Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

What's the difference between a Cubic Zirconia and a Man-Made Diamond? A lot of people are not sure how man-made diamonds and cubic zirconia differ, and some even think that they are the same thing. Although they look similar, these two types of stones are actually quite different. Let’s see what they are made of and how you can tell the difference between cubic zirconia and man-made diamonds (also known as synthetic diamonds).What Is Cubic Zirconia Made Of?Cubic zirconia is a form of zirconium dioxide. It is created synthetically and is usually colorless and relatively flawless. Since its optical and physical properties resemble to some extent those of diamond, cubic zirconia is ...

How Do Diamond Testers Work?
Monday, October 12, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

You might have heard that there are a lot of ways to tell whether a diamond is real or fake. The problem is that most of these methods are not 100% reliable. Using a diamond tester, however, is one of the surest and fastest ways to check if you have an original diamond.What Are Diamond Testers?A diamond tester is a portable device that you can put in your pocket. The tester has a small, needle-like tip that needs to be placed on the stone tested. If the diamond is real, the device indicates that on its display or with a sound signal.How Diamond Testers WorkDiamond testers’ principle of operation is based on the fact that different gemstones conduct heat differently. Heat will pass ...

Behind The Scenes Spotlight: Andrea's Custom Engagement Ring
Friday, October 02, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Andrea had a unique vision for custom engagement & wedding ring. She wanted her wedding ring to interlock into the engagement ring design; a chevron band with a single gemstone. She also had an heirloom diamond to incorporate into her ring. As a fashion designer, Andrea was comfortable taking a lead role in the design process.Step 1: First, Andrea created sketches of her preferred gemstone placement.Step 2: Next, I created digital renderings in the computer for Andrea to approve. The renderings are like the 'blueprint' for the ring. You get to see the architecture in detail.Here's a rendering with gemstone placeholders. The gemstones really help to see how the design ...

10 Timeless Vintage Engagement Ring Styles
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Vintage style engagement rings are making a huge comeback. Here are ten stunning styles to inspire your custom engagement ring design! Featuring rings from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco periods. 1. Old European Cut Diamond with Sapphire HaloThis first style is a personal favorite of mine! I love sapphires, and when you pair a sapphire halo with an intricate, vintage cushion cut the result is simply divine.2. Cushion Cut with Halo and Gold Setting:If you love a gold setting and tons of bling, a large cushion cut with a diamond halo is the perfect style for you!3. Old Mine Cushion Cut Diamond:An old mine cut diamond is filled with history, dating back to the 1830s. If ...

Behind Behind The Scenes Spotlight: Carmelina's Custom Pink Tourmaline Ring
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

I teamed up with Carmelina Karas, Editor and C.E.O. of The Wedding Planner Magazine, to create her dream ring.Step 1: After our design meeting, I sent Carmelina 3D Digital renderings of her custom ring. After looking at the ring from all angles, she approved the design.Step 2: After Carmelina approved her renderings, I created exact replicas in wax using a 3D digital printer!Step 3: Next I cast Carmelina's ring in silver, see how raw it looks before I polish it and set the stones? Step 4: Time for the final touches! The ring is polished to a mirror shine, the stones are set, then it's dipped in platinum and VOILA!Have ideas for a project? Your custom creation begins with ...

Moissanite vs. Diamond
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

As you search for an engagement ring,It can be overwhelming to sort through all of the options available. And as technology advances, so too does the number of choices—as well as the confusion. There’s a budget to set, styles to consider, settings to envision, and—perhaps most fun—gemstones to compare.Although naturally-mined diamonds are still the engagement ring standard, they are not your only option. Many couples wonder how simulant diamonds, especially materials such as moissanite, cubic zirconia, and simulant diamonds, compare to genuine diamonds.With so many decisions involved in choosing an engagement ring (to say nothing of planning a wedding!), ...

Lab Created Diamonds
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Poised to light up the market in a significant way, lab created diamonds are now available in colorless ranges and in a broader range of sizes than ever before. Choosing a Lab Created Diamond will reduce your carbon footprint (no mining required!). Plus, they cost about 20%-30% less than mined diamonds of equivalent quality.This is an exciting development in the world of diamonds generally, but especially for those interested in ethically sourced jewelry.  Lab created diamonds, also called cultured diamonds, have been available within the yellow spectrum of colors —from soft golden to bold canary—for quite some time. But, the process for producing colorless ...

Morganite Engagement Rings
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Morganite is the pretty, peachy-pink variety of beryl, cousin to more familiar beryls like emerald and aquamarine. Morganite's beautiful, feminine colors are a result of the presence of manganese. After its discoveries in California and Madagascar in the early 20th century, this pink beryl was renamed Morganite as suggested by famed gemologist George F. Kunz. Named in honor of financier and gem enthusiast J. P. Morgan, Morganite has many redeeming qualities, including durability, luster, clarity and brilliance. Though there are also small deposits in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia, quality Morganite remains relatively rare. Ironically, it is Morganite's rarity that ...

100 carat Diamond Makes History, Sells For $22m
Monday, April 27, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

A massive white diamond went for more than $22 million in New York on Tuesday, in one of the biggest auction sales in jewelry history.The emerald-cut diamond, mined by De Beers in Africa, was sold at Sotheby’s, smack in the middle of presale estimates of $19 million to $25 million.Auctioneer Lisa Hubbard, chairwoman of North and South America for Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, brought down the hammer on Lot 357 after 14 offers made over three minutes and 55 seconds of bidding. The anonymous winner beat out two other gem lovers for the 100.2-carat diamond.All three bidders were not in the room and made their offers over the phone to a Sotheby’s rep.When Hubbard ...

3 Women on Why (And How) They Decided To Propose
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Who says men should have all the fun and terror of proposing? Increasingly women are saying, "Hey, I don't need to wait for Leap Year to take charge of my romantic life!" In fact, here three women dish on why they decided to turn the tables and pop the question to their boyfriends.The Bride Who Did the Old "Ring In the Dessert" TrickKatherine found it "exciting and memorable" to propose. "I felt empowered and like it was my choice!" Here's how it went down: Last May while her boyfriend was at a weekend business conference in Vegas Katherine arranged for a dinner and yup — had a silver band inserted into the hard chocolate edible box. A photographer captured the ...

Black Diamond Engagement Rings (How to Buy a Black Diamond)
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Black Diamonds have become THE diamonds for current diamond jewelry, surpassing all colored diamond categories. Must be the mystery of the color black. About a decade ago black diamonds were cheap, because most collectors and researchers weren’t interested in them. But a recent marketing campaign put the stones in the spotlight, so prices have risen sharply. Today black diamonds are sold for prices that are (somewhat) comparable to those of white diamonds. Check out how to go about buying black diamonds.Black diamonds are crystallized carbon, just like regular diamonds. Either the color black occurs due to dark inclusions, or due to changes in a white diamond due to high temperatures ...

How To Buy the Perfect Engagement Ring (Without Selling Your Kidneys)
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Shopping for an engagement ring has got to be one of the most angst-ridden things a grown-ass man can go through. Between worrying about the correct sizing, decoding the "one-sixth of your annual salary" thing, and, you know, trying to find a style that your soul mate will want to wear for the rest of her life, buying an engagement ring is a stomach-tangling experience that all the Pepcid AC in Duane Reed couldn't calm.And sure, maybe you don't buy into the whole institution of the engagement ring and think it's insane to spend so much money on a symbol when she should just, like, feel it, man. I get it. But even if you're planning on making the symbol of your love out of ...

3 Things You Should Never Do to Your Engagement Ring
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Your engagement ring isn't just a symbol of your union. It's also an heirloom in the making, a precious piece of jewelry that can be passed down through generations — if you take proper care of it.Of course, you know never to open boxes or try to pop bottle tops with your ring (trust us, people do try!), but there are a few unexpected everyday activities that can put your ring in harm's way. Here's advice on what to do, and what to avoid, to keep your ring lovely for a lifetime.Don't wear it during vigorous sportsAny activity that involves impact to your hands (from volleyball to boxing to weightlifting, rock climbing, and even gardening) can bend or break the prongs ...

Taylor Kinney Proposed to Lady Gaga with a Ring Pop!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Well, this takes the idea of a sweet proposal to a whole new level. If you already have a toothache from the details of Lady Gaga's Valentine's Day engagement to Taylor Kinney, we suggest you stop reading now.As it turns out, when the singer said "yes" to Kinney's proposal, she still hadn't seen her incredible 6-carat heart-shaped diamond ring. Instead, Kinney got down on one knee (seriously, the Chicago Fire actor popped the question on bended knee!) and presented his future wife with a piece of candy bling."First he gave me a Ring Pop," Lady Gaga told Access Hollywood. "That was kind of amazing and I was crying, I was so excited. I said, ...

4 Crucial Tips For Your New Engagement Ring
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Congratulations on your engagement! And that ring — wow! Everybody loves it, you've been sharing pictures of it on social media, and you don't ever want to take it off. Here are four things you need to know about having and wearing your new bling:1. Insure that ring immediately! Your fiancé may have even been thoughtful enough to do that for you, but if not, it's first on your list. It's easy if you already have a homeowner's or renter's policy. Just call them, send a scan or fax of the appraisal, and they'll add it onto your policy. It's not that expensive. But the value is priceless if, God forbid, something unforeseen happens to the bling. If the ring ...

Behind the Scenes Spotlight
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

The Making of Gavin & Jess' Custom Engagement RingSee how this intricate 96 diamond engagement ring came to life! My client Gavin MacMillan, owner of the College Street Bar wanted a unique custom engagement ring. After examining brilliant round diamonds together, he chose a beautiful 1ct center stone. In our design meeting, he described his girlfriend's dream engagement ring. Next, I created 3D digital renderings of this detailed ring. Once he approved the renderings, I cast the ring in three pieces.With 96 diamonds to set in total, I handcrafted this ring in 3 pieces. First I cleaned and polished the pieces. Then the diamonds were precisely set into the band. Next, I soldered the ...

Top 10 Tips For Buying An Engagement Ring
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

With extended family around to admire her ring and celebrate your engagement, it's no secret that the holiday season is prime time for popping the question. Now is the time to have your custom engagement ring handcrafted.If you're one of the thousands in Torontonians planning (or hoping for) a proposal in the near future, don't start shopping without reading these top 10 engagement ring buying tips.1. Consider Accent DiamondsThere's more than one way to wear a carat of diamonds on your finger. A carat of small accent diamonds cost a fraction of the price of a one carat stone. Halo designs are hot on the market. By surrounding your center diamond with a halo of accent stones, it will appear ...

Behind The Scenes: Matt's Custom Cable Cross Engagement Ring
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

The Making of Matt's Custom Cable Cross Engagement RingMatt knew exactly what he was looking for: a unique engagement ring with two crossing cables and a cushion cut center stone. See how I made his custom engagement ring come to life!Step 1: I brought Matt stunning cushion cut diamonds to examine. In our design meeting, he chose his center stone and we designed his ring.Step 2: After our design meeting, I sent Matt 3D digital renderings of his custom ring.Step 3: I made a wax replica of his renderings, then cast it in white gold. In this picture you can see the ring right after casting, its rough and needs a lot of TLC.Step 4: After cleaning and polishing his ring, the ...

Sweet Love
Friday, September 05, 2014

Bohemian Decadence
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

21 Most Influential Celebrity Engagement Rings
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Behind The Scenes: Tash & Kedar's Wedding Rings
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

The Making of Tash & Kedar's Custom Wedding RingsStarting with Tash's existing ruby engagement ring as inspiration, we designed her custom diamond wedding ring & Kedar's contemporary wedding ring.Step 1: We started with Tash's stunning princess cut ruby solitaire engagement ring. After trying on many wedding rings in jewellery stores, she couldn't find one that fit and matched her unique engagement ring. In our design meeting we designed her dream wedding ring with a row of diamonds to accentuate her ruby.Step 2: Next, I sent Tash 3D digital renderings of her custom wedding ring.Step 3: I cast her custom ring in 14k yellow gold. This is how it looked right after ...

Gifts For The Modern Man
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

From cufflinks and collar stays to tie clips, there are so many ways to get creative! We can custom engrave just about anything. These are gifts he'll be excited to wear and show his friends and colleagues. Ten years down the road, he'll still be enjoying the custom gift you made him this father's day.I handcrafted these special hockey rink cufflinks from sheet sterling silver. Then I laser engraved the hockey rinks including his initials at center ice.I custom engraved these "utility" collar stays for a client who's man was leaving for a trip. One stay has his traveling longitude & latitude and the other, his home coordinates.These sterling silver cufflinks were custom engraved with ...

The Trend Report: Rose Gold
Friday, June 06, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Rose gold is what’s trending this season in both the fine jewelry and fashion jewelry markets.While this lovely, pink-hued metal has been used in jewelry pieces for decades, recently rose gold jewelry has increased in popularity in every jewelry avenue. Rose gold is now seen in fine jewelry, engagement and wedding ring settings, watches and also fashion jewelry pieces. In fact, now men’s watches and other jewelry pieces are even sporting rose gold accents!Jewelers like pink or rose gold for its color and versatility. The soft pink hue complements most skin tones. The warmth of rose gold jewelry brings out the underlying pink tones of skin in contrast to the bling ...

Behind The Scenes: Stephanie's Wedding Rings
Friday, May 23, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

The Making of Stephanie's Vintage Inspired Engagement & Wedding RingsFrom design concept to gold & diamonds. I absolutely loved handcrafting these custom wedding rings with the lovely Stephanie & Marc.Step 1: After our meeting at the elegant Shangri-La Hotel, I send the couple 3D Digital renderings of our unique design. After looking at the wedding rings from all angles, they approved the design.Step 2: Next the ring waxes are carved with a milling machine, making an exact replica of the 3D digital renderings.Step 3: This is what the rings look like right after being cast in rose gold! They look rough, and need lots of filing and polishing.Step 4: Once they are polished to ...

The Drake Spring Wedding Show
Monday, May 05, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Our second year at The Drake Spring Wedding Show! My favorite part of being a custom jeweler is meeting amazing couples and discussing wedding ring ideas. Thanks to everyone who came out!

The Wedding Room Show
Friday, February 28, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

We had an amazing time getting to know the lovely ladies at The Wedding Room Show.The Wedding Co. Winter Show was an epic event! I love bringing my team to the most innovative wedding shows in Toronto. So many talented and creative wedding professionals bring their fresh, beautiful ideas. So inspirational! 

A Proposal Story
Friday, February 14, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

A Proposal Story; Contest Winner & Sharing Your Proposal StoriesWe've received amazing accounts of how you popped the big question.  This Valentine's Day we're sharing them with you and saying congratulations to Chris B for winning 2 tickets to The Wedding Room with his creative entry!"Great dinner. Great wine. Canada Day. He hugged me & said he wanted to spend forever with me. Watched fireworks from our deck" -Katie Schrank"My fiancé proposed to me last year, on the first snowfall of 2013 skating at Nathan Philips square (my fav!)" -Adriana"While holding my hand, my fiance proposed under the starry sky at the Serengeti in East Africa!" -Ping"After 5yrs madly in ...

Organized Brides
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Here's a shout out to all of the organized brides out there. I was shocked that this level of planning exists: attending a wedding show with pre-printed labels with your contact information. Made entering our draw easy as pie! 

WedLuxe Draw Grand Prize Winner
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Drum Roll Please... the grand prize winner of $500 towards custom wedding bands is Linda Sutherland!  Congratulations Linda! 

The WedLuxe Wedding Show
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

We had a blast designing custom wedding rings with the lovely WedLuxe brides at the Fairmont Royal York! 

22 Days Until Wedluxe Wedding Show
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

Come visit Alexis Gallery at The Wedluxe Wedding Show 2014! Like little elves, we are busy preparing special treats and surprises for the lucky brides attending The Wedluxe Wedding Show.There will be over 120 Toronto's most innovative and exciting exhibitors to visit.  Shop for free from 25,000 items at the Wedluxe Gift Bar.  100 pairs of our Sterling Silver Stardust Earrings will be featured on the Wedluxe gift bar!  All brides receive a complimentary tote bag.  Be sure to enter our draw for $500 towards custom wedding rings! 

The Wedding Room 2014 at The Arcadian
Thursday, October 10, 2013

We are excited to announce that Alexis Gallery will be at The Wedding Room 2014!  Getting married?  Grab your fiancee or friends and join us for this luxurious event! There will be lots to see, sample and taste, plus tons of amazing giveaways.  Be sure to enter our draw for $500* towards custom wedding rings!  There will be 5 prizes each day of the show.This sophisticated event is presented to you by The Wedding Co., Hudson's Bay and Oliver & Bonacini.Where: Arcadian 401 Bay Street (at Queen St W), 8th Floor When February 22nd & 23rd, 2014 Time 10am – 5pm Tickets: $40.00 + HST *min purchase $1500 before tax

The Wedding Co. Show
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

We had a blast at the Drake Wedding Co. Show! It was fantastic that so many of you came out to visit us.  In case you didn't make it, here's photo journal of the show!

Zenith & Nadir
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Cubic Zirconia vs. Man-Made Diamonds

For the first Alexis Gallery Blog post, I'm excited to share Zenith & Nadir, my latest creation. I crafted this engagement ring and wedding band for Zilberschmuck Gallery's anual jurried exhibition of Canadian jewellery and metal arts. The theme of "transformation" inspired me to create jewellery which explores the transformative nature of gold and diamonds. Zenith is crafted with a raw Canadian Arctic diamond and polished diamonds. For Nadir, raw gold is inlaid in refined gold.   Artist Statement:Time and pressure. Together they have the power to transform the most elementary particles in the universe into one of the most coveted natural resources on earth. From the rough, comes ...