Friday, September 26, 2008

Lauren Conrad’s Bracelet

LAUREN CONRAD didn’t need to add much jewelry to her scintillating dress. She stacked three White Flash diamond bracelets (a tennis bracelet, a flower bangle and a twist link piece) for just the right statement.

White Gold Scattered Tennis Bracelet, White Flash, $2,600; at

Lesotho mine yields one of world’s largest diamonds

Miners in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho have found one of the world’s largest diamonds, a near-flawless white gem weighing nearly 500 carats, mining group Gem Diamonds said on Sunday.

The diamond was discovered in the Letseng Mine on September 8, the company said in a statement. It has been analyzed by experts in Antwerp and found to weigh 478 carats, with very few inclusions and of outstanding color and clarity.

“It has the potential to yield one of the largest flawless D color round polished diamonds in history,” the company said.

Letseng is one of the most productive mines in history — four of the world’s 20 largest rough diamonds have been found at the mine, including the three largest found this century.
Before it is cut into gems it is hard to value the diamond, but a spokesman for Gem Diamonds said a similar weight stone with lesser-quality color and clarity had recently sold for $12 million (around 5.5 million pounds).

“Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates that it will yield a record breaking polished stone of the very best color and clarity,” Clifford Elphick, the chief executive of Gem Diamonds, said in a statement.

The minister for natural resources in Lesotho, an impoverished mountain kingdom in eastern South Africa, praised the productivity of the mine, one of the highest in the world at more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).

“Once again Letseng has proved its ability to produce extraordinary diamonds and continues to place Lesotho at the forefront of diamond producing countries,” Monyane Moleleki said in a statement.

Letseng is 70 percent owned by Gem Diamonds and 30 percent owned by the government of Lesotho.

The world’s largest diamond is the Cullinan, discovered in South Africa in 1905. It weighed more than 3,100 carats before it was cut into more than one hundred separate gems, many of which are part of the British crown jewels.

Lauren Conrad sports at VMA’s

Awards shows are usually a zoo, but this one was actually a circus, with rapper T-Pain hitting the red carpet riding an elephant.

The rest of the best of young Hollywood was on hand, too, though most of them weren’t wearing mile-high top hats.

Even so, they all looked fly, from Lauren Conrad and her sheer perkiness to Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus puckering. From Rihanna getting disturbed to Britney getting awarded and Xtina getting crazy onstage…check ‘em out in our 2008 MTV Music Video Awards gallery.
It’s been a busy week for our celebrity fashionistas! Between L.A., N.Y. and Toronto, Hollywood went global.

Of course no stranger to fashion, Lauren Conrad chose not one but three diamond bracelets from to wear with her white dress to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA’s) on Sunday.

18K White Gold Twist Bezel Link Bracelet, $2989.
18k White Gold Diamond Flower Cluster Bangle, $2998.

LC flashed her perfect smile as she meandered around the arrivals area sporting a cleavage-baring tank-style minidress teamed with a pair of silver peep-toe heels.

But her pearly whites were not the only thing that The Hills star flashed on the red carpet - as you can see from our pictures below.

LC gave away that she was in for a crazy night: “I feel like the VMA’s always bring a little bit of trouble,” she said.

Gorgeous gems

For photo shoots here at Brides Houston, we get up close and personal with lots of beautiful jewelry—we have to borrow amazing necklaces, bracelets, and earrings to try on the models (yes, it is as fun as it sounds, but we have to return everything we borrow!). I’m always so delighted when we receive the gorgeous pieces from, which I was recently thrilled to find is based in Houston.

I met’s CEO Debi Wexler at a recent event and we discussed some trends in bridal jewelry. “I think brides are looking for just a hint a sparkle these days,” she said. “In terms of bracelets and necklaces, sometimes simple pieces say more.” She highlighted Whiteflash’s “A Cut Above” diamond studs, saying they look especially great on brides who wear their hair half-up, half-down. As for necklaces, she recommends solitaire pendants for brides wearing dresses with low necklines. For a bit more sparkle, the “Diamonds by the Yard” necklaces are another great choice.

As for me, I’m a huge fan of’s blue sapphire drop earrings—what an amazing and totally decadent “something blue!” —Kim Forrest, Assistant Editor, Brides Local Magazines

The Decision Rules of Engagement Rings

A few points to review before you start shopping.

Shape matters

Even before those infamous 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat), you must know what shape your future fiancée loves. Shape indicates the actual geometry of the stone, as opposed to cut, which relates to the angles of the facets in the stone.

Settings are important but the diamond takes precendence
A quality setting — the metal framework in which your stone is mounted — can set the tone for a ring. A classic round gets a fresh and modern makeover in a bezel setting. A trendy oval can look more traditional in a four-prong setting. Getting the right combo of shape and setting is key.
Notice her styleThe trend these days is for couples to ring shop together, but if you’re more of a traditionalist and looking to surprise her with a ring she’ll love, be sure to do some reconnaissance. You can ask her best friend or sibling for help — and swear them to secrecy. But if you’re set on not telling anyone, pay attention to the jewelry she wears. Is she more of a platinum/silver girl than a yellow gold one? Does she gravitate to vintage jewels as opposed to simple classic pieces? Watch her for a couple of weeks and take mental notes to size up her style.

Loose Stones
Buy a loose diamondUnless you’re buying an estate ring, chances are, you’ll be looking at loose stones as opposed to stones in a setting. (The ones you see in the jeweler’s case are often just samples to give you an idea of the finished product.) The stone accounts for the vast majority of a ring’s cost, so wouldn’t you want to get the most gorgeous one imaginable (or at least in your budget)? Be sure to inspect the stone with a loupe (a handheld magnifier that most jewelers have).

What can you afford?

Throw out that old two-months salary myth; you should buy the best ring you can without going into major debt. If she’s a size queen and your budget isn’t supersized, go for a ring with a slightly larger table, or surface, area. You won’t get as much sparkle, but a one-carat ring will look much larger if the stone has a superideal cut. Don’t want to sacrifice the look of your stone? Buying just shy of the next carat (1.8 instead of 2) can equal a savings of nearly 20%. And when it comes to clarity, buying shy gives you the most wiggle room without affecting sparkle (often defects are not visible to the naked eye).

Shop carefully

Always start your jeweler search with recommendations from friends and family. No leads? Check for industry organization affiliation. Stores accredited by the Jewelers of America or members of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) are good starting places.. And always find out what a store’s return policy is. You want to be able to at least exchange the stone if it’s not the one she wants. is known for it’s superb customer service and brilliant diamond buying experience due to out life-time upgrade policy, free shipping, free verification, one-year buyback policy, referral gifts and a 10 day money back guarantee.

Give yourself at least a few weeks.
Educating yourself through various web sites can take up to a month.Remember that once ordered, a ring can take up to 3 weeks to arrive, potentially longer if you’re having it custom designed. If you want to engrave the inside of the ring, be sure to request the inscription when you place your order.

Get it in writing

Diamonds one carat or larger should be accompanied by a diamond-grading report issued by an independent gemological association such as the GIA or the American Gem Society. You might also get a “fingerprint” of your ring on the bill of sale, which would include the stone’s 4Cs, shape, dimensions, and any cosmetic enhancements. Also, anything that affects its value — if it was made by a famous designer, is an antique or period piece, or is handmade or custom-designed — should also be noted.

4 C's
The 4 Cs Basic Primer – get the best cut diamond with this simple course on diamond quality


A stone’s cut refers to the number, placement, shape, and craftsmanship of the facets that create the finished diamond. A diamond’s cut has the most impact on its brilliance.


Diamonds range widely in hue, from the blue of the Hope Diamond to startling shades of red, pink, amber, orange, and canary yellow. Color grades for yellow diamonds developed by the GIA range from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).


The clarity of a diamond depends on how clear or “clean” it is; in other words, how free it is of imperfections on the outside and inside when viewed with the naked eye and with a loupe (a 10x magnifying glass).


A carat is a unit of weight (not to be confused with karat, which indicates the purity of gold). The carat is standardized at 200 milligrams. Diamond weights are also referred to in points: One carat equals 100 points.

Diamond Handbags

Luxury handbags, how many of us own them? Not many this season if our unfortunate economic crisis has anything to do with. However, not everyone is cutting into their monthly Starbucks stipends to don the finer things in life.

According to the most recent Luxury Institute Survey, the rich are getting richer. And their accessory of choice? Judith Leiber handbags.

1,048 wealthy women, “wealthy” meaning they take in an average of $348k a year and have a average net-worth of $3.5 million, were asked which handbag brands the coveted the most. While Jimmy Choo, Hermes, and Tod’s ranked fairly high on their lists, it was Judith Leiber’s clutches that are the undisputed favorite amongst the bougie set.

As the survey espouses: “The Judith Leiber brand is rated as much for being a work of art as it is rated a luxury by the only pundits who count -wealthy consumers who can buy the brands. Our impartial surveys are based on the principle that highly educated, discerning luxury consumers have the ultimate expertise and trustworthiness in luxury consumption. The Luxury Institute conducts its research with independent panels, and uses third party analytical firms to tabulate the results so that the true voice of luxury consumers is amplified for the benefit of their peers and industry executives alike.”

Like Judith Leiber handbags, diamonds never go out of style and are today’s new fashion trend. Exquisitely hand crafted wedding bands, engagement rings, diamond earrings and uniquely custom designed pieces from an assortment of loose diamonds. Inc. supplies the highest quality ideal cut diamonds, engagement rings and custom jewelry. Choose for an elite inventory, customer service, experience and attention to perfection when buying diamonds. And now you know. So the next time you have a big red carpet event, choose for Diamonds or Judith Leiber for handbags, either way you are a star!
To check out some outrageous items check out the Style List!

Stars’ Hot Engagement Rings!

Bling, bling! Check out the rocks these A-listers are wearing! It’s hard not to crave the fantastic sparkle of celebrity engagement rings. The only problem? The cost, which most of us everyday-celebrity type of gals just can’t afford. The trends of Hollywood are updated every week and is ready to help you custom design your own celebrity inspired ring. has an extensive gallery of engagement rings and wedding sets that are sure to satisfy. So whether it is the latest diamond rings or any other jewelry, Whiteflash always has something new for you. Best of all, with these brilliant jewels will be sure to turn heads like these celebrity engagement rings! Stay on top of our latest trends by browsing through our newest jewelry designs.

Tracey Edmonds

Size: 8 carats
Setting: Cartier fancy yellow emerald-cut diamond with white diamond baguettes set in platinum
Estimated value: $400,000
Bling details: “This contemporary ring is very hip, like Tracey,” Lane says of the film producer’s showstopper from Eddie Murphy, 46. Unlike her glitzy rock, their I do’s, Edmonds, 40, has said, will be “fun and casual - small.”

Katharine McPhee

Size: Approximately 3-plus carats
Setting: Oval-cut yellow diamond with pink pave diamonds set in platinum
Estimated value: $100,000Bling details: The American Idol runner-up, 23, started showing off this classically cut colored stone from actor Nick Cokas, 42, in November.

Nicolette Sheridan

Size: Approximately 5 carats
Estimated value: $150,000Bling details: In 2005, Sheridan sported an almost 3-carat gem from her ex, but traded up when old flame Michael Bolton proposed last year. A Sheridan pal tells Us the star borrowed a similar ring for the 2006 SAG Awards and bets ’she told Michael that is the ring she wanted.”

Beth Ostrosky

Size: 5.2 carats
Setting: Emerald-cut diamond with side stones set in platinum
Estimated value: $250,000
Bling details: “The wedding plans are under way!” Ostrosky, 35, tells Us of her nuptials to shock jock Howard Stern, 53, who proposed on Valentine’s Day with this art deco-style sparkler he designed with jeweler Richie Winick.

Salma Hayek

Size: Approximately 5-plus carats
Setting: Oval-cut diamond with trillions set in platinum
Estimated value: $200,000Bling details: “It’s powerful,” jeweler Neil Lane tells Us of the ring Hayek, 41, got from fiance (and father of 3-month-old Valentina) Franois-Henri Pinault, 45.

Katherine Heigl

Size: 3 carats
Setting: Pear-shaped diamond flanked by pave diamonds
Bling details: Designed by jeweler Ryan Ryan, the sparkler has sentimental value. Half of the platinum band is from her mother’s own engagement ring.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Size: Approximately 1.5 carats
Setting: Round solitaire diamond with floral diamonds set in platinum
Estimated value: $45,000Bling details: Hewitt, 28, said yes when Scottish actor Ross McCall, 31, presented her with this antique family gem in November. “She’s very girlie,” Lane says. “A vintage ring is perfect!”

Mariah Carey

Size: 17-carat
Setting: Square, emerald-cut fancy light pink diamond, surrounded by 58 intense pink diamonds, flanked by two half-moon diamonds
Estimated value: $2.5 millionBling details: The singer, 38, wed Nick Cannon, 27, April 30 in the Bahamas. On his finger? An equally fabulous diamond encrusted band.

Carmen Electra

Size: 1.5-2-carat
Setting: Black diamond solitaire, with a platinum band inset with white diamonds
Estimated value: $100,000
Bling details: The twice-married star 36, wouldn’t spill details on how rocker Rob Patterson, 37, popped the question but she said it was, “wonderful and sweet.”

Jamie Lynn Spears

Size: 1.5-2 carats
Setting: Marquise diamond on a pave diamond white gold band
Estimated value: $10-15,000
Bling details: The pregnant 16-year-old officially broke news of her engagement to Casey Alridge when she wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “The Rumors Are True” during a shopping trip in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, on March 27. She also flashed her ring. “He proposed and she accepted,” Aldridge’s cousin told Us.


Size: 3-4 carats
Setting: Diamond solitaire on a a platinum band
Estimated value: $75,000
Bling details: “It’s an original,” the singer, 33, has gushed of her ring from Josh Duhamel, 35, who popped the question in December 2007. “He did a good job!”

Scarlett Johansson

Size: 3 carats
Setting: Round brilliant solitaire on an intertwined yellow gold band
Estimated value: $30,000
Bling details: Johansson confirmed her engagement to actor Ryan Reynolds, 31, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala in New York City May 5.

Jessica Alba

Size: 5 carats
Setting: Asscher cut diamond surrounded by pave diamonds on a pave diamond band
Estimated value: $100,000
Bling details: Mom-to-be Alba, 27, (who is due any day) was spotted over Christmas 2007 sporting a ring from Cash Warren, 29

Ashlee Simpson

Size: Approximately 4 carats
Setting: Square cushion cut diamond set in pave diamonds
Estimated value: $100,000
Bling details: “It’s definitely a big diamond!” the singer, 23, raved. “I go, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe its on my hand!” Hubby-to-be Pete Wentz, 28, designed the gem.

Anniversary 101

Finding the Perfect Anniversary Gift

With regard to anniversary gifts, one of the most popular options, especially for husbands, is purchasing diamond jewelry. This is because, as the saying goes, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Therefore, buying your wife diamond jewelry for your wedding anniversary is one of the safest and most reliable bets for an anniversary gift.

However, buying your wife diamond jewelry does not only involve going to a jewelry store or shopping online. This is because there are a number of things you should consider when buying wedding anniversary gifts, such as diamonds, to ensure that you are getting good quality. In addition, the high cost of diamonds requires that you take the necessary steps to make sure that you are getting good value for your money. There is much more meaning to that diamond, gold or gemstone piece than its cost or how much it sparkles.

When going to your jeweler or shopping online, keep in mind your wife’s preferences. Does she like white gold, yellow gold, platinum, or silver? If she’s small, it’s important to purchase something that will complement her beauty, not overwhelm it. Unless you know her jewelry style very well, play it safe. Go for elegant over flashy. Many jewelers will create custom anniversary gifts and pieces that are as unique as this special occasion.

Things to Look For When Shopping
Make sure and check the four C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat; when purchasing your anniversary bands. These are a great addition to already existing wedding bands. They are actually called value factors. Perhaps a little known fact that these four basic characteristics apply to diamonds and colored gemstones. And it’s no wonder the bridal business remains crucial, given the correlation between marital status and the most expensive jewelry owned. While nearly 38 percent of single consumers said their most expensive item costs under $250, more than half of married respondents owned jewelry worth $1,000 or more.

What You Shop For
Convenience is a big factor in terms of where consumers shop for jewelry.
Cost is another key consideration, especially for jewelry consumers with less discretionary income.

Finding jewelry that works with her wardrobe is also crucial which include designer, trendy and traditional pieces.

Accessorize! Many women like to wear jewelry to accessorize outfits. In terms of what they like, many say that they are usually inspired by jewelry that they see while flipping through women’s magazines such as Bride or Oprah.

Make it Memorable
Even as many women consider jewelry a great fashion accessory, there is still a strong link between the pieces of jewelry they own and the story behind each one. Some feeling about anniversary is sentimental value, emotional value, and the beauty and style of the jewelry. Your celebration should be something out-of-the ordinary that makes a statement about what she means to you and what you mean to each other. Big or small, there are endless romantic ways to recognize the years you have shared, and plan to share, with your wife. Give your love something that beauty can’t even compare to. White Flash’s anniversary ring series will take her breath away.

Whether it’s a diamond anniversary band that reflects your love and respect or a diamond anniversary ring that proclaims none of your feelings have changed, find the perfect anniversary jewelry from WhiteFlash.

Top Jewelry Must Have’s

Top four most-wanted brands:
1. Tiffany and Co.
2. Cartier
3. Chanel
4. WhiteFlash

Most sought after jewelry:
1. Diamond Rings
2. Diamond Pendants
3. Diamond Studs
4. Diamond Bracelets

The Hottest Types of Jewelry:
1. Gold
2. Diamond
3. Silver
4. Colored Gemstones Jewelry
5. Pearl Jewelry

2008 Teen Choice Awards features AWEAR products

One of the many perks to being a celeb is that you get free stuff! Over the weekend, I popped in at the Teen Choice “Mattel Celebrity Retreat,” where various companies, from Neutrogena to Southpole Clothing, were offering up their goods to stars making an appearance at the Teen Choice Awards, which airs tonight on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

While the celebs definitely enjoyed loading up on freebies (who wouldn’t?), they also took time out to do some good for charity. Chris Brown, LL Cool J, Drake Bell and David Cook, autographed the hood of a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which is the company’s newest eco-friendly car. The Jetta will eventually be auctioned off with all the proceeds going to City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.

Many stars (The Jonas Brothers, Jordin Sparks, David Archuleta, and Brenda Song to name a few) also signed new TI-NSpire graphing calculators, which will be donated to City of Hope to provide inspiration to children in hospitals — and to help them with their math homework! All of these celb’s also recieved jewelry by Whiteflash from their AWEAR collection which donates 25% of all proceeds to help those effected by blood diamonds in South Africa.

In addition, everyone from Danity Kane to the Cheetah Girls had access to a variety of gifts including Nintendo Wii ’s new must-have game (Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party), fab leather belts by melamed, AWEAR jewelry by, and even surf lessons from Surf Diva. Jealous? Uh, I was!

Whiteflash’s Diamond Bangle featured on the cover of Brides Maryland

Whiteflash’s 14K white gold and diamond bangle has been featured on the cover of Brides Maryland. This brilliant shared prong diamond bangle is brimming with the WhiteFlash line of ‘A Cut Above’diamond melee.

There aren’t many styles hotter than the ‘bangle’. This one is perfect – truly a timeless piece. Whether you’re looking for diamond fashion bracelets, or a more classic look, we have something for everyone’s style and budget. Perhaps you’d like to say it with color? From plain gold or platinum to diamond Journey bracelets that truly tell a story, visit our online galleries to choose the perfect bracelet. We even have vintage and antique styles for the classic lady in your life.

If you’re looking for old fashioned, drop-dead gorgeous glamour, WhiteFlash has the perfect collection for you! These carefully crafted bracelets are truly show-stoppers! Each one features a fabulous design, with lots of incredible diamonds, and set in your choice of gold, white gold or platinum. This collection features those ‘special occasion’ pieces that will absolutely take your breath away. Slip one of these fabulous bracelets onto any lucky woman’s wrist, and you go from a lovely outfit to a ‘red carpet entrance’!

Bangles are one of the hottest jewelry choices and for very good reason. They are one of the more versatile styles in bracelet design! This incredible collection is sure to give you several options to choose from! They work from daytime to evening, and our collection features so many lovely choices, it’ll be hard to pick just one! One of the best things about choosing a bangle is that they not only work with many outfits, but they work for any age! So whether it’s for a graduate, a career milestone, or that special lady who’s ready to retire & explore the world – Bangles are Beautiful!
Interested in picking up this exquisite diamond bangle at Visit their online boutique at