Emeralds

Emeralds are one of the most widely recognized and coveted gemstones in the jewelry industry. They are well known for not only being May’s birthstone, but also for the vibrancy in their green depths. The color “emerald green” instantly conjures up a certain hue of green that is very recognizable in the pigments of landscapes and watercolor paintings. It was noted by lithologist, St. Hildegard of Bingen, that “all the green of nature is concentrated within the emerald.”

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Dangle Emerald Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Even if you are not a huge outdoor enthusiast, you can appreciate that emerald has a soul of the spring season, a heart of renewal and growth, and a look of pure romance. The color green also denotes balance and harmony. Maybe that is why so many royals and Hollywood stars have sought after emeralds for decades. Emeralds are the epitome of elegance and are in a league of their own in the gemstone world. Did you know that the emerald is one of only four gemstones ranked as “precious”? Among emerald is diamond, sapphire, and ruby; what a great group to be associated with.

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Vintage Emerald Ring in Our Etsy StorClick Here to View Listing

Keep in mind that most emeralds are marked by internal inclusions that almost look to be tiny trees or gardens inside their core. These internal “gardens” are actually the presence of surface breaking fissures, so emeralds are typically classified as pretty fragile. To me this only adds to their persona of grandeur and refinement. Be sure to take special care of your lovely emeralds by keeping them stored without hitting other pieces or being crushed by anything too heavy.

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Emerald Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Our Etsy store is having a special sale on our gorgeous array of emerald jewelry. You can take an additional 20% off our already -below retail- prices (use discount code: APPRECIATION20 at checkout). Get them while they are hot…and HOT they are! From spring 2016 fashion, interior design, and fine jewelry, emerald green is all the rage and is never out of style. If you are considering an emerald, keep in mind that green adds a happy splash of color to a black dress, a cool springtime element to a casual white tee, and an upscale sophisticated look to everyday! Wear them, adore them, flaunt them, they are Mother Nature’s beautiful gift to us to enjoy any season, rain or shine!

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Emerald Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

If you have any questions about our pieces or our store, please do not hesitate to message us. Our friendly jewelry professionals would love to assist with any of your jewelry needs!

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Unique Free-form Emerald Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

 

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My Summertime Jewelry Essentials:

1) Diamond Stud Earrings

I cannot preach this enough! Diamond Studs with screw backs are the perfect travel companion. You can sleep in them, wear them to the beach, they glisten beautifully at night, and their sparkle will go with every outfit. The beauty of the screw backs is that once they are on you can be care free knowing that those babies will not come off. Also, when you’re on the beach with your hair blowing wildly in the breeze, diamond studs will not get tangled up like long dangle earrings.

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Diamond Stud Screw Back Earrings in Our Etsy Store  Click Here to View Listing

2) Sea Shell Pendant

I will live the whole summer happily wearing my sea shell pendant. This little pendant can be worn alone on a simple gold chain with all of your summer attire or it can even be layered with longer necklaces or a real shell strand for a “beach bum” boho look. Don’t leave town without it!

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Gold Sea Shell Pendant in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing
3) Gold Sea Shell Bracelet
This is another favorite of mine! This gold bracelet will dress up your night time cruise dinner or your hot date night out at the roof top bar in Clearwater Beach. Also, the luxurious yellow gold really stands out and compliments tan skin.

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Gold Shell Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing
4) Blue Gemstone Ring
Sapphire, blue topaz or turquoise is what I am thinking. Any color of blue that the ocean has is a summer essential in your jewelry wardrobe. The color blue symbolizes tranquility, peace, coolness and serenity. Yes please, I need all of that on my summer vacay.

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Blue Topaz Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing
5) Ankle Bracelets
Also known as anklets, ankle bracelets have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Whether it is an organic shell anklet, cord anklet or a stunning gold one, this is a must have for sure. With shorts or with dresses, you will love the attention that your beautiful tan legs get with a little “ankle candy.” Don’t forget your toe ring too if you are feeling extra sassy.

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Gold Anklet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing
These are my summer must haves for jewelry. Easy to wear, low maintenance, and ready for a long summer day. Also don’t forget your sunscreen and free spirit!
Sending sunny coastal happiness to you from Florida,
Oaks Boutique

The Diamond Tennis Bracelet

There is quite an extensive and sentimental history behind the glorious eye candy that is the tennis bracelet. Before getting to the story behind the iconic name, I want you to explore with me the legacy that the diamond bracelet has had and continues to be a part of. Before the name “tennis bracelet”, the bracelet was called an “eternity bracelet”. “Eternity” representing the style of setting the diamonds (and gemstones) all the way around the bracelet for a continuous display of sparkle from every angle no matter how your wrist moves. If you think back to every leading lady in Hollywood back in the glory days of black and white film, it is undeniable that the style back then was a fabulous dress with some kind of diamond bracelet or even a full stack of many bracelets together. When you glance through photos of the elegant British royal ladies you also notice that their wrists are often decked out with diamond bracelets to compliment their other fabulous gems and tiaras. Fast forward to today’s red carpet, you see the stars not leaving their stylists without some kind of diamond/gemstone tennis bracelet as their finishing accessory. For me personally, I think of anniversaries, or “push presents” (a gift given to a new mother after her child is born), and special occasions in which diamond bracelets make their appearance. A diamond bracelet for a wedding day gift from a mother and father to their little girl, a graduation gift celebrating dedication to a better future, and through tearful eyes opening a bracelet box after a 30 year beautiful marriage, these are just a few times that bracelets can commemorate an occasion. Diamond bracelets are the types of gifts that mark milestones and forever leave the receiver with a special memory attached to a piece of jewelry.

Now on to the story behind the name…

Famous tennis player, Chris Evert, stopped the US Open in 1987 because her diamond bracelet had come off. A girl after my own heart! Missing diamonds always take priority over everything else! So thus the name. After that event, which the whole world was watching, the diamond “tennis” bracelet became all the rage. Ladies started even wearing diamond bracelets with their jeans and t-shirts or sportswear. With the traditional slip in catch and fold over safety clasp of most tennis bracelets, wearing them is very secure for virtually any time and any activity. They should be worn and enjoyed. Now that time has gone by, the diamond bracelet hasn’t really ever gone out of style as far as I am concerned. There are some classic styles that have a touch of a retro feel, such as the common “S” link diamond tennis bracelet. Some folks may not dig the retro vibe, but based off of the Project Runway All Stars finale, retro is back with a vengeance. But, the diamond tennis bracelet comes in different forms and different styles to compliment a variety of taste. Our store has a huge selection of both diamond and colorful gemstone tennis bracelets. If you have an upcoming holiday that you would like to gift a bracelet, we would be happy to help with options that can fit the occasion (think colorful birthstones, anniversary years that have special gemstones, etc). And you never have to stop at just one. “I have too much jewelry” -Said no woman ever 🙂

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Retro Classic Diamond “S” Link Tennis Bracelet in our Etsy Store

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Colorful Gemstone Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store

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Modern Polished Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store

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Gemstones Are ALSO a Girl’s Best Friend

All of us have heard the saying that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” I cannot disagree with this.  I picture diamonds as your long term, faithful, there to bring you soup when you’re sick, and there to host your bridal shower, type of best friend. Whereas gemstones are your fiery, out spoken, show up at your door with tickets to Vegas, life of the party, type of best friend. Let’s just say that a girl needs both! Gemstones can light up a room, can convey emotion with their depth of color, and can add a splash of luminosity to make an outfit memorable. Personally, colored stones tie in with seasons of the year too. Nothing says spring time and Easter like a gorgeous Amethyst. Fourth of July calls for hot dogs, fireworks and rubies! When the air starts to turn to a slight chill, pumpkin pie is in the oven, and golden Citrine can warm your heart. When Christmas morning comes and it’s time to head over to your in-laws’ house, pull out those emerald earrings, and cozy red sweater! Gemstones are fun and versatile! You can even play around with complimenting color palettes too. For example, blue sapphire looks regal paired with a burgundy dress, sunny topaz looks great worn as a neutral with any leopard print accessories, and emeralds go with anything of course. Gemstones have been referred to as “precious” for centuries even dating back to the Bible. This endearing title is due to the amazing fact that mother nature created these organic beauties that are eye candy for us mere mortals. If you have not ventured out to color please let us be the first to encourage you to take that leap. Spice up your jewelry wardrobe with a colorful new best friend. You won’t regret it!

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Amethyst Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Ruby Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Citrine Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Emerald Dangle Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Blue Sapphire Ensemble in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Wedding Day Jewelry

With wedding season fast approaching, the next few months are going to be abuzz with everything white, sparkling and romantic! The whole wedding day package can be overwhelming to some brides. The ultimate desire is to have the perfect day that will not only live up to girlhood expectations but also to be a day that will carry magic every time memories surface. Every detail is thought about and labored over in love. The flowers, the bridesmaids’ dresses, the location, the food, the cake, the dress (of course!) and the little details that make the day unique to the lovely couple. In my many years of being a part of lots of weddings, I have noticed that the wedding day jewelry is a delicate detail that brides mull over and contemplate sometimes up to the very morning of the nuptials. From my own personal experience, my husband picked out and purchased my wedding day earrings for me as not only a wedding day gift but as a keepsake for years to come. Anytime a big occasion comes around or a special date night is planned, I reach for my wedding day earrings because tied to them are the memories of feeling beautiful and the center of attention. Many brides like to borrow something for their wedding day accessories or even purchase a vintage piece to have as their good luck “something old.” Keep in mind that these tiny, sparkling, touches of jewelry will forever be stamped on your wedding day pictures and your memories of your day. I have compiled a short list of suggestions for picking out your wedding day jewelry and even some additional ideas of how to make jewelry a beloved detail of your wedding.

1) Pick out your dress first.

When going to say “yes to the dress” keep an open mind. You may be set on a vintage, lace, A-line silhouette but end up with a beaded, sparkling mermaid. Don’t let a specific idea of jewelry hold you back from your dream gown. Necklines also have a huge say in what, if any, necklace you should wear to compliment your dress to perfection. Picking out the dress and having that hurdle behind you is not only an exciting and fun accomplishment but also very freeing. If you have the dress and you feel confident and radiant, all the other details will fall into place, trust me! So once you have your dress start brain storming about jewelry. With earrings, does your dress call for something understated and simple or does your dress have a streamline design that can handle a dangling pair of chandeliers. If you opt for statement earrings and the neckline of your dress is a lovely sweetheart, you could forgo a necklace. If your grandmother has already offered her classic pearl necklace, maybe seek out a complimenting pair of pearl dangle earrings to add a touch of your personality to the timeless iconic pearl strand. If you decide to keep everything minimal and clean, think about wearing a dainty bracelet on your left hand. This will not only add a touch of sparkle to your photos when photographing your rings but also give your honey a little signal of the right hand to put the ring on (nervous grooms will love this idea!). Last idea is something that I saw at a beach wedding. The bride decided to not wear any shoes for the ceremony and had a short, beachy, airy wedding dress. She wore a tiny ankle bracelet that caught the light of the sunset and added a sweet sparkle to her gorgeous look.

2) Take your jewelry to your hair consultation.

This is a good idea for necklaces and earrings. If you want to showcase your statement earrings, you may want your hairdresser to sweep your hair off to one side or pull your locks behind your ears to show off your beautiful earrings. With necklaces, wearing a choker style verses a longer pendant necklace can determine if your hair would look best worn swept all the way up or half way up. Try a few different looks and know that no matter what you decide, you are going to take your new hubby’s breath away.

3) Think about buying a vintage brooch for your hair.

This is what I personally did and not only did I have my something old, but I had a sparkling accessory that fit my shabby chic vibe. Also, this touch of sparkle is beautiful with the dance floor lighting and in photographs.

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Antique Brooch in Our Etsy Store Click here to view listing

4) Is there someone not at your wedding that you want to wear a keepsake in their memory?

A dear friend of mine wore a locket with a photograph of her grandmother on her wedding day. Not only was she wearing a keepsake close to her heart but the sweet heart shaped locket looked elegant with her vintage inspired dress. I have also seen a bride purchase an initial charm that was attached to her bouquet to memorialize her husband’s father. The ideas are endless but these little touches of family and memories add a unique, personalized detail to your wedding day that will be appreciated by family and will be a reminder to you throughout your day that you are dearly loved.

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Initial Charm in Our Etsy Store Click here to view listing

5) When in doubt, go simple!

If nothing seems to “go” with the style of your dress or everything seems to just not look perfect, not to worry, there is a solution. Diamond stud earrings! These forever elegant classics will never be out of style and go with absolutely everything!

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Diamond Stud Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click here to view listing

Congratulations to you and your soon to be spouse! Please contact us with any questions about our wedding day jewelry options and we would be happy to help you pick out something special if needed!

The Practical Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Over the many years of being honored to be a part of many engagement ring buying experiences, I have noticed that men need more of a practical approach to how to conquer the tall task of picking the forever ring for his forever love. As most of us know or have heard, the “4 C’s” are usually what most people stress when first picking out the diamond. But even “cut, clarity, color, and carat weight” can be intimidating to someone who doesn’t speak fluent diamond. In this post, I will definitely touch on those important “4 C’s” and hopefully shed some light on how and why they matter. I am tailoring this to our men folk so I will organize this post in a list of points since I have noticed my own hubby does things this way. Here we go…

So you have the girl and now you need the ring. But ALWAYS keep in mind that no matter what, the ring is all about your girl!

1) What is your girl’s personal style?

This question can answer a lot! For example, if your sweetheart is a classic beauty who values tradition and who does not follow all the trending styles but rather sticks with the all time favorites (such as black dresses, pumps, tailored jeans, etc) you might want to rule out the modern princess cut (or square shaped) diamond. If your love writes a fashion blog, is forever changing her hair color and cut, is always getting comments about her unique style and dresses in the newest couture fashions, you may want to consider something a little less traditional and more unique to fit her style. If your beauty is into antiquing on her days off, watches Fixer Upper on HGTV, likes vintage cars or dresses in hipster retro clothes, you may want to contemplate an antique or heirloom engagement ring. Say your girlfriend is an artist, with gorgeous inked arms and legs, with a  passion for anything off the beaten path, then you way want to entertain going completely non-traditional and opt for something different than a diamond (maybe a colored diamond or precious gemstone).

2) What is your girl’s hand size (not finger size)?

Odd question you may say! But let me elaborate. Personally I have longer fingers than the average girl my size. My hubby did well by selecting an oval shaped diamond to compliment my long fingers and the amount of space before my knuckle. On the other hand….(no pun intended) if your girl has tiny hands and short fingers you may not want to opt for a “large and in charge” setting that will dominate her ring finger. My close friend has larger fingers and is self conscious about small rings making her hand look even bigger. I helped her fiance select a ring that had a halo around the center diamond and side accent diamonds as well. While on her finger, the ring was proportionate and she has no reservations about showing off that beauty.

3) What about those 4 C’s?

I have heard this time and time again from my new customers. “I’m lost, (insert big name jewelry store here) told me that I need to decide on the 4 C’s I want before I shop and buy.” This aggravates me to no end. Yes, these 4 C’s are important. Yes, they play a huge part in cost. But, they do not trump your emotional connection to a certain style or what you know in your gut to be the right ring. So with your instinct being your ultimate guide, we will still touch on these points (Disclaimer: this is just a quick, easy to understand, reference. More info is widely available online and I personally recommend GIA as a recourse). First the cut, this can mean two different things. Cut can mean what shape (round, oval, princess – square, emerald – rectangular, etc) or it can mean the quality of the cut. The quality means how well was the diamond cut to have the right proportions and polished to reflect light or sparkle. If you are looking at diamonds that have a certification or paperwork with them, this information will be on that document. However, if you have been on the hut a few times you will start to notice that some diamonds just don’t have “it”. They lack luster or just look a little tired. This is an indication that maybe the symmetry of the cut is off. Next is clarity, this means that there are inclusions or blemishes present. The less inclusions the higher the price goes up. Inclusions can come in many forms. Some you can see with the naked eye (like little black pepper spots or white feathers/cloudiness) and some you have to look into a magnifying device to detect. These inclusions have a ranking system that is used in grading diamonds. You can use this terminology if you want (such as SI1 – slightly included level 1). Next we have color. Color grading with diamonds is actually the absence of color. This scale ranges from D-Z (D being completely without color). As with clarity, the less color (or the closer to the “D” side of the scale), the higher the price tag. Lastly, there is the carat weight. As you probably would have guessed, the larger the diamond the more “carats” it is and the higher the cost. Diamonds under one carat are referred to as points alone. For example, 0.75ct is said 75 points. Keep in mind that all 4 C’s play a part in the cost of the diamond.

4) Do I need a certification?

This is a great question! GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the most prestigious and the most highly trusted among diamond/gemstone certification. (This is where I received my training). Their Graduate Gemologists are the best in the world. With that being said, it comes with a price tag. Diamonds with GIA certifications do tend to cost more because they are guaranteed to be what GIA says they are and that certification does cost the jewelry store/jeweler money to have it completed. This document can provide a lot of comfort to some and others do not care what a paper says about their diamond just as long as their diamond sparkles. If you have a jeweler that you trust or a reputable jewelry store that has been in business for many years, you many feel comfortable to purchase a diamond that does not have a certification.

5) How much should I spend?

You may have googled that you need to spend a certain percentage of your yearly income on your future wife’s engagement ring but that is really not rule. Engagement rings are a large expense and it is going to be something that your love will cherish for many years. Keep in mind that some stores offer lay away options or financing. But always know that your token of love, whether big or small, is in no way a direct correlation of how much you love your future wife!

6) Where is the best place to start looking?

Look at your girlfriend Pinterest account if you can. Odds are that if you have been dating a while she probably has “pinned” a few rings that she likes in hopes that you will investigate. Also, listen to her, most of us girls say we love a certain style or diamond cut even if we don’t think we are going to get engaged anytime soon. You may have figured out too that your woman is very intuitive, she will probably drop you hints. So if she wants to go into a jewelry store, let her and for goodness sakes, PAY ATTENTION!

7) Do “used” diamonds mean bad luck?

Diamonds are all technically “used”. Diamonds do not jump out of the ground and end up in the Tiffany & Co show case. Diamonds are the hardest mineral known to man, so suffice to say, they’ve been around for awhile. So no, they are not bad luck in my book. Diamonds may have been a part of different love stories in the past perhaps but diamonds are ultimately cherished no matter where they originally came from. Often times if you look to purchase a ring from an estate sale or from a store such as ours, we offer a lot better price compared to stores that are marketing “new” pieces.

8) What if she wants to pick it out herself?

I think this is great! Trust me, even if she knows the ring that she is getting, you getting down on one knee and asking for her forever is going to be special. Every love is special and every love deserves to be celebrated in its in own individual way. If you still want to keep some mystery to it,  there is always a middle ground. She can pick out three rings that she likes and you make the final choice. Have fun together and make it your own! Nothing has to be done like anyone else or in the way that tradition typically has it.

9) What if she doesn’t like it?

This is often a fear that most guys vocalize when they are wanting everything to be a full surprise. In all my years of selling engagement rings, I have rarely had a man return a ring because she didn’t like it. It is not an irrational fear but keep in mind that most of us females get weak in the knees over everything our men pick out for us. Worst case scenario, you can always see what your jeweler offers in the way of store credit and have your sweetheart join you in picking it out from there. Just be confident and know that even if she doesn’t like the ring, it does NOT mean that your proposal was not a dream come true for her!

10) Any other tips?

-bring in a close friend or future in-law to the process if you are still unsure

-take your time and do not let anyone pressure you into buying something you know to not be the right one

-if it doesn’t hit you right away that “this is the ring” that’s ok; take time and sleep on it

-HAVE FUN!

I hope that this was helpful for you. If you have any additional questions or if you want more information please feel free to comment or visit our Etsy store to see a wide selection of engagement rings. Buying online can be a challenge but we are here to help! We have decades of experience, a friendly – like family- staff, a very reputable brick and mortar store, and plenty of choices for any budget and any style. Also, let us be the first to say “Congratulations”! ~Cheers~

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Gorgeous Certified Diamond Engagement Ring in Our Etsy Store

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Why you NEED a Cocktail Ring…

First off let us discuss where cocktail rings originated from and the attitude behind them. Cocktail rings derived their name from the elegant, high class ladies during the Prohibition period that wanted to bring attention to their drink of choice during cocktail hour. How else to get attention than to wear something sparkly on one of the fingers of your drink holding hand. Drinking at home during the Prohibition period was reserved for the highest class where it was a celebrated event during the day. Almost a form of rebellion during that time, the cocktail hour was an expression of freedom and an expression of one’s self. Women of course wanted to bring attention to the fact that they too were partaking in this ritual. To bring attention to their glass, they would opt for a large, exquisite ring. So the term “cocktail ring” was birthed. Now whether you like a spiked beverage at five o’clock or not, anyone can appreciate the fact that women were coming into their own, expressing themselves, enjoying their freedom, and being fabulous as well. Because women were making a statement, the cocktail ring was, and still is, referred to as a statement ring as well.

So why should today’s woman need a cocktail or statement ring? Well, because you are a woman and you deserve to put your stamp on this world in your own way. When watching TV I love seeing women express themselves with style. Princess Kate is fortunate enough to make a statement everyday with her brilliant oval sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring that was gifted to her by her sweet Prince William. Angelia Jolie has been photographed many times with her signature emerald earrings. And of course, Audrey Hepburn was known for her iconic pearl necklace. I have to admit that based on certain occasions I will copy some of these “statement” pieces but nothing feels more like “ME” than wearing a large, gemstone ring that my father made for me. Have you found the piece that makes you feel like YOU? The cocktail ring that features your favorite color gemstone, or the necklace that has a special meaning that you want to wear close to your heart, or maybe it’s a pair of earrings that you wear only when you need Lady Luck to smile at you. Cocktail rings or statement pieces can be anything you want to make of them. They originated from women being themselves and expressing their freedom. Jewelry is always meant to be an extension of you. Styles come and go, but a good statement piece that represents you will never go out of style!

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Gorgeous “Princess Kate” Inspired Cocktail Ring in Our Etsy Store

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Audrey Hepburn Style Pearl Necklace in Our Etsy Store

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