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Diamonds for April

Diamonds for April… what’s not to love? I mean, this month, April, has the almighty coveted Diamond as her Birthstone and that just can’t be beat! so, what’s so special about Diamonds? Well, historically they are the most consistently coveted and desired gemstone. Diamonds are one of the four and only four precious gemstones (all others are semi-precious or different). Diamonds are DEFINITELY a girl’s best friend! – as seen here by Madonna’s “Material Girl” video homage to Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance in 1953… Amazing!! Let’s not forget the Marilyn Monroe/Christina Aguilera performance/song from the movie “Burlesque” nor the now classic “Moulin Rouge” version performed by Nicole Kidman. 🙂

So, what else is there about Diamonds? Well, a lot. But we’re not going to go into ALL of the history here, though there is a huge history for this delicious gem! Some early cultures thought Diamonds were lightening manifested in physical form on Earth. Most associated this gemstone with everlasting and eternal love. Being clear (with modern exceptions), it’s not only the most elegant solution for the central stone in wedding rings, bands, and other jewelry, but it also works to surround and “present” other gemstones beautifully. It adds that sparkle needed to any piece of jewelry. Watches are surrounded by them. Embedded in rings and bracelets. The Diamond is “the stone to beat” when it comes to beautiful jewels. Learn more about Diamonds here.

 

The Powers of Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the birthstone of March. You’d think because St. Patrick’s Day being in March that the gemstone color would be more… green. But, alas, it is not. It is the crystal ocean blue colored aquamarine! Aquamarine is a very delicate color but has a very strong lore to its history. It is said that whoever wears this semi-precious gemstone is unable to be defeated in everything from a battle on the field to a battle of words. It’s a sort of hidden power if  you will. Just like the Pisces who is very docile, loyal, and loving until scorned and then becomes very strong, bold, and brazen in their passion for defending those wronged.

The color of this stone is a cerulean blue that leans more towards the cyan and to look through this stone is to see a world that is serene and peaceful. The name comes from the two Latin words “aqua” and “marina” meaning “water” “of the sea.” Aquamarine is that stone, that jewel that can be dressed up to be regal and prestigious or can be dressed down to be more casual and “every day.” Beautiful. Versatile. Elegant. Powerful. The aquamarine is THE stone that makes the other stones… well… green with envy!

Top 5 Luxe Fine Jewelry & Precious Metals Gifts for Men

It’s just about Black Friday and that means it’s time to start making those holiday gift purchases for the ones you love, friends, coworkers, and more. Things change every year. Styles shift and fads fade away. Hamilton… Kailee knows what’s hot and going to be big when it comes to fine jewelry and precious metal pieces for this coming year and many forward. Here’s our list of the Top 5 Luxe gift items for men this holiday season. Remember, Kailee can custom create these pieces just for you to show off a man’s true sense of style and pesonality.

5. Money Clips. Something old has come back new again. In a world of convenient and disposable technology, we keep all of our credit cards and store/reward cards in the digital realm on our smartphones and tablets. And because there are so many of them, the wallet has become completely impractical. Enter “the money clip.” Since we still use cash, more so than in the recent past, the money clip is the perfect gift for the modern man. Plus, men typically don’t have a lot of jewelry items to pass down to their sons and grandsons, so a money clip is a great piece to fulfill this duty. Also, money clips have a prominent surface area, so the possibilities for distinction in design are endless.

4. Cufflinks. Style… “true” style, never dies. Even in this age of disposable furniture and clothing, real style is more important than ever. People are spending less money on staying at home and more money on experiencing life. Galas, balls, dinners, and so on have become favorite to-do events for more and more people today. So, how does a man REALLY dress up? Even get a tux to bump it up a notch? One way is through some custom cufflinks. Cufflinks can boldly boast a man’s personality, from the whimsical to serious. Cufflinks are the perfect gift for the man who likes to step out on the town now and then and wants that little something extra to show off.

3. Bracelets. Don’t think Goodfella’s for this one. We’ve passed that time where men’s bracelets are gaudy and tacky. Remember that episode of Friends where Joey buys a matching gold bracelet for Chandeler making them “bracelet buddies?” Yeah, it was a very funny episode and those bracelets were obnoxious to say the least. The bracelet for today’s man is clean, sleek, and modern. They’re more fitted and offer a sense of personal style. Women have been wearing bracelets for decades and more, so it’s time for men to adorn these pieces and in a new way. They can be solid and organic or linked like traditional metal watch bands. Any way you want, customizing and personalizing a bracelet for the man in your life is a sure bet on the side of cutting edge fashion.

2. Pocket Watches. Vintage. Steampunk. Heirloom. These all have lead to the popularity of pocket watches over the years. The pocket watch seems to dip in and out of pop culture and popular adornment over the decades, but it always comes back and does so with a freshness every time. Pocket watches are unique, stylish, and practical. They afford men a jewelry option other than a wrist watch giving their sense of style some diversity. The modern pocket watch can be anything from old world ornate to clean and modern nouveau. Giving a custom designed timepiece such as a pocket watch will start a tradition of passing down an heirloom for generations to come.

1. Wrist Watches. Simple and steady. Nowadays, everything is about the newest technology. Apple watches, FitBits, Sony Smartwatches, Moto 360s, Samsung Gears, and many more are on the wrists of everyone on the planet. Though you can customize the digital faces and strapped bands of these devices, there is something missing. Individuality. Personalization. Unwavering style. A sense of timelessness. These are things you can’t get from one of these digital mockups, but instead can only be found in a true and traditional wrist watch. A wrist watch is an opportunity to truly show a man’s personality and style and set him apart from the masses. The wrist watch is back, but only the bold individual male will be sporting them in coming years.

You Should Know Your Birthstones

Ever meet that person that gives the perfect gift? They seem to know exactly what to give and  their ideas are always unique and interesting and spot on. Ever wonder how they come up with those perfect gifts? Well, the truth is they know their lists. Knowing your lists will always keep you one step ahead of the game and YOU become that perfect gift giving person that you admire and envy so much! So, check out our list of birthstones and matching months below. No need to memorize them. Just reference this page whenever you need to come up with that perfect birthday gift for that special someone and you’ll score off the charts every time!

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  1. January is Garnet
  2. February is Amethyst
  3. March is Aquamarine
  4. April is Diamond
  5. May is Emerald
  6. June is Pearl or Alexandrite
  7. July is Ruby
  8. August is Peridot or Sardonyx or Spinel
  9. September is Sapphire
  10. October is Tourmaline or Opal
  11. November is Topaz or Citrine
  12. December is Tanzanite or Zircon or Turquoise

Top Ten Things You Should Know About November Birthstones

10. November is a 2-for-1 month when it comes to Birthstones. There is Topaz AND Citrine.

9.  Topaz is a teal-meets-sky blue and Citrine is an amber colored gemstone. Though, these are the most popular color versions of these gemstones, Topaz does have a range of colors extending outside of the blues while Citrine exists in it’s golden form with a small range or shift in color from pale yellow to an almost rusty orange.

8. Citrine has been said to signify the end of Fall or Autumn with it’s rich golden color while Topaz represents the entrance to Winter with it’s icy, crisp blue hue.

7.  Blue Topaz is the official gemstone of Texas and has been since 1969.

6.  The yellow color of Citrine is due to iron in quartz crystals when naturally occurring. Since this is fairly rare, Citrine stones are now created from other quartz that have been treated with heat to bring out that golden yellow hue.

5.  One of the Topaz colors overlaps with the pale yellow hue in Citrine which was the cause of much confusion for thousands of years before we had the technology to examine the crystalline and mineral composite construct of gemstones.

4.  Topaz is considered a sacred stone in some cultures, used as a healing stone in some tribal communities, and said to bring wisdom and long life by some Eastern philosophies.

3.  Citrine comes in on the Mohs hardness scale at a 7, so it is fairly resistant against scratches and other daily abuses.

2.  Topaz has it’s own history of developed treatment, where colorless Topaz stones are treated with irradiation to make them blue.

1.  Topaz and Citrine are both affordable gemstones that are beautiful alone, with each other, or matched with diamonds to create everyday wearable to bridal jewelry and everything in between.

Amie of Chicago IL

This amazing woman will custom make you a piece or there are more than enough to choose from that you will fancy! If you are looking for a jeweler, she is the one! She involved herself in the community and also builds a personal relationship with you. I could not be happier with the two pieces that I have from her so far!

Mallory of Lake Charles LA

Hamilton is THE BEST, do not go elsewhere!!! I had a beautiful engagement ring and wedding band designed, GORGEOUS!!!!!! And Kailee is amazing, the very BEST to work with!!!

Top 5 Points About Rubies

The birthstone for July is the ever-dominant Ruby. This gorgeous and luxe gemstone holds many stories throughout time; some, in fact, that changed the course of history. It is a brilliant and saturated stone that represents love, wisdom, and health and is considered to give those adorned great fortune, luck, and prosperity. It is the ultimate king of all gemstones and has secrets of its own that make it truly unique. Below we’ve listed the Top 5 Points of Interest about this beautiful, decadent red jewel of the world.

  1. The Ruby is actually a Red Sapphire, though you will never hear it referred to as such. The crystal construct of rubies and sapphires is the same – Corundum with one very slight difference. This tiny distinction lies in the chemical makeup of the Corundum with a change in only 1% of it’s chromium. Ultraviolet light absorption changes, the Corundum becomes red, and “voila!”… you have a Ruby instead of a Sapphire. If you really want to geek out about this, you can start your search here.
  2. The Ruby is the second strongest gemstone, semi-precious or precious alike. Again, the crystal structure dictates its strength and it’s hardness is gauged by the Mohs Scale of Hardness. There is a lot of scientific speak involved, but just know that the way it’s formed makes it extremely strong. The only gemstone harder than the Ruby is the Diamond. Look, side-by-side, the Ruby has this unmatched, beautiful red color, so it can’t own ALL the awards in gemology, right?
  3. The Ruby is the best financial investment gemstone. It beats out Blue Sapphire, Emerald, and even Jade which comes in at No.8 as a valuable investment stone. The Fine Ruby is the most valuable of all gemstones due to its scarcity and this is due to a specific color called “pigeon’s blood red.” This gem is very rare, hence the demand forcing its dollar value. So, if you’re looking to purchase a stone that will increase in value over time, the Ruby is for you.
  4. The Ruby’s value is in the Eye of the… Pigeon? The most valuable and in-demand Ruby red color is called “pigeon’s blood red” which literally relates to a pigeon. Not it’s blood per se, but rather the red hue of the white pigeon’s eyes. This red Burmese Ruby is extremely brilliant and commands a significant price jump over other reds in this stone.
  5. The Ruby is not a Pink Sapphire, though it almost is. Confusing? Absoutely. This is an area of great debate amongst experts. The red color of a Ruby lives in the pinkish hue arena, but at a certain point the pink color gives way to the stone becoming a Pink Sapphire versus a true Ruby. The ICGA (International Colored Gemstone Association) awards Ruby status to lighter red/pink Corundum stones, through they must meet a minimum saturation standard to officially qualify as a Ruby. Otherwise, the pink stone is considered a Pink Sapphire. So, how can you tell if you have a red Ruby or a Pink Sapphire? Well, bring it into Kailee at Hamilton Jewelry Chicago and she can officially gauge it’s color saturation and get you a certified classification of the stone(s) of interest.

Well, there you have it. 5 great factoids about the Ruby. If you are interested in investing in Rubies and or jewelry pieces that house this magnificent stone, then you need to contact Kailee to set up a meeting to discuss.

Top 5 Colored Diamonds for 2016

As you may know, colored diamonds have made a huge comeback. We all know everything that comes around, goes around, and then comes back again. The hope, of course, is that when things come back again they are worthy of the trend they reset. Well, in 2015 we started to see a rise in colored diamonds. Wait, let’s back up a bit to get the full picture.

When the most recent recession hit, everything changed. We all tried our best to not spend to help protect ourselves, but ultimately we realized that we needed to do just that – spend. So, we became more conscientious of how and where we spent our money. Cutting back became a household word and the decisions made were more calculated and on-point with our changing lifestyles.

We kept tucked away; gave up our fancy vacations. We stopped our magazine subscriptions, stuck to a food budget, and learned to make do with the versions of things that worked without upgrading. The problem with all of this was that it became rather boring. We needed some sparkle put back into our lives. Enter colored gemstones.

Now, I know that the world did not get better because we began wearing things other than white diamonds. Though this change did have a profound effect on numerous industries including as fashion and design. You see, colored gemstones, the semi-precious ones, offered two things we had not accounted for until this economic shadow. One, they were less expensive, while still offering “bling” and style. Two, they were fresh, bright, and new. They made us happy; something we desperately needed.

Fast-forward, the recession is in the past and the semi-precious colored gemstones have definitely made their mark in the world. Bright Tourmalines and Citrines, sparkling Tanzanites and Amethysts, deep Garnets, and shimmery Opals have all had their chance to shine in the spotlight and are still being integrated into current jewelry pieces. We have come to not only accept, but love these bright colors adorning our outfits. We have embraced the variety of rainbow flavors in jewelry and have elevated many of these semi-precious gems to a whole new level.

This new appreciation and love for colored stones, along with more financial freedom, has lead us back to diamonds, but in a new way. Colored diamonds have been around forever, but now they are getting their due notoriety. Now that we readily accept colored gemstones in all levels of fashion, we are happy and willing to integrate those uniquely colored diamonds into our jewelry with more confidence.

Diamonds come in many colors beyond the clear or “white” that we all know so well. These colors are not overly saturated, but instead are more subtle and elegant in hue. They compliment each other and go well with all metals. They also work well with other deeper gem colors as well as similar pastel stones. Below we have listed the top 5 colored diamonds for you to work into your jewelry collection in 2016.

  1. Champagne. This color diamond is extremely popular right now as it goes with almost everything. It is subtle enough in hue to not overpower other stones or metals, but still bright enough to be noticed in any setting. It is the quintessential colored diamond; a must-have!
  2. Blue. When untreated and naturally found, these diamonds are extremely rare and considered very valuable. They are light, airy, and elegant. Set with smaller clear accent diamonds, anyone would undoubtedly love to wear this beautiful stone on any occasion.
  3. Pink. Thanks to Elle Woods, pink is one very popular colored diamond. Pink diamonds can range from pale to saturated and definitely give you that extra needed little boost in mood. Pink diamonds are very youthful and can be a bit sassier, but all the while representing elegance and sophistication.
  4. Yellow. This color diamond is extremely sophisticated, yet has an innocence about it. Mostly referred to as “Canary Diamonds,” this stone is for a distinctive personality type. Its popularity has wavered over the years but now is back in style with a huge following.
  5. Chocolate. Also known as “brown” or cognac” diamonds, the natural ones are in high demand right now. They offer a sense of mystery and intrigue that no other color can match. Hold the hand of someone wearing this colored diamond and see what adventures unfold for you both!

Top 5 Wedding Day Jewelry Tips

Your wedding day is full of emotions, meeting and greeting family members, choreography, and orchestration. You’re happy, yet crying. You’re excited, yet nervous. Your mind is racing; all the while you have to keep cool. No pressure. Bottom line is…

…you’re a mess. Well, that might be a bit extreme, but your focus is definitely split. Your jewelry is the last thing you need to be thinking about… well, other than the ring your giving and the one your receiving. What we mean is, there are a few things to think about when choosing what jewelry to wear ASIDE from your wedding ring.

Here are our Top 5 Wedding Day Jewelry Tips for you to help your look be a smashing success:

  1. Match Your Palate. Be sure to take into consideration your dress color, the gemstone and metal of any pieces of jewelry you intend to wear, and your commitment ring gemstone and metal (hint: they’ll be the same as your engagement ring). You can also go one step further and keep in mind any theme colors for your wedding such as flowers, decor, and bridesmaid dresses. Weddings are visually ideal. They are supposed to make sense to the eye, so don’t worry about everything being “matchy-matchy”… they’re supposed to!
  2. Be Sentimental and Honor Tradition. You might have a family member that has passed down an heirloom jewelry piece. Or perhaps a new one has been purchased for you by a family member as a gift or token of love. If it makes sense, absolutely find a way to work this piece into attire. If it’s just too much for you to wear yourself, perhaps you could work it into the bouquet. Maybe the flower girl or ring bearer could use it as decoration when they walk down the aisle. The point is if you have a piece like this, and it’s important, then be creative and find a way to incorporate it into your ceremony. You can also bring that piece into Hamilton and have Kailee repurpose the stones and metal to create something absolutely perfect for your look.
  3. Don’t Upstage The Dress. You’re getting married; not auditioning for the remake of Madonna’s “Material Girl” video. Mix appropriate pieces to add just that little extra bling and pizazz that you desire to your ensemble. But make sure to not overshadow the dress. Let is visually breath; give it room and don’t clutter it with accessories “just because.” Depending on the neckline, you might want just a thin chain and pendant or perhaps no necklace at all. Try things on and see what works for you.
  4. Be True To Yourself. Keep your accessory items in your style wheelhouse. This is not the time to try on alternate personalities. That’s what high school is for. If you’re not a bracelet person, then don’t feel you must wear one. You need to show your essence and your style on this day because that’s the person that’s getting married… you!
  5. Listen to Coco. Coco Chanel, undoubtedly one of the most fashionable women to ever grace the planet, had a steadfast rule when it came to accessorizing – “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”  This applies on your wedding day just as any other, if not more so. Remove that one thing you could live without and you’ll be set. Remember, this day is about your beauty and jewelry is there to enhance it; not overpower it. Diamonds and gems shine brightly, but never as much as you do yourself. Remember that.

Congratulations on your big day and best wishes to you and your future spouse for a long, happy, and healthy future together! Much love from Kailee and Hamilton Jewelry Chicago!