Black Diamonds: The Mystery Solved

Barkev’s Black Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Black diamonds are another popular fancy diamond in addition to the latest in popular colored diamonds like pink and canary diamonds.  However, the word black almost seems to negate the fact that it can be a diamond at all.  After all, if clarity of a stone is taken into account when rating a white diamond, how on earth is clarity considered when rating a black diamond?

Other Name and Location

The name black diamond is actually a more common name given to a stone called carbonado.  Carbonado is chiefly mined in areas of Africa and Brazil.

The Origin of the Stone

The origin of carbonado is largely debated still today.  Some theories do exist, however, in helping geologists learn more about the gem’s origin.  One theory is that carbonado results from the direct version of organic carbon under high-pressure conditions in the earth’s interior.  Another theory postulates that the black diamond was formed essentially inside an earlier generation star in our universe.  Whether scientists believe that this gem is a natural and local creation within the Earth’s surface or it was something that happened within our galaxy before it fell to earth millions of years ago, the mythology behind its origin is certain to create some mystery and intrigue behind the stone.

What Does the Stone Look Like?

As with many rare gems mined from the earth’s surface, the color of the stone can vary from gray to black and it is the most porous of all the diamonds.  It typically is mined no larger than pea shape in size.

Where Can I Purchase a Black Diamond?

Certainly, many people will be intrigued by the diamond’s origin, may think the diamond as being rare because it is only found in central Africa and Brazil, and want to have the chance to own one of these stones.  The good news is Barkev’s carries variety of choice when it comes to black diamond engagement rings.

Top Summer Jewelry Trends

Barkev’s Gold Diamond & Blue Topaz Ring

Each change of season brings about a new opportunity to have a little fun and try some new and exciting trends and summer 2013 is no different. This summer, there are some great new trends that are a must try for every die hard fashionista.

Infuse a Pop of Color

Summer is the perfect time to try that out of the box style that you have seen on others, and the perfect way to do that is to use your jewelry as an opportunity to infuse your wardrobe with a pop of color. One of the hottest new looks of the season is the trend in neons and for those who are not ready to commit to the trend in terms of garments, your jewelry collection provides the perfect opportunity to take a dip into the trend pop with a large monetary commitment.  Look for large statement pieces like a vibrant stone necklace or a large neon bracelet to accent a soft monochromatic look.

Art Deco

Another great summer trend is the art deco look. These incredible pieces are best when paired with another great summer look: colorblocking. Rock these great pieces along with the black and white trend that is here to stay.

Green is the Color of the Year

The ballots are in and this season the color that came out on top will have many in the industry green with envy. Emerald is the current color of the year and that means that this is the time to invest in some timeless pieces that will complete your collection. If you are looking for a simple way to rock the trend, opt for an emerald solitaire ring that is surrounded by diamond stones.

Animal Print

Another fan favorite this year is the animal print trend. When it comes to choosing the best way to rock this trend, you have several different options to choose from. First of all, you can choose to wear your accessories with a simple animal print or if you really want to step out on a limb choose a wrapped bracelet that actually forms the body of a reptile.

Trends are what you make of them, so this season take the time to make them your own by choosing the one that best represents your personality.


Alexis Bledel Finally Reveals Engagement Ring From Vincent Kartheiser


You may know her as the actress who played the mentally unstable mistress of Vincent Kartheiser on several episodes of Mad Men, but from now on Alexis Bledel will be known simply as Mrs. Vincent Kartheiser.

Alexis Bledel and Vincent Kartheiser attended the Golden Globes together in January and officially made their debut as a couple last October and now reps have confirmed that the couple is officially engaged to be married.. According to friends, the couple couldn’t be happier. Vincent had even hinted that he was interested in marriage last October during the wedding of David Cross and Amber Tamblyn.

While Alexis Bledel and Vincent Kartheiser may have gotten engaged in March, it was not until the last several days that the Mad Men alum actually flashed her bling for the world to see. The vintage inspired engagement ring made its first appearance on the red carpet for the premiere of Remembering Sunday in Century, California on Wednesday. The dazzling octagonal shaped diamond appears to be platinum and was the talk of the red carpet on Wednesday. The huge rock sits on a simple band and was one that Kartheiser picked out on his own for his bride to be.

Vincent has taken his role of perspective husband duties seriously and is actively involved in the wedding planning process. Alexis gushed about how excited she was that he wants to be such a large part of the big day, but admits that they have not quite begun nailing down the details.

This will be the first marriage for both, but Kartheiser did admit that in his effort to create the perfect moment for Bledel he did practice his proposal on his two of his Mad Men costars Elizabeth Moss and Jessica Pare.


Choosing Jewelry for Your Skin Tone

As you begin to craft your style persona and create the perfect jewelry collection to compliment your wardrobe, the first step is to identify the options that will best fit with your skin tone. Not every piece of jewelry was meant to be worn with every outfit and not every metal was meant to be worn by every person. The first step in identifying whether or not a piece of jewelry is for you is to start by identifying your skin tone.

 Warm vs Cool Skin Tones

Two toned diamond engagement ring by Barkevs

Skin tones typically fall into two categories: warm and cool. The first step in determining which pieces will look best is to identify whether you are a warm or cool skin tone. Start by looking in the mirror and looking for certain characteristics in your skin tone. People with a warm skin tone often have a gold undertone whenever they look in the mirror. More often than not if you have a warm skin tone then you tan easily and have a higher resistance to sunburns. People with a warm skin tone have eyes that are typically brown or hazel and your natural hair color will have a hint or red or strawberry blonde in it. If you have a cool skin tone, you will have a rosy appearance in the mirror and will be extremely susceptible to sunburns. Your hair color is usually blonde, black or brown and your eye color is either a brilliant blue or grey.

Choosing the Option That is Right For You

Barkev’s Amethyst Halo Ring

Step one was identifying your skin tone, once you have determined that you are ready to begin building your collection. It’s time to start jewelry shopping. If you have a warm skin tone your best metal options are yellow gold or copper. Those metals will appear more vibrant against the yellow undertone of your skin. As far as gemstones are concerned, if you have a warm skin tone then opt for earth tones like green or shades of turquoise. If on the other you have a cool skin tone your best metal options are silver and platinum. The gemstones that look the best on people with cool skin tones are soft colors such as pink and purple. Amethyst stones are a beautiful choice for those with a cool skin tone.

Fashion and style is about making the choice that will look best on your skin tone and your figure. Once you have identified your particular skin tone type you are ready to build a collection that is built especially for you. The final step is shop to your heart’s content.

Doug Reinhardt is engaged to former Hills costar Allie Lutz

Allie Lutz and Doug Reinhart engaged

Doug Reinhardt is finally ready to take the plunge. After all this time, he is settling down with a familiar face. Doug has been previously linked romantically to hotel heiress Paris Hilton, teen star Amanda Bynes, Hills costar Lauren Conrad and former Miss USA Rima Fakih. However, despite the fact that the list of his exes reads like a list of who’s who in Hollywood, Reinhardt is settling down with his “high school sweetheart.”  The couple announced their engagement earlier this year via Instagram with the caption “Cat’s Out of the Bag”.

Allie Lutz and Doug Reinhart have dated one another off and on and she even made her own appearance on The Hills. She was introduced to the show during season six of the show when her friend McKaela Line who began dating Brody Jenner. During the season her storyline exploded due to several disagreements with her costar Kristen Cavaleri. The pair knew each other from their days in Laguana and apparently did not get along. The trouble even escalated into accusations that Lutz had broken into Jenner’s apartment at one point.

Despite all the drama, however she finds herself back in the headlines for a very different reason this time.  Reinhart, a former Angels and Orioles baseball player, proposed to Lutz on a yacht that her chartered for New Year’s. Reinhart planned an elaborate proposal that included proposing on the yacht at St. Barts and then arranged a lavish celebration as they continued to cruise around St. Barts and Anguilla. Her ring is a large solitaire that appears to be white gold and sets on a simple band. The size of the bling was conspicuously glaring in the picture on instagram. Is anyone else thinking Lauren Conrad eat your heart out?

Necklace Length Cheat Sheet

The necklace cheat sheet

Before you head out for your next all day shopping trip, it may be worth your while to take some time to learn some common terminology that jewelers will use when it comes to selecting the perfect necklace. The perfect necklace choice happens when you choose the perfect shape and length of the necklace for your outfit of choice.

For women necklaces typically come in sizes ranging from 16 inches to 24 inches. A necklace that is 16 inches is typically referred to as a chocker since it fits snugly around the neck. Necklaces that are between 17 inches and 18 inches will typically fall to the collar bone. A necklace that measures 20 inches will fall just below the collarbone. If the necklace measures 22 inches it will fall at the neckline and anything longer than that will fall below the neckline. There are similar measurement standards for men as well. An 18 inch chain will fall at the base of the neck. A 20 inch chain will be at the collarbone and a 22 inch chain will be just below the collar bone. Finally a 24 inch men’s chain will fall just above the sternum. Keep in mind that these measurements are industry standards and will not apply to everyone.

The best way to determine if you fall within the industry guidelines is to measure your neck prior to making a purchase. Use a measuring tape that you would normally use during the sewing process, and measure the distance around the largest part of your neck. Once you have that measurement, you are ready to make an informed purchase. As a rule of thumb, purchase a necklace that is at least two inches larger than your own neck measurement. You must also consider what you intend to wear with the necklace. If the chain is intended to be worn with a pendant, then you may opt for a slightly shorter chain in order to accommodate the length of the pendant as well.

Education is the key to fashion success. Now that you armed with the necessary information, the only thing left to do is hit the door and style it up.

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.