Monday, April 24, 2017

EraGem Favorite Sold Items Spring 2017

It is both with great happiness and some sadness that we said goodbye to these beauties recently.  They have moved on from our inventory to their new forever homes but we wanted to preserve their images as they are some of our favorites.

 sapphire engagement rings
This magnificent oval sapphire engagement ring is centered with a 1.89 carat natural blue sapphire.  Accenting the sapphire are two rose cut diamonds and a halo of round brilliant cut diamonds.  The sapphire's color is phenomenal and the rose cut diamonds give a perfect unique touch. The ring is crafted of solid 18k white gold and is finished with milgrain details.  The sapphire shows extremely light wear, but the wear is not noticeable without magnification. The ring is in very good overall condition and will arrive with a fresh polish looking superb for your engagement.

 vintage engagement rings
This gorgeous antique filigree ring dates from the 1930's and is set with a .67 carat old european cut diamond grading G in color and SI2 in clarity. The diamond has an amazing sparkle. The setting features lovely filigree openwork and a wonderful unique design.

 ruby rings
This lovely Etruscan style ruby ring is bezel set with a 1.29 carat oval cut red ruby.  The ruby sits in a high bezel between two domed and textured shoulders.  The juxtaposition of the high polished gold next to the darker textured gold really gives this ring a lot of interest.  Each shoulder is accented with a bezel set round brilliant cut diamond.  The ring is crafted of solid 18k yellow gold and is in very good condition with a nice natural patina.

 vintage engagement rings
This perfect vintage diamond engagement ring features an heirloom old European cut diamond and a 1950's mounting with single cut diamonds and great details.  The center stone is just shy of a carat and the ring is in overall great condition.

 tourmaline rings
This vintage cocktail ring is centered with a gorgeous emerald cut tourmaline gemstone with incredible vibrant blue-green color.  The tourmaline is surrounded by 28 single cut diamonds, looking like a sparkling frame around a stone that you could get lost in.  The ring is crafted of 14k white gold and while having a nice presence on the finger it also has a nice low profile.

 antique engagement rings
This is a perfect antique diamond engagement ring crafted of platinum featuring an Old European cut diamond and baguette and single cut diamond accents and is likely from the late 1930s however we were not able to confirm its age.  As you can tell from the first sentence we can run on and on about this one but looking at the pictures is better than reading the words.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rub-Over Settings: History + Characteristics

This stunning sapphire engagement ring, fashioned entirely of solid 18k white gold, features diamond-encrusted shoulders set channel style. The wedding band is notched to fit snugly against the engagement ring. Central to the engagement ring is a high-quality 1.15-carat natural blue sapphire set within a diamond-studded halo. The sapphire is housed in a beautiful 18k white gold rub-over setting.

Rub-over settings are another name for bezel settings, and they are the premiere setting for security of a stone. With so much metal holding a stone in place, it is unlikely that daily wear will loosen the stone. Rub-over settings are fashioned out of fairly soft metals, including yellow gold or silver.

While the rub-over setting is suitable for any kind of gemstones, including faceted stones, it has most often been used for cabochons. These lend themselves most easily to rub-over settings since they are typically flattened on the back side and rounded in shape.

While a stone set bezel-style may lose some access to the light, there are many advantages to rub-over settings. The first is the security of the stone. As mentioned before, once a stone is set in a bezel it would take a pry bar to pull it out. Second, they are easier to wear and keep clean. Without any prongs or distinct edges to snag your clothes, they make for smooth and easy wearing. Also, they are easy to polish with a soft cloth, keeping them shiny and brilliant even without routine care by a jeweler.

In addition, the framing of a rub-over setting creates an illusion that the stone is actually larger than it is. This is especially true when a white diamond is set bezel style in platinum or white gold. The radiance of the metal and the diamond combine to provide maximum shimmer.

The rub-over setting is an ancient style. There was a time when almost all jewels were set in bezel settings. That being said, there is nearly nothing more modern than a bezel-set jewel. There is something timeless about the elegant framing provided by a rub-over setting, a special quality that defies the ages. Many modern styles include bezels, including this stunning blue sapphire bridal set.

If you'd like to purchase a timeless engagement ring for your bride-to-be, then we invite you to come in and take a look at our collection of bezel-style engagement rings. We look forward to hearing from you.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Natural Tourmaline Rings for Engagement Rings?

If it weren't for tradition and advertising our guess is that many more brides to be would prefer to have some color in their engagement ring. Tourmaline Rings come in nearly every color of the rainbow and tourmaline is also one of the traditional Birthstones of October.

As stated above, tourmaline jewelry comes in nearly every desirable color and is generally available in its natural form, no treatments such as heating are normally necessary. It is sometimes heated or irradiated.

 Tourmaline is relatively durable and has a Mohs scale hardness of 7.0-7.5. In smaller sized stones, being fairly tough, it makes for a fine choice for an engagement ring that can be worn daily.

 The green color of the chrome tourmaline jewelry is captivating and often features deeper color and better clarity and durability than emerald.

 Pink colored tourmalines are also very desirable and beautiful. Tourmalines often have very good clarity even in larger sizes but are still affordable relative to the other precious gemstones that feature similar colors.


 Jewelry designers like working with tourmaline to add color to their classic designs like the above ring from Vera Wang and the Tiffany & Co Legacy Collection tourmaline ring pictured below. Tiffany-Legacy-tourmaline-engagement-ring

 EraGem features a wide range of tourmaline engagement ring options. Our collection are primarily estate vintage pieces and as well as pre-owned modern and designer rings.  Please enjoy a few more pictures of natural tourmaline rings that customers of EraGem are currently enjoying .


Dinner Rings: History + Characteristics

This authentic Art Deco north-south dinner ring dates from the 1920s and is absolutely breathtaking. It features two amazing fraternal twin diamonds weighing 2 carats or more. The larger of the two, a 2.16-carat old mine cut diamond, graded I in color and VS2 in clarity, is set bezel style right in the center of the ring. Set just below this stunner is a 2-carat pillow shaped diamond exploding with character. This stone is also bezel set, graded G in color and VS2 in clarity, and will take your breath away.

If these two sparklers are not enough to make you swoon, then consider the 2.39 carats of accent diamonds encrusting the gorgeous filigree openwork that comprises the remainder of this absolutely stunning ring. Care was taken with every last detail of this astonishing dinner ring set in platinum. All told, this delicate platinum setting showcases over 6.5 carats of crystal-clear white diamonds, making it the quintessential dinner ring.

Dinner rings made their debut during the height of Prohibition, along with flappers, speakeasies, and cocktail parties. With the ban of alcohol, drinking went undercover. Underground, dimly lit venues became the place for these illicit soirees, which called for a special kind of style. Short, sexy cocktail dresses adorned with shimmering sequins, dark red lipstick, sexy black Kohl eyeliner, and long red fingernails became the rage. Along with this look came the long cigarettes, cocktail glasses, and of course the ubiquitous cocktail ring.

These cocktail rings were glamorous, over-the-top creations that shimmered and sparkled in the dimly lit speakeasies. The bigger the better, as far as most were concerned. These rings were purchased, not by husbands or lovers, but by the liberated women themselves. They became a status symbol, a sign of independence and power. At first cocktail rings were styled much in the way the above ring was styled, mostly comprised of large diamonds surrounded by smaller but no less brilliant diamonds.

However, as times changed and Prohibition was lifted, these gorgeous cocktail rings gained a different sort of prominence. Beginning in the 1930s and carrying through into the 1950s and 1960s, cocktail parties turned into prominent dinners. Thus, the era of the Dinner Ring began.

Dinner rings continued to be large and glamorous, though diamonds began to play second fiddle to some of the most beautiful and tantalizing colored gemstones imaginable. Massive garnets, aquamarines, and citrines took center stage on the fingers of the wives of powerful leaders in business and politics.

These prominent dinners were high-class affairs, and women attended them on the arms of their husbands, lovers, or business partners. As women took a more prominent role in politics and business, they continued to assert themselves as independent agents of power. Thus, dinner rings continued to be brassy and bold. The bigger the better remained the motto.

Today, dinner rings have resumed their original appellation, cocktail rings. They are still worn to cocktail parties and fancy dinner parties. However, now they can also be seen on red carpets, at Hollywood after and premiere parties, and at weddings and other formal affairs. While it is true that women continue to purchase cocktail/dinner rings for themselves, they have lost a little of their distinction as a sign of female independence. It is now en vogue for a man to buy a cocktail ring for his lover.

In fact, a dinner ring of this distinction, with its pristine white diamonds and its antique design, would be the perfect anniversary gift for that woman you love. Why not come on in and view it in person? If this is not the one for your beautiful bride, then perhaps we can find another dinner ring to suit her?

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Designer Spotlight: Krementz

Richard Krementz 7 Carat Imperial Topaz Ring

Central to the design of this ring is a 7-carat, untreated Imperial topaz. This cushion-cut topaz is brilliantly colored an eye-clean, reddish-orange. The cut grade is high, with no windowing. It is prong set with double corner prongs in solid 18k yellow gold. Surrounding the stone is a deep halo lined with exquisitely -cut round brilliant accent diamonds of considerable size. Smaller diamonds pave the split-shank shoulders. Everything about this ring - the stunning color, the classic lines, the exquisite pairing of perfect diamonds - screams Richard Krementz.

The feminine beauty of this Krementz ring belies the manly origins of this brand. While today Krementz is associated with flashing colors in every hue on the spectrum, dramatic feminine designs, and precious and semi-precious gemstones from around the world, there was a time when gemstones didn't even factor into the Krementz lineup.

In 1866, a group of German cousins formed a jewelry manufacturing firm. Though the partnership soon dissolved, George Krementz, one of the cousins, went on to establish his own niche at a time when the market was flooded with demand for men's collar buttons. An innovative mind like George's saw the potential in the machines used to make cartridge shells. After six or seven years of experimentation, George finally perfected a method for making a collar button out of a single sheet of solid gold. These were in high demand in the late 1800s.

As time passed, the middle class began to rise, and Mr. Krementz saw a new market emerge. He developed a method for designing collar buttons that were made with a gold overlay, making them far less expensive than his original designs. As time went on, Krementz developed a full line of men's jewelry, including cuff links and dress studs.

As often happens, fashions changed, and collar buttons eventually became obsolete. Not to be dismayed, George Krementz turned his hand to electroplated jewelry. So successful was he in this endeavor that he soon had enough capital to buy out many of Newark's struggling jewelry firms. In 1938, with the purchase of Jones & Woodland, Krementz expanded to include high-end jewelry. Wedding and engagement rings came in 1940 with the purchase of Abelson and Braun.

During the 1960s, George's grandson, Richard, took the helm, leading the way into colored gemstones. These stones were sourced from Idar-Oberstein in Germany, and were swiftly incorporated into the high-end jewelry designs acquired from Jones & Woodland. Richard Krementz had hoped that his son, Richard, Jr., would continue in the family business.

After several years of starting and stopping and starting again, it was decided that Richard Krementz, Sr. would be the last reigning founder of Krementz Jewelry. During the 1990s, many of the firm's holdings were sold off, leaving only the colored gemstones to Richard, Sr.

At the helm of his newly organized company, now called Richard Krementz Gemstones, Richard, Sr. continued to scout the world over for the most fabulous colored gemstones he could find. These stones went into collections designed by premier designers in the industry. Richard's passion for stones remained high until the day he died, which sadly happened on November 21, 2012. As written by Richard Krementz, Jr. shortly after his father's passing, "After 147 years, the Krementz family no longer is in the jewelry business."

The last of their holdings were sold to the Colibri Group in 2009. While it is always a little sad to see the end come, it is a privilege to be able to offer our customers such a beautiful piece fashioned by a company with such integrity in the industry. If you would like to see this beautiful testament to the powerful Krementz legacy, we invite you to make an appointment to visit our showroom.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Designer Spotlight: Kwiat

Crafted of solid 18k white gold, featuring high-quality round brilliant diamonds totaling over 1 full carat and designed in huggie earring style, these gorgeous Kwiat jewels hail from the reputable design firm's Jasmine Collection.

Kwiat is revered for its exquisite haute couture designs. Catering to black tie and red carpet affairs, every Kwiat jewel is sophisticated in style and exquisite in design. Their jewelry has a timeless elegance, which ensures that even as time passes their artistry will remain chic and stylish. Their collections are airy and feminine, inspired by architecture, textiles, and nature's most beautiful flowers.

The Kwiat name is backed by four generations of skilled jewelers. Sam Kwiat began his career in 1907, as a diamond trader on Canal Street in Manhattan. He specialized in refinishing older stones to enhance their brilliance. His passion for diamonds was contagious, sparking an interest in his son David who joined the firm in 1933 at the age of 17.

David brought art into the business of diamonds, and Kwiat began designing and manufacturing intricate settings for their diamonds. In the 1960s and 1970s, David's sons Sheldon and Lowell joined the family firm, starting as apprentices to master craftsmen at the bench. Their diamonds and designs became the notable collections of such diamantaires as Harry Winston.

Then in 2001, Sheldon and Lowell encouraged their forebears to launch their own brand. This led to exclusive Kwiat collections, designed primarily by Janice DeBell, formerly of Tiffany & Co. Their latest designs have strolled the red carpet with such Hollywood mavens as Sharon Stone and Halle Berry.

Kwiat has rightfully earned its prestigious position with their impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail, with their high standards of excellence, and with their reputation for integrity, loyalty, and commitment to their customers. Kwiat's business and design philosophy are one in the same: Answer only to the customer.

The Kwiat family believes that every uncut diamond needs a craftsman to release its brilliance, and every brilliant diamond needs an event to share its significance. To ensure that they meet their own demanding standards, as well as the expectations of their customers, Kwiat focuses all of its attention on craftsmanship; always learning, always refining, always redefining.

Then, they pass that knowledge on to their clients, sharing everything they've learned so that those who wear their jewels understand the exquisite value they add to their wearers. Both the Kwiat diamond and the woman who wears it are celebrated, ensuring that every diamond is properly balanced in cut and design.

In addition, Kwiat guarantees that its diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict-free, drawing from mining operations in Russia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Canada. With the Kwiat name comes a guarantee of beauty and quality.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

Friday, March 11, 2016

Honeymoon Destination: Crater of Diamonds State Park (Arkansas)

This photo of a butterfly lighting upon the mud in the digging fields of Crater
of Diamonds State Park (Arkansas) was taken in 2011 by Kathy, a member
of Flickr.

Do you find your solace amid lush stands of tall deciduous trees lining lazy rolling rivers and big sky clouds?

Do you long for an adventure in diamond country?

If so, then might we recommend a honeymoon trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas?

Arkansas may not be the first place you'd think of when you think of romance, but diamonds most certainly should be!

Did we mention that in Arkansas you can hunt for your own diamonds in the only publicly accessible diamond mine in the world? Well, you can! And several people have found genuine diamonds at Crater of Diamonds, a few of them fairly sizable.

The 900-acre park stretches along the Little Missouri River and features interpretive programs, diamond hunting education, a water park, and miles of hiking trails. The park is the result of a marketing strategy that worked brilliantly for miner Howard A. Millar. In 1952, Millar aggressively promoted his diamond mine, inviting people from all over to come and find treasure in his diamond field. 

A geologist by trade, Millar gave lectures and classified the diamonds found by his mine's visitors. Eventually, a museum, gift shop, and restaurant were opened on site, and the Crater of Diamonds was born. Throughout the '50s and '60s, visitors to the mine found thousands of diamonds that they took home as souvenirs.

In 1972, the mine was purchased by the State of Arkansas. It continues to run as a State Park to this day. The park is beautiful and inspiring in so many ways, although the least inspiring place, called the Pig Pen, is the only place on the grounds where diamonds can be found.

The Pig Pen is a wide open, 37-acre mud field rich in volcanic kimberlite soil. Here, beneath the broad open sky, visitors to the park hunt dig their hands, with shovels, or with picks and screens to find the yellow, brown, and white diamonds that are harvested from the old volcanic pipe.

In addition to diamonds, rockhounds can find treasure in the form of garnet, amethyst, jasper, and other quartz and agate stones. All of these can be brought to the Diamond Discovery Center for identification and registration (for diamonds only). You get to keep what you find, and the cost is nothing more than park admission.

If you decide to honeymoon in Arkansas, then may we also recommend a stay at the nearby Diamonds Cabins?

Diamonds Cabins offers an inclusive Old West experience that begins with a stay in Crazy Diamonds Saloon. The Saloon is an upstairs suite which features a one-of-a-kind western king-size bed outfitted with memory foam and Egyptian cotton sheets. The upstairs windows overlook a panoramic view of the mountains. A two-person jacuzzi/hot tub is surrounded by mirrors, and a private deck offers outdoor romance at any time, day or night. The room also includes the use of a fire pit, a grill, and picnic tables for enjoying the great outdoors.

If you get tired of lounging in your suite, you can take a stroll into the Old West. Begin with a visit to the General Store. At the General Store you can purchase old-fashioned penny candies, locally made goat's milk beauty products, locally sourced geodes, and any cookout supplies you might need.

If you're in the mood for some playful fun, then take yourself on a child's adventure at the Horse Trot Pedal Car Track, the sudsy Foam Party, and the Corn Pit! You know you want to suds each other up and take a roll in the corn!!

And if your hunt in the Pig Pen yielded less than satisfactory results, then try your hand at the Old West Sluice Box. Every gem bag contains crystals, arrowheads, fools gold, pirate coins, shark teeth, agates, fossils, geodes, native jewelry, and more.

If you love the Old West and good, clean (okay, maybe muddy, sudsy, and corny) fun, then we cannot more highly recommend a honeymoon at Crater of Diamonds State Park!

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer