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    Apr 11
    Senior American military officials of World Wa...

    Senior American military officials of World War II. Seated are (from left to right) Gens. , George S. Patton, , Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, , and ; standing are (from left to right) Gens. Ralph F. Stearley, , , , and . colon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    It is especially touching when a couple is torn apart by life but manages to get back together after years of time apart. The reason why these stories have such a profound effect on people is simply that they embody the victory of true love over chance and fate. Continue reading »

    Mar 05
    English: diamond engagement ring in platinum -...

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    It is said that every story has a fairytale in it. In the case of Margaret MacNeil and Eric Ericson, the statement is extremely valid because their story spans an unbelievable 60 years. In a nutshell, Eric Ericson gave Margaret MacNeil an engagement ring 60 years ago only for her to break the engagement and give it back to him. Eric Ericson, owing to his love for Margaret MacNeil, decided to keep the engagement ring and was rewarded for his deliberation because now, 60 years later, the two are married again with the same engagement ring being presented to Margaret MacNeil. Continue reading »

    Jul 27

    There are times in our lives when we don’t really know what the things we have collected over the years are worth. In most cases, the answer is not much, but there are some items that we have kept that could be worth quite a bit of money. There are jewelry pieces that are old that we got from our grandmother or a piece of furniture that we bought at a garage sale that could be hundreds of years old. The only real way to tell if these items are valuable is to have them appraised. The appraisal process is not always reliable, but it can give us an idea of the value of an item. It often costs money to have items appraised and if the item is worthless, we just wasted some money that could have gone to more stuff. We scour garage and estate sales looking for items that are unique or may be valuable to someone. We always look for the best deals and in many cases, they sell the items for pennies on the dollar. Sometimes we find a treasure and other times, it is simply something nice that we find charming. Continue reading »

    Dec 20

    1136507_gift_boxesNo matter what religious holiday you celebrate, there are specific rituals and traditions that help to create a sense of community and shared life experience.  Just like there are different engagement ring styles unique to any one couple, there is still the universal ritual of presenting an engagement ring that is associated with romance and love.  This year, why not start some new traditions that can bring meaning and memories to your family for years to come?
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    Jun 11

    183140_celtic_crossIrish people have a unique heritage rich in symbolism. Criss cross wedding bands rings women love can also be representative of Irish knots designs. You can include elements of Irish design in bridal jewelry or just everyday jewelry. It’s never a bad day to celebrate your heritage! Here’s a few pieces to look for and add whether you’re Irish or just love their designs.

    Claddagh Pendants

    Two hands holding a heart that is crowned is a Claddagh Pendant symbol. It holds three meanings: faith, love, and loyalty. They can be all made of metal or they can include stones either set in the heart or as a replacement of the heart. Most Irish jewelry comes in silver tones, although there’s no reason you can’t use the same symbols with gold.


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    Apr 28

    2945540771_8452d468cbA way to melt a woman’s heart is not through her pocketbook. When buying an engagement ring, think about how symbolic, eternal love, jewelry can bring out those love vibes. You will realize you may not have to spend as much as you think, and she will treasure the ring forever because it has special meaning.

    Engrave It

    You can easily customize a ring by putting an engraving within the band. You can add your initials, a date, or a very tiny saying. Either way, she’s going to love the extra thought that went into the customization and it’s also not that expensive to do.

    Special Stones

    A diamond is kind of required for an engagement ring, but that doesn’t mean it has to be there all by itself. If you’re creating a new family together, you can put various stones in the same ring, to symbolize the new union of families. You can also create a multi-stone setting with birthstones on either side of a diamond. Either way, it shows the ring as being something more than just an engagement ring, but a commitment to love and family.

    Pass Down an Heirloom

    Nothing is more romantic than vintage jewelry, particularly when it comes complete with a romantic history within your own family. If you can’t find your own heirloom, look for designs that favored a romantic era. It will be something that evokes special feelings and associations of long-lasting love.

    Associate It With Her Values

    Maybe she’s environmentally aware and wants a conflict-free diamond. Maybe she wants alternative jewelry instead. If her values are more towards preserving the earth, you can make sure that the ring she gets will still align with those values. It shows you value her opinion and take those into consideration.

    Shape It Just Right

    There are some rings you can get with heart-shaped diamonds. The setting itself can have romantic engravings on it. Some types of settings, like illusion settings give the appearance of a diamond floating in thin air, like fairy dust. Eternity bands use multiple diamonds around the ring to give it a real special look that says: “Forever.”

    Apr 18

    474430_broochIt’s been a long time since brooches and pins were in style, but you can now dust off these charmers and bring them back into the light of day. Pins, or brooches, have often been associated with elderly people, until Michelle Obama brought them forward back into the spotlight for younger people. If they’re good enough to dress up the sleeve-less or jacketed outfits of the First Lady, then they’re bound to be good enough for anyone! It’s time to start pulling out antique diamond jewelry pins that have been hidden for way too long!

    Get “The Look”

    One of the most popular ways to use a brooch right now is pairing them with drop earrings for a sultry night out. In this look, you don’t need a necklace at all. The accents of the large drop earrings along with the brooch or pin is sufficient to accessorize your outfit for a night on the town. Be sure to show off as much skin as possible, and upswept hairstyles show off your jewelry more.

    Pins Popular in The office

    Another place where the First Lady has influenced fashion is in the office. When she goes to meet with people at non-profits or local businesses, she often wears an office suit that is not a designer label, but dresses it up with a fine pin. It’s a way to show that she is one of the people, but also that she retains status and class in whatever she does.

    A properly placed pin on an office suit makes an elegant statement, as long as it doesn’t point to any affiliation. When interviewing, it’s a good idea to add a bit of gold or silver to your lapel to dress up an otherwise boring outfit. Just keep to a neutral theme so that the pin is not distracting or insinuates anything about your affiliations.

    Not Just For Your Lapel

    Pins are great accessories. They can be used in a variety of different places. A good pin can be used on a lapel, on a hat, on a scarf, on a belt, or on a purse. Some people even have pins that dress up their shoes, but you would need two identical pins for that. The idea is to add a bit of glamour to a boring accessory and to give it new life.

    Sheath Dresses and Pins

    Single colored dresses and suits make the perfect foil for a pin. You don’t have to use the same colored stones as the dress or suit, and often a better fashion statement is made when you choose a unique combination of colors instead. They work great with blazers too.

    Pins can be fun, for when you’re out with your friends, or conventional for when you’re in the office. A pin is a very affordable piece of jewelry that goes with just about anything and can be used to accessorize the accessories. This year have a little fun with pins that you may have forgotten about in your jewelry chest. Bring them out and try them out in different places on your outfit. You’ll be delighted to see how a single pin can transform the look of an outfit from drab to fabulous in a few minutes time.

    Apr 15

    4325804114_b5c0b99bd0Before titanium and tungsten were used for jewelry for men, they were components in industrial automotive applications. In the same manner, there are numerous modern materials that can be recycled into fashionable jewelry items for both men and women. Innovative designs with paper, electronic doodads, metal, and even plastic scraps can lead to some pretty eye-catching jewelry that’s not only cheap, but green too.

    Paper

    Color comic strips and magazine layouts can be made into paper beads that are glossy and richly textured into layers. It saves them from going into landfill, and it also is easy and safe jewelry accents for children.

    Electronic Circuitry

    If you’ve ever broken open a radio or a calculator, you know that the chips and wiring have a very modern design to them. They can be cut up to make great earrings, and pendants. Some of the components can be removed to use along with other recycled materials in new designs that appeal to technical or modern people. Wires with colorful plastic coatings can be woven into bracelets, earrings, pendants, and even purses.

    Metal

    Anywhere there’s scrap metal there’s an opportunity to make jewelry. Bike chains can make very edgy chains around your neck or wrist. Safety pins have long been a favorite of the punk crowd. Take a look around to see where you can find metal wire or components that can easily be fashioned into great jewelry pieces. Bottle caps are a great craft item that can also be used in jewelry design. You do have to be careful with metal not to use any pieces with jagged edges as they can easily cut the wearer. Instead opt for pieces that disassemble easily and that can be used as is in a new jewelry design.

    Plastic or Industrial Waste

    Plastic is an easy material to craft. It can be pasted together, it can be cut, and it comes in a variety of colors. Industrial wastes like the plastic used to display x-rays can be cut or shaped into fanciful earrings or pendants. Small CD-ROMs make fun earrings and inner tubes from tires can make some wacky, but fun, necklaces! There’s bound to be tons of craft materials lying around your home just waiting to be used by a clever jewelry artist. All it takes is a little imagination and some time to find new ways to use old materials. It’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s also eco-friendly!

    Apr 07

    85097_rose_ringA quality piece of jewelry is an investment in future fashion wear. Whether you buy a commercially produced piece of jewelry or have one custom-made, there will come a time when you want something different in your jewelry box. You’re in luck because the recession trend is to make old things new, especially with old rings and things. Vintage designs may not fit your wardrobe now, but you can easily take a few of those pieces and make an entirely new piece that is unique and special. With everyone wanting just a little more work, even fashion design jewelers are willing to cut a deal by helping their customers redesign old pieces.

    Keep the Stones

    If you’ve got fine jewelry that seems worn or out of date, or broken, you should keep the stones. Think of a jeweler as a tailor, if you need a ring redesigned, it’s a cinch. Emeralds are just like buttons that can be added to other pieces to give a whole new look. A good practice is buying old jewelry from swap meets, garage sales, or estate sales. Keep thinking about the type of jewelry design you would like, and just be creative to get it by combining elements from more than one piece. It’s far less costly to have the diamonds and gemstones available and just put them in a different setting, than to buy an entirely new piece.

    What Types of Items to Hunt

    Vintage flower jewelry along with psychedelic shapes and colored diamonds are taking the market by storm. Roses have always been a really good jewelry find, and now some designers are capturing the essence of flowers perfectly in recycled pieces. A flower motif is a very easy way to take elements from various jewelry pieces and combine them into something new.

    Classic shapes like hearts are also excellent for recycling. You can take a simple heart and add a stone for a great new look. You can take two different heart pieces, and form new pieces featuring hearts tied together by a necklace chain. Add a few diamond chips to any heart or heart necklace and it amps up the elegance big time. By melting pieces together or splitting them apart, different pieces of each jewelry item are used to create a fresh statement. Even if an item is outdated, it doesn’t mean you love it less. It just means it might not be in style anymore. Why not take that piece and re-work it so that you can continue to enjoy it even further into the future? In this recession, it really is the smart thing to do to take what resources you have and make them give you even more value for your money.

    What You Can Do With Gold Pieces

    If you happen to score some gold, that’s a great way to start recycling. Gold is very malleable, in most cases, and easy to re-work into new pieces. Gold is also useful for generating cash these days. Selling gold is easy and profitable now and it can help you to fund a new purchase. You might even think about throwing a gold party for friends and relatives to get a commission of their sales too. If you have pieces with gold and stones, the jeweler who is buying the gold, will often remove the gemstones and let you have them back. This gives you the option to have some extra cash, and the opportunity to use the gemstones in another jewelry piece later.

    Find A Jeweler You Can Trust

    With gold being as valuable as it is, it’s important to work with a jeweler you can trust. You don’t want to end up handing in a 14k gold chain and receiving a piece with 10k gold. It’s very likely that you won’t even notice, but the piece will be worth far less. The same is true of diamonds in your recycled jewelry. An unscrupulous jeweler can switch gemstones on you, leaving you with a less valuable piece while he resells the one he switched. Develop a relationship with a jeweler, and if possible, have him do the work in front of you. Negotiate the price beforehand, and see where you can save money here and there. Right now, everyone is looking to get a little extra work, and jewelers are no different. The right person can help you get the new look you want, at the price you want, while getting some business in the door for them.