29 June 2018

The Ultimate Engagement Ring Guide

When it comes to engagement rings, the right style, colour, size, band, decoration and price is as unique as the wearer themselves! So when it comes to picking the right ring for your wife or husband to be, it's no wonder that many end up feeling overwhelmed as after all!

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning. Your love paints a beautiful picture of what love really means.” – Anonymous

If you're going to wear a ring for the rest of your life, you've got to make sure it's something pretty that hits the spot! Whilst one person may like a single diamond solitaire, another may want something a little unique with a Padparadscha sapphire pop!

Lucky for us, we are surrounded by some of the most innovative and forward-thinking designers who are designing ever-growing and unique collections to accompany that very special question. So you've decided to take your relationship another step and pop the question - congratulations!

Proposing is an important moment in your life so feeling confident and at ease with the ring you pick is extra important! We've come up with an easy guide to follow when it comes to picking 'the one' as well as some of our top must-have style on the market!

Whether it's something low-key and traditional or an untraditional showstopper, there's a style out there to suit just about anyone! 

Before you buy...

1. Get to know their style
Don't know what sort of jewellery they like to wear? Take a look at the pieces they tend to wear on a day-to-day basis. You can tell a lot about a person by what jeweller they always tend to go for - whether it be simple silver pieces or classic gold mixes. From here you'll be able to decipher what bling-scale of ring would suit them and their go-to style.

Alternatively, get the attention of their best friend as no doubt they will know off heart what sort of style your soon-to-be fiancĂ©e is looking for! Use what you have in front of you and keep your ears and eyes peeled for any subtle hints that may be dropped into conversation either by family, friends or your partner themselves! 

2. But what size?
Simple enough, steal one of their existing rings! If you can swipe one of their day-to-day rings then take it into a jewellers and get it measured so that they can tell you the official size guide you should be looking at. 

3. How much should I spend?
This question is often muttered and whispered but no one ever really knows! The truth is, you should spend however much you feel you want to or can afford to. Yes we all want something pretty on our finger but that doesn't mean we have to break the bank doing so. The promise you're making together is far more priceless than the actual price tag of the ring! Just make sure however much you spend, you're comfortable and confident in your purchase!

4. When choosing the stone shape - do your research! 
The shape of the stone is quite important as it can dramatically alter and determine the finished look of the ring. Generally speaking, there are 12 main shapes when it comes to stones and diamonds in an engagement ring: Round, Radiant, Oval, Emerald, Princess, Pear, Trillion, Baguette, Heart, Cushion, Asscher, Marquise. 

5. Think about the basics: the ring metal
Deciding which metal to pick will link back to the choice of day-to-day jewellery your partner wears. Do they prefer silver, gold or a mix? The most common engagement ring metals include: Rose Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold and Platinum.

“Engagement marks the end of a whirlwind romance and beginning of an eternal love story.” – Anonymous

Image and source credits: Pinterest, hitched, tatler, libertylondon, debeers, glamira, caratlondon, brilliantinc

14 June 2018

Precious Pearl for Those Born in June

What better way is there to celebrate the fact that we're exactly half way through the year than with a little organic charm for all those June babies out there?! Those born in June are lucky enough to have not just one but three birthstones associated with their birthday; pearls, alexandrite's and moonstones.

Unlike most other gemstones that are found within the Earth, Pearls are unique in that they have an organic origin. Pearls are often either created inside the shells of living creatures such as clams and oysters or occur naturally in the mollusks of freshwater species in rivers and seas. It is for this reason that the exact date of the first pearl discovery remains unknown. Historically, the first fragments of pearl were discovered in the tomb of a Persian Princess dating back to 420 BC.

Pearls that are formed inside of a shell tend to be of an irregular shape, lending them quite a low commercial value in the industry. Comparatively, pearls that are formed inside the tissue of of a mollusk are of a great commercial value and therefore highly sought-after because of their spherical and pearl-shaped forms.

There are two types of pearls: cultured and natural. Just like their name suggests, natural pearls are formed naturally, inside wither mussels or oysters. Alternatively, cultured pearls are man-made gemstones which are bred in large oyster beds by introducing a foreign 'nucleus' into an oyster or mussel.

Pearls, like most gemstones, can be found a variety of colours such as black, cream, grey, yellow, lavender and blue. However, pearls are generally distinguished and recognised for their lustrous creamy white hues. It is this unique lustre and delicate translucence that places pearls as one of the most sough-after gemstone within the industry. The type of mollusk that the pearl was formed in and its country of origin are the catalysts for its natural end colour. Sri Lanka and The Persian Gulf are notorious for their beautiful cream-coloured pearls called Orientals whilst various islands in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the Pacific Ocean are known for their black pearls.

Cultured pearls can be further divided into two main types: saltwater and freshwater. Freshwater pearls demand a lower industry value compared to saltwater pearls but occur in a vast variety of shapes and colours. Comparatively, saltwater pearls can be further subdivided into three different types: Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls.

These are found in sea temperatures of between 15-20 degrees Celsius inside the shells of Akoya oysters. Known for their creamy white and silver pink tones, Akoya pearls are found within Japanese and Chinese saltwater seas. Japan, in particular is well-known for its cultured stones with many familiar with the term Mikimoto pearls; famously named after the industry creator Kokichi Mikimoto.

Tahitian pearls are found within the salt lagoons of the French Polynesia. They are formed in a black-lipped oyster called the 'Pinctada Magaritifera Cumingii'. Tahitian pearls are commonly found in grey, silver and black tones with hints of blue, pink and green highlights.

South Sea
Recognised as some of the most luxurious pearls in the industry, South Sea pearls are grown for 2-3 years in the Pinctada Maxima oyster within The Indian and Pacific oceans. Famous for their silky shine and lustre, the colour of south sea pearls are determined by whether they are formed by silver or gold-lipped oysters. Silver-lipped oysters produce white pearls with hints of silver, blue and pink tones whilst gold-lipped oysters produce gold pearls with undertones of orange and yellow.

Historically, Egyptians in 4th Century BC Egypt used pearls as a form of decoration to adorn their weapons whilst Indian warrior believed pearls to symbolise tears, encrusting their swords with them to represent the sorrow of their use. In South Asian mythology, many individuals associated pearls with the scared drops of heaven that fell into the ocean. During a full moon, many believed that shellfish would then collect these ocean dewdrops at sunrise which would later form the beautiful pearls they collected.

Image and source credits: Pinterest, earthsky, gemrockauctions, purelydiamonds
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