Why Kate Middleton’s Ring Stands Out

The world waited up to watch the fairytale play out as Kate Middleton married the love of her life who just so happened to be a member of the royal family. The ring that she was given as she agreed to commit her life to his was steeped in history and tradition as is often the case when it comes to the royal family. The ring is a 12 carat oval blue sapphire ring that is surrounded by a cluster of 14 diamonds and is set in 18 carat white gold and once belonged to the beloved Princess Diana. Diana who loved sapphires chose it from a selection that was presented to her in 1981 by the then Crown Jeweler in preparation to her engagement to Prince Charles.  How though does the ring stack up to those of royals past?

Princess Grace of Monaco

When you are engaged to a royal, for most the ring must live up to the bigger is better philosophy. Princess Grace of Monaco actually had two rings during her engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco. He originally proposed with an eternity band that was made of rubies and diamonds, but when others in Hollywood had larger rings, he opted to make another selection. His final selection was a 10.5 carat emerald cut diamond ring that was flanked by two baguettes.

Queen Elizabeth II

Tradition takes many forms in the royal family. As a means to pay tribute to the loved ones of the past, some royals choose to craft a ring that has some historical significance. The ring that Queen Elizabeth II received from Prince Philip was a square cut diamond engagement ring that was created from diamonds that came from a tiara that once belonged to Philip’s Mother.

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret’s ring was designed with a special significance with a nod to her middle name. The ring was designed as a ruby engagement ring surrounded by diamonds and was meant to resemble a rosebud in honor of her middle name: Rose.

When you are a member of the royal family, the sky is the limit in terms of jewelry options. The choice is yours when it comes whether to honor those of the past or your goals from the future. When life is a fairytale, you alone design your ending.

The Oscars Jewelry Fashion

For some the Oscars and awards shows in general are about who won what, but in recent years the Oscars and other red carpet events have also become about the over the top jewels that have dominated the red carpet. Celebrities and jewelers alike go above and beyond when it comes to selecting a piece that is red carpet worthy. Now, the name of the game becomes who comes wearing the most valuable jewels. Now, security guards guarding the jewels are as common as handbags and mani-cams on the red carpet.

Viola Davis Oscar Choices

For the 2012 Oscars, Viola Davis made a splash with her fashion choices. She chose a dress that made the entire red carpet green with envy. Davis opted for a natural hairstyle that highlighted her green and diamond drop earrings. Her dress was an emerald green mermaid style by Vera Wang that featured a pleated chiffon train. At the end of the day she may not have taken home the statue, but she definitely made one of the biggest statements of the evening.

Jennifer Lopez Chandelier Earrings

There is no doubt that Jennifer Lopez is viewed as a true style icon of her generation. Nowhere is that more evident than when she steps out onto the red carpet. People look to her a symbol of style and grace, and seek to copy her every move. The latest trend that has been sparked by Jenny from the Block is an increased focus on styling the chandelier earring. No one will forget how she highlighted her earring choice with an off the shoulder gown that many described as pure perfection.

Halle Berry Red Diamond Bracelet 2002

Who can forget the amazing dress that Halle Berry donned for the Oscars in 2002. Berry wore a dark ruby Elie Saab dress with an embroidered net bodice and full taffeta skirt. To round out her look she chose a red diamond bracelet that mimicked the color of her dress. The overall look is still mentioned today anytime someone recaps the best of red carpet style.

The 5.7 Million Dollar Dress Worn by Debbie Wingham

If you have a cool 6 million dollars lying around then listen up, for the reasonable price of 5.7 million dollars, you can become the proud owner of your very own black diamond dress. The gown was showcased in Kiev during Ukraine Fshion Week as part of the luxury line of self-taught British designer Debbie Wingham and is now in the record books as the as the Most Expensive Dress according to the World Record Academy. The masterpiece is the latest in a line of luxury items that will be debuted in the coming months.

Wingham referred to her masterpiece as an “anthem for a beautiful woman who loves life.” Wingham who has dressed celebrities including Kate Winslet and Hillary Swank created the bold design as a centerpiece in the luxury collection that features denim jeans with diamond studs and hand-stitched 14 carat white gold thread. The dress itself took more than 6 months to hand-sew. The end result is twenty-five 2 carat black diamonds that create the peplum top of the 29 pound dress. 25 more black diamonds adorn the shrug with another 5 carats used to create the embellished bustier.

When asked about the inspiration behind the dress, Wingham sited the Fashion House of Chanel. During the design process, Wingham envisioned Audrey Hepburn as the dream client who would showcase her piece. When it came time to showcase the masterpiece, she made a very calculated decision. The designer opted to show her piece in Kiev because she felt that it would be the perfect market for the remainder of the collection of diamond jeans. Once the dress completes its fashion tour it will be available for sale to the highest bidder, so mark your calendar and be prepared to be become the talk of the town.

Best Jewelry at the 2013 Oscars

The glitterati gathered together to celebrate the 85th annual Academy Awards and while the hot topic before the day of the ceremony may have been the new host, but in the days after the ceremony people have a new topic on their mind: the debate for who wore it best in terms of their jewelry selection.

Jennifer Aniston at Oscars 2013

Vintage Selections

One of those trends that never go out of style is the vintage look. That fact is true even as the fashion elite hit the red carpet. This year one of those stars that opted for a vintage look when they hit the red carpet was Jennifer Anniston. She chose three vintage diamond bracelets to compliment the flowing strapless red dress that she chose for the evening.

Elegant Designs

Mother to be Kim Kardashian chose an elegant approach for her red carpet look choosing an elegant ring design as her statement piece of the evening. The ring extended over two separate fingers and featured one three stone ring and a matching single stone on a separate finger. The ring was shown over and over under the mani-cam along with her deep red manicure.

Jennifer Lawrence and the Backwards Necklace

If anyone got tongues wagging this year on the Oscars Red Carpet it was Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway with their backwards necklace. Both women chose light colored gowns as a means of showcasing their out of the box jewelry selections. Lawrence chose a 74-carat diamond bead necklace that ended at her waist and looked even better going than coming. Anne Hathaway chose a slightly bolder option with a tassel inspired version that ended just below the shoulders.

With Oscar fashion, it is all about what list you end up on the next morning. These ladies demonstrated that they have all the right moves when it comes to landing on the best dressed list.

The Facts behind the Colored Diamond

For as long as can be remembered the tell tale sign of the perfect diamond was flawless color, or to be precise, the lack there of. However, with the recent changes in the trends in fashion came the emergence of a new trend in diamonds: the emergence of the colored diamond as a must have.  Often referred to as fancy colored diamonds, colored diamonds are now available in a variety of shades and tones depending on you personal style preference.

What Causes Colors in Diamonds?

Diamonds are found in nature in a variety of colors. Those colors include yellow, blue, pink, red, black, orange, green, and brown. The impurities or structural defects in the diamond during formation determine the color and intensity of the stone.

Pink and Red Diamonds

The Moussaieff Red Diamond

The Moussaieff Red Diamond

The rarest naturally colored diamonds are pink diamonds. Naturally occurring pink diamonds are so rare that many jewelers will actually never see one. In fact their rarity puts them in the category of some of the most expensive diamonds on the market today. The red diamond is among the rarest jewels on earth. The jewels are so rare in fact that there is very little information known about their formation or the variety of shades available for them. The most famous red diamond is the Moussaieff Red Diamond that was found in the mid 1990’s.

Blue Diamonds

The hope diamond

Blue diamonds are formed when traces of boron are present during the creation process. The most famous of all the blue diamonds is the Hope Diamond which is an astounding 45.52 carats. Though there are a variety of blue diamond shades ranging from a very pale blue to a deep navy, the most commonly found diamonds are aquamarines.

Black Diamonds


Barkev’s Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Naturally occurring diamonds are a result of multiple inclusions in the stone usually caused by graphite. The dark inclusions in the graphite typically result in an opaque diamond. The high inclusions also make the stone difficult to cut and easy to fracture.

There is now a diamond for everyone no matter what their style preferences are. Whether you choose a naturally occurring stone or the manufactured variety is up to you. With all the advancements in technology and options there is no limit to the amount of diamonds that you collect and you have the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.

The Amethyst February Birthstone

Every month has a stone that symbolizes all of the birthdays that will be celebrated between the days one and thirty-one on the calendar. The birthstone dates back to the bible and the breastplate of Aaron, the brother of Moses. His breastplate housed four rows of precious stones which symbolized the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. 1912 was the first time that the birthstone standard was made official.

The American National Association of Jewelers created the Modern Birthstone List and it has been the accepted standard ever since. In addition to being the month of love, February is also the month of the amethyst. The dark purple stone is the official birthstone for those born during the month of love. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the amethyst stone would ward off evil powers and provide the wearer with a clear head and a quick wit. In other cultures and in more recent times the deep color purple has also become associated with royalty.

Many of the early royal garments were made in fabric with a deep amethyst color. The deep amethyst color is a mixture of violet and red and can be found in every corner of the world. Historically, though the finest stones came from Russia which is why they were featured in the much of the jewelry designed for European royalty. In recent years, however the primary source for the intense purple stone can be found in Brazil.

Barkev’s White Gold Diamond & Amethyst Pendant 7042NW

If you are looking to find the perfect gift for that special someone who will be celebrating their birthday this month, then look no further than Barkev’s. In the place where every piece is crafted to perfection, you will find the perfect option for anyone in a white gold, diamond and amethyst pendant (#7042nw).  The stunning contemporary Amethyst and diamond slide pendant features an oval amethyst set in a white gold crisscross setting. The channel set gemstone is captured between the white gold pave set diamond bars adorned with a milgrain finish. The result is a spectacular statement of grace and beauty that would become a treasured gift for anyone who received it.

Your Guide on How to Select Eye Catching Earrings

Every woman wants to have that one moment where she enters the room and all conversations stop. They are looking for that moment when all eyes are on them and they know it.

Pink earrings

Barkev’s pink tourmaline earrings

One surefire way to turn that dream into a reality is to choose the perfect eye catching earring. Think along the lines of Hillary Scott at the 2012 Grammy’s. Her earrings were made up of 26 carats of pink quartz slices. The pink quartz was set in diamonds and pink sapphires in blackened 18 carat gold. So, the question becomes how do you go about selecting a piece like that which will stop the crowd in its tracks? First, look for a piece that has a great proportion. You need a piece that is balanced overall and that is also balanced with the hairstyle and ensemble that you are choosing to wear it with.  Pieces that capture attention are larger, longer statement pieces. Consider a chandelier style or a tear drop style to achieve the greatest impact. Next, look for a piece that has a standout color.  A great color will automatically draw attention. For Hillary Scott, the pink quartz truly made the piece a showstopper.

Ruby earrings

Barkev’s white gold diamond & rubellite earrings.

Rubies, emeralds, or sapphires are always a great choice for the stone in your statement piece. They are rich in color and pair well with multiple colors and styles in fashion. Then, find a piece that has a memorable accent. Look for pieces where your stone of choice is surrounded by diamonds or crystals for added impact. The glitter and glitz from the surrounding stones will work well in order to draw your eyes automatically to the jewels.

Finally, if you really want all eyes on you make the right hairstyle selection to show off your jewel of choice. Go for a high dramatic updo that will naturally draw attention to your earrings. Every woman deserves that moment where she feels like Cinderella. To get that once in a lifetime feeling, you must select the perfect statement piece and then rock it with confidence.

Make a Bold Statement with a Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Black Diamond Engagement Ring

Barkev’s black diamond engagement ring

Color is back and yes, this even includes black. While colorless diamonds will forever be in style, women and men are expanding their jewelry collections to include black—the hottest new color in engagement rings.

Women are now more desirous of looking different—not wanting to conform to the norm. One way to do this is to step away from the traditional engagement ring of a centered, prong set colorless diamond. To do something more unconventional and make a bold statement, they are opting for black diamond engagement rings. They offer brilliance and something very unique with almost a vintage feel to them. It’s also popular to have a ring with smaller cut stones with more of a pave look than a centered stone. It’s original and will certainly make people remember the ring.

Men are also going the untraditional route and purchasing engagement rings with diamonds instead of simple bands. One trendy choice is to use black diamonds instead, which can look very masculine. They are very popular set against white gold or platinum. Because of the darker color, they contrast nicely with a lighter metal.

Black diamond engagement rings are also very dramatic; they offer a shine and brilliance unavailable in other colored stones. They also come in deep hues, which adds a new level of sophistication to a ring.

Black diamonds are very rare, however, and with increasing popularity, they also can be harder to find. If you are picky about cut and size, you’ll need to do your homework when looking for the right black diamond ring. But because of their rarity, you can be assured that black diamonds will hold their value for a long time and will be a priceless heirloom to be passed down to the next generation.

Choosing a Necklace for your Neckline

A great necklace can make or break your entire outfit. The jewelry that you choose will differentiate you from the crowd when it comes to style. Not every piece, however, is meant to be worn with every outfit. You may have heard it said before that the entire look needs to be crafted to look like it is all going to the same party.

As you are creating your ultimate evening look, before you hit the door, stop long enough to give your outfit the once over and take the neckline test. One of the biggest factors that determine whether or not you are making the proper selection for your total package is the neckline of the outfit that you have chosen to wear. Each neckline has a specific set of necklaces that look best with it and if you follow that guide then there is almost no way to get it wrong.

Diamond PendantFirst, we look at the perfect options to pair with your v-neck top. The number one fashion mistake that people make when they are styling their v-neck is to choose an alternate shape. Do not try to style a v-neck with a round necklace. That combination looks off from the get go. Look for a necklace like a pendant that will fall simply into the “v” of the neckline.

If your outfit is strapless, then the perfect option is a chocker necklace that will add interest and draw the eyes upwards to the face. If you choose to wear a halter top, then your best option for jewelry is to not wear a necklace at all. Any necklace paired with your halter top will compete with the garment itself.

If your outfit has a boat neckline, then the most important thing to remember is to choose a necklace that is longer rather than shorter.A short necklace will compete with the neckline and throw off the balance of the entire look. Finally, if you have tops with a draped neckline then dainty is the way to go. Anything too long will fall into the drape and be lost in the process.

The neckline of your outfit is the largest factor in choosing the best necklace for your ensemble. Pair carefully and style well.