Valentines Day

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sunset proposalMarch 20th marks Proposal Day, the day on which an estimated 50,000 couples will get engaged!

Is March 20th the day to pop the big question? Possibly, but this lesser known holiday was initially started for the purpose of giving a nudge to couples who have not yet taken the ultimate step of commitment. Interestingly enough, it was a man by the name of John Michael O’Laughlin who founded Proposal Day. After seeing his cousin being strung along for years by a boyfriend who wouldn’t commit, O’Laughlin decided enough was enough and decided to dedicate one day out of the year just for the act of proposing.

Proposal Day falls on the Vernal Equinox, one out of two days of the year on which the Earth’s North and South poles are both perpendicular to the Sun’s rays. This means that the Sun appears approximately an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth, so that day and night are equal lengths. O’Laughlin specifically chose the day of an equinox because he believed the equal day and night symbolized “the equal efforts of the two required to comprise a successful marriage.” The Autumnal Equinox falls about six months after March 20th, and is considered by some to be a second Proposal Day for that reason.vernal equinox

The holiday is an opportunity to start a conversation about the possibility of a future proposal, according to ProposalDay.com. Besides, nowadays couples wait longer before tying the knot; a recent poll found that roughly 27 per cent of women whose partners had popped the question dated their partner for three to five years. As an added benefit, talking to your partner about the proposal beforehand means that you can go engagement ring shopping together, which takes some pressure off of finding the perfect engagement ring!

Although it’s certainly not as widely recognized as Valentine’s Day, there are signs that Proposal Day is gaining traction. It has been creating a buzz in numerous social media outlets like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and has even been featured in the national news media.

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cufflinksToday’s popular male stars, such as Jay-Z, Johnny Depp, the Jonas brothers and Justin Bieber, tend to wear more jewelry and that’s opening the door for other men to realize that jewelry is a part of putting an outfit together. Jewelry is also a status symbol for men who have become more established in life and their careers. The more popular and traditional men’s jewellery are watches and cufflinks.

As men’s jewelry progresses, it will go through those conservative categories, of watches and cufflinks, to more modern categories, including bracelets, rings and pendants. These categories will continue to grow as the younger generation moves into the market. Younger generation may not be able to afford nice watches yet but they can all afford some nice silver men’s jewellery. Men’s jewellery can’t be too flashy, feminine or ostentatious; they need to have a masculine appeal. Brushed and blackened metals are great choices of design, and most of the time men’s jewellery are easy to maintain.

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Pearl necklaceWhen you walk into a jewellery store, let’s be honest, at first glance we think all pearls look the same except they come in different colors, it’s kind of like diamonds, at first glance most diamonds look the same until you put two diamonds with different quality side by side then you can tell the difference. Well, it’s the same with pearls. All pearls sold on the retail market are “cultured pearls” unless otherwise labeled as natural pearls which are extremely rare nowadays. If you are in a rush (a lot of gentlemen are) and don’t have time to learn all about pearls, easiest way is to ask a jewellery professional what you can get for your budget, an educated jeweller or a graduate gemologists should be able to offer good advice on what type of pearls you should get. Below are the pearl types in the market today.

  • Freshwater pearls: Freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels which live in ponds, lakes and rivers and are primarily produced by China. The typical size of freshwater pearls is 2mm – 16mm with 7mm – 8mm being the most common.
  • Akoya pearls: Akoya pearls are the classic white pearls and typically have the highest luster and greatest shine of all cultured pearls. Typical Akoya pearls range from 5 mm to 11 mm.
  • South Sea pearls: South Sea pearls are saltwater pearls cultivated from the oyster, found in the South Seas centering on Northern Australia and South-East Asia, including Myanmar and Indonesia. They produce 10-20 mm pearls of white, creamy, silver or gold color, the largest of any cultured pearl. South Sea pearls are also the most expensive pearl on the market due to their rarity and thick nacre.
  • Tahitian pearls: Tahitian Pearls come from the warm waters of the South Seas and are grown in a Black-Lipped oyster. They are the only pearl to achieve a black body color naturally and are typically very large, 9mm- 16mm. Tahitian pearls, although mostly dark, also come in a wide range of hues, including black, gray, silver, green, blue and purple.

You can get all technical and get into the surface, luster, nacre and all that before buying pearls but just by reading about it doesn’t make you a pearl buying expert when you shop in a store, best is to have a few to choose from in person and ask questions, after you understand the value of all different types you will be ready to make an informed purchase. You will see the why two pearl strands look similar from far have very different price tags. Don’t get hung up on brand names; Tiffany’s and Mikimoto both are known for high quality goods, but by no means do they have a monopoly on high quality pearls. You can buy high quality pearls in many Vancouver jewellery stores!

 

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Diamond RingValentine’s Day is just around the corner and when it comes to the season of love, pulling out all the stops for your loved one includes popping the question. In fact, the latest American Express report found that six million couples are likely to get engaged on February 14. Once the actual proposal is planned out, finding the perfect engagement ring for your partner is essential in getting that desired response.

Here are five tips to help you get through the daunting task of picking out the ring:

1. Know your budget. You don’t need to have the exact number in mind, but a range will make the selection process a lot easier for you and the jeweller.

2. Know her style/taste. Take a peek into your loved one’s jewelry box and take note of the type of jewelry she already wears. Is she more classic or modern? Feminine or sophisticated? What would go well with her wardrobe and her lifestyle? You can also be sure to take note of any references she makes about jewelry, fashion and style.

3. Know the 4 Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. You don’t need to walk in with a gemology degree but a basic understanding of what contributes to a diamond’s value and appearance is helpful. There is a fifth “C” which is confidence in the jewelry supplier/retailer. A reputable jeweler who is a member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS) can advise you on your purchase.

4. Know each other. Decide whether or not you want to shop with your partner or shop alone and if the surprise element is important for your proposal. This is a big decision but there is no right answer.

5. Know your jeweller. The last tip is perhaps the most important. It is crucial that you go to a jewelry store with a trusted and reputable jeweler. You should feel comfortable asking questions with your jeweler and discussing the entire process with them. Jewelry can be customized to fit a variety of lifestyles, budgets and circumstances. Be sure that you get exactly what you want through consultations and strong communication.

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