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Why does my 1 ct diamond look smaller than hers?

In our 4c’s blog we talked about Carat Weight and how it is commonly confused with the size of the diamond. Diamonds are sold by weight and not by visible size or measured diameter. The size of a diamond refers to the dimension measurements, while carat weight is just that, the weight of the diamond. Size can be used to estimate the weight of a diamond and vice versa, but it is not always accurate because there aren’t set measurements for each weight.

The measurement most consumers are concerned about is the face up size, rightly so, since that is what you see the most of when looking down on a ring. The measurements and proportions that affect the cut grade and brilliance of the diamond are also very important. Size is determined first by the shape of stone the cutter wants the diamond to be made into, and second by how much weight the cutter thinks can be retained while still keeping an excellent cut grade and brilliance.

Just like snowflakes all diamonds are different. Even if two diamonds are the same basic shape and weight, their dimensions and proportions are slightly different.

If two diamonds are of the same average diameter and quality, but different weights, the heavier diamond will cost more. This is known as Weight Ratio, which is used by GIA in its Diamond Cut Grading system to determine hidden weight. For example, if you have two diamonds that both weight 1 carat, but one of them looks a lot smaller than the other that is because of dimensions and proportions. A deep cut is smaller in diameter and a shallow cut is wider in diameter. A shallow cut makes a diamond look bigger on the top (spread), but diamonds that are either too shallow or too deep sacrifice ‘Cut’ quality and therefore, brilliance. A deeply cut diamond has most of its weight hidden in its depth, making it appear smaller than a well-cut diamond of the same weight.

Just because the proportions of a diamond are a little off of ideal is not necessarily a bad thing. The most important part thing about the cut grade of the diamond you are considering is that it will have the most brilliance and have a reasonably sized visible area.

(Diamond Size vs. Carat Weight: What Is the Difference?, 2017); (Get to Know Your Diamond, 2017); (ILENE REINITZ, 2017)

Matt and Logan

Over the course of our relationship Matthew and I have hiked countless different trails, but Maryland Heights, has always been our favorite. The first time we ever hiked the trail, was our very first date, which we often dispute if it was even a date at all, or just an outing as friends. The second time we hiked this trail, we had been together for one year, and once we made it to the top it began to thunderstorm, despite the weather, it became one of the most enjoyable hikes we had ever been on. On October 6, 2017, Matthew and I agreed to take a break from the stresses of work and school and to once again hike up to our favorite location. For me, I was not in the mood to make the journey, but with the constant encouragement from Matthew we finally made it to the top, and it was definitely worth it. It was there, that Matthew asked me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together. It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized the entire proposal was photographed, which made it even more perfect than it already was! 

I cannot thank The Jewelry Shop enough for making the absolute perfect ring for us. It will always be a constant reminder of that very special day and the love I have for Matthew. It will definitely be cherished for the many years to come!

Evolution of Engagement Rings

Diamond engagement rings have always been the primary choice, but different shapes and styles of diamonds and bands have gone in and out of style. A round diamond set in a Solitaire mounting is always a safe choice, but over the past century there have been some daring styles of engagement rings. A video from Mode.com shows all the top style from every decade. We will also give you a breakdown of what all the styles are.

 

  • 1890-1900: The always popular solitaire diamond ring which at the time included an old European-cut diamond in a six prong 14K Yellow Gold mounting
  • 1900-1920: Edwardian Period style with openwork filigree patterns along with diamonds in Platinum
  • 1920s: The openwork mounting continues to take the show because of the reflection of geometry of the Art Deco period.
  • 1930s: 18K white gold filigree mountings with a round old European cut diamond become popular
  • 1940s: Yellow gold became popular again with rose gold also being popular and in 1945 the “War Bride Ring” was the ring every service man gave due to rationing of precious metals. It included a round brilliant-cut diamond set in 14K white or yellow gold.
  • 1950s: white gold and platinum came back as the preferred metals with a round diamond in the center with round side stones set in the shoulders of the ring.
  • 1960s: Platinum became the preferred metal, with fancy shape diamonds becoming more popular!
  • 1970s: Marquise shaped diamonds set in yellow gold with channel set round diamonds on either side, and a matching wedding band with all channel set round diamonds
  • 1980s: The solitaire comes back to the top with a round center stone, but a twist is added with baguettes set on each side of the center of a platinum mounting
  • 1990s: The Radiant shape diamond becomes the preferred fancy shape set with triangular side stones mounted in 18K white gold
  • 2000s: The Princess-cut has its turn as the center stone of choice set with round brilliant cut diamonds set on either side in platinum or white gold
  • 2010-2015: Fancy colored diamonds with a Halo added around the center stone and round brilliant cut diamonds down the sides becomes popular in platinum or white gold

http://www.elle.com/fashion/accessories/news/a35012/100-years-of-engagement-rings/

Wedding Band Alternatives

Alternative metal bands are becoming a more common style of wedding bands because of their durability, customization, and they are hypoallergenic. There are still many different kinds of alternative metal wedding bands though so it can be confusing about which one is best for you, your job, and lifestyle. You could also be looking at Precious Metal bands, which could be right for you. Each type of metal band is graded on a scale from 1 to 5 for scratch resistance, crack resistance, weight, durability, being hypoallergenic, and customization. We will go over with you all the characteristics of the different metals and hopefully help you out on which is best for you!

 

Damascus Steel

  • Blend of up to 120 layers of two different types of stainless steel to make a beautiful, durable band
  • This ancient metalworking skill has extra artistic value since no two rings are alike
  • Lashbrook offers a classic pattern and four custom patterns in Damascus Steel
  • Scratch Resistance- 3 out of 5
  • Crack Resistance- 4 out of 5
  • Weight- 3 out of 5
  • Durability- 4 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 3 out of 5
  • Customizable- 3 out of 5

Platinum

  • Precious Metal
  • Platinum is stronger than gold and silver so it protects your stones more
  • One of the densest metals
  • Scratch Resistant- 1 out of 5
  • Crack Resistant- 5 out of 5
  • Weight- 5 out of 5
  • Durability- 2 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 5 out of 5
  • Customizable- 5 out of 5

 

Gold

  • Precious Metal
  • Can be alloyed down from pure gold
  • Can be alloyed to make white, or rose gold instead of yellow
  • Scratch Resistance- 1 out of 5
  • Crack Resistance- 5 out of 5
  • Weight- 5 out of 5
  • Durability- 1 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 2 out of 5
  • Customizable- 5 out of 5

Cobalt Chrome

  • Lustrous hypoallergenic metal
  • Will stand up to wear and tear
  • Is versatile enough to create stunning classic or contemporary styles
  • Scratch Resistant- 3 out of 5
  • Crack Resistant- 5 out of 5
  • Weight- 3 out of 5
  • Durability- 4 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 4 out of 5
  • Customizable- 4 out of 5

 

Elysium

  • Made of diamond crystals pressed together
  • Looks black because no sun can get between crystals
  • Can tear up concrete
  • Can scratch glass
  • Can be dragged across metal file and still look new
  • Scratch Resistance- 5 out of 5
  • Crack Resistance- 3 out of 5
  • Weight- 1 out of 5
  • Durability- 5 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 5 out of 5
  • Customizable- 1 out of 5

 

Zirconium

  • Zirconium is typically used in medical applications and nuclear reactors
  • Creates lustrous black layer when heat treated, which makes it very scratch resistant
  • Offers highest design versatility of any alternative metal
  • Scratch Resistant- 3 out of 5
  • Crack Resistant- 5 out of 5
  • Weight- 2 out of 5
  • Durability- 3 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 5 out of 5
  • Customizable- 3 out of 5

 

Tungsten Ceramic

  • Is very scratch resistant, but is also very brittle
  • Scratch Resistant- 4 out of 5
  • Crack Resistant- 2 out of 5
  • Weight- 4 out of 5
  • Durability- 3 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 3 out of 5
  • Customizable- 1 out of 5

 

Titanium

  • Lashbrook uses aerospace grade Titanium for ALL Titanium bands
  • More than 50,000 styles in Titanium
  • Light weight, but lots of strength
  • Scratch Resistant- 3 out of 5
  • Crack Resistant- 5 out of 5
  • Weight- 1 out of 5
  • Durability- 4 out of 5
  • Hypoallergenic- 5 out of 5
  • Customizable- 4 out of 5

http://thejewelryshop.biz/jewelry/lashbrook/

https://www.jewelers.org/education/jewelry-metals/platinum-guide

Appraisals Unlocked

“An appraisal is a description and valuation of property. The value stated on the appraisal is the opinion of the appraiser based on his/her research and experience.”(GIA)

The most common need for an appraisal is for insurance purposes. That way if your jewelry is lost, stolen, or broken it can be replaced. Appraisals are also needed to know the fair market value to sell a piece, estate planning, or just so you know what your piece is worth. If you just want to know what your piece is worth you don’t need a written appraisal however, you could just get a spoken one.

If you are just starting out and want insurance for your jewelry we recommend a company named Jewelers Mutual. Jewelers Mutual is the company who insures our store and is now holding personal policies. They cover loss, theft, damage, and disappearance in the country and out of the country! You can get a free quote from them and compare it to other policies.

We do appraisals in our store so your piece never leaves the premises and goes into the locked safe every night it is here.  Whoever is appraising your jewelry should have a good understanding of how jewelry is made and since we do all our repairs in house our appraiser understands the process.

When an appraisal is being done on your jewelry, you want it to be in the best condition possible so if some prongs need tipped or straightened, something needs sized, or the piece just needs cleaned, we will recommend it be done before the appraisal. That is part of why appraisals take so long to complete. If something needs repaired that needs to be completed first. All of the pieces need to be properly cleaned and possibly rhodiumed if it is white gold, before the appraisal is completed. The stones also need to be thoroughly examined and graded if we don’t have grading reports for them.

An appraisal report should include:

  • Date of the appraisal
  • Client’s name, address and contact information
  • Statement of the purpose of the appraisal
  • Detailed and understandable description of the item being valued
    • Value of the item(s)
    • Statement/explanation of limiting conditions and assumptions. (estimated weight for mounted stones)
    • Disclosure statements
    • Signature of the appraiser
    • Appraiser’s qualifications
    • Names of anyone who assisted in either the evaluation or valuation process

Appraisals are important to have for your treasured jewelry and you should always understand what is said in the appraisal you are given.

Top 5 Tips for Jewelry Care & Cleaning – Summer

Summer can be particularly hard on your fine jewelry. Check out these tips for keeping your jewelry in good shape during the summer months, and beyond.

Top 5 Tips for Jewelry Care & Cleaning – Summertime

  1. Don’t wear your jewelry in the pool. First of all, you are increasing your chance of losing your jewelry if you wear it in the pool, hot tub, creek, ocean, or lake. We especially don’t want you wearing it in chlorine or salt water because those elements can damage and discolor the metals and erode the polish and finish from gemstones.
  2. Remove your jewelry before applying sunscreen, sprays, and lotions. These products will make your jewelry appear dull and lifeless. We want you to always be bright and sparkly!
  3. When you remove your jewelry, wipe it off with a soft cloth, preferably a jewelry cleaning cloth, to remove sweat, bug sprays, lotions, etc. to keep it looking shiny. When you take a few moments to care for your jewelry when you take it off, it’s ready to go the next time you want to enjoy it again. 
  4. Store your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry box with compartments and dividers to avoid your pieces scratching each other. We often see customers bring their jewelry in to us in a pouch, all together; storing jewelry this way allows the pieces to rub against each other and potentially scratch.  
  5. Have your jewelry checked regularly by a professional. You should wear your jewelry and enjoy it! We would like to check and clean it for you to make sure nothing is loose, overly-worn, or broken. We are happy to do this service for you any time. A good rule of thumb is every six months, or whenever you have a concern, or a special occasion. Remember, we want you to look bright and sparkly! 

(VandenHouten, 2016)

(6 Summer Jewelry Care Tips)

(Should I Wear My Jewelry In A Pool or Hot Tub?, 2015)

Chris and Jenn

My (now) husband and I were traveling to Florida to visit his sister in Tampa. I was super excited, but we took a trip there each year so I didn’t think much of it. We had an early flight around 5 am, so of course I wasn’t looking the cutest. When we arrived, we went straight to the beach and spent the day there. Chris got stung by a sting ray shortly after, so I spent the rest of the day with him by the tub bringing him food as he soaked his foot. I thought, “What a crappy way to start a vacation”. His sister is absolutely OBSESSED with watching the sunset, so when she mentioned going back to the beach to watch it, I also didn’t think anything of it. We packed our coolers filled with wine and (in the same clothes I was wearing to the beach earlier mind you) headed to the beach. We parked our chairs in the sand and wine cooler in hand, I finally sat to relax and enjoy the beautiful view. Not 30 seconds later, Chris asked me if I wanted to go and feel the water. I looked at him like he was a weirdo and thought “Why would you want to feel the water, we were at the beach all day”, but instead I smiled and agreed to go feel the water with him. We started walking towards the ocean, and I noticed that he kind of lagged behind me which I thought was weird. Then I saw him throw his wallet into the sand like he was going into battle, and run towards me. He grabbed my hands and just stared into my eyes and I thought “Is he drunk or something?”. When I noticed the tears welled in his eyes I knew what was about to happen. After saying some of the most romantic things (which never happens), he got on his knee and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes and we stood in the water for a while just enjoying the moment. What I didn’t realize was, we had an audience. When we started to walk back to our chairs, everyone started clapping and cheering. Chris grabbed my arm and yelled “She said yes!”. To this day that was one of the happiest days of my life. A year and a half later, we got married on the beach in Jamaica with 42 of our family and friends surrounding us. The beach will forever be our “thing”.

Buying Jewelry In Store vs. Online

Let’s face it, we are in 2017 and almost anything can be bought online, especially jewelry. Some people love being able to avoid going into stores and interact with people while they are looking for their next purchase, while others enjoy going to the store to shop in person. Ultimately the decision on how to buy your jewelry is yours; we would like to present to you a few things to consider about purchasing jewelry online.

The main reason to be cautious about buying your jewelry online is , depending on where you are buying from, you don’t always know if they are being honest about the piece. This is especially true with diamonds because if the merchant isn’t using the GIA Grading system you won’t know exactly what the diamond will look like, or if it is even a real diamond.

Of course, you still take that chance with a brick and mortar store, but when you can see the diamond in person, you can get a better feel for the purchase you are considering.  In fact, some online merchant sites never actually have the diamonds they are selling on their site; they are just supplying a marketplace for other sellers.

One of the other problems you could run into when shopping for diamonds online is not understanding what they are talking about when they use trade terms for grading. That is where buying at a physical store is better. Physical stores and the salespeople working there can help you better understand    what you are looking at because let’s face it, not everyone is going to know what an SI2 clarity diamond that is G in color is supposed to look like or what any of those words really mean.

Fortunately for you, everyone here at The Jewelry Shop can help explain and demonstrate the 4 C’s of Diamonds. We have a microscope with which we can show you all of the unique characteristics contained within the diamonds you are interested in.

“With guidance you can find a great diamond that you connect with. (Yes, ‘connect with.’ This is your new life. Just go with it, okay?)” (ThePlunge) The Jewelry Shop prides itself in guiding you to the diamond that best fits you. We also educating our customers in everything diamonds so that even if they do buy online they know what they are looking for and what someone is trying to sell them. We maintain a great selection and variety of diamonds so that we can show you differences in grades and prices so you get the diamond best for you.

When you shop for your jewelry at a jewelry store, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the jewelers who will help you maintain your new piece of jewelry in top condition. For example, when we sell an engagement ring, we advise the buyer to have her come in to see us about 6 weeks after she begins wearing the ring. This is so that we can inspect it, ensure it is sized correctly for her, and answer any questions she may have. It’s unlikely an online merchant will advise you in the same manner. Depending on the nature of the transaction, you may not be able to get their help with sizing or repair. In which case, you’ll be coming to a jewelry store anyway. So, why not start the purchasing process in the store as well?

The decision to buy in store or online is obviously yours, but with something as important as jewelry, why trust a seller you haven’t met, to sell you a product you haven’t seen in person? Buying diamonds and other jewelry is a big deal. Shouldn’t you make sure you are getting a good one?

http://www.theplunge.com/ringbuyingguide/what-is-the-best-place-to-buy-diamond-ring/

https://www.business.com/articles/retail-or-e-tail-buying-online-vs-buying-in-person/

Top Places in the Tri-State area to Pop The Question

So, you’re ready to pop the question. You have the ring, but no idea how to ask her. Let’s be honest here; yes, the ring is the most important part, but did you think it wouldn’t be a HUGE deal to figure out a fancy way of asking the girl of your dreams to marry you? We’re sorry to be the ones to break this to you, but where and how you propose DOES matter and you need to think of something special that she will remember forever.

The location doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be special. We talked to a photographer from F2 Photography in Greencastle to get a short list of popular places to propose. She said it perfectly, “It’s not always about the spectacular location, but more about the emotional connection.” You definitely want it to be special, but it doesn’t need to be a whole production, especially if your fiance-to-be isn’t the kind of girl that likes to be the center of attention in the middle of everything. Jennifer, of Jennifer Rotz Photography told us, “I have found that my couples get engaged in many unique locations that are unique to them, their relationship, and their story.  I don’t think there is a one size fits all location for engagements, I believe that most of today’s couples try to incorporate the engagement to a special memory or location that holds value to them as a couple.” Maybe for her just a walk at Hagerstown City Park, or dinner at your favorite restaurant would be perfect.

If you have no clue where to propose, we can help with some ideas. It definitely needs to be special to both of you, so the place you first met, had your first date, or somewhere you go for an activity you both enjoy would be perfect! We’ve made up a list of some of the top places to propose to help you think of some good possibilities and maybe give you a new idea for the perfect place to pop the question.

Cunningham Falls

Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, and is divided into two unique areas. The William Houck Area located three miles west of Thurmont on Route 77 has the lake, falls and camping area. The Manor Area off Route 15 three miles south of Thurmont has the Scales and Tales Aviary, camping area and the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace.

The Cunningham Falls State Park trail system varies in terrain from short, flat hikes to steep and rocky ascents that will challenge even the experienced hiker. Trail distances vary from .5 mile to 7.5 miles.

 High Rock

High Rock is located just off the Appalachian Trail in Northern Maryland on South Mountain. There is a paved road that leads from Pen-Mar Park to High Rock that is gated from dusk to 9 AM. High Rock has spectacular views on a clear day.

From Interstate 70 at exit 35 take MD 66 North to Cave Town. Turn right on MD 64 and continue north to MD 418 (Ringold Pike) turn right at this intersection. Immediately after crossing into Pennsylvania turn right on Harbaugh Church Rd. A short distance later turn right on Old Pen-Mar Rd. The Appalachian Trail will cross the road with limited parking just past the trail.

The only access to High Rock other than to drive is via the Appalachian Trail from the north or south. The hike from the south, although longer, is not as steep. The trail going either way is steep in spots but once on the ridge the walking is easy.

Renfrew Museum and Park

 

Renfrew Museum and Park is located at 1010 East Main Street in Waynesboro, PA. Renfrew is a restored farmstead with outbuildings, historic grounds, and miles of nature trails to explore. Renfrew is open dawn to dusk year-round and is free of charge.

Green Grove Gardens

 

Green Grove Gardens, 1032 Buchanan Trail East in Greencastle, started as a working dairy farm owned by the Martin family. Over the years, the Martins revamped the property with landscaped gardens and water features. The barn was renovated to become an event all, and the original hardwood floors were kept, giving an antique warmth to the building. A deck was added offering views of the nearby Tuscarora Mountains, and much of the 40 acres surrounding the barn were landscaped to become expansive gardens accented with fountains, a pergola, and paved walkways. Green Grove Gardens is also an excellent wedding venue.

Tayamentasachta

 

Tayamentasachta, 300-408 Leitersburg Road, Greencastle, is a 45-acre environmental center with amenities that include a 19th century farmhouse and barn, natural spring, spring house, log cabin, longhouse, pavilion, and orchard. Locals in the area refer to Tayamentasachta as the School Farm. Walking trails, woodlots, fields, and gardens make it possible for people in and around the community to actively learn integrative concepts between nature and people during a unique and unforgettable learning experience. This natural setting is a beautiful location for engagement pictures.

Martins Mill Bridge

 

Martins Mill Bridge, 3505 East Weaver Road, Greencastle, is a covered bridge that is a total of 205 feet in length. In 1973 the bridge was rehabilitated after being carried downstream by flood waters during Hurricane Agnes. Steel bracing was added later to stabilize the bridge. In spite of being altered over the years due to destruction and restoration the bridge contains approximately two-thirds of its original timbers. It is one of two covered bridges in Franklin County. The grounds are open from 8:00 AM until sunset and can be accessed by walking.

Hagerstown City Park

 

The Hagerstown City Park is located in the center of Hagerstown, Maryland at 501 Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown. The park is an historic location and contains a lake in the center. It is home to the Washington County Museum of Fine Art that is directly on the lakefront as well as the Hager House and Museum. The park is in a very industrial area of the city and has a number of paths, recreation areas, and trails. City Park is home to swans and other waterfowl as well as fish.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

 

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, 485 Fillmore St. Harpers Ferry, WV, is considered one of the best walking parks in America. The views are gorgeous, the history fascinating, the restored town a work of historical art. The variety of trails paired with history and the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac and Shenandoah river valleys adds up to a unique hiking experience. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park encircles almost 4,000 acres in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, and several units of the national park system intersect here. As the mid-point of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail, Harpers Ferry is home to the headquarters for the Appalachian Trail. Visitors can also walk along the 184.5-mile-long towpath of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park by crossing the footbridge over the Potomac River. Harpers Ferry has about 20 miles of hiking trails. The trails vary from easy, riverside strolls to four-mile hikes across Civil War battlefields to eight-mile adventures to the tops of mountains.

Cowans Gap State Park

6235 Aughwick Road

Fort Loudon, PA 17224

(717) 485- 3948

Cowans Gap State Park 1085-acre park in the beautiful Allens Valley of Fulton County. Prime attractions are a 42-acre lake, large campground, rustic cabins and many hiking trails. Trails vary in difficulty from flat to very steep. State forest land surrounds the park, providing more land for recreation and natural beauty in all seasons.

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. However, day use areas close at dusk. The beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours.

The most important thing to remember is, make the moment special for both of you! And get the ring from us, of course. If you would like a little more inspiration, check out our “Will You Marry Me?” page on our website. Good Luck and Best Wishes!

 

Leigh Z.

Well, it’s a very weird story, but here goes… A group of friends were sitting on my best friend’s back porch, and we were all joking about when we were ever going to get engaged. He said that he had asked me before & I said NO!  After awhile, I said, “Oh what the heck!” I got down on my knee and asked him to marry me, he said, YES! LOL. Little did I know that he had my engagement ring in our suitcase downstairs! So, after he said yes, he went downstairs and brought the ring up, asked me again, I said Yes, and he slipped it on my finger!!! That is our oh-so romantic of a story 😊