Shhhh….. Peter’s Trip to Israel in April… Don’t Tell Mom or Dad!


Shhhh…. don’t tell my parents, Jerry and Connie, they don’t read the blog… so they don’t know that I’ll be going to Israel… ha ha ha. I’m serious… they don’t know. My mom is SERIOUS worry wart, so if she finds out I’m going to the Middle East, she might FREAK out! It’s our secret.

A lot of people are afraid of car bombings, but I think there’s more chances of me getting in a car accident on the 10 Freeway in LA. So, live and let live right? I’m leaving on March 29th and back on April 17th. I’ll have my laptop, so if you want to follow my trip, follow this blog.

So, I’m taking a few weeks off to go to Israel!!! I’ve always wanted to go and visit the Holy Lands. I’ll be going to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Masada, Dead Sea and Jerusalem. I’ll be in Jerusalem for Passover and Easter! So cool. Really looking forward to walking around. Going by myself, but have a few friends in Tel Aviv that are going to show me the city.

I can’t wait to go to the Ratam Gan Diamond District and float in the Dead Sea like these people!

Tips on Buying Blue Sapphires

intablogcolored gemstones, education

I think a lot of people have a more difficult time looking for sapphires or other colorstones vs. a diamond. White diamond buying is a lot more straight forward. So, here are a few tips when buying these beautiful colorful beauties.

When purchasing a blue sapphire gemstone the key factors one must consider are color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Color is the most important factor when searching for the right sapphire. The main points when choosing a blue sapphire based on color are its hue, tone, and saturation. The ideal color hue of a blue sapphire is of one having a primary shade of blue. The tone indicates the depth of its color, which can range from black (the deepest) to almost colorless (the shallowest). The ideal tone for a sapphire is medium. The saturation measures the color intensity, with ranges from “strong” to “vivid” saturation. The ideal saturation for a sapphire would be one that is vivid.

When choosing based on cut, one must realize that sapphires, like all gemstones have no particular “ideal cut,” like that of a diamond. Blue sapphires are also cut differently. They tend to have greater depth than a diamond. Instead of “ideal cut,” sapphires with a good quality cut is one that accentuates even medium color tones, reduces the prominence of inclusions, increases reflection, and therefore refraction of incident light (avoidance of “windows”), and showcases the maximum carat weight of the stone when set in jewelry. Commonly found shapes for sapphires are ovals and cushions.

When choosing based on clarity, one must put into account that almost all non-synthetic blue sapphire gemstones have internal inclusions. Finding one without inclusions is extremely rare and highly valuable. Almost all blue sapphires have been heat-treated to enhance its color, so heat-treating is a common enhancement among sapphires as well as other colored gemstones.

When choosing a sapphire based on carat weight, one must consider that sapphires have higher density than diamonds. A one carat diamond would look larger than a one carat sapphire.

After putting all these factors into consideration, you can now distinguish between a good quality sapphire and a poor one. At INTA Gems (located in the heart of the Los Angeles Jewelry District), we only sell high quality Ceylon (Sri Lanka) blue sapphires that are hand picked from our company’s very owner, Jerry Pheng Young. Choose from our extraordinary collection of loose blue sapphire gemstones, sapphire rings, earrings, necklaces, and other sapphire jewelry. In fact, within the Jewelry District, INTA Gems offers one of the hugest collections of Ceylon Blue sapphires. We even offer customization to assure you get the ideal blue sapphire you want.

Miss California USA 2009 Contestants Visit INTA Gems!

intablogmiss california teen usa, miss california usa

Just before Thanksgiving, we had the contestants of Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA 2009 visit our store.

Shanna Moakler, former Miss USA, was also in attendance. She’s really nice!

It was pretty fun time. All the contestants wore their blue INTA Gems & Diamond shirts. The media interviewed Raquel Beezley, Miss California USA 2008 and Taylor Atkins, Miss California Teen USA 2008. Of course, both were blinged out in INTA Gems and Diamonds!

All the contestants received free gemstone and two of them actually got diamonds! It was a lot of fun for all of us. Here’s some photo and a video of the event. We’ll be planning on doing it again, so keep an eye out for the date if you want to meet all the contestants at the INTA Gems & Diamond store!

Miss California USA ’07, ’08 and ’09 Together

intablogmiss california teen usa, miss california usa

We had a very special dinner with a few weeks ago with Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA 2009 and Chelsea Gilligan, Miss California Teen USA 2009. Both Carrie and Chelsea brought their families and we went to dinner in Chinatown a CBS Seafood. Carrie will be representing CA at the Miss USA 2009 pageant in April. And Chelsea will be competing for the title at Miss Teen USA in the summer.
Also joining us that evening was Meagan Tandy, Miss California USA 2007 and Raquel Beezley, Miss California USA 2008!

As the Official Jeweler of Miss California USA, we feel pretty fortunate to be involved with all the titleholders. And we’ve developed some great relationships with the titleholders and their family. We all pretty much feel like family members… well.. really glamourous, gorgeous family members!

With all the beautiful ladies at our table (including my Mom, Connie), it was pretty fun getting to know Carrie and Chelsea and their families.

Erica’s Pick of the Week

intablogEngagement Rings

I like to dress up in the latest trends and other days I like to wear a more classic and simplistic style. In fact, one of my favorite picks of the week is diamond engagement setting item # 81789. This diamond ring setting satifies my need for the classic style with subtle modernity. It is a lovely setting that combines a mixture of traditional and contemporary style. The ring is built to put a square shaped center stone such as a princess cut diamond and can hold up to a 1.50ct.-1.75ct. gemstone. The ring is crafted from 14K white gold and is accompanied with two prong set princess cut diamonds that give off the illusion of a three stone ring. The weight of these two diamonds is 0.52ct. The ring also contains ten princess cut diamonds that are channel set and have a total weight of 0.45ct. The side stone diamonds have a G-H color, and VS clarity.

The ring is traditional because of its three stone like appearance. Similar to a three stone ring, the larger stones represent the past, present, and future between couples. However, the ring has a modern take with its unique princess cut diamonds. Princess cut diamonds have very sharp corners and angles giving it an edge. I’m a very versatile type of person. This ring definitely represents both of my personalities with a sophisticated, yet trendy look.

The Pick Up Movie – Super Marriage Proposal!

intablogcustomers, video

We’ve got some awesome customers who come up with some of the most creative ways to propose. But, I have to say Daniel has really topped our charts in creating one of the coolest ways to get engaged.

Daniel even made a movie to share with us his precious moment! He proposed in front of his girlfriend, Maritza, at a private movie space in front of all of his friends! You’ve got to watch this!

A little warning… this video contains a mild content of adult language… but, it’s pretty cool to see all the work that was put into it.

I’m happy that I did my job and got Daniel and Maritza their diamond rings! Yeah!

Watch The Pick Up in Entertainment  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Cousin Sophie Engaged to Yul Kwon – Winner of Survivor: Cook Islands!

intablogEngagement Rings, family

My family is really happy to announce that my cousin, Sophie Tan, is engaged to Yul Kwon: winner of Survivor: Cook Islands and one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive. Sophie and I are really close, she’s more like my sister.

It’s funny, but in a round about way, I helped introduce them. It’s a long story that’s made for TV. Because it actually involved cell phones, a photo and the TV. I’ll post it later.

Of course, Yul proposed with an INTA Gems & Diamonds engagement ring! Yul originally wanted a basic solitaire ring. But, huh? Sophie comes from a jeweler’s family… we had to have some diamonds on the ring!

Yul picked out a stunning 2.20 ct. cushion cut diamond set in platinum. Sophie has very dainty and thin fingers (a size 3 1/2), so we thought the best solution was to give her a thin and delicate band. With a thin band, the diamond looks even bigger. And it also has side diamonds in the gallery that you can see from the sides. We call this setting the “Sophie Setting.”

Here’s an article on People Magazine about the engagement which is pretty cool!

Yul proposed at Stanford University in front of a crowd at a fundraiser he was emceeing. Although Sophie was already expecting an engagement some time soon, she was still a little stunned when the time came. They are extremely ecstatic and are currently planning the wedding.

Here’s a video of an interview that Yul did with CBS after he won the $1 million dollars from Survivor: Cook Islands. And the other video is the actual proposal to Sophie! Say “YES” Sophie!!

Peter’s favorite Pear Shape Diamond 1.01 D/SI2


My brother, Steve, and our diamond buyer, currently just brought in a new pear-shaped diamond that I really like a lot. It’s a D color, so it’s an extremely white stone and the shape is really nice. The clarity is an SI2 (which is good because SI2 stones are usually eye clean). However, you’ll see something under a loupe or 10x magnification, but because it’s eye clean, you won’t be see any obvious inclusions. I really just love the shape and sparkle it gives off. And I don’t see many pear-shaped diamonds out there, so this stone could be just the perfect diamond for someone out there!

Miss California Teen USA 2008 Taylor Atkins-Behind Scene 2

intagemsmiss california teen usa, video

Here is a second video of Taylor Atkins, Miss California Teen USA 2008, behind the scenes at the INTA Gems & Diamonds photo shoot. Taylor will be wearing diamonds and jewelry by INTA Gems and will be competing for the title of Miss Teen USA 2008 later this year.

Taylor Atkins is the successor of former Miss California Teen USA Kylee Lin, Jessica Powell, and Stephanie Brink.