Thursday, April 17, 2014
1 2

There are two very difficult but worthwhile challenges you may go through during your lifetime. One is the search for your soul mate. The other is, upon finding “The One”, searching for the right engagement ring.

Okay. Maybe the latter is a little hyperbolic but choosing an engagement ring can be a really quite overwhelming. Plus, there’s the fact that you’re still just about to propose once you finally have it – and that can go one way or the other. Don’t fret, however, because while finding a soul mate is something only the fates can arrange, this two-part guide can help you find that very special ring for your beloved. Here are some tips:

  1. 1) Be practical.
    Perhaps one of your more experienced friends or family members have told you that you’re supposed to spend 2-3 months’ salary on a ring. While this might be something of a tradition, what truly matters is the thought behind the ring and not its price. Be realistic about your budget and get the prettiest ring you can afford. Luckily the Internet has made it easier to research about engagement ring characteristics and prices so you can plan ahead.And don’t wait to propose because you can’t buy a better ring. If she truly is your soul mate and you’re eager and ready to start a new life with her now, ask her. You can always get her a better ring as an anniversary present.

  2. 2) Be stealthy.
    Many (but not all) women like to be somewhat surprised with a proposal. If you think your sweetheart might appreciate it, it might require you to be very secretive about researching the ring. Use all the James Bond skills you have or even enlist her friends to find out her ring size and familiarize yourself with her style so that when the time comes, she’s pleasantly surprised and not shocked.

  3. 3) Be savvy.
    Engagement rings have been made with diamonds since Archduke Maximilian gave the first one to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.  So if you do want to go the traditional route, remember to take note of the 4 C’s essential to buying diamonds: Clarity, Color, Carat and Cut.

    • Clarity is measured by the diamond’s perfection. That is, a clearer rock with fewer imperfections is more expensive than one with more “inclusions” and “blemishes”. Inclusions are little fractures or other minerals found on the diamond while blemishes are surface defects.You typically want a something graded from F (flawless) to SI1-SI2 (inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification although they may be visible to the unaided eye). Anything below that (I1-I3) and the flaws may be easily noticeable.

    • Color. White is the most valuable and rare color for diamonds. The best colorless ones are graded “D” while “Z” grades are on the other end of the spectrum.If you’re wondering about colored of “fancy” diamonds (pink, yellow, blue, and the like), these are graded using a scale similar to the one used for other colored gemstones’.

    • Carat is basically the unit of measuring a diamond’s weight and size and one carat is equal to 0.2gm or 200mgm. On average, engagement ring diamonds range between half a carat to one carat.

    • Cut is the one C that isn’t influenced by nature and is therefore prone to mistakes. A diamond’s sparkle depends on how its facets (those little planes cut onto its surface) are cut and shabbily cut diamond may lose its “fire” or brilliance.

    These 4 C’s are important to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth when you purchase the diamond for your engagement ring.

While we’ve covered some very important steps in purchasing your ring, there are a few more things you’ll still need to keep in mind. To find out what they are, stay tuned for the second part of our guide to finding the perfect engagement ring!

Friday, March 14, 2014

This spring is all about shining gems in glowing pastel hues.  Cate Blanchett was one of many stars on the red carpet with luxurious opal earrings.

Pale pink is almost neutral, and can go with just about any spring look in your wardrobe.  Take Cate’s look to a more everyday level with our Pink Quartz Earrings set in 18k Gold, or our Diamond earrings set in 14k Rose and White gold, for a subtle glow.

We love that pearls are in fashion this spring – and if you’re looking to add a pop of color to your jewelry box, we have several spring hues to choose from.  We have classic pearl stud earrings, or a selection of extremely on trend drops.  Pearls are such a versatile choice; you can wear them from the office to date, from Saturday morning at the kids’ soccer game to brunch with the ladies.

Celebrity fashion is screaming for gemstones right now!  On and off of the red carpet, stars are adorning their ears with sparkling jewels.  And it’s no wonder – with their facets and gleaming clarity, the right stone can brighten your eyes, add a glow to your cheeks, and put a spring in your step.   For example, these diamond and pink emerald hoops are especially springy in a setting of rose gold.

We also adore the freeform jewelry that’s in style right now, like these elegant diamond and oval sapphire earrings set in white gold.

Add some color to your spring with a pair of our earrings that match your look.  We carry so many exquisite earrings that you’re guaranteed to find the perfect set for you!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

There are some quirky eccentricities involved with the phrase ‘March Madness’ or ‘beware the ides of March.’ The current phrase is used in the United States to refer to NCAA Basketball Championship, but March madness refers to the Canadian government trying to spend the last of their budgets at the end of their fiscal year to not be assessed as needing a smaller budget the following year. The reference dates back even farther to Europe with the breeding season of the European Hare where they can be sing dancing around in a crazy, eratic fashion. The ides of March references March 15th, and was associated with several religious observations as it was part of the Roman New Year, but gained notoriety as being the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

 

Typically sky-blue aquamarine is a variety of beryl composed of beryllium, aluminum, and silicate and found in igneous rock. The aquamarine develops naturally with few flaws making it some of the most brilliant gems to work with as the lack of inclusions in the mineral allows the light to pass through the stone and catch the facet cuts to add great sparkle. aquamarine can sometimes be heat-treated to obtain the sky-blue color.

 

It is very popular to set aquamarine in white gold or other cool-toned metals like sterling silver as it enhances the blue color even more.

 

Check out this bedazzling pendant from Bailey Banks & Biddle’s esteemed designer, Penny Preville. The pendant features a 1 ct, pear shaped aquamarine surrounded by brilliant round cut diamond rings, set in white gold with a delicate chain holding more diamonds linked through out the chain.

Nothing pulls an outfit together like a set of jewelry and Penny Preville has designed these gorgeous lever back drop earrings. Love how the aquamarine just hangs in the setting with the four prongs, and set with ½ total carat weight in diamonds. Shazam!

Another inspirational example of how aquamarine can be used is with March birthday baby, Jessica Biel’s engagement ring from Justin Timberlake. Timberlake proposed in 2012 while the couple was vacationing in Montana. He personally designed the ring, a 18 K white gold and black rhodium plated creation with square center stone specially cut with hearts and arrow facets, surrounded by round diamonds and featuring one aquamarine on each side to celebrate her birth month.

 

 

Nothing says delicious color like LeVian designer jewelry. Bailey Banks and Biddle is a proud distributor for LeVian and has these aquamarine delights that are very similar to the Biel/Timberlake set.

 

This is a 2 carat sea blue aquamarine set in 14K vanilla gold, with 0.41 carats of chocolate diamonds and .16 carats of vanilla diamonds.

 

Another 2 carat sea blue aquamarine is housed in vanilla gold with .55 carats of chocolate and .20 of vanilla diamonds set on this fabulous cocktail ring.

 

 

But, these are just a few examples of the exquisite birthstone jewelry we carry on-line or in the store. Go to our home page and search ‘Aquamarine’ or visit our Birthstone Gift page to help find that special gift for the March baby in your life.