Thursday, December 03, 2009

Collection launch on 4th Dec and 6th Dec

Jewel Sutra heartily invites you to join us for the launch of our Jewelry and Garments collection

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Rani Haar

"Rani Haar" as the name suggests is a style of necklace especially made for the Queens of yester- years.
This is a style of necklace in which the neck piece sits very close to the neck. It is sometimes combined with a choker. It has a repetitive pattern with a constant width of at least an inch or so, which will follow throughout the length of the necklace up till the back or the lock of the necklace.

Aishwarya Rai adorned with the true look of Rani Haar in the movie Jodha Akbar. Jewelry originally created by Tanishq

The pattern can be inspired by floral motives or just random setting of kundan or meenakari. The craftsman usually made individual pieces of the repetitive motive and then strung them on a gold chain or raw silk cord. The other option was to connect them via horizontal links.

Another gorgeous Kundan rani haar designed by Tanishq for Aishwarya Rai in the movie Jodha Akbar

Originally the Rani Haar was made in Gold and precious stones with very fine finishing of meenakari work on the back but nowadays, you can find imitations in non-precious materials as well.

Madhuri Dixit in the movie Devdas wearing a typical set of earrings to match the Rani Haar

The Rani Haar spreads beautifully around the neck and shoulders and looks extremly graceful and rich when worn with the Indian saree. The beautiful necklace when worn with a gown for an evening gathering could also look enchanting.

Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas wearing Rani Haar with matching Earrings and Maangtikka

The earrings that you would combine traditionally with the Rani haar are usually very long and heavy with a kanauti or decorative supportive chain that leads up and pins up in the hair. But following the current trends and practicality, a Rani Haar would look best when worn with medium weight earrings with the length reaching no more than the chin at max.
Almost Rani haar made in silver using Semi-precious stones and uncut diamonds (polki)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Do you wear a mangalsutra daily?

Mangalsutra is a string of beads worn in the neck as a necklace by married women in the Hindu religion as a symbol of marriage. Various parts of India have varying protocols for the structure of a Mangalsutra.

The common thing between all Mangalsutra is the fact that it has black beads or enamel and gold. The black color is to help ward off the evil eye and the gold is to symbolize the power of the woman as Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth.

In North India, the black beads originally black onyx are strung together with a special joint known as the Mangalsutra joint, especially by the Brahmin craftsmen and is believed to be blessed by the Gods. The Mangalsutra joint is actually a handcrafted loop and ball joint which is made very carefully stringing each individual bead on an individual loop of gold and woven into the next loop. This ensures that even if the Mangalsutra happens to break, it will not let the beads fall apart and hence suggests the way a marriage will last through all tough times.

In Eastern parts of India, a Mangalsutra is worn in form of a bangle made out of an alloy of metals which gives it a rich black color. It has a gold casing around parts of it.

In Southern parts of India, the Mangalsutra is called the Thali and can be of various patterns. The most common one is representing Balaji. Some Mangalsutras have 2 discs and a symbol in the middle representing the male to whom the woman is wed. In olden days, even children wore thaalis made out of tiger teeth, tiger nails and covered with gold. The concept was similar, to defend the wearer from the evil eye. It

As a general rule, in India, a Mangalsutra is worn with the same emotion as the engagement ring is in the Western countries.

However, with the changing times, and hence dressing sense and social protocols, most women have accepted an engagement ring as the symbol of matrimony over a Mangalsutra. The Mangalsutra still holds its sanctity as the most important exchange of jewel DURING the wedding ceremonies. The woman still wears this auspicious jewel on major religious festivals such as Karwachauth, Diwali, Holi etc.

But when the Indian woman accepted the Western dress code and gave up wearing sarees to work, she had no option but to give up on wearing Mangalsutras in her daily routine as well. The reason was simple, gold and black beads especially when on a heavy neckpiece, will not go well with a pant suit or a dress suit which calls for more subtle accessories.

Even though I am no judge or advocate in favor of or against the wearing of Mangalsutra is daily wear, I believe that the marriage of two beings happens within the souls of those individuals and the wearing or not wearing of any jewel including engagement rings, wedding rings or Mangalsutras can shake it.

Jewelry should be as comfortable as you would like to be through the day and it is a must that you feel comfortable in all accessories you wear every day. May it be for the look or for the feel, go with the flow and enjoy your Mangalsutra when you decide it is time to wear it.

Nonetheless, for those of you who would anyways want to wear a mangalsutra in everyday without having to live with the 'bold gold' look, you can try some of the following tips;
  1. Try wearing a very short necklace made of very tiny beads of Mangalsutra which sits really close to the neck and hence looks trendy.
  2. You could opt for the diamond pendant Mangalsutras which is the latest craze and looks fancy and yet wearable with Western outfits
  3. Try rhodium polish on the gold part of the Mangalsutra which could be an interesting combination
  4. Detachable pendants give very good options for versatility of the Mangalsutra
  5. Try a really long Mangalsutra which will get covered under your shirt and stand out boldly with a saree
  6. Try the Bangle Mangalsutra which looks chic at the same time as serving its purpose

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sex and the City - 2

Solange Azagury Patridge in Sex and the City - II

We loved the way she wrote, we loved the way she dressed and definitely loved the way she lived it... Carry Bradshaw is coming back in our lives with more sex and a lot more city.

And guess what? She has more bling and a lot more flare with her frocks, fancies and the rest. The funk is on with the colors and bizarre styles. The feature neckpiece this season is designed Solange Azagury Partridge.

The description for this unconventional neckpiciece as on the website is 18Ct Blackened white gold, Diamond, Emerald Sapphire Ruby and Fire Opal necklace. My interpretation is that it is created in 18K white gold with some kind of oxidation or surface treatment to blacken the metal. The stones are in several colors so it has to be colors of sapphire... enjoy the dressy look and the flambouyance of colored stones to the fullest in this new version of the tutti frutti.

It is colorful and yes I agree it is ridiculous. But it has done its job... you stopped in your tracks and now you wonder why a mosiac window work would go with a white dress on a neck that is far from young... but then you have your answer... it is the show stopper and it did stop you.

The it girl of Jewelry Design

Solange Azagury Patridge

With no formal training and an obsession for creating quirky yet luxurious jewelry, Solange Azagury-Partridge, a self taught jewelry designer from London, has been touted as, “Probably the best jewelry designer of this generation” (Kate Reardon, The Sunday Times). She has revolutionized the industry with her innate ability to create stunning, seductive and sexy pieces, taking inspiration from everything from kinetics to candy. She is a maverick designer, creating history through her brilliant ideas and use of opulent materials.

Since opening shop in 1995 in the exclusive Notting Hill area of London, Solange Azagury-Partridge has gone from being a small trendy boutique designer to one of the world’s most coveted jewelers. Her pieces have been praised in numerous prominent fashion magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, solidifying her place as one of the most fashion forward and original designers of our time.

Solange’s first experience working with jewelry was as an assistant designer at Butler & Wilson, a costume jewelry shop in London. What was first a way to earn extra money after leaving university became the beginning of Solange’s lifelong obsession with jewelry. She famously created her first piece (her own engagement ring) from an uncut diamond and plain gold band, and after being inundated with compliments from everyone who saw it, she decided to take her talent to the next level. Her namesake boutique (which resembles a huge walk-in jewelry box) opened in 1995 and thus began her remarkable career in design.

When her stunning debut collections created a frenzy, her reputation as the new “It” designer was born and attracted the attention of top names in the industry. It wasn’t long before Solange was hired as Creative Director of Boucheron, the venerable French jewelry designer with over 150 years experience behind the brand. She has been credited with bringing Boucheron back into the style stakes and reinventing the brand by modernizing their image and appealing to a younger, more fashion forward market. Azagury-Partridge used the themes of snakes and bondage to create stunning pieces filled with desire and temptation- seductive emerald and sapphire snake rings set in black gold, delicately flowing chain rings and antique inspired chunky diamond rings. Using monochromatic color ways set in black gold, Solange revived a traditional brand by referencing an antique look, but through brilliant design opened up the brand to untapped markets. These collections were so revered that some pieces now appear on display in the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs Du Louvre in Paris.

After three years working with Boucheron and now focusing on her own line, Solange has continually impressed the fashion world with her innate ability to create luxurious high end jewelry that also channels the coyness of costume pieces. Her ability to use unpredictable combinations of stones and metals translate well for her fashion conscious market and her client base boasts an impressive list of celebrities, musicians, artists and rock stars. Madonna, Marc Jacobs, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore are a few of the many celebrities who flaunt her creations. It is her openness to inspiration that results in her quirky pieces- crop circle diamond earrings, crocodile skull jeweled rings, an anatomically correct heart of gold pendant and a pair of gold chain earrings fashioned to look like crinolines. It is easy to see why her funky ideas paired with luxurious metals and gems are irresistible to the traditional and daring alike.

Solange has continued to enjoy phenomenal success and has expanded her business into furniture and perfume design, never losing touch with her roots as a jewelry designer. Debuting in the US market for the first time, “Unwearable Jewels”, (featured at Sebastian + Barquet) revealed a gemstone inlaid coffee table, diamond encrusted chandelier and jeweled wall plaques. Fetching up to $80 000 USD a piece, these are exclusive fantasy inspired items that are for serious Solange aficionados. She has also enjoyed uncharted success with her two perfumes. The premier scent Stoned was a sweet candy scented fragrance that included diamond dust as an ingredient, and her latest, Cosmic, plays homage to her love of gemstones by containing real stardust (finely ground meteorites).

Catering to her huge fan base, she is currently working on her line to include more accessible and affordable pieces so everyone can own a piece of Solange Azagury-Partridge jewelry. Whether her brand can ever be considered mass market is questionable, but there is no doubt that she is one of the most inspiring jewelry designers of this generation, and her work will continue to be revered for generations to come.

- by Stacey Richardson for

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Jewelry Exchange of New Jersey

The experience of visiting the Jewelry Exchange is always the same... educational.

  1. Great Sales people: Every visit to the Jewelry exchange is an educational tour. You would learn about stones, gold, prices, value, design and other similar things about jewelry.
  2. Amazing variety of designs and product options: After the internet, this is the best place to hunt for a variety of classic designs. Most designs are variations of the basic pieces such as the Tiffany set diamond ring, or the tennis bracelet or solitaire rings etc. You can get exactly what you want in the exact shade of diamond that you desire.
  3. Easy to compare prices right away: Since the jewelry exchange is a cometitive market place, you can compare prices for similar goods right away. You have a wide selection of diamonds and colored stones so you can choose exactly what you want in the budget that you have decided.
  4. Place for all budgets: Lest assured you would find jewelry in all budget ranges at the jewelry exchange. Starting from baby jewelry or gift items for under 50 $ you can go up to an ambitious range of very highly priced collector's items.
  5. Upper hand on bargaining: The pressure of making a sale is way more intense in the jewelry exchange which obviously would give a tactful customer a very good upper hand in bargaining for the price of what they like.
  6. Instant comparsion of prices and designs from the malls around: Since the Jewelry Exchange is centrally located in Edison, you have access to the mall jewelry stores at several locations within a half hour driving distance.
  7. Repair and resizing options available within premises: This is one of the biggest advantages that the jewelry exchange has to offer to you. You can buy a diamond off the internet at Bluenile or Costco or some place else and simply buy a mount from the jewelry exchange and get it set or resized right in front of you.
  8. Cleaning service available at many jewelers: Almost every jeweler will clean the jewelry you are wearing while you wait and browse through their collection
  9. Walk away without making a purchase: You can walk away when you want even without making the purchase and you will still be welcome the next day and the day after that and the day after. This is the Jewelry Exchange for you.
  10. You can sell your jewelry: Several jewelers at the Jewelry Exchange will buy or exchange your old jewelry or gold for money or new jewelry.
  1. Great Expectations: Every time you go to the jewelry exchange you walk in with great expectations and rarely walk out with any gratification. It may be the design, prices, the quality or maybe just a late realization of this blog post, but in any case, I have rarely come across a customer of the jewelry exchange leave alone a happy one.
  2. Great salespeople: Once you get sucked into the web, it is very difficult to get out of the hypnotic dose of information and passion from any one jeweler. The magnetism of the sales people is so strong that it is very difficult to walk away without making the purchase
  3. Well experienced people: In the exchange, where jewelry is passes all the time all around, everyone learns the cunning traits of the trade, that is everyone but the fresh client so you have to be very wary of what you hear and buy once you are in
  4. Too many designs and options: This is a very common dilemma that several people face. There is simply too much information and too much visual material to process to make the decision that could have been simpler at another store
  5. Return, exchange or upgrade policy: You buy and you realize you are not too happy about the purchase. You go back to the Jewelry Exchange to return what you bought but you are shown the ... fine print... on the bottom of the receipt which nullifies all exchanges, returns and upgrades. In short there is no policing of the policies of the individual store owners so you are really on your own when it comes to risking your money at the jewelry exchange.
  6. No guarantee is good enough: At the jewelry exchange you go out to buy a diamond with for lower prices. You will find plenty but those will be lower in quality as well. You get to see a "certified" diamond, but stop and think twice as to who is really certifying and what is the authenticity or the value of the certificate. Unless it is a GIA certified diamond and NONE other, you may land up paying an expensive penalty for that "great" deal that you are getting at the Jewelry Exchange. I have actually come across diamonds certified by non-GIA bodies which are definitely over ranked in their basic 4 Cs.
  7. Not the most expensive collection of jewels nor the most exclusive one: People go to the Jewelry Exchange for good deals and for great bargains. You would rarely find exclusive designs at the jewelry exchange. You can order for something that you have liked or seen at another jeweler or a jewelry book, but I doubt that you will find any design award winners here.
  8. Most of the self-certified products carry a little certificate which carries a little fine print line which nullifies the guaranty for every other reason: This is just an extension and reinforcement to what I have already stated above
  9. Chances of switching the stones in case of repair etc: Basically you are the only one liable for your product at the Jewelry Exchange. This point me of the time my mother, also a Graduate Gemologist went to a small time diamond dealer in New Delhi, India. She chose a gorgeous rock (diamond: 2.25 ct, VS1, F-color, Very good cut, no Florescence, round brilliant cut) for an UNBELIEVABLE price. She started to write out the check while the diamond dealer cleant the diamond in the ultra sonic cleanser right in front of her. Just before handing over the check, she happened to review her purchase and realized that he had switched the diamond with a similar sized, I3, poor color diamond. And yes she has been in the trade for a while.
  10. High chance of coming across misnomers, synthetics, imitation and mis represented jewelry or stones: This i snot an uncommon practice at many jewelers. It is easy to call a colorless sapphire a white sapphire and a pink one a "pink ruby". But seriously, when you think of a misnomer such as a "golden" topaz then question the real value of that stone as a "yellow" topaz or a pink sapphire or a colorless sapphire etc. It is easy to get into the trap of the "Fool's gold". The story goes as this, Lapis Lazuli a truly gorgeous blue colored stone that carries golden specks of non-precious minerals was once sold in tonnes under the name of gold. This was later described as the fool's gold since it was only sold to those who were unaware of this misrepresentation of minerals.

Basically... you should buy from the jewelry exchange only if you know what you are up against or else you are accompanied by someone who really knows what the ins and outs of jewelry are and more importantly, someone who really has interest in your best interest. Like I already mentioned all the advantages of visiting the jewelry exchange, you can really get good for your buck if you are careful of what you buy or learn from the Exchange.

For any questions about a stone that you are considering or any design that you are looking at, you can share your anxiety, doubt or excitement with me at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One of the best designers of the jewelry industry

Todd Reed- Raw Elegance

One of the most popular slogans of all time is the classic, “A diamond is forever”. And rightfully so, as it celebrates the perfection and timeless quality of precision cut diamond jewelry that we are so enamored with. However, there is a forgotten beauty; that of the diamond in its raw form. Todd Reed is a top Colorado based jewelry designer known for his passion to celebrate this forgotten beauty with the use of raw diamonds in his work. A self taught metalsmith, Todd is a true designer having created everything from furniture to clothing, as well as being a certified culinary chef. He takes his inspiration from beauty and love, and aims to challenge the perception of what is considered beautiful in jewelry, more specifically in diamonds. He designs with skill, technique and his conscience. His jewelry contains recycled gold and stones, and he only uses conflict-free diamonds. All of his pieces are hand crafted in his Colorado studio by him and his team. Ethical, environmentally friendly and beautiful, Todd Reed’s pieces usher in a new era of design.

Getting back to basics and using uncut diamonds has been a distinctive part of Todd’s brand image. He creates pieces that have an earthy, rugged and sensual feel to them, although he also manages to convey sophistication and class. His collections feature rings, pins, bracelets, necklaces and menswear that are unique, bold and distinctive in style. Using uncut diamonds set along with cut diamonds results in a fabulous juxtaposition that highlights the versatility of the gemstone. Raw vs. refined, subtle vs. brazen, Reed blends the opposites into one cohesive look.

An area where Reed is gaining much popularity is the wedding ring market. Popular bridal forums are filled with praise for Tom’s work, from brides-to-be that have purchased his stunning ring sets with the contentment that comes from buying an ethical product. In stark contrast to the highly polished, precision cut, multifaceted wedding rings made popular by Tiffany’s, Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels, Todd Reed’s pieces show a more rugged and organic beauty, the diamond in its natural state. Not only are his wedding ring designs subtly beautiful, but they also have a distinctive look which sets his customers apart from the crowd. His eternity bands feature exotic rose cut diamonds, octahedron diamonds and various colored diamond center stones. His menswear line also boasts the same unique combination of rugged and refined. Eternity bands of palladium and gold are adorned with cubical raw diamonds and princess cut diamonds that peek out where you least expect it. This element of surprise is one of the key features that make his work so alluring and desirable.

In addition to rings, Todd Reed’s line includes a myriad of choices that showcase his eclectic style. His brooches resemble miniature works of art that intrigue and inspire. He also designs gorgeous necklaces that while being made of the finest materials, also have an easy versatility about them that can reflect casual or formal moods. Cleaved diamonds, aquamarines, topaz beads and, of course, raw diamonds enhance his neckwear, which can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Tantalizing earrings are another strong feature of this collection. Reed gives his earrings an earthy, almost ethnic flavor by using random bezel set stones and diamonds in an illuminating ensemble of gold. Rose cut diamonds dance next to raw diamonds on hoops, clusters and drop earrings. Throughout his work, Reed also uses a patina finish- a finish created on a metal surface by oxidation which darkens the metal color- to give an interesting contrast. Again, we see the element of surprise at work through his treatment of precious metals.

Currently, Todd Reed is working on developing his line while continuing to promote his work at various trade shows across the US. He is also devoted to training and education, and teaches many classes around the Colorado area. A self taught designer from the school of life, and a dedicated pioneer of the eco-friendly jewelry movement, Todd Reed is a perfect choice for those who want raw beauty and elegance with a conscience.

- by Stacey Richardson for

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Why is gold so popular?

Gold... the name in itself is precious, and beautiful...

Gold in its pure form is yellow in color and is called PURE GOLD or FINE GOLD. Its purity represented in KARAT.

WHY IS GOLD ALLOYED: It is alloyed or mixed with other metals in a consistent blend for the following most important reasons:

To achieve the strength or stability in gold
  • Pure gold is very soft and jewelry made in this kind can easily bend and get misshaped. Fine work such as filigree is usually not recommended in pure gold because it can bend out of shape to irreparable extents fairly easily

  • Stones set in pure gold can easily fall out because of the softness of the metal holding them. Most commonly plain gold jewelry is made in 22 K in India and 14K or 18 K in the US.

  • To make a product in higher karat gold, the thickness of the product has to be considerably increased to increase its stability. Thus you will land up paying more for the same design made in higher karat gold.

To achieve color in gold

Gold in its purest form is yellow. Gold is often alloyed with other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, palladium etc to achieve a whiter or paler look. “White” gold is an extremely pale color of gold which looks almost white. This is usually created in 18 K gold or lesser purity of gold.
  • Normally the bright yellow of pure gold reflects off beautifully on darker skin tones. This makes 22 K yellow gold a popular choice in India as well as Africa. However, pale yellow colored jewelry looks beautiful on most paler or lighter colored skins and hence becomes a popular metal in the US, Italy and Australia. White gold is now a popular choice all over the world due to its publicity and resemblance to platinum.

  • Other colors in gold are pink gold, purple, black, green and white. These colors depending on the properties of each are used to enhance design without compensating on the value of the product.

Workability increases when the gold is alloyed
  • It is simpler to create solder (material used to join two pieces of gold) for a lower karat of gold rather than struggle with achieving the purity of 24 K gold.

  • For a craftsman it is easier to work on lower Karat of gold most of the time if the product has to be hand crafted. He has to be much more attentive so as not to ruin his work when working with fine gold.

  • For these above reasons, the making or labor charges may be lesser for a lower karat product in gold.

The cost of metal in a product is reduced considerably
  • If in a 18K gold product, the value of metal used is $ 750, then the same design made in 24K gold will be $ 1000. The same design in 9K gold will be $ 375 only. Thus in a fixed budget one can get more if they are willing to compensate on the karat value of the metal.

  • Since the weight of gold is more than that of silver or copper, (which is the most common alloying metal for making jewelry) hence the mass of 10gm pure gold will be lesser than that of 9 K gold.
  • This means that a 10 gm gold bangle in 24 K is smaller to look at than the same design same weight in 9 K gold.
  • Due to its softness, the higher the karat of gold, the faster it gets scratches thus requires more frequent polishing and hence the loss of precious material. This wear and tear makes the product look older sooner.


Pure or fine gold is 24 K and theoretically this means that the metal has 100% gold content in it.
But for making jewelry, an example of 18 K gold in terms of “fineness” is the gold content expressed in 750 parts per thousand (75.0% gold). The remaining 25% of the metals in this alloy can vary depending upon the property desired.

The percentage of gold in various alloys is given below (the commonly used Karat values are marked in bold).

  1. 24 K = 24/24 * 100 = 100 % Gold; no other metal
  2. 23 K = 23/24 * 100 = 95.83 % Gold; 4.17 % other metals
  3. 22 K = 22/24 * 100 = 91.66 % Gold; 8.34 % other metals
  4. 21 K = 21/24 * 100 = 87.5 % Gold; 12.5 % other metals
  5. 20 K = 20/24 * 100 = 83.33 % Gold; 16.67 % other metals
  6. 19 K = 19/24 * 100 = 79.16 % Gold; 20.84 % other metals
  7. 18 K = 18/24 * 100 = 75 % Gold; 25 % other metals
  8. 17 K = 17/24 * 100 = 70.83 % Gold; 29.17 % other metals
  9. 16 K = 16/24 * 100 = 66.66 % Gold; 33.34 % other metals
  10. 15 K = 15/24 * 100 = 62.5 % Gold; 37.5 % other metals
  11. 14 K = 14/24 * 100 = 58.33 % Gold; 41.67 % other metals
  12. 13 K = 13/24 * 100 = 54.16 % Gold; 45.84 % other metals
  13. 12 K = 12/24 * 100 = 50 % Gold; 50 % other metals
  14. 11 K = 11/24 * 100 = 45.83 % Gold; 54.17 % other metals
  15. 10 K = 10/24 * 100 = 41.66 % Gold; 58.34 % other metals
  16. 9 K = 9/24 * 100 = 37.5 % Gold; 62.5 % other metals
  17. 8 K = 8/24 * 100 = 33.33 % Gold; 66.67 % other metals

Most jewelry worldwide is marked with the caratage or fineness. This may be part of a Hallmark on the jewelry. To read more about Hallmarking and Assaying of gold, please click here.

Something very interesting about gold alloys is that with varying quantity or percentage of alloying metals used, the physical and chemical properties of that alloy can be very cleverly manipulated. A very common use of this fact is that 18 K white gold and 18 K yellow gold has the same content of gold in them, but the color changes. 18 K pink gold is harder to work with than 18 K yellow gold. To read about these differences and how one can use these in their jewelry, click here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

All about diamond origins and history

One of the most simplified yet complete informative articles about diamond origins, history, mining and distribution, industry, synthetic diamonds and jewelry is available on the website of American Museum of Natural History.

A must read is the mining and distribution section. I have never come across a more comprehensive writeup about the behind the scenes life of a diamond.

Comparing Tiffany diamonds with Costco diamonds

The most important thing about Tiffany diamonds is the cut. This is the most neglected 4th C of a diamond which Tiffany pays special interest to. It is interesting to note how a paler colored, lower clarity diamond will also start shining brilliantly when cut within the ideal proportion limits of a standard round brilliant cut.

Costco carries everything of high standards but in case of diamonds, they definitely do not go for the 'highest' standards of cut. I am not sure about the diamonds that were compared from Tiffany and Costco in the mentioned article, but so far, I have not come across a Costco diamond which falls in the 'excellent' or 'ideal' or 'signature ideal' cut category. Tiffany does.. all their diamonds whether they are F color or D, Internally flawless or very slightly included, small or big are in the very least ideal cuts adhering to the standard round brilliant cuts.

The article that got me to question my research and come back to my original assessment of Costco vs Tiffany diamonds: Tiffany's Bling vs. Costco's

And YES, the prices will differ a LOT when the cut grade changes. You can go through the change in price by simply comparing diamonds on then and eventually

Tiffany diamonds are as I already recommended top of the line amazing, but at the end of the day, so some diamonds, you are paying over 50 % more than the actual value of the material that goes into your jewel... that is the cost of the "brand" and all the benefits that you get along with it. It is completely up to you from this point onwards whether or not you want to pay that price for the "label".

For any questions suggestions, comments or advise on buying diamonds keep visiting my website at or write to me at .

Read more.. The thing about buying diamonds from Costco

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Exploitation of Jewelry Customers by using Misnomers and Misrepresentations - Part I

Very often we come across friends and clients who have at various occasions bought jewelry which is not exactly what they had expected it to be. On air, I often come across queries as to how one can be sure whether the stone they bought is a diamond or not. I have come across some whose beautiful yellow colored gemstone, 'pukhraj' bought at an unbelievable price turned out to be a more commonly available, not-so-expensive topaz, tourmaline, quartz or worse still, a piece of glass.

In short, we are talking about the mis-representation of information and misnomers used to sell stones. Before we go on, it is very important to understand the meaning of imitation, treated and synthetic stones.

Let us take an example of a diamond. A natural diamond is a rare beauty formed in the nature with no human intervention. This is the most sought after and the most expensive of its kind. If a natural diamond is treated under high pressure or temperature, or it is subjected to any other form of treatment other than cutting, to enhance its appearance to alter the color or clarity, such a diamond would be called 'treated'. Some treatments such as HPHT (High pressure high temperature) are permanent whereas some others such as fracture filling may wear off over a period of time or by chemical interaction such as perfume or heat in the kitchen etc.

If an exact replica or clone of a diamond is to be created in the laboratory, then such a diamond is called 'synthetic diamond' or sometimes a cultured diamond. A synthetic stone is chemically and physically the same as a natural stone. The difference between the value of a natural and synthetic stone makes it very important for one to be able to make out the difference between the two.
Interesting observation: Sometimes though rarely, the synthetic counterpart of a stone looks more beautiful than the natural one such as in the case of a Synthetic moissanite.

A piece of glass, a rock crystal quartz, synthetic moissanite, cubic zirconia and other colorless stones that looks like a diamond can be used to replace a diamond because they match the color of a diamond. These are known as 'imitation' stones because they are used to imitate precious and semi precious gemstones. Usually they are no where related to the chemical properties of the natural stone but look alike.

'Misnomers' are special names given to common stones to make them sound more appealing and more coveted. For example, the stone commonly known as the 'Australian jade' is actually a misnomer for a fairly commonly available Chrysoprase which even in its best quality when it looks very similar to jade is not as precious or expensive as the jade. A common misnomer for yellow Topaz is golden pukhraj which is used to imitate a yellow sapphire. Misnomers are not illegal, which makes it very hard for a buyer to take action against this unethical practice.

When a false piece of information is used to sell a jewel or stone, or when facts are bent to make the sale, such false information is known as 'mis-representation'. For example, if a pink sapphire is sold to you under the name of a ruby, a synthetic stone is sold as natural, a treatment which is not permanent is sold as permanent, then such information is mis-represented to you. If a synthetic stone is not declared as synthetic or the purity of metal is falsely reported, these are all cases of mis-representation of information. Usually this is an illegal practise, but sometimes, the question is not so much about legal but more about ethics.

Name of stone
HPHT synthetic diamond
CVD synthetic diamond
HPHT for color enhancement
Laser drilling for clarity enhancement
Fracture filling for clarity
Coloring the girdle for color enhancement
Synthetic Moissanite
Cubic zirconia
Rock crystal quartz
Colorless topaz
Synthetic ruby
Heat treatment

Cubic zirconia
Red beryl
Synthetic sapphire
Heat treatment
Blue topaz
Cubic zirconia
Synthetic emerald
Fracture filling
Green beryl
Green sapphire
Aventurine quartz

Coming up next: Misnomers and Mis-representation Part 2: How to identify treated, imitations and synthetics from the natural untreated stone.

Look out for information about misrepresentation and unethical practices in selling gold ornaments and other metals.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

नीलम: ब्लू सफायर

नवरत्न के नव ग्रहों के नीले रंग को सजाता हुआ ये नीला नीला पत्थर नीलम के नाम से जाना जाता हैअंग्रेजी मेंइसे सफायर बोलते हैं. सप्तम्बर महीने में जन्में लोगों की राशि का यह रत्ना कई विवादों में घिरा रहता हैइस पोस्टमें आप पायेंगे नीलम की ऐतिहासिक खूबियाँ, इसे खरीदने की जानकारी, नीलम की सही पहचान, ज्योतिषी केमानने वाली बातें, नीलम के बेह्रूपियाँ और मानव निर्मित नीलम के बारे में

नीलम की पहचान
कोरंदम परिवार के नीले रंग में पाये जाने वाले रत्ना को नीलम कहते हैंसंस्कृत में कुरुविन्दा के नाम से पहचानेजाने वाला ये पत्थर कई रंगों में आता हैलाल रंग में इसे मणि या रूबी कहेते हैं, पीले रंग में पुखराज या येल्लोसफायर, नारंगी में पाद्पराषा और अन्य रंगों में इसे उसी रंग के नाम से जानते हैं जैसे की पर्पल सफायर, पिंकसफायर इत्यादि
इसाई संस्कृति में माना जाता है की मोसेस (Moses) को इश्वर की गस आज्ञाएँ नीलम की पटरी पर लिख कर दीगईं थींइसी कारण से नीलम को "पवित्र रत्न" (Divine Gemstone) का दर्जा मिल गया
इसके नीले रंग के भी कई किस्से हैंप्राचीन फ़ारसी (Ancient Persians) लोगों का विश्वास था की धरती एकबोहुत ही बड़ा नीलम के गोले पर स्थापित है जिसकी परछाई से ही आसमान का रंग नीला है
नीले रंग के पत्थरों में सबसे ख़ास और महंगा नीलम ही माना जाता है। ये Mohs स्केल (मोह के स्केल) पर ९ की संख्या पर उभरता है। इसका मतलब है की नीलम काफ़ी सख्त होता है और आम तौर पर ये रोज मर्रा के गहनों में पहना जा सकता है।
नीलम की पहचान इसके रंग, इसकी कठोरता संख्या, और इसके अन्दर पाई जाने वाली खूबियों से होती है

नामवर नीलम
नीलम की इतिहास में एक अलग ही जगह है। कई हस्तियों ने, राजाओं ने, महाराजाओं ने अलग अलग समय पर नीलम को गौरव दिया है। मुघल काल का "पीकॉक थ्रोन" एक बोहुत ही उच्च आदर्श है नीलम के रंगों का। इस बहू मूल नमूने में नीलम के साथ साथ तुर्मालीन, फीरोज़ा, आईओलाईट, मीना के भी रंगों का मेल है पर सबसे प्रभावी नीलम का ही असर है।
मोर की गर्दन के पीलेपन से मेल करने वाले रंग का ये पत्थर सच्चाई, राजशुल्क, निष्ठां का प्रतीक है। मंगनी की अंगूठियों में भी नीलम सुंदर लगता है। राजकुमार चार्ल्स (Prince Charles) ने राजकुमारी दैआना (Princess Diana) को, राजकुमार ऐल्बर्ट (Prince Albert) ने महारानी विक्टोरिया (Queen Victoria) को और माइकेल विल्डिंग (Michael Wilding) ने ऐलिज़ाबेथ टेलर (Elizabeth Taylor) को नीलम से सजे गहने कई अवसरों पर भेंट किए हैं।
हॉलीवुड की जानी मानी हस्ती, मेरी पिक्फोर्ड (Mary Pickford) दो बोहुत ही खूबसूरत एवं महंगे नीलम की मालकिन रह चुकी हैं... १८२ (182 कैरेट) का "स्टार ऑफ़ बॉम्बे" और ५०० (500 कैरेट) से ऊपर "स्टार ऑफ़ इंडिया" दोनों ही नीलम जो भारत के अनमोल खजानों से उत्तपन्न हुए हैं।
अपने बॉलीवुड के शहनशाह, अमिताभ बच्चन भी नीलम को बोहुत पसंद करते हैं। आप उनके दोनों नीलम को देख सकतें हैं उनकी सिनेमा "कभी अलविदा न कहना" में और "कौन बनेगा करोढ़पति" में।

नीलम का प्रभाव
ये अनमोल रत्न शनी की दशा से मुक्ति पाने के लिए निर्धारित किया जाता है। कहते हैं की शनी का असर निष्प्रभाव करने के लिए नीलम को पीले सोने में स्थापित करके दाहिने हाथ की बीच की उंगली में पहनना चाहिए। दो कैरेट का नीलम आम तौर पर सिफारिश किया जाता है और जितना गहरा इसका नीलापन, उतना ही ज्यादा इसका प्रभाव।
मानने वालों का विशवाश है की नीलम हर किसी के लिए अनुकूल नही होता।
परन्तु ये भी कहते हैं की हीरे मेंनीलम की शक्ती को निष्प्रभाव करने का यत्न होता हैइसी लिए, अगर आपको नीलम अति सुंदर लगता है, परआप इसे पहनने से घबराते हैं, तो तुल्य शक्ती और माप का हीरा साथ में पहन लें तो ये आपको परेशान नही करनाचाहिए

नीलम के लक्षण
नीलम की खूबियों में से सबसे ज़रूरी है उसका रंगरंग पनीला होना चाहिए, ज्यादा गहरास्याही के रंग केनीलम ऑस्ट्रेलिया से आते हैं और ये बोहुत उच्च नही माने जातेअच्छी किस्म के नीलम का रंग गुंजायमान होनाचाहिएपत्थर के अंतर्वेशन उसकी चमक के ऊपर भावी नही होने चाचिए
नीलम अनेक आकर में मिलता है तो आप ध्यान दीजिये की इसे किस प्रकार के गहने में लगना हैयदि कान काआभूषण है, तो नीलम गहरे रंग का भी चलेगा परन्तु अगर उंगली पर सज्जित या गले पर सजने वाला है तो इसकारंग चमकदार होना चाहिए

कहाँ से खरीदें
भारत में जयपुर में अक्सर आप नीलम का व्यापार पायेंगेखरीदने के लिए अधिकतर जोहरी इसका पेशा करतेहैंन्यू जर्सी में, आप ओक ट्री रोड के सभी नामी जोहरियों के पास नीलम के नमूने पा सकते हैंअमेरिकन गुकानोंमें आप नीलम के बने गहने पा सकते हैंयदि आपको नीलम खरीदने में सहायता की जारूरत है तो बेहिजक मुझेपत्र भेजिए पर

नीलम की खोज
सबसे प्राचीन खदान श्री लंका या सिलोन (Ceylon) में स्थापित हैंसीलोन सफायर आम बाज़ार में समृद्ध हैं परसबसे ज्यादा प्राप्य नीलम ऑस्ट्रेलिया की खनदान से आते हैंये आस्ट्रेलियन सफायर स्याही के रंग की तरहकरीब करीब काले होते हैंइनकी कीमत भी काफ़ी कम होती हैइनके ऊपर कई आचरण किए जाते हैं जिससेइनका रंग निखर जाएइनको अक्सर रंगा भी जाता है और गरम तापमान में झुलसाया जाया है
सबसे खूबसूरत और कीमती नीलम भारत में कशमीर की वादियों से उत्पन्न होते हैंवहाँ के नीलम का ख़ास नीलारंग एक मखमली तेज देता है जो केवल बोहुत ठंडे इलाके में, ओक्सिजेन्न की कमी में काफ़ी कसाव के नीचे बनसकता हैकाशमीर की राजनेतिक अशांति और काश्मीर के कठोर वातावरण के कारण काशमीरी नीलम पानाबोहुत ही मुश्किल हैपरन्तु इसी वजह से ये नीलम बोहुत ज्यादा तलाशा भी जाता है

कोई प्रशन?
यदि नीलम को खरीदने, बेचने या संभालने से सम्बंधित आपके पास कोई विवाद या प्रशन है तो बेहिजक मुझे पत्रलिखिए, परआप मेरा कार्यक्रम रेडियो पर भी सुन सकते हैं हर हफ्ते 10 से12 बजे EST मंगलवार (Tuesday) को पर या 1170 am पर