Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to buy a Pearl

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How to buy a Pearl

A number of factors affect the appraisal of pearl quality. We recommend that customers learn the basics of selecting fine pearls to make pearl buying an enjoyable experience and to ensure a sound investment.

Pearls Size
Pearl size is mostly determined by two factors: the size of the implanted nucleus and the thickness of the nacre that grows layer upon layer around the nucleus. A large cultured pearl that lacks nacre thickness has a low value, and tends to discolor and crack fairly easily. A pearl with a thick nacre coating will retain its luster and beauty for a lifetime when properly cared for. For pearls of similar quality, the most important other determinant of price is the size of the pearl. The size is generally measured in millimeters.

Pearls Shape
Perfectly round cultured pearls are the rarest. Although most cultured pearls are nearly round, only about 1% is perfectly spherical. To check a strand for roundness, roll it across a flat surface. The strand should move evenly and smoothly.

Pearls Luster
Luster refers to the surface property that imbues cultured pearls with their shine and beauty. When checking pearls for luster, view them while standing with your back to a source of light. The sharper your reflection on the surface of the pearl, the higher is the luster and the better the quality.

Pearls Color
Pearls come in a variety of shades, with the major classifications being white, pink, silver, cream, gold, and black. Choice pearls also have a secondary color, or “overtone”, around the surface of the pearl. These overtones are usually rose, green or blue. The color should emanate from deep within the center of the pearl. All the pearls in a strand should be consistent in color.

Pearls Surface
Just as with any product of nature, all cultured pearls have minor imperfections. A quality cultured pearl is free of large pits or blemishes.

Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are cultivated using Pinctada Fukata oysters. Although most Akoya pearls are cultivated in Japan, they are also cultured in the tropical waters off the coast of Korea and China and southward as far as Sri Lanka. Akoya pearls are from two to ten millimeters in size, and their shape is typically round or off-round. Colors range from pink to white and yellow. Typically pearls are harvested after about eighteen months to three years of cultivation, reaching about 0.5 mm in diameter after eighteen months in the host oyster. Akoya pearls are renowned for their high luster and rich color.


Tahitian Black Pearls
Tahitian Black pearls are cultivated from Pinctada Margaritifera oysters (black lip oysters) found in French Polynesian waters. Black South Sea pearls come in a wide range of colors from silver / gray, blue, and red / eggplant to dark green, with peacock being the most valuable. Cultivation time averages about two years. Tahitian pearls have long been highly prized by many cultures for their exotic colors and brilliant luster.

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How To Choose A Pearl

Pearls are considered nature’s gemstones and are perfect for inclusion in fine jewelry. Harvested from oysters, pearls are chosen in a similar fashion to other gemstones, including diamonds. When looking to purchase a pearl, follow the following seven tips in order to find the best pearl for your money.

1.) Color
Although you may think of pearls being creamy or off-white in color, pearls actually come in a wide array of colors. Pearls can range in color from rare black pearls to pure white pearls, and every color in between. By far, the most popular colors for pearls are white, cream, yellow and pink. Tahitian pearls are black, blue, grey, or even silver in color, and tend to be more expensive than the afore-mentioned lighter colors, but it should be kept in mind that no color is considered better than another. When choosing a color of a pearl, consider your personal tastes and even skin tone to determine what color of pearl is the best pick for you.

When examining pearls, place the pearls on a white or off-white background to best see the true color. Often, stores will place the pearls on a black velvet tray to provide the most impact, but the dark color could prevent you from seeing the true quality of the color.

Most pearls are natural colors, but some are dyed. Dyed pearls are generally less expensive than naturally colored pearls, so take the color into careful consideration when buying.

2.) Luster
The luster of the pearl is the quality of the reflective surface on the outermost layer of the pearl. This luster is quite important when choosing a quality pearl, and generally speaking, the higher the luster is an indication of a higher quality pearl.

3.) Coating
Pearls are made of different layers of nacre, a solution the oyster secretes to protect its delicate interior from an irritant, often a simple grain of sand. The coating of the pearl is the outermost layer of nacre and should be thick enough to protect the pearl. Usually, coating and luster go hand in hand, with the thickness of the coating directly affecting the quality of the luster. Pearls with a thin coating are more likely to chip, are not as durable, and often appear dull.

4.) Surface
The surface of the pearl should be smooth without any ridges, bumps, or pits. The higher quality of a pearl will have a smooth surface that will enable the light the light to properly reflect and showcase the color and luster of the pearl. Also, avoid any pearls with blemishes on the surface.

5.) Shape
Although most pearls are round, that is not the only shape of pearl available. That being said, round pearls should indeed to completely round. The different shapes of pearls available are:

• Round
• Semi round
• Off round
• Baroque

Generally speaking, round pearls are worth the most, with semi round, off round, and Baroque being valued less with each category. Usually cultured pearls are considered round with freshwater pearls more odd shaped.

6.) Size
Size in pearls is measured in millimeters. In pearl necklaces where each pearl is approximately the same size, the measurement is limited to a range, such as 7x7.5mm, meaning the pearls in the strand are between seven and seven and one-half millimeters in size. Usually, the larger the size of the pearl, the more expensive the price tag. However, the other factors still come into play.

7.) Setting
Pearls are set by drilling through the pearl to tie on a strand for a necklace or top mounted for other pieces of jewelry. When choosing the setting, ensure the setting itself is of good quality and the pearl is appropriately set. This is critical when choosing a necklace, since a pearl that is drilled off center will cause it to hang awkwardly on the strand.
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How To Choose A Pearl Necklace For Your Wedding Day

There is nothing more beautiful to complement a wedding dress than a stunning strand of pearls. This traditional wedding jewelry is more popular than ever, with brides using all styles of pearl jewelry to add that finishing touch to their bridal ensemble. In addition to looking fabulous, wearing a pearl necklace on your wedding day has historically been known as a good luck charm, promising to bring the marriage years of happiness.

When choosing a pearl necklace for your big day, there are four main issues to evaluate. These issues will ensure your necklace and any other accessories complement your dress and add to instead of diminish your beauty.

1.) Color: The color of the pearl is usually the most noticeable aspect of any pearl jewelry. Pearls come in colors ranging from traditional white and off-white to pink, black, grey, and even silver. When choosing the color of your pearl necklace, be sure to think of your skin tone and dress. The color should accentuate your outfit and make the ensemble complete, so choose wisely for a color that you can wear on your wedding day and for many days to come.

2.) Size: Pearls come in several different sizes and are either strung for a necklace in a similar range or in a graduated range. Choose a size of pearl that matches your proportions, as well as that of your dress. Size of the pearl directly affects another issue to keep in mind, the length of the strand.

3.) Length: Pearl necklaces are available in several lengths:

• Collar (12 – 13 inches)
• Choker (14 – 16 inches)
• Princess (17 – 19 inches)
• Matinee (20 – 25 inches)
• Opera (26 – 36 inches)
• Rope (over 37 inches)

The difference in length directly depends on the style of your dress. The most popular lengths of pearl necklaces are the princess length and the opera length. Avoid wearing the longer lengths of pearls over heavily beaded or decorated dresses, as the impact of the pearls may be lost. You may need to try on several lengths to see how each individual strand fits your body.

4.) Additions: Many brides are choosing to forego the traditional strand of pearls and add diamonds or other gemstones to a necklace setting. This is a great idea if you have a preexisting pendant mount of heirloom gemstone you wish to include in your jewelry. Also, many brides are using an illusion or floating setting for a single or several pearls. This setting gives the pearl the appearance of floating weightlessly around the wearer’s neck, giving a more modern feel to this traditional element.

Gemstones

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Gemstone Earring: One Small Way to Express Your Individuality

Some people have specific color preferences while some people also like only specific stones, and are energized by being around them. Gemstone earrings exist so that people may be able to select their jewelry based on their own preferences, and customize their accessories according to their desires.

Experts in psychic phenomena believe that each gemstone stands for something. Certain stones perform certain functions, or encourage a specific aspect of one's personality. For example, wearing garnet is said to help ease the pain of a bad breakup, or cause jealousy between lovers. Amethyst is said to protect its wearer against the ill effects of alcohol, slow down intoxication and prevent hangovers. Turquoise is said to give emotional strength. Jade has always had enormous importance in Asian civilization; it is said to have the mystical power to protect its wearer against nightmares and other psychic attacks.

Diamond -- currently the hardest mineral known to man -- is said to stand for strength and purity, which is why it is in demand in gemstone earrings among both men and women. Emeralds are said to stand for harmony, strength of heart, and luck with love. Emeralds themselves are rare, and the extremely rare red emerald is said to be even more valuable than diamonds. Sapphires stand for wisdom, calm and faith. Finally, rubies stand for passion, excitement, loyalty and sexual pleasure.

Gemstone earrings may also stand for birth months, as some precious and semi-precious stones are also birthstones. The different birthstones per month are listed thus:

* January - Garnet
* February - Amethyst
* March - Aquamarine or Bloodstone
* April - Diamond
* May - Emerald
* June - Pearl, Moonstone or Alexandrite
* July - Ruby
* August - Peridot or Sardonyx
* September - Sapphire
* October - Opal or Tourmaline
* November - Topaz
* December - Turquoise, Zircon or Blue Topaz

Different gemstone earrings may lend strength to different aspects of an individual’s personality. Whether or not a person believes in the mythical and supernatural characteristics and powers associated with these stones, wearing gemstone earrings nevertheless may feel like the wearer has on a tangible part of his or her personality that looks good, as well.

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Gemstones

Some of the most beautiful jewelry is made using semi-precious gem stones. A gem stone is a mineral, a rock or a petrified material that is cut or faceted and polished before it can be used in jewelry.

Some gem stones are fairly rare, such as amazonite, which is a bright green variety of feldspar. Formerly it was obtained almost exclusively from Russia, but recently it was found in Colorado and Madagascar. Its limited occurrence makes it prized as a gem stone.

Citrin, also called citrin quartz, is an amber colored gem stone.

Aventurine is commonly a green gem stone, but can be orange, brown, yellow or grey. The rarest is red and highly prized as a gem stone.

Cordierite is a magnesium, iron and aluminum cyclosilicate, the transparent variety of which is iolite, which is used as a gem stone. The name, iolite, is derived from the Greek word for violet.

Lapis lazuli is a stone which has been classified as a gem stone. This deep blue gem stone dates back to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

Jade is an interesting gem stone. The name is applied to two different silicate materials. It is a very tough material and was first used for axe heads, knives and weapons. It was only when other materials were found that could be used for these purposes that jade become a prized gem stone. Nephrite is either green or creamy in color, while jadeite comes in a variety of colors. In New Zealand, where nephrite jade is known as greenstone and not gem stone, the Maoris consider it a treasure. In traditional Maori designs, this gem stone is still widely used to make jewelry. Jade is the official gem stone of British Columbia. Many minerals are sold as jade. These can certainly be used as gem stones, but are not the real thing.

Turquoise is another gem and ornamental stone. The name is a very old word , probably derived from the French meaning Turkish stone, although turquoise was not found in Turkey, but was traded there. Iran and the Sinai Peninsula were sources of very fine turquoise. In the United States, the deposits were mined by pre-Columbian Native Americans. Nowadays there is some imitation turquoise, which is so good, that only an expert could tell the difference between the real stone and the fake!

It’s possible that rings and bracelets and necklaces made with these semi-precious gemstones may not be as valuable as say, gold or diamonds, but they can be exquisite and highly prized. Of course, if the diamond is flawed, it may be impressive to the friends and acquaintances of a newly engaged damsel, but is not of great value.
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Gemstones – Girl’s New Best Friend?

Colorful gemstones are just anybody’s dream to have. Their natural colors more than match your very fashionable dresses. Their sheer range could strike you spell bound. Gemstones are precious or semiprecious mineral stones which when cut and faceted can be used as jewels.

There is more to gemstones than just being jewelry items. They are regarded as lucky when worn specific to an individual’s birth month. Before we deal with this aspect in detail lets see the classification of gemstones.

Classification and Characteristics of Gemstones
There is a tri-level classification of gemstones namely, groups, species and varieties. Simply put, rubies which are red in color belong to conundrum species which in turn belong to hematite group. Others like emerald, aquamarine, goshenite, heliodor and morganite, all of them belong to that variety known as beryl. There are over 150 different species available.

Gemstones display all characteristics of crystals like dispersion, refractive indices, hardness, and specific gravity etc. They also possess characters like inclusions, fractures and cleavage which play upon their quality and values. However gemologists include all gems into the precious list.

Hardness is another important characteristic of gemstones. Simply put, hardness means resistance to scratch which is measured in Mohs, a system developed by an Austrian mineralogist F. Mohs. The scale of hardness reads from 1-10 with higher number indicating the hardest. If talc is at the bottom with just 1Moh, diamond has 10Mohs. Other popular gemstones like feldspar, topaz and sapphire having Mohs of 6, 8 and 9 respectively.

Birth Stones
US Geological Survey lists gemstones classified as birth stones. It is believed by most people that wearing birthstones brings luck to their lives. It is not surprising that all societies have this kind of faith with regards to gemstones, albeit with differences here and there, looking at the romancing tryst every society had with these ‘stones’. The list is in the order of calendar months with each month having at least one gemstone specific to that month. One can find a list of birth stones on official website of USGS.

Buying Gemstones
USGS cautions buyers against unscrupulous sellers as more and more of them are trying to push through synthetic gemstones as genuine pieces to unsuspecting, inexperienced buyers. Gemstones are measured by size and carats. (1carat=1/5th of a gram.)

When buying gemstones, watch out for:

1.Heating alters the color sometimes improving clarity
2.Irradiation darkens colors
3.Impregnation with wax, resins etc fills cracks, flaws
4.Fractures filled by injecting plastic
5.Differential colors in center and surface indicates diffusion treatment

Always buy from reputed sellers who produce certificates by Gemological Institute of America to prevent a lucky stone turn unlucky.
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Gemstones - The Crowning Glory Of Ornaments

Gemstones need no formal introduction when it comes to evaluating how much they were defining man's beautifying techniques. Gemstone jewelry has always played a key role in making the humans look more glamorous since time immemorial. You may have as many bracelets, necklaces and finger rings of pure gold and platinum as desired, but unless you had had a couple of them studded with gemstones, the desire of having an impressive collection of jewelry items will go unfulfilled. Men and women have always craved for owning the ornaments like gemstone rings as a result, to display out their possession of power and wealth.

Gemstones, also called gems, are basically mineral parts that are cut and polished to look charming and be available for inserting inside ornaments. Some organic compounds and non-minerals like amber are also treated as gemstones by the ornament manufacturers. Gemstones are classified according to their chemical composition, crystalline structure and the original forms they were found in; the phrase habit stands for the last of these three categories. Hard brilliant diamonds, for example, are made of carbon (C), and soothing red rubies of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) as per their chemical analysis. In the same way, different stones may have different crystalline formations as per their physical mapping, such as a cubic or a trigonal one. Some diamonds, originally found in the nature as octahedrons, are treated to have cubic crystalline formations for the sake of making specific industrial usage, thus transforming their basic physical state, the habit.

Gemstones have to go through many procedures before being inducted into ornaments. They are heated, irradiated, waxed and filled up with oil, apart from being targeted with several other techniques to gather lasting effects. Some of these treatments may last permanently while others may fade out with time, thus deciding how much value they should add to the resulting gemstone jewelry. Gemstones are basically either cut and polished into cabochons or faceted structures, depending on their physical properties. Stones that are opaque such as turquoise, variscite, opal, etc are normally cut and polished into dome shaped forms called cabochons, while those with transparent characters are made to look multi-faceted. One can always select to buy ornaments such as gemstone rings studded with either of the two kinds of stones.

The reason given for not cutting and polishing the opaque gems into multi-faceted ones is their lack of ability to showcase interiors. Apart from that, hardness does also play out a key role in deciding what shape any stone should finally have as gemstone jewelry. Normally, less hard stones are prone to getting more scratched compared to the harder ones, hence providing them with a dome like shape lessens the chance of those scratches being picked up visually. These aspects usually guide the way gemstone jewelry was manufactured across the globe.

There is a vast market available for the synthetically produced gemstones and their ornaments as well. They are generally valued just a fraction of what the naturally made gemstone jewelry might usually cost. These stones may have similar optical properties to their original counter parts on occasions, but may vary in terms of physical and chemical properties in a substantial manner. So, you should decide in advance the nature of stones you may wish to wear before stepping inside any jewelry showroom the next time, as there may be dozens of styles and price tags to choose from in various categories of the gemstone rings, necklaces and bracelets that you might get to look at.

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Gemstones Are All About Tales And Colors

Gemstones carry many popular stories and beliefs regarding their colorful displays. Each such class of stones may have a distinct crystalline and optical identity to speak of, which shall provide a unique identity to the gemstone jewelry produced from them. As per many popular stories, they are believed to influence the human mind in different ways when adorned as gemstone rings and other ornaments. These stories do have some scientific reasoning as well to rely on, as the human mind is known to react depending on the kind of optical and colorful displays it was exposed to. We are going to examine some of these tale telling facts about gemstones and their influences in the everyday life through the following paragraphs.

We often wear gemstone rings studded with Sapphires or Rubies on different occasions. These stones are basically mineral forms of corundum, an aluminum oxide (Al2O3). The mineral is called Ruby or Sapphire depending on the kind of light it was able to reflect back. A red mineral corundum is always called a Ruby while the rest other shades are classified either as Sapphires or Padparadschais. Gemstone rings should be worn according to one's zodiac sign, one popular belief says, and Sapphires work out best for those individuals who had an Aquarius sign. In the same way, Ruby is known to calm down aggressive individuals of a particular lineage of stars. Similarly, Opal and Topaz, two more precious stones that manufacturers often try making use of while assembling gemstone jewelry, are known to make individuals of certain stars successful.

Some southwest Indian tribes are widely seen wearing Turquoise to promote healing and good luck and to perform religious ceremonies. Hematite, another metallic gray colored stone, is adorned in the same region as a way to energize one's bloodstreams, while the brownish red Jasper is believed to nullify one's negativity. Jasper also gets known for healing up kidney, bladder, spleen and liver ailments and thus plays out the role of a medic. A dark green colored stone named Malachite, is supposed to help in garnering mental insightfulness and arousing the levels of loyalty and fidelity from those around. Another stone named as Adventurine and found in light greens, is often thought to aid people in getting rid of anxiety and garnering a tranquil life in exchange.

Purple colored stones Amethysts are known to help out people in getting rid of their addictive habits and in garnering mental peace. Similarly, Rhodonite is thought to raise up the levels of positive thoughts in one’s life and help out them have emotional soundness. These and many other notions regarding precious stones dictate how people would normally buy gemstone jewelry across the globe. Not only the charm of adorning oneself with lustrous jewels but also the thought of having positive effects is what makes people go in for the ornaments like gemstone rings, bracelets, necklaces etc.

Many websites may be seen offering a great deal of information regarding gemstone jewelry these days. These include stones produced in natural mines and scientifically synthesized both. One can log on at these sites to instantly order their selections of gemstone items at highly cut-throat rates any day.
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Buying Diamonds: Selecting the Best Company

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Diamond shoppers today have more choices than ever on where to buy their diamond engagement ring, diamond earrings and other diamond jewelry items. However, with greater selections come bigger potential risks and rewards. You need to do your homework and understand how to select the best company for your diamond purchase.

The retail diamond market is comprised of three broad categories of diamond sources; jewelry stores, ecommerce diamond companies and diamond brokers.

Jewelry Stores
Until recent years, jewelry stores were the only option for most diamond shoppers. This was especially true for smaller towns and rural areas. These stores had a monopoly, much like Ma Bell with the phone systems during most of the 20th century. Jewelry stores were the only game in town and could set their prices at whatever markup they wanted.

Jewelry stores depend on impulse buying so they focus on having a selection to pick from, name recognition through extensive advertising, and being convenient so shoppers can walk in and make a purchase with no education or knowledge of the product. If it looks nice to an impulse buyer, they will pull out the credit card and have it gift-wrapped. To attract the impulse buyer, jewelers built elaborate stores with polished marble floors, expensive display cases, and lighting that makes everything in the store sparkle.

To pay for the stores, the decorations and all the expensive advertising, jewelry stores must maintain high markups on the items they sell. The more expensive stores have bigger inventory, higher rent and more advertising, which dictates the higher markup necessary to pay for all that overhead.

E-Commerce Diamond Retailers
The online shopping cart of hundreds of jewelry retailers has been one of the big growth areas for e-commerce. Shoppers can shop from the convenience of their home or work computer, look at the pictures of thousands of jewelry items online and place their order without ever talking to a human. E-commerce diamond retailers provide a list of diamonds owned by groups of wholesalers and let the shopper pick the diamond they want based on the specifications in the list. The shopper pays for the diamond in advance and then the wholesaler or the retailer ships the diamond to the consumer.

The online jewelry retailers offer the advantage of much greater selection than you can find in a jewelry store and the ability to ship the items all over the country, which provides greater options for shoppers in small towns and rural areas. Due to low overhead costs, online jewelers can provide lower prices than most jewelry stores. The disadvantage of the online jeweler is that there are few safeguards in place to keep the consumer from making a mistake. Picking the least expensive diamond from a list of options often means there is something less desirable about the diamond. Without an expert adviser to help, the consumer is mostly on their own to make their selection.

Diamond Brokers
There is a third type of diamond retailer, the diamond broker, that differs from the jewelry store or e-commerce retailer. Like most e-commerce retailers, brokers do not own inventory and have low overhead, but they differ in that they work as diamond consultants for the shopper to find the best diamonds meeting the consumer’s requirements.

To attract new clients, diamond brokers rely on word of mouth advertising. They typically have a website focused on online education and shopping advice instead of a list of inventory and the online shopping cart. Diamond brokers work with their client to find the best diamond on the wholesale market and present it to the client in the broker’s office or ship the diamond to the client to examine before they purchase. The result of the lower overhead and personal consultant service is that clients usually get a better diamond at a lower price than with jewelry stores or online retailers.

To determine which company is going to be the best supplier for your diamonds, know what retailer characteristics are most important to you then ask many questions. Be sure the company you select is going to be able to provide the personalized service, expert advice, high quality diamonds and low prices you deserve.

Basics of the alexandrite appraisal

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An alexandrite appraisal requires someone with a massive amount of skill, talent, dedication and knowledge. Not any individual that sees a gemstone can appreciate its true value, let alone qualify as an alexandrite appraisal expert. Working with and around jewels does not make someone an alexandrite appraisal expert. The status of appraiser shouldn't come with the job of handling jewelry. So, what makes an alexandrite appraisal expert?

Appraising is a profession that implies responsibility. The alexandrite appraisal states the value of a gem or jewel and it is used later on for other legalities. Because anyone can state that they are true alexandrite appraisal experts, one has to be careful and not let himself be fooled by any statement. It is up to the client to determine if the alexandrite appraisal is done by a professional and not by anyone.

Having taken courses and passed tests about theories, ethics and product knowledge, an alexandrite appraisal expert is almost always an educated person, with lots of information, expertise and experience. A professional will continuously try to stay one step ahead of the market by teaching himself. Viewing alexandrite appraisal as a passion and trying to put their best efforts into making the most accurate evaluations, experts are dedicated to their job. Most of them have been alexandrite appraisal experts from generation to generation and have viewed their assignment with a lot of respect. This is the type of person you are looking for to make an alexandrite appraisal.

Alexandrite appraisal can be done online and Randy G. Lander is the owner of a site that can help you in this direction. This might not be a traditional way to go, but it can be just as effective. Besides, most of these experts are affiliated with a site that gathers all these alexandrite appraisal experts under one organized form that makes sure they are professionals and the job gets done properly and with care. If they are not affiliated, some other certificate that proves their qualifications is just as good. However, the client has to pay interest and check the background of the people he deals with.

What should an alexandrite appraisal contain?
-A detailed description of the alexandrite jewel
-A document that accurately and completely explains the type of sought value (purpose) and the function or assigned use of the appraisal
-The resources and market analysis on which the alexandrite appraisal is based
-The qualifications of the expert
-The date and location of the alexandrite appraisal inspection
-A signed statement that proves the alexandrite appraisal expert has no interest in the value of the jewel or that any kind of interest is made known in the report

What shouldn’t an alexandrite appraisal be like?
-it shouldn’t be hand written and lack the signature of the alexandrite appraisal
-it shouldn’t miss the fixed fee or not be based on the value of the jewel
-it shouldn’t miss the right purpose and assignment use
-it shouldn’t be beyond the alexandrite appraisal professional's expertise
In addition, the alexandrite appraisal expert has to be able and willing to defend the appraisal in court.

With this information and additional research, finding the right person to do an alexandrite appraisal won’t be difficult at all. The task isn’t complicated, but being new at anything implies risks. However, as this is the age of the Internet, it should be easy to find out everything one needs to know by simply visiting several sites.
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Basic Information About Diamonds

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Diamonds have an allure about them that make them probably the most sought after gemstones in the world. They say that "diamonds are a girl's best friend", and more than likely that sentiment is due to their brilliance, their sparkle, and the way they make a person feel when wearing one. But, what we know as these perfectly clear and beautiful gemstones start their lives as basically rocks. They have to be mined and honed and crafted into what we know as diamonds.

A diamond is a form of carbon, and its extreme hardness and light diffusion qualities make it a highly useful stone for industrial purposes, in addition to its pleasing aesthetic qualities. Diamonds make excellent abrasives because they can only be scratched by other diamonds. Therefore, they are extremely durable and retain their brilliant gleam wonderfully.

The earliest known reference to the diamond comes from a Sanskrit text dating back to approximately 296 BCE (before the Christian Era), which described the diamond's qualities. It is generally accepted that diamonds were first mined in India, where they quickly became symbols of spirituality and holiness, decorating religious idols. Early on in their history, diamonds were traded in all direction of India for their different industrial uses, including engraving and drilling, as well as for their aesthetic purposes such as for ceremony, decoration, and adornment.

There was a strict prohibition against cutting diamonds. This taboo was started with the early traditional uses in India, and ended in the Middle Ages. By 1375, a guild of diamond cutters and polishers was established, as the technology of reshaping diamonds began to develop. The different shapes that were developed through the years only worked to exemplify the diamond's beauty and brilliance, increasing their allure. Today, diamonds are most familiarly used for the purposes of adornments, such as for jewelry.

There are 4 characteristics that are used as basic description devices of diamonds, and which are used in order to determine the ultimate value of a particular diamond. These are known as the "4 C's", or carat, clarity, color, and cut. The carat is the weight that measures the mass of the diamond. One carat equals approximately 0.007 ounce. The value of a diamond increases greatly relative to its carat weight, because large diamonds are exceptional and in high demand for jewelry.

The clarity of a diamond measures the amount of inclusions of a diamond, or its internal flaws. Foreign matter inside the diamond or cracks causing a cloudy appearance are considered inclusions, and tend to decrease the value of a diamond. There grading systems used to assess clarity, based on certain factors including number, size, color, and visibility of the inclusions (diamonds are usually graded from flawless to imperfect). The higher the clarity rating is, the more rare the diamond (and the more valuable) is.

The color of a structurally perfect diamond, and one that is free of chemicals is almost perfectly clear, and color-free to the naked eye. This doesn't necessarily affect the value of a diamond, however. Some pink or blue diamonds (like the Hope Diamond, for example) are considered spectacular, and therefore highly valuable. A rating system of D to Z (D=colorless and Z=bright yellow) is in use to aid in color assessment of diamonds.

The cut of a diamond describes how the diamond has been shaped and polished from its original mined state. The "cut" describes the level of workmanship that has gone into the diamond, as well as the angles to which the diamond is cut. This is not the same as the shape of the diamond, which describes just that, its shape. Shapes such as pear, round, marquis, princess are all familiar terms for diamond jewelry. When shopping for diamond jewelry, fine jewelry stores will be aware of the 4 C's of the diamond they carry, and will be able to provide information about which gems you are interested in. Diamonds are unique, and they are the ultimate souvenirs from the Earth, which adds even more allure to owning one.
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Basic Guide To Tanzanite

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A Basic Guide to the Tanzanite Gemstone

The tanzanite gemstone was discovered in Tanzania by the Masaai people in 1967. Shortly thereafter, tanzanite was brought to the Western world by Tiffany and Co., who gave the stone its name and introduced it to the public.

Tanzanite is popular for its dazzling color. A rare stone with the ability to appear several colors at once, tanzanite is mainly purple with shades of blue, flashes of red, and even tinges of green. The darker the tanzanite gemstone, the more valuable it will be. Lighter, more translucent stones can still be beautiful, but they are less valuable.

Tanzanite gemstone jewelry is very popular, and can be found in a wide range of options to suit all needs and tastes. Pendants, bracelets, rings and earrings can all be crafted from tanzanite. Tanzanite can be cut into a variety of shapes, the most popular being cushion, oval, round and emerald-cut.

Considered a birthstone for December since 2002, tanzanite gemstone jewelry makes a great gift for anyone born in that month.

Care should be taken when wearing tanzanite jewelry because it is not the most durable. Tanzanite ranks a 6.5 on the Moh's scale of gemstone hardness and is more easily damaged than stones like aquamarine, sapphire, and diamond.

When cleaning your tanzanite gemstone take special care to be gentle and never use harsh jewelry cleaners. Also, using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners can ruin tanzanite. Tanzanite should not be exposed to water if at all possible. Also, leaving your tanzanite out in the sun can cause the color to fade. You can wipe your tanzanite clean with a dry cloth, or better yet, take your tanzanite gemstone to a professional jeweler who is knowledgeable in cleaning gemstones.

A beautiful tanzanite necklace can also make a fantastic gift for anyone born in the month of December, as it was added to the list of December's official gemstones in 2002.
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Antique Jewelry

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If you are fond of vintage items, you don’t have to depend entirely on your ancestors to acquire a few of these heirlooms. Heirloom-quality jewelry from the Victorian, Edwardian, art deco and other periods is now readily available. When you wish to gift a rare piece of jewelry to your beloved, choose a unique vintage item that she will preserve for the rest of her life. Antique jewelry, a term applied to jewelry over a hundred years old, is now a favorite with the prospective brides, too. With everything that is old now coming back into fashion, most brides walking down the aisle are adorning vintage jewelry with pride.

Among the jewelry pieces that you can pick up are antique engagement rings, studded necklaces, bracelets, brooches, crosses, pendants, lockets and other extraordinary pieces of timeless art and beauty.

These antique jewelry pieces come to you through antique jewelry auctions, fairs and sales that are frequented by the jewelers to bring you pieces of extraordinary charm and elegance. Some of the jewelers also specify the age of the antique jewelry on display. For instance, some may claim to keep pieces from 1900 to 1950 (Edwardian, art deco and retro jewelry), and some may have heirloom pieces that are at least two centuries old (late Georgian or Victorian jewelry)!

Shopping for antique jewelry has an added advantage. It acquaints you to the history and culture of the era to which it belongs. You would be interested to know how the fashion of wearing delicate dresses in the Georgian era favored the use of small, light jewelry. Pendants with miniature paintings of loved ones were also prevalent in the late-Georgian era. In a similar way, jewelry belonging to each era is a reflection of the changing fashions. So, with every piece of antique jewelry, you also buy memories of a long lost era.

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A Guide To Diamond Engagement Rings

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Surprising your girlfriend with a beautiful diamond ring is a moment both of you will cherish your entire life. A once in a lifetime occasion, buying a diamond ring should be done carefully as your fiancée will wear it everyday, showing it off to her friends and family members, flaunting your love.

The market is flooded with numerous jewelers and shops claiming to sell the most authentic and beautiful diamonds there are. To make the right choice from the plethora of designs and variety can indeed be a confusing task. It would do you good to be aware of some basic tips on buying diamond jewelry before you buy one for your girlfriend. The ‘four c’s’, color, cut, clarity and carat, are the deciding factors for a diamond’s purity and value. This king of gems comes in all colors, with white being the purest and costliest. Although it is the hardest stone available, diamond can be cut in a variety of fancy shapes and sizes. The shape and cut determines the shine of the gem.

One should choose the shape of the diamond according to your girlfriend’s personality. If she is dainty-- buy a small elegant one; tall and well-buily? go for a large squarish rock. The sparkle of the diamond often holds more importance than the rock’s size. Clarity of the diamond ensures a dazzling shine every time the light passes through the stone. Carat, or the weight of diamond, also contributes to its price and value in the market.

Educating yourself about the ‘four c’s’ will keep you from buying imitations. Even though it is conventional to spend two months salary on your engagement ring, you can buy synthetic diamonds, which will be easier on your wallet. Synthetic diamond has the same physical properties of a real diamond but is more affordable than the real one. Finally, do ask the jeweler to provide a purity certificate, which will serve as a guarantee and later help in insuring your gems.
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10 Safety Tips When Getting Your Body Pierced

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Ten Body Piercing Safety Tips

Body piercing is all the rage with individuals of all ages. Whether you are choosing to pierce ears, lips, noses, eyebrows, tongues, or something a bit more risqué, safety and hygiene should be at the top of the check list before you run out and grab a needle. These ten tips for body piercing safety will ensure your piercing does not result in a potentially dangerous infection.

1.) Only use a professional.
Piercing is something that should only be performed by a professional. It is a great deal more complicated than simply pushing a needle through a part of your body. Choose a reliable professional and seek a consultation before you make the decision to pierce. Home piercing jobs are most likely to lead to complications or infections.

2.) Ask questions.
Think of a interviewing a potential piercer the same as you would a doctor. Ask about their cleanliness and disease prevention policies. A great many diseases, including AIDS and Hepatitis can be spread through using dirty needles, so you should ensure your quality of health is not compromised. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask the necessary questions, and beware of any so-called professional who seems unwilling or unable to provide answers.

3.) Choose wisely.
Just as each body is different, everyone will not be able to successfully pierce their chosen spot. Once you seek a professional to pierce your body, ensure the piercing can be successful. For example, individuals with an “out-ie” belly button are unable to have a belly button piercing due to the orientation. Also, some individuals are unable to have their tongue correctly pierced due to the orientation of essential nerves and blood vessels.

4.) Think about the impact.
It’s a necessary fact of the matter that most employers frown upon visible body piercings. Regardless of your personal feeling on body piercings, know that you may be discriminated against or viewed in an unfavorable light by some individuals only due to your body piercings. Before you decide on any piercing, consider the impact on your image and your life.

5.) Choose quality body jewelry.
When it comes to choosing body jewelry, ensure you choose quality metals or high carbonate plastics that will work well in your body and not have any complications. Most body piercing jewelry is either gold with a high karat count or surgical quality stainless steel. Avoid cheap or flimsy body jewelry and focus on the quality instead of the design.

6.) Keep it clean.
After the body part has been pierced, it is essential to keep the hole clean. Your body sees a piercing as a wound, so cleanliness is the key. Remember, infections also do not discriminate between piercing holes and puncture wounds.

7.) Keep it dry.
Most piercers agree that the hole should be kept dry until healing has commenced. Keep your piercing hole free of salvia, sweat, salt water, or chlorine water, since all of these liquids can case infection.

8.) Avoid makeup.
If you are choosing a facial piercing, avoid polluting the hole with makeup. Most cosmetic products are made with oils that can invade the piercing hole and cause infection.

9.) Identify infection.
Keep an eye out for infections that can quickly and easily cause pain and discomfort. Not all infections work in the same manner, but warning signs include any type of discharge from the wound, fever, pain, discomfort, swelling, and redness around the hole.

10.) Seek medical attention.
If your piercing is exhibiting signs of infection or complication, immediately seek medical attention. Also, if the piercing is routinely painful and does not seem to heal, you should seek treatment by your primary health care provider.

A Fashionista's Dream: Luxurious Eyewear Without The Added Cost

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Be a quirkier fashionista whatever the weather! Know the latest trends in eyewear that fits your personality!

Everybody has wanted a taste of luxury but unfortunately for most people, it's either too hard or too expensive to achieve. The closest to luxury one can ever taste is through wearing the latest trends in fashion, adorning themselves with the latest accessories, strutting in the latest in shoes, and carrying the latest in handbags along. Sad to say, these can come quite expensive, too.

Perhaps the greatest accessory that is sure to get you noticed is the ever trendy eyewear! Yes, even the latest in eyewear hasn't pushed past the expensive mark as yet. Sunglasses are just as important as all the outfits you put together; it gives a better overall impression. Not to mention, it gives you an air of mystique. No wonder people have been purchasing glasses here and there. The decision to buy is not just random; it has to be calculated even to the last detail.

So what can you fashionistas get in as little cost as possible? Numerous! Whether you wish to purchase designer brands or those that don’t have brands at all, if you know what there is to know about eyewear, and then nobody will ever notice the difference!

There are a lot of designs that have been coming out from the fashion industry with regards to the latest in eyewear. Let's start with the shape. The latest fashion in eyewear that are in the rave right now are your oversized shades. Fashionistas anywhere in the world have a preference for these glasses as it shields enough of the eyes and face without hampering your appearance. You should choose wisely, for some of these oversized shades can be heavy and can rest on your cheeks if they don’t have the proper ear supports and nasal rims. Oversized shades that have these qualities can be a nuisance and should be avoided as possible.

Another trend that has evolved is the quality of the lenses. Contrary to the fad in the past, lenses now offer the best protection packed in one single pair of glasses. Lenses now are polarized and can offer ultraviolet protection to varying degrees depending on your preference. Eyewear lenses have now been creatively produced to meet your varying needs. In sports for instance, tennis players now make use of specialized lenses that have yellow enhancement capabilities. This is important in tennis as the sunglasses not only shields your eyes from the glare of the sun but also makes the tennis ball more yellow to aid you in following its every direction. In snow sports the same technology has been maximized but rather than yellow enhancements, these sunglasses have amber lenses or rose lenses that can help you mark the slopes in the snow. This is crucial, again because it shields from the glare of the sun that might hamper your vision, it would also allow you to perform at your peak capacity that does not oversee the rule of safety. For everyday casual wear, you can choose from a variety of dark tinted glasses or those glasses that have no tint at all. However, dark tinted glasses are more often purchased in the market. Or you can even settle for no lenses at all! Yes, the latest and craziest trend in eyewear has just released a new line of sunglasses that have no lenses at all. These type of glasses used to be a fad in the later centuries and now they are back to make a statement. You would have to go to a specialty optic store for these babies however, because these are usually custom-made.

If you are hard of vision and are either myopic or hyperopic and you just can't withstand the routine of contact lenses, then eyeglasses may be prescribed for you. Be the fashionista that you are. You probably don’t want to wear those tacky round-rimmed glasses that don’t do wonders for your appearance. These won’t be a problem for long. Optical stores are now offering you the choice of frames, that can be branded or not, to go with your prescribed lenses. Never has wearing prescription glasses been any trendier!

The last factor that is perhaps the most crucial factor that could make or break a fashionista's decision to buy her eyewear is the frame. These frames come in a myriad of colors, materials, and embellishments. Go crazy! With the rising popularity of eyewear there have never been more options to choose from. Frame colors usually come in available choices of classic black, plain brown, brown and gold combinations, silver, gold, pink, white, and the list is endless. If you don’t have the color you want available but have the money, then you can settle for custom made frames. These frames can be made from the colors, design, and embellishments that you prefer. Aside from the color, frames can also come in different types of materials. You have the cheapest of all the plastic and the latest of which are materials made from titanium and the like that offer the best style in a lightweight fashion.

Your facial structure and personality should always be considered when you choose your eyewear. The type of eyewear that you should decide on purchasing should also be able to afford you the most function in the best design available.

You will be having no more troubles choosing the right eyewear for you. Budget won't also be a factor anymore as more and more manufacturing companies in eyewear has been releasing a number of products in as much variety as possible that would please the fashionista in you.
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3 Tips on Choosing the Right Perfume for You

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With the thousands of fragrances in the market, it can sometimes be tricky to choose the one that is perfect for your taste, personality, the occasion, and other factors. Check out the following basic tips that you may find useful when choosing and even wearing the perfect perfume for you.

1. Determine your budget.

Perfumes are priced in a very big range, from very inexpensive colognes to luxurious designer brands. Determining your budget or the money you are prepared to spend beforehand will help narrow down the choices and will save you a lot of time.

2. Know what particular smell you want and go for it.

Decide on what type of fragrance you want based on what use the perfume would be to you. For instance, is it for special occasions? Is it to please or seduce a lover? Is it for everyday wash and wear? If you plan to please someone, make sure to research on the particular fragrances he or she likes. If you want it to be an everyday whiff you can wear to work or school, you may want to buy a lighter and fresher scent. If it’s for big parties and formal events, choose a perfume that makes a stronger impact by blending well with your body chemistry.

Other factors like the weather or season are also important to consider. For instance, if you live in a very humid setting, floral fragrances with a woody or musky base often complement the sultry weather. If you’re often surrounded by a lot of people in near proximity, don’t choose a very strong perfume because not everyone likes perfume. Citrus, sea breeze and other herb and floral fragrances are often fresh and rejuvenating, perfect for someone always on the go. If you will be out on a date and want to heighten the romance, choose a scent that is a bit stronger but not overpowering. Usually oriental spices project confidence and sophistication. Meanwhile, aromatic blends are perfect for men who like to smell like a true man exuding with machismo and security.

3. Examine carefully before buying.

When you’ve finally narrowed down your choices and you’re ready to go to a perfume shop, don’t forget to carefully examine each perfume you fancy before getting ahead of yourself and purchasing. Take note that your nose can only handle so much and testing 20 perfumes consecutively will prove to be futile. Before you start spraying a perfume on your wrist, spray it first on a card or paper and decide if you like it. If not, move on to the next. Once you find a scent you think is perfect, start testing it on your body. Apply a small amount on your wrist or at the back of your arm. Sometimes the saleslady will offer to apply some in her own skin and have you smell it. This is a no-no because each of us reacts to perfumes in different ways. Make sure the perfume is perfect for you by putting it on your own skin. Wait for a few minutes because fragrances start to grow on you and smell different after a while.
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70 - 80% Of Women Do Not Wear The Right Size Bra!

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Every woman knows the difficulty involved in finding the right bra. Questions like What cup Size are you now? What style do you require? Seem to never end!


Well...First and foremost it is essential that you know your correct size. A badly fitting bra can lead to back problems, muscle tension, and even headaches. If you are in your teen years, the strain caused by a badly fitting bra can lead to permanent problems with posture and even back pain. So that?s why teens should be fit by a bra expert at least twice a year or even after every noticeable growth pattern.

Your first consideration should be the reason you need the bra; is it for athletics, coverage, comfort or support? There are different types and styles of bras made for specific types of bodies and physical activities. Although it would be nice, no one bra can do it all; you have different bras for different jobs. A Sexy bra for those intimate private moments or a Sports Bra for when you want to perform arduous exercise.

First Bras

Training bras are for younger girls who have just started to develop breasts and are not able to fit into standard size bras. Age is not the concern, rather its getting the right fit and support for your breast size.

Wireless Bras

Light support or wireless bras usually have no Underwire and are sometimes the preferred choice for those with smaller breasts. They are less constricting and more comfortable than full support bras. As they are wireless they offer less shaping and more freedom than other bras. You can find the padded and unpadded variety; what you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Underwire Bras

Full support or underwire bras usually have an underwire or plastic boning holding them up. It doesn?t matter what breast size you are, however it is a must for those with larger cup sizes. They also are available in padded or unpadded varieties.

Push Up Bras

Sometimes referred to as padded bras and more famously attributed to the Wonderbra. They lift the breasts and add more shape to them with extra padding. There are some more innovative versions around that use silicone inserts or water sacks to enhance your look even further. They are known to "lift and separate" the breasts, creating a full cleavage and most importantly offer lots of support.

Plus Size Bras

Plus size bras have finally found a home away from the unsightly bras of yesteryear to the sleek and sexy bras of today. From sports to sexy to your everyday bra, plus size bras are know available in many styles and brands. You can get extremely feminine lacy plus size bras, or bras finished in satin, silk, lace and cotton, under wire and strapless bras.

Sports Bras

Probably the least flattering and sexy in the bra family but ironically the most important one for growing teens to have. As well as offering full support, they also stop the breasts from moving during strenuous activity. The tissue in your breasts is very delicate and growing tissue especially needs to be protected during high impact exercise.

Nursing Bras

Your breasts start changing shape from the fourth month of pregnancy. As a result, most women find their previous bra too small. Purchase a nursing bras close to your due date or shortly after your baby arrives, because your breasts will grow larger toward the end of your pregnancy and when milk comes in. Consider buying a bra that has flaps and can be opened and refastened easily. Since milk leakage is inevitable, it also makes sense to buy nursing pads to protect both your bra and clothes. It is always better to buy 100% cotton bras, as cotton is a breathable fabric. Synthetic fabrics trap moisture and encourage bacterial growth and soreness.

Mastectomy Bras

These types of bras are designed with pockets in the cup area to hold a breast prosthesis. There is a wide range of styles and colors available. The silicone breast prosthesis simulates the natural breast with regards to its shape and weight. The prosthesis?s main advantage of is that it provides symmetry and balance to a persons body, who has survived from breast cancer. Wearing the right prosthesis is primarily important to your ultimate comfort level. With a superior fitting prosthesis, and a well-made and fitted mastectomy bra, you in turn will help to balance your posture and provide fortification for your chest and breast cancer scars.

Now you know the importance of the bra and the many types available, you should know firstly what size you need and how to determine that size. The following article gives you an insight into how to measure your self and the importance of a well fitted bra.

Shoes for the Bride

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Trying to find the perfect shoes for your Special Day can only be described as troublesome. Will it be heels or flats? Will you show your toes or will you opt for a sandal look? Wading through all the colors, styles and designs may cause the soon to be bride to shed a tear or two.

Don't despair, finding a wedding shoe doesn't have to be such a daunting proposition if you just follow a few simple details.

Let's first look at your gown and it's color and type of fabric. A rule of thumb, is to keep your shoes and gown as coordinated as closely as possible. Match the material of your wedding dress with the fabric of your shoes.

Heels would be the right choice if your going with a short or knee length dress to make your legs look slimmer. It will also give you legs all the way up to your,well, you know where. A nice addition and attraction would be to go with an open toe heels. Well manicured toes are a must if you chose this option.

The climate is another consideration if you're getting married outside. If it's going to be hot and humid, you'll want to think about sandals as your choice. After all, you'll not want to turn your new husband off with stinky feet when you remove your shoes after the wedding.

Make sure that your shoes are a comfortable fit. You'll be on your feet all day so you'll want something that feels nice. Don't try and squeeze into a shoe just for the look Wear the size that you would normally wear for your office shoes or dress pumps.

If you fall between two sizes it's best to choose the larger one. Don’t sacrifice style over comfort. If your feet hurt you will feel miserable. If you decide to choose a wedding shoe with straps or ties make sure that they can be loosen easily and does not scraped onto your skin. Your wedding shoes can make or break your wedding day.

Make sure you take your new shoes on a test drive. Walk on different surfaces and break them in good before your special day. Do Not sacrifice comfort for style.

Take a piece of sandpaper to roughen the smooth finish on the sole of the shoes. This will help to avoid slipping on smooth surfaces. Its better to change your wedding shoes now than wait for the actual wedding and be sorry for not being able to walk properly on the aisle.

Once your at the reception you'll want to have a second pair of shoes handy. Keeping comfort uppermost in your mind. You'll be sitting most of the time at the reception so why would you want to have heels on?

It pays to spend extra effort in choosing the perfect pair wedding shoes. Brides in general do not give as much attention to their wedding shoes as they do to their gowns. They thought that their guest’s attention would be on their dress. But most people are drawn to the bride’s legs and feet if they are wearing short dress, thus giving extra attention to your wedding shoes. Would it be nice to have your best feet forward during your wedding day.

Quality Shoes-what traits to look for

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Ben Franklin probably didn't say "show me a grumpy man and I'll show you a man with bad shoes", but he should have. They say that shoes make the man, and they're right on that one in more ways than one. Good, quality shoes do more than make you look good - they make you feel good. A pair of high quality shoes makes your feet happy, and when your feet are happy, the rest of you is in a much better frame of mind to deal with your day. Poorly made and ill-fitting shoes are at the root of many a miserable day, and here's why.

Poorly made shoes hurt more than your feet.

Your feet are your skeleton's foundation. When there's a problem with the foundation of a building, the symptoms can show up in cracks in the walls or ceilings, floors that tilt in the wrong direction - even in electrical and plumbing problems. The same is true with your body. When your shoes don't support your feet properly, your legs and hips and spine and shoulders and neck try to compensate. Taking any of those out of alignment can cause discomfort, pain and other problems.

You're far more likely to notice the discomfort of things like bunions and blisters caused by rough seams, heel pain from poor support and generally aching feet from shoes that constrict them. Between the obvious pain caused by shoes that aren't made well and the more subtle effects of poorly fit and low quality shoes, you can end up in constant low-level pain. Who can think clearly and be cheerful when their feet and their body are in pain?

How high quality shoes can help

Well-made, quality shoes like those made by Naot support your feet in a number of different ways. Naot shoes are designed to keep your feet happy. The heel cup is designed to keep your heels steady, preventing your ankles from tilting when you walk. The shank that runs from the heel to the ball of your foot gently encourages your feet to distribute your weight evenly. A roomy toe box gives your toes the room they need to move and grip the ground while you walk - even if they're not actually in contact with the ground.

The materials that go into making up your shoes also make a big difference. Real leather breathes, wicking moisture away from your feet and letting air circulate around them. That means cooler feet, less chance of infection and a lot less stinky feet.

What to look for in quality shoes

Now that you know why quality shoes are important, let's talk about how to choose a good pair of shoes that will support your feet - and your body - properly.

-First, look at the shoe.

Style may be important to your eye, but there are other things to look for. Are the seams straight and evenly stitched? Is the leather smooth and well-finished? Does the shoe LOOK well-made?

-Feel the shoe.

Take the shoe in both hands and try to twist it. It should have a little give, but not bend out of shape easily.

Try to bend the shoe in half so that the heel and toe meet. Again, it should have a little give, but you shouldn't be able to fold it. The shank of the shoe should prevent the shoe from bending beyond the ball of the foot.

Push up against the bottom of the toe of the shoe. The front of the shoe should bend easily so that your toes and the balls of your feet can do their work.

-Poke around inside the shoe.

Go on, push your hand inside the shoe and feel around. You should feel no protruding seams or rough areas. The inner surface should be comfortably padded and smooth. The tongue of the shoe should have enough padding to let you lace shoes without cutting into the top of your foot.

-Check the materials.

The uppers and lining of the shoes should be leather. Leather breathes and molds to fit your feet comfortably. You may not be able to look under the shoe's hood, so to speak, but you can ask about other materials. A steel shank is the most supportive, and leather soles will wear far better than most manmade materials.

-A few last things:

Excellent quality shoes like Naot clogs and sandals can be pricey, but it's money well-spent. Still, like anything else, shoes do show wear. You'd hate to find a pair of shoes that fit perfectly and make you feel so good - only to have to replace them in just a few years. A good quality pair of shoes will last you up to ten years - if you care for them properly. Look for shoes that can be resoled and reheeled easily. Naot shoes are among the most versatile in this respect - you can replace the entire shoe bed when needed to keep them feeling fresh, new and comfortable for years.
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Sexy Shoes

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What is it with sexy shoes? Why are they so popular today and why have they been popular for so long? Sexy shoes have a special place in the heart and soul of many people across the globe, but why?

To start with, a pair of high heels can instantly elongate the lines of the legs that can make the legs appear slimmer and create more elegant curves from the hip to the toe. I’ve also read that wearing high heel shoes can make the foot appear smaller than it actually is.

Additionally, high heel shoes alter the stance of the woman and this forces her breasts up and makes her derriere protrude farther out than normal. The correct pair of shoes can even help create an air of confidence due to the fact that they make the woman taller than normal and tend to attract more attention to her.

Sexy shoes aren’t just popular with women, but with men and cross dressers as well. Sexy shoes are known to be a fetish item in their own right. Sexy shoes are collectible and can be considered works of art without even having a foot to fill them. People all over the world collect exotic high heel shoes.

Although they may not be the most practical clothing item in the world, it really doesn’t come down to practicality. Sexy shoes are popular for reasons not related to their comfort or practicality. If you still don’t get it, then you probably never will.

Now, aren’t you ready for your next pair of sexy shoes?

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10 Tips To Shopping For The Perfect Athletic Shoes

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If you are active in exercising, hiking, sports or any other type of physical activity that requires you to be on your feet often, athletic shoes are a must. These shoes are designed for comfort and support, durability and promise to withstand plenty of use. With a few simple tips, you will be ready to shop for athletic shoes and will soon be stepping out with confidence.

Comfort. The first thing to consider with any footwear, including athletic shoes, is comfort. If a shoe isn’t comfortable, there is no use in wearing it. Blisters, balance problems and overall discomfort are the result of poorly fitting shoes.

Affordability. Just because you are looking for a new pair of athletic shoes, there’s no reason to empty the bank account in doing so. Quality athletic shoes can be comfortable and affordable at the same time. By shopping around and comparing prices, you will find the perfect athletic shoes at the perfect price.

Durability. A good pair of shoes must be durable and able to withstand various weather conditions, including rain. The worst thing to have in a rain storm is leaky shoes, which is why durability is part of a quality pair of athletic shoes.

Design. Everyone wants a shoe that looks good, which is why design is very important. In selecting a color scheme that suits your taste and lifestyle, you will not only feel good in your new athletic shoes, but you will look good too.

Versatility. One of the most important factors of shoe selection is versatility. Will the shoes work with your daily exercise regimen and look equally snazzy with your favorite pair of jeans? Athletic shoes are a terrific compliment to blue jeans for a classic look.

Support. Every good athletic shoe has support. It should cradle the foot and make it feel as if every step is one of leisure. Support is very important, especially if you are involved in a lot of walking or running. In either of these instances, your feet really take a pounding on the pavement. Athletic shoes that feature support are noticeable immediately during wear.

Know what you are buying. Always purchase from a reputable, authorized athletic shoe retailer. There are a lot of imitation products out there, including clothing and footwear. Buying from an authorized retailer will eliminate the chances of buying fake merchandise.

Try before you buy. If you are purchasing locally, go in and sample several pairs of athletic shoes. Try them on, take a few steps and move your foot around inside the shoe. In making sure that you have ease of movement and a proper fit, you will be much happier with your purchase.

Layaway. Certain brands of athletic shoes can be expensive, which is why layaway is often a popular option for anyone who doesn’t have quite enough cash to pay upfront. Even if it’s just to secure a purchase until payday, layaway programs offer customers with the opportunity to own the perfect pair of athletic shoes.

Make sure the shoe fits with your lifestyle. Avoid purchasing anything that doesn’t really fit your schedule. Athletic shoes are designed to work with you and your level of activity.

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Hair Styles Online

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Hair Styles Online: The Power You Always Wanted

Looking for hair styles on magazines is starting to become quite obsolete, wouldn't you think? I think you do, if not why else would you be reading this, right? Hahaha. I guess we understand ourselves then. With the internet we can all look for hair styles online with no cost any time we want! Plus we can have a direct contact with the pros because we can email them any question we would like them to answer or anything we would like to share with them.

Talk about convenience. It's never been easier to look for tips on how to get the right hair cut or hair do you need. You can virtually learn anything you want to know about hair cut styles, latest trends in hair ideas and the newest professional hair products in a matter of seconds. All that power! On the tips of your fingers…

Let's Do a Practice Test

Type in hair styles in Google's search engine and look for the total number of results. As of now, the results reach a number of more than twenty million. TWENTY MILLION! That’s a hell of a lot of web pages just on hair styles. I bet that’s more than the number of magazines with famous hair styles you and all your friends together can buy in over a hundred years! I think that’s enough proof that the internet is a good source of information on hair cuts.

You can find nifty how-to's for almost any hair cut or hair highlights you want to have, articles about latest trends in hair dos, information on the different types of hair, different hair styles and much much more! It's like a candy store for anyone hungry for new tips and advice to look good.
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Hairstyle Fads: How Much Attention Should You Pay To Them?

Doesn’t it always seem that once a fad has caught the eye of the fashion-conscious, you see the same hairstyle everywhere on everyone of every walk of life? I mean, think about the “bowl” cut of the 90s. Everyone had that cut including men, women and children. I kid you not when I say that while working at the salon I did 20 of these haircuts in one day. I thought I was going to be sick. And that fad hung around for years until everyone was sick.

Granted, it is very tempting to go out and get the latest hairstyle fad. In some cases, doing so can make you look like you are on the cutting edge of fashion. In other cases, getting a fad cut can make you look like a copycat with no fashion sense of your own. So, how do you know if it is okay to follow a particular fad?

First, you should think about the reasons you want a particular cut. Is it because you really like the style and think it would blend well with and compliment your style of dress or do you simply want the cut because so and so has it? When it comes to style and hairstyles in particular, what you wear is an expression of who you are. You should never get a style because someone else wears it and it works well for them. Instead, choose styles that are true to your character even if no one else has them.

Next, you should consider how many other people are wearing the style. If there are only a few and the style is relegated to certain social circles that you are a part of, it might be a good idea to get the cut especially if it is an expression of your style of dress. But if everyone is getting the cut, you would look like you were trying to copy off of everyone else instead of being yourself.

If there are relatively few people that you have seen wearing the cut and none in the area where you live, a fad cut that suits your personality could be a great way to set you apart from the others. For example: You see a great hairstyle on a movie that you think is perfect for you. Go ahead, get the cut, but be sure to change your style once everyone else has caught onto the idea. Doing so will make you a fad setter instead of a fad follower.
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Get the Straight Hair You've Always Wanted

The Sedu Ceramic Hair Straightener is known as the styling tool of the stars. It has been known for creating two of Hollywood's favorite Jennifer's signature hairstyles. The first is Jennifer Aniston of Friends, and the other Sedu user is Jennifer Lopez.

Jennifer Aniston, who played the character known as "Rachael" on Friends, created as much buzz about her fashion leading hairstyles as the writers did for their character's quirky storylines. During the last decade, thousands of women flock to their stylists asking for the same haircut. The one thing they didn't know is that after the locks had been layered, Jennifer's style was shaped and fashioned with the Sedu Ceramic Hair Straightener.

Not only has Jennifer Aniston made the Sedu Straightener one of the most sought after hair products but Jennifer Lopez uses it as well. Her hair is naturally curly and wavy, and it is the Sedu that is credited with adding shine and sheen to Jennifer Lopez's curly locks.

The Sedu Straightener has given many women the look and style that they have only dreamed about doing on their own. Now, the secret has been released and demand for this styling tool has increased, making the Sedu Straightener one of the most requested straighteners on the market today.

Sedu: Shine and Shimmer

Naturally curly and wavy hair lacks the luster and sheen that is inherent to straight hair. This may not be a matter of unhealthy hair or the effects of too many chemicals. In fact, it is the natural state of curly or wavy hair to reflect light. The strands are bent and therefore light will bounce off the hair, giving an appearance of dryness.

Straight hair, on the other hand does not reflect light with bent strands, therefore smooth straight hair looks sleek and polished. The Sedu Straightener adds a glaze to the top layer (or cuticle) of the hair shaft, and the result is hair full of shine and shimmer. The Sedu uses Ionic technology to achieve its lustrous effects.

Ionic technology diffuses the positively charged atoms on the hair shaft that cause the hair to lose its luster. By holding the Sedu and sliding it over the hair, the Ionic will diffuse the atoms and create a glossy shine to the hair. This will even cause split ends to be mended back together. Of course, once the hair is wet it will lose the temporary effects from the Sedu Straightener.

However, this is a wonderful way to achieve straight hair without using harsh chemicals that can damage the hair's inner layers. Now, you can wear your hair with the look, feel, shine, and gloss that you have only imagined possible.
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Flowers and Fashion: What's Vogue?

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Long a symbol of love and beauty, flowers have never gone out of style. Yet, some flower colors, varieties and designs are especially popular among more tasteful gift-givers and decorators. So, while the best advice may be to follow your own taste and sensibility, here's what experts predict will be cutting edge this year for fashion conscious flower lovers everywhere.

Seasonal Statements

Summer looks bright, with flashy colors, especially greens, oranges and yellows, dominating the scene. Gerber daisies, sunflowers, lilies and a spectacular array of colored roses are the mainstay. Designs are casual, contemporary, dramatic, or even outrageous. Blazing tropicals are growing in popularity, too.

Fall color palettes will be more refined, with a variety of rich textures gaining in importance. Look for dried grasses and berries accenting mini callas, Leonidas roses, and Asiatic lilies. Color selections are graced by rust, bronze, amber or copper hues. Centerpieces will be natural yet elegant with deeper color accents.

Traditional red will dominate the Christmas season again this year, but watch for a greater variety of fresh evergreens, berries, roes and accents. Other popular color schemes include darker reds and crimson shades, as well as non-traditional palettes such as purple and turquoise. Textures will continue to play an important role, with flower arrangements featuring everything from pinecones and cedar to intricate handmade ornaments. Expect to see more glass bowls, cubes and vases of every size, especially in colors. With an emphasis on home and hearth, decorator cachepots and family heirloom containers will also play a part.

Spring will burst forth with a flurry of color and all the variety of an English garden. Tulips, iris, hyacinth, freesia, lisianthus, ranunculus and asters are just some of the season's best. Fashionable designs may include simple clusters with just one type of bloom, compact nosegays with an abundance of varied blossoms and tall vased bouquets with stylish blooming branches. Traditional pastels will be back, with a decidedly feminine flair, but don't be surprised by occasional accents in bright fashion colors.

Wedding Flowers

Simple. Elegant. Unique. Those three words are the key to planning a stylish wedding this year. While traditional tones and flowers are still popular, trends are moving toward bouquets with only one type of flower for a clean, contemporary look. Roses are particularly popular, with orchids, Calla lilies, cymbidiums and hydrangea making frequent appearances.

Colors are leaning toward monochromatic, for strong identity and style. Red and white are popular all year. Bright colors, like greens and oranges, will flow in the summer months. The Bohemian look, consisting of metals, browns, oranges and greens will emerge in the Fall. Combinations like "Khaki and Cream" are a good example of this Autumn vogue. Whites, creams, peaches and soft pinks remain, but bolder colors will come shining through. So, don't be afraid to try something different, just remember to keep it simple, elegant and unique.

Flower Design Trends

From apple and lime to sage and celery, greens are definitely hot. Watch for cymbidiums, hydrangea, Kermit button poms, and roses in a variety of gorgeous green shades all year. In warmer months, look for hot pinks, bright oranges, and sunny yellows in the mix. In the cooler months, expect richer tones and deeper hues. The emphasis on design is texture and detail, with the best floral artists not only featuring unusual flower varieties but also other materials in their designs, such as grasses, berries, branches, and even metals. Design styles may vary from the streamlined elegance of just a few unusual blooms to the lush opulence of many different flowers combined, but regardless of style, it will be the small details and unusual accents that make all the difference this year.

Timeless Beauty

Flowers are timeless. Their popularity dates back ages. Yet, like anything else, flowers are subject to the ebb and flow of fashion trends. For the hottest colors, textures and design styles, keep an eye on your favorite decorating magazines, and clip a few of your favorite pictures. Then, consult your local florist. No matter what you have in mind, a professional florist can bring it to life. With an eye on design and a great florist partner, you'll find it's easy to make your floral gift-giving and home decorating more beautiful than ever and fashionably fresh all year.

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Best lingerie for women today.

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Women who wear lingerie ‘feel’ more feminine and sexy. If you are one of those people that think “Why wear lingerie. Now that you can wear lingerie that feels wonderful
on your body, it is much more pleasurable than before.
Many women wear lingerie that is so close to the color of their own skin that one cannot tell where the lingerie ends and you begin. Men’s Lingerie Buying Guides have been used to great effect by many male purchasers from all over the world. Remember, this is just like buying lingerie it isn"t about what you like it is about what she likes. Top marks to him for being brave enough to try buying lingerie face to face with the assistant, but how much easier to do it on line where he could browse and choose in privacy. Aperfect ten body is not needed to get a way with wearing sexy lingerie. , I love you, I think you are Beautiful, I think you are sexy, and I want you to be mine. Leather plus size sexy lingerie would definitely awaken the sleeping animal in him. However, there is much more to sexy lingerie than this very small representation. The selection of silky satin lingerie and nightwear available today is in fact huge. Of course, there are also the many lace and satin lingerie for you to choose from when buying your women’s lingerie. Everything from silk satin lingerie to elegant nightwear can now be
purchased easily on the Internet.

Bra Sizes

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A bra remains next to your skin the entire day. If you are not wearing the correct size, imagine the discomfort you'll experience throughout the whole day. It is important to note that your bra size does not remain the same for any great length of time because change is a law of nature and your breasts are no exception. The only difference is that change is more noticeable at some times and less at others. The change becomes most evident in cases of weight loss, weight gain or during pregnancy.

Even though a bra remains the most intimate item of a woman’s wardrobe, research has shown that about 75% of women do not get their bra size right. This results in problems such as sagging breasts, pain in the shoulders, or tightness in the chest. Therefore, it is important to get the size correct in order to avoid problems and feel elegant, feminine and confident.

It is not very difficult to determine your bra size. First of all, take a measuring tape and measure around the chest, directly under the breasts. If you get an even size number, then add four inches or else add five inches to get your chest size. For example if you measure 30 inches, then you need to add another four inches, which will make your size equal to 34 inches. If you measure an odd number such as 29, then you need to add 5 inches and your size will work out to 34 inches. Most bras come in standard sizes, but you will find that bras marked the same size but manufactured by different companies will give different results. So, you may have to try out several sizes and check for the ideal fit and the maximum comfort.

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Bras - A Guide For Single Fathers

Bras have been around in one form or another since the ancient Greeks. They were originally designed to support the breasts for the woman’s comfort, but now they come in various designs to provide breast shaping. Breast shaping bras include cleavage enhancing bras or push up bras.

Even as recently as 35 years ago nuns forbade girls attending Catholic schools from wearing bras, instead they had to use strips of material tied tightly around the breasts to try to make them smaller! Nowadays, even nuns wear bras.

Bras come in all shapes and sizes; from tiny soft bras for girls of 10 to very supportive under-wired bras designed for the fuller figure.

Did you know that 90% of women find their bras to be uncomfortable? This may be because research has shown that a similar percentage have poorly fitting bras, because they have never been properly measured.

Bras come in a very wide range of designs. Large breasted women find it difficult to buy attractive and feminine bras because manufacturers have been slow to provide a wide range of bras for this market.

Many sexy bra designs are primarily designed to be attractive to men. You can now buy translucent and transparent bras, wet-look bras and bras that are hardly there at all. Peephole bras allow the nipples to stick out.

Bra design has also changed to accommodate strapless and backless dresses and tops. After all it is pointless buying a low cut evening gown, with no back, and then spoiling the appearance with bra straps on shoulders and back.

Sports bras are basically highly elasticised skimpy tops, with no seams to rub. They are designed to provide support and stop the breasts bouncing around during exercise. They come in the various degrees of support necessary for different activity levels.
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Bargain Hunting for Women's Plus Size Apparel

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If finding women’s plus size apparel is difficult, then finding clothing in large sizes at bargain prices is an even greater challenge. To get the best deals on plus size clothes, consider shopping online, at local stores, and through mail-order catalogs. The following are eight strategies for saving money:

- Look for a sale, clearance, or outlet section on the website of your favorite retailer. Occasionally, you can save up to 80% off original prices this way. If your retailer is owned by a parent company, also check the parent company’s website for a clearance or outlet section.

- Comparison shop for similar items at different websites. If you plan to wear an item only a few times or occasionally, perhaps you can purchase a similar but cheaper item.

- Always use a search engine to look for a coupon code your retailer may have. Many websites actually track these coupon codes along with expiration dates to help shoppers save. When filling out your order form online or in a catalog, look for an entry for “coupon code” or “promo code” and then enter a coupon code that applies. If ordering online, be sure to verify that you have received the discount for entering the coupon code.

- Go to the website of your favorite plus size retailer and sign up to receive e-mail specials. In addition, if the sign-up form offers a print catalog, request the catalog also. By signing up, you will receive notifications through e-mails and catalogs of any specials the retailer may be having. Note that you should sign up only with retailers that really interest you or your mailbox may become crammed with excessive e-mails.

- Buy clothing out-of-season or pre-season. Many retailers will offer steep discounts on out-of-season items.

- Buy machine-washable clothes. The cost of having to dry clean an item will make that item expensive in the long run. If you are not sure whether an item is machine-washable, be sure to ask the retailer before you buy.

- Visit local stores that carry plus size clothing and browse through their clearance racks. Some local retailers try to quickly rid their racks of excessive inventory to make room for the latest fashion.

- Purchase items that coordinate well with what you already have in your wardrobe in terms of styling and color.

Using the above strategies will help you save on plus size clothing. Dressing well should not have to be an expensive endeavor for the full-figured woman.


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