Antique & Vintage Jewelry Facets p2

Carnelian Antique Ring

FACET: Carnelian Cameo and Pearl Antique Ring

Soul joyfulness and the protection of an ancient warrior will follow you everywhere you go with this Carnelian Cameo and Pearl Antique Ring. Learn why the ancient Egyptians deemed the gemstones in it so valuable that they painstakingly hid them where they wouldn't be found for millennia.

Archaeologists working in Israel recently unearthed an unexpected discovery: a cache of jewelry dating from about 11 BC, the "LA Times" reported earlier this month. Among the treasures, which were tucked inside a jug that had been hidden in a private dwelling, were beads made of carnelian stone.

Literally translating to "flesh-colored," carnelians can range in color from light orange to fiery reddish brown as exhibited in this ring's semi-precious gemstone. Despite their often 'bloody' coloration, according to legend carnelians make the soul joyous, which might account for the ancient Egyptians in Israel hiding them to keep them safe.

This ring's carnelian is further enhanced with the carving of an ancient warrior. Cameos like this one are reflective of history, literature and legends. Who this warrior actually depicts, only the carver knows for sure, but the carnelian's beauty inspired him to capture the object of his fascination in it.

Antique Ring with Illusion Setting

FACET: Illusion Settings -- Fooling the Eye without Fooling the Diamond Owner

Want more diamond sparkle, clearness, inclusionlessness and shape for your money? Then an illusion setting might be the perfect compromise.

When it comes to purchasing a diamond, you've probably heard the 4 Cs mentioned over and over again: cut, color, clarity and carat. In combination, these are the four features of a diamond that determine its value. But what if you desire a quality diamond on a limited budget? Do you have to sacrifice all these value-adding aspects?

Not necessarily. One way you can still have your diamond dream and keep your bank account too is with an illusion setting. The term is just as it sounds-a magical sleight of hand that makes something (in this case a diamond) appear to be more that it actually is.

According to "The Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry," an illusion setting is one "in which the stone is placed in a collet of reflective and brightly burnished metal, and then the metal edges are cut or shaped so that, when bent around the stone, they create the illusion of being a part of the stone."

The idea is the brainchild of the French jeweler Oscar Massin, who in the 1860s during the height of the Victorian era, invented what he referred to as the 'monture illusion,' which is frequently found in antique and vintage diamond engagement rings. You may also hear an illusion setting referred to as a 'deceptive setting' or a 'mirage setting'.

Why has the setting earned such monikers? It's because the metallic trickery it employs renders a small diamond appear much larger than it actually is. As such, discerning diamond buyers who are on a budget don't have to sacrifice the near-flawless color and clarity they yearn for. Plus, they can still choose their preferred diamond cut as well.

Halo Engagement Ring

FACET: Halo Engagement Ring from The Batchelorette

August 10, 2014: Although the dating television franchise of The Bachelor / Bachelorette has thus far resulted in only four actual marriages (one of them infamously between the bachelor and his second-place choice, not his first), it's not for lack of trying. The majority of the seasons have ended with some sort of proposal. Will the reigning couple of Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray endure? Only time will tell, but their engagement ring choice may give them a leg up.

The Bachelor / Bachelorette franchise may not be known for its lasting relationships, but it does produce some pretty spectacular engagements. And one of the showcases of all those "Will you marry me?" moments is, of course, the engagement ring.

The most recent incarnation of the television dating series is no exception. Only one ring was picked out thanks to the lead bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, bidding her second-place suitor farewell before he had a chance to meet with the jeweler. But that single ring resulted in Andi's chosen bachelor, Josh Murray, getting down on one knee and her saying yes.

The engagement ring itself might have had a little bit to do with the successful proposal. ABC, the network airing the show, described the ring as a three-carat oval cut center diamond surrounded by 154 round cut diamonds. The platinum band is studded with diamonds as well.

The overall effect has a decidedly antique style to it, and what viewers may not be aware of is that Andi played a part in Josh's choosing of the engagement ring. She revealed to ABC News that during their time in the Fantasy Suite, she dropped major hints about what she wanted in an engagement ring. Round (diamond) and halo were her must haves.

"It's a pretty big deal! I might as well tell him (what my dream engagement ring looks like) if we're getting engaged," Andi explained. Smart girl. Every newly engaged woman should have the engagement ring of her dreams.

Antique jewelry boutique Topazery takes great pride in helping marriage-minded men like Josh Murray pick out just the right engagement ring for their future wives. And for those girlfriends who've been not so subtly hinting that they want a halo style diamond engagement ring just like The Bachelorette Andi Dorfman's, Topazery happens to have one in stock.

Ruby Vintage Style Ring

FACET: Color Continues to Rule the Jewelry Runways in 2013

Summer got you craving all the luscious hues of the season? You'll be perfectly on trend every time you reach for the colorful jewelry this year.

The Grammys hinted at it but now the Jewelers of America Fashion Show has made it official: Color is this year's hottest jewelry trend. From red to green to gold, celebrities are flocking to bright hues when it comes to accessorizing their outfits.

"Deep reds and vibrant blues ruled earrings and rings, and browns and yellows also were spotted in full-finger rings and drop earrings," National Jeweler reported following the music awards ceremony in February. The American Gem Trade Association's CEO followed that declaration up with: "There was a tremendous amount of color on the runway at this year's Jewelers of America Fashion Show."

Inspired by the Grammys, following are some of Topazery's favorite color sightings so far in 2013:

  1. Decked out in a stunning seafoam green gown, there was no taking one's eyes off singer Katy Perry. To complement the dress's lovely pastel hue, Katy paired it with a matching chalcedony ring. The gemstone, which is a glossy crystalline form of quartz, is believed to promote emotional balance.
  2. Adele's Grammy ensemble was as pretty as her voice thanks to the floral frock the songbird chose to wear. And a pair of dark pink floral earrings provided just the right finishing touch to her outfit.
  3. Rihanna let her red gown do all the talking and matched it with a diamond and ruby ring from Neil Lane. The ring was centered with a diamond, with the rubies providing just a subtle hint of pop to her scarlet dress.
  4. Kelly Rowland demonstrated precisely what the right piece of jewelry can do for that little black dress. Her choice of an oversized emerald ring added some sophisticated wow factor to her otherwise simple choice of evening wear.

There really are no rights or wrongs when it comes to the colorful trend. Just pick the shade that speaks to you and then wear it ... as often as possible.

Classic Pearl Necklace

FACET: June Birthstones: Classic Pearl Necklace ... and a Whole Lot More

Pay homage to the month of your birth with a piece of jewelry highlighted with one of three June birthstones. Whether you favor the traditional luminescence of pearls, the modern duality of an alexandrite, or the milky opalescence of a moonstone, you'll be treated to the stuff that legends are made from.

If you happen to celebrate your birthday this month, lucky you! The month of June has three birthstones you can choose from: the traditional pearl, the modern alexandrite, and the moonstone. That means no matter your jewelry preferences, you'll likely find something in honor of your birth date that you love. But there's more to selecting a birthstone than just appearance. Each of the three choices harbors legends and lore all its own.

Formed organically inside the shells of oysters and mussels, pearls rained from the sky when dragons waged battle against each other, a Chinese myth tells. Another ancient legend equated them with the tears of the gods. Love, luck, protection, wisdom, karma, and money are just waiting to be unleashed from a pearl.

Perhaps the most famous pearl is La Peregrina, which means the Wanderer. Dating back to the 1500s its provenance includes star-studded ownership by Spain's King Phillip II, Mary I of England, France's Prince Louis Napoleon, and Elizabeth Taylor.

In known existence for only about 150 years, the alexandrite is suffused with magical and mystical properties. Rare and valuable, the alexandrite's dual nature-it appears green in daylight and red under incandescent light-makes it a symbol of love and jealousy all rolled into one. It is also symbolic of luck, good fortune, hope, and prosperity.

And finally, the moonstone derives its name from the moonlight-on-water silvery rays it displays when held up to the light. This enchanting playfulness with illumination brings to mind a crystal ball. Perhaps that's why this good luck June birthstone is purported to give lovers the ability to foretell the future.

Vintage Ruby Engagement Ring

FACET: July Birthstone: Ruby Red Hot!

When it comes to matters of the heart, nothing compares to July's birthstone, the ruby. This red hot gemstone has been held in high esteem for millennia. Just like the fiery heat of a summer day, the ruby ignites with red hot fervor and passion. And the redder its intensity, the more sought-after and valuable a ruby is.

Second only to diamonds on the hardness scale, rubies are typically considered one of the precious gemstones. In fact, rubies have held high esteem and value for centuries, so much so that the Bible holds them up as a comparative measuring stick for both wisdom and noble character.

But Judeo-Christians aren't the only ones who hold rubies in high appreciation. The ancient Hindus deemed the ruby the "Rajnapura" or King of Gems. India's Sanskrit language also refers to rubies as "ratnaraj," which translates to the same imperial meaning. In the ancient Orient, a ruby was described as "a drop of the heart's blood of Mother Earth." From a legendary perspective, rubies wielded mystical powers and were often worn by the royal class to protect against evil. Evoking devotion, desire and passion, the ruby has inspired more emotion than any other gemstone stone throughout history. Because rubies are associated with the heart chakra, they are believed "to heal the heart both physically and emotionally" and to "increase love, both given and received," according to The largest known ruby is the world famous "Edwardes Ruby." Coming in at 167 carats, this gemstone is on display at the British Museum of Natural History in London.

Antique Baby Bracelet

FACET: Royal Gifts Fit for a Royal Prince (or Princess)

The royal baby may have arrived, but royal baby mania is not over yet. All of England and the world's eyes are now on the upcoming baptism of Prince William and Kate's little one and what the infant Prince George will receive in the way of presents.

Prince William and Kate are proving to be modern parents. After personally escorting his wife and new baby home from the hospital, the future king is the first senior royal ever to take a paternity leave of absence. He and his princess bride have also thus far declined the services of a nanny. However, there is one royal tradition the new parents are not likely to buck and that is with respect to royal baby George Alexander Louis's upcoming christening ceremony.

The christening gown, the baptismal font, and even the cake that will be served are all anticipated to pay homage to tradition. And if history repeats itself, royal baby George is going to be receiving some pretty spectacular christening presents.

Jewelry News Network recently did a run-down of the "Royal Gifts For Royal Babies Past." That report pointed out that in the past, "The more elaborate gifts (for royal babies) were reserved for the christening, the most important moment in a royal infant's life." Today, however, with infant mortality no longer the potentiality it once was, "Gifts to newborns are often conservative ... a small string of pearls for a girl and cufflinks for a boy."

And true to that tradition, Prince Charles's goddaughter, India Hicks, has already "revealed a set of cufflinks she had designed especially for the newborn Prince of Cambridge," the New York Daily News reported in late July. "The silver jewelry is monogrammed with the letter G" for George because, as Hicks explained, "There certainly is a great tradition within the royal family of monogramming, going back over generations."

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