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Classy Carats Blog
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Classy Carats Blog

Thank you for checking out my blog in order to learn more.

There are three simple rules for buying the right diamond: 

Buy a diamond only with an open heart, only from someone you trust, and only if it speaks to you.

June-1-10

Fringe is the new style

Posted by admin under Latest News

Likely you are seeing “fringe” in jewelry recently, especially with earrings and pendants.  This gives movement and is a fun new look.  Call us if you are looking for a great new update to your jewelry wardrobe.  Classy Carats sells sterling silver also, not only gold.  Having both gold and sterling silver lets you adapt the color of your metal to your outfit and prevents boredom from wearing the same pieces day in and day out.  Colored stones in your pieces give an extra “pop” of color too.

August-10-08

Diamond List

Posted by admin under Diamond List

Following is an inventory of beautiful loose diamonds that I have access to.  It is impossible for me to stock all shape options, such as Brilliant Cut (round), Princess Cut, Radiant, Oval, Marquise, Pear Shape, Cushion, Heart Shape, Trillion, much less the weight, color, and clarity variations that are attractive to a client. 

These stones are examples of inventory from my trusted diamond suppliers that I have worked with for years.  Availability can change at a moment’s notice.  Keep in mind also that I work with you in selecting a diamond; you do not attempt this alone.  It requres a trained professional. and visual inspection of the stone.  We will discuss what you are looking for and I will determine the best options for you from the diamond cutters/suppliers that I am comfortable with.

August-10-08

Lori Bonn, Jewelry Designer

Posted by admin under Lori Bonn

At the Jewelry, Diamond, and Colored Stone in Las Vegas in June, I happened upon the booth for Lori Bonn’s creations.  I feel that this was “meant to be!” 

Lori Bonn’s unique, handcrafted jewelry is made using colored stones and sterling silver, with great attention to detail.  More than a dozen collections are created by Lori each year, reflecting the fashion trends and colors for the season.  After the collection is sold it is then retired. 

Details about her “clear conscience” jewelry is that those involved in manufacturing are paid a living wage with benefits–health care, life insurance, paid time off, pension, prenatal care and maternity leave.  Half of all managers are women. 

At least 50 percent post-industrial recycled silver is used in her designs, and they are working to develop a local source for 100 percent recycled silver.  Diamonds used are Kimberly-compliant, meaning that conflict diamonds are not used in her pieces.

Lori’s committment to making timeless, beautiful jewelry is matched only by her passion for ensuring a sustainable planet.  That is why she and her husband, Bill, are taking active measures to make their pieces as socially and environmentally responsible as possible.

Mixing bold silhouettes with intricate detailing, Lori Bonn has struck upon a style that has won her a loyal following, including celebrities like Alicia Silverstone and Hillary Duff, and has even been featured on the hit television show “24″.

Lori Bonn’s extraordinary pieces were selected for the Ultimate Nominee Bag–for television and film award nominees including Hillary Swank, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Teri Hatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Johnny Depp, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Her striking jewelry creates an important fashion statement, and is very affordable.

To see her line, go to www.loribonn.com

Diamonds: Secrets to Keeping Your Diamond Sparkling

Carlsbad, Calif. – Diamond is the hardest natural substance on Earth. It can cut any kind of rock or metal, but only another diamond can cut a diamond. In fact, a diamond must be heated to a temperature of 1292 degrees Fahrenheit before it will burn. Yet the oil deposited from the mere touch of a human finger can cause dirt to collect and make this nearly indestructible gemstone quickly lose its sparkling appeal.

So how can you keep your diamond looking its very best? The nonprofit Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – regarded as the world’s foremost authority in gemology – offers the following tips on diamond care:

Handle your diamond sparingly. Because diamonds are natural magnets for grease, they’re not easy to keep clean. Handling a diamond with your fingers provides enough oils from your skin (the type of “grease” that most affects diamonds) to alter the way your diamond looks.

Clean your diamond regularly. A simple plan to keep your diamond jewelry always looking beautiful is to soak the diamond in an ammonia-based household cleaner (such as window cleaner) overnight, once or twice weekly. In the morning, remove the diamond from the cleaner and brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush (one that has not previously been used in any way, and that you reserve exclusively for cleaning your diamond) to remove any leftover dirt. Take extra care to brush the back of the diamond as this will be the area that has collected the most oil and dirt.

Be aware that fragile settings and estate jewelry won’t take kindly to being scrubbed with a toothbrush, so use a soft touch. Then, just rinse the diamond with water and wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Don’t use harmful solutions. Chlorine (as in household bleach) or abrasives (such as household cleansers or toothpaste) should never be used when cleaning diamonds, especially those set in jewelry. These erode some of the metals often used in diamond settings, and may loosen prongs, or even dissolve the metal completely.

Sometimes an ultrasonic cleaner is necessary to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. By sending high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution, ultrasonic cleaners cause vibrating fluid to remove accumulated dirt and grime. However, they can also shake loose stones from their mounting, so this method shouldn’t be used on fragile settings (or estate jewelry), and is best undertaken by a professional jeweler.

Regular cleaning will keep your diamond jewelry in gleaming condition and ready to sparkle on that special occasion.

If you have additional questions on diamond care, seek the advice of a qualified jeweler – ideally someone who has been educated by GIA. Visit www.gia.edu and check out the GIA Alumni Association database for a list of members in your area.

 

 

Diamonds: 3 Basic Steps to Buying a Diamond

Carlsbad, Calif. – Buying a diamond can be a significant purchase – both emotionally and financially. As with any major acquisition, you want to make sure you have a basic understanding of what to look for so that you get the ring or other diamond jewelry you want.   According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – the world’s foremost gemological authority in gemology – buying the diamond of your dreams should be worry-free of you follow three basic steps:

Step 1:  Choose a qualified jeweler. Choose your jeweler as you would choose your doctor, lawyer or any other professional.  Ideally your jeweler will be a GIA Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) or a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional (A.J.P.). In addition, look for affiliations with jewelry industry groups and professional associations. A knowledgeable jeweler will clearly explain the “4Cs” of diamond quality and will encourage you to compare diamonds to suit your price range.

Step 2:  Learn the “4Cs” of diamond quality. The key to a diamond’s value is its rarity and no two diamonds are alike. Rarity is determined by a diamond’s unique characteristics as measured by the 4Cs:  Carat (weight), Clarity, Color and Cut. Using these criteria, a small diamond of exceptional quality will likely be more valuable than a larger diamond of lower quality.
Carat: Diamonds are weighed using metric carats. A carat weighs about the same as a small paper clip. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 “points.”  This means that a diamond of 50 points weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on their clarity, color and cut.

• Clarity:  Created by nature, most diamonds contain unique birthmarks called “inclusions” (internal) and “blemishes” (external).  Diamonds with few birthmarks are rare – and rarity translates to cost. Using the internationally recognized GIA Diamond Grading System, diamonds are given a clarity grade that ranges from flawless, to diamonds with more prominent inclusions (I3).

• Color:  Colorless diamonds are extremely rare and highly valued.  Most are nearly colorless with yellow or brown tints. The GIA Diamond Grading System uses letters to represent colors, beginning with D (colorless) and ending at Z (light yellow or brown).

• Cut:  While diamonds come in many different shapes, from round brilliants to hearts, pears and marquise, cut has to do with the proportions. The well-cut diamond uses light to create brilliance, sparkles and flashes of fire.

Step 3: Ask for an independent diamond grading report. For the ultimate peace of mind, ask your jeweler to provide an independent diamond grading report with your diamond.  The most widely used and respected reports are those issued by the independent GIA Gem Trade Laboratory, who provides reports on the world’s most important diamonds. A professional jeweler can arrange to have your diamond graded and even have a personal message or unique GIA Grading Report number laser-inscribed onto the diamond’s outer edge, called the girdle.

Like true love, a diamond’s light and brilliance will not diminish with time.  To learn more about the 4Cs of diamond quality, or to have your diamond laser-inscribed by the non-profit Gemological Institute of America, contact your local jeweler or visit www.gia.edu.

Caring for Jewelry—What You Need to Know

 
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Jewelry is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. An elegant pair of pearl and platinum earrings, for example, makes an individual statement, nestled against the skin and resplendent in lustrous light. Yet, according to experts at the nonprofit GIA, chemicals found in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, or other cosmetics can permanently damage the nacre of your dazzling pearl , and can corrode the alloys in that shiny setting. Understanding how to care for your treasured jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping its heirloom quality sparkling for generations to come.

GIA says that light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s durability and color. Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, over time and in excess, it can also fade and weaken some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz, and pink conch-shell cameos. Pearls and other delicate materials, like ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.

Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes may also fracture the gem. Heat can easily remove the natural moisture some gems need to keep their beauty. Pearls, for instance, can dry out, crack and discolor. Opals will turn white or brown, develop tiny cracks, and might lose their play-of-color.

Exposure to chemicals can damage and discolor precious metals – gold, silver, and platinum – and may harm some colored gems. Fine jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool, or before using household cleaners. Many of these cleaners contain ammonia, and are only safe for diamonds and the more durable colored gems. Chlorine bleach, another common household solvent, can pit gold alloys.

GIA recommends cleaning most colored gems with warm water, mild soap (no detergents), and a soft brush. A pulsed-water dental cleaning appliance and a soft, lint-free cloth can also be used. Be sure to stop the sink’s drain or use a rubber mat in case the stone comes loose from its setting.

Soft gems, such as pearls, on the other hand, can easily be scratched. GIA suggests using an unused makeup brush instead, and warm, soapy water. Lay the pearls on a towel to dry. The wet string can stretch—and attract dirt—so don’t touch a string of pearls until they are completely dry. Pearls worn every few days should be restrung once a year.

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked. Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or on top of a dresser—that’s a recipe for scratches and fractured gems. Most jewelry pieces come in a box or pouch from the store, which is a perfect place to keep them. Sterling silver, for example, should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth.

Jewelry boxes that feature individually padded slots for rings, and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets, are also ideal. Like pearls, opals draw moisture from the air. Storing your opal ring or pearl earrings in a dry area, such as a safety deposit box, can actually do more harm than good. When traveling with jewelry, protect the pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding the jewelry.

GIA recommends consulting a professionally qualified jeweler, such as a Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Jeweler, or Accredited Jewelry Professional. For more information about gems and jewelry, and GIA’s internationally acclaimed education, visit GIA’s Web Site, or call 800-421-7250.

 

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