If there is a silver lining in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s seeing the beautiful and inspirational stories and posts from members of the American Gem Society. From beautiful, soothing colors to engagement ring cleaning, we wanted to share a few with you.
Sydney Rosen Company understands that some of life’s most important events had to either be put on hold or canceled. They offered to help couples, even with something as simple as last-minute engagement ring cleaning.
We all enjoy the exquisite beauty of gemstones and inspirational stories that are attached to a special piece of jewelry. Please reach out to us if you have a question about jewelry and gemstones, or have a special story to share.
The diamond necklace from an ex, the gold watch that sits in your jewelry box, the ruby necklace that you loved—a decade ago. We all have jewelry that we no longer wear. Selling your old jewelry is an option, but it can be hard to know how and where to get started. Here are a few tips on getting the most from your rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
1. Know the worth
Start by getting your jewelry appraised by a certified jeweler. You may love your jewelry, but the emotional value you assign to your jewelry often has little to do with the current fair market price of your piece. Many factors go into determining the current value of a piece of jewelry, including fashion and style, current condition, designer (or not), and wearability or repair needs. Remember, that chain or gold watch is always worth its weight in gold, but may not be worth any more than that.
The best way to determine your item’s value is by due diligence. Start by getting certified jewelry appraisal. Let several jewelers evaluate it and ask for a purchase offer. Have an AGS trained Certified Gemologist® (CG), a Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (CGA) or an Independent Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (ICGA), recommend an accurate replacement value. Keep in mind that your used item will not bring the same price as a new comparable item.
It is important to know the new price in order to determine the selling price. You should expect low offers in comparison to the replacement value, because any jeweler who purchases it will try to resell it, and in effect becomes the middle-man who will sell it for a higher price to make a profit.
2. Be informed
Consider how quickly you want to sell your jewelry. If you want an immediate sale (i.e. cash in hand today), your options will be limited on where you can sell, and how much cash someone might be willing to pay immediately. Many jewelry stores offer a consignment option, where you leave your piece with them, and upon sale, they pay you. This is often the best way to maximize the money you receive.
If you are able to wait, researching some other possibilities could net you a better price for your jewelry, or provide other options, like re-setting gemstones from your jewelry into a new piece.
Visit an AGS jeweler who buys jewelry (not all do; make sure to call ahead) and learn your options to sell your piece or work out another solution.
3. Be realistic
Have a range in mind of what you would accept for the piece and be willing to accept an offer in that range. Be aware you may get offers that are higher, or possibly lower, based upon all the factors previously mentioned.
If you are interested in selling your jewelry or if you want to explore the option of re-setting your gemstones into a new piece, find a jeweler near you.
“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!
The 92nd Academy Awards airs on February 9, and it’s a sacred day for jewelry! Never mind who wins—it’s the bling we’ll be watching for. If AGS was an acronym for “Academy Gem Stylists,” the nominees would be wearing these show-stopping Red Carpet earrings and accessories from a few of our American Gem Society (AGS) members.
Cynthia Erivo Actress in a Leading Role Harriet
Cynthia would rule the red carpet in this magnificent 49.79-carat diamond necklace by TAKAT.
Renée Zellweger Actress in a Leading Role Judy
Renée would complement her baby blues perfectly with Jack Abraham’s Ceylon sapphire and diamond demi-parure. The set features Red Carpet ready earrings and a necklace.
Saoirse Ronan Actress in a Leading Role Little Women
Saoirse can raise the Oscar statuette while showing off this fabulous pearl ring by Baggins Pearls.
To end, we have a real-life Red Carpet moment at the SAG Awards that we want to share. Yvonne Strahovski from the Handmaid’s Tale wore these jaw-dropping pieces from Harry Kotlar.
Yvonne brightened up the Red Carpet with a pair of 12-carat emerald cut diamond earrings and the Kotlar Cushion Riviera Drop Necklace, featuring a 151.02-carat diamond drop.
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 blue sapphire; the purest example of sapphire, with just the right amount of darkness to make it rich in color.
Sapphire and diamond ring by Omi Privé.
Blue 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.
Lapis lazuli “Pompei” pendant, by Lika Behar Collection.
“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 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.
Sleighbells ring, are you listening? December’s birthstone, pretty and glistening A beautiful sight Blue tanzanite Sparkling in a winter wonderland
Tanzanite is the primary birthstone for December, along with zircon and turquoise. Found only in Tanzania, it is also the gemstone for a 24th wedding anniversary. If you’ve made it to 24 years of marriage, you definitely deserve the gift of tanzanite!
If it’s not your birthstone or an anniversary gift, tanzanite still makes a perfect present for the holidays. Being blue never looked so good.
“Empress” bi-color tanzanite bracelet, by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers
Tanzanite and diamond “Burst” ring, by NEI Group.
Tanzanite and diamond earrings, by Yael Designs.
“Fireball” tanzanite, freshwater pearl, and diamond necklace, by Mastoloni.
“Interlace” bi-color tanzanite ring, by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers.
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.
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ring with Faceted Sky Blue Topaz
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ring with Cushion Cut White Topaz
Lika may not have coined the phrase “diamond in the rough,” but she certainly mastered it.
22K Hoop Earrings with Fancy Cut and Melee Diamonds
It’s Hammer Time, for bracelets. You can touch this.
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.
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Earrings with Diamonds
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ear Cuffs with Diamonds
Mediterranean Color Blast
With Lika’s Turkish pedigree, the expectation for color is great—and she does not disappoint. Fasten your seat belts.
24K gold and sterling silver pendant with rainbow moonstone, opal doublets, blue sapphires, and fancy-shape diamonds.
24K gold freeform one-of-a-kind ammolite doublet with emeralds and fancy-cut diamonds.
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.
These superpower sparklers will please any superwoman. Sparkle, baby, sparkle!
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!
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 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.
Opal and tsavorite ring, by ASBA USA, Inc.
Black opal and diamond earrings, by Dilamani.
Australian opal and diamond pendant, by Parlé Gems.
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.
Purple star sapphire, pin sapphire, and diamond ring, by Omi Privé.
Star sapphire, blue and yellow sapphire, and diamond brooch, by Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry.
Ruby and star sapphire halo ring, by Fine Jewels of NYC.
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.
Cat’s Eye indicolite tourmaline and rubellite ring by AG Gems.
Chrysoberyl cat’s eye ring, from Gleim the Jeweler Estate Collection.
Tiger Eye and diamond ring displaying chatoyancy by NEI Group
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.
Alexandrite and diamond ring, by AG Gems.
Alexandrite and diamond ring, by TAKAT.
Alexandrite and diamond ring, by JupiterGem.
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.
Moonstone and diamond baguette ring, by Lika Behar Collection.
Moonstone, aquamarine, and diamond pendant, by Omi Privé.
Blue zircon and moonstone drops earrings, by Yael Designs.
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.
Oval shaped labradorite ring with diamond accents, by Tacori.
Labradorite and diamond pendant necklace, by NEI Group.
Labradorite, moonstone, and diamond earrings, by Lika Behar Collection.