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