Friday, April 6, 2018

11 Unexpected Bridal Trends for 2018

This season designers are reinterpreting bridal looks in new, vintage-inspired, and completely unexpected ways. As the Bridal Fashion Week started unfolding, the runways saw gorgeous Fall Collections from designers like Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab and Reem Acra, just to name a few of my favorites.  

1.  Color
While white is still a favorite, it is no longer a must when it comes to a wedding dress. Off-White, ivory, cream, champagne are the familiar choices, but with pink, gold and light blue coming strongly from behind, there's more than just the right color when finding the perfect wedding dress.
2.  Black Accents
A surprising trend! This high-contrast detail is an easy way to add interest to any white dress. From black ribbons, gloves, belts, hairpieces, and other accessories, the sky is the limit on how brides can accessorize by incorporating this unexpected style.
3.  Oversized bows
Turn an ordinary wedding dress into something out of the ordinary with an extra large bow and add chic simplicity with mass appeal. 
4.  Casual
Now you can stay comfy on your wedding day without missing the mark, and even wear those pants that you love so much. Pantsuits, jumpsuits, and even elegantly tailored pants adorned with giant bows were all over the runways.
5.  Veils
Veils are getting an update with ingenious styling tricks. Embellished with a sparkly brooch and wrapped around the neck like a necklace, worn across the shoulders like a modern shawl, or attached to the back of your dress in a flowing display are new ways of wearing veils.
 6.  3D Florals
Use flowers to get graphic in the sweetest way possible. Three-dimensional embellishments add texture to a plain white dress, and ensure a clean yet unforgettable style. 
7.  Gloves
Gloves are a classic, yet rarely used accessory in association with a wedding gown. Try a classic satin pair, or modernize it with a dainty wrist-length style.
8.  Extreme Sleeves
Softly ruffled cap sleeves, long sleeves, wide sleeves and cut-out shoulders bring a feminine (and flattering) flair, and add movement while blowing gently in the wind.
9.  Capes and Capelets
Short, cropped, or full length, they not only look good, but also add that extra “something” that transforms an ordinary dress into a distinctive gown.  And for the bride who’s always cold, it’s got you “covered”.
10.  Victorian Elegance
The fashion of the Victorian era marks femininity at its finest with flounces, ruffles, and intricate lacework and it is brought back in modern ways by designers like Luisa Beccaria, Vera Wang and Galia Lahav.
 11.  Non-Traditional Jewelry
And last but not least, throw the traditional out the window and go for a bold shoulder necklace that can complete your bridal look in more ways than one. 

Sources:  Elle and Glamour. Images courtesy of Pinterest. Thank you!  


ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Diamond - The "Forever" Stone

Birthstones Series - April Diamond

Diamond is the official birthstone for the month of April as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912.  It is also considered to be the birthstone for Aries and accepted as the 10th and 60th wedding anniversary presents.

The diamond signifies love, eternity, strength and everlasting affection so it comes as
Mary of Burgundy, Maximillian of Austria
and the first diamond engagement ring on record  
no surprise that
this stone is gracing the engagement rings of women everywhere.  It is believed that the tradition of the diamond engagement ring originated from a Roman custom in which wives wore rings attached to small keys, indicating their husband’s ownership.  It wasn’t until 1477, that Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility.   

Composed of carbon, the diamond is not only the hardest precious gemstone, but also the hardest known natural substance on earth, ranking at number 10 on the Mohs scale. Its structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature and can only be cut with another diamond. That fact, combined with its brilliant fire and exceptional luster, has made the diamond one of the most prized gemstones in the world.  In 1870 South Africa became the highest producer of diamonds, although Australia is currently the main source, as well as Botswana, Brazil, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zaire, and the US.

Most diamonds form under extreme pressure and at very high temperatures, typically at depths of over 100 miles inside Earth's mantle. On average, diamond formation occurs over periods of 1 to 3.3 billion years, until they are surfaced through deep volcanic eruptions of a rare type of magma called kimberlite.

The name diamond was taken from the Greek word “adamas” meaning invincible, a sheer testament to its remarkable and superior hardness. The superlative physical qualities of diamond are credited to the strong covalent tetrahedral bonding between its transparent crystals. Each individual carbon atom is connected to four other carbon atoms, all of which are very closely packed. This formation yields a remarkably strong three-dimensional cubic structure. Diamond's cubic crystal pattern is also completely symmetrical, which allows it to refract light in all directions at the same velocity.

Colored Diamonds
Diamonds are traditionally colorless or white. This is the most desired state of the stone and also the rarest.  Because of the way Diamonds form from gases underground, it is rare for them not to be cloudy or have a tint of yellow or brown.  Colorless diamonds are the cleanest and sparkle the most, which is what most people prefer.  However, there are other tints such black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow.  The color is dependent upon the type of impurities that are present in the stone. For instance, yellow stones have minuscule traces of nitrogen, while the blue ones contain boron.

Although it is a gem of winter, the color of ice, Diamond is a crystal of Light; its high frequency energy is dispersed into flashing prisms of brilliant “fire” that reminds us of the sun. It is a spiritual stone, a symbol of perfection and illumination, activating the Crown and Etheric Chakras. It enhances inner vision and stimulates creativity, imagination, and ingenuity, opening the mind to the “new” and “possible.”

Diamonds are graded by what the market calls the Four C's: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. The quality of the cut, the color, the lack of impurities, and the size/weight, are the standards that dictate the value for each stone.

The ancient Hindus believed that diamonds were created by lightning bolts that struck the Earth. Greek legends entail that diamonds are the tears of the Gods, star splinters and crystallized lightening.

The world's most precious gem is said to represent faith, loyalty, honesty, purity, love and innocence, and bestow on the wearer peace and fulfilling relationships. It is believed to inspire creativity in individuals and bring its owner protection, wealth and happiness.

As Frances Gerety wrote for an advertising campaign for De Beers in 1947, "A Diamond is Forever"!

Happy Birthday to all of those born in April!

Sources:  Gem Select, Crystal Vaults and American Gem Society. Thank you!  


ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Aquamarine, The Treasure of Mermaids

Oval Cut Aquamarine

Birthstones Series - March Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the official birthstone for the month of March as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also commonly recognized as the zodiac stone for the constellation of Scorpio (although it is usually referred to as beryl in this regard).

Aquamarine evokes the purity of crystalline waters, and the exhilaration and relaxation of the sea. It is calming, soothing, and cleansing, and inspires truth, trust and letting go.

The name Aquamarine was derived from the Latin words, "aqua" meaning water, and "mare" meaning sea. This is because of its color's close resemblance to sea water. Aquamarine was considered sacred to the god of the sea, Neptune. It is documented that it was used by the Greeks between 480-300 BC. They would wear Aquamarine amulets engraved with the water god Poseidon to protect them against perils and monsters of the sea. Legend also says that Aquamarine was the treasure of the mermaids and for this reason, sailors would wear it to keep them safe on voyages out to sea and prevent seasickness. Today it protects all who travel by, over, or near water, and opens the channels of clear and heartfelt communication.

It is said that Aquamarine will provide its wearer with everlasting youth and happiness, provide courage, cure laziness and quicken the intellect. Aquamarine can replace anger and negativity with mental peace and clarity, providing the wearer with emotional and mental balance. For these reasons it is considered to be an effective treatment for anxiety.


As a love crystal, it is believed that pale blue Aquamarine encourages a lover to return, helps two people with different lifestyles to live together in harmony, and reduces the effects of sensitive issues that cause quarrels. Aquamarine is often given as a love token or eternity ring, and increases commitment and fidelity "as long as the waters of the earth flow".
30.5 ct Aquamarine Pendant
ADORA by Simona Original Design


Aquamarine is the blue variety of Beryl, being mined mainly in Brazil, but also found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique. The gorgeous aquamarine pendant featured in the ADORA by Simona original design pictured on the left comes from Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil, where some of the highest quality specimens of brilliant blue stones are mined. The pendant is a 30.5ct antique cushion cut flawless aquamarine, set in vermeil (14K gold over sterling silver) and enhanced by 23 white sapphires.   



The pictures below show the difference between a raw aquamarine stone and a cut, polished and enhanced stone. They are both beautiful!



                                          Happy Birthday to all of you born in March!

ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection.

For one-of-a-kind jewelry designs created with both raw and enhanced stones please visit ADORA by Simona.


Sources: American Gem Society and Gem Select.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Amethyst, The Crystal With A Mysterious Energy

Oval Cut Amethyst
Birthstones Series - February Amethyst 

The official birthstone for the month of February is Amethyst, a gemstone that has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions. Amethyst has always been associated with the month of February and it is said to be the stone of St. Valentine and faithful love. It carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality, yet bears the logic of temperance and sobriety.

The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from the Greek a- "not" + methustos "intoxicated".  In Ancient times, Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing that wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate.


The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from the Greeks. Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, got angry over an insult and determined to avenge himself.  He decreed that the first person he should meet would be devoured by his tigers. The unfortunate mortal happened to be a beautiful maiden named Amethystos on her way to worship at the shrine of Artemis. As the ferocious beasts sprang, she sought the protection of the goddess and was saved by her by being turned into a pillar of clear, white crystal. Dionysus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.
 
The Empress of Uruguay
By today’s classifications amethyst is a semiprecious stone, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a precious stone worth at times in history as much as a Diamond. It belongs to the microcrystalline branch of quartz and it occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple (due to iron and aluminum impurities), sometimes exhibiting red and blue secondary hues. The best varieties of Amethysts can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the Far East. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being Prasiolite.

Situated just an hour from the Cairns international Airport on the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, The Crystal Caves are home to the world’s biggest Amethyst Geode, “The Empress of Uruguay”. At well over 11 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, its size is certainly impressive but it is the sheer beauty of the tens of thousands of perfect, deep purple Amethyst crystals that nature has formed naturally inside, that truly amaze everyone who sees her.

Ametrine
An interesting gemstone from the same family (and a favorite of mine) is Ametrine, a natural bicolor combination of amethyst and citrine. Color band combinations in ametrine can range from pale-violet to deep-purple and from pale-yellow to gold-brown. The colors of the zones visible within Ametrine are caused by different oxidation states of iron within the crystal, which occurred due to temperature changes across the crystal during its formation.

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone, a crystal with a mysterious energy. It is said to be a meditative and calming stone that works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.

Sources: Wikipedia, Gem Select and Crystal Vaults. Images courtesy of Gem Select and Panoramio 


Happy Birthday to all of you born in February!

ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection.


For quality one-of-a-kind jewelry created with Amethyst please visit ADORA by Simona.