Happy [Chinese] New Year!

Get ready to ring in another new year! On February 10th the Chinese New Year arrives!

The Chinese zodiac (Shēngxiào ( 生肖)) is based on a twelve year birth cycle with 12 animals each representing one year in the cycle: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2013 rings in the Year of the Snake.

Each person is considered to have the characteristics of the animal they were born under.  What “animal” are you? (Lynn and I are Rooster and Dog)

This article provides a great explanation of each of the Chinese Zodiac animals and their traits: Chinese Astrology Animal Characteristics. (Don’t take it too personal.)

Rat 1900 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1901 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1902 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1903 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1904 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1905 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1906 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Goat 1907 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1908 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1909 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1910 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig 1911 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

Sorella creates Chinese Zodiac pendants that carry your birth animal in two choices – a graphic image or the Chinese Character. (Check out all of our Horoscope and Zodiac pendants here and here.)

Chinese Zodiac Dragon Pendant

Chinese Zodiac Horse Pendant


How Do I Determine My Correct Ring Size?

Great question! For our custom, personalized jewelry, it’s particularly important we make your ring in the size that will fit comfortably. In addition to having your package arrive in ready-to-wear condition, we also know that it’s not always possible to resize a personalized ring without distorting the personalization.

The best way to determine your correct size for your ring is to visit your local jewelry store. All professional jewelers have standardized sets of rings expressly for the purpose of sizing and are more than happy to allow shoppers to use them to determine their ring size.

They’ll often have these ring sets available in different band widths. While ring sizes are standardized (unlike women’s clothing sizes!), different widths can feel differently on your hand. The ideal is to use a ring sizing set in the same width as the ring you’re interested in purchasing.

You can also bring a ring with you to be sized if you are hoping to surprise someone with a gift that is the perfect fit. The jeweler will use a ring mandrel (see photo) to determine the size of the ring.

While we always (always, always!) recommend visiting a jeweler for ring sizing, we have also have included a ring sizer you can print if you aren’t able to be professionally sized (please pay close attention to the printing instructions to ensure the sizer is printed at the “true” size).

Method A of our sizer will help you use a strip of paper to measure your finger to determine your approximate ring size. As you can imagine, there is room for error with this method, as a piece of paper is quite easy to manipulate – pulling too tightly, leaving too much slack. Method B will be a more accurate tool for determining size if you have a current ring. Do make sure to match the inside circumference of the ring to the circles provided; not the outside.

At Sorella, we use the United States (US) system for ring sizing. For a conversion from UK to US sizing, please refer to this conversion chart. As with most other areas of the jewelry industry, millimeters are the standard unit of measure that is used. You’ll see from this chart that simply knowing the inside circumference of the needed ring size will give you all the information you need.

Karat and Carat: A Primer.

It’s hard to imagine that two of the most important elements of jewelry are essentially the same word. Though the words are pronounced the same, they are spelled differently and are related to entirely different aspects of jewelry.

Carat (ct) relates to the weight of diamonds and other precious gemstones. This metric unit of measure was standardized in the 20th century, with one carat equivalent to 200 milligrams. Diamond carats may also be referred to as points, with one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat or 2 milligrams) being equivalent to one point.

Because gemstones have different densities, their relative sizes will be different. For instance, rubies and sapphires are heavier than diamonds. Therefore, a one carat diamond will look larger than a one carat ruby or sapphire.

Carat weight is just one of many factors to be considered when choosing a precious gem. Cut, color, clarity, and shape can all impact the quality of the gemstone.

Karat (kt) relates to the purity of gold, and it is primarily an American term (see the chart below for conversion to European percentage measures). The purest form of gold is 24-karat. Jewelry is rarely made of 24-karat gold, as it is quite soft and thus not very durable.

In order to increase its durability, pure gold is mixed with other metals to create an alloy. These other metals may include silver, nickel, zinc, or copper. Each gold karat represents 1/24th of the whole. For example, 14-karat gold is comprised of 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts of another metal.

Karat Marking Gold Content Alloy Content
24K 99.99% 00.01%
22K 91.66% 08.34%
18K 75.00% 25.00%
14K 58.33% 41.67%
10K 41.67% 58.33%

While the majority of gold used in jewelry is yellow in color, metal alloys added to pure gold can change the color of the precious metal.  The alloys may produce white, rose, green, and still other gold hues.

© Copyright 2017 Sorella Partners | Sorella Style is the official blog of Sorella Jewelry Studio, sharing tips & finds from fashion, design, family & the relationships that connect us all.