Jewelry Insurance

A great friend of mine and client recently sent me an email telling me her rings had been lost. ツIts something you think will never happen but is devastating if it does. ツA couple of quick tips about your protecting your rings:

1. Never wear your rings into an open body of water (lake, ocean etc) – you may think your ring fits snug but when splashing around in the water the temperature difference in combination with the activity can cause your rings to slip right off.

2. Be careful doing dishes – the soap and water combined can cause your rings to come off and inevitably go down the drain. ツI take my rings off any time I am doing dishes or any sort of cleaning around the house – better safe than sorry.

3. Do not wear your rings swimming in a pool. ツMuch like tip 1 your rings can come off, but more importantly the chlorine can pit the metal – thereby damaging your rings.

4. In general to make sure you do not damage your rings or lose them it is important to not wear them at the gym or during any rough activity (heavy gardening, tennis, etc.) – any activity where you think the metal could get squashed against your hand.

The ring from the concert

I know it sounds silly but I was at a concert and wearing my engagement ring and a ring on my right hand and just my excessive clapping and my engagement ring made little pits into the metal of the other ring – it now looks like a waffle design.

I am also re-posting this information regarding jewelry insurance. ツMost homeowners insurance policies cover jewelry but only individual pieces costing between $2500 to $5000. ツIf your engagement ring, wedding ring or any family heirloom jewelry cost more than $5000.00 the insurance may not cover it. ツYou must check with your insurance company. ツIf you do not have homeowners insurance or renters insurance there are a number of jewelry insurance agencies in the market. ツHere are a few key questions I recommend asking your insurance agent 窶ヲ

  1. Is an appraisal necessary in order to secure full coverage?ツ (Most jewelry stores will be able to supply you with an appraisal 窶 fees can range from $75 to $175.ツ A certificate on the diamond from the GIA, AGS, EGL etc. is not the same as an appraisal).
  2. If there is a loss, can I choose between a cash payout or do I have to get a replacement piece?
  3. With the ever increasing cost in metals how does that affect my insured jewelry?
  4. What are my options in coverage for my jewelry?
  5. Are there any exclusions?
  6. In general you may wish to shop around for the right coverage as insurance rates can differ from company to company.ツ Also, if you travel quite a bit, especially to off the beaten path areas, you may want to double check with your insurance company regardingツthe specifics of coverage while traveling.

Here are some links to some insurance companies:

In the United States and Canada – ツJewelers Mutual (this is the only one I have personally worked with)

In Canada – ツChubb Insurance

In Europe – Hiscox

Worldwide – Only Jewelry Insurance

Fit for a Queen

I had the opportunity to visit the QueenツElizabeth’s personal jewelry collection which was on display this year as part of her Jubilee celebration.ツ ツIt is the first time that seven of the nine Cullinan diamonds have been on display together.ツ The other two Cullinan diamonds are part of the Crown jewels collection and are on display at the Tower of London (they are owned by the United Kingdom, and not part of the Queen窶冱 personal collection).ツ Displayed in a dimly lit room within the palace, the perfectly placed pin lights allowed the diamonds to sparkle magnificently.ツ As I slowly wandered from display case to display case I was constantly impressed with not only the variety of colors of diamonds used, (from M-P yellows, to light greys and light browns, as well as some pinks and blues) but how well the diamonds were blended together.ツ It took me pressing my nose against the glass to be able to distinguish the different colors set within the crowns. Of course the show stoppers were the Cullinan窶冱 themselves.ツ As large as life, they were each set into jewelry that complemented their size, color and clarity. Ah, to be the Queen!

Re-Inventing THE RING

Well, the Swiss have done it again窶ヲ not only are they known for their fabulous chocolates and premiere watches but now they have made their mark on the diamond world.ツ Shawish Jewelry, in an unprecedented marketing endeavor, has created the world窶冱 first complete diamond ring.ツ That窶冱 right, no metal what-so-ever.ツ Which means you must have the correct finger size if you wish to own this one-of-a-kind diamond creation. ツAt 150 carats this ring cannot be missed!ツ It will be interesting to see who decides to pay the 70 million in order to be the proud owner.ツ As a self professed diamond gem geek, who constantly advises clients on the importance of cut, I wonder what the dispersion is like? In other words 窶 does it sparkle like 70 million?

Diamond Hunting

What could be more romantic than having a diamond engagement ring made with a diamond that your beloved found?ツ Although it can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, enough diamonds have been found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, that diamond hunters keep returning.ツ Lets face it, for just the entrance fee to the park you have the opportunity to save thousands on your engagement ring. ツYou might be as lucky as the Texan who found a 16.37ctツ diamond.ツWhat a ring that would make! While it may not qualify as an extreme engagement, you know it would be a one-in-a-million story.ツ And what could be more perfect for a one-in-a-million love.

They Are Engaged!

While it is traditional for the parents of the soon-to-be bride to send an engagement announcement to the local newspapers of her hometown…sometimes, you get engaged in South Africa and your 窶徙fficial窶 announcement is done by the Italian Motorbike Owners Club.ツ Well, that’s what happens when you say yes to a biker boy – I wouldn窶冲 have it any other way! SA Engagement Picture

The 4 Most Important Words

“Will you marry me?”ツ People dream about hearing those four little words, but what hoops would you jump through before saying them?ツ To what lengths would you go to prove your love? Would you climb Mount Everest?ツ Would you reprogram a computer game?ツ I was surprised and delighted by whatツI discovered while researching my latest article about engagement traditions.ツツI hope you will be too.ツ

Rock Your Wedding

As you may or may not know, after I am fortunate enough to work with someone on their engagement ring, I am usually called back for a bit of advice regarding wedding bands.ツ It窶冱 never at the top of a newly engaged couples 窶弋o Do窶 list.ツ That窶冱 usually Church, Venue, Dress.ツ I am usually located in the middle near DJ and cake.ツ While everything on the 窶弋o Do窶 list needs to get done, I want to talk for a minute about one of my neighbors 窶 DJ.ツ This is the unsung hero of the wedding reception.ツ We all remember the great wedding where we danced the night away and every song was so good we just couldn窶冲 sit down.ツ Conversely, we have all been stuck at that wedding reception where one poorly chosen song after another rambles on 窶 you half expect a tumble weed to go rolling across the empty dance floor.ツ

So ladies and gentlemen, l say ROCK YOUR WEDDING!!!!ツ

You know how I like to share – because good things should never be kept secret.ツ As I plan my own wedding I was introduced to Sound Image Entertainment.ツ Can I say love at first sight and not mean my fiancテゥ?ツ Brandon and Kami are a fun loving couple who just want to make your day as special as possible.ツ Not only will they spin the tunes that keep everyone groovin窶, they have the power to transform any venue with the mere power of light.ツ They are kinda like wedding reception super-heroes.ツ I know, I gush, but you don窶冲 have to take my word for it, check out all the other happy couples they have worked with.

Trust me when I tell you, if you are getting married in the Sacramento area and need a DJ, Brandon and Kami,ツof Sound Image Entertainment, are the only people you need to call. And if you can窶冲 trust Diamond Jen, who can you trust?

Bling For Hire

Look like a million, feel like a million. Wear a million?ツ For most women, their wedding day is THE EVENT.ツ Aside from the rock they are sporting from their engagement most ladies would like a little extra bling to adorn their necks, ears and wrists.ツ But what if you are not lucky enough to have a safe full of diamonds to choose from?ツ Must you settle for costume jewelry?ツ No!ツ Recently I came across two companies that actually lend out diamond jewelry for special events, Adorn and Bag, Borrow or Steal.

These fabulous companies have done all the work for you by bringing together some hot designers with beautiful real diamond jewelry for you to rent. ツRentals can be just for your special occasion or as long as a few months.ツ Adorn will even allow you take the jewelry overseas if you have a destination wedding planned.ツ

Before you start filling up your shopping cart, there is some fine print involved.ツ A credit check is run prior to any jewelry being shipped.ツ The jewelry is insured during shipping, and while you are wearing it but if you return the piece after its due date there can be some pretty hefty fines involved.ツ If something happens to the piece of jewelry you may be responsible for 33% of its retail value or more and while the situation is being resolved you may still be racking up daily rental fees.ツ So ladies, read the fine print, because I have only listed the highlights here and each company is different.ツ

Once the reading is done, let the bling borrowing begin!

Valentine’s Rescue

Roses, chocolates and jewelry are always a safe bet on Valentine窶冱 Day 窶 but maybe this year time slipped by a little too fast and now the big day is upon you and you forgot to make reservations or buy flowers.ツ What is a person to do?ツ Its Valentine窶冱 Day 窶 ahhhh!ツ Never fear, on the AOTR facebook page there are 5 easy and inexpensive suggestions on how to show your loved one that they are still the one who makes your heart skip a beat.ツYou will never go wrong with old fashioned romance.ツ Just in case in you need it, here is a love poem in a pinch 窶 its one of my fav窶冱 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,窶祢 love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!窶蚤nd, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Diamond Rush

I recently visited the Cape Town Diamond Museumツlocated atツthe Waterfront of Cape Town, South Africa.ツ If you happen to be in the area I highly recommend a visit.ツ The museum does a fantastic job of explaining the formation of diamonds and demonstrating the process of cutting/polishing.ツ Beyond that, the museum takes you through the unique relationship between the diamond industry and South Africa.ツ Did you know for instance, that between the 1870’s and 1880窶冱 that 95% of the world窶冱 diamond were mined in South Africa 窶 creating the first 窶彭iamond rush.窶敖 The museum is a non-profit organization run by Shimanskyツ – the leading name in quality diamonds in Cape Town.ツ Visiting the museum can be completed in less than an hour 窶 leaving plenty of time for diamond shopping!

A Very Lucky Sign

2012 has begun with the Chinese Year of The Black Water Dragon 窶 a year which should involve something unexpected and be rich with success and luck.ツ I think all of us can get a little excited over that.ツ People born under the Dragon sign are meant to be driven and passionate, unafraid of a challenge.ツ The dragon, was for Chinese emperors, the ultimate emblem 窶 having 窶彭ragon thrones窶 and 窶彭ragon gowns.”ツ I am guessing they probably had a little dragon jewelry too.ツ A toast, to the Black Water Dragon and the luckiest year ever!!!

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Over the years I have seen some exquisite pieces of jewelry.ツ Some of it in museums, some being worn, some in vaults in private collections.ツ Some pieces were dazzling but totally impractical and some pieces were so creative in nature, that only their owner could love them.ツ You all know what I am talking about, that hideous piece of jewelry that someone is super proud of and loves to show off.ツ There are even contests on the web for ugly jewelry.ツ But here is the thing; jewelry is a way to mark significant events, significant emotions and a way to spoil ourselves. So while a gold coin necklace, surrounded by brown diamonds and seed pearls, may not be your cup of tea 窶 if it marks the grand European trip that someone took when they were 20 and met the love of their life, who are we to judge? So I say live it up 窶 wear it all 窶 love it all!!

A Pumpkin Every Girl Would Want

Just for Halloween – the infamous Pumpkin diamond is a 5.54ct Cushion cut, Fancy Vivid Orange. As one of the world窶冱 largest fancy vivid orange diamonds it窶冱 a pumpkin any girl can love 窶 including Diamond Jen. The Pumpkin Diamond gave good luck to actress Halle Berry, as she wore it to the 2002 Academy Awards when she won the Best Actress Oscar.ツ Originally purchased at a Sotheby窶冱 auction by Harry Winston for $ 1.3 million 窶 it was named by Winston because he purchased the Pumpkin Diamond on Halloween Eve.

In Case You Were Wondering

Ever wonder where the anniversary list came from? Well I did. Take a stroll with me down history lane and find out why aluminum is technically an acceptable alternative to diamonds for your 10th anniversary.

FYI you can always find the anniversary lists on the advice on THE RING facebook page in the notes section and in the photo albums.ツ,-Why-Did-You-Buy-Me-This?&id=6070801

Dotting the i’s and Crossing the T’s

I was recently asked by a customer about insuring their new diamond engagementツring 窶ヲ I won窶冲 bore you with too many details but I thought it worth sharing that there are a few key questions I recommend asking your insurance agent 窶ヲ

  1. Is an appraisal necessary in order to secure full coverage?ツ (Most jewelry stores will be able to supply you with an appraisal 窶 fees can range from $75 to $175.ツ A certificate on the diamond from the GIA, AGS, EGL etc. is not the same as an appraisal).
  2. If there is a loss, can I choose between a cash payout or do I have to get a replacement piece?
  3. With the ever increasing cost in metals how does that affect my insured jewelry?
  4. What are my options in coverage for my jewelry?
  5. Are there any exclusions?

In general you may wish to shop around for the right coverage as insurance rates can differ from company to company.ツ Also, if you travel quite a bit, especially to off the beaten path areas you may want to double check with your insurance company regardingツthe specifics of coverage while traveling.

Happy Fourth of July!

As Americans get set to celebrate their patriotism with bbq, flags and fireworks I thought it only fitting to talk about the three colors that will be surrounding every citizen for the next few days 窶 red, white and blue, but with a diamond twist (of course).

As you may know from reviewing this website or visiting diamond exhibits in museums or even some avid shopping at your local jewelry store, natural diamonds come in every color of the rainbow.ツ ツDiamond color can even be enhanced by man through a variety of treatments, but today we are keeping it real and only discussing natural colored diamonds.

Red diamonds are the rarest color for diamonds.ツ It is estimated that worldwide only 100 red diamonds have been discovered, with only 3 of those being over 5cts.ツ Compare that to the 87, 000 carats of gem quality diamonds that were mined in 2008 alone.ツ The largest red diamond is the Moussaieff Red (rare or big diamonds tend to get names) 窶 a 13.90ct Fancy Red, natural colored diamond, as confirmed by the GIA.ツ This diamond was purchased for an unknown amount in 2001 or 2002 by Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd. ツThe Argyle Mine in Australia is the world窶冱 largest producer of pink diamonds and occasionally find a red diamond as well.ツ In 2010, for the first time in Australia, Argyle auctioned off a red diamond.ツ However, the diamond failed to sell.ツ The 0.82 ct is predicted to sell through a private sale for around 900,000 Australian Dollars.

White diamonds is not just a perfume endorsed by Ms. Elizabeth Taylor窶ヲ. It is a phrase commonly used to describe colorless diamonds or diamonds with a color grade of D, E, or F.ツ However, there is a fancy colored diamond that is graded as 窶廡ancy White.窶敖 Although uncommon, I have had the pleasure of examining one while I worked at the GIA lab. ツThe best way I can describe it is to ask you to imagine a lake in the morning – when it is cold outside and the lake is warm, creating an eerie misty fog which slowly rises off the water giving you that mystical feeling you get when you read about King Arthur and the lady in the lake 窶 now take that foggy image and trap it inside a diamond. To me, that is a fancy white.ツ It is not the same as a diamond that has big cloud inclusion; it is much more unique and beautiful than that.

Blue diamonds are colored by the trace element Boron. The most famous blue diamond is the Hope Diamond, which is on display at the Smithsonian.ツ This stunning 45.52ct fancy blue may be worth as much as $250,000,00.00. ツIt was also said to be cursed and brought bad luck to all of its previous owners.ツ Blue diamonds, more than any other color, seem to be associated with mysterious origins and often claim to be former eyes of idols in India.ツ In fact there is a blue diamond that is called the Idol窶冱 Eye 窶 a 70.21ct 窶彙luish窶 diamond is semi-triangular in shape.ツ The perfect example, that when it comes to fancy colored diamond you cut to show off the color and don窶冲 worry as much about sticking to traditional diamond facet arrangements.

A Pinch of Salt Over Your Left Shoulder

I know I should probably save this one for Halloween, but as I was researching another project I came across some superstitions regarding engagement rings and felt the need to share. ツ

They say to lose, alter or remove your engagement ring is bad luckツor at the very least a bad omen.ツ The worst of all is to allow another woman to wear your engagement ring, it seems that窶冱 kind act will result in that woman stealing your man!

For those hopeful romantics out there, they say that the light that shines off a diamond (the sparkle factor, as I like to call it) wards of evil spirits.ツ May be it blinds them?

Conversely, they say that the brilliance of a diamond will dim when it comes in the vicinity of a lie or a liar.ツ Careful ladies, you don窶冲 want poor jewelry cleaning habits to convince you that you窶决e surrounded by fibbers.

Some of these superstitions may be familiar and some may be new 窶 but this is not the something old and something new they are referring to in the 窶徭omething borrowed and blue窶 adage.ツ Never let a superstition get in the way of a good relationship.

Cape Point

A must see of South Africa is of course Cape Point.ツ The beautiful national park has miles of trails to hike, fabulous camp grounds and of course spectacular views.ツツ

Our trip included seeking out a shipwreck, visiting the lighthouse and of course a mini photo safari.ツ According to the literature the 窶彙ig five窶 of Cape Point is Zebra, Baboon, Antelope, Ostrich and Whale.ツ But we decided since the Whale is only seasonal that the Daussi 窶 a ground hog like creature -ツwho is a year round resident, deserved to make the list.ツ

While our shipwreck adventure was a bit disappointing – seems the sea had reclaimed the ancient vessel after a few decades of constant attention from the waves.ツ However, we were not disappointed by the wildlife one bit.ツ the Baboons found lounging on the grass and roof top to their liking, while the Ostrich and Antelope enjoyed a nice lunch in the fields and by the ocean.ツ The Daussi, a more social creature, enjoyed milling about with the tourists at the lighthouse.ツ We ticked off four out of five on the list :)

Table Mountain

Admittedly I am a bit behind in the blogging…distracted by the beauty of this country combined with the spotty internet service….ツ Sufficed to say I did not fall off the map, nor Table Mountain.ツ Table Mountain, arguably the most recognizable of Cape Towns geologic features, is also one of its greatest tourist attractions.

A charming cable car ascends the 3500 feet to the top of the mountain.ツ As you rise, the rotating floor provides you with breathtaking views of Cape Town and the surrounding countryside.ツ The more adventurous can opt to hike to the top of the mountain and abseil down if they wish.

Our visit was a beautiful sunny day with very little wind – which can be rare at the top of Table Mountain.ツ But windy or not be sure to bring your sunscreen and a hat if you are of the fair skinned variety – as with all of South Africa the sun is very strong. Once we arrived at the top I was impressed by the views, the amount of tourists and the fabulous looking food they served at the cafe (we only got an ice-cream).ツ I was also perplexed by the amount of parents who thought it was a good idea to hang their children over the edge of the railing in order to get a better view – as if being able to see miles in every direction behind the safety of the railing was just not good enough and the extra 2 feet of arms length really was required for the children to see better.

We wandered the trails along the top of the mountain, stopping occasionally to soak in the majesty of it all.ツ The trails can go for quite a distance and you could spend several hours just hiking along the top.ツ I would recommend packing a picnic lunch, finding a secluded spot and stealing a romantic moment.

While in Cape Town you may notice the phenomenon of the “table cloth” that occasionally adorns Table Mountain.ツ Its when the clouds form a thin layer right over the top of the mountain and part way down the side.ツ I learned during this visit that this is not a random freak of nature but rather a smoking contest between the Devil and the pirate Van Hunks – as they puff away at their pipes the table cloth appears.

From Kloofing to Fire Fighting

We had an amazing adventure of Kloofing and camping arranged for the weekend of April 15th, but fate has a funny way of changing plans.ツ We spent the night at the Uva Mira vineyard with a scheduled departure time of 12:30 pm on Saturday to begin our adventure.ツ Well, we had an adventure alright.ツ Noticing the smoke coming from the other side of the valley and the flames on top of the mountain we figured it was best to stick around Uva Mira to see if we could be of any help.ツ As it turns out we spent the day helping to evacuate the main house and then Derrick stayed to help fight the fire.ツ The fires burned on and around Uva Mira until Monday night.ツ Luckily there was only one injury, and all the buildings were saved.ツ It was my first fire and I was impressed how the surrounding farms and vineyards all called to offer assistance and men.ツ It was inspiring to see the groups of men arrive ready, willing and able to help keep the fire at bay.ツ The fire department in South Africa is nothing like that in America.ツ They have more of a hands-off policy than a hands-on policy.ツ Had it not been for the Uva Mira staff the place would have been lost.ツ Of course Derrick had a vested interested in helping to save the vineyard as it is his ancestral home, but had it not been for he and the team of men he led, the main house would have gone up in flames.ツ My many thanks to everyone who helped with the evacuation and fire fighting.ツ It is certainly an experience I will never forget but possibly an adventure I could have done without.

For more information on the Stellenbosch/Helderberg fire click on the link.

Diamond Fact:ツ Well this one is a bit off the norm, but is certainly apropos. . . The Fire Diamond is a four colored diamond that appears on the sides of building and tanks in the United States.ツ These signs indicate the level of chemical hazard located within the container or building. They are made up of the colors blue, red, yellow and white.ツ The numbers superimposed over the colors indicate the severity of the danger.

Celebrating Diamond Month in South Africa

April is diamond month and I thought to myself what better way to celebrate then with a trip to South Africa.ツ Granted I am staying and exploring around Cape Town where there are no diamond mines – but lets face it Cape Town has just oodles more to do.ツ After spending a couple of days recovering from jet lag and visiting with friends, today started with a nice little abseiling adventure in Paarl.ツ The view from Paarl rock was stunning – the whole valley opened below us as we descended the 45 meters to the bottom.ツ It was a bit of a test before our big Kloofing/abseiling adventure weekend.ツ More details to come…

Diamond Fact: When diamonds were first discovered in South Africa the world believed that it was only a source for yellow diamonds and did not necessarily consider it a significant find.ツ It was not until the discovery of the Excelsior diamond, 971 3/4 ctツ “white” diamond, that the world began to take notice of South Africa as a viable and then significant resource for fine goods.

Japan Earthquake Relief Links

My prayers go out to all those affected by the earthquake in Japan.ツ If anyone is interested in making donationsツ you can contribute to the Red Cross relief fund or purchase a bracelet and include an additional donation through the Lady Gaga website.

Royal Wedding

With the world all a buzz and clamoring for information its no surprise that the Royals have responded – theツ Royal wedding website has been launched!ツ I congratulate Prince William and soon-to-be Princess Catherine and am beyond pleased that her gorgeous sapphire ring is no longer hidden away.ツ But what would a wedding be without a little scandal.ツ It seems Sarah Ferguson was not invited to the wedding .ツ Well, it is an intimate ceremony after all, with only your family and closest 1900 friends.ツ While the article I have linked to is basically pure conjecture, it is a fun read.ツ The other ruffle involves Facebook shutting down Kate Middleton accounts around the world, without notification.ツ If those are the only scandals that pop up then I would say the royal love birds have nothing to worry about.ツ What they really need to be concerned about is how they look on those commemorative coins.

Oscar Sparkles

We all watch the Oscars to see who the winners are.ツ Maybe some of us are also drawn by the acceptance speeches or the potential flubs that occur with live T.V.ツ But the fashion and jewelry industry keep a sharp eye on the red carpet to predict upcoming trends.ツ In general I found this year窶冱 red carpet to be a bit subdued from the jewelry point of view.ツ There were a shocking amount of empty necks 窶 it seems this year窶冱 trend is the beauty of the bare dテゥcolletテゥ.ツ To make up for it though most of you窶决e A list stars wore wide cuff bracelets 窶 stacked or worn alone, these versions of arm candy, helped bring a little bling to the red carpet.ツ Dazzling earrings were the accent feature of choice for most of our leading ladies.ツ Hats off to Annette Bening, Reese Witherspoon and Marisa Tomei for bringing color back.ツ Although not very visible, thanks to the camera angles, large fashion rings seemed to be all the rage.ツ When all is said and done, the Oscar for most stunning jewelry goes to the ever-stylish Nicole Kidman.ツ The 150 carat, old-mine cut diamond necklace was a show stopper.ツ Now that窶冱 a piece of jewelry worth writing home about 窶 yummy!

Diamonds Everywhere!

Over the years I have seen many objet d窶兮rt created to give 窶彙uzz窶 to certain jewelry designers, or bring attention to branded products.ツ While everything I have seen thus far was either beautiful or unusual (like a diamond encrusted watch in the shape of a dragon), I have never before seen one I would actually want to own 窶 until I went to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA.ツ As I wandered through the halls, drooling over the stunning cars, I came across The Elvis II 窶 a 1959 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz Convertible.ツ This car was built in homage to Elvis窶 love of Cadillac窶冱.ツ My eye was first caught by the beautiful lines of the car and the sparkle of the crystals used in the hood ornament but I didn窶冲 fall in love until I learned that the custom 窶廬ce Blue Pearl窶 paint job contained 10 carats of crushed diamonds.ツ I窶冤l take one to go please!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you need a little love inspiration check out the story of Cupid and Psyche on the advice on THE RING facebook page.

**Don’t forget to clickツ “view full note”

Not Just Regular Romance

There are only two days left before the big V-Day 窶 have you gotten your special someone a special something?ツ Looking for something romantic other than a fancy dinner and flowers but don窶冲 want to break the bank?ツ Here are a few suggestions that might be worth a try窶ヲ窶ヲツ How about a romantic, candlelit, bubble bath with your sweethearts favorite cocktail (chocolates are always a winner in this situation as well).ツ If you are not a poet you can always Google romantic poetry and copy the words of famous romantics and leave them as little love notes around the house for your sweetheart to find.ツツ Flowers are always a good idea but maybe instead of the standard roses you could give your honey their birth-flower 窶 for help check out How about making your sweetie breakfast in bed for a nice surprise 窶 even if you can窶冲 cook, a bowl of cereal with toast, or fruit and some juice will still win you points.ツ Book a couples massage 窶 that窶冱 a win, win for all involved 窶 I promise!ツ Pack a picnic lunch, grab your sweetheart and head off to your closest body of water 窶 the beach, the river, a lake 窶 find a secluded spot and enjoy some much deserved private time.ツ Sign up for a cooking class 窶 you know what they say about couples that cook together, they really cook together.ツ Surprise your sweetie at their work place for a spontaneous couples lunch.ツ Why not download the Star Walk app, grab your honey, a blanket and head away from the city lights for some romantic stargazing.ツ Of course, what kind of engagement expert would I be if I did not recommend the ultimate Valentine gift 窶 a proposal!

The Valentine Piggy!

Remember being in grade school and passing out Valentine’s cards to the entire class.ツ The Valentine Piggy has come to remind us of Valentine’s past – to not only express your love to that special someone but to all those you care about.

Making New Friends

You never know where life will take you or who you will meet along the way.ツ On a recent trip to South Africa I had a nine hour lay-over in Ghana.ツ While there I started chatting with a group of gentlemen who worked for an off shore drilling company.ツ As we got to know each other better, they discovered not only was I a gemologist but a nerdy geologist as well. It was then they were kind enough to reveal to me that once-upon-a-time they had been involved in the off-shore diamond mining projects in Namibia.ツ Naturally I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.ツ Time flew by as they were happy to answer any and all of my questions and the bonus 窶 they even shared pictures with me of their experience on the rigs!

Diamonds are typically mined off the west coasts of South Africa and Namibia.

Fun Facts: The first coastal diamond discovery in Namibia was near the town of Luderitz in 1908.ツ Namibian diamond reserves for both land based mining and off-shore deposits have been estimated at 1.5 billion carats.

Additional pictures available at the advice on THE RING Facebook page.

Tis’ The Season!

It窶冱 that time of year again窶ヲ.. during my travels through the past week I have noticed lots of smiling faces and stores decorated with holiday cheer. ツWhether we bear the crowds and traffic in search of the perfect gift or just develop a callous from using our mouse to search the internet until we are nauseous窶ヲ. ツI am reminded of the most common question I am asked outside of the engagement ring realm.ツ Once my honey already has the engagement ring and the wedding band 窶 what do I buy next? The answer depends what you are looking for, because jewelry, in my humble opinion, always makes a great gift no matter the occasion.ツ Then it窶冱 just a matter of budget.ツ A nice bracelet or pendant goes a long way.ツ Most people also forget to buy themselves a nice dress watch for special occasions or big meetings.ツ But if you are looking for a diamond recommendation, I say go for studs or the solitaire pendant and you can窶冲 go wrong.ツ Diamond studs work withツANY outfit and will be worn almost as often as that engagement ring!