What to Look for When Buying Pearls – Top Tips

Here are some top tips for things to look for when you’re buying pearls.

Please note, there is no discussion here relating to increasing in value over time – i.e. an investment. Generally speaking, it is unwise to consider the purchase of any type of jewellery from an investment viewpoint because values can rise or fall over time.

Check to see if the pearl has been artificially colored

This isn’t, in itself, necessarily a problem. Typically though, purists will look for naturally colored pearls and they might well command higher prices.

Things that might indicate the pearl has been artificially colored include:

  • color seemingly “wearing off” the outer shell;
  • a very dark core (indication of possible irradiation to change colours);
  • a very visible stratification of colour change on the inside of the pearl.

The final two above assume your pearl has a drill hole that you can look into with magnification.

Examine the regularity and symmetry of shape
Tiny irregularities of shape can be seen or felt – and that’s typically a good sign.If your pearl is perfectly round and perfectly smooth over its surface, then you’re probably looking at an artificial not natural (whether wild or cultured) pearl made from synthetic materials.

However, even if you have a real pearl, remember that significant deformations and irregularities may (or should) reduce the value if they’re particularly evident or severe.

Look at the lustre

Peals may vary in both body colour (their background colour) and their overtones (a surface shimmer of colour). Some may not have an overtone and that is not a problem. A lot will depend upon your own colour preferences.

However, this is very difficult to describe but look for pearls that gently shine. If they’re a dull matt finish it might indicate that there has been some damage (e.g. poor cleaning techniques with acid) that has taken the lustre off.

That can hugely reduce both value and appearance.

Read the advertisement’s wording carefully

Terms used in some pearl advertisements which may mislead (intentionally or otherwise):

Pearls from Japan“. That phrase would be true for pearls farmed in say China, shipped to Japan and then sold-on from there. Look for “farmed in Japan” to be sure – if that’s what you’re looking for;

Certified“. By whom? To what recognized standards? Remember, a label attached to your pearls means nothing if it’s just the seller’s.

Real pearls“. That should exclude synthetics but it’s ambiguous in terms of whether your pearls are natural (i.e. found in the wild – which is VERY rare today and they’re very expensive too) or cultured.

AAAA Grade“. Gradings are not standard across the globe or universally recognized. Trust some of the other tips on this page and your own common sense.

Price

Typically, if all other things are roughly equal, from most to least expensive pearls run:

  • natural/wild (sea);
  • cultured (sea);
  • freshwater;
  • synthetics.

If you see cultured pearls advertised at a price close to a set of essentially plastic ones, then something’s gone wrong and you should be sceptical.

Summary
  • If you have any doubts, you should contact an expert retailer for advice and guidance.
  • It might save you money and disappointment downstream.

Why Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings Are More Expensive

Every diamond buyer wants the most sparkling stone and round brilliant cut is known as the most sparkling shapes. That is the reason why ladies prefer a round brilliant diamond as their engagement ring centerpiece. According to a study, more than 75% rings sold in the market are round cut engagement rings. Although round brilliant cut is popular than any other shape but popularity is not the major factor that drive up the price of the stone. As a matter of fact, it takes a bigger rough diamond to cut a round brilliant diamond than any other shape. There is a higher loss of rough stone while cutting a round shape so the cost for each carat of round cut is relatively higher than any other shape. This is the main reason why round cut engagement rings are more expensive. However, the higher demand of a round cut plays a secondary role in escalating its price.

Yield of The Rough Stone

When they are mined, most of them don’t come in a perfect shape so experts try to get the most out of each rough stone they get. Fancy shapes can be extracted from an uneven shaped rough stone but a round brilliant diamond can be cut out of a properly shaped rough diamond block. There is a very simple diagram provided below showing how much amount of rough goes in vain while cutting a round brilliant diamond.

Some of the rough carry certain inclusions inside them so these diamonds receive lower quality grades and they are sold at lower prices.

Price Difference between a Round Cut and Other Shapes

Round cut are 25% – 30% more expensive than other shapes. Choosing a fancy shaped engagement ring saves the buyer over 25%. Following are the numbers showing how a shape affects its price.

The above mentioned numbers are an average prices of a 1 carat, G color diamond with a very good cut and VS2 clarity. The shape is an important when buying a diamond as it directly influences the price. According to a study, almost 30% of all engagement rings are created with fancy shaped diamonds.

Today’s round brilliant cut diamond has 58 facets including the culet. On the top part of diamond, it has 1 table facet, 8 bezels, 8 stars, and 16 upper girdle facets. On the bottom part, there are 16 lower girdle facets, 8 pavilion facets, and 1 culet.

These 58 facets acts like an optical prism so the round shape gives more sparkles than any other diamond shape. This is why every 3 out of 5 ladies prefer round diamond engagement rings. Round cut is the classic shape of a diamond. Centuries have passed but its demand is still high. This is evergreen shape of the diamond.

4 Fashionable Styles With Men’s Leather Jackets

When you head out to the market, you will be surprised to find the variety of clothing options available these days. There are infinite styles and colors in most types of clothing. You could buy all of them if you had a king-sized closet and a millionaire dad, but since most people don’t have both and prefer to be smart while selecting which clothes to buy for their daily wear, it is best to mix and match articles of clothing for a unique look. One of such articles is leather jackets for men.

Men’s leather jackets can go with gloves, boots and trousers to give you a model-like look. Here are a few styles that you can try to pull off with your leather jacket.

1) Classic Dark Blue jeans and Black jacket: One of the oldest styles of matching clothes to get a handsome look is matching blue jeans with a black jacket. By old, it doesn’t mean that this style has come from the middle ages. This style is a biker’s favorite and has been used for more than a decade. The dark colors complement one another, earning you everyone’s admiration. As both leather jackets and jeans are tough clothing, they are mostly worn together for hiking and road trips. For footwear, black boots would give a perfect biker look. Even brown boots would look good with dark blue jeans and a black jacket.

2) Light blue jeans with light brown jacket: Light colors also look good on some people. Light blue jeans with a light brown leather jacket are a beautiful combination for men who have light brown hair. Brown flight and bomber jackets also look great with light blue jeans especially during winter. These colors are also ideal for men during summer because the scorching heat can be unbearable on the road.

3) Black jeans and black jacket: Unlike blue jeans, if you mix black jackets with black jeans, you will get a bad boy look. Add a black belt, and you will get an even more dashing look. These are ideal for tall men with fair complexion. The same colored jeans and jacket give a ‘one-piece look’, and displays a man’s height in a very attractive way. Hollywood movies and TV shows are full of entertainers who wear black jeans and jackets. This style was popularized by movies like “The Matrix” and personalities like The Undertaker the wrestler.

4) Dark blue jeans and dark brown jacket: This style owes its popularity to Hugh Jackman’s ‘wolverine’ character in the X-Men movies. This combination gives a great look, especially to men with dark brown hair. Dark brown boots also go well with these clothes.

Matching clothes sensibly is a great way to dress up for the road. Apart from those mentioned above, there are numerous other ways to match men’s leather jackets with the rest of your clothes. You can also make combination with belts, boots, leather gloves and leather coats. The possibilities are infinite; all you need is creativity and fashion sense.

UGG Fashion Styles – An Overview

In fashion history, there are few brands like UGG in terms of legend of a twist. This branded boot achieved some notoriety during the world wars when air force aviators searched for cozy boots on their cold flights in high altitude. Once called ugs, uggs, ug, or ugg, these branded boots now become a hit on the fashion arena. Trendsetters are tripping over themselves to grab a pair to signify their sensible fashion tastes. Regardless of age, occupation, sex, nobody can just turn around seeing a pair of Ugg.

Search through the fashion market, a large number of UGG boot styles are available, ranging from waterproof sheepskin styles to knit designs. In this branded lineup, the Classic Tall boot is characteristic with various patterns, while embracing the freezing feet with extreme comfort and excellent traction. Ranging from romantic flowers to marbled prints and solid colors, the patterns of this mainstay of the UGG classic collection enable a multitude of options for different style statement. However, these boots are never known out of the Australian boundaries until the surfing crazy in the 1960s. When swimmers and surfers across the ocean gathered on the coastline of Australia, seeing local surfers wearing some big shafts all the time, they noted that and also took to wearing them in public and carried them along when they were en route.

Since then, these boots became more popular out of Australia and even gained worldwide exposure. The debut of this branded downright sheepskin footwear really shocked the western world and there were some fashion conscious people parading to ask it banned. Although it is not a plain sailing, UGG boots have finally won the hearts of the world with their incomparable comfort and now they are considered as a must-have for any stylish winter wardrobe.

Generally speaking, ugg boots are styled for casual wear. That is to say, they can go great with your favorite jeans. Actually these branded sheepskin boots have a versatile performance in terms of fashion expression. They can dress up most outfits from your closet. However, the best bet would be skirts and colored leggings, denim jeans and tights. To be more fashionable and chic, various decorative yet functional designs are added on this classic boot construction, which is also the precious heritage from ancient Aussie.

Sleek and unique, the most popular UGG sheepskin boots are blend of function and fashion to help you withstand the harsh weather in winter. Coming in oodles of styles and colors, it is hard to keep track of them all. The men’ s versions of this brand come in more basic, classic hues and styles but for women, the possibilities are endless in terms of hues and designs.

Now owned by an American company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, UGG Australia dominates the fashion trend when it comes to winter footwear. Nothing would be short of trendy tastes with any pair of this branded sheepskin boots. A light-hearted winter will be felt!

Create Your Fashion Style With Casual Wear

Fashion has become one of the largest industries of the world and millions of women depend on fashion to help them look their best in every situation. It is easier than you think to be influenced by women’s clothing today, some of us may not even realize we are being influenced; fashion is everywhere we look today. The top designers like Elan International and celebrities are the biggest promoters of new styles and once it hits the media, these casual wear fashions spread like wild fire to the rest of the population. You too can easily create your own style with casual clothing trends for 2011, and save money while you do so.

Dresses for women and skirts for women are at the top of everyone’s list this spring. There is nothing better than getting rid of your bulky winter fashions to trade up for something light and airy like a white dress for the spring. If you are not sure how to wear these dresses for women consider a great layering option like a cropped sweater or jacket to help you create a sophisticated look. In regards to the skirts for women, casual tops come in large varieties of fabrics and colors and what this means for you is the ultimate choice. Fashion tops can range from the traditional t-shirt to the off the shoulder tops that have been sweeping the nation today. The choice is yours; that is the entire point of casual clothing today. Elan International has a great selection of dresses and skirts for women that can be accented with the right fashion tops and fashion accessories to create absolutely any type of style you want.

However, if you are not much of a dress or skirt girl, you can always browse through the collection of polo shirts and blazers available by Elan International through online retailers. The key to finding the perfect casual top or jacket for yourself is to make sure it fits perfectly, not too tight and not too big, if you need to have it tailored it will be worth it. For a preppy wardrobe fan, a tie is an essential item that they just cannot do without. Fashion accessories for women such as hand bags and belts can take any casual wear outfit and turn it into something new each and every time.

If you have a unique sense of style and want to stand out of the crowd, scene casual clothing will definitely suit your sensibility. This type of women’s clothing is meant for those who like the combination of bold and funky outfits and are ready to break away from the outlined fashion trends. Prints for casual tops and skinny fit for pants for women are two main aspects of bold fashions that anyone willing to take a risk can easily pull off. The best part is that you do not need to blow money on branded clothes to get this look; Elan International has everything you need at great prices.

Talking about fashionable women’s casual clothing can hardly wrap up the topic without a mention of mini dresses for women, denims, jackets, sweaters and fashion tops. All of these are available at Elan International and at dirt cheap prices.

Jean Grey Costumes

Marvel and comic books like DC comic have given rise to superheroes and superheroines. X-Men series, for example, has seen many superheroes and superheroines, and one such character is Jean Grey. The outstanding feature with these superheroes is that they each have a signature dress code or outfit that is specific to them and their style. This, therefore, helps fans associate and even takes part in dressing like their favorite superhero for various reasons, like superhero costume play parties and such.

Jean Grey different Cosplay costumes.

The character has gone through some changes throughout the X men series regarding both the supernatural capabilities and dressing style. As discussed above, the type of costume worn is a representation of their psychic powers. For example, during the split of the X men team to gold and blue side, Jean made a remarkable change, donning in a gold team outfit that is still one of the most popular of her costumes.

The other famous costume is the one she used in the original X men movies where she had a yellow mask, red wig, yellow boots and gloves, a belt with an X buckle and a spandex body suit that was either blue or black; it often would change colors. This is one of the costumes that is up to date loved by many costume players worldwide.

Then came the more feminine costume that is also loved by many, the costume was changed to a cute green dress that man made her look sassy. Most of the other outfits like the yellow mask, gloves, and belt remained.

The Phoenix series Jean’s outfit comes up as a significant part this costumes art, there are Phoenix and dark phoenix outfits that differ in color and phoenix sizes. There is green outfit and a small golden bird at the top in Phoenix, while in Dark Phoenix, the costume is red, and the bird covers the upper chest. These dresses have long gold gloves and boots that are thigh high.

There are other costumes like the X factor costumes where she wore a green body suit that has an X across the upper side of the body, running from shoulder to shoulder.The yellow gloves and boots still are still on.

Conclusion

These are some of the many character costumes of Jean Grey who has gone through tremendous changes all through. Make a decisive choice on what to purchase for your costume play, by researching all the available Jean’s character outfits in the stores.

White Gold Rings For Men and Women

An increasing number of men and women have expressed a personal preference for this type of jewelry; with many men preferring it because it is not as glitzy as the traditional yellow gold rings. More men and women are now choosing white gold rings for either an engagement or wedding.

When white gold rings are made, another type metal such nickel or silver will be blended with the gold. For instance, an 18K ring would contain 75% gold and 25% of another metal. The reason why another alloy is mixed in is because white is not a natural gold color. Once the metal is added it will become white. The metal blend is normally given a coat of rhodium to bring out the white color. Another reason why metals are mixed in is that 24K or pure gold, needs to be blended with other metals so that it will harden.

White gold rings are moderately priced so many people will find them quite affordable. Yellow gold rings and platinum rings tend to be more costly. The appealing look of this striking jewelry makes them very popular with many ring experts describing them as sophisticated and modern looking. Today, many young couples are choosing white gold rings for their engagements and weddings. They are also very stylish and go well with many types of outfits, whether they are worn for a casual occasion or a formal occasion.

There are a number of benefits to wearing white gold rings. They display the diamond in a more attractive setting than the traditional yellow gold. The gold does not affect the cut and clarity of the diamond. The diamond looks stunning against the gold. They can also handle the wear and tear of everyday activities because they are more durable and scratch resistant. You will worry less about damage and the ring will require less maintenance. However, over a long period of continuously being worn on a daily basis, the white can start to change to a yellowish green. It can also become dull looking. If this happens, you should take it to a jeweler so that it can be re-coated.

Today, there are a wide variety of different types and styles of this stunning jewelry that contain beautiful gemstones such as diamonds. Whether it is for an engagement, wedding, any other special occasion, or to add as an accessory to a trendy outfit, a white gold ring will continue to be the original leader in ring choices.

A Handy Guide to Selecting Gold Rings

Gold rings are an elegant addition to any hand. They look beautiful and enhance the beauty and shape of the hand. That is why gold rings are some of the most popular purchases made by people.

You will find a large variety of gold rings in the market. The most commonly sought after rings are engagement rings and wedding rings. Engagement rings are generally gem studded. They may hold one large stone at the center or may have an elaborate setting that looks stunning. On the other hand, wedding rings were plain gold bands in the past. They looked quite sober and were firm testaments of the wearer’s loyalty and faithfulness. But nowadays, you can see a proliferation of delightful styles that have converted the boring band into a circle of delight. You have plain gold bands, in yellow and white, with attractive borders and designs. Then there are two tone gold rings, where white and yellow gold are interspersed to form eye-catching designs. Of course, the plain gold ring is still a huge crowd puller, with many people opting for white or yellow bands. One of the main reasons for selecting the classic wedding ring band is the fact that these complement any jewelry and clothing style. Some couples even get plain bands and engrave their names on them. If the woman is already wearing an engagement ring, she may prefer a gold wedding ring that complements the engagement ring. Fortunately, there are enough choices out there to suit any personality and style.

These days, you can see more and more men wearing gold rings. Men’s gold rings are a little different from the typical ring for women. For one thing, men’s rings are broader and more stolid in style as compared to the delicate and thin selections that dominate the women’s style. Men’s rings typically have very simple designs whereas women’s rings are ornate and stylistic. Women love attractive stones while men go for solid gold or for birth stones like diamonds, emerald, sapphire and topaz.

These days, many people like to shop for funky gold rings. Some of the popular rings include animal rings featuring cutely decorated elephants or dolphins. These rings are embellished with stones and may even come in a variety of colors like yellow, white and burnt orange. Another favorite with women of all ages and preferences is the gold rings set with stones. While some women prefer a single large stone at the center of a design, others go for a number of stones laid out decoratively to form a beautiful pattern. When combined with matching earrings and necklaces or pendants, these gold rings can really catch the eye and make others go green with envy.

Most gold finger rings are available in 18k or 14k gold. These are durable because they contain enough quantities of alloy to ensure that the rings can withstand pressure and rough conditions. 14k gold is best for gem studded varieties. Since gold rings in 14k gold are relatively cheap, it is possible for people to buy different varieties of rings which they can mix and match as they wish.

Useful Watch Hunting Tips

Picking out watches isn’t always easy. You have to take into consideration all the style and color variations, in addition to feature functionality, all the while staying within your price range. Where should you begin looking? What are some popular brands to look out for? Start here for some useful suggestions!

Shopping online for them is a great way to get an idea of what you’re looking for. In the privacy of your own home, you can ponder what style or functionality you’d like, without pushy sales people staring you down.

Once you figure out style, brand and price range, you can go into a store with an idea of what you want. If you want a watch site that compares several other sites, check out Bizrate. For discounted ones, Overstock is a popular site with great selection.

In the stores, what brands should you look for? First, consider your budget. Are you looking for a $29,000 new one or a $20 Catalog watch? For high-end watches priced in the thousands, check out Cartier, Breitling, Omega, Universal Geneve, Jacques Lemans and Tag Heuer.

For watches in the hundreds price range, you can get a good deal on a Movado, Bulova, Gucci, Citizen, or Invicta. Occasionally you can find some Tag Heuers and Omegas in this price range as well. In the lower hundreds, Seiko, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss offer classy styles.

Perhaps you’re looking for a good gift watch that doubles as a piece of jewelry. If you’re on a strict budget, start with department stores. For instance, at Macy’s, you could buy a women’s Fossil bracelet watch with a sparkling Swarvoski crystal and stainless steel band, a diamond marker and Mother of Pearl inlay for $57 and get a bonus diamond accent pendant gift with your watch purchase for an additional $49.

However, if you’re looking to really impress for that special occasion, you will want to begin looking for jewelry watches at a jewelers like Zales, Kay’s or Littman’s. You could get a stainless steel ladies Bulova watch with diamond inlays for $300 (or $20/month) at Zales, with a pink sapphire ring bonus gift for an extra $30.

Tiffany and Company is world renowned as being the quintessential jewelry watch, but expect to pay in the thousands. If you’re looking for the extreme in high-end jewelry watches, you will have to visit New York City or Toronto to find an authorized dealer in North America.

Warranties vary as much as the colors, shapes and functions of the various watches you’ll be looking at, so be sure you’re getting a good deal all around. Most inexpensive watches will give you a one to two year warranty, but when you’re buying watches with jewel inlays, you should be getting a more secure service plan. Nothing’s worse than losing a diamond accent, but it happens! Also, when shopping online, be wary of deals that seem “too good to be true” — because they probably are!

Fossil Watch – A Perfect Combination of Technology and Durability

Fossil watch is considered exciting in terms of technology as well as fashion and they are available in an array of designs in the market. Fossil watch is dominating the watch market since 1980s and their main objective is to combine old looks with the latest technology. Watches made under this brand are considered durable as they have many years of experience manufacturing watches. They are one of the watches that can withstand the daily jerks and scratches that a watch has to go through. If you are pursuing buying a watch that is a combination of great looks, durability and the latest technology, fossil watch can be the best choice.

There are many watch companies in the market that were not watch companies from the very beginning. They entered into this market because they saw that the demand for designer watches have increased and people prefer varieties to durability. Yet there are a large percentage of people worldwide who want to have a real combo of technology and durability. However, many brands are just fashion symbols and when you are looking for the real choice, consider all pros and cons. It also depends on your budget and usability what you choose.

There is yet another option if you are ready to spend some more dollars and these are jewelry watches. These watches come in different forms. The first one that will come in your mind is watch that has diamonds and precious stones embedded. But actual jewelry watches are those that are made entirely of gold or silver or so on. A gold watch can be considered under the category of jewelry watches and that can be a perfect gift for your beloved on special occasions.

Another thing that cannot be mistaken is that there are no jewelry watches for men. In fact, these days men pay attention to their outfits and fashion accessories a lot and so the designers and manufacturers work on that to bring good and attractive products in this range. Shop around and find quotes and then compare them to end with a great buy.