Priceless or Priced less!!

Have you ever come accross an old piece of jewelry that probably is a family hierloom or once belonged to an older family member and you wondered how much it would be worth?

I can see it now, you run to the appraiser with this ring you probably inherited thinking its your ticket to riches. You then meet with the gemologist and he/she takes a quick look at your piece then politely hands it back to you. To your amazement or otherwise dissatisfaction, you hear three words come out of their mouth (and its not I love you), “this is unappraisable”. With the look of disdain on your face, the gemologist tells you that  it would cost too much to appraise this piece being that it doesnt hold much value.

We all have encountered or most of us at least have seen a situation similar to the one above. The fact is that, not all old pieces are worth much of anything. Some of us see these old pieces as something that hold monetary value, but in reality that value maybe more sentimental than monetary.

Unfortunately, this is the way that things are, there are times you may see a nice ruby on your grandmothers ring and think great, Jackpot, im going to pay off my house or the rest of my student loans, but in reality that ruby was actually lab created and not as natural as you assumed. So be wary and approach your excitement with discretion.


Live, Life, Lamour


Special K the Gold Standard

Ever wonder what that K next to the number on your gold jewelry is symbolic of?

Well your not alone because I used to wonder what the heck it was as well. After doing some digging around, actually not that much since we have this wonderful thing called the internet, I found my answer. This special K is the universal acronym in jewelry  lingo for Karat (K) or otherwise know as carat(ct.) for our friends in the UK and Persian Gulf Region. This Karat system is used to inform the jeweler and any would be purchasers of how many parts of gold there is in that particular item.

The origin of the term comes from the Roman Emperor Constantine who during his time decided to mint some 24K gold coins during 309 CE. Im sure during that period the Emperor did this not just because he didn’t want to walk around with gold bars in his pockets, he was the ruler of the land after all.

Below are some ratios of Karat to gold percentages for some clarification:

  • 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold making it 100%.
  • 18 karat (18K) gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts another metal or metals, making it 75% gold.
  • 14 karat (14K) gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts another metal or metals, making it 58.3% gold.
  • 10 karat (10K) gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts another metal or metals, making it 41.7% gold. 10k gold is the minimum karat designation that can still be called gold in the US.

With this knowledge of Karat, hopefully you’ll be more informed in what your buying or investing in, after all jewelry is an investment. No matter how small of a purchase.

Live, Life, Lamour


The Midas Touch!!

Many have heard of the great yet fabled king Midas. Whom was endowed with the gift of instantly turning to gold anything he touched. Well unfortunately, thats not that type of story. Gold, unbeknownst to many comes in an array of different colors. This vast array encompasses four of the seven colors of ROYGBIV. Ranging from the typical bright yellow of 24kt ‘pure gold’ to 14kt green/white gold. Yes…i said it, green gold. It may not be as well known as its more popular yellow counterpart, but its still gold nonetheless.

Green gold has a very long history, it was known since 800 BC under the name Electrum, a naturally occurring alloy. Even with such a long history, it has not been able to reach its tipping point. I recall the first time I mentioned green gold to one of my clients, I received one of the strangest looks of my career as a jewelry proffessional. It was the type of look as if I was intentionally misleading them. Instantly when you mention this the initial assumption is that the piece is either fake or very old. In fact the secret ingredient to the greenish tint is a healthy mix silver, 6-10 parts of it to be exact , depending on the proportion of gold carats.  so essentially, 18k green gold would consists of 18k (75%) gold 6k( 25%) silver or 14k GG would have 10k (40%) silver.

Live, Life, Lamour


Anxious much?

Which one should I buy? They all look so beautiful.

Anxious much??

Typical scenario…you walk into a jewelry store, after side stepping the welcome commitee you head towards the jewelry display case to then be further inundated with whether you will be making the correct decision in choosing the right piece of jewelry within your budget. This is just a semi-accurate image of the average jewelry customer.

For hundreds of thousands of years, people have been wearing jewelry, even back then i’m pretty sure it wasn’t the easiest thing to shop for since there are so many options to consider. Interestingly enough, we can all over come our anxiety and become better at buying jewelry if we just take the time to learn and plan.

Here is a list of 5 recommended to do’s to help with jewelry buying anxiety.

1. Choose a piece

As simple and common as that maybe, most people dont know what they are looking for or end up being overwhelmed when they walk into a jewelry store…flashing lights from all the bling I guess. Its always recommended to have a general idea of the piece of jewelry you’d like to buy. This knowledge will not only save you time but also ease your search for the right piece.

2. Budget

Be realistic as to what you can afford and budget accordingly. We are all different and some of us would rather finance instead of paying in full . Its good to keep that in mind when budgeting.

3. Shop around

This should be a common sense thing especially with the vast amount of information at our disposal but surprisingly when it comes to jewelry its not often done. Shopping around will give you a broad range regarding the price you should or would like to pay.

4. Find a jeweler

You might know someone who is in the jewelry industry or a store with a reputable brand. Either way this should be someone you have confidence in, after all this is someone you’ll be handing over your hard earned money.

5. Go home happy

Prior to completing your purchase, be sure to ask any and every question in mind. Most especially questions regarding your piece and anything that may happen to it. This will further enrich your buying experience.

Buying jewelry as with any luxury good should be pleasure filled. Although there are unethical people out there whom may try to sour our overall experience, with the proper due diligence, this is often easily avoided.

Live, Life, Lamour


The ArchDuke Diamond

Wow!! is the only word that can accurately describe this diamond. The ArchDuke Joseph  is one those rare diamonds with alot of history and although being loose, managed to evade being “mysteriously” lost in the cracks of the underground market.  Recently it was sold for over $20m at Christies which is high, but hey we know two things for sure, 1. the buyers had the cash and 2. History always adds value to jewelry. Whatever your reservations maybe, any diamond meeting these specifications are very rare and fall under the category of Art.

The specs of this diamond are below:

This magnificent historic, D-color, internally flawless, Type IIA, cushion-shaped perfect white diamond weighs 76.02 carats and is believed to have been originated in the legendary diamond district of Golconda India, 400BC – 1700AD.  There are only fifty diamonds in the world from the Golconda region that weigh more than 20 carats.

The ArchDuke Joseph, timeless as well as priceless.


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The gem of Love and of Life

The featured gemstone of the week is the Emerald, its beauty and luster can only be descibed as mesmorizing. Emeralds have throughout history been looked upon as a gem full of love and a striking symbol of life. Love because  it has the ability to activate and stimulate the heart chakra and the deep green color for centuries have been looked upon as a meaning of constant life. The reason for such charm and mystery for the stone is primarily due to its great historical significance throughout history as a whole. Emeralds have  always been prized by the ancient Babylonians and Native Americans, loved and cherished by Cleopatra who made outstandingly popular the stunning jewelry of the Egyptians. Emeralds were also used by the Aztecs, Incas and Mayan cultures for carving, adornment and medicine. Although it has such a high esteem, its rather unfortunate that gemstones such as Emeralds dont get as much publicity as diamonds do although they are a more abundant asset. Oddly and unsurprising we in this society have been loosing our appreciation for the finer things in life although we are said to be advancing.

Below are images of different cuts of emeralds with varying levels of color, cut, clarity. This image comes with an accompanying grading scale which will be featured and posted on a future post dedicated to its explanation.

Feel free to leave some thoughts and comments.

Some of the Finest cut emeralds...Just outstanding!

Whats a clear way of accurately grading emeralds?

Developing your style!

Developing a jewelry style.
Ask yourself a few questions:

Whats appealing to my eyes?

Do I want colored gem stones or diamonds?

What outfits / accessories compliment me?

What sort of activitives am I going to be involved in?
When developing a jewelry style its important to have confidence in your personal clothing style. Such a confidence is necessary because it provides an increase in creativity which makes choosing a jewelry accessory very simple.  Its also important that the environment whether indoor or outdoor is considered when choosing a piece. The right piece will be comfortable, compliment your style, and appealing to your eyes.

As  a rule of thumb, it’s usually best to purchase the best quality and affordable basics then add on other pieces later. Such basics are: In Gold chain necklace, Classic hoop/button earrings, and bracelet. Shapes that compliment a variety of outfits. Begin with classic shapes that look appropriate with a variety of outfits, and then add pieces that offer versatility of wear or a fashion touch, such as different colors or finishes.

Jewelry suits body type

For instance, your height and bone structure play a big role in determining the kind of jewelry that looks best on you. A smaller, petite woman would be better served with necklace lengths that fall below the breast but above the waist to elongate her figure. Meanwhile, a tall, thin woman may want to select a choker that cuts the line of the neck and de-emphasizes her height. And a full-figured woman should stay away from jewelry that’s too small or delicate.

My face’s shape:

The few basic face shapes are oval/oblong, round, rectangular and heart-shaped.

If your face is oval, triangular-shaped earrings are especially flattering.

A round shape should seek elongated, dangling styles that draw the eyes down, rather than around.

A rectangular face, try jewelry that adds width, camouflaging the length of the face.

Finally for heart-shaped faces, look for earrings that are wider at the bottom, because style can soften a pointed chin look.

Things to consider when purchasing rings:

What type of hand do I have?

If you’re long-fingered, wider bands will look especially good on you.

If you’re short-fingered, thinner bands and stone shapes such as marquise or pear that elongate the hand would be a good choice.

Anyone with additional advice/comments feel free to drop a line.

Live, Life, Lamour