8 July

July Birthstone: Ruby

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July’s birthstone is the ruby, just in time for the Red, White, and Blue Holiday (although over here we refer to it as rubies, diamonds, and sapphires).  Rubies are known for being the stone of passion, courage, and undying love.  It is remains the most valued gemstone in the world monetarily and the Bible even establishes that only wisdom and virtuous women are worth more.  Many legends surround rubies, they gem of the heart with the power to kindle the flame of desire and the unique ability to boil water according to ancient Hindu culture.

The value of a ruby depends primarily on color with deep red rubies having the highest value.  Clarity, cut, and carat also affect the price, respectively.  All natural-occurring rubies have slight imperfections and one of the key factors when determining if a ruby is a fake.

Geologically, rubies are actually red sapphires getting their color from chromium and can range from pink to blood red.  It is also considered one of the four precious stones along with sapphire, emerald, and diamond.  It also has a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of 10.0; only moissanite and diamonds are harder.

Since they are such a hard stone, rubies are perfect for everyday wear, and one of the easiest, especially as a statement piece breaking up a neutral-based outfit.

22 May

Ruby Tuesday: Zuckerberg’s Secret Ruby Wedding

Mark Zuckerberg Wedding

While most of us thought that last Friday would be the highlight of Mark Zuckerberg’s week, Saturday proved to trump Friday’s festivities as he married his long time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, in an intimate ceremony in his back yard. Our favorite part: he strayed from the traditional diamond and put a Ruby ring on her finger.

Ruby’s have long been second in the running for engagement ring fashion (remember Princess Fergie’s Ruby engagement ring?), and due to Saturday’s nuptials we are hoping to see a resurgence in the trend. Due to their rich red hue, they symbolize passion, romance, and happiness – making them a perfect engagement ring stone.

Here at Gemvara, we love to see some color in a sea of diamond engagement rings and so are dedicating this rainy Tuesday to the Ruby!

Alyssa Ring Gemvara

Find your perfect Ruby Engagement ring on Gemvara!

5 January

Brilliant Advice

Shopping for a gemstone can be harder than you think. Admittedly, before I began working for Gemvara, I had no clue about the difference between a well cut stone and a poorly cut one. (Not to mention the fact that all stones have different hardness levels! Who knew?)

However, lucky for you, our resident gem expert, Roy Albers, agreed to get under the bright lights and film a few short videos to guide you through the process of purchasing a gemstone.

Roy is the VP of Jewelry Fulfillment at Gemvara and the buyer for all our gemstones. He is extremely well-versed in the business and you will see that as he discusses the guidelines for buying three gems, a ruby, an emerald, and a sapphire, in the videos below.

At some point in each video Roy displays a multitude of stones – some good, some bad. Unfortunately, we were even fooled by a few of the stones. (Good thing we don’t do Roy’s job!) See if you can spot the perfect stones from the imperfect. Did you get it right?

How to Buy: Ruby

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_1033BQuPQ&feature=relmfu[/youtube]

How to Buy: Emerald

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPdPEOv7uA&feature=relmfu[/youtube]

How to Buy: Sapphire

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XBLqEjqSsY&feature=relmfu[/youtube]

19 September

Emmy Jewelry: Red Alert

Red ruled the red carpet at the 2011 Emmy Awards. Kate Winslet, Lea Michele, Nina Dobrev, and other stars chose red dresses. But even more stars chose red gems: dangling ruby earrings added a punch of color to dresses of every hue. Lea Michele matched ruby earrings to her red dress. Kelly Osbourne and Anna Torv matched ruby with black. Jane Krakowski wore ruby earrings with a neutral gown. The whole night was a master class on how versatile, even neutral, red can be. No wonder the dramatic shade is a perennial must-have in the stylish woman’s jewelry box: the ruby earrings below are an irresistible example!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Lea Michele, Kelly Osbourne, and Anna Torv by Andrew Evans / PR Photos; Jane Krakowski by Jordan Strauss / WireImage.

27 June

Oh My Ruby!

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore my July birthstone, the regal ruby. And I’m not alone — this gem has been prized for centuries by royalty, Hollywood and the wealthy worldwide.

The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj,” which means “king of the gemstones.” Second only to diamonds in the Mohs hardness scale, rubies are durable and can be cleaned easily with a soft cloth and mild dish soap. Or vodka, if you prefer.

Rubies were widely used in royal insignias and crowns — St. Wenzel’s Crown holds a staggering 250-carat ruby. The 167-carat Edwardes Ruby was named for Major General Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes who turned back the tide of mutiny against British rule in India. It rests in the British Museum of Natural History in London, donated by John Ruskin in 1887. American crowds can gape at the 137-carat Rosser Reeves Ruby, on display at the Smithsonian.

In more modern times, rubies remain popular. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Singer and budding fashion tycoon Jessica Simpson also sports a ruby engagement ring, so similar to this Gemvara ring here, that we named it after her.

Right now, I’m obsessing over this stunning ruby pendant. Set in 14K yellow gold, this piece just exudes luxury. Eight marquis-cut rubies radiate from a round center stone. Play with color and develop your own unique piece! I added tanzanite accent gems for a spellbinding look. I love it. Maybe I’ll drop some hints to the fiancée. My birthday is in a few weeks after all…

I toyed with the idea of ruby engagement rings for awhile, particularly this one, with its lovely vintage beading, diamond halo, and side diamonds:

And the Natalie Ring, with a ruby in place of a center diamond, surrounded by a double halo of pavé diamonds, is just so hot! I can only imagine the jaws dropping.

If you could wear any piece of ruby jewelry, what would it be?

6 December

A Ruby for Jessica

Just last month, Jessica Simpson and her boyfriend, life coach and former NFL player Eric Johnson, announced their engagement after just five months of dating. When asked what she loves most about her fiancee, Simpson replied, “Just the way he makes me feel, honestly. How comfortable I feel being myself with him. I love how confident he is and he’s not fazed by this world and life that I’m living… I can’t imagine my life without him in it.”

Jessica debuted her vintage, 1910 Tiffany ring, purchased from Neil Lane, at a Kansas City Dillard’s department store while promoting her clothing line. The shining scarlet star of her ring is an oval-shaped, five-carat ruby; two pear-cut diamonds on both sides also weigh in around five carats combined. The stones are set in yellow gold, and the ring is reportedly worth $100,000. A similar style, aptly named the Jessica Ring, is available on Gemvara, for about $25,000.

The story of the proposal itself isn’t very romantic: Jessica has told the press that Eric kept her engagement ring tucked safely away in a shoe for weeks before proposing while watching TV. The pair held a massive pizza party and celebrated with 50 friends soon after the announcement. This will be the second marriage for both Jessica and Eric. A wedding date has not yet been set.

Jessica is doubly thrilled with the vintage ruby ring – not only is ruby a romantic choice for an engagement ring, but she was born in July, and so ruby is her birthstone too, making it a personal statement.

Ruby has long been considered the king of all gemstones, symbolizing passion, power, and royalty. In England, rubies were set in coronation rings and even battle helmets to make the wearer invulnerable. In Ayurveda, rubies are believed to help to prevent miscarriages, fortify the heart, and restore balance in relationships. In more modern times, rubies represent undying love and passion – the perfect way to start a marriage.

Colored gemstones are becoming more popular  as engagement rings as a new generation looks for a ring that expresses their own unique personalities. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. And of course, Kate Middleton’s ring famously sports an enormous cobalt-blue sapphire. Would you opt for a colored engagement ring if you had a choice in the matter?

You don’t need to spend a hundred grand to get Jessica’s look: Gemvara sells a much more affordable option, though no less lovely. The 1.6 carat, oval-cut ruby shown here, flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds, each just over half a carat and set in yellow gold, is a very similar style.

9 July

Ruby: Gem of Passion

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No one can ignore a lady in red. Worn by passionate women with a flair for the dramatic, ruby is the gem of courage and emotion. Its fiery brilliance attracts the eye and quickens the pulse.

In legend, ruby is the gem of the heart with the power to kindle the flame of desire. Burning with an unquenchable fire, ruby has long been a symbol of undying love, making it a popular choice for gemstone engagement rings.

Because ruby derives its name from the Latin word for red, it’s not surprising that ruby is a red carpet favorite. Like red lipstick, it’s bold and classic at the same time. Salma Hayek and Naomi Watts both turned heads in Cannes this year in eye-catching ruby earrings.

Couples looking for something more daring than diamonds are choosing ruby engagement rings, reviving a tradition from European royalty.  Sarah Ferguson received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew.

The epitome of red, ruby inspires jewelry designers to the height of drama. Just look at how its bold color adds an extra dimension to these rings by Jessica Behzad.

Ruby is the birthstone for July, the fifteenth and fortieth anniversary gem, and the zodiac gem for the sign of Cancer. But this bold gem can’t be put into a box: those who love it are born to wear it, no matter what the calendar says.

23 June

Sophisticated Sparkle at the Cannes Film Festival

Sophisticated jewels and designer dresses did their part to prove that the Cannes International Film Festival is undoubtedly the most glamorous film festival of the year. Celebrities paraded the red carpet in big, and I mean big, beautiful dresses made by top designers that were accompanied by classic, elegant, and simple yet dazzling gemstone jewelry. Over-the-top gowns and refined jewelry were so apparent during the first few days of the festival that I can’t help but wonder if actresses Cate Blanchett and Eva Longoria Parker called each other the night before to coordinate.

The jewels played a supporting role to designer duds, but they weren’t anything short of fabulous. Here are three jewelry trends that marked this year’s festival.

Elegant & Timeless: Cate Blanchett owned the red carpet in her white Alexander McQueen dress and unique, classy diamond jewelry. Her Van Cleef & Arpels diamond earrings toned her dress down a notch and added a touch of sparkle to her ensemble. Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss World, paired a Giorgio Armani Prive gown embellished with multicolored crystals with simple, elegant diamond earrings and a matching diamond bracelet. Natalie Imbruglia teamed her Alberta Ferretti dress with simple, classic oval-shaped diamond earrings.

Danglers & Drops: Kate Beckinsale wore a glittering pair of drop earrings accompanied by wide silver bracelets. Dame Helen Mirren paired dangly diamond ball earrings with a sleek back Elie Saab dress.

Color & Hue: Eva Longoria Parker turned heads at the opening night premiere of “Robin Hood” wearing a de Grisogono ring in pink gold set with cabochon pink oval coral stones and brown diamonds. Salma Hayek chose sparkling ruby earrings. Naomi Watts stole the show by adding more color to her champagne chiffon strapless Gucci gown and red lips with stunning ruby drop earrings.

Actress, writer and improviser Brooke Lenzi is a performer on stage and screen in Los Angeles. She likes gifts that come in small packages.


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