American Gem Society Blog

The American Gem Society is a non-profit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to consumer protection, education, ethics and integrity.

Leave a comment

5 Reasons to Love Rubies

By Donna Jolly, RJ

The birthstone of July is the fiery Ruby. As someone who has walked up and down many aisles at jewelry trade shows, I can attest to the eye-drawing power of rubies. You see one out of the corner of your eye and you cannot help but stop immediately and take a look. If you happen to run across a cluster of rubies, you might be standing outside the display case, gawking for a long time. Refreshments might be needed.

There are many, many reasons to love rubies. Here are five:

1. Jewelry lovers love them. Elizabeth Taylor, the grand dame of Hollywood jewelry lovers, adored her rubies. 105337119_taylor_286348c

She wrote about receiving this stunning set (left) given to her by her third husband, Mike Todd, and she makes it sound like a magical moment, a la Hollywood style. Dame Elizabeth was taking a swim when he presented her with this gorgeous gift:

 “I got out and put my arms around him, and he said, ‘Wait a minute, don’t joggle your tiara.’ Because I was wearing the tiara he had bought for me in the pool! He was holding a red leather box, and inside was a ruby-and-diamond bib necklace, which glittered in the warm light. It was like the sun, lit up and made of red fire. First Mike put it around my neck and smiled. Then he bent down and put matching earrings on me. Next came the bracelet. Since there was no mirror around, I had to look into the water. The jewelry was glorious, rippling red on blue like a painting. I shrieked with joy, put my arms around Mike’s neck, and pulled him into the pool after me. It was a perfect summer day and a day of perfect love.”

 Wait—she wore a tiara in the pool? And then she dove in wearing that expensive ruby and diamond set? Time to brush up on jewelry care. Thankfully, this is a great lead-in to reason #2 to love rubies:

2. They are very durable. Ruby is a variety of the gems species corundum. As a result it is harder than any natural gemstone except diamond, which means a ruby is durable enough for everyday wear. In fact, it’s one of the more popular alternative choices in engagement rings.

3. It’s a rare gift from nature. Fine-quality ruby is extremely rare, and the color of the gem is most important to its value. The most prized color is a medium or medium dark vivid red or slightly purplish red. If the gem is too light or has too much purple or orange, it will be called a fancy-color sapphire.

4. It has healing powers. According to lore, ruby can aid in improving emotions. It is also known to increase integrity, devotion, and happiness. Dame Elizabeth seemed pretty happy when Mike Todd gave her those rubies, so that part we know is true!

5. Because of jewelry like this, from Jye’s International. Hello beautiful!


Happy Birthday, July Babies!Jye's International Inc.

Leave a comment >

American Gem Society member Gumuchian recently introduced a new collection they hope will help create awareness of the declining honeybee population, which is affecting plant life and food supply worldwide. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the collection – simply named “B” – will be donated to the non-profit,, which supports urban beekeeping and home gardens.  According to recent studies, including those by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in every three bites of food consumed in the United States is either directly or indirectly pollinated by bees.

Charm bracelet from Gumuchian's B collection

“I have never been afraid of bees. I think they’re wonderful” said Patricia Gumuchian, who was inspired to design the collection after reading numerous articles about the effects that a declining honeybee population would have on the environment. “I look around our office of women and think about the worker bees – who are the female bees – and how valuable they are to our livelihood. Our family gatherings and holidays largely center on all types of foods. What would happen if these things just went away? The effects could be detrimental. We need to change what’s going on.”


Charm from Gumuchian's B Collection charm bracelet

The suite itself will be offered in 18K gold and includes both link and cuff bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, and five different bee-related charms. “Many of our collections are inspired by nature” said Vice President of Sales, Myriam Gumuchian, “but this aspect of nature didn’t just inspire the designs, it also inspired us to be part of something bigger. A productive hive consists of successful teamwork, which we demonstrate daily in our New York office. The ‘B’ collection represents our appreciation of these remarkable creatures and our goal is to bring awareness to this growing problem. If honeybees continue to decline at the rate they are, we are all in big trouble.”


For more information about urban beekeeping, visit

Honeycomb and honeybee necklace This rose gold bracelet features a small diamond encrusted honeybee. Diamond and rose gold earrings evocative of honeycombs. Pretty sweet

Leave a comment

Show-stopping Sapphire

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

We are always posting photos of beautiful jewelry from members of the American Gem Society on our social networks.  We noticed our online friends really liked this stunning  5.12 carat ceylon sapphire with two oval diamonds from AG Gems. We can see why. This is the type of ring that shy people should not wear, because they will get noticed–from far away! Extroverts, here’s a ring for you. What do you all think?

Ceylon Sapphire from AGS Gems

Ceylon Sapphire from AGS Gems

Leave a comment

The Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning your jewelry

We asked our friends at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company to guest blog for us this week on a topic many of us need right about now, especially with summer approaching: cleaning our jewelry. After all, we want our jewels to sparkle in the sun, right? Here are some tips from Jewelers Mutual.

  • DO read the labels on jewelry cleaning supplies. Some chemicals can be damaging to certain metals and gemstones.
  • DON’T clean your jewelry with toothpaste. The abrasives in toothpaste can scratch your stones and bands.
  • DON’T clean your jewelry over the sink or anywhere there is an open drain.
  • DO use warm water, mild dish soap and a soft bristle toothbrush to get in hard to reach areas.
  • DO visit your jeweler at least once a year for a professional cleaning and inspection to restore the brilliance of your jewelry and ensure that it’s in good condition.

The only thing better than knowing your jewelry sparkles is to know it’s protected!
Make sure your jewelry is safe no matter the season by protecting it with Jewelers Mutual’s Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage. Have peace of mind in knowing that your jewelry is covered against loss, theft, damaged and mysterious disappearance (or unexplained loss) wherever you go, worldwide.

For more information on insurance for your jewelry, to get a free quote or apply, visit or call a licensed agent at 888-884-2424.

Leave a comment

Inspired Design: AGS Member Debuts New Line for Bridal Market

Yael Designs DiamondAward-winning Yael Designs recently debuted the Novelique Collection, which will feature hand-engraved engagement rings inspired by a romantic journey through Turkey. The Novelique Collection features rings with intricate motifs found in architecture, carpets, tile work and mosaics from the Ottoman Empire. Each one-of-a-kind engagement ring features conflict-free white diamonds set in an 18K recycled gold bands.

The result is design inspired by age-old art with modern comfort and high quality. You can read more about the designs here.

The bezel setting is modern with an art deco nod. The intricate engravings give it a feminine touch, though. It’s perfect for the bride who is romantic with a creative side.

Leave a comment

Beauty and Color Collide in Opals

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

Every now and then, we see a piece of jewelry that makes us just stop and go, “Oh wow!” It happens a lot to our team at the American Gem Society, but this ring (below)  from Omi Privé sent the decibel levels up a notch and “Oh wow, sounded more like “OH WOW!!!”

Beauty and Color Collide in Opals

This gorgeous 4.50 carat black opal is set in 18K yellow gold and surrounded by a halo of accent stones including diamonds, green tsavorite garnets, and pear-shape sapphires. The opal has an impressive array of color, with intense blues and greens. The gold setting works well with the hues in the opal and makes the colors pop even more. Not surprisingly, Omi Privé designed this piece specifically for this opal.

Omi Privé, who is a member of the American Gem Society, sent us this photo, which shows the ring next to the designer’s artistic rendering of the design. It’s an interesting photo, because it gives us a glimpse into how a designer thinks when he or she sets out to create a new piece of jewelry. It’s a mixture of art and engineering!

The name opal derives from the Greek Opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color).” Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. This stone from Omi Privé  shows off vivid blues and intense green, and it”s also a classic example of just how beautiful opals can be.

Or as we call it, “Oh Wow!”

Leave a comment

Which Engagement Ring is Right for You? Take our Quiz!

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

Forevermark diamond engagement ring

One of the questions we get asked the most at the American Gem Society is, “How do I figure out which engagement ring is the right one?” A lot of people have an idea of what they like when it comes to rings, but most people like many different styles. After all, there are a lot of beautiful choices when it comes to jewelry. Take heart: it doesn’t matter if your taste veers toward classic,or if you are a full-blown hipster, there is a ring that is perfect for you.

Our new quiz is a fun and easy way to figure out which ring style is your match. It’s quick and easy and at the end you’ll have a suggestion of which diamond shape is your style.

If, after taking the quiz, you still need some more tips, check out this tutorial and video we put together on finding the perfect ring. There’s even more information than that. The American Gem Society website has a wealth of information on engagement rings: from a primer on diamond grading (never buy a diamond without a diamond grading report) to tips on buying a diamond. Finally, the key ingredient that you need to find the perfect engagement ring is to shop with a jeweler you trust. You can find one here.

Have more questions? Leave a comment here and one of our gemological and jewelry experts will help with free advice.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84,994 other followers