Posts Tagged ‘silver’

Opal beauty: October’s birthstone in a class all its own

The modern birthstone associated with the month of October is opal. Opal is one of the things that Australia is famous for, and that country has the largest known deposits of this amorphous mineral. Consequently, the Australians have adopted precious opal as their national gemstone.

Opal structure

Although most opal has a non-crystalline or amorphous structure that is somewhat similar to that of glass, some opals do exhibit localized micro-crystalline structures. Viewed through a microscope, regular amorphous opal consists of tiny spheres of silica that have been stacked together in layers, with water filling the spaces between the silica spheres. Generally, the greater the micro-crystallinity of an opal specimen, the more striking its appearance becomes and the more its value increases. Other minerals that find their way into the opal structure become impurities that provide additional physical properties (color variations, for example) to an opal.

Play of color

Opals come in a wide variety of colors and color patterns; but the most valuable types, the precious opals, display different shimmering rainbow-like color “flashes” or patterns when viewed from different angles. This striking visual display of “color play” is a type of iridescence which occurs as white light passes through the layer boundaries of the silica spheres and gets diffracted into the separate wavelengths of visible radiation that comprise white light. Also, the multiple structural layers redirect or reflect these diffracted wavelengths of light in such a way that they mix or interfere with one another. The same optical phenomenon can also be observed on the plumage of some birds, on insects wings, on some snail shells, on some pearls and agates, and on soap bubbles.

Hydrated stones

Opal stones typically contain about 10% water by weight. This water is chemically bonded to the silica spheres but the bonding is weak enough that excessive exposure to heat can cause this water to evaporate. Therefore opals need to be kept away from sources of heat to prevent them from dehydration. Excessive heat can alter the color or translucence of an opal gem and can even cause the gem to crack.

Opal beauty

Numerous legends, both good and bad, have been associated with opals since ancient times; but it is the distinctive and delicate beauty of the opal that has made it desirable to many men and women throughout history. World-renowned opals include the Olympic Australis, the Andamooka Opal, the Flame Queen Opal, the Halley’s Comet Opal, the Roebling Opal, and so on. Combined with other precious gems as accents and set in silver, gold, palladium or other metals, the opal is truly a beauty to behold.

Jewelry: A Timeless Investment

Designing Your Own Designer Diamond Rings Online

Shopping for the perfect designer ring for your engagement or wedding ring can be an exciting but overwhelming experience.  Jewelry counters are filled with hundreds of diamond and gold rings, but sometimes none are ‘just right’.  Perhaps you see a beautiful ring in platinum,  but you would prefer a diamond ring in yellow gold.  Or, maybe you are looking for a unusual setting for a diamond ring to give your fiance a designer ring that reflects her unique personality.  Designing your own ring online lets you create a beautiful ring that you won’t find in any store.

Creating your own diamond designer ring online has many advantages.  As the designer of the ring, you can make it to your exact preferences, choosing the setting for the engagement ring, the size and type of gemstone you want in the ring, and the color of the metal.  Create a completely unique diamond ring in yellow gold, platinum or silver.  Add other gemstones such as Tanzanite, emerald or rubies to your diamond designer ring.  Using you and your fiancé’s birthstone, or the stone from the month that you met is an extremely romantic way to add extra special meaning to your engagement ring and is just one of the ways that you can create a one-of-kind designer ring that has personal meaning.

Browse through a selection of settings for engagement rings online to get an idea for what style you are looking for.  Do you want something simple and classic, such as a plain band with a princess cut solitaire diamond?  Or maybe you want to create an unusual setting for a diamond ring, with trillion cut gemstones and an asymmetrical design?  When designing settings for an engagement ring, try to imagine what you (or your fiance) will wear.  You want to design a beautiful ring that will be worn every day, and will match the wearer’s sense of style.  An unusual setting of diamond ring might not be appreciated by someone who has a more traditional style,  while the simpler, popular settings for an engagement ring might seem boring to a woman to likes to look different.

One big advantage of designing rings online is that you are able to work to your budget.  By changing the size, quality and type of gemstones in your designer ring, or the metal in the setting of an engagement ring, you can adjust the cost.  For example by choosing a setting for your diamond ring in yellow gold you may be able to afford a larger gemstone than if you opted for one of the more expensive platinum settings for an engagement ring.

Another plus is that you can design in your own time,  playing with an almost endless selection of settings for an engagement ring, swapping gemstone shapes and colors, and even letting friends and family preview the designs to get their opinion on your designer ring.  You will save time by not trailing around the jewelry shops trying to find the perfect, beautiful ring and will have fun creating your own, unique diamond designer ring.