Showing posts from March, 2008

What is an "illusion" setting?

Diamonds are just plain beautiful! Let me qualify that statement, though: GOOD diamonds are beautiful. Just because a stone is actually a diamond, that fact alone doesn't make it beautiful, or valuable. That's why the old "4 C's" are so important when describing a diamond. A 1-carat diamond can vary in price from $10,000 (for a VS-clarity, E-color) to $1,000 (for an I2-clarity, J-color). You can see that quality is absolutely the most important factor to understand when buying a diamond--it's what determines a diamond's beauty. So, it really is better to get a smaller stone that is of higher quality, than to have a big "rock" that is off-color and/or full of black and grey specks!

If you want to buy a good quality diamond, but can't afford anywhere close to that amount, what should you do? One approach is to have it mounted in a setting which shows off the diamond by making it appear larger than it really is. The light that is collected and…

How to buy jewelry online

I recently wrote an online article, Buying Jewelry Online? Here Are 7 Checkpoints To Make Sure You Don't Get Ripped Off!, which describes some common failings of online jewelry stores. You should not have any problem finding reputable online stores, but it is amazing to me how many fly-by-night stores there are out there! So, if you are new to this market, please read the article (click on the title to go to the link) and hopefully it will help you avoid some of the worst offenders.

But, some of our otherwise reputable competitors are nevertheless guilty of shady practices when it comes to advertising "sale" prices. If the store is a member of the Better Business Bureau, they must not advertise fake sale prices. In other words, the advertised "original price" must be the price at which the merchant actually sold the item before, and the "sale price" must be temporary, just like a real sale would be. This is one reason why you do not find the BBB seal o…

Debit Card "bank holds"

Sometimes we have customers who are surprised at the way banks handle their online debit card purchases--it is very different from a credit card transaction! When you place an order using a debit card with us, or with any online store, your bank immediately puts the entire amount of your order on hold. You cannot spend that money, but it does not mean that we have your money! So, if you cancel your order or make a change to your order which changes the original order amount, the bank "hold" for the original amount will still be present in your account! This is because the bank has no other way of making sure that the funds are available when the online merchant actually "charges" your card, and we don't do that until we ship your order (unless it is a custom order). This is only a problem when customers cancel or change their original order. If you use a credit card, a similar thing happens, but it only affects your credit line.

If this happens to you beca…

How are rings sized?

In an earlier post, I talked about ring sizing but did not go into details about how that is done. So, here are a few highlights.

Most rings are manufactured in a standard size, but it is not exact. The majority of rings are made for women, in a nominal size 6. If a specific style for a man is offered, it will usually be a nominal size 10 (recently, some manufacturers have begun using 7 and 11 as nominal sizes). If you require a size 8 in our Diamond Heart Ring, #1357, for instance, it will have to be "sized up" by 2 sizes from a nominal size 6. Sizing up, for most ring styles, requires that the jeweler cut the ring's shank, open the gap, and insert more metal. The metal must then be soldered to the original ring and smoothed and polished so that the modification is invisible. If the ring is 14K gold, then 14K gold is used for both the new metal insert and the solder, so that the ring is still composed of all 14K gold.

If the nominal size 6 ring was required to be a size …

Engraving the old fashioned way!

We offer our customers an engraving service--many of our items can be engraved, such as rings, crosses and other pendants. But there are some restrictions because of very practical considerations. For instance, some pendants may be "hollow" on the back, meaning that its surface is not flat, but is molded in such a way that the back is concave (this is done to reduce the amount of gold used to make the pendant, thereby keeping the cost down). Or, the size of the item may be too small for engraving--gold wedding bands, for instance, need to be no smaller than about 3mm to leave room for readable text! Usually, if an item can be engraved, we will state this in the description, but if you have a question, please feel free to call or email us!

Some items, such as lockets, do not have flat surfaces and are easily dented by too much pressure during the engraving process. So, using a computer-controlled engraving machine would probably damage most lockets! That is why all of our engr…

Omega Chains: Flexible or Inflexible?

Ever wonder about the types of Omega Chain that we describe on our website? Well, here are some answers:

Omega chain comes in several types--there's reversible omega (it's cross section is a "flattened oval", white gold on one side and yellow on the other like our 6mm #7124 shown here), flexible omega (it's round and "soft", flexible like a snake chain) and "round omega" which is round also, but more stiff than flexible omega. Then there is "solid, or domed, omega", which is really a round omega that has been flattened into a crescent cross section, so that the top is domed and the back is concave. Round, domed and reversible omega chain are by design rather stiff--they form a circle when worn around the neck, rather than drooping down the chest like a pendant chain. Some domed omegas can even be "graduated", meaning they are wider at the front, and narrower at the back of the neck where the clasp is.

You can hang a pendant o…