Save vs. Splurge: Valentine's Day Jewelry
Jewelry is always a great Valentine's Day gift, but buying it can be tricky, so Rachael enlists the help Amanda Gizzi and Helena Krodel from the Jewelry Information Center to share some of their "gems" to help you this holiday!
Most people know about the four Cs of diamonds - cut, color, clarity and carat weight - but Amanda explains that the most important of the four, cut, is often confused with shape. "Cut is actually the mathematical proportion within a diamond and the number of facets - how it’s actually cut to release the actual fire and brilliance within a diamond," she says. "So a cut will actually bring the light down so it reflects into the diamond and refract back up to your eye. A poor cut diamond is not going to sparkle."
"With pearls there are a couple things to remember," explains Helena. "You want to think about luster, the nacre (which is what actually forms a pearl), surface cleanliness, which is like the absence of pitting or little bumps, and the size, and also shape, you want to make sure they are round."
To test for luster, Helena suggests holding the pearl up. "You want to actually see the light reflecting above you or you want to see your reflection in the pearl. If you're cloudy that means the luster is not as good. If you can see your reflection and put some lipstick on in there, it has good luster."
Helena points out other options than your standard pearls, such as baroques, which are not perfectly round. "These are very trendy right now and a lot of people are opting to wear them because they are very cool, very chic, and you can wear them with a tank top and some jeans." Other varieties that are available include south sea pearls, which come in beautiful golden shades, and Tahitian pearls which are gray.
Amanda says that there are three big price-determining factors when it comes to buying gold jewelry:
• Gram weight. "This is basically how heavy a piece of gold is - the more gram weight there is, the more expensive."
• Karatage. "24-Karat gold is 100 percent pure gold, so with 14-Karat gold, 14 parts out of the 24 are gold and the other parts are other alloys. The lower you go on the Karatage, the less expensive. And you are going to see that the higher Karatage tends to be more yellow because there are fewer alloys added to it."
• Craftmanship. "If something is hand-made it's going to be a little more expensive than if it's machine-made."
"Men love watches because they are technological wonders," says Helena, who encourages women not to forget about their man this Valentine's Day! Two characteristics affect the price of a watch:
The outside: "You can have a stainless steel watch that's very durable that's good for a guy who's very rugged. Or something like 18-Karat gold which is very elegant, very old-world, but it's a little bit more expensive. And if he likes the bling, go with the diamonds - obviously it’s going to affect the outside and the price."
The inside: "We have quartz movement or mechanical movement. Quartz movement is functioned by a quartz crystal and a battery, so if your battery goes dead, you put a new battery in and you’re good to go. Mechanical runs by the power of your movement - there are like 600 parts inside of a mechanical watch, and it's basically one person putting together an entire watch. Fifty to 70 percent of the watch's cost is actually what's on the inside."
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