To view the actual case size, Click Here. Gemstones will vary in color or patterns. Please allow for these natural variations. All weights pertaining to gemstones, including diamonds, are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. Click here for important information about gemstone enhancements and special care requirements.
Pronounced "vermay," vermeil is an electroplating process in which 14K gold or higher is coated over sterling silver. Officially designated by the jewelry industry, items may only be sold as vermeil if they have a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of gold over the silver. Regular gold plating is less than 2.5 microns.
The "vermeil" technique of plating sterling silver with gold originated in France in the 1750s. It differs from "gold filled" or "gold plated" in terms of the thickness or thinness of the microns over sterling silver. "Gold filled" pieces have a much thicker layer, between 15 and 45 microns, which is mechanically bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure. Vermeil is a more expensive version of "gold plated". It does not wear off as quickly as gold plating does. However, over time, vermeil wears off and therefore will require re-plating.
Gold/Platinum Embraced Silver or Bronze:
Our platinum and gold embraced collections feature layers of platinum or gold over sterling silver or bronze for a lustrous, radiant finish everywhere you look and touch.
To care for your plated jewelry items:
ATM: Measures water resistance; Stands for "atmospheres" or the amount of pressure a watch can withstand before leaking; One atmosphere is equal to 10 meters of water pressure.
Bezel: Retaining ring topping the case and securing the crystal; Sometimes incorporates unidirectional or ratcheting movements, engraved or printed chapter markers, or complications such as a tachymeter.
Chronograph: Functioning similarly to a stopwatch, a chronograph is a unique and valued complication due to its ability to measure increments of elapsed time while the watch still maintains traditional timekeeping abilities. The crown controls the analog watch while function pushers allow you to start, stop and reset the chronograph subdials.
Chronometer: High-precision timepiece that has been tested and is certified to meet precision standards; Chronometer watches often come with certificates indicating their certified status.
Complication: Any feature added to the timepiece that does not indicate hours, minutes or seconds.
COSC Certified Chronometer: Refers to timepieces that have been christened with the title of chronometer. To become a chronometer, timepieces have to pass a test conducted by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometers (COSC), roughly translating to Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. COSC is a prestigious Swiss government agency that certifies the accuracy and precision of timepieces in Switzerland.
Crown: Part that allows you to manipulate the watch movement for a variety of purposes such as setting the hands, changing the date, winding the mainspring, etc.
Crystal: Transparent cover on a watch face that gives view of the dial.
Deployant: Type of clasp that keeps the closing mechanism hidden, creating an uninterrupted look for your bracelet or strap.
Dual Time Zone: Timepiece that simultaneously gives time in two time zones. GMT function serves the same purpose and is used interchangeably, as it can be set to any time zone you wish.
Exhibition Case or Back: Unique complication wherein a crystal window is implemented into the back of a watch case, allowing view of the timepiece's movement.
Function Pushers: Manual controls on a case for when a movement features complications that require increased manipulation.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): Also referred to as Greenwich Meridian Time, the Greenwich Meridian Line is located at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. It is the place from where all time zones are measured. Greenwich Mean Time is the average time that Earth takes to rotate from noon to noon. In this regard, GMT is thought of as "the world's time" and was once the basis with which every other zone set time.
Guilloche: Style of engraving that features wavy or straight lines, giving a unique effect when the timepiece is moved or shifted.
Ionic Plating: Process that produces a hardened surface that is durable and scratch-resistant; Has a black flat "stealth" finish.
Jewels: Within a movement, metal on metal contact creates wear and tear. Watchmakers use jewel bearings to reduce friction and help the delicate parts of the movement work smoothly and with great precision. Jewels help extend the movement's life. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies and garnets are the preferred materials. As a general rule, a higher number of jewels suggests a more prestigious movement.
Lugs: North and south ends of the case that attach to the strap or bracelet and often extend out from the dominant lines of the case.
Moon Phase: The lunar cycle has been a cornerstone of horology, the study of measuring time, since ancient days. Moon Phase is a complication on a timepiece that displays the various stages of the moon cycles from waxing to waning. It appears as a dial visible through an aperture which reveals the current moon phase.
Movement: Assembly making up the principal elements and mechanisms of a watch or clock; Includes the winding and setting mechanism, the mainspring, the train, the escapement and the regulating elements.
Power Reserve: Time a watch will continue running based on the movement's residual winding of its mainspring; In quartz and digital watches, this can also refer to the amount of energy left in the battery.
Push Button Dual Deployant: Similar to deployant and considered one of the most desirable and easy-to-use clasps, the push button dual deployant employs two small hidden push buttons that release the bracelet. This clasp keeps the closing mechanism hidden for an uninterrupted, seamless finish.
Repeater: Complex watch mechanism that sounds hours, quarters or minutes, or repeats them on request; Originally designed to help the wearer to tell the time in the dark.
Retrograde: Hour, minute, second or calendar hand that moves across a scale and resets to zero at the end of its cycle.
Skeletonization: Reveals the intricate symphony of moving rotors, gears and springs which power a timepiece; The open design offers an insider's view, as unnecessary metal is cut away to allow the wearer to actually see the movement's skeleton.
Swiss Made: Since the 16th century, Switzerland has been the epicenter of watch making, producing some of the industry's greatest technological advances. The Swiss put a law into effect for all timepieces baring the words "Swiss Made": First, the movement must be assembled in Switzerland. Secondly, the movement must be cased up in Switzerland. Finally, the manufacturer must carry out the timepiece's final inspection in Switzerland.
Tachymeter: Scale on a watch used to determine units per hour, such as average speed over a fixed distance, or distance based on speed; Typically located along the outer rim of a dial.
Tritium: Miniature tubes containing gaseous Tritium and layered with phosphor to power the luminous accents which can be seen for several meters in darkness. Tritium illumination requires no electrical power but must be "charged" by holding your watch close to any light source. The longer you hold it there, the longer and brighter you'll see the Tritnite.
Unidirectional Rotating Bezel: Used for tracking elapsed time. A ratchet mechanism prevents the bezel from rotating backwards. This feature is popular with divers, who rely on the elapsed time feature to prevent the diver from running out of air. The fact that the bezel cannot rotate backwards prevents the wearer from underestimating the elapsed time.
An ancient Persian legend states the Earth rests on a gigantic sapphire that gives its blue reflection to the sky. The most popular colors for sapphires range from light blue to a blue that appears black. Hence, the name was derived from the Latin form of the Greek word for blue, "sapphirus." These blue colors are caused by iron and titanium in the stone. Bright daylight makes most sapphires shine more vividly than the somewhat muted artificial light. So the most highly cherished color for blue sapphires is not the darkest blue, but a deep and satiated blue, which even in dim, artificial light remains to appear blue.
While sapphires are best known for being velvety blue, it was decided long ago to consider all gemstones of the mineral family corundum to be sapphires. Non-blue sapphires are termed "fancy" and can be nearly any color, including yellow, green, white, pink, orange, brown, purple and even black. Red corundum is the exception, however, and was given the special name of "ruby."
In lighter-colored sapphires, the shade of color is determined by how the stone is cut. A cutter must take special care with sapphires. Not only do they rank a 9.0 on the Mohs Scale, second only to diamonds in hardness, but they display a different coloring and satiation depending on the perspective. The cutter must align the orientation of the stone in such a way as to bring about the best possible display of color.
There are a great number of varieties of sapphire, many of which are quite rare and highly sought-after in the gemstone market. A rare orange-pink variety, known as padparadscha, can be even more valuable than blue sapphire. Given the poetic name meaning "lotus blossom," it features a delicate orange color with pink undertones
Another rare variety of sapphire is known as the color-changing sapphire. This stone exhibits different colors in different light. In natural light, color-changing sapphire is blue, but in artificial light, it is violet. This effect is the same phenomenon seen in alexandrite.
For experts and connoisseurs, the Kashmir-color is considered the most beautiful and valuable shade. It features a pure and intensive blue, which is enhanced by a fine, silky gloss. Its color does not change in artificial light, but remains intense with a deep, velvety sheen. Setting the standard for the color of top-quality sapphires, Kashmir sapphires were found in 1880 after an avalanche. They were intensely mined for only eight years until the source was depleted. The Burma-color is also considered especially valuable, ranging from rich royal blue to deep cornflower blue. Ceylon sapphires are prized as well for the luminosity and brilliance of their light to medium blue color.
There is a translucent variety of sapphire, called star sapphire, which displays a six-point star when cut into a smooth domed cabochon. The mineral rutile is embedded in an asterisk-shape within the stone, causing light to reflect in a phenomenon called "asterism." Six- or twelve-ray stars appear to magically glide across the surface of the stones as they are moved. Star sapphires and rubies are expensive rarities and should always display the stars exactly in the center of the gem. The star stone is said to be the home of each person's angel, who lives there in contentment with the sapphire's spirit.
White sapphires have become a very suitable diamond substitute. With their high light refraction and level of hardness, they provide a less expensive alternative that is still very capable of turning heads with a very convincing sparkle.
The oldest sapphire mines are situated in Ceylon, where gemstones were mined in ancient times. Most blue sapphires today come from Thailand or Australia, but sapphires from Kashmir and Myanmar are highly prized. A large sapphire occurrence stretches across several miles in Madagascar. There are also two large occurrences in Tanzania, where smaller, yet high-quality sapphires are found. The stone is also mined in many other parts of the world.
Sapphires are readily available in sizes of up to 2.00ct, but gems weighing 5.00-10.00ct are not unusual. The cushion-cut Logan Sapphire from Sri Lanka weighs an astounding 423.00ct and can be seen at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There is also a 258.00ct stone set in the Russian crown, which is kept in the Diamond Fund in Moscow.
Because the gem has long symbolized sincere love and enduring faithfulness, blue sapphires are often given in engagement rings to express commitment and loyalty. Many women throughout the world decide on the blue stone for their engagement rings, as the gem also represents truth, friendship, harmony and consistency. Sapphire blue has become a color related to anything permanent and reliable, making it an ideal stone to symbolize the promise of marriage.
Often referred to as "Gem of the Heavens," sapphire also symbolizes a noble soul. It is September's birthstone and is traditionally given as 5th and 45th wedding anniversary gifts. Star sapphires are given for the 65th anniversary. The color sapphire-blue is known for representing clarity and competence. In fact, the first computer to ever declare victory over a chess grandmaster and world champion was named "Deep Blue."
Sapphires have been associated with magical powers throughout the ages. The Greeks identified white sapphires with Apollo and the oracles at Delphi used them to tap into the subconscious and super conscious. In the 13th century, it was said that when worn, sapphires cooled the inner heat of anger. Soldiers wore them to prevent capture by enemies and kings wore the gemstone to defend against harm and put themselves in divine favor. This supposed "divine favor" is why sapphires were often the gemstone of choice for high priests and royalty throughout history. In fact, the British Crown Jewels contain a number of notable sapphires.
During the Middle Ages, sapphires symbolized the tranquility of the heavens and wearing them was thought to bring peace, happiness and purity of the soul. Medieval priests and monks would wear sapphire jewelry believing it had the ability to quell wicked impulses and impure thoughts. The color blue became the symbol of the union between a priest and the heavens, so sapphires came to be adorned on the rings of bishops.
Today, sapphires are still believed to hold special powers. It can be considered an aid to psycho kinesis, telepathy and clairvoyance, while providing spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. White sapphires, like diamonds, are considered the guardians of love, enhancing it and ensuring fidelity in marriage. The most powerful type of the gem is said to be the star sapphire. They are believed to protect against negative energy and have a calming effect that allows the mind to experience tranquility, joy and clear thinking.
Chrome diopside, also called Russian diopside, offers an intense forest green color. Because it is the most affordable gemstone with a pure, rich green color, many jewelry designers predict chrome diopside will be the world’s leading emerald substitute by the end of the decade. It is mostly available in smaller sizes, with the rare larger sizes becoming much more expensive and too dark. A 26.17ct oval cut chrome diopside may be the largest known example of the faceted stone, but there is also a 25.33ct stone that is brighter and more intense in color.
Chrome diopside is relatively soft, with a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs Scale. Mostly mined in Yakutia and Siberia, the liberalization of the former Soviet Union's economy has made chrome diopside more available, and more popular, than ever before.Stainless Steel
The nearly-indestructible and masculine nature of stainless steel is appealing for many jewelry styles. It has a similar appearance to platinum and polishes to a glistening sheen. Any scratches that may occur from day to day wear can be easily buffed away without endangering the piece. Unlike traditional gold, silver or platinum jewelry, stainless steel jewelry is not poured into molds, but is usually hand-cut from a solid piece of steel, leaving no seams or weak spots. With stainless steel, your jewelry will last a lifetime.
Stainless steel was first recognized in France in 1821 by metallurgist Pierre Berthier. He realized the iron-chromium alloys maintained resistance from acids and recommended their use in cutlery. After several corrosion-resistance related discoveries and patents in Europe and the United States, Harry Brearley in England discovered a modern blend of stainless steel alloy. When it was announced by The New York Times in January of 1915, he was officially credited with the invention of this impressive modern metal.
The great imposter of gemstone history, many famous rubies have been found to actually be spinels. Perhaps the most famous of which is the Black Prince’s Ruby. Once worn by Henry V on his battle helmet, this 170.00ct red spinel is now set in the British Imperial State Crown. Another famous misidentification is the Timur Ruby, a 352.00ct red spinel now owned by Queen Elizabeth. This particular stone is engraved with the names of the Mughal emperors who previously owned it.
History is unclear whether these mistaken identities were merely accidents or clever substitutions of rubies for the less valuable spinels by dishonest jewelers. In Burma, spinel was recognized as a separate gem species in 1587, but the masquerade lasted for hundreds of years after that in most other countries.
Spinel carries a considerable amount of worth not only based on its history, but due to its brilliance and wide range of spectacular colors. When interpreted by the Greek, the word “spinel” means “spark” in reference to its beautiful sparkle. While a rich red is the most common color, spinel can be found in shades of pink, purple, green, brown or black. An exceptional color from Burma is a vivid hot pink with an orange undertone. Spinel can also come in a beautiful blue hue, sometimes called cobalt spinel, but this color is quite rare.
The main obstacle holding back greater recognition for spinel is rarity. Fine spinels are now more rare than the rubies they used to imitate. Strangely, however, they are also more affordable, since too rare can be a drawback because such few people have the opportunity to grow to love them. The most beautiful colors of the stone are mined in Myanmar (formerly Burma), but spinels are also found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Russia. They have a hardness of 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs Scale and are traditionally given as a 22nd wedding anniversary gift.
A selection of our jewelry is made of sterling palladium alloy. Palladium is a member of the platinum group of precious metals. By replacing a portion of the copper content used in standard sterling silver with palladium, this proprietary formula renders a precious metal with superior performance attributes. Sterling palladium is five times more tarnish-resistant than standard sterling silver and has strength similar to that of 14K gold.
Palladium has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, originally as an alternative to platinum for making white gold. Its naturally white color requires no rhodium plating. Additionally, palladium is proportionally much lighter than platinum and is ideal for use in heavier gemstone jewelry. It is a more expensive alloy than nickel, but it seldom causes the allergic reactions that nickel alloy can.
To care for your plated jewelry items: