Friday, May 21, 2010

Titanium and Tungsten Wedding Bands

What is strong as steel but light as a feather?

If you guessed titanium, you probably already know about the latest use of this metal for jewelry. Men are often using titanium or it's similarly appearing counterpart, tungsten, which has the same density as gold. More often used as an alloy element in steel for industrial uses, both metals boast a gunmetal dull appearance that many men find appealing. We have begun carrying titanium and tungsten wedding bands at Handiwork Jewelry in Memphis. Although titanium and tungsten rings may not be sized by our jewelers, but bands start at only $30.

Diamond Wedding Bands

We recently created some new diamond wedding bands that fit well with most engagement rings. These thin but durable 2.0+ mm bands feature pave or prong set round diamonds in 14 Karat white gold and start at $250. At these prices, many of our brides choose to buy two so they can wear one on each side of the engagement ring.

0.25 Carats of round single cut diamonds, which have a unique sparkle that only these antique hand cut diamonds offer ($275)

0.35 carats of round diamonds pave set in rounded 14 karat white gold wedding band ($389)
0.50 carats of prong set round diamonds in a 14 Karat white gold wedding band ($375)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Removing a Ring Stuck on the Finger

This summer, we at Handiwork have seen a good number of ladies arriving at our store in Memphis with quite a dilemma on hand, literally. These very faithful women have worn their wedding ring every day and night since they got married, and anywhere from five to fifty years later, bodies and hands have changed while their ring remained the same size. Other times, a pregnancy or hospital trip results in water retention, making your hands swell.

A panic phone call starts off with a, "My ring is stuck on my finger, and I have tried everything! Can you cut it off?" After trying to remove the now too small ring with lotion, petroleum jelly, butter, and even oil, they are now desperate to restore the circulation in their fingers. Also be sure to try soaking your hand in ice water since our hands sometimes swell in warmer conditions. I also found this nifty but doubtful ring removal trick with string online here.

When all else fails, you can come to a local jeweler like Handiwork, and we can remove the ring while you keep your finger. I do know that hospitals will also be able to do a similar thing, but I have seen their efficient work, which destroys the ring's shank (band) more than necessary.

We use a ring cutter remover very similar to the one found here on Ebay and available at a pretty good deal (under $15 with shipping).

This handheld tool has a blunted hook that fits under the band between the ring and the finger. A small rounded saw rotated by hand (the extended bar with round disk pictured above) slowly and gently grinds away a thin line into the gold or silver. Once we hear a snap, we remove the ring cutter and take two pairs of pliers to slowly pull apart the band to minimize damage to the ring. Having this done at Handiwork is no charge if you then decide to have it re-sized, otherwise it costs $25.

In order to prevent this from happening, we recommend taking your rings off at night, as well as taking them off to be cleaned at home or at a local jewelers (free jewelry cleaning at Handiwork Jewelry!). Additionally, if you are pregnant or entering a hospital, remove your jewelry and keep it at home for safekeeping. We have unfortunately heard many stories of jewelry being lost or stolen at the hospital.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tsavorite (Green Garnet)

Is it an emerald? Or a green garnet?
If you guessed, tsavorite ( then you do not need to read any further.

You're the apple of my eye...
This green garnet (tsavorite) and diamond ring is in 18 Karat yellow gold and makes a bold fashion statement.

Here is a side view of this unique fashion ring, which can be found at Handiwork Jewelry.

This 22+ Carat tsavorite retails at over $140,000 here

Tsavorites are often described as having a rich apple green color. More information on tsavorites (green garnets) can be found here and here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Birthstone: Rubies

The princess cut rubies in this 14 Karat white gold ring have a more pink red hue. This antique ring features an old European cut, round diamond in the center. Small diamonds accent the thin band on each side.

This 14 Karat white gold ring features a natural, oval cut ruby with a pink hue. The intricate detail and filigree work in this ring give it a more vintage appeal.

This natural, round cut ruby has a nice ruby red color that we usually have in mind.

This setting is a classic example of a ruby and diamond engagement ring. It can also be used as a fashion ring, but the baguette cut diamonds and lace design on the band are reminiscent of many antique engagement rings.

This natural, radiant cut ruby is accented by two emerald cut diamond solitaires for a classic past, present, future ring.

The red in rubies compliments yellow gold very nicely, as seen in this oval cut ruby ring with diamond accents.

June Birthstone: Alexandrite or Pearl

Although June passed, here is a post on last month's birthstone.

This natural, oval cut alexandrite has the whimsical quality of changing colors depending on the lighting. Here it looks more purple or magenta. Alexandrite is purported to be discovered in 1830 on the birth date of Alexander II in Russia, and hence it's name. In addition to being found mined in Russia, alexandrites can also be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Zimbabwe, and Burma.

In other lighting, however, it looks more dark forest green, teal/blue green, or even chocolate.

For contrast on color, here is a picture from the web showing off an alexandrite's more blue/green shade.

This is a simulated (or synthetic/man made), trillion cut alexandrite. Here you can see how the green and purple appears at the same time. Synthetic alexandrites are more common because a natural alexandiret from the earth is quite expensive on a per carat basis. For example, check out this 3.61 Carat, cushion cut genuine alexandrite for over $42,000.

Given the rarity of natural alexandrites, pearls are also an alternative birthstone for June. This 14 Karat white gold diamond and pearl ring has an antique feel with small prong set diamonds. The vertical direction of the five pearls makes this ring ideal for a pointer finger ring.

We also have this 14 Karat yellow gold pearl ring with three diamond accents (two on this side and one on the other side). This ring has a more modern edge with its smooth and sleek appearance.

If you are looking for a ring that makes a statement, you should consider this 14 Karat white gold ring with two large, genuine pearls in a bypass design. Diamond accents echo an inifinity design in the ring.

For earrings, we carry an affordable pair of pearl studs in 14 Karat gold with a diamond accent for only $45.

Along with white pearls, there are also black Tahitian pearls that have a beautiful peacock green, purple hue.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cute Critters

Take a look at some of Handiwork's sea creatures...

This 14 Karat gold crab pendant has round diamonds on its back.

This 14 Karat white and yellow gold puffer fish pendant also doubles as a brooch. Diamond lips and diamond spots make this one super cute.

This 14 Karat white and yellow gold dolphin brooch has diamond spots on its body.

This 14 Karat yellow gold enamel brooch of a fish is colorful and fun to wear.

This 14 Karat dolphin pendant features a black opal with speckles of blue and green for the ocean.

This small 14 Karat gold turtle has a lot of details and would dangle nicely from a charm bracelet.
Cost: $45

A natural, oval cut peridot is the center of this 14 Karat frog charm.
Cost: $55

Perhaps this 18 karat gold sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamond cricket brooch should have been appeared with the butterflies and bees, but it is definitely a cute critter.

This diamond encrusted hummingbird in 18 Karat white gold has freshwater pearls for wings.

This is only one side of a pair of 14 Karat gold dangling peacock earrings with diamond cut.

This 14 Karat gold camel has a beautiful enamel finish to really make it come to life on a necklace or charm bracelet.

For the dog lover, we have a 14 Karat gold cocker spaniel with ruby eyes.

And for the cat lover, we have a 14 Karat gold kitten brooch with diamonds and a bow tie.