21 March 2019

FEBRUARY BIRTHSTONES – AMETHYST  The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings. Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.
Mineral: Quartz;
Chemistry: SiO2;
Color: Purple;
Refractive Index: 1.544 to 1.553;
Birefringence: 0.009;
Specific Gravity: 2.66;
Mohs Hardness: 7;
COLOR: The finest amethyst color is strong reddish purple to purple with no visible color zoning;
CLARITY: Most amethyst doesn’t have inclusions you can see without magnification;
CUT: Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard calibrated shapes, including rounds and ovals;
CARAT WEIGHT: Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewelry styles~21.jpg

20 March 2019

JANUARY BIRTHSTONES – GARNET  are a set of closely related minerals forming a group, with gemstones in almost every color. Red garnets have a long history, but modern gem buyers can pick from a rich palette of garnet colors: greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds, and even some blues. Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, is rarer and needs rarer rock chemistries and conditions to form.
Mineral: Garnet group;
Chemistry:
Almandine- Fe3Al2(SiO4)3;
Andradite- Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3;
Grossular- Ca3Al2(SiO4)3;
Pyrope- Mg3Al2(SiO4)3;
Rhodolite- (Mg, Fe)3Al2(SiO4)3;
Spessartine- Mn3Al2(SiO4)3;
Color: All colors;
Refractive index: 1.714-1.888;
Birefringence: None;
Specific gravity: 3.47-4.15;
Mohs harness: 6.5-7.5;
COLOR: Garnet includes affordable dark red varieties, rare and valuable greens, and many colors in between;
CLARITY: Garnet clarity often depends on garnet type. Red garnets often don’t have eye-visible inclusions;
CUT: Many garnets are cut into standard shapes and calibrated sizes to allow setting into manufactured jewelry;
CARAT WEIGHT: Garnets can be found in all sizes and weights, although some varieties are rare in large sizes~20.jpg

19 March 2019

MR SQUIGGLE 60TH ANNIVERSARY 2019 UNCIRCULATED 7-COIN SET Celebrate the 60th anniversary of one of ABC Television’s favourite characters with the Mr Squiggle 60th Anniversary 7-coin set. Featuring six current Australian coins and a special edition 1c coin, the 60th Anniversary Mr Squiggle 7-coin set features all your favourite characters.
COLOURED $2 AUSTRALIAN COINS EACH COLOURED TWO DOLLAR COIN FEATURES:
Mr Squiggle;
Blackboard;
Gus the Snail;
Bill the Steam Shovel;
$1 AUSTRALIAN COINS EACH ONE DOLLAR COIN FEATURES:
Mr Squiggle;
Rocket Ship;
SPECIAL EDITION 1C AUSTRALIAN COIN:
Features Mr Squiggle’s home – the Moon~19.jpg

18 March 2019

IKEA VESKEN WHITE SHELF UNIT Assemble the shelf unit quickly and easily by clicking the parts together without any tools. Everything stays in place, from your shampoo and conditioner to sponges, as the shelf has high edges on all sides.
Size: 36x23x100 cm;
Designer: David Wahl~18.jpg

17 March 2019

LET’S EAT FRANCE! 1,250 specialty foods, 375 iconic recipes, 350 topics, 260 personalities, plus hundreds of maps, charts, tricks, tips, and anecdotes and everything else you want to know about the food of France. There’s never been a book about food like Let’s Eat France! A book that feels literally larger than life, it is a feast for food lovers and Francophiles, combining the completist virtues of an encyclopedia and the obsessive visual pleasures of infographics with an enthusiast’s unbridled joy.
Here are classic recipes, including how to make a pot-au-feu, eight essential composed salads, pâté en croûte, blanquette de veau, choucroute, and the best ratatouille. Profiles of French food icons like Colette and Curnonsky, Brillat-Savarin and Bocuse, the Troigros dynasty and Victor Hugo. A region-by-region index of each area’s famed cheeses, charcuterie, and recipes. Poster-size guides to the breads of France, the wines of France, the oysters of France—even the frites of France. You’ll meet endive, the belle of the north; discover the croissant timeline; understand the art of tartare; find a chart of wine bottle sizes, from the tiny split to the Nebuchadnezzar (the equivalent of 20 standard bottles); and follow the family tree of French sauces.
Adding to the overall delight of the book is the random arrangement of its content (a tutorial on mayonnaise is next to a list of places where Balzac ate), making each page a found treasure. It’s a book you’ll open anywhere—and never want to close~17.jpg

16 March 2019

DIAMOND SHAPE Since all diamond cut styles are very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape.
Radiant-Cut Diamond:
Trimmed corners are the signature of this diamond, and they help make the radiant-cut a popular and versatile choice for jewellery. A radiant-cut looks equally beautiful set with either baguette or round side-diamonds. Radiant-cut diamonds can vary in their degree of rectangularity. To find the dimension of radiant you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top. For a radiant diamond shape that is square, look for length-to-width ratios between 1 and 1.05. If you prefer more of a rectangular shape, look for length-to-width ratios greater than 1.10;
Pear-Shaped Diamond:
This brilliant-cut diamond is also called a teardrop for its single point and rounded end. The unique look of the pear shape helps make it a popular choice for a variety of diamond jewellery. If you choose an elongated pear shape, the length of the diamond creates a subtle slimming effect on the fingers. To understand what the pear-shaped diamond will look like when viewing it from above, look for the length-to-width ratio on each diamond’s detail page. For the most traditional pear-shaped diamond, look for a length-to-width ratio between 1.45 and 1.75;
Cushion-Cut Diamond:
This unique shape has been popular for more than a century. Cushion-cut diamonds (also known as “pillow-cut” diamonds) have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. These larger facets highlight the diamond’s clarity, so if you choose an SI clarity grade, be sure to review the clarity plot on the diamond certificate. Cushion-cut diamonds are available in shapes ranging from square to rectangular. To find the dimension of cushion diamond you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top. For a cushion-cut diamond that is square, look for length-to-width ratios between 1 and 1.05. If you prefer more of a rectangular shape, look for length-to-width ratios greater than 1.15~16.jpg

15 March 2019

DIAMOND SHAPE Since all diamond cut styles are very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape.
Asscher-Cut Diamond:
This beautifully unique shape is nearly identical to the emerald-cut, except that it is square. Also, the Asscher-cut diamond shape has a pavilion that is cut with rectangular facets in the same style as the emerald-cut. If you choose SI-clarity be sure to view the clarity plot on the diamond certificate, because this shape highlights the clarity of the diamond. When choosing a colour grade, consider that while the price of a J-colour non-round diamond is exceptional, colour may be slightly visible in its corners. All Asscher-cut diamonds from Blue Nile will appear square, because each one is guaranteed to have a length-to-width ratio between 1.00 and 1.05;
Marquise-Cut Diamond:
The shape of a marquise diamond can maximise carat weight, giving you a much larger-looking diamond. This brilliant-cut diamond looks beautiful set with round or pear-shaped side stones, and the length of the marquise diamond makes fingers appear long and slender. To find the dimension of marquise you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top. For the most traditional marquise-cut diamonds, look for length-to-width ratios between 1.75 and 2.25;
Oval-Cut Diamond:
An oval diamond has beautiful brilliance that’s similar to a round diamond. Oval diamonds are also very popular as their length can accentuate long, slender fingers. To find the dimension of oval you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. The length-to-width ratio will determine the oval diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top. For the most traditional oval-cut diamonds, look for length-to-width ratios between 1.33 and 1.66~15.jpg

14 March 2019

DIAMOND SHAPE Since all diamond cut styles are very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape.
Round-Cut Diamond:
The round brilliant cut diamond is by far the most popular and most researched diamond shape available today. For almost 100 years, diamond cutters have been using advanced theories of light behaviour and precise mathematical calculations to optimise the fire and brilliance in a round diamond. In addition to being the most popular and researched shape, round-cut diamonds will typically give you more flexibility in terms of balancing cut, colour, and clarity grades while still getting the fire and brilliance you want. To maximise the brilliance of a traditional round diamond, select one in the two highest cut grades, ideal or very good, and choose ideal, excellent, or very good polish and symmetry grades. For a round diamond with superior sparkle, consider an Astor by Blue Nile™;
Princess-Cut Diamond:
This is our most popular non-round diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes the princess-cut diamond a favourite for engagement rings. The princess has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape. When choosing a colour grade, consider that while the price of a J-colour non-round diamond is exceptional, colour may be slightly visible in its corners. Also, princess-cut diamonds can vary greatly in how square or rectangular they are. To find the dimension of princess you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. This will determine what the diamond will look like when viewing it from above. Here are length-to-width ratios for princess-cut diamond shapes that are pleasing to the eye. For a princess diamond shape that is square, look for length-to-width ratios between 1 and 1.05. If you prefer more of a rectangular shape, look for length-to-width ratios greater than 1.10. For a princess diamond with superior sparkle, consider an Astor by Blue Nile™diamond;
Emerald-Cut Diamond:
What makes the emerald diamond shape different is its pavilion, which is cut with rectangular facets to create a unique optical appearance. Due to its larger, open table, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond. If you choose an emerald-cut diamond with a lower clarity grade, such as SI, be sure to review the clarity plot on the diamond certificate. Also, emerald-cut diamonds can vary greatly in how rectangular they are. If you’d prefer an emerald cut with a squared outline, look for an Asscher-cut diamond. To find the shape of emerald diamond you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in our interactive diamond search and on each diamond’s detail page. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top. For the classic emerald-cut shape, look for a length-to-width ratio between 1.30 and 1.40~14.jpg

 

13 March 2019

DIAMOND CARAT is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond’s weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond’s cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut;
A Diamond’s Top Diameter:
It is important to measure, in millimeters, the distance across the top (diameter) of the diamond as this is how it is viewed when set into a ring;
A Diamond’s Cut Grade:
A diamond’s cut grade should also be considered. When a diamond is well cut (grades Very Good or higher), the light reflected out of the top making it appear larger;
How do these two Carat Weight factors help when purchasing a diamond:
The diamond’s diameter and cut grade reveal that smaller carat weight diamonds will appear larger with higher cut grades (Very Good and Ideal). On the flip side, a larger carat weight diamond could appear smaller with lower cut grades (Good, Fair and Poor)~13.jpg

12 March 2019

DIAMOND CLARITY is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades. Clarity is one of the 4Cs of diamond grading and quality. Diamond clarity is the least important factor when choosing to buy a diamond because most diamonds have blemishes and small inclusions that are microscopic, unable to be seen with an untrained or unaided eye.
Flawless (FL) Diamonds:
Inclusions and blemishes aren’t visible on flawless diamonds, even under 10x magnification. Less than 1% of all diamonds are FL clarity. A flawless diamond is incredibly rare because it’s nearly impossible to find a diamond 100% free of inclusions. Six percent of customers buy FL diamonds;
Internally Flawless (IF) Diamonds:
Inclusions aren’t visible in internally flawless diamonds under 10x magnification. Some small surface blemishes may be visible on IF diamonds. Six percent of customers buy IF diamonds;
VVS1, VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included (VVS) Diamonds:
VVS diamonds have miniscule inclusions that are difficult even for trained eyes to see under 10x magnification. VVS2 clarity diamonds have slightly more inclusions than the VVS1 grade. A VVS diamond is an excellent quality diamond and clarity grade. Twenty-one percent of customers buy VVS diamonds;
VS1, VS2 Very Slightly Included (VS) Diamonds:
VS diamonds have minor inclusions that cannot be seen without 10x magnification. VS1 is a higher clarity grade than VS2, which may have some visible inclusions. A VS grade diamond is less expensive than a VVS diamond. Forty-three percent of customers buy VS diamonds;
SI2, SI1 Slightly Included (SI) Diamonds:
Inclusions are noticeable at 10x magnification with SI diamonds, the best value diamonds. With SI1 diamonds, inclusions are sometimes visible to the keen eye without magnification. SI2 clarity grade diamond inclusions are usually visible from the pavilion, or cone-shaped lower portion, and from the top. Thirty percent of all diamond customers buy SI diamonds;
I1 Included Diamonds:
I1 diamonds have minor inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye. Blue Nile offers a limited selection of jewellery preset with I1 diamonds;
I2, I3 Heavily Included Diamonds:
I2 and I3 diamonds may have more obvious inclusions at 10x and may be visible to the naked eye. Blue Nile does not carry I2 or I3 diamonds~12.jpg