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Archive for July, 2011

Is tobacco a gateway drug?

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

“The simple answer is yes. Teens who smoke are more likely to try much stronger drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heavy alcohol drinking. Here are the findings from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

* 95% of high school seniors who smoke, tried illicit drugs, while only 27% of non-smokers tried illicit drugs;
* 94% of smoking seniors tried marijuana compared to 20% of non-smoking seniors;
* 49% of smoking seniors tried cocaine, while 5% of non-smoking seniors tried it;
* 18.4% of smoking seniors drank daily compared to 1.7% of non-smoking seniors; and
* 67.9% of smoking seniors did some heavy drinking, while only 17.2% of non-smoking seniors did some heavy drinking.”

Picking out the Perfect Diamond for Your Future Bride

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Picking out a diamond engagement ring is a very exciting and memorable experience. The more you know about diamonds the better you will be at finding the perfect diamond to fit your budget. To be able to choose a good quality diamond you must first understand the 4 C’s. The 4 C’s are cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

When a jeweler talks about a diamond’s cut they are not referring to the shape. The shape refers to the general appearance of the diamond. They are talking about the angles and proportions that are made when a rough diamond is transformed into a polished diamond.

The cut is probably the most important and the hardest to figure out when it comes to choosing a diamond. The brilliance of the diamond depends heavily on its cut. The cut gives a diamond the brightness that shines throughout the diamond. Because the cut is so important there are several grading methods that have been developed to help determine the cut. The grades are Ideal, Very Good, Good and Fair/Poor cuts.

The Ideal cut is intended to maximize brilliance and usually is more expensive. Very Good cut diamonds will reflect most of the light that enters them creating a good deal of brilliance. The Good cut diamond can offer an excellent cost savings to you if you are trying to stay within a budget. The Good cut offers quality and beauty for a reasonable price. Most reputable jewelers stay away from cuts that are Fair to Poor, because this cut only reflects a small portion of light.

When it comes to diamonds, no color is the most desirable. This is because it allows the most reflection of light. When jewelers are grading the color of a diamond, they refer to a professional color scale. The scale begins with the highest rating of the letter “D” for colorless and a color scale continues all the way to Z. You will notice that there may be a very faint hint of yellow apparent in diamonds graded J through M. These grades of diamonds look very nice in a gold setting.

The carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Large diamonds are less common than small diamonds. The larger the diamond is, the higher the price. To decide on the carat size you first need to determine your budget. Deciding on the carat size is about striking a balance between size and quality.

These are just a few things that you should know when you are deciding on which diamond engagement ring to buy the love of your life. It’s wise to shop around and do your homework and learn all you can about diamonds and pricing. This is just a simple overview to give you an idea of what you need to look for. You can do your own research and find out more about the 4 C’s and Diamond Certificates so you can make a knowledgeable decision on the ring for your fiancĂ©.