All Posts


The Truth About Creativity

Written by Micah Brown On August 31, 2017.

1644723407


“I cannot write poetically, for I am no poet. I cannot make fine artistic phrases that cast light and shadow, for I am no painter. I can neither by signs nor by pantomime express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer; but I can by tones, for I am a musician.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


This is not a post about how our custom pendants, reminiscent of musical notes, are delightful and different. Nor is it a post about how these elegantly simple necklaces can convey a warm message to a loved one that they are the song in your heart. Those things are true, but this post is more than that, it’s about what it really means to create and be creative.

Mozart is arguably the most well known composer in all of history. In summary of his own words, quoted above, Mozart knew who he was. He realized the talents and abilities he possessed were unique and he pursued them with great vigor, producing over 600 pieces in his relatively short life of thirty-five years. Every single person in this world is designed totally unique from every other soul. God as the creator and sustainer of all things, makes individuals with an unimaginable array of variety. This same God, who created the universe and everything in it Ex Nihlo or “out of nothing”, placed within the only creatures made in His image the ability to be creative.

1644723403

Humans do not create, we only mimic a dim reflection of our creator, for we are unable to bring something into existence that was not already there, we are merely creative. We only borrow, imitate, and remix already existing elements. King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes made this point black and white, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV This is as true today as it was after the fall of man. Even in things as trivial as our clothing is easily seen as cyclical borrowing from the past to make “new” ideas and jewelry is no different.

1644723400

This is not to say that a person can’t claim being original or trying to make something different or stand out. We are, after all, each individually bestowed by the Creator with a specific personality and aptitude for all sorts of things. So why wouldn’t a person strive for variety? Creativity? Mozart framed it wonderfully by linking the creative arts all together, understanding that the same things he strove to produce in his music were the same things that every artist was trying to convey in his own craft, communication that conveyed thoughts, feelings, and emotion. This is how we relate to one another as humans. Once again, we are the only created beings with these attributes to feel, empathize, collaborate, and communicate in a way that others, regardless of who they are or where they are from, can understand.

1644723405

We at Diadem Jewelers, like Mozart, know who we are and we are confident in that. We are not “the next big thing” We are not a designer name that will grace the pages of well known magazines or get mentioned from the red carpet. We are a jewelry store managed and operated by individuals who are dedicated to taking care of the needs of customers. Especially the greatest need of all, salvation.

Salvation from the imminent wrath of a righteous and holy God which comes only through believing: That man is totally sinful from birth because of the curse put on all creation after Adam and Eve committed the first acts of disobedience in the garden. That man cannot earn this salvation by any work done on earth. That God being infinite in knowledge and existence made a way before even time existed for sinful man to flee eternal punishment in hell for his sins. That way is only through repentance and faith in the son of God, the one true and living savior, Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except though me.”

1644723397

Believing in faith that Christ came to earth, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect and sinless life so that he might die a death we deserved to die. That he rose three days later, ascended to Heaven and will return at any moment of time to bring his elect, adopted, chosen and beloved sons and daughters into glory and communion with him forever in Heaven. While at the same time, bringing death, destruction and punishment for all those who would reject the truth of God in unrighteousness.

Finally, that these truths have been made plain to all mankind through the world around us in a general way and conveyed to us in a special way through the written, inherent, infallible, living and active word of God, contained in only the sixty-six books which together make up the complete and unalterable truth for all of life. The Bible. This is where creativity should lead us, to stand in awe at the feet of the one who created all things for his perfect plan and purposes.

 

How to buy a 3 carat diamond for $3,200!

Written by Micah Brown On June 29, 2017.

Dorn_David01

Misinformation, half-truths, deliberately misleading, false advertising…lying. This is common to man. Think about it, we are taught our ABC’s and how to count and tie our shoes but one thing we didn’t have to learn was how to lie.

Unfortunately, many people bring this pre-programmed ability into their business practices. No industry is untouched by deception. Luxury items, especially jewelry, are a huge target for those looking to scam unassuming consumers out of their hard earned money. The truth is, under normal circumstances, you can not buy a 3 carat diamond for $3,200; however, you may be lead to believe that you can. Keep reading to find out how and what you can do to protect yourself against this kind of malpractice.

Our case in point follows, a for sale item on the popular auction based website EBAY.

Before we talk about this example, we must make clear that this is not an attack on EBAY. There are things the site could do to create better boundaries and police illicit behavior but they are not ultimately responsible for the problem. As we stated the problem is within people not within a website.

That being said, take a look at the following image and ask yourself, “What is this auction for?”

deceptive ebay

Given all of the information available, it appears that this is an auction for a 3 carat diamond ring set in 14K white gold with an appraised value of $9,800 that is selling for $3,250

If you scroll down the page, you are presented with some more information.

deceptive ebay1

Here we see two videos and some more information. All of which seems to support the information on the first page. So, the average consumer who is looking for a diamond engagement ring and has done some online research sees that they are planning to purchase a 14K white gold engagement ring set with a 3ct. D/VVS2 diamond that has been certified by International Diamond Trading Corporation. If they go through with this purchase, they have just bought a lie.

Did you catch it yet? THIS IS NOT A DIAMOND RING!

Lets look again at our images with some attention drawn to how many times “diamond” and diamond grading terms are used in relation to this product.

deceptive ebayreddeceptive ebay2

This product has references to “diamond” or diamond grading terms nineteen times. So you may be asking, “Well if it’s not a diamond what is it?”

If you haven’t caught it yet, let’s look one more time at the images with a different emphasis added.

deceptive ebay3

Nowhere on the first page of this auction can we see that this product is anything other than a diamond. Scroll to the bottom of the page and we see one small note. “This is not a Natural GIA certified Diamond, this is a cultured diamond.”

The question then follows, what in the world is a cultured diamond? If you search for “cultured diamond” you will be presented with a plethora of information about laboratory grown or man made diamonds. They are chemically the same material as their naturally occurring counterpart however they are made in a lab instead of grown in the ground. Their technical term is “synthetic diamond”. Synthetics serve a purpose in the industry and have done so for many years, especially in the colored stone arena, offering consumers a less expensive alternative which offers identical performance. This is a good solution for customers as long as they are informed and know what they are buying and why.

However, this ring isn’t even a synthetic diamond! It is a diamond simulant! A simulant is any substance which appears to be something else. It shares no other characteristics with the material it is imitating other than appearance. Glass, for example, is a diamond simulant. This ring is Moissanite, a popular diamond simulant since the late 1990’s.

You might be wondering, “Where does it say that?!”

Let’s look at our image one last time,

deceptive ebaym5

Five times. That’s it. Five times in the entire listing is Moissanite mentioned. However the item is still referred to as a “cultured diamond” the same number of times! The seller uses this term interchangeably on purpose to confuse the consumer.

Are you upset yet? Thoughts of “How could they?!” might have come to mind.

There are many other things that are wrong with this listing but this is by far the biggest issue, intentional misinformation in order to deceive. This example, and many others like it, is not only confined to auction or sale sites like EBAY. This kind of deliberate deception is prevalent (to varying degrees) all over the internet. Deception like this is not only a threat and a reality online, but in brick and mortar stores as well. Even the largest jewelry store chains in the world are not free from the propensity to flat out lie in order to make sales. Again the problem lies with the individual selling the item, they are the one choosing to be dishonest.

You may be wondering, “Then how can I trust anything a jeweler says?”

Finding an honest jeweler is not impossible. There are organizations of jewelers that submit themselves to standards and codes of ethics which they are expected to uphold in order to be considered for membership. One such organization that is dedicated to consumer protection is the American Gem Society (AGS). From their website,

“The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by a small group of leading jewelers. Their goal was to create an organization that could help protect the jewelry-buying public from fraud and false advertising…

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.”

The American Gem Society is the only organization in the world with this level of dedication to protecting YOU, the consumer! An AGS store is one who is dedicated to taking care of the needs of the customer. Once you have found a store dedicated to protecting the consumer it is imperative to go even a step further.

American Gem Society stores have to have at least one member, associate or owner who has met particular education requirements. For example, the highest credential in the entire jewelry industry is a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, a title bestowed by AGS. The individual who reaches this level has the equivalent of a master’s degree in the field of gemology and also has qualifications to accurately appraise any piece of jewelry for a variety of purposes such as fair market value, insurance, or estate value. Those who have achieved or are on the path to obtaining this level of certification have an immense knowledge of the jewelry industry and are dedicated to teaching consumers. When you are educated you can make better buying decisions and get the most for your money. Education is the key to giving you the confidence necessary to not only make good purchases but enables you to sniff out any wind of shady business practices. Even with our current access to the ever growing stockpile of information this type of education is impossible to obtain through mere internet research.

Much like you cannot use even the most thorough internet research to diagnose and treat cancer, you cannot use internet research to have the type of professional education provided through an organization like the American Gem Society. There are approximately 400 Certified gemologist appraisers in the world, as of this writing, our owner and our store manager are 2 of those 400. One of our associates is a Registered Jeweler through American Gem society and another is a Certified Sales Associate.

At Diadem Jewelers, we are committed not only to the ethics of the American Gem Society but the highest ethics code given to mankind–the infallible, inspired word of God, the Bible. Which tells us plainly that within every one of us is a baked in desire to deceive, not only others but ourselves. It could be something “small”, a “little white lie” as many people call them, such as tearing off the date on an expired coupon or something “big” like embezzling or an affair. Lying pervades all of humanity, some lies do have greater corporal circumstances but the truth is all lies are condemning. Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written: ‘No one is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'”

The first sin was committed because man chose to believe a lie rather than the truth. The effects of that sin trickle down through all of humanity and thus we are born into sin. It is our nature. The only way we can be freed of the just punishment for that sin is by a work of God to transform our mind in order to believe that this very God sent His only son to die for our sins, thereby allowing us to be considered as righteous and holy and be counted as the sons and daughters of God. That realization will, in turn, drive us turn from sin and desire to sin no more.

Wonderful World of Color! PT.3 : Diamond

Written by Erick Razo On April 24, 2017.

There is nothing more romantic than the warm orange glow of a beautiful April sunset. The sun is sharing his warm with us, the  blooming flowers are filling the air with their lovely fragrances, the colors of Easter are appearing everywhere, and the sound of the laughter and good times are all around. April in the gemological world, provides us with a gemstone so beautiful and rare it has been associated with love for many centuries and will for years to come, Diamonds.

 

Origins

 

The love for diamonds began on their discovery in the rivers and streams of India. It has been estimated that diamonds began to be traded as early as the fourth century B.C. They would not begin their long journey to Europe until the 1400’s. From there they would become a must have accessory by the elite of Europe and then travel to the Americas. Diamond comes from the Greek word Adamas which means “invincible.” Given the fact that diamond is the hardest material in the world, its name is suited perfectly.

diamond

Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Geography of Diamond

 

Diamonds can be found in many parts of the world, from Arkansa all the way to Australia. Jubilee mine (Russia), Argyle (Australia), Catoca (Angola), Diavik (Canada) are some of the most important mines in the world. Australia, Africa, Brazil, Canada and Russia are the major suppliers of diamonds in the world.

gem-diamond-map

Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

 

Diamonds are the only gemstone made of a single element: Carbon. Diamonds are 99.95% carbon, and the remaining 0.05% are other trace minerals that can affect the color or shape of the stone. Diamonds form at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 117 miles) below the Earth’s mantle, here the temperature and pressure are just right to allow host rock minerals to provide the necessary carbon amount for diamonds to grow. Diamonds grow with a cubic crystal structure, but well-formed crystal grows in an octahedral shape (is two four-sided pyramids touching base to base.)

Rough diamonds.

Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Diamond Jewelry

 

The beauty and durability of diamond make it perfect for any piece of jewelry. Rings, bracelets, wedding bands, pendants, even watches are adorned with the beautiful radiance that diamonds give us. Diamonds come in many shapes and colors, allowing the ability to go well with any color of metal it allows designers to create astonishing one of a kind piece. Diamonds are the first stone of choice for most engagement rings or companions to a colored center stone. Here at Diadem, we have had the pleasure of designing some unique one of a kind piece, some of our favorites are shown in the pictures below.

10002227 Kimbrough MyersEREIMG_0022

Wear and care of Diamond

 

The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. Diamond is the highest in the scale with a 10; this makes it the hardest material, and it can only be scratched by another diamond. Diamonds are ideal for everyday wear thanks to their durability and their toughness, but diamonds can chip or break. Fancy cut diamonds like marquise, pears, princess, hearts and trillions have corners that can be brittle and cause the diamond to chip. This is why it is important to consider the necessities of each diamond and choose a mounting that will help the diamond be safe and perform for a lifetime.

A116 - 20170324_140810 A118 - 20170324_155615 shapes
The beauty, durability, and symbolism of diamonds granted it the nickname “a girl’s best friend.” The beauty of this stone is similar to that of the smile of your significant other when they smile at you and the whole world is full of color. The durability of diamond is akin to the promise of love that you and your significant other have towards one another; because even under pressure diamond stays strong and remains beautiful, just like the love that you and your significant other share. April gives us the beautiful sunset and memories to be created. With the stone of April in hand, the right time to ask the question“Will you marry me?”

A peek behind the curtain of custom.

Written by Micah Brown On September 19, 2016.

The majority of what we do is custom, for years now, we have been steadily moving toward having almost our entire inventory be composed of pieces that have been designed and finished right here in Greensboro. The only major name brand bridal designer we currently carry is Gabriel & Co. and we only carry their Engagement Ring and Wedding Band lines, Gabriel and Amavida. The custom design process is an intriguing one. Starting with a vision that follows a fascinating manufacturing pipeline which carries that single spark of creativity into a tangible existence.

One of our taglines is, “You imagine it, we create it.” The process we go through to take your imagination from concept to completed piece is much the same as what the following video shows. Produced by Gabriel & Co., it follows this process and gives a brief yet in-depth look at what it takes to make a dream a reality. Hit play on the video below and take a peek behind the curtain of custom and just imagine what we can help you create.

Aquí en Diadem Jewelers por años hemos creado y diseñado piezas únicas. Paso a paso hemos logrado que la mayoría de nuestras piezas las cuales ofrecemos al público sean creadas por nuestros asociados, y aún más importante todo es hecho en nuestra tienda ubicada en Greensboro, NC. Una de las compañías de renombre con las cuales colaboramos es Gabriel & Co., y con ellos ofrecemos sus líneas de anillos de compromiso y matrimonio. Nuestro proceso de diseñar una pieza única es muy interesante ya sea un anillo,aretes y collares. Todo empieza con una visión y una chispa de imaginación a la cual le sigue un proceso de manufactura que es más que fascinante.

Una de nuestras ideologías es “Si lo puedes imaginar, nosotros lo podemos crear.” El proceso que nos lleva a usar su idea de un concepto al hacerlo realidad es muy parecido al de este video que fue producido por Gabriel & Co.. Este video nos enseña el proceso de manufactura y nos muestra desde un punto de vista más profundo lo que se necesita para crear esa pieza única. Asi que los invitamos a que vean el detrás de la cortina de este maravillosa arte, el cual los puede ayudar a encontrar la inspiración para crear su pieza única.

Paws make impressions on our hearts

Written by Micah Brown On May 14, 2016.

1913749_156421891123_2150574_n
Stephanie is my sister. The puppy (pictured above) is her now 7 year old dog Togo. This is his story.

Togo is a yellow lab, pure bred for one specific purpose, to assist a blind person in a way no other animal can. Guide Dogs for the Blind, as part of their puppy raising program, gives individuals a puppy at just 8 weeks, over the course of the following year, puppy raisers are to teach the dogs basic obedience and general training for guide dog work. After those 12 months the dogs are returned to the organization for their next phase of training. After their advanced training, they are then paired with with a blind person and begin the next phase of training. If they pass all the courses with absolutely no problems, they are graduated to fully fledged guide dog work and the life of a blind person is literally placed in the paws of that dog. Needless to say, the requirements and standards for the pooch are high! At any time, for any reason, a dog can be “career changed”, meaning the dog no longer qualifies to be a guide dog but is still suitable for other work, such as search and rescue, drug detection, or therapy jobs.

Toward the beginning of the second phase of training, Togo was career changed. At this point, Guide Dogs for the Blind has two options. Find a new job for the dog, or their primary option, allow the puppy raiser to keep the dog. Free and clear, no strings attached, the organization gives the raiser a fully pedigreed dog that has been vaccinated, trained not to bark, chase balls, take food from anybody, and only eat, relieve, lay down, get up, and sit on command and only on command.

The day Stephanie got to take Togo home for good is most likely the third best day of her life. The first being the day our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, saved her from her sins. The second being, the day she married her longtime sweetheart, Taylor, just this past February (pictured below). It took Togo several months to learn how to be a pet, but it was not long before he learned how to fetch, beg, and enjoy pettings at any time. All activities that had been verboten for his entire life up to this point, but all things that he took a liking to rather quickly. Loved by mine and my brother’s children and all who meet this mild mannered “beast”, as my dad calls him, Togo is a constant companion and a bright joyous yellow spot to my entire family everyday.

Joel and Togo

On January 20th, Togo was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer called Osteosarcoma, My sister wrote on her Facebook page,

“The world is broken. Friends commit suicide, divorce fractures families, and cancer stalks the world. We know in our hearts the world isn’t supposed to be like this. The Bible affirms this feeling, it reveals that the world wasn’t created with sickness, death, and estrangement. Our sin broke the world and every part of creation groans under the consequences of sin.

Romans 8: 22-24
“22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?”

But, God. He doesn’t let it end like this. The closer the pain and fall out comes to my life the more precious God’s redemption is to me. Jesus endured the pain of our sin on the cross to redeem our souls in the now and all of creation in the end.

Our redemption is already and not yet. Today, today as I face the loss of my companion I long for the new heaven and the new earth. I like Paul groan inwardly and eagerly wait for my adoption as a child of God and the redemption of my body. I look to scripture and see hope, hope for not only the redemption of people but final redemption of all creation where sin is ended and the world is created new. As I weep for the untimely and painful death of my pet, but I glorify God that this isn’t the end of the story. Togo will die of the bone cancer destroying his body, but as I walk through the pain of his impending death I look forward with hope to the coming of Jesus when he will set the world right.

Revelation 21:1
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”

Today, May 14, is a dark day. Today, Togo will be put to sleep.

My sister’s perspective is right and true. Our world is broken, death is a vivid reminder that our sin has consequences and one day we will give an account of our lives here on earth and will either live forever with Christ in Heaven if He has enabled us, by the work of the Holy Spirit, to repent of our sins and put our faith in Him, or endure our perfectly just, eternal punishment in Hell for our sins. She will cry a lot today, her husband will console her and remind and reassure her of the truth.

12265801_10154275417101124_1026076127187236390_o

Earlier this week he gave her something special, two pendants we had the great pleasure to produce for him. Reminders of one of the wonderful common graces that God offers to every man; the joy of a pet. When I visited my family in February for my sister’s wedding, my dad and I took a stamping pad to “the beast” to get his paw print. That print was used as the basis for the pendant with the idea that, “Paws leave impressions on our hearts” as a theme for the piece. Cut into the back of each pendant is the name of our beloved pup, Togo.

To my sister: Saying today is a rough day for you is an unfathomable understatement. Fighting tears as I write this, I can’t tell you how happy I am for three things: 1) The Lord has given you the hope of glory, found only through his great salvation 2) that He has given you a husband who loves Jesus and his personal relationship with Christ, allows him to console you in a way no one else can 3) That you are my sister and I love you.

in Him,
Micah B

1184926_208788259287063_1534568372_n

My favorite picture of me and Togo. Each enjoying our favorite activities, me eating pizza and him begging.


OVER_QUERY_LIMIT: You have exceeded your daily request quota for this API. If you did not set a custom daily request quota, verify your project has an active billing account: http://g.co/dev/maps-no-account