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Antique Diamonds

Posted by Ellen Hoffman on

What are antique diamonds? Antique diamonds are stones cut by hand, before the invention of power-driven machinery in the late 1800s.  Because diamonds are the hardest natural material on the planet, they require great effort to grind and polish by hand.  Therefore, these stones generally have fewer facets (faces) and generally conform to the shape of a stone as it was found.  The modern round brilliant, by contrast, has a standard 58 facets and an established set of proportions.  Although up to 50 percent of the stone's weight is consumed in the cutting process, modern stones have much more sparkle and brilliance than antique...

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Engagement Rings Styled by Ricco

Posted by Ellen Hoffman on

Engagement Ring as an Art Form I am a painter as well as a jeweler, and I bring the eye of the painter to the jewelry designs that I make. Like every artist, I have a personal sense of style.  Developed over the years, and honed by trial and error, my designs reflect an amalgam of different experiences and approaches to jewelry design.  Some designs have worked out well, others not so well, but all have contributed to the kind of work I do now.   In general, I like clean,  uncluttered design. I'm not so concerned with geometry and perfection, leaning more toward the...

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Importance of Design Experience

Posted by Ellen Hoffman on

Design is more than just how something looks. It comprises many other details, some of which take an expert to recognize.  For example, think about a diamond in a setting that exposes the edges of the stone.  It looks great, but what the unsuspecting person doesn't understand is that diamonds, while being the hardest natural substance, are simultaneously one of the most brittle.  So leaving the edges of a diamond exposed, especially at the girdle which is the thinnest edge of a diamond, is increasing the odds that the stone will chip.   This is just one example of why experience...

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14K or 18K?

Posted by Richard Accurso on

What's the difference between 14K and 18K gold? When ordering a custom-made ring, you have many choices. One of them is the purity of the metal  from which the ring is made.  In the United States, 14K is a standard purity but in Europe, 18K is more popular.  In many Asian countries, 22K is often demanded.  Each type has its partisans.  So what are some of the differences between them?   The first step is to understand what is meant by the "K."  Pure gold is 24K, or 100 percent gold.  18K is 75 percent gold and 25 percent some...

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Colors of Gold

Posted by Richard Accurso on

How is gold made into different colors? Gold is yellow in elemental form, but it comes in different colors in jewelry.  Colors are made by adding different colored metals to gold in a process called "alloying."  An alloy is a mixture of two metals.  When copper is added to gold, a pink (or red) gold results.  Adding nickel produces a white gold, but there are strong drawbacks to that metal so Ricco exclusively uses an alloy of gold and palladium (details in this blog post.)   There is even a green gold alloy (see an example here.)  Another white metal is...

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