Emerald Isle. Emerald City. Emerald Coast. Emerald Buddha. Emerald Ash Borer (we may have taken that last one too far, we realize). There’s a reason that things vividly green are associated with the lovely emerald. As Rome’s Pliny the Elder described emerald in his Natural History, published in the first century AD: “…nothing greens greener”
We know them as the birthstone for September and for their deep blues to medium violets. But there’s so much more to sapphires than that. The ancients believed they could provide healing (but then again, what stone didn’t they think could help heal something?). They were collected by royalty and favored by nobles, as well as Hollywood kings and queens. We’ll dive into their origin, chemical make up and see some amazing pieces here today.
Martha Stewart knows weddings. That’s a given. But does she (and/or her team) know engagement rings? VINTAGE engagement rings to be specific? We decided to check out her article 11 Tips for Finding A Vintage Engagement Ring You’ll Cherish and were thrilled to read that MSW consulted with someone we consider quite an expert – Elizabeth Doyle of Doyle and Doyle in NYC (we repost lots of their lovelies in our Instagram feed for our #AsILayMeDownToSleep nightly feature. You really should be following us on IG. Lots of awesome stuff there. But we digress. . . .). So what did Elizabeth have to say? We’ll recap it here, with some embellishments of our own.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, diamonds didn’t rule supreme in the jewelry world – there was a more colorful King of the Hill – the ruby. Many know the ruby to be the birthstone for July (our owner WendyKate’s birthstone, in fact), but long before it was appointed to that post, it held myths and mysteries for many.
Since we’re on a bit of a diamond kick lately, I thought I’d talk about colored diamonds next in our series on gemstones. Almost everyone knows about a colorless diamond. But did you know that diamonds come in all shades of the rainbow? It’s true. “How?” you ask. Well we’ll talk about that today, as well as what makes one color over another more valuable.
April and May are notorious for bringing us a few staple items. Rain showers. Spring flowers. Weddings. Graduations. But this year, they brought us something we weren’t counting on. Record breaking jewelry auctions. Like, the crazy record-breaking kind. Let’s go over some of the biggies that made the news and some stunners that might not have made it to the front page of your local paper, but were wowzers just the same.
We all think of them when we hear that someone got engaged. And some of the biggest and best are literally word famous and worth untold sums of money. But what do we really know about diamonds? When were they first valued as something to be prized? At what point in history did they become something one would use to adorn themselves? And when the heck did they gain the popularity we know today as something to be set in a ring that proposes a lifetime together?
For the most part, the beginning of the Victorian Period (during the time of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901) was a jovial one. It was a pretty good time to be alive. The Industrial Revolution was brewing right along and London was a hotbed of activity. Great Britain as a whole actually was. Overall, things were peaceful, prosperous and generally refined. The people of the time were in a mystical and romantic mood and the styles of the time reflected such. Colors were bright. Themes were lighthearted. And their jewelry? Well, it followed suit.
I’m often asked by women (mostly) if they had to pick one item of jewelry to purchase, what should that one item be? Ironically, I was reading an article in Harpers Bazar UK that suggested that it’s not about owning ONE piece of jewelry. There are TEN pieces every woman should have in her collection. As it turns out, with a few minor tweaks, we couldn’t agree more. Here are our collective suggestions:
Here come the royals, fiddling with our jewels again. This time they’ve got their hands in naming a particular gemstone cut: the marquise. However, it’s not the British this go round, but the French, their King and his Chief Mistress (yup – that was a title for one lucky woman).
Let’s say it’s the year 1861. You’re living in London and you’re enjoying all of the things that the new “Industrial Revolution” has brought with it. This revolution has made it much easier for commoners, like you and I, to afford some of life’s luxuries. Luxuries like jewelry, that had, up until now, been reserved for the well-heeled and wealthy. Just as you’re preparing to celebrate the Christmas season, terrible news sweeps the country. Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, Prince Albert, has died with the Queen and five of their nine children at his side.
They sit in a drawer, forgotten and forlorn, their former contents more likely to see the light of day. They once held amazing treasure. Eliciting gasps of joy when revealing their contents. But now? Now what?
So, you finally got that gorgeous rock. You know the one. That <you insert your new awesome piece of antique jewelry here>. And it’s beautiful. And sparkly. And clean. Very clean. Now the big question is, how do you keep it that way?! We’re here to help with a few quick and dirty (see what I did there?) guidelines for clean jewelry.
You love jewelry. Gorgeous, exquisite, expensive jewelry. But what’s a gal of somewhat modest means to do? How can you possibly create a drool-worthy, off the charts, amazing jewelry collection? Well, it doesn’t hurt to start off a with a pretty pedigree.
It’s an age-old question. Is bigger really better? No, we’re not talking about that! Get this is a jewelry blog not Dr. Ruth’s website. We’re talking about engagement rings. Does the size of your diamond (or whatever stone you choose – last week we gave you X reasons why you might want to choose a colored stone engagement ring), really represent how much your future spouse loves you? Does it ensure that you’ll have a solid marriage and stay together forever? And if you have a “tiny” ring, should you upgrade later? All great questions and addressed in the backlash of a Facebook post that went viral a few weeks ago.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Bess. She was born into a pretty famous family. Her dad was a powerful guy and her mom? Well, women didn’t have much power in those days, outside of the one thing that had made them powerful for hundreds of generations. But let’s just say that powerful men could be fickle and a woman’s “power” was often found to be short-lived.
It’s that time of year again. Spring is springing. April showers are soon to bring May flowers. And Mother’s Day is only a few days away. Wait. What!? Mother’s Day is only a few days away? Yup. And let me guess. You don’t have a gift for her yet do you.
That special someone has been asking what kind of engagement ring you’d like. And to be honest, you don’t really know. What you do know, is that you want something different. Not like all the other rings out there right now. After all, you don’t need it to scream, “I’m so 2016!” 20 years from now. But what’s a gal (or guy) to do?
Ever wonder just how old that antique ring that grandma gave you really is? I mean, the jeweler told you it was an Art Deco piece when you had it sized to fit your finger. But just what exactly does that mean? Those of us at Katie Callahan and Co. are here to help!
Let’s be like the Sound of Music and start at the very beginning:
Have you ever heard of the Forty Elephants gang? The Pink Panthers? Maybe Abigail Kemp? “Diamond” Doris Payne? How about Sofia Blyurshtein (aka Sofia Golden Hand)? What do all of these women have in common? Well, it might be safe to assume that they are drawn to sparkly things, for starters. Why? They’re all notorious jewel thieves, that’s why.
Are you married? Take a look at your left hand (or right hand if you’re in some European countries). Chances are, there are two rings on your finger. One that you got the day you were married. And another that you’re beloved gave you prior – when they asked you to be theirs. Most of us call that an engagement ring. Be it antique, vintage, retro or modern, it matters not. You see, you’re a part of history. The history of the engagement ring.
You may not know it, but the engagement ring hasn’t always been around. Nope. Rumor has it that the Egyptians started the trend and the Greeks later followed along. But we can really only reliably trace the engagement ring as we know it today back to the ancient Romans. And even then, the rings (there were two of them, one for when the bride was out and about (in gold) and the other (made of iron) for when she was home slaving away at the household chores of the day), were simple bands made of metal. [Read more…]