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A Brief History of May’s Birthstone: Emeralds

Known around the world for its green color, the emerald is a precious gemstone. This gemstone gets its famous green coloring from the mineral element chromium. Like other gemstones, the emerald is highly sought after for making fine jewelry. One of the reasons is that emeralds rate between 7.5 and 8 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. In addition to its rich coloring and desirable hardness, emeralds also have an ancient history with romantic roots. Seeing as the emerald is May’s birthstone, we have put together a brief history of this gem.

The Ancient Roots of the Emerald

Today, emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil and Zambia. Colombia harvests more than half of the world’s emeralds, including up to 95% depending on the year. However, ancient cultures mined for emerald gems as early as 1500 BC in both India and Egypt. Egyptian rulers wore jewelry adorned with emeralds, perhaps none more famous than Cleopatra. Additionally, both Greeks and Romans believed the emerald possessed great powers. In fact, the ancient Romans associated the emerald with the goddess Venus. This connection to romance is part of the widely held belief that emeralds bring both passion and unconditional love.

emeralds
Cut and polished emeralds

Grading Emeralds

Just like diamonds, emeralds are grading on the four C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. However, emeralds are often highly included. This means the clarity of May’s birthstone is not graded under 10x magnification; instead, emeralds are graded by the naked eye. Although inclusions can greatly affect how light passes through the gemstone, emeralds that appear to not have any inclusions to the naked eye are considered flawless. In addition to interior inclusions, many emeralds often have surface cracks known as fissures. To maximize the value of emeralds with inclusions, they are often treated with cedar oil. Just like diamonds, the inclusions of an emerald are helpful in identifying each stone as these inclusions are unique.

Emeralds and Jewelry

Although the diamond is the most common gemstone used for fine jewelry, emeralds are a popular choice as well. Emeralds can be used to make earrings, pendants, and even engagement rings. However, because of their inclusions, emeralds are not often cut with facets. Instead, emeralds are more frequently shaped and polished. Nevertheless, when emeralds are cut, there is a signature cut that is used. Known as the emerald cut, it is a rectangular cut with facets around the top edge.

Emeralds are beautiful gemstones, and they make for great pieces of jewelry for that special someone born during the month of May. Check out the Adiamor glossary to learn more about emeralds today, or contact us today to have all your gemstone questions answered!

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Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring: Differences to Know

Engagement ring vs. wedding ring

Your wedding proposal and your wedding day are huge moments in your relationship and you want it to be perfect, from the words you say, the location of the wedding and the rings themselves. Everyone will be there, and it will surely be a night that you will never forget, so plan, save and do it right; after all, you will be telling the story for the rest of your lives!

If you choose correctly she’ll treasure those rings forever, if not, well… you may be making an exchange on your wedding night! With all the options available it can be hard to feel confident with your choice, especially when it comes to deciding whether or not to go with an engagement ring or wedding ring or both.

Complicating this decision is the fact that many people use the two terms interchangeably. Any ring connected to a marriage might be called one term or the other, simply depending on who you’re speaking to. There is a lot of information out there and you have to sift through the non-sense to find the real helpful information.

Let Adiamor educate on the differences between an engagement ring vs. wedding ring so that you and put your worries to rest. No matter the bride, we can help you find or create the perfect ring and make sure you get the rings just right for your special day? Read on to find out.

Engagement Ring vs. Wedding Ring: Which is Which?

The first thing you need to know about the difference between engagement rings and wedding rings is what their purposes are.

An engagement ring is given before the wedding, when you propose. Since their first recorded use in 1477, engagement rings have been a symbol of the promise between two people to marry. It is a physical sign of your love for each other and decision to act on it. Typically, the groom presents an engagement ring to the bride.

A wedding ring, on the other hand, is one that is exchanged during the actual marriage ceremony. Unlike with engagement rings, the bride and the groom each get one.

Most people will wear their wedding rings every single day, as it is a symbol of your marriage itself, and the love you will always bear for one another.

As for the engagement ring, it tends to be a personal preference whether it is worn daily after the wedding itself. But, with the beauty of engagement rings, many brides will continue to wear it daily, stacked on top of the wedding band – check out these stackable wedding rings for examples.

Major Differences Between The Two

Design

Immediately, the difference between an engagement ring vs a wedding ring is apparent in the general design of the two.

Feel free to build your own ring to see the differences for yourself, but in its simplest form, a wedding ring is a metal band. Generally, they are the same width all the way around and look the same when viewed from any angle.

Engagement rings tend to have a definite front and back. Often, they have a featured stone – generally a diamond – set in the middle of the front. They will likely have embellishment, and often more stones surrounding this central stone.

Complexity and Material

The easiest way to tell the difference between an engagement ring vs. wedding ring is the use of precious metals and stones.

Engagement rings tend to be much flashier than wedding rings and are often referred to as wedding bands because traditionally, they are simply bands of metal, generally gold.

Engagement rings, on the other hand, are made to dazzle. While some people opt for other choices of stones, diamonds are the most popular; most women prefer diamonds as their stone of choice when it comes to engagement rings, and it’s hard not to agree.


Our massive variety of diamonds available when it comes to cut and color means you can definitely find a ring that perfectly suits your partner’s tastes and style.


And while wedding rings tend to be on the simpler side, they are also available with some embellishment, whether that is more precious stones, decorative metalwork or other design elements. This can be especially nice if the bride decides not to wear her engagement ring after the wedding.

Since both the bride and the groom wear wedding rings, sometimes couples look for matching sets. Other brides tend to prefer a more stylized, feminine ring, while grooms tend to stick with a simple band, whether it is gold, platinum, titanium, or a variety of other metals.

Price

And lastly, because they feature such beautiful stones and more intricate designs, engagement rings tend to cost much more than wedding rings.

Regardless of what ring you end up choosing, it’s important to plan your budget in advance. With a proper budgeting guide, you can feel confident in your decision making for both rings.

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Diamond Jewelry: 5 Must Have Essentials

The perfect collection of diamond jewelry complements your engagement ring to create a complete set. In order to fill out your jewelry box with pieces that match your ring, consider these must have essentials!

1. Engagement Ring

Now that you are engaged and have your dream ring, it is time to start thinking about building your jewelry collection with staple items that will coordinate with your ring.  Take into consideration your engagement ring: is the center stone round, princess, or cushion cut?  What type of metal is your ring: platinum, rose gold, etc.?  You can coordinate your other jewelry box items to your ring.  Here are 4 additional items that will dress up any look day or night.

French cut halo setting
French Cut Cushion Halo Setting R2940

Browse our collection of engagement rings here.

2. Eternity Bands

This can be added to your collection as a wedding band, but eternity bands look great stacked together if you have a few of them.  This is where you get to show your own personal style.  Pick bands in different widths, metals, and diamond setting styles.  Since an eternity band has diamonds all the way around the ring, there is no need to worry about which side of the band is showing.  Eternity bands make great anniversary or birthday gifts.

diamond_eternity_bands
Stacked Diamond Eternity Bands

Browse our collection of wedding rings here.

3. Diamond Studs

Diamond earrings are a staple that you can wear all the time no matter what the occasion.  For diamond studs, you can choose to have a classic pair where the center diamond stands out, or you can choose a pair with a halo setting with smaller diamonds around the center stone.  Either is a good option and will add a bit of glitz to your ears.  Earrings make a great wedding day gift or push present to celebrate a milestone.

round_diamond_halo_earrings
Round Halo Diamond Earrings E5197

Browse our collection of earrings here.

4. Solitaire Pendant

Another must to add to your jewelry box is a diamond solitaire pendant.  Just like earrings, this can be made in a classic single center diamond or it can be made with a halo to enhance the center stone.  Paired with your diamond stud earrings the pendant will draw eyes upwards and will create a triad of sparkle directly to your eyes and face.

round_diamond_halo_pendant
Round Diamond Halo Pendant P5182

Browse our collection of pendants and necklaces here.

5. Tennis Bracelet

You cannot go wrong with a diamond tennis bracelet!  This piece will complete any Jewelry Box.  Depending on the width you choose it can be worn every day or saved for special occasions.  Also if you decide you would like to stack bracelets for a stylish look, a tennis bracelet is classic and can be paired with any other style of bracelet.  A tennis bracelet makes the perfect present for any occasion!

diamond_tennis_bracelet
Diamond Tennis Bracelet 1.75cttw B2095

Browse our collection of bracelets here.

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

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Adiamor Recently Featured on Telemundo Acceso Total

Adiamor Featured on Telemundo Acceso Total
Adiamor Featured on Telemundo Acceso Total

 

Here is the transcript of the Accesso Total segment on NBC Universal’s Telemundo featuring Adiamor Diamonds & Fine Jewelry.

Host:
Alright, for those who are thinking of getting engaged this Saint Valentine’s Day and still haven’t bought the darn ring, I visited a jewelry store where I was given some information to keep in mind. Let’s see.

Contrary to what a normal jewelry store is like with display cases, we found this place in downtown Los Angeles where they make your engagement ring not only to your size but also to your special order. I spoke with Jennifer Sarkisian, one of the owners, who explained to me that after Christmas, this date is definitely the one on which they sell the most engagement rings.

Jennifer Sarkisian:
I think there’s a lot of pressure to get engaged on Valentine’s Day…

Host:
With the pressure many men are under to buy the ring on this such special date, they have to know that there are many options, and sometimes it helps to know the partner’s preference.

Jennifer Sarkisian:
We have everything from a simple solitaire, round…

Host:
Solitaires, the classic stone, square stones known as princess cut, rectangular, oval, and the ones in the shape of hearts are the most popular options. But be careful, with companies like these where orders are made on the Internet, or anywhere you buy diamonds, you have to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

Jennifer Sarkisian:
Very important that you’re buying…

Host:
You have to make sure you buy certified diamonds. The prices of diamonds depend on four characteristics: the cut of the stone, its clarity, the color, and of course, the carats. Tomás Apata works in the part of the shop assembling them and making them just to the customer’s order.

Tomás Apata:
The first step is we count the diamonds, the ones that are going to go on the ring. We start drilling the rings to make the holes for the rings.

Host:
You’re the one in charge of mounting the stones, right?

Tomás Apata:
Mm-hmm.

Host:
In what part of the process does that go?

Tomás Apata:
You could say in the middle of the process. We polish them; after polishing you still do an inspection of the ring to make sure all the diamonds are tight-fitting.

Host:
Mm-hmm. About how long do you guys take to create a complete ring?

Tomás Apata:
It varies. It could be from one hour to, I don’t know, we’ve taken up to 10 hours, 12 hours on one ring.

Host:
But you completely finish the rings here?

Tomás Apata:
Here. We can finish them, yes.

Host:
Greetings to Tomás, to Arturo. They work there assembling the rings, and they say that at 10:00 in the morning, they always have us at Acceso Total on, so thank you very much.

Host:
Okay.

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Adiamor Sweepstakes: Win a Pair of Halo Diamond Earrings ($5,000 Value)

If you love diamonds, and who doesn’t, now is your chance to win a lovely pair of 1.5 total carat weight halo diamond earrings worth $5000. All you have to do is participate in Adiamor’s latest sweepstakes for a chance to become the lucky winner of these stunning earrings. In order to participate, just enter your email address on the sweepstakes page. The sweepstakes runs from now until September 26, 2014.

Adiamor Halo Diamond Earrings Sweepstakes

The Halo Diamond Earrings Sweepstakes from Adiamor

What makes these halo diamond earrings stand out from other sets of earrings is the incredible design and the quality of the diamonds. The design is a dazzling display of one certified center stone surrounded by smaller stones to create a brilliant halo effect. These luxurious earrings are elegant enough to wear to the nicest restaurant in town or with the finest ball gown. Heads will turn due to the sparkling beauty of the diamonds.  Total carat weight for both earrings combined is a whopping 1.5 carats.

How to Enter

For a chance to take these halo diamond earrings home, sign up via the online Halo Diamond Earrings sweepstakes page. A valid email address is required to enter. Participants can win additional entries by referring friends and sharing the sweepstakes on their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more.  Participants can earn even more entries by liking Adiamor on social media sites.

Who Can Enter?

Anyone who is a legal resident of the United States can enter the contest as long as they are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Online entries will be accepted now through September 26, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Winners will be chosen via a random drawing and notified with an email within five days of the winning selection.

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How Your Engagement Ring Expresses Your Personality

Most women feel that their engagement ring speaks to their personal style, but what if it’s saying more than you think? In truth, the ring a woman chooses to wear (or helps her fiancé to pick for her) can say a lot about her personality, whether she low-key, high-brow, ostentatious, or more of a wallflower. A ring can speak volumes about the wearer. So what is your ring telling others about you? Here are just a few examples.

1. Round cut. Beautiful, traditional, and practical, this is the cut overwhelmingly chosen by the bride-to-be (you can thank Tiffany for that). The woman with this cut has both common sense and a desire for longevity. A smaller stone denotes that the woman is not too fussy while a larger stone shows a certain amount of confidence.

2. Princess cut. This is a ring that says high maintenance. You’ve no doubt heard of bridezillas, and the girl who picks this cut may just turn out to be one. This is not to say that every woman with a princess cut aims to be on a pedestal, but you’re definitely going to find a strong personality lurking behind this glamorous, prominent, and less-than-practical sparkler (with pointy edges, you’re going to have trouble performing normal daily tasks with this ring on, like getting dressed, for example). This is a woman used to getting her way.

3. Emerald cut. This old-school cut is not for the faint of heart. The woman who wears it knows her diamond lore (since the large table requires a practically flawless stone) and she wants to display her culture. She needn’t be flashy or loud; she has class and she knows it.

4. Pear shaped. The woman who chooses this off-kilter cut likes to color outside the lines. She is a fun-lover and enjoys a touch of the fantastic. She may be a lot to handle, adventurous as she is, and she doesn’t always look before she leaps. But one thing is certain; life will never be dull with a girl who selects this diamond for her engagement ring.

5. No stone. An engagement ring without a diamond may seem antithetical, but the bold woman who wears one is proclaiming her independence. She a slave to neither sentimentality nor the constructs of man. Although she is more than happy to show her devotion to a fiancé, she is bound and determined to do it on her own terms and without bowing to the social pressure to conform.

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Appropriate Jewelry for a Summer Wedding

Although diamonds and pearls are pretty standard fare at weddings, you’ll want to tailor your pieces specifically to a summer wedding style if you plan to say “I do” during the months of June, July, or August. But what does such a process entail? It’s really not too hard to figure out if you consider that wearing large or heavy accessories will almost certainly be uncomfortable in the heat of the season. Here are a few easy, breezy pieces you may want to consider.

For starters, you’ll have to figure out what you’re doing with your hair. If it’s up, as most summer brides prefer, you should opt to place the emphasis on your exposed earlobes with a pretty pair of pearl drops. Why not diamonds? There’s a method to the madness. While it’s nice to have a little sparkle near your face, a large pair of diamond studs could detract from your natural glow come photo time. So unless you want to take all your snapshots in the shade, go for some gorgeous pearls. If you want just a bit of glitz, get a pair that has diamond accents or opt for small diamond studs or hoops with inlaid stones.

If you opt for a half up-do instead, skip the earrings (or go for small pearl studs) and add some attention to your neckline. The look of the summer bride is often spare in the area of décolletage (as in lower necklines). Accentuate this look with a diamond pendant. Since it isn’t too close to your face, you can go a bit bigger on the stone. A strand of small pearls that falls just above the neckline of your dress is equally good (and sure to stay neutral in photos).

You may also want to go with a spare, bare neck to show off those gorgeous collar bones (you never know), in which case you could bring some glam to your ensemble with a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet. This is a great way to add some sparkle to your outfit without having it anywhere near your face. No matter what your personal style, a summer wedding demands that you tone down the jewelry. So opt for pieces that are smaller, and keep the stunners away from your face. You don’t want to spoil the photos with flashy jewelry and your groom should be blinded by your brilliant smile, not the glare from your accessories.

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Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Up for Auction

Elizabeth Taylor was nothing if not a style icon, both on- and off-screen. And everybody knew she loved diamonds; just look at her perfume collection, which included White Diamonds, Brilliant White Diamonds, and Sparkling White Diamonds, as well as Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Emeralds, and Diamonds and Sapphires. Clearly she had a thing for diamonds, and it is further evidenced in her own jewelry collection, which may soon be on the auction block courtesy of Christie’s. Her collection, which is valued at somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, would be a huge draw not only because of her love of rare gems (some jewelers claimed that she knew more about gemology than they did), but also because of the famous name behind them. So what could you expect to see in such a collection?

One well-known item is a ring containing a 33.19-carat Asscher-cut Krupp diamond (of the Vera Krupp estate) that Taylor received as a gift from then-husband Richard Burton (hubby number five) and continued to wear until her death. He also coughed up the famous Taylor-Burton Diamond, a 69.42-carat, pear-shaped beauty that is considered to be flawless (it was originally purchased by Harry Winston at a weight of more than 240 carats before cutting). Burton apparently lost the diamond at auction to Cartier, but later bought it for the astounding price of $5 million. Some people say that if a diamond is too large, it ends up wearing you. But in the case of Elizabeth Taylor, it seems that no stone was big enough to outshine her beauty and personality, including the Taylor-Burton, which she wore in a Cartier setting that featured a string of smaller diamonds. The necklace was sold and re-sold, eventually landing with its current owner, Robert Mouawad, but auctioneers are hopeful that it will find its way back to the block as part of Taylor’s estate sale.

Also in the collection are a diamond-and-ruby Cartier necklace, a diamond-and-crystal lily of the valley brooch from Rex Harrison, and a number of other stunning pieces, all worn and loved by Elizabeth Taylor (thus adding a priceless value to the already hefty collection). If you’d like to know more about Taylor’s famous jewelry collection, check out her coffee-table book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, which catalogues a portion of her legendary collection with gorgeous close-up photography.

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All in the Family: Handing Down Diamonds

The legacy of diamonds is unique. Because they are made from the hardest substance on Earth, they will last forever (more or less). And since there is a finite supply, they are particularly valuable. For these reasons, many people who purchase diamonds do so with the idea that they will one day become family heirlooms. So if you’re looking for a reason to pick up some of that sparkly bling that’s been catching your eye in the store window, here are just a few ways in which diamonds are one of the finest gifts you can bequeath to your children or grandchildren.

1. Value. No matter what’s going on in money markets around the world, diamonds tend to remain valuable. Of course, their value may not coincide with a specific monetary amount, but as an agent of barter, they are always good to have on hand.

2. Beauty. Unlike other types of jewelry, the beauty of a diamond will never fade (although it can increase over time). They won’t scratch or chip like other gems (although they can be broken if they have flaws). And even when there are inclusions, they often serve to make a diamond more beautiful, generally by reflecting light in such a way as to intensify the color of the stone, for example.

3. Constance. No matter how rough you are with diamond jewelry, the stone itself will last not only for your lifetime, but for many lifetimes to come. When people say diamonds are forever, they’re not kidding.

4. Versatility. The great thing about diamonds is that they go with absolutely anything, especially if they are colorless or nearly colorless. And if you’re worried about your diamond jewelry going out of style before you can turn it over to your heirs, you needn’t trouble yourself. Although the settings may fall out of fashion, the stones themselves can always be put into modern settings that suit the wearer. And trends do tend to enjoy periods of popularity again and again.

5. Gifts for special events. One of the best ways to pass on diamonds is to do so while you’re still alive. Special events like graduations or marriages that call for a timeless gift are an excellent opportunity to hand down diamond jewelry while you can still witness the appreciation of the family member you’re gifting to.

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How to Personalize an Engagement Ring

If you’ve looked at scores of rings but none of them seems quite right for that special woman in your life, perhaps it’s time to think about what you can do to make your engagement ring reflect the unique love you feel. In short, why not find a way to personalize the item that is both an offer and a question? After all, the woman you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with deserves a singular expression of your devotion. If you’re not sure how to go about doing this, here are just a few suggestions that might help you along the way.

1. Choose the setting. One of the easiest ways to make an engagement ring special is to stay away from stock items and pick your own setting. Most online retailers offer you the option to select from a number of settings, and in most cases, you can add in many different kinds of stones to make your creation one-of-a-kind.

2. Choose the diamond. Once you’ve picked the setting, the next step is to select a diamond centerpiece. Of course, you should be aware that the band you choose may have some bearing on the size or shape of the diamond you can put in it, so you might have to go back and look again if you opt for a diamond that doesn’t fit your setting. However, a unique shape is a great way to make an engagement ring special. Just be aware that your woman may not like something that strays too far from the traditional fare (that would be a colorless, round-cut stone).

3. Add embellishments. The final step in creating your own ring is to bling it out with some add-ons. In this case, you should think about surrounding your central stone with diamond chips (or other gemstones). Particularly popular right now are pave halos (where the main stone is encircled by a “halo” of diamond chips). Also pretty are colored stones flanking the diamond, but this depends on your honey’s personal taste, so tread carefully when you add color.

4. Add an inscription. Nothing is more personalized than an inscription that holds meaning for you and your lady. Think about inscribing the band with the date you met, both of your names (followed by the word “forever”) or a short phrase that is meaningful only to the two of you.

5. See a designer. If all else fails, you can simply have a ring specially designed. The only problem is, this will likely cost you a lot, you may be at the whim of the designer, and without your girlfriend getting a gander beforehand, she may end up hating it.