Celebrate the Woman Who Means Everything

By Robin Skibicki

“Being a mother is about learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” – Linda Wooten, author.

When I was 9 years old, I asked my Mom on Mother’s Day why there isn’t a Children’s Day. Without hesitation, she responded in a kind but firm voice, “Honey, EVERY DAY is Children’s Day.” I knew that tone and I also detected that wasn’t the best question to ask at that moment.

Now that I’m a mom, I get it! In fact, I believe mothers truly need more than one day a year to call their own. How about once a month? The list of gratitude towards our mothers can be infinite, from the little things, like kissing a “boo-boo,” to jumping in with all her heart and soul to help us through a rough situation.

Nowadays, we realize that Mother’s Day isn’t just about mothers. The holiday extends to celebrate all the incredible women who have made significant contributions in our lives, helping us become who we are today. She can be a stepmom, mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor.

If you are looking for a gift that is beyond special and significant for a fabulous female in your life, consider fine jewelry. They’re not only gifts that will make her smile (possibly with a glistening tear in her eye) once she opens it, but each day she wears it. She will treasure it for years to come and it will ultimately become a cherished heirloom.

The credentialed members of the American Gem Society (AGS) have got you covered for Mother’s Day. Here are a few ideas to get you started. If there is a design you like or have an idea of your own, contact an AGS jeweler near you!

‘Tis the Season for Stackables, Studs, and Solitaires

s-blog-trio

The holidays are only a few days away, so if you’re still looking for something super special for the season, the American Gem Society (AGS) suggests stackables, studs, or solitaires. These pieces are always on trend and are regular go-to items in any fine jewelry wardrobe.

Below are some dazzling designs by our AGS members that are sure to inspire. If you need more ideas, you can always count on an AGS jeweler to help. Every year, our AGS members are required to continue their gemological education, staying up-to-date on changes and trends in the jewelry industry. Search for an AGS jeweler near you by clicking here.

Stackables

The beauty of a stackable bracelet or ring is that you can wear them individually, mix and match to change the look or wear them all together. So many options!

Studs

These days, when it comes to studs, the possibilities are endless! You could sport a solitaire diamond or gemstone by day, and then dress it up with an earring jacket by night.

Solitaires

Often a solitaire is presumed to be a round diamond, simply set as a ring or pendant. But today you’ll find these singular stones come in all shapes, sizes, and species—like corundum (ruby and sapphire) and quartz (amethyst and citrine).

Always keep in mind, when purchasing a diamond—whether it’s a loose stone or mounted—to ask your jeweler for an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. That way you can be confident that your diamond has been consistently and accurately graded by the only nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with the mission of consumer protection. Accept no substitutes. Happy shopping!

Upcoming Jewelry Trends

By Randi Molofsky

With the leading jewelry event in North America—JCK Las Vegas—just around the corner, we’d like to take a look at another big jewelry show that happened this past March: Baselworld.

Held annually in the Swiss town of Basel, close to both the French and German borders, Baselworld does everything big: the massive booths that look like Fifth Avenue boutiques; the rare and exceptional gemstones for sale; and even the supersized beers and brats available on nearly every corner.

So how does someone not on the front lines make sense of such a huge show? We went straight to some of the biggest names in U.S. jewelry publications to find out their favorite trend from Baselworld so we can get a glimpse of what’s to come, then we paired those trends with AGS member jewelry and watches. Here’s what they were loving:

Victoria Gomelsky

Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief, JCK magazine

Watch brands across the price spectrum embraced black-on-black styles, mostly through the use of matte black PVD coatings, for an overall effect that was stylish and vaguely futuristic.

new-rolex-explorer-luminous-watch-dial

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer

LeVian

Le Vian black diamond watch from the Classico Series.

 

Michelle-Graff-1

Michelle Graff, Editor in Chief, National Jeweler

One trend I noticed with both the watch brands and jewelry designers was this whole idea of designing jewelry and watches that can work for both day and evening wear —something that’s not too flashy to wear around your office during the day but will still get noticed at night. I realize this is probably not a brand-new trend but, in my opinion, it was mentioned more than ever before at Baselworld this year, particularly among the watch brands.

I think this trend is a by-product of two factors: First, our society overall is more casual and people rarely, if ever, get dressed up anymore so they are seeking more casual jewelry; and second, the fact that there are more women in the workforce than ever before. In other words, whatever women put on in the morning is what they are wearing out that night, so it needs to work all day.

Simon G

Simon G. Jewelry diamond ring in 18k white gold from the Garden collection.

Simon G bracelet

Simon G. Jewelry diamond bangle in 18k white and rose gold from the Fabled collection.

 

GEMFIELDS hosts U.S. Launch and Private Dinner

Tanya Dukes, Senior Editor at InDesign and InStore magazines

What I loved was the unrestrained use of color. From big time brands to independent designers, there was a surfeit of stones in upbeat colors virtually everywhere. It was great to see them in unexpected places, liked mixed with pearls or used as a watch’s dial. And plenty of jewelry brands and watchmakers introduced designs with a rainbow’s worth of hues in a single piece, but with totally sophisticated, un-kitschy results.

Lika Behar

Lika Behar 24K Yellow Gold and Oxidized Sterling Rings with assorted gemstones.

Goshwara

Goshwara multi-gemstone earrings from the Gossip collection.

If you’re looking for jewelry designs like those displayed above, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you.

Jewelry designs perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

By Amanda L. Colborn

Are you the kind of person who likes to express your holiday spirit with jewelry? Does the jewelry you wear often reflect the mood and occasion of a party you’re attending?  If you answer yes to either of these, then maybe you’ve been thinking about how you’re going to capture the Cinco de Mayo spirit with your jewelry.

Never fear! The American Gem Society is here to help you accessorize so you can walk into the party not having to wonder, “Is that salsa hotter than my outfit?”

We’ve taken the colors of Cinco de Mayo and paired them with some beautiful jewelry pieces that are ¡Muy Caliente! 

 

First off, what would a fiesta be without a perfect bowl of pico de gallo?

pico de gallo

And, if you didn’t think we could bring out the gorgeous essence of this dish into a piece of jewelry, well, just check out this stunning opal from Spark Creations.

Ring from Spark Creations

Ring from Spark Creations

 

Speaking of food, Cinco de Mayo would be nothing without the traditional chilies of Mexico.

hot-peppers

It’s a rainbow of amazing color and flavor, just like these two stunning rings from Yael Designs.

Ring from Yael Designs

Ring from Yael Designs

yael designs 3

Ring from Yael Designs

 

Now that we have the food portion covered, let’s bring in the drinks! The perfect drink of Cinco de Mayo you ask? A frosty margarita of course!

margarita

Show of your margarita-matched peridot ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs and leave your friends in awe!

Ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs

Ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs

 

Ok, food and drink? Check!

Now onto that outfit of yours. We’re assuming you already have a sombrero, so you’ll need to pull that from your closet and brush off the dust from last year.

sombrero

Many sombreros have a striped fabric trim, like the one pictured here, which inspires us to reach for our most stackable jewelry items.

Bracelets from Hurdles Jewelry

Bracelets from Hurdle’s Jewelry

Rings from Erica Courtney Jewelry

Rings from Erica Courtney Jewelry

 

Your headgear is all set, now onto the rest of your outfit. A perfect, traditional Mexican poncho is  essential for the festive and fun look of Cinco de Mayo.

poncho

Though not all ponchos are alike and they vary in all types of color schemes; we wanted to show you an example of how we pulled colors from this poncho and paired it perfectly with a piece of fine jewelry.

Ring from Suna Bros.

Ring from Suna Bros.

 

And last but certainly not least, it’s time to party! Ready to break that piñata?

pinata

In the spirit of the perfect piñata, we found the perfect pair of earrings to match. Just make sure the kids remember to go after the piñata and not your ears!

Earrings from Yael Designs

Earrings from Yael Designs

Now that we’ve covered all the bases for the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebration, we hope we have inspired you (and your outfit) to find the fun in accessorizing! Have a happy and safe holiday!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday April! It’s your time to shine!

By Amanda L Colborn

At the American Gem Society and especially in AGS Laboratories, we look forward to April all year long!  With the diamond being April’s birthstone, it’s yet another opportunity to celebrate our favorite things: bright, shiny diamonds!

Don’t get us wrong, all other months and their birthstones are just as special! However, being part of an organization that offers you the highest quality diamond grading reports…we do have a special soft spot for diamonds.

A gorgeous 7 carat, cushion cut from Alson Jewelers.

A gorgeous 7 carat, cushion cut from Alson Jewelers.

History of the Diamond as the April Birthstone

Diamonds are a thing of beauty and the ultimate gift for a loved one. Thought to be one of the hardest substances on the globe, diamonds date back billions of years. The diamond is the traditional birthstone of April and holds significant meaning for those born in that month, thought to provide the wearer with better relationships and an increase in inner strength. Wearing diamonds is purported to bring other benefits such as balance, clarity and abundance.  It’s also symbolic of eternal love, and those fortunate to call April the month of their birth will enjoy the following history behind this rare gem.

Diamond engagement rings by Suna Bros.

Diamond engagement rings by Suna Bros.

Diamond Gemstones

Adopted from the Greek work “adamas,” meaning invincible, diamonds come in a wide range of colors such as black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow. The color is dependent upon the type of impurities that are present in the stone. Yellow stones have minuscule traces of nitrogen while blue ones contain boron.

A stunning pear shape diamond from Philip's Diamond Shop.

A stunning pear shape diamond from Philip’s Diamond Shop.

The History and Beliefs Surrounding the Diamond

As told through the Encarta, Sanskrit texts dating back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals. There is also significant research that dates back to the 1330s showing diamond cutting in Venice. The diamond trading business flourished towards the 15th century with the opening of Eastern trade routes. Ancient theories touting the magical powers of diamonds were prevalent: some thought lightning bolts formed diamonds, while other theories asserted that diamonds were the tears of god.

Engagement rings by Ritani.

Engagement rings by Ritani.

The Healing Power of Diamonds

During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to hold healing powers and to cure ailments stemming from the pituitary gland and brain. By heating the crystal and taking it to bed, it was thought to draw out the harmful toxins that were crippling the body. It was believed that diamonds could also have an effect on an individual’s balance and clarity and could boost their energy when combined with other crystals like amethyst.

The diamond as the April gemstone has garnered the hearts of many and is the most coveted crystal to date. Deemed as the King of all birthstones, diamonds make the ideal choice for an April birthday gift. She’ll love you for it! Find a trusted diamond jeweler near you.

 

Holiday Style Picks from a Jewelry Buyer

Crowded parking lots, trunks jammed with shopping bags, gift wrapping spread all over your kitchen table, and a long to-do list. The holidays are definitely here, and gift buying is on practically everyone’s mind. If you need some inspiration for jewelry this season, we have you covered.

We asked a jewelry buyer at one of the largest AGS retailers in the country to give us some insider tips on what is a hot seller in their store. Laura Barringer has been at Ben Bridge for 33 years, and has been a buyer for 27 years. Here are some of Laura’s top picks from Ben Bridge.

This diamond knot pendant embodies traditional “knot” styling, yet offers one of the new multi stone centers presenting a big look for a fraction of the price of a single diamond center. “Cluster” can no longer describe this beautiful dimensional arrangement of diamonds.

knot

 “Halo” jewelry is a hot trend, and Ben Bridge gives this popular style an edgy take with this faceted, treated black diamond.  The rose cut faceting was inspired during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods for those who may want something uniquely vintage in design.

blackdiamond

 Colored diamonds continue to be popular.  We like Ben Bridge’s layered look in three of their most popular diamond colors.  Note how black rhodium behind natural brown diamonds or treated black diamonds can enhance the look of even the smallest stone.

stackable

An updated twist on the most popular classic earring style: this hoop is oval in shape and “doubled.” The narrow oval shape hangs better on most ears and even though this is a substantial earring the post placement makes for a nice finished look when worn.

halo

 This “renewed” version of a cluster is a nice alternative to a simple diamond stud. These earrings have the appearance of a 1 carat diamond when, in fact, they are only 1/3ctwt.

cluster

 You can find Ben Bridge, or other AGS Jewelers, on our Find a Jeweler page. Happy shopping!