The Month of Gift-Giving

December has finally arrived and we have a month filled with celebrations and life-long traditions to look forward to. One of those holiday traditions is gift-giving, which we can all relate to the challenge of finding the perfect gift for a loved one.

Each of the three main holidays celebrated this month—Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa—have their own special traditions on how and when to exchange gifts.

Hanukkah: December 13-20, 2017

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight consecutive evenings but that doesn’t mean everyone gets a gift each night. In lieu of presents, some families mix in a game night, go to a movie or special event, or simply spend quality time together. Often there is one night reserved for that very special gift. Here are a few ideas!

 

Christmas: December 25, 2017

Christmas is as diverse as the many countries that celebrate it, which means the traditions, decorations, foods, and presentation of the presents vary. No matter where Christmas is celebrated, it’s always about connecting with family and friends. Which of these gifts do you hope to find under the Christmas tree?

 

Kwanzaa: December 26, 2017-January 1, 2018

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that centers on culture and family. Each day is associated with a symbol, such as Mazao, crops that “symbolize work and the basis of the holiday,” or Zawadi, which are “meaningful gifts to encourage growth, self-determination, achievement, and success.” On the last day of Kwanzaa, called Imani, gifts are exchanged, often honoring the creative spirit and to reaffirm self-worth. Below are some ideas for someone you know with a creative soul.

 

Perhaps some of the beautiful pieces above have given you some inspiration? When you are ready to shop, be sure to visit an American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jeweler.  The American Gem Society wishes you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays, and may the new year bring some wonderful (and perhaps sparkly) surprises your way!

The 5 Hottest Spring Jewelry Trends in 2017

Right now we’re in the heart of spring, with summer just a few weeks away. Hooray! As we prep our wardrobe for warmer weather, our jewelry should follow suit. It’s time to opt for pieces that are light and playful. And since you’ll be out in the sunshine, don’t forget to go with some sparkle!

AGS member, Hearts On Fire, shares a few trends that are turning up the heat this season. Click here to read their blog, The 5 Hottest Spring Jewelry Trends in 2017.

April is the Month of Brilliance

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Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs

The birthstone for April is a gem that’s near and dear to us. It’s the keystone of the American Gem Society logo, and they offer grading reports for this precious gem based on science and accuracy. We’re talking about diamonds.

Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and some historians estimate they were traded as early as four BC. One of the reasons it is so admired and valued is because of the process by which a diamond is formed well below the earth’s crust, then forced upward until it is uncovered. These natural forces are what make each and every diamond unique.

Part of the diamond grading process includes testing the diamond for clarity. This is when the lab determines the relative visibility of the inclusions in a diamond and their impact on the overall visual appearance. Inclusions are the internal or external flaws of the diamond which are a result of the tremendous heat and pressure a diamond is subjected to in its journey to the surface.

The gemologists in the AGS Laboratories have come across some very unusual and rare inclusions, which they call “Clarity Rarities.” Click here to see an example of their most recent find!

Diamonds come in several colors, including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value.

AGS Laboratories only grades white diamonds and are the leaders in cut grade. Because of their proprietary light performance cut grade, diamond cutters understand how to cut a more beautiful diamond—which means you have more beautiful, sparkling options when shopping for diamonds!

This is why we love diamonds so much. Their beauty is endless and they never cease to amaze us. But enough talk about diamonds, let’s enjoy these gorgeous designs by some of our AGS members!

 

If you’re celebrating a birthday in April, a 60th anniversary (congratulations!), or love diamonds as much as we do, be sure to contact an AGS-certified jeweler near you. They’ll help you find the diamond of your dreams! And don’t forget to ask for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. Accept no substitutes, and buy your diamond with confidence!

Five Trends to Look for at the 2017 Oscars

If you haven’t already, be sure to mark your calendar for this Sunday, February 26, so you don’t miss the 89th Academy Awards! Millions of film and fashion fans will be tuning into ABC at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST when the stars begin to walk the red carpet.

What will this year’s fab fashions be? Here’s a list of five trends that are predicted to be “scene” on the stars. We’ve included a few designs from AGS members that we think would best complement these lovely looks.

Flowers and Nature

Floral designs never seem to go out of style and with spring just around the corner, what better place to display some flower power than at the Oscars! They can either be classic and demure or big, bold, and bright! With the growing trend of floral patterns, other nods to nature are sure to follow. Animals, birds, and leafy plants are leaving a trail on this season’s designs.

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Sapphire, white and brown diamonds flower ring by Supreme Jewelry.

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Flexible diamond tiger cuff
by Roberto Coin.

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Cobra drop earrings with diamonds
by John Hardy.

Pink

Here’s a hue that has been popular of late. When it comes to pink gemstones, we can choose from pink diamonds, pink sapphire, Morganite, kunzite, and rose quartz, to name a few! Which gal—or guy—will be thinking pink on the red carpet?

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Fancy light purplish pink heart shape diamond necklace by Scott West Diamonds.

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Fancy pink diamond ring by
Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs.

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Pink sapphire flower cluster diamond earrings and pendant by Whiteflash.

One Shoulder

The elegant drape of a one-shoulder dress or top embodies a mix of sophistication and sultriness. An ensemble like this should be punctuated by some serious sparkle!

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Diamond Angel Feather ring
by KC Designs.

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The Helen necklace by Harry Kotlar.

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White Kites Bird long earrings
by HOF X Stephen Webster.

Satin

Reminiscent of old Hollywood, satin is one of the biggest trends this spring. Expect to see the silky-smooth and shimmering fabric in bright jewel tones. Enhance the look with gorgeous jewels like these!

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Trillion cut Tanzanite and diamond earrings
by AG Gems.

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A two-tone gold necklace featuring rose-cut emeralds and diamonds by Yael Designs.

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Paraiba tourmaline and diamond ring by Takat.

Color Blocks

Gone are the days of drab black and gray. Enter the brilliant and daring blocks of color! Bold and beautiful gemstones make these jewelry designs absolute showstoppers.

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“Amazon” pendant featuring peridot accented by purple garnet and diamonds by Erica Courtney.

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“Gossip” emerald cut citrine earrings with diamonds by Goshwara.

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Rhodolite and spessartite garnet ring
by Omi Prive.

Shopping for fine jewelry should be just as exciting as the Oscars but without unwelcome surprises. American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jewelers adhere to standards that not only comply with governing laws, but that go beyond, to ensure that you are buying from jewelers who have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most informed buying decision. To find an AGS jeweler near you, click here, and leave the nail-biting uncertainty for the Oscars!

Stars and Diamonds Sparkle at the 2016 Emmy® Awards

Every awards show brings out the most glamorous people, wearing the most incredible fashions, adorned in the most sparkling jewels. This year’s 68th Emmy Awards was dripping with diamonds, which goes to show that diamonds continue to be the trend on the red carpet.

Scroll down to see Hollywood’s hottest wearing designs from a few American Gem Society (AGS) members!

Forevermark
Actresses Sophia Turner, Claire Danes, and Tatiana Maslany
wore timeless designs featuring Forevermark diamonds.

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Hearts On Fire
Niecy Nash is on fire wearing several Hearts On Fire bracelets.

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Harry Kotlar
Ariel Winter wore a magnificent Harry Kotlar diamond ring.

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Underwood’s Fine Jewelers
Natalie Morales is wearing their natural, multi-colored diamond bracelet.

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You certainly don’t have to appear on the small—or big screen—in order to wear diamonds! Visit an AGS jeweler near you and they will help you find that perfect diamond. Be sure to ask your jeweler for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. Accept no substitutes—buy your diamond with confidence!

 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Every Dad

By Robin Skibicki

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19. If you haven’t thought about a gift for your dear Dad, we have a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Just like Mom, Dad appreciates a gift of quality that will last a lifetime. Styles and trends may come and go, so be sure to find something that fits your Dad’s personality and lifestyle.

The Fun & Funky Father

This is the Dad who always has a fun story to share, a silly joke to tell, and got a kick out of embarrassing you when you were a kid! The Triangle Puzzle Ring by Mark Schneider matches this fun personality. Its two-tone 14k white and yellow gold with 0.205ctw diamonds.

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Looking for something different and slightly exotic? The Legends Naga Dragon Head bracelet by John Hardy is sterling silver and 18K bonded gold. The eyes are set with African rubies.

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The Fan-atic Father

If your Dad is a sports fan, he’ll cheer for these two sporty styles by Lashbrook Designs. Die-hard baseball fan? Go with the cobalt chrome 8mm band with baseball “stitching.” Dedicated basketball fan? Pick the titanium 8mm domed band with the basketball pattern.

The Fit Father

For men who live a very active lifestyle, purchase titanium jewelry. It’s the hardest of the metals, therefore more scratch, dent and bend resistant. Hearts On Fire designed this durable yet lightweight gray titanium ring. It’s highlighted by a cable rope running through the center, and one small, single diamond.

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The Factual Father

He likes to keep things simple. John Hardy designed a reversible, flat chain bracelet that’s sterling silver on one side and bronze on the other. Who doesn’t appreciate the versatility and convenience of reversible jewelry?

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Two-toned designs are very popular because they work with any look. The Grand Signature Bracelet by Ed Levin Jewelry is sporty, comfortable, classic and bold. No fuss, no muss.

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The Formal Father

The French cuff, whether worn with a business suit or a tux, always lends a formal feel to any look. Add a pair of stylish cufflinks, like these sterling silver and genuine onyx links by Stuller, for a finished touch!

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Dad deserves some bling, too! This design by Unique Settings of New York is timeless and stylish, with just the right amount of sparkle.

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The Futuristic Father

He’s all about technology. The car, the appliances, the gadgets—all must be wired into something…and each other! Whether you understand it or not, show your support for his love of innovation.

Royal Asscher carries a unique design collection called Stars of Africa. They have encased their exquisite diamonds and colored gems inside a dome, giving them freedom to move and sparkle. Dad ought to be fascinated with these sterling silver cufflinks housing blue sapphires.

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Dad is going to think this is cool! Steven Kretchmer designed a tri-band ring using Polarium™, their magnetic platinum alloy. The three 7.5mm magnetic bands have a matte finish with rounded edges, with the middle component featuring a stripe of 24k crystallized gold inlay.

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Need some more ideas? Use our online Find a Jeweler search to locate an AGS credentialed jeweler near you. Our highly trained and educated jewelers will help guide you through the buying process and answer any questions you may have. Enjoy celebrating this day dedicated to Dad!

Design Details: Ilaria Lanzoni of Hearts On Fire

By Randi Molofsky

MeetTheDesigner-HeroImageLeft_488x488If your ultimate diamond wishlist includes the most sparkly rock on the block, look no further than Hearts On Fire (HOF), a company that boasts the tagline, The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond®.

Director of Design, Ilaria Lanzoni, has been with Hearts On Fire for four years, creating exceptional collections of jewelry around these dazzling diamonds. With 20 years of experience as a jewelry designer with top brands including Asprey and Garrard, she brought a new level of sophistication and European sensibility with her to HOF. We spoke to Ilaria and asked her five questions about her inspiration, her designs and what’s to come!

What about the perfection of an HOF diamond inspires your design?

When I joined Hearts On Fire, I was truly mesmerized by the beauty of the diamonds. And I am still blown away by their beauty every day. The perfection and quality allow me to do more creative designs than I would have ever imagined. Wait until you see our new collection this year! I am continuously working with my team to create new ideas of designs that can both be worn every day and proudly display the unique Hearts On Fire sparkle. It’s a challenge that any designer loves!

We’ve heard you use inspiration boards to help with your creative process. Why does this work for you and what’s currently on your inspiration board?

I do love inspiration boards – you should see my work space! I’m an incredibly visual person, and as I go about my daily life, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. It always comes from places you don’t expect it, so I like to memorize images and colors and shapes and add it to my working space so I can remember it in the future. As I mention below, all of my collections follow unique themes and are inspired by a particular place or experience…and these boards help capture the energy I am feeling.

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I am constantly adding to my boards, and pin all sort of images on boards…architecture, house interiors, fashion accessories, pieces of fabrics, close-up pictures of details of all sorts, like doors, iron gates, windows…the list can go on and on. Every day is completely different and every day we see the world a little differently, too. That is what I am always building on.

Can you pick three of your favorite HOF designs and tell us why they are so successful?

It’s always hard to pick my favorites, but if I had to choose just a few that are loved by both myself and consumers, they would be the ILLA Cluster star pendant for being so timelessly fashionable, the Triplicity Lariat for being so elegantly sexy, and the Lorelei Diamond Floral pendant for its chic, feminine style. All of these designs seamlessly blend modern trends with the classic beauty of diamond jewelry, something that we always strive to create at Hearts On Fire.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s next for HOF jewelry?

We are incredibly excited to be launching our next designer jewelry collection in June at the 2016 Couture Show [an invitation-only event for the fine jewelry trade]! All of my collections are inspired by my personal experiences in life and mix timeless beauty with modern trends. The only hint I can give is that a year ago I moved to New York City, and that has impacted this next collection. So watch out for something blending a vibrant, edgy style with classic diamond beauty. It’s amazing!

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Illa Cluster Pendant comprised of perfectly cut Hearts On Fire diamonds. Wear it alone or paired with other necklaces.

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Copley Circle Earrings with eleven perfectly cut Hearts On Fire diamonds in each loop.

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Lorelei Interlocking Diamond Heart Bracelet is the perfect addition to any look, day or night.

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The dainty Lorelei Bow Necklace is perfect for every day, adding simple sparkle to any look.

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The Aerial Cluster Engagement Ring was designed to resemble a snowflake.