September Birthstone ~ Sapphire

We have reached the start of fall folks!

Have you had your first pumpkin spice latte? (Basic, I know!)

Have you been to your local pumpkin patch yet (in Florida that means your local grocery store has put down some hay and created a faux farm experience for you)?

My favorite things about September are the changing weather, even if very slightly, and SAPPHIRES!

Did you know that sapphires come in all colors and when they reach a certain color of red they are rubies? The most desirable color is probably blue but it is nice to have such a durable stone available in any color you fancy.

One particularly famous blue sapphire is the one that Princess Kate wears as her wedding ring. It was originally from Princess Diana. Sapphires are an excellent choice for an everyday piece such as an engagement ring or wedding ring because of their resilience. They are second only to diamond for their hardness.

Here are some other fun facts about sapphires:

~Sapphire is Greek for Blue

~Sapphire is one of the “precious four” which also includes red ruby, green emerald, and diamonds (that’s a good group to be in association with!)

~ Sapphire has industry use because of its hardness. Apple recently used lab-created sapphire in its glass screen.

~ Sapphire, particularly the royal blue color, has been associated with royalty – hence its name

~ There are even special types of sapphires such as the star sapphire and color change sapphire

Because sapphire has been so desired among the masses, cultured sapphires and imitation sapphires were created. Keep in mind that when created sapphires hit the market, they were viewed as an advancement in sparkling science. Created sapphires make it possible for everyone to enjoy their beauty and not just the royals. Synthetic sapphires feature some synthetic counter parts but virtually the same physical and chemical components as a natural sapphire, they were just assisted in a lab by man to make them “grow”.

Our store features a lot of options for sapphire lovers! Check out a few of these…

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Synthetic Star Sapphire in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Custom Made Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Vintage Dark Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Sapphire & Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing blog-5

Princess Kate Inspired Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

A story of a “used” wedding ring set ~

My husband gave me a “used” or “pre-owned” diamond for my engagement ring. When I tell people that my engagement ring is not “new”, the typical response is usually utter shock, like my husband should be captured by the four horsemen of the apocalypse and taken to where he belongs. I want to address this topic because I have dealt with this for years. Most young ladies want their ring or diamond to be “new” so that it isn’t cursed or something. First off, diamonds aren’t really “new” unless you have a CZ or moissanite that is man made. Otherwise all diamonds come from about 90 miles under the earth’s surface and are made from extreme heat, time, and pressure. It is absurd to think that diamonds jump out of our earth and into your local jewelry retailer. It may catch you off guard to hear that most diamonds are “used” and have a history. This fact has never bothered me, actually I plan to write a book one day about the journeys and love stories of one diamond. I know what the main problem is though. Some people believe that if they get their engagement ring, wedding band, or anniversary gift from a store other than a retail store that there is some deep, dark, story associated with it and it is going to carry a hex that transfers over to them. I really am not that superstitious, even though my great-grandmother was Native American and had all kinds of superstitions that she adhered too. I guess I am more of an optimist. I have sold and traded jewelry that had nothing but happy memories attached. Just because a piece of jewelry is for sale in a second hand or estate jewelry shop does not mean it has a horrid past. Here is a story that I was a part of that may make you rethink “used” jewelry.

An older couple comes into our store and has been married for over 45 years. The sweet wife has had the same wedding set since their first year of marriage and that wedding set has been a part of raising babies, taking family vacations, Christmases, sport practices, graduations, etc. Those rings have been a part of the “American dream” love story. All those years of marriage there were many sacrifices made financially so that this lovely family could thrive. Now the time has come when the nest is empty and there is a little extra income to put a little extra sparkle on the finger of the lady who has given her all to her family for many decades. As the “old” set was traded in for a “new” one, you could tell that it was a celebration of where this couple had come from and where they were now. That loving couple walked out with a gorgeous “new” piece of jewelry and were off to continue their amazing love story. The “old” set was then cleaned, polished, and given a little check up (checking prongs, diamonds, etc) by our professional jeweler. When it was shined up like a new penny, it was put out for sale in our store. A few weeks later a nervous but excited young man walks in. He tells me that he only has so much he can spend on his future bride. They are just starting out, just finished school, just beginning new careers, and just starting their love story. He explains that one day he is going to give his bride the world and the biggest ring that he can buy, but right now he needs just a modest wedding set. One that he can afford but one that will be the apple of her eye. Instantly I knew the one! I pulled out the wedding set that had already been a part of an epic love story and handed it over to the young man for him to take a closer look. With eager hands and slightly embarrassed teary eyes, he said, “that’s it!” He went on to tell me that his future wife loved vintage things and that this little beauty would be the perfect ring to slip on her finger. I was ecstatic that this young man was going to “re-purpose” this “old” set and give it “new” life! Off he went with the small wrapped box bearing the ring that held his future! I just kind of paused for a few moments to reflect on the “passing of the torch”. I hoped that the older couple knew that trading in their rings had given this young man’s dreams a start. He was able to give his love a wedding set of quality that had stood the test of time and yet still eagerly awaited being a part of a new adventure.

I am a romantic at heart and working at a jewelry store that has these types of stories behind many of our pieces, just adds fuel to my passion for vintage (used) jewelry. I will forever view estate, antique, vintage, retro, Art Deco, Art Nouveau jewelry as a way of carrying on a legacy.

Check out a few of our engagement ring/weddings sets from the 1950s and I think you will agree with me that their simple elegance, classy look, and history give them even more appeal!

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Antique Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Classy Solitaire 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Mid-Century Square Illusion Head Solitaire Click Here to View Listing

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Ruby 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Antique Two Tone Cluster Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

Jewelry Gift Guide

“I want a dishwasher for our anniversary”

“For my birthday this year just mow the lawn”

“For graduation just give your money to my parents to help with tuition”

“This Valentine’s Day I want you to completely forget and ignore me”

“For Christmas let’s just work right through it and not exchange gifts”

I’m sure these phrases have been uttered before but I’m also sure that they are not truly meant. If you struggle with what to give as a good gift for any occasion, let me introduce you to the universal favorite gift ~ JEWELRY! (Shocking right?!? – since I write a jewelry blog :o) These are a few ideas to think about if you are coming up on an event and can’t muster up any ideas. We have a wide range of options so please do not hesitate to ask if you do have an idea and just need help with the execution. Our staff loves to help with these kind of details.

Anniversary ~

I’ll start with this very important life event and give several ideas that might help. When clients come in our store, my first thought is to look up and see what gemstone coincides with that anniversary year (see below chart). This creates a special tradition as well for the future.


(there are other charts that have alternative gemstones too)

Our Etsy store is packed full with many different options for most of these gemstones. If you don’t see something just let us know, our brick and mortar store also have a vast variety.

Another idea is the three stone diamond ring or necklace. This design has a meaningful significance behind the classic look. The middle diamond that is typically slightly larger is meant to stand for your present, the two side diamonds are your past and future. The symbolism is to be unique to you and your love. Other couples have said that it stands for friendship, love, and fidelity. You can make this one your own! Check out a few of these options.

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Three Stone Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Three Stone Diamond Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Birthday~

If you are purchasing for your lady, this is a wide open holiday! Any jewelry item is sure to be well received but a few of my traditional favorites are: diamond studs, diamond tennis bracelets, or a right hand ring. Check out a few of these…

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Diamond Studs in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Right Hand Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Graduation ~

Our store is based in Gainesville, FL, home of the Gators. We have several University of Florida charms that would be perfect for your UF alumni. If you have a grad at another school I would suggest looking for a piece with their school colors or even just one color. Check out a few of these…

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Gator Charm in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Multi Stone Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Valentine’s Day ~

We have a lot of great and affordable options for Valentine’s day. If you want to surprise your love this year we have the perfect gifts to suit any budget. Here are a few ideas…

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Cute Valentine Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Opal Heart Pendant in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Christmas~ 

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The family time, cooler weather, and festive things to do really makes my heart smile. On Christmas morning I always get most excited about the small box under the tree or in my stocking. Whether it be a classy pair of earrings or a new necklae, the tradition of jewelry at Christmas is one that I hope my hubby always keeps. Here are a few of my choice selections from our store right now…

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Diamond Statement Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Ornate Diamond Vintage Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Freeform Gemstone Brooch in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

There are many holidays in between (check out my previous post about jewelry gifts for our men folk and wedding day jewelry) but I hope this gets you ready for the gift giving season which in my book should be year round! Happy Friday!

 

Date Night Jewelry

Long August days are packed with busy busyness. Sometimes in the midst of our crazy lives as business women, moms, students, young professionals we get to have a romantic date night with our special someone. Date night can be just throwing on some jeans and going to the local pizza place or putting on that special boutique dress you’ve been saving for a while and going to the new hipster place downtown. No matter the venue or your attire, you want it to be special. Some ladies like myself love to go “all out” on some occasions. Life seems to speed by weeks at a time and I find that I have worn the same things over and over or have managed to wear workout clothes day in and day out. So when I do get the chance (and have advance notice) I like to really knock my hubby’s socks off with a new outfit, pretty makeup complete with my long “false-ies” aka eyelashes, freshly washed & curled hair, and some kind of eye-candy jewelry to complete my whole look.

I want to give you a couple of my go-to favorites for date night jewelry. You can shop these looks and others in our Etsy store.

1) Chandelier Earrings

Nothing compliments big, freshly curled hair like a pair of bold earrings that can hold their own with your hair down. These chandeliers have a long, cascading shape to elongate your neck and draw attention to your beautiful hair and fresh face. These are sparkling from every angle with an overall polished finish and natural diamonds accents. Diamonds always look better in candlelight, or natural light, or fluorescent lights, or ANY light for that matter!!!

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Chandelier Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

2) Layered Necklaces

I love the look of one sparkling, dainty, little choker necklace accompanied by a longer light-catching link chain. Both together add interest and character to a simple black dress or white tee shirt and jeans. Both are very versatile even for your everyday wear.

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Dainty Gold Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Long Layering Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

3) Lavalier or Statement Necklace

A lavalier is a term used for a delicate drop pendant. These are effortlessly feminine and romantic. This one has a flash of color to it. Garnets are a dark but lively gemstone that complement a wide range of wardrobe choices. A statement necklace makes a statement, whether that is a bold pop of color or an eye-catching bling. Statement necklaces are a perfect accessory to add to a simple outfit that you want to take to that next “WOW” level.

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Lavalier Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Statement Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

4) Gold Bracelets

Gold Bracelets are very in style right now…well really gold anything. Gold is the perfect metal to wear this time of year too. You have worked for months on your tan and gold will make it look deeper and bronzer. A gold bracelet, either simple or chunky, will add a classy touch to your casual or dressy attire.

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Chunky Gold Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Simple Gold Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

5) Cluster Rings

Cluster rings have a bit of a Retro vibe but I am in love with them. A cluster ring can have a floral or leaf type of motif that adds a time-honored classic feel to any date night outfit. Wear them on your ring finger, middle finger or pointer finger. Just wear them! I think you will find yourself falling for the all over diamond, starburst effect.

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Cluster Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Cluster Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Happy Friday and enjoy your date night if you have one planned. If not, plan one for next weekend and pick out a piece from our store and we will get it to you in time to shine! In closing, just make every day special for yourself and the one you love. Life like jewelry should be enjoyed! Cheers!

Wearable Art

Jewelry to me is the true definition of wearable art. There is so much to appreciate within a single article of jewelry. The noble metals and gems that are given to us through Mother nature and the way that mere man has molded those gifts into an item to adorn ourselves with, equals a true ingenuitive art form. But being ascetically pleasing or beautiful is in the eye of the beholder, even in the jewelry realm. I want to showcase a few items this week that speak to my artistic soul. Along the way maybe you could explore our store and find an art piece that speaks to you…

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This emerald and diamond necklace has a feminine, dainty elegance to it that seems to transcend any modern trend or style. Certain pieces could be showcased in any generation and be found beautiful and this necklace is all that to me! Emeralds are a precious gemstone that have been in demand since Biblical times and diamonds are one of the most sought after minerals known to man. The repeating pattern of the shapes and the delicate size gives this piece a balance that resonates with my jewelry soul.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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This natural ruby and diamond statement ring has a starburst effect that radiates light and drama. Rubies like this one have been cut by a master stonecutter with a step cut that gives it a refractive index that bends the light from inside the gem’s depths right into your eyes. The purple-ish red color makes for a pure deep red saturation that actually complements most skin tones and wardrobe color choices. To show off the magnificent ruby, the diamonds are set in a halo around the stone with rounds and tapered baguettes shapes.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here .

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Watermelon tourmaline is one of my favorite gemstone miracles. To have two vibrant colors in one gem is nothing short of miraculous in my book. The subtle transition of color, the skill in which it took to cut a gemstone to master this phenomenon, the parallels of an organic gemstone to a delicious fruit found in our farmer’s fields ~ all together just makes me smile. And again, diamonds are used as an instrument to accentuate the beauty of the main centerpiece stone.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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This piece has an interesting artistic appeal to me because of the textures and form. The individual links have a rope like finish that is set off with simple polished areas that in contrast give an elegant dimension that can’t help but be looked at. I suppose this is why it is referred to as a “statement bracelet”. Whether it was handmade or crafted by a machine, the fact that we can take small flecks, chunks or powder of gold found naturally and form it into this creation is ART!

Check out the detailed description of this piece here

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This ring embodies the true beauty of minimal jewelry. I think of minimal jewelry as still “sparkly” and pretty but there is a simplistic, easy-on-the-eyes type of beauty that it gives off. The clean lines of the emerald cut and baguette cut diamonds leave a complete feeling in my artist eye. Nothing is out of place or too funky, it is the equivalent of looking at Crystal Lake in Michigan. It just has a tranquil feeling that everything is right in the world.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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Now I could not complete a blog about artistic jewelry without an abstract, handmade, unique piece such as this beauty. This piece is what most people would call “jewelry art”. It has unique gemstones that by themselves have an artistic element to them. Rutilated quartz and opal have internal colors and strong amplifiers that make them special. Along with those elements this piece also has freeform shapes even including a trillion cut diamond that is considered a “fancy” cut in the diamond world. Even this piece speaks to my creative side.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

Affordable Jewelry Through Oaks Boutique

There are many stages in life when you need and want to buy a piece of jewelry but just can’t quite afford the sticker price. Whether you are a teenager wanting to give your girlfriend a promise ring, or a new mom just wanting something to make herself feel pretty, or one of our men folk who want to buy some new sparkle for their wives, or those who may have lost their wedding ring but really can’t afford to replace it, we all know that life is just expensive and it is hard to squeeze in a jewelry purchase sometimes. Making end’s meet and trying to still live a little and enjoy the fruits of your hard work is something most people struggle with. Our boutique understands that! Not only do we offer antique, vintage, and unique jewelry at a below retail price, we offer other ways for you to have a special keepsake without having to mortgage your house or spend all your kids’ college funds. First off, I want to showcase a few of our many pieces we have to offer that are affordable, beautiful, and special. Towards the end of the blog this week I will go into detail about what our boutique offers to help get you that lovely piece that you have had your eye on.

Promise Rings:

We know there are guys out there who want something sweet to give their lady but still have some obstacles to jump over before going all out for the engagement ring. Maybe you still have to finish college, or you are waiting on that promotion, or you are working day and night to save for the BIG ring but still want to give your sweetheart a memento from your heart, we have you covered. This dainty, heart shaped, genuine amethyst ring is crafted from solid yellow gold and even has some tiny natural diamond accents as well. It is an affordable ring that is still a precious metal, natural gemstone, and untreated diamonds. Even though this may be the ring before the RING, it can and will be something that your girlfriend will always be able to cherish.

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Amethyst Promise Ring $89 Click Here to View Listing

 

 

This little beauty is another option for a promise ring. Natural diamonds and 10K yellow gold make up this lovely and modern ring that could easily be worn and enjoyed for years to come. This ring has a dainty elegance and with the diamonds being set low to the finger it is also a very practical choice for your love to be able to wear everyday. Let her know she has your heart by putting a heart on her finger. :o)

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Diamond Heart Promise Ring $99 Click Here to View Listing

 

Just a little something new:

Whenever I want to spruce up my look or just want a new accessory that will really stand out and get noticed, I get new earrings. Now as a fashion diva I have fallen into the trap of buying those “wear two times and then they’re green” earrings. I am always disappointed that not only did I waste my money on something not of value but then I’m still left wanting something new. With a pair of real gold earrings you will never have them turn colors, make your ears hurt, or have to throw them away. Gold earrings are the way to go! Hoops are my personal all time favorite. Not only are they classic and timeless but they virtually look good on any face shape, any hair length, and with any outfit. Check out a few of these….

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Gold Hoops $129 Click Here to View Listing

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Gold Hoops $129 Click Here to View Listing

 

Just because gift:

Back to our guys. If you are married you are probably aware that your wives still want jewelry! It’s in our DNA (most of us anyway). New sparkle is always welcome! Here are a few options to surprise her with. Trust me, she will absolutely love to get a small, wrapped jewelry box with a gorgeous piece that you picked out!

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Diamond Necklace $79 Click Here to View Listing

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Created Pink Sapphire Necklace $129 Click Here to View Listing

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Lovely Pearl Ring $129 Click Here to View Listing

 

Replacing a wedding set or band:

Your worst fear happens….you lose the ring that your love got down on one knee and asked for forever with. It’s horrible and shocking and will take time to get over. If you have searched and searched but to no avail, we are here to help. We may not be able to give you back that sentimental value of your original ring but we can help you pick something affordable that will be part of new memories with you and your hubby. Check out a few of these bridal sets and bands that we have to offer:

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Diamond Bridal Set $379 Click Here to View Listing

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Diamond Bridal Set $1,239 Click Here to View Listing

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Vintage Bridal Set $1,999 Click Here to View Listing

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Classic Gold Wedding Band $99 Click Here to View Listing

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Classic White Gold Men’s Wedding Band $139 Click Here to View Listing

Now as promised, I want to tell you about some other exciting ways that Oaks Boutique has made it affordable for you to get the pieces you love. Right now we are offering 20% off of our already amazing prices just for you reading our blog!!! Just use the code: APPRECIATION20 at checkout to receive your discount. But that’s not all!!! We offer FEE FREE LAYAWAY~ This free payment plan can help you spread out payments without the added fees of credit cards or finance charges. We are even offering FREE Priority shipping and FREE upgraded gift wrapping for all of our layaway clients. If you see something that you love in our Etsy store please do not hesitate to message us directly to get details about our awesome layaway. We would love to work with you!!!

Gemstone Engagement Rings ~& one of my favorite pieces in our Etsy store right now

I have always been obsessed with the royals, even though I am not English or from England. Maybe it is the glamorous fashion, the living in a castle full time, or wearing a crown on a random Tuesday; I am convinced that I should have royal blue blood in my veins.

 

Being in the jewelry industry for most of my life, I have come into contact with many sparkly things. I have my favorites that I lust over as they come and go. I often get enchanted by a diamond that is completely flawless, or a vintage piece with a history, or a gemstone ring that I fantasize may have been a part of the crown jewels. This week I want to highlight one of my favorite pieces in our store right now. Behold this blue sapphire engagement ring!!! ~~

 

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This ring has had me captivated since it first came up for sale and was photographed. It just screams royalty to me! It has a natural, oval faceted cut, blue sapphire in the center with a double halo of diamonds gently encircling it. The sides of the halo have an open infinity type shank that compliments the halo nicely. This particular sapphire has been certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) by a graduate gemologist and weighs 3.10cts. It has a deep but lively blue color that is rich and eye-catching. The diamonds are a high quality to add a touch more sparkle to the exquisite sapphire. The setting is crafted from luxurious 18K white gold. I may not have been born into the royal family but this ring would sure make any girl feel like a princess.

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If you are thinking about a possible gemstone ring for your engagement or wedding ring like Princess Kate, bear in mind that dark blue is a very versatile color. Again, I am obsessed with the princess’ every move and fashion choice. I have seen her wear tailored suits, formal ball gowns, low key casual dresses, and even jeans. All the while her sapphire ring is just dazzling away and complimenting her wide range of wardrobe choices. The dark blue color looks elegant with other blue pallets, but also blends well with greens, black, reds, yellows and even pinks. I don’t know if we are ready to accept blue as a neutral yet but it is safe to say that sapphire blue will find an easy home among your day-to-day clothing colors!

 

If you don’t know about our store, we do offer a wide range of estate and vintage pieces. Our pieces have a story and a history, but are ready to have a new life with you. Our pieces are all inspected and evaluated by our GIA trained Accredited Jewelry Professionals and our master jeweler cleans and polishes each piece by hand to make sure it is ready to take your breath away! Take a look at this “favorite” of mine by clicking here. Please follow our weekly blog and favorite us on Etsy to stay up to date on new treasures that we post daily! Thank you for reading and Happy Friday!