Tag Archives: sell diamond jewelry

8 Essential Black Friday Shopping Tips

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Shopping on Black Friday is clearly not for the faint at heart.  You’ve undoubtedly seen hideous videos of the masses literally trampling each other at various ‘Marts’ around the country, but the unfathomably succulent savings still call out to you, siren-like.  So, if you truly are ready to face the hordes of rapacious sale-mongers, please abide by these money, time (and possibly, life) saving tips.  

Know why you’re there.

Under no circumstances should you just saunter into the mall to “browse”; you’ll be shoved to the gleaming floor like a sack of leftover sweet potatoes.  Read up on the internet (and whatever promotional materials were mailed to you) about what sales are happening where.  Like a thrifty Santa, make a list and check it thrice; compare and contrast what certain stores are offering, online and off.  Here are some sites that actually compile the best Ebony Day After Thanksgiving options for you: bfads.net, DealNews.com, gottadeal.com, theblackfriday.com.

Get an early jump on it. 

Since the whole idea behind this day is for the stores to do stellar business (they’re obviously thinking quantity over quality), many businesses try to get a leg up by offering supreme deals before Friday even hits.  At this very moment, there are tons of shops that are offering beyond competitive deals in an effort to pre-beat out their competitors.  Do a quick search right now and possibly do some pre-emptive consuming; you may get the same low prices as on Friday and you won’t need to wear full contact football equipment to remain unscathed.   

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Even if a price looks good, it can be beat.

Don’t just fall prey to the first low marked item you see; just Google that guy and check if there are any better prices in the near vicinity.  You may be shocked to see that a competing retailer across the street is offering a way better deal – and even more surprised to learn that the store you’re currently in has a ‘match-price’ policy.  That means that if a warring chain offers an identical piece of merchandise at a lower price, they will meet that price right there on the spot, so you don’t have to burn precious gas and/or calories chasing it down.  Score! 

Loyalty pays.

If you have any shops that you frequent, there’s a good chance you can rack up points (aka ‘discounts’) by enrolling in whatever sort of rewards program they have.  If you’re the type of person who, understandably, doesn’t like filling out boring forms and receiving annoying promo emails, perhaps you should temporarily reconsider your position on the matter when dealing in this particular Black Friday milieu.  Rewards Members typically are given first dibs on B.F. deals, via discount codes and the like. 

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“Like” ‘Em.

Aside from mailing lists you may be on, you can also bolster your B.F. amalgamation of sale options by following and ‘liking’ certain brands on social media.  There’s a host of companies that offer extra special savings codes when you like, heart, retweet, tag, pin, hashtag, hashmark or hashbrown them.  

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Stick to it. 

Just as mentioned in our Holiday Savings Tips post, create a budget with strict limitations and do not deviate from it.  This is not the time to ‘see what’s out there’ and, heaven forfend, make impulse purchases.  

Don’t Accessorize. 

One of the ways that stores recover the money ‘lost’ during the feeding frenzy of low-priced B.F. items is by the inevitable ‘additional’ purchases that people make while in the store.  You’ve just saved 200 hundred smackers on a TV – but then, high on the adrenaline of having ‘saved so much,’ you turn around and buy a superfluous rotating wall mount that costs 300 dollars.  Be smart.  Know when you’re victorious and leave on a high note (like after winning a big hand in Vegas).  No extra items!

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Cheapest is sometimes just that…

Just because a particular piece is at a jaw-droopingly low rate doesn’t mean it’s going to be an intelligent purchase.  The manufacturers are acutely aware of what goes down on B.F., so they sometimes create products specifically for the day that resemble their fully functioning brothers, but are blatantly inferior in quality.  You’ll notice these can take the shape of electronics that do not come with all the features that their regularly priced counterparts offer, or dolls that are missing limbs.

So, prepare yourself for a whirlwind shopping experience for the ages.  Registers clamorously clanking along to the merry holiday tunes inundating your eardrums, elderly shoppers elbowing your ribcage and tryptophan infused lethargy will be no match for you if you stick to these tips.  Happy deal-sealing; let’s make this the blackest friday yet!  

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-Joe Leone

Alluring Jewelry Terms

(Starting with “A”)

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This is the first installment of a multi part series on the etymology of some of the more esoteric, unconventional and ancient phrases in the wondrous world of precious metal and gemstone-based jewelry.

À jour – much like ‘soup du jour,’ this term is extra fancy, and extra French; it means “to the day,” and is as delicious as a lobster bisque.  À jour is a type of jewelry setting that became intensely popular in the 1800’s (just like the sexy steam locomotive and the scintillating stereoscope) where the back of the piece is left open.  This is so the sun can hit it with luscious light and BAM: instant solar style, as the jewel shimmers with glowing glee and bright alacrity.

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À la mercure – Ok, this one can be mercurial (and lethal).  Like the name suggests, we’re dealing with actual mercury here.  It’s a type of ‘gilding’ where you meld gold and mercury into a deadly stew and then gently apply it to a jewelry piece (like you would with White-Out to a sensitive document).  Then you burn the heck out of it with a torch or, in a pinch, a lighter with a saucy burlesque dancer etched on to it.  The heat from the fire sizzles the mercury away, leaving behind a smooth golden finish (just don’t breathe while doing this, kids!)

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Aiguilettes – now commonly known as the name given to Christina Aguilera’s children, aiguilettes originally referred to thin little strips of material that held ribbons in place on women’s dresses in the 1400’s.  These stylishly ‘sharp’ items (derived from the French word for needle, “aguille”), became more and more fashionable and were eventually constructed from gold and featured various glittering gems.  They usually appeared in pairs, forming a small “v” or “bird in the distance in a painting” shapes.

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Allochromatic – just like the Allosaur that gets eaten in Jurassic World, this term has epic connotations.  The phrase “allochromatic” is applied to gems that exhibit a certain color…that is not what their chemical components dictate it should actually look like, but rather a hue which is purely visible due to the impurities therein.  Confused?  Good.  Here’s a nice example of allochroma in action: the highly valuable gemstone Sapphire.  Now, sapphire is blue, right?  Dead wrong! (as if you’ve been huffing mercury)  Sapphire is naturally a clear gem in it’s unadulterated state.  However, typically when it forms, iron and titanium particles get in there, alloying the true chemical composition.  These dirty little elements are what give sapphire that azure allure we know and heart.

Alluvial – this one is a little slippery: literally.  The phrase is really just an adjective meaning “deposited by water,” and in the jewelry universe this refers to precious metals (gold, silver, the Lord of the Rings ring) left behind in riverbed rocks.

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Amorphous – Honey Boo-Boo and Momma June jokes aside, amorphous things have no form at all.  What this means in gem terms, is that they are devoid of a “crystal structure.”  Popular gemstones such as amber and opal are amorphous, making them both great gifts for someone whom you want to express the message “Our love has no…form.”

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Arabesque – those who frequent hookah lounges will be familiar with the ornate and intricate style that is Arabesque.  Jewelry with extensive filigreed is often in the Arabesque category, which was definitely #trending during the 1500’s with the Renaissance art crowd.  Arabesque designs feature a lot of flowing flowers, hearts and in some rare cases, shawarma samples.

Archaeological Revival – this term is sort of self explanatory, but cool nonetheless.  When art loving Europeans of the 1700’s began digging stuff up from the Roman and Egyptian Empires, they fell in love with the style and started replicating it like mad.  Wearing a Cleopatra inspired golden asp headpiece became totally en vogue with the bourgeoisie crew.

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Argentan – if you receive a shiny silver gift with an intaglio on it proclaiming this word, then you have a right to be miffed.  It means that the metal is masquerading as actual silver, but, sadly, is not.  This information can be extremely useful when deciding whether or not to melt jewelry pieces down into bullets to combat attacking werewolves.

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Armilla – is just a super fancy word for an ‘armlet’ – a bracelet for the upper arm.  These have been around since the times when people fought lions with their bare hands for the entertainment of the masses (usually on the TNT network).  Roman soldiers wore these to signify rank, as well as for an excuse to show off their biceps.  Today, hordes of  inebriated girls wear them at Coachella.

Assay – is not that thing you had to write to get into college.  Assay is the procedure that jewelry items undergo to analyze the precise content of the precious metal they contain.  The results are often stamped right on the little guys (ie – “24 kt gold” or, in some less than fortunate cases, “100% tin foil”).

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Asterism – akin to the mighty asteroid, soaring through the cosmos, the concept of asterism is equally ephemeral and can scorch you if you attempt to grasp it.  …Well, not really.  It just signifies a star-like shape that forms when light hits certain, inclusion laden gems and then reflects out in said stellar fashion.  Basically, it’s like looking at a jewel-born asterisk*

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Aventurescence – if you are a gem and you possess this quality, it means you are ready for adventure!  …Or something to that effect.  When stones have aventurescence, they have an entirely unique brand of sparkle to them.  Gems that exhibit this property are chocked full of various mineral inclusions that are too hard to spell or pronounce (and in some cases, sound completely inappropriate).  Not a believer?  Just try to say “fuchsite” in polite society and see what happens.

-Joe Leone 

12 More Songs Featuring Diamonds!

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You loved our 11 songs about diamonds so much that we are treating you with another diamondy dozen!

1 – BeyonceFlawless – 2013

This musically modest journey into Beyonce’s psyche reveals just how she feels about herself: she wakes up each day and is already perfect.   Essentially, she is likening herself to an internally and externally flawless diamond (“D” color, ideal cut, “FL” clarity).  It’s nice when people have self confidence…overwhelming self confidence.

best diamond line:  “this diamond: flawless – my diamond: flawless – this rock: flawless”

2 – Paul SimonDiamonds on the Soles of her Shoes – 1986

A Carribean island inspired, feel good song about a poor suitor and a wealthy girl (she’s got diamonds literally on the bottom of her feet).  Critics have said this actually represents the diamond trade of South Africa, and the contentious relationship between the companies and workers (and the impact of apartheid).  Yet with Paul’s pleasantly melodious voice, everything seems happy here.

best diamond line:  “she’s got diamonds on the soles of her shoes, that’s one way to lose these walking blues.”

3 – Joan BaezDiamonds and Rust – 1975

The famed folk singer produced a very lovely ballad about her brief but passionate affair with then lover Bob Dylan.   The title refers to the dichotomy of their ephemeral relationship.  Kind of odd that this song would later be covered by the heavy metal band Judas Priest…

best diamond line:  “I’ll be damned; here comes your ghost again – it’s not unusual, just that the moon is full…”

4 – FabolousDiamonds ft. Young Jeezy – 2007

Little Wayne was originally supposed to appear on this track, but opted out because he vehemently protests the diamond trade industry…or maybe because Def Jam just wanted to have another of their artists on this diamond jam.  This song shows a direct correlation between wearing diamond encrusted chains and the ability to procure female companionship.

best diamond line:  

TIE:  “She saw my chain and she started relaxin’, now that’s what I call a dang* chain reaction.”

and  “lotta carats – not the ones Bugs Bunny snackin’ on.”

5 – Seals and CroftsDiamond Girl – 1973

Never heard of these two?  Neither had we, but this diamond ditty is fairly catchy and easy to listen to.   Compares a love interest to a shiny diamond (having external and internal beauty …these guys were known for their unparalleled originality…).  This soft rock duo broke up, got back together, disbanded again, and then..who really cares?

best diamond line:  “diamond girl; such a rare thing, radiant child “

6 – Kiss – Black Diamond  – 1975

Are you ready to rock?  Kiss proves to be ahead of their time yet again, as black diamonds have recently been crowed the “coolest.” LINK TO BLOG.  These guys may wear mime make-up, but they sure know how to croon in a rockin’ manner.  This song seems to be about some sort of lovely vagabond who dwells on the street, hence the ‘black diamond’ description.

best diamond line:  “Darkness will fall on the city, It seems to follow you too…”

7 – David BowieDiamond Dogs – 1974

DB is without a doubt a music/style innovator.  This album/title track is about a protagonist, Halloween Jack (possibly a pre-cursor to the Nightmare Before Christmas guy?) and his travels in a post apocalyptic Manhattan – where “Diamond Dogs” (greedy capitalists?) attempt to destroy him.  Among other things.  Definitely a cool term to use for any glittering, yet avaricious types.

best diamond line:  “The Diamond Dogs are poachers and they hide behind trees”

8 – Kylie MinogueWhite Diamond – 2010

This touching song chronicles some of the poignant experiences Kylie went though during her battle with cancer.  A white diamond perfectly symbolizes the strength and brilliance she exhibited during her fight.

best diamond line:  “I got the light that’s gonna treat you right and luminate what’s already there.”

9 – The Bird and the BeeDiamond Dave – 2009

This hipster indie duo released this track about the lady (Inara George) singer’s girlhood crush on David Lee Roth, formerly of the band Van Halen.  “Diamond Dave” was his nickname then, and the song fully explains how he truly was like a diamond: invaluable and completely unique.  The video features geek icons Eric Wareheim and one of the nerds from The Big Bang Theory unsuccessfully doing Diamond Dave impressions.

best diamond line:   “Pretty Dave, I still carry such a flame.”

10 – Ricki Lee – Raining Diamonds – 2011

This super um..upbeat, synth heavy tune by Aussie songstress Ricki Lee Coulter details her philosophy on love: regular affection is not good enough, it better be so intense that priceless gemstones fall from the sky.  Snarkiness aside…it’s pretty catchy.

“best” diamond line:  “Whoa Whoa Whoa – I know that love is more than just surviving; I need it raining diamonds.”

11 – Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)Four Little Diamonds – 1983

This song is the most direct, metaphor-free track on the list.  It’s about a girl who scammed him (the lead singer) into buying her a ring that had 4 little diamonds in it, then cheated on him and ran out like a scoundrel.  …Maybe if he had just gotten her one decent sized diamond…

best diamond line:  “I keep wonderin’ about her, day and night – She probably thinks I was a fool; she’s right.”

12 – Earl J. (Kit) CarsonBig Blue Diamonds – 1950

This oldie is about what most songs from this era are: heartbreak.  It’s simple and really aurally pleasing.  Kit basically wants to get his lady fair a diamond, a gigantic, azure one, to be precise.  Sadly though, he couldn’t afford her expensive tastes and she peaced out.  Aww (but you’re better without her, Kit.)  Many have covered this song over the years, but the original is still the best.

best diamond line:  “Big diamonds, big blue diamonds tell the story of the love that no one man could hold”

Enjoy this sparking batch – more to come!

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-Joe Leone