Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jewelry... just in time for Christmas!

Many times I get questions from my readers asking me for a place I personally recommend to buy jewelry online. Well, there is one company that stands out: Simply Whispers! They offer great jewelry at excellent prices and they have a full range of allergy safe items that are really awesome. Take the time to have a look for yourself by clicking on the following link:

Simply Whispers Fashion Jewelry for Sensitive Skin

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gemstones: Natural, Synthetic, or Imitation?

Gemstones are an important commodity in today's marketplace. They have been sought after for thousands of years for their beauty, metaphysical properties, and commercial uses. In earlier times there were no such things as synthetic gemstones but today they are quite common. So what's the difference?

Natural gemstones are items that have been formed by nature with no interference by man. They form in a variety of ways in many different environments from many different chemical compounds.

Sapphires, rubies, tourmalines, and many many more natural minerals and organic gems are found around the world. Natural gemstones are often subjected to a variety of treatments including, heat, irradiation, diffusion, and others. Many gems, such as blue topaz, are so routinely treated that the treatment is expected and assumed. These treatments, also called enhancements, are accepted in the industry providing they are disclosed.

Synthetic gemstones are man made products of the same chemical makeup and structure of natural gemstones. The natural mineral corundum, which includes sapphires and rubies, is the hardest mineral except for diamond and this property makes it very useful.

In the late 1800's corundum was synthesized and is now used in many commercial applications such abrasives, lasers, medical equipment, even space technology. These synthetics are commonly used in jewelry applications and are accepted in the trade as long as the product is disclosed as synthetic.

Imitation gemstones can be anything that resembles a natural gemstone but does not have the same chemical makeup or structure. These items are usually much less expensive than the natural forms and give consumers other options for items that appear similar. Imitations can be natural or synthetic. For example, blue glass, natural blue spinel, and synthetic blue spinel, can all be referred to as imitation sapphire. Cubic zirconia is used as an imitation diamond in many jewelry applications. Imitations are accepted in the trade providing the disclosure of the true nature of the product.

Natural, synthetic, and imitation products all have uses in today's marketplace. As long as you know what the item actually is you can make an informed purchase.

For more information on gemstones please visit

About the Author
Brett Rye is a Graduate Gemlogist and the President of Majestic Gems.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Simple Tips For Cleaning Your Diamonds

When you first received your diamond and whatever setting it came in, it was shiny and sparkly and full of fire. However, as the days or weeks or months have gone by it has slowly been accumulating a residue and causing it to dull. Everyday, in fact, your diamond will collect dust, oils from your skin and all kinds of other dirty grime that erodes its luster.

In order to help your diamonds retain their brilliance it's important to clean them and keep them clean. It only takes a few minutes to bring them back to their original beauty and with a little care it's easy to keep them that way.

Tips For Cleaning Your Diamonds

1. When cleaning your diamonds, use a small brush that has soft bristles. Eyebrow and lipstick brushes work great. Soak the brush in bowl of warm water that has been mixed with a mild detergent, or, your jeweler will often provide excellent diamond cleaner when you make your purchase.

2. Immerse your diamond jewelry in the water and detergent solution. Slowly and while your diamonds are still immersed, brush your diamonds with the soft bristles of the brush.

3. Make certain you have completely brushed the diamond and then rinse it completely clear of any soap or suds that may remain. An easy way to do this if you are cleaning multiple pieces of jewelry is to place them in a kitchen strainer with small holes and then run them under the faucet.

4. Finally, using a cloth that is lint free pat them dry. Good cloths for this purpose are the kinds that opticians supply with new glasses, or cloths supplied by the jeweler where you purchased your diamond.

If you find yourself needing to clean your diamonds quite frequently, and if your jeweler did not supply a diamond cleaning kit, you will probably want to purchase a kit designed specifically for cleaning diamonds. Typically these kits come with a ready-made solution, brush and a strainer for dipping your jewelry.

When selecting a commercially produced cleaner be sure to read the label and ensure that it is safe to clean your particular diamond item with it. Some cleaners are better than others for particular purposes and some cleaners may also cause damage to your diamond or the setting it is in.

Finally, if you are in need of a more serious method of cleaning diamonds you may want to look into the purchase of an ultrasonic diamond cleanser. These are machines that clean your diamond via high-frequency turbulence and can complete the cleaning process in a matter of minutes.

To keep your diamonds sparkling longer after you have cleaned them, try to avoid touching them with your bare fingers or any type of oily substances as these will again leave a residue on your diamond and re-attract all of the dirt and grime you have just cleaned off. Of course, if your diamonds don't get dirty, you won't have an excuse to clean them.

About the Author
You can find even more information about Diamonds at the Diamond Engagement Ring website.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What is Diamond Clarity?

One of the most important aspects of a diamond is the clarity of the diamond. When a person first looks into the purchase of a diamond, or diamonds, they at first can become overwhelmed with the codes that jewelers use to grade diamond clarity.

In reality, after a bit of study and looking at diamonds you will come to realize it is fairly easy to learn the grading of a diamond and it's clarity.

In essence there are two aspects to grading a diamond's clarity: inclusions and blemishes. Additionally, you'll hear about features that were caused during the diamond enhancement procedures: such as laser lines. These, however, are also considered to be inclusions or blemishes.

Diamond Inclusions
There are eight different inclusions taken into consideration when determining the clarity of a diamond. Typically an inclusion is an aspect of the diamond that takes place internally and is often considered a flaw, as it will cause the diamond to be considered not perfect.

An inclusion is most often caused by the irregular growth of the crystals that make up the diamond. Inclusions that affect the diamond clarity grading will sometimes appear somewhat milky and contain slight lines and streaks through the diamond.

Inclusions do have an affect on the brilliance of the diamond as they can refract light and cause interference with it as it passes through the stone. The way the inclusions appear in a diamond are very unique and are sometimes considered to be "nature's fingerprints" as they can be used to identify individual diamonds.

An example of an inclusion is an imbedded crystal or mineral. These are actually nothing more than a smaller diamond that had become trapped within the larger diamond as the crystal was forming.

Other types of inclusions include: pinpoints, feathers, clouds, knots, cavities, cleavage, bearding and internal graining.

Diamond Blemishes
The other major aspect to the grading of the clarity of the diamond is the level of blemishes the diamond contains. Blemishes are external surface imperfections that have become characteristics of the diamond. Most often a blemish is a natural occurrence but can also be caused when the diamond is cut and polished as well.

Fortunately, the majority of blemishes on marketable diamonds have very little effect on the appearance of the diamond since it is very difficult to see them with the naked eye. This is actually a good thing for the casual diamond buyer as blemishes that lower the diamond clarity grade, also lower the price of the diamond without diminishing the diamond's brilliance.
Some examples of diamond clarity blemishes include: polish lines, grain boundaries, naturals, scratches, nicks, extra facets and pits.

Diamond Clarity Grading Guide
The codes and definitions used in grading diamond clarity are defined as follows: Flawless: No inclusions or surface blemishes. IF: Internally the diamond is flawless and has few surface blemishes. VVS1: Flaws are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification. VVS2: Flaws are very difficult to see under 10x magnification.

VS1: The flaws are difficult to see with the face up under 10x magnification. VS2: The flaws are somewhat easy to see with the face up under 10x magnification. SI1: Flaws are noticeable under 10x magnification. SI2: Flaws are easy to see under 10x magnification and may be visible to the eye.

I1: Flaws are obvious at 10x magnification and visible to the eye. I2: Obvious at 10x, visible to the eye and beauty/durability is somewhat affected. I3: Flaws are obvious at 10x magnification, visible to the eye and durability is affected.

Whenever shopping for a diamond or diamond jewelry you should always shop with a jeweler your trust. If this is something new for you, ask your friends and family for references. By choosing a qualified and knowledgeable jeweler you can learn even more about diamond clarity and be able to securely purchase the perfect diamond for what you're looking for.

About the Author
Find more information about Diamonds or if you want information on buying an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry check out: Diamond Engagement Rings

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Danger! Jewelry Lovers Beware...

You worked hard for you money, you even paid for your new gold necklace and bracelet in cash. You wear this lovely new matching set everywhere, and the compliments pour in! As they should since you chose the classiest item on display.

4 Months Later It Is In For Repairs!!!

Not just gold, but silver jewelry also is subject to being damaged by the mis-informed consumer who asks, "Can I wear it all the time?" The clerk answers, "Well yes of course, this is a solid gold bracelet which you can most definitely wear all the time!"

Often sales staff in jewelry stores are not well versed and educated in the metalurgy, and composition of the jewelry that we wear (that they are selling). Not their fault, it is the companies who hire them and fail to properly train the staff, keeping them uninformed may very well keep the profits up. Education is your asset here.

Truth is, you cannot wear your new jewelry everywhere. Example situation, many women clean with javex and other harsh chemicals. They are exactly that, harsh chemicals, most of them are acidic and slowly eat away at the metals and alloys which are your precious jewelry!! Low and behold, you are having a repair order written by the same store who told you,:" Why yes of course you can wear this all the time!"

Perhaps that is why the staff is uneducated, so the store can continue to have a huge repair business. Who knows. The fact of the matter is this,

(1) keep your jewelry away from household cleaners, no matter how mild they claim to be.

(2) Beware of chlorinated pools, jacuzzi's, even the chlorine in the tap water now is concentrated enough to do long term damage to your jewelry over the years. The acidity level and constant or even infrequent exposure will cause your jewelry to deteriorate over time. Often rendering them unrepairable.

Certainly, we collect many jewelry items over the years, and some are even passed down from generations. Ideally, jewelry is made to last a very very long time. As well it should, that is why many jewelry items are so expensive. We hold a certain responsibility as with everything to take care of our jewelry, so that one day it may perhaps be enjoyed by our children, our grandchildren.

About the Author
Gerald Aubin, custom goldsmith and diamond setter, offers FREE 1 on 1 expert diamond buying and educational consultations. 300 clients per year only. Call now 1-800-371-3078 or visit

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Do You Need Diamond Ring Insurance?

If you have to ask whether or not you need diamond ring insurance you probably do. There's something nagging you in the back of your mind saying "this thing's just too darn valuable to have it stolen or misplaced!" And you're right.

While you should never look upon your diamond jewelry as an investment, there's no harm in being smart about covering things you're spending a fair amount of cash on, and diamond ring insurance can go a long way toward easing your concerns. There are a few things to consider, however.

Diamond ring insurance is usually found as a rider to most homeowners or renters insurance policies, at least in the US. Many insurance companies won't bother, but most of the larger ones will. There are basically three types of diamond ring insurance: Actual Cash Value, Replacement Value, and Agreed Value.

Actual cash value replaces the ring at current market rates, either higher or lower than you paid for it. This coverage is rather rare. Another rare form of coverage but the most desirable, is Agreed Value. This is where you and the insurance company agree on the value, and that is the amount you are compensated in the event of a loss. The most common type, and the policy that most people are sold is Replacement Value.

This is where the insurance company replaces your ring at the lowest cost they can negotiate. This is sometimes much less than the amount the ring is insured for. This is an area to be careful. Always insist on an independent appraisal, as you don't want to be paying premiums for a ring appraised at $15,000, and then have it replaced for $3000.

Make sure your diamond ring insurance covers you when you travel, and for most normal occasions. I've seen policies that only covered the ring in the house, causing problems when it was lost or stolen outside the home. All is all, diamond ring insurance isn't difficult to obtain, just keep these guidelines handy and you'll be able to buy some piece of mind!

About the Author
Keith Thompson is a diamond devotee and owner of For more information on
diamond insurance please visit today!

Jewelry Television™

Saturday, January 06, 2007

How Are Diamonds Formed?

Just how are diamonds formed? You probably remember from grade school something to the effect that diamonds are formed primarily by intense pressure over long periods of time. That's basically it, but there are a lot more interesting tidbits we can learn by examining the formation of diamonds a bit further.

Diamonds are formed when enough pressure is produced ninety miles under the earth's surface, along with temperatures of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Without these particular conditions, diamonds can't be formed. You've probably heard of synthetic diamonds, made in the laboratory by duplicating these conditions, however, for diamonds to be formed in the earth those are the conditions necessary. In technical terms, the pressure needed to produce a diamond is 5 gigapascals.

Diamonds are formed deep within the earth and eventually, over extremely long periods of time push their way to the earth's surface, usually through volcanic eruptions. The age of these diamonds from beneath the surface of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion years old, though I cannot personally verify that from experience! There are other conditions when diamonds are newer and don't follow this script, such as when meteors plow into the earth and cause similar pressure and heat. These are called nanodiamonds, or microdiamonds.

When diamonds are formed and begin their ascent to the earth's surface, they do this through what are know as volcanic "pipes", literally channels where the magma from the volcano rises to the surface, picking up diamonds along the way and eventually depositing them on the surface, where they are eventually found and mined. Because of this laborious, natural process diamonds have always been a rare and precious commodity, used for both adornment and later, for industry.

So the next time you venture into a jewelry store and gaze at that incredible diamond ring, (assuming it's a real one!) you'll have a better appreciation of just what it took to find it's way onto your finger!

About the Author
Keith Thompson is a diamond devotee and owner of For more information on
diamond formation please visit today!

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