14k CZ Bridal Sets

In today’s economy, everyone is looking for ways to save money and one of the biggest targets to the budget are wedding sets. It has been about a century since the yellow gold and diamond wedding sets took the place as the most popular style for this purpose. The biggest problem is that gold has tripled in price during the last ten years or so and even thinking about an 18 carat bridal set is far outside what anyone wants to pay for wedding jewelry.

There are of course alternatives. One way to save money is to cut the amount of gold in each ring. Instead of buying 18 carat gold rings try to step down a notch to 14 carat and replace the mined diamond with a cubic zirconia gem. This will reduce the cost of the ring by about 50% and the stone by as much as 80%. In fact 14k CZ bridal sets have become very popular during the last ten years. When many people buy 14 carat bridal sets they usually have the stone upgraded at a later date when they are in a better financial position to do so.

But there are other alternatives if you do not want to buy cubic zirconia rings for some reason. Treated rubies and emeralds are a great deal less expensive than are diamonds and if you buy off color stones they are even less expensive. Downgrading your ring to a lesser metal, like silver or titanium will also save you a great deal of money. The simple fact is that you do not have to stick with tradition and end up in financial hot water just trying to impress everyone. There are many different combinations of stones and metals that you can use and along with saving you a lot of money it will give you a truly creative ring and one that is totally unique.

Silver Heart Charms Are Popular As Ever

For hundreds of years, charm bracelets have been popular with women. Many hold a whole slew of different charms that represent things like places visited, occupations, sports, hobbies, children, favorite foods, and special events. One type of charm that has prevailed and remained popular through the decades is the puffy silver heart.

These little works of art first became popular in the 1880s. Queen Victoria was a huge fan of charm bracelets and wore them often, and the women of England followed suit. At the time, the sterling silver hearts were handmade and presented as gifts to women to represent adoration and dedication. They were worn on bracelets and necklaces and were embellished creations with precise engravings and decorations. Different gems were sometimes also used, and the craftsmanship of these items was far superior to the machine made ones today.

The heart type charms once again came back into vogue in the 1920s - 40s when girls started collecting the modern style along with the heirlooms passed down from their grandmothers. One way to tell the Victorian hearts from 20s hearts is to look at the back. They are often engraved with a name, and that can be a helpful clue (Nettie, Eliza, and Jessamine would be typical Victorian names, while Betty, Dorothy and Ruth were popular in the 1920s). The script is another clue: the older pieces were not as ornate as the newer ones. Hearts from both periods are popular collectors’ items and an elaborate heart in good condition can fetch quite a high price.

But beware of fakes. Because of their popularity, there are lots of them on the market, and some are so well done that they can fool even an expert. Chemical substances are often used on new hearts to make them look aged, but scrupulous scrutiny might disclose some of the substance. To test for this, scrape lightly in a depression in the heart with your fingernail - if you end up with gunk on your nail, it may be artificially tarnished.

But don’t let the fact that there are fakes out there scare you. If you fall in love with a heart charm and it is not an antique or vintage, buy it anyway. The important thing is that you enjoy it. And if you happen to find a heart that turns out to be a truly valuable treasure, all the better. And it is a good investment for the future. The popularity of silver heart charms has not waned and they are still seen dangling from bracelets and necklaces everywhere. Chances are they will continue to be popular for generations to come.