Incorporating Shape in Your Custom Design

Incorporating Shape in Your Custom Design

Diamonds and gemstones come in many shapes and cuts, each with unique attributes that focus on different characteristics of the stone. The type and quality of the cut can greatly alter the look of the final piece and are important to think about when planning a design. You never know 'till you ask! Here is some info about the most popular cuts and styles used today.


Round Cut (Brilliant)

Brilliant cut round diamonds are by far the most popular, representing more than two thirds of all diamonds sold. Brilliant cut stones are designed mathematically so that the cut and size of all the facets reflect and disperse the maximum amount of light back towards the observer's eye.  Round diamonds also tend to cost more than the other "Fancy cut" shapes because of the high demand, and because in order to achieve the exact measurements of the facet cuts, more of the original rough stone is usually lost.

Princess Cut

Princess cut stones have been rising in popularity and are the most popular of all the "Fancy Cuts". These stones are cut in a square shape with sharp corners. Princess cut diamonds are usually less expensive than brilliant cut diamonds because there is less waste when cutting out of the rough stone. Another advantage is that a princess cut diamond may actually have a smaller carat weight than a round diamond, and still look larger to the naked eye because of the large flat top. This makes princess a great way to maximize the look of a large diamond without breaking the bank.

Oval Cut

Oval cut stones are considered a modified brilliant cut style. This means they are also designed with specific proportions that allow for maximum light reflection and dispersion (brilliance and fire). Oval stones are a great choice for those who like the look of a round stone but want something a little more unique. Another advantage of an oval cut is that it tends to create the illusion of a longer and slimmer finger for the wearer.

Emerald and Baguette Cuts

Emerald and baguette cuts have a more unique look than most typical brilliant or modified brilliant cuts. They are usually rectangular in shape. Instead of focusing on brilliance and fire, these cuts focus on luster, whiteness and clarity of the diamond. With long linear areas of light and dark reflection, the stones tend to have a "Hall of mirrors" effect. The elegant look of the emerald and baguette cut was popular in years past and now has an antique look that's making a comeback.

Pear Cut

Pear cut stones are also considered a modified brilliant cut focusing on fire and brilliance. They are essentially a combination of both a round cut and a marquise cut (football shape) with one rounded end coming to a point at the other end. Pear cuts can also help to elongate the fingers of the wearer when worn with the point facing up towards the hand.

Jewelry As a Reflection of Love and Life

Jewelry As a Reflection of Love and Life

The most joyful day of my life; October 15th 2016, when I married my beloved Peter Brooks. We joined our families in a beautiful sunlight ceremony right in front of the studio at our home in Braddock Heights, MD. With our children and family surrounding us we spoke our vows, exchanged rings, sealed with a kiss and embraced in a group hug with our children.


A tidal wave of excitement and planning started in early Fall as we organized and beautified the studio, gardens and our home. I’m grateful for all the friends and family that helped make the day perfect. We are especially grateful to Katie Urquiza in her extraordinary efforts in orchestrating our perfect day.  
As a jeweler, I delighted in designing our wedding rings and wanted them to be a thoughtful representation of the themes of life that have been a foundation for our growing love of one another.

My ring is hand carved and cast in white gold. There are two joining tendrils.  The four main diamonds represent Peter and I, and each of our children; Donya (Peter's grandmother's diamond, given to me by his mother, Marylin Brooks), Zach and Ryan. The small diamonds surrounding the main diamonds represent 9 aspects of consciousness. These 9 words are also engraved in Peters leaf-impression band; Peace, Discipline, Love, Excellence, Depth, Clarity, Loyalty, Joy and Strength.  Ultimately the love in our hearts and the strength of what we have built together is something ineffable. I have been filled with love and joy not only for the special day we celebrated together, but for the love of so many family members and friends who shared this special moment with us.

Beautify, Simplify, Tend: Caring For Your Jewelry

Beautify, Simplify, Tend: Caring For Your Jewelry

About this time last year I put a slip of paper with the words “Beautify, Simplify, Tend” on the little antique altar in my bedroom. Over the course of this year, slowly but surely, I've been excavating room by room, drawer by drawer, bookshelf by bookshelf the things we really need, love and that bring joy to me and my family. All the rest has been kindly escorted out of the house and it seems to be making the “tending” part of the equation actually possible. 

I do admit it hasn't really been my strength, the tending.  I'm quick “onto the next thing” before I've dealt with what just happened and am most guilty of not putting things back where they belong. I see now how vital good tending is. 

In honor of this theme I thought I'd share some pointers on the care and tending of your jewelry...

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper or other metal alloys. This is where the tarnish comes in.

Why does silver tarnish?

Tarnish is a dulling which naturally occurs when silver reacts with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in the air. Most people think silver tarnishes due to oxidation. But, chemically speaking, silver is not very reactive—it does not react with oxygen or water at normal temperatures. However, other metals in the alloy, usually copper, may react with oxygen in the air.

Care should be taken to avoid exposing your silver to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can damage silver.

The best way to keep your silver jewelry clean is by wearing it often. However, humidity and storing the silver can tarnish the piece, also known as oxidation, which will give the silver a darkened blackish color. Tarnish is most easily removed when it first becomes visible.

Liquid or Cream Silver Cleaner:

Making sure to gently clean your piece with mild dish detergent first, then simply dip your piece in a shallow dish of silver cleaner and swish. Avoid pearls or stones by using a Q-tip instead of immersing the piece in the liquid. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Plastic Zip Lock bags:

Storing your clean, dry and untarnished sterling pieces in zip lock bags is a very effective way to keep your pieces tarnish free.

Polishing Cloth:

A silver polishing cloth formulated specifically to remove tarnish is effective in cleaning silver jewelry. Sunshine Cloth is a great one.

Aluminum Foil Method:

Fill a bowl or jar halfway with hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the bowl or a little more, depending on the size of the bowl. Mix the salt until it dissolves. Add a few strips of aluminum foil to the bowl. Add the silver jewelry to the bowl. Stir it around and let it sit for a few minutes. The aluminum foil interacts with the salt and removes the tarnish off the silver. Rinse the jewelry with water. This process may need to be repeated a few times, but it is very effective in restoring your silver jewelry to its original shine.


What is vermeil anyway and how we make ours nickel free?

The word "vermeil" is a French word which came into use in the English language, mostly in America, in the 19th century as an alternative for the usual term silver-gilt. It is a very heavy plating of 14k gold over sterling silver (not other base metals). 

Typically a plate of nickel is put on first to create a barrier between the sterling and gold which prevents tarnishing to come through the outer surface of the gold. In our studio we decided to use Palladium instead to create nickel-free pieces. Palladium is fine white-grey metal similar in value as gold. It does not tarnish and is used more and more today in fine jewelry in the United States as an alternative to white gold or platinum. 

The best way to care for it?

Gently clean your gold vermeil jewelry with a soft polishing cloth. As with all fine things in life, you should take care to protect your jewelry and always store separately, taking care not to drop, bash or scratch.



The best way to clean your gold jewelry is by using a solution of warm water and mild dish soap with a soft-bristled toothbrush or soft cloth. Gently, but thoroughly, brush your gold jewelry with the solution. Then, rinse the item(s) under lukewarm water and dry with a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean your jewelry, as this can cause scratches and reduce the gold's luster.

When your gold jewelry is not being worn, store items in a soft pouch or separate compartment of your jewelry box.

Let us do it for you!

We are happy to clean and re matte your piece for you at any point!

Simply package your piece in a small jewelry box then place in a bubble envelope and ship to the address below, if you ship USPS with a delivery confirmation it will likely ship under $2.50.

InBloom Studio: 6801 Maryland Ave. Braddock Heights, MD 21714