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The Test of Time

Will your jewelry hold up over time? With over 40 years as a bench jeweler I have seen a lot of jewelry come in for repairs, and I get to see how things hold up over time.  Designs that look good when new may not stand the test of time, as you probably already recognize every time you look at your jewelry box.  Just about everyone has things that looked good when new, but lost their luster over the years.  When you add up what those items cost, you know would have been better off buying something of quality at the start.  It may cost more at the beginning, but it's a much sounder purchase over time. Jewelry from Ricco is...

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Engagement Rings with Antique Diamonds

If you're thinking of diamonds for your wedding or engagement ring, a good choice to consider is antique diamonds. These diamonds are handmade, meaning they were cut and polished before jewelers used the electric and computerized machines of today. They have history and charm, and often can be purchased for less than modern stones of the same size. They were mined long ago so they have no connection with conflict diamonds.  Many other advantages of antique diamonds are discussed here. Over 40 years on the bench, I have worked with many couples to create custom engagement and wedding rings that reflect their taste.  Let me know what you have in mind in terms of style, materials, and budget. and I'll do my best to give you sound suggestions....

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Palladium White Gold

18K Pal­la­dium White Gold Post Earrings What is white gold and what is pal­la­dium white gold? In its pure form, gold is yellow.  So how is it changed to white?  Gold is mixed with another metal, a white metal.  This is called "alloying." To make a white gold alloy, makers use either nickel, a base metal or they can use palladium which is related to platinum, a noble metal.  Since palladium costs $900 an ounce while nickel costs nine dollars a pound,  most white gold jewelry uses nickel as the alloy metal. Nickel alloys have consequences: Nickel produces an allergic reaction in some people; the alloy is brittle  and may develop cracks and weakness in the metal.  Prongs around stone settings made with nickel alloy sometimes break off,...

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Apollo and Dionysus in Ricco's Designs

An Ancient Dialectic:  Reason versus Emotion In Greek mythology, Apollo and Dionysus are sons of the god Zeus. Apollo, among other things, represents harmony and order, while Dionysus represents the emotional and impulsive. There are, in each of us, tendencies in both directions. We want to be rational, but there is also, at times, a desire to let go and be wild, at least a little bit.   In Ricco's jewelry designs, these tendencies can be seen:  One style adheres to balance, symmetry, and order while another style is more organic and intuitive.  Ricco tries to keep these two in balance in his design objectives so that neither side dominates the narrative.  Too much rationality is also not a good thing, just as too much disorder...

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Wabi Sabi Aesthetics

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept that values the beauty of natural roughness or imperfections in objects.  There is beauty in a piece of rusted iron, for example, or an old gate with weathered wood.  Acceptance of the impermanence and imperfections of things as a natural condition is an essential principle of Wabi Sabi.  More than acceptance, imperfections are to be admired and appreciated for their beauty.   With diamonds, for example, the focus is on standardized measures of the  four "C's": Carat (weight), Cut (e.g., brilliant cut), Clarity (freedom from flaws), and Color (white preferred). The closer these categories come to standardized ideals, the "better" and more valuable the stone. This way of evaluating discounts the uniqueness of imperfections and...

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