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Tuesday 25 February 2014

Investing in jewelry: The finer points to remember

Jewelry, the word itself conjures up images of well dressed women, accessorising their outfits with stylish ornaments and embellishments. While traditionally in some countries in the Orient, jewelry has long been considered a sound investment, in the West it is a relatively new trend that is catching up today. Jewelry as an investment say many financial analysts is a relatively safe bet, akin to property and assets like antiques and paintings and are thus in the same bracket as these offbeat investments.

Difficulties in jewelry as an investment:

While certain investments are easy to quantify, the main problem with jewelry is that it is a relatively ‘difficult’ investment because of the following factors:

1) Lack of standardisation: Unlike gold or property, jewelry is harder to standardise simply because it uses different alloys, gems and craftsmanship that are more subjective in nature and therefore harder to quantify. One way of overcoming this difficulty is having jewelry made according to a standard that an investor sets and having the raw materials used in the making of the jewelry, individually certified. 

2) Sentimentality: Jewelry is traditionally a sentimental purchase or endowment. The price of the jewelry is often the monetary value of that sentimentality that a seller ascribes to that piece, which may be overpriced. The only way around this is to buy jewelry only from a certified retailer, or bidding on individual pieces of estate jewelry at auctions.

On why jewelry is a safer bet than most other investments:

1) In comparison to gold: Gold is often looked at as the most safe option to invest in. While this may hold true, the acquisition of said gold is a gamble, as the price of the metal fluctuates on a global scale, on an hourly basis. Jewelry on the other hand has a fixed entry point, and as such is a more or less fixed rate of appreciation, which makes it a safer bet than gold.

2) In comparison to share trading: While there is no doubt that share trading has quicker rate of returns, the market risks you eschew makes it a difficult proposition for the more cautious investor. Jewelry in this respect represents a fixed sum, paid in one go and is as such the perfect investment avenue for cautious investors.

3) In comparison to property: Property prices the world over are at an all time high. While this comes as good news to landholders, people wanting to enter this market are put off by these near exorbitant prices. This makes jewelry seem like a smarter bet as jewelry prices while definitely not static, are more affordable and thus less of a risky proposition.

What experts have to say:

Most experts in the post recession world markets are advising people to invest in jewelry. Says Elle Weinstein, a financial adviser with a well known European wealth management firm, “In the post recessionary period, people are looking for more tangible, safe bets that will stay profitable in the long run, and are also appreciable in the interim. Wine, antiques and jewelry, especially jewelry is the way to go. We’re advising our clients to think of jewelry not just as mere baubles or trinkets, but as a safety net when all else fails. The Asian culture has been to invest and treasure jewelry, I think it should be a trend in Western markets too.”

Monday 17 February 2014

What you need to know before you buy diamond jewelry!

Diamonds have always been associated with unending love and deep commitment. They’re little pieces of celestial perfection which express what mere words could never. But they can also be quite the money pit, if you do not know how to pick up the right diamonds at your price point. There have been umpteen cases where unsuspecting people have been ripped off, by unscrupulous elements, in such cases people have mostly been given a stone that looks like a diamond, but when evaluated turned out to be a synthetically simulated stone or a fake altogether. This post therefore is to enlighten the reader about facts they ought to know about diamonds, before embarking on the purchase of diamond jewelry.

What you need to know before you buy diamond jewelry:

1. Diamonds never wear or crack: The most basic fact to remember is that diamonds are the toughest element in the known universe. Diamonds cannot crack, break or wear down. Artificially simulated stones however do not share the same durability as natural stones. These simulated diamonds do break occasionally, and are infinitely cheaper than  the real deal, so always be on a look out for them. Buying your jewelry from a reputed jeweler or jewelry website is normally a guarantee that what you’re paying for is a natural diamond and not a man made imitation.

2. GIA certification: GIA or the Gemological Institute of America is the institution that came up with the 4Cs and other procedures to verify and certify purity of diamonds. Pure diamonds almost always carry a GIA certification or at the very least a certificate of purity endorsed by GIA. Most reputed jewelry brands and websites around the world will always provide you with one or the other certificate upon purchase. The GIA certification comes in handy when you’re trying to resell your diamonds or having them appraised.

3. The 4Cs: The 4Cs stand for Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat Weight and are the most important tool to ascertain the value of a diamond. The cut of a diamond determines not just its shape, but also the level of shine as the diamond cutter can choose to add many facets and angles to the diamond to enhance its reflective index. Clarity is measured on six scales from flawless (highest value) to included (I3 being the least valuable), the clearer and more transparent the diamond, the greater its value. A diamond’s color or rather the lack of it determines its value, according to the GIA scale of color, diamonds are graded from D to Z (D being flawlessly transparent, Z being colored and therefore not completely transparent.) Stones that are almost perfectly transparent or colorless are rated between a scale of D to F and are a whole lot more expensive than diamonds that come under the scale from I onwards. A diamond’s dry weight is called its carat weight, and as a rule of thumb, the heavier the stone, the more expensive it is.

4. The wearer’s personality: Knowing technical details about a diamond before buying diamond jewelry is a must, but so is taking into consideration the wearer’s personality. Whatever the piece of jewelry may be, it needs to be in sync with the way the ultimate wearer is perceived by others and themselves. If a woman is an introvert by nature, it is best to select a piece of jewelry that is understated and draws attention to what the woman has worn, and not to itself. In sharp contrast, a contemporary or offbeat design might be just what the doctor ordered for a woman who has an extroverted streak in her. Also bear in mind the versatility of the design of the ornament, the context in which it can be worn, whether or not it will match every look you can envision your woman in, etc.

These easy to remember pointers will ensure that A) you never get taken for a ride when it comes to selecting a diamond and get exactly what you pay for and B) you alway pick the right ornament for your woman, keeping in mind her unique personality and sense of style.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Eternity Rings, a celebration of togetherness forever…

Out of all human emotions, love is the one that is etched in our hearts and minds forever. It is difficult to forget your first love, or the man/woman who asked you out for the very first time, isn’t it? Memories of love, in its various forms, always have an association that we hold dear, irrespective of the time lapse between them. Love is eternal. So why should a symbol of love be anything less. Feast your eyes therefore on the ‘Eternity Ring’.

Eternity Rings: An expression of ‘Forever Love’:

An eternity ring is a ring which crafted normally in gold, white gold or platinum, and then embellished with diamonds of an identical cut. These were first marketed by De Beers in the 1960s and were aimed specifically at older married women, who already, in most cases had their single stone wedding rings and were looking at a more cost effective, yet trendy and evocative second ring, to accessorise their garments with.

Eternity Rings though the ages:

While De Beers may have coined the term ‘Eternity Ring’, it would be erroneous to credit their creation to the former. Eternity Rings have been around in one form or the other for millennia. For instance, the ancient Egyptians used rings that are surprisingly akin to modern ‘Eternity Rings’ to celebrate different occasions, from the matrimonial union of man and woman, to the birth of a child (rings with different stones were given as congratulatory gifts to the mother), to offerings in temples as gratitude for prayers answered. Many historians also report similar rings being used for ceremonial purposes in ancient Sumer, India and South East Asia.

What Eternity Rings signify today:

In today’s ethos, ‘Eternity Rings’ have a more specific symbolism. Unlike the ancient Egyptians, modern rings are almost always used to commemorate the celebration of a particular milestone in a marriage. Whether it is a particular anniversary, or in the case of couples who have been dating for a long time, to mark the desire to embark upon the next phase of their relationship, i.e. moving in or getting married. An ‘Eternity Ring’ is also known as an alliance ring. It is simply another type of ring that can be worn, by someone who is married to express that they want to be together forever with their partner. Most commonly though, they are used as wedding bands.

Other associations of the Eternity Ring:

Circle of Life: While the most potent association of the ‘Eternity Ring’ will always be with matrimony. Eternity Rings also signify the circle of life. This powerful association also means that these rings are perfect gifts for new moms. The association that Eternity Rings have with the unending circle of life, means that they are the number one gift for your pregnant friends or your partner.

Anniversary Gifts: Eternity Rings are also considered to be an appropriate anniversary gift for your significant other. Which anniversary you present it to her is entirely your call. Though some folk say in a lighthearted manner that if you present it too early in your marriage, you might be setting the standard too high for you to follow through every year. Jokes apart, an Eternity Ring comes attached with a powerful message. One of love and togetherness, and a promise that neither will wane over time.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Jewelry that displays the commitment you share.

Relationships are beautiful expressions of kinship, love and trust shared between two people. There are few relationships as intimate or as lasting as between a husband and wife. The love and commitment shared by a man and woman has spawned epics of love and longing that have manifested themselves in the form of stories, poems, movies and books across the ages.

Jewelry plays a significant part in the expression of love between two people. From a commitment bracelet, to a diamond solitaire, from an engagement ring to a quirky tassel or anklet, the symbolism of jewelry in a committed relationship is of great significance. The following is a guide to the perfect jewelry for committed couples.

For her:

Diamond Rings:
A circlet of eternity crowned by an immortal sparkling stone, that says that she’s the only woman who will ever truly win your heart and affections. Diamonds have been considered as appropriate presents for paramours from time immemorial. The Greeks considered these stones as tears of the Gods, while the Romans were among the first to fashion rings that were studded with diamonds. Being one of a kind and rare, diamonds are the perfect statement of intent and commitment to your significant other. Whether it is a single diamond or a row of tiny diamonds in shapes that are unique, these rings are one gift with which you couldn’t possibly go wrong.

Whether you choose simple studs or more intricate chandelier style earrings, these pieces always convey the feelings of love and commitment. When choosing earrings for your special someone, always make sure they go well with her face cut.  A simple rule of thumb, if she has a longish face, studs in floral, geometric or nature inspired shapes are a good bet. Round and oval face cuts could be best accentuated with longer chandelier style earrings. Choose the metal and stones wisely. Coloured stone should be chosen taking into consideration your beloved’s skin tone, though diamonds are the best bet for all skin types.

A reminder of love around your partner’s wrists, bracelets are the best way to arrest your partner and make her your own. A variety of bracelets are available for the modern woman. From the always elegant string of miniature diamonds to the more whimsical charm bracelets, these ornaments are perfect and accentuate every facet of your lady love’s personality. Perfect on a formal gown as it can be with a chic, all encompassing casual look, bracelets are eternal reminders of love and commitment.

A single, precious diamond, set on a minimal chain, is how many perceive a solitaire. Solitaires though are much more versatile and can be set into almost all sorts of ornaments. From a ring with one diamond as a central focus, to earrings with single precious stones, to a necklace with a diamond in colour or white as the focal point, solitaires are a timeless, ageless way of telling your soulmate that she’s your one and only!

Anklets are a more esoteric, eccentric gift to appreciate and celebrate your partners unique and signature brand of kookiness. Perfect if your partner is fascinated by the orient and has a slightly crazy, wild side.

For him:

The list of Jewelry for men is normally not as exhaustive as it is for women though a few ornaments are now gaining popularity. For your Adam, here is a list of options, other than the usual ring or watch.

Ideal if your man wears business suits or dress shirts. Cufflinks in semi-precious metals like tungsten and titanium, either without any embellishments or colored stones are perfect. Make sure that the colour of the cufflinks match the color of the shirt and suit though.


Chunky bracelets with no embellishments are perfect for the outdoorsy type of man, with wider wrists, or for a man who loves working out to keep himself in prime condition. 

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