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Anatomy of an Engagement Ring

You’ve found the one, and are now on the hunt for the ring. Ring shopping can be an overwhelming task for many soon to be engaged couples. You may have already heard some terms thrown around referencing parts of a ring such as head, shank, and shoulders. By familiarizing yourself with the anatomy of an engagement ring, you’ll be better equipped to find the best ring within your budget. View the infographic below to learn about the various components that contribute to a ring’s beauty, style and price.

engagement ring anatomy infographic

Head

This is where you’ll find the center stone – most often the largest stone on the ring. The head normally consists of one mounted stone, called a solitaire, or three stones – large center and accent stones on either side. The head could also contain other additional small stones referred to as accent stones.

Prongs

The most common type of setting is known as the prong. Prongs refer to the “claws” that hold the center stone in place on the head. Most rings will have four or six prongs, double prongs set side by side or chevron prongs(also referred to as v-prongs). Other trendy styles include halo and double halo which create a great amount of sparkle.

Shank

The part of the ring that wraps around the finger is referred to as the shank. The most popular style is the tapered shank, which gets wider (or narrower) as it approaches the center stone. Cathedral shanks have arches that rise from the main part of the band to support the center stone. Other styles include split shanks and European shanks which add intricacy to a ring’s design.

Shoulders

The shoulders of a ring help display and protect the center stone. They consist of one or multiple adjoined components that connect the shank to the setting. A ring’s shoulders can range from simple designs for solitaire rings to quite elaborate for vintage styles. Details will often consist of engravings, intricate scroll-work or accent stones to maximize sparkle.

Setting

The setting defines the finished look of the ring and should display the stone in its “best light”. It also secures the center diamond in place. The most popular setting styles include prong, bezel, channel, pave and contour. Prong is the most common as mentioned above and contains small claws that hold the diamond in place. The contour setting has rising slopes of metal, while the bezel has a band of metal that secures the center diamond in place. The channel setting holds a row of diamonds together within two walls. The pave setting features a seamless display of small diamonds without any metal or prongs showing.

Now that you’re familiar with a ring’s anatomy, view our collection of engagement ring settings to get inspired!

New York Diamond District Shopping Guide

Diamond District NYC

 

Many shoppers will attest that the New York Diamond District still remains one of the world’s top destinations for engagement rings and fine diamond jewelry at tremendous value. However, with nearly 2,600 jewelry retailers, manufacturers and dealers condensed within a one block radius, navigating through the hustle and bustle to find the best deals and the most reputable jewelers can be a challenge for some. As long time Diamond District jewelers and with Firenze Jewels’ Jeffrey Levin serving as chairman of the 47th St BID for 16 consecutive years, we’ve created this guide to offer unique insight into shopping at the world’s famed diamond center.

1.  Pre-shopping
If you haven’t done so already, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with The 4 C’s. These are the fundamentals to finding the best quality diamond within your budget. Some shops in the Diamond District also have websites where most of their jewelry inventory is displayed. Use them to your advantage. Read about a store’s policies, how long they’ve been in business and their Better Business Bureau accreditation. View the styles of jewelry and rings they carry to get a sense of what you’re looking for (halo? antique style? pavé?). A few stores also display loose diamond inventory online. If you find something that interests you, be sure to make an appointment in advance to reserve the diamond(s) for a private viewing as many times they aren’t readily available on the premises.  This will save you time.

2.   Browse and compare
Upon arrival, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. Have a list handy of the merchants you’ve researched and thoroughly vetted. Feel free to glance at other stores that catch your fancy, but keep in mind that policies vary from shop to shop. Are all their diamonds 100% natural? What’s the jeweler’s stance on ethical diamond sourcing?  What trade organizations do they belong to? During your visit, don’t be lured by signs such as “50% off”, “Wholesale to the Public”, “Discounted Prices” ect.. As the old adage goes: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. The only way of really knowing if you got a good deal is to shop comparable items and ask questions. Always go with your gut instinct.

3.   What to avoid
Don’t do business with hawkers. It’s no secret; on occasion, the Diamond District has received negative press about salespeople who openly solicit shoppers on the sidewalk. You’ll find them as much of a nuisance as we do. It’s been an on-going conflict in the area. On the same note, avoid aggressive salespeople you may encounter. If at any point in time you feel uncomfortable, simply move on to the next shop or exchange.

4.   What to look for
Be certain the diamond you’re buying is certified by a renowned grading institution such as the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A) or European Gemological Laboratory (E.G.L.).  Familiarize yourself with what the certifications should look like. At any shop you visit, a jeweler should be able to provide you with at least a 10x magnification loupe or microscope. Upon examining the diamond, verify that inclusions (if any) correlate with what is shown on the certificate.

5.   Sealing the deal
Have a written copy of the store’s return or exchange policy. For an honest third party appraisal, be sure to find a truly independent appraiser who is not connected with any diamond sellers and does not sell diamond or jewelry. Lastly, it’s important to obtain a copy of the jeweler’s appraisal (normally provided free of charge) and insist the merchant put all jewelry claims on the sales slip.

 

We hope the information above helps in your Diamond District shopping experience and makes the whole engagement ring buying process a little less intimidating. Happy diamond hunting!

11 Creative Ways to Wear a Brooch

Contrary to popular belief, brooches are no longer reserved for the lapel of your jacket or to only be worn by your grandmother. In fact, with the vast array of designs available, brooches are possibly the most versatile pieces in your jewelry collection. First Lady Michelle Obama has been one of the most public figures fueling the recent comeback of antique style brooches through the inspiring ways she’s worn them. Whether you’re looking to draw attention to your best features or want to brilliantly compliment your ensemble, here’s a few fashionable (and some functional) ways to wear a brooch:
1 ) Design a necklace: Use a brooch as a pendant by attaching it to a diamonds by the yard, pearl, tennis necklace or any chain. Another idea would be to wrap the necklace or strand of pearls closely around your neck and creatively apply the pin.

 

2 ) Add sparkle to an evening bag: Create an intriguing look by pinning a brooch onto your clutch. For additional sparkle, pin two or more smaller and similarly themed brooches together.

 

3 ) Instant statement jewel: Apply your favorite diamond brooch to a thin ring or band to create an instant cocktail ring or place one on a wrist band made of fabric to be worn as jeweled cuff.

 

4 ) Secure your scarf: Wrap a colorful scarf or choker around your neck and secure it in place with a brooch for a French chic look.

 

5 ) Pin a brooch on your waist: A growing Hollywood trend is to wear a brooch directly on the waist of a dress or gown as did Eva Longoria at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. Another idea would be to wrap a scarf around your waist and secure it with the brooch itself.

 

6 ) Compliment your head piece: Add a little flair to a casual fedora, floppy hat, beret, cabbie-style hat or just a plain cap by pinning a brooch onto it. Fond of the gypsy inspired look? Apply a sparkling accent to a turban headband by attaching a brooch to the center.

 

7 ) Use one as a hair pin: Yes you heard right. After styling your hair, carefully attach a brooch for a glamorous look. This works best with styles such as a bun, french twist or sleek pony tail. Try holding it in place by using bobby pins, attaching it to ribbon and weaving it in your hair or your own method as most brooches weren’t designed for this.

 

8 ) Instant wardrobe alteration: How many times have we bought an article of clothing knowing the “fit isn’t just right”, but we’d figure out how to work with it later? A well positioned brooch can take the place of a permanent alteration. Fashionably cinch up an over-sized cardigan, sweater, dress or even a long t-shirt with a brooch.

 

9 ) Make it a focal point: Add a brooch to the bodice of a strapless gown or place one at the lowest point of a neckline on a low cut top or dress.

 

10 ) Adorn your shoulder: Break tradition by applying a brooch to the shoulder of any jacket, blazer or even a turtle neck.

 

11 ) An alternative to buttons or clasps: Fasten a jacket, cardigan or artfully draped scarf with a sparkling brooch.

 

Now that we’ve got your creative juices flowing, pull out a brooch sitting in the back of your jewelry drawer and give one of these ideas a whirl. Don’t own one? Here are a few inspirational designs:

 

Firenze Jewels Announces Support for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Effort

japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief-effort

Firenze Jewels’ Jeffrey Levin, together with the New York City 47th Street Business Improvement District announced a relief effort aiding the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th. The 47th St BID works with businesses in the New York City Diamond District area. They are trying to organize with as many of the 2,600 businesses to donate $1 per sale to the American Red Cross Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund. The relief effort is expected to last until the end of April.

As a major supplier of pearls to the American market and the fourth largest market in the world for American jewelry exports, Japan has played an integral role within the jewelry industry as well as the New York City Diamond District for decades. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the devastating tragedy in Japan and we hope our joint contributions play a small roll in rebuilding their lives and pulling through the many struggles ahead.

Valentine’s Day Diamond Heart Shaped Pendants and Jewelry

Valentine’s Day Diamond Heart Shaped Pendants and Jewelry

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we would like to feature our collection of diamond heart shaped pendants and other heart shaped Valentine’s Day jewelry gift ideas that have caught the eye of buyers in our showroom. The current availability of each piece is listed below. Please note that you must first inquire for a price quote on some of the unmarked designer pieces. Others marked unavailable can always be special ordered. Click on the image for further details. Happy shopping!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k white gold heart pendant

Product: #2114

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant

Diamond 18k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #2887

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant

Leo Pizzo diamond 18k gold heart pendant
Product: #3025

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G 18k yellow gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #3342

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G 18k white gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #3404

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G 18k pink gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #3340

diamond heart shaped pendant

Luna Bella Collection antique style 18k gold white and canary diamond heart pendant
Product: #2400

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G 18kt white and rose gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #2579

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G handcrafted 18k gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #1572

diamond heart shaped necklace

Charles Krypell diamond emerald & sapphire 18k gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #71

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G handcrafted 18k gold diamond double heart pendant necklace
Product: #1571

diamond heart shaped pendant

Simon G handcrafted 18k gold triple heart diamond pendant necklace
Product: #1569

diamond heart shaped pendant

Diamond and 18k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #3028

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Leo Pizzo diamond 18k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #1662

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k two-tone gold double heart pendant necklace
Product: #562

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k white & yellow gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #438

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 14k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #437

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond and 18k white gold heart pendant
Product: #3132

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond and blue sapphire 18k white gold heart pendant
Product: #3126

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond and white gold pave heart pendant necklace
Product: #2897

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #2211

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond & pink quartz 14k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #734

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond & blue topaz 14 karat white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #80

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond & citrine 14k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #1300

diamond heart shaped pendant

Natalie K handcrafted 18k tri-color gold diamond antique style heart pendant necklace
Product: #1700

diamond heart shaped pendant

Natalie K handcrafted 18k two-tone gold diamond antique style heart pendant necklace
Product: #1701

diamond heart shaped pendant

Natalie K handcrafted 18k white gold diamond heart pendant necklace
Product: #1706

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k white & pink gold double heart necklace
Product: #70

diamond heart shaped pendant

Natalie K handcrafted 18k white gold diamond antique style heart pendant necklace
Product: #1707

diamond heart shaped necklace

Leo Pizzo diamond 18k gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #3024

Available!

diamond heart shaped pendant necklace

Diamond 18k white gold heart pendant
Product: #2096

diamond heart shaped pendant

Diamond 14k white gold heart pendant
Product: #1904

diamond heart shaped pendant

Diamond and 18k two-tone gold heart pendant
Product: #2685

Available!

diamond heart shaped necklace

Diamond 14k white gold heart pendant necklace
Product: #2169

antique style diamond heart necklace

Antique style diamond 18k white gold heart necklace
Product: #2001

Available!

diamond heart shaped necklace

Diamond 18k white gold triple heart necklace
Product: #236

diamond heart shaped necklace

Diamond 18k white gold two-heart necklace
Product: #238

diamond heart shaped necklace

Diamond 18k white gold twin heart necklace
Product: #868

diamond rose shaped brooch pin

Garavelli diamond opal & amethyst 18k white gold floral brooch pin
Product: #97

diamond rose shaped brooch pin

Antique style diamond 18k white & yellow gold rose brooch pin
Product: #88

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Simon G diamond & 18k two tone gold heart dangle earrings
Product: #3761

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond and 18k white gold heart cluster earrings
Product: #2858

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond & 18k white gold heart shaped cluster stud earrings
Product: #1953

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k white gold heart shaped huggie earrings
Product: #766

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k white gold dangle heart earrings
Product: #710

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k white gold heart earrings
Product: #701

Available!

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond and 18k white gold heart dangle earrings
Product: #2928

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k two tone gold heart shaped earrings
Product: #1604

diamond heart shaped earrings

Vintage antique style diamond 18k white gold heart shaped dangle earrings
Product: #1515

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k white gold heart earrings
Product: #1307

diamond heart shaped earrings

Diamond 18k white gold heart earrings
Product: #928

Designer Engagement Rings

Designer Engagement Rings

From antique/vintage to classic designs, designer engagement rings have a distinct and individual appeal that has captured the hearts of many soon to be married couples in love. Whether it’s the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into a particular piece or the gorgeous design conjured up by some of the world’s leading designers, Firenze Jewels wants to review a few the most attention grabbing diamond designer engagement rings.

Charles Krypell Designer Engagement Rings

Charles Krypell Designer Engagement Rings

Pieces such as this stunning antique style Charles Krypell designer engagement ring have garnered much attention since they’ve made their first debut. We have found that diamond engagement rings with an emerald cut stone are a die hard favorite for many discerning women.

Christopher Designs Designer Engagement Rings Crisscut Emerald

Christopher Designs Designer Engagement Rings

Most savvy and trendy buyers looking at diamond engagement rings are probably already familiar with patented Christopher Designs Crisscut emerald designer engagement rings. Simplicity and elegance are harmoniously combined in this one lovely and sought after piece.

Le Vian Designer Engagement Rings

Le Vian Designer Engagement Rings

Renowned for their bold and unique diamond jewelry and designer engagement rings, pieces such as this jaw dropping two tone gold Le Vian designer engagement ring featuring 3 gorgeous fancy yellow diamonds are the reason why Le Vian designs are consistently anything but ordinary.

Natalie K Designer Engagement Rings

Natalie K Designer Engagement Rings

A true expression of all that is timeless and classic in diamond jewelry. Of all the antique style Natalie K designer engagement rings, this diamond engagement ring and wedding band set imbued with beautiful channel set round brilliant cut white diamonds has forever warmed the hearts of a select few couples in love.

Ritani Designer Engagement Rings

Ritani Designer Engagement Rings

When celebrating one of life’s most treasured moments, it is no wonder why diamond jewelry aficionados have naturally been drawn to Ritani designer engagement rings. A standard of excellence and elegance, the diamond engagement rings found within the Endless Love, Ritani Setting, Masterwork, Bella Vita, Ritani Modern and Romantique Collections are exquisite works of art.

Simon G Designer Engagement Rings

Simon G Designer Engagement Rings

The detailed craftsmanship that goes into Simon G designer engagement rings is a true testament to why the Simon G brand has become a leader in the diamond jewelry industry. Remarkable pieces such as this antique style diamond engagement ring featuring a superb center mosaic of round cut white diamonds surrounded by stunning pink diamonds is the reason why so many have fallen in love with Simon G.

Jewelry in Politics

New York City’s Firenze Jewels weighs in on four very different but influential women in politics this year, the type of jewelry they have worn and how it compliments their overall style. “You can tell a lot about someone’s personality by looking at the style of jewelry they choose to wear,” says Gabrielle Guzman, Director of the e-Commerce division at Firenze Jewels. While you may or may not agree with their (or their husband’s) philosophical views, one thing is for certain; we’ll be seeing a lot more of one of them in the future.

Hillary Clinton

Current second term Senator of New York, former First Lady and former 2008 Democratic candidate for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton has worn many different hats and usually likes to wear a pearl or modest diamond necklace to go along with each. Some people tuned into the election coverage may remember that when asked a light hearted question during last year’s UNLV presidential debate about whether she prefers diamonds or pearls, she

jokingly replied “I want both”. Hillary is also known to be a big fan of turquoise jewelry, and when she’s not in the spot light she’ll usually opt for a simple gold necklace. Firenze Jewels believes that the jewelry Mrs. Clinton chooses to wear is very much like her famous trademark pantsuits, it shows that she’s confident, enjoys attention and likes to be in control.

 

Cindy Mccain

Philanthropist, chairwoman of Hensley & Co, and potential First Lady, Cindy McCain has always been a fan of chunky beaded or pearl necklaces and/or earrings. In fact, her philosophy seems to be “the chunkier the better”. Cindy’s traditional demeanor has often been compared to that of Nancy Reagan’s, but her overall fashion style as the wife of a Republican presidential candidate is anything but. On her husband’s campaign trail she’s been seen wearing sharp red leather and copper toned jackets with bold jewelry to match. The clothing and jewelry styles that she wears

are traditional but the fabrics and colors that she chooses are not. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. McCain’s choice in jewelry and sense of fashion shows that although she chooses to play the role of a traditional Republican First Lady if her husband were elected, she certainly does not think like one.

 

Michelle Obama

American lawyer, Princeton University & Harvard Law School graduate and potential First Lady, Michelle Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy for her taste in beaded necklaces and she’s even drawn comparisons to Barbra Bush for her fondness over bold “pearl-like” white necklaces. Michelle has made several appearances on various best dressed lists for her sense of style. Her use of jewelry is very distinct. When wearing a contemporary outfit, she’ll usually compliment it with a more conservative looking jewelry piece and when dressed a little more conservative, she will wear something along

the lines of a long beaded necklace, a sparkling brooch or other form of jewelry that adds flair and drama to her overall style. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. Obama’s selection of jewelry and the way she employs it with her outfit, shows that she is very down to earth and comfortable with who she is.

 

Sarah Palin

Current Governor of Alaska, former mayor of Wasilla, and current potential Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket, Sarah Palin has a flair for small gold nugget earrings and stretch bracelets. Many times, she’s been seen wearing a pair of gold earrings that look to be the shape of Alaska. Her trademark rimless glasses and flashy power suits have become her bold signature

look, so Sarah usually keeps her jewelry to a minimum. If she does wear a necklace or chain of some sort, it’s usually a simple chain made of gold or modest sized beads. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. Palin’s choice of jewelry and overall style shows that she takes pride in roots as well as her work and achievements.

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5 Reasons To Make Your Next Jewelry Purchase Online

 

 

As millions of people become more comfortable with shopping online each passing year, the stigmas of what shouldn’t be bought on the internet continue to diminish. Whether it’s the latest sleek LCD TV or designer clothes, more people are turning to the internet for high end items. Diamond jewelry is no exception. Here’s 5 reasons why your next jewelry purchase should be made online:

1) Your time is precious. Shopping for jewelry online offers you the possibility to look at hundreds of pieces without going from store to store searching for that perfect diamond engagement ring. No need to worry about traffic, long lines, bad weather and especially the inevitable rush during the upcoming holiday season.

2) Many of the more developed jewelry websites present their products in a professional manner allowing you to make a better and well informed buying decision between 2 pieces or another competitor.

3) If you want a wider selection to choose from, browsing a jeweler’s online gallery lets you see all of their unique designer pieces, even ones that may be out of stock. Don’t let that perfect diamond necklace slip away because someone else got to it first. Ask the jeweler if the specific piece you are looking for can be special ordered.

4) In the comparison shopping age that we live in, many times you will be able to find reviews, ratings and/or testimonials by other real clients about a company online. This information is invaluable before proceeding with your purchase. It’s something that would be harder to gather when window shopping at other brick and mortar jewelers.

5) Last but certainly not least, due to the highly competitive nature of the internet, you’ll very likely find stunning diamond jewelry pieces being sold online below retail price; and who doesn’t love a bargain?

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