Express Your Love with These Gifts of Fine Jewelry

“I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say I love you.”
– Shakespeare, Henry V

Whatever, Shakespeare. We know of some better ways to show our affection!

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, we often forget that it’s not only for those who are romantically involved. We express our affection for family members and BFFs as well!

Flowers, candies, and stuffed animals are delightful tokens, but a gift of fine jewelry is a more personal piece that becomes a cherished treasure for future generations. The look of surprise when they catch the sparkle of diamonds or the rich hue of colored gemstones is priceless enough!

Here are some fine jewelry gift ideas featuring diamonds and colorful birthstones from a few of our American Gem Society members.

 

When you’re ready to find a gift of fine jewelry that’s perfect for the person you love, visit an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: The One Thing Your Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover

Just Married Couple Hugging Standing Outside Their New House

Did you know that typical homeowners or renters policies often do not provide effective coverage for your jewelry? They’ll protect what most policies cover, which is theft or fire, but the coverage limit is likely not enough to fully cover the cost to repair or replace one piece of fine jewelry if you need to. What about other occurrences that may happen while you’re at home, like dropping a diamond earring down the drain or chipping a gemstone on a countertop?

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group discusses the limits of a homeowners insurance policy and how best to protect your jewelry in their blog, The One Thing Your Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover.

Three Jewelry Gift Ideas

Finding the right gift for the holidays can be a little overwhelming, so here are three jewelry gift ideas that a special person on your list will adore!

Hoop Earrings

 

Bracelets

 

Pendant Necklace

 

Search for an American Gem Society jeweler near you at ags.org/findajeweler.

Classic Blue: Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers

Pantone Classic Blue SwatchAre you ready for 2020?

This isn’t just a New Year. It’s a new decade.

And a very futuristic sounding one!

The Pantone Institute of Color is ready to look to the future, and recently announced their color of the year for 2020.

Classic Blue (19-4052) is a primary color that Pantone says is reminiscent of the sky at dusk.

The hue is deserving of the title “classic” as it is a shade of blue that is the quintessential blue color, unmarred by undercurrents of violet or green. It is a little lighter than navy, but not as saturated as cobalt.

Blue is a favorite color for many people and has always been associated with feelings of calm and serenity. It is also a color of loyalty, intellect, and thoughtfulness.

The sky and the ocean, the truest embodiments of the blue we see in the natural world, remind us that possibilities are endless, and to slow down and enjoy life.

Pantone seems to agree, stating that this is a stable, dependable hue. A foundation for stepping into a new year.

Blue pigments and dyes can be difficult to create, leading to patience and time-tested methods to produce the finest of colors.

In many ancient cultures, blue coloring for clothes and paint was made using crushed gemstones such as lapis lazuli and azurite. Due to the nature of materials needed, and the skill in which it took to craft these pigments, blue was often a color reserved for those of high status.

As for gemstones, the first stone to come to mind with this steady blue hue would be sapphire; the purest example of sapphire, with just the right amount of darkness to make it rich in color.

Omi - Sapphire and diamond

Sapphire and diamond ring by Omi Privé.

Sapphires are deserving of the title “classic” as well, having been the premier blue gemstone since antiquity. Symbolically, sapphires are said to be a stone of truth, faithfulness, and sincerity, reflecting the principals of Pantone’s color for 2020 very well.

Lapis lazuli and London blue topaz, although darker, are complementary colors sharing similar traits.

LikaBehar - Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli “Pompei” pendant, by Lika Behar Collection.

Goshwara - London Blue Topaz

“Gossip” London blue topaz and diamond bracelet, by Goshwara.

Classic Blue pairs well with yellow and white metals, leading to a fine example of the two-tone trends already seen in the jewelry industry. The blue color is definitive enough to lead to many design choices and could be accented by warm or other cool tone gemstones.

The possibilities of this color in fashion are endless, as are the possibilities in this new decade we step into.

Blue is a color that calms and stimulates the mind. This appealing shade furthers this notion by providing a standard hue that everyone can relish.

It is bold without being overpowering, subtle without being lost, and enhances other colors without overshadowing them.

Classic Blue is sure to cause a bit of nostalgia in some, and hopefully a splash of new ideas and creative endeavors in all.

2020 is right around the corner.

The start of a new decade.

The start of the future.

Take a deep breath, grasp that Classic Blue vibe and step into your tomorrow.

Jewelry images by American Gem Society (AGS) members. Visit ags.org/findajeweler to find an AGS jeweler near you.


isabelle

Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.

Spotlight on Lika Behar Collection

It’s November, so let’s talk all things topaz and Turkey. We’re referring to the country, not the bird.

Growing up in Istanbul, Lika Behar collected rocks from the terrain as well as beads and semiprecious stones from the shopping bazaars of her homeland. So, it’s no surprise she grew up to design jewelry that’s rich with color, textures that are rough and glassy, and all put together in a wild hive of metals and gemstones.

“When I see beautiful, original, and often organically-shaped gemstones, the design process in my mind begins,” says Lika. Those three words—beautiful, original, organic—perfectly describe her pieces, whether straightforward in their simplicity or one-of-a-kind art pieces.

Lika’s Mediterranean influence is evident not only in the colors of gemstones but also in her work with 24-karat gold.  Both hammered and smooth, this luscious gold is perfect on its own and equally stunning as a complementary setting for other metals and gems.

In celebration of the month, here’s November’s birthstone, topaz, à la Lika.

Rough Stuff

Lika may not have coined the phrase “diamond in the rough,” but she certainly mastered it.

earrings

22K Hoop Earrings with Fancy Cut and Melee Diamonds

It’s Hammer Time, for bracelets. You can touch this.

bracelet1

24K Hammered Fusion Gold and Silver Open Cuff

Are your ears ringing?  They should be earring-ing, that is, with Lika’s oxidized silver, gold, and diamond beauties.

Mediterranean Color Blast

With Lika’s Turkish pedigree, the expectation for color is great—and she does not disappoint.  Fasten your seat belts.

 

There’s much more beauty to see at www.likabehar.com. If you’d like to see Lika’s beautiful designs in person, ask an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler near you: www.ags.org/findajeweler.

Got Chocolate?

We are in love with Chocolate Diamonds® from American Gem Society (AGS) member Le Vian. They’re sweet, so deliciously pretty, and ready to make your significant other swoon this holiday season. Now is the time to get your game on and find that special gift for your special someone. Your trusted AGS member jeweler can help with your selection on any budget. Let’s dip into this box of chocolates!

What’s a Chocolate Diamond®?

Chocolate Diamonds® are some of the rarest diamonds in the world yet remain affordable. Because they are only sold by Le Vian®, Chocolate Diamonds® are all set in original designs unique to Le Vian®.

Here’s the inside story on this fascinating and dazzling diamond.

The diamond’s rich color is born of three elements—hue, tone, and saturation—and the millions of possible combinations create each diamond’s individual color and brilliance. So, when you get a one-carat Chocolate Diamond®, all these variations make your diamond one-of-a-kind.

Know what’s great about a bracelet? Everything.

This sublime combination of chocolate and vanilla is delicious—and chic.

ChocVanilla-bracelet

14K Honey Gold™ Bangle with Chocolate Diamonds® 6 cts., Vanilla Diamonds® 1 cts.

Sometimes we like our chocolate with a little topping. So pour on the 14K Strawberry Gold® for this deco-inspired geometric beauty.

ArtDeco-bracelet

14K Strawberry Gold® Bracelet with Chocolate Diamonds® 7 3/4 cts., Vanilla Diamonds® 2 5/8 cts.

These superpower sparklers will please any superwoman. Sparkle, baby, sparkle!

earrings

14K Strawberry Gold® Earrings with Nude Diamonds™ 1 cts., Chocolate Diamonds® 5/8 cts., Black Diamonds 3/8 cts.

If either chocolate or brown diamonds are on your holiday gift list, visit an AGS jeweler. You can find one near you at ags.org/findajeweler. Make sure you ask them for an AGS Laboratories Colored Diamond Document to go with your purchase!

Fascinating Phenomena in Gemstones

There are several varieties of gemstones that display optical phenomena, which describes the many ways light interacts with the structural features or inclusions (internal characteristics) in the gemstone. Often these gemstones will be fashioned in a particular way that best displays these effects.

The science of optical phenomena can be fascinating, although the mystery and allure of these effects are what initially attract us! Below are six of the most familiar (and magical) displays of optical phenomena in gemstones.

Play-of-Color

Play-of-color is created by a combination of diffraction and interference, and is the result of the microstructure of opal: the chameleon of a thousand colors and October’s birthstone!

Opals are made up of many layers of small, stacked spheres of silica. These spheres diffract light, splitting it into a spectrum of colors. The layers of these spheres create interference allowing certain colors to dominate, depending on the angle the opal is viewed.

Asterism

Asterism, or stars, relates to the four- or six-rayed star pattern of light produced by the fibrous inclusions, elongated needles, or growth tubes in a gemstone. This singular, celestial-like phenomenon is best seen in a gemstone cut en cabochon.

 

Chatoyancy

Chatoyancy [sha-TOY-an-cee] is also known as “cat’s eye.” Fine needle-like or fibrous inclusions within the gemstone are what causes this effect. Again, stones fashioned as cabochons display this effect the best.

 

Color Change

A small number of gemstones display the color change optical phenomena. Depending on the lighting environment, the color change appearance can vary due to the shifting wavelengths. The technical term for this is photochromism or photochroism; “color-change” is a lot easier to say!

The best-known color changing gemstone is alexandrite. When viewed in sunlight, it appears greenish. When placed under incandescent light, it appears reddish. Other varieties of color-changing gemstones include sapphire, garnet, spinel, diaspore, and tourmaline.

 

Adularescence

Adularescence is the phenomenon typically seen in moonstone, which is a member of the feldspar family. It produces a billowy soft blue to milky white light that appears to move across the gemstone. This occurs when light hits the alternating layers of albite and orthoclase, which are two differing forms of feldspar within the gem.

The layers of feldspar interfere with the light rays causing them to scatter and the eye to observe adularescence. The effect is best seen when the gemstone is cut en cabochon [en CAB-ah-shawn]—that is, with a polished, domed top and a flat or slightly rounded base.

 

Labradorescence

Labradorscence [lab-ra-dor-es-cence] is an optical characteristic often seen in labradorite. The effect is a spectacular play-of-color that is metallic or iridescent, displaying blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. This is an interference effect within the gemstone caused by internal structures that selectively reflect only certain colors.

 

Are you ready to see some of these displays in person? Visit an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler near you and ask to see some gemstones that exhibit optical phenomena!

Color Comes Into Play with October’s Birthstones

Opal-Tourmaline2

Opal and tourmaline from Gem 2000.

When it comes to color choices, October’s birthstones give you some amazing choices. Whether you choose opal or tourmaline, you’ll get a display of exciting and intense colors, making them popular choices for jewelry designers and collectors.

Opal

The name “opal” derives from the Greek opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color).” They range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. An opal’s beauty is the product of contrast between its color play and its background.

Opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel that seeped into crevices in the sedimentary strata. Through time and nature’s heating and molding processes, the gel hardened into the form of opals. The opal is composed of particles closely packed in spherical arrangements. When packed together in a regular pattern, a three-dimensional array of spaces is created that gives opal its radiance.

Approximately 90 percent of the world’s precious opal comes from Australia. The following are other countries that produce precious or fancy varieties: Brazil, Mexico, United States, Hungary, Peru, Indonesia, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Ethiopia.

Each opal is totally unique, like fingerprints!! To get a really good look at the opals in these designs, click on the images below for a larger view.

Tourmaline

Since tourmaline is available in a wide variety of colors, it is ideally suited to almost anyone’s taste. It is known for displaying several colors in the same gemstone. These bi-color or tri-color gems are formed in many combinations; the gemstones with clear color distinctions are highly prized.

Tourmaline is found in many localities including Brazil, Afghanistan, East Africa, and the USA.

The following designs feature the varying hues of tourmaline. Click on the images to see a larger view.

 

If you are shopping for opal or tourmaline jewelry, click here to search for an American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jeweler near you.

 

Fancy These Four Fancy Shape Diamonds

The time has come in your relationship to finally pop THE question. Various thoughts are now running through your mind, like how to ask, where to ask, and when to ask. And then it dawns on you: what type of ring should I choose?

If a traditional round brilliant diamond is too traditional for your taste, consider one with a different shape. Fancy Shaped or Fancy Cut diamonds (as they are also known) are beautiful and sometimes even more affordable than the traditional round brilliant. These geometric works of art are created by diamond cutters who are master craftsmen with a cutting wheel.

Fancy shaped diamonds can also come with diamond grading reports so that you can best understand the diamond’s characteristics.  AGS Laboratories pioneered the light performance cut grade for fancy shapes, which means between the diamond cutters and AGS Laboratories, you now have more options of beautiful diamonds to choose from.

Here are four different fancy shapes to consider when shopping for the perfect ring.

Pear

The pear-shaped diamond has become a popular fancy shape among celebrities and modern brides who are looking for an elegant, eye-catching engagement ring. This beautiful rose gold ring from Tacori features a pear-cut diamond framed by a pear-shaped halo.

 

 

 

Emerald

Emerald cuts are another great alternative. Take this showstopping emerald cut from Harry Kotlar, which is flanked by two spear-like diamonds.

 

 

 

Oval

Ovals are classic diamonds that are just a bit more cheeky than a round brilliant. They say, “I have a classic style, with a bit of an edge.” Just like this stunner from Valentina Diamonds.

 

 

 

Marquis

The long, narrow shape of this fancy cut is often credited for making the finger appear more slender. Check out this diamond halo marquis-cut engagement ring from Norman Silverman Diamonds.

 

 

The right ring can be found with a little research and shopping around. One thing the right ring needs, though (besides the right person to give it to) is the right jeweler. Find the perfect jeweler here.

Jewelry Trend Watch: East-West Settings

If you’re looking for a style that takes traditional in a different direction, check out the east-west setting. It’s the lastest jewelry trend that places the gemstone horizontally vs. the classic vertical setting. Whether the cut is oval, pear, marquise, or emerald, the east-west setting will be noticed!

We’re spotlighting a few designs from our AGS members that feature this eye-catching setting. Click on the images to get a closer look.

 

 

Looking to see some east-west set jewelry in person, visit an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler near you: www.ags.org/findajeweler.