Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jazz Style Pearl Rings

Have you ever been to the Ziegfeld Theater located on 1341 Sixth Avenue, corner of 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City? The theatre is an Art Deco landmark which witnesses rise and fall of Broadway show bizs.

I came across the above ring designs from Tiffany's which not only offer a modern tribute to the cool elegance of the Jazz Age but also reflect the lavish ornamentation and bold geometry of the Ziegfeld theater in its designs. The ring collection combines silver, black onyx and freshwater pearl on a classy diamond and pearl ring enhance the sophisticated touch of any elegant nightgowns which will dazzle your peers in any grandeur events.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY- Pearl Power Bracelet

Both trendy and elastic, this pearl bracelet is strung with elastic cor so that it is easy to wear. There is no clasp to deal with since the bracelet can be easily slipped on over your hand. The elastic cor enhances this classic pearl bracelet that can be worn with a business suit or a pair of jeans. A few crystal beads are included in the design to not only accent the pearls but to help hide the knot used to connect the cord. Since pearls are now available in a rainbow of colors, white is no longer the only choice for pearls lovers!

Pearls are very porous so they need a little extra than most beads. When getting dressed, make sure you put on your makeup, hair spray, and perfume before you put on any pearl  jewelry (the same goes for amber, by the way). For a gentle cleaning, wipe your pearl jewelry with a soft cloth or vocationally clean with mild soapy water. Never use jewelry solvents or ammonia-based cleaning solutions on them. Store in a jewelry box lined with felt or in a soft cloth pouch.

- 10" (25cm) 0.5mm elastic jewelry cord
-  twenty 8mm gold-colored pearls
- four 6mm rose-colored crystal beads
-  scissors
-  tape
-  instant glue or jeweler's cement

Step by step

1. Start by adding a piece of tape to one end of elastic cord. This will prevent your beads from sliding off as you string them on.

2. String five beads and once crystal beads on the cord. Repeat this pattern of five pearls and once crystal three more times. It is important that the last bead you string on is a crystal bead.
3. Now slide your beads into the middle of the elastic cord.

4. Using the two ends of the elastic cors, tightly tie a square knot.
5. Then, drop a small amount of instant glue or jeweler's cement onto your square knot, and use scissors to trim off excess cord. Do not worry about getting all the cord trimmed off. You do not want to cut too closely to your knot, and a tiny amount of cord left over will not be seen.

6. Now slide the crystal bead, whcih is next to your knot, over the knot that was glued in the previous step.

7. Allow glue try dry for at least a few hours or overnight, depending on the manufacturer's directions.

Sarah's Tip:

If you find yourself wearing this bracelet often, you may also want to consider restringing it every few months to ensure that the elastic band keeps its integrity.
DIY Video

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Black Pearl Earrings – I Love you Ron!

So Ron and I have been dating for over 2 years and we also live together. He is one of the nicest guy that I have met, but “romantic” is never his strength. Nonetheless, I know that he loves me very much.

I always wanted to do something truly special for him. Like his 30th birthday where I dressed like a playboy sexy bunny with long ears and shiny earrings, and hoping, it would strike his fantasy. When he got home and switched on the lights, I jumped out from the gift box and said “surprise!” We had so much “fun” that night and I barely made out of bed the next morning. I even cook, clean, and do what I can for him to show my appreciation for his love.

The problem is…..Ron never buys me any gifts despite he makes a lot more money than I do. I only received a happy birthday kiss and perhaps a short vacation treated by him. Sometimes I do drop little hints on things that I want him to buy for him, but he still does nothing.  If I tell him straight to his face, then I feel like I am begging for it.

So on our second year dating anniversary, I thought of calling Ron and tried to find out if some magic surprise would happen on that day. Just when I was about to pick up the phone, my doorbell rang! I opened the door and a guy from federal express dropped off a small box wrapped with pretty gift wraps. I didn’t have a clue who sent this box but I decided to open it anyway.

The box itself is a master piece! There were 4 boxes within this box and I have to admit that it was quit annoying unwrapping all of them. Not till I reached the last box and finally opened it. I found out that it was a pair of beauty black pearl earrings!

With a message from Ron saying:

 Dear Sarah, Happy second year dating anniversary. I hope you like the design of the box! Great gesture right? :P  hope that you will love the pair of pearl earrings as our dating anniversary gift. I know that I am not very romantic and often not very attentive to your needs. Nonetheless, I promise that I will start buying you small little gifts to show my appreciation for your love. You are the best thing that ever happen to me. I love you.
Love Ron”
I wasn’t able express how I feel when I saw Ron’s message on a gift card but my tears were dropping like relentlessly. Suddenly, I realize something…please don't tell my “lovely” Ron that I almost forgot buying him an anniversary gift also!


Friday, April 25, 2014

How would you wear pearl necklace?

Pearls can be dressy, sexy, offhandedly cool and chic, and work with all kinds of outfits and nightgowns.

A real strand of pearls is apt to be a graduated strand and a tidy collar length (at your throat), a choker (base of your neck), a princess (collarbone length), or a matinee (sits just above your chest). Dainty and real choker or collar-length pearls are for weddings, funerals, and passing down to the next generation.  And those princess and matinee lengths will look less Midcentury Matron or Madame Secretary if you introduce them to very casual fabrics or tuck them inside in the V of your white shirt or the neck of your T-shirt or V-neck sweater.

Now, our pearls should be larger, longer, all one size, and unapologetically fake.  Alber Elbaz at Lavin started the fashion of pearls strung loosely on ribbon.  Like Chanel, he reinvented a classic by knocking the stuffy out of the look.  Try on an opera or rope length (48 to 120 inches long) wrapped twice around your neck. Chanel said that “a woman should wear ropes and ropes of pearls.”

There are so many impressive fakes to have – new or vintage. 

The nicest faux pearls, like Chanel’s are still being made as the Romans made them, by coating glass beads with mother of pearl.  Other good fakes have a lovely iridescence that imitates the nacre on real pearls created by coating glass beads, a fish-scale solution that looks better than it smells.

Mix larger-scale spherical (round) cultured pearls with Baroque (irregular, naturally shaped pearls).  Choose the right white, ivory, or cream for your skin tone for a luminous look.  Wear the deep gray tones that imitate Tahitian pearls if the color suits you.  And don’t overlook vintage strands.  Vintage faux pearls have a weight in the hand and a luster that you simply don’t see as much in new styles. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is Mikimoto pearl?

I have heard about freshwater pearls or cultivated pearls before but I have never heard of mikimoto pearl. Some people often misinterpret the word "Akoya" as having the same meaning as “Mikimoto” but the fact is that they are totally independent of each other.

Strictly speaking, Mikimoto pearls are those cultivated under a strict patented process in the bays of Ise, Honshu, Japan. They are farmed in a tiny island located off the Ise coast previously purchased by the Mikimoto family in the 1930`s and has since then become a part of the rich international legacy.

Mikimoto deploys a worldly recognized grading method independent of the GIA grading standards to evaluate pearl quality. The highest quality pearl receives AAA rating and also has a "mirror like" reflection when compared to lower grade pearl.  Most purchasers are not jewelers or appraisers, therefore they are not aware of the exact grade of their Mikimoto pearl. As such, they depend on valuation certification for insurance purposes.     

For buyers who are really interested in distinguishing true high grade mikimoto pearls from cheaper freshwater or akoya pearls, you could inspect the pearls under microscopic magnification. Authentic Mikimoto pearls have distinguished roadmap patterns that experienced pearl jewelers will be able to identify them. However, like most of us who are not experienced pearl jewelers, the quickest way to inspect a pearl is to look for very slight rose tint, pink or undertone, which will not be found in 95% of any other Akoya pearl. This is the most important tip for beginners or other first time buyers to watch out for. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Million Dollar Engagement Ring

“France…the Army…the Head of the Army…Josephine…”, with these last words Napoleon Bonaparte departed the world on May 5th, 1821. Though he had divorced her in 1810 for failing to produce an heir, theirs was a match that continues to resound through history. We will forever associate Napoleon with Josephine, as much as his crowning triumph at Austerlitz or his final defeat at Waterloo. It was her name that he uttered with his dying breath.

The ultimate symbol of this famous union must be the engagement ring which the young Napoleon had given Josephine in 1796. He was a 26 year old rising star and France’s youngest general, and she a beautiful widow 6 years his senior with 2 children. By any standard and measure as far as jewelry is concerned, the gold ring is a modest affair and nothing extraordinary. It comprises a blue sapphire and a diamond, with the two pear-shaped gems each weighing just under a carat facing each other. They were set in an arrangement called ‘Toi et Moi’, meaning ‘You and Me’ popular in the 18th century. Napoleon was by no means rich at this point of his career, and the country was still reeling from the trauma of the French Revolution; it must have strained his meager resources severely to purchase it and would have meant no small sacrifice. The ring was rightfully treasured by Josephine until the very end.

The ring personified young Napoleon’s love and  passion for his wife. Two days after their wedding he left to take command of the rag-tag French army in Italy and soundly thrashed his enemies there. While on campaign he would write frenzied letters to Josephine…with words such as ” Oh, my adorable wife! I don’t know what fate has in store for me, but if it keeps me apart from you any longer, it will be unbearable! My courage is not enough for that…How happy I would be if I could assist you at your undressing, the little firm white breast, the adorable face, the hair tied up in a scarf a la creole.”

In March of 2013, this ring which had once belonged to an Empress was auctioned and sold for nearly $1 million US dollars to an anonymous buyer, rumored to be a direct descendant of Napoleon. Perhaps it has finally come full circle.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is It Worth Investing In Pearls?

A pearl necklace will always be classic.  Time and time again, we see pearl necklaces adorn the necks of elegant women, but can never tell the difference between the faux and the real deal.  Once we started actually looking into buying pearl necklaces for ourselves, though, we understood.  There’s a huge difference between faux and real pearls when you try them on: The weight of them, even the sheen, is different.  But we found a pearl necklace we had to invest in, and it cost $2,590.  So what did we do?  The fashion math, of course:

{ $2,590 divided by 90 ladylike days and nights = $28.77/wear }
One wear of this necklace is the same price as your daily coffee.  Three months out of the year you are bound to grab this staple-made with freshwater pearls and hand-knotted on silk thread.  The strands’ varying lengths and sizes make a modern statement, and you can wear this necklace for formal and casual events.  Do you want to be known as the grandmother who passed along the cheap pearls?  Didn’t think so.

Sarah Woods

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pearls are a woman’s best friend

Of course we have all heard it before ‘Diamonds are woman’s best friends.’… Majority said so. But for me? pearls are my best friends! Single-strand, matinee-length necklace, earrings… all in my jewelry box.

Pearls are the epitome of elegance…a staple in every well-dressed woman’s ensemble.  Pearls make the final statement and complete the look of sophistication and style.

Do I need to say more about the beauty and charm of pearls? Not really. From centuries ago till now, pearls have been loved from royalty to… the rest of us. The foremost reason I so love about them, is because of their lustre and sheen, which can enhance our glowing skin. Plus they have an oceanic feel about them; they give such a clean and pure look.

These days we can find pearls in all different colors, shapes and sizes. I personally prefer wearing pink pearls, mostly because my skin color and eyes color, so pink pearls seem to stand out more on me. I also like those champagne color pearls and white pearls.

The good thing about pearls is, if one can’t afford on a strand of top quality South Sea pearls or Tahitian black pearls, there are plenty choices available when it comes to fresh water pearls. Although the nacre of fresh water pearls wouldn’t be as thick and rich as the sea pearls, however, they are much more affordable and it looks stunning…

I know in fact, pearls are not only my best friends; they are also many, many girls and women’s best friends.

I do believe pearl is my best friend forever (BFF)!!! J

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Read A Pearl Story

Legend has it that to impress the Romans with the vast wealth of Egypt, Cleopatra had dissolved a single pearl that was her earring in vinegar and drank it at a banquet. The pearl was reputedly worth 10 million sesterces; in the ancient world this was roughly equivalent to 312,500 ounces of silver, or 6.25 million USD today.

Fanciful story?  Maybe…but pearls were indeed a whole lot more valuable in antiquity than they are today.  Indeed, the Roman General Vitellius financed his military campaign against the Germans by selling just a pair of his mother’s pearl earrings.  He eventually became emperor for all of 8 months.  According to Pliny, the world’s first gemologist, those 2 pearls were worth 60 million sesterces, or an estimated 1,875,000 ounces of silver.  At current silver prices of around $20/oz, that’s a cool 37.5 million USD. Pearls were so precious that Julius Caesar had banned women below a certain rank from wearing them. As a present to his favorite mistress, he bestowed a pearl worth 6 million sesterces.

The oldest surviving pearl necklace now rests at the Louvre in France.  It belonged to a Persian princess who died in 520 BC. To the ancient Persians, pearls symbolized the moon and its magical mystery. Pearls stood for purity, chastity and feminine charm.

Pearls are the only gem that is made within the soft tissue of a living animal. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in crystalline form that has been deposited in concentric layers over time. In his famous work The Book of Pearls first published in 1908, George Kunz described the gem thus: “Perfected by nature and requiring no art to enhance their beauty, pearl were naturally the earliest gems known to man.”  Yet ironically, the turn of the last century heralded the end of pearls as the Queen of Gems with the introduction of cultured pearls by Kokichi Mikimoto. Prior to this and throughout most of history, the most common belief was that natural pearls were formed only at particular times of the year, when oysters rose to the surface of the water in the morning, opening their shells to collect dew which was then turned into pearls…

Fortunately for us today, pearls are no longer the sole purview of the elite and royalty.  Cultured pearls share the same physical properties as natural pearls and are formed in live oysters.  The only difference lies in the fact they were given a bit of encouragement by man in the creation process. They may no longer hold the same mystique as days gone by, we are nevertheless still captivated by its allure of perfect simplicity.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Some Tips On How To Tell If A Pearl Is Real

Some fake Pearls can be easy to spot, but good imitations may be difficult to pick out with the naked eye and the inexperienced. Making sure a pearl is genuine before buying it is just common sense.

Many tests can be performed right at the jeweler's, and they include the friction test, flaw test, matching test, overtone test, and weight test. Some jewelers may even help you perform a surface magnification test. Other tests, like the tooth test and drilled-hole test, are best performed on pieces you already own as the jeweler may most likely object to your biting and making holes with their merchandise!

A friction test involves as the name implies, rubbing Pearls together. The gritty surface texture of a real pearl should give it a notable amount of friction when you rub it against another pearl. Select two pearls from a set, such as two pearls from the same necklace or two pearl earrings. Lightly rub the two pearls together. Note the amount of friction between the two. Smooth pearls are likely fake, but two pearls that offer resistance may be real.

When doing the magnification test, place the pearl beneath the magnifier and examine its surface under 64-power magnification. Real pearls should look fine-grained, scaly, and maze-like, while fake pearls look grainy or speckled. With the flaw test we follow the saying that if a pearl seems “too perfect to be true,” there is a good chance that it is not a true pearl. Examine the pearl for flaws. Real pearls will have small imperfections, while flawless pearls are likely imitations.

If possible, compare the pearl in question against a high quality certified pearl at the jeweler’s store for a matching test. Note the blemishes in the real pearl, and look for similar blemishes in the pearl you are testing. Overtone is a translucent outer layer of color that tints the pearl’s natural color. Examine the pearl in question for any overtone. Most real pearls have some overtone. If you see no overtone, try a different test. While most real pearls have an overtone, not all do, so this test alone cannot verify or discount the legitimacy of a pearl.

Finally, this is not a scientific test by any means, nor is it foolproof. Judging the weight of a pearl simply by holding it may help you to confirm any suspicions you have after performing other tests. Carefully bounce a certified pearl in your hand to get an idea of how much it weighs if you are not sure. Most pearls feel heavy for their size and you can compare this with the pearl you are testing.

Best Kept Anti-Aging Secret – Pearl Powder

Did you know that pearl powder can restore youth and beauty to your precious skin? Our skin color is determined by a group of natural substance called Melanin. Although Melanin provides a natural protection against the harmful effects from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it does not provide complete protection from the sun, and individuals with darker skin tones are still at risk from the sun's damaging rays.

To restore the glow of our precious skin, pearl powder is often use to help prevent the development of bad melanin, which causes freckles and dark patches. The powder contains a powerful antioxidant that enhances the activity of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), one of the body's strongest antioxidant enzymes, and reduces peroxidation which causes the body to age quickly. Consistent use of pearl powder prevents the skin from becoming old looking, wrinkled and sagging.
The application of pearl powder is still an unconventional concept to the western culture, but, in Asia, pearl powder is one of the most used natural ingredients in facial creams and foundation. If one should buy a cream or a foundation with pearl ingredients in it and apply it to your face or skin day and night, one shall see significant reduction in blemishes and wrinkles.

I have seen and heard about people applying power pearl on skin or wearing white pearl earrings, black pearl earrings and even pearl necklace, But, I believe the most interesting use of pearl powder, is definitely eating it for medical or health purposes.

As eccentric and lavish eating pearl powder sounds to me, it is in fact, a rather common thing in Asia. It is claimed that eating pearl powder provides your body with pure sources of calcium which does not cause calcification. Pure source of calcium reduces calcification which is a known factor causing chronic health conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular problems, joint pain…etc.

Now that you have a glimpse of the benefits of pearl powder, I would suggest that before storming into a shop or begin searching frantically in the internet space to purchase this special powder, you should know a thing or two on how to identify fake pearl powder. First of all, good quality pearl powder never comes cheap. If you find yourself buying 200-300 grams of pearl powder at around 10 dollars, this is the first warning. Secondly, you should feel the texture of the powder. Low quality pearl powder has granules which are very thick, and even may have coarse sand. Lastly, apply a small amount of pearl powder to your taste tongue. Pure pearl powder has no odor and tastes like mellow Magnolia.



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