Archive for February, 2011
by Admin on February 24th, 2011
Cross-posted from Whiteflash News: Engagement Rings Trends for Spring 2011
Fashion Week has already wrapped up in New York, and that wealth the fashion world has only gotten its firstly glimpse of the trends that will be dominating the runways and the sale racks for the next year. For clothing, fruit and floral patterns are large, and nostalgia for classic American looks like flatter and denim reigns supreme. But jewelry, principally engagement rings, is in a humanity of its own when it comes to fashion trends. em>Jewelry trends tend to move leisurely and are less extreme than the seasonal looks that dominate handbags and shoes. When you purchase a diamond ring, you wish to wear it for years to come, not trade it in after a few months for a trendier design.
That being said, every year brings with it new trends and ideas that take the simple silhouettes and basic materials of the diamond ring and add a fresh new spin to them. That doesn’t mean the classic tiffany engagement rings is going anywhere, just that young fashionable brides can incorporate these of-the-moment ideas into their bridal jewelry choices.
Here is a quick look at some of the popular engagement ring styles for Spring 2011.
Keeping a low profile
This look is practical as well as aesthetic. Many brides in the past have been afraid to wear their engagement rings when cooking or working with their hands. High-profile solitaire engagement rings, where the center stone rises high above the smooth metal shank, look glamorous but can be impractical for everyday wear. This new take on the classic look sinks the center stone into a split shank, giving the ring a sexy side cutout and an elegant new look that is as wearable as it is fashionable. A cutout in the bottom of the setting allows the diamond to have its maximum light performance and brilliance, while prong settings hold the diamond securely in place.
Brilliant and trilliant
Exotic and fancy diamond shapes, like the emerald, marquise and pear shaped stones, have always existed on the fringes of the more popular round and princess cut diamond engagement rings. But new setting styles have reintroduced them to engagement ring designs and may succeed in bringing them into the mainstream. While older engagement ring settings using fancy shaped diamonds surrounded them in a sparkling nest of melée diamonds, the sleek new setting for Spring 2011 feature diamonds as themselves. Setting for fancy shapes like marquise and the above-pictured trilliant cut are simple, with no embellishments to detract from the unusual glamour of the stones themselves. These are the ultimate diamond rings—simple and different at the same time.
A rose by any other name
Rose gold, an alloy of yellow gold and copper so named for its blush tint, has long been popular in necklaces and bracelets, but has only recently become a viable option for diamond engagement rings. It remains more of an accent point in contemporary diamond engagement ring design, lending its vintage flair and unique luster to elegant rings with a modern twist. In the above engagement ring setting, a rose gold bar setting sets the princess-cut center stone apart and makes it glow from the inside out. The rose gold used here matches the channel-set melée diamonds and knife-edge shank perfectly—the entire ring exudes an air of modern sophistication and Art Deco-inspired romance.
Color me beautiful
Colored stones have been steadily rising to popularity in the last few years, as an affordable and unique alternative to the classic diamond engagement ring. The trend received a burst of popularity earlier this year when Prince William of England proposed with a stunning blue sapphire ring that once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. But since then, colored gemstones of all kindsts for single-tone, sleek and have been receiving their rightful moment in the sun, and rightful spot at the center of the engagement ring. The modern engagement ring settings eschew fanciful shapes and rainbow-hued arrangemen modern setting styles. The result is a bold engagement ring with a modern look and a punch of color, perfect for the modern bride in Spring 2011. For example, this ring sets an opulent pink sapphire into a bold and fashionable bezel setting, creating an engagement ring that is secure and wearable and still feminine.
by Admin on February 21st, 2011
For some diamond buyer in the know, the greatest location to shop for diamond jewelry has always been New York. The New York jewelry scene has practically each type and manifestation of wearable art, from the handmade earrings of the Brooklyn Flea to the world-class exclusivity and opulence of Fifth Avenue boutiques. Diamond experts score deals from the wholesalers and importers of the Diamond District, while persons looking for a more refined shopping experience can turn to the expertise of discreet, age-old jewelry design houses such as Verdura.
Finding the perfect diamond and engagement ring setting is an art form to the experienced New York shopper
But for those diamond jewelry seekers looking for a new experience, the up-and-coming Houston jewelry market may be the answer. Jewelry stores in Houston are the Southern United States’ answer to the diamond mecca that is New York. High-end prestige designers, like David Yurman, Bvlgari and Tiffany and Co. have made a comfortable home in Houston’s Galleria mall, attracting the well-heeled shoppers that are looking for a metropolitan shopping experience right at home.
“Houston jewelry has come a long way since the days when it was all turquoise pendants and touristy stuff,” says Debi Wexler, CEO of Whiteflash.com, an online diamond boutique that is based in Houston. “For the first time, the jewelry stores in Houston really do measure up to the jewelry stores in New York.”
When a diamond is this sublime, no frills are needed
As the saying goes, they make things bigger in Texas. And in Houston, diamonds are no exception. Several of the world’s most exclusive online retailers are based in Houston, making it a world center for the top-of-the-line diamond cut known as hearts and arrows. Whiteflash.com, in particular, is known for the exclusive hearts-and-arrows line known as A Cut Above®.
“We are primarily an Internet-based boutique diamond retailer,” says Wexler, whose company has been named “Lord of the Online Rings” by the prestigious Kiplinger’s magazine. “But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been known to entertain a customer or two right here in Houston.” Houston-based customers can visit Whiteflash’s diamond grading and jewelry production facility to get a small glimpse into the kind of quality and attention to detail that has made Houston diamonds so renowned in the industry. All of Whiteflash’s world-renowned engagement rings are finished in-house, ensuring that every piece lives up to the standard of perfection and elegance that customers have come to expect from jewelry stores in Houston.
Still, it will be many years before the Houston jewelry scene approaches the impressive New York Diamond District in size or scope, and with the rise of reliable, obtain online diamond shopping websites, physical locality has begun to substance less and less when it comes to buying that complete diamond. Whether you live in Houston, New York, Honolulu, or New Delhi, you can always find the complete chunk of diamond jewelry from the comfort of your own living room.
by Admin on February 9th, 2011
To people with a strong social conscience, the entire holiday of Valentine’s Day can induce a fair amount of guilt. It seems unfair that we, living our comfortable lives, have produced a holiday for the fast object of taking a dreary February day and creating it all on celebrating the love in our lives and exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts. After the immoderation of December and the resolutions of January, February seems a bit soon to begin indulging in blithe spending and consumption again.
Providentially, companies around the humanity have been working to improve socially-conscious gifts so we can have our Valentine’s Day gift chocolates and devour them too. Whether it is protecting endangered species, helping the victims of the blood diamond trade, or ensuring that farmers in the developing world are paid fairly for their work, these products are Valentine’s Day gifts with a conscience. When you buy one of these products for yourself or as a Valentine’s gift for somebody else, you can rest assured in knowing that not only are you selecting a great product that will be loved, but that you are helping out the less-fortunate at the same time. That’s what we call sharing the love!
- Fair trade/organic chocolates. Chocolate is an intrinsic part of the Valentine’s Day festivities, and is a must-have gift on everyone’s list, male or female. When chocolate (or any other product) is certified fair-trade, it means that the farmers working to grow the ingredients are given fair working standards and a minimum commodity price on their crops. Organic means that the cocoa was grown without harmful pesticides and the ingredients used in the chocolates are all certified organic as well. It’s a great way to get a Valentine’s Day gift that tastes great and make you feel great as well. Plus, knowing that the workers who brought your chocolate truffle into being were treated with dignity and fairness just makes the chocolate taste that much sweeter. Fair trade and organic chocolates in romantic gift boxes should be available at gourmet and health shops around Valentine’s Day.
- MAC – Viva Glam makeup. Every girl wants to feel glamorous, so giving her a deluxe makeup kit from fashionable makeup boutique MAC makes a great Valentine’s Day gift. That glamorous feeling will only increase when she finds out that her favorite new Valentine’s Day presents came from the MAC Viva Glam line, which has been backed by stylish celebrities like Fergie and Lady Gaga. Every penny of the selling price of the dramatic and sexy lipsticks and lipglosses in the line are donated to the MAC AIDS fund, which supports men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS.
- Dreams of Africa jewelry. Whiteflash.com, an online diamond and engagement ring boutique primarily known for their A Cut Above ® super ideal hearts and arrows branded diamonds, also offers a Valentine’s Day gift that will flatter your eyes as well as your conscience. 100% of the proceeds from their Dreams of Africa line, a stunning collection of ultra-wearable necklaces, earrings, rings and even cufflinks, goes to support victims of the illegal diamond trade in Africa. Of course, all the diamonds sold on Whiteflash.com are certified conflict-free, but unfortunately, the so-called “blood diamond” trade continues, and Whiteflash has made it part of its mission to help heal the damage caused by the illegal mining and trading of diamonds. Unfortunately, about 1.3 million children have been left orphaned and impoverished by diamond-trade-related violence; Whiteflash, together with the World Centers of Compassion for Children, is doing what it can do give these children the lives they deserve. Every girl (and guy) wants jewelry gifts on Valentine’s Day; put some social awareness behind the sparkle and you have a Valentine’s Day jewelry gift that shows your love, not only for each other, but for all people.
The white gold, diamonds and sapphires are not the most precious part of these Dreams of Africa jewelry pieces: the lingering feeling of having helped children in need is far more valuable.
- TOMS Shoes. It may not seem too romantic at first glance, but the cute canvas sneakers sold by the TOMS shoe company actually make dream Valentine’s Day gifts. First, they are fashionable, comfortable shoes that are perfect for everything from shopping to running errands. Second, they are available in a huge range of cute patterns and fabrics, from nautical stripes to glam silver glitter, so you can choose the perfect pair for your valentine. Most importantly, for every single pair of TOMS you buy, the company donates a free pair to a child in need of shoes. Every time you slip on your TOMS shoes, you will be reminded of the child somewhere who is able to do the same, thanks to you. It’s a Valentine’s Day gift for two.
- One of a Finds home decor. For the girl (or guy) who loves decorating the flat and finding rare and gorgeous furniture and knickknacks, the One of a Find line of home objects untaken at CB2.com can be the perfect source for a socially-conscious Valentine’s Day gifts. For this line, the home goods store travels the humanity to find people in need whose traditional forms of craftsmanship are no longer in demand in their corner of the world. Then, CB2 commissions artworks and home decor that combine the centuries-old traditional methods of these artisans with a modern design aesthetic and sells these limited-edition products on their website, turning over the profits to the artisans themselves. Right now, the find on display is a stunning side table made by the Raiasthani artisans in the Jaipur region of southern India, which is based on the traditional painting and lacquering techniques used for their traditional bread-kneading bowls. Whether you choose this product or another from the line, these finds make Valentine’s Day gifts that display your commitment to social action to the world.
by Admin on February 8th, 2011
With just two weeks on the clock left until Valentine’s Day, it’s time to decide your plans, make those dinner reservations, and lastly settle on the good Valentine’s Day gifts. This year, like every year, the two most accepted gifts for women for Valentine’s Day are flowers, especially roses, and jewelry. But did you know that every color of rose has its own unique symbolism, that you can use to give your darling a personalized message this Valentine’s Day?
You can even take the symbolism of the rose colors one step farther, with gemstone jewelry gifts that coordinate with the roses of your pick that will emphasize your romantic secret message and keep it going long after the last rose is withered. Everyone knows about the classic romantic red rose, but there are hidden messages in pink and yellow roses as well, giving you an easy way to personalize your Valentine’s Day present but still get something she loves.
Red colors for Valentine’s Gift
The bouquet of red roses is the ubiquitous Valentine’s Day gifts, sold anyone from drugstores to gas stations, but that doesn’t mean that giving red roses has to be a cliche. Red roses represent true love, so in array to convey how special your love really is, take your simple dozen roses one step farther—with an unexpectedly huge bouquet, a gilded rose, or even by planting a red rose bush in her yard. Then continue the message of commitment and true love with a stunning red gemstone, like the ever-popular ruby. Rubies, with their deep luster and subtle glow, reflect passion and love, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts, whether they are set in necklaces, earrings or rings.
Yellow colors Valentine’s message
Traditionally, yellow roses are not specifically romantic—they represent friendship, appreciation and non-romantic love. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts anyway. After all, there is more to a relationship than staring deep into each other’s eyes—yellow roses celebrate all the fun times you’ve shared, the funny memories, the laughs and friendship that you treasure. Yellow is a sunny, bright color, so it’s no surprise that yellow roses and gemstones are both popular gifts that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. Yellow gemstone jewelry, whether you choose a fancy colored yellow diamond, a dusky citrine, or a sunshiny yellow sapphire, is romantic, flattering and fun.
Pink color Valentine’s Day gift
Soft and feminine, girly and delicate, pink has a certain reputation that can be hard to shake. Almost every Valentine’s Day gift comes wrapped in pink paper or tied in a pink bow, so it seems only natural that pink roses would be perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts. Pink roses represent romance, poetic love, gratitude and elegance. They are romantic, of course, but more creative and untraditional than the standard red roses. Pink isn’t just the color for flowers and valentines, but a great gemstone choice for a Valentine’s day jewelry gift that is romantic and fun. The pink sapphire is a great choice for a Valentine’s Day present, and can be set into earrings, rings, or this simple but beautiful Dreams of Africa pendant necklace. Since every purchase helps support innocent victims of illegal diamond trade, the Dreams of Africa line shows your good heart—and isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is really all about?
Orange color Gift for Valentine’s Day
A bold and unusual choice, orange roses are reminiscent of passion and enthusiasm, both great sentiments for Valentine’s Day. Perfect for the girl who isn’t too girly, orange roses are an untraditional take on a classic tradition. Orange gemstones like topaz are intriguing and beautiful, with a deep subtle glow that sets them apart from more traditional gemstones. Express your passion and love this Valentine’s Day with V-Day gifts that are a little off the beaten path, with a bouquet of orange roses and a stunning topaz ring. Orange gemstones are so unique and gorgeous that they require little in the ways of settings—a simple bezel and a burnished gold setting is all they need to show off their amber glow.
Purple color Valentine’s gift
True lavender roses are rare, and so they’ve come to symbolize a rare but wonderful phenomenon—love at first vision. If you’ve known she was the one since the very first day, celebrate the miracle of your meeting with a bunch of genuine purple roses. Similarly, purple gems are rare and connote elegance, timelessness and eternal romance. Together, lavender roses and purple gemstone jewelry make the great Valentine’s Day gifts that celebrate your love at first sight and your ongoing relationship. Purple stones like amethysts, purple topaz, purple sapphire and purple garnet are all fantastic choices for Valentine’s Day gifts.
by Admin on February 4th, 2011
It’s already February, and Valentine’s Day is right near the place. If you haven’t already taken care of your Valentine’s Day gifts, you might think it’d too late and just stay for a lame old box of drugstore chocolates and roses from the gas base. But the full point of Valentine’s Day gifts is to show her how much you understand her, so the effort is sincerely what counts. Even if it’s the nighttime before Valentine’s, a little force and ingenuity can go a long way into making your Valentine’s Day gift individual and memorable. All the classic Valentine’s Day gifts—chocolate, flowers, and jewelry—are free up to the exact last minute if you know somewhere to look.
Anything you do together can be romantic—be creative!
Don’t even think of calling that heart-shaped red box of chocolate from the drugstore a “Valentine’s Day gift”. The chocolate inside will be stale and boring, and worst of all, it shows that you forgot about Valentine’s Day gifts until literally the last second. If you find yourself leaving work on Valentine’s Day empty-handed, stop at the nearest high-end grocery store. They should have some imported or artisanal chocolate that will suffice as a Valentine’s Day gift and satisfy her chocolate cravings without too much hassle for you. Alternatively, fill a gift basket with all her favorite treats—Ben and Jerrys, gourmet popcorn, and a nice bottle of wine—and get a movie for a fun night at home.
If you must have chocolate, but the stores are all closed or sold out, consider making your own chocolate confections. Chocolate-covered strawberries are actually incredibly easy to make, but they are universally beloved Valentine’s Day gifts. Nothing surprises a woman like her man showing up with a plate of homemade truffle brownies or chocolate chip cookies! It may not qualify as an extravagant Valentine’s gift, but she will surely appreciate the thought and the cookies nonetheless!
If you don’t have time to face the crowds at the local mall, you might think you have no hope of finding that perfect Valentine’s Day jewelry gift before the big day. Luckily for you, online jewelry boutique Whiteflash.com caters to the procrastinator, with free overnight shipping on in-stock items. That means you can log on at noon on February 12th, and be holding a stunning jewelry gift like a white gold and diamond pendant or a pair of A Cut Above earrings in your hand by the 14th. Plus, jewelry experts will communicate with you by phone or live chat to help you quickly and easily pick the perfect piece of jewelry for your Valentine.
Believe it or not, you can get a perfect Valentine’s jewelry gift shipped to you overnight
If you forgot about making reservations at the local romantic eatery until the day before Valentine’s, chances are they will be booked. But that doesn’t mean your chances for a romantic dinner for two are completely ruined. There are tons of awesome things to do on Valentine’s Day, so the dinner does not have to be the center of your night. Sign up for a fun activity like a ballroom dancing lesson or a cooking class, and then hit dinner at an untraditional time when reservations are more likely to open up.
Or skip the elegant bistro altogether and turn your romantic dinner together into an adventure of a Valentine’s Day gift. Go to an exotic restaurant featuring a national cuisine you’ve never tried, or uncover and indulge her secret junk-food mecca, whether it is KFC or Burger King.
If you’re feeling especially bold, and you want to give a Valentine’s Day gift that comes straight from the heart, consider cooking dinner for two on your own. It doesn’t have to be difficult or extremely complicated—just stick with one elegant entree and a decadent dessert, plus store-bought appetizers and sides like gourmet olives and cheeses. Don’t forget about Valentine’s Day ambiance—a few flowers and candles go a long way.
If you’re heading home on Valentine’s Day and you notice that bucket of red roses at the gas station, the temptation to grab a dozen and call it a Valentine’s Day gift can be overwhelming. Resist that temptation—there is no gift more boring and thoughtless than cheap roses that begin wilting before they get home. Instead, head to the nearest independent florist’s shop and ask the flower experts there to help you put together an arrangement that is exciting, unique and personal. If you know her favorite flower, by all means include it, but if you don’t, the florist can help you choose something appropriate. Roses may be sold out if it’s really late, but a truly unique bouquet that shows care and attention is more romantic anyway.
In an ideal world, we would all plan the complete Valentine’s Day gift months in advance. But with as few as 24 hours to go, you can still put organized a wish date and a perfect Valentine’s present that she will love. And the best part is—she never has to make out.
by Admin on February 1st, 2011
Valentine’s Day sometimes looks like it’s all about couples – couples’ events, romantic suppers, and even two-for-one specials at the spa. So what’s a lonely lady to do? Without a husband or boyfriend to surprise you with coffe in bed and a superb Valentine’s Day gift, you can think your Valentine’s Day has to be a romantic-comedy marathon and Chinese food on the couch. But Valentine’s Day gifts and Valentine’s Day do not just have to be about celebrating the guy in your life, so if you’re single, you can still have a special Valentine’s Day all on your own. Look at Valentine’s Day not just as a celebration of romance but as a time to reflect on all the love in your life–your friends, your family, and even your love and appreciation of your own self! That’s right–if you’re single this V-Day, celebrate the day with a special Valentine’s Day gift for yourself. So this February 14th, there is no need to pity your single self–pop on your gorgeous jewelry gift to yourself and go dancing!
At Whiteflash.com, there are tons of options for the fabulous single lady looking to treat herself to a jewelry gift for Valentine’s Day. You can opt for a sexy and sparkling right hand ring to show the world your independence, or choose a delicate but gorgeous diamond pendant necklace that will add an elegant touch to your best outfit. It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again – you don’t need a man to buy diamond jewelry for you. Choosing your own piece of diamond jewelry, for a Valentine’s gift or anytime, can be one of the most liberating experiences you will ever experience in a store or shopping website.
Treat yourself. Get together with some girlfriends (or go by yourself) and head to your favorite spa for an indulgent session of manicures and massages. Linger over the latest celeb gossip magazine, stop in for a no-hold-barred cappucino, or have an hours-long phone-a-thon with your best friend. Taking some time to do something for yourself can be the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something new–sign up for a cooking class, or go out to the hot new bar with friends. Remember, there are single guys on Valentine’s Day – and you never know where you might bump into one!
Take the time on Valentine’s Day afternoon to finish all those things you started and never finished. Sit down and work out your budget for the year, redecorate your living room, or start that workout you’ve been meaning to try. Valentine’s Day is close enough to New Year’s that if you started a resolution a month ago, it’s not too late to pick it back up and keep it going this time. Don’t get stuck in the past and what you don’t have this year; focus on the future and all the wonderful things you do have in your life. Buying yourself a jewelry gift on Valentine’s is a great way of reminding yourself that you’ve got a lot going for you – even if you aren’t currently dating. You are an independent women who can buy herself a stunning piece of diamond jewelry as a gift for Valentine’s Day–no man necessary.
But all that love and positivity isn’t just for yourself. Remember when you were little and brought Valentine’s Day cards for the whole class? Revive that tradition with funny cards and cute, thoughtful little Valentine’s gifts for all the people who brighten your life, from your best friend to the coworker who you eat lunch with every day. It’s a great way to expand the circle of Valentine’s Day cheer from just boyfriend-girlfriend stuff to a whole range of friends and family. Don’t forget the kids in your life–your neices and nephews will love nothing more than a Valentine’s Day card from their new favorite aunt.
And save some of that Valentine’s Day festivity for your closest circle of friends. Invite all your single friends over for a fabulous night of cocktails and diet-friendly appetizers. Play ex-boyfriend-bashing games or declare the night a guy-free zone and talk only about shoes and movies. Celebrating the people who really matter in your life can be the greatest Valentine’s Day gift you can give yourself.