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Gifts

For All the Moms out There

Every year on Mother’s Day, millions of people express their gratitude for the women who had a hand in raising them. One of the most popular gifts of the day is jewelry — from bracelets to pendants to brooches to rings galore.  While anyone can appreciate a tasteful bit of bling, these commercial — perhaps repetitive — products may start to feel a bit trite year after year. But of course you may not want to sacrifice the quality found in fine jewelry for the sake of a more thought-out, personal gift.  Which is why this year, for Mother’s Day, you don’t have to! You can give your mom something tailored to her own unique spot in your life, a piece that expresses just how much she means to you while maintaining the elegant flair of commercial jewelry.

Kay’s offers a number of options to connect in just the right way. One piece is a Family Tree Necklace, a chain with stackable silver discs. (The customer can select anywhere from one to three discs per necklace.) The uppermost disc is engraved with a tree, and each disc includes a message of your choice. A similar option is available with a paw print or heart instead of a tree.

You can even customize your jewels without any words at all! Kay’s offers a number of rings and necklaces that allow the customer to add their choice of birthstones (as many as ten on one piece!). You can mount one stone for each of her children; what a perfect gift to a nurturing mother from those whom she loves most.

The Price is Right

Engagement rings have been part of pre­-wedding tradition for quite a while now, and it certainly needs factoring ­in when considering one’s overall wedding budget.  In years past, there was a pretty simple scale for how to determine your engagement ring price range.  The unofficial rule was, rather simply, that the cost of the engagement ring would equal two months’ worth of paychecks.

Now tradition has become a bit more flexible, which ­­ for those who appreciate an easy ­to ­remember rule like that ­­ may leave you floundering for what to look for.  Well, while we may not have a magical solution to offer, here are a few facts and factors to consider: First, you can always play it safe by conforming to the national average.  According to The Knot’s annual wedding survey, the average cost of an engagement ring is about five and a half thousand dollars.  Twelve percent of couples will top that by spending more than $8,000 on their bling.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can always trick your diamond into thinking it’s bigger than it is; a shallow stone with a larger surface area may not sparkle as well, but it will appear much larger overall than its actual size.  Another good option is to look at products a hair below the next karat (for example, 1.8 instead of 2 karats), which can save as much as 20% on costs without diminishing the clarity of the gem.

Of course, your best option would be to discuss and decide on your alternatives together as a couple. It used to be commonplace for the groom ­to surprise his lady with a ring he picked himself, but the rules have changed quite a bit since then. In a recent study, it seems that that decision ­making technique accounts for only 5% of the current population.  More prevalent now, comprising an overwhelming 69% of couples,­­ is to decide on rings together.

Here’s our last major tip: If you’re still concerned about your engagement ring… don’t be! Although the ring carries large significance in matrimonial tradition, it is by no means the only bit of jewelry seen during the wedding.  Studies show that over 80% of brides will receive additional jewelry for their big day,­­ most commonly earrings, but also pendants, wristwatches, tiaras, and other hair accessories. For grooms, a lower percentage, but still considerable at 30%, ­­ will wear additional jewelry: along with the wedding band often come cuff links, watches, bracelets, money clips, and even necklaces. So don’t stress yourself out over the smaller details, and let yourself enjoy the celebration!

 

Gifts for February

February is a month of groundhogs, Valentines, and amethysts. In under a week’s time the country will be celebrating a day of general romance and heartfelt chocolates (pun intended). Why not celebrate your special someone with a beautiful amethyst gemstone, which has been the month of February’s official stone since at least the fifteenth century.
In lore, amethyst is known as a stone of wisdom, one that reveals a person’s intuition. It is believed to ward off guilt and fear while simultaneously instilling calm. It is also said to bring clarity to emotions and values. What better gem for a day celebrated to profess emotions for your other half?

If you’re looking for the perfect purple ornament to say, “I love you,” there are some beautiful options out there. One is Kay’s dainty butterfly necklace, a silver outline of a butterfly, attached by a thin chain on either wingtip and complete with two swooping antennae. The outline is filled in with different hues of amethyst gems, from pale pink to rich purple, with shapes alternating between circles and teardrops. If you want a piece less traditional than a necklace, you can go for brooch, like the amethyst flower brooch from Swarovski. Each of the flower’s six petals curls down at the edge, the colors alternating between petals from amethyst so light it’s nearly white to a darker purple crystal. The flower’s stigma — the thin stems that jut from its middle and produce pollen — end in round tips of multicolored stones. Whatever you choose, your loved one will surely appreciate the thoughts of love behind any gift.

The Possibilities are Endless

Endless Jewelry has added new charms to its vast selection, a jewelry line that takes after the company’s name by providing nearly an endless array of ornamental opportunity. This jewelry practically comes with a guarantee that it will provide the customer with a completely personal arrangement. How can Endless pledge such an impressive feat?  Simple. The customer makes the jewelry. The bracelets that the charms adorn are made from soft leather; most importantly, every charm is made compatible with every bracelet, which means you can assemble your trinkets into any and every design. The only limit is your own imagination.  The new additions to the selection focus on shape and color, allowing for charms like the Heart Cut Drop Charm, a sterling silver hoop from which dangles a heart-shaped purple amethyst stone. Other simple but elegant pieces include the looped ring-like Garnet Snake Charm and the twelve-petal Violet Daisy Charm, both made of silver with a splash of color—ruby and lilac, respectively.  These options, along with over 450 others, make Endless Jewelry completely customizable. You are truly free to mix and match until you find exactly the sort of ornament that speaks to you.

Find some trinkets for your own ensemble at http://www.endless-jewelry-shop.com

No Hidden Mickeys

For all the classic Disney fans out there, PANDORA has a great new line for you. This recent collection offers a series of handcrafted charms inspired by the magical world of Mickey, Minnie and friends. The collection includes a rounded heart-shaped silver charm bearing the phrase “Be Magical” in Disney’s iconic script, complete with wishing-star-esque sparkling stones. Other charms include the red polka-dotted wheel, resembling Minnie’s signature dress and bow, as well as Cinderella’s single glass slipper with blue gems made of cubic zirconia. They also offer a sparkling silver snowflake, with a blue-jeweled Mickey head embedded at the center, a charm that is surely in honor of Disney’s most recent mega-hit, “Frozen”.  Our personal favorite is a simple silver sphere, the surface of which is shaped by rows of horizontal figure eights, a symbol for infinity. Attached to every figure eight are two beloved visages: one Mickey’s and one Minnie’s.  According to PANDORA, this piece represents the inspiration for the whole collection: the love between Disney’s most beloved sweethearts. To us, this charm stands for more than just the eternity of love between two iconic mice; it symbolizes the eternity of the magic that Disney inspires in children across the globe.  For more classic Disney charms, check out: http://www.pandora.net/en-us/explore/collections/disneycollection

Misfit’s Shine

The company Misfit Wearables, founded in 2011, produces a wearable activity tracker called the Shine. This device, which is roughly the size of a large coin, traces all sorts of movements over the course of a person’s day, including sleeping, running, cycling, and swimming. The metallic disc can be fastened into specially made bracelets, necklaces, or brooches to count your every step.

As of yesterday, Misfit has teamed up with Swarovski for a new form to house its product. This line takes the rather self-explanatory name Swarovski Shine. Until now, the Shine’s wearable accessories had a sportier, more casual appearance, taking the form of sports bands or leather bracelets. With this new collection, customers will have more elegant options. Among others, there will be versatile black or silver pendants implanted with clear crystals, hanging from a rhodium-plated chain. In addition to the sophisticated accessories, the Shine itself will take on a new form. Previously, the disc was made out of sleek aluminum, which came in a variety of colors. While this will still be available as the standard option, the Swarovski Shine line will use an Activity Tracking Crystal. This large, faceted crystal can keep count of its user’s steps as easily as its metallic predecessor.

To pre-order from the Swarovski Shine collection, take a look here: http://store.misfit.com

A Gift for Everyone: Part 2

In this post, the second installment of our series on finding the gift that’s exactly right for you (and your wallet), we discuss some great holiday jewelry options.  For gift ideas in the hundreds or thousands, please check out the previous post.

 

Continuing from where we left off:

 

Tens

The intricate design of these earrings suggests any number of images. At a quick glance these paper thin, silver earrings appear somewhat floral, but in honor of the winter season I would call them downright snowflake-like. With a closer look, though, you’ll actually realize that the design is made up of intricately interwoven hearts. Whichever way you decide to see it, they are clearly an appropriate design for this particular season, a time we welcome winter wonderlands as well as warmth of heart.

Web link: http://shiana.com/shop/flowers/shiana-sterling-silver-laser-cut-mandala-earrings-1-pair/

 

Free

Didn’t think you could find this? Well, you’re half right. You likely won’t find a gold bracelet in this price range. But if you’re looking for the perfect gift, remember that there are plenty of ways to say, “I love you.” Just about everyone has, at some point in life, cut a snowflake with a pair of safety scissors and some folded printer paper. You’ve got almost everything you need right there. Add a bit of string or yarn—some beads or sequins, if you want to get crazy—and you have the material for a heartfelt gift just in time for the holidays.

(You don’t need a web link for this one. It’s already there at home.)

 

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