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Like most men, I struggle when it comes to buying jewelry. I feel uneasy because I don't know how much it's supposed to cost. I know that diamonds are expensive and that certain precious stones and metals cost more than others, but I probably couldn't even tell the difference between man-made stones and the real thing. I get suspicious when I see department and chain stores advertise deeply discounted jewelry. I just don't know what to believe. As a savvy consumer, I don't want to pay huge markups or simply assume that if it costs more it must be better. That's why I found the answer in buying jewelry online.

But isn't that risky? I don't think so. I buy many other things online and I do it because I generally have a greater selection and get a better deal. Online stores have much lower overhead. There are no middlemen and no expensive storefronts. This results in lower prices. Transactions are safe, there are money-back guarantees, and service is as good or better.

There are other advantages. For example, I dread going to conventional jewelry stores because of the subtle and not-so-subtle sales pressure they inevitably put on you. They always bring out the really expensive stuff as if I were a cheapskate unless I spent so and so much for a set of diamond earrings. The implication is always, "If you really loved her, you'd spend more." I hate to be put into that position, and it is one of the reasons why I prefer shopping for jewelry online.

Now obviously there are some drawbacks as well. It can be difficult to get a true idea of the size and appeal of a piece of jewelry without actually seeing it in person and touching it. Then again, unless you risk getting talked into buying something you really don't want or need, most jewelry we see in stores we don't get to touch either. So the very high quality photography on online jewelry site often shows more detail than what you see in a store.

A very important advantage of shopping for jewelry on the web is that you get to compare. Jewelry in stores usually has a tiny price tag attached to it and no other information at all. Online, each item is usually described in detail. That way you know the material, the stones, the size, fit, finish and anything else you need to know. If you're shopping for bracelets, for example, you can search by type, material, price range or other criteria. Likewise, if you're interested in birthstone collections, Celtic jewelry or a Mother's Day gift, you can simply bring up the category and then compare to your heart's content. If you have a certain price ceiling in mind, you can call up whatever suits your budget. There is never any pressure.

The selection available at the better online jewelry stores is amazingly large. Couples shopping for wedding bands may find many hundreds of beautiful designs in many categories, again all described in great detail and shown in close-up photography. Diamond jewelry, likewise, is available in an almost endless variety, with diamonds described in cut, carat weight, clarity, color and, if applicable, certificate type.

For me, the bottom line is clear. Buying jewelry online means no sales pressure, more selection, more and better information (some have learning lounges and other educational resources), easier comparison shopping, and generally better prices. What's not to like? So next time you're in the market for a fine piece of jewelry, try shopping online. Reputable online jewelry stores will have the latest trends and styles. Most have excellent customer support, and the best ones offer price guarantees. You simply can't lose.

Photo Credit @ Cindy Ord/Getty, Refinery 29

 

With Halloween being over, you probably have your own cache of things to sort through. If you had time to DIY a costume, there is a chance that you have an outfit to piece apart or save for next year. Those with one of those thin, overpriced nylon costumes might opt to just donate. But if you used jewelry in your outfits, you might be perplexed. It is most likely going to be inexpensive, aptly named costume jewelry.Before you decide to toss out those sparkly pieces, however, you could try and re-imagine these pieces in your daily wear. When you wore your pieces, they might have made a standout outfit. Anne Hathaway, dressed in a modern Elizabeth Taylor inspired Cleopatra, chose to layer on belts, bangles, necklaces, and a tiara. The first way to do this is by sorting out the jewelry by use. When wearing a simple dress, the belt alone can be the only jewelry item worn. Likewise, think a demure pant and chic crisp shirt if you want to wear a tiara.

Before you decide to toss out those sparkly pieces, however, you could try and re-imagine these pieces in your daily wear. When you wore your pieces, they might have made a standout outfit. Anne Hathaway, dressed in a modern Elizabeth Taylor inspired Cleopatra, chose to layer on belts, bangles, necklaces, and a tiara. The first way to do this is by sorting out the jewelry by use. When wearing a simple dress, the belt alone can be the only jewelry item worn. Likewise, think a demure pant and chic crisp shirt if you want to wear a tiara.

 

Outfits that use jewelry that is more simple, like Heidi Klum as a Grandmother and another Model doing her best Frida Kahlo, can make for an easy use after Halloween. Pearls, often used in formal occasions, can be put together with nearly any outfit to give an elegant look. Hoop earrings can easily sway either way, putting themselves in looks that are both refined and casual. So before you either toss out those Halloween accessories or layer all of them on again, take a breath and try things out – hopefully after your last sugar rush wears off. 

 

2) Bold Shapes : The Latest Tokyo Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit @ KIRA/TokyoFashion.com 

Within Tokyo, a fashion show happened. But it wasn't the one within the designer showcase that some of the most innovative styles were found. On the streets outside of the venue, a collection of locals, travelers, and simple admirers were found. The theme of the street style was about having a playful approach to dressing, common within the realms of Tokyo style. Shoes were chunky and laced, while hair was colorful and vibrant. Regarding jewelry, there was one pattern found often – geometric and bold shapes. 

 

Necklaces in particular seemed to be a favorite in showing this trend. A strand of triangles, golden and linked, allow a simplicity to a young woman. Wearing a wide brimmed hat, her outfit brings a modern touch to a traditionally feminine look. Citing the craze of fishnets, another fashion show attendee pairs a chunky heart necklace and change up the punk look into one with a touch of sweetness. Lastly a tassel rope, often seen slung on curtains, adorns a neck of a fashionable person in a loose fit jacket.

 

One way to take Tokyo style back is by trying to seek out pieces that are eye catching. From strong shapes that are geometric to items that would not normally be used, having a creative eye is the main theme for Tokyo. When trying to find your own unique style, don't be afraid to put together things that first might not seem like they work. You could end up settling on something that has that ideal balance of innovation and glamour you want to capture.

3) Circles : A Shape for Stylish Women

 

 

Photo Credit @ Jamie McCarthy/Getty, Araya Diaz/Getty, Ari Perilstein/Getty

 

As fall starts to come across the world, you could notice that style is changing. Hemlines are lowering, coats are getting fuller, and suits are being buttoned up. With all of that covering up from things getting colder, it is the ideal time to focus on accessories that can stand out despite all those layers. When looking to the styling of the best designs and fashionable women of Hollywood, we see that another theme is happening with jewelry : circles.

 

Some might be thin and delicate, like the singular one worn on a strand by Shailene Woodley. This pairs well with her pantsuit, and shows how easily this look could go from a day in the office to a night sipping wine. Demi Moore, wearing a little black dress and warm layers, puts on a chunky bright turquoise necklace with strands of pebble-esq shapes. That pop of color brings out a lighter side to the otherwise commonly darker fall wardrobe. Not to leave circles only on her polka-dot skirt, Jessica Alba  uses them on her bracelet too. Stacking a number of golden bracelets, this simple touch offers beauty into a look that is still feminine and edgy, but youthful enough for an event.

 

Other ways to look into circles as a theme for your own jewelry is to look into pendant and rings for inspiration. Many gemstones, such as Opal and Pearl, are naturally done in circle shapes within jewelry. Their tendency to be in white, illustrious tones meant they can lift up a look any be matched to nearly anything. Seeking out pieces that can be worn year round, but still hit certain trends within culture, is the way you can start to build you your jewelry box one season at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Super Sized Diamonds : The Case for Big Engagement Rings

Elizabeth Taylor's Engagement Ring from Richard Burton

 

 

 Beyonce's Ring from Jay-Z 

Part of nearly every engagement around the world all comes to a grand moment when trying to find a ring. Often left to the devices of men, but influenced by their love's preferences, engagement rings are chosen with a lot of care in mind. Part of the reason for being cautious is to get a yes (though the woman to turn to down her man based on the ring isn't common), but also because of the price point that many engagement rings come with.

 

Traditionally, engagement rings are of diamond. While that has not always been the case and is changing often, there is a certain aspect to a ring that one must confront – size. For some women, a big personality alone makes them seeking a ring. Elizabeth Taylor is one woman who still holds a place for what could be the largest, most flawless diamond. Not since legends came that anyone had seen such a statement. Not long after, the sapphire, diamond encircled ring by Princess Diana became famous not once, but twice when worn again by new Princess Kate Middleton. And then there is Beyonce, who had to show that she had put a ring on it and isn't shy to show it.

 

Having a diamond, even one of lower quality, is not a simple task. Save for those who happened upon a decent sized fortune, it isn't an easy task for the average woman to boast a larger ring. Because it is such a statement, however, there are ways to increase the size of a ring. One of them is to find a ring that has a larger stone, surrounded by others – similar in idea to Middleton's ring. The other option should you want one stone is to opt for a gemstone that isn't a diamond. Different gemstones, like white topaz and created emerald, can also be cut within shapes similar to traditional rings but are a fraction of the cost. Any quality piece, however, is likely to gain wealth over time.

The smart groom-to-be does his research before buying his fiancée a diamond ring! There are more styles and cuts to choose from than ever before. It’s not enough to be educated about the four Cs of diamonds – cut, color, clarity and carats. Now there are all types of diamond cuts and settings to choose from.

The most popular style is still the round brilliant. It’s one of the earliest cuts ever developed and now relies on precise mathematical equations to create a stone with fire and brilliance that the earliest gem cutters could only have dreamed of.

 But many brides want something completely unique. There are many traditional cuts to choose from. A pear-shaped is just that – wider at one end than the other. Or she can choose an oval, emerald or heart-shaped diamond. There are other cuts with unique faceting, such as the square princess-cut diamond.

Some cuts are patented, like the elongated Ashoka diamond or the Asprey & Garrard Eternal cut diamond. Other branded and patented cuts include:

Elara – a square-cut diamond with rounded corners

Asscher – a square diamond with rounded facets that gives an unusual complexity to the diamond

Couples diamond – this diamond is faceted to reveal either a circle of hearts or arrows inside. It’s a truly unusual diamond that requires precise cutting for the image to appear properly.

The price of a diamond increases exponentially with its carat weight. A one-carat diamond costs much more than 10 10-point diamonds and a two-carat diamond costs more than twice as much as a one-carat diamond (given equal quality in other areas).

One way to enhance a ring is with embellishments such as baguettes or trillions. A baguette is a small emerald-shaped diamond that can be placed on either side of the main stones and a trillion is a triangle-shaped diamond that also is a good enhancement to the center stone.

One of the four precious gemstones, the Ruby is the birthstone of July, and zodiac symbol for the Capricorn. For those considering gifts, knowing the meaning behind the birthstone and what the ruby symbolizes is important. While you can choose to view it for its beauty, the ruby has centuries of cultural meaning. When you are considering getting a gemstone, there is nothing to rival the passion of a ruby. Said to be inspired by the flames of the sun itself, rubies can range in color from a Merlot to hues that have pink rose.

 

Another branch of ruby is the star ruby, which appears as a solid color with a six ray star inside. When the gemstone is moved, the star itself moves with the users eyesight. As an entirely different looking gemstone, those seeking out the meaning of the ruby but wanting a completely unique appearance might want to take the star ruby into consideration.

 

Like the color red itself, ruby is said to represent passion. Those giving a ruby for symbolism should note that it generally has a background of being a sensual gemstone. Often in decades past, the ruby was given within wedding ceremonies for its prosperity, and also intimate connotations. Of course the ruby is grounded in energy and awakening, so it can also be an ideal gift for the wearer who needs a spur of energy.

 

As an invigorating, negative warding, and energetic gemstone, the ruby is ideal for those who want to bring about a new cycle in life. Ideal for the birth of a new child, career, or relationship, the ruby can give the wearer a beauty and confidence in its meaning. With its rich hues and prized cultural value, the ruby is a wonderful choice as a gift should you want to combine the beauty of red hues into a piece of jewelry.