The month of birth, along with the year, date, and time, are said to predict an infinite number of realities and personality traits. The birthstone is said to have its roots in ancient, even biblical, times and in modern times we still give birthstones jewelry a significant place in our life.
Everything about birthstones jewelry makes a statement. Jewelry collections often start with birthstones jewelry given to infants and young ladies. A person’s jewelry collection once defined their social status. Putting on birthstones jewelry is meant to remind you of your character, your worth, and most importantly it is meant to make you feel spectacular. Our jewels are meant to make us feel fabulous and remind us that we are all magnificent unique beings.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is considered the authority. However, cultures around the globe and throughout time may disagree on some aspects of the GIA list. The birthstones debates are both historical and interesting.
Here is a list of Birthstones according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
January – Garnet
Birthstones jewelry decorated in garnet protects from illness. Born to this birthstone, you are a loyal, devoted, faithful, and trustworthy person.
February – Amethyst
Amethyst birthstones jewelry express the sentiment of high esteem. An enchanting quartz, the strong power of the Amethyst birthstones jewelry is divine, enchanting, even metaphysically powerful to its owner.
March – Aquamarine
Aquamarine birthstones jewelry symbolizes love. Soldiers and sailors believed it could make them invincible. The Greeks carved frogs onto an aquamarine to restore broken friendships and heal failing marriages.
April – Diamond
Diamonds are not typically associated with birthstones jewelry but rather engagements, in the modern age. Faith in the diamond’s ability to heal enriched Asa Soltan Rahmati, of Shahs of Sunset, on Bravo. Asa created and launched a diamond infused bottled water line, Diamond Water company.
May – Emerald
Green Emerald birthstones jewelry is said to symbolize the birth of spring. Emerald’s are known for their deep green color and their meaning is often associated with new beginnings. The Emerald is revered as one of the most passionate of all birthstones.
June – Pearl
Pearl birthstones jewelry, the June birthstone, represents purity. The variety of colors and the unique method by which pearls enter the world have long kept the ancients enchanted.
July – Ruby
Rubies as birthstones jewelry is the envy of all. A ruby symbolizes love, wisdom, and protection. It’s said that rubies guard the wearer from anxiety. Rubies are gems of protection. In medieval times, royals and nobles, would wear rubies to keep evil at bay.
August – Peridot
A light green color, Peridot birthstones was once said to be tear drops of Pele, a volcano goddess. Like other birthstones jewelry, the Peridot has protective powers and keeps nightmares away. A balancing stone of health, the Peridot is said to calm hot tempers and balance emotional tension, even healing friendships.
September – Sapphire
One of the most well known birthstones jewelry is the Sapphire. Sapphires protect the wearer from a specific evil, poisonings. Sapphire birthstones jewelry symbolizes wisdom and purity. Sapphires have protected Kings from harm and envy.
October – Opal
Opal birthstones jewelry are unique. It is said to be bad luck to wear an Opal if it is not your birthstone. The wearer of the opal birthstones jewelry brings confident and symbolizes faithfulness. Folklore claims Opals protection of the eyesight and guarding against evil.
November – Citrine
A carmel color with mixes of yellow, brown, and orange, Citrine birthstones jewelry is a quartz stone that brings vitality and wealth. Citrine birthstones jewelry became popular during the Art Deco period between World War I and II.
December – Turquoise
Turquoise birthstones jewelry symbolizes success are good fortune. One of the oldest birthstones, it is said to have protective powers and ensured safe travels for the men that traveled treacherous trade routes. Those who wear Turquoise birthstones jewelry are considered strong, warriors, protected, and respected.
Birthstone jewelry does not come without delightful debates. One of the interesting facts relates to the ying/yang of the Cancer and the Capricorn. From the 15th to the 20th century, July Cancer’s were considered to have the birthstone turquoise or onyx. While the December Capricorn’s were given the birthstone called bloodstone or ruby. It wasn’t until the 1912 list was published that the two switched places. Capricorn’s born in December now have turquoise as their birthstone and Cancer’s born in July have the ruby birthstone.
Birthstones jewelry is one of the most romantic gifts you can give to a loved one. At Santayana Jewelers, you’ll find experts ready to help you select the perfect piece of birthstones jewelry for that special someone. Come in today and meet our team. They are ready and waiting to serve your needs. Enhance any special occasion with a unique piece made specifically for your loved one at Santayana Jewelers.
When looking for gold jewelry, you may have noticed a particular detail – some are labeled gold plated, while others are gold filled. So what is the difference between gold plated and gold filled jewelry, and why does it matter?
Gold Plated VS Gold Filled
Aside from solid gold jewelry, which is often far too expensive, there are two more golden options – gold filled jewelry and gold plated jewelry. While they are both golden in color, so whichever you choose will have the color you’re looking for, these two options come with not so insignificant differences.
Gold filled jewelry
It does not, in fact, mean that a mold is filled with gold. Filled, in this case, means that there is a layer of gold present. A piece of gold filled jewelry is made by fusing a layer of gold to another metal (for example, brass). The whole process is pressure. This means that while your jewelry may not be solid gold, it does have a substantial amount of gold in it. For something to be marked as gold filled, it must contain at least 1/10 gold.
Gold plated jewelry
On the other hand, gold plated jewelry is made by fusing only a thin layer of gold onto other metals (commonly silver or copper). The amount of gold on these items is lesser than on gold filled items, and it’s also more common. The amount of gold that goes into plating a piece of jewelry is about 6 microns (0.0002 of an inch) – much, much less than in gold filled jewelry!
The desired longevity of your jewelry is another thing you have to take into consideration when choosing between gold filling or plating. Gold plating eventually tarnished and peels off, while gold filled jewelry carries no such risk – there’s absolutely no danger in getting it wet, wearing it while in the shower, or keeping it on when you’re washing your hands!
Since the gold-filled items are made by a pressure and heat bonding, and it does contain more actual gold, this kind of jewelry can last a lifetime. Gold plated gold is susceptible to tarnish, and it can even peel off after a while. The reason for tarnish, peeling, and the loss of gold in gold plated items is not only because they are made with a far lesser quantity of gold, but also because of the chemical process the jewelry goes through to be gold plated.
Another risk when buying gold plated jewelry is that when the color eventually peels off, the base metal can react with your skin and turn it green. You may have noticed this happening if you’ve ever bought beautiful but cheaper jewelry – most often it’s made of brass, so when it reacts with your skin, it turns it green, or can even cause very uncomfortable itching.
Gold filled items, however, have no risk of causing allergies. Since they do not tarnish, and cannot peel off, there is no danger of your skin reacting negatively. A much thicker layer of gold is on gold filled jewelry, so much so that it’s hardly distinguishable from solid gold jewelry. It’s also made of gold much higher in quality.
Ultimately, the choice of gold filled vs. gold plated jewelry is entirely up to you. If you want something beautiful, inexpensive, and maybe just for a night or two go for gold plated. If, however, you’re looking for something that can last you a lifetime, gold-filled jewelry is a better choice. Drop by one of Santayana’s shops to view our collection of gold rings and jewelry and take your pick. Also, check out our website if you want to see more articles like this one!
Guide to Necklace Lengths
Necklaces come in varying lengths and styles. Length is the first thing to consider when shopping for necklaces. Which length is the most wearable? Which length will work best for jewelry layering?
No neck is created equal, so there are variations with necklace lengths. For instance, princess necklaces may range between 16-18″. However, each necklace type looks best when positioned on very specific points of your body.
At one time, the term collar was used to describe all necklaces. In modern times, a collar necklace is not to be confused with a choker necklace. Collar necklaces sit flush against the skin and rest directly above the collarbone. Contemporary collar necklaces are thick and look similar to a collar on a shirt, measuring anywhere from 12-16-inches.
Average length: 14 inches
Body position: Sits just above the collarbone
Style tip: Thick contemporary collar necklaces look best when worn without other necklaces and paired with low necklines or off the shoulder tops.
Choker necklaces are made from a variety of materials. Velvet, gold, and ribbon were common options during the Victorian era. These neck-huggers have come back into style the past few runway seasons with designers paying tribute to designs from yesteryear.
The choker necklace can either sit very high on the neck or just below the collarbone. The later style dangles more freely and is slightly longer in length.
Chokers can incorporate other necklace styles on this list by adding a pendant, graduating beads, or even adding festoon-like drops.
While necklaces have always been a staple, chokers have gone in and out of fashion for centuries. When necklines on garments were lower, the choker necklace made a great statement. Chokers would even be layered one on top of the next until the entire neck was filled with diamonds, pearls, and other luxurious materials.
Princess necklaces are defined either by their length or style. The length is longer than a choker but shorter than a matinee necklace. The 18-inch length is thought to be the most universal and flattering length. Any pendant or focal piece will usually rest right below the collar bones.
Princess style necklaces look much like you might expect. They are encrusted with glistening rhinestones and have fanciful shapes usually with one central drop.
Lariat necklaces are also known as a rope or Y-necklace. In terms of length, this necklace is longer than opera length.
Lariat necklaces don’t have a clasp. The chain or beads form a long rope that is either tied or pulled through a circular finding like the one pictured here.
Festoon necklaces are defined by their draping elements. This classically vintage style was especially beloved by the Art Nouveau and Victorian eras. Delicate chains are accented with gemstones, pearls, and precious metal.
For the necklace to sit properly, the main chain should be choker length and rest on the collarbone. This style looks best with off the shoulder formal wear. Other higher necklines could twist and distort the drops.
Multi-strand necklaces are composed of multiple strands connected by a single enclosure. This style is common for pearl necklaces and other beaded strands.
A multi-strand pearl necklace will look best in either a choker or collar length. This way, the strands will lay flat and not twist.
Designers clued us in on the hottest new ring styles.
If you’re a non-traditional bride or just want a unique engagement ring, there are plenty of options out there. From colorful center stones and vintage-inspired designs to mixed metal settings, we got the scoop on what’s hot right now in bridal jewelry. A simple solitaire engagement ring may be a classic choice, but you’re probably going to want to step out of the box once you see these one-of-a-kind dazzlers.
Check out popular engagement ring trends you can shop now, below.
There’s a reason why this pink gold is making a huge comeback—the feminine rosy shade flatters all skin tones.
If you’re looking to go the nontraditional route, a colorful diamond is a beautiful choice. Fancy-hued diamonds, like yellow and pink, stand out from the crowd without feeling too over the top. If you want to make a bolder statement, try an ultra-modern chocolate or black diamond.
If you’re considering a colorful center stone, you don’t have to go with a diamond—there are lots of other amazing options out there. Sapphires are great alternatives to yellow and pink diamonds, and rubies and emeralds give off an instant vintage vibe. Another thought: A stone with multidimensional color, like alexandrite, creates a cool color-change effect.
Engagement rings are blooming right now with flowers, petals, vines and other details plucked straight from the garden. A floral-inspired halo adds a whimiscal touch to this feminine ring.
Take a cue from vintage-inspired trends and consider a ring with Victorian or art deco flair. You can’t go wrong with an engagement ring with an heirloom quality—it’s both glamorous and timeless.
Pear-Shaped and Marquise-Cut Diamonds
A round-cut diamond may be the most popular center stone, but pear-shaped and marquise-cut diamonds are making a comeback. A huge plus about these tapered cuts? They instantly slim and elongate your fingers.
Why are we so obsessed with the stackables trend? It’s totally customizable. Pile on as many bands as you want to represent different milestones—there are no rules where this cool-girl look is concerned. This unique design consists of two crown-shaped bands that fit together to form a larger ring. Wear them alone to show off the regal design or as a pair for a more ornate look.
Peridot is the type of birthstone that you either love or hate. Despite the stone’s lime green color and affordability, it is underrated in the fine jewelry market. Keep reading to explore some intriguing peridot facts that may make you appreciate this birthstone even more.
What is Peridot?
- Peridot is a gem-quality form of the mineral olivine. This material is also referred to as chrysolite.
- The gem is found primarily among rocks that were created by volcanoes and buried deep underground (igneous rocks), so wherever there are or was volcanoes, this mineral is likely to be found.
- Large quantities of peridot are mined from the San Carlos reservation in Arizona as well as in Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, and China. Peridot is also mined in large quantities in many other parts of the world like Pakistan and Kenya. Peridot that is mined in the US is usually much smaller and lighter in color than the varieties from other locales.
- Some peridot specimens have been discovered in meteorites, though this finding is very rare.
- According to the National Association of Jewelers, peridot has been the official birthstone of August along with Sardonyx since 1912.
- Peridot is a French word that is derived from the Arabic word “faridat” meaning gem.
- The use of peridot in jewelry and other applications dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians from around 1500 BC, making it one of the oldest gemstones. Egyptians referred to these green jewels as “gems of the sun.” Back then the stones were mined on the Egyptian island Topazios which is now known as Zeberget. The stones were only mined at nighttime because it was believed they were not easily seen in daylight. Mining at night was also likely a result of the island being infested with snakes.
- Throughout history, peridot jewels have been confused with emeralds. It was thought for a long time that the very large peridot jewels weighing more than 200 carats each adorning the
- Shrine of the Three Kings at the Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. Likewise, many people now believe that Cleopatra’s famous “emerald” jewels were in fact peridot. Peridot has also been mistakenly referred to throughout history as topaz.
- It is believed that Napoleon gave Josephine a peridot jewel as a symbol of his love for her.
- In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Hele who is the goddess of fire and volcanoes.
- Romans referred to peridot as “Evening Emerald” because unlike the deep hues of emeralds, peridot gemstones did not darken at night and still shimmered under candlelight.
- Legend has it that peridot could ward off evil spirits. It is also thought to aid in the success of marriage and other relationships. This may be because it is thought to encourage positive energy as well as suppress ego and jealousy.
- Peridot, unlike most other gemstones, only comes in one color, pale green. There is a wide range of green shades that peridot exhibits, however, including olive green, lime green, yellowish green, and dark green. The most desirable shade of peridot is a deeply saturated forest green with a slight yellow tone and no brown tones. This color is more readily found in peridot stones weighing over 10 carats.
- There is no synthetic or manmade version of peridot, but imitations do exist. These are usually made of glass or natural tourmaline.
- Commercial quality peridot is separated into to quality grades of A and B. A quality peridot stones are eye clean yellowish green stones with no brown tones. B quality peridot stones are usually very pale in color or have visible inclusions.
- Peridot is a relatively inexpensive gemstone under 4 carats. Any stone weighing over 4 carats costs considerably more. Stones over 10 carats are exceedingly rare and therefore expensive.
- Peridot is a softer stone that is best set in jewelry that doesn’t see hard wear. Bezel settings that protect the stone are recommended.
More and more parents (and grandparents) are buying jewelry for their very young children (and grandbabies) – even newborns. It may seem that this is a recent trend, triggered by families’ desires to show off their social status or to simply have an excuse to buy gifts for the new arrival. However, the gifting of baby jewelry is actually a tradition which dates all the way back to ancient cultures.
Today’s most popular baby girl jewelry selections are primarily accessories like bracelets and anklets, although some parents have their heart set on necklaces and pendants, and others (particularly in Spanish, Latin American and American Latino cultures) can’t wait to buy their baby her first pair of earrings. Buying baby boy jewelry is becoming more common as well.
Before getting to some of the best jewelry for babies that’s currently available, let’s look at the rich history of this tradition.
The History of Jewelry For Children
Well before the modern era, many civilizations celebrated the practice of giving newborns jewelry for decorative purposes and also to protect against evil spirits. This was traditional throughout the world, from Africa to Asia, Oceania to Europe, and in Native American cultures as well. In the earliest days, infants were gifted with jewelry made from shells and animal hair, while evidence of elaborately crafted baby jewelry made from gold or silver filigree, enamels or precious stones has been found by archaeologists and historians researching ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Roman and Byzantine civilizations. There are also many recorded references to baby and children’s jewelry, ranging from historical writings to the Bible.
For centuries, parents in Cambodia have placed silver strings with small bells on their babies’ ankles, both to keep track of the child’s whereabouts and to ward off evil. Throughout history, some African cultures have used decorative jewelry to begin the process of stretching their babies’ earlobes or lower lips, in keeping with their traditions. Beginning in the 1300s, Italian parents gave their newborn babies crosses made from coral; it was believed to protect the young children from the dreaded “evil eye”.
Jewelry-making became a popular art in 17th century Europe, and many craftsmen began making tiny silver or gold diaper or baby bib clips during that time. But the crafting of baby jewelry reached new heights in England during the Victorian period. Most common were gold (or sometimes silver) bracelets with an engraved plate, usually inscribed with the word “baby”. Often, the lettering was made of enamel, which was used to create flower decorations on the bracelets as well. Wealthy families were fond of presenting newborns with jeweled brooches, also engraved with “baby”. Some of these pieces have survived either as family heirlooms or in museum displays, and the styles have inspired many designs of modern-day baby jewelry which can be purchased today.
The practice spread to America, although in different forms. Tiny gold clips were sold as “baby pins” and used primarily to replace small buttons on baby girls’ clothing, and a custom related to the Italian coral jewelry mentioned earlier was seen in parts of the United States during the 1800s and 1900s, with small coral-bead necklaces given to infants for protection against evil and disease, as well as for teething.
In many South American, Latin American and South Asian cultures, it is not only acceptable for baby girls to have their ears pierced shortly after birth, it is expected. There are conflicting reports about when this custom originated in various nations, but most say that the tradition originated as a way to differentiate between sexes because infant earrings are not considered appropriate baby boy jewelry. One of the great joys for parents, grandparents or godparents in these cultures is to buy an infant her first set of gold earrings; there are even hospitals in some South American nations where an infant girl cannot be discharged until her ears are pierced.
Is It a Good Idea?
We know a lot more about health and safety than our ancestors, which leads to the question: is it a good idea for a baby to wear jewelry?
There’s no medical argument against baby jewelry, assuming that basic precautions are taken. Babies can have the same allergic reactions to some substances as adults, and their skin is even more sensitive. For that reason it’s important to watch carefully for any signs of rashes or allergies, and it’s smart to avoid any jewelry made from base metals, alloys or synthetic fibers because those can easily irritate a newborn’s skin. There are also no practical reasons to avoid piercing a baby’s ears, as long as someone medically competent performs the piercing.
The biggest issue parents should focus on is safety. Of primary concern are necklaces; they’re sometimes given as baby jewelry gifts, and can be a major choking hazard. Some parents feel that baby chokers are safer because it’s more difficult for an infant to get her hands twisted up in the necklace, but experts say those may pose even more danger because there’s very little room for error if the choker should get caught on a corner or edge. They suggest waiting until a child is older before giving her any sort of necklace, and definitely not putting a choker on a baby. Other potential dangers are the charms or beads which may be attached to a necklace, bracelet (or even an anklet – remember, babies love to put their feet in their mouths) which can come loose and be a choking hazard, so it’s best to steer clear of those pretty, dangly but dangerous charms. Loose clasps can be an issue as well, since once a bracelet or anklet comes loose there’s a good chance it could end up in a baby’s mouth; always opt for safety clasps and check them often. Finally, anything worn around an infant’s arms or legs could easily catch on a changing table or high chair and create a dangerous situation, so it’s best to choose tightly-fitting bracelets or anklets. Whenever a baby is wearing jewelry, it’s important to use common sense along with careful supervision and regular inspection for safety issues. Many manufacturers themselves recommend that you never leave a baby unattended if they are wearing any sort of jewelry.
Having covered all of that, “is baby jewelry a good idea?” becomes simply an aesthetic question. Considering the huge popularity in baby girl jewelry these days (as well as all of the jewelry now available for male infants), a large number of people obviously feel it’s a terrific idea. The rest of this article is for them.
Baby Girl Jewelry Ideas
There are a number of ways to go if you’re looking to buy a piece of jewelry for a baby girl: bracelets, anklets, earrings, and necklaces are the most popular choices. Here are some thoughts on each.
- Bracelets: Few things look cuter than a tiny gold or silver bracelet on an infant’s still-pudgy wrist. It’s a gift which will quite possibly be passed down through a family for generations, or given a place of honor in a bedroom or on a mantelpiece once the child outgrows it. Many parents choose a bracelet which has one or more small birthstones on it, reflecting the month their daughter was born. It’s important to avoid cheaper metal alloys and stick with precious metals for baby jewelry, though, because they will always be free of hazardous contaminants and least likely to cause skin irritation. 14 carat gold, sterling silver and platinum are hypoallergenic and considered the safest materials for baby girl jewelry. You can find a wide selection of these adorable bracelets with cut-out hearts, ID plates for inscriptions, or charms. Pearls are also considered safe for infants, and there’s a wide assortment of tiny pearl bracelets available for newborns. Again, babies should always be under close supervision when wearing this type of jewelry.
- Anklets: There are many varieties of baby anklets for sale, and they’re one of the most popular choices as baby jewelry because they pose the least danger to infants. Many are marketed as “baby’s first anklet” products, and you can find them in simple gold and silver designs, more ornate pieces with birthstones, other semi-precious (or even precious) stones, crystals and all sorts of charms. Some of the largest selections can be found from merchants who specialize in Asian jewelry, since baby anklets are an extremely common gift in many Asian countries. Be careful where you shop, though, because not all countries have the same stringent regulations enacted in the United States and other Western nations prohibiting the use of lead in products intended for use by children.
- Necklaces: You won’t find the same large selection of baby girl necklaces as you will for bracelets or anklets; most commercially-produced necklaces are designed for girls who are at least toddlers. That’s primarily because of the safety issues we’ve already discussed. If you do find one that’s properly-sized, however, many experts suggest extension chains so there’s less danger of the infant accidentally choking. What are easier to find are clunkier, mouth-safe necklaces which are intended to double as gum massagers or teething appliances. They’re certainly not a fashion statement, but more appropriate – and fun – for babies. In any event, infants should never be left alone while wearing a necklace.
- Earrings: Looking for pretty earrings for a newborn? That won’t be a problem. Tiny studs in the shapes of hearts, flowers, stars, butterflies, bows and other cute designs, as well as religious symbols, are ubiquitous on the web and available in many stores which specialize in earrings and piercings. They range from inexpensive cubic zirconia and similar materials, to the always-popular pearls, to stones such as rhodolite, topaz, aquamarine, rubies and even diamonds (if you have the budget). 14 carat gold is always the best choice for baby girl earrings, in order to minimize the chance of irritation or infection, and screwbacks are preferable to ensure that the earrings won’t fall out within reach of a curious baby’s exploring hands.
- Religious: There are many choices when it comes to religious baby jewelry. Christening and baptism bracelets can be found at most religious stores as well as online, as can tiny Star of David necklaces (and you know the caveats about babies and necklaces by now).
- Alternatives: Some who would like to give a gift of baby jewelry but are a bit skittish about safety issues have found there are several alternatives which fit the bill: baby sandals with glitzy decorations such as imitation gemstones, shiny headbands which can add the same sparkle as a necklace or earrings, or small decorative pins which can be securely attached to the infant’s dress or blouse. There is also jewelry available for just about every culture; for example, the evil eye pin which is traditionally attached to the back of clothing worn by babies born in Greece and Turkey is easily found online. There’s really no limit to what you can give; after all, if a gift is intended as a beautiful, thoughtful present for a newborn, no one says it has to be traditional baby jewelry.
Baby Boy Jewelry
Over the years, baby jewelry has been designed primarily for girls. However, gifts of baby boy jewelry are becoming more common. With a little searching, you can find masculine-looking baby bracelets in ID, bangle or many other styles (some even with the infant’s name spelled out in tiny blocks), anklets, and dog-tag or other personalized necklaces (all of our previous safety warnings apply to these as well). Baptism or other religious baby jewelry is also widely available for boys. The one thing you will have difficulty finding is earrings specifically designed for male infants, because even in cultures where every newborn girl has her ears pierced, the custom still does not extend to newborn boys.
Most women wear jewelry not just to make fashion statements, but to enhance their own personal beauty. This is especially true when attending events for special occasions. And, with the holidays quickly approaching, we want to make sure you look your best. So, we’re sharing some of the jewelry trends for the 2017 Christmas holidays that are too hot to miss.
When picking out jewelry to wear for Christmas, you want to make sure the pieces decorate and enhances the look of your outfit. Choosing the right accessories can completely transform plain, traditional attire into a much more impressive, eye-catching look.
Jewelry designers work hard to keep up with the pace of changing fashion and accessories trends. Since most women spend good money on their jewelry, they want to be able to wear it throughout the seasons, not just for the holidays. These pieces fit that bill.
Here Are 14 Jewelry Trends For The 2017 Christmas Holiday Season:
These are some of the jewelry pieces trending right now that are expected to be hot items to wear Christmas season 2017, and throughout 2018:
For 2017, the jewelry trend was generally… the bigger the better. The year end holidays will incorporate large pieces, such as statement necklaces, into Christmas fashion gear. Crystal statement necklaces with large gems give you a more festive look for this time of year.
2. Geometrically Shaped Jewelry
There are numerous jewelry pieces designed in geometric shapes. You’ll find something for every style on the market, such as diamond, pentagram, pyramid shapes and more. These gold triangle-shaped earrings are both festive and bold for the holidays.
3. Gold Chains
These were the rave of the fashion accessory world back in the 70s, 80s and 90s. In 2017, they came back with a vengeance, thanks to celebrities and reality TV stars. Multiple layered gold chains in various lengths worn together can make you look like the gift at the end of the rainbow for the holidays.
Yellow gold is one metal that will never go out of style. And, it’s so flashy, especially 24 Karat gold, that it can make any toned-down look seem very upscale when worn at Christmas parties and New Year’s celebrations. When buying yellow gold jewelry, be sure it’s actually real so it will last forever.
5. Hand Bracelets
One of the hottest jewelry trends for the 2017 Christmas holidays are hand bracelets. Unlike pearl bracelets and other traditional ones, these hand ornaments are attached to a chain, which is attached to a ring worn on your finger. You can even create your own DIY hand bracelet jewelry using an ornate hand connector that strings along the back of your hand.
6. Mirrored Necklaces
These are amazing looking necklaces constructed using various types of metals. The metals literally reflect light, much like mirrors, so you sparkle and shine, like a holiday ornament. For a unique look that brings life (and light) to the Christmas party, get yourself a mirrored necklace or two.
7. Oversized Chain-Linked & Tribal Necklaces
These hot jewelry pieces are expected to continue trending throughout 2018. Oversized chain-linked necklaces come in short lengths, and some unique and trendy styles. Tribal necklaces make your look much more unique. They are handcrafted (or designed to look like it) and usually feature colored pearls and/or beads.
8. Pendant Earrings
We all know about pendants for necklaces. But, are you hip to pendants for earrings? These untimely pieces can be quite festive, depending on the design. And, because the pendants are generally removable, you can feel free to add colorful, holiday designs, and transform them back into regular pearl earrings after the holidays, or whatever you choose.
9. Single Earring
This jewelry trend just keeps coming back. There are numerous rumors about how it started. But, either way, it’s sure to be hot again this Christmas season. Instead of throwing on a simple pair of earrings, why not sport just one, single, huge, elegant, eye-catching earring? You’ll definitely look trendy for the holidays in 2017.
10. Three-Finger Rings
Also known as triple rings, these are one of the hottest jewelry trends for the 2017 Christmas holidays for women (and men) who like bold rings that make even bigger impressions than cocktail rings. One ring is worn on three different fingers at once. There are also some amazing looking four-finger ring styles set to hit the jewelry scene in 2018.
Wondering about the traditions behind the wedding ring finger, and whether or not to buck that custom and try something new? Here’s everything you need to know about how to wear your engagement, wedding or promise ring.
Wedding Ring Finger
Wedding rings are a sweet symbol of eternal love throughout history.
The tradition of wedding rings came about in Egypt, about 4,800 years ago. The circle symbolizes eternity, with no beginning or end. What most people don’t know is that the hole in the center of the ring also has significance—it’s not just space, but rather a gateway or door. When you give a woman a ring, it signifies immortal love.
A bride and groom typically exchange rings during their wedding ceremony, placing the ring on each other’s wedding ring finger—the fourth finger of the left hand—after saying their vows.
There are no rules on which metal your wedding rings must be made of, or whether or not they should match. You can opt for simple bands or more elaborate ones with stones or designs. Some couples choose to have their wedding date or a romantic phrase inscribed in their bands.
Engagement Ring Finger
It wasn’t until more recently that engagement rings appeared on the scene.
The first recorded use of a diamond engagement ring occurred in 1477. when Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy with a ring featuring hogback diamonds (modern-day baguette diamonds) arranged in the shape of the Gothic letter M.
His engagement ring choice then sparked a trend—for more than one reason.
Diamonds have long been an unwavering symbol of a couple’s eternal love and commitment to one another. A diamond is the hardest and most durable naturally occurring substance found on Earth, making it the perfect choice to represent enduring, everlasting love and the promise of forever. Each diamond is also incredibly rare and unique. No two diamonds are alike, just as each couple’s love has its own unique story.
Still, diamonds aren’t a requirement for an engagement ring. They can have other gemstones, or whatever else suits your sense of style. For example, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has a blue sapphire, Carrie Underwood has a canary yellow diamond and Jessica Simpson has a red ruby.
Tradition also has it that a man proposes and women are typically the ones who wear engagement rings as a symbol of their acceptance. But there’s no rule that says a man can’t wear one as well.
Today, especially with same-sex marriage, it is not uncommon to see a man wearing an engagement ring.
Which Finger Do You Wear Your Wedding Ring On?
If you’re planning your wedding and looking down at that sparkler, you’re probably wondering how you’ll wear your engagement ring on your wedding day. The first thing to note is that married people typically wear their wedding bands closer to their hearts—in other words, below the engagement ring.
Probably the most popular way to swing this is to move your engagement ring to your right hand for your walk down the aisle. That way, your fiance can slide your wedding band onto your left hand, and you can then later place your engagement ring on top of it.
Usually, people have slightly larger ring sizes on the right hand, but as long as it is within a quarter of size, this should work. If the engagement ring is too big or too small to do this—or you just don’t want to take the engagement ring off (and risk losing it!)—it’s okay to put your band above your engagement ring. Some brides even have the wedding band soldered to the engagement ring, so it becomes one piece of jewelry and represents the marital bond.
After the wedding day, wear your engagement and wedding rings however you like them best. Again, the most popular way in the US is to have them both on the ring finger of the left hand with your wedding band first, but you can separate them and wear them on opposite hands, or you can wear your wedding band solo.
Many women are wearing their wedding bands solo as an excuse to start a collection of bands that they then stack on their right hand. Some women are even receiving more than one wedding band on the day of the wedding to surround their engagement ring. Another trend we’ve seen is forgoing the traditional engagement ring altogether and requesting a beautiful diamond eternity band.
Pearls have been a staple jewelry item for women for hundreds of years. Whether it is a classic graduated single strand necklace or a pair of pearl studs, women have admired the elegant simplicity that these gems offer. However, most people know nothing about them. Below are some of the most worthwhile facts about pearls, the official birthstone of June.
How are Pearls Formed?
- Pearl is an organic material made by a living organism known as a mollusk.
- A mollusk forms a pearl when it gets a small particle trapped inside its shell. In the case of cultured pearls, a tiny seed is implanted in the shell. As a protective measure, the mollusk then coats the particle with a material known as nacre.
- Any mollusk that has a shell can also create a pearl, but pearls are usually formed by mollusks that have two shells.
- Pearls can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to develop depending on the water conditions and the size and type of mollusk.
- Natural pearls have been harvested from the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea for thousands of years.
- Saltwater pearls are made by oysters whereas freshwater pearls are usually made by mussels.
- The shell of the mollusk is what determines the coloring of a pearl. Colors range from white to gold to purple to black.
What are Cultured Pearls?
- Virtually all pearls (about 95%) harvested today are cultured or cultivated pearls, meaning mollusks are artificially implanted with small seeds and tended to on a farm. It is very rare to find a pearl of a large size nowadays that forms naturally.
- In the early 1900’s, three Japanese men Kokichi Mikimoto, Tokichi Nishikawa and Tatsuhei Mise had all discovered a method to cultivate pearls. Eventually, Kokichi Mikimoto bought out the other two men and created ‘Mikimoto’ pearls that are still to this day a favorite brand of high-quality cultured saltwater Akoya pearls.
- The farming of pearls is also referred to as “periculture.”
- When pearls are harvested from mollusks, it is possible to re-implant the mollusk without killing it, allowing mollusk to make many pearls.
Pearl Symbolism and History
- Pearl was named the official birthstone for June in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers.
- Pearls have been known to symbolize fertility, loyalty, and friendship.
- Pearls were used in mourning or memorial jewelry during the Georgian and Victorian eras and symbolized tears.
- According to Egyptian legend, Cleopatra once took off one of her pearl earrings, dropped it into a glass of wine until it dissolved then drank it for Marc Anthony.
- The earliest known piece of pearl jewelry was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess dating back to 520 BC.
- Similar to how we think of snowflakes, no two pearls are alike.
- Low-grade pearls have been crushed up into a fine shimmery translucent powder and used as a make-up.
- Jacques Cartier traded a double-stranded natural pearl necklace valued at $1.2 million for a mansion on 5th Avenue in NYC where he opened a Cartier store and headquarters in 1916.
- La Peregrina is one of the most famous pearls ever found. It is pear-shaped and the size of a pigeon’s egg. It was discovered in the Americas and has been owned by Philip II of Spain, Mary Tudor of England and Napoleon III. In recent years, the famous pearl was given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton.