Selecting Colors for Your Outfit
One of the best ways to determine what colors would enhance an outfit is to use the color wheel. A simple Google search will bring one up.
Look at the wheel. On either side of it are colors that would work well with the ones in the middle.
One way is simply to look at nature and see how colors are combined.
Another method is to look directly across the wheel to see other colors which also coordinate.
Artists use these methods all the time. You would do well to select your jewelry using one of these techniques.
Ruby Colors and Metals
Colors of rubies run from a rosy pink to a dark mauve.
Using the color wheel, you can choose green to accent the pink ruby both because it is directly across the wheel and it is prevalent in nature. Think of pink roses.
Either silver or gold accents rubies. Many people think that rubies look lovely with gold, but that is up to your own sense of style.
Rubies also have a wide range of how they can be used for various social occasions.
For example, a simple thin band with a small stone would be appropriate for more casual events, and it would look great with jeans and a t-shirt.
Some wear rubies with large stones and sometimes combine them with a statement necklace, feather earrings in the color of the stone, and tribal type rings.
Accentuate Your Personal Style
Are you more into a sophisticated look? Perhaps you might choose a larger stone ring, encrusted with diamonds. Wear dangling ruby earrings and a ruby bracelet.
You might consider a ruby red bag or shoes to enhance the outfit. This would look stunning worn with that little black dress. We all have one, right?
If it is summer, consider the nautical style, which is timeless. What would look better than a navy and white striped top, white capris, nautical styled tennis shoes, accented with red rubies?
Anchor earrings are popular and would be a real eye-catcher with this look. You might be able to find a ruby pair online, or at a local store.
If you are a preppie, you might like a ruby red and white striped watchband.
This would look amazing with a white cable knit, v-neck sweater, with stripes of ruby and navy along the neckline, bottom, and sleeves. Wear with khaki pants.
Bring the outfit to life with small round ruby earrings, a simple ruby ring, and perhaps a bracelet of ruby and navy.
If you like a more girly, romantic type, rubies are ideal for you. Wear a floral summer sundress with a denim vest paired over it.
Find heart-shaped stones or settings, but only use them once. Any more is overkill. A delicate ruby necklace would give you that soft, feminine style.
Wear a very romantic ruby ring with diamonds, real or fake, around it. Pair this with a ruby colored bag or with sandals in the same color.
At Santayana and our two jewelry shops, Miami jewelry store and Coral Gables jewelry store, fine jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime, however with normal wear proper care is required to keep it looking good. As a result we’, e created this Basic Jewelry Care Guide to direct you in the proper care of your jewelry. We hope that you’ll find these guidelines helpful.
Jewelry is worn by millions of people every day, but few recognize how they can preserve their treasures by using some simple advanced planning and thought. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when wearing jewelry:
- Remove Jewelry During Tasks – When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids. Some tasks that should be avoided when wearing jewelry include kitchen work, gardening, cleaning the house and other common tasks.
- Put Jewelry On After Applying Makeup – Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting jewelry on after applying these materials will limit exposure to jewelry and any potential damage.
- Don’t Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas – Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it’s a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.
- Contact Sports and Jewelry Don’t Mix – Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved. All jewelry should be removed before play begins.
These guidelines for wearing jewelry should get you off to a good start.
For those that wear jewelry regularly, keeping their jewelry clean and looking good requires regular effort. Here are some general guidelines that may help:
Remove Your Jewelry Before Bathing
Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film you immediately reduce the occasions of servicing.
Use Jewelry Polishing Cloths for Best Results
Polish silver or gold with a jewelry polishing cloth for best results. You can use a svelte or an old diaper, but the professional cloths are the best. Use of tissue or paper towels can cause scratches because of fibers in these products.
Clean Your Jewelry With Care
Cleaning your own jewelry regularly can keep it looking good, but be careful. You can either purchase commercial cleaners from a jeweler or make a cleaning a solution yourself. Rubbing alcohol can work wonders, but bleach can literally destroy jewelry so avoid it at all costs.
Use Warm Water to Clean Jewelry
Using warm water is the best bet when cleaning your own jewelry. How water can cause reaction with the cleaning fluids resulting in discoloration and Sterling Silver is especially susceptible to this problem. Should this occur, this problem can be remedied by buffing and the application of a tarnish remover.
Avoid Cleaning Damaged Jewelry
Never clean any jewelry that is damaged, cracked or broken, since the additional handling is likely to exacerbate or worsen the problem. If you find that a piece of jewelry is damaged, it should be set aside for repair as soon as possible.
Inspect Your Jewelry Regularly
Just like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When having your jewelry professionally cleaned, it’s a good idea to have each item checked and inspected for any possible problems. Addressing signs of damage, or loose gemstones will prevent any further damage or loss and keep all of your pieces in excellent shape for years.
From time to time, it may be necessary have a repair performed on your jewelry. At Zales, we offer jewelry repair by a well-trained, professional staff. You can learn more about Zales Repair here: Jewelry Care: Jewelry Repair . However in the event that you’re not in a position to visit one of our locations, here are several guidelines you may find helpful:
Prevent Damage to Your Jewelry
Prevention is the best way to prevent the necessity of repair, so a regular inspection is the best way to minimize potentially costly repairs. You can perform a simple inspection every two to three months to ensure that the condition of your jewelry is good and prevent a small problem from becoming a big headache.
Look for Reviews and Referrals
When deciding on a jeweler to perform your jewelry repairs, look for reviews of their work and ask for referrals when appropriate. Furthermore, taking a few moments to ask questions of the jeweler is a wise investment that should pay off with a good jewelry repair experience.
Jewelry Repair Pricing
When jewelry repair pricing is being quoted, it’s wise to ensure that these figures are being quoted from a price book rather than off the top of someone’s head. When a jeweler takes the time to publish their prices, it’s clear that they have extensive experience and have thoroughly researched their investment of time and materials to complete the job correctly.
Observe the Jewelry Take-in Procedures
A clear description of how an item is to be repaired is the key to a successful repair. Closely observe the jewelry take-in procedure when the repair is being explained. The issues with each piece being repaired should be well documented using descriptions and drawings to ensure that the repair will be done correctly the first time.
Inspect Your Jewelry at Pickup
When picking up your jewelry, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the work performed. Before accepting the piece of jewelry, first make sure that it is the correct item. Next, make sure that the repair was performed as requested. Lastly, ensure that the entire piece was cleaned and polished. After all, this should be the expectation of every professional jeweler that performs jewelry repair.
Anyone that has a collection of jewelry can appreciate how difficult it can often be to keep it organized. To improve the enjoyment of your jewelry, we’ve assembled these suggestions that should keep your jewelry organized and orderly:
Keep Your Jewelry Secure
Store your jewelry in a container and prevent pieces from moving around. While fabric-lined jewelry boxes are ideal, this can be as simple as using a shoebox and pieces of fabric.
Prevent Your Jewelry from Tarnishing
Sometimes jewelry tarnishes went it’s not worn, especially silver and gold. To maintain the luster of your jewelry, place silver anti-tarnish strips in your storage container to absorb the oxidants that discolor and tarnish jewelry.
Inventory Your Jewelry
Unfortunately, jewelry can get lost or stolen. Taking a regular inventory can be incredibly useful when making an insurance claim or filing a police report. A photograph, a written physical description of each piece and it’s cost is ideal. Furthermore, store that information apart from your jewelry in the event it is taken too.
When Travelling with Jewelry, Use a Case
Travelling can be tough on jewelry, so it’s wise to use a travel case to protect your favorite pieces. Traditionally made of fabric or leather, a jewelry travel case can carry jewelry of all types and easily rolls up to a size that’s easily stored in most suitcases, makeup cases or business attaches. Clearly, a case like this is a good investment to protect your jewelry on the road.
Keeping your jewelry collection organized and under control does not have to be difficult and these recommendations should help.
Shipping jewelry can cause a great deal of concern due to its high-value nature. While there are a variety of carrier-specific guidelines, here are some general rules of thumb that you can use to safely ship jewelry:
- Use Two Boxes: An Inner Box to Hold the Jewelry and an Outer Shipping Box.
- Carefully Pack the Inner Box to Prevent the Movement of the Jewelry
- Pack the Shipping Box with Packing Material to Protect the Inner Box During Shipping
- Eliminate All Information on the Shipping Box that Refers to Jewelry or a Jeweler
- Seal Both Boxes Completely with Tape
- Insure the Shipment
- Require a Signature on Delivery
- Don’t use a Drop Box
Properly Store Your Jewelry to Keep Them Looking Lustrous; Just like the Day You First Got Them from the Boutique.
When investing in fine jewelry and watches, one must always consider what goes on ‘behind-the-scenes’. Wearing a handsome timepiece for the very first time or a glistening necklace can bring a rush of glamour; a final touch to an impeccably put-together outfit. Fine jewelry requires maintenance, just like you wouldn’t leave your supercar rusting in the garage for months. When not in use, proper storage can extend the life of your precious gems, keeping your treasures dazzling as gorgeously as the moment you first got them.
Clean and Dry
When it comes to jewelry, humidity is your ultimate enemy. Keep your jewelry away from perfume – silver is particularly susceptible humidity and tarnishes especially easily with shoddy care. Always store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. Overexposure to extreme heat can damage your jewelry and might lead to color changes. While it’s a good idea to have your pieces professionally cleaned every 1-2 years, good cleaning habits to practice on your own include a simple wipe down after each wear.
For more elaborate self-cleaning, you can soak jewelry in ammonia-based detergents with water every week. The overnight soaking process should conclude with light cleaning, whether with a toothbrush or any brush with soft bristles. Avoid powerful cleaning solutions at all costs, like bleach and acid-based detergents. While professional jewelry cleaners use special cleansers, there are many household items you can use such as lemon juice for sterling silver, mild dishwashing soap for gold and silver, and a slight drop of olive oil on a dry, soft cloth for pearls.
Beware of household chemicals – even our own natural oils are known to discolor diamonds over time. If your skin is naturally dry and demands the essential skincare routine to maintain softness, apply them before wearing jewelry. Perfume should also be sprayed before – ideally after one’s shower.
Aside from the convenience that comes with good organisation, keeping different types of jewelry separate will save you from the horror of tangled pieces. Beaded necklaces in particular should be laid flat as opposed to hanging, which many prefer – but be cautious of heavier beads that can put unnecessary stress on the threading, leading to breaks. Pearls, particularly, are often strung on vulnerable soft, silk threads so always lay these flat in a case with lavishly soft interiors.
Unlike diamonds, metals are a lot softer and might be especially vulnerable to scratches and dents. Gold, silver, platinum and other metals must always be separated from each other, lest softer metals are damaged upon accidental contact. Keep the similar metals together; silver should be stored with anti-tarnish strips, which will reduce the process of tarnishing by neutralizing sulfur gasses, keeping these glistening pieces shining for longer.
The hardest known mineral on earth has not much power against each other – indeed, a diamond can easily scratch another with little effort. Aside from investing in hard cases lined in fabric or cushion, with individual compartments for easy categorizing, stored diamonds should not come in contact with each other to minimize the risk of scratches.
Though diamonds repel water well, oil and grease stick extremely easily. One should absolutely stay away from laborious tasks including exercise or cleaning while wearing jewelry, lest accidental knocks chip your diamonds.
Buben & Zörweg X-TREME 007
Just a touch of a button and this safe elevates itself, transporting you right into a James Bond movie — in the corners of Q’s gadget lab. The next generation X-TREME 007 boasts a complete redesign from its predecessor in a strong and stylish rendition. The Buben & Zörweg safe opens vertically in utter sophistication, mesmerizing its onlooker in a true expression of style and substance.
Boca Do Lobo Filigree Jewelry Case
Crafted with the same technique that made some of the world’s most enthralling jewelry pieces, this particular case by Boca Do Lobo celebrates the luxury of ultra-refinement and true sophistication. Like the fine pieces, it will hold, find the artistic motifs of this case bearing the fruit of painstakingly handcrafted tiny beads or twisted threads of gold and silver, meticulously assembled to finish this intricate box.
It’s no longer faux pas to mix metals, but some do bring out the best in your eye, hair and skin colour more than others. This expert advice is priceless, especially when buying online
Rose gold is having a moment, but does it really suit you? Should get you get that necklace you love in silver or yellow gold? Such are the dilemmas when buying jewellery online, where you’re not standing in front of a mirror.
Jewellery designer Charlotte Blakeney spent 16 years working as a make-up artist on photoshoots for top fashion magazines around the world, so understands better than anyone how to help women match colours to their skin tone.
“Much like make-up, you can use jewellery to accentuate your beauty,” the By Charlotte founder told GRAZIA. “The play of different metals and jewels against the skin, hair colour and eye colour can illuminate your skin’s natural tones, bring out flecks of colour in your eyes and compliment your hair colour.”
Which Metal Tone Suits Your Skin Type Best?
Fair Skin with Red Undertones
“Stay clear of rose gold as it will accentuate the pink undertone in your skin,” says Blakeney. “Silver looks so fresh on a very pale skin, especially those who also have pale or blonde hair.”
Fair with Pale Undertones
“I am not a big fan of 18kt gold on very pale skin. Instead, I would go for 9kt or 14kt gold or white gold to keep very fair skin looking radiant and not pasty. Silver also is very striking on very pale skin tones.”
Lightly Tanned, Olive or Mediterranean Skin
“You’re truly blessed in the metal department. As luck would have it, you can wear almost any metal and jewel and have it look flattering.”
Arabic, Fair African and Dark African Skin
“Lucky you – any metal will look striking, although silver can get a bit lost on darker skin, especially in the form of fine jewellery. Gold really comes into its own though on darker skin tones.”
South-East Asian Skin
“I love classic gold on Asian skin. Rose gold also brings out a softness to this skin tone.”
Is There a Skin Type or Types That Can Literally Wear All Types of Metal?
“Honey, warm-colored skin tones really can wear any metal beautifully from rose, yellow or white gold, to silver. This includes the full spectrum of skin tones from olive to dark African skin.”
How Much Does Hair Color Come into Play, If at All?
“It’s all part of the color spectrum, so it plays a very big role. Often customers who have gone from blonde to brunette or vice versa need a jewellery re-fresh and come into store for new key pieces. Blondes who go to darker tones, for instance, can find a rose gold a good alternative to silver and gold. Pale skin tones who have recently gone blonde find that 9kt or 14kt gold suddenly looks much more striking then before.
What About Eye Color?
“Eye color is more connected to the types of stones worn on the skin. Amber eye colors are dazzling with an amethyst stone. For pale eyes, blue or green stones such as sapphires, topaz or turquoise are a no-brainer. Garnets and darker stones against hazel and brown eyes are very alluring.”
It Used to Be Faux Pas to Mix Gold with Silver. What’s Your Best Tip for Mixing Metals in One Look?
“Just go for it! I love the look of mixing metals and our By Charlotte customer is a big fan of this look too.”
What’s the Number 1 Tip You Give Clients When Choose Jewelry for Themselves?
“You wear jewelry on your skin, so it should feel special and significant in some way. The best choice of jewelry is always chosen for its significance, whether it be from a lover or for a birthday or just as a present to yourself to mark a personal goal. Remember, a special piece will radiate beauty from the wearer no matter what the metal or stone.”
You can always come over to our jewelry store in Miami and talk to our experts and find the best custom jewelry for you.
Jewelry To Keep Us Present & Positive
Life is complicated enough, without all the fuss and frills of keeping up with fancy trends. Adorn yourself with positive energy by keeping it simple and letting yourself shine. Since ancient times, various stones and symbols have held sacred beliefs when it comes to love, luck, happiness and the battles of everyday life. Here are five kinds of jewelry to infuse your life with abundance and positivity.
1. Sacred animals
For ages, humans have been powerfully linked to animals. In many Nordic countries, the warrior-berserker was said to have the ability to shapeshift or take on the abilities of fierce animals, such as the bear or wolf.
Native American traditions place importance on the power of one’s spirit animal. For example, the spider has a dark and light side, but as the weaver of the web, it symbols creativity. In many traditions, the spider is Mother, creator of the world.
Think about the traits you want to emphasize or bring into your life. Consider the traits of certain animals and how they function in their habitats. The hawk is a bird of prey and has powerful vision, honing in on exactly what it wants with sharp instinct (and talons). The rabbit appears to be a timid and fearful creature, but what if the rabbit is quick and resourceful in reality? Your sacred animal can also help you see yourself in a new light.
From small river rocks to the monoliths used to make Stonehenge, gemstones have held meaning to humans as “the bones of the Earth.” Every person has a birthstone or a favorite crystal that holds powerful meaning as every culture assigns meaning to particular stones as amulets, talismans or lucky stones. Here are a few of those gemstones and their powerful properties:
Rose quartz is associated with the planet Venus and love and friendship. As a quartz crystal, its protective qualities extend to self-love and one’s relationships.
Selenite is named for the Selene, the goddess of the Moon, and its properties are said to be intuition, dreams, creativity and femininity. Don’t expose selenite to water because it will dissolve but is hardy otherwise.
Snowflake obsidian is said to be composed of the ashes from a volcano that fell into lava before it hardened. This highlight’s the stone’s healing and grounding properties of balance during change, transformation, practicality and psychic abilities. Snowflake obsidian is particularly helpful to those stuck in negative thought patterns and struggling to stay centered in meditation. It’s linked to the zodiac sign Virgo and the base chakra.
Wire wrap these stones into a necklace, or carry one in your pocket or a drawstring pouch when you need an extra boost of positive energy.
3. Vital energy bracelets
These Alexi and Ani bracelets are infused with positive energy or vital energy (Chi and Prana). They channel your positivity as you wear the bracelet that speaks to your heart. Every charm is unique and customized to individual choice. Stack bracelets to represent each branch of your life’s journey and the wisdom you’ve gained.
The symbol you pick should have deep, personal meaning for you, representing inner wisdom earned with your life’s journey and your passions. For example, the Four leaf clover charms bangle, from the Path of life Symbols collection, expresses the four blessings of life: luck, hope, faith and love. The four leaf clover also depicts the seasons and remembering the blessings to be kept with the shifting seasons of life.
4. Metals with meaning
The metals that compose your jewelry hold powerful meanings, too. In many cultures, alchemists believed that every element had a physical representation and a philosophical meaning. Spiritual alchemy was strongly linked to metallurgy, or the ability to transform one base metal into another metal. Each metal had its own symbol and meaning:
Lead is governed by Saturn, related to transformation and death. Its toxicity is linked metaphorically to similar human traits and the cleansing and removal of imperfections.
Tin is governed by Jupiter, related to wisdom, education and maturity. It’s connected to balance and meditation.
Copper is governed by Venus and is one of the oldest metals, related to youthfulness, charisma, feminine beauty, creativity and caring. Considered a healing metal, it inspires you to live a fulfilling life.
Silver is governed by the moon and considered a regal metal, related to self-reflection, divination, spirits, femininity, focus and subtle strength.
5. Cultural and religious symbols
From the time that man could carve on stone, symbols began to hold a deeper meaning. From animistic faiths to polytheistic and monotheistic faiths, symbols have grown to hold a vital and particular meaning to individuals who lead spiritual lives:
Spirals are found on cave walls around the world and symbolize the journey inward and the journey outward. For many, the spiral is a creation symbol. Labyrinths are a wonderful example of the symbol at work.
The Om symbol stems from Sanskrit texts and a mystic syllable, and is defined as “the sound of the universe.”
The Cross is modernly seen in Christian faith, but also holds meaning in other cultures and in alchemy, as a symbol of God and the relationship between matter and spirit.
Since ancient times, humans have adorned their body with beautiful jewelry that possess deep meanings. Connections to animals, stones, metals and symbols remind people of ancient myths and their own personal stories. Adorn your mind, body and spirit with positivity with simple jewelry choices that serve as reminders of your own journey.
Which Gemstones are the Most Valuable?
Gemstones are composed of a variety of minerals, rocks, and organic material. With over 300 gemstones currently documented, there are bound to be some that are significantly more rare and valuable than the iconic diamond. Because, as most of us know already, diamonds really aren’t that rare.
A handful of the most valuable gemstones in the world are crystals that we will likely never see in person.
These stones are highly sought after by museums and collectors, and they definitely won’t be in our local jeweler’s showcases. Other valuable gemstones are attainable with the right amount of money. So where’s the hope for the rest of us? We’ve also highlighted some rare and valuable gemstones that the vast majority of us can purchase on more modest budgets.
So which gemstones are currently ranked the most expensive, rare, and valuable? Keep reading to find out.
Unlike most gemstones that have a variety of locales, this relatively new stone has only been found in Northern Tanzania. The first gemstone was discovered by Masai tribesman Ali Juuyawatu in 1967.
Tanzanite is a blue gem-quality variety of zoisite and is one of the official birthstones of December. Experts predict that the tanzanite supply could be depleted within the next 20-30 years, making this stone significantly more rare than diamonds.
Buying Tip: Tanzanite ranks 6-7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness so it is durable enough for everyday wear. The most prized color is a pure blue that is almost indistinguishable from blue sapphire. Most tanzanite owes its color intensity to heat treatment. In order to maximize color potential, seek stones 5 carats of greater.
Average Price Per Carat: $1,200 for high-quality stones.
Taaffeite is a rare gemstone that most people have never heard of due in large part to how rare it is. The light violet gemstone was discovered in 1945 by Australian gemologist Richard Taaffe. Prior to his discovery, taaffeite was considered spinel. However, spinel does not refract light in the same way this gemstone does, so Taaffe knew something was amiss. His observation marks the first gemstone that was discovered as a faceted gemstone and not as gemstone rough.
Taaffeite has only been found in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Most material is not suitable for faceting, making it even more difficult to source. So just how rare is taaffeite? The gemstone is so scarce, it is considered over 1 million times more rare than a diamond.
Buying Tip: If you want the look of taaffeite but don’t want to pay for a collector’s item, consider purchasing well-cut versions of amethyst in a lilac color. Though amethyst isn’t as brilliant, the color is very comparable.
However, if you’re willing to spend some time searching and eventually shell out a couple thousand per carat, you can get a very remarkable and rare taaffeite gemstone. It may be worth considering since the stone ranks 8-8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, making it more durable than amethyst. You’ll know for certain that you’ll never see another stone like it.
Average Price Per Carat: $2,500 per carat
8. Demantoid Garnet
Demantoid is a remarkable green variety of andradite garnet that was discovered in the mid 1800’s in Russia. Though other types of warm toned garnet are considered common and inexpensive, demantoid garnet is among the rarest and most valuable from that gem family. You will have a hard time finding a demantoid garnet larger than 2 carats since most crystals are smaller in size. One great aspect about demantoid garnets is they are rarely treated, which is unlike many other gemstones on the market.
Buying Tip: Demantoid garnet is between 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness so the stone is durable for everyday wear with the proper care. Since this variety of garnet is rarely found in large sizes, your best bet is to seek a stone between .5 – .75 carats. Be sure it is cut well to show off the stone’s natural brilliance.
Average Price Per Carat: $3,300 for high-quality natural stones.
7. Black Opal
Black opal is by and large the rarest and most popular type of opal and is also considered among the rarest of all gemstones. Almost all the world’s supply of black opal is mined in Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.
Buying Tip: The main characteristic that will differentiate black opal from common opal is its body tone. Though black opals can come in many colors, their overall composition is on the darker end of the spectrum.
However, there are synthetic black opals and treatments on the market that are difficult to identify without the help of a lab. Be sure to buy black opal from a reputable dealer.
Average Price Per Carat: > $3,500 for fine quality stones
Most everyday jewelry lovers will never be able to see the true beauty of benitoite. This sapphire-blue gemstone has only been found in San Benito County, California and was first discovered in the early 1900’s by George D. Louderback. It became the official gemstone of California in 1985.
The stone has been misidentified as spinel in the past. However, due to the high level of brilliance, the gemstone was re-examined and reclassified eventually.
Buying Tip: You’ll have to do some due diligence to find a trustworthy and legitimate source to purchase benitoite, and when you do, be prepared to spend. You’ll want to find a stone that has a medium body tone with a cut that maximizes the stone’s fire. Stones that are too dark will not reflect the light well, and stone’s that are too light will look washed out. Don’t expect to find stones greater than 3 carats.
Average Price Per Carat: $3,800 per carat for stones with medium blue tones. Smaller stones that are less than 1 carat can reduce the price per carat significantly.
5. Padparadscha Sapphire
Padparadscaha (pronounced pad-pah-raj-ah) sapphires are extremely rare and found mostly in Sri Lanka as well as parts of Madagascar and Tanzania. The unique combination of pink and orange hues make this stone one of the most sought after by collectors. The gemstone comes in a variety of shades, but medium tones seem to be the most favorable and attractive.
Buying Tip: Since Padparadscha sapphires are so rare, buyers may find themselves needing to compromise when making their purchase.
This may mean opting for a stone with less clarity and a duller color or choosing a stone that is smaller in size. Shapes can often be unusual and varied because gem cutters try their best to maximize carat weight. This is due in large part to the rarity and demand factor for this stone. Don’t expect to find these sapphires over 2 carats without paying a premium.
Average Price Per Carat: $8,000 per carat for high-quality gems.
4. Red Beryl
Red beryl is an extremely rare variety of beryl that has only been found in Utah and New Mexico. It was first discovered by Maynard Bixby in 1904. Despite being found in two locales, gem-quality red beryl has only been mined in Utah.
Coined by some as the red emerald, this rare gem is very difficult to find due to the unique conditions required for this stone to form. Don’t be fooled, though. Red beryl is not a variety of emerald but rather an entirely different gemstone with its own classifications.
Buying Tip: Much like emeralds, red beryl often has inclusions present, but they don’t necessarily impact the gemstone’s overall value. Beware that synthetic red beryl has been produced. If you come across a high-quality red beryl stone with excellent clarity and a lot of carat weight, you’re likely dealing with a synthetic. Large red beryl specimens are so rare that they often remain uncut and sold to collectors as specimens. Most cut red beryl stones weigh under 1 carat.
Average Price Per Carat: $10,000 per carat for high-quality material.
The official birthstone of June’s color changing ability is enchanting. Alexandrite is green in sunlight and red in incandescent light, making it one of the few color changing gemstones on the market.
The stone was discovered in 1830 in the Ural mountains of Russia, which is also home to other unusual minerals. The stone was subsequently named after Czar Alexander II.
Buying Tip: Smaller varieties of alexandrite have been mined in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Asia, but fine alexandrite specimens are still very rare and costly.
If you’ve uncovered an heirloom alexandrite gem that is large in scale and has excellent clarity, you’re likely dealing with a synthetic. These stones are often blue and purple vs. green and red and are actually synthetic corundum.
Average Price Per Carat: $12,000 per carat
Though unseeming in appearance, jadeite ranks near the top of our list as one of the most valuable gemstones in the world. This gemstone is jade’s most expensive, most beautiful variety. Since this deep green translucent gem is significantly rarer than other types of jade, it is worth much more.
Buying Tip: If you want the look of jadeite but can’t afford the price tag, consider shopping for the less expensive version, nephrite or the jade dupe, aventurine.
Jadeite value is based on the level of transparency and depth of color. Some very fine pieces have even sold for over $1 million per carat. Most jadeite on the market will sell for significantly less.
Average Price Per Carat: $20,000 per carat for high-quality material.
Musgravite was discovered in 1967 and is arguably the rarest gemstone in the world. It was first discovered in Musgrave Ranges, Australia and later found in Madagascar and Greenland. The first sizable gem-quality specimen was discovered in 1993.
As far as gem-quality stones, there are about ten specimens known and documented with more suspected to surface when miners learn more about this special gem.
Buying Tip: Unfortunately, due to the rare nature of this stone, it’s unlikely a consumer would come across this stone on the open market. If you do come across suspected musgravite, submit it to a gemology lab for testing due to the crossover between this gemstone and the less rare taaffeite gemstone.
Average Price Per Carat: $35,000 per carat based on specimens already sold.
For thousands of years, people have used jewelry to adorn themselves, express powerful sentiments, and create a strong and memorable image for themselves. From the cheapest baubles to the most expensive and luxurious diamonds, gold, and jewels, a single piece of jewelry can make a major statement that cannot be avoided. These informative tips will leave you with a new appreciation of jewelry.
Take a polishing cloth to each piece of jewelry in your collection. This is an easy way to get shine without chemicals and solvents. You can use the two-sided cloth to polish your jewelry in the same way you would polish a drinking glass. Use one side of the cloth for polishing, and reserve the other side for shining it afterward.
Make sure you don’t wear your fine jewelry all of the time. When you are performing housekeeping tasks or washing your hands with soapy water, remove your jewelry. Swimming in a pool is another great reason for you to remove your fine jewelry to keep it safe. Everyday harsh chemicals can severely damage fine jewelry, sometimes ruining it beyond repair.
To keep your rings from overpowering your hands, never wear more than two on the same finger. Rings can easily look excessive, and even a series of thinner rings can look overwhelming. If you are wearing an oversized ring, it is best to wear only a few other rings along with it.
Enroll in a beading class, if you’re a fan of necklaces and bracelets. If you are buying them all of the time, this can put a dent in your budget. Instead, take a class and make some jewelry yourself. You will save a ton over buying already made products, have something unique to wear, and you can even sell some of your pieces for a profit.
Unless you’re giving your fiancee an heirloom ring, don’t shop for an engagement ring alone. Don’t feel pressured to buy something out of your price range, but make sure you can find a ring that fits your future bride and that she loves the ring. Why ruin the moment, by having to take the ring back for resizing or, even worse, just take it back?
When making jewelry and you want to turn a bead into a linked piece, take an eye pin and thread it through the bead’s hole. Let the bead slide to the bottom of the eye pin. Directly above the bead, use your pliers to bend the eye pin approximately 45 degrees. Using wire cutters, trim this to about half an inch in length. Using small round pliers, grasp the tip of the wire and start looping it around the pliers tip. Don’t give up if your eye pin loop is not directly round – practice makes perfect!
As if anyone really needed any more reason to admire and cherish gorgeous rings, necklaces, and bracelets, the tips you have just read are only a tiny sampling of the joys and pleasures associated with wearing, buying, and even making jewelry. With this information, you will find that each piece takes on a whole new meaning.
I’ve examined some of the most common jewelry care mistakes people make on a daily basis. For each mistake, I’ve offered some jewelry tips and tricks that will help you care for your jewelry in such a way that it will last for many generations to come.
1. Wearing Your Jewelry All the Time
Jewelry is usually so sentimental that we are tempted to wear it all the time, whether it is a necklace you received as a child or your engagement ring. Engagement rings are the most common offenders on this list, and in this case, it is because, by default, they are worn every day. Even though they are worn each day, it doesn’t mean you have to wear them ALL the time.
Don’t wear your jewelry while sleeping, washing dishes, painting, working with your hands, wearing latex gloves. Use your best judgment on this, but if in doubt, take your jewelry off. Keep reading to learn about the importance of where you store your jewelry.
2. Showering or Swimming in Your Jewelry
Not only shouldn’t you wear your jewelry all the time, you should most definitely never wear your jewelry when swimming or showering. Water is a natural abrasive. Think of the rivers that over time have carved their way through canyons of stone. Overtime the same thing happens with your gold and other metals. Showering won’t wear down your gold as quickly as chlorine or salt water, but it is best to use caution around any liquids.
3. Storing Your Jewelry in Different Places
So you aren’t supposed to wear your jewelry all the time, but when you aren’t, where should you put it? It happens so often with my clients when they have a nice piece of jewelry that they have to take off for work or different occasions at home that they lose the jewelry! Why do they lose it? Because they put it in a different spot every time. Just like people have a designated spot for their car keys, you should always have a designated spot for jewelry that you wear often. When you come home at the end of the day, place your engagement ring and other valuables in this spot to prevent the chance of loss.
4. Keeping Your Jewelry Out in the Open
In an ideal world, having fine jewelry sitting on your kitchen counter in a jewelry dish shouldn’t be a big deal. However, your jewelry storage spot should be in an inconspicuous and safe location. Unfortunately, if you get robbed by a very skilled individual, there is little you can do to protect your investment, so it is always important to have jewelry insurance to help protect you in the event of theft.
5. Cleaning Your Jewelry in an Ultrasonic Machine
Ultrasonic machines are desirable because they thoroughly clean your jewelry. However, they are not suitable for all jewelry! You should avoid putting pearls, cameos, emeralds, opals, coral, and other soft stones in an ultrasonic machine.
6. Submerging Your Jewelry in Cleaner for Too Long
Those little containers with jewelry cleaner and a brush that you dunk your jewelry in to clean are great, but it’s important not to submerge your ring in the solution too long. Prolonged exposure in a tarnish remover can make silver jewelry tarnish almost to a black color. Prolonged exposure with gold can discolor the gold as well as wear the gold down over time.
7. Taking Rings off by Pressing on the Stones
There is a right and a wrong way to take on and off a ring. It is so important that when you take your rings on and off, you pull from the sides of the shank. So many people, especially when the ring is too tight, have the tendency to remove the ring by pressing with one finger on top of the stone and the other on the bottom of the ring. Over time, this will loosen your stone and make it susceptible to falling out.
Jewellery is the perfect way to bring life to an outfit and enhance your best features. What better way to do so than to complete your look with a bold, striking and attention-grabbing piece of statement jewellery?
Statement pieces are designed for you to have fun with, but can make all the wrong statements if they are not worn correctly.
The beauty of statement jewelry is that it only takes one piece to make your whole outfit stand out. The key is to keep it simple and either work your outfit around one big eye-catching piece, or to work well-coordinated statement accessories into your look by striking the right balance.
From cocktail rings to cuff bracelets and bib necklaces, statement pieces come in all forms, designs, colours and sizes. They can work wonders to add dazzle to a simple dress or can help to draw attention to parts of yourself that you would like to emphasize.
Either way, make sure you follow our rules to pull off a look that gets people looking at you in awe rather than dismay.
1. Less is more
Bold pieces should be allowed to stand out, so do not over-crowd your look by wearing them within close proximity of each other. It is preferable to wear one at a time, but if you do want to wear more than one statement piece, make sure not to wear statement bracelets and rings together and avoid wearing statement earrings and necklaces at the same time.
Chandelier earrings and a cuff bracelet can look beautiful when worn together, while a long necklace and a cocktail ring can match perfectly. Just make sure to select items that coordinate. Try to stick with the same kind of metal and avoid clashing patterns and charms.
Layered chain necklaces can look extremely charming if worn correctly. Keep your look tasteful by making sure that you do not layer too many strands together and keep tabs on how much sparkle you layer on.
Avoid wearing long chain necklaces, however, if you are wearing a belt, as there will be too much going on around the same area. Wide chokers and bib necklaces can stand to be your sole statement piece, so let such items take center stage and forgo other pieces of jewelry.
2. Keep it simple
Big accessories are best worn with simple clothes. Steer clear of busy patterns and embellishments such as sequins when wearing bold jewelry. Remember, you want your statement piece to stand out, so match items wisely.
A little black dress is the perfect match for one or two attention-grabbing pieces, while jeans and a pure white top will make an ideal backdrop for something big, bright and colourful. Try to stick to neutral and block colour items when wearing bright and detailed accessories. Less busy pieces can work very well with patterned items of clothing, however.
Don’t pull the focus away from your bold jewelry. Coordinate smaller accessories with your statement pieces by keeping them to a minimum and sticking to the same colour or metal.
3. Choose earrings wisely
Statement earrings are beautiful, ornate and cannot be missed. They will be the first thing that anyone talking to you will notice. To make sure they frame your face, choose a pair that suits your face shape and enhances your features. Choosing the wrong pair can be distracting, so take details such as length, colour, shape and outfit coordination into consideration when choosing adornment for your ears.
When wearing dangly statement earrings, it is better to keep your hair sleek and not too big. Remember, it’s all about balance, so while you can pump up the volume with simple earrings, larger ones will balance better with loose waves or poker-straight hair.
Alternatively, pull your hair up into a chic chignon. Also make sure that your make-up balances well with your earrings. If you are wearing a brightly coloured pair, they may look best with clean and simple makeup.
4. Match the right necklace with the right neckline
The best way to make sure a statement necklace stands out is to wear it with the right neckline. Strapless, off-the shoulder, scoop necked or v-necked dresses and tops are ideal, as they will let your statement piece do the talking.
Collars, halter necks and detailing close to the face should be avoided, as they will clash with bold pieces. A one-colour turtle-neck sweater can work beautifully with a statement necklace, provided that it is form-fitting and one colour throughout.
Make sure to wear a statement necklace next to a simple and preferably one-colour top to keep the look chic and to do your necklace justice. You can never go wrong with neutral tones, so wear bright and attention-grabbing necklaces with black, white or nude to keep the look elegant.
5. Pay attention to your hands
When wearing a bold ring, it is worth remembering that it will draw attention to your hands, and consequently, your nails, so make sure they are perfectly groomed. Go for a simple manicure.
Make sure that the colour of your nail polish does not clash with the colours in your ring, and avoid wearing a bold and colourful ring with multi-coloured manicures, nail art and glittery nail polish. While this may look cute on an adolescent, it does not exactly convey a statement of elegance.
These eye-catching rings are the smallest of all the statement pieces, so have as much fun with them as you like. The bigger and brighter, the better. Just remember that balance is key, so it is better to wear one at a time.
6. Adorn your arms tastefully
Cuff bracelets are an excellent choice if you want to wear a statement piece. To show yours off, keep your arms bare or wear a cuff over a slim-fitting one colour long sleeve top. Stick to one cuff to create a focal point.
Bangles are another great option. Just remember that if you would like to stack a number of bangles together, stick to one arm only. Keep to a maximum of six bangles at a time as a general rule of thumb to avoid overdoing it and make sure that the bangles’ colours and patterns complement each other. When layering bangles, throwing in some gold or silver always looks great.
7. Wear pieces that create an outfit
Remember that statement pieces are supposed to make – you guessed it – a statement, so choose pieces that help to create an over-all outfit. If you are going for a prim and polished look, opt for pearls.
Vintage or floral pieces will look beautiful with a romantic and feminine outfit, while colourful beads are a must if you are going for a boho look. A bold cuff will compliment a block colour mini dress, while chandelier earrings will look gorgeous with a long flowing maxi.
As I write in the cover story in this week’s TIME International, blood diamonds still exist, and the industry as a whole is still beset by problems over conflict, smuggling and child labor. Even worse, because the existing Kimberley Process certification system has so many loopholes, it can be almost impossible to be sure that your diamond isn’t tainted. But if you’re in the market for an engagement or wedding ring, there are ways to ensure that your money is more likely to help miners on the ground in countries like the Congo than it is to hurt them. Here is a checklist to make sure your lifetime investment doesn’t mean a lifetime of poverty and suffering for someone else:
Even under the best of circumstances, spending a few thousand dollars on a diamond can be a fraught decision. Add to that concerns that the diamond in question may have funded a far off conflict, contributed to human rights abuses, unfair labor practices or harmed the environment in its extraction, and the process becomes downright agonizing. Until the diamond industry can establish a transparent certification process similar to one that lets you drink your fair trade coffee with peace of mind, splashing out on a solitaire or a tennis bracelet in an ethical way requires some legwork. Your 10-step guide for the responsible consumer.
- Ask your jeweler where the diamonds were mined. A responsible jeweler will know every step in the path from mine to market. If he doesn’t, move on.
- Demand details. Don’t settle for vague assurances about reputable suppliers or Kimberly Process certification—the KP does not ban diamonds that fund war crimes and human rights abuses by government forces. Nor does it address unfair labor practices or environmental degradation brought about by irresponsible diamond mining. “Consumers need to ask questions when they shop, and to resist the easy answer,” says Ian Smillie, a conflict diamond expert and author of several books on blood diamonds, including Blood on the Stone: Greed, Corruption and War in the Global Diamond Trade
- Avoid diamonds that come from countries like Zimbabwe and Angola, where human rights abuses in and around mines have been well documented by organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
- Look for diamonds mined in Canada. They may be more expensive, but labor and environmental standards are rigorously enforced. That said, buying Canadian diamonds doesn’t help African countries improve their industries. Consider donating to organizations like Diamond Development Initiative International, a group that’s working to support small-scale diamond operations around the world.
- In Africa, Namibia and Botswana are another good bet. Those countries work with small-scale miners as well as large-scale industry to make sure that income from mining creates jobs and leads to development. Both countries enforce strict labor and environmental standards. Sierra Leone is going in that direction, though the recent Ebola outbreak has temporarily set progress back.
- Know your supplier. De Beers’ Forevermark diamonds come with a guarantee that each one was mined with stringent criteria on responsible sourcing. Though you can’t trace your Forevermark diamond back to the exact mine where it came from, the company invests substantially in local communities by building schools and hospitals near its mines in Botswana and South Africa. It also funds micro-credit enterprises and mentorship programs to help communities transition from diamond-based economies to more sustainable livelihoods, in preparation for the day when the diamonds run out. Other companies like Tiffany, Signet and Cartier are investing in cutting and polishing plants in Botswana, which means more of the diamond income stays in the country.
- Buy from jewelers that make a commitment to ethical sourcing, like Hume Atelier and Brilliant Earth or Chicago’s Leber Jeweler. Not only are they doing all the hard work when it comes to asking the right questions, they are actively pushing for certification changes in the diamond industry. They also fund organizations like the Diamond Development Initiative, which is working to support small-scale miners around the world.
- Recycle. Look for vintage or antique rings. A good jeweler can reset, or even recut, an old stone to make a modern ring. They may have had bloody beginnings, but at least its over.
- Consider alternatives. Synthetic diamonds have the same sparkle, with none of the dirt. And colored gemstones, while plagued by the some of the same issues as diamonds, are much easier to trace. Columbia Gem House and Nineteen48 are a good place to start.*Don’t stop with the diamonds. Check the origin of your gold as well. Gold mining leaves toxic wastes like mercury and cyanide that are very damaging for the environment and the people who mine it. It also funds conflict. Opt for recycled gold, or Fair trade gold.