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Humble Beginnings

Written by Andrea VanDerwerker On April 5, 2017.

When you think about your holidays what comes to mind? Maybe it’s eating a specific food that your mom makes on Thanksgiving, a movie you watch on Christmas Eve, or watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop on TV right at midnight. Whatever it is, how you feel in that moment eating your favorite food, watching the movie that you’ve seen year after year but never gets old, or cheering the New Year in with family and friends? Those are traditions that bring excitement, warmth, and nostalgia of a simpler time.

When it comes to traditions, I am the biggest proponent of keeping, spreading, and helping others see their importance. Not only in the tradition itself but their sentimental value as well. “Himmeli” is a word (originating from the Swedish word “himmel” meaning “sky” or “heaven”) you may have never heard of one, but you’ve definitely seen one. I’m sure you’re asking, “What is a Himmeli?” I asked the same thing the first time I heard of one. In short, the Himmeli started out as an old, traditional Finnish Christmas ornament. But what began as a simple decoration has become a fashionable and trendy element in modern design.

The original Himmeli mobiles were often constructed with some sort of reed or rye straw along with string. It is said that they were sometimes decorated in many different ways, employing the use of things such as dyes, paper flowers, wool, colored cloth, etc. They were commonly found to be very simple, undecorated structures and seen hanging throughout the homes of agrarian families even before the 1800s. Himmelis were made and hung up during the Christmas season, specifically over the dining table as sort of a “good luck charm” in hopes that it would bring a plentiful rye crop in the coming harvest season. These structures were also frequently used as decorations for Christmas trees and again, used as decorations throughout the home. As a tradition, Finnish and other Nordic families would build a new Himmeli every Christmas season. It was not uncommon for a Himmeli mobile to be left up into the the middle of the summer.

It was speculated that the popularization of Christmas trees in the home eventually overshadowed the tradition of the Himmeli and for many years they were not seen as frequently in the home. In the 1900s
some women’s organizations noticed that the tradition was slowly but surely being lost and a campaign of sorts was put together in order to bring the Himmeli back to the forefront of the Finnish Christmas traditions. This campaign consisted of printing and distributing what we would now call “DIY instructions” on how to build your own Himmeli. Slowly the Himmeli regained popularity again and it was frequently seen in Nordic homes once again, this time used as decoration rather than the “good luck charm” that it had previously been for farming families.

Now, cut to the 21st century, and what used to be a simple, humble geometric structure made with straw and string has become a very popular and essential design element in modern and minimalist decorating. Many Himmelis that are being used for decorating purposes these days are made with brass, various metals, and some even continue to be made with sturdy straw material and string. It is not unusual to see these Himmeli based structures being used as plant holders, tables, lamps, trinkets, and wall decor. Just go talk to one of your friendly neighborhood hipsters and chances are they don’t know what a Himmeli is, but I bet you they have at least one represented in their cool, downtown studio apartment.

My favorite Himmeli is a necklace made in 14kt gold with small diamonds.  It is a new and beautiful take on a quaint traditional Christmas ornament maintaining the sentimentality of a treasured Finnish Christmas tradition while incorporating a modern design element into a piece that can be dressed up or down.

I hope that now you can see that this piece is even more than just a trendy necklace. It carries with it centuries of tradition and history which holds much more value than any price tag. With this Himmeli, history comes alive in a new and exquisite way.

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Photo Sources:

https://thestrawshop.com/eija-koski/
http://magdankotona.blogspot.fi/search/label/himmeli

The Wonderful world of color! PT.2: Aquamarine

Written by Erick Razo On March 4, 2017.

March is here and with it, the smell of flowers in bloom and the sounds of people enjoying the weather that spring provides. Spring means you can finally wear your favorite sundress, shoes and of course your favorite pieces of jewelry. In the jewelry world, March is associated with a birthstone which has a narrow color range of serene, calm, and cool colors that will match many outfits you wear this spring. This month’s birthstone is Aquamarine. Aquamarine is a stone that belongs to the species (or family) called Beryl which includes other stones like: Emerald, Morganite, Heliodor and Red Beryl.

 

Origins

 

The record of finding the first large Aquamarine crystal dates back to 1811, in a riverbed near Teofilo Otoni, in Brazil, it weighed about fifteen pounds! The stone get it’s name from the latin word Aqua which means “water” and Marine which means “of the ocean.” Many of the hues this stone can be found in resemble the beautiful blues of oceans from all over the world.

Aquamarine, heart-shape, from Brazil, 32.10 cts

Photo Courtesy of GIA

 

Geography of Aquamarine

 

Top quality aquamarine comes from three major sources Brazil, Pakistan and China. Aquamarine can also be found in Africa, Australia and even the United States. Aquamarine found outside of it’s major sources tends to be lower quality and rarely used in fine jewelry.

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Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

 

Most quality beryl grows from Pegmatites. This is a type of igneous rock that is extremely rich in exotic minerals (Tourmaline also grows in this type of rocks, to find out more about Tourmaline click on the link here.) A Pegmatite allows crystals to grow to a considerable size, large rough can weigh up to 100 pounds, often extremely pure and almost free of inclusions. Rough Aquamarine typically grows as a six-sided column with flat faces at the end. The iron in the chemical composition is what gives Aquamarine its blue color. 

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Photo Courtesy of GIA

Aquamarine Jewelry

 

Aquamarine gives us a range of blue colors that can be greenish blue to a pale whitish blue, these colors perform well when set in either white or yellow metals, making it  highly attractive for designers and consumers alike. Aquamarine can be used for carvings and fantasy cuts (wild non-traditional shapes with intricate patterns), but you will see it mostly in pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets in common shapes and sizes (called calibrated sizes). Aquamarine stones can be very large which allows many designers to create over the top designs that can attract consumers looking for a unique piece.

 carving Aquamarine fantasy

Photos courtesy of GIA

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Wear and care of Aquamarine:

 

Aquamarine has a 8 – 8.2 on the Moh’s scale. The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. The top of the scale is Diamond at 10 and graphite at 0. Due to its relatively low hardness, Aquamarine is not  ideal for heavy everyday wear. In the right setting and with the right care, this stone can look great for decades.

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Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Aquamarine Tales and Folklore:

 

Aquamarine has a lot of folklore stories behind it, one of them is the story of sailors who would give aquamarine to their spouses, daughters and mothers with their names carved in the stone before they venture on their journeys overseas. This gift symbolized their promise to return from the oceans and be next to their loved ones forever. Aquamarine is a stone that has become more popular in the recent years and can create some astonishing engagement rings, birthday or anniversary gifts and just like the sailors in the stories, this could be a way to symbolize the love for a significant other. We have several sizes and shapes and not to mention many mountings to choose from, so on your next visit please ask us to show you the spectacular blues of Aquamarine.

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Photo courtesy of GIA.

Phillip Gavriel unboxing!

Written by Erick Razo On March 2, 2017.

We are excited to be able to provide you with brand NEW pieces from Phillip Gavriel. A young designer from New York who brings us some modern looking pieces that will absolutely become a MUST in your everyday apparel. Come by and see some of this astonishing designs.

 

Don’t for get to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about what we can offer you.

Momento Mori: Remember that you have to die

Written by Micah Brown On November 21, 2016.

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What is death? Is it a right or a reality? Today we live in a culture obsessed with death where death is hailed as a right. Unfortunately, we will only see our morbid minded society move further toward the notion that we must “relieve the burden.” This imaginary burden on society that the “inconvenient”, elderly, enfeebled, and sick are a drain on resources. Those who currently demand a “right to die” will no longer have a “right” but a duty to do so. Death is not a right, it is a REALITY. In the Victorian era, less than two centuries ago, the mainstream mentality about death being a “right” was not the case.  The reality of death helped individuals to be thankful for the life that they did have. Symbols we now commonly associate with death (skulls, bones, urns, etc.) were commonly used in jewelry and not in a macabre way. Instead, they were used as a symbol to remind us of the truth, that life is precious and worth living, but death is an eminent reality. Such reminders about the blessing of life and the impending end, took form in many articles of jewelry. During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, so called, “mourning jewelry” was part of a larger industry of mourning. This industry was supported by an understanding of what mourning stood for and how it affected a person and the community.

The pinnacle of mourning jewelry, and also its swift decline, was seen in life and reign of Queen Victoria ( who ruled England and Ireland from June 20,1837 to her death in January 22,1901). The influence that she had over fashion of the time was unprecedented, since royalty were the celebrities of the day. If the queen did it, the upper class would mimic it and eventually the lower classes would follow suit. The industry of mourning was fueled greatly by Victoria’s choice to enter a perpetual state of mourning when her husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861. At the time, there existed such institutions as Jay’s Mourning Warehouse, which sold items like clothing and hats so that an individual could follow the societal protocol for mourning of a loved one.

These societal rules were set up by court mandates which were handed down from royalty. They outlined etiquette of the day and explained what was proper for being within the court of royalty. Whether one was a prince, duke, lord or any of their female equivalents, they were expected to follow these customs to a tee. The rules of etiquette covered many areas of life, everything from dress to behavior, even the “right” way to propose and of course, how to mourn. For example, proper mourning forbade the grieving individual from attending any joyous occasions, such as parties or weddings, and restricted the wardrobe to specific colors based on how long it had been since the person being mourned had died. Clothing was to be black only for the first year and eventually moved into dark purples and reds as color was gradually reintroduced into the wardrobe. It was said in the day, “Some widows never wore their colors again.” For Victoria, her vow of continual mourning made this statement true, as she stayed in black mourning clothes until her death.

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Today it is possible to still find exquisite pieces of mourning jewelry from these time periods. In fact there is a whole community of collectors dedicated to the curating these tokens of remembrance. Those who study the jewelry of the period give wonderful insight into the meaning behind the pieces, from their imagery to the colors and even the gemstones used. Some examples are:  pearls in mourning jewelry represent the loss of a child, inscriptions and engravings in pieces often had a very popular phrase “Momento Mori”, which is a Latin expression that basically means, “remember that you have to die.” The line is seen engraved in many rings as a reminder to the living that there will come a day that all must die.

Here at Diadem Jewelers, as of this writing, we have two vintage mourning pieces and one modern piece, available for you to make your own.

The first is a mourning locket hand assembled in 9K yellow gold hung from a modern 14K yellow gold rope chain. Lockets like this commonly contained hair from the departed loved one woven into intricate patterns.

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The second is a 10K yellow gold necklace with onyx stations. Onyx was routinely used in many mourning pieces because of its inherent black color. Many pieces of the period also featured black enamel.img_6643

 

The last piece could be considered mourning jewelry even though it is from the modern era. Custom made in 14K white gold, but also available in other metals and colors. We designed and produced a decorative bail to which a wedding band, usually of the lost husband, is soldered and hung from a chain.

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After this look back in history, there is still the question of death being a “right” or a reality. The bible gives us a clear answer, in Hebrews 9:27 which says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for man to die once and after this comes judgement.” (NASB)

Counter to today’s postmodern understanding of what life and death are, the Bible is clear that life is given by the great creator God and that life is also to be taken by the same perfectly just and holy God. Death is an imminent reality that we all will face and when that time comes we will face judgement for the life we lived and be ushered into eternity. Where those who have been redeemed by salvation in Christ alone through faith alone by the work of the Holy Spirit alone in their lives on earth will inherit eternal life with Christ. Sadly, those who have denied Christ as God and have turned to a works based righteousness thinking their good deeds are enough to get them into heaven will be punished for their sins for eternity in Hell. Let today be the day that “Momento Mori” will influence your mind to the truth of the Gospel that all men will stand before God and give an account.

Want to know more, please visit: http://www.sfofgso.org

Header image: Jan van Kessel, Flemish, 1626–1679, Vanitas Still Life

Momento Mori: Recuerda que debes Morir.

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¿Qué es la muerte? ¿Es un derecho o una realidad? Hoy vivimos en una cultura obsesionada con la muerte. La muerte es aclamada como un derecho y sólo vemos nuestra mentalidad tan  mórbida moverse hacia la noción de que debemos “aliviar la carga”. La carga imaginaria sobre la sociedad de los “inconvenientes”, los ancianos, desabilitados y enfermos. Cuando las personas que actualmente exigen un “derecho a morir” ya no tendrán un “derecho”, sino un deber de hacerlo. La muerte no es un derecho, es una REALIDAD. En la era victoriana, menos de dos siglos atrás, nuestra mentalidad generalizada de que la la muerte es un “derecho” no era el caso. La realidad de la muerte ayudó a los individuos a estar agradecidos por la vida que tenían. Los símbolos que ahora asociamos comúnmente con la muerte (cráneos, huesos, urnas, etc.) se usaban en joyería no en un sentido macabro. Si no como un símbolo para recordarnos la verdad, que la vida es preciosa y vale la pena vivir, pero la muerte es una realidad eminente. Tales recordatorios sobre la bendición de la vida y el fin inminente, tomaron forma en muchos artículos de joyería. Durante los siglos XVII, XVIII y XIX, los llamados “joyas de luto” formaban parte de una industria más grande de luto. Esta industria fue apoyada por una comprensión de lo que el luto representa y cómo afectó a una persona y la comunidad.

 

El pináculo de la joyería de luto, y también su declinación rápida, fue visto en vida y reino de la reina Victoria (quien gobernó Inglaterra e Irlanda del 20 de junio de 1837 a su muerte el 22 de enero de 1901). La influencia que tenía sobre la moda de la época era inaudita, ya que la realeza eran las celebridades de la época. Si la reina lo hacía, la clase alta lo imitaría y eventualmente las clases bajas seguirían su ejemplo. La industria del luto fue alimentada en gran medida por la elección de Victoria para entrar en un estado de luto perpetuo cuando su esposo, el príncipe Albert, murió en 1861. En ese momento, existían instituciones tales como Jay’s Mourning Warehouse, que vendía artículos como ropa y sombreros para que un individuo pudiera seguir el protocolo social para el luto de un ser querido.

 

Estas normas de la sociedad fueron establecidas por los mandatos de los tribunales que se dictaron de la realeza. Ellos describieron la etiqueta del día y explicaron lo que era apropiado para estar dentro de la corte de la realeza. Si se trataba de un príncipe, duque, señor o cualquiera de sus equivalentes femeninos, se esperaba que siguieran estas costumbres al pie de la letra. Las reglas de la etiqueta cubrían muchas áreas de la vida, desde vestimenta hasta comportamiento, incluso la manera “correcta” de proponer y, por supuesto, cómo llorar. Por ejemplo, el luto propio prohibía al individuo afligido asistir a cualquier ocasión feliz, como fiestas o bodas, y restringía el vestuario a colores específicos basados ​​en cuánto tiempo había pasado desde que la persona que estaba de luto había muerto. La ropa iba a ser negra sólo para el primer año y finalmente se trasladó a morados y rojos volviendo a darle color al armario de la persona en luto. Se decía: “Algunas viudas nunca volvieron a ponerse colores.” Para Victoria, su voto de luto continuo hizo esta afirmación verídica, ya que se quedó en ropa de luto negra hasta su muerte en 1901.

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Hoy en día es posible todavía encontrar exquisitas piezas de joyería de luto de esos tiempos. De hecho, hay toda una comunidad de coleccionistas dedicados a coleccionar estos símbolos de recuerdo. Los que estudian las joyas de la época dan una visión maravillosa del significado detrás de las piezas, desde sus imágenes hasta los colores e incluso las piedras preciosas utilizadas. Algunos ejemplos del uso de piedras y grabados son: perlas en joyas de duelo representan la pérdida de un niño, inscripciones y grabados en piezas que comúnmente eran el nombre del difunto, y una frase muy popular “Momento Mori”, que es una expresión latina que básicamente significa “recuerda que tienes que morir”. La línea se ve grabada en muchos anillos como un recordatorio a los vivos de que vendrá un día en que todos deben morir.

 

 

Aquí en Diadem Jewelers tenemos dos piezas de luto antiguas y una pieza moderna, que están en venta.

 

El primero es un collar de luto montado en oro amarillo de 9K colgado de una cadena moderna de oro amarillo 14K. Estos collares tenian pelos del difunto y normalmente estaban entrensados en patrones muy dificiles.

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El segundo es un collar de oro amarillo 10K con estaciones de ónix. ónix se usó rutinariamente en muchas piezas de luto debido a su color negro inherente. Muchos pedazos del período también ofrecieron esmalte negro.

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La última pieza podría ser considerada una joya de luto, aunque es de la era moderna. En oro blanco 14K, pero también disponible en otros metales y colores. Diseñamos y produjimos una fianza decorativa a la cual una argolla de boda, generalmente del marido perdido, se suelda y se cuelga de una cadena.

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Después de toda esta impresionante mirada hacia atrás en la historia, todavía hay la cuestión de si la muerte es  “derecho o una realidad”? Bueno, la Biblia nos da una respuesta clara a esto y se puede encontrar en Hebreos 9:27 que dice: “Y en la medida en que se designa para que el hombre muera una vez y después de esto viene el juicio”.

En contra de la comprensión de hoy de lo que es la vida y la muerte, la Biblia es clara que la vida es dada por el gran Dios creador y que la vida también debe ser tomada por el mismo Dios perfectamente justo y santo.

La muerte es una realidad inminente que todos enfrentaremos algún día y cuando llegue el momento, enfrentaremos el juicio por la vida que vivimos.

Header image: Jan van Kessel, Flemish, 1626–1679, Vanitas Still Life

Seventeen Years Ago…..

Written by Erick Razo On November 2, 2016.

 

On November 1st, 1999, Royal Diadem Jewelers opened its doors to the public. Our mission since day one has been  “to honor and glorify the lord Jesus Christ in our business principles and practice, in order to provide for our families. We appreciate each opportunity to provide our customers with fine quality jewelry, professional expertise and excellent service.” We always strive to follow this mission when it comes to serving you and meeting your needs.

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Here we are 17 years later! The Lord has blessed us in giving us your trust and love. In case you don’t know here is some additional information about Royal Diadem Jewelers.

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Education has always been a HUGE part of our business. Over the course of the past 17 years we have diligently kept up with the industries many changes. Our store has earned the title
of Accredited Gem Laboratory from the American Gem Society. We currently have two of the less than 500 Certified Gemologist Appraisers IN THE WORLD. (You can learn more about this on our previous blog by clicking here: http://www.royaldiadem.com/2016/06/press-release-holding-the-highest-credentials-in-the-industry/). With these credentials, we see the demonstration of the grace of God. Also, it allows us to provide you with the education you need to be an informed consumer.

 

We also stay informed and up-to-date on technology and techniques in our industry in order to meet our customers needs and improve the efficiency of our work. New technologies allows us to give you the best service possible, whether it’s a repair on an existing piece or creating a new one. Our custom designs have become our central area of expertise and over the years we have created all types of amazing jewelry for you, our customers!

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Seventeen years ago we began this journey, and it has given us great joy in serving the many people that have become part of our Diadem family. We would like to say,  “THANK YOU, for allowing us to continue to be here and continuing to uphold our mission everyday.

 

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