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Saturday, September 20, 2008

ESTATE & VINTAGE DIAMOND & GEMSTONE RINGS


It never ceases to amaze me that in times like these, when folks are losing jobs, the banks and real estate are in turmoil, and with all the talk of recession and worldwide financial chaos, that people still shop for jewelry, and mostly for rings. Could it be that jewelry, especially real gold, diamonds and gemstones are seen as a hedge, a security in times of insecurity?

Or do we simply just love beautiful diamond and gemstone rings? Going by the many enquiries and sales we get on our ESTATE and VINTAGE RINGS, (it's the majority of our sales in our Ruby Lane Shop) yes, people are always looking for beautiful rings. And if they can get one at an affordable price, bingo!

The reason we've chosen to specialize in estate and vintage diamond and gemstone rings has everything to do with quality and style. Sadly, today's new market is flooded with what I have to call "junk" in so many cases. Ebay, Bidz.com, the Home Shopping Channel, and many online sites offer a plethora of cookie-cutter rings made in far off lands for pennies but the quality of the stones, even diamonds, is often very poor.

The same can be said of the rings being sold in many of the retail shops. I've noticed as we check out our local mall that you'll see huge price tags but rarely do we see details on the grading, cut or clarity of the diamonds. You see the rings in a superb display case under gazillions of lights and they twinkle like crazy. But if you took a loupe to the ones that seem relatively affordable (not the high end rings that cost thousands) you'd see milky, clouded diamonds or carbon inclusions and you'd realize why this ring cost thousands less than that ring.

No wonder at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE and in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, we get so many ring sales! We go to great lengths to locate estate and vintage rings with good to excellent quality stones and as much as possible, unique styling. But because these rings have been "pre-loved", you don't pay anywhere near the price you would in a store for a ring of such quality. And when you think about it, diamonds and gold don't really ever lose value. So why pay more? A top quality diamond ring purchased new today will still be hugely valuable in 20 years time. It's money in the bank so to speak!

When you visit our sites (click on any of the photos or links here) you'll see we've provided you with details of the quality of the stones. Gradings like VS, VS1, SI, Si1 and so on are important. This designates good to excellent stones. A ring graded i1 or i3 has diamonds that will be cloudy, and I hate to say it, but many of the diamond rings glittering away in shops or being sold on ebay have that grading. In short, you aren't getting a top quality diamond at all. Now mind you, there's nothing wrong with those diamonds when it comes to sparkling: they're still diamonds. What does matter is how much you're paying for them! If the price tag is in the high hundreds or even thousands, and you can get a quality vintage ring for much less, why buy new?

Visit our Estate and Vintage Showcase sites and browse our rings. You'll find our prices go from very low to high too but the difference will be explained in our descriptions. We spell out the size, color and clarity of the diamonds in our rings. We specify the carat weight and the gold carat of the settings. If a ring has a platinum content and not just gold in the band, it becomes even more valuable as platinum is even more valuable than gold. As a ring buyer, these are things you need to know.



The festive season is on its way. Many people give rings at Christmas. Which one will you want your husband or boyfriend to buy you?

Is your budget tight? Will he have to shop the malls looking for something he can afford just because it's new? Wouldn't it make more sense to invest in a top quality ring, even a pre-loved and pre-worn one that's in great condition and shouts quality and style?

Diamonds do last forever and "diamonds are a girl's best friend". Nothing says "I love you" more than a ring when it comes to gifts. It's not too soon to start shopping now. Our EarlyBird sale is on in our RUBY LANE SHOP until Sept. 30, 2008. Shop now and save!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

THE ART OF JULIANA JEWELRY


Well yesterday I told you about one of my latest passions: coral jewelry but today, I want to introduce you to Juliana ... if you haven't met her yet. No, JULIANA isn't a living, breathing person. Rather, Juliana is a style of jewelry that was manufactured by Delizza and Elster, a company whose showroom opened back in 1947 (I was just a year old LOL!) on 5th Avenue in New York city.

Now those of you who follow my blog here and/or my other blog on SHERMAN JEWELLERY know that Sherman is my primary interest when it comes to vintage designer jewels, and that's because it's Canadian and I'm in Canada and Sherman jewellery is fantastic. But now I've discovered Juliana, and if I can afford it, I'm hoping to acquire some Juliana demis and parures because they are, in a word, outstandingly beautiful. But there's one problem with Juliana: it's never signed and that gives rise to fakes. I've been taken twice on purchasing what I thought was Juliana, so to avoid that happening again, I've just invested in the book "The Art of Juliana Jewelry" by Katerina Musetti.

From the minute I looked at the first few pages, I was blown away: what incredibly beautiful jewelry! The color combinations in the stones, the construction, the range of designs all leaves you breathless. Looking at the photos got me on a hunt for Juliana and I found there's no shortage of it but you MUST know how to recognize it. Fortunately, when I came across the bracelet shown above at the Christies Antique Show last weekend, I knew what to look for and now I have myself an authentic Juliana ... unless, of course, you decide to buy it. Just click on

either photo to see more shots of this beauty in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE. This stunning Juliana bracelet is 7" long and about 1 1/4" wide. Its stones are a lovely combination of deep blue 1/4" marquise cuts and complementary pale blue round stones. Running through the center is a row of 3/8" aurora borealis stones with a peridot-green wash. The whole bracelet just sparkles and glitters. But it's definitely not for those who like lightweight bracelets: this one weights 64 grams!

Well I hope in the future to have some more Juliana to show you but I can't stress enough that if you want to collect this vintage jewelry, educate yourself. Buy that book "The Art of Juliana Jewelry" from Amazon. Heck, when you're done looking at this in my shop at Ruby Lane, do a search on Juliana there. You'll even come across the author's own site! I also found a seller at THIS LINK who has gorgeous Juliana at what I think are very good prices. Check her out!