Our Jewelry Do’s, but Mostly Don’ts

Posted by Pamela Burton on

One of the most important things anyone should know about their fine jewelry is exactly in the name- it is fine jewelry. Some may be surprised to find a lifted prong, dents, scratches, or even a break in their jewelry. The reality is that accidents can occur if not practicing mindful, proper care of your piece. This is especially common with rings, as we tend to forget just how active we are with our hands, and with everyday tasks. The good news is that these oopsies can certainly be avoided as long as you keep some best practices in mind!

We’ve listed what we believe are 6 of the most common ways that you can unintentionally mishandle your jewelry, also known as our KJ Jewelry Don’ts. We've outlined them here in order from the least, to the most common ways we’ve seen pieces be mishandled: 

 

Don’t #6: Touch your stone/ring from the top

Avoid touching your diamond to prevent getting fingerprints/dirt on it, and avoid loosening of the prongs by pressing directly on the stone (remember, diamonds are strong and can damage metals). What we recommend instead is to handle your ring from the sides (see the photo). This helps keep your stone clean and shining, while preventing any added pressure to the prongs as you handle it. 

 

Don’t #5: Rub your jewelry against each other

Avoid wearing rings right next to each other, as the pieces can easily rub against one another and cause damage over time. Additionally, diamonds can easily scratch and further damage other diamonds when worn next to each other (yes, diamonds can damage other diamonds). We recommend alternating fingers when wearing multiple rings.

 

Don’t #4: Get Caught on your clothing

Some jewelry pieces have prongs or pronounced contours that can get caught on heavy knits, or against pockets and other clothing accessories. Make sure to practice care when getting dressed or wearing clothing that can easily snag.

Take note if your piece is repeatedly snagging, as a prong may have lifted and is in need of attention.

 

Don’t #3: Slam your doors or cabinets

This everyday move is so common, we forget just how quickly we can easily hit or jam your fine jewelry! Watch out for washing machine doors, too!

 

Don’t #2: With  your furry friends

Whether it’s wrapping the leash around the hand to hold on to our furry friends, or playing around with our loved ones, our energetic family members can surprise us at any moment. All it takes is one, “...Squirrel!”

Don’t #1: Wear your piece when heavy lifting

This is one we know all too well! Just the right amount of pressure while carrying or moving something can result in misshaping and damage to a piece of fine jewelry. Keep in mind, 14k gold is a malleable, fine metal that can become damaged by just the right amount of pressure! 

Our Biggest Do’s:

Handle your piece with love and care

Be sure to remove your piece when applying lotions/perfumes, or working with harsh chemicals- and be sure to store your piece in a safe space. Make sure you keep these best practices in mind and be weary of some common mistakes that can occur.

Schedule “Oil Changes”

Get regular check ups as often as every 6 months here 

Refer to our Resources

Always refer to our care guidelines, or check out our other blog post regarding proper care and cleaning.

 

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KJ Couples: Stephanie and Brandon

Posted by Sara Guerrero on

We love your love! That is why we have decided to reach out to a few of our amazing Kasia Family members, new and returning, to tell their stories. Love is powerful, beautiful, diverse and worthy of honoring through your unique story. By sharing these openly with you, we intend to spread joy in a time when we need it the most. We understand the privilege it is to be a part of your story, and we hope the sincerity of these couples will reflect the very special relationships we aim to have with everyone who walks through our doors (whether in-person or virtually).

Next up, we have Stephanie & Brandon. Two friends who reconnected years later to create their forever love story!

When did you know that your partner was THE ONE?

Steph - I knew Brandon was the one shortly after we started dating. I really don’t know how to explain it but it just felt “right”. Other guys I had dated it felt like so much work and with Brandon, it came easy. He felt like my best friend and it was a no brainer.

Brandon - I knew Steph was the one for years before we dated, but the stars were never aligned. When our paths finally crossed and that opportunity became available it just made perfect sense.

 

What is one thing you love about your significant other?

Steph - I love how hard working and kind Brandon is. He treats everyone he knows as if they are special and will go above and beyond for all of his friends and family.

Brandon - Steph is so loving and kind to others. She is also so fun to be around and her smile is contagious!

 

What is an activity you love to do together?

We love to travel together. We’ve been to France, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Maldives, Tulum and more! Brandon is a professional photographer so that takes us to a lot of places, but also just traveling for fun is something we love to do. We love experiencing new places! Just as much as we love to travel we also love to just hang out at home and watch a good movie or documentary. I think that’s what makes our relationship so great; we really just love to do anything as long as it's together!

 

 

How did you two meet? (Give us as many details as you’d like!)

We met in High School the summer before freshman year, back in 2005! We were in the same math class. We went to a small private school, so we frequently had classes together and hung out with similar friend groups. We did not start dating until January 2014. We were always friends and never lost touch between high school and college. When it was finally meant to be for us, it was just right! Stephanie was living in San Francisco at the time and Brandon was in Los Angeles. Brandon had an opportunity to go to football game up north and invited Stephanie to attend. The rest is history!

 

How did he/she propose?

Brandon proposed October 2019 a few days after Stephanie’s Birthday. Steph had planned a trip to San Luis Obispo (her college town) to go wine tasting and visit with old friends. Little did she know Brandon had a plan of his own! The two of them and a friend went on a hike in Montana De Oro. This was a place Brandon had taken some photos of a few years back. Brandon had remembered one photo he had taken of Stephanie there and remembered how beautiful and happy that moment was, so he wanted to recreate it. Stephanie was completely shocked when Brandon got down on one knee and proposed on the gorgeous ocean cliffs during sunset.

 

How does Kasia Jewelry fit into your story?

Stephanie has always admired Kasia Jewelry for their unique pieces. She always knew that she wanted a super traditional classic engagement ring, but when it came time to pick the band she wanted something with a little more character. Her and Brandon drove down to San Diego to visit the bands on site and they both fell in love with their bands immediately!!

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Getting to Know Inclusions

Posted by Sara Guerrero on

Intro to Inclusions


One of our favorite things about natural gemstones is that each one is completely unique. No two stones will ever be the same, no matter how alike they may appear on the surface. In fact, each stone contains a world of its own, much like the special stories each of our clients have. We love that a gemstone can be a beautiful reflection of your own complexity and individuality. 


As stones form over thousands, if not millions, of years, they develop different inclusions, which are trace elements within the stone that make it truly one of a kind. These inclusions act as a sort of fingerprint, vital in the process of grading stones and in identifying one from another. Here, we will explore some common types of inclusions – and why we always celebrate them. 


Keeping It Natural 


Inclusions occur more often in natural stones compared to synthetic stones. However, certain inclusions in lab-developed gems are the specific result of their growth process, therefore serving as a way to distinguish a synthetic gem from a natural one. The inclusions in natural stones also relay important details about them; the presence of specific materials in a stone can indicate where and when it was formed. This is what makes these naturally-occurring inclusions so special. They help tell the story of every single stone, a story that begins long before a stone finds its way to a Kasia Jewelry design. Keeping nature’s lingering touch present in every piece. 

Types of Inclusions

There are four main types of inclusions commonly found in stones. They not only help to determine key facts about the stone, but also help craft its unique identity – which is then thoughtfully highlighted through specific Kasia Jewelry designs. 

Needles

Among the primary types of inclusions in diamonds and colored stones are needles, which appear like long, thin rods under standard magnification. These rods are actually crystals made up of a mineral other than that of the stone, formed along with the stone itself. Most needle inclusions are much too small to see without a microscope, but still set a stone apart and help distinguish one stone from another. 

Clouds

Clouds are another type of inclusion, formed by many clustered needles or pin-points, which are crystals in the form of tiny dots. These clouds can look like a small hazy patch in the stone, creating a unique and striking visual effect. Cloud inclusions can occur in a wide variety of natural stones. 

One of our favorite examples of a beautifully cloud-included stone is the salt-and-pepper diamond. This special diamond gets its name from the black carbon inclusions and unique characteristics it holds. These speckles can be sparse, leaving areas of clear stone; dense, with a dark and stormy appearance; or anywhere between. We love featuring salt and pepper stones in our designs for their endless uniqueness and captivating complexity. If you’re seeking a stone as one-of-a-kind and captivating as your story, consider a salt and pepper center stone. 

Fluid

Another inclusion that occurs regularly is fluid. Fluid inclusions consist of liquid or gas that became encapsulated within the formation of the stone as it developed. These inclusions can sometimes take on fantastical shapes within the stone; microphotography of fluid inclusions even produces beautiful pieces of art. Some stones even contain little bubbles of water or air, perfectly preserving a piece of the earth from millions, if not billions of years ago. 

Crystals

Finally, crystal inclusions are highly common within stones. While needle and cloud inclusions are technically crystals as well, the term applies to crystals of more apparent and irregular shape. These inclusions are almost as if a microscopic gem was contained within the stone. Emeralds, a commonly included stone, often contain pyrite crystals. These appear as small, dark prisms within the emerald, creating a complex interior world. Crystal inclusions give each stone its own special look. 

Imperfectly Perfect 

Diamonds have a unique relationship with inclusions because, more than any other stone, they are graded based on their clarity – their lack of inclusions. Clarity is one of the 4C’s used to determine a diamond’s value. However, a diamond that is truly without inclusions is extremely rare. The majority of diamonds used in jewelry are considered “‘eye clean,” which means their inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye and therefore don’t impact the appearance of the diamond. When grading a stone with a microscope, though, a gemologist sees any inclusions and makes a diagram of the interior of the stone. Just like a fingerprint, this chart means that the diamond is completely unique and can always be identified. 

Inclusions are often what gives a colored stone its beautiful appearance. We’ve mentioned emeralds and salt-and-pepper diamonds, but there is a wide variety of stones whose own inclusions greatly enhance their allure. 

For example, inclusions are also what give rubies and sapphires their color! Both stones consist of a mineral known as corundum. The presence of chromium inclusions in the corundum creates a red hue - such stones are categorized as rubies. Any other inclusion and the stone is considered a sapphire, prized especially in its classic deep blue or in vibrant pink. 

Whether you choose a diamond or a colored stone, the inclusions that your gem contains are an integral part of its identity. Visible inclusions enhance a stone’s complex beauty; the ones too small to be seen are an important part of what makes your stone completely unique. 

One-of-a-Kind, Every Time

There is an infinite variety of inclusions that can be seen in stones. Every gemstone has a different quantity and prominence of inclusions, something that is taken into account when selecting a piece for Kasia Jewelry. We champion this variety and are endlessly inspired by the range of beauty in these nature-made stones. Our collection features gems that are as perfectly individual as their wearers, stones through which nature tells its long and beautiful story. With a Kasia Jewelry piece, you get to create your own story. 

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KJ Couples: Elena and Samuel

Posted by Sara Guerrero on

We love your love! That is why we have decided to reach out to a few of our amazing Kasia Family members, new and returning, to tell their stories. Love is powerful, beautiful, diverse and worthy of honoring through your unique story. By sharing these openly with you, we intend to spread joy in a time when we need it the most. We understand the privilege it is to be a part of your story, and we hope the sincerity of these couples will reflect the very special relationships we aim to have with everyone who walks through our doors (whether in-person or virtually).

Next up, we have Elena & Samuel, two lovebirds that migrated to San Diego to let us be a part of their special story! Grab a tissue box, this one had us teary-eyed.

When did you know that your partner was THE ONE?

It was a combination of things of course, from us having so much fun when we were together that we would stay up all hours of the night talking, to him going above and beyond for me any moment he could, I couldn’t imagine not having him in life. After we had been dating for awhile, it just became known that he would be my constant. He would always be there no matter the situation and we could make each other happy even if we lived in a shoebox, was all signs of the perfect husband for me. Plus he has reallllllly good hair.

What is one thing you love about your significant other?

There are so many things! I think my favorite is that we have so many things in common. We are both in similar careers, love doing the same things, and have the same exact taste buds. It sounds strange, but having the same interests, goals and taste in everything means we are both doing what we like all the time together.

What is an activity you love to do together?

We love spontaneous travel adventures - our perfect day would be enjoying charcuterie boards and wine by water, and staying in by a fire and watching scary movies by night. (A pool is a plus!)

How did you two meet? (Give us as many details as you’d like!)

We both worked at a boutique realty, construction, and design firm and instantly had a crush on each other (while avoiding ever coming in contact with each other obviously because we were too shy). We were friends for awhile before I asked him on a date out of the blue! I told him if the date went terribly, it could be really great practice none the less - ha! After the date, the rest was history!

How did he/she propose?

Sam knew my love for vintage designer chairs and my favorite chair of all time was the Cherner chair, we would always go to vintage shops trying to get lucky and find one. He ended up finding one and proposed to me with it - my favorite chair, a ring, and a soon to be husband. Best day ever!

How does Kasia Jewelry fit into your story?

We knew we wanted to elope by the water, so we went to San Diego to scope out a couple places and check out Kasia Jewelry at the same time as we had been drooling over their Instagram for awhile… Our appointment couldn’t have gone better. We were so thrilled with the experience and our gorgeous rings!

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Finding the Gemstone that Speaks to You

Posted by Sara Guerrero on

An introduction to the world of Gemstones

With their brilliant shine and enchanting sparkle, diamonds are probably one of the first stones to cross your mind when it comes to gems and jewelry. After all, diamond rings account for almost 90% of engagement jewelry, and the diamond industry is one of the most valuable markets in the US. The popularity of diamonds is easy to understand - as the hardest of all stones, they are nearly impossible to scratch or break, and they are among the most reflective, which gives diamonds their infamous bright shine. However, this iconic stone has not always been in such demand. Let’s explore the unique and rich history of what makes diamonds and other gemstones a one-of-a-kind treasure.  

A Long Romance 

The beauty and splendor of gemstones have been captivating humans for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations carved, shaped, and smoothed gems to serve a variety of functional and decorative purposes. Stones such as lapis lazuli, quartz, turquoise, and jade were used in some of the earliest gemstone jewelry across the world. Wearing these beautiful pieces of nature was a method of self-expression, of beautification, and of showing status. While our reasons for wearing jewelry today have largely stayed the same, the technology for making it has advanced drastically over time, and the fluctuations in gemstone availability and in cultural tastes have shaped which stones are most popular. 

Diamonds, for example, had a very different appearance for much of history than they have today. The stone was often maintained in the natural shape of its crystal, a simple octahedron. This crystal was sometimes carried loose in a pocket or mounted onto a simple band and worn as a ring. By the 1400s, gemcutters knew that they could polish these crystals using diamond dust to increase their shine. (Because diamonds are so hard, the only thing that can smooth their surface is other diamonds!) This early shape was known as a point-cut. Soon, craftspeople began trying other cuts; thanks to this experimentation, as well as technological advancements in cutting and grinding tools,  cuts were developed that not only safeguarded the integrity of the stone but also greatly improved the attractiveness. By the mid-1700s, gemcutters had developed early versions of the brilliant cut, which nowadays is the most popular way to facet a diamond due to its beautiful effects on the appearance of the stone. 

However, despite these advancements, diamonds didn’t truly become popular until the mid-1900’s. During most of the millennium, diamonds were sourced in India (and later, Brazil), but the availability slowly declined. In the late 1800’s, diamonds were discovered in South Africa.  Its presence in the industry was reinvigorated as the stone became more and more available. The decline of consumerism during the WWII era led to yet another decline in the diamond market. The true turning point came in the 1950’s when the diamond mining company De Beers launched an advertising campaign that forefronted the now-infamous phrase, “a diamond is forever.” This slogan cemented the association between diamonds and commitment, leading to a wild increase in the popularity of diamond engagement rings. 

Grading a Gemstone's Value 

The rise in popularity of diamonds, and engagement rings in general, led to a need for a consistent way to determine the value of a gemstone.  A stone’s value is complex; it depends on a variety of factors and requires an experienced eye, although oftentimes questionable, ultimately due to the “eyes of the beholder”. The global standard used today for gemstone grading is the 4Cs, a system that enables consistent and objective diamond valuation across the world. How does one value a gemstone, you ask? Despite the fact that 4Cs are often used as a very cut & dry guidelines, this oftentimes can be a bit misleading - if all or most that you value is the originality and character in the stone. Those can not be graded or classified by anything but your own eyes and appreciation or therefore a lack of.

What are the 4Cs?

The 4C grading system was established by the Gemological Institute of America in the 1950s. It revolutionized the way diamonds are graded by providing a standard set of criteria that the entire jewelry industry could use. Prior to this system, there was no agreement as to how diamonds were valued, causing widespread discrepancies in pricing and valuation.

The 4Cs describe four different categories that contribute to a diamond’s value. These categories are color, cut, clarity, and carat. Each category is evaluated separately, with the results then examined holistically to determine the final value of the diamond. 

Color 

The first of the four C’s is color, which in the case of diamonds, actually refers to the colorless of the stone. Color is evaluated on a scale. The most highly graded diamonds have no hue or saturation, whereas the stones at the lower end of the scale will have a distinct yellow or brown hue. However, diamonds demonstrating a particularly strong yellow or brown color, or any other color, are considered fancy-colored diamonds, which are graded as their own category distinct from colorless diamonds.

Other gemstones are also evaluated by color, but the standards vary by gemstone. For example, rubies are at their most valuable when the color is a vibrant red that is neither too dark nor too pale. Topaz, which comes in a wide range of colors, is most prized in its orange-red to red varieties. The rarity of the gemstone in that certain color also affects its value. Diamonds in a vivid pink hue or pale blue are very rare and therefore priced much higher - in fact, these colored diamonds command the highest price per carat of any gem. However, it’s important to note that color is perhaps the most subjective of the four C’s in the sense that color preferences vary widely from person to person. Here at Kasia Jewelry, we value color the most out of the 4C’s. It’s very important to find just the right tone in the world of many, unique to the wearer and appropriate for the design!!

Clarity 

The next of the four C’s, clarity, refers to the visible presence of inclusions or blemishes within the diamond. An inclusion is any internal imperfection to the stone. This could be a crack, air bubble, or trace amounts of another mineral. Blemishes are any mark on the surface of the stone. Diamonds with absolutely no blemishes or inclusions rank highest on the clarity scale are considered flawless. However, truly flawless diamonds are incredibly rare. The highest quality readily accessible to consumers are diamonds with no flaws visible under 10x magnification. Generally speaking, the more noticeable an inclusion or blemish, the lower the diamond will rank on the clarity scale. 

However, inclusions are an important part about what makes a diamond, or any other natural stone, truly unique. Thanks to inclusions, no two stones will ever be exactly the same. The presence of inclusions can help laboratories determine whether a gem is natural or synthetic. And inclusions or blemishes don’t necessarily make a stone less attractive. Emerald, for example, almost always has visible inclusions, and yet it remains one of the most sought-after gemstones across the globe. Another stone that has unique beauty thanks to its inclusions is the salt and pepper diamond, which has a speckled black and white appearance, typically thanks to its black carbon inclusions. It’s an increasingly popular alternative stone for engagement rings and other bespoke jewelry we are certainly a huge fan of! Think individuality & character. 

Cut

An important part of a stone’s value factor is the way it is cut. As mentioned earlier, stone-cutting techniques rapidly progressed beginning in the 1400s. Today, gemcutters are able to perfect the cut of a stone to achieve the perfect optical effects, or to shape it into unique and exciting shapes, known as fantasy cuts. When it comes to diamonds, every single cut contributes to the dazzling visual result. An expertly cut diamond will perfectly balance the brilliant reflection of white light, the contrast of the stone’s dark areas, and the scattered color that dances throughout. Importantly, the stone must be cut in a way that does not leave it vulnerable to breakage. 

When considering the cuts of stones other than diamond, the effect of light is still an important consideration. The best cuts will reflect maximal light back to the viewer, creating that captivating shine. Other factors include the symmetry of the cut and how well it has been polished. Some stones are rounded into cabochons or beads instead of faceted; in this case, a well-shaped gem is evenly smooth with a consistent shine. 

The round brilliant cut remains the most popular shape for diamonds, but other cuts have more recently come back to popularity in the past few years. At Kasia Jewelry, some of our favorite non-traditional cuts are ovals, pears, marquises, and emeralds. 

Carat

The last of the 4Cs is the carat weight. The carat is a unit used to measure the weight of gemstones to great precision. It’s easy to understand that the larger the carat weight, the more expensive the stone, but the scaling is not consistent. For example, a 2-carat diamond costs considerably more than double a 1-carat diamond because the larger diamond is more scarce. And two diamonds of the same carat weight don’t necessarily cost the same; the other three C’s also come into play. 

Other gemstones follow the same trend. Also, a carat is a measurement of weight, not size, so a one carat diamond might not be the same size as a different one carat stone of the same cut!  

Finding Value in Uniqueness

The 4Cs all impact a stone’s value. Each category is considered separately, but it’s just as important to look at the factors all together. When you consider the whole picture, each stone tells its own story, with a set of characteristics as unique as a fingerprint. This is what inspires us at Kasia Jewelry to feature these beautiful, natural stones in our collections time and time again. When you select your own KJ gemstone piece, you are getting something as one-of-a-kind as yourself.  

Hand-Selected, with Love

Selecting the beautiful stones that make up our collection is a process we take seriously. Each main stone is hand selected, whether from reputable jewelers with generations of experience, or from sourcing trips and trade expositions where Kasia examines stone after stone to find the perfect pieces for our collection. Ultimately, we select only those stones that demand to be seen, that demonstrate that utmost important attribute, individuality. 

Designing Timeless Heirlooms

At Kasia Jewelry, our designs are unique, yet timeless. Pieces are designed around the beauty of the individual stone, elevating classic styles while highlighting the stone’s character. These designs are made to stand the test of time, both in their style and durability, while reflecting your individuality. Whether you select a diamond or a different gem, your Kasia Jewelry piece pays homage to these the stone’s’ natural beauty - and to yours.

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