The Official Miss California USA “I Believe” Pendant

intablogjewelry, miss california teen usa, miss california usa

Inta Gems & Diamonds just released the official Miss California USA “I Believe” pendant.

To find out more, watch when Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss California USA, and Miss Teen California USA stopped by our store to promote the introduction of the pendant.

For more information on the the “I Believe” Theme watch this PSA.

If you would like to order an “I Believe” pendant, please click on the image below, print out the form and mail us back it back with payment.

10 Popular Restaurants in the Los Angeles Jewelry District

intablogcustomers, los angeles diamond district, news

Picture this scenario: you have been walking around the Los Angeles Diamond or Jewelry District for a couple of hours shopping for an engagement ring. Things just got a little overwhelming with all the different jewelry venders and selection to choose from. Hunger strikes and you think to yourself, where is a good place to eat? Well, things just got a tad easier. Below are the 10 popular restaurants in the Los Angeles Jewelry District that we at INTA Gems & Diamonds highly recommend. Most of the locations listed below are within walking distance. We understand that finding the perfect engagement ring can be tough, but deciding what to eat shouldn’t be.

California Fresh: is a great place for the health conscious shopper. California Fresh serves fresh and healthy foods.
609 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 489-9555
For driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+S+Hill+St,+Los+Angeles,+California+90014&daddr=609+S.+Spring+St.+Los+Angeles,+CA+90014&hl=en&geocode=FW-DBwIdUpXz-Cn1s0cYtcfCgDHc8WZv86Bb7A%3B&mra=pe&mrcr=0&sll=32.311387,-101.259171&sspn=17.151371,39.418945&ie=UTF8&z=18

Arda’s Café: has a great selection of healthy and fresh sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Arda’s also has a delicious breakfast menu that serves until 11am.
418 W. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 689-4438
For driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+S+Hill+St,+Los+Angeles,+California+90014&daddr=418+W.+6th+St.+&geocode=FW-DBwIdUpXz-A%3B&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=34.046505,-118.252395&sspn=0.002058,0.004812&ie=UTF8&z=17

Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express: is perfect for fine Italian dining as well as casual lunches.
630 W 6th St # 116
Los Angeles, CA 90017(213) 614-1900
For driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+S+Hill+St,+Los+Angeles,+California+90014&daddr=630+W+6th+St+%23+116&geocode=FW-DBwIdUpXz-A%3B&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=34.046995,-118.25458&sspn=0.004116,0.009624&ie=UTF8&ll=34.047708,-118.255763&spn=0.004116,0.009624&z=17

St. Vincent’s Deli: is a hidden treasure that serves Mediterranean food with friendly service.
650 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 629-3345
Directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+S+Hill+St,+Los+Angeles,+California+90014&daddr=650+S+Hill+St&geocode=FW-DBwIdUpXz-A%3B&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=34.048455,-118.254529&sspn=0.004116,0.009624&ie=UTF8&z=19

Rama: Want something ethnic and spicy? Try a delectable fusion of Thai-American cuisine that is located right next door from our store.
625 S. Hill St. # B68-B69
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 624-9997

Blossom Restaurant: serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
426 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 623-1973
Driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&cid=0,0,8029329456938913990&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&dq=blossoms+restaurant+los+angeles&daddr=426+S+Main+St,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90013-1320&geocode=6949093493387720144,34.047283,-118.247954&ei=QkmxSseFNo_6sgOenJC9Cw&z=16

Wood Spoon: serves Brazilian or Latin American home-style cooking.
107 E. 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 629-1765
For driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+s.+hill+st.+90014&daddr=107+E+9th+St,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90014+(Wood+Spoon)&hl=en&geocode=%3BFRBuBwIdMZTz-A&mra=ls&sll=34.04136,-118.254543&sspn=0.008232,0.019248&ie=UTF8&ll=34.04393,-118.255484&spn=0.008232,0.019248&z=16

Farmer’s Market: is available only on Wednesdays at Pershing Square and is open from 11am to 2pm.
532 S. Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 847-4970
Driving directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+S+Hill+St,+Los+Angeles,+California+90014&daddr=532+South+Olive+Street,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90013+(Pershing+Square)&geocode=FW-DBwIdUpXz-A%3BCdxmsk_-B9-cFdeKBwIdKpjz-CH40s0BUXb84A&hl=en&mra=pe&mrcr=0&sll=34.047844,-118.252798&sspn=0.016464,0.038495&ie=UTF8&z=17

Bottega Louie: has great ambiance and is perfect for fine Italian dining. Also featured inside the restaurant is a gourmet market.
700 S. Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 802-1470
Directions:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+s.+hill+st.+90014&daddr=700+S.+Grand+Avenue,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90017&hl=en&geocode=%3BFSaFBwIdOozz-A&gl=us&mra=ls&sll=34.04727,-118.256582&sspn=0.008232,0.019248&ie=UTF8&z=18

Sushi Gen: is wonderful choice for adventurous sushi lovers.
422 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-0552
Get directions at:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=631+s.+hill+st.+90014&daddr=422+E+2nd+St,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90012-4209+(Sushi-Gen)&hl=en&geocode=%3BFR6GBwIdm9Dz-A&mra=ls&sll=34.047518,-118.239077&sspn=0.008232,0.019248&ie=UTF8&ll=34.048126,-118.24645&spn=0.008232,0.019248&z=16

Reading a Diamond Certification: The Easy Way

intablogUncategorized

Reading a certification can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are reading. Fortunately, it is much easier than you think.

So what is a diamond certification?

A diamond certification is written proof a diamond’s unique characterisitics. The three primary institutions that grade diamonds are the American Gem Society (AGS), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). Each laboratory has a different guidelines and practices for the way in which it grades stones. Here at Inta Gems, we believe that the AGS is currently the most meticulous in their grading procedures. Next in line is the GIA, followed by the EGL. The most renowned laboratories are the AGS and GIA. Because of their strict guidelines, we carry a significant amount of GIA graded stones. In fact, we have two graduate gemologists from the GIA right in our store, Steve Pheng and Peter Young.

Does a certification affect value?

Absolutely! Diamonds without a certification are much less expensive; however, you do run the risk of purchasing a stone that does not possess the same characteristics as the jeweler tells you.
The Anatomy of a Diamond Certification from the GIA
One of the first things you should see, aside from the GIA logo at the top is the date the stone was graded. Below the date is the laser inscription registry, if applicable. It is common for many stones to have a small number laser inscribed on the girdle that corresponds with the report number, which is located on the far left side of every certificate. A laser inscription is a great way to protect your stone during maintance of a piece of jewelry. If your stone has a laser inscription, make sure the jeweler allows you to see the number before and after and the maintance is completed. Below the inscription registry is the shape and cutting style as well as the measurements of the stone. The shape and cutting style reveal the outline of the diamond, while the measurements include dimensions in millimeters.
The next section of the certificate includes the grading results based on the GIA’s 4C’s of a diamond. The 4C’s are comprised of the carat weight, color grade, clarity grade, and cut grade. Carat weight is the overall weight of the diamonds. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram. A color grade represents the amount of color absent in a diamond from colorless to light yellow or brown. Clarity grade rates the absence of inclusions from Flawless to Included based on location, color and size of the inclusions. Lastly, cut grade assesses the overall rating of proportions for round brilliant diamonds. Here the GIA goes more in depth about the Four C’s it famously created http://www.gia.edu/lab-reports-services/about-the-4cs/index.html.

The third section includes any additional information obtained during the grading process. The first item you should see is the finish, which identifies both the polish and symmetry. Following the finish is the status of any fluorescence as well as any comments that grader might have included. Finish includes the surface condition, or polish, and the evenness of outline, or symmetry. Fluorescence is a color a diamond emits under long lave UV rays.

At the bottom of the certificate, you should see reference diagrams that include a key to symbols reflected on the diagrams. These images are representations of the inclusions in the diamond as well as their placement and visibility from the crown and pavilion of the diamond (from face-up and face-down). Next to the reference diagrams is a profile image of the diamond that reveals all of exact proportions of the diamond. This is a profile to actual proportions.

On the right side of the page, the GIA kindly placed reference scales for which is bases its grading on. These convenient scales include the GIA color, clarity, and cut scale, so that you can see where your diamond lays on the scale.

Lastly, you will see security labels at the bottom right hand corner that safeguard the integrity of the certification as well as prove it is an authentic document.

What is a Dossier Certificate and how is it different?

The GIA also offers a smaller, less expensive certificate that still includes all of the same components as the full certificate but does not include reference diagrams. The physical size of these certificates are significantly smaller but do not decrease the value of the stone in anyway. For many jewelers, it is a great way to certify smaller stones without paying a hefty certification price.

How are GIA certificates different from other laboratories?

While certificates from the AGS or EGL can vary on their placement of items, the main components should remain the same.

Shape Up: The Five Most Popular Diamond Shapes

intablogdiamonds, education, Engagement Rings, jewelry

For centuries, diamonds have held their status as the most highly prized stone throughout the world.

The five most common diamond shapes are as follows:
1. Round Brilliant
2. Princess

3. Cushion
4. Emerald
5. Pear
Each shape has its own unique characteristics that give it its beauty and brilliance.

The Round Brilliant
This cut is the most widely embraced of all diamond cuts. This shape has 58 facets, or small, polished planes.
This includes 33 facets on the crown, which is above the girdle, or rim of the diamond, and 25 facets on the pavilion, which is the lower half below the girdle. The 58th facet is called the culet, which is the bottom tip of the diamond where the pavilion facets meet. Unlike any other diamond shape, round brilliant cut diamonds are given an overall cut grade.

Because the relationship of angles between the crown and pavilion has the greatest affect on a diamond’s appearance, the cut grade is based upon this.

If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, it allows for light to escape; therefore, the diamond is not as reflective and does not possess a high quality of brilliance.

The Princess Cut
Sometimes referred to as square modified brilliant, the princess cut is has completely square edges and can be square or rectangular in shape.
Its uniqueness lays in its ability to possess a high quality of brilliance with a step-modified cut crown and a chevron shaped facets in the pavilion creating a cross-shaped reflection when viewed from the top.
This cut includes either 50 or 58 facets, depending on the way it is cut. Princess cut diamonds are usually slightly cheaper in price compared to round brilliant because they retain 80% of the diamond rough instead of 50%.
The Cushion Cut

Similar to the princess cut, the cushion cut has a square or rectangular shape with rounded edges. This cut has 58 brilliant style facets that cause it to resemble a pillow, hence the
name cushion cut.
Many of the older cushion cuts are referred to as Old Mine Cuts, where the diamond has steep crown and pavilion facets and an extremely thin girdle. Because of this, older cushion cuts are often chipped.
There is no right or wrong ratio for a cushion cut; therefore, you should choose which ever one you like best.
To the left are examples of the three basic facet patterns for cushion cut diamonds. The first two are considered Cushion Brilliant and the third is a Modified Cushion Brilliant because it has an extra row of facets just below the girdle. For more information visit http://www.diamondsourceva.com/Education/Shape/diamonds-shape-cushion-cut.asp.

The Emerald Cut
Emerald cut diamonds are special because of the classic beauty they possess without a lot of brilliance. This cut includes 58 facets that are step-cut, which means there are rows of facets that resemble a staircase when viewed directly through the table.
Historically, rectangular emerald cuts are more popular; however, in the last decade, square emerald cuts have increased in demand and are often referred to as asscher cut diamonds. Because of the large facets emerald cut diamonds possess, we often recommend purchasing a diamond with a higher quality of color and clarity.

Pear Cut
The pear cut, or “Pear Modified Brilliant”, is a combination of round and marquise brilliant cuts, which typically includes 58 facets depending on the way it is cut.
This teardrop shape resembles an oval on the top and a marquise on the bottom. Perhaps the most famous pear shaped diamond is De Beers’ Millennium Star. Weighing 203 carats, it is the world’s only internally and externally flawless diamond, that took three years to cut.
Another famous pear shaped diamond was given to Elizabeth Taylor that weighed 69 carats.
Regardless of size, color, or clarity, when choosing a diamond shape, it should most significantly reflect the personality of the receiver. While these shapes currently own the Top 5 spots, the future can determine otherwise.
For more information on our diamond inventory, visit http://www.intagems.com/diamonds/search/.

What Metal is Right for You?

intablogeducation, Engagement Rings, jewelry, wedding bands

There are various types of metals to use for an engagement ring or other form of jewelry. And finding the right one for you can be quite an arduous task. One of the best ways to choose between which type of metal is best for a person is to learn some fundamental facts about each one.

Platinum
Platinum is regarded as the finest quality metal for fine jewelry. It is more rare than gold, contains a natural white luster, is 90-95% pure, and timeless. The white luster of platinum is unique. It is also the strongest precious metal used in jewelry, and is almost twice as heavy as 14k gold. And unlike white gold, its natural luster is permanent.

Platinum is so rare that each year only 88 tons are used to craft jewelry versus 2,700 tons of gold. So much labor goes into producing platinum. In fact, it takes 8 weeks and 10 tons of ore to produce a single ounce of platinum and there are more gold mines than platinum mines. Therefore, platinum is one of the most uncommon precious metals found on earth. Platinum jewelry is also highly desired because it is at least 90-95% pure, unlike 18k and 14k white gold. And because of platinum’s high purity content, it tends to scratch more easily. Although it is still one of the strongest metals found in jewelry. Over time, platinum develops a natural patina that many people prefer over the high polished appearance. However, for those who prefer the high polished look, platinum jewelry can simply be re-polished. And polishing will not cause platinum to wear away or decrease in volume. Platinum is also a naturally white metal that requires no additives or rhodium plating. The natural brilliant white luster found in platinum makes it an ideal choice for fine jewelry because it brings out the true beauty of diamonds or gemstone set within it. Also, the high purity level of platinum makes the metal hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin. Although platinum scratches easily, it is still a great choice for everyday wear. Its incredible density and weight make it more durable than other metals and provides assurance in value. Platinum holds precious stones firmly and securely.
http://www.intagems.com/about/repairs/
Caring for Platinum Jewelry: To maintain platinum’s life-long beauty and value, proper care must be taken. Although platinum is strong and durable, it is still subject to damage. Therefore, we highly suggest that you remove your platinum jewelry during any rough activity. To clean platinum, soak it in mild soap and water. Then gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush such as a toothbrush. To shop for platinum rings, check out our websites at:
http://www.intagems.com/settings/
http://www.intagems.com/wedding_bands/

Palladium
Palladium is a lustrous white or silver-colored metal that is commonly used in electronics. However, palladium is beginning to show an increase in popularity in the jewelry market and the precious metal is extremely rare. In 1803, William Hyde Wollaston discovered the metal and named it palladium after the asteroid Pallas. In 1939, palladium made its first appearance in jewelry.

Palladium contains many if the same traits as platinum because it resists tarnish, won’t corrode, is extremely ductile (malleable), can be 95% pure, and has a natural white luster that makes it perfect for fine jewelry. Palladium is 30 times more rare than gold and is mined together with platinum in less than half a dozen regions throughout the world. Palladium provides many of the same features of platinum at a notably lighter weight and cost. Palladium, like platinum, is naturally strong and durable when used in a higher purity alloy than other metals such as silver and gold. And because of the high purity content, palladium is also hypoallergenic and does not suffer from prong failure (that is common among many white gold settings). Palladium is also ideal for delicate designs, unlike white gold. Therefore, palladium’s natural beauty, strength, and durability, make it a great choice for fine jewelry. However, keep in mind that not all jewelers carry this type of metal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palladium

White Gold
Technically there is no such thing as actual “white gold.” Because white gold is commonly 14k (58.3%) or 18k (75%), it actually contains a natural yellowish tinge of color even though it has already been alloyed with some other white metals such as nickel, zinc, copper, silver, and palladium. And in order to give “white gold” its brilliant white lustrous color, it is plated with the chemical element known as rhodium in the final process of manufacturing. Rhodium is a shiny, white metal that is extremely hard and durable. Rhodium also belongs in the platinum family and is one of the whitest precious metals next to silver. And because rhodium is such an expensive metal, it is only used to give a white coating for gold. However, over time the rhodium plating may wear-off, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it requires rhodium re-plating every 1-2 years, depending on the condition of the jewelry.
http://www.intagems.com/about/repairs/

White gold is highly reflective and will not tarnish, rust, or corrode. And as I mentioned earlier, gold still is malleable. In ancient times, the term for white gold was called electrum and its use predates that of palladium and platinum. 18k yellow gold In 18k white gold (also referred to as nickel white gold), 75% is gold and 25% white metals (nickel, copper, zinc and/or palladium). The positive of 18k white gold is it is less workable and less ductile. However, some of the negatives are that it may cause skin irritation for those with nickel allergies and it will wear down over time. Another form of white gold is 18k palladium white gold. In this type of white gold, 75% is gold and 25% is palladium. In addition, palladium white gold is workable and rarely, if ever, causes skin irritation. Overtime, however, it will wear down and is slightly more expensive than the common 18k nickel white gold.Check out our ring settings at: http://www.intagems.com/settings/
To browse our different white gold bands go to: http://www.intagems.com/wedding_bands/

Yellow Gold
Pure gold is yellow in color and is a timeless metal that will not rust, corrode, or tarnish. Jewelers throughout the ages have preferred gold to all other metals for its beauty and ease of workmanship. Gold can be melted and shaped to create any design because of its malleability (softness and flexibility). It can be alloyed with a number of other metals to increase its strength and produce a variety of colors. In fact, the most common colors, other than yellow, are rose and white gold (usually 18k or 14k). 18k is composed of 75% gold, which is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough to withstand every-day wear. And 14k gold, in contrast, is composed of only 58.3% gold and 41.7% of other metals to give it more added strength. In addition, the color in 18k gold is richer in color than 14k because it contains more gold content. 14k gold is commonly used for its strength and durability. Therefore, 14k is usually found in earring backings and bracelet clasps. Gold content is measured in a unit known as karats, which should not be confused with the term carat (used to measure diamond weight). The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The ‘K’ number specifies how many parts (by weight) of pure gold is contained within 24 parts of the alloy.

Therefore, the content of 100% pure gold is 24 karats (24k). 24k gold is too soft for jewelry, but some prefer it for its strong yellow color. Because of the purity, 24k is usually more expensive and less durable than gold that has been alloyed with other metals. 22k gold is 91.7% gold and is usually not recommended for the usage of jewelry because it is still too soft. 18k consists of 75% gold and recommended for fine jewelry. In Europe 18k is usually marked with the stamp of ‘750’ to symbolize the gold percentage. 18k yellow gold rarely causes skin irritation, but will wear down over a long period time of heavy wear. 14k is comprised of 58.3% gold and is commonly used for white gold jewelry. 12k only contains 50% gold, making it unacceptable for jewelry. And lastly, 10k (41.7% gold) is considered the legal karat limit for what is considered real gold in the U.S. Any karat that falls below the 10k amount cannot claim to be gold. The higher the number of karat, the greater the value of the gold is.

The decision between 14k and 18k is a matter of a person’s personal taste and preference. 14k has the advantages of added strength, but lacks higher gold content and beauty of the rich yellow color found in 18k. Different alloys are used to bond with gold in jewelry for greater strength, durability, and color range. Yellow gold is usually alloyed with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc for added strength. And some traits of gold is it is malleable, ductile, generally non-corrosive, has a high melting point, and is not susceptible to compression. The positive of gold is that it will not tarnish, rust, or corrode. And although it is strong, it is still the most malleable of all metals. The color of gold is determined by the type of metal alloys included in it and the percentage of each metal alloy.
Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_gold

Rose Gold
Rose gold gets its color from a larger proportion of copper in the metal alloy. This gives the gold a beautiful pink coloration. It is also known as pink gold or red gold. In the beginning of the nineteenth century rose gold was popular. Thus, giving it the nickname ‘Russian gold.’ However, today this term is rarely used.

Although the names are often used interchangeably, the general difference between red, rose, and pink gold is the copper content. Those with higher copper content have stronger red coloration. Similar to the purity of gold being yellow, pure copper is red. A common alloy for 18k rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper. Since rose gold is alloyed, there is no such thing as “pure rose gold”. The highest gold content that can be found in rose gold is known as crown gold (22k). However, crown gold is extremely rare. Typically, rose gold is 18k. For 18k rose gold, typically about 4% silver is added to the 75% gold and 21% copper to give a rose color. 14k red gold in contrast, contains 41.67% copper and is often found in the Middle East.

The price of rose gold jewelry is dependent upon the purity of the gold used or karat weight, as well as the design and construction of the piece of jewelry.

Tungsten
Tungsten is known as the only metal that has the ability to be permanently polished. Therefore, the positive of tungsten is that you will rarely, if ever, find varying degrees of scratching, denting and surface mars. In fact, it is so durable that it is about 10 times harder than 18k white gold, 5 times harder than steel, and 4 times harder than titanium. If measured on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, tungsten has a rating between 8 and 9 (close to the highest rating of 10 found in a diamond). Tungsten rings are so hard that it will not bend and cannot be resized. Therefore, a person interested in purchasing a tungsten ring must get the exact size that fits them. Tungsten rings has a surface that will maintain its original beautiful shiny finish and shape for a longer period of time than any other ring metal on the market. Therefore, tungsten rings are considered the most wear resistant rings available. Additionally, many people prefer tungsten rings for the heavy weight and darker color. Tungsten is usually comprised of carbon and other elements that are grounded into a powder and then compressed with high pressure to form a ring. The ring is then cut and shaped using diamond tools.
What’s the difference between tungsten rings and tungsten carbide rings?
Make sure you know the distinction between the two because some jewelers sell tungsten rings they claim contains carbide. The difference is that tungsten only rings are steel rings. Although regular tungsten rings are very hard, they are not scratch resistant. A Tungsten Carbide ring, in contrast, can only be scratched by a diamond or a product containing the mineral corundum. Additionally, many tungsten rings are comprised of the element cobalt, which some people may have an allergic reaction to. Additionally, the cobalt causes oxidation spots to develop overtime that cannot be removed or polished out. This is due to the cobalt’s reaction to the human body. In order to solve this problem, some jewelers sell tungsten rings that are cobalt-free, but alloyed with nickel as a substitute.
For more information on tungsten carbide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungsten_carbide
Advice on Maintaining a Tungsten Ring: Do not drop your ring on a hard surface or clean your ring with any chemicals because it can cause spotting. Instead, clean your tungsten ring with mild soap and water to remove dirt, grime, and lotions. However, we still recommend that you take off your ring during cleaning, cooking, showering, and putting on lotions.
Emergency Removal of Tungsten Rings: In the event of an emergency, tungsten rings can be removed by a medical professional. Another method of removing tungsten carbide rings is by cracking them into pieces with vice grip–style locking pliers. Using the locking pliers, place over ring and adjust the jaws to clamp lightly. Release and adjust the tightener to a 1/3 turn and then clamp again. Carefully continue the same process until you hear a crack, and then continue clamping in different positions until the hard material slowly breaks away.
For more information, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungsten

Titanium
Titanium is an incredibly hard, lightweight, metal that is also resistant to corrosion. Traditionally, titanium was used specifically for engineering, aeronautics, and medical industries. However, titanium is currently making a trend of being used for jewelry. The strength of pure titanium requires that rings be forged out of a solid block of metal. For this reason, titanium rings cannot be resized. Titanium is sometimes alloyed with other metals for even greater strength. However, in jewelry, the alloying of titanium for added strength is undesired. For jewelry, pure titanium is highly recommended.

Many people choose titanium for its incredibly light weight (roughly 1/3 the weight of gold). In fact, the light weight of titanium rings makes it easy for customers to adjust to wearing a ring because it is so lightweight and comfortable that they forget it is even on. Some people are concerned over titanium rings being unable to cut off a person’s finger. Some customers have expressed concern that in the case of a medical emergency, a titanium ring might be impossible to cut off. However, if the ring is made of pure titanium, with no other metals alloyed for increased strength, then the titanium ring can be cut off. Because of the strength of titanium metal, it makes an excellent option for those who are rough on their jewelry. While titanium may show slight scratches, it can be easily re-polished to look brand new again.

Hopefully these facts were helpful in deciding the right metal for you. At INTA Gems we select only the finest quality metals and help each customer pick out the right metal for them to make the perfect engagement ring or other fine jewelry.

How to Buy A Great Pink Sapphire

intablogcolored gemstones, education, gemstone, video

Pink Sapphires are among the most sought after stones because they are much different than traditional diamonds, blue sapphires, and rubies.

Color
Like all gemstones, the first thing to look for is the color. In pink sapphires, you want a pink hue, medium to medium-dark tone, and strong to vivid saturation. While darker stones will increase in cost, choose the color you prefer the most. Some people would rather have an extremely light pink sapphire because it resembles a pink diamond and others desire a dark pink. It all depends on the personality of the receiver.

Clarity
The next characteristic to examine is the clarity. Pink sapphires are a type 2 stone, like diamonds; therefore inclusions should be difficult to see from the naked eye, unless they are extremely large and/or dark. The more inclusions the sapphire has, the more fragile it becomes making it vulnerable to damage.

Country of Origin
Another quality to explore is the country of origin. While pink sapphires come from all over the world, they are most commonly from Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Shape
The next thing to consider is shape. Pink sapphires are most popular in oval and cushion cuts but can be found in other various shapes; some of which include heart-shaped, princess, and pear-shaped.

Hardness
The hardness of a pink sapphire is very strong compared to many other gemstones. On the most scale of hardness, it is a 9, just like a ruby. This is because it is also in the corrundum family; therefore, it is more resistant to extreme heat and fracture. For more information on corrumdum, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrundum
Other things to avoid are pink sapphires that are off cut. When a stone is too deep or shallow, it allows for a lot of light leakage. In addition, be careful of sapphires that have been diffused. In this process, a corundum powder has coated the surface of the stone in the heating process, giving it an appearance of a pink sapphire.

These beautiful stones are not only used in bracelets, earrings, and pendants, but in engagement rings as well. In fact, they are the third most favored stone aside from diamonds and blue sapphires.

In this video, Christina, Steve, and Erica explore the many characteristics of pink sapphires. For more information on pink sapphires or to check out our inventory, visit our website: http://www.intagems.com/gemstones/search

Tips To Buying A Great Emerald

intablogcolored gemstones, education, gemstone, video

Emeralds are perhaps one of the most beautiful and captivating gemstones. The magnificent color has given the emerald its highly sought after value compared to other green gemstones such as paridot and alexandrite. In the beryl family of gemstones, emeralds are considered the “jewel in the crown” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl).

For over 2,000 years, the captivation of emeralds has only grown. Kings and queens throughout the world, such as Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, and the builder of the Taj Mahal created intrigue surrounding emeralds because of the their beauty.

Country of Origin

While Emeralds can come from Russia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Zambia and Columbia, Brazil has the the highest production of emeralds. Second in production is Zambia. Unfortunately, due to political tension over terrorist involvement, there is a proposed ban on Pakistan emeralds, which is similar to the on Burmese rubies and jade (http://www.jckonline.com/article/294265-Burmese_Ruby_Ban_Begins.php). The most highly prized are Colombian emeralds.
Color
The first step to buying an emerald is to observe the color. Great color in an emerald is a vibrant green. Gemologically, this includes, a medium to medium-dark tone, a green hue, and strong to vivid saturation. Emeralds that are lighter or darker in color will generally cost less.
Clarity
The next step is to examine the clarity. Because emeralds are Type 3 stone, they tend to be highly included; therefore, the less inclusions the more valued, as well as more costly the stone becomes. In addition, a highly included stone produces fragility. The number one treatment for emeralds is clarity enhancement. The most traditional methods are the use of oils, waxes, and resins. One of the newer methods is the use of polymers. While standard cedar oils or polymers are highly accepted, green oil treatments are not. About 99% of emeralds are oil treated and it is extremely rare to find one that has not been treated.
Hardness
The hardness of emerald stones is much softer than many other stones. While diamonds are a ten and rubies and sapphires are a nine, emeralds are a 6.5-7 on the most scale of hardness. In other words, emeralds cannot take extreme heat or impact and therefore can be damaged more easily if not taken care of properly.
Other Special Characteristics
Another unique characteristic of emeralds is that they are the birthstone of May. In addition, they not only make great rings, but earrings, pendants, and other types of jewelry. Here at Inta Gems, we offer a wide selection of emerald jewelry as well as loose emerald stones (http://www.intagems.com/gemstones/search/ ).
In this video, Christina, Peter, and Steve discuss the unique qualities of Emeralds and how to pick a good one.

Shopping for the Perfect Ring Made Easy

intablogdiamonds, education, Engagement Rings

Shopping for an engagement ring can be a daunting task, especially if you know absolutely nothing about diamonds. Before you even begin looking at the stones themselves, you need to decide a few key items. The first order of business is to decide on a budget. This is extremely important because it limits what you can or cannot purchase. Typically, the budget is about two months salary.

Second, you need to decide on the type of metal. There are many different types of metal; however, the two most common are now white gold and platinum. Many people ask “Which one is better?” I’m here to tell you that the correct answer is that there is no correct answer.

Both metals have positives and negatives and it is ultimately up to the customer to decipher what he or she values more. The most obvious differences between white gold and platinum are the weight and price. Platinum is a much heavier metal and typically costs about twice as much. In addition, it is hypo-allergenic and, because of its strength, can be made into smaller, durable structures, which is great for extremely thin bands. While platinum is strong, it is not hard. This means that it scratches very easily, which causes it to look dull over time. The reason platinum scratches more easily is because the platinum settings are usually comprised of 90-95% pure platinum. Pure platinum tends to be softer than 14k white gold that has bonded with other metals. Polishing is required to maintain its shine, which can cost from $50-75 per ring.

Unlike platinum, whose color never fades, white gold fades in color overtime to its natural yellowish color. In order to keep white gold looking the silver color that is loved by many, it requires rhodium plating every year or two. This typically costs about $50 per ring. White gold is often preferred not only because of its price but because of its stronger resistance to scratching. It does not scratch as easily as platinum; therefore, it keeps its shine for a prolonged period of time. This is because white gold is composed of an alloy of gold and white metal, which is usually silver, nickel, or palladium making it more durable. Rhodium plating white gold makes supplies a surface that resists scratching and tarnish as well as give a white appearance. (www.essortment.com/lifestyle/rhodiumplating_skvm.htm). Pure gold (24 karat) and platinum do not possess the same strength on their own. There is also a difference between 14k and 18k white gold. While 18k is more hypo-allergenic, it is slightly softer (because of more gold content) and more expensive than 14k.

If you do not have the budget for platinum, a nice alternative is palladium. The cost is only slightly higher than white gold, and its color does not fade. Unfortunately, it is uncommon for jewelers to keep palladium in stock; hence, customization is often required.

After deciding on a metal, the next step is the style of the ring setting. Most significantly, the style should reflect the personality and lifestyle of the receiver. This determines the number and size of diamonds, the thickness of band, as well as the simplicity or complexity of detail. In addition, make sure to consider the number of prongs. Four or six prong settings are both traditional, safe styles but have different effects on a diamond’s appearance. While a four prong setting can make a diamond look bigger, it tends to give a round diamond a more square appearance. With a six prong setting, it is slightly safer and enhances the round shape.

The most common setting is the solitaire (www.intagems.com/engagement_rings/solitaire_rings/ ). Proceeding the solitaire in popularity is the classic three-stone ring. In this ring, the three stones represent the past, present, and future (www.intagems.com/engagement_rings/classic/ ). Two styles with rising popularity are the vintage and modern style rings. It is common for vintage style rings to have pave set diamonds, filagrie, and engravings(www.intagems.com/engagement_rings/vintage/ ). Modern style settings often have bezel or channel set diamonds and a high polish (www.intagems.com/engagement_rings/modern/ ).

After you have made your decisions of budget, metal, and setting, the next and final step is choosing the diamond itself.

First, you want to consider the shape of the diamond. Do you want a Round? Princess? Cushion? Radiant? Emerald? Asscher? Marquis?

Oval? Heart-shaped? Trillion? Or do you want a colored gemstone for your center stone? (www.intagems.com/diamonds/search/ )

Next, consider the four C’s: Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut.


Carat is the weight of the stone. Do you want 0.50 ct.? 0.75? 1.16 ct? In other words, how big do you want the stone to be?



Color is the depth of color the stone possesses. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale ranges from D-Z, with D being colorless. Throughout the scale, the color grades are divided into different categories. While Tiffany & Co. does not sell anything lower than I color, if you are pickier, we suggest you choose a G color and above. The two greatest price differences are between D and E color and between F and G color.

Clarity rates the absence of inclusions and blemishes. The GIA scale of clarity ranges from flawless to included. Here at Inta Gems, we typically sell diamonds with clarity ranging from VVS1 to SI2. Just like color, clarity is divided into categories. In addition, the greatest price differences occur between these categories. If a clean stone is not as important to you, we usually recommend an SI1 or SI2 clarity. This is because the inclusions are only visible under the loop and not to the naked eye. Because diamonds come from the earth, no diamond is completely flawless under 10x magnification; therefore, no two diamonds are alike.


Cut is the last of the four C’s to consider but not of the least importance. A diamond’s cut has the greatest affect on its allure and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond does not possess the same draw as an excellent cut diamond. The GIA scale ranges from Excellent to Poor. Here at Inta Gems, we only sell Excellent to Very Good Cut diamonds. The difference between them is slight but ultimately depends on the sensitivity of your eye and preference.

Overall, it depends which C’s you value more than the others, especially with a budget. After you’ve chosen a diamond, its off to the setter.

Just when you thought you were done, there are a couple post purchase things to consider. Just like diamonds, humans are perfect and a stone can be chipped, or worse, lost. Insurance is always the best way to safe-gaurd your investment. This will require an appraisal, which we complete for free upon your purchase (www.intagems.blogspot.com/search/label/appraisals ).

The last step in the entire process is to congratulate yourself! Shopping for an engagement ring can be an extremely stressful process and you have made it through. The fret is over and you can begin to think about that special way you are going to pop the big question.