Michael C. Fina

Why Choose Platinum?

Why Metal Matters - Choose Platinum at Michael C. Fina

At Michael C. Fina, we always make sure our clients are fully educated when making an engagement ring or wedding band purchase.  While the style of a ring is entirely up to the individual, we always say that the ring should be platinum.  Platinum is pure and stands the test of time.  Platinum is a symbol of your commitment to each other.  When it comes to forever, choose platinum.

Image courtesy of Platinum Guild International.

The Big Question – Platinum vs. White Gold

Platinum vs. White Gold - The Knot Winter 2013

Do you know the differences between platinum and white gold?  In the Winter 2013 issue of The Knot, we gave expert advice along with Platinum Guild International and the World Gold Council to ensure that all couples are better educated before making a decision about the metal for their engagement rings and wedding bands.

Which metal would you choose?

Platinum

Why Choose Platinum? - The Knot Winter 2013

White Gold

Why Choose White Gold? - The Knot 2013

What’s on My Table? – Crystal vs. Glass

What's on My Table?  Saint Louis Crystal

You’ve picked out a fabulous china pattern, but now you need stemware to match.  Things can be a little confusing, and there is one question everyone always asks – What distinguishes crystal from glass?

Strictly speaking, crystal is a type of glass.
Unlike plain glass, crystal contains lead. When lead is added to glass it gives the glass more weight, increases its resilience, and adds a brilliant sparkle. The addition of lead oxide to glass also makes it easier for blowers to manipulate without reheating and makes the material better suited for molds, leading to more dynamic designs.  Full lead crystal can only be labeled as such if it contains at least 24 percent lead oxide.
Due to concern that the lead in crystal could cause health problems, many manufactures are now promoting non-lead crystal. Both types of crystal are made with sand, soda ash, and limestone with barium oxide in place of lead.
Both lead and barium give the glass an extra brilliance and clarity not found in plain glass. Though it can look similar, lead crystal is the only true crystal while non-lead crystal is a brilliant form of glass.

Now you’re probably thinking about the term “lead” and you’re wondering if it is safe.  Don’t worry.
Lead crystal has been used for centuries and some of the finest glassware in the world is still made from this material. Recently, there has been some concern about its use in serving food and drink.

Over weeks and months the lead used in glass containers can leach into stored beverages. To prevent this, avoid storing liquids for long periods of time in lead crystal containers. Research has proven that everyday drinking and serving from these vessels does not pose a risk. To be safe, the Food and Drug Administration recommends you do not feed babies from lead crystal bottles and you avoid lead crystal glasses if you are pregnant.

California’s Proposition 65 requires a warning of potential dangers, including birth defects, from consuming food or beverages served or kept in full lead crystal.

 

Some tips for telling the difference between crystal and glass:

- Hold up a glass to the light. If the glass acts as a prism and you see a rainbow you are holding crystal. If not, it is just plain glass.

- When struck, crystal produces a musical ring. Glass does not.

- If you wet your finger and run it around the rim of a crystal glass it will also produce a musical tone.

- Crystal can be worked thinner than glass, so if the rim of a piece is exceptionally thin it’s probably crystal.

- If you compare two glasses of the same size, the crystal glass will be heavier.

- Glass typically has sharp cuts, while crystal will have clean, rounded cuts.

 

For more information about crystal and glass or starting a bridal registry at Michael C. Fina, please email info@mcfina.com.

Happy Registering!

Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photography

Photographs © Photomuse / Kristin Reimer

Are you looking for a wedding photographer?  You’re in luck.  We are great friends with the award-winning photography team at Photomuse and they have some fantastic advice about how to get the most out of your wedding photography.

 

This generation’s tech-savvy bride and groom can take advantage of a range of options in the new frontier in photography happening right before our eyes today. Couples today have a distinctive style of their own and they are driven to find wedding photography that reflects their individuality. Beyond knowing what style of photography is important, there are several other key ingredients to maximizing the investment that has been put into your wedding photography.
Of course the first, and probably the most important part of the equation, is finding the right professional to document the day. While today’s cameras and the eyes behind the cameras are more prevalent, wedding photography involves more than a good eye and technical know-how. You want someone who is familiar with the frenetic pace of a wedding and has the ability to adjust to the unexpected (weather, equipment malfunction, stress, etc). Your wedding photographer often becomes your planner, your therapist, your stylist, your best friend, mediator and of course, your talented, inspired artist all rolled up into one.
Once you have found this person, don’t delay in securing your day with him/her or you may lose your date. Once secured, there are a few things that can help everyone in creating wonderful photography.
1.  Communicate. Don’t be afraid to discuss what is/isn’t important to you about your photographs. Include the photographer on your plans for the day as he/she may have some helpful tips on how to make the best of the visual side. Communicate if there is something you dislike or fear as it relates to the photography. Did you have an engagement session? Use it as an opportunity to tell the photographer what did/didn’t work for you.
2.  Light. Light is integral to beautiful imagery. The good ones know how to find, use, create and if necessary, fake it. There are times of day that create the most impact. I personally love it when a couple includes me on decisions that involve choosing the time of the day for an outdoor ceremony or formals for instance. If you are drawn to a particular image or style, at times, specific lighting can be a major component of it.
3.  Keep it Clean. Emotional moments reign when the gown is first put on. All of those beautiful moments should not be forever enshrined amidst a messy room. Appoint someone to keep things neat.
4.  Time. Work with your photographer to establish the proper amount of time to accomplish the type of images you desire.
5.  Nourishment. It’s all too easy to forget to eat, but it’s a long day and the time goes by so quickly. After the adrenaline is left behind with the final vows, hunger and thirst will hit you. Often this is the time for the creative portraits/formals. You may lose patience and enjoyment and that will show in the final images. Take care of yourself ahead of time or appoint someone to help take care of your needs.
6.  Is That a Pencil in Your Pocket? Men, you are looking quite dapper! Don’t spoil the look of your tailored wardrobe by filling your pockets up and creating bulges. Hand everything off to your trusty sidekick.
7.  Strike a Pose. Have your photographer communicate to you how to look your best when posing for the camera. But one important item I recommend is to inhale, stand tall, and then relax your shoulders right before the shot is taken.
8.  Smile With Your Eyes. Let your smile reach beyond your lips and show the twinkle in your eyes.
9.  Weather. Relinquish control to Mother Nature. Embrace what the day brings you and look to the positives (images in the rain are actually quite romantic!). A professional photographer knows how to work with what is given and make your images unique to your day.
10.  Connect. If you find yourself feeling nervous or intimidated, take a moment to look to your new spouse. A loving glance, a shared whisper, a touch or kiss, all of these things bring a moment to connect together and to allow the rest to disappear. Remember what brought you to this special day and focus on the reasons you said “I do.” Your images will be uniquely you.

 

Great wedding photography is truly a collaborative event. When I can combine my skills and creativity to the candidness and connection my couples bestow before my camera, magic always follows.

 

All photography courtesy of Photomuse.

My Spring Picks

Michael C. Fina - Richard Wubnig's Top Picks for Spring

Richard Wubnig, our Director of Sales, tells us just what we will need to make sure we’re stylish this season!

We’re all looking forward to the long, cold days of winter to be over.  Here are my top three picks to brighten up your home and wardrobe this spring!

1.  Stainless Steel Cactus Cufflinks from the Pantone Collection by Sonia SpencerGreen is definitely in this year and these cufflinks are the perfect way for any guy to brighten up his wardrobe.  Simple, sleek, and on trend.

2.  Louxor Tip Top Bottle Stopper by BaccaratThis luxurious bottle stopper is a great way to say “thank you” to your host or hostess, especially with all of the spring holidays coming up! 

3.  18K & Sterling Green Onyx Crescent Ring from the City Lights Collection by TacoriEvery woman has her favorite LBD.  And every woman deserves a gorgeous accessory to dress it up!  This ring will not only add that pop of color for a night out, but it can also dress up a t-shirt and jeans.  The brilliant green color is perfect for spring 2013!

Like what you see?  Check out all 10 of my favorite things for spring!

Michael C. Fina has even more great gift ideas for all occasions!  Stop by our new store on Park Avenue or browse our website to see what inspires you!

 

 

My Valentine’s Day Picks

Richard Wubnig at Michael C. Fina - Valentine's Day Favorite Things

Richard Wubnig has given you his jewelry, engagement ring, and wedding band trends for 2013, but now he has some great gift suggestions for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is all about love, so we have the perfect gifts for him, for her, and for couples – all inspired by L-O-V-E!

Here are my top three picks.

1.  Divine Champagne Flutes by OrreforsThese hand-painted flutes are perfect for toasting your life together.  They were created to celebrate a Royal wedding in Sweden, so they are certainly meant for romance!

2.  Angel & Crystal Necklace from Temple St. Clair‘s Angel Collection.  This signature piece is timeless, just like your love.  She can certainly wear this necklace everyday, which is great because she won’t want to take it off!  It can be a constant reminder of how much you love her.

3. Ruby Heart from Baccarat‘s ZinZin Collection.  Leave this on a nightstand or a desk for a Valentine’s Day surprise!  It is cute and simple and is the perfect way to say “I love you.”

Like what you see?  Then check out all 10 of my favorite things for Valentine’s Day! 

Michael C. Fina has even more great gift ideas for this lovely holiday!  You can shop online in in-store for them all.  Remember, if you shop in-store for your Valentine’s Day jewelry this year, you could win a trip to Aruba!  Find out more here or email info@mcfina.com.

You Are Engaged!

Michael C. Fina - Courtesy of Photomuse

We’re so happy to share another blog post from our friends at Photomuse!  Check out what they have to say about being inspired for your wedding!

 

If you are one of the lucky gals radiating with some stunning bling from Michael C. Fina on your finger this month, congratulations!  What happens now?  Chances are, you have already begun to envision what your wedding may look like.  You may have already been fantasizing about this day since childhood, but what images are conjured up when you visualize yourself on your wedding day?  Take a moment to consider it.  Maybe you have already begun checking out the bridal blogs and various magazines.

The proliferation of blogs and websites dedicated to wedding planning has made it easy to virtually collect ideas and view the latest trends.  On the other hand, too much immersion can also turn it into an overwhelming process, or possibly create further pressure upon you to fit into a particular mold.

Let’s talk about vision and inspiration.  What makes you unique?  Seek those things that you’ve always loved and gravitated towards, or simply make you feel alive.  What do you and your fiancé have in common? Jackie-O and John Kennedy?  Zombies swing dancing in the moonlight?  A night in Casablanca?  Make it yours!  Turn it into a date night and use this as an opportunity to get to know your fiancé even more.

 

If you are stuck, take a cue from the Five W’s and see if this helps you:

-Who inspires you?

-What inspires you?

-When are you are inspired?

-Where are you inspired?

-Why are you inspired?

Photography by Photomuse

 

“Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.”  Follow your heart and find those elements that are true to you.  Not only will that approach potentially help narrow down the worldwide web of choices, but it will bring confidence, strength and above all, fun, to the wedding planning process.  In the future, as you reflect upon your wedding day, you will remember who you both were, not who the trendsetters wanted you to be.

 

(Oh, and if you are having a wedding that actually involves zombies swing dancing in the moonlight, please be sure to call me.  That’s a wedding I would LOVE to photograph!)

 

With love,

Kristin Reimer, Photomuse

 

What inspired you when planning your wedding?  Did you have a specific theme or were there very specific traditions or elements you wanted included?  We would love for you to share with us!

All photos courtesy of Photomuse.

How will you sparkle in 2013?

Top Engagement Ring Trends

We have been helping New Yorkers get engaged and married for decades.  Therefore, we have seen it all when it comes to engagement rings and their trends.  No matter the generation or trend, New Yorkers are very discerning – they expect only the best.  This is why they continue to come to Michael C. Fina for that one piece of jewelry that she is going to wear everyday for the rest of her life.

The staff sat down to discuss the top engagement ring trends for 2013.  Ladies, be sure to take note!  (And then be sure to drop hints!)

1. Thin Micro Pavé - This is a trend that has been around for a few years and will be sticking around!  It is classic, timeless, and elegant.  This type of pavé, which usually uses very small diamonds, really brings the focal point to the center diamond.  The perfect example of this type of ring is this platinum beauty from the Paris Collection by Michael B.

2. Three-Stones -  This is a very classic look that will start to make a big comeback.  They feature a larger center diamond flanked by two smaller diamonds.  Women like this because it gives her ring a bigger look.  Many women also like what this ring symbolizes – your past, your present, and your future as a couple.  We also think that many women will start to remount their original diamond into a three-stone setting this year.  Three-stone rings that mix different shape diamonds, like this gorgeous one with a round center diamond and pear sides from the Promise Collection by Mark Patterson, will be most popular!

3. Rose Gold – Rose (or pink) gold is very fashion-forward.  The pink hue can make an engagement ring look even more feminine, and it is a great choice for an engagement ring if you love the look of wearing mixed metals.  The Ellen setting in 18K rose gold from Erica Courtney‘s Gorgeous & Engaged Collection is always a popular choice at Michael C. Fina!

4. Halos – Halos are popular now and they won’t be going anywhere!  Many women like halos because if done correctly, they can make your diamond look larger.  They draw attention to the center stone by accenting it and adding some extra sparkle.  We also think that halos are great because you can even have two looks in one.  Some of our most popular rings feature a round center diamond with cushion or square halos.  This ring from the Acclaim Collection by Hearts On Fire is certainly a ring that sparkles from every angle!

5. Colored Stones – Colored center stones are going to be huge this year.  Some women don’t want a traditional diamond, so colored diamonds and gemstones become the focus of their ring.  Many celebrities (like Kate Middleton and Halle Berry) are sporting gorgeous rings with sapphires and emeralds, so this certainly adds to the trend.  This classic three-stone ring from Michael C. Fina has an added twist with the large center sapphire.

6. Wide Bands – Instead of a traditional engagement ring, we have seen many women opting for wide diamond bands instead.  They still want to show that they are engaged and want something special to show off to their friends.  Many women are starting to choose wide bands for their functionality and versatility.  They tend to sit closer to the finger and are easy to wear.  One of our favorites is this platinum band with five rows of diamonds from Michael B.‘s Flat Collection.  It definitely makes a statement!

What trend would you most like to wear?

Helping You Achieve Your Dreams

Michael C. Fina's GE Luxury Card

Just another benefit to purchasing her engagement ring at Michael C. Fina – the GE Capital Luxury Card.

The Michael C. Fina credit card which is offered by GE CAPITAL RETAIL BANK is the symbol of our exceptional service and quality for which Michael C. Fina is known for.
When you open your Michael C. Fina credit card account, we can offer you flexible plans to help achieve your dreams.  You can apply online or in our store.

For more information, please email info@mcfina.com.

What’s On My Table? – Fine China Edition

 

Are you starting your bridal registry and are confused by all of the different things people call “china?”  You’re not alone.

We use it every day and we trust it enough to eat off it, but few people know exactly what it is that distinguishes fine china from casual dinnerware.

The most important thing to know when selecting your china is to make sure it reflects your personality and lifestyle.  Enjoy it!  You are, after all, the person who has to live with it.  Part of enjoying your china is appreciating where it came from, what it is, and how to best take care of it.

 

China is popularly a generic term encompassing all dinnerware, but technically refers to fine porcelain dinnerware.  As you might have guessed, the name comes from the fact that the first modern dinnerware came from China.

Fine china is a translucent type of china that is quite strong despite its seeming delicacy.  Sometimes mistakenly used as a synonym for porcelain, fine china usually refers to a broader range of dinnerware made from top-quality clays fused into a hard, non-porous body.  It is generally dishwasher and microwave safe.

Porcelain has become a generic term used for all formal dinnerware, but it is actually a hard, translucent clayware body usually comprised of 50 percent kaolin, 25 percent feldspar, and 25 percent quartz.  Kaolin gives the body a bright white color and is the base for plasticity, durability, and consistency.  Quartz keeps porcelain stable and feldspar makes it hard and glossy like glass through a process called vitrification.  A decorative glaze is fused to the clay body at a temperature of 2700 to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit.  Porcelain is impervious to bacterial growth.  Ideal for all uses at the table and in the kitchen, porcelain is diswasher, oven, and microwave safe.

Bone china is a type of porcelain that represents the whitest of all dinnerware.  It has the same ingredients as porcelain with the addition of bone ash (up to 50 percent).  Bone gives finished china greater strength, a bright white appearance, and a translucent quality when held up to light.  Thought it often appears more delicate than porcelain, it is very durable.  Bone china is, however, not designed as a cookware product.

 

For more information about fine china or starting a bridal registry at Michael C. Fina, please email info@mcfina.com.