10 Fashion Tips & Tricks Every Girl Should Know

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Taylor Swift with lots of Diamonds

Taylor Swift swimming in diamonds.

When it comes to fashion and accessorizing, everyone has their own quick fix and anecdote of what’s hot and what’s not. But there are a few tips and tricks out there that no one can argue and our gem-fabulous team has put together a brief list just for you. With these little gems, you’ll be an overnight fashionista.

  1. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or have a 9 to 5, always dress for success. Dress for the position you want, not the position you have. Even if you’re already a CEO, dress like you’re aiming to become the CEO of a Multinational Corporation.
  2. Accessories are the focal point of any ensemble. Wearing jewelry can really elevate your look instantly.
  3. Always have a pair of crystal stud earrings in your jewelry collection. Whether fake or real, big or small, as they will go with any color, fabric, or style of cocktail dress or an everyday denim and tee ensemble. It’s the #1 go-to piece of jewelry.
  4. No matter what size you are, wearing well-fitted undergarments or shapewear, significantly enhances your silhouette.
  5. Always embrace your shape. Once you know which silhouettes flatter you, stick to those styles.
  6. Choose your best body part and show it off. So if its cleavage, don’t show your legs and if it’s your legs, stay covered on top.
  7. You don’t always have to match the color of your clothing with your accessories or shoes. Contrasting colors, shapes and patterns, make great clothing combinations and it saves you money because you don’t have to shop for new clothing often in order to create new looks.
  8. A lady should always carry a purse.
  9. Go from day to night easily, by snapping crystal clip-on earrings onto your flats for an instant evening shoe.
  10. Don’t leave the house until you like what you see — remember every angle matters. How you see yourself, determines how you carry yourself and that translates how people will perceive you.

 

**Image from Youtube

 

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August Birthstone: Peridot

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Joan Collins at the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing a Peridot Jewelry Set.

For those with August birthdays, peridot is a fitting birthstone because it’s said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, therefore, ensuring peace and happiness. Respectively, Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun.” Emphatically, because of its sparkling green hue that looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is known as “the evening emerald.” As well, it is said that babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

The signature green color of peridot comes from the composition of the mineral itself, instead of coming from trace impurities like many other gems. As a result, this is one of few stones that only come in one color. Yet, its shades can vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, contingent on how much iron is present in the stones composition. What’s more, the origin of the gem’s name is unclear but most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat, which means “gem.” However, some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, which means, “giving plenty.” Conceivably, this has to be the reason peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. Likewise, Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Peridot is a rare gem-quality variety that comes from the mineral olivine and its formed deep inside the earth’s mantle, which is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Famous for volcanoes, in Hawaii peridot symbolizes the tears of pele which is the volcano goddess of fire, who controls the flow of lava. In addition, although it’s rare peridot is also found inside meteorites.

On top, Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. Nevertheless, these gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island (Zabargad). Subsequently, in the 90s new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest Kashmir peridots ever found, weighing more than 100 carats. In any case, the San Carlos

Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona is where the most productive peridot deposit in the World is located. However, other sources are located in China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa. As a result, an estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supplies are found there. Equally important, peridot measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Perennially, there are some historians that believe Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have actually been peridot, as people confused these two green gems throughout medieval times. In addition, one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral is adorned with 200-carat gems that were long believed to be emeralds, however, they’re also peridots. Today, the world’s largest peridot is a 310-carat gem in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re purchasing a peridot for yourself or a loved one, you’re making an investment in a beautiful piece, that will stand the test of time, with fabulous statement pieces ranging from pendants to rings. Nevertheless, the gem is very durable and can compliment both special occasion looks as well as everyday ensembles in addition to flattering both warm and cool colors. Alas, besides being the August birthstone, Peridot is also used to celebrate the 16th year of marriage and makes the perfect gift that will leave others green with envy.

 

 

 

 

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July’s Birthstone: Ruby

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Victoria Beckham’s Ruby Engagement Ring.

For those fortunate with July birthdays, you’ve been royally graced with the birthstone Ruby. Ruby has been acclaimed as the king of precious gems and likewise, has been revered since ancient times. It’s symbolic for passion, protection, prosperity and the energy associated with the color red, which is said to bring love and success.

Accordingly, the name “Ruby” comes from the Latin word for red, rubeus. However, in ancient Sanskrit, the word ruby translated to ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” For that reason, these fiery gems have been treasured throughout history for their unequivocal vitality.

Colored by the element chromium, Ruby is a red variety of the mineral corundum. Nonetheless, all the other colors of gem-quality are however, called sapphire. Therefore, this means that color is clearly the key for this royal stone and harmoniously, the chromium that gives rubies its red color, in the same way, causes fluorescence. Thus, this makes rubies glow like a fire from within.

Ironically, chromium makes this gem scarce, because it can cause cracks and fissures. For that reason, few rubies grow large enough to crystallize into fine quality gems, as they can potentially be higher in price than diamonds. In fact, because of rubies toughness and durability, it measures 9 on the Mohs scale; therefore, diamonds are the only natural gemstone harder than a ruby. Successively, a Ruby’s strength and red fluorescence makes it valuable beyond jewelry. As a matter of fact, the first working laser was made from rubies in 1960. As well, they’re also used in watchmaking and for medical instruments.

Prized particularly in Asian countries, records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. As well, Chinese noblemen believed that rubies would grant them protection, so they adorned their armor with the gem. Similarly, they also buried rubies beneath building foundations to safeguard good fortune.

On the other hand, Hindus offered rubies to the god Krishna, as they believed they would be reborn as emperors. According to Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within a ruby burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Likewise, Greek legends also claimed that the ruby’s warmth could melt wax. Moreover, the gems deep red color has long been correlated with the life force and vitality of blood. That’s why, rubies are believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle.

The city Burma (currently known as Myanmar) has had a considerable ruby source since at least 600 AD. The warriors there believed that rubies made them invincible. As a result, they even implanted rubies into their skin in order to grant protection whenever they were in battle. Following this, in the 90s the Mong Hsu region of Myanmar began producing rubies after discovering that heat treatment improved the color saturation. Likewise, other ruby deposits exist in Vietnam, Thailand, India, parts of the Middle East, East Africa and even the United States.

Just like diamonds, rubies are evaluated using the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight), size and geographic origin. However, the most important feature of a ruby is its red color. The finest ruby is a vibrant purplish-red and rubies of lesser value lean toward brown, orange or even pink. For instance, the World’s most expensive gemstone other than a diamond is The Sunrise Ruby and in 2015 a 25.6-carat Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby was auctioned for nearly $30M, setting a new record price-per-carat.

Accordingly, if you’re purchasing a ruby for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a July birthday, symbolize passion, protection and prosperity or salute a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to feel powerful emotions of love.

Rihanna wearing a Chopard Ruby necklace.

Kelly Osbourne wearing Ruby earrings.

Shilpa Shetty wearing a Ruby jewelry set.

 

 

 

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June’s Birthstone: Pearl

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June's Birthstone

L to R – Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy & Coco Chanel wearing pearls.

For those with June birthdays, your birthstone is a one-of-a-kind stone, as it is the only gemstone made by a living creature. You’ve got it right; I’m talking about the ubiquitous, stunning and breathtakingly beautiful Pearl. Pearls are known as the queen of gems and have been coveted for centuries. They’re officially the world’s oldest gem and have been revered since long before written history.

Pearls are produced when layers of calcium carbonate are deposited around microscopic irritants, which get lodged into a Mollusks shell. It is commonly believed that production occurs when a grain of sand is lodged, but that’s just theory. Nonetheless, any shelled Mollusk can make a pearl, however, only two groups of Bivalve Mollusks or Clams use Mother-Of-Pearl to create the iridescent Nacreous Pearls. Thus, these pearls are highly valued when it comes to jewelry. To boot, these rare gems don’t even require polishing to reveal their natural unmatched luster, as the finest pearls are metallic and reflective like mirrors

The name “Pearl” is derived from the Old French word Perle, as well as the Latin word Perna meaning, “leg,” which references the leg-of-mutton shape of an open Mollusk shell. Furthermore, because the perfectly round shape and smoothness of natural pearls are typically uncommon, the word “Pearl” is oftentimes used to describe anything rare and valuable. For the same reason, in many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day.

The use of pearls dates back to Ancient Greece. They were used as adornments and believed to be tears of the gods. In fact, the oldest known pearl jewelry was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Persian Princess who died in 520 B.C. Respectively, it is now on display at the Louvre in Paris.

Likewise, the Ancient Japanese also considered pearls tears. Their folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures i.e. mermaids, nymphs — you name it. As well, early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth, and the dragon must be slain to claim the pearls, which ultimately symbolized wisdom.

On the other hand, various other cultures associated pearls with the moon. They called them “teardrops of the moon.” In addition, Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna (the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism) picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Throughout history, because natural pearls were so rare, only the rich echelon could afford them. As a result, during the Byzantine Empire, their rules dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear pearls. Likewise, Ancient Egyptians were often buried with their prized pearls. What’s more, in the sixteenth century Tudor England was known as the Pearl Age, because of its popularity with the upper class society. Hence, portraits typically showed royals wearing pearl jewelry and clothing adorned with pearls.

The rarest and most expensive pearls are natural pearls that are produced in the wild. Thus, the majority of pearls sold today are cultured or formed by implanting a grafted piece of shell or a round bead into pearl oysters or freshwater pearl mussels. Subsequently, cultured freshwater pearls can be dyed in various vivid colors, such as yellow, blue, brown, pink, purple or black. In spite of this, black pearls, which are mostly cultured because they are so rare in nature, aren’t actually black. In fact, they’re green, purple, blue or silver. What’s more, the absolute finest pearls have a reflective luster, which makes them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that yields many colorful intrinsic hues. Accordingly, pearls are very soft, ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale. In fact, they’re sensitive to extreme heat and acidity; actually, calcium carbonate is so susceptible to acid that pearls will dissolve in vinegar.

Conversely, at one point Pearls could be found all over the World. However, natural pearling has been confined to the waters of the Persian Gulf near Bahrain. As well, the World’s last remaining pearl diving fleet that still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean is located in Australia. Today, freshwater pearls are typically from China. In addition, the pearls cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia are South Sea pearls

Along these lines, in the early 1900s pearls became more accessible, when the first commercial culturing of saltwater pearls began in Asia. However, since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market, which made the gemstone affordable for nearly any budget.

Without reservation, one should be aware of imitation pearls or shell pearls. They’re made from conch shells or they’re glass coated with a solution containing fish scales. Evidently, rubbing two pearls together will reveal if they are smooth imitation stones, or if they feel gritty from the nacre that comprises natural and cultured pearls.

Many fashion icons have been known to wear pearls as signature statement pieces. Furthermore, Coco Chanel was rarely seen without a pile of pearls around her neck. One of her famous quotes is “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” As a matter of fact, she shocked society ladies by mixing real pearls with fakes and she teamed her pearls with casual daywear. As a result, because of her endorsement, costume jewelry became popular and many women wore imitation pearls made from Lucite or glass. In addition, Jackie Kennedy is another pearl-wearing icon whose signature triple strand pearl necklace actually consisted of imitation gems made from glass rather than the real deal. As well, Audrey Hepburn’s name is also synonymous with pearls, whether it’s a necklace or a pair of pearl earrings, subtly accentuating her features and ensembles.

Accordingly, if you’re purchasing pearls for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize a June birthday, venerate ancient symbols of purity and innocence or celebrate a bride-to-be or a 1st, 3rd, 12th or 30th anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to wear something glamorous yet luxurious.

 

 

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May’s Birthstone: Emerald

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The month of May has been graced with the highly sought after emerald as it’s the official birthstone. The emerald gemstone is a symbol of rebirth and its believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and youth. Prized for its luminous and alluring green color, emeralds are typically favored by celebrities and people of wealth, to wear as statement pieces to notable events.

The name emerald is derived from the word “smaragdus,” which means “green” in Greek. In fact, emeralds range in color from light green to a deep rich green. On the contrary, just like the aquamarine gemstone, emerald is a variety of beryl, which is a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. As well, just like aquamarine, an emeralds color can present itself in various hues, depending on its cut by a skilled gemologist. Cut is very important on an emerald, because it helps to maximize a desirable green color. Moreover, many emeralds are cut into an emerald shape, which helps to make a vivid looking stone with sparkle, while minimizing inclusions or fissures. In point of fact, most emeralds are heat treated to deepen or enhance the color. Therefore, the deeper or more green an emerald, the more valuable it is. Withal, the rarest emeralds will appear to be an intense green-blue hue.

Emeralds were mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old. The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewelry, and in their extravagant yet ornate burials, often burying emeralds with monarchs as symbols of protection. Actually, Cleopatra is the most famous historical figure to cherish emeralds. Historians say she even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign. At present, emeralds can be found all over the world, including countries like Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. However, the availability of high-quality emerald is limited; thus, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.

Additionally, It’s believed that emeralds have many mystical powers that accompany its luxe beauty. Likewise, some even thought emeralds could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. What’s more, it’s a great possibility that due to its soothing green color, it was also thought that emeralds could ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and serene.

Today, emeralds are a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured dearly by the receiver. It is widely prized by the rich and famous. In fact, Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald pendant given to her by her third husband Richard Burton, sold for $6.5 million in 2011. Accordingly, if you’re purchasing an emerald for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a May birthday, it’s known to bring in brilliance, love, liveliness, and empathy or salute a 20th wedding anniversary.

Jennifer Hudson wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2015 Oscars.

Victoria Beckham wearing an Emerald @ the 2007 Vanity Fair Academy Awards.

Beyonce Knowles-Carter wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.

Kim Kardashian wearing an Emerald necklace @ the 2010 Angels Ball.

Viola Davis wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2012 Oscars.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing an Emerald pendant necklace by BVLGARI.

 

**Images from Pinterest

 

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April’s Birthstone: Diamonds

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Celebrities wearing diamonds… (L to R Queen Latifah, Tyler Perry and Zoe Kravitz).

For those individuals born in April, you were truly born into a month of fortune, because the most prized birthstone belongs to this month and it’s none other than the ubiquitous Diamond. In fact, there’s an old saying that diamonds are a girls best friend; likewise, they’re a boy’s best friend too. Hence, that’s why a diamond is universally recognized as a token of wealth, power, and romance.

Historically, diamonds first became a popular gemstone in India, when the Moghuls and Imperial Colony could easily mine diamonds from deposits along three of their major rivers. As a matter of fact, some historians estimate it was traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it’s so admired and valued is because of the assiduous process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, and then forced upward until it is uncovered.

Nevertheless, before the process was understood, many ancient civilizations believed that diamonds were lighting made real on earth. Perhaps this is the reason that diamonds have often been associated with extraordinary healing powers. What’s more, is many thought diamonds could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.

Diamonds are the hardest gemstone and it’s made of just one element, which is carbon. Its structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature and can only be cut with another diamond. Diamonds come in several colors, including but not limited to: yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. In fact, diamonds sparkling with intense color are rare and may be priced higher than a colorless diamond of equal size because lavish-colored diamonds are very desirable. These colors are oftentimes introduced in a laboratory; and as a result, these are correctly called color-treated diamonds.

Today, the diamond is most widely known as the stone to give as part of an engagement ring. Throughout history, however, the diamond has nearly always symbolized eternal and lasting love. Therefore, the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. So whether you’re celebrating an April birthday, a 60th or 75th wedding anniversary, you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, giving a diamond means giving a perfectly beautiful gift that will truly stand the test of time as the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism.

**Images from martinkatz.com

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March’s Birthstone: Aquamarine

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If you’re a March baby, you were born during the most superior month of the year. March’s gemstone is the fabulous Aquamarine and it’s known particularly for its serene blue or blue-green color, which actually invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name Aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. Likewise, is it said that wearing Aquamarine cools the temper and allows the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.

The Aquamarine gemstone is actually a variety of a mineral called Beryl. In fact, large stones have been found all over the world, including one mega stone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.

Aquamarine is usually light in tone and ranges from greenish-blue to blue-green. However, the color is usually more intense in larger stones, therefore, darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but can also be found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

Historically, this gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as guaranteeing safe voyages. The Romans believed that if you carved a frog into a piece of aquamarine jewelry, it would help to reconcile differences between enemies and make new friends. As well, other groups used aquamarine as gifts to the bride at a wedding in order to symbolize long unity and love. Some even believed it could re-awaken love between two people.

Withal, not only is Aquamarine the March birthstone, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone that looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones. Furthermore, its been worn by royalty. The late Princess Diana had a famous aquamarine ring and bracelet set, and the Queen has a breathtaking set of aquamarine jewels that include a large tiara, necklace, earrings, and bracelet. Accordingly, if you’re purchasing a Aquamarine for yourself or a loved one the symbolism or sentiment behind the purchase will make the gemstone priceless to the wearer.

The Queen wearing the Brazilian Aquamarine Parure Tiara

Princess Diana wearing her infamous Aquamarine bracelet and ring.

 

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February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

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Celebrities wearing amethyst jewelry

Actress Zoe Saldana wearing a Lorraine Schwartz ring at the Academy Awards in 2010.

For those with February birthdays, Amethyst is a fitting birthstone because it’s associated with qualities of peace, courage and stability. Since the month of February is typically cold, dark and short in most regions Worldwide, it’s the ideal gem for individuals who need a little extra warmth and strength around this time of year.

Amethyst is a purple quartz gem with a blend of violet and red. It’s most commonly recognized to be a purple color, however, the gemstone can range from a light pink violet to a deep purple that can read more blue or red, depending on the lighting. Oftentimes, even the same stone can have different layers or color variants. Therefore, the way the gemstone is cut, plays an important role in the way the color shows on a finished piece.

The name Amethyst is Ancient Greek and it’s derived from the word methustos, which means intoxicated. To boot, Ancient wearers believed the gemstone could protect them from drunkenness. As well, it has been associated with many myths, legends, religions and numerous cultures. There’s even been historical accounts’ saying that Saint Valentine owned an Amethyst ring carved with an image of cupid. In addition, in the Old Testament, Amethyst was one of the twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. As well, ancient Greeks and Romans believe that Amethyst keeps the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted.

For quite some time, Amethyst was considered one of the most precious gemstones, and it was held in the same regard as the diamond. Additionally, it was favored by royalty or exclusively by the clergy as a symbol for the diety of Christ. English regalia were even decorated with Amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty and wealth. Amethyst jewelry has been found and dated as early as 2000 BC. Many historical wearers of amethyst were said to have prized the gem for its symbolism as well as its beauty. Even the legendary Leonard da Vinci once said that amethyst helps to quicken intelligence and get rid of evil thoughts.

Today, Amethyst can be found all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Brazil and Zambia. The gems hardness is a 7 on the Mohs scale, which is the same as other quartz, making this gem a durable and lasting option for jewelry. For that reason, with all these chronicles, Amethyst is ideally the best gem to represent February.

Whether you’re purchasing an amethyst for yourself or a loved one, you’re making an investment in a beautiful piece, that will stand the test of time, with fabulous statement pieces ranging from pendants to rings. Nevertheless, the gem is very durable and can compliment both special occasion looks as well as everyday ensembles, in addition to flattering both warm and cool colors. Alas, besides being the February birthstone, Amethyst is also used to celebrate the 6th and 17th year of marriage and the wearer gets to bask in the allure of beauty and clarity.

 

 

 

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Sparkle In Love: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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The Wades, The Obamas and Oprah & Stedman

It’s finally February, the month of love, love and more love. If you’re anything like me you’ve come to a point, where you want to be wowed with an over-the-top present, that’ll send your social media followers into an “ooh and ahh” frenzy. So let’s face it, drugstore chocolates are pretty much a cliché, flowers wilt pretty fast, balloons deflate in no time and stuffed animals eventually got tossed to the side. While super sweet and with the greatest of intentions, those gifts are definitely not revolutionary. I mean they’re cute, but why not gift something that lets love sparkle. Trust me! Everyone globally is secretly screaming “Valentine, please note that jewelry & accessories are truly the key to my heart.”

Now that I’ve revealed our secret, I’ve gone ahead a created a gifting solution by putting together a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide of glimmer and gleam for men, women and children. Hey! why not celebrate love with something that makes a big impact with a shelf life longer than a week. Likewise, we all know the best statements are made through the expression of jewelry. Anywho! be sure to take my foolish advice and leave this blog open, there’s nothing wrong with being conspicuous, so you can get your sparkle on.

Here’s to celebrating love…

 

Click here for our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

 

 

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