By Chad Ruiz
St. Tammany News



That’s how best to describe Mandeville jeweler Anne Dale.

Star of Hope MandevilleWhile sitting in one of the plush chairs in her jewelry shop, she cradles a sterling silver star pendant close to her heart as she professes her dedication to the service personnel who have and are serving in the U.S. military.

Tears collect in her eyes when she defines our role as Americans.

“If the decision is made to go to war, as Americans, we are obligated to support our soldiers who are fighting for our freedom,” she said.

To honor military personnel, her latest addition to her Anne Dale’s Jeweler for a Cause Collection is the Silver Star of Hope.

She said the collection contains about 10 handcrafted jewelry pins or pendants that promote different themes, including several New Orleans pieces, a self-esteem pendant and now the newest member, the Silver Star of Hope.

The collection is for a cause, because a percentage of the proceeds from each piece is gathered and donated to various nonprofit organizations.

She handed over the silver pendant while explaining the meaning behind the solid sterling silver star brandishing a bow attached to its middle.

She said the star represents the Silver Star which is the third highest award given for valor to a member of any branch of the armed forces. The bow symbolizes the yellow ribbon which, when displayed, is a sign of loyalty for loved ones participating in the military.

“Some have cried,” she said, recalling some of the emotions expressed when people saw her pendant for the first time after it reached the shelf earlier this year.

She extracted a small slip of paper from the nearby case of the pendant.

“Each star comes with this,” she said, describing a poem titled “The Soldier” written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brien.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

Made in the U.S.A., the can be purchased in Dale’s store, online at or at one of more than 40,000 retail jewelers nationwide as a pendant, to wear as a necklace or bracelet or as a pin.

A portion of the proceeds from each star gets deposited into Dale’s fund until enough is collected to distribute to an organization devoted to helping soldiers or veterans.

Dale said their most recent donations using monies earned included giving to the nonprofit organizations Support Our War Heroes and Soldiers’ Angels.

Since the star was created, Dale has received an autographed picture and thank you letter from First Lady Laura Bush.

Dale said they have sold nearly 300 stars to date and average five to 10 purchases per day.


Saint Tammany New 4/30/08

Know About Diamonds

Diamonds are one of the most coveted and popular gemstones in the world. They are not only prized for their beauty but also their durability and rarity. However, with so many conflicting opinions and misleading information surrounding diamonds, it can be overwhelming and challenging to make an informed purchase. In this blog post, we will break down everything you need to know about diamonds, from their classification, to their value, to their grading, and much more.

Classification of Diamonds

Diamonds are classified based on their physical properties and chemical makeup. The four Cs, which are carat weight, cut, color, and clarity, are the factors used to determine a diamond’s value and quality. The carat weight refers to the size of the diamond, while the cut refers to the way the diamond has been shaped and polished to bring out its full potential. The color of the diamond can range from completely white to a yellowish tint, and the clarity refers to how many inclusions or imperfections are visible in the diamond.

Value of Diamonds

The value of diamonds is determined by many factors, including their rarity, size, color, clarity, and shape. Natural diamonds are formed under immense pressure and heat deep inside the earth’s mantle, making them incredibly rare. The larger and rarer the diamond, the more valuable it is. The current market also affects diamond prices, with supply and demand influencing costs.

Grading of Diamonds

Diamond grading is a complex process that involves analyzing the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of the diamond to determine its value. Experts use various tools such as microscopes and grading equipment to identify and evaluate a diamond’s imperfections and attributes. The most recognized grading system is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grading system, considered the gold standard in the industry.

How to Choose a Diamond

Choosing the perfect diamond depends on personal preference and budget. Consumers should do their research and be aware of the four Cs to make an informed purchase. If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring or other jewelry, it’s essential to choose a reliable jeweler who can provide quality, conflict-free diamonds that have been ethically sourced.

Diamonds are an investment that should be researched and evaluated before purchasing. Understanding the classification, value, grading, and how to choose a diamond can help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing diamond jewelry. The key to choosing the perfect diamond is to know the wearer’s personal preference, budget, and how the diamond will be used. By keeping these essential points in mind, you can invest in a beautiful and rare gemstone that will stand the test of time and hold its value for generations.