Rare blue diamond fetches $6.4 million at auction

A blue diamond was sold for $6.4 million!Quick – how much would you pay for a gorgeous diamond? What if it were big, beautiful and – most importantly – blue?

According to the Agence France-Presse, a 5.16-carat blue diamond was recently sold at auction in Hong Kong for $6.4 million. That’s a hefty price tag – but we have to admit, it’s quite the stone!

“There have been a lot of new diamond buyers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and elsewhere in the region,” Terry Chu, deputy head of Sotheby’s jewelry department for China and Southeast Asia, told the news source.

The cost of this precious gem is making us faint! Would you believe that this diamond was not the most expensive one ever purchased?
According to the news outlet, a Hong Kong millionaire paid $10.5 million for a seven-carat blue diamond last year. And, a pink diamond was sold at an auction for $10.8 million last December.

Ok, most of us don’t have the cash to spend on such a beauty, but don’t be so blue! Diamonds of every shape and size are out there. Look long and hard enough and you’re bound to find the perfect one for your budget.ADNFCR-2807-ID-19726119-ADNFCR

Fashion Advice From: Nurses

Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Nurses are an integral part of the health care system. They really keep it humming. My aunt Camille has been a nurse her whole career and now supervises teams of nurses. I recently asked her about what she and her co-workers wear for jewelry on the front lines of health care.

So, I bet that wearing scrubs all the time gets boring. How do nurses add sparkle to their work wear?
Well, not all nurses work on the floor or directly with patients. There are some nurses who don’t wear scrubs but the ones that do have a hard time adding a personal touch. Wearing protective gloves means that you really can’t wear big rings. Depending on the protocol at the workplace they might even require that nurses not wear rings at all. Our main goal is health and safety for everyone we care for – even ourselves! I think that earrings are probably the best way to add a unique touch.

When I started working in nursing almost 40 years ago we had to wear all white – you know the traditional nurses uniform. These days there are all kinds of patterns in scrubs and professional team wear that keep things from being too boring. I was recently in a pediatrician’s office and all the nurses there had on scrubs that the kids there loved.

Are there any trends in earrings that you’ve noticed on the nurses you work with?
Diamond stud earrings have always been popular. I think that anything small and conservative is a good bet. Dangle or long tear drop earrings aren’t safe or suitable for the professional setting. You want to have earrings that are easy to keep clean.

What about down time? What about Friday night?!
Ha! Are you kidding?! Lot of nurses work 12 hour shifts and they’re pooped when the work is done. Just like lots of other women, they work hard for their families when they get home. On special occasions though, when they can have a night out, the nurses I work with love to be pampered. Something special like bold gem earrings – or a long necklace is a lot of fun. They want to wear something that is normally off limits at work.

Look to celebrities for diamond engagement ring trends

Diamond Engagement RingIt seems like celebrities are getting engaged left and right nowadays. And just like the fashionistas who scour red carpet photos for tips on shoes and gowns, jewelry hounds like us are turning to suave starlets for ice ideas – especially if we plan on getting hitched ourselves sometime soon.

Princess cuts seem to be coming back in a big way, so take a cue from Hilary Duff if you’re in the market for some bling.

Duff certainly is carrying a heavy load on her ring finger at the moment. The million dollar (yes, you heard right) ring given to her by Canadian Mike Comrie features a 14-carat princess-cut diamond. Comrie is a hockey player for the Edmonton Oilers, and is uber-adorable.

Carrie Underwood could also inspire brides-to-be with her enviable bauble.

Underwood, who is engaged to hockey player Mike Fisher, is making us drool at the moment. Her stunning rock is a round-cut yellow diamond doozy that’s surrounded by baby white diamonds. Those Canuck NHL boys sure are ice experts, eh?

If you’re planning on walking down the aisle in the near future, you may want to look to Hollywood to get some good ideas. Let’s face it – your fiancé will need some tips on what to pick out when he gets down on one knee.ADNFCR-2807-ID-19664999-ADNFCR

Fashion Advice From: Teachers

Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!
Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!

Next to parents, teachers may very well be the most important people in our kid’s lives. They care for them five days a week for almost 10 months out of the year. Teachers can teach us a thing or two about a professional yet easy care style.

I recently sat down with my teacher friend Robin (she’s 37) and asked her about her casual chic style. Here’s what she shared with me:

What’s one piece of jewelry that you think is a “must have”?
Other than my wedding rings, it has to be earrings. I think it’s good to keep earrings classic and simple. I generally stick with smaller diamond or pearl earrings – nothing too dangly or flashy. I want to be taken seriously by parents and co-workers. More conservative jewelry helps me do that. I have a pair of sapphire earrings my husband gave me for my birthday one year that I wear all the time!

Do you ever feel that you slip into the “schoolmarm” look?
Ha! Teaching is fast paced and you have to be ready for anything. So expensive and fancy clothes will just get ruined. No high heels here! I think that be taking fresh fabrics and a more sporty approach keeps me from looking like a fuddy-duddy.

What about necklaces?
Well, long necklaces are problematic. If you lean over students to check their work, you can hit them in the head with a long necklace! I wear a diamond solitaire pendant a lot. It has a shorter chain that keeps it out of the way. I also wear a shorter pearl necklace a lot too.

What about the kids? Do you see any fashion trends popping up in what the kids wear to school?
Well, I am constantly surprised at what parents let their kids wear to school! Seriously, they must be really busy in the morning or have given up the fight. A lot of kids are wearing bright colors and lots of stripes – both are not good for me! Of course girls still love flashy costume jewelry and I have to ask them to put it back in their book bags all the time. I think what I like best about working with young people is their fresh attitude. They mix things up and see the world with optimistic eyes. It’s really the best part of my job – the kids.

Classic Hollywood Glamour

Helen Mirren embodies classic Hollywood glamour
Helen Mirren embodies classic Hollywood glamour
This year at the Oscars, there were loads of interesting looks. The Academy Awards are always a star-studded affair and many celebrities are drenched in borrowed gems for the occasion. You can get a run down of all the best of Oscar night jewelry fashions at Sparkle Like the Stars.

Alas, this year’s event reaffirms that old Hollywood is gone. The days of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor wearing her own jewelry to an event seem to be long gone.

What hasn’t faded is classic and classy glamour! Helen Mirren is class incarnate. When it comes to the Oscars, she can always be counted on to show up in something subtly fabulous and totally age appropriate. Her lavender gown with the gauzy overlay and sleeves take this dress a notch above average strapless. I absolutely covet that necklace!

Helen’s look is refined and restrained but definitely not boring. You can get a similar look by pouring on the diamonds with a bold and beautiful diamond necklace. If you choose a design that has some larger spacing between the stones you’ll get the effect of a more dramatic piece of jewelry without such a dramatic price tag.

As for earrings, you can’t go wrong with a pair of elegant diamond earrings. Don’t overdo it though with dramatic tear drop or chandelier earrings. Those are great for other occasions but if you want a classic look like Helen’s, you have to keep it simple.

For her ensemble, Helen forgoes a right hand diamond ring and just wears her diamond wedding bands. This is in keeping with the “less is more” refinement of her overall look. Just because it’s a fancy formal occasion, doesn’t mean you have to wear every ring you own. Take a few cues from Helen and you’ll get a sophisticated look all for you own.

Cocktail Rings are the key to looking fabulous

Cocktail rings are always in style.Picture this: You’re at a party, hobnobbing with great friends over delectable hors d’oeuvres and fancy-schmancy champagne. You hold a drink in one hand, toss your pinky finger in the air and decide you look divine. Suddenly you realize an important piece of jewelry is missing – your cocktail ring.

Yes, we went there: Cocktail rings! They’re big and daring; an absolutely fabulous addition to any getup plus they have been around for decades. The stunning finger adornments made their way onto the hands of the masses during the 1920s, when courageous women wore them to drink with style. You go girls!

Nowadays you can slip a cocktail ring on in the evening in order to accentuate a look and remind everyone that you own the room. These pieces come in every shape, size, and style and are available in a wide range of prices. Still, we obviously have our faves.

If you don’t know where to begin, try a cocktail ring that features a green amethyst gemstone that’s surrounded by jaw-dropping diamonds. Or try an oval-shaped opal number with black baby diamonds. Divine!

Whatever you decide, remember that cocktail rings remain one of the most valuable pieces of jewelry for a woman today. Wear it and work it.
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In Like a Lion

Black Diamond Sterling Silver Aries Pendant
Black Diamond Sterling Silver Aries Pendant
Do you know the origin of the weather proverb about March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb”? For most locations in the northern hemisphere, the average temperature at the end of the month is higher than at the beginning (more gentle than the biting, fierce winter), so the proverb typically has some meteorological truth to it. But where did it come from?

The phrase apparently has its origins with the constellations Leo, the Lion, and Aries, the ram or lamb. It has to do with the relative positions of these constellations in the sky at the beginning and end of the month.

Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun is in the constellation Aries roughly from March 21 to April 19, by definition beginning at vernal equinox or the first day of spring.

If someone in your life has a birthday between March 21 and April 19, you should consider a zodiac glyph pendant as a unique and memorable birthday gift. The black diamond sterling silver Aries pendant pictured here is beautifully rendered in brushed and polished sterling silver and highlighted with dazzling enhanced black diamonds. It is truly budget friendly at only $125.

If black diamonds are too racy for you, consider this Aries pendant delicately cut out of a brushed sterling silver disc and with a single accent diamond for just a touch of sparkle. A zodiac pendant is a thoughtful keepsake she is sure to love.

Celtic Cross for St. Patrick’s Day

Delicate Celtic cross pendant
Delicate Celtic cross pendant
This St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Cross jewelry would make a fine gift. A Celtic cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection.

The early Celtic stone high cross is generally in the form of a normal cross with a ring joining the arms. In Ireland, it is a popular legend that the Celtic Catholic cross was introduced by Saint Patrick or possibly Saint Declan.

It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun. However this theory is now thought unlikely by most art historians, who think an origin from crosses carrying a victor’s wreath around their intersection is more likely. Such a cross is found on the reverse of the Liudhard medalet from Canterbury in England in the 590s. Making the Celtic cross an ancient symbol.

The ideas of eternity make the Celtic cross jewelry this a great gift for your bride-to-be or for anyone with Irish, Scottish or Welsh ancestry.

Earrings for guys: Do or don’t?

Jack Sparrow sports plenty of jewelry. Many men are on the fence when it comes to earrings. They can look cool and hip, but one step in the wrong direction and you’re Captain Jack Sparrow. Or worse, Kevin Federline.

When it comes to man jewelry, less is more in our humble opinion. Some guys like to rock a post in both ears, but we think that the traditional one-earring look is the way to go (Unless you feel like dropping a whole lot of cash on giant diamond posts, in which case, more power to you!).

According to Bnet.com, 60 Minutes co-anchor Ed Bradley had his left ear pierced in 1986 after Liza Minelli presented him with a diamond post, and her has been sporting a diamond stud ever since.

Men who work in a very formal work environment might want to chose a traditional diamond earring or a small stud, while those who have a more lax office space can experiment a little more.

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So You Just Got Engaged, Now What?

Celebrate your love in classic style
Celebrate your love in classic style

Valentine’s Day is a classic day for wedding proposals. Did you get engaged this Valentine’s Day? If so, congratulations! You’ll have so much planning to do and things to think about. Let me help you lessen the stress by making a few jewelry recommendations for the big day.

A consistently elegant choice, a diamond-encrusted band is extremely impressive without making the wearer appear to be a showoff. Your clothes might match this sentiment, with tiny details and low-key designers making the outfit, like a TSE dress matched up with traditional diamond studs, an ageless Bottega Veneta bag, subtle Bvlgari sunglasses, and topped off with a whisper of Chanel perfume.

Who needs one best friend when you can have at least three? If you prefer multi-stone engagement rings, chances are you’re into wearing flashy pieces on other parts of your body, too. When going out, you might favor a Betsey Johnson dress worn with Tory Burch wedges and a metallic bag to get yourself noticed, and colorful stones like a pair of emerald earrings or a garnet necklace add zing to your look.

Marquis (or marquise) cuts are wonderful because their shape often makes the diamond look larger than it actually is. The savvy woman who decides on this cut might make equally as calculated choices in her wardrobe, choosing pieces for their ability to tastefully and conservatively flatter, like a Theory dress paired with pearl earrings and Stuart Weitzman heels, matched with a pashmina and a suede clutch.

No matter what your style, there’s a wedding ring out there that will match the perfection of your special day.