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.Ruby:
For thousands of years, ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. It is called the “King of Gemstones” and known as the stone of love. The gem is the red variety of the mineral corundum, and while any other color of corundum is denominated as “sapphire,” only red corundum may be called “ruby.” Pure corundum is colorless, but slight traces of elements are responsible for ruby’s purplish bluish-red to orange-red color. In fact, the name “ruby” was derived from the Latin word “rubens,” meaning “red.”
The finest rubies are an intensely saturated pure red with no overtones of brown or blue. They are readily available in sizes up to 2.00ct and have incredible durability, ranking a 9.0 on the Mohs Scale (second only to diamonds in hardness). Rubies may show very different shades of red depending on their origin, and the range of these reds is quite considerable. The gem’s intense color was once thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone, while other legends say each stone is a piece of the planet Mars.
Some rubies distinguish themselves with a wonderful silky shine, called the “silk” of the stone, which is created by fine rutile needles within the gem. The rutile mineral is also involved within very scarce “star” rubies. As can be found in sapphires, there is a translucent variety of ruby that displays a six-point star when cut into a smooth domed cabochon. Rutile is embedded in an asterisk-shape within the ruby, causing a captivating light effect called “asterism.” Six-ray stars appear to magically glide across the surface of the stones as they are moved. Star 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 ruby’s spirit.
Rubies are found in many countries throughout the world, each location producing rubies of specific qualities and colors. Gemstone experts agree that the Burmese ruby is the most valuable and luxurious category of the stone. The former country of Burma, now Myanmar, is situated in a mountain valley surrounded by high summits. Rubies that are mined from this “Valley of Rubies” feature an exceptionally vivid red color with a slightly bluish hue. The stones display their unique brilliance in both natural and artificial light.
Rubies from Thailand, another classical supplier of the gem, are often dark red tending towards brown. This “Siam color” is considered almost as beautiful as the Burma color. Rare rubies from Ceylon are mainly light red, like ripe raspberries, while rubies of Vietnamese origin generally display a slightly purplish hue. Rubies are also produced in India, where relatively large ruby crystals have been discovered. These particular rubies, however, have many inclusions, but are excellently suited to be cut as beads or cabochons. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia have also produced occasional top-quality rubies, but the rough terrain in these areas has made mining difficult.
Top-quality rubies are quite rare and are often considered even more valuable than colorless diamonds, particularly in sizes above 5.00ct. High prices tend to reflect their tremendous value. In 1988, a 16.00ct ruby sold at auction for $227,301 at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland. A 27.37ct Burmese ruby ring sold for $4 million at Sotheby's in 1995, which was an astounding $146,145 per carat.
It is possible that no other gemstone has been as prized as the ruby. Celebrated in the Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings as the most precious of all gemstones, rubies have adorned emperors and kings throughout history. Until improvements in chemical testing in the 1800s, most red gem-quality stones were called rubies. Thus, many of the famous “rubies” in the crown jewels of Europe, including Britain’s “Black Ruby” and the “Timur Ruby,” have since been identified as red spinels or garnets. Today, rubies continue to decorate the insignia of many Royal Houses.
In the 13th century, traveler Marco Polo wrote that Kublai Kahn, the Mongol Emperor of China, once offered an entire city for a ruby the size of a man’s finger. In ancient Hindu writings, the ruby represents the sun power. In China, the stone was given as offerings to Buddha.
Rubies were also given as offerings to Krishna in India. For a long time, India was considered the classical country of rubies. Their literature offers a rich and varied knowledge of the stone that was collected and handed down for over two thousand years. In the Sanskrit language, ruby is called “ratnaraj,” which translates as “king of gemstones.” Whenever a spectacular ruby was found, the emperor would send out his notables to welcome the precious gemstone in an appropriate style fit for a king.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that a ruby could change color and grow darker to warn its owner that danger or illness was near. Thought to ward off misfortune, it was believed to chase away evil spirits and the spirits of the dead. The deep red color of rubies has been used for centuries as protection and to convey invulnerability. Soldiers wore them into battle to guard against wounds and promote healing if they received a wound. The color of blood, the stone is symbolic of courage and bravery. Warriors were said to have implanted rubies under their skin to bring them valor in battle, make them invincible against enemies and ensure victory.
Rubies have also been historically thought to bestow wisdom, wealth and love. In China and Europe during the 10th century, dragons and snakes were carved in the gems’ surfaces to increase the flow of money and power to their owners. A common belief was that dreaming of rubies meant the coming of success in business and money matters. Rubies were also used to capture a mate and light the passion of romance. The gem was believed to have the magical powers of sexual fire and success in love. It has also been said by ancient lore to be capable of reconciling lovers’ quarrels.
When combined with gold and worn on the body, it is said that rubies can cause the body to rejuvenate and absorb energy from the sun to heal all types of body sickness and skin afflictions. It is believed that it should be worn with gold to banish sadness and bring joy.
Given as a symbol of success, devotion and integrity, the ruby is July’s birthstone and the traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Rubies have symbolized passion and romance for centuries, so when placed in engagement rings, they express unbridled love and promise of the heart.
Most people think the coral used in jewelry comes from South Pacific coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. However, these coral reefs are formed by a different species than the coral that is traditionally used in jewelry. Most jewelry coral is found in the Mediterranean Sea or in the Pacific near Japan and Taiwan. It grows in ocean colonies of branches that look like underwater trees, and is found in a range of colors, including pale pink (called angelskin coral), orange, red (called noble coral), white and black. The most valued colors are deep red, black and pink. It is much softer than other gems, with a hardness of only 3.5 on the Mohs Scale. In jewelry-making, coral is often carved into beads or cameos, or can be left and polished in its natural branch-like form.
Among the most ancient of gem materials, coral has been used for adornment since prehistoric times. While coral inlays and ornaments have been found in Celtic tombs from the Iron Age, the gem also has a history of religious significance. It is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures, and coral rosaries are used by Tibetan Lamas.
Coral was long thought to be a powerful talisman that could protect from evil spirits and ward off hurricanes. Because it was believed that coral protected the wearer, it was a traditional gift to children. Coral was also believed to lose its powers once broken. Today, coral is the traditional 35th anniversary gift for married couples.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.
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: