The Folklore of Diamond

The diamond is one of the most well-known gemstones—if not THE most well-known. This precious gem is solely made of carbon and is incredibly tough. The legends are true: only another diamond can cut a diamond. However, have you heard other the legends and lore of this beautiful gemstone?

5 diamond rings on one woman's finger

Many ancient civilizations believed that this “King of Gems” was lightning made real on Earth. They also believed diamonds had incredible healing powers, such as the ability to cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders, and draw toxins from the blood.

Hildegard of Bingen, the German mystic, said that sucking on a diamond would prevent lying and aid in the ability to fast from food. In folklore, diamonds could prevent fear and anxiety.

Legend has it that diamonds can promote creativity and imagination in those who wear them. People have felt the gems could open their minds to impossible ideas being possible. It was also believed that diamonds symbolized wealth and the ability to manifest abundance.

Since ancient times, the diamond has been a symbol of eternal love, trust, and faith. This is why diamond engagement rings are so popular.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, a stunning diamond piece for a friend’s April birthday, or something special for yourself, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of diamonds and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

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.

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.

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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!

Color Comes Into Play with October’s Birthstones

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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.

 

Corundum of Many Colors: Sapphire

As we turn our calendars to September, we start thinking of things like heading back to school, sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, and planning our fall fashions. For those celebrating a birthday in September, they’re thinking of their birthstone: sapphire!

Although sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gem actually occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which would then be classified as ruby.

Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper, and magnesium give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively. Sapphires in any color but blue are called “fancies.”

Pink sapphires, in particular, tow a fine line between ruby and sapphire. In the U.S., these gems must meet a minimum color saturation to be considered rubies. Pinkish orange sapphires called padparadscha (from the Sri Lankan word for “lotus flower”) can actually draw higher prices than some blue sapphires.

Due to the remarkable hardness of sapphires—which measure 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond—they aren’t just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches, and electronics.

Sapphires make stunning gifts for anyone born in September or celebrating a 5th or 45th wedding anniversary, so be sure to visit an AGS jeweler. They will help you find that perfect gift, whether you’re seeking the classic blue or another shade from the sapphire rainbow.

Need some inspiration? View this collection of designs featuring the sapphire!

Go for the Gold!

Throughout history, gold has been one of the most sought-after metals in the world. It’s been used as currency, to decorate objects as a thing of beauty, and is also used for industrial purposes.

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“Reflections” ring made of 24k hammered gold set with diamonds, by Lika Behar Collection.

In the jewelry industry, the word “gold,” when used by itself, means “all gold” or “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metals called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should accompany any claim that the item is gold.

The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other metals. Fourteen-karat (14K) jewelry contains 14/24 or 58.3% gold, with 10/24 parts of an alloy metal. The higher the karat rating, the higher the proportion of gold in the piece of jewelry.

Jewelry should be marked with its karat quality. Near the karat quality mark, you should also see the name or the U.S. registered trademark of the company that will stand behind the mark. The trademark may be in the form of a name, symbol or initials. If you don’t see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on a piece of jewelry, look for another piece.

Are you ready to go for the gold? Below are some designs from our American Gem Society members that feature yellow, white, or rose gold, which is a mixture of gold with copper to create the pinkish, soft glow.

 

 

When it comes to cleaning gold, visit your jeweler for a professional cleaning. To clean your jewelry at home, be sure to ask your jeweler what at-home products are best for cleaning gold, especially if there are gemstones in the piece.

Four Fine Jewelry Trends for Spring 2019

Spring is here and we’re ready for some jewelry trends to help us celebrate this much-welcome change of season! Now that the weather is warming up, what’s hot? We’ve gathered some season-sensational (We just made that up!) designs from our AGS members.

Quite possibly the most quintessential symbols of spring are flowers, butterflies, and bees. Naturally, their likenesses are found in a variety of fine jewelry designs.

 

Next on the list is chains. Big chains. Little chains. This trend is an ode to the Eighties and they’re everywhere!

 

It’s been said that pearls never go out of style, but these aren’t your grandmother’s pearls! Modern designs have re-imagined the classic jewelry wardrobe staple.

 

The warmer weather has us looking towards the sky and the sea for a much-needed getaway! Both celestial and nautical-themed designs inspire us to seek the outdoors (and beyond) for our next adventure.

 

Are you ready to add a bit of bling to your spring wardrobe? Find an American Gem Society jeweler member near you at www.ags.org/findajeweler.

Every Day Should be Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re celebrating a romantic relationship, a forever friendship, or a family bond, Valentine’s Day helps us express the love and devotion we have for one another.

Of course, it’s been said that “Every day should be Valentine’s Day,” yet there’s something about February 14 that gives us that extra boost of affection. There is also the anticipation and expectation of giving and receiving a heartfelt memento that marks the significance of this annual occasion.

We have a few gift ideas that are apropos for the holiday. Here are a few examples from some American Gem Society (AGS) members:

 

Have any of the above designs given you some ideas or do you have something else in mind? An AGS-credentialed jeweler is happy to help! Find a jeweler near you.

The Beauty of a Brown Diamond

Did you know that brown diamonds show more flashes of colored light than “colorless” diamonds?

If you are in the market for brown diamonds, be sure to ask your jeweler for an AGS Laboratories Colored Diamond Document. It’s a grading report that presents the technical aspects and nuances of colored diamond grading to jewelry buyers with easy-to-understand verbiage and graphics.

Brown diamonds will no longer be described simply as “a brown diamond,” but will be communicated visually, highlighting the nuances within the diamond’s color. For example, a diamond with even distribution of brown throughout and hints of orange, could be described as a deep, rich, brown diamond with moderate orange accents.

Click the image below to view the Colored Diamond Document.

AGSL-CDD

“Brown diamonds are beautiful and are an alternative choice to the more traditional colorless diamonds. They are also trending as an affordable choice for fine jewelry,” said Jason Quick, Laboratory Director at AGS Laboratories. “We recognized a growing need in the market and decided to create a tool that will truly enhance consumers’ buying experience.”

AGS Laboratories encourages jewelry buyers who are shopping for diamonds to always ask for a diamond grading report from an independent third-party laboratory so that they can better understand the quality of the diamond they are buying. To find an American Gem Society retailer, visit americangemsociety.org/findajeweler.

To learn more about AGS Laboratories Colored Diamond Document, visit agslab.com/browndiamonds.

Here are a few designs we love from members of the American Gem Society that feature brown diamonds.