How To Choose Her Perfect Engagement Ring

By Kirsty Wareing, Content Editor for Ritani

When you’re ready to propose, you want to get it right. That not only refers to the time and place, but the ring that you offer her. As a symbol of how much you know and love her, it should reflect her tastes and suit her lifestyle. Ritani, a member of the American Gem Society, offers these tips for selecting a perfect engagement ring that she’ll want to wear forever.

A sense for style

If you’re not sure where to start, pay attention to the type of clothes she wears and the jewelry she already owns. Does she prefer simple, classic designs that never go out of style? Or is she a fan of ornate, vintage pieces that seem more glamorous?

Solitaire diamond engagement rings are ideal for those who love understated, elegant silhouettes. A handcrafted halo ring, on the other hand, is a smart choice if she likes to stand out with lots of sparkle.

Photo by Ritani

Photo by Ritani

Talk to her trusted friends

Carefully consider the people closest to her, and approach those who you can trust not to reveal the secret. Friends and family will often have a good idea of her favorite diamond shape, engagement ring setting, and even her ring size. Depending on how comfortable you feel, you can visit a jewelry store or browse online together to discuss designs that she may love.

If you don’t feel like you can ask anyone she knows for help, some subtle snooping can also be fruitful. Her Pinterest boards, for example, may reveal a lot about her favorite ring designers and jewelry styles.

The dazzling details

When it comes to the 4Cs, there can be a lot of choices to make in the quest for her dream ring. Take your time learning about diamond cut, clarity, color and carat weight, in order to choose a quality diamond that fits within your budget. If you’re opting for a fancy diamond shape – such as a cushion cut or emerald cut diamond – take time to understand the different qualities of your chosen shape.

Often, jewelers will have specially curated selections to make choosing a diamond easier. Ritani Reserve diamonds, for example, all have an AGS Laboratories’ Scintillation Report that uses proprietary AGS Laboratories’ technology to analyze the science and artistry behind each diamond. The Scintillation Report reveals that these diamonds produce the most sparkle of any diamond available.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

While it is natural to want to give her the ring she’s always dreamed of, you don’t need to get everything absolutely perfect. Some jewelers and companies, such as Ritani offers free ring resizing, so that if you propose with a ring that’s not her exact fit, there’s no need to worry.  Ask about a guarantee or warranty. For example, Ritani provides lifetime care with every engagement ring, including a free appraisal, free cleanings at your local jeweler, and a lifetime warranty.

Any quality jeweler will be happy to provide you with exemplary service, both before and after you pop the question. The perfect engagement ring will be designed to last through all the years of your relationship, and for generations to come.

Photo by Ritani

Photo by Ritani

How do you sparkle?

By Amanda L. Colborn

How do you sparkle?

You’re likely familiar with the 4 C’s of Diamonds: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat – however, there is another very important aspect of diamonds to keep top of mind: Sparkle!

Sparkle, or Scintillation as it is also known, is the play of white and colored flashes of light seen when the diamond is viewed in motion.  Viewable with the naked eye, sparkle is the life of the diamond.

Sparkle does have two different aspects, flash scintillation and fire scintillation.

Flash

flash

Flash scintillation is the dynamic pattern of white sparkles observed across a diamond’s crown. Because flash can be seen across a broader range of light environments, it is more common to see white sparkles in a diamond than colored flashes of fire.

Fire

fire

Fire scintillation is the dynamic pattern of colored sparkles observed across a diamond’s crown. Because of the refraction caused by a diamond’s faceting, normal white light can be split into many spectral colors as it leaves the diamond.

Light and Movement

Without light, diamonds can’t sparkle.  As light is a key ingredient, diamonds with the highest potential for sparkle find light in broad ranges of commonly encountered illumination environments and redirect the light to the observer’s eye through the diamond.

The other key attribute is movement, which sets the scintillation performance apart from its light performance.  A motionless diamond in broad diffuse lighting cannot demonstrate the beautiful display of scintillation. It is movement that causes the flickering of sparkle across a diamond, whether it is the diamond, the observer, or the light source that moves.

But, how do you sparkle?!

Cut is key to sparkle.  A diamond with superior sparkle has flashes of light and color across the top of the diamond.  A poorly cut stone can have “dead” areas where no flash or fire is seen.

For a fun and unique take on sparkle, check out AGS Laboratories’ very own Executive Director, Peter Yantzer, talk about how he sees sparkle.

Spooky Jewelry: No Tricks. All Treats.

By Amanda L. Colborn

Halloween doesn’t have to be all face paint and bobbing for apples—it’s also a chance to explore a whole new realm of fine jewelry—spooky, Halloween jewelry!

If there is any holiday that has a real, dedicated following, it is Halloween! True Halloween enthusiasts don’t just get into the spirit of the season, they live for it.  Because of this, there are  fine jewelry options for those who like their nights scary and their jewelry spooky.   Such pieces can be worn year-round if that is your style, or just brought out to add a little sparkle to your next Halloween party.

In this post, we’re focusing on a few AGS members, who offer beautiful jewelry pieces perfect for the Halloween season or just to add some spook and sparkle to your everyday outfit:

Diamond Snake Ring by Supreme Jewelry

Diamond Snake Ring by Supreme Jewelry

This first piece is a diamond, white and rose gold snake ring by Supreme Jewelry.  Halloween jewelry can be a lot more vast than just ghosts and pumpkins, this beautiful ring is unique because it’s another take on your traditional Halloween spookiness.

Coil Snake Bracelet by John Hardy

Naga Enamel Coil Snake Bracelet by John Hardy

This gorgeous coiled snake bracelet by John Hardy is a “Talisman of Eternal Love, Prosperity and Protection.” These two pieces are perfect for Halloween in that they add just the right amount of creepy which is overpowered by their overall beauty and luxury.  Both of these would perfectly complement your Medusa costume.

Spider Web Necklace by Von Bargens

Spider Web Tie Tack by Von Bargen’s Jewelry

We can’t forget about the creepy crawlers this Halloween! Here is an example of an up-scale take on your classic tie tack with a creepy and free-form web design, this piece is by Von Bargen’s Jewelry.  A tie tack like this would be perfect for your Halloween office attire or a vampire costume for men.

Vamp Flora Diamond Ring by The Inspired Collection

Vamp Flora Diamond Ring by The Inspired Collection

Vamp Flora Diamond Ring Design Showing Blood  Showing Secret Cavity

Vamp Flora Diamond Ring Design Showing Secret Blood Cavity

Last but certainly not least, we have a different take on what it means to be spooky.  These beautiful diamond rings above come to us from the Inspired Collection, they are part of a new vampire-inspired line called the Immortal Collection.  The Immortal Collection of bridal rings are unique in that they all feature a secret cavity within the ring with which to “preserve a single drop of human blood, a symbol of the bride’s prior form.”  The rings also feature sharp thorns like that of a rose “allowing only a true vampire bride to be adorned with such beauty,” according to the Inspired Collection’s website.   Now you can pair your blood-thirsty vampire costume with a real conversation piece!

Spooky jewelry offers you the opportunity to liven up your costume in a fun and festive way or just liven up your everyday wardrobe with a spooky and edgy element.  Explore beyond your comfort-zone and you’re bound to be pleasantly surprised with what spooky jewelry you might discover to add to your collection!

October – celebrating the month of TWO birthstones!

By Amanda L. Colborn

Happy birthday to all the October babies out there! October features two very unique and different birthstones.  Tourmaline and Opal, two of the most gorgeous and diverse birthstones make beautiful and vibrant jewelry.  Let’s explore them individually:

Tourmaline

Tourmaline has become a favorite gemstone among jewelry designers, and gem collectors the world over. Since it is available in a wide variety of colors, it is ideally suited to almost anyone’s taste. Tourmaline also is known for displaying several colors in the same gemstone.  These bi-color or tri-color gems are formed in many combinations; gemstones with clear color distinctions are highly prized.  One multi-color variety is known as watermelon tourmaline, and features green, pink, and white colors bands; to resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink center, white ring, and green edge.  Tourmaline is found in many localities including Brazil, Afghanistan, East Africa, and the USA.

Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline ring - Underwood's Jewelers

Underwood’s Jewelers posted this beautiful Paraiba Tourmaline ring on their Instagram.

 

Opal

The name opal derives from the Greek Opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color).”  Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. An opal’s beauty is the product of contrast between its color play and its background.  Opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel that seeped into crevices in the sedimentary strata. Through time and nature’s heating and molding processes, the gel hardened into the form of opals. The opal is composed of particles closely packed in spherical arrangements. When packed together in a regular pattern, a three-dimensional array of spaces are created that give opal its radiance.

Rough White Opal

Rough White Opal

Opal rings - Henne Jewelers

Henne Jewelers posted three different colored Opal rings on their Instagram.

The Healing Power of Gemstones

By Amanda L. Colborn

According to folklore and stories throughout history, many gemstones are thought to offer mystic healing to its wearer.  So whether shopping for a gift of fine jewelry, or considering a gift for yourself along the way, consider the healing properties of these fine gemstones. Birthday gemstones may not bake your cookies and wrap your gifts for you, but they will make you feel better while doing so.

Gemstone healing powers:

 Teething_Baroque_Cognac Amber – Thought to aid memory loss, purify the body, alleviate headaches, and bone and heart problems, Amber is known for its stress relieving and calming properties.
 amethyst-cz-silver-chandelier-earrings-p3984 Amethyst – Aids in the reduction of insomnia, arthritis, pain relief, and circulatory issues. Amethyst is considered the gemstone of meditation, peace, balance, courage, and inner strength.
 a361624f0742cb5c868dba1924dc337d Aquamarine – Aids the liver, throat, stomach, jaw, teeth, eyes, and ears. Aquamarine is also known for releasing fear, calming nerves, and bringing mental clarity.
 372839100_MV_ZM Citrine – Considered the gemstone to provide greater or increased hearing, Citrine also promotes success, abundance, and clear thinking.
 RareEarth_GarnetRing Garnet – Aids blood, heart, and lungs and is known to promote romantic love, passion, sensuality, and intimacy.
 a9be12818148e5b73a94aa976e8a25ea Lapis – Thought to aid in the alleviation of insomnia and depression, Lapis is also known for creating openness, truthfulness, and creativity.
 5844cd1c-7d39-458c-8ccc-07b7380481b1 Onyx – Associated with the root chakra, Onyx brings spiritual inspiration, and control over emotions.
 Freshwater-Pearl-Necklace-Jewelry Pearl – Known for its calming properties, the Pearl is said to aid purity, charity, integrity, truth, and loyalty in its wearer.
 vintage-style-peridot-ring-ENR8464PDC Peridot – Healing stress in relationships, lessening anger and jealousy, and slowing aging, the Peridot promotes abundance and prosperity.
 ruby jewelry-3 Ruby – Aiding the emotions is the Ruby’s calling card. Also known to increase integrity, devotion, and happiness.
 Luxury-Elegant-Sumptuous-Sapphire-Jewelry-Design-of-Baguette-Cut-Cake-Ring-for-Gift-Ideas-by-CRISLU-Jewelry-Los-Angeles1 Sapphire – The gemstone of creative expression and inner peace and meditation, the Sapphire also aids in personal expression and the alleviation of pain.
 373079704_MV_ZM Topaz – One of the most powerful gemstones, Topaz facilitates the balance of emotions and provides protection from greed.
 1000x1000 Turquoise – A gemstone steeped in lore and tradition, Turquoise is a healing and balancing stone.

 

Fall Fashion Trends Straight from the Runway!

By Amanda L. Colborn

2014’s New York Fashion Week showcased several upcoming jewelry themes for this year’s fall season.  Unique pieces such as the single earring, hand bracelets and diamond chokers definitely caught our attention! Apart from the stunning individual pieces of jewelry, we were able to focus in on 5 major themes for the season:

  • Color
  • Feminine Features
  • Floral
  • Patterns
  • Texture

Color

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the colors of spring and summer!  NY Fashion Week was all about color this season, especially in their jewelry.  Just like these beautiful drop earrings from Yael Designs:

yaeldesigns_color

 

Feminine Features

Delicate and lady-like is the name of the game. Everyone can enjoy fine jewelry every day when it is light and feminine like these beautiful bracelets below from Hearts On Fire:

heartsonfire_feminine

Floral

Floral pieces have always been a classic. You probably wouldn’t think fall when you think of floral however, floral does not have to taken so literally.  Like the diamond ring below from Suna Bros. the beautiful rose shape, glittering with white diamonds make this ring festive and fun all year round:

sunabros_floral

 

Patterns

Intricate patterns are eye-grabbing and compliment-worthy, they add a certain sophisticated element to any fall look.  Just like this piece from Gumunchian:

gumuchian_pattern

Texture

Last but not least, texture.  Fall 2014 is all about edgy and punk-inspired pieces.  You too can achieve the look without needing to go over-the-top rock n’ roll.  The different textures in these rings from Hurdles Jewelry, give you an edge while still remaining ever so elegant:

hurdlesjewelry_texture

 

 

 

 

Color-Changing Gemstones are Phenomenal!

By Kevin P. McVay

Have you ever thought about adding color-changing gemstones to your jewelry collection? We’re not talking about well-known colored gemstones like rubies, sapphires or emeralds, but gems that actually change color depending on the lighting. From rings to pendants and everything in-between, color-changing gemstones, known as phenomenal gems, are unique and go well with many types of jewelry designs. Here are some of our favorites:

Alexandrite

This rare gem was discovered in 1834. During the day, it beams green or bluish-green. In incandescent light, it turns to a soft shade of red. The Alexandrite’s optical changes along with its rarity make it a very valuable gemstone.

 Opal

Some say that they can see fire, lightning, rainbows, stars and seas in opals. This gemstone ranges in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red and blue. The beauty and brilliance of this gem is the product ofthe contrast between its color play and its background.

Zultanite

This gem’s colors range from kiwi to champagne to raspberry depending on the lighting. Like Alexandrite, Zultanite is a very rare gem. Besides changing color, Zultanite also possesses a beautiful cat’s eye effect. This gem is truly spectacular!

There are more phenomenal gemstones out there, but these are three of our favorites. Please let us know if you have any gems you’d like to see featured on our blog by commenting below!

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