May 2005 – The Engagement Ring Phenomenon Part VIII

“Among the changing months, May stands confest the sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed.” – James Thompson, On May


“It reminds me of the infinity pools where the water spills over the edges merging sky and sea.” – ce

Here is one of our Tucson treasures set into a sculpted ring. The mirror cut of the aquamarine showcases its reflective color and inclusions. We thought about putting this stone into a pendant, however we felt it needed to be seen by the wearer too. Mesmerizing.

CED – News & Events

May 14-15th (Saturday-Sunday) – Meet the artists up close and personal at The Brewery’s semiannual Artwalk. This live/work complex will be open to the public. Claudia Endler Designs will be exhibiting at the urban designed space of Telemachus Studio, 672 S. Avenue 21, Unit 2. Los Angeles, CA 90031. See map: Log for more information and directions.

May 22nd (Sunday Noon – 8:00pm) – The Los Angeles Sister City Festival is an all-day event celebrating the twenty-one sister cities to Los Angeles, showcasing an array of cultural, artistic and culinary specialties from each city or country. Visit Claudia Endler Designs in the Berlin Village representing our German heritage. Stroll the gardens of the Page Museum, located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd, adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


Art Opening at ASTO – Museum Of Art – ‘Honoring the past – Imagining the future’

May 6th (Friday 7-10pm) – How does art change by the influence of new location and culture? Three artists from 3 different countries: Germany, Poland and Russia present their paintings, Maria Schicker (Also an Emmy Award Winning costume designer), Joanna Fodczuk and Sergiej Tivetsky. On view May 6th- May 21st at ASTO. 923 East 3rd Street # 107, Los Angeles, CA 90013. 213.972.0995

Join CCFA (Caring for Children and Families with AIDS) for Annual Vintage Hollywood Wine Event

June 11th (Saturday) – The Honorable Richard Riordan and Nancy Daly Riordan open their beautiful home. A dozen of LA’s hottest restaurants and 30 superb vintners are donating food and wine tasting for this event to benefit Caring for Children & Families with AIDS. Join David & Courteney Cox Arquette, Jon & Joya Favreau, Freddie Prinze Jr. & Sarah Michelle Gellar, Megan Mullally, Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller and more! Corporate sponsorship is available. Individual tickets are $150.00. Call Bart Verry at 323.931.9828, ext. 128, or online at

MAY’S FEATURE: Cubic Zirconia ‘Looks like a diamond’
The Engagement Ring Phenomenon: Part VIII

It looks like a diamond, but what is it and what are some of the differences?

Cubic Zirconia was discovered in its natural state in 1937, by two German mineralogists, von Stackelberg and Chudoba. Using x-ray diffraction they determined that this zirconium oxide was made up of tiny cubic crystals. The two mineralogists thought so little of their discovery that they did not even give it a name, which is why it is still known by its scientific name. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Soviet scientists learned how to grow the crystals in the laboratory. In 1977, it was first marketed under the trade name “Djevalite”, but it didn’t really take off until the 1980’s when Swarovski & Co., a world-renowned Austrian producer of leaded crystal, began producing cubic zirconia for mass consumption.

Cubic zirconia is the most widely used diamond substitute, because of its hardness and fire. It has a hardness of 8.5 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, where diamond is 10. It is 75% heavier than a diamond. Because CZ is laboratory grown, anything that is not perfect in clarity is not used. Therefore, CZ has no inclusions where natural diamond does.

Total internal reflection is limited in these cut stones. If viewed from above and tilted gradually, a dark area will become visible at a certain point through the table facet. Instead of reflecting the light back up, the pavilion facets are letting it through. In our experience, CZ needs to be cleaned more often than diamond and will often collect a film of oils and soap, if it is not properly wiped off. In the long term, their appearance can become cloudy. CZ is also more susceptible to breaking and scratching in the setting process.

CZ is naturally transparent. Other minerals are added to create a wide range of colors. CZ is very inexpensive compared to diamonds, making it an attractive alternative. As with all gemstones, laboratory grown or natural full disclosure is imperative. Though beautiful and easily accessible, CZ are generally viewed as being a fashion jewelry item, rather than a fine jewelry item. Many women will purchase jewelry set with CZ’s for themselves, however, when it comes to receiving an engagement ring many brides prefer a diamond. Unless your bride-to-be specifically says she is open to a cubic zirconia, we would advise against giving her one, in lieu of a diamond or other gemstone.

References: Nassau, 1981;;;; Guide to Gems and Precisious Stones, 1984


Zirconium silicate is found in isolated and twin crystals. The name may have been derived from Arabic zarkun, meaning “red” or, from the Persian zargun, “golden yellow”. Although colorless when pure, impurities will produce yellow, orange, blue, red, brown and green varieties. The colorless variety may be the most well known to the public as a diamond substitute. The name “zircon” has falsely become synonymous with the inexpensive CZ.

Zircon may be distinguished from a diamond by its double refraction and wear and tear on its facet’s edges. It is quite brittle and prone to chipping. It is 7.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness. Stones are usually heat treated to change color. The light electric blue color is not found in any other stone and is especially popular today.

For over 2,000 years, Sri Lanka has been the primary source of zircon. It is also found in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and France. Zircon is believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honor and riches, and loss of luster was said to warn of danger.

Resources: Gemstones, 2002; Guide to Gems and Precisious Stones, 1984

THE WAY OF CHIC: Philanthropy is Chic.


Whether the man on the street, volunteering, helping a friend or colleague or making a donation, “giving” never goes out of style. Here are just a few local charities that have crossed our path and we feel supportive of:

CCFA – Originally known as Caring for Babies with AIDS, Caring for Children & Families with AIDS provides services to children, youth and families affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases

Break-the-Cycle – Engages, educates and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating

Step-Up L.A. – Strengthening community resources for women and

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