Hearts Everywhere.....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I see hearts everywhere I go and I love them, they are the definitive symbol of love. Long before I ever knew I'd be writing a blog I started to collect hearts, quotes about the heart and pictures of hearts. I was going through the pictures on my phone and noticed I had so many and so began this blog post. I have saved the best heart story for last, continue viewing to see more pictures and at the end to read a story about hearts being used in an ultimate and enduring act of love.....




























To end this post I must share what I consider to be an incredibly romantic story about hearts which I read last year. In summary, a lady called Janet Howes died suddenly 17 years ago and as a tribute of love to her, her husband Berefet Winston Howes planted thousands of oak samplings in a six acre field near their home but he left the centre heart shaped as a tribute to her. Overtime the seeds matured into Oaks but went undiscovered as he kept it a secret and the heart shape couldn't be seen from the road but only from above. Fast forwards to 2012 and Andy Collett a keen hot air balloonist discovered this long kept secret. He said; 'This was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky. It was a perfect heart hidden away from view-you would not know it was there. You can imagine the love story."

This beautiful act of preserving her memory and ultimately his love for her ends the post beautifully.... ......stay in love, stay inspired xoxo





Mr Howes, 70, said 'I came up with the idea of creating a heart in the clearing of the field after Janet died. I thought it was a great idea- it was a flash of inspiration- and I planted several thousand oak trees. Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be hear for years.
We planted large Oak trees around the edge of the heart and then decided to put a headge around it too. The heart points towards Wotton Hill, where Janet is from. We plant daffodils in the middle that comes up in the spring-it looks great. I go out there from time to time and sit in the seat I created.' Mr Howes



To read the full story click on go to; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173055/A-real-labour-love-Devoted-farmer-creates-heart-shaped-meadow-planting-thousands-oak-trees-tribute-late-wife.html

*photos are taken from the daily mail as is the source of the story.

Be in love, be inspired xoxo

An Education In Diamonds

Saturday, June 22, 2013



This ones for the men, the clueless, the interested and the self confessed diamonds lovers. Some men are looking to buy a perfect ring for The One, some ladies have no clue about ring preferences because they don't understand all the technicalities and different shapes but they want a beautiful ring sitting on their well manicured finger. Others have a fair idea but want a more robots understanding of diamonds so I have done some extensive research on this topic, not only when I thought about this blog post but in the past because I'm particularly interested in rings. I have read complicated articles and delved into quite some depth on the topic but I have decided to keep it simple and easy to understand. I hope this educates and sheds some light on what may have been an otherwise very confusing and grey area for some. 

*images are taken from the web and mostly Bluenile.com

To keep it simple, there are 2 main things you need to know when you are looking to buy diamonds. You must know of the famous 4C's  which comprise of Cut, Carat, Clarity and Colour and secondly you mush consider the shape of diamond that you like. Let me explain....

Cut

This is the most important characteristic when looking at choosing or buying a diamond as this more than any of the four C's influences the diamonds overall beauty and how much it sparkles or shines. To put it colloquially or plainly how much the diamond 'blings'.  The one key thing to understand about the importance of the cut is light. Basically how much light goes into the diamond and comes back out causing it to sparkle. The illustration below will help exemplify my point bearing in mind that you look at diamonds from the surface which is the flat part in the illustration below. If a diamond is cut too low or shallow light escapes from underneath, so when you look at the top not as much light comes through. If it is cut ideally the light hits the bottom and comes back to the surface of the diamond which is what you are looking at which means the diamond will sparkle or 'bling' as it were. If it is cut too deep the light will escape out of the side and when you look at the surface the diamond wont shine as much. When a diamond is well cut and light reflects properly it makes it appear larger and it shines. 




Carat

This speaks to the weight of the ring and not the physical size or length of it. To further explain my point, the way a persons physical height doesn't necessarily have a bearing on how much they will weigh is the same way the a diamonds size isn't an indication of its carat weight. The diamonds cut grade and measurement in millimetres across the surface are incidental to considering the carat weight. As discussed above when a diamond is cut well it appears larger, when it is cut poorly a lot of the weight may be hidden in the base of the diamond causing it to appear smaller.

Clarity

The clarity of a diamonds refers to the number and size of minute imperfections seen inside the diamond. As I said these are minute and of microscopic proportions so it does not affect the appearance of the diamonds overall beauty when you look at it. Diamonds with the least imperfections will be awarded a higher clarity grade. If the most important thing to you is the aesthetic of your diamond, clarity has the least impact. So when it comes to buying, if you're forced to compromise on any of the 4 C's it should be the clarity. 

  
Name of the Grade
FL, IF

Meaning of the Grade:
Flawless, Internally Flawless: No internal or external imperfections. Internally Flawless: No internal imperfections. Very rare.
VVS1,
VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see imperfections under 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.
VS1,
VS2

Very Slightly Included: Imperfections are not typically visible to the unaided eye. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
SI1,
SI2

Slightly Included: Imperfections are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value.
I1
Included: Blue Nile offers a limited selection of jewelry with diamonds of I1 grade clarity. This grade of diamonds will have minor inclusions that may be visible to the unaided eye.
I2, I3Blue Nile does not carry diamonds of I2 or I3 grade clarity *The above information contained in this box is from www.bluenile.com

Colour

This refers to a lack of colour in the diamond. The less the colour in it the diamond the better, so it's essentially grading the whiteness of the diamond. The whiter the diamond the 'cleaner' and better it is. D is the highest or in laymans terms whitest possible and Z is the end of the spectrum that you don't want to be in, it being the lowest grade.  Diamonds from J up to D are near colourless to colourless and such colour is not easily detectable buy the naked eye or by an experts microscope.



Z-NNoticeable color. 
M-KNoticeable color. 
J-INear-colorless. An exceptional value with slightly detectable warmth or tone.
H-GNear-colorless. Color difficult to detect unless compared side-by-side against diamonds of better grades. An excellent value.
F-EColorless. Minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
DAbsolutely colorless. The highest color grade. Extremely rare.
*The above information contained in this box is from www.bluenile.com




Different Diamond Shapes


Now that we have looked at the 4C's it is time to pick your preferred diamond shape and know what it is called. This is a purely subjective exercise but the information below may be helpful in making your selection.
  • Round/Brilliant: This shape is by far the most popular and most researched shape. As there are no edges colour isn't easily detectable and it refracts the light the best of all the shapes seen above. When clarity and colour are equal amongst a round stone and another shape the round stone will be considered more valuable.
  • Princess: The princess is essentially a square cut diamond. The pointed edges  at 90 degrees is what make it easily identifiable as a princess because there are other cuts that look similar but don't have pointed edges. The more closely cut to a perfect square the more desirable and valuable the princess cut would be.
  • Emerald: Known for beauty and precision it is so named because it was originally on used only emeralds. The emerald looks rectangular in appearance and is taller than a princess. What makes it unique is its pavilion which is cut with rectangular facets to create a unique optical appearance.  The more facets created by the diamond cutter the more valuable the diamond would be. If there is an inclusion it would be easier to detect with the naked eye so if you're going for this shape I'd advise not going lower than S1 (see clarity chart above).
  • Asscher: The Asscher was introduced and named after Joseph Asscher, a renowned cutter in 1902. It has a unique shape and is almost identical to the emerald in that it has pavilions however, it is more square in apperance. What sets it apart from the emerald is the unique octagonal looking corners. It has an art deco appeal and diamond expects compare the facets of an asscher to a hallway lined with reflective mirrors, allowing you to see all the way through it. This shape highlights the clarity in a diamond, but inclusions may be more detectable because it has corners.
  • Marquise: This is 'boat shaped' in appearance and maximises the carat weight and also gives you a bigger looking diamond. However because the of the length, colour and clarity imperfections are more visible under a microscope. It's length is flattering makes ones finger look longer and slimmer. It is reputed to have been made for King Louis XIV of France who wanted a smile that simulated the smile of Marquise de Pompadour.
  • Oval: This has a similar brilliance to the round/brilliant shape. Its perfect for someone who wants someone slightly less traditional but the brilliance of the round cut with a flattering elongated stone to dress their finger.
  • Radiant: Created in 1977 by Henry Grossbard it combines and maintains the beauty of the square and more traditional brilliant cut whilst creating something different than was available at the time making it a versatile choice. Its unique and distinguishing feature are its trimmed corners.
  • Pear/ Tear drop: The name speaks it as its cut to resemble a drop of water. It can be set with the tip/point facing up or down, when facing up it elongates the finger. Its a cross between a marquise and and oval cut. It is renowned for its high level of brilliance boasting 58 facets.
  • Heart: Not much explanation needed here, the  heart is ultimate symbol of love and serves as a very romantic gift. It has a cleft at the top at exhibits a high brilliance, great skill is required when cutting to ensure the symmetry and that the two halves are identical.
  • Cushion: This shape was introduced in 1830 as is rooted in mining history. It has a soft romantic appeal, rounded corners, lager facets 58 in total to increase its brilliance. 
Lastly to ensure that you are getting a good quality diamond. Please ensure you obtain a diamond certificate from a recognised body. A diamond certificate is simply a report created by a team of gemologists. The diamond is evaluated, measured and scrutinised using trained eyes, a jeweller's loupe, a microscope and other industry tools. A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond's dimensions, clarity, colour, polish, symmetry and other characteristics.  Recognised bodies world wide include:


Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
 American Gem Society (AGS)
 European Gemological Society (EGS)
International Gemological Society (IGI)

Hoge Raad Voor Diamant (HRD)



I hope you have found this both informative and helpful after all this work don't forget to insure your ring! xoxo

The Ring. The Rock. The Bling.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Anyone who knows me would say I am obsessed with rings, particularly engagement rings. I like cocktail rings and all kinds of rings but engagement rings I have a soft spot for. My favourite is the emerald cut, for a band I like the baguette-cut diamond eternity ring. So here's another passion post, feast your eyes on some beautiful engagement rings.....

Elizabeth Taylor





I have a facination with love affairs Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's being one of many. Burton's gift of the Krupp diamond to her means that if there were anyone who is the "head teacher" to give a master class in jewellery and engagement rings it's Liz Taylor! The Krupp diamond ring leads this post and needs no introduction. Assher cut, cult facet, 33.19 carat, D colour, VS1 clarity, originally named after Vera Krupp. It was bought for Liz by Burton for $305,000 and sold after her death for a staggering $8,818,500 setting the record price per carat at $265,697. After her death, it was re-christened 'The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond'. No wonder it was her favourite piece of jewellery. Needless to say more, a rock above the rest.

Blake Lively

 

I just love Blake's ring. It's simple and stunning. She wears a Lorraine Schwartz oval cut centre stone mounted on a rose gold diamond band. It's a paradox being such a rock yet it is so delicate in appearance and dresses her finger perfectly.

Beyonce Knowles aka Mrs. Carter



When her husband Sean 'Jay Z' Carter rapped on her track Upgrade you 'Cause that rock on ya finger is like a tumour, you can't put ya hand in ya new purse' he meant it! Hers is an 18 carat Emerald stone set in platinum. There's a nice contrast of the huge rock and the very delicate two bands that hold it together, bigger bands to me would have made the ring less elegant. It's so beautiful she announced to the world he 'put a ring on it!'

Heidi Klum



I'm usually not one for coloured stones but I liked Heidi Klum's Loraine Schwarts 10 carat, oval cut engagement ring from Seal. It's different and was the perfect way to end and unusual proposal in an igloo.

Melania Trump





As I said my favourite cut is the emerald cut. Melania Trump is perfectly poised and wears beautifully a 12 carat emerald cut ring with tapered baguettes either side. The perfect accessory for impeccably manicured nails. 

Victoria Beckham




I've said before Victoria Beckham is a woman after my heart! Most people have one engagement ring but she seems to have a few which she rotates emerald, pear, oval and assher.

Elizabeth Hurley




Elizabeths 15.09 carat asscher cut diamond engagement ring from Arun Nayer was stunning. As if it wasn't enough of a statement she complements it with a diamond eternity band. 

Molly Sims



Molly Sims wears a cushion cut diamond halo ring which is mounted on a galaxy of smaller diamonds. I am rather partial to a halo and particularly like this one. There's a lot to be said for perfectly manicured nails, it really complients the ring especially in the bottom left hand corner, I love her nail varnish.

Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe keeps it simple and wears my ideal band, a baguette cut eternity ring. Hers comprises of 35 baguette cut diamonds and was given to her by Joe Di Maggio.

As I conclude this post I'm already thinking of the next. I'm not sure I've had enough of rings so for my  next post or in a future post I shall look even more into rings, cut clarity, carat colour etc.