Author Archives: Chris LLaga

Engagement Rings – Trends for 2016 Brides

Engagement Rings - Trends for 2016 BridesSnapping a picture of an engagement ring has recently become a common way for future brides to announce their impending nuptials on social media. Of course, engagement rings have been around much longer than social media. Sometimes engagement ring trends follow the general jewelry trends in the world, but they sometimes go in their own direction. Here are some of the standout engagement ring styles and trends for 2016.

Distinct Diamond Colors

When Ben Affleck gifted then-fiancée Jennifer Lopez with a beautiful pink diamond engagement ring, it was a surprise; a departure from the ideal of the classic clear diamond. Years later, however, the trend of colored diamonds caught on like wildfire. This year, some of the most popular colors for diamonds include canary, pink and even chocolate.

Marquise-Cut Diamonds

Marquise cuts are making the rounds as one of the major jewelry trends this year, so it should come as no surprise that they’re also featured in many popular engagement rings. The marquise cut is known for being exceptionally flattering and eye-catching, so it’s easy to see why this classic cut has made its way back onto runways, red carpets and bridal aisles around the world.

Tie Everything Up with a Bow

Another jewelry trend that’s lighting up Instagram feeds is a bow accent on a ring. An ornate bow—or even a few bows—can truly make an engagement ring pop. This fashionable detail is sure to elicit compliments.

Vintage: Something Old and Something New

Within the past year, one of the hottest jewelry trends has been vintage pieces or even pieces that are vintage-inspired. Engagement ring trends have followed suit, with many brides requesting a ring with traditional accents.

Rose Gold

Appearing on smartphones or watches with increasing regularity, rose gold has been trending wildly for the past few months. It’s not surprising that this beautiful gold variation is also making its way into engagement rings; rose gold is both photogenic and feminine.

Halo Rings

Always a popular engagement ring design option, halo rings are brilliant for setting off the center stone, making it appear even more impressive. Nowadays, brides who crave a halo effect will be pleased to note that there are now more varieties available than ever. Those with more unconventional tastes will be pleased to see that there are a plethora of edgy choices now available.

Mixed-up Metals

Another exciting development has been the use of mixed metals in rings. Many brides are choosing to step away from gold and go for some other, equally interesting metals. Even tungsten has shown up on the fingers of a few brides, highlighting the beautiful possibilities of going with an alternative metal.


Selling Your Gold – Tips & Benefits

Selling Your Gold - Tips & BenefitsDo you want to know how to sell your gold and get fair value for it? ABC News recommends that you know your buyer, a suggestion that is probably impossible with mail-away services. The Better Business Bureau keeps a list of gold buyers in Jacksonville that you can check for complaints from unhappy customers. Selling gold for profit requires a bit of knowledge, but you can quickly learn what you need to know.

Learning: Tips and Benefits

As a convenient path to a financial transaction, selling your old jewelry can give you the benefit of ready cash. Getting rid of broken pieces or gifts that no longer have an emotional significance for you can boost your spirit and pad your wallet. Learn how to sell your gold by knowing its value, its market price, and how buyers evaluate it.

Identifying the Karats

You may need a magnifying glass to find a karat stamp that tells you how much gold your jewelry contains. Guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission use a 24-part weight system for gold. Your jewelry contains 10, 12, 14, 18, 22 or 24 karats of gold. A piece that carries a stamp of 18 karats has 18 parts gold and six parts of another metal. Higher karats increase the value of your jewelry.

Watching the Scale

Reputable jewelers weigh and pay for your gold by grams instead of pennyweight.

Sorting by Karats

Make sure to group your jewelry by purity. Prior to letting gold buyers weigh your precious metal, make sure to separate the more valuable pieces from those of lesser value.

Checking the Market

Go online to sites like to get the current gold price.

Shopping for Competitive Prices

Selling gold gives you an opportunity to get prices from jewelers, buyers at gold parties and pawn shops, and you can request a free estimate of its value. Taking the time to shop around gives you the chance to get the best price for your gold. Kiplinger suggests that you may receive 80 percent or less of melt value. The price that you get includes your dealer’s profit and the expense of turning your old gold into bullion or new jewelry.

Finding Gold Buyers

Jewelers who hope to establish a good relationship with you as a new customer may give you the fairest price. Pawn shops may never see you again, giving them the opportunity to take advantage of a one-time deal. Gold parties may offer a convenient way to dispose of your old jewelry, but the excitement of the group may prevent you from making a wise decision.

As a regular customer of a reputable store, you can have confidence in your business relationship. Knowing how to sell your gold is probably easier than you may imagine. You can check the Internet for jewelers near you, ask your friends, or stop by Hemmings Plaza Jewelers for a free estimate and cash for your gold.

April Birthstone: Creative ways to wear diamonds

April Birthstone: Creative ways to wear diamondsIf you have an April birthday, you’ll be thrilled to learn that your birthstone is one of the most popular, beloved stones in the world—the diamond. Of course, diamonds are universally lauded for their beauty and trademark sparkle. However, April babies who maintain a more unconventional sense of style sometimes will claim that diamonds are for more mainstream types. This misconception can even be seen in the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, in which Audrey Hepburn’s character claims that it’s tacky for women to wear diamonds before they’re 40.

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Diamond jewelry pieces are classics for a reason; they manage to look incredible at all kinds of events and in an array of settings. After all, the diamond is believed to be one of the most ancient items on the entire planet, making it the true definition of a classic. If you are lucky enough to have been born in April, you can learn how to appreciate all of the unique ways in which these special gemstones can be used in jewelry—or even learn to bedazzle other items in your wardrobe with the help of a diamond or two.

Diamond brooches have become popular again in the past few years. From catwalks to red carpets, many hot young stars have been seen sporting this diamond jewelry in cool and unconventional new ways. If you have an April birthday, you may want to explore different ways in which Granny’s diamond brooch can be put to good use.

Diamond sunglasses are also all the rage right now, and a pair of these sparkling shades was even included in the most recent Academy Awards swag bag. There’s nothing like a diamond or two to light up your face with some sparkle while it’s also being shaded from the sun.

Indeed, if you want to jazz up your April birthstone you should think outside of the box when contemplating how to fit this gorgeous gemstone into your life. By using a diamond in unexpected ways, you could become a style sensation. There are also so many different colors of these gems from which to choose: the canary diamond is known for its stunning beauty, and of course the Hope Diamond is famous for its deep blue hue. People often forget that diamonds come in a wide variety of beautiful colors, so if you have an April birthday, you can luxuriate in the practically infinite possibilities your birthstone affords you. Whether it’s a diamond nose ring or ear cuff, there are a multitude of ways to show off your April birthday pride by wearing these stunning sparklers.

Men’s Watch Trends in 2016

Men's Watch Trends in 2016The trend in men’s watches for 2016 is toward technology and style. A number of famous wrist wear brands are adding smart and connected timepieces to their lines. [2] Besides the new watches’ technical capabilities, these devices are turning into fashion centerpieces. Here are some characteristics to consider and a sample of the latest and greatest men’s watches available.

Customization is Key

In the past, many men wore engraved watches. However, 2016 is going even further into the world of personalization. Watches are being introduced with interchangeable straps in a variety of colors and materials. For instance, Farer markets timepieces with black mesh, silicone, and silver and gold choices. [1] Other companies are offering the ability to customize a watch’s face or chronograph markers.

Is Bigger Still Better?

For years, men’s watches were extremely large and bulky. The newer pieces are getting smaller. Many designers feel enormous watch faces are not elegant and have an outdated appearance. Most brands are now marketing watches under 42 millimeters. To remain on trend, a man might consider switching to a watch with a classic dial and a slim case and strap.

White Metal is Hot

2016 is the year for white gold and similar metals, which have distinctive masculine looks. White metal gives a polished and sophisticated appearance that is more rugged than yellow or rose gold.

Smart Technology

As more and more individuals crave technology, wristwatches with connective capabilities will be one of the biggest trends for 2016. Even though Google Glass and the Apple Watch did not launch to tremendous success, wrist tech is catching on and will increase in the current year and beyond.

Newest Watches for 2016

In November 2015, Tag Heuer announced it would release a smartwatch. Its “Carrera Connected” sold out almost immediately, but more are scheduled to ship throughout 2016. It is branded as a luxury device that does not look like an ordinary smartwatch, but offers tech capabilities that will propel the brand into the future. [#link44] The Carrera Connected starts at $1,500.

Citizen has also launched a new watch called the Promaster Navihawk GPS. The most notable innovation, here, is the eco-drive technology. There is no battery to replace, and all power comes from the sun. The watch boosts the quickest signal reception from GPS satellites as well. Its “super titanium” makeup is five times harder than stainless steel. [3] Also included are a rotating bezel, chronograph, perpetual calendar and dual time options.

It appears 2016 will be an exciting year for the time-keeping industry. Men’s watches will see the convergence of technology and function. Wrist wear will play an important part of fashion, as well. Thanks to available customization options, a man will be able to create a piece that speaks to his true personality and style. To select the perfect watch for 2016, visit Hemming Plaza Jewelers. We offer the newest designs from the quality brands you recognize and trust.



Top Jewelry Trends for 2016


Top Jewelry Trends for 2016Certain pieces of jewelry are timeless and are always in style. Others come and go as jewelry trends wax and wane. The 2016 trends, at least in the early part of the year, range from silver chains that harken to the industrial revolution to simple headbands by Chanel and Gucci.

Building on the headband style, other designers, such as Hedi Slimane and Nicolas Ghesquière, have crafted tiaras that are designed to impress. This juxtaposition between a grungy, industrial look and a delicate princess appearance revitalizes the 2016 trends. In between these two extremes, other styles are making their presence known. Wooden jewelry from Alberta Ferretti is stunning in its stark plainness.

When admirers catch sight of the newest earrings to hit the runway, they might think jewelry trends have taken a left turn back to the 1960s. The pop art style of the newest earrings from Missoni, Marni and others would look right at home in a Warhol or Johns painting. After being out-of-style for years, chokers seem to be making a comeback, especially in solid gold. Pearls, too, are maintaining their place as a timeless fashion statement; Chanel expertly combined them with the choker resurgence. Dior paired gemstones with a silk choker to put a different spin on the “comeback style of the year.”

As far as colors are concerned, black and white seem to be the favorites this year. This preference has led designers to craft pieces inspired by the art deco style of the 1930s. In the 21st century, rhodium provides designers with the black they seek, and both enamel and white gold provide the opposite. In many cases, one of the two colors is dominant in the latest pieces, with the opposite color accentuating the primary color.

Large earrings, many of which are asymmetrical, highlight 2016 jewelry trends. These earrings offer bold splashes of color even against the basic black and white of other pieces. Many celebrities are combining two or more of these styles, such as solid-gold chokers, gigantic green earrings, black jackets and white lace bodices.

All in all, the theme of most 2016 trends seems to be to combine that which is different. Secondarily, old ideas are coming back and joining new ideas to form an interesting palate of choices. Against all this balance, asymmetry makes a bold statement that keeps each new look as fresh, or fresher, than the next.


March Birthstone, Aquamarine, Has Interesting History


Aquamarine is also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversariesWhen it comes to birthstones, few are as dazzling, symbolic and eye-catching as the March birthstone, aquamarine. This gemstone boasts a fascinating past, and its stunning appearance is sure to impress anyone who sees it. The March birthstone possesses an exotic and interesting history.

For a long time, aquamarine was used as an amulet by sailors and those who wanted to protect loved ones who were out exploring the open sea. Some crafty sailors would even carve Neptune, the god of the sea, into their stones for even more good luck. It was believed that the light greenish blue shade would calm the ocean waters, making them placid and easy to pass.

This wasn’t the only way that aquamarine has been used for supernatural purposes. At one time, people believed that this beautiful March birthstone had the capacity to cure all kinds of illnesses, from heart disease to a sour stomach. Those who wanted to invoke the magical powers of aquamarine would simply soak the stone in some water and then drink the water in which the stone had been sitting. There was also lore about aquamarine protecting those who were engaged in battle, as well as making the person who wore it very calm and even-tempered.

Nowadays, of course, aquamarine is used for more decorative purposes. Those who have a March birthday are often enthusiastic to buy jewelry that features their special aquamarine birthstone. Used in a multitude of designs, from cocktail rings to elegant necklaces, aquamarine has a way of capturing the attention of a crowd. Aquamarine is also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries.

In the past few years, aquamarine jewelry has made a resurgence, showing up on the necks, wrists and fingers of A-list celebrities. Women tend to be particularly thrilled by this stone, which complements a variety of different eye colors and skin tones. It is versatile in the way it can be cut and even looks good in its natural state, which is rare.

Perhaps it is not surprising that this exotic stone can be found in an array of diverse places all over the world, from Brazil to Mozambique and Pakistan. In Pakistan, miners even ascend to 15,000 feet in order to pluck the precious stone from the earth.