Category: Jewelry Diamond

Glorious Jewelry of Ancient Rome

When one thinks of ancient Rome, visions of gladiators, their swords flashing in the Italian sun, billowing cloaks fastened in front with ornately decorated gold brooches, women in flowing robes, fabulous necklaces resting beneath a head of curls, comes to mind. Glorious drop earrings of coloured stones adorn their ears, gold snake-style bracelets their upper arms.

Jewelry was big in ancient Rome. Very big. Since the Romans believed that jewelry warded off the “Evil Eye”, no one went without at least one piece.

The most common pieces of jewelry in early Rome were brooches and rings. The brooch was a versatile item, securing not only cloaks but clothing in general. Since clothing was generally pinned rather than sewn, decorated items called a fibula, made of gold and decorated with semi-precious stones, were used to secure the folds.

The early Italians sculpted jewelry from crude gold, rather than silver. This jewelry was afforded by the nobles. The poor wore cheaper versions, usually from bone or cheaper natural stones.

Romans, because of the reach of the Roman Empire, were able to make their jewelry from a myriad of wonderful and exotic materials. They had access not only to gold, but to bronze, bone, and natural stones. Egypt provided them with the treasured Lapis Lazuli and pearl. They imported sapphires and diamonds from the East. Emeralds, amber, turquoise, amethysts, garnets were all present in Roman jewelry, adorning necks, wrists and arms, as long as 2,000 years ago.

The affluent women, adorned themselves with trinkets all the time, at home and when in public. It was a sign of wealth and stature, just as it is today. Bracelets, rings, amulets, necklaces, cameos and rings and an assortment of adornments on their heads such as tiaras, diadems and coronets. They copied the filigree finish which was an Egyptian style. Filigree is a delicate, lace-like design, made then in gold. Filigree is popular today and is found in costume jewelry that looks as real as the gold version. Bracelets were kept closed with a toggle-type pin. A closure that is used today for practical and decorative purposes.

Men were fond of finger rings, and were expected to wear at least one. Some men would display a ring on every finger. Placing a seal on documents, to keep the contents safe from the wrong eyes, to identify the sender and to show prestige. Rings with an engraved gemstone were used with wax.

Types of Jewelry for Men to Wear

Wedding band

The wedding band is made from platinum, silver, or gold, with a super simplistic design and is a very popular piece of jewelry. But, there are also the more stylized rings that may include decorated metal work or include diamonds. Because of the minimal design of the wedding band, they are usually a lot less expensive compared to the more intricate wedding ring.

Blazer Buttons

A regular blazer can easily be updated with the addition of the stylish or simple buttons. Many of the common buttons are in silver or gold, while mother of pearl and horn are further options. When looking at the styles of button it is essential to choose the plain or ornamented button that fully complements the look of the blazer.

Shirt studs and cufflinks

Shirt stubs and cufflinks are practical pieces of jewelry. The shirt stubs replace the standard buttons down the front to give the more stylish look, while cufflinks replace the buttons at the cuffs. The shirt studs are a popular choice when it comes to black tie attire. The cufflinks in metallic and precious metals are perfect in the formal environment, while the cufflinks with a novelty design are great for everyday use in the office.

Tie accents

Tie accents are a simple piece of jewelry that helps to keep the tie in place. It can include a tie chain, a tie bar, or a tie pin. The more typical design is a simple bar with a metal like silver or gold. Although there are many unique designs to give the more unique look for the office. A further type of tie holder is the tie tack, but this isn’t favored by all because it actually puts a pin through the tie.

Buying Wedding Jewelry

Your budget

This is the more important point that you should consider before you go shopping. Knowing your budget will help you narrow your search down and save you time shopping. Wedding jewelry can be expensive so it is best that you have a fixed certain amount to help make the selection easier.

Wedding Gown

When doing your budget it should include not only your jewelry but also your wedding gown and accessories. You should also know what your wedding gown would look like in order to make sure that the jewelry will complement your wedding gown. Most brides like to wear a necklace on their wedding day so to get the right one you need to know what the neckline of your wedding dress will be. For example, if your wedding dress is elaborate or heavy, you might want to consider going with simple jewelry.

Color and fabric

Most wedding gowns are white or off white. When the bride wears pearl or platinum jewelry, it will add a look of sophistication. The jewelry and gown’s fabric should blend well.

Family heirloom jewelry

Many times a bride will not need to buy wedding jewelry because there is heirloom jewelry that previous brides in the family have worn.

Makeup and hairstyle

Once you decided on the wedding gown, you need to consider your makeup and hairstyle. For example, if you have a stylish hairstyle and a dress that is a modern style choose big chandelier earrings. These can add just the sparkle your gown needs.

Your wedding band and stones

The wedding band is an emblem of promise and love between the bride and groom. Choose a design that looks classy and reflects both of your personalities, as they are more eye-catching when they are elegant, yet simple. Every gemstone has a look that is unique, from pearls to diamonds. When adding stones to the band, the engagement ring, or both, decide before hand the look you are trying to craft. There are semi-precious stones that come in different colors for those that have a lesser budget.

Men’s Tribal Jewelry

Silver tribal jewelry

This form of jewelry is mainly worn as a single piece like a neckpiece, earrings, or bracelet. When made from silver it is generally left unpolished in order to maintain that crude look. Silver body jewelry that is highly finished is very expensive but also fashionable. The bangles are usually carved with the designs of skeletons, animal heads and more. On the pendants, you will see molded faces of various Gods.

Organic tribal jewelry

If a man wants to look like a true tribal man then they need go organic. These pieces are made of animal parts, plants, shells, bamboo, wood, and amber. For making labret, earrings, septum, rings, and more, mineral stones such as quartz, agate, onyx, obsidian, amethyst, and more are used. The jewelry that is made from the horns and bones are generally used as a headpiece.

Iron tribal jewelry

This type of jewelry is very masculine and heavy. Make sure that you can wear this type and can carry it off. Iron casing of bangles and necklaces portray a savage way of thinking. The tribes of Middle Eastern and West African countries generally wear this tribal jewelry. To create a contemporary look sometimes iron tribal jewelry is blended with stainless steel. This jewelry is usually worn as thumb and toe rings, anklets, neckpieces, and bangles.

Cleaning Your Jewelry at Home

Ultrasonic cleaners are safe for most gemstones, but not all. Some examples are: opal, tanzanite, emeralds, and a few more. These should be cleaned manually with a brand new, soft toothbrush. I say brand new because an old one will have toothpaste residue which is abrasive. You can set this toothbrush aside and use it exclusively for this purpose. I know there are a lot of people who will suggest using toothpaste to clean and polish jewelry, but over time, this will dull the finish, or luster on softer gemstones.

There are several smaller ultrasonic cleaners that are suitable for use at home ranging in price from around $40 to around $500. A cheaper unit is fine if you will be using it for a few minutes once in a while, as they are not designed for continuous use. They will over-heat and burn out. The more expensive models are really not necessary if you are using it for jewelry and other small items. Your best bet is in the $100 to $150 range. These machines are powerful enough to do the job, and will last you a long time. The tank capacity on these units are from around one pint to around two quarts, which should be big enough for any jewelry, and things as large as a pair of eyeglass.

An ultrasonic cleaner will work with plain water, but it will work much better if some kind of soap is used. A small amount of dish detergent like “Dawn” will work fine. “Simple Green is also a good choice, there are also several cleaners available that were designed for use in ultrasonic cleaners. Adding ammonia will also help, but it can discolor or damage certain gemstones. Ammonia will ruin the luster on pearls instantly. Also never use anything containing chlorine, like bleach, or certain laundry detergents and scouring powders. Chlorine can be harmful to some jewelry alloys, especially white gold.

Common white gold is an alloy of gold, copper, and nickel. Chlorine will react with the copper and nickel contained in the alloy, causing it to become brittle with repeated exposure. Avoid wearing your white gold jewelry in hot tubs and swimming pools. If you’ve done this a few times, there is no problem, but repeated exposure can cause prong tips to break off, resulting in lost stones, weakening neck chains, and clasps. Even yellow gold alloys are subject to this, but only slightly. White gold is the most vulnerable.

If you are spending a few thousand dollars on a diamond ring, spend a little extra and insist your stone be set in a platinum, or palladium white gold setting. Platinum neck chains are also available, though they will cost a lot more, but are completely impervious to chlorine.

Picking Sapphire Color

Blue sapphire – The blue sapphire is exceptionally beautiful and has this royalty look to it. It symbolizes harmony and calm. It is among the most popular colors in the sapphire gemstone world and they are considered the most valuable.

Yellow sapphire – It might not be as popular, but it signifies status and wisdom and is also associated with wealth. The yellow stones range from light greenish yellow to a lighter version of the same to orange yellow that could have intense or weak color saturation. In essence, the finest yellow sapphire is one that is between yellow and orange with saturation that is vivid.

White sapphire – If you have a caring and kind nature, then this is the color that you should think about when choosing your sapphire because it represents care and kindness.

Pink sapphire – Pink sapphires range from red to purple with vivid to weak lighter tones and color saturation. The pink gemstones are a symbol of playfulness and love and can make very good engagement rings. Peach sapphire is also a very attractive option and one that is very feminine.

Green sapphire – Its low saturation and color zone that is not very attractive makes it less popular. The color is readily available, but unfortunately not as marketable compared to other colors.

Besides choosing sapphire colors in terms of their meanings and virtues, it is also important to remember that the color dictates the value of the gemstone and the prices therefore. Sapphires that are most preferred are those with vivid, strong color saturation. The color saturation needs to be strongest possible without darkening effect and brightness compromise. The darker and clearer the color of the stone the more valuable the sapphire and the higher the per carat prices so always take the time to check your stone before making your purchase.

Platinum Versus Gold Wedding Bands

  1. The Appearance: White gold is basically a mix of gold, various metal alloys and a plating of rhodium. It derives the white color from the rhodium plating and looks just like platinum. Over a period of time, the plating will wear off and make it appear grayish-yellow. Platinum on the other hand, is naturally white and retains its color throughout. You might have to re-plate women’s or men’s wedding bands in white gold but not the ones made using platinum.
  2. The Cost: There is a price difference between white gold and platinum. The latter is denser & retains it’s white color over time; whereas white gold doesn’t. To make a platinum ring, more metal is used compared to gold wedding bands. In addition, more labor is involved in making a platinum ring with a higher purity compared to mainstream white gold rings. This contributes to its higher price tag.
  3. The Durability: Platinum aces in the durability criteria. It is more durable than gold with wear. This means a platinum ring with stones have less chance of the stones falling off as compared to women’s or men’s white gold wedding bands. So, if you are planning to buy a wedding band with stones, platinum should be your first preference.
  4. The Comfort: Platinum women’s or men’s wedding rings are denser than women’s or men’s gold wedding rings, which makes them heavier as well. Some people want their rings to be a bit on the heavy side, others need something lighter. It really depends upon individual preferences.
  5. The Versatility: Both white gold and platinum are versatile metals. The rings made from these metals can be plain, intricately designed and with/without stones and still look lovely. Also, jewelry made from these metals can compliment all sorts of outfits.

When Buying a High Quality Diamond

Some of the terms commonly used on diamond certificates are explained below:

Stone ID – Every diamond is given its own unique ID, with all those numbers registered and stored in a global database.

Date – As you might have guessed, this is the date on which the report was issued.

Cut and Shape – Standard round brilliant is the most common shape, with the others referred to as fancy shapes or cuts. The name of the others is dependent on their shape. Among the most popular of this group are process cut, oval emerald, marquise, heart, radiant, and per-shaped.

Dimensions – Round shapes have dimensions stated as “largest diameter – smallest diameter X depth,” while other shapes are stated as “length X width X depth.”

Carat Weight – The weight of a gemstone is measured in carats, with .200 grams equal to 1 carat. The ct. abbreviation is usually used for the weight.

Graining – The crystal structure can have irregularities reflected by graining and grain lines. White, colored, or reflective graining may affect clarity grade, whereas colorless graining does not.

Proportions – This part of the certificate pertains to the angles and measurements of a polished diamond. The optical properties of a diamond are affected by proportions more than anything else. Pavilion depth, crown angle, and table size have been shown to have a dramatic impact on the appearance of a diamond.

Depth% – In fancy shapes, this is the depth divided by the width, while it is the depth divided by the average diameter in round diamonds.

Table% – In round diamonds, divide the average size of the table facet by the average diameter. The average table facet size is divided by the width in other shapes.

Girdle – The girdle refers to the outline of the diamond on the outside edge. On the certificate, the thickness of the girdle relative to diamond size is shown. The condition of the diamond, polished or faceted, is also taken into account.

Culet – The point at the bottom of the diamond is the culet. The size of the facet relative that of the diamond will appear on the certificate if the culet is faceted.

Finish – The polish or surface condition is represented in the finish grade, as are the shape, size, and placement of the facets.

Polish – This refers to how well the diamond cutter shaped and faceted a rough stone to deliver the finished article.

Symmetry – The facets and finished angles will have a certain level of symmetry once the cutter has finished working. Diamonds are all about brilliance and fire, and both are at their best when a diamond has been symmetrically cut and proportioned. The grading on the certificate is usually referred to as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor.

Cut – gain, brilliance and fire are at their best when the proportions and finish of the diamond are as they should be. When perfect proportions are deviated from, the beauty of the stone can be compromised.

Clarity – Very few diamonds are free from inclusions and blemishes. 10X magnification is used to grade diamonds from the very rare Flawless down to included. The number of inclusions, as well as size, nature, and position are used to grade clarity.

Color – Compares to Master Color diamonds to assess to an obvious Yellow (Z).

Pavillion Depth – This refers to the distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet. If the pavilion depth is to deep or shallow, light will escape from the sides or bottom from the stone. Diamonds that are cut well will direct more light through the crown.

Tolkowsky Ideal Cut: Marcel Tolkowsky was a Russian mathematician who calculated what it would take in terms of the proportions of facets in a round diamond so that it would be perfect. The beauty of a stone becomes compromised when there is a deviation from those designs.

Fluorescence – Diamonds tend to look more white, blue or yellow when exposed to UV light, which implies that they contain a property known as fluorescence. The average person cannot see these effect with the untrained eye, which is why gemologists include fluorescence as part of a diamond certificate. This element is more about the characteristics of the stone as opposed to being a grading factor.

Crown Height – The upper portion at the top of the diamond is where you find the crown height.

Choosing Perfect Diamond Wedding Rings

Shopping by shape

The most important cut is the brilliant round. When well-polished, it interacts with light to show hue from all directions. They offer the maximum sparkle and fire performance. This cut is also the most expensive
There are other fancy shapes that look great for the ring. Princess diamond cuts have a contemporary beauty that gives it the brilliance of a brilliant round but at a lower price. Cushion diamonds are great for vintage settings, while marquise shapes are perfect for traditional weddings. Other lovely shapes include pear, oval radiant, heart, emerald, and Asscher.

Choice of the carat weight and size

The weight of the diamond is measured in carats, with each carat being 0.2 grams. The value of diamonds goes up with higher carat points. The size of the diamond may or may not mean higher carat points. When selecting the perfect diamond for your ring, choose between the size and quality and make a tradeoff between the two depending on your budget. In most cases, the carat is used as the approximation of the size of the diamond. However, sometimes the actual dimensions are measured.

Choose the color and clarity of diamonds

Diamonds come with inclusions in them from the rocks where they were mined. The color of the inclusions may range from brown, yellow. Diamonds without any inclusions are colorless or icy white. The colorless diamond is the most expensive and very rare. The value of the rest increases with the minor inclusions.

The clarity of the diamond has to do with internal and external flows. If it is perfectly cut, polished and have few or no internal inclusions. The higher the clarity, the more sparkling the diamond.

Buy The Right Jewelry

Do your research

Just like when you are buying any other unit, you need to undertake a lot of research for you to buy the right necklace, bangle, or any other unit. The cool thing is that you can get a lot of valuable information online. In addition to researching the best and most reputable store to buy from, you should also familiarize yourself with the 4 C’S and the different types of metals used in making the jewelry. You should also take your time and know what you should look out for when buying the different pieces and how to evaluate their quality.

Paying a lot of attention on the trends

There is nothing wrong with following trends as it shows that you are a knowledgeable person; however, you shouldn’t allow it to be the sole determinant in making the decision on whether to make the purchase or not. Remember that trends come and go and what was trending yesterday might be a dinosaur today. For you to be comfortable wearing the piece for years, go with a unit that matches your style and preferences.

Don’t buy under pressure

Buying under pressure comes about when you wait until the last minute to make the purchase. In most cases, this result to you making the wrong decision and you end up buying a unit that you aren’t proud of. Experts recommend that you start your research at least several months before your occasion. This way you have enough time to visit a number of stores and see what they offer.