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Jewelry Sizing

Sizing Cuff

Since so many of you always ask, here is a guide on jewelry sizing, for necklaces, bracelets, and rings.

Chains and Necklaces

BlogJewelryuSizningNecklace This photo shows a scale chart for necklace lengths from choker to opera. Most standard necklace lengths fall between 16” and 18” because that’s where the neckline for clothing usually sits on the body. Obviously, we all have different types of necklines, depending on what we are wearing. Consequently, my studio makes most of our pendant chains adjustable between 16” and 18” to give you choices when getting dressed. In many cases, the pendant can be transferred to a longer or shorter chain for added variety.

If you’ve purchased a pendant from me that is fixed to its chain, we can adjust the chain by adding length to the back or inserting an added jump ring.

We love long chain necklaces here. Only one caution… don’t wear them on days when you are bouncing around a lot or getting up and down from a table constantly. In other words, beware of the potential to bang your pendant onto the edge of a table too many times.

 

Ring Sizing

It’s crucial to know that when a jeweler sizes your finger, we look for how that size will slide over your knuckle. Too easy and the ring can slide off. Too resistant to sliding means you may end up with a very tight ring which would be hard to get off should you need to. Do your hands swell at different times of the month or in the summer? Do you have arthritic knuckles? Ring sizing is part art and part science. It also depends on the width and contour of the band and the size of any center gemstone. Large stones can flop around the finger. Wide bands need a larger finger size than you might normally wear.

BlogSizingMandrel

Trying to find someone’s ring size in secret? Take a ring to the jeweler and we can size it for you by sliding it on a mandrel. Then, we calculate the size based on the dimensions of the borrowed ring with how wide or narrow our ring is going to be. Again, science and art.

 Real Simple magazine has a very good article about different ways to size your fingers at home.

Bracelets

A standard women’s bracelet is between 7” and 8” long. But we all know that wrist size is anything but standard. In addition, the style and width of the bracelet or cuff changes the fit, much like a ring. Obviously, link bracelets are much easier to size down. Cuff bracelets can be adjusted but only if the metal can be reformed.

BlogSizingHandsimages

The information below is taken from Rio Grande, a jewelry supply house. It is comprehensive and very helpful.

How to Find an Accurate Bracelet Size
To determine bracelet size, follow the steps below.
1. Measure the customer's wrist below the wrist bone (where you would normally wear your bracelet) using a bracelet gauge, a flexible measuring tape or a strip of paper.
2. If using a plain strip of paper, mark your strip with a pen where the end of the bracelet needs to be. Then measure the paper strip with a ruler. This is the wrist size.
3. To find the bracelet size, increase the wrist measurement by the increment below, based on how the customer wants the bracelet to fit.
For a snug fit, add 1/4" to 1/2".
For a comfort fit, add 3/4" to 1".
For a loose fit, add 1-1/4".

How to Determine Bangle Bracelet Size
1. Ask your customer to close her fingers together, bringing her thumb and little finger together (as though putting on a bangle).
2. Using a strip of paper or measuring tape, measure around the closed hand at the widest point, pulling the tape snug against the skin. If you are using a plain strip of paper, mark the paper with a pen, then measure the strip with a ruler. This is the circumference of the customer's hand.
3. Find the hand circumference below. Create (or choose) a bangle with a diameter at least 1/4" larger than the diameter shown below.

Converting Circumference to Diameter
7-1/2" is approx. 2-3/8" dia. (small)
8-1/4" is approx. 2-5/8" dia. (medium)
8-5/8" is approx. 2-3/4" dia. (large)

 

 

 

 

 

Who Are You?

Marine biologist in the ocean

I thought I’d take time to reflect on the people who are my clients… Each one of you is really special and working with you on personal treasures is a privilege. You are all in good company and would really like one another.

Pre-Covid, I have had gatherings at my home that I call "In Good Company" where you can meet one another. You've loved them and I'll restart when it's safe, but in the meantime, here you are.

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‍One of you is a marine biologist who dedicates her life to saving the ocean. She’s done a lifetime of extensive research on sharks (crucial for the food chain), helped clean up Shinnecock Bay by installing clams who filter out pollutants, and worked at the UN on global initiatives. She is also a generous soul, very kind, grandma to 7 children, and has a great laugh.

Several of you are ballerinas for the Joffrey Ballet. You grace my work, give great artistic nourishment to the audience, and demonstrate growth in both your professional and private lives.

One of you teaches dance to silver-haired women. You make us feel still good at this and you spend inordinate amounts of time planning good choreography for us to absorb. You are an amazing mother, a stalwart support in times of trouble, and have a very dry, quick wit.

A couple of you are life coaches. Your warmth and insight, great organizational skills, and wise cheerleading help women find their way to the next adventure while understanding where they have come from.

Several of you are attorneys specializing in family law. You take painful situations and try to make them better by guiding your clients towards more peaceful solutions. You volunteer for organizations that improve children's lives and the world around you.

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‍One of you recently retired from a family business and is now relaxing amongst her photos and killer Italian pottery collection from her days as a rep for high-end hotels in everyone's favorite vacation destination. You love to hike and I'm designing a setting for some lava from Kilimanjaro.

A couple of you make us look SO much better by caring for our skin and hair. You treat all of your customers with focused attention, expertise, and lots of cheer.

One of you is a master gardener who loves planting surprises in her own yard and seeing how they do.

One of you owns a pie business that makes the best pie I've ever had. One of you is a breast cancer surgeon. One of you is a cardiologist who specializes in women's cardiac health. Two of you are nurses. One of you is a gifted gem photographer who occasionally falls in love with one of her subjects. One of you runs a global diamond company. One of you helps make people's homes look gorgeous. Your taste is impeccable. Several of you are fine artists. One of you is an astronomer. One sells homes with integrity, sensitivity, and expertise.

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One is a professor. Several are psychologists. One of you was a Rockette and Broadway performer. A couple of you manage other people’s stock portfolios. One or two teach elementary school. Many of you are executives. Most of you love to travel and together have literally gone everywhere on the planet. Some love to hike, ski, bicycle, and bungee jump. Many of you love to cook, knit, and exercise. Most of you volunteer your time generously. But labels and professions aside, ALL of you make the world a better place.

Garnet Cluster Necklace

Cluster Necklace

Some people just love color. It makes them buoyant. They are unafraid to wear it and when they do, they just feel “right.” Cue the autumn color palette: butterscotch, pumpkin, wine red, deep yellow, bright green… In the front pendant, we combined cinnamon color garnets with diamonds from an old bracelet of hers. She wears this torsade with her sunstone, sapphire, and brown diamond earrings. 

 The client tells me that she "wears it all the time and whenever I do, I get compliments. It goes with nothing and everything, so it's a neutral as far as I'm concerned."

Razzaq April Sunstone Earrings

What people are saying:

"Inspirational"

"Glorious"

"Beautiful necklace Diana ... love your use of color and the unique look in this piece "

"I think the world is hungry for information about gemstones and jewelry..... sharing knowledge about gems and jewelry Is a great thing !"

"L O V E. A smorgasbord of gems Absolutely stunning "

"Gorgeous Workmanship"

"So wearable and versatile. Loving the use of all the color and shapes of stones. Well done."

History of Engagement Rings Part 2: 1300’s to the 1800’s

Vintage Engagement Ring

In 1215, the Pope Innocent lll declared that marriage intentions must be made public in advance. And that there must be a waiting period before the marriage ceremony. This single declaration likely caused the tradition of engagement rings to blossom and become a cultural “necessity.” Around this time, the Roman Catholic church mandated that all weddings be held in a church and only the wealthy were “allowed” to wear ornate rings made of precious metals and gems.

During this period, India was the primary source of the world’s diamonds. These diamonds were alluvial, meaning they were picked up from riverbeds. There was no diamond cutting technology yet, so the stones were set as octahedral crystals --their natural shape-- in what became known as a “point cut.” Most point cuts no longer exist because the points inevitably chipped.

Point Cut ring

The table cut, of the 1400’s, was the successor to the point cut. This cut looked like a square within a square. Table cuts were often placed in ornate gold and enamel settings to distract from the diamond’s limited light return. One wonders why diamonds were so prized from the earliest beginnings of awareness (ancient Egypt) because they are not that attractive in their natural form. Their hardness and seeming indestructability likely has much to do with it.

By the 1700s, more and more engagement rings had diamonds, although they were still for the wealthy. A good, oft-used substitute for the less well-off was rock crystal mined from Europe. Rock crystal is clear, sparkly, easy to cut, and takes a good polish. I love to use it.

BlogHisEng2Gimmel

Of the 1400’s, Late in the 17th century, the rose cut diamond emerged. In addition, cluster rings became popular and were seen with collections of table cut rubies, sapphires, pearls, and other colored gems. Other Engagement Ring Styles of the 14th – 17th centuries “Mani in Fede, “ Gimmel, and Poesy For centuries, “Fede,” Gimmel, and poesy rings were the top choice for engagements, and weddings, and rings.

The full name, mani in Fede—hands clasped in faith—was made of gold or silver. Fede rings date back to Roman times, and maybe before, when rings designed with clasped hands and other symbols became very popular. Fede rings were not exclusively used to denote engagements, however, but were also given amongst good friends and close relatives to symbolize devotion and loyalty.

Gimmal Ring

A creative offshoot of the Fede is the Gimmel, which is derived from the Latin “Gemellus” for “twins.” Gimmel rings are two or three rings that fit together as one. Early tradition was for each person in the couple to wear one half of the ring and on the wedding day, the bride received the other half and wore them together. In the case of three connected rings, one symbolized each partner and the third symbolized the whole of their relationship.

Fede Ring

There is so much more to tell you about this rich history of one of our favorite types of jewelry. Stay tuned.

Inner World: Life inside a Gemstone

Silk Inclusion in a Sapphire

In my last newsletter, I wrote about Burmese sapphires and their legendary beauty. I’ve created a new series called “Inner World” so that you can see what makes these stones so special. Most Burmese are not heat treated and this letter explains what goes on inside a stone when it comes to us straight from the ground after faceting. (Most other sapphires receive heat-treatment, which is commonly used to dissolve internal inclusions and enhance color.) There are no heat-treating facilities in Burma as of this writing, so when we are presented with a Burmese stone, we see, through its inclusions, all the ways in which it formed over millennia.

This “Inner World” series will cover the presence of inclusions in colored stones and diamonds. Informed purchasing benefits you and, besides, the existence of natural growth indicators over millennia is just cool.

Unheated sapphires and rubies are rare in the jewelry world and their value rises accordingly. My clients generally embrace the existence of inclusions and love the fact that nothing, but faceting has been done to their stone. Many of the inclusions are downright beautiful in their own right.

First, a common misnomer that needs to be cleared up. An inclusion in a gemstone is not a “flaw.” Rather, inclusions are natural indications of the gem’s growth over millions of years and their presence allows us to identify them correctly. Inclusions confirm the species of gem (Sapphire? Garnet? Peridot?) and sometimes, the geographical origin. The latter can be very important.

To be clear, however, some manufactured gems contain inclusions and sometimes, it takes a trained gemologist with high-level equipment to differentiate natural from lab grown. That’s what you hire me for when we are going into the market to buy you something special.

The diamond industry has educated the public to put a premium on brilliance. However, inclusions are omnipresent in natural diamonds. For instance, the popularity and public awareness of diamond grade criteria, most particularly “color” and “clarity” have educated the buying public to the visible existence of micro-crystals and growth markers. To be sure, value is affected by how visible these inclusions are and how they affect light transmission in your diamond A trained jeweler-gemologist can help you find a stone that is bright and lively, despite internal inclusions. When shopping for diamonds, we explore a series of stones and choose the one that gives the most value for your budget. It’s a delicate balance, but the world is full of beautiful stones that each have a singular reason for their beauty. Like people.

The same is true for colored gemstones, although we are less obsessed about clarity and more tuned into color.

6 Carat Oval Burmese Sapphire

Burma 6 carat oval sapphire

Recently Sold


Let’s talk about what we call “silk” in sapphires and rubies. Silk is actually a system of tiny, needle-like platelets that float in sapphire. Under the microscope, they appear like gossamer clouds, and lattice. The existence of silk proves that a stone has not been heat treated, which is desirable in the marketplace. Silk also allows the purity of the stone’s color to consolidate and send back to us a deeper, rich hue.

Inner World Silk Inclusion

 Inner World Silk Rutile Inclusion

 

 

 

Multi-Color Sapphire Pendant

Multi-Color Sapphire Pendant

This two-carat multi-color sapphire has all the colors of the forest in the afternoon... rich green golden highlights and a touch of blue. Surround by a crown of champagne and canary yellow diamonds and set in 18KT yellow gold on a 16"-18" adjustable chain. One of a kind. Wear it as a talisman every day and on special occasions. Meant to be worn all the time. Elegance for Every Day.

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Tutti Frutti Bracelet

Tutti Frutti Bracelet

Sometimes in a designer's life, she throws caution to the winds and makes a piece that is rich, luxurious, and singular. This Tutti Frutti bracelet is a delicate yet substantial one of a kind. Loaded with sapphires, rubies, colored diamonds, and green garnet, it's a gazers delight. Pair it with your tennis bracelet, your favorite gold chains for a gorgeous arm party, or just by itself. You will find color combinations you never thought of and a satisfying array of some of the world's rarest gems. Approximately 8 carats of stones. Hand-fabricated. Elegance for Every Day. $10,000

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Custom Happy Birthday

A sapphire carousel of purples, blues, and violets... This ring was created by a very loving husband and daughter for a special birthday. The owner loves pieces she can wear all the time and her favorite color is purple, so now she has a ring that turns to reveal different shapes and hues. As a physician, she has healing hands and an exceptionally kind heart. Love what I do.

Inner World: Sapphire Fingerprints

Sapphire Fingerprint

Fingerprints. The inclusions with a descriptive, poetic name, are common in Corundum (sapphires and rubies.) They resemble pieces and parts of a human fingerprint and float inside the stone. Fingerprints are actually fluid-filled inclusions or natural internal healing patterns from the crystal’s growth. When sapphires are heat-treated, much of the fingerprint dissolves and is no longer visible. Therefore, the presence of fingerprints is a good indicator that the stone has not been heat-treated. Depending on where they are located and how dense the group of pinpoints, we might be able to see fingerprints with our eye, however, fingerprints are much easier to spot with a loupe or microscope and good lighting. That’s what you have me for. Fingerprints are beautiful, delicate, lacy patterns and nothing to fear.

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Chicago, Illinois 60603

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