Category: News

Jewelry Trends from the Oscars You Need to Be Paying Attention To

Who else watches the Oscars to drool over all the gorgeous, custom, unique and rare gems worn by all of the lovely red-carpet celebrities? This year definitely did not disappoint! We noticed a few trends that we’re excited to see taking to the streets. Here are a few of our favorites, and how to wear them off the red carpet.

1) Statement earrings

It seems like all the celebs this year were rocking some type of statement earrings. Each had their own personal style, and each looked fabulous flaunting it!

Photo by George Pimentel/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron went big and bold with her statement earrings. Style tip: if you’re going to rock earrings as dazzling as the ones above, definitely go with a bare neck as well. You don’t want your necklace to be in competition with your earrings, and if you’ve got a killer pair of statement earrings you’re dying to show off, then you certainly want to let them do the talking.

Pictured below: some of our favorite big, bold statement earrings available here at Pearls International.
Black Pearl Waterfall Earrings White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Emma Stone rocked a slightly more delicate, yet still impactful look with these beautiful diamond earrings. The best thing about these earrings is the movement they allow. The diamond sparkle is ready to catch your eye with each turn of her head. This is really a statement look that can work for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Isabelle Huppert shows off a dazzling ear climber. Ear climbers are something we’ve always been a fan of. One of our most popular earrings are our pearl ear climbers, which can be worn up the ear like in Isabelle’s photo, or turned downward as a dangle earring for a different statement. You can check them out in white pearls (pictured below) or black pearls.

White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

2) Layered bracelets and cuffs

A few of the stars were wearing some awesome, fashionable bracelet combos this year. Often bracelets are overlooked in favor of flashy necklaces, but we thought they definitely deserved a mention. Two big style trends we saw on the red carpet this year were layers of similar bracelets on one wrist, like Halle Berry’s (pictured below) and big, bold cuffs like the ones worn by Priyanka Chopka.

Photo by Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

The cool thing about this style is that you can make it as casual or dressy as you want. Stack delicate pearl bracelets with diamond bands or some of your other favorite gemstones for your own version of a red carpet look, or try pearls and leather or simple chain bracelets for a more casual stack. There are so many ways to showcase your own personal style with this look!

Photo by Lionel Hahn/ABACA USA/INSTARimages.com

We just love Priyanka’s look here – the symmetry of her matched cuffs and how it compliments the unique texture of her dress, and of course the statement earrings! You can click here to shop some bracelet inspiration of your own.

Are you more of a Priyanka or a Halle when it comes to bracelet style? Tell us in the comments!

3) Choker length statement necklaces

This is a timeless red carpet look but one that never fails to amaze! Rather than wearing huge, heavy necklaces, these celebrities wore statement pieces in a choker length. Their individual styles shine through here as well.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Janelle Monae has an over-the-top look going on here – but it totally works for her! The whole outfit has the effect of making her look like something out of a fairy tale, but we can’t help to be drawn to that incredible choker.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jessica Biel’s runway style also included an elaborate choker. This one was handcrafted by Tiffany and Co. Gorgeous!

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Alicia Vikander and Taraji P. Hensen are just two examples of dazzling diamond chokers worn at the Oscars this year. Both styles are elegant and absolutely flattering.

Look for a statement necklace of your own here!

4) Honorable mention

Pharrell Williams was killin’ it in these layered necklaces and elaborate pearl brooch, proving once and for all that pearls are for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage



You might also like:

Jewelry Trends from the 2016 Oscars

5 Reasons We Like Pearls Better Than Diamonds

Pearls: The Final Frontier in Men’s Fashion

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

 


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

We are moving!

Attention Ormond Beach Pearl Girls!

We are moving!

Pearls International’s Ormond Beach location on Granada Blvd. will CLOSING on Sunday, but we won’t be far away! We will be open through Saturday, May 9th. After Mother’s Day, we will still be available for all of your jewelry, repair, and custom design needs right down the beach at 3114 So. Atlantic Avenue!

Some REALLY FANTASTIC opportunities have opened up for Pearls International and we will be focusing on those as well as making sure you are well-taken care of! (We will be announcing BIG NEWS soon!)

As always, you can reach us by phone at 386.767.3473 or online at www.pearlsinternational.com.

We look forward to seeing you again very soon in our flagship shop at 3114 So. Atlantic Avenue!

This is the newest way to shop!

Pearls International Digital Showcase Screen Capture
Pearls International Digital Showcase Screen Capture

 

Pearls International is proud to introduce our new Digital Showcase!

We have created many gorgeous custom works for our customers in the past, and now we have found a way to make it easier…and more FUN!

Our new Digital Showcase offers thousands of options for you to choose from when it comes to creating your own special piece of jewelry. You can select from unique rings, engagement sets, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that are perfectly suited to your style. We are now even able to offer you loose diamonds and gemstones!

Have your own stone? That’s great – choose your dream setting, metal type, and accent stones and we will set your stone for you!

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of person? Our Showcase also offers findings, metals, and jeweler’s tools at great prices!

And if your creative juices just aren’t flowing, our Showcase offers fine, completed pieces that can’t be found in stores.

So how does this thing work? Here’s an example of how to create a customized engagement ring – we took the same setting and made two very different pieces of jewelry! (Click the images below to make them larger.)

How to Use the Showcase
We selected this gorgeous halo engagement setting. Here are some of the options the Showcase gave us!
Showcase Ring B
For our first ring, we decided to go with yellow gold. This one has a round diamond with emeralds, peridot, and more diamonds as the accent stones.
Showcase Ring A
For our second example, we chose white gold, a square cut diamond, and sapphire, tanzanite, diamonds, and aquamarine as our accent stones. Wow!

Stop in to either of our locations and have a Pearl Girl walk you through the Showcase. The possibilities are endless!

Sea Sparkle

Sea Sparkle: Pretty, or pretty bad?

You probably aren’t too familiar with Noctiluca Scintillans, the alluring not-quite-algae responsible for the beautiful displays of light in the oceans surrounding Hong Kong. 

This unusual single-celled sea life, also known as “sea sparkle” gives off a bioluminescent glow when agitated, either by the movement of the waves or by a passing ship or fish. The breathtaking light shows are visible in many parts of the world, but become more prevalent in areas where increased nitrogen and phosphorous runoff from agriculture upset the delicate balance of the local ocean ecology.

Sea Sparkle

Noctiluca scintillans is an organism that functions both as a plant and an animal. While the organism in itself is not toxic, it tends to feed on phytoplanktons, and because noctiluca scintillans does not move from place to place, the buildup of excretions from its feeding results in high levels of ammonia in the surrounding water. This can lead to problems with surrounding sea life when heavy blooms of noctiluca scintillans take over large aquatic regions.

Noctiluca Scintillans single celled organism

We’re always impressed at the delicate balancing act our oceans perform to keep our entire globe running properly, and also by how easy it is for a few careless people to throw everything off kilter. Just a bit too much pollution from farms can cause seawater to become too nutrient-rich, leading to an overgrowth of noctiluca scintillans. The high ammonia caused by the overgrowth in turn causes problems with local sea life, problems which move gradually up the food chain until finally, they reach your dinner plate.

So what can you do about it?

Well, first, do your part. Be a responsible citizen of the globe. Recycle. Find ways to get involved. Educate yourself on the issues. Then get out there and make a difference! It takes a whole lot of drops to fill the ocean, and that ocean is depending on us.

Technology at Your Fingertips

This is the second blog in our jewelry and technology series. To read more about the way technology is affecting the jewelry industry, check out this cool blog on Galatea’s Momento Pearls.

Smart device aficionados everywhere: meet The Ring.

The Ring promotional image

The Ring is the next generation in functional wearables. With this device, you can control apps on your smartphone or tablet, turn appliances in your house (such as your lights and television) on and off, send text messages, and even make monetary deposits and payments online or at your favorite restaurants. This is all controlled with customizable gestures – for example, you could program your ring to turn your lights on when you draw a light bulb in the air, or to send a payment when you draw out a dollar sign. As you can see in the picture, the Ring is only about the size of an average class ring, which is impressive for all that it can do. Logbar, the creators of The Ring, also promise new developments and advances in ring technology this year. The Ring itself has only been available for purchase since December, which is when the first backers of The Ring when it started as a kickstarter project began to get their pre-orders. On schedule to be available starting in May of this year is the Ring Hub – a portable device which will allow you to connect your Ring to your home appliances via WiFi.

Comment to tell us what you think! Would you wear it?

 

sources:

The Ring Input Device Puts Gesture Control And Home Automation On Your Finger

The Ring Is Real

A Pearl That Speaks to You

Tahitian Momento Pearl Ring
Tahitian Momento Pearl Ring

The world we live in is full of mind-blowing technological advances. Every time we turn around, it seems as though there is a new product created to enrich our lives, make every day tasks easier, or keep us connected through the web. The jewelry industry is no exception to this. Designers everywhere are branching away from the traditional and creating new and exciting wearable art that has a lot more to it that what meets the eye. The Apple Watch is one example of this that has become widely popular. In this series, we will explore not only the innovative tech-jewelry on the market today, but also some of the ways modern technology can be used to help you create the piece of your dreams.

Tahitian Momento Pearl necklace and pendant set.
Tahitian Momento Pearl pendant and earring set.

A leading pearl jewelry designer, Galatea, has designed a brand-new line of pearl jewelry that can be used to store your fondest memories. They are chipped with NFC (near-field communication) technology, so that if you hold your pearl up to your smartphone it will show the photos, video, or voice recording that has been imbedded within it – without you even needing to have a special app installed! This very cool technology is a revolutionary way to give someone an emotional keepsake that they can hand down through the generations. Imagine having family photos or videos with a voice recording of your parents, and being able to hand those memories down to your children as well. In the words of Chi Huynh, founder of Galatea, “If you have to find a picture on a computer it is not meaningful. This personalizes it. It is the most meaningful part of someone’s life, and it is right there next to you.”

So how is this possible? They are planning for two types of Momento pearls – one will have the chip drilled into the completed pearl, and the second option (which will be a more limited edition type of jewelry) will have the pearl actually grown around the chip with your chosen memories already inside. This will take approximately 18 months until the finished product is ready. This truly amazing piece of jewelry is set to be available for purchase sometime this year, although as of right now they are still limited and by request only.

http://vimeo.com/114592725

What do you think of this idea? Are technology and jewelry a match made in heaven? Share your thoughts in the comments!

UCF Helps Restore Oyster Reefs

UCF Knights Give Back

The University of Central Florida’s volunteer program, Knights Give Back, recently completed their Eighth Annual Day of Service! The program has grown extensively over the years, as more and more UCF students, alumni, teachers, and other volunteers have started lining up for their chance to give back. This year, thousands of volunteers working at more than 20 different volunteer sites across central Florida worked on a variety of projects helping the community and the environment.

Infographic on Knights Give Back throughout the years

We at Pearls International are especially interested in this event because this year, one volunteer activity aims to help our favorite little ocean organisms – that’s right, oysters!

On October 11th, 2014, a multitude of students, teachers, and alumni, led by Dr. Linda Walters of the UCF biology department spent their day helping to restore degraded shorelines and oyster reefs in the Indian River Lagoon. Volunteers planted and transplanted mangroves and marsh grass, and created oyster restoration mats. These mats were placed in areas where oyster reefs used to exist, helping to restore the population. Oysters are a keystone, or essential, species and are filter-feeders, which means they actually clean the water as they eat, helping to create a healthy ecosystem in the lagoon.

UCF Students creating oyster mats.
UCF Students creating oyster mats to help restore the oyster population.