24 February

Red Carpet Inspiration: Annabel Tollman’s Celebrity-Inspired Creations

Awards season is in full force and wrapping up with tonight’s Oscars.  Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman has been quite busy dressing some of the biggest celebrities for their red carpet moment.  Annabel took some time to pick a few of her favorite red carpet looks from this season and use their fashion to inspire some gorgeous Gemvara pieces.

 

Photo Credit: blog.northjersey.com

 

Photo Credit: usmagazine.com

 

 

13 February

Love stories, custom made: Shawn & Molly

There’s always excitement around the Gemvara hallways when a Gemvara box arrives, but last week was even more momentous when one of our very own got engaged! Molly’s desk quickly filled with onlookers dying to hear about the proposal and see the ring (a custom-ordered Cecilia Ring in diamond and yellow gold, shown here with a 1-carat stone).

 

The Proposal

Shawn and Molly were friends and college classmates before they began to date, finding a shared passion for skiing on a trip to Stowe, VT. Six years later, they returned to Stowe for a weekend with friends. The weather wasn’t on their side for skiing, but Shawn excitedly woke Molly up for a snowy hike. Molly wasn’t exactly enthused about the windy, icy trek, but the prospect of the sun gleaming off the fresh snow was enough to get her up and dressed. Bundled up, Shawn and Molly hiked up to the top of the hill where Shawn got down on one knee, dug through the layers of coats and sweaters keeping him warm, and presented Molly with “the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen in my life.” Shawn asked Molly to marry him… and it was a yes! Later, Shawn revealed to Molly that he woke her for that morning hike so she could enjoy the entire first day of being engaged, instead of just a night.

 

The Ring

As you might imagine, surprising a Gemvara employee with a ring from Gemvara.com can be a tricky matter. Luckily, Molly had previously gushed to fiancé Shawn about our Head of Customer Care, Stacey Scott and her casual, insider rapport with customers. When the time was right, Shawn knew exactly who to call with his top-secret plans. Through many phone calls and covert meetings (he was leery of email or texts in case Molly would see it), Shawn was able to create the stunning diamond engagement ring that Molly now can’t take her eyes off of. Molly’s ring is the Cecilia Ring in yellow gold with a sparkly center diamond with a diamond band. Shawn collaborated with Stacey and chose a custom size center stone, hand-selected by our expert jewelers – the Cecelia Ring comes in 1.2 and 3-carat versions on the website that can be customized with your choice of gemstones and metals. “I’ve always loved clean, simple and classic jewelry and when I joined the Gemvara team, this ring was instantly my favorite on the site,” Molly told us. As every piece of Gemvara jewelry is custom-made to order, the couple had not seen the ring in person beforehand but were thrilled with what they received.

 

“The diamond’s polish and cut are incredible. Both Shawn and I were blown away by the quality of the ring and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

 

From all of us at Gemvara, congratulations Molly and Shawn on your engagement and many happy years to come!

9 December

Gem Class: Tanzanite and Blue Topaz

Demand attention at your next holiday party with one (or two) of December’s birthstones, tanzanite and blue topaz. These two gemstones are stylish and stunning, perfect in any piece, created for you or your special someone.

A member of the mineral family zoisite, tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone. In fact, it only became a birthstone 10 years ago. Tanzanite was only named December’s birthstone in 2002. It’s velvety purplish-blue color is unique.  Manuel d’Souza was looking for sapphire in 1967 when he stumbled upon a new gemstone in northeastern Tanzania, East Africa. The natives took him to an area in the region of the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro and he found precious blue stones originally believed to be sapphire. When he realized they weren’t, he started mining.

Soon Tanzanite started to become the focus in America and Europe. In 1970, Tiffany and Co. began a marketing campaign to introduce it to the public. Henry Platt of Tiffanys named the stone tanzanite. The secret to tanzanite’s mesmerizing color is trichoism: crystals of tanzanite are three different colors from different directions. This means that blue and purple dance together in the depths of the gem as it moves and catches the light.

This is one of the most successful and exciting discoveries in the field of gemstones in a century. The original stones are over 500 million years old and are the only tanzanite stones that are naturally blue. The Smithsonian Institute has  an impressive tanzanite collection including a 122.7 carat stone.

Topaz, the second and equally impressive December birthstone, actually means “fire” in Sanskrit.  It was given this name because many cultures believed that the sun is responsible for it’s color. Some of the mystical properties that topaz offers are warding off colds, enhancing the breathing process, and help those with insomnia.

The most famous topaz is a colorless topaz that was thought to be a diamond. It is a 1680 carat stone known as the “Braganza Diamond” set in Portuguese Crown Jewels.

Blue topaz, however, is the most common color variety and is also used as December’s second birthstone. Gemvara’s blue topaz has a bright and lively color that looks gorgeous set in every metal. We also offer a second shade of blue topaz, a London Blue Topaz that has a darker more intense shade of blue.

Which stone do you prefer?

 

23 November

Black Friday Sale – 15% off our Holiday Gift Guide!

Take 15% off our Holiday Gift Guide with the gorgeous pieces we’ve been talking about all week!

5 August

Gem Class: Emerald

From Left: Love Letter “P” Pendant, Initial “J” KeyInfinite Heart Pendant, Lucky Horseshoe Pendant 

Today, you decide you want to buy emerald. But what do you really know about it? Let me help you out with a few extra facts!

Besides that you love the typical pure vivid green color, there is so much more to emerald. Did you know that emerald comes in many different shades of green but the favorite being an amazing, rich green hue?

Additionally, it is the birthstone for May and the anniversary stone for couples celebrating 20th or 35th anniversaries. Emeralds can be more expensive then a top-quality diamond of the same weight because its extremely rare to find an emerald with an inclusion (an imperfection!).

One of the largest emeralds weighs in at 217.8 carats and stands over 10cm tall. This gem auctioned off for $2.2 million!

Emeralds were traditionally worn to develop clairvoyance of their wearers but now many people believe emeralds promote healing, love, and satisfaction.

A magical gemstone, emeralds are a worthy investment and are said to bring about a tranquil and peaceful spirit.

Do you prefer emeralds over diamonds?

4 August

One Piece, Three Ways: Studded Hercules Knot Ring

When looking for an investment piece of jewelry, you want to make sure that you will be able to wear it frequently and minimize the piece’s cost per wear.  The Studded Hercules Knot Ring is a great piece for that because it is a mid-range price in a classic style.  This ring will never go out of style, and if you customize it with gems in the colors you always wear with a metal that is complimentary to your skin tone, you are sure to wear it all the time.  This particular ring is created with 14K yellow gold, and alternating tanzanite and iolite gemstones.  Here, we have styled it with three outfits, a formal event, a focused day at the library, and at work.  What do you think about this ring?  How would you customize the ring and style it?

Studded Hercules Knot Ring at a Formal Event

 

Studded Hercules Knot Ring at a the library

 

Studded Hercules Knot Ring at a Work

 

Shop more of Gemvara’s Endless Love Knots

3 August

Customer Creation: Engagement Rings & Matching Bands

 

Natalie Ring, Duchess of Hearts Ring, Cecilia Ring

 A wedding ring doesn’t just have to be a simple diamond anymore. As our customer favorites show, engagement rings and matching bands have more flair and style than ever before.  Add a gemstone, add two gemstones, and create that perfect engagement ring for you! These customers didn’t let their engagement rings stand-alone but also added the perfect complimentary matching band.

Personalizing the Cecilia Ring with peridot and surrounded by diamonds, this customer created a classic but modern engagement ring. Feminine and delicate, the Cecilia Ring won’t be a wallflower. Add our Matching Band in peridot (or any gemstone you choose!) to compliment the ring.

Compliment your demure style with a simple, vintage ring. A classic combination rose gold and amethyst, this Duchess of Hearts Ring also boasts 28 iridescent diamonds and was made perfect for this customer. Matched with the Duchess of Hearts Band in rose gold, this customer now radiates nobility.

Demure and classic not your style? Go bold with the Natalie Ring. This customer chose a yellow gold metal and a citrine center gemstone for quite the impact. No one will miss their engagement thanks to the two rows of diamonds and white sapphires surrounding the gem and running down the band. Add the Matching Band for the ultimate sparkle combination.

Whether you design your engagement ring yourself, with a partner or are pleasantly surprised, these three creations are sure to make their future owners very happy! Slide your ring on your left hand ring finger and admire the subtle brilliance of a gemstone engagement ring.

 

Shop more Customer Creations at Gemvara

2 August

Ringspotters Guest Post: Americana Weddings

Olympic fever is in full swing and this week, for our wedding round-up we wanted to proudly show off the red, white and blue. So whether you’re planning an Americana wedding or want a bit of patriotic inspiration for your next event, look no further than these festive pieces!

Colorful Jewelry. Look no further than Gemvara’s fabulous collection of patriotic jewelry. We particularly love their Shooting Star Pendant, the Star Flower Earrings and their Written in the Stars Ring.

Headbands$14. A delicious headband with a trio of flowers made of shabby chiffon and a jeweled center for an extra sparkle. Flowers are attached to an alligator clip so that they can be removed from the headband and worn alone.  Order them in red, white, and navy blue!

Bowties$22.  How can you resist putting one of these onto your little man? The most classic of all ties, the bow tie, will surely make for many cute photos.  (Available in other colors, patterns.)

Bold Clutch
, $53. Add some color to your basics with a bright bag. We’re loving this blue Frieda clutch from NIna Bridal, also available in red and white!

Ties$22. These preppy neckties are made as a full tie with back velcro release for safety and easy on/off for the little ones. 

A Little White Dress. You can’t go wrong with a LWD for the summer. Pair it with bold colorful accessories, and you are good to go!

31 July

7 Wedding Planning Tips for Brides on a Limited Budget from MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com

Lower wedding budgets are today’s reality. Can a bride-to-be still have the wedding of her dreams? Absolutely. The secrets are prioritizing and being conscientious about what you spend. (Note, the engagement ring and wedding bands are often decisions separate from planning of the wedding because, unlike the products for the wedding itself, they will be worn and cherished for a lifetime.)

1. Prioritize wedding expenses. When dreaming of the perfect wedding, there are likely two or three elements you see vividly. What are they? The gown? Decor? Location? The people? Whatever the aspects, these are where you should put your priorities. Focus on the few elements that make the dream a dream and you will soon forget the insignificant pieces that did not happen as originally anticipated.

2. Pick and choose personalized service providers. Your top contenders for personalized services are (a) aspects of your wedding most important to you and (b) those things you do not have the time or talent to do yourself. Cut costs in areas you have the time, talent, and friends or family to help you with and those outside your top priorities . Before doing so, however, evaluate what quality you will give up by having your cousin do the videography or Uncle Walt running a boom box. Expertise and experience do matter, so scrimp here with your eyes wide open.

3. Choose a non-traditional venue. Many couples are having their receptions in unconventional spaces like empty buildings, barns, or the outdoors. This can save on rental fees.

4. Scrutinize guest count. Inviting a more intimate group of family and friends allows you to spend more per person on food, favors, and ambiance.

5. Choose lower cost food options. Serve a generally lower cost buffet, for example, or have only the entrees catered. Another idea is to ask each person in your family cook their specialty for your wedding.

6. Do it yourself (DIY). Making your own centerpieces or veil,  for example, is perfectly acceptable, as is giving handcrafted and personally meaningful gifts to the wedding party.

7. Harness the power of the Internet to keep costs down. Shop online sales, discounts, and low cost websites. Not only is the selection much larger than what you find locally, but lower priced options are more plentiful as well.

Here are some ways you can save by shopping online through MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com:  http://www.MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com

24 July

MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com: 7 Easy Floral Centerpiece Ideas for the Non-Crafty Bride

 

 

One of the most popular do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for a wedding is the centerpieces. By making them yourself, you save money that could go elsewhere (toward a top quality Gemvara wedding band,  for example). If, however, you are on the non-crafty side (like me)  the prospect of creating them yourself can be a little scary.

You don’t have to be afraid! There are ways you can make creative and beautiful centerpieces with very little talent. In fact, I put together the seven floral centerpieces below, plus  18 or so other styles, with few problems. For more details, a photo, and a supply list for each, click on its title below. Or go to the Easy Centerpieces Homepage to see all 25 at once.

Creating these centerpieces doesn’t have to be complicated. The trick is to either (a) buy your flowers already arranged (silk flower sprays or bunches) or (b) use only one or two types of flowers with little or no fillers. That way, we non-crafty folk can have beautiful flowers by simply picking them up, sticking them into a vase, and fluffing.

1-3. Flowers in interesting vases and bottles. We put single stems into opaque bud vases, combined two types of flowers in a wine bottle, and stuck full blooms into a short, square container. You really cannot get any simpler and we think they all look wonderful. Plus, you can easily adapt this concept to include other unique containers.

4-5. Tall Centerpieces.  Tall, slender centerpieces are popular not only for their dramatic effect, but also because they allow for easier conversation across the table. For the first, we used a slender tube vase filled with crystal confetti,  along with ball-shaped (i.e. topiary) blooms. The second is white blooms bunched together in a tall, trumpet-shaped vase, with smaller blooms filling the “stem” of the vase. You can find more tall centerpiece ideas on my Tall Centerpieces pinboard.

6-7. Blooms Under Glass.  Another super-easy and popular type of centerpiece consists of blooms placed beneath upside-down glasses and topped with a tea light or votive candle. We created three different looks with margarita glasses, wine glasses, and mason jars. You could also use other glassware or cylinder vases.

Sidenote: If mason-jar rustic suits your style, you will want to read Top 6 Rustic Wedding Trends on the Gemvara blog and take a look at my Mason Jar Wedding pinboard on Pinterest.

Now that you have some simple centerpiece and decorating ideas, it is time to get started on your own!

 

About the Author

Bobette Kyle is owner and publisher of MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com

Where you can create your dream wedding on a do-it-yourself budget via the site’s tips, tutorials, videos, and products. The products there are from hundreds of merchants, ranging in size from well-known department stores to niche boutiques.

 

About the Photographer

Amarette Arnold, Amarette Arnold Photography
In addition to being Bobette’s daughter, Amarette makes lasting memories one picture at a time through her photography. She serves the St. Louis, Missouri area.