Thursday, April 25, 2013

What About Jewelry Store Mothers Day Gifts?

In person shopping for a Mothers Day gift

There’s nothing worse than a dud of a Mothers Day gift that you hate to give because you bought it from a catalog or off TV and it’s too late to return it.  As soon as you opened the package, you were underwhelmed:  The gift looked nothing like you thought it would. 

Problem Solved!  Do gift shopping IN PERSON for important events like weddings, graduations, anniversaries and Mothers Day. Here are some important reasons why:

  1. What you see is what you get;
  2. You can see the quality and clarity of gemstones before you make a purchase;
  3. You can get a clearer idea of the size, shape and proportions of a jewelry item;
  4. You can immediately see whether the workmanship of the jewelry meets your standards.
  5. Store staff can show you undisplayed merchandise that you may not have thought of before;
  6. Store staff can provide educational information about gemstones and precious metals;
  7. They can tell you if a jewelry style is age appropriate; and,
  8. You can often get better gift wrapping for your bauble.
Sure shopping for jewelry amongst humongous crowds looking for a Mothers Day gift at the mall can seem like a hassle.  But your charm of a  Mom is worth the absolute best of your efforts.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Great Gatsby Hats and Jewelry

 As if I don’t have enough to think about, I started pondering… these tiny thoughts:
'Hmmm… “The Great Gatsby” … I know I read the book.'

'Or did I just see the movie?'  

'Something about greed and obsession not being good with hats and jewelry....'

‘Oh well, it’s a good thing the movie’s out, AGAIN.’

‘Oh Wow, this version's  got Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead.’ 

 ‘I wonder if,  he has done as good of,  an acting job,  as he did in “Blood Diamonds”?’

'Huh... I really liked  that pink diamond in "Blood Diamonds"!'

Thursday, April 18, 2013

5 Swiss Watch Gift Tips For Mothers Day This Year

Moderately priced timepieces for professionals

Here's my tip sheet for  moderately priced women's Swiss watches.  Any of these watches will make a great gift for your Mom for Mothers Day this year:
  1. Swatch Watch – This is the best bet if your Mom has a somewhat quirky personality:  There’s sure to be a matching Swatch style.  Swatch watches feature hot colorful designs, trendy materials and a variety of timepiece functions. Most models are flashy. Some are highly collectible, too! Swatches are priced to sell and start at $50. Beware!  You will reveal some of your own personality if you gift a Swatch. They're available at online stores.
  2. Victorinox Swiss Army - This is a brand with classic Swiss styling that's priced in the $400 range. These watches feature a variety of dial colors. They're  sporty-looking timepieces good for night-time use and diving. This watch would also be very useful to a Mom who is a nurse or doctor. They're available online and in catalogs.
  3. Wittenauer – Here's more classic Swiss watch styling with a serious business look, some with embellished gemstone dials.  Many Wittanauer watches are available for less than $200. They're available online.
  4. Burberry – Burberry watches are my top fashion pick.  Watches from this design house feature the absolute hottest jewelry styles.  They’re great for the Mom who is a serious fashionista. Prices for Burberry watch models start at about $180.  Burberry is available at fine department stores and online.
  5. Omega – Ok this is a luxury watch brand with most models selling for $10,000 or more.  But Omega also sells some beautiful timepiece models for about $2,000.  Omega designs feature serious watch styling for  serious women.  Omega is available at Omega Watch stores and fine jewelers. Omega does not authorize any online sales of their products. But Note: These same watchmakers also make the flashy Swatch brand mentioned above!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Zambia Seeks To Recover Lost Emerald Mine Money

Victoria Falls from Zambia
Zambia's Victoria Falls, "The Land of Falling Water" and Valuable Emeralds

Zambia’s government has issued a directive requiring that Zambian emeralds only be auctioned within their country.  According to Yamfwa Mukango, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, this directive will control gemstone selling by small scale mining operations at cheaper prices.
But the directive also applies to Gemfields, the major international gemstone mining corporation which has a financial interest in Zambia’s government owned mines

Here's video of Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and Selma Hayek in Gemfield's Zambian emerald jewelry designs:

Richard Musukwa, Zambia’s Deputy Minister of Mines,
Energy and Water Development said that his country was losing revenue from  illegal transactions in Zambian emeralds.
Watch this video for an overview of Zambian emerald mining operations, lush Zambian landscape and beautiful African music:

Gemfields states on their website that they audit the production and processing of emerald gemstones from the mine to the auction market to ensure the ethical production of the beautiful green stones.
In an interview with Jerry Munthali of the Zambia Daily Mail, online April 8, 2013, Mr. Musukwa said that his country’s primary concerns were to control illegal trading in Zambian emeralds and to establish gemstone cutting and polishing jobs within Zambia.
Currently, much of Zambia’s output is auctioned in Singapore and India.  Most cutting is done in India.
Zambia is the world’s 3rd largest emerald producer behind Columbia and Brazil. Emeralds from all three countries have distinct and unique qualities. Zambian emeralds, however, appear to glow like twinkling stars.

Gemfields operates Zambia’s Kagem open pit mine with a government license.
A small amount of Zambia’s emeralds are mined by women on a micro-scale, from alluvial deposits. The country is testing the potential for underground emerald mining, according to numerous news reports.

Let's hope that an emerald war doesn't break out and that everybody including average jewelry consumers "get a piece of the action".

Zambian emeralds are so beautiful that Angeline Jolie has a jewelry design brand featuring the stones.

Gold Spot Falls - At A 2 Year Low

The Gold spot price fell today below $1,400,  a 2 year low.   The price is down about $300  from a high of $1,775 last  summer in 2012. Last month, there were numerous  news stories about a pending investigation by US regulators from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to determine exactly how gold prices are set by London traders.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Diamonds From India With Oomph On The Side

Diamond and Onyx Ring with Pave Diamonds on Side Shanks

I just love rings and earrings made in India that have that little 3D vibe going on with embellished side shanks.  Bejeweled artistry on  shank designs can make a unique statement that clearly stands above jewelry made anywhere else. 

Rings with highly embellished shanks are easy to spot in jewelry displays and are worth seeking out for a diamond engagement ring gift.

Dazzling shank designs from India often include:
  • Filigree swirls
  • More diamonds
  • Hearts 

 Of course, a more lavish use of  gold or platinum precious metal is needed for the unique shank cultural designs.

An opulent diamond ring from India can have the look of  a piece of jewelry owned by a maharajah. Well, almost.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mrs. Eastwood and Co. Missing From E! In 2013

I was sooo… looking forward to a 2nd season of the Eastwood clan’s adventures in Realityland. But in early January, youngest daughter Morgan Eastwood reported on Tumbler that the family had decided against doing a 2nd season. 

I think that this was foreshadowed by Dina’s decision in one episode from last year, to relinquish management of Overtone, the boy singing group.

Mom Dina Eastwood has not tweeted since November 2012.

I’m going miss Dina Eastwood’s classy eclectic Native American jewelry style. Her style was truly unique on TV and very “Real World”.

 Mrs. Eastwood and Company was a thought-provoking class act about common issues facing modern families. Too bad it won’t be back but “Family 1st”.

Well I guess it’s back to donkeys and bad plastic surgery.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Venus and Serena Williams: The Movie Documentary

Phenoms Venus and Serena Williams are in a new movie: About them!  Here's the trailer from the 2013 documentary about the tennis champions:

And here's an episode from the Williams sisters' reality show:

Talk about 'sparkle, sparkle', these women (and Daddy Williams) are a national treasure.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rihanna's Diamond Song "We Found Love"

Here's Rihanna "Live" on SNL singing her song about yellow diamonds and love: No one can deny that this young woman CAN sing and look good at the same time.

She can dance too. This video for the song has fabulous choreography:

Another YouTube Video on the yellow diamond song has gotten over  23,000,000 views and only has the lyrics displayed on a black screen, nothing more! Diamonds get everybody's attention.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's The True Color Of That Black Diamond?

Focal Black Diamond in necklace

My friend Don offered me the prettiest stone I had ever seen.  My eyes bulged as the stone glowed and sparkled in the sunlight.  But alas, Don and I weren’t like “that”. I couldn’t accept his gift.
I told him that the rock looked better on the dashboard of his truck.

Meteorite Diamonds

That black rock was a meteorite that Don had picked-up one day while fishing at a lake in Chicago’s western suburbs.  A meteor fell there a few years back and Don had found a piece.
He thought that it was just a pretty rock, which it was, but I noticed that it was actually a meteorite by its shape and surface texture.  The gray-brown-black colored meteorite appeared to be covered with thousands of microscopic diamonds.
Too bad the diamonds weren’t bigger but they are still true carbonados:  Black diamonds from a meteorite…from the sky.
Small meteorites
Small Meteorites

Carbonado Black Diamond Engagement Rings

If you will be giving or receiving a black diamond in an engagement ring, you want a black Carbonado.  Carbonado diamonds are true black diamonds. They are somewhat rarer and moderately more expensive but they are not dyed black diamonds.
Gem quality Carbonado black diamonds only come from a meteorite that fell in Brazil and Western Africa millions of years ago before Africa and South America were separated by the Atlantic ocean.
Carbonado diamonds have very different properties from diamonds mined in other parts of the globe.  They ARE NOT DYED black diamonds.

Avoid Dyed Black Diamonds

Yeah, most black diamonds sold today are dyed gray diamonds. Why pay the extra money, unless you just have to have that piece of jewelry featuring dyed black accent diamonds.

Black diamonds with few facets
Small Black Diamonds

Buy A Certified Diamond

If you are planning to buy an expensive black diamond engagement ring, make sure that the diamond certificate states that the diamond is a Carbonado. Make sure the stone has a high number of facet cuts. The mine source would be Brazil or the Central African Republic.
Also, only buy your jewelry gift from a trusted jeweler. This way you will know that the diamond gift is  a Carbonado and NOT A DYED STONE.

Crystal Memories

Cracked and rutilated rock crystal ball

One of my favorite jewelry memories are the small round cracked crystal balls that my mother kept in her jewelry box. I recall playing dress-up with the quartz balls and gazing into the crystal as a child. 
Cracked rock crystal is infinitely more dazzling to gaze at than polished cut crystal. I think that the cracked and rutilated features create a subtly visible internal light play that attracts the human eye.

Cut and Polished Crystal

 It’s true that polished cut rock crystal makes a magnificent light display when part of a chandelier or when made into candlesticks. I also played with the clear cut crystal talons on Mom's bedside lamps imagining them as earrings.

Healing Crystals

But cracked rock crystal is much more mesmerizing to me.
To this day, I keep one of my mother’s crystal balls on my desk in order to refresh my eyes after hours of gazing at my computer screen. I guess that would make the balls truly healing crystals.