Hello darlings. My name is Ruby and my mom, Chrissy, owns MADE Jewelry Boutique & Studio in West Reading, PA. A few short months ago, I was down on my luck, homeless, and running the streets of Reading. I did hard time at the local shelter but was released for good behavior into the custody of a foster family. Even though I had lived a life of crime and wasn’t terribly civilized, the family fed me treats, let me sleep in the little girl’s bedroom and bought me fancy stuffed toys. One day they said they were going to “adopt” me and that from then on, I had to call them “mom” and “dad.” Now I live a life of luxury and they say I’m spoiled and that I forgot where I came from. I don’t know what the word diva means, but it gets used a lot in my presence.
Mom brings me to work every day and recently told me that if I’m going to continue demanding tasty vittles, luxurious bedding, and bejeweled collars, that I will have to earn my keep. I’m far too beautiful to sweep the floors, and so I’ve decided to start a blog. After all, if you can’t trust jewelry advice from a dog, who can you trust?
For my first installment, I’d like to talk about the April birthstone….diamonds, darlings, diamonds! If you’re lucky enough to have an April birthday, then no doubt you are currently adorned in diamonds from head to toe. If you married someone with an April birthday, then no doubt you are currently broke and reading this blog as your only source of entertainment since you don’t have the money to go to the movies.
Birthstones have a long and storied past, supposedly beginning with a Jewish High Priest and his bedazzled chest plate. Astrologers in the way-back believed that gemstones had magical powers. The diamond in particular is believed to give the wearer oodles of courage. In the not-so wayback (1912 to be exact) the National Association of Jewelers had a pow-wow to once and for all decide on which stones belonged to which month…in America. (thanks for info Wikipedia!). Someone managed to finagle tanzanite into the listing in 2002, but the list has remained intact otherwise ever since.
We’ll get to wearing diamonds affordably, but let’s start with why they are so expensive. Basically, it’s because a super smart company (De Beers) told us that diamonds should be expensive, and we listened. With four little words, “A Diamond is Forever” we fell victim to the greatest scheme of all time - believing that diamonds equal love, and since love is priceless, diamonds should at least be…expensive. Yes, yes – certainly there is quite a bit of work that happens between getting a diamond out of the mine and onto your finger, but diamonds aren’t as rare as the prices suggest they are. In fact, many other gemstones like rubies (my namesake!) emeralds and sapphires are far more scarce, but less expensive.
Diamonds can occur in many colors including steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black. Some color variations are considered “bad” and are therefore less expensive and some variations are highly regarded and very rare (like red) and cost a lot of dollars. Like, a lot a lot. The different colors occur naturally from impurities or structural defects and it’s really quite complicated and, science. I’m just a dog darlings, I can’t know everything! There’s a pretty neato display of diamonds called the Aurora Pyramid of Hope that features 295 different colors of diamonds. Google it. You’ll like it, paw promise! While you’re at it, Google the Hope Diamond. That baby is worth more than me, and I’m worth a lot!
“So Ruby,” you ask, “how can I build my diamond jewelry wardrobe without going broke?” I’m so glad you asked because I just so happen to have a few suggestions for you!
- Size does matter! (like we didn’t already know that, amiright girls?) Small diamonds are a large gemstone’s best friend! Consider making the diamonds an accessory to another gemstone and you’ll get the best of both worlds – affordable diamonds alongside a statement sized gemstone.
- Consider an “imperfect” stone. A diamond has to have a LOT of issues to be noticed by the naked eye. Ie: The love of your life is not going to notice the difference between a 0/0/0 1-carat diamond and a 2/2/2 1-carat diamond. You know who will notice? You, because the weight of your wallet will be much lighter if you walk away with that “perfect” diamond. (Read more about grading diamonds here).
- Reuse/recycle – it’s hip to be green, so why not apply that concept to your jewelry? Jewelry designers, like my mom, can dismantle your old jewelry and turn it into a new piece that suits your style and your budget.
- Consider a fake diamond (gasp!) That’s right, I said it. There are some pretty incredible diamond dopplegangers on the market these days, both natural and synthetic, that are pretty darned beautiful too! Cubic zirconia, moissanite, zircon, and white sapphires are all stones that you could consider if affordability is a priority.
- Talk to Chrissy. Yep – my mom is pretty official when it comes to all things jewelry. She has a formal education and more than 20 years of experience, so she’s a pro and can help you navigate your way through the diamond mine. Ha! Get it?! Diamond mine!?
Typing is hard when you have paws, so I must leave you now and take a nap. When I wake up, hopefully my mom will have finished my diamond encrusted collar so that I can celebrate April in style!
About the author: Ruby Polczynski is a year-ish old Chihuahua-ish dog with red fluffy hair and a curly tail. Born in the ghetto, she now resides in the Centre Park Historic District with mom Chrissy, dad Ethan, sister Maeta, and mortal enemy, Walter the Cat. When she’s not giving jewelry advice, Ruby enjoys napping in the sun, eating salmon treats, and deconstructing stuffed animals. Ruby is available for meet and greets and autographs during regular store hours. Stop by and meet Ruby!