Carrera y Carrera’s sculpture jewels are back

Origen, that is, return to the origins. It is the name of one of the new collections of Carrera y Carrera, the largest Spanish jewelery brand that has returned to full-scale play after a brief interlude. The name of the collection is significant. The collection follows the style of the house: very rich, with the intention of competing with the world of sculpture, including exotic animals, interpreted with realism, together with ornamental and architectural elements. The use of bas-relief and the combination of glossy and matte is also among the distinctive features of Carrera y Carrera. Many of Carrera y Carrera’s jewels, in fact, are small works of naturalistic goldsmithing, with statuettes, animals and plants that seem to have come out of a laboratory from the Baroque period. Like another of the novelties, the My Angel collection: follows the same direction, with a mini sculpture of a golden angel combined with the letters of the alphabet.

Orecchini della collezione Origen in oro giallo, diamanti e diopsiti
Boucles d’oreilles de la collection Origen en or jaune, diamants et diopsites

On the other hand, the goldsmith tradition of eighteenth-century Spain is still alive. Of course, Saturio Esteban Carrera, a young emigrant to Madrid at the end of the nineteenth century, where he opened a small jewelery company called Barrio de las Letras, would never have imagined it. Instead, the jewels of the Maison of the Spanish capital have been worn by royalty (the tiara for the Queen of Belgium, in 1960) or exhibited in museums, such as the Dream of Icarus, chosen by the Kremlin museum.

Mistral Mini Ring in oro bianco, diamanti e tanzanite
Mistral Mini Ring in white gold, diamonds and tanzanite
Collezione My Angel, pendente in oro bianco e giallo, diamanti
My Angel collection, pendant in white and yellow gold, diamonds
Secret ring, chiuso. In oro bianco e giallo, diamanti
Secret ring, closed. In white and yellow gold, diamonds. Copyright:
Secret ring, aperto. All'interno si scorgono le figure ispirate all'amore segreto di Romeo e Giulietta
Secret ring, open. Inside you can see the figures inspired by the secret love of Romeo and Juliet. Copyright:
Bracciale Shanghai in oro giallo e diamanti.  Copyright:
Shanghai bracelet in yellow gold and diamonds. Copyright:

What is a bezel?

Do you really know what a bezel means and what it is? And how is a ring with a stone set made? Here are the things you need to know about bezel rings.

Things to know if you like jewelry and you are not a jeweler. Do you know what a bezel is? What is a set with stone? Do you have a ring with a stone set in a bezel? If you are curious about what a jewels setting is, read here.

Anello Taglio Smeraldo, con berillo taglio smeraldo da 14,04 ct e pavé di cristallo di rocca, incastonato in oro giallo
Boucheron, ring, with 14.04 ct emerald-cut beryl and rock crystal pavé, set in yellow gold

Hold the stones. The bezel, or casing, is a mount that serves to hold a stone in place, especially if it has a cabochon cut, that is, with a faceless cut, often hemispherical. The bezel consists of a metal protection that fixes the circumference of the stone. It can be formed by a cavity around which turns a thin metal border that folds over the contour of the gem or, in open frames, from small jaws, which hold the stone in several places. The bezel is positioned in the visible, upper part of the ring and frames the stone which, in this way, remains still. There are different techniques of setting, but all have in common the metal fixing, in silver or gold, which is welded and surrounds the stone. The gem may be more or less positioned in the hollow of the metal. Jewelers today tend to adjust the metal to the size of the stone to be set, following the external shape.

Anello in oro giallo con zircone verde
Yellow gold ring with green zircon set

The height of the edge. The setting can vary in the size of the metal belt that wraps the stone, which can be more or less enveloping, usually about 0.5 millimeters. In the case of diamonds, for example, we tend to keep the metal as thin as possible. The advantage of a setting like a bezel rather than a claw one is that the stone is more protected in this way and is less likely to be damaged. Once the stone is placed in the hollow and surrounded with the metal band, the bezel can be welded to the ring band. The base, in some cases, is eliminated to leave room for the only band that stops the stone.

Clip Panache MystОrieux. Serti MystОrieux Vitrail zaffiri colorati, diamanti
Van Cleef & Arpels, Panache Mysterieux clip. Serti Mysterieux Vitrail colored sapphires, diamonds

When the setting is not seen. There is also an invisible setting. It is a particular technique used to fix precious stones so that the metal support structures are not visible. In French this technique is called serti mystérieux (mysterious setting), and was introduced by Alfred Langlois in 1930. Later, the two French jewelers Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, founders of Van Cleef & Arpels, elaborated with Langlois the original idea until requesting the patent of the new casing. Cartier also patented a technique for an invisible bezel, called the invisible serti, but without major developments. Van Cleef & Arpels, instead, continues to use the mystérieux serti in his jewels.

Anello Verde, con smeraldo di 14,90 carati, lacca
Green ring, with 14.90 carat emerald, lacquer
Boghossian, anello con zaffiro di Cylon incastonato in calcedonio intarsiato
Boghossian, Cylon sapphire ring set in inlaid chalcedony
Anello con smeraldo colombiano e diamanti
Grima, ring with Colombian emerald and diamonds with an unusual setting
Anello con rubino e granati, in ceramica, lacca, oro giallo
Ring with ruby and garnets, in ceramic, lacquer, yellow gold
Anello in argento placcato oro con ametista
Gold plated silver ring with amethyst
Anello in oro,giallo e giada
Ring in yellow gold and jade

All about sapphires 

Things to know about the sapphire, one of the most beloved precious gems, as well as stone of the month of September ♦

Sapphires have always been associated with romance and royalty. No coincidence that one of the most famous is the St. Edward’s Sapphire, which dates back to the 11th century and is set on the Imperial State Crown, one of United Kingdom crown jewels, while a more current example is the engagement ring with a sapphire 18-carat donated by Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, spent a generation later by his son William to Kate Middleton.

Anello a fascia in oro bianco 18 carati, pavé di diamanti e zaffiro ovale
Band ring in 18k white gold, pavé diamonds and oval sapphire

Natural sapphires are precious stones widely used in jewelry. But there are not only natural stones: increasingly often are in use sapphires created in the laboratory, even for industrial or decorative purposes. Sapphire is a very hard stone: it reaches 9 on the Mohs scale. This stone is, therefore, the third hardest mineral in the world, after the diamond that reaches 10 and moissanite at 9.5). This is why sapphires are also used as optical components, high-resistance glasses, wristwatches, very thin electronic wafers, such as insulating substrates in electronics, integrated circuits and blue LEDs.

Anello con zaffiro del Madagascar, oro, diamanti
Tamara Comolli, ring with Madagascar sapphire, gold, diamonds

This type of stone from a gemmological point of view is a corundum (if it is red would be a ruby). Range color is from very pale blue to deep indigo, and the most appreciated is cornflower blue, not too pastel and not too navy blue. But the sapphire has a range of natural colors, gray, yellow, pale pink, orange, green, purple and brown: they are classified fancy, and some of these are very rare, for example, Padparadscha (in Sinhala means lotus flower ), of an intense orange-pink. The classic areas sapphires mines are Ceylon, Burma (Mogok), Madagascar and, to a less spread, Cambodia (Pailin), China, Kenya, Laos, Nigeria, Tanzania, Thailand, United States (Montana) and Vietnam . Until seventies Australia covering 70% of world production but the quality was not rewarded by the market because these gems were too dark or too green.

Anello con zaffiro di 25 carati su titanio. Copyright:
Ring with 25 carat blue sapphire on titanium by Ena Iro. Copyright:

How to choose: according to Gia (Gemological Institute of America) a sapphire has generally a more affordable price than a ruby, an emerald or a diamond because are less rare. The best quality is the one that has no inclusions visible from a distance of 15 cm must by naked eye. But there are always exceptions: some inclusions, microscopic and called flower, milk or silk, can give an almost velvety appearance, which accentuates the beauty and consequently the value. One must also take into account star variety: needle-like inclusions of rutile depicting a star on the surface of the gem, which are most noticeable thanks to a good cut, and appear as six or 12 spokes evenly spaced and straight.

Un anello con zaffiro Padparadscha, simile a quello della principessa Eugenia
A Padparadscha sapphire ring, similar to Princess Eugenie’s

Cuts: the most common ones are oval and cushion, but under 1 carat can be found easily even brilliant cut sapphires, emerald and princess. But before you choose is essential to examine the stone under different lighting remembering that blue sapphires take a better look under a fluorescent light, while rubies prefer a light bulb.

Anello Sinopé in oro bianco, diamanti, zaffiro e tanzaniti
Cartier, Sinopé ring in white gold, diamonds, a 5.03-carat shaped Ceylon sapphire and lapis lazuli
Anello con zaffiro Art Déco
Art Deco ring with sapphire
L'anello di fidanzamento di Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring
Anello con zaffiro rosa ovale e diamanti. Prezzo: 56.000 dollari
Ring with oval pink sapphire and diamonds
Anello Serpente, con zaffiri invisible setting e zaffiro ovale
Snake ring, with invisible setting sapphires and oval cut sapphire

Everything about tourmaline

Everything you need to know about tourmaline, increasingly fashionable in jewelry ♦

You may have noticed it: for some years now tourmaline, and in particular the Paraiba variety has become the star of jewelry. Few, however, really know this stone, which can take on different colors and which is often confused with other gems. Tourmaline began its rise in the late 1980s, when the brightly colored variety was discovered in the mines of Paraíba, Brazil. These tourmalines, in blue and green shades, were immediately successful. Prices for this stone have risen rapidly to over $ 10,000 per carat. But, be careful: the red stones that are presented with the name of rubellite are also tourmalines.

Anello in oro bianco con tormalina
White gold ring with tourmaline, Vianna Lux collection

Composition. According to the chemistry, tourmalines are a crystalline composition of boron mineral silicate, with elements of aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. It is a semi-precious stone. Before the name tourmaline became common, this gem was also called the Sri Lankan Ceylonese magnet. This stone, in fact, has pyroelectric properties: it forms a temporary accumulation of electric charges of different sign on opposite ends in response to a change in temperature. But don’t worry: the wearer doesn’t get shocked. In the past, however, thanks to this property, tourmalines have been used by chemists to polarize light.

Anello con tormalina Paraiba di 24,75 carati
Ring with 24.75 carat Paraiba tourmaline and diamonds

The name. Tourmaline is a word that derives from the Tamil and Sinhalese language Turmali, used for various precious stones found in Sri Lanka. In recent centuries, large quantities of tourmalines have been exported to Europe from the Dutch East India Company from this country to southern India.

Anello con tormalina rosa di 58,18 carati
Ring with pink tourmaline of 58.18 carats

Colors. Tourmaline takes on a great variety of colors. However, the stone discovered in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Bahia is a unique variety with bright colors, blue and green. The largest in the world weighs 191.87 carats and has been included in the Guinness Book of Records. But there are also red, pink, blue tourmalines, and even a variety called watermelon, that is watermelon, with shades that fade from intense pink to olive green. There is also the bright green tourmaline from Tanzania, which contains chromium (the same mineral that colors the emerald). On the market there are also yellow tourmalines, sometimes known as canary tourmaline. Zambia is rich in red and yellow tourmalines, which are relatively inexpensive. By a strange coincidence, the rarest variety, the colorless achroite, is not appreciated and is inexpensive. Tourmalines are also found in Afghanistan and the United States. The deposits in Maine tend to produce mint-green or pink-raspberry red crystals. California deposits are known for a bright pink color, but also two-tone. The most common tourmaline, however, is called schorl, black colored sodium iron.

Anello Vuoi una mentina? Di Suzanne Syz, con tormalina Paraiba, oro, smalto, diamanti
Ring Do you want a mint? By Suzanne Syz, with Paraiba tourmaline, gold, enamel, diamonds

Beauty treatment. There are many tourmalines that are subjected to special treatments to improve their color. In particular, the pink and red colored buds are often heated at high temperatures to make the color more pleasant. For example, stones with a very dark red color can be made brighter with heat treatment. The pink color, on the other hand, can be significantly increased by irradiation with gamma rays or electron beams. But radioactivity does not remain in the stone, rest assured. Among other things, you will never know: the irradiation process is almost impossible to detect in tourmalines and currently does not affect its value. Tourmaline varieties such as rubellite and Paraiba are also sometimes improved to make them clearer and brighter. But a tourmaline that undergoes this treatment is worth less than a natural gem of the same type.

Anello Thalessa, in oro rosa 18 carati, tormalina, zaffiri, tormalina bicolore
Daniela Villegas, Thalessa ring, in 18k rose gold, tourmaline, sapphires, two-tone tourmaline

Where is it. There is not only Brazil. In the late 1990s tourmaline containing copper was found in Nigeria. Tourmaline has also recently been discovered in Mozambique, very similar to that of Paraiba. For this reason, tourmaline from the African country is often called paraiba, but it is a mistake (sometimes desired): in reality the colors of the Mozambican stone are often a little less bright than the Brazilian one. In addition, African tourmaline also costs much less.

Una tormalina watermelon africana
An African watermelon tourmaline
Orecchini con al centro due tormaline watermelon dell'Himalaya
Earrings with two Himalayan watermelon tourmalines in the center
Van Cleef & Arpels, anello Pierres de Caractère Lotus d'Orient in oro bianco, tormalina ovale del Mozambico tipo Paraiba di 24.44 carati, diamanti taglio brillante e a pera, zaffiri tondi e chrysoprase scanalati
Van Cleef & Arpels, Pierres de Caractère Lotus d’Orient ring in white gold, 24.44 carats oval Paraiba-type Mozambique tourmaline, brilliant-cut and pear-cut diamonds, round sapphires and grooved chrysoprase
Anello di Stephen Webster con tormalina rosa all'asta online di Christie's. Stima: 7 mila euro
Stephen Webster ring with pink tourmaline
Anello con tormalina Paraiba di 48.27 carati
Ring with Paraiba tourmaline of 48.27 carats
Anello Pom Pom in oro rosa, con tormaline rosa di varie dimensioni, gradazioni e tagli e diamanti
Pom Pom ring in rose gold, with pink tourmalines of various sizes, gradations and cuts and diamonds
Jar, spilla appartenuta a Lily Safra con tormaline verdi e rosa a forma di papavero collegate da uno stelo di tormaline verdi taglio baguette attorcigliate su un diamante bianco taglio pera di 37 carati. Prezzo realizzato: 1 milione di euro circa
Jar, brooch belonging to Lily Safra with green and pink poppy-shaped tourmalines connected by a stem of baguette-cut green tourmalines twisted onto a 37-carat pear-cut white diamond

How to eliminate forever the oxide

The silver of the jewelry, unfortunately, oxidizes and becomes black. How to prevent silver from turning into a blackened metal? Here are some simple tricks to prevent silver from being black ♦

Raise your hand who in the drawer doesn’t have at least one silver jewel that has oxidized. He was so cute, maybe it was cheap, or maybe you received a gift, the inheritance of your aunt and so… In any case, earrings and silver rings can very often be blackened due to the contact with oxygen: they oxidize and leave an unpleasant color on the skin.

The Twisted Coin, anello in argento con dollaro
The Twisted Coin, silver ring with dollar

Why does silver turn black? Simple: sterling silver or 925 is not 100% pure. In reality 92.5% is silver, while 7.5% is composed of other alloy metals. Often it is copper, responsible for the oxidation reaction, that is, the reaction of the metal in contact with the oxygen present in the air, but also with sulfur (often caused by pollution), or with humidity. This is achieved by contact with the skin of people who have a high Ph, i.e. slightly more acidic sweat. Finally, skin lotions, sunscreens, deodorants, perfumes and hairspray are other factors that can accelerate the oxidation of the metal.

Bracciale in argento sterling con pietre
Perfectly polished sterling silver bracelet

Off the light. To avoid making silver blacken, however, one must first learn to keep it well. Light, heat and humidity are enemies of silver and get to blacken it. Store the jewels in a closed box, lined with a soft cloth to prevent the metal from being damaged. If you don’t have a wooden box, you can also opt for a plastic box or a jar, but not transparent.

Anello Maui in argento e madreperla
Maui ring in silver and mother of pearl

Desiccant bags. The humidity, as mentioned, blackens the silver. Store the jewels together with desiccant bags, which are also used for electronic equipment. Inside the bags there may be, for example, silica gel, which keeps the surrounding air dry. It is a useful advice especially for those who live in houses or in humid places, such as at the sea or near a stream. Attention, keep the bags out of reach of children: they are not edible at all. Don’t want to buy bags? You can get away with a piece of chalk, another material that tends to absorb moisture.

Sacchetto essiccante
Desiccant bag

Also read: How to clean silver jewelry

Beware of acid. Acid substances are harmful to the health of your silver. Ok, you don’t have the habit of sprinkling your sterling silver earrings with lemon juice. However, the acidity of the skin, the cosmetics, and even the casual contact with some residue in the kitchen can quickly make the jewelery shine disappear. Do not put necklaces, rings and bracelets in mustard, lemon, vinegar and, in general, food … If you have sweated during the day, clean the jewels before storing them.

Rubber and latex. You didn’t suspect it, but even rubber and latex are not friends of silver. Prolonged contact may oxidize silver more quickly.
No dishwasher. Have you thought about polishing silver jewelery in the dishwasher? Mistaken. The detergent and the heat of the water can cause oxidation and corrode the metal. Silver must be cleaned with cold water and mild soap.

No dishwasher. Have you thought about polishing silver jewelery in the dishwasher? Mistaken. The detergent and the heat of the water can cause oxidation and corrode the metal. Silver must be cleaned with cold water and mild soap.

Anello con argento annerito
Ring with blackened silver

Still, there is a little trick to avoid this. Just copy the advice in this video we found on the net. The images are very clear, so there is no problem to understand its meaning.

Ok, it is advice banal, but it works. It goes like this: you take your ring that is blackened, and first of all clean it well. There are many ways to do this: you can use hot water and a couple of teaspoons of salt, leaving it to soak jewel. Or you can use water and baking soda. Once the gem is clean, here is a suggestion: you have to dry thoroughly and then just paint inside with transparent nail polish. Let dry and, voila, here is the problem eliminated. Easy, right?

Comment protéger une bague en argent ? di mariefrance

Ciondolo in argento ossidato
Oxidized silver pendant
Anello Contrarié
De Vecchi, contrary ring
Pianegonda, anello in argento della collezione Planus
Pianegonda, silver ring from the Planus collection/caption]

[caption id="attachment_35412" align="aligncenter" width="709"]Gli effetti dell'ossidazione dell'argento The effects of silver oxidation

Anello in argento di Bury
Bury silver ring

A Lot of star for Anita Ko

New jewels by Anita Ko, designer for Hollywood stars or for those who can afford it: her collections are not for everyone.

Anita Ko is a jewelry designer born in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Since she has good creativity and works in the Hollywood star system area, she has many clients among the big names in the show business. Among the actresses and singers who have worn her jewels are Victoria Beckham, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Jennifer Lawrence, Cameron Diaz, Emma Watson, Miranda Kerr, Jessica Biel, Johnny Depp, Heidi Klum and Rihanna. And to say that Anita Ko is a new entry: she only founded her jewelry company in 2006, not even ten years ago. Her jewels focus heavily on the intense color of pink gold and on a myriad of diamonds that follow the path of the metal as if they were luxury studs. They can also be purchased online.

Orecchinio a forma di spilla da balia in oro rosa e rubini
Safety pin-shaped earring in rose gold and rubies

The jewelry style is modern, simple, geometric, immediate, luxurious, symmetrical, allusive. In the sense that in some cases it translates into jewels composed of a mosaic of diamonds, for example with a baguette cut, common shapes such as leaves, or a simple safety pin that turns into a single earring in gold and precious stones. In short, quite funny, without being bizarre, pleasant without being cloying. Perhaps this is the key to her success.

Orecchino a bottone in oro e diamanti
Gold and diamond stud earring
Orecchini Ava in oro rosa e diamanti
Ava earrings in rose gold and diamonds
Ear Jacket in oro bianco rodiato nero con diamanti
Ear Jacket in black rhodium-plated white gold with diamonds
Collana a foglia in oro giallo e diamanti
Leaf necklace in yellow gold and diamonds
Anello Mosaico in oro rosa e diamanti
Mosaic ring in rose gold and diamonds
Anello a spirale in oro giallo e diamanti
Spiral ring in yellow gold and diamonds
Anello con doppia fila di diamanti su oro giallo
Ring with double row of diamonds on yellow gold

How to clean a Pandora bracelet?

How to clean Pandora jewelry? Here are the tips for keeping Pandora jewelry bright

Pandora jewelry is among the most popular. Proposed years ago only in the silver version, especially the famous bracelets with charms, they are now also available in the Pandora Rose version, which consists of an alloy of silver and copper, with a plating used to prevent oxidation, or in Pandora Shine: silver with an 18-carat gold plating. On the jewels, moreover, there are also crystals and cubic zirconia, synthetic gems that resemble the diamond. Pandora jewelry also has another characteristic: they are usually worn often, even every day. They are, in fact, the classic jewels for everyday life: bracelets, earrings and necklaces that you choose without thinking too much, also because their price is quite affordable and you are less afraid of losing them.

Gioielli della linea Pandora Me indossati
Worn jewels from the Pandora Me line

Precisely for this reason, however, Pandora jewels can mist up earlier due to prolonged contact with the skin, or due to dust, or the wear of the plating. It is therefore important to regularly clean Pandora jewelry. For example, how to clean Pandora jewelry with pink alloy (but the method also applies to others)? Here’s how to do it: the tips are from Pandora itself. The shine of the metal can be maintained by regularly polishing the jewels with a soft cloth: just rub gently, paying attention to the surfaces where crystals or cubic zirconia are set. Too vigorous cleaning could ruin the subtle plating of Pandora Shine jewelry.

Elemento in Pandora Shine Simba
Pandora Shine Simba

Often Pandora jewels, which are finished by hand in the laboratories that the Danish company has made in Thailand, also have details in colored enamel. Enamel is a very resistant material, but over time, perhaps because the jewel is subjected to contact with other objects, it could be damaged. Precisely for this reason it is better to avoid rubbing the jewel with too rough materials, which can make the situation worse.

Gracie Abrams in Pandora
Gracie Abrams in Pandora

The jewels can also be washed gently in warm soapy water to remove any traces of grease left by the skin. When still wet, jewelry can be cleaned better with the use of a soft bristle toothbrush. But, attention: it is better to avoid the use of liquids used for silver polishing and ultrasonic cleaning. Handle clean jewelry with care: it is better to store them separately to avoid scratches.

Anello in argento e cubic zirconia
Ring in silver and cubic zirconia
Pandora, collezione Zodiaco
Pandora Rose necklace
Collana Pandora Rose
Necklace Pandora Rose
Bracciale Reflexions, in Pandora Shine
Reflexions bracelet, in Pandora Shine

Tiaras: a brilliant idea

Diadem and tiaras are all the rage, they can be precious or simple bijoux. Here is a selection and advice on how to wear a tiara or a diadem. And not just at the wedding ♦

Today, the word tiara has become synonymous with diadem. The tiara is often translated with a tiara-like word in many languages. Both words, however, derive from the ornaments worn on the head by men and women in antiquity. These ornaments indicated high status. But today this is no longer the case. The tiara is often worn on formal occasions, particularly if the dress code is a white tie, or for ceremonies such as weddings. And not only that: a tiara can also be worn with informal clothing. Of course, in this case, it will be different from the tiara used for a ceremony.

Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis indossa una spilla e e una tiara con diamanti e smeraldi (immagine dal catalogo Sotheby's)
Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis wears a brooch and tiara with diamonds and emeralds (image from Sotheby’s catalog)

The first woman to minimize the royalty of tiaras, tiaras and crowns, the prerogative of high jewelery and high society, was Courtney Love, in 1995, when she showed up at a concert with a statement circle fakest crystals that looked like diamonds. Something similar to the crown of Miss America, pity the lipstick was deliberately smudged.

Meghan Markle, prima del suo principesco matrimonio, con tiara
Meghan Markle, before her princely wedding, with tiara

It was 20 years ago and now there are girls in New York who do not give up a jewel in the hair even to go to the office, while the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood wears a crown of coral when she goes on a bike ride to London. And so, like Borsalino hat is back in fashion for young men and casual dress, an outfit is not complete if it lacks the right ornament on head.

How to wear the tiara

That, pay attention, is no longer an expression of a rank, but a free choice. The most interesting thing is that the democratization of the tiara has even changed the label of the young princesses and queens in Europe, with Kate Middleton in the head, you should say, rather than the back door, in line with your ears and tilted at least 45 degrees, while the custom would like placed far ahead and almost horizontal. Now that you know even the proper way to bring here is a selection suited to weddings and less formal occasions.

Carolina Herrera, Falling Jasmine tiara e orecchino a bottone in argento placcato oro e smalto bianco
Carolina Herrera, Falling Jasmine tiara and ear stud in gold plated silver and white enamel

Tiaras are often worn by actresses in movies, comedies and on television. In 2013, Cartier created a replica of the ruby and diamond tiara they had originally made in 1956 for Princess Grace of Monaco for the film Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman. But the tiaras can also be made of plastic, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals or any other non-precious material. They are worn by women on occasions such as a party or prom. They are also worn by beauty pageant winners and children who dress up as Disney princesses.

Princess Eugenia con la tiara
Princess Eugenie with tiara
La principessa Beatrice con lo sposo Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, indossa la Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara
Princess Beatrice with her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, wearing the Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara
Swarovski, Lucia tiara, in palladio e oro
Swarovski, Lucia tiara, palladium and gold
Tiara in platino con acquamarina
Bulgari, platinum tiara with aquamarine
Tiffany, diadema Butterfly. Gli spinelli rosa e i diamanti tondi taglio brillante adornano un diadema in platino di squisita manifattura, che sviluppa il tema della farfalla al centro. Peso complessivo in carati: diamanti tondi taglio brillante, 19.97; spinelli rosa, 10.98; diamanti marquise, 0.73
Tiffany, Butterfly tiara. Pink spinels and round brilliant diamonds adorn an exquisitely crafted platinum tiara, developing the butterfly theme at its centre. Total Carat Weight: Round Brilliant Diamonds, 19.97; pink spinels, 10.98; marquise diamonds, 0.73
TIara di Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary tiara
Kate Middleton con la tiara di Cartier
Kate Middleton with the Cartier tiara
Tiara e collana vittoriana venduta da Christie's
Victorian tiara and necklace sold at Christie’s
BijouxBrigitte, diadema color argento con strass. Prezzo: 25 euro
Bijou Brigitte, silver-colored tiara with rhinestones
La tiara progettata per Asscher (dal sito di Reena Ahluwalia)
The tiara designed for Asscher (from Reena Ahluwalia’s website)
Oscar de La Renta, tiara in metallo placcato oro e cristalli. Prezzo: 300 euro
Oscar de La Renta, gold plated metal tiara and crystals

Things to know about diamonds blacks

Do you like blacks diamonds? You know that not all blacks diamonds are alike? Here are six things to know about diamonds blacks.

If you think about a diamond, it is likely to have in mind a white, dazzling, gleaming transparent stone, perhaps mounted on a ring. But the jewelry companies have discovered, or rather rediscovered, the colored diamonds. And if those blue, pink or yellow are the kings of the auctions, with dizzying prices, to their collections the jewelers often use diamonds also another color: black. And in many cases these diamonds do not have crazy prices, indeed. So the question arises: are really cheap the blacks diamonds? Where they come from? They are the same as transparent? Here are six things to know about diamonds blacks.

Anello con diamanti neri
Black diamond ring

1 What is the origin of blacks diamonds?
Not all black diamonds have the same origin. There are diamonds that have turned black without being black at the origin and there are natural, fancy diamonds (called fantasy, because they have a different color from white). All of them, white, yellow, pink or black, are diamonds, but they have different stories. Most black diamonds, the ones that don’t cost too much, are originally diamonds of another color, considered not valuable, which have been heated to very high temperatures. Basically, they were cooked and turned black. On the contrary, natural black diamonds are very rare. The natural black color, in fact, is produced by the inclusion of graphite in the crystal structure during the formation of the gem, millions of years ago, before the deposits of kimberlite (where the stones are located) reached the earth’s surface. In a nutshell, the only difference between white or, more correctly colorless, diamonds and natural black ones is that the latter have the inclusion of graphite and the clear ones do not. The crystalline structure is instead the same. In their natural state, these stones are found in very few places, especially in Brazil and Central Africa.

Anello in oro bianco 18 carati con pavé di diamanti neri
Mini Chevron Pinky Ring in 18k White Gold with Pavé Black Diamonds by David Yurman

2 What is the right price of blacks diamonds?
Obviously natural blacks diamonds cost more than those heated. The ratio is at least ten times or more. If, for example, a black diamond heated costs 100 Euros or dollars, it will cost about 1,000 if it is natural, with the same carats. On eBay there are blacks diamonds (treated) from 1 carat to just over $ 100-200. A natural 1 carat black diamond oscillates about $ 2,500-3,000, but the price is variable according to the request.

Collana Entaglement con diamanti bianchi e neri, smeraldo a goccia disegnata per Garrard
Entaglement necklace with black and white diamonds, drop emerald designed for Garrard by Ilaria Lanzoni

3 How do I recognize a black diamond?
Natural black diamonds are generally opaque, but with metallic reflections, although there are different qualities. Natural black diamonds are also often difficult to polish and cut. Another weak point of natural black diamonds is the surface, which could be porous. In practice, it is very difficult for a jeweler to use natural black diamonds, although it cannot be ruled out.

Bracciale elastico in oro bianco 18 carati, diamanti bianchi e neri
Elastic bracelet in 18-karat white gold, white and black diamonds by Roberto Demeglio

4 How do I know what kind of diamonds I’m buying ?
Artificially treated diamonds may not have an official certificate that guarantees their quality, such as the one issued by Gia, the American Gemological Institute. On the other hand, black diamonds are often used to compose pavé and a certificate may be superfluous: jewels of this type are valued more for their design than for the quality of black diamonds. A natural black diamond, on the other hand, is an official recognition, which you can ask your jeweler: given the price difference it is worth it.

Anello in oro bianco e nero, con diamanti bianchi e neri, al centro un diamante nero di 3,80 carati
Sutra, black and white gold ring, with black and white diamonds, in the center a black diamond of 3.80 carats

5 Why they are cool?
For some years the blacks diamonds are considered as special stones, a little unconventionals. In an episode of Sex and the City, Mr. Big gave Carrie Bradshaw a ring with a crown of diamonds blacks, because “because you are not anyone else.” Also blacks diamonds were worn by Katherine Heigl, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jennifer Lawrence, Lauren Conrad and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Mr Big regala l'anello con diamante nero a Carrie Bradshaw in «Sex and the City»
Mr Big gives black diamond ring to Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’

6 I have a black diamond. Can I wash it, or it will fades?
You can clean a black diamond just like other diamonds. Also read How to clean diamonds.

Anello in oro rodiato nero e diamanti neri by Borgioni
Ring in black rhodium-plated gold and black diamonds by Borgioni

The secrets of rhodium jewelry

What is rhodium plating? And how do you clean a rhodium-plated jewel? Here’s what you need to know about rhodium plating and what the differences are with a non-rhodium-plated jewel ♦

How many times have you read that a jewel is rhodium plated, but do not you know what that means? If you are among those (many) who do not know the meaning of the word rhodium, and what the rhodium needs, read this article. It will erases away any doubt about rhodium, but it will also teach how to clean and store jewels treated with rhodium.

A sinistra rodiature, a destra metallo opacizzato
Left rhodium plating, right opaque metal

What is it

As the word indicates, rhodium plating is a process that is used for jewels and uses a particular metal called rhodium. It is a rare, white, very durable metal. It is often used in alloy with platinum to increase the hardness of that metal. The rhodium is not only very durable, but also used to make other metals more shining. It is, however, very expensive: its price exceeds that of platinum and gold.

Anello Mezzaluna Collection in oro bianco rodiato nero e diamanti
Al Coro, Mezzaluna Collection ring in black rhodium-plated white gold and diamonds

The rhodium plating
The jewelery plating consists of covering the jewel with the thin layer of rhodium. The minimum layer thickness is 0.1 micron, the maximum 25 micron. Rhodium is often used to shine white gold and, rarely, silver: it is, in fact, a fairly expensive procedure. The method for plating a jewel is similar to what you use to cover it with the gold: it is a galvanic process. In practice, they use electricity and a bathroom where rhodium microparticles are found, covering the jewel metal with a thin layer. The result is a much brighter metal.

Anello in oro bianco e diamanti della collezione Milano di Pomellato
Ring in white gold and diamonds from the Milano collection by Pomellato

Because rhodium is used

The rhodium is used to make the shiny jewel, but also because it protects metal from corrosion and wear, and preserves its original appearance. Finally, rhodium is usually tolerated by allergic people, for example, nickel that has often been used in gold alloy. The rhodium cover prevents the skin from touching the jewel metal. Of course, if you are not allergic to rhodium …

Bracciale in argento rodiato con diamanti neri. Prezzo: 33.600 euro
Georg Jensen, rhodium silver bracelet with black diamonds 

How to keep rhodium
As we have written, the plating process consists of metal covering with a thin film of rhodium. Rhodium is a durable metal, of course, but with time it all wears off. To keep the the jewel plated longer, and therefore to keep the glitter of the jewel, be careful not to rub the metal against objects that can scratch it. Also, it is not advisable to clean the metal with aggressive detergents. Better a very soft and simple water cloth, or a toothbrush, provided it does not have hard bristles.
Bracciale Annali. Diamanti, tanzanite cabochon, oro rodiato
Neha Dani, Annali bracelet. Diamonds, cabochon tanzanite, rhodium-plated gold

You can do it later?
If you have a jewel that has a few years and with a matte metal, you can turn to a jeweler to polish the metal with a rhodium. The cost depends (besides what the jeweler wants to collect) from the thickness of the metal that is added to the jewel.
Anello in argento rodiato con finitura oro e cubic zirconia bianchi
Rhodium plated silver ring with gold finish and white cubic zirconia

Tessa Packard, british style

Alongside traditional jewels, Tessa Packard surprises with precious but also fun creations

Tessa Packard is the creative director of the brand that she founded in 2013 and that in a short time has climbed the ranking of trendy jewelers. You often make slightly eccentric pieces, such as her Fried Egg earrings, made of white gold, diamonds, yellow agate and white topaz (price: 15,000 pounds). She describes her formula as “good design and narrative integrity”. She introduces a new collection every six months, but she has also specialized in the production of bespoke jewelry, both for individual clients and for other companies.

Rock Pool earring in oro bianco, ottone ossidato, rodio nero, smalto e citrino
18ct white gold verdigris brass, black rhodium, white enamel and citrine crab earrings

In short, creative imagination together with creativity in business. Tessa also rightly points out that she often participates as a speaker in numerous workshops dedicated to the role of women in the world of work. In any case, her production is liked: in 2015 the Maison was nominated for one of the 30 Hot Under 30 faces in the jewelry sector. And to say that Tessa is totally self-taught. She was born in Brazil but raised in Great Britain. She studied Fine Arts and Art History at university before launching herself into London’s commercial art world. But she moved from art galleries to jewelry.

She is keen to point out that all of her jewelery is handcrafted and finished in the UK. Another unconventional aspect concerns the use of plastic materials, such as lucite, alongside traditional gold and precious stones. Lucite, for example, was extremely popular for jewelry in the 1950s and 1960s, with several companies specializing in creating high quality pieces with this material. Lucite beads and ornaments are still sold by jewelry suppliers, which Tessa transforms into original jewelry.

Bracciale in oro giallo e acquamarina del Mozambico
Bracelet in yellow gold and Mozambique aquamarine

Another unconventional aspect concerns the use of plastic materials, such as lucite, alongside the traditional gold and precious stones. Lucite, for example, was extremely popular for jewelry in the 1950s and 1960s, with several companies specializing in creating high-quality pieces with this material. Lucite beads and ornaments are still sold by jewelry suppliers, which Tessa processes into original jewelry.

Anello Manhattan in oro 18 carati, lapislazzuli
Manhattan ring in 18K gold, lapis lazuli
Collana in oro giallo 18 carati, argento brunito, perle e diamanti con nappa staccabile
Necklace in 18K yellow gold, burnished silver, pearls and diamonds with detachable tassel
Orecchini in oro bianco 18 carati, quarzo rosa, onice, ossidiana e maialino in porcellana dipinta
Earrings in 18K white gold, rose quartz, onyx, obsidian and painted porcelain piglet
Orecchini in oro giallo 18 carati, ottone, corallo, plastica, carta da parati vintage e pesci in resina
Earrings in 18K yellow gold, brass, coral, plastic, vintage wallpaper and resin fish
Orecchini in lucite
Lucite earrings
Orecchini pendenti in oro giallo 18 carati, diamanti e tormalina anguria
Pendant earrings in 18K yellow gold, diamonds and watermelon tourmaline
Tessa Packard, orecchini Fried Eggs
Tessa Packard, Fried Eggs earrings

The A.Link’s diamonds

The American Maison A. Link, specialized in the most loved stone by women: diamonds ♦

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds: some people love jewels only if they revolve around the most popular gemstone. And this is the story of A.Link, a New York company that specializes in diamond jewelry. Does just that since 1904. It was founded by Adolph Link, jeweler from Vienna who emigrated to the US, which has brought the taste loved by the wealthy Europeans of the Belle Epoque in a nation that was growing rapidly. More than a century later, the company is still family owned, managed by Jeffrey Link and Douglas Sills in New York.

Collana di diamanti di A.Link
Diamond Necklace by A.Link

Passed the mark of 110 years, celebrated in 2014 with a Jck prize to a ring, You and Me, continues to propose his recipe that seems to have an eternal success: diamonds, diamonds and more diamonds, but with certificates of origin and sustainable production. Adolph Link, it seems, was the first to study and sample the diamonds to get uniform quality of the stones. In this way the jewels have created a homogeneity and, of course, a more certain value. The company also boasts a special ability in the choice of the cut. In short, if you like diamonds, by A.Link you find to the full.

Bracciale tennis in oro rosa e diamanti
Tennis bracelet in rose gold and diamonds
Orecchini a bottone in oro bianco e diamanti
White gold and diamond stud earrings
Pendente Eclipse
Eclipse pendant
Set con diamanti baguette, montatura in platino. Questo anello ha vinto il premio del 2014 JCK Jewelers nella categoria Platinum per vendita al dettaglio meno di 10.000 dollari nei Jck Awards 2014
Set with baguette diamonds, platinum setting. This ring won the 2014 JCK Jewelers award in the Platinum category for retailing under $10,000 in the 2014 Jck Awards
Bracciale di diamanti e platino, per un totale di 10 carati
Diamond and platinum bracelet, totaling 10 carats
Collana per Forevermark, diamanti e oro bianco
Necklace for Forevermark, diamonds and white gold
Bracciale Bubble con fermaglio, oro bianco e diamanti
Bubble bracelet with clasp, white gold and diamonds
Orecchini a forma di goccia, diamanti e oro bianco
Drop-shaped earrings, diamonds and white gold

Amle, the South you do not expect

If you aren’t from South Italy, as you imagine it? Easy: color, vibrancy, exuberant nature. It is with these images in the heart that a decade ago was born Amle in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Province of Caserta. In Campania region the colors are, perhaps, even more determined than elsewhere: Marisa Angelucci, creative mind of the Italian brand, does not hide it. She started with an antique store and then went just to handcrafted jewelry.

Collana con cammei, collezione Costiera
Necklace with cameos, Costiera collection

It debuted in Milan at Macef, the first trade fair. It was successful, until get now to Las Vegas, to Jck Show: sign that jewels of Neapolitan company are appreciated even beyond the border. One of the characteristic signs is the use of an ancient material, but little used in jewelery: the horn, also of zebù. It is natural, they say in the company, and has an ancient tradition.

La collana Bambolata nata dieci anni fa per un progetto speciale realizzato con la nostra musa Erminia Manfredi per Vogue, un gioiello iconico, decisamente un opera d’arte. Negli anni ha conquistato copertine, musei e alcune delle donne più importanti al mondo. Un gioiello realizzato totalmente a mano, con stampi borbonici dell’800 ancora rifilati a mano, montati su corno e perle
The Bambolata necklace born ten years ago for a special project created for Vogue, made entirely by hand, with Bourbon molds from the 1800s still trimmed by hand, mounted on horn and pearls

It is used in an unusual mix: semi-precious stones, precious and semi precious, pearl, coral, pearls, silver, onyx, starfish. But the beauty is that these traditional materials are used to combine bijoux colorful and modern. By the way, the Amle name is formed from the initials of the family: Alice, Marisa, Luca, Ermenegilda. The summer 2023 collection, portrayed in the images with the advice of art director Marco Ferra and the photographs of Victor Santiago, is called Costiera, like that stretch of sea and land in Campania famous all over the world.

Collezione Costiera, collana con conchiglie
Costiera collection, necklace with shells
Collezione Costiera, con conchiglie, corallo, fiori
Costiera collection, with shells, coral, flowers
Collana e orecchini con tamburelli dipinti a mano
Necklace and earrings with hand painted tambourines
Collana con tamburello in legno e pelle di capra dipinto a mano, cimbali in argento
Necklace with hand painted wooden and goat skin tambourine, silver cymbals

Choose the right size of necklace

Long or short? Choker or sautoir? For day or night? If you want to know what is the right length of a necklace, read this quick guide. Because the right length of a necklace also depends on the wearer’s body ♦

Non è facile scegliere la collana giusta...
It’s not easy to choose the right necklace…

The necklace don’t must be too large: it must be the right size. Whether it’s a day of celebration or not, it is good to pay attention to the length of a necklace: it not must to be out of tune to your body size, but not out of tune with the clothing. So, every day you have to pay attention to the jewel that you choose and the combination with the dress. Of course, in addition to the model, also the length of the necklace must be in harmony. In Europe, in general, the necklaces are divided into five different lengths (not considering the length of the clip which, if it is very large, it should be calculated).

Collana Louis Vuitton indossata
Worn Louis Vuitton necklace

The collar is long from 38 to 42 cm, depending on neck size. Usually it look better on thin necks. The so-called princess necklace is longer: from 43 to 50 cm. In practice, it is not attached to the neck, but it goes down to the clavicle. The necklace is called matinee (was considered a good measure for the day) is even longer, 50 cm. It is an intermediate compared to necklaces that reach 55 cm and cover the neckline. Finally, there are the necklaces long, 60 cm and over. Are so-called sautoir or opera, very popular in the thirties. The necklaces even longer, from 80 centimeters per meter and beyond, are wrapped in two or more turns.

cane e collana
A neck that is not perfectly shaved is not suitable for a pearl choker
Una collana girocollo è indicata per chi ha un collo sottile
A choker necklace looks good on those with a thin neck

Pendants. A pendant large changes the look and balance of a necklace. In addition to the length, in short, one has to consider the aesthetic effect of the pendent.

Collana indossata
Piaget, necklace with Possession pendant worn

Choose the length. The length of the necklace must be proportionate to the height and body type. Necklaces court are not recommended for women curvilinear because accentuate the width. On the contrary, necklaces too long can accentuate an excessive thinness. Who has a big breast don’t needs a further emphasize of the shapes with a big necklace: better a jewel that is midway between the collarbone and neck. Who has a few curves can instead opt for a longer chain.

Jeux de Liens indossato
Chaumet, necklaces from the Jeux de Liens collection

Outfit. A short necklace is more formal. To evenings, ceremonies and official occasions better to opt for a chocker, since it is assumed to be worn with a neckline very high or above a high-necked dress. A necklace double or triple ride can be the right solution, but attention to the distance between a wire and the other. If it is a small chain or small beads, the lines can stand next to each other, if are bigger, better to keep a greater distance.


La lunghezza delle collane secondo le definizioni negli Usa. Misure in pollici
The length of the necklaces according to the definitions in the USA. Measurements in inches
Modella con collier di Jacob & co
Model with choker by Jacob & co. Copyright:
Tina Kunakey, con il collier in oro giallo e platino con diamanti taglio round e taglio baguette da 37 carati, originariamente realizzato da Jean Schlumberger per Tiffany & Co. nel 1956 e ricreato nel 1986 in occasione del 30° anniversario di Jean Schlumberger da Tiffany & Co.
Tina Kunakey wearing the 37-carat yellow gold and platinum baguette- and round-cut diamond necklace originally designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. in 1956 and recreated in 1986 for Jean Schlumberger’s 30th anniversary at Tiffany & Co. Co.

The palette of Campbellian

Fabulous stones, strong colors, magical combinations: here are the jewels of Bella Campbellian, specialist in unusual combinations ♦

Do you like earrings and rings with very colored gemstones? In this case the Campbellian Collection it’s for you. The brand was founded by an expert in physics, no less. But also passionate about dogs, who lives with her husband and son in New Jersey, USA. Her name is Bella Campbell and is the creative mind and founder of Campbellian. In addition to a Masters in Physics at the Georgia State University, she is an expert in marketing as well as gems, and began her career as Associate Buyer for The Fine Jewelry Department at Macy’s, New York.

Orecchini con pietra luna rainbow, zaffiri rosa, diamanti
Rainbow Moonstone and Pink Sapphire Earrings with Diamond Accent

It is easy to deduce the type of jewelry she offers: especially earrings and rings that shine thanks to the compositions of stones as Paraiba tourmaline, spinel, rubellite, tsavorite, tanzanite, moon stone, but also opal and zircon. Often these stones are chosen for their unusual color: as in the case of the stone blue moon or green garnets. There is also stones not very known as the grossular, this a stone that takes on different colors too. So, if the compositions of the jewels from a geometrical point of view are quite traditional, the one that stands out right away is, however, the coloring resulting from the combination of stones, often mounted on platinum. If you like the jewels that are immediately noticeable, then look at these pictures.

Anello con pietra luna arcobaleno e diamanti
ARainbow moonstone and diamond ring
Anello in oro bianco, rubellite, rubini, diamanti
Ring in white gold, rubellite, rubies, diamonds
Anello in platino e oro bianco con tormalina Paraiba e grossular
Ring in platinum and white gold with Paraiba tourmaline and grossular
Ciondolo in oro con diamanti, spinello rosa e viola, tormalina magenta
Gold pendant with diamonds, pink and purple spinel, magenta tourmaline
Orecchini in oro bianco, tormalina verde menta, granati champagne e verdi, tormalina neon, diamanti
Earrings in white gold, mint green tourmaline, champagne and green garnets, neon tourmaline, diamonds
Orecchini con pietra luna arcobaleno e zaffiro rosa, diamanti
Earrings with rainbow moonstone and pink sapphire, diamonds
Orecchini con rubini, diamanti, opale
Earrings with rubies, diamonds, opal
Orecchini in oro rosa con zirconi blu e diamanti
Rose gold earrings with blue zircons and diamonds

The treasures by Como Gioielli

Salvatore Como Gioielli, the virtuosity of the Valencia school.

Salvatore Como Gioielli is an artisan jewelery company created by Salvatore Scibetta. Goldsmith, jeweler, designer, after having worked for companies such as Santagostino, Crova and Cantamessa, Scibetta decided to set up on his own in 2007. Even if it is called with the name of a Lombard city, Salvatore Como Gioielli is based in Valenza, in the Italian luxury jewelry. Scibetta immediately put the accumulated experience to good use to design and produce unique pieces of the highest quality. But most of the production is towards other brands, which require the ability and experience of Como Gioielli.

Como Gioielli, aneli polpo e orecchini palla, in oro e zaffiri
Como Gioielli, octopus rings and ball earrings, in gold and sapphires

For example, the company is capable of producing pieces such as the emerald necklace in 18-karat white gold, with natural stones for 43 carats, emerald earrings in 18-karat white gold, the Margherita collection, with an adaptable multi-size ring in 18-karat white gold , diamonds, emeralds, rubies and natural sapphires. Finally, an 18-karat red gold slave bracelet with 22-carat natural white diamonds. Or the series of jewels inspired by the marine world, with octopuses and stars in gold, diamonds and sapphires: a work that only the most skilful Maisons can produce.

Anello Fucsia
Fuchsia ring
Orecchini Palla
Ball earrings
Anello a forma di polipo in oro rosa, diamanti e zaffiri rosa
Octopus-shaped ring in pink gold, diamonds and pink sapphires
Collana in oro e diamanti
Gold and diamond necklace
Bracciale in oro 750 e diamanti interamente eseguito a mano
Bracelet in 750 gold and diamonds entirely handmade
Bracciale in oro 750 e diamanti interamente eseguito a mano. Sottobracciale intercambiabile in pelle di galuchat
Bracelet in 750 gold and diamonds entirely handmade. Interchangeable under bracelet in galuchat leather

How to avoid allergies to nickel

Have you ever found marks on the skin where you have worn rings, necklaces or earrings? They could have been caused by nickel allergy. Here’s what you need to do to avoid nickel allergy ♦

Receiving a beautiful ring as a gift and not being able to wear it: the fault lies with the allergy. It often happens that a jewel, perhaps a favorite, turns out to be an enemy of the skin. The most common cause is nickel dermatitis, also called contact dermatitis, nickel allergy. The problem can arise at any time and at any age. Even jewelry that up to that moment has never caused irritation, can suddenly turn out to be harmful. Each individual human body reacts differently to nickel depending on tolerance and sensitivity level. Among other things, there are rare cases in which the allergy is also manifested by wearing gold or silver jewelry: but the most frequent cause is, also in this case, the nickel content present in bijoux. Pure gold and silver are metals too soft to be transformed into frames. Nickel has often been added, like zinc and copper, to make gold and silver more resistant and allow it to give the desired shape. In addition, the nickel gives a shiny effect. Zinc and copper do not damage the skin, which is instead more and more nickel.

Saranno gioielli a prova di dermatite?
Will it be dermatitis-proof jewels?

The dangerous metals. Keep in mind that 14-karat or 18-karat gold contains a greater amount of different metals than 24-karat gold, the only one that is completely pure. In short, the purer the gold, the less allergies it causes. Nickel is also used in jewelry in alloys with platinum and white gold. But platinum jewelry is quite expensive and, statistically, there are fewer cases of allergies, as it is rarer. In addition, platinum and white gold are also often reinforced with palladium, a metal that does not cause allergies. However, it is more expensive.

Bancarella di bijoux
Jewelery stall

Often the allergy is caused by the contact of the metal with the most sensitive layer of the skin, such as the hole in the nose or ear. Nickel penetrates through the skin into the bloodstream of the body. At this point the cells react to the nickel. Another cause that can give rise to allergies is sweat. When it is hot and the jewelry is worn for a long time, the skin sweats. Perspiration comes into contact with the metal of the jewelry, dissolves the nickel, and forms nickel salts. The salt reacts on contact with the skin and causes the allergy. It is commonly believed that women suffer more than men, but the number of men wearing jewelry is far less.

L'attrice e modella Kendall Jenner su Instagram con un enorme anello al naso
Actress and model Kendall Jenner on Instagram with a huge nose ring

Symptoms. Nickel allergy can cause blood loss, or swelling and the production of pus. In most cases, however, there is a constant itching or burning around the area where the skin has been in direct contact with the jewel. More rarely, allergic people find a blue tint on their finger after removing a ring, or a rash or red spots on the skin. Nickel allergy sufferers end up wearing only stainless steel jewelry. In fact, this metal also contains nickel, but it also does not leave it as it is hermetically held, it rarely comes in direct contact with the skin.

Orecchini di metallo con lega di nickel indossati
Worn nickel alloy metal earrings

Another enemy are the traces of soap and water under the jewels. The cleansers break the protective shield of the skin and allow the nickel to come into direct contact with the deeper layers. Earrings and rings are more likely to retain water droplets after a bath. Taking off your jewelry before washing is a useful precaution, especially when doing housework and hands being washed countless times. Detergents or other cleaning products that get under a ring can cause allergy. Unfortunately, there are no cures: dermatologists offer some medical treatments, but they are usually only effective for the short term. After some time, regardless of the treatment, the allergy reappears.

Dermatite da anello
Ring dermatitis

How to avoid allergy. If you really don’t want to do it, or if you forget to remove the rings, pass a layer of transparent nail polish inside the jewel: it can help avoid direct contact with the metal. Another precaution to avoid allergies can be to apply talcum powder before wearing the jewelry: in this way, humidity is avoided. Furthermore, those who fear an allergic reaction must be careful not to wear tight earrings, rings or chains: if the air passes through the jewel it is less likely that contact with the skin causes a reaction. Alternating jewelry more often reduces the risk. Finally, remember to keep the jewelry clean and dry. Those who are very sensitive to nickel can choose lacquered or palladium-plated jewelry.

Do you want to know what nickel is?
It seems the original name of this metal, nickel, derives from the Swedish word Nickel, diminutive of a proper name, Nicolaus. And in the tradition of the Nordic country Nicolaus was a name given to people of little value, but also to goblins. But metal has nothing to do with Henry Potter’s wizarding world. Nickel, or nickel, is a metal that was already used in the Bronze Age, over 3500 years ago, in the Middle East and China. In the West, nickel came into common use in the mid-eighteenth century, when Baron Axel Frederik Cronstedt, attempting to extract copper from a mineral, niccolite, obtained a white metal which he called nickel, a name that derives from the German Kupfernickel, that is, false copper, or from nickel (elf, little devil in German).

La moneta di nickel da 5 centesimi di dollaro con Thomas Jefferson
The 5 cent nickel (25%) coin featuring Thomas Jefferson

Why is it used?
Nickel is a white, silvery metal. It belongs to the iron group and is therefore hard, but also malleable, easy to work with. It is also appreciated in jewelery for the properties it gives when alloyed with gold, platinum or silver, especially because it gives strength and is resistant to corrosion.

Una moneta da 5 centesimi: contiene nickel
A 5 cent euro coin: contains nickel

Nickel, in addition to being present in many jewelry alloys together with gold, is used in a wide range of products. So if you have signs of allergy on your hands, maybe it’s not your earrings, but cutlery, watches, scissors, lighters, cell phones, doorknobs and even coins. And if you have marks on your neck, it is not certain that the cause is the necklace, but perhaps glasses, food and pots…

The first thing to do, in short, is to check with which metals you come in contact often.

But, be careful: maybe you do not know that nickel can also be hidden in cosmetics, personal hygiene products (such as hair dyes, toothpastes, shampoos, nail polishes). In this case hunting nickel is easier. Read the label well: the presence of nickel must be declared by the manufacturer, even if you may find it written in small letters. Finished? No: who is really very allergic also risks at the table. In fact, some foods naturally contain nickel, even if in very small quantities. In any case, if your allergy does not disappear, eliminate these foods.


Here are the forbidden foods:

blueberries, oats, buckwheat, walnuts and hazelnuts, broccoli, potatoes, baking powder, apricots, cabbage, spinach, peanuts, carrots, tomatoes, oysters, figs, onions, asparagus, lentils, whole wheat flour, beans, liquorice, cooked and raw pears, mushrooms, corn, lettuce, peas, almonds, tea, lobster, margarine, cocoa and chocolate, avocado.

Blueberries: good, but…

Fortunately, according to experts, only less than 20% of nickel allergies are caused or worsened by food. But if this is the case you have to eliminate these foods altogether for at least a month or a month and a half before you see a difference. In any case, do not worry, you do not risk starving.

Here are some foods without nickel:

radicchio, endive, fennel, aubergines, courgettes, peppers, cucumbers, beets, watermelon, melon, citrus fruits, peaches, bananas, strawberries, grapes, milk and dairy products, 00 flour, rice, meat, fish (but not mussels, clams, sea urchins and crustaceans), brewer’s yeast.

Ottimi peperoni
Great peppers

Last advices if you suffer from nickel allergy:

    • When you open the tap, run the water for a few minutes to remove any traces of nickel released from the pipes.
      If you are cooking a cake, use baking soda instead of baking powder to rise.
      Choose pyrex pots, glass, aluminum, unglazed pottery, silargan, teflon. This type of crockery prevents the release of nickel from cutlery or other utensils you use.

The Istanboulli dream

Since he was a child in Aleppo, Krikor Istanboulli has been interested in the goldsmith’s art. But his life led him to focus on the trade of precious stones: he began to trade gold and stones between East and West. Arrived in Italy he founded Art.Or, while his brother Arturo created another company, Krisonia, which is a portmanteau between his father’s name, Krikor, and his mother’s, Sonia. The love for jewels, however, did not abandon him and, having established his base in Milan, he founded Istanboulli Gioielli. Given his profession, he was able to supply his Maison with precious stones and gold capable of satisfying even a mahraja. Although he continues to lead the wholesale of precious stones, he has therefore developed a brand that uses the best materials.

Anello Volo in oro e diamanti venduto da Neiman Marcus
Volo ring in gold and diamonds sold by Neiman Marcus

Directing the flow of diamonds, rubies and emeralds is his son Vace, who graduated from GIA. In order not to miss anything, he has also become an expert in pearls, after spending six months working with an Akoya and South Sea wholesaler. He also spent some time in Antwerp, the capital of diamonds. In short, no improvisation, they are professionals here. Valuable help also comes from Zarmine, his daughter, who joined the company in 2003. She does marketing. In short, the work of the Istanboulli family is at the top and now their manufacturing and wholesale companies are among the largest in Italy.

Bracciale in oro rosa e zaffiri
Bracelet in rose gold and sapphires
Orecchini in oro giallo, diamanti e smeraldi
Earrings in yellow gold, diamonds and emeralds
Anello in oro giallo, diamanti e smeraldi
Ring in yellow gold, diamonds and emeralds
Anello in oro rosa e diamanti della collezione Anima
Anello in oro rosa e diamanti della collezione Anima
Vace Istanboulli
Vace Istanboulli

Van Cleef & Arpels, Belle de Jour

In the history of jewelry there is also a special necklace that has a special story: it’s called Belle de Jour and was made by Van Cleef & Arpels. It is an ad hoc creation. That is, it’s a custom-made necklace for a wealthy client. The name is not known. But for half a century, from 1930, it was admired solely and exclusively by its anonymous owner. Then, a few years ago, the client granted Van Cleef & Arples permission to reproduce it. And here it is in all its beauty.

Collana Belle de Jour indossata
Belle de Jour necklace worn

The necklace is one of 11 pieces in the Tresors Reveles collection, all created from sketches made in the house’s archives dating from 1920 to 1960. The jewel is extraordinary: it forms a drape that can also be worn on the shoulders. It is made of white gold, with over 100 carats of diamonds in various cuts, and interrupted with turquoise cabochons. The necklace can also be transformed into two bracelets, earrings or it can become a belt.

Collier Belle de Jour
Collier Belle de Jour

There is, however, one aspect that is less known. The secret history of the necklace. The name, Belle de Jour, refers to the novel written in 1929 by Joseph Kessel. Belle de Jour, Beautiful by day, then also became a film directed by Luis Buñuel in 1967, starring Catherine Deneuve. It is the story of a society woman who is a prostitute for three hours during the day. And she does it for herself, not to satisfy her desire for her or for money, but her existential restlessness, for a psychological discomfort. In short, the novel, and the film, are not a classic erotic novel, but also a journey into the psychological implications of the sexuality and loneliness of Séverine, the protagonist, who meets her clients every afternoon from 2 to 5 pm. At the time the book caused a scandal and, perhaps, also explains why in 1930 the client (and the recipient of the gift) remained anonymous. Maybe today belle de jour would be called escort and would like to let it be known, who knows…

Bozzetto della collana Belle de Jour
Sketch of the Belle de Jour necklace
Catherine Deneuve nel film Bella di Giorno
Catherine Deneuve in the movie Belle de Jour

Women willing to pay for their engagement ring

Would you, women, be willing to pay out of your pocket for the engagement ring? No? You are in the minority. There are many women who, to have an engagement ring, are ready to attack their bank account. For sure, for example, this is the opinion of the majority of English women. A study conducted long ago in Britain by the jewelry department of the TV channel Qvc (specializing in online sales) revealed that 54% of British women would be willing to contribute financially to the purchase of their engagement ring. For having one.

1 When do you give an engagement ring as a gift?
2 The 10 etiquette rules for the engagement ring
3 How to choose the engagement ring
4 Engagement ring: 5 things to know
5 Women dissatisfied with the engagement ring
6 Women willing to pay for their engagement ring
7 Colored Engagement Rings

Anello di fidanzamento
Engagement ring

Not only that: one in five women confessed to having purchased her own engagement ring herself. What’s the reason? Have men stopped having interest in women, so much so as not to show their love by spending on the ring? Fortunately, this is not the case. Rather, it is the difficult economic situation that makes it less easy for men to open their wallets to buy a ring with a brilliant, also because it has been calculated that the cost of a diamond ring corresponds on average to one or two monthly salaries.

L'anello di fidanzamento della regina Elisabetta II
Queen Elizabeth II’s engagement ring

Buying an engagement ring is not a simple expense. To this is added another factor: women are less and less satisfied with a ring with a 0.000001 carat diamond. On the contrary, they want a jewel to be proudly showing friends and relatives, with a clearly visible gem. But that type of rings, you know, are very expensive. This dissatisfaction pushes many women to enter a jewelry to choose the ring model to be inserted on the finger.

L'anello di fidanzamento di Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton’s engagement ring previously belonged to Diana

Another reason that often causes dissatisfaction is not only the size of the diamond, but also the model of the chosen ring. Although the classic white gold ring with a solitary diamond mounted at the top is the most common engagement ring, there is no shortage of women who have the desire to show off a different jewel, which is distinguished most. It should not be forgotten that the famous engagement ring given by the then Prince Charles (now king) to Diana Spencer was a ring with a large blue sapphire, which then ended up on Kate Middleton’s finger, now Princess of Cambridge.

Anello con brillante indossato
Ring with worn brilliant by Conte Diamonds

If you think you choose yourself the engagement ring, however, you must be careful not to ruin your relationship. The purchase of the ring is a delicate moment in life with two, which will remember for a long time, all life. If you don’t want your partner to choose the ring, however, avoid telling him that he would not be able to do it, that he has not understood your tastes or, worse, that it is economically inadequate. Better, however, present your choice as an intelligent solution not to waste money, to avoid waste of time or as an example of a role of less passive woman. It can be a less traumatic explanation and welcomed with serenity by the future husband.

Recarlo, anello della collezione Blue Carpet indossato
Worn Recarlo, ring from the Blue Carpet collection

Another technique to choose yourself the engagement ring, but pretending that he has chosen it, it is to bring your partner in front (casually) to the showcase of the jewelry that you have previously identified. Of course you have to be careful not to be too direct, but to make your tastes understand and that you would not mind taking a look at the jewel directly.

Fotografia d’epoca con l’indossatrice Serenella in abito di Emilio Schubert nel luglio del 1963 che, poco dopo aver sfilato alla Sala Bianca di Palazzo Pitti a Firenze, posa davanti alla vetrina di Bijoux Cascio in via Tornabuoni. Archivio Riccardo Cascio. Foto Locchi
Period photograph with the model Serenella in a dress by Emilio Schubert in July 1963 who, shortly after having shown in the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, poses in front of the Bijoux Cascio window in via Tornabuoni. Riccardo Cascio Archive. Photo Locchi
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