BLOG 2017-11-13T00:26:54+00:00

ALEX’S BLOG

When it comes to both rings and relationships, it takes time to come to the right decision. Finding the perfect partner is the hardest part, of course—but once you’ve found the person who completes you, these tips will make finding the perfect engagement diamond a breeze.

Research Is Key

A pair of engagement rings from Alex & Co.

The first step to buying is researching any and all things diamond: styles, cuts, trends, sizes, shapes, settings, and more. There are resources everywhere, from websites to wedding magazines. Even the recipient’s existing jewelry offers insights into her taste and preferences. The research phase is also time to pay attention to pricing in order to set a realistic budget based on the desired ring qualities.

Setting the Budget

In the past, suitors relied on the “three-month” rule of thumb: three months of his salary should be spent finding the perfect engagement ring. However, even with financing, that budget is unrealistic to many people. Instead, the budget should take into account taste, need, and financial situation to offer a balance between size and quality.

Choosing the Jeweler

Proposing is a big decision, and it’s important to work with a jeweler who understands the importance of the occasion. A good jeweler won’t rush the decision but will spend time helping the buyer explore different styles, cuts, settings, and other options. When it comes to a ring that will sit on a loved one’s finger for years to come, good jewelers want their customers to spend as much time as they need to feel confident that they’ve found a ring that expresses their unique journey.

The Four Cs

The four most important qualities of a diamond are cut, carat, color, and clarity. The best-looking stones will have a balance between these four Cs, but ultimately, clarity is probably the least important factor for those on a budget. Our diamond calculator helps explain the relationship between the four Cs, but here is a quick introduction:

  • Cut. Cut does not mean the diamond’s shape; it refers to how symmetrical and well proportioned the diamond is cut. This determines the diamond’s brightness (the white light reflected from the inside and outside of the diamond), fire (the distribution light into colors of the rainbow), and scintillation (how much it sparkles). Ideally, aim for a grade of Very Good to Excellent.
  • Carat. Carat is the weight of the diamond, and one carat equals 0.20 grams. Clarity becomes more important as carat weight goes up, as flaws are more noticeable in larger diamonds.
  • Color. Color really means colorless, and less color is better. The most valuable diamonds are Colorless or Near Colorless on the grading scale. Any more color and the diamond will look slightly tinted or yellow. Usually, you begin to notice yellow tinting around “I” color grading and as a result most people prefer to “H” color or better.
  • Clarity. This refers to how clean the diamond appears in terms of visual characteristics. All Diamonds have clarity characteristics, only Flawless have no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10x magnification. Most people choose diamonds with minor clarity characteristics as long as they are not noticeable to the naked eye and do not affect the brilliance of the diamond.

Build Your Ring Today

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a diamond is its value to you and the person you’ve chosen it for. Alex & Co. carries a large selection of ideal cut diamonds and engagement ring settings, and we’d be honored to help you pick out the ring that tells your love story. We also do custom designs for truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Call us at 617.965.8777 or request an appointment today.

The word “accessory” comes from the Latin accessorius, meaning additional thing. While it may be commonplace to categorize jewelry as an accessory or secondary element, jewelry often exceeds such a simple classification. The best jewelry does not play a supporting role in an ensemble; it steals the show. That’s why top designers the world over are spending more time incorporating unique and fashion-forward jewelry into their looks. Here are a few of the hottest jewelry trends making star turns this year.

Pearls

A pair of earrings from Alex & Co.

Though their popularity may wax and wane, natural pearls never truly go out of style. These precious emblems of timeless elegance are back in the spotlight, appearing on the runway in the latest collections from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and Chanel. In many cultures, pearls are associated with the moon and their naturally soft, lustrous glow pairs perfectly with a simple yet refined fashion sense.

Vintage

Speaking of never going out of style, vintage jewelry continues to revive the popularity of prior eras. In 2018, fashion houses like Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana are drawing inspiration from the romantic and baroque aesthetics of the Victorian and Elizabethan eras, tending towards the ornate and intricately detailed. Vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry showcase and celebrate the skillful artistry of master jewelers, and that skill is timeless.

Brooches

The resurgence of brooches has been spotted on the runways and red carpets, especially among younger consumers who use them to dress up otherwise-plain jackets and coats. Once considered a bit dated, brooches are enjoying newfound popularity as imminently adaptable displays of precious gems and metals that can also function as clasps for shawls and wraps.

Incorporating these jewelry trends into your look can bring together an entire outfit and convey something that is greater than the sum of its parts. At Alex & Co., we specialize in custom designs made in-house at our store in Newton, MA. Whether it’s tailoring an entirely new piece or redesigning something to bring new life into your look, you can be sure that you will have something truly unique. Your life is a story. Let us help you tell it. Make an appointment to visit us today.

Let’s use the round diamond or the 57 facet “brilliant cut” as an example. The brilliant cut is the quintessential shape in which almost all diamonds are cut today.

The 57 facets create a huge number of internal pathways along which light entering the stone can travel. The light that appears to pour from a diamond under certain lighting is the result of a pattern of bouncing light. This maximizes two key aspects of a diamond’s shine – brilliance and fire. In effect, a very expensive 57 facet kaleidoscope!

Brilliance is a measure of the white light that beams from some facets of a diamond. When lit directly from above, light entering the diamond strikes one lower facet, and then a second, at near-perfect 45-degree angles. This reflects the light back out the top of the stone, so that to the viewer it seems light is streaming from inside the diamond. If the diamond’s cut is angled too steeply the light is reflected out the side of the stone. Too shallow, and it exits out the bottom.

Light striking the diamond at an angle gets refracted, or bent, as it enters the stone. As Newton discovered in his experiments with prisms, white light is a mixture of all the colors in the rainbow – and that by refracting it these component colors can be separated out. This effect, which generates the little rainbows of color that diamonds create, is called chromatic dispersion, or in gemological terms, “fire”.

Jewelry will pull together any outfit and finish your look.

Here is our list of the 6 essential pieces of jewelry every girl needs.

Stud earrings

Diamond studs have been worn as a classic staple for ages. No woman should be without a pair of these little beauties. This is a must for a classic, timeless and elegant look. The diamond stud is the most versatile and is ideal for any occasion. Whether it’s a pearl, gold or diamond stud earring this style lends itself to a very polished look.

Diamond Hoops

A diamond hoop will take you from boardroom to ballroom. This earring is a very stylish alternative than its cousin, the stud. The hoop is a bit more of a “show-off” as it’s a more substantial earring than the stud.

Statement Earrings

No girl should be left out in the cold without a pair of statement earrings. This is the quickest way to rev up any outfit. Funky with a T shirt or down the red carpet, a statement earring in diamond or in a fabulous splash of color is a guaranteed home run!

Strand of Pearls

Today a cultured pearl necklace is the foundation for every girl’s wardrobe. This never out of style necklace can take a woman through every moment of her life. Fashionable and feminine, cultured pearls are a timeless classic. They work with most any outfit-put it with your LBD and think Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

Right Hand Ring

Your left hand may be on reserve for your engagement ring and wedding band but your right hand is ready for a party! Whether it’s an attention-grabbing cocktail ring, a set of stack rings or a ring with great colored stones – the choice is yours. Pick a good one and make it a signature.

A Bracelet or Cuff

A fashionable bracelet will elevate your look and put a finish to any outfit. Put a spin on a T-shirt and wear a bracelet or cuff for “cool-girl” style or add lady-like polish and wear it with a dress.