All About Gems: Diamonds

All About Gems: Diamonds

Diamonds are forever and relatively speaking, they have been around forever!  The diamonds that are set into your beautiful diamond ring are in fact the oldest thing that you will ever own.  The “youngest” of these precious stones that you could be displaying on your finger would be approximately 50 million years old.  This age range for diamonds could be as old as 2.5 billion years, now that’s an antique!

Diamond

Diamonds through out their lifetime have carried several different and ornate histories.  They also carry numerous myths and legends that are associated with history.  Some outlandish myths about diamonds range from the stone having the ability to perform magic, have healing powers, grant protection for the bearer of the stone and in some instances induce poisoning.  Outlandish and remarkable become an understatement for the myths that surround this stone. Diamond, the name itself comes from 12th Century Greek meaning invincible or unconquerable for its hardness qualities. 

The myths and legendary tales of diamonds began as far back as Roman times.  Those stories were recorded in Roman literature.  Stories suggest that Romans believed that diamonds were in fact tears from the gods and splinters of falling stars.  Myths of this beautiful stone do not end there in Roman literature.  The Romans believed that Cupid’s faithful arrows were in fact tipped in diamonds and thus possessed the ability to have magical powers.  Diamonds also captured the attention of famous philosopher Plato.  He wrote of these gems as living organisms, which possessed celestial beings.  Romans loved to possess diamonds due to the fact that they believed the gem had broad magical powers.  Diamonds, amongst other powers were believed to cure life’s troubles and bring about power, strength, invincibility, bravery and courage to those lucky enough to behold the beautiful gem.

In mid-evil times, kings lead their men into battle donning a breast plate that was to be covered in diamonds along with other gems stones which each had a unique magical power.  Diamonds were important to this plate because they believed diamonds gave magical powers far beyond meaning and power of man.  Therefore, it was essential for kings above anyone else to be donned in diamonds. 

Diamonds were held in particular high esteem from 1214 to 1270 in France, when they were especially designated for use by the king only.  King Louis IX of France established a law that would grant the use of diamonds for the king.  This fact just indicates the rarity of diamonds of the time, and their overall worth through out time.  During this time, diamonds were used for representing honor, strength, invincibility and courage of the leader. 

During the 14th century, a small number of diamonds began to be seen in European regalia and jewelry designs.  Diamonds, at this time, were seen as a sign of love and devotion.  Many of the designs used pearls as an accent gem along with the diamond.  Although the popularity of diamonds was becoming more mainstream, noble and large diamonds were still privileged to Royals and houses of the affluent. 

Since the beginning of diamond’s popularity, they were said to contain numerous characteristics and were able to grant the beholder numerous qualities that they may not have possessed without the stone.  Some virtues that were instilled within the stone were that diamonds are supposed to impart virtue upon its holder, and bring a generous heart to the owner.  Diamonds were also said to bring their owners luck and success.  Diamonds through out their history were talisman, to ward off the potential of poisoning, and overall protection for the traveler. 

Overall the gem of diamond has a full and illustrious history of myths and legendary tales from its inception and its use in cultures.  There is an immense amount of knowledge and characteristics that surround this beautiful stone.  When purchasing diamonds be sure to keep in mind all the myths, legends, and folklore that surrounds this bright, shiny, beautiful gem!

Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Guide!

Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Guide!

Ruby Ring

With love in the air and in your heart, Valentine’s Day is a great way to show your loved one that you care with a spectacular piece of jewelry that they will cherish for a lifetime.  We’ve collected some of the best jewelry trends for your loved one on this very special day!

1. Diamonds:   Diamonds are a classic! The word diamond comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’, which means unconquerable enduring love. Giving diamonds always shows your loved one how much they mean to you.   Plus, they are a girl’s best friend.  This beauty will leave your loved one speechless.  Diamond Eternity bands or Anniversary bands with diamonds encompassing the whole band are perfect gifts for that special someone.

2. Pearls:  Pearls are the ultimate timeless and most classic piece of jewelry you can own.  Both Tahitian and South Sea pearls make great pendants or earrings.  Even add some diamonds to give this classic look a bit of sparkle and flair.  Either way your loved one will love the look of pearls.

3. Colored Stones:  Colored stones add a splash of color to your Valentine’s Day gift.  Colored stones such as sapphire or ruby are the perfect way to give a splash of color that your loved one can wear all year round.  Let your loved one stand out this Valentine’s Day with the fabulous addition of a beautifully colored stone!

No matter what your choice is, these are just a few ideas for you this Valentine’s Day!   Any of these gifts would be the perfect way to show your love and affection for one another and a symbol that could last a lifetime.

10 Tips to Buying Jewelry Online

10 Tips to Buying Jewelry Online

The holiday season is fast approaching and many of you will be busy with work, holiday parties, decorating, and any other daily activities we all have. Many of us do not have the time to go to the stores and shop. Times have changed and we all turn to the internet for gifts, daily shopping, information, even buying jewelry. Who would have thought people would buy jewelry online? Not a place where most people think to buy, but its true, people buy jewelry online all the time. So, how can you make sure you are getting what you paid for and what you want?  It’s just like shopping for jewelry in the stores. You need to understand what you are buying, where you are buying from, and all the other little details that come with buying jewelry.  Here are some guidelines to buying jewelry online:

  1. Read the description carefully. The pictures look great, but we all know that pictures (even when we take pictures of ourselves) are different compared to the actual object.  Online jewelers do their very best to take accurate pictures of the piece they are selling.  However, the lighting, angle, and zoom can show the piece differently.  In this case, it’s important to read the description carefully.  This will help match the image with the picture more accurately. If you are still questioning the image, call the company. They will help explain the product.
  2. Always understand the terminology used in the description. When buying jewelry it is important to understand all the language used in the description. If you do not understand the information, call the company or search for more answers.  A lot of jewelry websites have sections specifically catered for information. Information on diamonds, colored gemstones, precious metals, etc. Look at their information sections. It really helps to read through these sections. You will learn quite a bit and you can make a more sound decision.
  3. Know the return policy. Before you hit the purchase button, carefully read the return policy. You will know what can or cannot be returned, what will be refunded back to you, and possibly more information on their products and services.
  4. Know the guarantee. Understand how the online jeweler is backing up their products. Buying online can be scary but with the right guarantee and return policy, jewelers make it easier for people to feel comfortable buying online. It’s good to know how they treat manufacturing and workmanship defects and how they will service their products in the future. A good company will back up their products and any manufacturing and workmanship defects.  They won’t just end the relationship after the purchase is made. It should be a continuous relationship just like a normal brick-n-mortar jeweler. Remember when you purchase from the online company, deal with them for any adjustments or repairs on the jewelry piece. This generally helps sustain the guarantee the online jeweler provides.
  5. Learn about the company. It is always a good idea to read about the history of the company. Learn about their experience in the jewelry industry or how long they have been around in business. A lot of good online jewelers generally have experience or hired experience in the jewelry industry. It’s always great to buy from a company that has been in business for years, especially if it’s online. If there is no history, call and ask them. Talking to a real person and getting a feel for how the company really operates will help make your decision.
  6. Read the testimonials, customer reviews, or feedback. It’s always great to hear about other people’s experiences with the company. Testimonials and customer reviews are great because people express their true opinions. You learn bits and pieces about the company’s customer service, their return policies, the quality of their jewelry, and more. It’s a great way to get an un-biased opinion.

    Diamond Anniversary Ring

    Eternity Ring or Diamond Anniversary Ring

  7. Don’t just look at the price. The price may look great, but you need to understand the product being sold. This goes back to understanding the description.  It’s great to see 70% off on jewelry items or really cheap jewelry, but is it really worth the buy when the diamonds are heavily included (poor quality), a pendant that’s hollow, or a ring that’s very thin. I don’t think so. Look at the description, understand what you are receiving. For example, when buying rings, learn the weight, the thickness, and width of the ring. This will help compare prices more easily. And for diamonds, learn about the clarity and color. All very important, because the price can sometimes be deceiving for the actual piece being purchased.
  8. Buy ahead of time! With the holiday season fast approaching or any special occasion, it is always better to plan for the purchase. Yes, internet shopping is easy and quick. And the “online store” is open 24/7, but make sure you plan for any manufacturing time, delivery time, exchanges, and any possible delays that may occur (i.e. shipping or manufacturing).  Some websites stock and others manufacture. For example, generally rings are manufactured because stocking all the options the website carries, with all the different sizes and different metals will be crazy.  So, most rings are manufactured to the size and style ordered. Other jewelry items are made more quickly, but in the end it’s always better to plan ahead, because there could be shipping delays.
  9. Make sure the site is secure.  One of the most important aspects of shopping online is site security. You don’t want to buy from a company that does not secure their information or make it safe for you to buy their products. Site security does not only apply for jewelry sites but anything purchased online. To determine if the site has secured shopping, look at their security policy, secure shopping or look for a third party seal like VeriSign, GeoTrust, etc. Another good indication of a secured site is looking at the URL name. At the point of check out make sure the website begins with “https”.  Yes, this is basic internet knowledge now but you would be surprised at how many people still buy from unsecured sites.
  10. Last but not least, always print out a receipt or check your email before you close that confirmation screen!I know a lot of us are trying to go paperless or paper free, but when buying jewelry online, it is better to print out the receipt or check your email to make sure a confirmation was sent. Keep it for your records, at least until you decide to keep the jewelry piece.  Most online jewelers can find your order through other means, but it’s always a good idea to keep your jewelry confirmations together.

Now that you know 10 tips to buying jewelry online; go grab your phone, laptop, or computer and comfortably learn and search for jewelry. There are a lot of wonderful jewelry sites out there, offering very useful information. Until next time, please remember learn about the jewelry you are buying, it will make the whole experience better!