Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Serene Engagement with

Dear Whiteflash Sales Team,

My fiancé Scott told me that had helped him create my engagement ring. Scott proposed at sunset on top of an observation tower overlooking four beautiful Michigan lakes. The ring was a perfect fit and I was floored when he presented it and slid it onto my finger. I absolutely love it! Scott chose the setting on his own, and it's the perfect combination of classic and antique for me. The center stone is simply gorgeous! Thank you so much for creating this lovely ring.



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Introducing from OneWed

Our friends over at OneWed have just launched Wedding Pre-Party (as well as a whole new look and design for OneWed’s Wedding Pre-Party is being billed as the marriage of social networking & wedding planning.

With Wedding Pre-Party you can invite your wedding party and guests to chat, share wedding tips, post photos  and provide inspiration on everything from tuxes to groomsmen gifts all within a private environment.  It’s a virtual way to start the celebration early and keep in contact, while building excitement before the big day. And the singles can even scope out the other singles beforehand to mitigate any awkward moments at the singles table!

Read the original press release from OneWed: OneWed Launches Wedding The Marriage of Wedding Planning & Social Networking


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not all diamonds are a girl's (or guy's) best friend

Ever heard of blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds? Kanye West rapped about them in his song “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”. Leonardo DiCaprio played a mercenary who gets caught smuggling these diamonds in the movie Blood Diamond. If Hollywood has done a movie about it and it’s being mentioned in a rap song, it must be rather significant, right?

In short, a blood diamond is a diamond that was mined and taken from a war zone (usually an African country, but not always) and sold for purposes such as perpetuating child labor, state sanctioned violence and worker exploitation, to funding a war, providing payment to diamond companies throughout the world, or payment directly into a warlord’s pocket. This is why they are called blood/conflict diamonds. Plenty of people have even died over these diamonds, specifically in countries such as Angola, Liberia, Zimbabwe, and of course, Sierra Leone.

In response, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush signed documents to stop importation of these diamonds from Sierra Leone, and the 2003 Clean Diamond Trade Act was passed. But many have argued that neither of these actions has had any effect on conflict diamond mining. Other organizations and governments in other countries are doing what they can to prohibit the production of blood diamonds. Although the practice has decreased significantly, it hasn’t stopped entirely.

So what can you do help? There are alternative diamonds you can buy—cultured and conflict free diamonds, which can even be bought online. Conflict-free diamonds are those gems which were not obtained due to human rights abuses, child labor, violence, or environmental degradation. The other option, cultured diamonds, are simply diamonds grown in a laboratory., offers conflict-free diamonds, which are also no less real than the blood diamonds. Whiteflash also give guidance about how to differentiate between blood diamonds and certified conflict-free diamonds.

Diamonds can still be a girl’s (and guy’s) best friend. But if she’s going to be picky about the cut, color, clarity and carats, she might as well be picky about how it was obtained as well.


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Whiteflash Diamonds by The Yard Necklace

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, I never believed it when my mom used to tell me that. When I was younger I wasn’t a bit interested in diamonds and never knew why my mom was so intrigued by them. I used to get annoyed going jewelry shopping with her but as I got older I realized how precious diamonds are and now I grew to love it (I mean who doesn’t?). Whenever I pass by the jewelry shops I always look through the windows and pick out my favorite pieces. Diamonds are luxury pieces that will not go out of style and depreciate in value, definitely a good investment. I know I’m going to get my mom’s pass down, so I’ll be sure to keep mine for my daughters in the future (ha!).

Whiteflash Diamonds sent over a package and inside was the fabulous Diamond by the Yard Necklace that contains 10 Whiteflash ACA Diamonds on a white gold necklace. The diamond necklace is simple and chic, it can be worn to compliment any outfit, from casual summer wear to a night out. I’ll be putting good use into this delicate diamond necklace, diamonds makes every girl’s eyes sparkle and is just simply fab with any outfit. Loves it!

More pics after the jump…


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Proposing is Tough Enough.

Proposing is tough enough, but finding the perfect diamond engagement ring, set with the perfect diamond is even tougher. To eliminate the headache, here are step-by-step instructions from, an online diamond and jewelry boutique specializing in Hearts & Arrows diamonds and diamond engagement rings.

Educate yourself. Start the diamond education process by learning about the four Cs. “Understand how diamonds are evaluated and categorized,” says Debi Wexler, founder of The four Cs refer to clarity, cut, color and carat, and by understanding each, Wexler says, you can determine which is most important to you and then start shopping. “This will also help you determine how much you’re willing to spend,” he adds.

Because diamond education is important when engagement ring shopping, offers an interactive DVD, which features an in-depth look at each of the four Cs.

Engagement Rings by Whiteflash

Get input. Find out what she wants.  It’s better to be safe than sorry. Take her to a jewelry store – that is, if marriage has been a topic of conversation and a surprise engagement is not on your agenda.  Have her try on as many rings as possible.  Make her look at every shape of diamond and type of setting. Another way to gauge whether she prefers pear-shaped over a princess cut diamond is have her look at bridal magazines like “The Knot” or “” or at an online diamond expert’s site like Either way, you’ll know exactly what will make her swoon when you pop the question.

If you’re being discreet, look at the jewelry she wears on a day-to-day basis; is it classic or vintage in style? Is she prone to wear larger pieces or dainty? The other option is to ask someone close to her, like a sister or a best friend, for insight.

Let’s talk carats. As  soon as you’ve decided shape, you need to look at the carat or weight of the diamond; carat is how diamonds and other precious gemstones are measured…in “carat” weight. One carat, for example, equals 1/5 of a gram. Sometimes you will hear carat weight referred to in ‘points’. “There are 100 points in a carat and as points or carats increase, so does the price of the diamond. For example, the price per carat will be less for a .90 diamond than the price per carat for a 1.00 diamond even if the color and clarity are the same.  Determining the size of the diamond, and then the cut and color is really going to help establish your budget parameters.

Pick a color. “Color is the third most important decision in the diamond selection process,” says Bob Hoskins, senior gemologist for Diamond color is graded according to the Gemological Institute of America or GIA Color Grading Scale – D being the whitest, and N and below color ratings showing noticeable yellow tones. “E and F have no detectable color tones to the naked eye,” says Hoskins, who graded diamonds for the Gemology Institute of America (GIA) and taught several courses on colored stones. And from G to J range, diamonds remain near colorless however, from J to M, you do begin to see a faint trace of yellow.

Whiteflash ACA, an exclusive brand of Hearts & Arrows diamonds available only through, range in color from D to I. Because of their superior cut, ACA even ‘face-up’ appear whiter than their lab-assigned grade. “A great cut improves the apparent color of any diamond,” says Hoskins.

Proposing isn't easy.. and neither is selecting that perfect engagement ring.

The cut and sparkle. Cut is the most important and perhaps the most misunderstood and controversial of the four Cs. “It’s about more than the shape of a diamond,” explains Hoskins. When we talk diamond cut, we’re talking about the exact angles, proportions, symmetry and polish that affect the way the diamond reflects light and sparkles. Diamond dealers also refer to cut as “make” – as it is the only feature of a diamond that can be controlled by man, and it must be precise. Each facet – or small plane surface on the diamond – must be cut to align perfectly with the facet opposite it. There’s not much room for error because this affects the diamond’s ability to sparkle, or what we call in the industry…brilliance

How important is clarity? Gemologists use a grading scale set forth by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to determine a diamond’s clarity – how clean the gem appears when viewed through a magnifier. Most diamonds contain some “inclusions” – crystalline fractures or irregular crystal growth.  The Gemological Institute of America GIA Clarity Grading Scale ranges from Internally Flawless (IF) through included (I3). Flawless (F) and Internally Flawless (IF) being the highest, with the next best grade being VVS1 and 2 or very slight inclusions followed by VS1 and 2, referring to very slight inclusions are difficult to see even with magnification.

SI1 and 2 diamonds will have slight inclusions, which are easily seen through magnification, but may remain clean to the naked eye, depending on the specific diamond. Hoskins says grades I1, I2 and I3 indicate inclusions that are visible under magnification and also to the naked eye.  The clarity of the stone you purchase will depend on your level of comfort and budget. Some advice: Inclusions are more difficult to see in ideal cut and super ideal cut diamonds, because of the exactness in the cut.

Establish a budget. After determining the four Cs, you should be able to set a budget or at least have a figure in mind for the purchase of your diamond engagement ring. The general rule of thumb is to set aside two months worth of salary. “If you’re hesitant to set a dollar amount, look at your options in diamonds and settings to get a general idea of what you’d like to spend,” advises Hoskins.

Select a jeweler. You have more options than the local jeweler around the corner. There are independently owned boutiques, national chains and now with the Internet revolution … online diamond boutiques like No matter whom you buy from, make sure the jeweler is reputable and affiliated with the American Gem Society (AGS). If you’re unsure of the jeweler’s credibility, check with the local Better Business Bureau. You can also test how knowledgeable the staff is about diamonds, look into customer reviews and look over the company’s return and repair policies … this is important

Time to shop! Before you place the order, make sure that you will receive a grading report with your purchase. If a grading report will not accompany your diamond engagement ring, make sure the sale is contingent upon an independent appraiser’s opinion. Another option is to ask for a fingerprint of the diamond. This is a three-dimensional drawing of the diamond indicating the four Cs, along with the stone’s overall dimensions and enhancements. Inclusions and blemishes should be noted.  As soon as you receive the diamond, double-check all of the information, including the bill of sale and drawing to make sure that it is, in fact, the diamond you purchased.

When purchasing from a Whiteflash ACA diamond, customers receive the gem’s certification and a signed letter of verification from an independent graduate gemologist appraiser for insurance purposes.  We refer to all of this as “the 5th C - Confirmation.”

Set the diamond. If you purchased a loose diamond, you’re now faced with the setting. And, like diamonds, the options for diamond engagement rings are endless. Consider three stone settings, a solitaire or a custom design. We suggest allowing four to six weeks before popping the question if you go the handcrafted route. If you’re simply lost in the decision making process — propose with diamond in-hand and pick out the setting later — together!


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OneWed Features Whiteflash as Newest Member In Engagement Ring Gallery!

We are proud to announce the inclusion of into our newest Style gallery section, Wedding Bands and Engagement Rings! Not only is Whiteflash the Internet's premium designer and provider of custom diamond jewelry creations, but they also offer the most comprehensive online Diamond Education around!

But... what I love most about Whiteflash is that they've taken a strong stand against the use and purchase of Blood Diamonds, and use only certified conflict-free diamonds in all of their pieces.

And last but not least, they have a pretty cool blog, too! Check out Whiteflash's Fashion Accessories & Jewelry Insight Blog for some sparkly inspiration!

We are thrilled to welcome to our engagement ring gallery!


See the full posting here!


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Gucci gold cuff links, a luxury sleeve statement

No doubt, wearing expensive jewelry on a formal occasion to show off your riches sounds a bit awkward, but luxury cuff links are a fantastic choice that add an adequate decadency and sophistication to men’s wardrobes. So, if metallic yellow is your desired shade, then don’t hesitate in donning Gucci’s gold cuff links on your wrists. Wrapped in 18 carat gold, these bejeweled male accessories boast the company logo, which is an obvious sign of luxury. The latest gold cuff links at €1150 ($1640) that blend tradition with the modern era are a must-have men’s fashion accessory for those who intend to flaunt their prosperity in a polite way.


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Monday, July 27, 2009

A Musical Proposal with



Dear WhiteFlash Sales Team,

My fiancée Christine has some friends who run a bed and breakfast in the Mountains, and it’s her favorite place in the world.  I used to play the guitar when I was younger and she really likes music and encouraged me to start playing again – so I wrote a song for her that I am going to propose in.  We will be up in the mountains this weekend and on Sunday I will play her special song, with the beautiful diamond engagement ring in my guitar case!


When she told me she wanted to go to the B&B, I knew it was the perfect opportunity, so that’s why I had to scramble a bit.  I will have my camera, so I will definitely send you some pictures! 


I checked with her folks before I started looking for the ring, and got her father’s kind permission.  That’s how I found out she likes white gold and how I got her ring size. Christine doesn’t have a clue.


I will also give you the highest rating on the website – you have so earned it!


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Gold-plated dustbin for your expensive trash

Designer Sylvie Fleury seems to make mockery out of the luxury lifestyle with her critical but adulatory designs. Earlier we’ve seen “Yes to All,” a 24-karat gold-plated New York City garbage can from her, and now the Swiss artist has popped up a gold-plated trash bin that presents a nexus between fashion, commodity, fine art and a bit of flamboyance. Made of tin and coated in gold sheets, the 25 pieces of this limited addition garbage bin are available between a price range of $10,000 and $15,000. If you’ve used the Yes to All, you know what goes into a gold-plated trashcan, but in case you haven’t, I advise you to dump those diamond rings and platinum crockery – just don’t take me too literally though.


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Michael Jackson Diamonds To Go On Sale

The company that once made a diamond from Beethoven's locks has their sights set on another musician, Michael Jackson. LifeGem, a company that specializes in making lab diamonds created using carbon such as hair from loved ones. A former Michael Jackson friend, Ralph Cohen just happens to have some Michael Jackson hair. He got it in 1984 when he threw his jacket over Michael Jackson's head to put out the flames when Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of his Pepsi commercial. Cohen held on to some of Jackson's burned hair. It was sold at auction and eventually went to a celebrity hair collector who is now teaming up with LifeGem to sell diamonds made from the hair. LifeGem is not sure yet how many stones can be created from the sample.


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Swarovski-studded rain boots from Aigle

Outdoor brand Aigle has launched its latest limited edition “Black Story” rain boot collection for the autumn and winter 2009-2010. The Black Story line includes four models; the first two, “Miss Juliette Starry Night” and “Miss Juliette Bracelet,” are an outcome of a collaboration with the luxury brand Swarovski, while the other two are produced in satin and crocodile finish. Only 200 copies of the first model (a little diamond bling) will be produced and cost €350 (approx. $498), whereas the second (with bracelet along the top) proposes 500 copies for €295 (approx. $419).

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Annenberg Diamond To Be Sold At Christie's

Christie's and Sotheby's art sales use the Warhols, Van Goghs and Monets to attract attention. For the jewelry sales it's all about the diamonds. The Christie's Jewels: The New York Sale to be held on October 21 will feature the Annenberg Diamond, a square 32.01-carat, emerald-cut diamond graded D color, flawless, the rarest of the rare. The Annenberg diamond is flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds, of 1.5 carats and 1.61 carats, respectively mounted in a ring by David Webb. It is part of the Leonore Annenberg collection. The diamond ring has an estimated value between $3 million to $5 million. Rings like this get their own world tour and Christie's plans to showcase the diamond in Geneva, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles before winding up back at Christie's Rockefeller Galleries as part of a viewing of the entire sale from October 16 to 20.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lily Allen Plans New Jewelry Line

British singer Lily Allen becomes the latest celebrity with a jewelry line. Allen, who was experiencing money trouble earlier this year, also has a dress collection for New Look and a handbag campaign for Chanel in the works. Vogue UK reports that Allen has created a jewelry collection that includes nine different ranges incorporating pieces like coins, medallions, traffic signs, fruits and poodles. Allen professes to be delighted with the new line and has a special fondness for the panda charms. The line will include layered chains with a quirky and whimsical style in keeping with Allen's girly girl meets "Girl Interrupted" look. Look for the line to be out this fall.

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Swarovski Crystal Embellished Flip Flops - Small Splurge

You can buy simple, classic flip flops anywhere these days, from Target, to Kmart, to mall stores. But wouldn't you rather have diamond bling on your flip flops? If you think yes, and are willing to spend a bit to make it what we like to call a small splurge, you need Deborah Evans's crystal embellished footwear.

Evans has blinged up three lines, using Havaianas from Brazil as the base: Resort, a 3/4-inch soled sandal available in 13 colors ($130); Metallic, a 3/4-inch soled sandal available in 5 colors ($98); and High Wedge, a 2-1/2-inch wedge sandal available in 4 colors ($185). These come in basic colors like black, brown and white.

For more pizzazz, you need the D-Street line, which is made from Evans's own line of rubber sandals, but still has the crystals and comes in 2 styles: the Street, a 3/4-inch soled sandal available in 15 fun colors/patterns, including animal prints ($120); and the Mini-Wedge, 1-1/2-inch soled sandal available in 15 even brighter colors, but luckily still in animal prints ($150).

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Peer Into Jeane Dixon's Crystal Ball

Want to see the future? Maybe a crystal ball belonging to one of the world's most famous psychics can help. An auction of items from the estate of Jeane Dixon is being held on July 26 and can be bid on online through Artfact. The psychic who is said to have predicted John F. Kennedy's assassination in Parade magazine in 1956 and was a personal advisor to Nancy and Ronald Reagan, had a syndicated astrology column for decades. Among Dixon's items up for sale are two of her crystal balls as well as letters from Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, George Bush and John Glenn. The crystal ball shown at right has a starting bid of $500. This fine jewel is a masterpiece for any art lover collection.

After her death in 1997 many of Dixon's possessions ended up with Leo M. Bernstein, a Washington D.C. investor and a banker who had Dixon for a client. In 2002, he opened the Jeane Dixon Museum and Library in Strasburg, Virginia. He died last year and now the museum is closed and the contents are now up for auction.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Diamond Grading Report and an Appraisal

Diamond Grading Report is a document issued by a Gemological Laboratory describing a Loose Diamond. The laboratory will not issue reports on Diamonds which are set in a mounting. A Diamond Grading Report (certificate) issues a “grade” indicating the physical properties of the Diamond “at the time of evaluation”. A certificate is a document which retains its value over a long period of time, assuming the Diamond does not chip or is not otherwise altered.

An appraisal can be performed on a loose diamond, a mounted stone, or jewelry. If the stone is not loose, the physical properties are estimated using various estimation techniques. Most importantly, an appraisal indicates the Dollar Value of the piece under consideration. Obviously, the Dollar Value can easily change considerably over a relatively short period of time. Appraisals are most often used for insurance purposes.

Stylish diamonds at

Many people make the mistake of using an in-house appraiser to evaluate the purchase price of their Diamond. This is a big mistake. Firstly, appraisals are often over-estimated, and are therefore a very poor estimation of price. More importantly, any in-house Jeweler may be biased towards their own merchandise.

To further complicate matters, many people have become more educated when it comes to buying Diamonds, and have learned that it’s important to have a GIA certificate. What they have not learned, unfortunately, is how to differentiate between a GIA GTL (Gem Trade Lab) Grader, and a GIA G.G. or Graduate Gemologist. Many assume that getting an appraisal by a GIA gemologist is the same as getting a GIA Grading Report. Some unscrupulous Jewelers attempt to further that illusion.

Engagement Rings by Whiteflash

The GTL (Gem Trade Lab) Grader is a GIA employee who performs the Diamond Grading for the Institute. A GIA Graduate Gemologist, on the other hand, has simply passed the GIA Diamonds, Diamond Grading and Colored Stone, Gem Identification and Colored Stone Grading courses.

The GTL grader has all of the above and more. S/he is far better trained in grading and usually has far more experience than a G.G. Further, the GTL grader does not have the same vested interest in the outcome of the grade of the stone they are evaluating.


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Should You Trust Your DIamonds To New Cash For Diamonds USA Website?

You've probably seen ads for Cash for Gold USA, now they are getting into the diamond business. In a press release Norman Schneider, president of Cash for Gold USA, said that the company created the new site, Cash for Diamonds USA after increasing questions from their customers about selling diamonds. The recession has already prompted many people to raid their jewelry boxes looking for a little financial relief and jewelry stores and pawnbrokers are seeing brisk business.

Cash for Diamonds USA says that they will purchase diamonds of any shape, color, cut, clarity or carat size, either loose or set in a piece of jewelry. The new site offers information on diamonds and promises potential sellers free FedEx shipping that is pre-insured up to $1,000. But are you better off going to a jeweler? The Cash for Diamonds website says that "the market prices for diamonds have remained excellent despite our current economic downturn. " This is not exactly true. While the price of gold has risen, the price of diamonds has dropped dramatically over the past year. There's a reason why thousands of diamond polishers in Surat, India are out of work and diamond dealers in Antwerp are closing their doors, the diamond industry has taken tremendous hits over the past year. But leaving the website's optimistic view of the situation aside, the website does say that appraisals are performed only by GIA (Gem Institute of America) appraisers and it does include the necessary cautions that both the price originally paid and the insurance appraisal number will likely be significantly higher than the amount that Cash for Diamonds will assess.

You will still be likely better off taking your pieces to a local jeweler for several reasons. One of which is that you get to have a bit more control, the jeweler can tell you what they will pay and then you have the option of deciding to sell or not. Also some jewelers offer arrangements that give you a higher price on your old pieces if you are going to buy something in the store (similar to trading in a car when you buy a new one). Also if you have pieces that are signed, vintage or designer, they may be worth more than the simple value of their stones and settings. Cash for Diamonds USA will likely attract a fair share of those looking to unload a small piece or two in a hurry but sellers might want to think twice before packing up anything truly valuable in one of their FedEx packs.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Judith Leiber's Latest in Sparkling Pillboxes

Judith Leiber has a variety of styles but one of the most notable is her penchant for cutesy objects and animals in crystal-covered handbag and pillbox form. Although the little miniaudieres are certainly unique and beautiful, it can be difficult for some women to imagine themselves carrying around a large sparkling animal or baked good (cupcake purse anyone?) as a handbag to a party. Nicely, if you like the look but aren't really looking to commit yourself completely why not go for a smaller (but just as appealing) option? Judith Leiber pillboxes are available in every shape from a bright red heart to a little dog and (my personal favorite) a "Prince Charming" toad. I wonder when Judith will upgrade to diamonds and precious stones? See the gallery below and feel free share your favorites in the comments.



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Friday, July 17, 2009

Whiteflash Has Made Me a Believer!

Dear Whiteflash Sales Team,

I just wanted to let you know that I picked up my diamond engagement ring from the FedEx location this afternoon and it is gorgeous! Took a little faith to order it online without seeing it with my own eyes, but it definitely exceeded expectations! Thank you so much! Again, thank you so much for the great work, fast turnaround time, quick shipping, etc... I will recommend WhiteFlash to others, for sure!




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Whiteflash Diamonds Dazzel Customers


Dear Whiteflash Sales Team,

I just wanted to let you know I picked up the diamond this morning and it's beautiful. She's going to have the be careful that the sparkle doesn't blind her when she's staring at it driving down the road :-)

Thanks so much for your help!


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Christian Dior Joaillerie 'Kings & Queens' collection screams royalty

Dior sure knows how to keep the elite on the pulse of fashion. Dior Joaillerie released their royal ‘Kings & Queens’ collection by Victoire de Castellane, which features bejeweled skulls meant to be owned as a pair. The stunning collection is made out of diamonds, opal, jade, quartz and obsidian, which along with the skulls symbolizes “eternity.” Jewels are forever, unlike those who wear them: “We are moving, but they remain,” said Victoire de Castellane. The Kings and Queen pieces even have evocative names: Queen of Jadélénie and King Opal to dazzle the jewelry-lovers.


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Whiteflash WOWS their customers AGAIN!

Dear Whiteflash Sales Team,

I Just picked up the diamond ring and WOW!!!!!! I'm SO happy I can't even describe it, all I can say is when I opened the wood box a flash of light beamed out of there. It was like an angel came from the heavens and landed right in front of me!! The ring is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! I could not be more happy! Once again THANK YOU, you and the WF crew did a wonderful job and I couldn't have asked for anything more!, Then a WF T-shirt ;-).  I'm so happy and excited to give this ring to the love of my life that I can't wait any longer. LOL... Once my heart stops beating out of control and my smile from ear to ear calms down I'll write an outstanding review. As you can tell I am VERY pleased and would/WILL tell everyone how wonderful WF is!!

                                                                      THANK YOU!!!!
                                                                       Timothy ( My smile is still ear to ear :)  )


 I'm not kidding about the T-Shirt.  Hehe...  :-)


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Checklist for Choosing a Diamond Engagement Ring

Every groom-to-be needs a checklist for choosing a diamond engagement ring. Searching for the perfect engagement ring is an intimidating task, even if your fiancé has already accepted your proposal. This is one of the most important purchases you will make, as well as one of the most expensive, and you need to keep several issues in mind when making your decision. Everyone’s checklist is different, but these basic concerns will insure that you do not leave out any major considerations.

First, determine exactly how much you can spend on an engagement ring. Bear in mind that you will most likely be paying for part or all of the wedding and honeymoon costs, as well as starting a new life together, and it isn’t wise to go substantially in debt for the ring before other expenses are met. Budgeting for an Engagement Ring is a careful process and you should take plenty of time to ascertain your spending limit.

Finding the right engagement ring isn't easy. Listen to the experts at

Educate Yourself
Before setting foot inside a jewelry store, research the basics of diamonds and engagement rings. Knowing the terminology, such as the four Cs of diamond quality, as well as the basic differences between settings, shapes, and types of engagement rings will keep your search efficient without ignoring unique options.

Choose a Jeweler
After you have been properly educated, it is time for the next step in your checklist for choosing a diamond engagement ring: choosing a jeweler. It is important that you find a reputable, trustworthy jeweler. You can ask for recommendations from friends and relatives, or start with a local jeweler with a long history. Mall stores are generally reputable but have limitations, while independent jewelry stores also have risks, especially if you may be relocating. When in doubt, ask to see the jeweler’s certification and other credentials.

Choose a Metal
Most engagement rings are platinum, yellow gold, or white gold.

Should I choose Platinum, white gold or yellow gold? Don't worry guys, it's confusing to us too

Platinum is the strongest metal and is considered rarer than gold. While it doesn’t wear, is resistant to damage, and won’t tarnish, it can be difficult to repair if it is damaged. Platinum is also significantly more expensive than gold.

Yellow Gold
Yellow gold is the most common and traditional metal for both wedding and engagement rings. 24-karat gold is pure gold, while 18-karat is 1/4 alloy. The higher the purity, the softer and more flexible the metal, making it more prone to damage. Most engagement and wedding rings are either 14- or 18-karat gold. Gold Engagement Rings eventually show wear such as nicks and scratches, but are easily repaired.

White Gold
White gold is measured by the same standards as yellow gold, but is treated to retain a white, silver-like finish. This finish eventually wears off and must be periodically reapplied. White gold is an excellent choice for a unique ring that will match any other jewelry.

Choose a Setting
Selecting a setting can be one of the most confusing parts of the checklist for choosing a diamond engagement ring. There are many different Engagement Ring Settings. Common settings include solitaires and bridal sets, while channel settings, three-stone rings, and other designs are becoming increasingly popular.

Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings are single, elegant diamonds that may come in a variety of shapes (heart, marquise, round, pear, oval, emerald, etc.), settings (channel, bezel, flush, prong, tiffany, etc.), and sizes. If you haven’t already determined what your sweetheart likes, you might want to take her window shopping to get a general idea. If you would like for the ring to be a surprise, however, you may want to enlist the help of a close friend or relative.

Accent Stone Settings
Accent stone or side stone settings include both a larger center stone as well as multiple small stones that embellish the engagement ring band. Many accent stones are set in channels to protect them from damage. Some people prefer a combination of round stones and baguettes (rectangles), round stones only, or trilliums (triangles).

Three-Stone Settings
Three Stone Engagement Rings are considered nostalgic, with each of the diamonds representing the past, present, and future. The stones are set in a straight line without additional accent stones. Many people prefer to build their own engagement ring by choosing each of the three diamonds.

Bridal Sets
You can purchase engagement rings with matching wedding bands. The bands can be solid gold with a matching solitaire engagement ring, or they might have side stone settings in both the wedding band and the engagement ring, with the engagement ring also featuring a prominent solitaire. For many of these Bridal Set Engagement Rings, the wedding band cannot be worn without the engagement ring and the two are frequently soldered together before the wedding.

Ask for an Appraisal and Certificate
Your diamond should be issued an appraisal of its value. You should also ask your jeweler if the diamond has been treated with any fillers or other laboratory enhancements. If it hasn’t, he should issue you a certificate of authenticity. This paperwork is essential if you choose to have your ring insured.

You also need to inquire about the warranty of your diamond. Some jewelers will continue to warranty the ring if you visit regularly for them to clean and check the setting of the ring. These basic maintenance tasks guarantee that your ring will remain as brilliant on your fiftieth anniversary as it was on your wedding day.

No matter which type of engagement ring you ultimately buy, by following certain tasks and approaching the purchase in an educated fashion, you will be pleased with an investment that will grow in value just as your love continues to grow throughout your marriage.


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Swarovski-studded throne for rich pets


For those who dress up their fido in Roberto Cavalli, here’s a royal throne to match to your pet’s elegant attire. Wilbur from designer Julia Mai is a magnificent chair studded with sixteen sparkling Swarovski crystals available in both white and black color selection. The hand-made pet recliner is lined with soft padding for maximum comfort. The mattress cover fabric and the backrests are removable and washable. So, now you won’t be doing injustice to your little friend when you lounge on your plush Swarovski-clad sofa. Now that’s why we will say, “Dog is a God!” Now if they only made this with diamonds your pet would be a blinged out pooch!


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$79,000 diamond-studded lighter is a proud display of wealth

The uber-rich smokers know how to light up in style. S.T. Dupont’s gold and diamond lighter caters to those who have rich tastes. James Bond aka Daniel Craig has famously used some of Dupont’s luxury accessories in Casino Royale. And this new Ligne 2 Champagne lighter (in center) from their Prestige Collection is truly a collector’s edition. The lighter is made of solid 18-carat white gold and embellished with 468 brilliant-cut diamonds.


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Kim Kardashian In Africa To Tour Diamond Mines

The lovely Kim Kardashian has worn plenty of diamonds but now she's headed to Botswana and South Africa to promote them. Kardashian's visit comes at a time when Botswana's rough diamond sales are down 68 percent. The country's economy is deeply dependent on diamonds and has shrunk in recent months.

Kardashian will visit the Jwaneng mine, Diamond Trading Botswana and Motswedi Rehabilitation School in Mochudi. Her visit is on behalf of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, the organization founded by Russell Simmons. Kardashian and her boyfriend, football player Reggie Bush are traveling along with Kardashian's sister Khloe, former football player Ray Crockett and Diamond Executive Director Ellen Haddigan. Kardashian is documenting her experiences in Africa on her Twitter account.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finding Your Chic Factor for Your Special Day!

Once upon a time I was a bride-to-be. And the day my husband proposed I thought whipping up my bridal look would be simple.

If you're having dilemmas about the gown, consider your venue and overall formality of the wedding or lack thereof. Wedding dates have a lot to do with decisions too. Are you marrying in New York city mid-winter or having a country picnic in late Spring?

Since there are no rules here, only guidelines, go ahead and combine styles if you like. Blending gives your look individuality. Maybe you're a little punk and vintage all at once . . . Or cutting edge and classic. Whatever combo you fancy, your options are many. My motto has always been, "Read the rules then teach yourself the art of breaking them . . ."

Grace Kelly in To Catch a Theif is your icon. Everything you touch is classic, refined, sophisticated. A Hermes scarf and cashmere turtleneck could be your everyday signature look.
Your Dress An A-line or sheath either strapless or with bateau or V-neck. You love any fabric that has understated elegance like traditional duchesse satin and peau de soie.
Favorite Designers: Kenneth Pool, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, Amsale, Anne Barge, Peter Langner
Your Venue: A mansion, country club or sprawling estate defines your dream wedding site.
Veiled: A long drop veil tacked to the back of a bun.
Unveiled: A diamond tiara of course!

You could be the ultimate storybook bride. If you love lace, bone china tea cups and bouquets of white roses in silver vases consider yourself a romantic.
Your Dress: A storybook ball gown with lace or tulle. Ruffles and frills and layers of crinoline petticoats.
Favorite designers: Amelia Casablanca, Elizabeth Emanuel for the Art of Being, Lazaro, Claire Pettibone, Elizabeth Fillmore, Max Chaoul.
Venue: How about Notre Dame or a castle in Scotland?
Veiled: Cathedral length tulle
Unveiled: Wreath of roses

For you the edge is the most comfortable seat in the house and forging ahead of the fashion curve excites you. New and untried fabrics for bridal wear intrigue rather than scare you away and you're the first to try on that linen-hemp with asymmetrical drapes.
Your Dress: Any silhouette but you're intrigued by the sheath in an outside the box fabric. Shorter dresses appeal to your sense of whimsy.
Favorite Designers: Giambattista Valli, Jane Wang, Junko Yoshioka
Venue: Mostly chi-chi urban settings like an art gallery or artist's loft. A restaurant with a killer view is great too.
Veiled: Loops of horsehair crowned in netting.
Unveiled: A cutting edge hairstyle

So you look into the best parts of the past to get your look, do you? Who wouldn't with such great laces and gemmies still hanging around from yesteryear? Like those satin baby-doll shoes from the forties better than brand new Jimmy Choos? Does an allover antique lace tablecloth make you think of restyling it into a gown? Then call yourself a Vintageholic and read on.
Your Dress: Mostly evening gown and chemise styles in lace and satin. You may be a 1950s retro buff who likes Candy Anthony type dresses with miles of skirt and tiny cinched waists.
Favorite designers: Pat Kerr, Claire Pettibone, Martin McCrea, Candy Anthony.
Venue: Almost anywhere that the Jay Gatsby daytime social can be reenacted. Landmark homes with acres of sprawling lawn are ideal but certain boutique hotels and B & B's work for the smaller bash.
Veiled: Grandma's antique lace or a recreation.
Unveiled: An antique piece of fine jewelry


Your Chic Factor- Romantic

Your Chic Factor- Contemporary

Your Chic Factor- Vintage

Read the full posting here!


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