VE Day--Remember our Veterans

VE Day or Victory in Europe Day commemorates the Victory of Allied forces over Nazi Germany and the Axis powers.

German forces had actually ceased fighting on May 2 and formally surrendered on May 7. The surrender of all German forces was scheduled for May 8 at 11:01 a.m. The original schedule had been set for May 9, but when reporters learned of the planned date, the U.S. and Britain moved the date to May 8, 1945. However, Russia continues to celebrate VE day on the originally planned date of May 9.

VE day is especially significant for me personally. My father, Billy E. Bays, was in the U.S. Marine Corps. Although he was fortunate never to have seen combat in Europe, a few months later he had his orders to ship out to fight in the Pacific Theater, but again he was fortunate that the war against Japan ended before he had to ship out. My uncle Benny Bays served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne division. He fought in North Africa, Sicily, and in the Normandy invasion. He was woun…
Here is a wonderful video about the history of St. Valentine's Day. Enjoy.

January Birthdays and the Garnet
Celebrating all our January birthdays! You have the gorgeous Garnet to claim as your birthstone. The history and lore of your birthstone goes back to what is believed to be its naming in Roman times. It was called "garabatus" in Latin for seed-like referring to the seeds of the Pomegranate. Garnets were the symbols of protection for travelers and soldiers. They were even thought to protect from nightmares. The Garnet represents sincerity, loyalty, devotion, trust and friendship. The heart shaped garnet ring is a wonderful gift to combine a January Birthday gift with an early Valentine's day gift.

Garnet Cross Garnet Heart Ring

Garnet stones come in cabochon form, step cuts, checkerboard cuts, and faceted cuts. Some garnets are not cut but polished into a round shape called a cabochon. The cabochon is more appropriate for garnets that are more opaque and would not look good as cut gemstones. (First stone pictured below: checkerboard cut; s…
JEWELRY INSURANCE IS ASSURANCE. If any of your special moment jewelry was damaged, lost or stolen, how would you feel? Here are some tips to prevent issues and ...give you peace in wearing your jewelry:
- GET A CURRENT APPRAISAL (Independent appraisal companies provide written documentation with photos of your pieces that insurance companies require to give accurate insurance.)
- INSURE FOR REPLACEMENT VALUE (Whether you insure with a Rider on your Homeowner's Policy or you select one of many Jewelry Insurance products, buy appropriate coverage.)
- PROFESSIONAL JEWELRY INSPECTIONS EVERY 6 MONTHS (Just like your car needs oil regularly, your jewelry needs an inspection every 6 months to be preventative with damaged or lost stones and proper upkeep of the precious metal setting.)

Visit our website for more tips on care and maintenance of your jewelry:

Viridian Gold

Why are larger diamonds so much more expensive?

A customer who recently requested a quote for an upgraded diamond on one of our engagement rings had a good question.  He wanted the 1/4 carat diamond in the standard ring to be replaced by a 1/3 or 1/2 carat stone of the same quality.  My quote to him for both sizes showed the 1/2 carat diamond costing much more than he expected, given my quote for the 1/3 carat one.  He asked why the larger diamond was so much more.

You would think that the 0.5 carat diamond would be about 1.5 times more expensive than the 0.33 carat one, right?  After all, 0.5 is about 1.5 times 0.33.  But, in actuality, the 1/2 carat diamond costs us over 2.5 times what the 1/3 carat costs us from our diamond supplier!  So, even though we don't mark up the larger diamond as much, we still have to sell it for a lot more than the smaller one.

The other problem is that upgrading from a 1/4 carat to a 1/3 carat is a small jump, and our supplier's cost/carat is about the same for those two sizes.  So, the add…

Online Ratings: Is rating the seller or the item more important?

When you shop for items online, what is important to you?  Perhaps you have noticed that many online stores show "customer" reviews of individual items. Some items that you shop for online need to be scrutinized to see if they are going to perform the way you expect.  For instance, if I buy an electronics device which is complex, say a disc drive for my computer, I want to make sure that it hooks up and works as advertised, and that it does not fail in the first few months of use.  So, it is helpful to see what people say about that.  But, a hugely problematic issue with individual item ratings on most websites, is that they are so easily faked.  There is no safeguard to prevent anyone, including the seller, from posting a number of positive reviews of a particular item.

But, for many purchases, the quality of the seller is more important than reading an individual's personal opinion about a particular item:
Does the seller honestly describe the items they sell on their …

The "Illusion Setting" explained

Many of our diamond rings at are made with a special type of mounting for the diamond, called anillusion setting.  This type of setting was created to enhance the appearance of the diamond mounted within it.  The diamond is surrounded by a white gold "platter" which contains ridges to catch and scatter the light into and out of the diamond.  The prongs of the setting may be spaced to hold the platter as if it were a larger stone (with the diamond mounted on another set of prongs within the platter), or the prongs may support the diamond within the platter as shown at left. The first type is used in our Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings #1229 illustrated below.

The intention of such a design is to highlight the beauty of the diamond--a poor-quality stone will actually look worse in an illusion setting!  Diamond pricing is directly proportional to the quality of the diamond, that is, its color, cut, and any impurities embedded within it (called inclusions). …