Blog Challenge #2:   20 Random Fun Facts About Me

Blog Challenge #2:   20 Random Fun Facts About Me

1)    Sparkle is my favorite color. (diamonds especially, which are my birthstone) ~ click here to shop

2)    I lived in Guam for over 2 years.

3)    I love boots/booties (check out these stunners that are on sale now as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) ~ click here to shop

4)    I have always loved antique furniture ever since I was a kid. (this dresser has been mine since I was a teenager and always makes me think it should be in a Disney princess’ room)

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5)    Forever 21 and stores that have too many options stress me out.

6)    I start my mornings out by drinking 16oz of water first thing. (check out these health benefits)

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7)    Going out to new restaurants is my favorite hobby.

8)    I love the beach but do not like going in the water.

9)    My hubby and I watch Shark Week every year. (even the ridiculous shows like Michael Phelps vs the Great White Shark)

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10) I get stuck in ruts. (I’ll wear the same jewelry for a week, cook the same dinners over and over, and use the same hair/face products for years)

11) I have snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

great barrier reef

Photo credit: www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Photo-Ideas

12) I could watch “Say Yes to the Dress” all day and still want more! (the new UK version is awesome by the way!)

13) I always spend at least $50 at Target no matter what.

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14) My biggest pet peeve is when people say “Irregardless” (that’s not a word)

15) Colored pens are my jam! (I love matching greeting cards with coordinating pen colors)

16) I am always worried that I will run out of coffee creamer so I usually have 2-3 bottles at one time (whenever I move to a new place, this is usually the first purchase and item in my fridge)

17) I’ve never had any cavities in my teeth.

18) Anytime a restaurant has shrimp and grits on the menu I have to order it.

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19) Cats scare me.

20) I love white sports cars. (I get this from my dad who restored this white Porsche when I was little)

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I challenge you to give me 20 fun facts about yourself on your blog!

And…next week’s blog topic will be Your Favorite Quotes.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

A Collage of Beauty

A Collage of Beauty

Life is filled with beauty collages. I see collages of beauty in layered clothes, in bundled peonies, in a natural kaleidoscope of colorfully paired foods, and in a cluster of diamonds set in a ring to catch the light as it moves. This week I would like to share these with you. I hope it brightens your weekend. Where else or what else shows you a collage of beauty???

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see photo credits, shop directly, and see the rest of our Pinterest ideas of beauty collages.

What is your engagement ring telling you?

What is your engagement ring telling you?

1)    Take me off!

 

A survey was done that over 25% of people NEVER take off their engagement ring. This leaves your diamonds, gemstones, and settings susceptible to damage. Knowing when to take it off will help prolong the life of your prongs, brilliance of your stone, etc.

 

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FACT: A 14k White Gold ring will completely disintegrate if it’s placed in household chlorine bleach for 34 hours.

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Now I know that’s extreme but it just shows that gold is not indestructible. A chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub for example, has chemicals that can weaken the metal.

 

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You should also avoid wearing your rings while baking and gardening. Certain things like dough and dirt can accumulate and harden making your ring very difficult to clean.

 

 

Remove rings before applying lotions and creams. These will greatly diminish brilliance and  hasten the need for cleaning and can even damage certain gemstones. Avoid getting hair spray on diamond rings as it will stick to the stones and make cleaning very difficult as well.

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Hard water or well water can discolor settings and diamonds by leaving a film on them if you keep them on in the shower. Check out this photo of my sister in law’s ring from just showering a few days in well water.

 

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The fine fabrics found in bed linens over time can work their way in between your prongs and stones. If your prongs are snagging on fabrics or constantly getting little fibers stuck this could be sign of a misshaped or damage prong.

 

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Remember: cold water can shrink fingers, so never swim in the ocean or lake while you’re wearing your rings. They could slip off without you even knowing it.

 

2)    Don’t take me off!

 

Do NOT take off your rings and set them next to the sink in public restroom to wash your hands. This is one of the most common ways of losing a ring.

 

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3)    Clean me!

 

A simple cup of warm water with a few drops of Dawn dish-washing soap and a soft bristle toothbrush is all you need at home. If you want a deep clean, your local jeweler can assist better with an ultra sonic and steam clean upgrade.

 

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4)    Get me checked!

 

If you hear a slight rattling or can feel a loose stone, do not delay, go see your local jeweler ASAP. Keep a record of your repairs and maybe even consider getting an insurance policy for your beloved ring through your home owner’s insurance. Also, your jeweler can restore white gold’s brilliance by “dipping” the setting in a rhodium bath. This will not harm your setting and is also safe for platinum rings as well.

 

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5)    Be careful with me!

 

FACT: Diamonds are incredibly hard, but impacts on points or the girdle edge can damage them.

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Sudden impacts can chip stones and dent metal, so remove your rings before doing physical activities.

 

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Enjoy your engagement ring but keep these hints in mind to keep your beautiful piece intact and beautiful for years and years to come! To see the engagement rings photographed click here.

April Fun Facts ~ Birthstone

Diamonds are the hardest known substance found on the planet earth. Almost 100 times more resistant to scratching than the next hardest substance. Diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means invincible or indestructible. Diamonds are extracted from the depths of the earth where extreme heat and pressure can also be found. It takes about 250 tons of mined earth to produce 1 carat of diamond.

 

Scattered diamonds on a grey background. Very high resolution 3D render.

 

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds”

Proverbs 31:10

 

I can understand why this verse is so true and why Henry Kissinger said “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”

 

Diamonds range from colorless, to faint yellow or even brown, to rare pinks, blues, and greens and other colors known as “fancies”.

 

 

colored diamonds

Photo Credit: http://www.leibish.com/color-article-389

 

 

Diamonds are also referred to as “the king of gems” and “a girl’s best friend”.

 

 

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Although diamonds are the birthstone of April, they are also used to symbolize enduring love and traditionally given for engagement rings. 75% of all new brides in the USA will wear a diamond ring. History tells of The Archduke of Austria giving a diamond to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. This is the first known incidence of a man giving a woman a diamond.

 

The anatomy of a diamond has a lot to do with the “sparkle” that most of us long for in this precious gem. Here is an excellent chart for mapping out the perfect proportions of a diamond to have it shine its best.

 

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Chart Credit: http://www.doitjewelry.com/08/17/breathtaking-diamond-photos-to-to-add-to-your-collection-visit-svpicks-com-4/ 

 

If you are looking at purchasing a diamond for your birthday or for a loved one and need help gauging the size. Here is an excellent photo showing what the difference between 0.50cts and 2.5cts looks like on the hand.

 

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Photo Credit: https://erstwhilejewelry.com/blogs/stories/actual-diamond-carat-size-on-a-hand

 

April Fun Facts:

 

~ Due to extreme pressure and temperature on Neptune, it apparently rains diamonds (not sure if this is true but I saw it on facebook so it must be right?)

 

~ The April birth flower is the Daisy and the Sweet Pea

 

~ April Holidays include: April Fool’s Day, Autism Awareness Day, Easter, Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Poetry Month, Teacher Appreciation Week, and Jazz Appreciation Month

 

~ In the Southern Hemisphere, April is the same as October in the Northern Hemisphere

 

~ The Golf Masters are on this Sunday also known to me as the perfect napping event of the year

 

~ George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the US on April 30, 1789

 

~ April begins on the same day of the week as July every single year (even leap year, weird but true)

 

~ Leonardo da Vinci was born April 15, 1452

 

~ The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912

 

~ April birthday folks are said to be active, dynamic, strong minded, friendly, loving, giving, brave and outgoing. (I think I want to know more April babies!)

 

Happy April! Check out our gorgeous array of diamond gift-ables by clicking here.

3 Big Myths about Jewelry

3 Big Myths about Jewelry

1)      Jewelry is too expensive.

 

In some cases, yes, it can be. Let’s be realistic, not everyone can afford the Hope diamond or ask the Queen of England for a layaway plan on the Lotus Flower Tiara. However, these days there have not only been modern advances in technology to make gems and diamonds affordable (if you are into that type of thing) but there are Etsy store owners who will work with you to make your sparkling dreams come true.

 

First off, man-made, created, or synthetic gems have been on the market for a while. When they first came out in cocktail rings back in the 1800s, they were highly desired and sought after. Man had finally mastered the art of creating lustrous gemstone specimens! Nowadays they have a slightly negative cogitation but I don’t understand why. If you want a blue sapphire ring but the GIA certified one that is natural without an internal flaw is out of your reach, why can’t we be content with one that is created? Most created (aka synthetic) gems have the same mineral composition of naturals. It is the equivalent to going to the North Pole to get a piece of authentic grown ice from an iceberg versus just making ice in your freezer. Take a look at a few of these created beauties and you will see that they have almost, if not the same, alluring color as naturals.

 

 Check out this rings and more by clicking here

Another way that jewelry is becoming more affordable is the Etsy marketplace. You can find many gorgeous things from artisans that offer coupon codes or even a layaway plan. Because Etsy owners are like you and me -wanting to create, get their products out there, provide for their families- most are open to you inquiring about a small discount or payment arrangements.

 

2)      You shouldn’t purchase jewelry sight unseen.

Nowadays we purchase everything online. Picture quality and technology has given us the ability to virtually see every angle, close up features, and even our naked eye can detect photo-shopping. I have had the experience of purchasing an item that didn’t end up meeting the expectations that the pictures left me having. Or you get it on and you just know right away that you made a mistake. Keep in mind that most merchants want the ease of not having a store front and want to solely be an online boutique. This trend has also pushed for them to have return policies. If a store is reputable and has great products they will have no doubt that you will love their pieces as much, if not more than, the photos that lured you in. If you are shopping on Etsy look at the bottom of their store’s home page to view their return policies. Keep in mind too that if you are not completely happy, most shop owners will work with you. They want the positive feedback to attract other buyers. So if you have been wanting something from a shop in New York and you live in Iowa, make the plunge!

 

3)      You can’t trust the authenticity.

When shopping for jewelry the highest authority in authenticity is GIA (Gemological Institute of America). They pride themselves at having the most elite training and graduating only the most capable diamond/gem graders and Accredited Jewelry Professionals. There is also an unspoken code when using your GIA credentials. Most GIA graduates are extremely careful in what they put their stamp of approval on due to knowing the high standards that GIA demands. If you see a piece with a GIA certificate on the stone you can certainly rest assured. Also, if you see that a person on staff is a GIA grad, you can know that they know their stuff! Check out GIA’s website here to learn more.

I hope this post from a lifelong jewelry lover, buyer, creator, and GIA grad has put you at ease about purchasing jewelry. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with some pretty things to look at :o) Enjoy!

 

Check out these and other GIA certified stones by clicking here

Lucky Friday the 13th

This sixth day of the week or fifth day of the work week that is associated with the number 13 tends to get noticed. We look at our phone and acknowledge that it is Friday the 13th or we go to write the date and we hesitate for some reason. Just half way through my day today and I have already had several people comment on the date.

 

My grandmother was born on a Friday the 13th and she has always told me that it was lucky. I may be in the minority here but I don’t think about black cats, full moons, weird happenings, or even the cheesy scary movie named after today. I am a believer that good always overcomes evil. If you think about today in a scary dark way, you might get a self-proclaiming prophecy and something weird will happen. If you choose to think of it as a lucky day, you start to look for the good happenings instead.

 

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So back to my premise of lucky 13, I started thinking about good luck charms. Being Irish with a little Native America mixed in, I am familiar with luck in general. I’ll start off with my own personal favorite, the four leaf clover. Now some folks get a little confused by the shamrock and the four leaf clover. They are not one and the same thing. Shamrock comes from a Gaelic work meaning “little clover” and a clover is a name assigned to many plant species that have three leaves. The shamrock is the symbol of the Irish heritage. The three leaf clover is said to stand for faith, hope, and love. When you happen to come upon a four leaf clover which is a mutation and very rare, the fourth leaf is for luck.

 

Click Here To See Listing For Shamrock Diamond Charm

Another one of my other favorite lucky charms is the horseshoe. The horseshoe has many reasons for being auspicious. The first is that a metalsmith would craft the horseshoe from iron. Iron is such a strong and durable metal that can withstand severe heat thus making it a metal of strength and endurance. The other tale is that if you find an old horseshoe it is even more lucky that having one made. A common debate is which way to hang it. Up or down? Up symbolizes your luck collecting. Down symbolizes pouring luck onto those passing underneath or into your life or household. So you can take your pick, I like my chances either way!

 

Click Here To See Other Horseshoe Rings 

Another popular charm that is worn by many and is said to have blessings are the Patron Saint charms. These are often worn by those with Catholic beliefs. I love the fact that different Saints are said to aid and bless different people whether it be your line of work, a cure for an ailment, or those seeking a certain type of blessing. If you want to see an extensive list, click here.

 

One last one thing that I will leave you with is the Italian horn. This symbol has become quite popular and you see it as a trendy necklace to be worn by more than just Italians. This iconic piece is also called a cornicello, cornetto, or simply corno. Nowadays is it made of gold or silver. It has been in use in Italy since ancient times and is said to ward off the evil eye and is most typically given to or worn by pregnant women or breast-feeding moms. So if you need a baby shower gift…

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Click Here To See Other Good Luck Horns 

 

I hope these fun mentions of lucky charms will keep you from being leery of Friday the 13th today and in the future. If you know of other good luck charms that I didn’t mention please let me know, I would love to hear from you.

 

Good luck and have a blessed day!

A Look Inside Our Boutique

This week I wanted to give you a look inside our brick and mortar store that is located in sunny Gainesville, Florida. Our family owned business has been in operation for over 30 years. And, many of our clients have been shopping with us for those 30 years. It is always a joy to see the younger generations following in their families’ footsteps and come through our doors to seek out a special piece for a dear loved one. Oaks Boutique is known for our stellar customer service and gorgeous show room.

 

 

Not only do we have the most extensive jewelry selection in the city but our items range from vintage jewelry, designer handbags, stunning timepieces, and custom pieces.

 

 

We employ a wide range of talented individuals who eventually become like family. Our work place has a harmony about it that it quite tangible when entering. Quite a few of us are GIA trained Accredited Jewelry Professionals, our jeweler has been making works of art for over 38 years, and our photographer is top notch. Even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we are all singing along to the Christmas music, taking time to personally gift wrap every piece, and we end the day with smiles on our faces. Our staff would say that we are the lucky ones!

 

 

Keep in mind that even if you can’t experience the charm of our store front, we are always available online through our Etsy store. We believe that you will find the same “small town” friendly customer service even through that shopping venue.

 

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Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @oaksjewelry and like us on Facebook (Oaks Jewelry Boutique) for sneak peaks of new jewelry and coupon codes. Our current coupon code is “HOLIDAY20” to receive 20% off any item in our shop! Thank you for reading and happy Christmas shopping weekend!!!
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