White Gold or Yellow Gold?

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White Gold or Yellow Gold?  YES!

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It’s almost a question for the ages–or at least the last century or so: Should I choose white gold or yellow gold for my ring?

 

The answer is not so simple, and yet, it is.

 

While there are trends that come and go in jewelry–for instance, you see a lot of white gold in jewelry from the 20s and 30s, and you saw a lot of yellow gold in the 80s and 90s–it currently is really anyone’s game.

 

There are several things that you might want to take into consideration when selecting gold jewelry. The first, of course, is preference.  If you don’t have a strong preference for one or the other, think about which might look better with your coloring–some people think they look better in one metal tone or another.

 

The second is maintenance. In it’s natural form, all gold is yellow.  In fact, it’s usually a rather rich orangey yellow.  White gold is alloyed with other white metals–usually nickel, manganese, or palladium–in order to achieve it’s white color.  But the story of white gold doesn’t end there. Typically, white gold jewelry is also coated in a thin layer of a platinum-family white metal called rhodium. The rhodium is bonded to the jewelry by a process called electroplating, where the item being plated is dipped in a solution with dissolved rhodium, and then jolted with electricity, causing the rhodium in the solution to bond to the gold, giving the bright, white appearance. The procedure is semi-permanent, in that the bonding is permanent, but the layer of metal on the surface is quite thin. After a while–especially things that are worn very regularly, like rings–nearly all jewelry will show a little wear and tear. When the rhodium layer of a piece of white gold jewelry wears off or starts wearing thin, the ring will begin to look duller, as un-plated white gold has a bit of (what I can only think to refer to as) a “dishwatery” appearance.  Yellow gold generally just needs a quick polish to get it looking brand new again, while white gold will need polishing and then to be re-plated with rhodium (often referred to as “dipping”).  This is something that nearly any jeweler can do for you, for a nominal fee. If you purchased your diamond ring from Union Diamond, you can bring it in to have it polished or polished and re-plated, free of charge, and usually while you wait.  How often you’d choose to have your jewelry re-plated is also a matter of preference, and depending on the ring and the wear, some people go very long periods of time without ever re-plating their white gold jewelry.

Rose Gold Jewelry
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Wedding Photography Tips for Summer

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Behind the Bench

News and Musings from Union Diamond

Spring and Summer are the most popular times to say “I do” and wedding season is now in full swing. Wedding trends come and go…mason jars, burlap, photo booths, and pastel florals are on the way out…vibrant color, minimalist design, unique dessert options and vintage engagement rings are trending for 2016. In the end, the most important nuptial decisions involve careful selection of a wedding photographer to capture these lifelong memories and selecting the perfect wedding bands to commemorate your special day.

 

Union Diamond partners with many spectacular wedding vendors. We are especially fond of our relationship with Melissa Prosser Photography! Melissa Prosser is trusted with styling and photographing our stunning product photo shoots and we welcome her as guest blogger to our Behind the Bench Newsletter!

 

  1. 1. If you live in the south, we all know it can get a bit toasty outside.  A great idea is to provide water bottles for your guests as they arrive.  Helps take the heat factor down and cools your guests off!  

 

  1. 2. Fans!!!  Make your program a fan.  It’s adorable, functional, and fun!

 

  1. 3. Set your ceremony time later!!!  This is such a great idea.  An ideal ceremony time during the summer is 6:30pm.  The main heat of the day has passed, the sun is a little lower and photos will be perfect. Daylight doesn’t fade until about 8:30pm, so there is still plenty of time for photos.

 

  1. 4. If you can’t start your ceremony later, save some time for sunset photos!  This is the most beautiful time of the day to photograph.  The light is perfect for that time of you and your honey to snuggle up for some camera time.

 

  1. 5. Make sure to get photos of your rings!  We like to take some dedicated time during the reception to get creative portraits of your rings.  They symbolize your marriage, so it’s important to get a great photo of the pair together.  We usually look around the room and find something that is representative of your day and take some photos of them.  The reception is the ideal time to do this since we have ample time to set up the shots and get it just perfect.
Melissa Prosser Photography is a boutique studio specializing in weddings and portraits.  We have been in the industry for 11 years and absolutely love getting to know our clients and capturing the wedding day of their dreams.  We have several teams that work together to document each event from start to finish.  Our main focus is to capture moments as they unfold.  We are constantly looking around the space to capture moments like mom giving the bride a kiss, dad bawling his eyes out as he gives his little girl away.  All of those moments are what we as photographers live for.  When photographing the couple together after the wedding (a favorite moment for sure!) we still capture the couple naturally.  No awkward poses or unnatural smiles.  Just the newlyweds being happy and married!
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Yellow Diamonds

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Behind the Bench

News and Musings from Union Diamond

Did you know that diamonds come in nearly every color of the rainbow? Termed ‘fancy color diamonds’ in the diamond industry, colored diamonds have been steadily gaining in popularity. When grading the color of fancy diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses terms such as Light, Intense and Vivid to define the saturation of color in yellow diamonds. Large, vivid colored diamonds are extremely valuable as evidenced by The Hope Diamond, the world’s most famous gem, a 45.52-carat fancy deep grayish-blue diamond. This diamond is valued at $350 million!
Pop culture has also influenced the popularity of colored diamonds..Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a 6.1-carat pink diamond worth $1.2 million. And while this relationship wasn’t meant to be, and not to be out-done, J Lo was recently gifted a 14-carat blue diamond from husband Marc Anthony upon their first wedding anniversary….valued at over $4 million!!
We share with you some exclusive pieces from Union Diamond’s fancy yellow diamond collection. Yellow diamonds hold tremendous value and we think you will swoon over these beauties.

 


Cushion Cut FCY Color 18K White Gold 4.52 Carat Yellow Diamond Ring


Round Cut LY Color 18K White Gold 1.01 Carat Yellow Diamond Ring


Cushion Cut FCY Color 18K White Gold  5.24 Carat Yellow Diamond Ring


Radiant Cut FIY Color Platinum 10 Carat Yellow Diamond Ring


Round Cut FCY Color 18K White Gold 1.41 Carat Yellow Diamond Ring

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Guest Blogger and Vendor Spotlight…Event Passion!

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Introducing Keshawn Hughes of Event Passion, LLC! Union Diamond has been designing engagement rings for over 15 years, and we especially appreciate the relationships we’ve cultivated with other wedding designers, artists, and vendors over the years. Keshawn provides wedding and event planning services in the Atlanta area, and we think you’ll swoon over the magic and creative flair she provides when planning for the big day or a special event.

 

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Wedding Wisdom: Invitation Vendor Interview

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We are pleased to introduce you to our wedding vendor partner, Alee & Press!

We think you’ll swoon over this Atlanta-based event invitation designer!

 

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Tell us a little about you and your company.

About a decade ago I drove three days non-stop from Georgia to Northern Canada to pick up the letterpress of my dreams. I crammed it into my 700 square foot condo, quit my corporate design job, and launched Alee & Press with a line of letterpress wedding invitations and baby announcements. We specialize in invitation designs & letterpress printing. One launch of a wholesale greeting card line and two studios later we are continuing to do what we love. We’re about ready to open an Invitation Studio here in Atlanta called The Impressionist where we will be able to have face-to-face sit-downs to share the excitement of specials days with clients. When I’m not in the studio I’m teaching at The Creative Circus, working out or traveling.

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How do you differentiate yourself from other invitation designers?

Our love for typography, color and simple sentiments are the driving force behind our work. We definitely have our own style but we work with our clients to tailor each custom piece so It is a true reflection of them & their event.
We go above and beyond with all our clients and give exceptional custom service.

What was the most unique design request you’ve had to accommodate? 

We get unique requests all the time! One that has stuck in my head was a request for a custom illustration of the couples dog with a halo over it’s head. Their poor pup had passed away but they still wanted to include him on their save-the-date.

 

Tell us about one of your most favorite designs.

I have so many favorites and they are constantly changing with new work. I would say that anything that is simple + typographic and printed in black ink on a very thick paper stock with a deep impression will always win me over. I love anything that is timeless & not over designed.

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How do you creatively challenge yourself? What are your sources for inspiration?

I am never at a loss for inspiration or for being challenged. We are continually coming up with new designs, collections & products. Most of the time the challenge is in deciding which direction to take and how to edit down the ideas.

The most influential places for being inspired comes from traveling abroad, type & typography & nature. I also feed off of other peoples energy which is why I love teaching in the creative field. My students are so passionate and excited about design that it gets me fired up and I find it very inspiring & motivating.

How is the wedding invitation and stationary landscape evolving? Any recent trends that are on the forefront? Any you could do without?

It’s not just about the invitation and having a matching suite. We are constantly pushing our clients to think about all the opportunities they have with their paper goods to tell a story.
It’s more about creating something that is truly a reflection of the couple and the event they are having. There are definitely a lot of trends right now. The biggest being anything that is hand done. Custom illustrations, watercolor, & hand lettering or custom calligraphy. We love mixing it up and pushing the trends in unexpected ways so it doesn’t look like everything else out there. High end custom printing is also very popular right now. Everyone is trying to stand out from the crowd and from what is filling their Pinterest boards.

What is your favorite color combination?

This might be my all time dreaded question. I LOVE COLOR. It really depends on the day and my mood & what I’m trying to communicate. I tend to gravitate towards monochromatic or analogous color palettes with one hue or shade that feels a little off.
I like my color palettes to make a statement. I also will always love red & purple together but I rarely use this combination in my work.
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What tip of advice would you like to offer our readers when it comes to invitation design?

An invitation is a sneak peek of your big moment, it can be a first look full of gorgeous detail that sets the tone and mood, gives your guests something to dream about, and tells the very personal story of your day, before anyone even arrives.
Work with a designer that can help you take your vision from stuck in your head to saying something amazing on paper.
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Custom Diamond Rings Now 20% Off

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Custom Diamond Rings Now 20% Off!

“I’m interested in an extra special gift to commemorate my wife’s 40th birthday…”

“Our first baby is due, and my wife is expecting a push present…HELP!”

“Is it possible to use our family heirloom sapphire in a pendant?”

“I would like to design an engagement ring that’s a little unique…can you assist?”

 

Life’s magical moments are intended to be celebrated and treasured. And quite often, Union Diamond’s team is approached to help acknowledge such occasions with a custom piece of jewelry. Working together, ideas become a reality! Contrary to what you may believe, the custom design process can be a fun, engaging experience and is almost always possible within varying budgets and price points. Union Diamond’s jewelry designers and consultants have extensive experience in conceptualizing and crafting something unique, something just for you. You could say it’s kind of our thing…our forte.

So, how does the custom design process work?

 

Step 1…Inspiration meeting! We gather inspiration from all areas of life…nature, family, friends, art, travel…even the various forms of media targeting us each day inspire our ideas and senses. Let’s talk about your ideas! A consultation appointment will be scheduled. We invite you to provide any and all inspirational elements to this meeting…Pinterest boards, magazine clippings, sketches and concepts. And if you need additional inspirational resources, we can certainly provide those as well. An estimate is delivered based on our discussions.

 

Step 2…Blueprints and Renderings. Now for the fun…based on our inspirational meeting, drawings are then entered into our software program and a detailed CAD drawing is presented for review and discussion. Changes can be communicated and implemented. Once the drawings are approved, a wax mold is created to replicate the finished piece. Once again, we welcome your feedback and final approvals are received.

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Step 3…Shine On! Based on your metal selection, the finished piece is cast. Previously selected stones are set by our qualified and certified gemologists. Your finished piece is polished and packaged! The whole process can be completed in 4-6 weeks.

 

Ready to set and polish

 

All that’s left to do is to formulate your plan on presenting your handcrafted gift! Smiles await for years to come! If you’d like to learn more about Union Diamond’s Custom Jewelry Design, Click Here!

 

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PGA Star’s Hole in One Romance!

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Union Diamond – Jason and Stephanie

Everyone loves a good love story. And every engagement comes with a unique love story: sometimes humorous, sometimes unusual, but always with a touch of romance. It’s often the first question posed upon hearing about an engagement:

“How did he pop the question?

Where did it happen?

Did he get down on one knee?

Tell me about your ring!”…

We must admit, we love your proposal stories!

Union Diamond understands our sentimental role in fulfilling engagement dreams. Our sales team takes a very active role in listening, providing suggestions, and contributing honest feedback as you plan for this very exciting chapter in life. Your engagement is a moment you’ll always fondly remember, and our biggest compliment is for a client to excitedly describe their Union Diamond engagement ring to family and friends!

Union Diamond was delighted to assist PGA golfer, Jason Kokrak, in the search for a perfect engagement ring. We are pleased to share the sweet love story of Stephanie and Jason with you!

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Jason and Stephanie met at Saint Mary’s Middle School in Warren, Ohio in 1995. The two were part of a group of mutual friends for years throughout middle and high school. Often, friends would suggest that the two should be a couple. Jason and Stephanie didn’t have much contact until the end of college, when they returned home for a summer and a romance ensued. And, as they say, the rest is history.

 

Jason and Stephanie started dating in August of 2007 and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in  August 2008.  Jason played golf on the mini-tours for a few years before earning his PGA Tour card in 2011. Stephanie worked for the school system for five years before leaving to travel with Jason.

 

After a memorable golf trip to Napa, California, and turning into quite the wine enthusiasts, Jason proposed to Stephanie in the wine cellar of one of their favorite steakhouses, Del Friscos. The surprise-filled night continued, when a large stretch limo escorted the couple and a group of friends around the city for a night out of celebrating the newly engaged. Jason and Stephanie will wed in Charlotte, NC on November 28th, 2015.

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Jason presented Stephanie with a Union Diamond Custom Engagement Ring!

Congrats to Stephanie and Jason! We look forward to sharing details of their stunning wedding with you in a few months!

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Stackable Rings

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We are obsessed with stackable rings right now!

As a customizable accessory, they can go with a T-shirt and jeans, a wedding gown and everything in-between.  The combinations are truly endless when it comes to styling stackable bands.  The stackable ring trend has been time-tested and seems be be here to stay. Just like a charm bracelet, stack rings can symbolize magical memories and our life experiences. What event would you like to commemorate with a stacked band?

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We most frequently see couples add anniversary bands to engagement and wedding bands for an elegant combination. The engagement ring serves as the center band with accompanying subtle bands added on either side to create a beautifully dramatic look! Bands can be further personalized by adding children’s birthstones or your favorite colors. Colorful gemstones that compliment each other add to the many distinctive possible looks. A knotted solid band can be added to signify your unity. Diamonds to celebrate that special anniversary. All you need is your loved one’s ring size and you’re all set.

 

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Yet another option for stackable rings is the ever-popular right hand ring! Try choosing different colored metals to mix and match. Rose gold looks divine paired with white gold. Is great-grandmother’s wedding band stashed away in your jewelry box? Heirloom bands combine beautifully with dainty stackable bands as well. We love the look of several fashionable bands stacked on one finger.

 

Stackers

There are infinite possibilities…from a stackable with your new baby’s birthstone to a ten year anniversary band and beyond, a stackable band is a perfect way to celebrate and commemorate life’s special moments!

Order your stackable rings today!

For a limited time, all stackable rings are 15% off!

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Rocktober!

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Who doesn’t get excited about the arrival of Fall? The crisp temperatures, the first glimpse of fall foliage, weekends spent cheering on your favorite football team, seeking out the perfect Halloween costume…and let’s not forget about all things PUMPKIN! It’s always amusing to see the foods and products that can be infused with pumpkins…from lattes to pastas to craft beers, the pumpkin craze is real and doesn’t show signs of subsiding anytime soon. Trader Joe’s alone has over 40 pumpkin flavored products this season. There is certainly a lot to love about Fall.


Union Diamond is also crazy about Fall! Our office is abuzz this time of year as we anxiously await the upcoming Holiday season. But for now, we’ll take some time to enjoy the charm and beauty of Autumn! And we’re excited to share with you our Top 3 Reasons October Rocks!


Breast Cancer Awareness 
Union Diamond is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Increasing awareness and informing women about early detection is key to becoming a breast cancer survivor. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime, so allow October to remind you to schedule your mammogram! Think Pink!

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October Birthstones
Happy Birthday to our October babies! Opals and tourmaline are the birthstones of October. Both are equally exquisite, but as jewelers, we find opals to be quite a unique stone. They come in both dark and light varieties of which the lighter varieties are thought to contain every color of the rainbow. Opals symbolize hope, optimism and confidence. Here are a few of our favorite opal and tourmaline creations!

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Fall Color!
As we transition from the cool colors of Summer to the warm tones of Fall, we are reminiscent of some fabulous custom creations that utilize the color palette of Fall: earthy tones of golden yellows, rich browns, and deep oranges and reds. Our Jeff McLaurin Designs custom belt buckles are a perfect Fall accessory to pair with your favorite denim. They are truly one of a kind and offer a combination of metals, precious stones, and natural exotic woods. A necessity for every Fall wardrobe! buckles

 As we say in the South…Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Photography Credits -
MP Photographie
Melissa Prosser Photography

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Meet Kathryn Q Designs!

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Union Diamond is excited to introduce you to our new designer jewelry line…Kathryn Q Designs! In keeping on trend with all things sparkly, we were very impressed with this unique line of pendants, bracelets and earrings. We love the multitude of colors and the organic feel of this fun, modern line and are thrilled to add it to our collection!

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Keep Kathyrn Q in mind as you plan for bridesmaid jewelry; your girls will swoon over a Kathyrn Q set of earrings or necklace for your big day and will welcome it to their everyday collection! Start dropping hints for the gift-giving season! And of course, a holiday party wouldn’t be complete without a new sparkly accessory.

Brittany Quesinberry is the creative artist behind Kathryn Q Designs. We caught up with Brittany and are pleased to introduce you to Brittany and Kathryn Q!

Brittany Quesinberry is the creative artist behind Kathryn Q Designs. We caught up with Brittany and are pleased to introduce you to Brittany and Kathryn Q!

Tell us a little about you and your company.

I am a GIA Graduate Gemologist so have always been interested in gemstones and jewelry. I’ve worked in jewelry stores for close to a decade and my company began about two years ago when I made earrings as my Bridesmaid’s gifts. My boss at the time saw them, loved them, and suggested I make a few more and put them in the case to see if they would sell. Once those sold I made more and began falling in love with the art of jewelry making and the satisfaction of seeing people love my creations. Eventually I ended up with over 100 pieces of jewelry in one of the store’s main cases and became the best selling line and fasting turning product that they carried.

How do you differentiate yourself from other jewelry designers?

Being a Gemologist and having a minor addiction to gemstones, makes me ultra sensitive to the quality of stones I use in my designs. I often like to use unique gemstones that you don’t often see in jewelry like Apatite, Fluorite, Rutilated Quartz, Sunstone and Chrysoprase. I believe that my education and true passion for gemstones combined with my love of art, color and nature shows through in my designs, which differentiates myself from other jewelry designers.

Tell us about one of your most favorite designs.

Right now I am loving my new fall collection, especially KQ#173 & KQ#174, the circle earring and pendant set with Garnet and Tourmaline. I love that the wire circle is hammered, giving it a more natural, geometric shape and texture. Also they go great with basically all of my fall wardrobe, especially with Marsala colored pieces, Pantone’s color of the year.

How do you creatively challenge yourself? What are your sources for inspiration?

Being an artist I get bored pretty easily, so I’m constantly exploring new trends and color combinations. Most of my inspiration begins with the gemstones themselves, so if I get in a design rut I will just put on some music, sit down and look at all of my gemstones until something speaks to me.

 How is the jewelry landscape evolving? Any recent trends that are on the forefront? Any you could do without?

 Working in retail jewelry stores for the past 8+ years really gave me the advantage to constantly interact with customers and see what they were buying. Trends I’m loving are clovers, long statement earrings, and big focal gemstones. I try to not let my jewelry get too trendy; I wan’t the natural beauty of the gemstones stand out and the design to be timeless. Trends I don’t really care for are the bracelet/ ring combination, or gothic jewelry (like skulls)… just not my style =)

 What is your favorite color combination?

Right now I am loving gold metal, and I really like the way it looks with pretty much all Garnet colors, Citrine and Smokey Quartz, which are all used in my new Fall 2015 collection. I also love the use of color in my Kaleidoscope collection where each piece has a multitude of gemstones from each color palate.

What tip of advice would you like to offer our readers when it comes designing custom jewelry?

 Don’t be afraid, be creative and have fun! Whether it’s an engagement ring or piece of fine fashion jewelry, let the piece reflect your style and personality.

 

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