A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way During Coronavirus Pandemic

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.

Diamond Boutique

When the closures began, Diamond Boutique created a series of “Chromotherapy” posts that featured beautiful images of jewelry paired with insightful messages.

Diamond Boutique opal ring

Gleim the Jeweler

Gleim the Jeweler shared gorgeous gems on their feed, ensuring that there was something full of color and beauty for their followers to enjoy.

Gleim the Jeweler sapphire earrings

Jack Lewis Jewelers

Jack Lewis Jewelers posted a series of personal videos that featured the store’s staff presenting their favorite piece of jewelry, and what it meant to them.

Jack Lewis Jewelers store staff videos

Sydney Rosen Company

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.

Sydney Rosen Company wedding set next to face masks

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.

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 blue 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.

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.

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.

Make the Season Bright With Tanzanite

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.

 

Are you feeling tantalized by tanzanite? Visit an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler and they’ll help you find tanzanite and other fine jewelry gifts for the holidays!

 

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!

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.

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: Should You Insure Your Engagement Ring?

Man proposed for marriage

When you become engaged, you have so much to plan for! It’s a healthy mix of love, excitement, and anticipation for what has yet to come. And now that you have purchased the engagement ring, do you have plans to insure it?

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group has created an informative (and fun) flowchart to help you decide whether to insure or not to insure. Click here to learn more!

Living Coral: Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year

By Isabelle Corvin, CG, Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers.

pantone-livingcoralPantone has officially announced it’s 2019 Color of the Year as “Living Coral” (16-1546)!

This bold, energetic, and dynamic color is sure to liven things up for the New Year! Pantone calls Living Coral “sociable and spirited” and says that it is a nurturing color. It’s a blended hue of orange and pink, creating a bright spot in our everyday lives.

The first known written use of the word “coral” to describe a color was in 1513, and the use of “coral pink” was in 1892. The term “coral” for color has been used to described reds, oranges, and pinks, as well as mixed colors from those components.

Cheerful and shocking, coral lends itself well to all aspects of décor, graphic design, and fashion. In fact, you’ll find several gemstones that display this bright, bold, and beautiful color!

Padparadscha sapphire and Rhodochrosite match Living Coral almost perfectly, with their lively blend of just the right amount of pink and orange.

 

Padparadscha is a high-energy stone with an exotic look. The name comes from the Sanskrit word for “lotus.” And indeed, some lotus blossoms exhibit Living Coral excellently!

Rhodochrosite embodies the feeling of Living Coral with its color and the belief that it is a powerful stone for opening your heart once more. It is said to heal emotional wounds and be a guide for finding love.

Other gemstones that depict shades of Living Coral are additional sapphire colors, and some hues of topaz and spinel, as well as certain garnets.

 

Living Coral reminds us that the world around us is alive, filled with wonder and magic, if we only take a few moments to look. The color dives deep into our hearts, beckoning an appreciation for life’s moments and worthwhile memories.

According to Pantone, they chose this color for that very reason. In a world so immersed in technology, we all seek connections. Living Coral is a delight to the eyes and a light to the heart.

Happy New Year!

Jewelry images by credentialed 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.

Four Holiday Shopping Tips

Trying on ring at jewelry store

Tips on Buying Jewelry This Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season here, the American Gem Society (AGS) has been receiving questions from shoppers seeking jewelry buying tips and secrets. We thought we would answer a few of our most frequently asked questions to help ease the pressure off this hectic season.

“How do I know if I’m getting a good deal?”

Trust your jeweler. Do your research, read reviews of their store, ask friends and shop with a credentialed jeweler. We take great efforts to vet all of our members, to make sure that they continue their gemological education and that they adhere to the AGS standards of ethics and integrity.

Click here to learn more about the importance of shopping with a credentialed AGS jeweler.

To find an AGS member jeweler near you, visit americangemsociety.org/findajeweler.

“Before I buy gems that have been altered to enhance their appearance, is there anything I need to know?”

Make sure that the piece comes with the proper disclosures and that you understand how to care for the gemstones. Ask your jeweler if the treatments are permanent. For example, fracture-filled diamonds can have their filling damaged by an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaning. Some irradiated stones are susceptible to color change with high heats such as that from a jeweler’s torch.

“What advice do you have when shopping for diamonds?”

Ask for a diamond that comes with an independent diamond grading report, specifically, an AGS Laboratories diamond grading report. AGS Laboratories is a nonprofit lab created with a mission of consumer protection.

A diamond grading report from AGS Laboratories offers a simple, straightforward, and intuitive 0-10 scale and provides all the information you need to be comfortable with your diamond-buying decision.  Visit americangemsociety.org/agsdiamondgrading to learn more.

“When should I get an appraisal?” 

There are different kinds of appraisals for different purposes. The most common reason for an appraisal is to obtain insurance to ensure a replacement of equal quality and value in the event of damage or loss.

For this purpose, either an Insurance Replacement Appraisal or Statement of Replacement Cost should be requested. The Insurance Replacement Appraisal represents the retail replacement cost with a comparable item.

The Statement of Replacement Cost is provided by the actual seller of the item of jewelry and will report the actual selling price based on the normal selling price of that item in that particular store. In general, you want to get your appraisal updated every two years, or if you have a significant life change, like a change of address. Of course, the best reason to get an appraisal is if the piece has significant meaning to you.

To find an AGS-credentialed appraiser near you, visit americangemsociety.org/findanappraiser.

If you have more questions, you can reach out to any AGS member jeweler or AGS-credentialed appraiser, and they’ll be happy to assist you. The American Gem Society wishes you a very happy holiday season, full of sparkle and wonderful surprises!

Choose it for Love. Buy it From a Titleholder.

By Alethea Inns, CGA,
Director of Gemology and Education, American Gem Society

Buying jewelry can be intimidating—it’s a bit like buying a home. It’s a big purchase and you need help from qualified professionals—that you trust—to close the deal. And it’s an emotional purchase; it can represent a big life change.

This is experience talking. I recently bought my first house. It was scary. How was I supposed to spend so much money on something that was so unknown? I had the comps, knew the area, knew the specs of the house and all the data and statistics. But that wasn’t enough. How did I know if there weren’t issues that I couldn’t see? What if the foundation was cracked, or there was mold behind the walls? What if there was a weird smell no one knew the cause of?

That’s why I brought in the experts. I had an amazing real estate agent who knew the area and even researched the owners. I had an appraiser that was ethical who refused to raise the appraised value of the house beyond what he thought was fair. I had an inspector who I trusted to come in and point out every little issue that could be a problem later on.

These professionals were people that I trusted. I knew they had their professional credentials and licenses. They were experts in their fields and most importantly, upheld standards of practice.

This is the exact same reason why you need an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler when making a jewelry purchase.

AGSTitles

These jewelers are AGS titleholders, which means they are professionals who have pre-requisite gemological or jewelry industry education, verified by the AGS, and then tested by the AGS in their proficiency to grade diamonds. Not only that, they are required to write a Recertification Exam every year to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent developments in the jewelry industry. If they do not take the annual exam, they cannot maintain their title.

More than being knowledgeable, AGS titleholders are also required to sign an ethics agreement every year and are required to uphold the AGS standards for protecting you, the customer, every day, and in every interaction.

Why shop with an AGS jeweler?

For the same reason you see a certified professional accountant (CPA) to do your taxes, or a doctor that not only has a medical degree, but has their board certification, or the reason you rely on experts with any major purchase, investment, or life event.

An AGS jeweler is there to protect you, their customer. They are there to give you the information you need to make an informed buying decision. Yes, they are there to sell you jewelry, but more than that, they are there to share their passion for jewelry and help you celebrate the moments and reason you walked into their store in the first place.

Ask your jeweler, “Are you an AGS jeweler?” If not, find one that is.

As a credentialed gemologist, Alethea has some favorite gemstones, although it’s not easy to narrow the list down to just a few. Click below to get a closer look at these beautiful gems!

Quote-worthy Jewelry

We often share beautiful images of  American Gem Society members’ jewelry. Today, we wanted to take that a step further and give you a sneak peek into their passion for jewelry, the symbolism it represents, and the way it makes them feel. In some cases, we just wanted to give you a glimpse of their humor, with jewelry as their much-adored punchline.

To achieve all that, we asked these five members to give us a quote about jewelry, along with an image of one of their favorite pieces. Enjoy!

paula Crevoshay

Opal brooch from Paula Crevoshay.

 

Spinel pendant from Sharon Wei Designs

Pink tourmaline pendant from Sharon Wei Designs.

 

cathy.png

Moonstone, sapphire, and diamond ring from Omi Privé.

 

lindsay.png

Custom-designed ring from Michaels Jewelers.

 

alexis.png

Diamond engagement ring by Tacori.

To find some jewelry inspiration of your own, visit your local American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler. Ask your AGS jeweler if they have a personal saying or a favorite quote about jewelry! You can ask them to show you one of the above pieces or something that inspires you and your imagination. Visit ags.org/findajeweler.