Category Archives: Jewelry History

These Men Wear Tights, Heels, AND Jewelry

Little known fact (though, it’s easily accessed via Google and you can check it out in our previous blog) but men wore jewelry and heels well before women did. The first men to wear heels were Mongolian horsemen as a means to keep their feet from slipping out of the stirrup (explains cowboy boots now!). In towns that had dirt roads and horse-drawn carriages, the streets were unclean so men and women alike would wear heels to avoid dirt and poop.

Looking hot there, stud.

Hey there King Louis XIV.

Romans, in particular, had streets full of mud and garbage so they donned platform heels. Egyptian butchers wore high heels, to avoid stepping in offal (fancy word for internal organs and entrails of animals). King Henry II wore narrow pointed toes; many say it was to hide his deformed toes. Today, celebrities such as the singer formerly known as Prince, Elton John, and Mötley Crüe wear/wore heels more recently as a fashion statement.

In society, in the past and now, jewelry, gemstones, precious metals make you stand out. They glitter under the sun, impossible not to notice. The fancier you dress, the more people respect you. E.g. a man wearing a suit to an event will be spoken to more kindly than somebody dressed casually. Jewelry was a non-verbalize status and class, whether or not you were royalty or rich. It would have been awkward to walk around announcing your title and position.

My point simply is there were reasonable justifications for men wearing heels as well as wearing jewelry. It showed (it still does) status, grants a high stature (literally and figuratively) and I’m not altogether sure why heels and jewelry became a feminine trend. While jewelry may not be for everyone, and walking in heels is damn hard, jewelry has never gone out of style.

There are a few types of rings that jewelry makers designed to be more appealing for men (but women wear them too), let me break them down for you.

Spinner rings – These are by far my favorite type of men’s rings. They’re a blast to play with, while you’re sitting there waiting, bored, or just hanging out. It’s a better habit then chewing your nails, twiddling your thumbs (who still does this?), chewing your lip, doing dip, smoking, whatever may have you. I personally have a friend who purchased spinner rings to help combat her need to smoke and she hasn’t smoked for about a year now.

A spinner ring typically has two stationary sides; and a middle part the rolls/spins around the base. It can be composed on one singular metal, or a few different types. If you’re particularly religious you can check out our cross spinner ring clicking the words ‘spinner ring’ above.

spinner ring

Signet rings – Think in terms of how things like envelopes used to be sealed; typically with wax, via an insigma carved into a piece of metal or wood. These rings are a lot like that, and signet rings come in oval shapes, triangles, and shield shapes. They can be inscribed with text, or a shape. Masonic rings are a common type of signet ring.

signet ring

Rolling rings – Come in a series of two-three rings that are intertwined. There an interesting piece of jewelry, sometimes lined with diamonds and used as wedding bands.

rolling ring

Affiliation rings – Think Masonic, military, or scholarly like high school or college. These are typically a type of signet ring, but we’re giving it a separate category because these are probably the most common type of ring that men wear. Don’t forget sports jewelry, especially NASCAR.

affiliation ring

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Gemstones, Precious Metals and Jewelry

That will blow your mind.

1. The average age of diamonds varies from one to three million years old.

Diamonds are as old as some dinosaurs!

Diamonds are as old as some dinosaurs!

2. In Asia, the people swallow pearls whole and powdered for medicinal purposes

To this day, pearls are eaten for medicinal reasons. Don't try this at home for obvious reasons.

To this day, pearls are ingested! Invest don’t ingest!

3. Pure gold is always yellow in color, but it is much too soft to wear.

Melts in your hand, not your mouth. Oops, that M&Ms.

You’ll be golden with a few of these nuggets.

4. Lapis Lazuli was used by the Ancient Egyptians in the form of powder as eye shadow.

Talk about expensive makeup!

Talk about expensive makeup!

5. The only black gemstone that exists is the jet, composed of carbonized wood and coal, and usually comes from fossilized trees.

Don't jet, have a jet!

Don’t fret, have a jet!

6. Garnet comes from the Latin word granatum, which also means pomegranate.

These look good enough to eat!

These look good enough to eat!

7. Blonde-haired women used to don opals to protect the blonde color of their hair.

Give an opal to your Opal, oppa!

Having an opal is probably better than sunbathing.

8. Sapphires and rubies are mined together; both are a type of corundum mineral. Rubies are red due to chromium impurities, while sapphires get their color from iron, titanium, and chromium impurities. They are virtually indistinguishable other than color.

They're basically twins with different dye jobs.

They’re basically twins with different dye jobs.

9. Men wore jewelry before women did; they even wore heels before women.

Rock those pearls, sir!

Rock those pearls, dude!

10. The ocean actually contains gold; it is assumed there is nearly 20 million tons of gold under the mysterious surface.

Grown on trees? Not quite.

Grown on trees? Not quite.

11. Emeralds were Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone.

Ours too, Cleo!

Ours too, Cleo!

Alternatives to Traditional White & Yellow Gold

purple goldRose gold, also known as pink gold, Russian gold, and red gold, is a metal mixture that contains metals that have a red or pink sort of hue, such as copper or zinc. Other metals that can be combined are silver, in a very low percentage. A popular type of rose gold is called crown gold, it is approximately 75% gold and 22% copper and some silver. 14K red gold is a popular choice in the Middle East, a type of rose gold containing 42% copper and 58% gold. Metal components, may vary in percentage, mix, and variation, to create the exact type of brilliant color the jeweler so desires.

Although the names of this type of gold are interchangeable, the difference between pink, red, and rose gold is the content of copper or zinc. The stronger the copper content, the stronger the color red color. There are multitudes of different type of wedding band types, some you most likely have never heard of such as purple gold. Listed below for your convenience is an approximate percentage of metals that make up these unique metallic compositions.

Gold Type Components
18K Rose Gold 75% gold
22.25% copper
2.75% silver
14K Red Gold 58% gold
42% copper
18K Pink Gold 75% gold
20% copper
5% silver
18K Gray-White Gold 75% gold
17% iron
8% copper
18K Soft Green Gold 75% gold
25% silver
18K Light Green Gold 75% gold
23% copper,
2% cadmium
18K Green Gold 75% gold
20% silver
5% copper
18K Deep Green Gold 75% gold
15% silver
6% copper
4% cadmium
18K Blue White/Blue Gold 75% gold
25% iron
Purple Gold 80% gold
20% aluminum

We recommend, if you are looking for a certain type of wedding band, to something below 18K. The purity of the gold may be lower, but it is more sturdy. If you work with your hands a lot, we do not recommend 18K gold in the use of jewelry to be worn on your hands. If you are going to choose a karat 18K or higher, we advise it to be in jewelry that is not worn daily and not worn on body parts that are often used like feet or hands.

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All About Gold: Types, Karat, Composition, Durability (TKCD)

Stamps:
In the United States of America, it is required by the National Gold and Silver Marking Act of 1906, that all gold products be marked with a stamp of at least 1.5 karat of the stamp. It is considered unlawful to willfully stamp jewelry that is not a certain percent gold. This is the standard of fineness in gold jewelry. If there is ever a time you receive a piece of jewelry from GEMaffair.com that does not have a gold stamp, please contact us so we can have your jewelry appropriately stamped. Mistakes rarely occur, but when they do we will stand by our products.

Gold (Yellow & White):
GarnetGold is by far the most popular type of metal quality used when making jewelry. The most popular karat used in jewelry is 14K. A question we get far too often is, “What’s the difference between karats and what type of karat will last a long time?” If you are measuring a piece of 10K jewelry against one that is 14K, you can expect the 14K weight to be more, because gold is heavier than the other metals mixed with the gold. Pure gold is not typically used in gold jewelry. While it is the most expensive and most malleable type of gold, it is not durable. Listed below are the various components and percentile of gold within yellow gold jewelry

Metal Percent Other Components
10K Yellow Gold 41.7% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
12K Yellow Gold 50% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
14K Yellow Gold 58.5% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
16K Yellow Gold 66% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
18K Yellow Gold 75% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
20K Yellow Gold 83% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
22K Yellow Gold 91% copper, silver, zinc, nickel
24K Yellow Gold 99.9% copper, silver, zinc, nickel, x<0.1%

White gold is made up of other metallic components in contrast to yellow gold. It was first introduced in an attempt to imitate platinum. While yellow gold is almost always the same components (percent varying) to give it that ‘yellow’ color, white gold describes any gold metal combination with a white hue. Often, platinum will be used for a greater/heavier weight and durability as one of the components of white gold; the percentage of other metals in white gold ranges in percent and type of metal.

White gold can be made up of nickel (which is good for malleability), palladium, manganese, titanium, platinum, and more. The design and type of ring are often predetermined by jewelers before they are made. 22K to 24K white gold bands do not exist. By definition, white gold contains a white hue, and 24K pure gold is a yellow metal. It is difficult to remove all other particles from yellow gold, so pure gold is typically 99.9% gold metal.

Metal Percent Other Components
10K White Gold 41.7% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
12K White Gold 50% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
14K White Gold 58.5% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
16K White Gold 66% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
18K White Gold 75% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
20K White Gold 83% usually nickel, palladium or manganese
22K White Gold 91% Does not exist
24K White Gold 100% CANNOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT EXIST

Next UP in PART II, we will cover PURPLE gold as well as a brief history and explanation for why 10K gold in Brazil is still considered gold, but in Europe the lowest gold rating is 18K. Tune in and subscribe!

Celtic – Trinity Knot & Shamrocks Oh My!

Celtic jewelry is one of the most popular types of jewelry due to its subtle beauty and great, deep meaning. It’s as lovely and meaningful as a field of daisies on a spring, dewy morning. The icing on the cake is that you definitely do not have to be of Irish descent to don one of these significant pieces of jewelry.

Celtic Cross – Found all throughout Ireland, England, Scotland, and bordering Celtic islands, the Celtic cross is a kind of ornate cross that dates to the periods of the Druids and St. Patrick. The cross itself can come in an array of designs and symbols.

Celtic SpiralsCeltic Spirals – The triple celtic spiral is also known as the triskele, is symbolic of the “Three realms”, land, sea and sky. It is also thought to be symbolic of human pregnancy, each period broken up into three trimesters so it also makes sense it’s symbolic of fertility as well. It’d be a most excellent gift for a recently pregnant woman.

Shamrock – Good luck, that’s what most people think when they hear about a shamrock. However, it’s said that St. Patrick picked up a three-leaf clover to demonstrate the holy trinity while he was preaching. The Shamrock possibly wards off bad spirits.

Celtic Knots – The knots, in essence, are never ending. It stands for “no beginning, no ending” and a binding together of two souls or spirits. Many of these knots have been so popular that Christianity has often adopted it into their manuscripts and artifacts. Knots with a square shape are characterized by shields, symbols of protections.

Trinity KnotTrinity knot, a kind of Celtic Knot– A simple, Celtic symbol is the trinity knot. Like the shamrock, the three sided knot was metaphoric for the trinity, father son and holy spirit. It’s also associated with the number three such as the stages of womanhood: maid, mother, crone or elements like earth, fire, and water. The trinity knot has existed long before the Celtic cross.

Tree of life – This symbol is easy to explain, as it’s a common symbol in many cultures. At one point in time, Britain was covered by a lush, mighty forest. With roots that were deep within the earth, and branches that were often interlocked, the tree of life has become a meaningful representation of life, heaven and earth.

Famous Emeralds

Emeralds are a member of “The Big Four” which is an elite group of the four most coveted gemstones in the world. Emeralds are loved for their intense green color and their ability to be completely unique from one another. There are countless famous emeralds displayed all over the world, several of which can be found in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum under the National Gem and Mineral Collection.

Famous emeralds come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be found in famous pieces of emerald jewelry, royal crowns or simply by themselves; recognized purely for their brilliance in size or color such as the Bahia Emerald. This giant gemstone is considered to be one of the largest emerald stones ever to be found and weighs in at a staggering 1,9300,000 carats.

The Mogul Emerald is another of the world’s largest Emeralds and inscribed with an Islamic prayer and flowers. This holy tablet’s estimated value is over $2,000,000.

Some of the most famous and noteworthy famous emeralds are contained in the Crown of the Andes. This crown was made to honor the Virgin Mary who saved the citizens of Popayan, Columbia from a terrible plague. Emeralds were used in this crown because of their believed powers to ward of diseases, just as the Virgin Mary did for the small town. The magnificent crown is made of solid gold and decorated with 447 individual emeralds. The largest of the stones is named after the Inca Princess “Atahualpa” in honor of her death.

Gemstones of the Holy Bible

Now you can cherish the gemstones that were revealed in the Holy Bible with the Gemstones of the Holy Bible Collectors’ Edition gift set. This beautiful collection features 12 natural gemstones as they were recorded in the Book of Revelation in Chapter 21, from verses 19 and 20.  In that sacred text, the Bible lists the 12 stones linked to the 12 foundations of Heaven.   Each had their place in the Kingdom of Heaven and now they can find a place in your loving home.

The gemstones named in the Bible were among the most precious to ancient people and were revered for their rarity and beauty.  In addition to representing the foundations of Heaven, many believe the 12 stones are also linked to the 12 Apostles.   In the Gemstones of the Holy Bible Collector’s Edition gift set, they are  celebrated in a book shaped showcase jewelry box.  Each of the 12 stones has been cabochon cut into a rounded sphere and then lovingly hand placed into a white satin foundation plate.  Beneath the foundation plate, a full jewelry box is concealed so you can keep other treasures close at hand.

Gilded onto the white satin, the stone’s names shine brightly.  Included in the gift set is a pamphlet which contains yet more information on each one of the stones and its ties to the holy book.  Opposite the shimmering gemstones on a deep black background, the text which names the stones in the Bible from from the Book of Revelation shines in vibrant gold print.

A solid sterling silver cross pendant with solid silver chain is included with this lovely set. The pendant was uniquely designed for this beautiful collector’s edition in such a way that you can wear any one of the 12 stones in it as a center piece.  Just take one of the smooth stones, slip it into the center of the solid silver cross design and secure the beautiful bauble with the safety clip.   Each stone is interchangeable so you can showcase the Heaven stone of your choice in your everyday wardrobe while the others are displayed beautifully in the jewelry keepsake box.

Careful attention to detail has been given to ensure your Gemstones of the Holy Bible Collector’s Edition will not only be a loving gift, but also a treasured heirloom for years to come.   Get one for yourself and family and celebrate the Kingdom of Heaven every day of the year.

 

 

From The Book of Revelation

Chapter 21 Verses 19 and 20

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysophrase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.”