste, as they have two heads at each side that are connected by a chain. The cuffs might be a bit looser, but the overall impression is rather unique and extravagant.
Ball Return Cufflinks
These cufflinks have a regular decorative front head and a post, but at the end of the post is a small ball. This is a rather luxurious option as the ball is often made of precious materials and expensive metals to add weight. The fastening of the cuff is a tad looser to show off both the decorative head and the ball.
Locking Dual-Action Cufflinks
Dual-action cufflinks utilize a similar locking mechanism to a wristwatch. The post is also the hinge, and the whole mechanism has to be slipped through the cuff holes and then closed to clip to the front head. The mechanism is rather modern but equally stylish, and many younger gents prefer it due to its efficiency and secure hold.
Knot cufflinks are perfect for more casual outfits as they utilize a similar closing mechanism to chain link, but instead of a metal chain, the link is a soft cord, often silk. The cord connects two decorative knot heads.
When fabric cufflinks are concerned, they come in a variety of different fastening mechanisms. What makes them unique is the actual material their decorative head is made of, which is fabric. This particular cufflink look is ideal for casual occasions.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your style, be it for professional, personal, or formal reasons, adding cufflinks to your shirts is a great way to achieve exactly that. Those of you interested in unique pieces of the finest quality, feel free to check out our Miami jewelry store or visit our shop online. Our 40+ years of jewelry-making experience lets us provide our customers with top-quality and timeless pieces. Become a part of a family by purchasing an accessory that’s been specially manufactured for our store and our customers only. Aside from cufflinks, we have a range of different accessories and jewelry that will help you add a personal touch and create a customized look every single day.
Most of us have sterling silver jewelry in our collection, either inherited from our grandmothers, mothers or the pieces we have chosen and purchased ourselves. What is so alluring about this material and color of jewelry is that it can easily be matched with various outfits and is suitable for different events. However, there is a question we have all been asking ourselves from time to time – does sterling silver tarnish?
The answer to this question is yes, it does. This is due to the fact that sterling silver consists of 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of other metals. These other metals, such as copper, cause your silver jewelry to rust. Copper reacts to moisture from the air, shower, deodorant, perfume, etc. making sterling silver jewelry tarnish. No matter how frustrating it might sound, do not let this put you off these amazing pieces of jewelry since there are easy and fast ways you can take care of your sterling silver jewelry collection.
How to clean sterling silver jewelry?
Here are a few tips on how to preserve jewelry in the best possible condition.
Store Your Jewelry Properly
Although we all often leave our jewelry on the nightstand or forget it in the bathroom after taking a shower, sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a dark place in your home. Keep your jewelry pieces away from heat, sun, and moisture. The best way is to place each sterling silver jewelry piece in a box or a plastic bag separately and not to store multiple jewelry pieces together. Not only does this decrease tarnish, but it also reduces scratching. Make sure you remove air from the plastic bag as this is what will additionally protect your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing. In addition, you could also get some anti-tarnish paper strips and place these together with your stored jewelry in airtight plastic bags.
Keep Sterling Silver Jewelry Away from Moisture
You should not shower or bathe with your silver pieces. It is perfectly normal if you occasionally forget this rule and jump into a swimming pool wearing your silver jewelry, but try not to do it often. Moisture is one of the main reasons your sterling silver jewelry tarnishes. That is why you should remove your jewelry before taking a shower, swimming, going into a sauna, and a hot tub or spraying on deodorant, a perfume, a hairspray, etc. How long does it take for sterling silver to tarnish? It might take from a couple of months to a few years. This depends on both how well you take care of your sterling silver jewelry collection, but also if it is in contact with moisture and humidity.
Wipe Your Jewelry Off After Wearing It
Once you have had fun clubbing or at that great celebration, take your jewelry off and wipe it down using a soft dry cloth. This does not require a lot of time if your sterling silver jewelry does not show signs of tarnish or dirt. It will take you no more than a minute to perform this and then store your jewelry safely back to its container. Besides wiping off your jewelry, you might consider polishing it from time to time. For this purpose, you can use a special silver cloth, but also a microfiber or some other soft non-abrasive cloth. Be careful not to use harsher towels or tissues as their fibers could easily scratch the silver.
Clean It More Thoroughly
It is perfectly normal to start noticing some signs of tarnish on your sterling silver after a while. If wiping off the dirt and tarnish from your jewelry does not work, you could take the following how to clean sterling silver steps:
- Fill in a container with warm water and put a few drops of mild dishwashing soap,
- Put your sterling silver jewelry into the container and either uses your hands or a soft baby toothbrush to gently wash the pieces of jewelry,
- Use a cotton swab or a soft toothbrush to clean tight corners and reach any crevices,
- If your jewelry pieces have gemstones, beads or pearls, do not submerge them into water. In this case, it is better to use a cotton swab or a soft cloth with mild dishwashing soap to clean only the silver,
- Take the jewelry out from the container, rinse it thoroughly, wipe it down completely and carefully and let it air dry before storing it back to its box or bag. Do not forget that moisture is one of the biggest enemies of your sterling silver jewelry.
Avoid Contact with Harsh Substances
Many people recommend different rust removers, the most common of which are toothpaste and baking soda. Some have tried these and swear by them. However, you should be aware that these methods might discolor the silver and scratch the surface of your pieces of jewelry. In addition, a few people mention other even harsher chemicals such as acetone or bleach. Do not use these as in time they will damage the surface of your sterling silver jewelry. Furthermore, avoid exposure to perspiration, rubber, household chemicals or any substances containing sulfur such as eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, etc. as these also cause tarnish. Therefore, it is a good idea to take off your sterling silver jewelry when doing household chores.
Professional Care for Your Jewelry
Take your sterling silver jewelry to a professional jewelry repair in Miami to get them cleaned. This is always a good idea, especially if you have some older or more heavily tarnished sterling silver pieces of jewelry and you cannot or just do not have the time or the will to do it yourself. Pay extra attention to fragile or valuable jewelry pieces or the ones with stones, beads or pearls and consider taking these to a professional cleaner too.
Wear Your Jewelry
If you believe that the sterling silver jewelry is best kept properly and safely stored and not worn a lot, you are wrong. It is quite the opposite. Would you like to preserve your jewelry in the best possible condition? Then you should wear them all the time.
Does sterling silver rust? Yes, it does. Does that mean you should not wear it? No, it does not.
In fact, the oils in your skin keep your jewelry from tarnish and make it look shiny. Just make sure you follow some of the precautionary steps mentioned above and your sterling silver jewelry will look great and last for generations. Would you like to keep a professional, business-like look when going to a job interview or work, and yet add something special to your appearance? Go for a subtle sterling silver piece of jewelry.
If you are getting ready for a date or a birthday celebration, make sure you wear jewelry for this occasion as well. When contemplating buying a special gift for a family member or a friend, sterling silver jewelry is yet again a great idea. Purchasing it from a reputable jewelry company and taking care of it properly will provide you with timeless sterling silver jewelry pieces. Whether it is for you or you are considering buying an exquisite piece of jewelry for your family member or friend, sterling silver is always a good idea. After all, what lady doesn’t like receiving a beautiful piece of jewelry?
Choosing the right gold necklace might sound easy – after all, you know your taste! But when you come right down to it, when you step into the brilliant world of jewelry, you might find yourself a bit unprepared. There is more to think about than materials and pendants – there is the type of chain.
There are so many types of gold chains you can choose from, each emanating a different kind of statement. If you are truly prepared, you’ll avoid any possible regrets in the future! Here are just some of the chain types you should keep in mind before coming to the nearest jewelry store and making your decision:
This particular chain is perfect for your casual daytime outfit or in an office setting. A sequence of flat, short, and parallel links in an offset pattern make up the style and substance of this chain. By itself, the design is unusual enough to be a conversation piece, but discrete enough to put just a dash of style into you outfit.
Suitable for both men and women, this kind of chain is best worn on its own – without a pendant. Since a herringbone necklace lies flat on your skin, there really is no need to burden it with precious stones!
Consisting of blocks, rather than circular links, these chains also lie flat on your skin, not unlike herringbone. However, the look, feel, and the statement it gives is quite different. Its square links provide a feeling of sophistication, no matter how you wear them.
Women can opt for a smaller sized box links with a pendant, or quite the opposite – a thicker design that serves well as a statement piece. While thicker chains are a popular choice when it comes to men, remember – you can and should wear anything you like, jewelry included.
The most classical and most stunning choice of all necklace chain styles, anchor chains can elevate your look, no matter the details of your outfit, to a high level of elegance and sophistication. The chain’s links are oval, with a vertical bar in the center of each link.
Also called mariner chains, all necklaces of this type are designed to reference the type of chains used to attach an anchor to a boat. This style comes in many variations – flat, puffy, delicate, or heavy – so all you need to do is pick the one that matches the statement you want to make. If you want to emphasize the chain itself, go for a more robust design. If, however, you want just a touch of gold, opt for a simpler, more delicate chain.
Among many different types of gold chains, the bead chin is possibly most attractive to men – at least, in its smallest form as dog tags. This chain can be worn with a pendant, whether it’s an ersatz dog tag, or a medallion of some sort.
Beads are present in a variety of types of jewelry chain. They can be close or far apart, small or large, so you have extensive options. Statement pieces can, of course, be large beads, or a beaded chain necklace that combines not only golden beads, but also beads imbued with other precious stones. Truly the choice is yours!
The rarest and most powerful among necklace chains types is certainly the Byzantine chain. Each link in the chain passes through four other, so it gives off a look or a rope and even imitates its texture. This necklace is luxurious, supple and flexible all at once.
Such a bold piece is a perfect choice for both men and women who want to impress. Its imperious design gives off confidence from whoever wears it, so it’ll have the most impact if you wear it on its own.
Among necklace chain types, this one is often referred to as Miami Cuban. This is the type of chain you often see looped around rappers’ necks. No matter its size, this chain is ornate, chunky and imposing in appearance.
The slightly flattened and close set links can be, as with any other neck chain type, as large or as small as you want it. A timeless statement piece, though mostly preferred by men, can also be comfortably worn by women. While men might opt for a chunkier design, women for whom this is the first time experimenting with Cuban chains can choose smaller millimeter links and combine it with almost all outfits in their closet.
A snake chain is true to its name – it almost looks like a snake! Metal links – curvy and round – attach to form a very flexible, sleek chain of a smooth and shiny texture. Often adorned with slide pendant, snake chains are an elegant and sophisticated choice for both men and women.
Since it’s both very strong and very durable, this kind of necklace is perfect for every style. You can wear it with a discrete pendant or opt for a heavier one. However, if you’re in the mood for a more sleek look, you can always wear this chain on its own!
A Figaro chain is special in the world of necklaces. Unlike others, which feature links equal in size and shape, these chains consist of a pattern of repeating links. Mostly, they have one longer link, sometimes rectangular, which is followed by a succession of smaller oval or round links. This pattern repeats, making the end result a unique and intricate necklace.
Figaro chains are a good choice for men and women who want something more interesting than a simple cable chain, but aren’t in the mood for such an ornate piece as a Byzantine chain. You can wear it on its own for a more elegant look, or combine it with a pendant if you want to make a bolder statement.
Flat and twisted oval links are braided together to form a deliciously unique wheat chain. Just like the name says, this kind of a necklace has the appearance of the head of a mature wheat stalk. Often called spiga, this chain is durable and quite sturdy, so you can wear it with pendants. However, its unique look also shines when worn on its own.
Large wheat chains are always a good choice for men, while women can opt for the same style, or go for a slimmer, more discreet necklace. No matter who wears it, the result is a classic, timeless look – elegant, sophisticated, confident, and demanding attention.
One of the most durable and heaviest of chain types, rope chains are designed so that they look precisely like rope. Metal segments are connected together in a twisting pattern, so the chain really does look like its namesake. Such a pattern also reflect light from various angles, which makes these necklaces all the more impressive!
You can wear the more delicate designs with a pendant, while the heavier, larger rope chains are perfect for wearing on its own as statement pieces.
No matter your taste, style or occasion, there’s a good necklace chain for everyone. Now that you know how to navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of necklace chains, you can, make the best decision! Drop by one of our stores – you can freely try on and explore the jewelry you’re interested in and find that one perfect piece!
Sometimes, even when you find the perfect ring, it can turn out to be a wrong fit. It may be that the ring is too big, too small, or you just feel you may lose it at the first accidental flick of a wrist.
Resizing may be your first thought, but take this into consideration – sometimes the reason why your ring fits wrong is temporary. It may just be the cold weather that’s making your fingers “shrink,” or hot weather that’s making your fingers “expand.” Pregnancy and weight fluctuations are also some of the reasons why your rings may sit differently on your fingers. These are times when you need a temporary solution and not something as permanent and (almost) irreversible as resizing.
How to make a ring smaller without resizing, you may ask? It may sound like magic, but we assure you, it’s quite possible.
How should a ring fit
Before we go on, let’s quickly go over how to size a ring and how a ring should fit you (maybe you’ve been wearing the wrong size for years!).
A well-sized ring should slide over your knuckle with some resistance, and then fit snugly on the base of your finger. It should not feel uncomfortable, not too loose or too tight. When removing it, you should feel the same resistance at the knuckle as when putting it on.
The fit can change depending on the weather or other normal bodily fluctuations. So, a perfect fit is nigh on impossible! If you’re wondering how to get your ring size, just keep the knuckle in mind – you should never feel too afraid to flick your wrist, or too uncomfortable to move your finger. It’s best to try your ring for size in the afternoon when our fingers are naturally at their largest.
How to make a ring smaller
If you find that your favorite ring is suddenly too loose to wear, there’s no need to fret! There are multiple ways of adjusting your rings, many that have no negative effects on the metal itself.
When it comes to resizing, taking away from the band can weaken the strength of the metal. That’s why you should look into a ring adjuster. These small pieces of metal add to your ring, and in that way lessen the circumference of the band. Since they require delicate work with the ring itself, it’s best you take it to a jeweler you trust – they can make the changes imperceptible! Here are just some of the resizing options:
Add sizing beads to your ring
This kind of ring size adjuster is perhaps the least invasive and the most invisible one. Your jeweler will simply add two infinitesimal metal balls to the inner side of your ring’s band. The solution is all but invisible and it doesn’t take away from the esthetics of your ring, even when you’re not wearing it!
One of the more economical ways to make your ring smaller is sizing the beads. This can reduce the ring by half. Before jumping into it, make sure to ask your jeweler if they have an example ring you can try on – you wouldn’t want to go through all that trouble only to find that wearing the ring brings discomfort!
Add a spring insert
A spring insert is like a band inside your ring’s band. Shaped like a horse-shoe, it’s a strip of metal lining the bottom 3/4 of the inside of your ring’s band. As its name suggests, it slightly springs open when you slide the ring over your knuckle and then springs back in order to keep your ring snug on your finger.
This ring adjuster can make your ring smaller by one full size. It’s a bit more complicated than adding sizing beads for your jeweler, but it’s definitely worth it – wearers report they find spring inserts much more comfortable than sizing beads.
Add a sizing bar
The most versatile of the resizing options is the sizing bar, sometimes also called a fold-over device. This looks like a little U-shaped bar across the bottom side of the ring. You open its hinges to put the ring on, then snap them shut once it’s snug on your finger.
This is a perfect solution if your resizing needs are larger than one size – with a sizing bar, your ring can be several full sizes smaller! It may be more apparent than all the previous options, but what you need to remember is that no one will actually see it since it will sit on the inside of your hand. You and your jeweler will be the only ones who know the secret! Before committing to a sizing bar, ask your jeweler for an example ring, just to be sure.
How to resize a ring at home
If your needs are urgent, or you just don’t want the hassle of going to a jeweler, you can opt for do-it-yourself solutions. Keep in mind that these are more transient and temporary than a resizing by a jeweler, but if you’re in a pinch, they’ll work just as well!
Use a plastic guard
This option is very much like the sizing bar your jeweler can put in, except it’s cheaper and you can do it yourself! Plastic ring adjusters are usually little silicone sleeves or wedges that sit between your finger and your ring.
However, these are not the most elegant of solutions. They can often make your ring sit awkwardly, and they are prone to being unreliable (they can, for example, slip out at the worst moments).
Use a loop of string
If you have some costume jewelry that’s suddenly become too large, you can just use a piece of string! What you need to do is loop the string around the band of your ring as many times as you feel necessary. If this is still not enough, you can take a piece of tape, and wrap that around the band. Just keep in mind the tape may damage your band in some cases.
This kind of DIY is best suited for rings you don’t mind experimenting with, and when you need a quick solution!
Try hot glue
The riskiest DIY option of them all is hot glue. If you’re a risk-taker, you’ll first need to create a dime size puddle of melted glue on a piece of foil or cardboard. Next, dip a toothpick in the glue, and use it to smear the glue on the inside of the band, right on the place where it meets the underside of your finger. This will create an extra layer on the band and make the ring fit more snugly. The glue shouldn’t damage the ring, but it’s best if you never use this method on antique rings and on those that would cause you heartbreak if you saw them damaged. Whether your ring is gold, platinum, or silver, sometimes all of them need a good resizing. Now that you know all the options you have at your fingertips, it’s time to take your beloved ring out of the box and display it proudly on your finger! Visit one of our stores and we can professionally resize ring and make it sparkle and shine the way it never has before.
Whether you like bold or discreet, a long metal chain or a rugged leather one, choosing a necklace is no easy task. Even if you know exactly what necklace you want – the style, the materials, the design – choosing the length can prove to be the trickiest part of it all.
Too long, too short, uncomfortable or not really what you had in mind – all these problems can be solved by taking a look at our necklace lengths chart. This way, you’ll be able to make the right choice and avoid the hassle of going to the shop to shorten or lengthen your chain.
Men’s necklace lengths
When it comes to men, the necklace chain lengths are a bit more limited than women’s. Men’s necklaces can range from 18inch to 30ich pieces, while the most common sizing range from an 18 inch to a 24 inch. What’s important to consider here is personal style, preferences, and what you want to achieve with a statement piece such as a necklace.
Most men’s necklaces emphasize the materials they’re made from and are designed in such a way to look older, like family heirlooms, more rugged and generally more robust. Unlike women’s jewelry, men’s jewelry is most commonly made for everyday use – meaning, never to be taken off, even when in the shower or swimming in the ocean.
Start with your height and face shape
Surprisingly, height can play a role in what necklace suits you best. If you are around 5’ 4’’, you should focus on shorter necklaces (such as the 18 inch). This ensures you don’t look weighed down by your necklace. However, if your body type is more bulky and developed, you might want to opt for a necklace that’ll sit a bit more loosely around your neck.
Since necklaces naturally draw the attention to the face, your necklace can influence the way your face appears, If you have an oval-shaped face, you don’t have to worry – everything will look good on you! Rectangular-shaped faces work best with a 10-14 inch necklace, while a round shape is most suited to a 26 to 36 inch chain. In case you have a heart-shaped face, you fall right in the middle – a 10 to 16 inch necklace will work best.
This type of necklace sits high at the neck, usually just below Adam’s apple or at the base of the neck. It’s best suited for crew neck shirts, where the necklace can clearly accent your style.
These choker-style necklaces can be worn with anything, excepting a suit and tie. Wearing a necklace this short works best when it peeks above a low collar.
Among all necklace lengths, the 20 inch is by far the most ubiquitous when it comes to men’s jewelry. This typically falls near the collarbone and can be worn both inside or outside the shirt. In case you want a pendant on your chain, this length may not be the best choice. The mid-size chain can look awkward with any sort of pendant – the precious piece will always end up half or completely covered by your clothes
Women’s necklace lengths
Women’s necklaces offer greater variety when it comes to lengths – they even have their own names! They range from a 10 inch choker all the way to 40 inch plus statement pieces. As with any piece of jewelry, you should first follow your gut and personal style, and then turn to the mechanics of how the piece accentuates your features.
Believe it or not, the perfect length of your necklace will depend on your height and face shape. Here, we’ll be focusing on those criteria. But if you want more info on which necklace goes with which neckline.
10-16 inches: Chokers and Collars
For women, chokers will look best on women with long and slim necks. Perfect for those with square, oblong and oval face-shapes, these types of necklaces can be worn in both a casual or a more formal style. If you’re around 5’ 4’’ or under, necklaces on the shorter side of the spectrum will work much better – they won’t dominate your entire frame.
A 16 inch collar will sit much more loosely, around the base your neck, and is perfect for any ‘long’ face shape (oval, heart, and diamond) – in fact, round face-shapes are the best match for
18-20 inches: Princess
The standard lengths among women’s necklaces, the Princess sits right around the collarbone. Flattering on any woman, you can dress this necklace up or down, depending on your outfits and moods! Since this length is flattering on any face and body type, it’s the perfect length to choose if you want to surprise a woman in your life with a piece of jewelry.
20-24 inches: Matinee
Starting at 20 inches, these types of necklaces are bolder accents to your style. Sitting just below your collarbone and reaching the center of the bust, the matinee necklaces are perfect for showing off a pendant, whether it’s a locket, a precious jewel, or anything else. Suited for both petite and fuller body types, the matinee is a perfect piece to add some flair to your style.
30-34 inches: Opera
Hanging just below the bust, opera length necklaces will serve taller women best. Anyone shorter than around about 5’ 7’’ might find that necklaces longer than about 20 inches overwhelm the frame. When it comes, to face-shapes, the heart-shaped may find that this length hardens the face.
45 inches: Lariat or Rope
The main difference between a lariat and a rope is the clasp – rope typically doesn’t have one. These types of necklaces usually feature a knot and are typically beads or pearls. Hanging far below the bust, lariats and ropes are best suited to oval-shaped faces and taller frames. But don’t let that stop you! Necklaces of these lengths are perfect for layering, so you can mix and match until you reach the perfect balance between the statement you want to make and the way the jewelry accentuates your features!
Among the many lengths of necklaces, choose what works best for you – even if it breaks some of the common “rules.” The most important thing is that you love your jewelry and feel amazing when wearing it. We can offer you a rich assortment of necklaces – from discrete to bold – and a vast array of pendants. Drop by one of our Miami jewelry stores – that perfect piece of jewelry is waiting for you!
The holidays are almost upon us, which means one thing – delighting our loved ones! Getting a meaningful present can be a difficult task, especially if you want to give something personal, something that can speak to the very soul of your loved one.
When it comes to jewelry, the choice is extra hard. But if your loved one is a jewelry lover and a book lover, jewelry books can be the perfect solution!
Here are just some of the titles perfect for enjoying a cozy Christmas morning.
The Pearl Necklace by Vivienne Becker
The Little Black Dress of jewelry, a pearl necklace can be dressed up and down, it can be bold and discrete, it can be opulent and humble. Award-winning journalist, Vivienne Becker, traces the pearl back to history and on the way explored and presents the history of jewelry, along with the evolution of fashion itself.
This book can be considered the authoritative work on pearls and, just like the jewel, it’s gorgeous – the pearlescent story is told through photography, still-lifes of the most famous pearls, along with the women who draped them around their neck.
Hidden Gems: Jewelry Stories from the Saleroom by Sarah Hue-Williams and Raymond Sancroft-Baker
What’s a jewel without a story? You can argue it’s nothing more than a pretty colored rock. Fortunately, one jewelry historian (Hue-Williams) and one European Jewelry Director for Christie’s (Sancroft-Baker) have joined forces and decided to reveal all the secrets and stories behind our favorite jewelry.
Each gem inside this jewelry book is followed by a tale, and each of those is a result of the writers’ first-hand encounters with the gems. Whether it’s a diamond worn in battle or ruby that once graced the neck of the most famous French lady of the court, each of the stones in the book is spellbound by a story of where it came from and what it saw along the way.
Jewel: A Celebration of Earth’s Treasures
This book on jewelry delivers on its promise – behind the black velvet cover is an explosion of color, wonder, and brilliance. An encyclopedia of jewels of sorts, this book is a comprehensive guide, peppered with spreads that feature some of the most well-known jewels in history.
Not just another coffee table book, this title will provide you with surprising information on almost every page – topics range from Halley’s Comet opal, the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, to the Staffordshire Hoard.
Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry
Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry book is almost as dazzling as the woman herself. From the time she’s first stepped on the stage, she’s been a star. Over the years, she’s continued to evolve and dazzle, with each step proving her greatness and poise to both herself and the world.
Jewelry is just one of her many passions and one she has stayed true to over decades. In her book, she gives the reader a personal, guided tour of her impressive collection. From Burmese rubies and Cartier diamonds to a 33.19 carat Krupp diamond, each is followed by amusing anecdotes and intimate tales from this extraordinary woman’s life.
If you want to make the present extra special, why not include some jewelry in the box? From key chains to charm bracelets and divine earrings – you can find the perfect match for your loved one in our shop! A custom made jewelry piece just might be even better – get us the design, and we’ll make sure the joy you bring to your loved one is extra special!
The clear sparkle of a diamond in the sunlight bedazzles with its brilliance. For a long while, these have been the reigning champions in the diamond world – clear, with no imperfections, white, colorless. It’s easy to lose sight of the rarer, more precious, and more unique players – colored diamonds. Let’s see how they’re made.
What are diamonds made of?
All diamonds, including colored ones, are made up of the same material – carbon. Under intense pressure and heat, carbon atoms bond in a crystal structure. In case any foreign materials (such as boron, for example) find their way into this crystallization process, we get a splash of color in our diamond.
How are diamonds made?
The short answer to this question is that 3 billion years ago, deep within the Earth, the pressure and intense heat changed the very structure of the carbon molecule, until it finally transformed into the gem we know and love.
Still, the newly formed diamonds are too deep in the Earth for us to ever reach them. The way they’re pushed, or expelled, up is by a deep-source volcanic eruption. Magma travels through the Earth’s crust, ‘picks up’ diamonds on the way, and brings it closer to the Earth’s surface. As it cools, this diamond-bearing magma hardens to form Kimberlite and settles into vertical structures called kimberlite pipes. These pipes are our most significant source of diamonds – however, only 1 in every 200 of them actually contain gem-quality stones.
Just like the ‘regular’ diamonds, natural colored diamonds go through the same process, with one crucial difference. During the crystallization process, foreign particles get trapped inside and cause an alteration in the chemical process. The final color of the diamond depends on the trace minerals present during the formation process.
What colors do diamonds come in?
Even though all of us know the enchanting brilliance of clear diamonds, these dazzlers can come in many colors. Red, pink, blue, green, violet, purple, orange, and yellow – diamonds encompass every color of the rainbow.
Red or pink diamonds are created in intense pressure and heat (more so that the regular, clear diamonds) which distorts the crystal lattice of the molecule so that it absorbs green light. This is how the soft pink and the ultra-rare red diamonds are made.
Grey or blue diamonds have traces of boron within them. This ‘impurity’ makes it a gorgeous, unique gem.
Green diamonds get their color just before they’re about to leave the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust. There, they absorb some of the natural radiation – don’t worry! Green diamonds are simply enchanting and will not cause you any harm.
Diamonds of a purple hue are created by, as far as we know, some kind of crystal distortion. No one can quite put a finger on it, but it’s believed hydrogen is somewhat responsible for giving us an indescribable violet stone.
For orange and yellow diamonds, we have nitrogen to thank. During the diamonds’ formation, nitrogen atoms attach so that they absorb blue light, and we get to admire a golden diamond. If the nitrogen atoms group in a very specific way, the ultimate product is a precious gem of an orange hue.
No matter which diamond you prefer – white, pink, blue, or green – you can rest easy knowing they are not just beautiful, but also priceless heirlooms you can keep in the family for years and generations to come. If you want to add to your family’s jewelry collection, drop by one of our Miami jewelry stores – we can help you choose your perfect jewelry piece, one that will shine bright for years to come.
Your soulmate has stepped out of your dreams and into reality – congratulations! Aside from feeling a wealth of emotions, you also might be completely overwhelmed by the question of an engagement ring.
What if your special someone is just not into diamonds? Don’t worry – a diamond is not actually necessary! The whole idea of a 2 paycheck worth of an engagement ring was actually a marketing tactic made in the early days of the 20th century.
Fortunately, there are other choices – the most enchanting one being sapphire engagement rings.
Sapphires vs Diamonds
A sapphire engagement ring is not as unusual as you may think – many a royal can boast this precious stone on their finger, including the late Princess Diana!
In comparison with its deep, ineffable blue, a diamond might seem a little…bland. A good dazzle just doesn’t cut it – your soulmate’s ring, just like your soulmate, needs to have some depth to it. And while it’s wonderful to get lost in a diamond’s brilliance, one look at a sapphire enchants with its beauty, mystery, and enchantments. With a sapphire, size really doesn’t matter. A diamond usually needs to be on the large size to inspire adoring gasps, but just one speck of magical blue is all it takes to turn heads.
Just like diamonds, sapphires can be combined with any kind of metal – though we should point out that yellow gold would be a rare choice, it all depends on personal taste!
If you’re wondering how much is a sapphire engagement ring, the answer is less expensive than a diamond (in most cases).
Finding that perfect blue
If you’re planning to buy a sapphire engagement ring, the one thing you need to be absolutely sure about is the color.
Most sapphires will have very small traces of violet or green – in other words, they will have a secondary hue. Your goal here is to choose the one with the least noticeable secondary hue.
Another aspect you should consider is the strength of the color itself – the stone’s saturation. The untrained eye cannot easily discern this, so trust in your dealer is key. Ask for moderate or strong saturation.
So, if you look for a pure blue hue, with moderate to strong saturation you should be presented with a deep blue stone.
Cut, Clarity, and Style
Clarity, when looking at diamonds, is scrutinized – they need to be inspected by a magnifying glass. Sapphires, on the other hand, needs to be “eye clean,” meaning that any inclusions need to be invisible to the naked eye. Of course, the fewer inclusions, the better.
When it comes to the cut, sapphires are extremely versatile – an oval, a marquise, a pear or anything your (soul mate’s) heart desires will not affect the future value of the ring. What most important here is that you make sure the cutter is professional and skilled.
The style of the ring itself should be in accordance with your loved one’s taste – there really are no limits when it comes to sapphires! Paired with other stones (diamonds and sapphires make for a striking combination), set in a variety of metals, bold rings, delicate rings, art deco-inspired rings, modern rings – anything is on the table!
Remember, all you need to do is look for good color, a reputable dealer and cutter, and make sure the engagement ring you choose is in a style your soulmate loves! If you want to make it extra special, you can even create your own design – we at Santayana can offer you custom made jewelry. So, get in touch and make that leap to the happiest days of your life!