Garnets – Warm, Strong & Mysterious

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

Happy birthday, January babies!

Born the first month of the year, you get to start with a celebration of life. Ignore the dreary weather with a warm garnet as your birthstone!

A somewhat under-appreciated jewel, garnets hold a mystery and allure all their own. A group of closely related species, the garnet family of gems is vast and varied.

  • Everything from classic Pyrope and Almandite; the traditional reds, from dark to light, sometimes slightly brownish, to Rhodolite, a shy little stone with flirty edges of purple added to red
  • Then there are members like cool Tsavorite, the vivid to minty green rebel striking out and being different
  • Demantoid, the fun-loving gem in yellowish-green colors with fire like a diamond
  • Don’t forget Spessartite, the flashy and robust gem of bright orange
  • And Hessanite, a softer, “honey” color, often hiding amid the rest of the group
  • In fact, Garnets come in every shade BUT blue!
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Garnets in a variety of colors by Underwood’s Fine Jewelry.

Throughout history, garnets have been known as stones of warmth, strength, and mystery. The most common color, a deep red, was popular in many cultures and used in a variety of items—not just jewelry.

It was the most popular stone for adornment and inlays in the late Antique Roman period, and a strand of garnet beads was found in an Egyptian tomb dating back some 5,000 years.

It was said to be a stone of valor, that wearing it as an amulet gave someone strength and enhanced bravery. It was also connected with love due to the color, and no surprise, it was associated with the element of fire.

There is a legend that Noah didn’t use lanterns in the Ark—he hung garnets. They were said to glow due to their inner fire and throughout the entire voyage of the ark, stayed lit.

In more modern times, garnets are associated with Capricorn, the zodiac sign, and are believed to help with strengthening both emotions and the physical.

In a more science-based outlook, garnets are used as abrasives in many fields.

Garnets are one of the few gems that display their full, natural color; no treatments are done to enhance or alter them.

Depending upon the type of the garnet, they can be found in many locations around the globe. They usually form in a cubic structure, like squares piled on top of one another.

Garnets are anything but plain or ordinary, and with a wide range of colors to choose from, there’s a member of the family that’s right for everyone. It shines on after years and carries with it ancient history.

It’s a pretty bauble and a treasured talisman. No matter how melancholy the weather may be this time of year, you can rest assure that a garnet will brighten up your day!

The American Gem Society’s Director of Marketing wanted to show off her favorite pieces of jewelry which happen to feature garnet! The earrings and ring were both designed by AGS member, M.J. Christensen.

 

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: 3 Major Jewelry Bloggers Share Their Travel Secrets

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Packing for any trip, whether work-related or for pleasure, can bring a tinge of anxiety to even the most seasoned traveler. What’s going to be comfortable and doesn’t need ironing? What’s the weather going to be like? How much can I fit into one silly carry-on? What jewelry should I bring?

To answer this last question, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group asked a few jewelry lovers—who are also regular travelers—their advice on what to bring and what to leave at home. Click here to read their blog, 3 Major Jewelry Bloggers Share Their Travel Secrets.

Pantone’s Passion for Purple

For those who have a penchant for purple, you can thank Pantone® for their choice Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet (18-3838).

Ultra Violet is a blue-based purple that is vast and rich like the night sky. It symbolizes non-conformity, individuality, and pushing the boundaries. To gaze upon this luxuriant purple tone, one cannot help but feel their spiritual side awaken.

Naturally,  when we think of Ultra Violet, we think gemstones! Our AGS members know a thing or two about using this wonderful color in their designs. Below are a few of our favorites that are the personification of purple.

Are you feeling the power of purple? Visit an AGS jeweler near you and ask them to show you designs featuring gemstones that exhibit these amazing Ultra Violet hues!

A Passion for Pink: Pink Diamonds & Pink Sapphires

Blog article and photos courtesy of the American Gem Society (AGS) member, Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs and Gem Platinum.

Pretty in pink at Jeffrey Daniels and Gem Platinum means pink sapphires and pink diamonds, with a nod to pink tourmaline. Choose your shade and dive into the fabulous world of pink gemstones. You will never look back.

Pink Sapphires

Pink sapphires are the hot sibling of the gracious deep blue most people associate with sapphires. Electric and alive, pink sapphires are the perfect stone for cocktail rings and a night out on the town.


Hot pink isn’t just for her, the cabochon pink tourmaline ring shown below brings a bit of fun for him too.

Like the pink sapphire, pink tourmaline is not the color commonly associated with this stone. Pink tourmaline is possibly created through the introduction of radiation to the stone during formation. Magnesium also produces pink and red hues in gemstones. Tourmaline comes in a variety of colors and hues outside the olive green it is commonly associated with.

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Cabochon pink tourmaline bezel set in rose gold.

The hot pink stone used in the Jeffrey Daniels design above is one of the best examples of pink tourmaline in both color and clarity. Interestingly, some of the best pink tourmaline comes from the Cryo-Genie Mine in San Diego, CA.

Pink Diamonds: Maybe the Prettiest Stones on the Planet

This pink diamond wedding ring from Gem Platinum is a fabulous way to say “I do!” The rose gold setting adds to the elegance and grace of the stones in this eternally classic band.

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Pave fancy pink diamond eternity band in 18kt rose gold.

Pink Diamonds are part of the Fancy Diamond category and they are some of the rarest gemstones available. Fancy pink diamonds are graded according to the depth of their pink color: the deeper the color, the more expensive the stone.

Unlike hot pink sapphires, the pink in diamonds is an elegant pastel shade of pink. Radiation introduced during formation is thought to be the driving force behind the pink color in these diamonds. Known also for their clarity and brilliance, pink diamonds larger than 1 carat are very, very rare.

 

If you are looking for a piece of jewelry that will also become an heirloom or an investment, a pink diamond may be the stone of choice.

 

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Since its establishment, AGS member, Gem Platinum, has provided only the finest quality, service and value in its jewelry collection. They continue to be in the forefront of fine traditional jewelry design and craftsmanship incorporating only the finest natural diamonds and gemstones.

Truly unique gemstones require a truly unique setting for their beauty to be revealed. Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs has created an extraordinary synergy of these concepts by combining his passion for the unusual with an uncompromising eye for detail and design. This collection of one-of-a-kind jewels are the result as no two pieces will ever be alike.

The Month of Gift-Giving

December has finally arrived and we have a month filled with celebrations and life-long traditions to look forward to. One of those holiday traditions is gift-giving, which we can all relate to the challenge of finding the perfect gift for a loved one.

Each of the three main holidays celebrated this month—Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa—have their own special traditions on how and when to exchange gifts.

Hanukkah: December 13-20, 2017

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight consecutive evenings but that doesn’t mean everyone gets a gift each night. In lieu of presents, some families mix in a game night, go to a movie or special event, or simply spend quality time together. Often there is one night reserved for that very special gift. Here are a few ideas!

 

Christmas: December 25, 2017

Christmas is as diverse as the many countries that celebrate it, which means the traditions, decorations, foods, and presentation of the presents vary. No matter where Christmas is celebrated, it’s always about connecting with family and friends. Which of these gifts do you hope to find under the Christmas tree?

 

Kwanzaa: December 26, 2017-January 1, 2018

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that centers on culture and family. Each day is associated with a symbol, such as Mazao, crops that “symbolize work and the basis of the holiday,” or Zawadi, which are “meaningful gifts to encourage growth, self-determination, achievement, and success.” On the last day of Kwanzaa, called Imani, gifts are exchanged, often honoring the creative spirit and to reaffirm self-worth. Below are some ideas for someone you know with a creative soul.

 

Perhaps some of the beautiful pieces above have given you some inspiration? When you are ready to shop, be sure to visit an American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jeweler.  The American Gem Society wishes you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays, and may the new year bring some wonderful (and perhaps sparkly) surprises your way!

Shop Small This Saturday

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This Saturday, November 25, 2017, is Small Business Saturday. During one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, Saturday is a great day to get out and discover, celebrate, and support the local businesses in your neighborhood.

If you’re planning a gift of fine jewelry, shop with confidence by visiting a credentialed jeweler you can trust: an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler!

Membership with the AGS is earned by select jewelers who possess proven gemological knowledge, a commitment to their community, and the highest ethical standards. It is your assurance of the reliability and capability of this jeweler.

Visit our website at ags.org/findajeweler to search for an AGS jeweler near you! Shop small and have a happy holiday!

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: Where to Keep the Engagement Ring Before Proposing

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One of the biggest (and exciting) decisions you’ll make in your life is to propose marriage. The two of you have discussed your plans, covered all your bases, and you’ve purchased the ring. Now you get to plan the really fun part: the official proposal!

But where can you safely keep the ring in the meantime? Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group has the answer in their article, Where to Keep the Engagement Ring Before Proposing.