Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trivia, Anyone?

I’m an information nerd. Even as a child, nothing thrilled me more than learning something new. From the smallest bit of trivia to the most involved research, I love digging in to a new subject and learning all that I can about it. This proclivity has led me to collect a bunch of degrees (I couldn’t choose just one subject to study) and it is also one of the many reasons (besides working in my pajamas) that writing is a perfect career for me.

As I start a new book, the possibilities of where to set it, what kind of careers my main characters should have and what time period it should take place in, stretch before me like a blank canvas begging to be painted. This is probably the most exciting time for me, because as I decide the facts of my character’s lives, I also decide what new and exciting subjects I’m going to be researching for the next few months.

In the case of A Christmas Wedding, my current release, I got to combine two really fun topics—horseracing and weddings. And believe me, if you want to learn a bunch of absolutely fascinating trivia that will wow them at the upcoming holiday parties, these two subjects are loaded with it.

So, with no further ado, here are ten things I learned while writing A Christmas Wedding:

10. The skeleton of the oldest known horse is estimated to be 45 million years old.

9. The reason the engagement ring and wedding band is worn on the fourth finger ofthe left hand is because the ancient Egyptians thought that the “vein of love” ranfrom this finger directly to the heart.

8. Each of the three races in the Triple Crown (The Kentucky Derby, The Preaknessand the Belmont Stakes) has a signature drink that is served by the thousandswhile the race is going on (Mint Julep for the Derby, Black-eyed Susan for thePreakness and Belmont Breeze for the Belmont Stakes).

7. White became the wedding dress color of choice in 1840, when Queen Victoriawore it to marry Prince Albert.

6. The fastest Derby ever run was in 1973, by Secretariat, who broke the two-minute markand blazed the mile and a quarter in 1:59.4. Remarkably, each quarter mile split was fasterthan the one preceding it. No other horse has broken the two minute barrier in the Derby.

5. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers brokea loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake.

4. In May 2006, Churchill Downs served custom-made mint juleps at a cost of$1000 each at the Kentucky Derby. The mint juleps were served in gold-platedcups with silver straws and were made from Woodford Reserve Bourbon, mintimported from Ireland, Ice from the Bavarian Alps and sugar from Australia.The proceeds were used to support charitable causes dedicated to retired racehorses.

3. For centuries the month of June was the most popular choice for weddings - but theoriginal reason dates back to the 1400s. At that time, June was the month for theannual bath, which is exactly what it sounds like—the one time a year peopleactually took a bath. Because the bride and groom were clean for the first time in ayear, it was deemed the perfect time for a wedding.

2. Since 1926, a silver bowl, made by Louis Comfort Tiffany (founder of Tiffany andCompany) and donated by the Belmont family, has been given to the winningowner. The bowl is supported by three horses—Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem,representing the three foundation sires of the thoroughbred world.

1. The kiss that is given by the bride to the groom at the end of the wedding ceremonyoriginates from the earliest times when the couple would actually make love for thefirst time under the eyes of their entire village!

How to Get a Diamond Deal Online

For custom work, is the lord of the online rings. Unlike many e-tailers, Whiteflash customizes nearly half its jewelry. Kevin Dolorico, a Web operations analyst in New York City, exchanged designs by e-mail with Whiteflash when he was shopping for an engagement ring last spring. Dolorico wanted a ring that combined the head from one standard setting with the shank of another. Whiteflash nestled a 1.34-carat diamond that was graded good but not flawless in Dolorico's ideal setting. His fiancée, Janelle De Rivera, was dazzled, and he was pleased with the roughly $6,000 price. When he asked a gemologist to appraise the ring's value, he was told that an equivalent piece from a local jeweler would cost about $9,000.

Whiteflash's return policy for custom work is that you can't bring it back unless there's an error (exceptions apply to partly customized work). For loose stones and standard settings, Whiteflash offers a full refund ten days from receipt for any reason -- including if you propose and she turns you down.

Whiteflash can tap a pool of about 50,000 stones, most of which are also available for sale at other online retailers, too. It says its prices for finished pieces are competitive with Blue Nile and many other e-tailers, though we've sometimes found that isn't the case. Yet Whiteflash unquestionably trumps brick-and-mortar jewelers on price. Plus, it offers a trade-up program that Blue Nile and most other online rivals don't match: Swap your rock for a higher-priced one at any time, paying the difference between your new diamond and your trade-in.

Buyer's guide: Five measures of perfection You've heard of the traditional four "C"s to size up a diamond - carat, clarity, color and cut. Some of the best diamond-raters have added a fifth "C" to that list: cut grade. Use these measures to make sure you get the right diamond for your needs, especially when buying one sight unseen.

CARAT refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. Fact: A carat is one-fifth of a gram. Tip: A lighter rock will likely fetch a lower price per carat, but that 0.9-carat diamond will sparkle more than a 1.0-carat example if the cutter trimmed its excess weight correctly. The lesson: Heavier isn't always better.

CLARITY is the degree to which a diamond is free of flaws. Fact: Flaws cut a gem's price. Tip: The naked eye would easily see the flaws in a stone with the GIA's clarity code of I2. A non-gemologist using a magnifying lens would have difficulty seeing flaws in a diamond graded VVS1.

COLOR refers to a diamond's transparency. Fact: As a rule, the more transparent the ice, the higher its price. Tip: Compromises on color may escape unnoticed. A nearly colorless stone will look the same to an untrained eye as a colorless stone (with a higher grade) but will cost less.

CUT refers to a diamond's shape and style. Fact: A diamond's shape (round or square, for example) and style (such as brilliant, with facets radiating outward) are factors that together make up the stone's cut. Tip: Cut can make a diamond appear larger or smaller than its carat weight.

CUT GRADE (NEW) judges brilliance and sparkle, plus other factors. Fact: Cut grade is the most important indicator of a diamond's wow effect. Fewer than 5% of diamonds on the market would earn high marks if given a cut grade. Tip: Stones with similar cut grades should be priced about the same.

White Flash offers exquisitely hand crafted wedding bands, engagement rings, anniversary jewelry, diamond earrings and uniquely custom designed pieces from our assortment of loose diamonds. Named "Lord of the Online Rings" by Kiplinger's Magazine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lean Financial Times Give Boost to Purchase of Higher Quality Goods for Holidays as Seen on WhiteFlash

Being in the midst of such challenging economic times, it's hard to fathom that people are even thinking of shopping for the upcoming Holiday. Well think again! People are not totally swearing off of buying gifts for loved ones, instead, they are shopping with a strategy by being more selective with their purchases.

"Quality over quantity and less is more will be the mantras controlling consumers' wallets, spelling good news for fine jewelry retailers. Our sales are expected to be up 10.1% over 2007 and 49% of holiday sales this year," says Debi Wexler, CEO of, a premier online fine jewelry retailer. "Opposed to spending money on several lower quality items, consumers are viewing luxury goods as an investment."

You don't have to spend a large amount of money for luxury goods, and you can still purchase quality "bling" on a shoestring budget. For instance, Wexler's online trendsetting boutique, (, offers a plethora of items that put the personal touch back in gifting. Delivering unique and affordable gifts for any budget, this site is known for its impeccable service and high quality goods.

Another bonus to purchasing jewelry items here can be found in their charity focused sub lines, Dreams of Africa ( and AWEAR: Jewelry for Conscious Kids. A substantial portion of the proceeds from sales, 100% profit from Dreams of Africa and 25% from the AWEAR collection, goes to support children in nations hit hard by the blood diamond trade.
Gifting with a cause is another powerful trend that stretches hard earned dollars way beyond their face value and will help sales for many retailers while at the same time, conscious spending is paramount and provides a good feeling about spending.

Feeding off of this trend means encouraging sales forecasts for retailers of fine jewelry due to the lasting and personal sentiments attached to such gifts, according to the "Today Show" financial expert, Jean Chatsky.

So regardless of your budget this Holiday, make your dollars count and remember that the most gratifying part of giving is the sentiment behind the gift.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Matching Bangles For Pooch & People!

If you don’t look like your dog or cat, now you can dress alike. At least when it comes to wearing matching jewelry.

According to an article published by The Israeli Diamond Industry in their Diamond News section, a British jeweler’s design has gone to the dogs. Literally!

Jari has the distinction of being the only company in Great Britain that designs jewelry for pets using the same precious metals and stones for canine or feline that their owners wear.
Every Jari piece is customized to provide the same styling and look of the owner’s piece, employing current fashion trends and elegance.

The jeweler is currently scouting Britain for the perfect cat or dog who will model the company’s jewelry line (e.g., £10,000 diamond studded collarettes), with the winner receiving a “12 month modeling contract worth up to a 4 figure sum plus portraits of their shoots for their modeling portfolio.” The contest ended on May 31st.

In addition to buying an exquisite work of art, owners have the opportunity to have a portrait of their bedecked pet taken by a renowned international photographer.

Your Guide To Choosing and Buying Diamonds

If you are in the market for loose diamonds, a diamond ring, diamond pendant or any other piece of jewelry containing diamonds, then selecting the right diamond will ensure that you are paying a reasonable price for your purchase. Before you buy a diamond, there are some things you need to keep in mind when doing your search:

The 4Cs – Carat, color, clarity and cut are what is known as the “4Cs” of diamonds. Decide which ones are most important to you and make your purchase decision based on that determination. A fifth “C” is cost, which will ultimately determine what you are willing to pay for any given diamond.

Certificate, Please – Low cost diamonds are available for purchase, but they aren’t worth considering if they don’t have an accompanying certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) or the American Gem Society (A.G.S.). A certificate acts a “grading report” for each diamond (as in the case of the G.I.A.) where 3-6 gemologists will review each diamond independently and assign a final grade to it. Diamonds sold without certification are considered suspect and should be avoided.

Shop Around – Whether purchasing your diamonds online or at your local Kay Jewelers or other mall retailer, compare diamonds, prices, service, and more from retailer to retailer. Of course, you cannot touch or wear an online jeweler’s diamond ring in advance of your purchase, but you should familiarize yourself with the market by visiting your Macy’s, Fortunoff or other fine jeweler first. Compare your mall retailer with a reputable online retailer’s diamonds and once you see the price differential, guess where you’ll be buying your jewelry from now on? Online!

Let’s Rap! – No I don’t mean urban music, rather familiarize yourself with the Rapaport Diamond Report, which lists wholesale diamond prices for New York. Why New York? Because, that city is the nerve center for diamond pricing world-wide. “The Rap” is the leading source of diamond pricing and market information developed for the diamond industry. It is accepted as the international standard used to establish prices in all the major cutting centers and dealer markets. The average consumer may not be all that interested in what Rapaport has to say, but if you are investing in diamonds you should definitely subscribe.

Returns, Shipping, Guaranty, Etc. – If you buy a diamond engagement ring what is the retailer’s return policy? 30 days is reasonable in this industry. If buying an engagement ring online, who pays shipping and is it insured? What other guaranty or warranty is offered? Of course, when buying online being able to pick up a phone and chat with a representative is reassuring as well as operating from a secured internet site that protects your personal financial information is essential.

The more you learn about diamonds before your purchase one, the better for your wallet. Then again, if you choose a diamond engagement ring without considering her personal tastes then everything I said is moot. In that case, start over again and find out what type of diamond she really wants and budget yourself accordingly.

Recession? Maybe so….

You know things are bad when the used engagement rings have left the pennysaver and wound up posted on the side of a telephone pole.

Good luck buddy!

The Cost Of Marrying Bridezilla: $73 Billion Annually

After attending one lavish wedding, you may have had gotten an inkling that marriage is big business in America. That isn’t hard to surmise given that most wedding ceremonies, receptions, and honeymoons cost couples tens of thousands of dollars.

What you may not have known is that the contribution to the economy is $73 billion annually. You read that right — marriage is an industry that does its part to fuel the national economy.
Leading the way, of course, are Hollywood celebrities and other well-heeled folks who think nothing of spending a few million dollars to hold the party to end all parties. At least until their marriage ends and they nab a new flame. And then, the next wedding party is held which clearly “outperforms” all earlier nuptials.

Conde Nast Bridal Media’s most recently published American Wedding Study (2006) revealed several points about the way that we marry:

  • 2.3 million couples marry each year.

  • The average wedding costs $27,852, a 48% increase over 1999, when all expense are included such as the reception, wedding rings, dresses, flowers and photography. The cost for outfitting the entire bridal party runs between $4000 and $6000.

  • Average cost for a reception is $9,573 with the average reception size 180 people.
    Destination weddings are becoming much more common with a full 16% of couples electing to marry where they plan to honeymoon. Favorite destination venues include popular Caribbean spot which area also the most popular honeymoon destinations for couples who marry in the states.

So guys, when she says “yes” to your marriage proposal, make sure that her parents will pay for everything. Otherwise, hold onto your wallet and hope that bridezilla’s big day is a happy one.

Your $2 Million Diamond Handbag

Devotees of high fashion are getting a preview of what will be at the inaugural Coutts London Jewellery Week show when it launches this Wednesday.

Featuring some of the most exquisite designer pieces in the world, including a one million pound (US$1.972 million) diamond handbag created by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka, the show was developed to allow up and coming as well as established talent to show their wares before the public.

The Tanaka handbag is bejeweled with more than 2000 diamonds and will be available for sale during the show week. The handbag comes with a diamond shoulder strap which can be detached and worn as either a necklace or a bracelet, while the 8-carat pear-shaped diamond centerpiece surrounded by a cluster of 81 smaller diamonds can be taken off and worn as a brooch.

Coutts London Jewellery Week begins on June 11th and runs through the 15th. A citywide event, visitors to London will be able to take in catwalk shows, satellite parties, educational seminars, sales, auctions, workshops, demonstrations, and more. In addition to Ginza Tanaka, other designers featured include Elizabeth Gage, Davril, Swarovski, Carolina Bucci, Studionorth, David M. Robinson, Guy & Max, and David Marshall London.

As for getting a glimpse at the Tanaka handbag, you’ll have to wait until the show starts to find out where you can view it. Show organizers are concerned about theft and are keeping that information under wraps for now.

Is Michelle Obama A Pearl Jewelry Diva?

If you have been following this year’s presidential campaign (who hasn’t?!) you’ve seen one woman in front of the camera almost as much as Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama himself. No, I’m not talking about Hillary Clinton, who has received a lot of air time in her own right, rather Obama’s wife, Michelle.

Michelle Obama has been campaigning vigorously for her husband and, despite the occasional misstep, has proven to be an effectual campaigner, speaker, and even a fashion statement maker. Yes, we’ve been noticing what Mrs. Obama has been wearing, particularly her collection of prized pearls which some insist are fake while we think the above picture could be depicting the real thing.

You can’t miss what Mrs. Obama prefers to wear — big pearls which evoke memories of two other first ladies — namely Jacqueline Kennedy and Barbara Bush. Add in that Donna Reed flip and her collection of power dresses and you might concur with what many fashion experts are saying: Michelle Obama is here to do business. And, she is doing it in her own way.

As the above photo shows, Michelle loves her pearls, and seems partial to gold earrings, her gold watch, and of course her gold wedding band and diamond engagement sparkler.

We don’t know if we’ve provided some of jewelry that Mrs. Obama likes to wear, but we do sell everything but the wristwatch. Michelle Obama — fashion diva?

Uma Gets Her Arki!

Actress Uma Thurman has hit the motherlode, accepting a whopping 8-carat diamond engagment ring from her Swiss-financier boyfriend Arpad “Arki” Busson. Though we can assure you that the stone pictured above isn’t her rock, you can bet that the diamond sparkler on her left ring finger is rather massive.

For Thurman, all this bodes well for future big jewelry gifts because Arki is rolling in the dough. Though Busson’s father was a wealthy stockbroker in his own right, Arki learned to make most of his millions himself through hedge funds, reportedly managing a portfolio worth well over ten billion dollars.

Arki, if you are reading this we have a couple of “small” gift items you’ll want to give to Uma: A pair of White Gold Akoya Pearl & Diamond Earrings with Pave diamonds fresh white water Pearl and a Ladies Platinum 3.00 Carat Total Weight Diamond Ring.

Busson owns a mansion in London’s Chelsea district worth about twenty million dollars and has a villa in the Bahamas. Uma is currently in the lead role for Motherhood and will be filming Eloise in Paris probably about the same time she becomes Mrs. Busson in London.

Congratulations to the happy couple and a long and happy marriage to you both!

Swiss Company Turns Ashes Into Diamonds

When you die, your body will either be planted in the earth, placed in a mausoleum, cremated, or perhaps preserved cryogenically. For some people their fate will be much different than that: their ashes will be transformed into diamonds. Yes, thanks to a process developed by a Swiss company, Algordanza, ashes can be turned into something beautiful and worn by loved ones.

At Algordanza’s laboratory, more than one dozen machines run constantly turning ashes into beauty. Potassium and calcium, which makes up some 85% of the ashes, are first separated from the carbon. Then the carbon is subjected to high heat and tremendous pressure, a process which compresses the remains into graphite, a carbon allotrope, or a different form of carbon. The complete transformation process is lengthy, some six to eight weeks in all, but when complete a crude diamond is the result, ready for polishing and cutting.

Diamonds Vary In Color
Since it only takes approximately 500 grams of ashes to make a diamond, not all ashes are needed as the average body leaves behind between 2.5 and 3 kg of ashes. The color of the diamond varies from dark blue to almost white, a difference one Algordanza representative says is a reflection of the decedent’s personality.

The company receives 40 to 50 commissions monthly and at a cost ranging from approximately US$4400 to US$16700, is actually cheaper than what a burial costs in Germany: US$19,000. The price differential is based on the size of the resultant diamond which can range from 0.25 to 1 carat. The cost for setting the diamond is extra.

The Booming “Life Gem” Movement
Since its founding in 2004, Algordanza has gone international and now has twenty locations worldwide. Other companies are now providing the same type of service (called life gems) in Russia, the US, Spain, and the Ukraine. China and India are considered to be strong future markets while Japan provides the largest number of customers for Algordanza with two to four urns arriving daily.

So, if death comes knocking today will you be ready? Regardless, your survivors may decide to keep you around forever by turning your ashes into something beautiful if not a little bit cryptic.

Lost & Found: Expensive Diamond Rings Recovered!

If you’re searching for bad news, you’ll find plenty of it by visiting your favorite internet site, tuning in to broadcast news, or by scanning the radio waves. Just for a few moments we’ll leave the gloom and doom stories to CNN and share with you three heartwarming accounts of diamond rings lost, but later recovered. Like lost jewelry, even good news can be found again.

Owner Found for $40K Diamond Engagement Ring
Misplacing jewelry is a common occurrence, but losing a ring valued at more than $40,000 and having the finders go out of their way to reunite the ring with its owner is certainly a rare event. Especially when the clues to identifying ownership are somewhat limited.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending as the couple who found the ring, Keith and Linda Stetzer, were able to reunite the 3.02 carat solitaire diamond ring with Susan Brahms, the ring’s rightful owner.

In a story that received national headlines, the Stetzers uncovered the engagement ring when they found it in dirt adjacent to a concrete barrier in a Tysons Corner, VA parking garage. The company contacted Mervis Diamond Importers when they noticed the “Mervis” inscription on the band, but Jonathan Mervis – the third generation of jewelers to operate the family business – wasn’t confident that the owner would be located even with that important piece of information.

Happily, news of the missing diamond ring got plenty of air time and it wasn’t long after that when Susan Brahm’s husband, Mark, called claiming he had a certificate in his possession identifying his wife as the owner. The Stetzers immediately brought the ring to Mervis who confirmed that it did, indeed, belong to Susan Brahms as the size and dimension of the ring matched and a rare inscription of “Mervis 2000” was found on the band.

Most encouraging was that neither the Stetzers nor Jonathan Mervis and his wife were comfortable with keeping the ring as both couples wanted to make sure that its owner was found. Mervis expected to sell the ring if the owner didn’t step forward, planning to donate the proceeds of that sale to charity, exactly what the Stetzers did with the reward money given to them by the Brahms.

Fake Ring Turns Out To Be Worth $9000!
In another story about a missing diamond ring recovered, an Arkansas women lost her 1.26 carat engagement ring while shopping at Wal-Mart only to have it found by a six year old girl who thought it was a fake.

Bryant Wal-Mart security cameras spotted the girl picking up the ring in the store’s parking lot and with police help managed to track down the family and reunite the ring with the woman who was wed just last month. When viewing the video, police saw the family’s vehicle and were able to determine which dealership sold their truck to them. The truck’s registration revealed the correct owner whose child’s newly found play thing was actually worth more than nine thousand dollars.

Boy Find Missing Rings In The Toilet
The thought of dropping a toothbrush in the toilet and fishing it out again sounds awful, but the action of a ten year old boy in Chatham, MA helped to reunite a pair of long lost diamond wedding rings with the daughter of the home’s former owner.

Cameron Delonde discovered a pair of rings in the toilet and, with his father’s help, contacted the real estate agent who sold the house to them for help locating the previous owner. The owner’s daughter was found who, along with her brother, realized that these family heirlooms were missing when their mother died fives years ago, never expecting them to be found.
Chris’ father recalled the feelings he had when a favorite ring of his was stolen and was determined to return the rings to its owner.

Inspiring news can be hard to come by, but the kindness of strangers bent on doing the right thing is certainly something to be celebrated.

Iced Diamonds, When You Can’t Afford To Give Her The Best!

Iced diamonds, the perfect gift for those times when you just cannot afford to give her your very best!

You’re in love and you want to seal your relationship with a diamond solitaire engagement ring. However, you have a huge problem — you’re flat broke. So, instead of getting her an expensive ring, you do the next best thing: you take a look at cubic zirconia jewelry and realize you cannot even afford the faux diamond either.

What is an impoverished guy to do?!

Well, if you have some imagination and she has a sense of humor, why not give her lots of diamonds — even a glass full — and win her heart that way?

Novelty retailer Fred and Friends has the exact item you need, a diamond making device that uses an important ingredient — water! That’s right, these diamonds are made of 100% H2O, the most abundant molecule on the face of the earth.

Just fill up the flexible tray with water (or your favorite liquid), stick the tray in the freezer, and hours later six three dimensional diamond shaped “cool jewels” are ready for sharing. Place them in a glass and serve them to her and she’ll have more diamonds from you than she can imagine.

The cost? About one dollar per diamond or $6 for the tray when purchased from Amazon or other online retailer. You won’t be able to turn the iced diamonds into an engagement ring with sidestones, but you can spread some cheer and perhaps buy enough time to save up your money to purchase the real thing.

See And Be Seen With Diamonds!

I had to let out a chuckle today when I was reading the Jewelry Insider blog, a site that takes a look at the fashion side of the jewelry business.

The blogger was sharing her insights regarding the U.S. Open (tennis) Tournament which is now taking place in New York City. As she noted, many of the tennis stars are fond of showing off some bling while they’re playing, recalling an incident in 2005 where Serena Williams dropped one of her $40,000 diamond chandelier earrings in the middle of her 6-1, 6-3 dispatching of Taiwan’s Yung-Jan Chan.

Hit It With Diamonds!
This year, Serena has been outdone by upstart teen tennis sensation Asia Muhammad who decided to adorn her pink tennis racquet with a diamond. That’s right, a diamond! Thanks to the work of Las Vegas jeweler Michael E. Minden, Asia’s racquet (pictured) has been custom fitted with 1.00ctw of VS quality pave set diamonds in 2 letter A’s which can be found just above her grip.

“This is the first time I’ve actually put diamonds on a piece of athletic equipment,” notes Minden. “However, we came up with a special process to affix it to the racquet, with a special technology to transfer the letters to a new racquet when Asia wears out the first one. The same diamonds can be added to a golf club, and makes a very exclusive gift for any exceptional athlete in most any sport.”

Let’s Play Tennis!
The price for each letter? A cool $1750 which includes installation. Tennis, anyone?

Swiped $9000 Engagement Ring Returned To Owner; Magpie Flies On

A flying thief made off with Julia Boaler's diamond engagement ring three years ago. Recently, the stole gemstone was recovered, but the thief was no where to be found.
The news doesn’t get much stranger then this.

Julia Boaler was taking a shower in her home three years ago, deciding to leave the bathroom window open to let out some steam. Little did she know that more then hot air would leave her bathroom that day as her diamond engagement ring, valued at more than 5000 British Pounds (approximately US$8874), would disappear. As Julia recalls, she left the ring near the open window, a shiny and appealing target for some quick working thief.

Yes, a magpie made off with her ring, but that fact wasn’t known until recently. After accusing a window washer of making off with the ring and then tearing up the bathroom to search for her prized possession, Julia had given up hope that the ring would ever be found.

Now a mother with a toddler and still planning to be married, Julia received the surprise of her life recently when she asked her fiance, Justin, to do some gardening. Besides pulling out weeds and spreading grass seed, Justin decided to prune their big oak tree when he noticed it — an old magpie nest with a shiny object glimmering from inside.

It was Julia’s diamond engagement ring.

Magpies are noted for being attracted to shiny objects and one must have seen her diamond sparkler shining inside the bathroom when it swooped in, picked it up, and flew to the nest where it resided for the next three years.

As for the offender? No magpie has been seen since and police aren’t likely to get involved. Julia is simply glad to have her ring back thanks to Justin’s pruning skills.

Paris Hilton Gets Another Engagement Ring?

Paris Hilton and Benji Madden can’t fight off engagement rumors much longer. The girl who made ‘famous for being famous’ a job and turned “celebutante” into a word seems ready to settle down with her rocker boyfriend of 10 months, Benji Madden.

The rumors began after only 2 ½ months into their courtship, when the Paris was seen showing off a diamond-encrusted ring bearing the initials “BM”, a most unfortunate set of initials to have to wear at all. Madden, too, was seen sporting his own diamond-encrusted “PH” ring. Despite Paris Hilton’s checkered relationship history, it seems that it was too early even for her to promise herself forever (for now) to Benji. In the past, she was engaged to model Jason Shaw, tattooed “Nick” on her behind while dating Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, and the poor thing later had to request a smaller diamond from shipping heir Paris Latsis because the first of the engagement rings he bought for her was too heavy and it “made her hand hurt”. None of these men ever got even close to putting a wedding ring on her finger, but her collection of engagement rings grew and grew.

Things appear to be different with Benji Madden, the brother and bandmate of Joel Madden, who is married to Paris’s former best friend and co-star on “The Simple Life”, Nicole Richie, who is a celebutante in her own right. Although the relationship between these two appears to need its own flow chart, the couple remains solid, and exchanging wedding rings actually might be in their future. On “Late Night with David Letterman” in May, Paris gushed about her boyfriend and announced her intention to marry him. She said: “We want to stay together forever”. And she probably really believes that.

At one time, Nicole Ritchie was known as Paris Hilton’s sidekick. Suddenly, it was Nicole who was skinny and beautiful and photographed all over the place. When she got endless press for her pregnancy and marriage, Paris took note and not only jumped on the “Serious Relationship” bandwagon, but also the Madden bandwagon (tour bus?) as well. Lucky for Nicole there was another Madden brother available.

In a recent KIIS-FM radio interview, Ryan Seacrest commented that heiress was wearing a new ring on “a significant finger”. Paris giggled like a 4 year-old and, without specifically denying that it is an engagement ring, said that, when Madden gave it to her, he told her: “just that he really loves me”.

Ah, young love. Once again, Paris has found her One True Soul Mate. I’m sure the wedding of Benji Madden and Paris Hilton, should they ever have one, will be her next big role on her next very-own hit reality tv show.

Bruce Willis and Emma Heming Shop for Engagement Rings

After only 8 months together, it looks like “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis, 53, is ready to put an engagement ring on the gorgeous finger of model Emma Heming, 30. Can a wedding ring be too far behind in this high-speed romance? Bruce seems to be trading up, as did his ex-wife Demi Moore. When Demi, now 45, married Ashton Kutcher, 30, Hollywood was aghast. After all, Demi made a name for herself in 1985 as a coke-snorting party girl while little Ashton was (probably unsuccessfully) learning to read about Dick, Jane and Spot. Ashton has since shown his intellect by creating the tv shows “Punk’d” and “Beauty and the Geek”. On the other hand, he probably makes an excellent playmate for Demi’s three daughters with Bruce Willis. Bruce, nonetheless, approves completely of their marriage.

Bruce and his upgrade, Emma, were seen together at Cartier in Beverly Hills, where Emma appeared to be looking more for ideas than for one of the engagement rings from the well-known and very pricey jeweler. It seems that the relationship between Bruce Willis and Emma Heming has been deliberately low-key and romantic, forgoing the Hollywood nightlife and showy movie premieres in favor of a more intimate courtship. Willis was known throughout the 80s as one of Hollywood’s most notorious bachelors, a regular on the party scene, playing with his band, and serial-dating models like Rachel Hunter and Janice Dickinson, and was often seen with a Playboy playmate dangling on his arm.

But now, the man who once said he “believes he will die a bachelor because he can’t be with just one woman”, has found his next ‘just one woman’. According to a friend, Bruce took Emma to look at engagement rings to get an idea of what she likes. Another shopper noted that “Emma seemed to like one that had a very art deco feel to it…it was a smaller diamond set in platinum, and it was very feminine and unique”.

At this rate, in another 10 years Demi will marry a 6th-grader and Bruce will put his work in the movie “Look Who’s Talking” to work, and, and marry a fetus.

Looking for a Unique Diamond? Wear Grandpa.

Jennifer Lopez got a pink diamond. Marilyn Monroe got a platinum eternity band with 36 diamonds. Paris Hilton was weighed down by a 24-carat diamond engagement ring for a few weeks. Now even the average human can have very special, one-of-a-kind diamond rings–and for only a few thousand dollars–by taking the cremated remains of loved ones and having it pressed into diamonds. You can proudly wear Grandma, or Uncle Joe, or Fluffy on a custom-made ring, or, if you prefer, you can wear all three at once in a stunning drop diamond necklace.

The process, began by LifeGem in England, is actually very simple. They remove 2 grams of carbon from the ashes and place it in a diamond press, exposing it to a temperature of 3,000°C and pressure up to one million pounds. In two weeks, a synthetic diamond is produced. Carat weights range from .25 to over 1.5. Celebrity craziness is nothing new, so it was no surprise when lunatic musician Pete Doherty decided to have Shelley, his cat with ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, made into a diamond. He wanted to present it to her in an effort to win back her love after they split. No word on whether or not Shelley died a natural death.Bringing the term “Crazy Cat Lady” to a whole new level, a woman decided to have her pet made into a diamond after he died suddenly at age 11. Sue Rogers, according to UK’s “The Guardian”, lost Sooty, her black cat, and wanted to keep him with her at all times. She inquired about having the diamond be black, since Sooty was. LifeGem then developed the process of exposing the diamond to electrons for 24 hours, which turned the cloudy diamond black. This has served them well, as they can now create diamonds in many colors—or even colorless.People are having non-furry family members turned into diamonds as well. Nancy Wodziak of Minnesota had her husband turned into a yellow diamond after he died of brain cancer. She was, surprisingly, the first in the state to have her husband’s remains dealt with in this way. Another woman who lost her husband let the diamond remain clear, but with flaws. She was heard to say that “…he wasn’t perfect, so why should the diamond be?” Should other loved ones balk at this new way to memorialize the deceased, there is an upside to the process. LifeGem does not use all of the ashes, so some are still available for a more traditional scattering or burial in an urn. But why do that when you can have this ‘mobile memorial’ to carry with you wherever you go?

Diamonds Are A Grill’z Bezt Friend

Ah, diamonds. Ice of the rich. A tangible show of eternal love. And, for the hip-hop community, a most necessary accessory.

Since the 1980’s, the rap and hip-hop community has been obsessed with ostentatious jewelry. It began innocently enough with Big Daddy Kane and Kurtis Blow wearing humongous gold chains the like of which had been seen only at the early-bird specials and retirement communities in South Florida. This was the era of track suits and thick, heavy chains. For both groups.In the 1990’s, the musicians chose to make statements with their choices in jewelry.

Treach of the rap group “Naughty by Nature” wore heavy silver chain links with a lock to represent ‘all of the brothers who are locked down’. Rap stars wore giant Jesus pendants as an homage to the One who made all of their successes possible. The group Public Enemy—with the notable exception of Flavor Flav–chose to make its statement differently by not wearing expensive jewelry, hoping that it would stop the trend of economically-disadvantaged youth turning to crime in order to emulate the dress of their musical icons.

Then came the next generation of hip hop artists. Rappers like Jay-Z, Juvenile, and the Hot Boys began flaunting flashy diamond jewelry. Brian “Baby” Williams had a set of permanent platinum veneers made for his teeth. And, in 2007, Lil Jon entered the “Guinness Book of World Records” for buying the world’s largest diamond pendant—reading “cRuNk AiN’t DeAd”—for $500,000.00. It is made up of 73 carats of diamonds set in 19-carat white and yellow gold. It is said to weigh over five pounds. The chain on which this gemstone behemoth hangs is reminiscent of the ones worn by rap’s forefathers.

And then…came…Grills. Grills are removable covers for teeth and are shaped from complete molds of your teeth so they will fit comfortably. Originally, grills were solid gold or platinum. But the style quickly expanded to be whatever you can afford to have made. Paul Wall, a Houston DJ and music producer, has become the Guru of Grills. His own set is made of tiny princess-cut diamonds and platinum, and is worth $30,000.00. Wall has made grills for artists like Lil Jon, Nelly, Slim Thug, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, David Banner, and Chamillionaire (, but maintains a booming business of regular people with alternative beauty ideals. A millionaire can have a set custom-made. For the normal person, Paul Wall has several designs that he sells through his jewelry business with partner Johnny Dang, TV Jewelry, and through the website Their grills range in price from a simple gold design for $100/tooth to a diamond-encrusted set at $800.00/tooth. Paul himself only gets personally involved when a high-profile client makes a request. When Lil Jon wanted a $50,000 grill made, Paul did all the handiwork himself. Lil Jon said of his custom grill “I got my first grill from Paul ‘cause of the way his grill looked. The design and quality of diamonds was different from what people got in ATL [Atlanta]” (

Where goes hip hop, so goes fashion, and jewelry has gotten bigger and carries more carat weight than ever before. Runway shows have featured models wearing giant jewelry, all of Hollywood is in a rush to top the last famous couples’ engagement rings, and hip-hop artists themselves are wearing Gucci, Prada, Dior, and all the well-known designers. It seems like Lil Jon himself will lead the charge into the next degree of gaudiness, perhaps getting gold fingernails and toenails, or coating his dreads in platinum.

Perhaps we should be keeping an eye on the South Florida retirement homes as well for our next fashion trend.

A Bra No One Would Burn–5 Million Dollar Black Diamond Miracle

Every Christmas, Victoria’s Secret comes out with a one-of-a-kind, diamond-encrusted bra that is priced in the millions of dollars. The most expensive one designed so far was $12.5 million, so it seems that this year’s model is practically a bargain at only $5 million. Traditionally, these slightly extravagant underclothes are made with perfect clear diamonds, so American jewelry designer Martin Katz decided to think outside the box and make skivvies out of perfect black diamonds instead. Made with over 3,900 gems, the “Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra” consists of over 3,600 black diamonds, 117 certified 1-carat clear diamond rounds, and 34 rubies. It also features, as a centerpiece—or bullseye—two black diamond drops totaling 100 carats. In case that isn’t incentive enough to own this, it is also a “Miracle Bra”, a specific style of support garment that is designed for ‘maximum cleavage enhancement’ (read: raises your chest to chin-level). Since the previous diamond-laden underthings were only regular precious-gem bras, this one is more than a way to keep the girls up. It is an experience. You, too, can look like Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima for the low price of $5,000,000 (or, in layman’s terms, 81 years of work for the average American).

Adriana Lima, the freakishly beautiful Victoria’s Secret Angel, will be showing the black diamond bra in the annually- televised Christmas runway show on December 3. She said: “I’m can’t wait to walk down the runway in this at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (UPI). We forgive her the grammatical mistake because a: she is not a native English-speaker, and b: no one is really listening when she talks, anyway. Until then, pictures of this gemstone/lingerie masterpiece can be seen in the Victoria’s Secret holiday catalogue, found on the coffee tables of women and in the bathrooms of men all over the country.

On a related note, Lima herself got quite a birthday present this year from her boyfriend, Memphis Grizzlies guard Marko Jaric: an engagement ring. They plan to marry in Brazil in June of 2009. Lima, a model since age 15, is famous not only for her beauty, but for her devotion to the Catholic beliefs on which she was raised. According to, she has said that “Sex is for marriage”, and will wait to experience it until she has a wedding ring. Of course, that has only acted as catnip to countless male suitors, including Lenny Kravitz and various members of royalty. Instead, it was an odd-looking Serb who won her heart.
And he didn’t have to buy her a $5 million bra either…

NYC Is MAD About Jewelry

Lovers of all things jewelry, we have good news. A brand new, jewelry resource center at New York’s Museum of Arts And Design (MAD) opened last week with its inaugural show, Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry. The exhibition explores the inspirations for contemporary jewelry, including the fine arts, the human form and the natural world. Featuring over 130 works from 1948 to the present, pieces are drawn from the museum’s collection of approximately 450 modern and contemporary selections and will be on display until March 2009.

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, which will house the entire collection in accessible study drawers, is a unique study center dedicated exclusively to contemporary jewelry. Located on the second floor of the new MAD building, the center also presents a rotating series of jewelry exhibitions and provides additional resources on the history of jewelry design through MAD’s online database.

Construction of MAD’s Columbus Circle location was a controversial topic for New Yorkers over the past few years, but it’s clear the City is now excited to add yet another artistic destination for both New York natives and out of town visitors. Mayor Bloomberg was at the ribbon cutting ceremony and voiced his full support.

For more information about the Jewelry Gallery and the other exhibits at the Museum, visit their official website at

Who paid record price for 101 carat diamond?

A 101-carat colourless diamond the size of a squash ball sold for a record $HK46.2 million ($6 million) at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong, a radio report said today.

The gem, the biggest colourless diamond ever sold in Asia and one of only three colourless diamonds over 100 carats ever sold, was bought by a private buyer on Wednesday.

Government-run radio station RTHK said today the buyer's identity was not being revealed but he would have the option to name the diamond, the most expensive single piece of jewellery sold in Asia.

Set in a tiara, it was the biggest colourless diamond to come up for auction anywhere in the world for 18 years, Christie's said.

Diamond prices have boomed in recent years partly because of the economic slowdown, with new buyers from Russia, India and Asia pushing auction prices higher.

Letsing Diamond Makes Its Debut

One of the Worlds largest pieces of Diamond Rough ever recovered from a mine in Africa earlier this year made its public debut--and received its official name--during a press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The stone, a massive 478-carat rock from the Letseng Mine in the African kingdom of Lesotho, is now known as "Leseli la Letseng," which means, "she is the light of Letseng.

"Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend"

Men's Jewelry Market Explodes with Demand for Diamonds

The mens jewelry market is exploding, and this new market segment is increasing the demand for diamonds. Mens jewelry sales are up a reported 20 percent, and as a result, an increasing number of fine jewelry manufacturers are introducing or expanding their mens lines.

Leading the way is Hollywood trendsetter and leading man Jamie Foxx, who often shows up to Hollywood galas wearing his favorite diamond-studded watch. Clearly, when Hollywood celebrities shine, theres more than their star wattage at work.

Female celebrities continue to add sparkle to diamonds. Geena Davis, star of Commander-in-Chief, was recently seen on the Red Carpet in an Escada dress accessorized with ruby earrings surrounded by 14 carats of diamonds.

Celebrities arent only wearing diamonds; theyre also designing and lending their names to jewelry lines. The Paris Hilton Limited Edition Watches, for example, feature up to nine carats of diamonds and over 1,000 stones. Abazias Diamonds (, the exclusive online retailer of the Paris Hilton line, features three of the watches: the Cotton Candy, Canary, and Pink is Love.

Highly recognizable celebrity brand names such as Paris Hilton appeal to a very broad cross section of our customer base, says Oscar Rodriguez, CEO of Abazias Diamonds (ABZS-OTC:BB). He adds, "Abazias showcases over 70,000 diamonds online, and our quality and variety of stones combined with our incredible pricing makes Abazias peerless in the marketplace."

As investors are discovering, the market for diamonds has never been hotter. At the retail level, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton saw a 16 percent increase in sales of watches and jewelry in 2005. The typical luxury goods customer spends close to $50,000 each year on such goods, and the luxury market, as well as the diamond trading and mining industries are expected to continue their upward growth trend.

Analysts are projecting that the worlds largest diamond merchant, De Beers Diamond Trading Company, will rack up $6.6 billion in sales during 2006. In addition, news reports indicate that mining operations around the globe are gearing up for record production.

In Venezuela, for example, President Hugo Chavez has formed the National Mining Corporation, which will take back underutilized mines and increase production in that country. At the same time, Australia and Canada are drawing investors for mineral exploration. In Africa, Namibias stable government has paved the way for mining investments by offering mineral royalties, and is optimistic that the 28 percent diamond production increase during 2004 will be repeated.

Increases in diamond imports also bode well for investors. In China, for example, imports increased by 11 percent in 2005. The next time the Red Carpet is rolled out, expect to see Hollywoods male elite sparkle and maybe even outshine their female co-stars!

Is Bigger Always Better?

Whether people like it or not, celebrities set the trends for what is in style for normal civilians. And of course, jewelry is no exception. Looks that stars wear on the red carpet are soon available in similar versions at jewelry stores for the common people. This is a simple fact. The trends seen in Hollywood are translated into the pieces seen in chain jewelry stores. In accordance with the current celebrity climate, big is definitely in. Stars are sporting hefty engagement rings. Paris Hilton had two from former fiancé Paris Lastis-one weighing 24 carats, the other 15 carats. Jennifer Lopez wore a 6-carat pink diamond ring while engaged to Ben Affleck. Catherine Zeta Jones received an antique 10-carat marquise diamond ring from Michael Douglas. The list goes on and on. Celebrities seem to be in a battle to determine who can get the biggest and priciest rings out of their men. Not only are engagement rings growing in size, but other kinds of jewelry as well are putting on weight. Celebrities are embracing the old Hollywood glamour style of chunky jewelry and lots of sparkle. Marilyn Monroe best summed up this style in singing, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Jewelry of this style is big and bold, but also beautifully designed and artistic. As far as diamonds are concerned, the more the merrier, and the bigger the better rings true for this trend.

Big jewelry has a lot of good qualities. The pieces currently in style are large bringing about vast amounts of sparkle. This sparkle is eye catching and beautiful. It also attracts light to the face of the wearer, enhancing natural beauty. Big jewelry looks good on almost everyone when worn on appropriate occasions. Large engagement rings are a fun way to let the world know that one is off of the market. Although quite heavy, they are great tokens of love, and beautiful additions to women’s hands.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks to big jewelry is the price tag. Large pieces, like those seen on the stars, are worn by celebritiesfor a reason. They can afford the jewelry. The average American doesn’t make nearly enough to buy an engagement ring even half of the size of some of the ones which celebrities wear. Cost factor aside, where can a normal person actually wear the type of jewelry that the stars wear? Average people don’t go to red carpet events where this type of adornment is considered normal. Depending upon where a person lives, they could have their hand chopped off walking down the street with a 10-carat diamond ring on their finger. At the very least, showy jewelry can look arrogant, out of place, and even fake if worn in the wrong circumstances. Sometimes, big jewelry just is not practical to wear.

How can one incorporate the trends of the stars into their own look affordably and appropriately? This is easy-downsize. Even though the hot look is big diamond pieces, the same look can be achieved using smaller pieces. Invest in one decent sized piece such as a necklace. Let this be the focal point. Compliment the big necklace with smaller sized diamond earrings and modest bracelets. If an impressive diamond ring is in one’s collection, use this as a platform on which to build a “big look” with smaller jewelry. Another way to achieve the look of Hollywood glamour is to layer one’s jewelry. Layering multiple simple diamond necklaces or bracelets is a great way to increase the shine factor without breaking the bank.

For those who would rather swim against the current trends, now is a great time to make a statement with smaller and more detailed jewelry pieces. To find pieces that drift away from the style of Hollywood, visit independent jewelers. Chain stores are most likely to tailor their merchandise to what style is currently hot. Independent jewelers often have better quality pieces that have individual flair. Many of these businesses will sit down with customers and help to custom create unique pieces that are following nobody else’s trend. In this manner, one can build a smaller but unique piece while still saving money. Wearing jewelry like that, one is sure to stand out from the crowd.

The look of Hollywood glamour is here to stay for awhile. As long as the celebrities are still sporting the big jewels in lavish settings that is what will be considered in style. With the right knowledge, average people can choose to successfully emulate the look of the stars on a small budget. One can also choose to break away and invent their own style on a small budget. Jewelry and diamonds are not just for the wealthy. Everyone can afford to look radiant in jewels with a little creativity and individuality.

Diamonds Are Still in Demand

In today’s economic climate, it may seem that no one is buying anything - especially something as precious as a diamond. A recent Chicago auction has proved that notion incorrect. Many who have the extra cash tend to buy up collectibles and other tangible luxuries when the market turns scary. Diamonds have long been considered a rarity and natural treasure, no matter the climate. It may be quite possible that they hold their value through even the toughest times, possibly largely due to the rich and famous who continue to purchase them.

The auction held in Chicago brought bidders from far away places like Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Hungary and Singapore. Many lots of jewelry continued to sell at an average of $100,000, and the buyers did not blink an eye at these prices.

Of notable purchase was an extremely rare, yellow diamond ring that was submitted by a local family. Their mother had worn the ring on her third left finger before bequeathing it to the younger family members. It is unclear why the family chose to sell the ring, as they did realize the worth of the 5.44 carat sparkler. However, twelve people started bidding against each other to win the bauble, and a New York jewelry dealer won the piece for a total of $144,000. This was four times the expected sale price, much to everyone’s surprise.

The sale of the ring reflects not only the maintained market for diamonds, but also reinforces the trends and fashions we see in Hollywood jewelry. Rare colored diamonds and vintage styling are most popular currently. This yellow diamond was set in an 18k white gold setting from the 1960s.

Due to the rising interest in colored diamonds recently, many yellow diamonds have been offered. However, this ring set a new record for recent yellow diamond auction bids.
Yellow, red, pink, black and blue diamonds are not only popular due to their colorful fashion statement. They are also much more rare than any white diamond, thus an important statement of status and wealth. Only 1 carat of colored diamonds for every 100,000 carats of white diamonds are ever mined.

Other recently sold high-dollar diamonds include a sapphire and diamond ring totaling $656,000, or twice the estimated sale. Another diamond also doubled its sale price estimate and sold for $470,500. The standing record for a diamond sold at auction was set in 1995 when a 100.1 carat white diamond was purchased for a total of $16.5 million.

Huge diamonds are also expected to bring big dollar signs at a New York sale this fall. The famous 316 carat Ponaholo diamond has yielded four stones, two of which took 18 months to create. The Ponaholo was mined in 2005, and the two stones considered the most valued are 102 and 70 carat stunners.

The larger diamond is expected to sell for $4 million, and the smaller is predicted to find a new home for $2.2 million. If the current trend proves correct, they may sell for almost twice that amount. Russell Simmons, hip-hop’s main man, and model Kiara Kabukuru revealed the diamonds to the press this week.

Many of the world’s largest diamonds can be found on display at many points of interest. The largest diamond, the Cullinan diamond, weighs in at 3,106 carats and is displayed at the Tower of London. All royal jewels are held there, and the Cullinan was cut into three separate pieces. The Cullinan I, also known as the Star of Africa, is found on the famous Sceptre with the Cross. The Lesser Star of Africa, the Cullinan I’s smaller counterpart, can be found in the Imperial State Crown.

The Louvre of Paris houses the 137 carat Regent diamond, quite possibly the most famous colored diamond due to its deep blue hue. A 108 carat stone called the Taj-Imah is contained in Iran’s crown jewels, and the Orlov, a 189 carat gem, resides in the Kremlin.

It seems that regardless of what the economy is doing, high-quality items continue to hold their value, and may quite possibly exponentially grow in value. Rare and antique furnishings, vehicles and diamonds are following suit.

Although the rich and famous continue to purchase the collectible items, laymen may visit the large rocks on public display around the world. These carat monsters initiated our preoccupation with large diamonds today.

Hollywood and international elite are found wearing increasingly large stones in both bridal and red carpet jewelry today. Each new bride seems to override the popularity of the last one, stopping the show with the latest monstrous design. Celebrities are also cashing in on the rare cuts and colors available in the latest fashions. Rose cuts were seen at the Oscars and Emmys this year, as well as colored metals and black diamonds.

Hollywood Diamonds at Elle’s 15th Annual Tribute

Several award ceremonies and other red carpet events each year give us an idea of what’s soon to be hot in fashion and jewels. Paying close attention to what the stars are wearing when they dress for these events will give important clues as to which body part is most important to emphasize. This year’s Women in Hollywood Tribute by Elle brought celebrities to the red carpet in yards of diamond and glitter, and it seems the hottest trend was emphasizing size and style of the earrings.Huge diamond hoops in gold and platinum, adorned with diamonds, were seen everywhere. Icons and divas alike were pulling off some the largest ear jewels we’ve seen yet. It has been said that any shape will do, but it must be larger than a silver dollar to be qualified for celebrity wear.

Jennifer Lopez sparkled with white diamond cluster earrings. The carat weight has not been disclosed, but they were approximately the size of a small child’s fist. We all know she’s never liked to be outdone, and these jewels caught everyone’s eyes that night.

Increasing size and carat weights of diamonds were also seen at this year’s Oscars and Academy Awards. No size is too big, and bold is best this year.

Jane Fonda wore a similar, yet smaller version of JLo’s earrings, and jokingly commented, “What a fantastic business. Aren’t we glad we’re not all bankers?”

Amber Tamblyn wore a trendy pair of diamond drop-style earrings that grazed her perfect shoulders. Drop and waterfall earrings are touting several colors and cuts this year in Hollywood.
Many of our current jewelry trends are determined by Hollywood and bridal jewelry designs, and other award ceremonies this year have lent us a peek at celebrity jewel collections to complement our entire wardrobes.

Earlier this season, at the 60th Emmy Awards, several new trends were noted among the celebrities. Vintage and antique designs were seen with nature-inspired carvings, as well as multiple stones and rare cuts and colors. Cuff bracelets and black diamonds were some of the most common themes.

Mixing raw and uncut diamonds with other stones and jewels has been seen on the red carpet this year as well. Turquoise, jade and rubies and pearls are common counterparts to diamonds in modern, high-class jewelry.

This fall’s looks are expected to be fashioned in deep jewel tones, and jewelry that makes a statement is sure to follow. Costume-like jewelry in big and bold designs is now available using precious diamonds and other gemstones.

Canary yellow is expected to be the most popular trend in colored diamonds this year. The warm tone and color brings a warm feeling to the winter months. Yellow diamonds may be chosen as the centerpiece to a ring or earring, or smaller versions may accent the main stone.
Gray, chocolate and black diamonds are also seen on more celebrities at this year’s awards. Paired with any color of metal, they may be alternated with colorless or jewel-colored stones for added effect and wearability.

White, rose and pink gold are common alloys that are rising in popularity among the rich and famous, as well as fall brides. Mixing different metal colors to create a unique or antique look is a personal way to express your style.

Large necklaces using bold designs and several different sizes and colors of stones are also popular. Multiple chains and lengths are acceptable, and no single focal point is required for a design to be considered fashionable.

Diamond-encrusted watches and cuff bracelets were seen at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Cuffs may also be worn on both wrists, or paired with stacked bangles to provide varying widths.
Pendants are also making a comeback this year, as added emphasis is needed to accent the bold necklines of fall fashions. Oversized and encrusted with multiple gemstones, pendants may be worn on a diamond link chain, or in addition to other necklaces.

Due to the current trend of eco-friendly practices, raw and natural stones are paving the way for new diamond designs. These raw diamonds may be paired with cut and colored diamond or other gemstones for a more refined and formal look, or fashioned in an organic piece with pearls or jade to create a dramatic casual look.

Many Hollywood celebrities are layering and coordinating like there’s no tomorrow. It is simply not possible to be wearing too much jewelry or too many jewels. Dangling earrings that graze shoulders or fall below the hairline are paired with multi-strand, fancy necklaces. Cuff bracelets are worn with several diamond rings and pendants, and all pieces may tout varying cuts and colors of diamonds.

Diamonds for the Cure

Everyone’s heard the phrase made famous by Marilyn Monroe, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” With new medical studies being performed, diamonds could become a true best friend to people in need. It turns out that diamonds are capable of more than just sparkle and shine; they have characteristics which can aid in healing cancer patients. One typically does not think of diamonds when they think of cancer treatment, but new research shows that diamonds can help create a more targeted treatment with fewer side effects.Cancer is an awful beast that attacks people in every stage of life in many different forms. Twenty-somethings can fall victim to breast cancer. Liver cancer can strike a wife and mother of several young children. Cancer does not single out older people but can bring devastation to men and women of every age category from child leukemia to colon cancer in an eighty year old man. Cancer is a terrible way to die, but can also be a terrible and painful way to live when conventional treatments are used.

Traditional treatments include chemotherapy and radiation. These techniques are designed to kill the bad cancer cells without killing healthy cells. They can be damaging to the good cells, as well, however, and leave patients with side effects. The side effects of chemotherapy include, but are not limited to pain, seizures, headaches, heartburn, dizziness and unbearable fatigue. Chemotherapy is an incredibly difficult and painful treatment to endure. The side effects make it hard for patients to endure the healing process. It takes a great deal of mental toughness just to get through treatment successfully. Chemotherapy is a wonderful gift, and provides a way for cancer victims to go on living healthy lives free of cancer. The treatment is extremely difficult for most people to bear. With cancer at such high rates, it is a terrible thing that so much pain needs to be endured for a patient to come out on the other side.

So, what do diamonds have to do with cancer? Diamonds are rare and beautiful gems. It takes a great deal of effort, however, to cut them and polish them from their raw state into the sparkling gems which are seen in jewelry stores. If there is anything more valuable than a diamond, it is a human life. Just like diamonds, people must endure the trials of cutting and polishing to become what they are meant to become. Diamonds are a lot like people in this respect. The trials of cancer treatment are trying and difficult, but what comes out of the other side is a beautiful person who has been healed.

Now, diamonds can finally help with the healing. A new drug patch is now being studied which may help cancer patients to get chemotherapy benefits only in the areas which require the treatment. The patch is studded with nanodiamonds, or fragments of diamond dust, and it works to treat localized areas of remaining cancer after a tumor has been removed. The diamond patch releases chemotherapy drugs slowly over time, and only to the cancer infected area. Because the patch is placed over the affected area, the chemotherapy does not harm other areas of the body, thus greatly reducing the side effects. The patch would be very economical, as nanodiamonds are mass produced already for use in car parts and electronics.

Why do diamonds have the ability to treat cancer? These tiny diamond fragments have proven to be compatible with tissues in the body. This allows the chemotherapy drugs to be slowly released into the body without causing inflammation of the cells.

Once the research is completed, the question then becomes when this treatment will become available and in what capacity. Researchers believe that these diamond patches will be able to be used in conjunction with traditional injected chemotherapy shortly. Why use both. The nanodiamond patches can compliment the injected chemotherapy. This means that, although tradition treatment will still be required, less quantities of it will be needed for successful treatment of the cancer. Less of the injected drug means fewer side effects and more cost efficiency. This would be a huge advancement in the field of cancer treatment if less chemotherapy was needed with fewer side effects, less healthy cell damage and less money.

The long term relationship between diamonds and cancer treatment is yet to be determined. The future looks bright, and more healing properties of this incredible stone, are surely to be discovered in time. Perhaps eventually, diamond patches could be created to take the place of surgery and injected drugs all together. Wouldn’t that be a blessing for cancer patients? One is diagnosed with cancer, so they go to the doctor and have a patch placed over the affected area. The patch then slowly releases all of the treatment which is required to kill the cancer for good. Who knows? This kind of miracle healing might not be so unheard of in the future.

Lindsay Lohan fuels wedding rumours with 'engagement' ring

Lindsay Lohan has sparked wedding rumours as she showed off a sparkling ring on her engagement finger.

The actress showed off the heart-shaped ring as she was accompanied by girlfriend Samantha Ronson to a DJ gig in New York.

Wedding rumours began earlier this week when Miss Ronson reportedly told a crowd while performing at a party in Los Angeles: "By the end of this year, my love will be Mrs Ronson.

"Tonight shows the power of a woman - to underestimate that is to underestimate the world."
Miss Lohan, who has usually kept quiet on the couple's relationship, recently told Marie Claire magazine the pair had matching tattoos.

She said: "Samantha had some stars so I had some done as well.

"I'm really happy. She's a great person. And she's a great influence on people around her. But I think that anything that's change [in] my life is because of me. I've gone through it, and I've learned to deal with it and I've made the decision to move forward."

Miss Lohan also told Marie Claire she is hoping to settle into a more permanent house by buying "with someone" after living in hotels for years.

She said: "I didn't like to live alone, so whatever I needed I could just go downstairs and there were people there.

"It wasn't a way of life."

Bling it on for our men!

Who ever said that jewelry was restricted to women!

Take a look around – our celebs are sporting the finest jewellery and setting trends which are making ways in the metrosexual man’s wardrobe. From day spas to diamonds, it’s all about getting in touch with the feminine side, and feeling at ease and confident enough to complement a watch with a bracelet, necklace, or an earring.

Ever since the bling bang, a “why not?” kind of attitude has prevailed. All kinds of men — from the designers Gabbana and Dolce to the tennis player Marat Safin — feel comfortable flaunting jewelry. Sean 'Diddy' Combs' is always at the forefront of setting the hottest new trends, whether it's in the form of diamond stud earrings or diamond encrusted watches, men want to replicate that designer inspired look. Movie stars, musicians and sports figures have helped guys grow more at ease with jewelry. Soccer phenomenon David Beckham sports everything from crosses to earrings. Actor Wilmer Valderrama has been spotted wearing chunky gold rings, while hip-hop artists like Kanye West shine in diamonds.

With the rise of metro sexual chic, and the fact that jewellery designs today are more macho, jewellery is another section that our men are reaching out to. With trying to spiff up their looks by frequenting spas, they are, also heading out on a shopping spree in the jewellery section…and this time, they are shopping for themselves!

Earrings, bracelets, diamond encrusted watches, cross pendants – its all there and there’s many more to come. Everyone is talking about men’s jewellery and today, it’s become a fashion that is more popular than ever before.

The bling trend

While the metro sexual influence may have more men interested in spending more time and money on their appearance and lifestyle, there is also a strong tug from film and sport celebrities.

Distinctive detailing, earthy materials, meaningful or symbolic attributes and above all, something manly is what the men’s bling is all about.

New designs are being produced every day. I would have to say the most popular piece of jewelry is the men’s bracelets. Designs such as titanium and gold bracelet make a statement because it is such a unique design and also has plenty of 18k gold in it. Cross pendants are making a strong comeback – men want to show their spirituality and want to look good doing so. The cross pendant is something that has been around for many years and now designs are much more stylish and unique.

The old and the new are merging! GIA design experts say masculine pieces are being paired with a fresh, feminine twist, and designers are taking advantage of the growing trend of genderless fashions. Soft and lustrous Tahitian pearls – a tradition in women’s pieces – are being incorporated with leather for a sensuous male touch.

And, men don’t have to be professional athletes or rock stars to wear earrings these days.

Handcrafted designer pieces in silver or platinum can create an elegant blend of contemporary masculinity. A diamond stud is perfect for a night out on the town.

Cufflinks are in

With dressier styles back, cufflinks are all the rage! Men look for simple, less-is-more design.

Men are using accessories and jewellery as a finishing touch to complete their look – a beautiful tie with a gold tie pin, a French cuff shirt with gold cuff links, set off with diamonds or colored stones.

Diamonds on your belts!

With the rebirth of loose-fit jeans on the scene it is inevitable for the belts to make a comeback. The belts are bigger and chunkier and the belt buckle, they sure are studded to catch an eye or two.


It’s raining diamonds on the watches! And, a Gucci or a Tag Heur with the dash of bling is making its way into the boardroom meetings. From the norm of just keeping pace with time, the watches are making a fashion statement and it complements the flirtier men’s look that we are seeing for this season.