Pearly Whirly!

Jewelry causing skin irritation? Here’s how to fix it:

Nothing says disappointment like wearing an amazing new piece of jewelry for a few days, only to have it irritate your skin.

The first step in fixing this pesky problem is to find out what exactly is causing your skin to feel irritated. Is there a rough edge somewhere on your jewelry rubbing your skin uncomfortably? Is your ring too tight? Could you have a metal allergy?

To determine the issue, examine your jewelry first. Check for any rough spots. Your jeweler should be able to grind down any rough or sharp edges on your jewelry that may make your skin feel irritated. A ring that is too small may rub uncomfortably against your finger, understandably causing irritation. Often, you might not even notice that your ring is getting tight, especially if it is one you wear all the time. In the summer time, your hands can swell, causing your ring to irritate you.
Try wearing your ring on another finger for a few days to see if it feels any better.

Skin irritation caused by a ring.
Skin irritation caused by a ring.

If none of these things apply to your situation, you most likely have a metal allergy. The most common metal allergy is nickel, which is used in white gold and Sterling silver. However, every body is different and people can be allergic to all kinds of metals. If you have an allergy, try borrowing some pieces of jewelry (preferably rings, since they come in the closest contact with your skin) in different metal types to find a material that won’t irritate you.

Seaside Collection
Many of the pieces in our Seaside Collection are made with imitation rhodium, a metal that is hypoallergenic and non-tarnishing.

But, this piece of jewelry has never irritated me before!

It sometimes happens that we develop new allergies as we get older. Also, your jewelry could have been plated. Many pieces of silver color jewelry are plated with Rhodium or another white metal. Plating will eventually wear away over time, exposing you to the base metal of your jewelry, which is what is most likely irritating you. This can usually be fixed by having your jewelry re-plated, although keep in mind that you may need to do this regularly. It should also be noted that you should keep your plated jewelry away from soaps, lotions and other personal care products that may cause the plating to wear away sooner.

If you’ve worn pendants or bracelets of the same metal, it might not have irritated you because it wasn’t as close to your skin. Bracelets slide around on your arms a bit, and pendants are often protected from direct contact with your skin by a layer of clothing. You’re most likely to see irritation from rings or earrings.

Okay, so I’m allergic to my jewelry. Now what? 

You definitely have options. As stated above, you can have your jewelry plated. For mild allergies, keep your skin dry where metal comes into contact with it. The trapped moisture allows metal ions to be absorbed into the skin more easily. Another thing you can do is keep your jewelry clean and tarnish free. Also, wearing your jewelry for shorter lengths of time may help.

Keeping your jewelry clean and tarnish free can help prevent it from irritating sensitive skin.

If your irritation is a little more intense, you can also choose to have your jewelry redesigned. This may seem scary, but it could be an exciting opportunity to upgrade your piece. Our talented custom design specialists would love to consult with you and create a design for you that will set your heart fluttering. We will even use your original stones.

If you’re just not into the idea of having your beloved piece of jewelry transformed into something new, we can cast an identical copy in a more suitable metal.

Ideally, we recommend platinum for those with sensitivities, as you are the least likely to have an allergy to this material. Rhodium is also a good choice for many people. 24k yellow gold is also a good choice, as it contains the fewest alloys.

Fill out the form below or contact Pearls International Customer Care at 386.767.3473 or email us at customercare@pearlsinternational.com to request a repair envelope for you to send your irritating jewelry in to our experts for plating or redesign. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!


A South Sea Pearl Necklace

What’s the deal with so many pearl colors?

A variety of pearl colors

Pearls are sometimes referred to as the world’s most colorful gem, a title they have certainly earned! Rivaled only by garnets, which are available in every color of the rainbow, pearls are known for the amazing colors they display. However, not all of these colors occur naturally. There are many treatments that are considered acceptable in the jewelry trade to enhance the color and luster of the pearls in question. At Pearls International, we offer many color enhanced freshwater pearls so that you can find a color and style that suits your own personal flair. Note that when these treatments are done correctly, they do not detract from the value of the pearl. Here are the main treatments used to prepare pearls for use in jewelry:

Polishing: While it is is not necessary to cut a pearl or polish it in the manner you think of with other gemstones, they still have their own polishing procedure they are subjected to before being drilled and prepared to sell. They are simply tumbled in a salt water solution that is just course enough to remove any build up or organic matter from the pearls. This process can also sometimes remove small surface imperfections.

Maeshori: This is a process that originated in Japanese pearl farms, meaning “Before Treatment.” It refers to a range of treatments done at the farms, including polishing. When you hear of maeshori today, it means the process by which the pearl has been heated and then cooled in order to “tighten” up the nacre´ (smooth Mother-of-Pearl substance that forms the pearl) which causes the pearl to show increased luster. This process is comparable to a person getting a facelift.

Bleaching: Many freshwater and saltwater pearls are bleached to improve the color of white pearls. Bleaching also evens out some surface flaws. A natural color white strand will show slight variances in the hues of each pearl, while a bleached strand will appear very uniform. Pearl bleaching has been practiced for over 100 years and is considered an industry standard in production of white pearls.

Dyeing: Fancy color pearls such as cranberry and bright blue or green pearls have been treated with an organic dye. Sometimes freshwater pearls are dyed to mimic the color of saltwater pearls at a much lower price. Black freshwater pearls, for example, are dyed to look like Tahitian pearls. The same is true for chocolate color freshwater pearls. Chocolate Tahitian pearls are few and far between as it is, so it is a highly desired color based on rarity. Sometimes Tahitian pearls are dyed brown to make a matched chocolate Tahitian strand, without the pearl farmers having to wait the several years it would take to create a full strand of naturally chocolate color pearls. Dyeing a pearl does not detract from the value of the jewelry as long as it is done well. If you can see blotchiness on the surface of the pearl, or if you can see the original white color around and inside of the drill hole in the pearl, it has been poorly dyed. The color should be smooth and even across the surface of the pearl. Another common practice, related to dyeing, is called “pinking” which is most commonly done on Akoya pearls to increase the rosey overtones in the nacre´. This is achieved by soaking the pearls in a diluted red dye.

Freshwater Stick Pearl Necklace
Gorgeous color treated cranberry pearl necklace featuring both round pearls and stick pearls.

Irradiation: This is a treatment most commonly applied to saltwater pearls. It is rarely seen in freshwater pearls, because the cost of this treatment usually outweighs the value. The pearl is subjected to gamma rays, which darkens the pearl. In the case of saltwater pearls, it darkens the shell bead nucleus (which is made from a freshwater mussel). Because the center of the pearl has been darkened, the layers of nacre´ covering the pearl appear darker because of how the light refracts on the surface of the pearl, allowing you to see the nucleus underneath. The thicker the layers of nacre´ (so, the larger the pearl) the harder it is to see. Saltwater pearls treated in this manner will usually become silvery or gunmetal grey in color, not black. Freshwater pearls treated with irradiation will become very dark and it is a good way to get black freshwater pearls with high luster. It’s important to note that these pearls are not radioactive, and therefore are completely safe to wear and enjoy.

There are a couple of other treatments that some pearl farms may choose to do, but these are the most common and most acceptable in the pearl industry.

So, how can you tell if your pearls are a natural color or an enhanced color? Certain types of pearls are available in a range of natural colors. All others not listed are dyed or otherwise enhanced for fashion.

Akoya Pearls: Japanese Akoya pearls are one of the most popular pearl types on the market, and are the most obtainable saltwater pearls. They come in white and cream, with rose, silver, or gold overtones. They are also sometimes seen in a stunning silver-blue color, although these are very rare.

Graduated white akoya pearl necklace
Beautiful graduated white akoya pearl necklace.

South Sea Pearls: These rare treasures are available in white and gold, with the darkest golden pearls being considered the most valuable.

A South Sea Pearl Necklace
A multicolor south sea pearl necklace, showing the varying shades of gold and white these pearls naturally occur in.

Tahitian Pearls: One of the most sought after saltwater varieties of pearls, Tahitian pearls are prized for their dark color and ‘peacock’ overtones, although they can occasionally be found in chocolate as well. Most Tahitian pearls lean towards silver or grey rather than true “black.” (As in jet black, which is an unnatural color.) Pinctada margaritifera, the oyster that produces these gorgeous pearls, also produces their cousin, Fiji Pearls. Fiji Pearls are truly the most colorful pearl in the world, and one of the rarest. Because the waters they are farmed in are so nutrient-dense, they come in a rainbow of colors including the traditional blacks and greys, as well as bronze and gold.

Black Tahitian Pearls
Black peacock Tahitian Pearls

Sea of Cortez Pearls: As only one pearl farm is currently culturing these pearls, Sea of Cortez pearls are the most rare. They are also never enhanced to improve their color, so you know that if you purchase a Sea of Cortez pearl, it is unaltered by man once it leaves the oyster. Their colors are similar to those shown in black peacock Tahitian pearls, although they are somewhat more bold and rich in color than the Tahitians are.

Sea of Cortez Pearls
Pearls from the Sea of Cortez, produced from the Rainbow-Lipped Oyster

PS – You can click here to read more about the amazing Sea of Cortez and Tahitian black peacock pearls mentioned above!

Freshwater Pearls: Making up the bulk of the pearl market, most pearls you will come across while pearl shopping are freshwater. They take the least amount of time and effort from the pearl farmers to produce, and are cultured in several places around the world from a few different species of freshwater clams. These pearls naturally come in white and cream, as well as pastel colors such as peach, lavender, and pink. Any unusually dark or very brightly colored freshwater pearls are typically dyed.

Multicolor Freshwater Pearl Bracelet
Naturally occurring pastel color freshwater pearls, strung together in a bracelet.

When in doubt, a reputable company should always be honest with you about the jewelry you are buying – just ask!

Sources:

http://www.jewellerytechnology.com/education/Treatment_done_on_Pearls.php
http://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/content.php?92-Pearl-Treatments
http://www.professionaljeweler.com/archives/articles/1998/sep98/0998fys2.html
http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/Pearl-Colors_ep_45-1.html
http://www.pearlblogger.com/?p=137
http://www.purepearls.com/pearl-colors.html

What’s tougher than a diamond? You’ll never guess!

Our recent gemstone spotlight, featuring Jade, inspired us to dig a little deeper into what exactly the Mohs Hardness Scale is, and also the difference between hardness and toughness. Jade is a very tough stone, but not a very hard stone. In ancient times, it was used to create weapons and other tools, yet only falls between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale.
How could that be? The answer is that toughness and hardness are not the same. Hardness (which is measured on the Mohs scale) determines how easily a mineral can be scratched, while toughness judges its ability to withstand breakage, as from a fall or impact with another object.

A guide to the Mohs scale

While the Mohs Scale consists of a numerical scale of 1-10, the toughness scale is a little less specific. There is not yet a standardized test for measuring toughness, and minerals are graded on a scale of Exceptional, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.

Diamonds, which are commonly known as the hardest natural mineral, sit at a solid 10 on the Mohs scale. However, they only rank as far as “Good” on the toughness scale. Jade, however, ranks as “Exceptional” and is therefore considered to be tougher than a diamond, although it sits at a 6-7 on the Mohs scale. GemSociety.org uses the comparison of wood vs. glass to help you remember the difference between toughness and hardness. Glass is very hard and can easily scratch wood, but wood is very tough, so if you bang a piece of glass and a piece of wood together the glass is more likely to be broken by the piece of wood.

With this logic, diamonds can easily scratch jade, but what happens if you whack a piece of jadeite and a piece of diamond together? The diamond could crack, but your jade will probably come away a little bruised, but not too much worse for the wear. Now you know!

 

Sources:
https://www.gemsociety.org/article/gemstones-tough-hard/
http://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/encyclobeadia/charts/68ag
http://geology.com/minerals/mohs-hardness-scale.shtml

 


GBR Bleached

The Devastating Change That’s Happening to the Great Barrier Reef

Pictured above is a recent photo showing the devastating effects of coral bleaching on the once bright and beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Always regarded as one of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems on Earth, the once thriving coral reef is now feeling the harsh effects of climate change. A phenomenon called ‘bleaching’ is killing off the corals. Bleaching is a process that happens when abnormal environmental conditions (such as a spike in water temperatures) affect the relationship that the corals have with a species of algae called zooxanthellae. Check out the infographic below for more information:

coral infographic

A recent arial survey of the reef shows that around 95% off the ecosystem is affected by bleaching. Of the 520 reefs surveyed, only four showed no damage.

So what does that mean for the Great Barrier Reef? Well, corals can recover from bleaching if the conditions return to normal and the zooxanthellae are able to repopulate the reefs. However, due to the severe nature of the bleaching, it seems unlikely that many will survive. Professor Terry Hughes, a coral reef expert, estimates that about half of them will die off in the next month or so.

For comparison, check out the beautiful photos at this blog – showing the Great Barrier Reef in its former glory.

The beautiful colors once displayed across Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
The beautiful colors once displayed across Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Want to make a difference and inspire positive change in our world? Take action. Stopping climate change begins with the choices we make as individuals. So turn off a light when you leave the room, recycle, and make smart choices when it comes to choosing the products you buy. Check out our list of ways you can help stop climate change here for more information.


Sources:

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html (infographic found here)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-28/great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-95-per-cent-north-section/7279338

How Can YOU Help Stop Climate Change and Save Our Seas?

Melting Ice

Climate change and pollution are real threats that are damaging the world we live in, particularly our oceans. These environmental problems and our own unsustainable practices are creating problems such as sea sparkle (which isn’t as lovely as it sounds) and the devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

There are lots of things you (as an everyday, average person) can do to help put a stop to global warming, however. There are big moves, like driving an electric or hybrid car, or powering your house with solar energy – but there are also solutions that are attainable by everyone. If we work together, we can all make a difference just by changing small habits in our everyday lives.

Here’s a short list we’ve put together of ways you can help:

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! You might be tired of hearing this, but the difference changing just a few of your habits can make is phenomenal! For example, did you know that Americans buy about 25 billion plastic water bottles each year – which requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil to manufacture. That’s enough to fuel 100,000 U.S. cars for a year! Imagine how much energy we could save if everyone bought reusable water bottles instead? Consider buying paper products such as paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper from recycled sources. Saving trees means more oxygen in the air and less carbon dioxide, which is a huge contributor to global warming. When shopping for household products, choose items with less packaging and bring your own bags with you when you shop. In the United States alone, we throw away about 100 billion plastic bags a year.
  2. Use energy efficient appliances. Just by switching the lighting in your home to LED lights, you use around 80% less energy – helping the enviroment AND reducing your electric bill! Next time you need to replace one of your home appliances, look for the Energy Star label. They are the most energy efficient models. You can also make a difference by turning things off and unplugging them when you’re done using them. 10% of your energy bill comes from phantom loads. That means wasted energy from your home appliances, cell phone chargers and more being plugged in while they are not in use.
  3. Keep your car well maintained. No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, routine tune-ups and basic maintenance can make a big difference in your fuel economy. So, replace your air filter regularly, keep your tires properly inflated (that really does make a difference!) and stop putting off that tune-up you know your car needs. In addition to this, turn your car off when you’re stuck in traffic. It’s a myth that turning your car on and off uses more fuel than idling! Of course, you can also take advantage of car-pooling, public transit, your trusty bicycle or the shoelace express to save on emissions as well.
  4. Buy local – especially your food! Buying food from local farmers not only supports your local economy, but it helps the environment by reducing the amount of travel your food products have to go through to make it to your plate. Worldwatch Institute estimates that the ingredients for the average American meal travel more than 1,500 miles before they’re finally consumed. Try to purchase organic food whenever possible as well. Run-off from pesticides is a contributor to damaging our ecosystems both on land and aquatic.



Sources:

http://life.gaiam.com/article/climate-change-25-things-you-can-do
https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21939044

 


Jade Cabs

Gemstone Spotlight – Jade!

Today’s Gemstone Spotlight will leave you feeling green with envy!

Jade is known for its striking green color and exceptional toughness. But did you know that jade comes in more colors than just green? While green is the most valuable, jadeite is also found in yellow, red-orange, white, gray, black, brown, and light purple. Nephrite, another variety of jade, is found in yellow, brown, black, gray, or white in addition to the classic shades of green.

History and Applications

Throughout history, Jade was valued for its toughness. While it ranges from a 6-7 on the Mohs scale, it is a very durable gem and was often used to create tools and weaponry in several different cultures. The mineral buildup of Jade makes this possible, as both jadeite and nephrite are metamorphic rocks composed of tiny, interlocking crystals. So if it doesn’t get very high marks in hardness, how is it valued for being tough? Interestingly enough, hardness and toughness are tested very differently in the jewelry industry. Hardness (as measured on the Mohs scale) ranks the stone’s ability to withstand scratches and indentation, while toughness judges the stone’s ability to withstand breakage. This is why jade rings may become scratched over time, but ancient Chinese jade sculptures still stand unbroken.

Moh's Scale of Hardness

A Chinese ceremonial jade axe.
A Chinese ceremonial jade axe.
Mayan jade head sculpture.
Mayan jade head sculpture.

Jade Jewelry

In a jewelry application, jade is typically beaded or polished into a cabochon. It is rarely faceted. When polished, jade should have a glassy to oily luster. This stone is popular in both men’s and women’s jewelry.

It is most commonly seen in rings in cabochon form and carved into beads or discs for necklaces. In the east, the most popular piece of jade jewelry is the carved jade bangle, which is thought to bring protection to the wearer. At Pearls International Jewelers, we have stunning pearl and jade pieces in our Dream In Color Collection, which uses traditional jade beads strung together with pearls in necklaces and bracelets. We also have lovely jade earrings.

Freshwater Pearl and Gemstone Necklace
Jade beads with white freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal rondelles.
Freshwater Pearl and Gemstone Earrings
Pearl and Jade earrings.

Lore and Metaphysical Properties

Aztecs and Mayans believed jade could cure pain in the side of the body. In fact, the name jade came from Spanish explorers calling the gem “piedra de ijada,” literally meaning stone for pain in the side, which they coined while observing these cultures holding jade pieces up their sides. It is also thought to bring good luck and prosperity.

Two Chinese bi discs made of carved white jade.
Two Chinese bi discs made of carved white jade.

Perhaps the culture in which jade has the greatest value is China. The Chinese believe jade encourages longevity and strengthens your health. Meaningful sculptures are carved from jade all over China, giving it further meaning. A popular example of this is the traditional flat disc with a hole in the middle, known as “bi” in Chinese, a symbol of heaven. Other common Chinese jade sculptures include butterflies, which symbolize a long life, and dragons, which represent power and prosperity.

A bangle carved of imperial jade.
A bangle carved from imperial jade.

In many stories and legends, the popular jade bangle of eastern cultures (particularly China), was accredited with miraculous recovery from illnesses. It is said that the bangle would break at the critical moment and the wearer would recover as a result. In similar tales, the wearer of a jade bangle would emerge from an accident uninjured if the bangle broke at the right time.

Location

Both varieties of jade are found all over the world. Nephrite is more commonly obtained and therefore slightly less valuable than jadeite. The most valuable variety of jadeite, called imperial jade, which is prized for having a brighter, bolder green hue than the other varieties, is only mined in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Jade may also be found in China, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, and Guatemala to name a few known deposits.

Necklaces made of imperial jade.
Necklaces made of imperial jade.

Jade as a Gift

Jade is the traditional gift for a 12th wedding anniversary. It is also associated with the astrological sign of Taurus, so makes a meaningful gift for those interested in connection with their star sign. Jade is a wonderful every day stone which can be made into many different jewelry styles. Need a special gift for your upcoming anniversary or sweetheart’s birthday? Please contact us!


Sources:
http://www.minsocam.org/ammin/AM58/AM58_727.pdf
http://www.gia.edu/jade
http://www.gemselect.com/gem-info/jade/jade-info.php

Jewelry Trends From the Oscars!

oscars-2016

The 2016 Oscars was held on February 28th and it was a really fun year for #oscarsjewelry trends! In case you missed it, check out Indesign.Jewelry’s post on this year’s trends. We were especially excited about Trend #1! 😉

Here are some of our favorite pieces from this years ceremony!

 

 

Brie Larson looking drop-dead gorgeous! Check out that absolutely stunning pearl studded belt!
Brie Larson looking drop-dead gorgeous! Check out that absolutely stunning pearl studded belt!

 

Left: The lovely Whoopi Goldberg wearing an amazing statement bracelet! The octopus bracelet she is wearing and the bracelet pictured on the right were designed by Sevan Bicakci.
Left: The lovely Whoopi Goldberg wearing an amazing statement bracelet! The octopus bracelet she is wearing and the bracelet pictured on the right were designed by Sevan Bicakci.

 

Tina Fey wearing a stunning Bulgari sapphire necklace. She seemed to be one of the few ladies sporting colored gemstones instead of white gold and diamonds, and we're definitely into it!
Tina Fey wearing a stunning Bulgari sapphire necklace. She seemed to be one of the few ladies sporting colored gemstones instead of white gold and diamonds, and we’re definitely into it!

 


 

What were some of your favorite looks? Tell us in the comments!

When Life Hands You Oysters…

…shuck ’em. You just might find a pearl!

heart in the sand

So you didn’t get exactly what you wanted for Valentine’s Day. No need to whine or complain! Put any hurt feelings away, along with the jumper cables in the pink tote bag that he lovingly presented to you over a beer at the local sports bar.

This is your perfect opportunity to plan your pre-gift strategy for the next big holiday!

Empower your man by providing a little road map to your heart. You can either tell him outright what you really want, or just drop a couple of hints to steer him in the right direction (check out the “Send a Nudge” buttons on our site, for example!). Tell him about Pearls International’s dazzling jewelry!

Just a few pieces of our jaw-dropping pearl jewelry!
Just a few pieces of our jaw-dropping pearl jewelry!

You can choose a stunning gift for yourself from our endless selection of beautiful jewelry and put it on our registry! Tell him about your wish list and let him be the hero! We have Pearl Girls standing by just waiting for your guy to come by or call so we can skillfully guide him to make just the right purchase for you!


You’ll be happy that you got what you really wanted and he will feel like a million bucks! (Not to mention he’ll be thrilled with the stress-free shopping experience, the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and the FREE Shipping on orders over $99!) It’s a win-win situation!

Valentine’s Day is over, but there are endless opportunities for you to ever-so-selflessly empower your man to make the right choices. 😉 Is your birthday coming up? If not, no worries, the anniversary of something or other is always right around the corner. Hint away!

We at Pearls International believe in the power of the pearl.  We also believe that there is no better place to find it than at Pearls International Jewelers. Check out our website or stop by to experience the power of the pearl!

Note for the Guys: Jumper cable idea went over like a lead balloon? Still in the doghouse about the vacuum cleaner? Better give us a call at 386.767.3473. We can help.

Planning a Proposal? Here’s What You Need to Know.

proposal

So, you’ve found the girl of your dreams. The one. You’ve seen each other at your best and your worst times. She’s always there to have fun with, support you, and make you laugh. She’s your friend, lover, and confidant. The woman you are absolutely sure you want to spend the rest of your life with. And now you’re ready to take the next step and pop the question.

First of all, congratulations! The right match is hard to find, so cherish her!

Now that you’re sure you’re ready, though, where do you go from here? The world of jewelry shopping is tough for a guy, and this is the single most important piece of jewelry you will ever purchase. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

But don’t panic! The experts at Pearls International have all the information you’ll need to choose the ring of her dreams.


The first step is to know what your lady wants.

Most couples today discuss the idea of marriage before the actual proposal. It’s best find out ahead of time if she is ready. In fact, one of the biggest marriage proposal mistakes you can make, according to The Knot, is to propose too early. Have a mature conversation to make sure your views line up – do you agree on the big questions in life, such as where you want to live and whether or not you want to have children later on down the road? After all, you will be spending the rest of your life together.

It turns out that most women actually want an intimate proposal, not a public one. Actually, 66% of women wanted their proposal to include just the two of them, while only 3% were dreaming of a public proposal. It’s not necessary to propose in front of an audience, especially if your hopeful bride-to-be prefers to share her love in private. If she’s the type of lady that doesn’t like to participate in PDA, she is probably also the type of lady that would rather have this most intimate moment occur privately. Plus, it gives you time to reflect and celebrate your togetherness before sharing the news with your friends and family.

The time and place of the proposal isn’t the only thing you should be cautious about, however. The big deal is the ring. In a survey of almost 20,000 couples, proposing empty-handed was ranked as the #1 worst proposal mistake. The ring definitely makes it real. There’s just something about having the right ring that makes a proposal feel more sincere. Remember, this is the most important piece of jewelry she’ll ever own, and one that will be on her finger every day of her life. When you have that big conversation about the future, it wouldn’t hurt to ask about the ring, too. In fact, over 50% of women said that they had something to do with their ring.

What to do if you have a picky lady?

You have lots of options! In fact, 40% of women said that they would want to go ring shopping with their future fiancé. You can also use a stunt ring, like Pearl Girl Sophie’s husband, Josh did. You can read the story of her custom designed ring here!

Stages of designing a one-of-a-kind ring.
Stages of designing a one-of-a-kind ring.

So what is a stunt ring? It’s a stand-in, so that you’re not proposing empty handed, but she also is able to get the ring of her dreams later on. A stunt ring can be an old family heirloom, or an inexpensive one purchased from a jeweler that you can exchange for the real deal later. Your wife-to-be may also choose to have this special ring made into a piece of jewelry she can wear every day.

Temporary Engagement Ring
If you’ve never heard of it, a Stunt Ring is a time honored tradition for guys who have the good fortune (misfortune?) of falling in love with picky ladies.

How much do you really need to spend on a ring, anyway?

The good news is that ladies are actually not as set on having an expensive, lavish ring as you may think. 53% of women said they expected their future husband to spend less than $2,500. 30% preferred a ring with a value of $2,500-$5,000 dollars, leaving only 17% of women who expected something more expensive.

Is a diamond still the way to go?

Diamond Engagement
A classic diamond engagement ring is still the way to go, according to 67% of ladies.

Survey says…yes! Although times are changing, 67% of women still prefer a diamond. 18%, however, would like their ring to feature a colored gemstone. This is another situation where it never hurts to ask! There are lots of lovely diamond alternatives (that are nicer than a CZ) that she may be equally dazzled by. Sapphires are a beautiful choice, and come in white if you want a classic look. Other popular gemstones such as topaz and garnet are available in colorless varieties.

Diamond vs. some popular alternatives.
Diamond vs. some popular alternatives.

However, moissanite is definitely the #1 alternative for engagement rings that still have look of diamond. They rank at 9.5 on the Mohs scale (second in hardness only to a diamond), which is important because you don’t want to have to replace the stone later on due to wear and damage. A hard stone will last you a very long time. So we don’t recommend pearls (as much as we love them!) or other soft stones such as opals for a gemstone alternative, because they’ll need to be replaced frequently. If your lady is in the 18% that would like a colored gemstone, we consider sapphires and rubies to be the best choice as they are high on the Mohs scale. The possibilities are endless, however! There are lots of lovely stones to choose from. Maybe a ‘his and hers’ birthstone ring?

An example of a his and hers birthstone ring. This design features Amethyst (February's birthstone) and Auqamarine (March's birthstone.)
An example of a his and hers birthstone ring. This design features Amethyst (February’s birthstone) and Aquamarine (March’s birthstone.)

Yes, size matters, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

This one will surprise you – only 6% of women said stone size was the top factor when selecting their ideal engagement ring. The truth is that the design of the ring it the most important factor to nearly half of women surveyed, surpassing even diamond quality and ring craftsmanship.


So how can you be sure to get the style of ring she’s hoping for? You could always just ask – or if you’re set on the ring being a total surprise, ask her mother, sister, or best friend for ideas. Make sure your shopping partner is good at keeping secrets though, because you don’t want your intended to find out about her ring second-hand. Alternatively, dig through her jewelry box and/or pay special attention to the types of jewelry she already wears. Check the metal types and colors (Are they white, yellow, or even rose? Has she complained of metal allergies?), size and color of the stones she likes to wear the best, and her overall style. Engagement rings are available in vintage designs for a timeless look, the classic and always popular solitaire, in a range of unique customizable designs and more!

An elaborate vintage style that will impress all of her friends.
An elaborate vintage style that will impress all of her friends.

There is one size that DOES matter – the size of her finger! Ask her for her size, or keep it secretive with our handy ring sizer! She will surely want to wear her ring right away, and you don’t want to have to pay more later to have it adjusted to the correct size.

Still shaking at the thought of what to buy? Contact us to talk to a personal shopping consultant! All of our jewelry comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so that if it wasn’t the most perfect ring she’s ever laid eyes on, you can absolutely bring it back for a full refund or exchange. Call us today at 386.767.3473 and we’ll help you find the perfect ring to capture her heart!


Sources:

An Analysis of Engagement Ring Preferences


https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-proposals-5-biggest-proposal-mistakes
http://weddings.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/proposaltips

A diamond is forever, but so is moissanite

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Bold Color Choices From Pantone for 2016!

For the first time ever, Pantone has announced not one but two colors of the year! Rose Quartz and Serenity, chosen for their gentle, soft nature, are meant to be paired together. Pantone says the color choice challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

Inspired by society’s change towards gender equality and the younger generation’s boldness and tendency to be less concerned about stereotypes and judgement, this duo is a bold choice.

While Rose Quartz is meant to instill a sense of compassion, warmth, and composure, Serenity adds balance with it’s cooler, peaceful tone.

How to wear it?

Together, of course! Try a Rose Quartz top with one of our blue quartz and pearl necklaces with white gold to add a splash of sparkle.

White Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Blue Quartz

Rose Quartz and Serenity also pair well with all shades of yellow and pink, as well as greens, purples, and deep brown shades, according to Pantone’s recommendations.

Lillac Freshwater Pearl Pendant With Crystal Elements

Why not check out our peach, pink, and lavender pearl jewelry for some more Rose Quartz-inspired styles?