Tag Archives: love

Father’s Day Love

Father’s Day is June 21st this year.

Make sure you take some time to stop and tell him you miss dancing on his feet, being swung high and free in his arms and that you can now look back and appreciate all of the nagging you thought was once unbearable.

Happy Father's Day

To help you celebrate, GEMaffair.com is giving you 15% off any jewelry purchase over $25 (Coupon does not include watches – they’re already as low as they can go!). Just use code DADGRADS at checkout to receive your swanky refund. If you need help with ideas, just click the little “chat” applet on any product page and I’ll swing in to help you find the perfect doo-dad for your papa (and grandpapa too!).

Some Father’s Day Gift Ideas:
So dad doesn’t golf, fish or watch NASCAR – you may be thinking you’re in trouble, but you’re not.

1.  Think about a giving him a nice chronograph watch. Watches are great because you can tailor them to your dad’s specific needs.  If your dad plays a lot of sports, go for a sports chronograph with second hand subdial.  That way he can time the action and look good while he’s doing it.   If your dad is more refined, try the Bulova Oxford.  The leather strap and unique dial shape give this watch a sophisticated appeal that’s quite catching.

2.  Dad has no style you lament. Don’t worry – Father’s Day is the perfect time to update your dad’s look AND give him a present. Your best bet is a simple ring, like the grey quartz cat’s eye ring or a masculine onyx number. It will go with everything and is both casual and dressy. It’s a win-win.

Racing Mother of Pearl and Onyx Yellow Gold Mens Ring

3.   Even if your dad does like the above mentioned, dad-sanctioned activities, we’ve got the perfect thing to help him celebrate his hobbies all year long.   Try the golf money clip bill fold or a racing ring.  For more racing jewelry – both rings and pendants, check out our Racing Section.

Dads rock.  Let yours know too.

Three-Stone Jewelry for Life

Past, Present and Future jewelry pieces are everywhere – from earrings to rings to pendants – but how did this simple three stone design get so popular?Introduced in 2000, past-present-future jewelry is basically a simple three stone setting, often with graduated stones, arranged vertically or horizontally.  Just like any trend, past-present-future pieces rose in popularity due to the simple beauty of their design.  While there is beauty in simplicity, it was the meaning behind the piece that caught the world’s attention. Each of the three stones represents a station in life or a milestone reached so the jewelry not only accents your wardrobe, but celebrates your life.

One stone represents the past- either as a couple or as an individual.

One stone represents the present- life as a couple now.

One stone represents the future- either as a family or as a promise to the future together.

The design reminds us that life is who we are.  We write our own stories.  While the past is set, it does help to shape the present, which in turn shapes the future.  The three are intrinsically linked to one another through eternity and so represented in the jewelry design.

The sentimental meaning behind the design makes it an excellent gift for celebrating special moments in life like anniversaries, engagements, weddings, graduations or births.

For anniversaries or weddings, a couple can use the design to symbolize their union by celebrating road they’ve been on, their position in life now and look forward to what may be.  For this reason, the three stone past, present, and future design is commonly used in engagement and wedding rings, but it also makes an excellent right hand ring as the ladies from Sex in the City taught us.

The design is also commonly given at the time of high school or college graduation.  The stones in the design symbolize the effort and hard work done, commemorate the moment, and give encouragement for the years ahead.

Families also seek the multifaceted design to celebrate the birth of a child as the stones represent the life as a couple, the birth of a family and the future joy the birth will bring.  While diamonds are often the most popular gemstone used in past-present-future jewelry, many choose to personalize this type with the child’s birthstone.

Whether it is a ring, pendant, earrings or bracelet, three stone past-present-future pieces will continue to remain popular because they are so versatile.  The design’s simple beauty complements every type of attire, can accomodate any number of different gemstone combinations and it can symbolize so many different lifetime milestones.

The Claddagh is not just for the Irish Anymore

Claddagh jewelry design originated in Ireland.   It is named for a small fishing village in Galway with the same name.  Legend tells that a young fisherman by the name of Richard Joyce crafted the ring as a token of his affection for his true love.  The story goes that the young sailor was

Galway

Galway

bound for the West Indies but kidnapped and sold into slavery.  His new master was a wealthy Moorish goldsmith.  Though a slave, Joyce learned the art of goldsmithing from his master and it seems an understanding had grown between the two men.

In fact, when King William III ordered the slaves to be released, Joyce’ master invited him to stay on.  Not as a slave or worker, but as a son in law.  He offered Joyce his daughter’s hand in marriage and half of his estate as a dowry, but the sailor could not accept for his heart belonged to another.

Painting of Galway by Daniel Fishback

Painting of Galway by Daniel Fishback

While in exile, he never stopped yearning for his one true love.  Upon returning to Galway, the ever faithful Joyce presented his lovely lady with a golden ring.  The ring featured two hands securely cradling a heart topped with a crown.  It was the first Royal Claddagh ring.

Though he had been away for fourteen years, the woman he loved remained as steadfast as Penelope from Homer’s Iliad.  She remained faithful.  They married and Joyce continued creating beautiful jewelry, but the design created out of love and longing became his legacy.

Today, the ring symbolizes the same as it did in the 17th century:  Love, friendship, fidelity, and loyalty. The two hands represent friendship as each delicately cradles the heart as though protecting it from harm.  The crown symbolizes royalty and fidelity and the heart everlasting love.  The claddagh design is a beautiful representation of both love and friendship.

For this reason, it is no longer considered simply an Irish treasure.  The distinctive design has  spread to all parts of the world and is given by anyone who wants to show their attachment to another.

Agate Celtic Earrings

Claddagh earrings or necklaces are popular styles given as gifts from one friend to another to symbolize an everlasting friendship.  Earrings, like the ones at the left, are a beautiful representation of one’s  true affection for another.  Claddagh rings are also extremely popular and actually have an additional meaning all their own.

If a claddagh ring is worn on the right hand and the tip of the heart points ourward, it means the wearer is single as their heart is open for another to receive. If the heart points inward, it means the wearer may be off the market soon. If the ring is on the left hand and the heart points inward, the wearer’s heart completely belongs to someone.  This, in addition to the qualities the ring represents in friendship, love, loyalty and fidelity,  makes it a popular choice for engagement, wedding and promise rings.

Whether you choose gold or silver, Claddagh jewelry is a great way to show love and affection for a friend, family member or significant other. It tells the story of two lovers torn apart by fate and returned to one another through chance.  Their love, friendship and faithfulness are as lasting as the style itself.

The hands are there for friendship, the heart is there for love. For loyalty throughout the year, the crown is raised above.

Anniversary Gift Giving Guide

Certain gifts have always been associated with certain anniversaries, but there was no “traditional gift” for any particular year until  Emily Post – etiquette guru – published a list of suggested anniversary gifts and their corresponding years in her 1922 publication, “Etiquette.”  While Post’s list is one of the most well known anniversary gift guides today, it may not be as traditional as it seems.

For thousands of years, couples have received precious gemstones from their loved ones as anniversary gifts.  The stones weren’t just given as congratulatory baubles, but as talisman.  The Romans wore them as symbols of love, protection, and status.  The Egyptians gave amethyst, turquoise and lapis lazuli. These gifts were meant to bring the couple through the coming years safely together, and if all went well – some of the gemstones were said to bring fertility, prosperity, and spiritual guidance.

For this reason, there is now a respected Anniversary Gemstone List.  It is not only endorsed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) but also the American Gem Society, the American Gem Trade Association, and the Jewelers of America. Each year, as love grows and the relationship builds, the gifts are said to correspond accordingly with a couple’s needs and symbolize the bond of two as one. Below is the accepted Gemstone Anniversary Gift Giving Guide. You will notice that some (like with Ms. Post’s gift giving guide) offer two or three different options.

Anniversary Stones Gift Guide:

Anniversary Year Gemstone Gift Anniversary Year Gemstone Gift
1 Gold or Freshwater Pearls 18 Cat’s Eye or Opal
2 Garnet or Rose Quartz 19 Aquamarine or Topaz
3 Pearl or Crystal 20 Emerald or Platinum
4 Blue Topaz or Amethyst 21 Iolite
5 Sapphire or Turquoise 22 Spinel
6 Amethyst or Garnet 23 Imperial Topaz or Sapphire
7 Onyx, Copper or Lapis Lazuli 24 Tanzanite
8 Tourmaline or Bronze 25 Sterling Silver
9 Lapis Lazuli or Tiger’s Eye 30 Pearls, Jade or Diamonds
10 Diamond 35 Emerald, Coral or Jade
11 Turquoise or Jade 40 Ruby
12 Jade, Agate or Pearl 45 Sapphire or Alexandrite
13 Citrine, Malachite or Moonstone 50 Gold
14 Opal, Ivory or Moss Agate 55 Alexandrite or Emerald
15 Ruby or Crystal 60 Diamonds
16 Peridot 65 Star Sapphire
17 Amethyst or Citrine 75 Gold and Diamonds

Absent but ever present

I was sitting at my desk today staring at my monitor frazzled and frustrated by a section of code I had been working on for about an hour.  Nothing was going well and I couldn’t coerce the tags to do my bidding.  It was hellish.

While looking blankly at a page filled with carrots, slashes, and unintelligible html commands, I realized I was rubbing the locket around my neck.

Sterling Silver Locket

Sterling Silver Locket

It had been a gift from a friend several months ago.

I’ve known Ashleigh for what seems like my entire life.  We bonded in high school over our love for fast music and thrift store finds.  A few months ago, she called me and said, “I’m moving to California.”  I didn’t have a response.  What could I say?  We live in Florida.  California might as well be Mars, but she was moving for love. Her boyfriend of five years was offered a job. She had to go too.

Distance never mattered before because it was always a temporary thing. When I moved away for college or she an internship, we always knew we make our way back to one another. We stayed close, visited often, and endured.

I knew this was somehow different. She was going. Not coming back. Gone. It wouldn’t change who we were to one another, or take away any of the importance she has in my life – which only made it harder. My best friend was leaving. She would be gone in two weeks, driving across the country all the way to San Diego.

I didn’t want her to go; I didn’t want her to drive across the country alone, and being 25, her parents didn’t want her to either.  I suggested I come along for the ride.

Since it would be our last adventure together for quite some time, we decided to make it a memorable one.  We would be stopping in New Orleans, San Antonio, Tombstone, and then finally reach San Diego late on the third day.  It was a lot to pack into three days, but we managed.  We had Hurricanes the first night, fought off an invading army in a doomed church the second, and found our Huckleberry the third.  It was great, and there’s no one else I could manage to stand on a drive like that but her.

Ashleigh takes in Canal StreetTombstone GraveyardThe Alamo has no basementSan Diego Beach Access

Once we arrived in San Diego, we ran around, caught up with our friend Chad (last picture on the right), chased seals, got lost, and introduced ourselves to the city.  Two days later, I was leaving.  At 4 a.m. she drove me to the airport, and while being chastised by airport security, handed over a small newspaper wrapped box.  I opened it and saw a pretty sterling silver locket and chain.

I’m not really the sentimental type, but I was not expecting this and most definitely wasn’t prepared for what she had put inside.  I opened it expecting to find a picture of us, or something silly that would make me laugh.  Instead, there was a small, rolled up slip of paper.  It was a fortune cookie reading.  The battered paper read “You heart will soon bond with another.”

The red letters and cheesy line immediately took me back seven years. I was leaving Florida to attend college in Pennsylvania and Ashleigh and I were recovering from an exhaustive, but lucrative day of thrift store shopping at a little Chinese restaurant. She got a fortune cookie, and that was her fortune. We joked that it was a sign that regardless of where we were, we’d always remain just like we were that day.

We did. We will. And I’m better for it.

Today, frustrated by the jerk who invented the html language, I realized that a good friend like Ashleigh is always there. Rubbing the locket – still cradling an aging, yellow fortune – gave me solace. Ashleigh is absent but ever present.

Our feet relaxing after a long drive on the roof of Ashleighs new apartment.