Sylvie Levine, the design mastermind behind the award-winning Sylvie Collection of bridal jewelry, introduces her newest designs at Luxury by JCK. The new pieces for 2014 feature an emphasis on vintage styling with fine millgrain detailing. Click here to see the video.
When you want to show off your gorgeous new engagement ring, ratty nails or a subpar manicure just won’t cut it. This is even truer today than in past times when you’ll probably be posting an engagement ring portrait to Facebook and other social media sites. The look you choose will depend on your ring and your personality, but here are a few ideas for a stunning manicure to show off that precious and highly symbolic new rock.
You don’t want your nails to overshadow your ring. If you’re an understated kind of soul, downplay your manicure with neutral shades like beige, taupe or peach. A sheer light pink is feminine and will go with just about any ring. Plus, a neutral manicure is easier to maintain, as chipped nails are much less obvious when the color is light. Find the right shade by checking how the color looks with your skin, right next to the cuticle. If it makes your skin look red or gray, try again.
Match Your Ring
Are you glamorous? You could play up your manicure to complement your ring. You don’t need to go too Vegas – cease and desist with the embedded rhinestones – but perhaps a little silver glitter near the nail beds. You can buy glittery polish or dab on a bit of fine craft glitter. Be sure to seal it in with a top coat.
Play up the Elegance
A French manicure always looks elegant for engagement ring photos. If you want something just a little different, a gradient French manicure is less of a contrast between pink and white than a traditional French manicure. An ombré manicure is a similar idea. Choose a metallic that looks good with the metal in your ring.
Do the Unexpected
Are you the fiancée who is full of surprises? Turn the traditional French manicure on its ear by substituting black tips for the usual white. Or you could do your nails all black. It’s a bit on the goth side, but looks stunning with platinum or white gold.
A Few More Tips
Your engagement manicure will last longer if you apply polish in a few thin coats, letting it dry for at least two minutes between applications, rather than troweling it on in one thick coat. Better yet, go to a professional for this manicure. Either way, adding a little top coat every other day will increase your manicure’s longevity. And don’t forget to polish the very tip of each nail.
Now get out that camera and open your Facebook page. You’re ready for some gorgeous engagement ring portraits.
Jewelry lovers have probably noticed the uptick in rose gold the last few years. If you look in bridal magazines or peruse jewelry cases, you’ll see its distinctive pinkish shine. You might have wondered what gives this metal its rosy color and how it came to be so popular.
A Mix of Metals
In nature, gold is always yellow. But when you combine it with alloys, you get different colors. In the case of rose gold – also known as pink gold or red gold — that alloy is copper. Smaller amounts of other alloys might also be mixed in, but copper is what makes your gold rosy.
You’ll find rose gold in 9K, 10K, 14K or 18K. While 18 carat is costlier because it contains more gold, the lower carat pieces are rosier because they contain more copper alloy. Eighteen-carat rose gold contains 75 percent gold, 20 to 25 percent copper and maybe a pinch of silver. Fourteen-karat rose gold is made of at least 58 percent gold and the rest copper and silver. If you choose a piece of 10K rose gold jewelry, it will contain at least 37.5 percent gold.
The Look of Rose Gold
Rose gold is flattering for most skin tones, but is especially pretty against pale skin. It looks different in different lighting conditions, such as natural, florescent or incandescent. So if possible, look at the jewelry you’re considering buying in different lights. If you’re ordering rose gold online, be aware that its appearance may differ depending on your computer monitor.
The longer you have your rose gold jewelry, the prettier it gets. As the copper ages and subtly tarnishes, the pink color of the jewelry may intensify.
You can keep your rose gold looking its best by regularly polishing rose gold jewelry with a soft cloth. Store it separately from the rest of your jewelry to avoid discoloration.
Rose Gold History
Rose gold was known as “Russian gold” in the 19th century because that was where it first became popular. Its use spread during the Victorian era. In the 1920s, it went mainstream with Cartier’s trinity band, which featured intertwined bands of yellow, white and rose gold.
French filmmaker Jean Cocteau did his part to raise rose gold awareness by wearing two rose gold rings on his pinkie. In fact, it was Cocteau who commissioned Cartier to create his Trinity ring.
Rose gold went briefly out of style during the Art Deco 1930s when the cool elegance of platinum reigned supreme. But World War Two derailed the use of platinum in jewelry; instead, the precious metal was designated a strategic mineral necessary to war efforts. Gold – yellow and rose — came back into vogue.
The most recent rose gold trend started in the early 2000s. This metal evokes feelings of romance and femininity. Brides and everyday women enjoy the color it adds to their jewelry.
Many designers now offer rose gold collections, or mix touches of rose gold with other metals. It’s especially popular in watches. The whole watch may be rose gold, or rose gold is used as an accent for cases, crowns and hands. Watches are one popular way for men to wear rose gold.
Bridal magazines are now full of rose gold rings and sets to wear on the wedding day. These look fabulous at all kinds of weddings, from church to outdoors to candlelit receptions. Don’t be scared it’s too trendy. As we’ve seen, rose gold’s proud history dates back more than a century. It’s the perfect choice for the bride who enjoys a hint of vintage romance in her ring.
E! News host, Ali Fedotowsky wearing Sylvie’s lemon quartz ring to the ESPY Awards last night!
Wedding ring shoppers are often confused about white gold versus platinum. They look similar, but platinum costs a lot more. How are the two different? Is it worth the extra dollars for platinum?
Everybody has his or her own preferences, but many folks think diamonds look prettier in white gold or platinum than in yellow gold. Both white gold and platinum are also generally considered more flattering for paler rather than dark or olive skin tones.
Let’s take a look at these two popular metals.
Everybody knows gold is, well, golden. So how did it end up white? All colors of gold – yellow, white, rose, or more exotic hues – have alloys added to them. This is because gold alone is too soft to stand up to the wear and tear of jewelry. So while the gold itself is golden, the alloys determine the final color of your ring. To get white gold, nickel, palladium, silver and/or manganese are added. An outer coating of rhodium makes it extra shiny and white.
If you opt for 14K gold, you’ll get 58.3 percent gold and 41.7 percent alloys. To make 18K gold, 75 percent gold is mixed with 25 percent alloys. While 18K gold is purer and costlier than 14K, it’s also less durable. Remember, the alloys give your jewelry its strength.
Platinum is naturally a grayish white. It’s heavier than gold and is combined with a much smaller amount of alloy. To be sold as platinum, jewelry must contain at least 90 percent platinum. This gives your ring a heavier feel. Some people like this; others will prefer the relative lightness of white gold. Try on both and see what’s more comfortable.
If you have a nickel allergy, platinum could be a better choice than white gold, as the latter is often combined with nickel.
If you’ve already started shopping for rings, you have probably noticed that platinum costs significantly more than white gold. That’s because it’s rarer than gold and less frequently mined. Jewelers find platinum more difficult to work with than gold, so the labor cost can also be higher.
You might wonder why platinum costs more even when gold and platinum are priced similarly per gram. Remember those alloys? If a jeweler only needs 58.5 percent of a ring’s total weight in gold versus 95 percent to make it platinum, you know which will end up costing more.
July is one of the hottest times of the year in North America. So it’s only appropriate, if your fiancée was born at this time, that her birthstone is as fiery hot as the month: July’s birthstone is the ruby.
Add this gemstone to your fiancée’s engagement ring and you honor her with a jewel that is said to bring health, wealth and wisdom – as well as great joy and success in love.
Many people born in July are under the astrological sign of Leo, the lion. Leos are said to be ambitious, generous, loyal, confident, encouraging, and possess the ability to bounce back from any disappointment. They have a strong and vivacious personality and so it’s only appropriate that the ruby be July’s birthstone because the ruby is a gem second in toughness and strength only to the diamond.
It’s said that one should wear one’s birthstone during the appropriate month, as it increases the healing properties each birthstone possesses.
If your fiancée was born in July, wearing an engagement ring with a ruby in it during her birth month it will increase the properties believed to be found within the ruby: it will provide her even more fortune and love. It also will protect her when she’s surrounded by unfriendly forces.
Rubies – and the deep, luxurious red associated with this gem – were very popular during the Victorian era.
Rubies often have been associated with those in power because its deep red color was – and is – associated with fire, and fire denotes power and authority.
Rubies are considered to be a very precious gemstone and can fetch some of the highest prices of any other jewel, even more than a diamond of the same carat and quality if the ruby has few flaws. Even slight differences in a ruby’s color can make a huge difference in its value. The price goes up even further if the gem is free of flaws that are visible to the eye.
A ruby’s color is the most important factor when it comes to its value. The finest of these gorgeous gems are a vibrant red, or perhaps a slightly purple-red color. The more orange tints in the ruby – or the purpler its hue – lessens its quality. The more colorful rubies also may be called “fancy colored sapphires.”
If you’re still undecided as to whether to include a ruby in your fiancée’s engagement ring, remember this: red is thought of as the color of love. A ruby is red. If there’s one gemstone that connotes love, it’s the ruby!
Finally, if you don’t want to give your beloved a ruby in her engagement ring, remember that the ruby is the traditional gemstone to give for a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little advanced planning….