gift_cardIf you’re already in the market for custom jewelry, like monogram rings, pendants or bracelets, why not save $25 instantly?

John Christian Jewelers is offering a $25 Gift Card when you join the John Christian Club. No purchase is necessary, if you just want to join the club and hold on to the Gift Card for later, and your information will not be shared with anyone.

Click here, join today and start shopping!

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personalizedringOuch. Yesterday, the Associated Press ran a story that was not a surprise to those of us in the jewelry business: Sales are down, and the holiday season is not looking so shiny.

According to the article, demand for rings, pendants and bracelets has declined due to high food and energy costs. Also interesting is the fact that everyone is cutting back, even wealthy customers, which is creating real chaos in the economy.

Standard & Poor’s Marie Driscoll said, “People that shop luxury, who demand a certain brand, they just don’t trade down… They simply do without until they feel comfortable to purchase again. Women who wear Prada and Chanel shoes — I don’t see them trading down to Cole Haan, even though it’s a great brand.”

I disagree. In my experience, big-ticket purchasers always always love a little bargain. Take your typical David Yurman customer. Is she going to wear that $1,350 Garnet & Ruby Square Ring to the grocery store? Probably not. But I guarantee that if she walks into a store and finds some $20 knockoffs, she’ll buy 10 in every color and wear them all the time.

Which brings me to Carved Creations. Simple, elegant, stylish, these are the kinds of rings that really make a statement without being too loud or blaring or garish. Each of Carved Creation’s Roman Numeral rings, Mother’s Rings, bold pendants and the rest deliver personalized jewelry at its finest–but at about a third of the cost.

Time will tell just how far jewlery sales will drop. The shopping period that kicks off after Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and then we’ll see where the chips fall.

barkerIf you can trace your lineage back to Scotland, France, England or most any European country, you might have a family crest. This is not to say that you can use this crest in any official capacity–only the monarch-approved Knight, Count or Duke (or what have you) retains the actual ownership of the crest. These are the people who descend directly from the original families.

But, it’s still worth the research. I have a friend in England who researched his crest and found that he did indeed have direct lineage of the Knighthood associated with it. Keep in mind, he had to spend years researching and petitioning the Queen (and then thousands of pounds buying the license), but he eventually got the rights and now plasters the emblem on his Bentley.

To be precise, the crest is actually the very top part of the official family Coat of Arms. It sits on top of a helmet, which in turn sits on top of a shield. Here is more info from Wikipedia, and this site tells you what each of the components means.

So, how do you go about finding your family crest? If you’re just looking for information, you can consult any number of online family-crest finders. Or, you can let the John Christian Company do the work.

When you order one of their family crest products (including cuff links, family crest rings and pendants) their researchers and jewelers do the research based on your name and country of origin, present you with a drawing for approval, and engrave your family crest in 14k gold, 18k gold, white gold or platinum. And this is what it looks like:

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The John Christian, innovators in personalized jewelry, site has a whole new look: Check it out here.

Whether you’re looking for wedding bands, monogram rings, Roman numeral rings, or cross pendants, John Christian products provide high quality and excellent prices.

The John Christian name inside your ring is your assurance of the very finest quality. John Christian Jewelry is designed and handcrafted to today’s exacting standards, while still maintaining Old World custom-made craftsmanship. John Christian’s one-of-a-kind custom jewelry is made by craft people whose hand-crafting skills are unsurpassed anywhere in the world. All John Christian Jewelry is warranted against any imperfection in design and workmanship and comes with a full 30-day money back guarantee!

In another round of useless celebrity news… pop singer Jessica Simpson and Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo were spotted in Dallas’ Neiman Marcus looking at wedding rings.

(While they’re at it, they should check out some Diamond Charms from John Christian!)

Now, you’d think, after the Cabo San Lucas scandal of last season–not to mention the ‘Boys drubbing by the Skins on Sunday–that Romo would not hang around Jessica Simpson, who’s clearly bad luck for the team.

Instead, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, they’re planning a winter wedding. I guess some things really are more important than football.

Carved Creations has a lot of interesting personalized products, but the Roman numeral rings–also called the LifeDates™ Collection–is especially unique.

Whatever your special date, whether wedding anniversary, birthday, or births of children, can be set in Sterling Silver, 14K Yellow or White Gold, or Platanium® with Roman numerals. Cut deeply into the outside of the ring, these numerals have a striking, immortal look. It’s one of those pieces of jewelry people will notice and comment on.

It will also force you to learn Roman numerals!

InventorSpot, a blog that supports and highlights interesting inventions around the world, has put together a pretty interesting feature of the 10 Most Innovative Rings of 2008. These rings are not just pretty, they’re sometimes practical and always unique.

Among the interesting designs are Ken Goldman’s Meat Tenderizer ring which looks slightly more lethal than a set of brass knuckles:

The white gold, waterproof Remember Ring which chimes to remind you of a particular date:

And then there’s the (Pilo Pilo) Cushion Ring, perfect for resting your head. It’s designed by Sae Shigeto & Ming Lo:

But let’s not forget the Salt & Pepper shaker ring!

For the full feature, click here.