Archive for August, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement and Wedding Jewelry Trends for 2011

Key Trends from The Knot & WeddingChannel.com’s Bridal Jewelry Study

engagement statistics, average cost of engagement ring, raymond lee jewelers

Stats via MarketWatch.com

Yesterday, TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com released the results of its Engagement & Jewelry Study, which surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. brides and 1,000 U.S. grooms engaged or married in the past year. This study is the most comprehensive survey of wedding jewelry purchases, and shows some clear trends for 2011 – Raymond Lee Jewelers breaks it down.

Most Grooms Aren’t Basing Their Budget on the Economy

With the economy making a measly recovery (on a good day) one would think that engagement ring sales would have taken a big hit, but grooms aren’t skimping on the most important purchase of their lives. Only 14% of men said that they had purchased a less expensive ring due to the shaky economy. The average cost of an engagement ring is around $5200, down only $600 from 3 years ago, while the luxury engagement ring segment spends an average of $13,500.

Round Rings Rule

Rounds remain the most popular choice for engagement rings with 53% of brides opting for a round diamond. The luxury segment prefers rounds even more, with 57% of luxury engagement rings featuring round diamonds. And while princess remains the next most popular cut, cushion cut diamonds are trending for both the typical engagement segment and luxury segment.

Among the Luxury Segment, Tradition is Tops

Perhaps the reason that rounds shine brighter among the luxury segment is their classic shape. Also, luxury engagement rings feature larger center stones and might only require one large, solitaire round to make a statement. Another tradition among those who live luxe? Grooms asking the bride’s father for permission – a whopping 80% of them asked Pops before popping the question. One tradition that spans across both segments? Getting down on bended-knee: 77% of grooms opted for this.

Uniqueness is Prized

Grooms are choosing to add personal elements to pre-existing ring designs or to commission original designs. 41% of grooms, and 59% of grooms within the luxury segment, are adding to or creating new designs. Additionally, while white gold remains the most popular metal, grooms are favoring metals like tungsten and titanium in their rings.

Grooms are Sticking to Brick and Mortar Stores

Only 9% of grooms purchased their rings from online retailers, while 35% of them bought the ring at a national jewelry chain. Local and independent jewelers, like Raymond Lee Jewelers, accounted for 39% of all groom’s engagement ring purchases. And regardless of the name on the receipt, brides are gently nudging their beloveds towards “The One”, with 65% admitting to being “somewhat involved” and 31% “very involved.”

Jewelers, what kinds of trends have you noticed in engagement and wedding jewelry sales? Brides & Grooms, share with us your purchasing process in the comments below.

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s choice for pre-owned luxury engagement rings.

Wedding Wednesday: The Right Jewelry for your Dress

No doubt, the most important element of your wedding day will be your dress (except for your groom that is!) It reflects the tone, formality and mood for your wedding and ensures that all eyes are on you on your big day. So what’s a girl to do when faced with accessorizing the most important outfit of her life? Turn to Raymond Lee Jewelers, of course, bridal jewelry experts.

If your gown is…

 Strapless

Monique Lhuillier

Play up an elegant neck with stunning drop earrings and an up-do. This is the perfect opportunity to incorporate color into your wedding day look with any number of colored stones. Complete the look with a bracelet in coordinating stones. The same rules apply to one-shouldered gowns as well.

14K White Gold and Micropave Diamond Drop Earrings

14K White Gold, Diamond and Garnet Drop Earrings

Sweetheart

Allure Couture

A unique pendant necklace on a short, delicate chain is a timeless way to let your gown shine, and won’t be hidden if you decide to wear your hair in beachy waves or retro curls. Likewise, a textured, thick collar necklace will perfectly offset the gentle curve of this gown’s neckline.

18K White and Rose Gold Irradiated Pink Diamond Pendant

diamond necklace, raymond lee jewelers

Lace Collar 18K White Gold Three Row Diamond Necklace

V-necked

AgapéEver via Brides.com

Bold brides wanting to show off their décolletage must adorn all that skin with a necklace. Pair an intricate drop necklace with a chic satin gown, or a lacy number. Add sparkling studs and a simple, feminine bracelet to complete this look.

Platinum and Diamond (28.8CTW) Y-Necklace with round, pear shaped and oval diamonds

diamond drop necklace, platinum, diamond, raymond lee jewelers

Platinum and Diamond Micro Pave Necklace

High-necked or backless

wedding dress, high collar

Lo-Ve-La by Liz Fields via Brides.com

Princess Kate’s return to fuller coverage has sparked new waves of bridal fashion trends, as has the couture world’s new attention to the beauty of the back. We say that for these styles, brides should take the opportunity to don stunning dangling earrings, as long as you’re comfortable with, and pair with a gorgeous and unique bracelet.

Tiffany, diamonds, earrings, Raymond Lee Jewelers

Tiffany & Co. Garland Collection Platinum Earrings

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18K White Gold Wide Pave Link Bracelet

Pure White

Olia Zavozina via Brides.com

The best metals to pair with this color are platinum, white gold and silver, as yellow gold or rose gold may look too brassy in contrast to your snow white gown.

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Tiffany & Co. Platinum, Diamond and Pink Sapphire necklace

Off White

wedding gown, raymond lee jewelers

Jenny Peckham via Brides.com

Nearly every and any metal works with this shade, but our picks are platinum, white gold and rose gold to complement the blushing bride.

rose gold, pearls, raymond lee jewelers

14 kt rose gold pearl starburst pin

Ivory

ivory wedding gown, wedding dress, ivory, wedding, dress, raymond lee jewelers

Demetrios via Brides.com

Bring out the warmth of this hue with yellow gold accessories, cognac diamonds and yellow stones.

yellow diamonds, diamond bracelet, raymond lee jewelers

18kt yellow and white gold bracelet with yellow and white gold diamonds

Retro

tea legnth wedding dress, short wedding dress, raymond lee jewelers

Oleg Cassini at David's Bridal via Brides.com

If you’re a bride who craves a throwback to the heyday of 50’s fem, 20’s art deco or 60’s mod, consider adding to your gown’s one-of-a-kind vibe with a unique brooch, hair piece, or statement necklace. Try to incorporate either contemporary jewels or pieces from a different period than your dress to avoid a costume look.

yellow gold, pin, diamond, raymond lee jewelers

18kt yellow gold and diamond pin

Classic

1 Wedding by Mary's Bridal via Brides.com

If your gown hasn’t changed a stitch since you first imagined it when you were 6 and every detail of your wedding will ooze timeless charm, stick to the bridal standby’s of diamonds and pearls. You’ll love your look, on the day of your wedding and in photos, no matter how many years pass beyond your big day.

diamond, pearl, earrings, raymond lee jewelers

Platinum Southsea Pearl and Diamond Earrings

The most important part of choosing your wedding day jewelry is being true to yourself. Your wedding day will be the happiest day of your life, especially if you’re 100% in love…with your accessories.

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s choice for pre-owned bridal jewelry and engagement rings.

Industry Update: The Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show Recap

Raymond lee Jewelers recaps the 31st Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show

The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show 2011

Last week we gave you the break down of what to expect at the 31st Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, and today we’re thrilled to share that this show attracted thousands of attendees. Collectors, dealers, and connoisseurs from Beijing to Brussels packed the Antiques Show to purchase from the more than 550 luxury goods and antquie exhibitors.

The Palm Beach Show Group, also the producers of the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, presented this four day, indoor show. In fact, the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show is the largest indoor antique show in the country.

According to president and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group, Scott Diament:“This year marks a milestone of record-breaking dealer participation,” said Scott Diament, president and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group. “We completely sold all of the space in the Baltimore Convention Center.”

Thankfully, Hurricane Irene did not impede the show’s success; “Not only was ‘Irene’ storming, but the buyers were storming too,” said Gus Davis of Camilla Dietz Bergeron. “There was a lot of enthusiasm and the serious buyers really came through and bought. We had a great show.”

Exhibitors reported record sales, high profile customers, and fantastic amounts of museum-quality art sold.

In addition to the art and antiques, guests also attended the antique book fair, and the free public lecture series. These sessions featured Wendy A. Cooper, Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil senior curator of furniture at Winterthur Museum; Robert Mintz, Ph.D., associate curator of Asian art at The Walters Art Museum; and Miller Gaffney, principal of Miller Gaffney Art Advisory. Also presenting lectures were exhibiting dealers, including Jeff Bridgman of Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques; Janet Drucker of Drucker Antiques; Matthew Baer of The Ivory Tower; and Timothy Stevenson of Carlson & Stevenson Antiques and Art.

For more information on this year’s Annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, as well as next year’s visit www.baltimoresummershow.com

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, Trusted source for antiques and estate jewelry.

Tubular Tuesdays: In The Shop

A Picture Perfect Peek at Three Tremendous Timepieces of the Raymond Lee Jewelers Inventory… Today.

The Rolex Submariner 16610

The Rolex Submariner 16610 is the classic diving watch.  It’s 904L stainless steel case is able to withstand depths up to 300 meters (1,000 feet).  With a 40mm case it is on the larger size for gents watches.  As a standard, men’s watches are usually 36-40 mm.  The Submariner remains one of Rolex’s most popular watches. Not only is this gorgeous timepiece classic, it’s also on-trend; GQ’s September cover features Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez wearing this bright, modern timepiece.

The Rolex Datejust Masterpiece 81339

This 18K white gold stunner features a Tahitian Mother of Pearl dial that lends an air of sophistication and uniqueness. Add to this the double row of diamonds encircling the face of the watch, the scratch resistant sapphire crystal, and the diamond dial, and this watch becomes a true collectors piece.

The Rolex Daytona 116589

Introduced in 1963, the Daytona collection was designed to fit the needs of racecar drivers. Whether you’re looking to perfectly measure your lap time, or you’re simply a fan of beautiful timepieces, this particular Daytona is in a league of its own. Cased in white gold, the dial is mother of pearl with diamonds, surrounded by a bezel of diamonds, and capped off with a supple black leather band.

Readers, which of these pre-owned luxury watches would you most like to own?

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s choice for pre-owned Rolexes and luxury timepieces.

Masculine Monday: VMA Fashion

Raymond Lee Jewelers Recaps some of Last Nights Best and Worst of Men’s Fashion.

Last Night’s VMA’s did not disappoint. Amy Winehouse tribute! Deena from Jersey Shore dressed as a sequined parrot! Jigga and Kanye wow with a “surprise” performance of Otis! Beyonce is pregnant! Has your mind exploded yet? No? Good, then we can make our way down to some of Sunday night’s best and worst male fashion stars.

Best Surprisingly Chic Ensemble – Vinny Guadagnino

Courtesy of MTV

Unlike his Jersey Shore cast mates Pauly D. and Ron, Vinny G. did not dress like he was attending his 10th grade homecoming dance. Vin sported a well-tailored suit and dapper, on-trend gingham without a stitch of bedazzling, screen printing, gold foil or dragons. Nice Vinny, we just hope that your tailor ensured the shoulder seams were reinforced in case of spontaneous fist pumping.

Worst Sweater Vest – Rick Ross

Courtesy of Twitter

Between the ill-fitting jeans, sloppy (under?)shirt, and the wallet/pocket bling/police badge, Rick Ross is all over the place. Additionally, he’s one tweed jacket away from looking like a bad impression of Mr. Feeny from the waist up. Add to this the Mr. T-esque facial hair and bust pendants, and Rick Ross is in violation of several fashion laws.

Best Use of Canadian Tuxedo – Kanye West

Courtesy of MTV/ Getty Images

Yeezy not only rocked head to toe denim look last night (along with one hell of a performance with Jay Z)), he flawlessly incorporated one of this year’s biggest and best trends with his ombre chambray button down. Kanye paired it with his favorite Balmain jeans and high top kicks, making this look far more “fly” than “farmer”.

Worst Abuse of Trends – Justin Bieber

Courtesy of JustJared

Disclaimer: Beliebers, we are not trying to incur your wrath here, but your boy-wonder was slightly…off with his fashion choices. Quite frankly, Justin looks like he accidently read a top 10 list of Fall’s Must-haves (for chicks) and then tried to incorporate all of them at once. Colored denim? Check. Leopard? Check. Statement necklaces? Check. Statement geek-chic glasses? Check. We’re not even going to touch the YSL pin, but Justin, honey, put down the September issue of In Style and take some cues from our next star.

Best Role Reversal – Lady Gaga/Jo Calderone

Courtesy of CocoPerez.com

Cigarette dragging, whiskey swilling Jo was the image of rugged masculinity last night, sporting Brooks Brother pants, a Uniqlo tee and a Dior Homme jacket. You could see Bruno Mars seething from the audience when he realized his signature pompadour had been hi-jacked, but Jo was pulling. it. off. During his rendition of Lady Gaga’s “You and I”. We thought that surely, Mother Monster would return to the audience in a different ensemble (perhaps one made of food, or items with HazMat classification), but Jo stayed for the entirety of the show, eventually accepting the award for Best Female Video in the same classic outfit.

As expected, the glitz, glamour, stars and jewelry wow-ed on the black carpet last night. From Katy Perry’s block hat, to the Britney Spears tribute, there wasn’t a dull moment last night at the 2011 VMA’s.

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s most trusted source for luxury jewelery and watches.

Masculine Monday: David Yurman New Arrivals

 David Yurman, founded by eponymous the designer, is renowned for its affordable and everyday luxury. When his cable jewelry took the world by storm in the eighties, no one could have predicted that 30 years later another Yurman would make his mark on the brand.

Evan Yurman, head of men’s design at David Yurman, has created a rough-hewn, yet sophisticated line for men that shines this fall. Here are Raymond Lee Jewelers top picks from David Yurman men’s new arrivals.

 David Yurman Amulets Shark Tooth Necklace

David Yurman, Raymond Lee JewelersThis bronze shark tooth is the perfect answer to the hottest trend in women’s jewelry right now, rose gold. Not only does the darker bronze add a touch of industrial luxury to this piece, the shark tooth is both a natural element and a strong one. Adding to this necklace’s stylish toughness is the titanium box chain the shark tooth hangs from.

Armory Band Ring

Inspired by medieval elements, this ring is a subtle reference to armor-clad knights slicing through the bad guys with broadswords. It might even help you channel some of that raw, unbridled strength that accompanied them in conquests and battles. Or Not – but either way, this ring is seriously stylish.

Royal Cord Cufflinks, Black Diamond

These cufflinks are the perfect addition for a completely polished look. The textured sterling silver offers interest without the distraction of over shininess, while the slightly irregular pattern and shape of the stripes lend an unfussy vibe to even formal wear. Black diamonds are the ultimate in masculine luxe, and make these cuff links the ideal finishing touch.

Pave ring with cognac Diamonds

This ring is the way to go for a little masculine bling. The warmth of the cognac diamonds is perfect for fall, and balances out the cool tones of the sterling silver. While the diamonds verge on being too fussy left to their own devices, the thick width of the band makes it no-nonsense, and the sturdy rope-detail on the band’s underside counteracts any feminine energy.

Gentlemen, what are your top jewelry and accessory picks for fall?

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, your source for luxury estate and pre-owned David Yurman jewelry.

Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Day Jewels

Last week we gave you a primer on what was sure to be the wedding of the century summer. That’s right, Kris Humphries is now officially Kris Kardashian, and we promise to stop blogging about this wedding…someday. All jokes aside though, the new Mr. Kim and his bride pulled out all the stops to throw an all-out, glam, Austrian crystallized wedding.

Courtesy of People Magazine

But the sparkle was certainly not limited to the enormous homage to Swarovski and Jesus that hung upon the altar. All eyes, presumably shaded to protect from blinding by bling, were on the bride’s diamonds.

First up, The Ring. It’s been blogged about. It got a People spread. It has convinced this jewelry reporter to give emerald cut diamonds, like peace, a chance. And, as is the norm for any wedding (right?), It sparked envious stares and minor neck strain in Kim’s unengaged guests as It made Its way down the aisle.

Kim Kardashian Engagement Ring, Raymond lee Jewelers

That’s $2 million worth of carbon right there – deeply discounted in exchange for the global exposure designer Lorraine Schwartz is now enjoying.

And, natch, you can’t have a ridiculously huge engagement ring without a coordinating wedding band. So Schwartz crafted this stunning platinum eternity band with more emerald cut diamonds, an estimated 15 carats worth.

Understated and demure, no?

To get the proper impression of the bridal set, here they are worn together as K2 departs for their honeymoon.

No one ever accused Kim of aiming for subtlety.

As a tribute to Audrey Hepburn (not Princess Jasmine, contrary to popular belief among anyone born in the late eighties), Schwartz created this 65 carat headpiece studded with diamonds and dripping with – you guessed it- diamonds.

Love it or hate it? The look is luxe, but definitely polarizing.

Kris’s wedding gift to Kim was this knotted diamond bracelet. Get it?

Because they tied the KNOT! And both their knames start with K!

Last but not least, Kim attributed her final “something borrowed” again to Lorraine Schwartz, who is quickly surpassing Jacob the Jeweler for star street cred master. These heart-stopping drop earrings are 28 carats of pure loveliness.

Kim Kardashian Wedding Earrings

Now these we can get onboard with.

Overall, Kim’s wedding day jewels were worth an estimated $10 million. So now that we know what she wore (Diamonds. Some bigger than a teacup Chihuahua), how she wore them (Both conventionally and on her forehead), and what they cost (Enough to put a dent in the deficit) – there’s only one thing left to learn. What do you, dear readers, think of Kimmie’s jewels? Would you rock a totally unique trend on your big day, like a headpiece? Would you want a 20.5 carat ring if you had the option? Most importantly, am I crazy for thinking the earrings are actually tasteful? Maybe I stared at the rings for too long…

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, your trusted source for wedding jewelry and luxury watches.

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