Author Archives: Raymond Lee Jewelers

No Hassle Tassels

Last spring/early summer, the fabric accessory du jour was the pom pom. It was all about the pom! See here, here and here. And pom poms are fun, I say this with the inimitable experience of a former cheerleader.  But you know what’s even more fun? TASSELS! That’s right, you can tie them on drawer handles, trim Ikea curtains with them so they look super fancy, they’re a hell of a lot easier to make yourself, and they often come in leather. I’m a big fan. And this spring, there’s no hotter way to wear the tassel trend than on yo’ jewelry. It all started, as a jewelry trend blog post is wont to do, with a Tumblr post:

Lapis Tassel Necklace

via Shopbop

Of course this is sold out. It’s sterling and lapis (with a  gold plate) by designer Chan Luu. Luckily, Luu has several other tassel necklaces on Shopbop, proving you’ve got plenty of options. You can go the luxe route and channel a little Art Deco with options from Tiffany, or you can click through practically every costume jewelry online shop to find a fun, no-hassle tassel. Join me.

Coral Tassel necklace

via Furbish

This awesome wood bead tassel necklace is from Furbish, and is pleasantly priced at $28. It comes in a variety of bright colors, with decreasing odds of being in stock. Go,shop,now.

Mint tassel necklace

via Liza’s Little Things on Etsy

Alternatively, Etsy Shop Liza’s Little Things has oodles of tassel necklaces in every color combination you could desire. Also $28.

Tassel Bracelets by Dannon on Etsy

via dAnnonEtsy

And if you don’t want to limit your tasselfying to necklaces, Etsy shop cannon Etsy’s got you covered in the bracelet department.

Tiffany Fringe Necklace

via Raymond Lee Jewelers

And if you prefer your tassels to be a more abstract, flatter interpretation, consider this Tiffany pendant. I might be stretching – it’s more fringe than tassel if we’re getting specific – but it’s perfect for those whose tastes don’t skew quite so boho. Also available: the matching earrings.

Tiffany Fringe Earrings

via RLJ

Would you rock out with the tassel trend this spring? If this jewelry can’t convince you, I don’t know what can – but in case you need more persuading, allow me to direct your attention to some more tasseled goodness. So don’t be hassled – time to don a tassel. I’ll leave you with that precious rhyme.

Engagement Ring Eye Candy: Large & In Charge

This week’s engagement ring eye candy has me craving a super size helping of rocks. Luckily, the RLJ showcase is fully stocked with colorful diamond delicacies like so many truffles at Godiva. And this week, we added quite a few new hefty engagement rings with large center stones. With great carat comes great responsibility (to share the blingy gorgeousness far and wide) so it’s my duty and pleasure to introduce you to a few of our new beauties and help these lovely sparklers find a new home.

Cushion Cut Fancy yellow Halo

18k White Gold Fancy Yellow Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

It’s my personal opinion that the best cushion cut diamond is one over three carats. And no, it’s not because I’m blinded by bling-size (for instance, I think the ideal size for a round brilliant is no larger than 2.5 carats.) I just feel that a cushion cut really shines when its center is bulging, its proportions are balanced, and it’s large enough to display the unique shape that separates it from square & rectangular cuts. Luckily, our newest cushion cut is 4.31 carats, placing it firmly in the B.A.D. category. It’s also yellow (!) which I know is not for everyone, but bear with me because it’s not the only yellow this week. This one features a gorgeous halo setting & microwave split shank.

Fancy Yellow Pear Shaped Halo

18k White Gold Pear Shape Fancy Yellow Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Another huge, yellow diamond, this pear shape is a warm, buttery yellow and is a whopping 6.05 carats. Like the one above, it’s surrounded by a gorgeous white diamond halo. However, the simple, thin microwave band is the perfect foil to the rather voluptuous center diamond. The setting is 18kt white gold, but the yellow gold prongs on the center diamond blend flawlessly into the diamond so that all you see on this ring are, well, diamonds.

9.03ct radiant cut halo

EGL Certified 9.03ct Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Onto the white diamonds. First up, a radiant cut that would make Beyonce look twice. In fact, this ring reminds me a lot of Beyonce’s engagement ring. Ours isn’t a Lorraine Schwartz original, and with an SI2 clarity grade it’s not quite *flawless*, but it woke up like this. Ok I’ll stop. It’s a massive 9.03 carats but doesn’t stop there – it features an additional 2.06 carats of accent diamonds. Of course, plenty of that weight comes from the halo around the center stone, but if you check out the bedazzled split shank setting, you’ll see that two tapered baguettes and two emerald cuts are nestled in there. So there’s no doubt that this rock shines from all angles.

Three stone emerald cut engagement ring with trapezoids

Platinum 4.24ctw Emerald & Trapezoid Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Finally, my favorite. I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but I do. Frequently. And this one is a contender! There’s nothing I love more than a three stone ring, and this style is just so classic and regal. The center stone is a 3.04 carat emerald cut (coincidentally my favorite size for an emerald cut is 3 carats exactly) and it’s a stunning VS1 clarity – like staring into a crystal clear pool. If the pool were made of diamonds. I also love the proportions on this one – it doesn’t go too vertical. But the center stone isn’t the only beauty here, two step cut trapezoids flank the side of the center stone to blend into a beautifully symmetrical, seamless profile. Smitten.

 

 

Nina Dobrev Jewelry Line for Charity

Nina Dobrev has risen to stardom through her role on The Vampire Diaries. With her rise to fame, she has increasingly showed her desire to give back to not only her local community, but to regions around the world. This has made her one of the great up and coming philanthropists in Hollywood as well. This shines true with her latest project, as she has designed to team up with Gorjana, a jewelry company, in order to create a collection with all proceeds dedicated to go towards individuals suffering with EB (epidermolysis bullosa).

Nina Dobrev Designs Jewelry Line

via MoviePilot

This is a potentially lethal skin condition where an individual suffering from EB becomes fragile due to connective problems that occur between the epidermis and the dermis. This skin condition plagues children across the globe. These children are often refereed to as “butterfly children” because their skin is so incredibly fragile, it can simply flake off like the dust on a butterfly’s wings.

The collection is currently on sale right now and is going to continue to sell until the 14th of May. The designs are all rather simple, yet elegant. The majority of the pieces are designed out of yellow gold and feature partially black elements, in order to add a greater emphasis on the gold touch. Additionally, there are some pieces that feature diamonds sparkled throughout the piece. The designs are also suppose to coincide with Mother’s Day, as the collection’s sale period ends right on Mother’s Day. It is both Nina Dobrev and Gorjana’s desire to increase sales off of the Mother’s Day holiday coming up.

Currently, the jewelry can be purchased directly through the Gorjana website. There are several different options to choose from for individuals who are looking. While there are some crafted from yellow gold, a large number of these designs are also crafted out of a stainless steel with a yellow gold coating, in order to make the designs more affordable for just about anyone. Several of the designs also feature a butterfly in order to coincide with the “Butterfly Children” name Most of the designs are either for necklaces or bracelets, although there are a few different earring studs and rings. For the most part though, these designs are rather simple, so chances are, individuals who are looking for a gift for their mother or just want to expand their current jewelry collection and also want to support a good cause, is going to find something in this current collection.

The cause itself is known as Nina 4 EBMRF. Short for Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, EBMRF is supported by celebrities from all over the world who donate their time and money in order to help with the cause. Celebrities such as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Zach Galifanakis, Brad Pit and many others have all turned to help this cause and to bring in more money for research in order to determine how to both correct the disease but to also prevent it as well. And for those individuals who wonder, 100 percent of the proceeds from the jewelry purchased goes towards the research foundation in order to help individuals suffering from the disease.

It’s Time To Talk About the C Word

Why Your Jeweler Shouldn't Use The C Word

Readers, it’s time for some real talk.

We are here today, to talk about the c-word. Clarity enhancement. Like that other c-word, it’s just as dirty when you’re not up front about it. Some women are fine with it, others appalled. But the importance lies in disclosing when you’re about to use it (you know, earmuffs, etc.)
Clarity enhancement is the jewelry industry’s dirty word. If you’re going to treat your stones, then fine, so be it. But you need to disclose up front that your customers should go into the conversation knowing that the c word is going to be used.
You would never roll up on your grandma and drop that into casual conversation! Nor should you roll up on Pinterest (your cool cousin) and (not) drop it. Because, unfortunately, the vast majority of diamond consumers and engagement ring coveters don’t know to look for it. RLJ doesn’t buy clarity-enhanced diamonds (or we try not to) because it’s confusing to consumers. We’d just rather avoid it altogether. If you’re well-versed in diamond treatments and your jeweler discloses up front that a ring has been treated, there’s nothing wrong with clarity enhancement. It’s a great way to get a great deal on a good looking diamond – but it most certainly affects a diamond’s value and you should always know what you’re paying for.
Clarity enhancement refers to several treatments a diamond might undergo to -you guessed it- enhance its clarity grade.  Common treatments include laser drilling or fracture filling. To fill fractures, a tiny amount of glass material is introduced into super-thin crevices and fractures (aka feathers). Laser drilling is meant to zap away inclusions, much like unwanted body hair. It doesn’t affect the other characteristics of a diamond, like its carat weight or color. GIA has concluded that for normal wear, clarity enhanced diamonds are durable, but may be more susceptible to high heat, pressure or corrosive materials. So, you know, don’t stick your clarity enhanced diamond in a vat of acid (don’t do that with an untreated diamond either.)
So, the c-word makes a statement about a diamond A big one. Maybe you’re cool with it. Maybe it offends you to your core. Either way. You have the right to know that’s its use is imminent. So avert your eyes, your wallets, and your ears if you’re so inclined, but don’t fall for something that seems too good to be true. A $10k-plus “discount” on a diamond doesn’t suggest wholesale pricing. This particular dealer isn’t acting charitably by giving you access to trade price structure, they’re usually selling treated diamonds. It’s up to them, as reputable sellers, to let you know. but it’s up to you, the one parting with hard-earned cash, to be a savvy, well-versed customer. So if you feel violated by use of the c-word, tell that dealer to wash their mouth out with soap and turn heel away from their shop.

Web Roundup: Winter is Coming

house of pinterest Game of Thrones

My house. My Sigil. My words.

Happy April ya’ll! Besides my distaste for April Fool’s pranks, I was pretty into this week. The promise of spring is on the horizon, there are plenty of yellow diamonds in the showroom, and we picked up this amazing pair of vintage Van Cleef & Arpels earrings today. I got to share some of my favorite wedding tidbits, while simultaneously learning about the Pink Panther-style ring of European diamond thieves that are at large (hide yo diamonds!) Here’s what else I got up to…

Time to get nitpicky. A) This is not Duchess Catherine’s jewelry collection. The first slide was famously borrowed from THE QUEEN. B) A slideshow of her jewelry & not one designer is mentioned. Who wrote this, Ryan Seacrest? C) Droolworthy isn’t the most accurate adjective here people. Princess Kate is all strategy and pragmatism. She purposely wears understated, every-girl-could-own-it jewelry. You wanna talk drool-worthy jewel collections? Let me direct you here.

I don’t think this is an engagement ring.

How he should have Met The Mother. (I want my 9 years back.)

But when one show sh*ttily ends, another excellently begins. WINTER IS COMING.

Maybe it’s the promise of sandal season far, far in my future, but my designer shoe fetish is rearing its expensive, 3.5″ heel head. Look. Look. Look.

And clearly, designer shoes require a designer evening bag.

“It’s really just about dopeness at the end of the day.”

Shared my favorite wedding budget infographics.

I’m making these this weekend (in between the 900 billion showings our broker has scheduled for our apartment.)

Speaking of which, anyone in Chicago know a good place to hang out with your puppy for oh, 4 hours or so? Not the beach. It’s cold. Not the dog park. She’s vicious.