Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend: 4C's Refresher

I am more than sure you have heard about the 4C’s of a diamond.   The cut, clarity, color and carat of a diamond all comprise specific details that culminate the beauty of the stone.  As much as we love to look at these pretty and sparkly jewels, how many of us know the details behind each ‘C’?  If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then we should know every little element the makes our friend so special.  Last weekend I took a trip to do some research at a few jewelry stores to learn about diamond engagement rings.  When doing research I always say start at the top and work your way down.  I spent time in Tiffany & Co. and Cartier learning what makes their diamonds unique compared to all the others on the market.  I learned why they are worth their price tag even if in the end you a portion of the cost will be paying for the name.  Let’s blend beauty and brains and learn a few major points that can help when shopping for a diamond.


Let’s review the 4C’s

Cut, clarity, color and carat (weight) as a whole affect the magnificence of a diamond. At Tiffany the 4C’s are considered ‘the presence’ of the diamond.

Cut
A rule to remember here is that “bigger is not always better.”   The cut is one of the most important factors in determining the worth of a diamond. The cut defines the symmetry and balance of the diamond.  When a stone is cut to maximize brilliance and light dispersion it usually loses size. This is because the facets cut into the diamond determines the beauty of the stone. This always works conversely so if a stone is cut larger you may lose some of the brilliance and beauty.

Tiffany diamonds have no more than 57 to 58 facets to maximize the return of light. More facets than this tends to take away from the affect so be wary if someone tries to talk you into believing otherwise. 






Clarity
Clarity measures the flawlessness of a diamond. A diamond’s clarity rating has a direct effect on a diamond’s beauty and price. All diamonds have imperfections called inclusions and blemishes.  A stone is considered ‘flawless’ if under certain magnification no internal or external imperfections are visible.  Flawless diamonds are very rare and priced accordingly.  

The rating scale used at more upscale stores is the GIA scale.  At places such at departments stores like Macy’s you may find a different scale.  See full GIA scale here. Higher end jewelry stores usually on take diamonds of a VS1 (slight inclusions) to FL (flawless).




Color

The term color is a bit misleading because diamonds are characterized for their lack of color.  Any color found in a diamond is seen as an impurity and decreases the value of the stone.  Color scales rate from levels “D” (colorless) to “Z”.  Tiffany only accepts diamonds with a rating of I or better while Cartier is more exclusive only accepting those grading “D” to “H”.  The scale below gives more detail.



Carat
We all know this one!!  The weight of a diamond is measured in carats.  A carat is equal to .20 grams.  Again, remember what we learned about the cut BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.  Carat weight alone does not determine the stones value.  All of the 4Cs determines this.  A smaller diamond that meets all the standards of the 4C’s can easily cost more than a larger diamond with inferior standards.

Tiffany measures diamonds to 1/1000th of a carat.  I researched and calculated but the most this means to me is that 1 carat equals 1/5000 grams or .0001 carat.


Certifications
Even with such beautiful things as diamonds there is a dark side.  Unfortunately, not all diamonds are mined in fair and safe {as safe as a mine can be} conditions.  Any diamond you buy should be certified and you will receive a certificate.  If there is no certificate there is a chance that the diamond could have come from the black market or be what is known as a blood diamond.  Just be very careful as no one wants to help profit an industry that endangers others.   The certificate also ensures your warranty.  Read it thoroughly and carefully.  Make sure every aspect is understood. 


There is an app for that!
Tiffany has an engagement ring finder.  You can browser rings, determine your ring size, and view carats in actual size.  Look up the Tiffany & Co. engagement ring finder in the app store.  It’s pretty cool!

One piece of advice I would give is stay open minded!  There were rings that I saw online and was not drawn to the style, but when I tried them on they looked great on my hand.  It does not cost a thing to try on a ring.  Try as many as you like until you find the one that speaks to you.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspired DIY: Embroidery Loops

Last week I had a meeting with one of my brides to collaborate on the details of her wedding.  One of the new details added was so lovely I had to share.  If you ever knew anyone to or have done cross stitching you recognize the embroidery rings that hold the fabric.  Embroidery hoops are a quick way and inexpensive way to jazz up non floral centerpieces or even create depth if you hang them from the ceiling.  Make it even more sentimental by having a picture printed on some fabric and framing it inside the loop.  Besides weddings I can imagine these hanging from trees at a spring backyard garden party or even as inexpensive favors at a baby shower. 




 {via: Twig}



 {via: Papernstitch}






Friday, April 13, 2012

Fantasy Friday: Which Reality Couples Do You Like Best?

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This Friday I want to take a break from reality and just step out a bit and use my imagination.  These days our televisions are bombarded with reality TV stars.  There are some outrageous housewives, looking for love bachelorettes and even a few very outspoken interior designers (the best is Jeff Lewis - if you don’t know him learn about him – HILARIOUS).  Though out of all the options my favorite to watch are the couples like Khloe and Lamar, Lala and Carmelo and Coco and Ice.  Before watching these shows I was one of the skeptics.  I easily believed that these marriages were all about the money.  Can you blame me?  Come on a Kardashian marries a basketball star was supposed to scream we are in love!!?? A former MTV VJ with no face time in years marries the star ball player of that year equals unconditional love?  Ice an ex rapper marrying a butt model with implant says this is going to last forever?  



 So yes, I gave a few eye rolls and probably mumbled about how everyone is getting married like kids eat candy.  I can admit when I am wrong, and after watching both of these shows I really love how they interact with each other and they sold me on believing in their love.  If you compare these couples’ shows to their predecessors,  like Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey or Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries (and every other man she will probably be seen with this year),  I actually feel like I am not watching a train wreck in slow motion.  These seem like genuine couples who actually are navigating their way through marriage and all that life brings.  Plus, the show allows you to see a different side of these women that you would not expect from what is portrayed in the media.  Coco works out and cleans in stilettos!! Come on can you really say you have a friend bold enough to do that??  And Khloe ACTUALLY cooks and cleans her own house too (in regular shoes and comfy clothing)!!  I love real{ity} stars.  I guess the saying is true you can’t judge a book by its cover.  I watch these couples and they put a smile on my face and make me realize that old fashion, I’ll stick by you when times are tough and even when you say something not so bright love still exists.



So today I want you to think about the celebrity couple you would like to get to know best.  It can be a couple with or without a show.  Then tell me - Why did you choose this couple?  Do you think you can be their sidekick (the one who is always their ‘assistant’) or just their friend? Do you think they will last forever or is it just about having fun for the moment? 

I’m excited to hear what you guys will come up with!!  HAPPY FRIDAY!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Season Premiere of The B---- in Apt 23

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a pre-screening hosted by NY Magazine of the new show The B----- in Apt 23.  Initially I was going to pass on going because…  1. I was going to be just lazy and 2. why go pre-screen when the show is actually going to be on tv?  Then the email said there would be snacks and drinks (wine), plus it was being held at the Tribeca Theater which I have been dying to see the inside of since I moved to NYC.  Another huge plus was that all the NY Magazine events I got to are always worth it.   So the good outweighed the bad and I drug my friend along with me. In case the show was boring as heck at least someone was there suffering with me, because who wants to suffer alone right (lol)?.  Well, the show actually had a few good laughs and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The show definitely has some areas where it can be better, but for the 2 episodes we saw it is certainly worth watching to see how the show and characters grow.  It is nice to see Krysten Ritter coming into her own as a lead character.  Her role in Confessions of a Shopaholic (one of my most relatable movies) and 27 dresses showed lots of potential towards her development as a lead actress.  She also recently did a spread in Marie Claire magazine which showed her in high fashion.  Ritter has the makings of being a multi-faceted star.  She fits in to the not too dark but not over the top girl next door and realistic characters are breath of fresh air.  Hope you tune in!! If you do let me know what you think.

{photo via email from NY Magazine}