September 2016

September 1, 2016

Country crooner Carrie Underwood sports a canary yellow diamond. Actress Blake Lively wears a pretty pale pink sparkler. Thinking about joining the lovely ladies who don fancy colored diamonds? Here are some facts to consider:

Fancy colored diamonds are rare.

 

“Natural fancy colored diamonds are very rare, and it is absolutely awe-inspiring how such beauty can be formed naturally in the earth. Only one in every 10,000 diamonds created naturally will be a fancy colored diamond. Rarity equals value. With ‘white’ diamonds in the normal D to Z color grading range, value is based on the absence of color, because colorless diamonds (a D on the color scale) are the rarest. Fancy colored diamonds march to the beat of their own drum. Fancy colored diamonds are any diamond with a color falling outside the normal color grade range. Even very slight color differences can have a big impact on value. It is helpful to know that many natural fancy diamond colors are muted to the naked eye rather than strong and pure. Every naturally formed diamond is as individual as the commitment shared between two people,” says Sue Davidson, graduate gemologist and sales associate at Long’s Jewelers.

 

Yellow and brown are the most common colors. Red is the rarest.

“The colors available are red, purple, green, orange, black, gray, brown, fancy white, along with yellow, pink, and blue. Yellow and brown are the most common of fancy colors available today. The meanings of each color are interesting. Keep in mind they have always been just for fun and entertainment. Here are a few examples: Red colored diamonds show confidence and power; the color red often symbolizes good luck. Pink, like with roses, is representative of creativity, love, and romance. Brown or champagne colored diamonds are often connected with nature; this earthy color may represent harmony and tradition. Orange colored diamonds symbolize energy and enthusiasm, while yellow colored diamonds show happiness and joy. Blue colored diamonds represent peace, spirituality, and good health. Black many times can be seen as a negative color, but a black colored diamond may represent sophistication,” says Davidson. Red is the rarest color according to Donna DePrisco of DePrisco Jewelers who suggests that you make sure a diamond is certified by the Gemological Institute of America before you make your purchase.

“The difference in diamond color is primarily influenced by the trace minerals trapped during the formation of the diamond. A diamond is comprised of carbon. What makes a diamond yellow is the amount of nitrogen trapped in its atomic structure. Blue is formed by the presence of boron in the bonding of the diamond’s atoms. Pink is influenced by the result of extreme heat and pressure creating structural defects giving it its pink hue. Gray is formed from an excess of hydrogen. There are some colors that warrant more extensive laboratory testing to determine if the color is natural or a result of treatment,” notes Davidson.

 

 

Fancy Colored Diamonds Are Timeless

“Fancy colored diamonds are always in style. They offer a strong sentiment of any occasion no matter what it may be. A fancy colored diamond ring is a keepsake that will live through the generations with a story of love so rare that very few have the opportunity of experiencing it,” says Davidson.

Written by Stacey Marcus

 

 

September 1, 2016

Hydrangeas and dahlias and orchids, oh my! With so many dreamy blooms to choose from, it’s no wonder you’re overwhelmed with wedding flowers. Luckily, Jennifer and Gerry Gaudet are happy to help. They’re the owners of A Beautiful Bouquet in Leicester, MA, and as their name suggests, they make some beautiful arrangements. We got the inside scoop on how they got started, all the styles to look out for, and what to keep in mind when deciding on flowers—from centerpieces to bouquets and beyond.

How did you get into the flower business?

Flowers have always been a love of mine. I went to agricultural school in Danvers for floriculture and worked in flower shops for years. But about seven years ago, it was time to be on my own. There was certainly a learning curve—I only took one business course in college! But with the help of my husband and the Internet, we figured it out.

What’s it like working side by side creating arrangements for other couples?

For the most part, I’m the creative force, but Gerry’s there running vases to the table—and he always has to make sure everything is perfectly centered! We balance each other out in a yin-and-yang way. For example, I’ll say, “That needs to go up a little,” when decorating an arbor, and he’ll say, “It looks fine.” Gerry also takes care of most of the back-end stuff while I do the pricing and design.

Do you have a certain style you’re partial to, or do you always customize your designs?

We always want to make sure we do whatever the bride is looking for, and I always like to add in her favorite flower, if she has one. (I always ask at the beginning of each appointment.) Contemporary style (something modern and minimalist) is a little difficult—I’m more comfortable with a “natural garden style,” as I like to call it. If I’m giving my free hand, I usually go with whatever’s trending at the moment.

So what is trending right now?

Lots of natural elements! Things like greenery, berries, and pods. Nowadays, I get so many requests for trailing greens or all garland and no flowers—the look is beautifully natural and neutral. Also, bouquets and boutonnieres have become much more refined. They used to be very one-dimensional and now people like them more layered.

 

What steps can couples take to ensure they choose the right flowers?
Pinterest is a fabulous resource—but it’s important to remember it’s global. You can bring in a pin that’ll say something is a “fall flower,” but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a fall flower available in New England—maybe in California or Europe! It’s always helpful to do your research beforehand. Nevertheless, pictures definitely help so I can get an idea of the style the bride is looking for.

How much money do you recommend a couple put towards flowers?

A typical recommendation is about 10% of the budget, but it varies. For example, if you’re having a rustic wedding in a barn, you’ll likely be spending less than a wedding at a high-end hotel with ceilings 15 feet high. Typically, flowers are geared towards the theme of the wedding. And always get a few quotes from more than one florist. An average bouquet cost might be $200 at one place and $100 at another!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I had a bride last summer who I remember was waving her hand in front of her eyes, teary-eyed when the flowers were brought in, and her mom was gushing, saying that they were perfect. Everyone was oohing and ahhing. That’s how I want to end my day every day. That’s my favorite part.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with couples choosing their wedding flowers?

Go with your heart. Find what makes you happy. I sat with a girl the other day who brought three people with her—and I don’t think any of them had the same opinion as her. Bring someone who’s the same style level as you. Essentially, if you don’t agree on styles with your mom, don’t bring your mom to the flower shop!

Written by Diana Whelan

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