Latest Jewelry News

Can You Tell Which Diamonds are Lab Grown?

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 10/11/2021 - 15:44

 

Although grown by scientists instead of created in the earth’s crust, lab diamonds are absolutely real diamonds—they display the same chemical and optical properties as natural diamonds.

Even expert gemologists can’t tell the difference with the naked eye, but just for fun we’re offering you the chance to guess. The engagement rings on this page either feature a lab grown or natural mined center diamond. See if your instincts can determine which is which! Learn more about lab diamonds.

Lab Grown Shapes: Classic and Fancy

If you’re looking for a lab grown diamond in a classic round brilliant cut, you’re in luck, because we have an expansive selection of round lab diamonds. When the process of growing a diamond was first invented, labs were only capable of creating small diamonds, but today you can purchase lab diamonds in large sizes well over 3 carats! And if you’re a lover of fancy shaped diamonds, don’t fret! We have something for you as well. Lab diamonds are also available in a variety of shapes including emerald, oval, cushion, radiant, pear, marquise, princess and asscher.

(This picture of our 14K rose gold Twilight Diamond Ring features a naturally mined round diamond.)

Lab Grown Colors: Natural Diamonds vs. Synthetic Diamonds

If you love colored gemstones, consider a lab created colored diamond in fancy shades like yellow, pink, blue, and orange. Organic diamonds come in all colors thanks to various trace chemicals that can become trapped in the diamond as it grows. The rarity of the occurrence of the extra mineral or chemical involved in natural diamond formation corresponds to the rarity of the “fancier” colors of diamond outside of classic white like pink, yellow, or blue.

Lab created diamonds can also be grown in different colors such as white, pink, blue, yellow, and green. However, depending on the process used, grown diamonds may become a brownish color, which will need to be de-colorized. Then they can be color-treated if desired.

(This is our 14K rose gold Willow Diamond Ring set with a lab created emerald diamond.)

Lab Grown Created Accents

If you’d like your ring to feature lab created diamonds or gemstones, you can have a lab diamond set in a ring featuring lab accent diamonds. We also offer wedding bands set with lab created gemstones and diamonds.

(This 18K white gold Soleil Diamond Ring is set with an oval lab created diamond with lab diamond accents.)

Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

If you couldn’t tell the lab diamonds from the natural ones, we’re not surprised—and if you could you’re just a lucky guesser! Lab diamonds are created in high-temperature, high-pressure chambers that reproduce the conditions in the earth’s crust. The result is carbon atoms arranged in the structure of a diamond crystal and diamonds that are every bit as magical as the ones created naturally millions of years ago and mined today.

(Our 18K yellow gold Primrose Diamond Ring set with a natural princess diamond.)

Lab Grown Prices

Lab diamonds usually cost about 30% less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. But these diamonds are every bit as luxurious as their natural counterparts, since their dazzling beauty and durability are the same. It is important to know that there’s a big difference between lab created diamonds and diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. These simulants are not made of the carbon crystals, and do not possess the same brilliance as diamonds. For that reason, simulants sell at much lower prices than lab created diamonds.

11 Lab Grown Diamond FAQs 1. Are there physical differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds?

To the naked eye, there are no differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds. Diamonds grown in a lab have the same physical and chemical properties and exhibit the same optical properties as those found in the earth. However, nearly all diamonds have inclusions. By examining them under a microscope, a gemologist may be able to discern whether a diamond is natural or lab created. There are a number of different inclusions that occur in natural diamonds, such as pinpoint inclusions, feathering, and cloud inclusions.

Metallic inclusions, on the other hand, only occur in the lab produced gems. If an expert spots telltale signs of this in a diamond, they can reasonably assume it is artificial. Another physical difference that may give away a natural diamond is the presence of nitrogen. Abundant amounts of nitrogen sometimes give earth-grown diamonds a yellow color, but it is never present in those grown in a lab.

Further physical characteristics that distinguish lab grown diamonds include weak strain patterns, color zoning, and ultraviolet fluorescence.

2. Do lab grown diamonds look and shine like real diamonds?

Yes. Lab grown diamonds look and shine every bit as much as real diamonds, and they can be made in nearly all the same color and look combinations. If you put one artificially made and one naturally made stone of similar color, clarity, carat weight and cut next to each other, it would be virtually impossible for a customer to tell the difference between them.

Diamond vendors that sell either will usually ask a customer what they are looking for in terms of “look” and “sparkle” and give them options from either category.

3. Are lab grown diamonds as strong as real diamonds?

Because their physical and chemical makeup is nearly identical, lab grown diamonds are indeed every bit as strong as natural diamonds. They can be subjected to much the same pressures to be created out of carbon. Only with manufactured diamonds, the process is accelerated. Both kinds will have the same physical properties if subjected to tests for authenticity and will likewise both pass a diamond tester.

4. How are lab grown diamonds made?

Natural diamonds are formed when pockets of naturally occurring carbon are subjected to super-high temperatures (over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressures in the Earth’s mantle over billions of years. Due to volcanic or tectonic activity, these diamonds are eventually brought to the surface.

On the other hand, lab grown diamonds are created here on the surface, of course in specially designed manufacturing centers. There are two primary methods of producing artificial diamonds:

  • Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamonds: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is when a “seed” crystal or a small diamond is placed in a small chamber filled with heated gasses. At a certain temperature, layers of carbon will begin to form around the seed diamond, growing a more substantial one.
  • High Pressure High Temperature Diamonds: The second method is known as High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). As you might have guessed, this method mimics the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed inside the earth. A large machine is fed a certain amount of natural graphite that it then crushes under extreme temperatures and pressures.
5. What’s the difference between lab diamond vs. cubic zirconia vs. moissanite?

Lab diamonds are created from carbon, just like real diamonds. But other manufactured crystals exist that simulate diamonds. Two of the most common are moissanite and cubic zirconia.

  • Moissanite: While natural moissanite does occur, it is very rare. That is because it is not from Earth – it comes from space in meteorites. Thus, moissanite that you can purchase is also lab created. It can look similar to diamonds but is not physically the same at all.
  • Cubic Zirconia: Cubic zirconia (CZ) is another example of a synthetic crystal that is sometimes used in the place of diamonds. But while it has a reasonable amount of durability and sparkle, it does not quite match the brilliance of diamonds and will show some wear and tear over time. It is sometimes used as a placeholder in jewelry until a stronger stone can be added.
6. Can a jeweler tell if a diamond is lab created?

Professional jewelers and gemologists cannot tell the difference between a lab created diamond and a natural one just by looking at it with the naked eye. They will have to use a microscope to look for the tiny differences in its inclusions that indicate how it was formed. Also, when lab grown diamonds are created, their synthetic status and report numbers are frequently laser-etched into the girdle they are placed in. So a jeweler might be able to look for this as well.

Manufacturers, jewelers, and vendors are required to report information about synthetic diamonds anyway. So when you buy one, it should come with a certificate stating where the diamond came from.

7. What is the difference between a lab created diamond and cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is diamond-like but does not achieve the same sparkle as a lab created diamond. Neither is it as durable as synthetic diamond since it simply has a different composition and structure.

8. Do lab diamonds shine like natural diamonds?

Yes, lab diamonds may have the same shine as organic diamonds. Like organic diamonds, lab created diamonds vary in grade, size, color, sparkle, and clarity, but two similar diamonds with different origins can appear virtually identical.

9. How long does it take to “grow” a diamond?

Manufactured diamonds take between six and ten weeks to fully develop. Compare that to the 1 to 3 billion years of age the diamonds on the surface today have. Yet, they are still the same thing. Neither can you tell the difference between diamonds made by CVD versus HPHT just by looking at them.

10. Are lab created diamonds graded the same as real diamonds?

Lab created diamonds are not graded the same as naturally occurring diamonds. The latter is subject to the GIA Colored Diamond Grading report, while the GIA issues a different Synthetic Diamond Grading Report for artificial diamonds. The synthetic grading report covers everything the traditional report does, but it also includes information about the diamond’s general color and clarity.

11. Are lab grown diamonds “real” diamonds?

Even though we sometimes say “real” diamonds to mean organic or naturally made diamonds, lab grown diamonds are still real diamonds in every sense of the word. All that differs is the process that formed them, but what results is the same product. That said, no two diamonds are ever exactly alike (even though you might not be able to tell). This holds for both natural and synthetic diamonds. Just because you own a lab grown diamond does not mean it is not every bit as unique as any other diamond on the planet.

Final Thoughts

Browse our collection of lab created diamonds, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you source your ideal diamond.

Do you wear a lab diamond engagement ring, or would you? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

The post Can You Tell Which Diamonds are Lab Grown? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: What’s the Difference?

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 10/11/2021 - 03:02

As lab diamonds and diamond simulants continue to rise in popularity, this growing interest brings an increased number of questions!  

There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information about the difference between diamond simulants and lab created diamonds. Despite what you may have heard, diamond simulants and lab created diamonds are not the same. To help you sort through any confusion and better understand your options available, we’ve created a complete guide to understanding the difference between lab diamonds and diamond simulants.  

What are diamonds?  

Diamonds are a mineral composed of pure carbon that creates a crystal. A natural mined diamond is formed naturally, from high temperatures and pressures beneath the Earth’s crust. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on earth, meaning that a diamond holds up extremely well over time and is highly resistant to surface scratching and breakage. This durability makes a diamond an ideal choice for an engagement ring center stone.  

What are simulated diamonds?  

Diamond simulants are gemstones manufactured to look like diamonds but are both visually and compositionally different than diamonds. Simulated diamonds, such as cubic zirconia (CZ) or moissanite, look like diamonds but are not real diamonds. Simulants do not have the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds and therefore sell at a lower price point. Simulants can be distinguished from natural or lab grown diamonds using only the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle.  

What are lab created diamonds?  

Our lab created diamonds are grown from the tiny carbon diamond seeds of pre-existing diamonds. Advanced technology – either extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process known as CVD – mimics the method of natural diamond formation. Brilliant Earth’s lab created diamonds  have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds. Even when using professional gemological equipment, lab created diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds and can only be identified with extensive scientific testing using specialized equipment. Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality and are a sustainable choice for a diamond engagement ring as they require no new mining.  

What’s the difference between simulant diamonds and lab created diamonds?  

Unlike diamond simulants, lab created diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural mined diamonds and are considered real diamonds. Lab diamonds are visibly indistinguishable from natural mined diamonds without specialized equipment to detect minor traces in the difference in crystal growth. Diamond simulants such as moissanite or cubic zirconia (CZ) are physically, chemically, and optically different from lab diamonds. They are visually distinguishable from lab diamonds with the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle and rainbow refractions. Lab diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness making them one of the hardest and most durable minerals on earth. Moissanite ranks 9.25 and cubic zirconia ranks 8.5, making them both durable simulants suitable for everyday wear, but more susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.  

Lab diamond engagement rings are an affordable alternative to natural diamonds as they cost 30% less on average compared to natural diamonds of similar size and quality. Lab created diamonds are graded and vary in price based on based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity. Diamond simulants such as moissanite, are lower in price of both lab and natural diamonds and vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium.  

Diamond Simulants   

About   

Today, diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite are synthetic stones manufactured in laboratories. They are made to simulate diamonds but are compositionally and optically different from diamonds and can made from several different materials and gemstones.  

Appearance  

Diamond simulants can be differentiated from diamonds due to their optical properties. Moissanite for example, is double refractive while a diamond is single refractive. This causes the moissanite to emit a fiery rainbow sparkle that is easily differentiated from a diamond with the naked eye.  

Cost   

The cost of many popular diamond simulants is often much lower than both natural and lab diamonds. Simulants are an attractive cost-friendly option for many couples as you can create your dream engagement ring without veering outside your budget or compromising center gemstone size.  

Ethics  

As most popular diamond simulants are lab grown using advanced technology, they require no new mining to produce and are a sustainable option.  

Pros of Diamond Simulants   
  1. Simulants are an affordable option for many couples as they cost significantly less than both natural and lab diamonds.  
  2. Most diamond simulants are a sustainable option as they are lab grown and require no new mining.  
  3. If you love sparkle, many diamond simulants have a different refraction pattern than diamonds that emits a heightened fiery brilliance.  
Cons of Diamond Simulants   
  1. Although most simulants are suitable for everyday wear, they are not as durable as diamonds and are more susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.  
  2. Many diamond simulants emit a rainbow sparkle that is noticeably different from a diamond. The larger in size of the simulant gemstone, the more noticeable that it is not a diamond. Although this can be a con for some couples, simulants are increasing in popularity and their unique sparkle is beloved my many.  
Lab Created Diamonds

About   

Lab diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using technology that duplicates the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop. Brilliant Earth’s lab created diamonds  have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds. 

Appearance  

To the naked eye, lab diamonds emit the same sparkle and optical properties as a natural diamond. The only way to differentiate the two is by using specialized equipment that can detect traces in crystal growth.  

Cost   

Lab created diamonds offer excellent value and are slightly more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. They are a more affordable option for couples to create their dream ring without sacrificing their design preferences or budget.  

Ethics  

Lab diamonds are a sustainable choice as they require no new mining.  

Pros of Lab Created Diamonds   
  1. Lab diamonds give off the same fire, scintillation, and sparkle as natural diamonds and are indistinguishable with the naked eye.  
  2. Lab diamonds cost less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.  
  3. Lab diamonds are an ethical choice that requires no new mining.  
  4. Lab diamonds are compositionally the same as natural diamonds and hold the same quality and durability properties.  
  5. Lab diamonds hold their value extremely well throughout time and are prized heirlooms.  
Cons of Lab Created Diamonds   
  1. Although each lab diamond holds its own unique characteristics like a natural diamond does, some may not see lab diamonds as rare or “one-of-a-kind” as mined diamonds.  
  2. While lab diamonds do hold their value over time better than simulants, natural diamonds ultimately hold and often increase their value over time at the highest rate of any gemstone.   
Simulant Diamond FAQs    Are simulated diamonds worth anything?  

Diamond simulants can be a stunning alternative to diamonds but are not compositionally and optically the same as diamonds, meaning that they often do not hold their value as well over time.  

Is a simulated diamond good quality?  

Many popular diamonds simulants on the market today are extremely durable and are suitable for everyday wear. It is important to do your research on the different properties of each diamond simulant to determine which is most suitable for your unique lifestyle.  

Is a simulated diamond a cubic zirconia?  

Although cubic zirconia is a widely known simulant, there are several other options for diamond simulants. Diamond simulants such as moissanite and white sapphire are becoming increasingly popular diamond alternatives.  

Final Thoughts  

Are you interested in learning more about lab diamonds and diamond simulants? Share your questions with us on our InstagramFacebookTwitter, or in the comments below! You can also schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with one of our jewelry specialists to learn more!  

The post Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gemstone Meanings: The Surprising Symbolism of Your Jewels

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 10/08/2021 - 15:46

We’ve all heard that diamonds symbolize true love, but what are the symbolic meanings of other popular gemstones? From ancient times to today, gems of every hue have been imbued with significance and special powers by cultures around the world. Read on to discover the legends associated with some of the world’s most treasured jewels.

What is the definition of a gem?

A gem is a stone that is considered precious or semi-precious, particularly when it is polished or cut. Stones that have come to be defined as “gems” are well known for their unique beauty, color, patterns, or clarity. Gemstones are also typically stones considered fine enough to use in jewelry.

What do different gemstones symbolize?

Throughout history, different gemstones have been attributed with different powers, charms, or meaning. Many of these associations stemmed from mythologies from Egypt, Ancient Greece & Rome, Asia, and even the Bible. Read on to learn more about the specific meanings of some of the most popular gemstones!

What is a gemstone for love?

Many people consider pink rose quartz to be the classic stone of love. This semi-precious gemstone is believed to open the heart to love and draw romance into your life by putting you in the right state of mind to receive love – both from yourself and others.

What are gemstones for luck?

Beautiful golden hued citrine is the gemstone for luck. Its sunny yellow and amber colors have been associated with health, energy, and general good energy for centuries. Its transmutable properties are thought to reverse bad luck and bring in good luck. Citrine is also sometimes called the “lucky merchant’s stone” because it is believed to bring prosperity, wealth, and protection.

What are gemstones for healing?

Most gemstones that have been attributed with power are believed to offer healing and protection in some way. For example, aquamarines are thought to aid the nerves, liver, stomach, teeth, eyes, throat, and ears. Beads of amber are thought to help with memory loss and headaches. Jade has been used for centuries in healing meditative and massage practices. Turquoise is likewise considered a powerful healing and balancing stone. However, one of the most popular gemstones used for healing is amethyst. This purple quartz is believed to help those who suffer from insomnia, pain, arthritis, circulatory issues, and more. Because of lore surrounding its rich wine color, ancient Greeks and Romans also believed that amethyst promoted sobriety and mental clarity, helping avoid the effects of drunkenness or hangovers.

Types of Gemstones

Gemstones and semi-precious stones are typically fashioned and prepared using a few distinct methods, and people believe that these unique ways of presenting your crystals imbue the stones with different abilities or beauty.

  • Clusters & Geodes: Some gemstones, particularly types of quartz like citrine or amethyst, will be presented in sparkling clusters. In addition to being beautiful to look at, many believe that gemstone clusters have powerful calming and purifying effects on the room where they are kept.
  • Points or Towers: If you have ever gone into a crystal shop, you are sure to have seen sleek towers of semi-precious gemstones. Those who use crystals for healing believe that this pointed wand shape is excellent for transmitting energy.
  • Slices: Stones that have beautiful marbled cross sections and patterns, like agate, will often be sold in polished slices. This allows the inner beauty of the stone to be displayed to full effect.
  • Raw or Rough: Some prefer to buy their gemstones raw as untouched chunks of stone that come from the earth without being polished or cut. The belief is that when the stones are in their natural state, you will be able to connect to their energy on a deeper level.
  • Polished or Cut: When displaying a gemstone’s clarity and brilliance, they will typically be cut into facets that allow them to refract light and show off depths of color. This is the most popular form for gemstones being used for fine jewelry.
Gemstones by Color

While certain gemstones are well known for one specific color, most gemstones actually come a variety of many hues. For example, diamonds are available in every color in the rainbow, and sapphires are available in every shade except red. Tourmalines are one of the most color-diverse gems and are even frequently found with multiple stripes of color in one stone.

Because color greatly affects the beauty and popularity of a gemstone, it only makes sense to categorize the most popular gemstones by color.

  • Pink gemstones: Morganite, rose quartz, pink sapphire, pink tourmaline, pink garnet, kunzite, pink topaz, and pink diamond.
  • White gemstones: Diamond, white jade, moonstone, opal, pearl, moissanite, white quartz, white sapphire, white tourmaline, and zircon.
  • Yellow gemstones: Citrine, yellow garnet, yellow sapphire, yellow topaz, yellow tourmaline, amber, and yellow diamond.
  • Purple gemstones: Amethysts, purple diamonds, purple garnet, purple jade, purple sapphire, purple tourmaline, spinel, and tanzanite.
  • Blue gemstones: Sapphire, aquamarine, lapis lazuli, blue topaz, blue tourmaline, and blue diamond.
  • Green gemstones: Emerald, jade, peridot, malachite, green tsavorite garnets, green agate, and green bloodstone.
  • Red gemstones: Ruby, garnet, rubellite or red tourmaline, carnelian, and red diamond.
  • Orange gemstones: Amber, orange sapphire, sunstone, agate, and orange diamond.
  • Peach gemstones: Morganite, peach sapphire, peach diamond.
  • Brown gemstones: Brown jade, amber, tiger’s eye, brown tourmaline, citrine, smoky quartz, and brown diamond.
  • Black gemstones: Obsidian, onyx, black opal, black pearl, black sapphire, black tourmaline, and black diamond.
  • Gray gemstones: Tahitian pearl, gray tourmaline, gray sapphire, and gray diamond.
24 Gemstones and Meanings
  1. Agate Gemstone Meaning

Agates are stones that have beautiful interior marbling and stripes, not unlike the growth rings on a tree. These crystals are used to represent courage, strength, security, and safety. Agates are also thought to enhance mental concentration and give the user a centered and calm mind.

  1. Alexandrite Gemstone Meaning

Alexandrite is one of the birthstones for June and has a unique color changing ability. The stone was first discovered in Russia in the 1830s by miners who mistook them for emeralds because of their deep blue-green hue. However, when they shined light on the stone and the colors changed to deep purples and reds, they knew they had discovered a new gemstone. They named the stone after Alexander II, the Tsar of Russia at the time of its discovery. Because it is a relatively new stone compared to many of the others on this list, it is not steeped in as much history and lore. However, Alexandrite is considered by many to be a good omen. Because of its color changing properties, for some it also represents the balance between the physical and spiritual.

  1. Amethyst Gemstone Meaning

Because of its color, the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with the wine god Dionysus and believed that the gem could prevent drunkenness. In fact, the word amethystos meant “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Amethyst has also been thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts. Buddhists have believed that amethyst enhances meditation, and the gem is often used for Tibetan prayer beads. Various cultures have associated amethyst with peace, balance and courage, and ascribed to it the ability to cure insomnia and relieve pain.

  1. Ametrine Gemstone Meaning

Ametrine is a naturally occurring variety of quartz that is a mixture of amethyst and citrine, with pops of purple, yellow, and orange. Because of these combinations, ametrine is believed to be the perfect balance of the qualities of amethyst and citrine, making it a powerful healing energy stone. Those who believe in the metaphysical claim ametrine has detoxifying properties.

  1. Aquamarine Gemstone Meaning

Aquamarine is believed to provide courage, mental clarity and good health. Because of its association with water, aquamarine has been said to keep sailors safe at sea, as well as purify water and work as an antidote to poison (we don’t recommend testing that theory, however). The stone is also closely tied to mythologies of sirens and mermaids, and some legends say that aquamarines first washed up to shore out of sirens’ treasure chests.

Browse our collection of aquamarine engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Citrine Gemstone Meaning

This gem is also known as “healing quartz,” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. And according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance. The name for “Citrine” comes from the Latin root for “lemon,” and it’s no wonder that this sunny and golden stone has been thought to be a healing crystal that brings happiness, health, energy, good luck and prosperity. For hundreds of years, citrine has also thought to ground and remove negative energy— so this is the perfect gemstone for those seeking good vibes only!

Browse our collection of citrine fine jewelry.

  1. Diamond Gemstone Meaning

In the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny is quoted as having said, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” The ancient Romans and Greeks believed that diamonds were tears cried by the gods or splinters from falling stars, and Romans believed that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamonds (perhaps the earliest association between diamonds and romantic love). During the Middle Ages diamonds were thought to have healing properties able to cure ailments ranging from fatigue to mental illness. Ancient Hindus used diamonds in the eyes of devotional statues and believed that a diamond could protect its wearer from danger. Additionally, many ancient cultures believed that diamonds gave the wearer strength and courage during battle, and some kings wore diamonds on their armor as they rode into battle.

Learn more about diamonds in our diamond education guide.

  1. Emerald Gemstone Meaning

Emeralds are the stone of intuition and foresight. Legends have said that placing an emerald under your tongue gives you the ability to foresee the future (but we do not recommend that!), and that emerald protects against evil spells and can cure disease. Emeralds have also been seen as symbols of truth and love throughout time. In ancient Greece and Rome, emeralds represented the goddess Venus who was the goddess for love and hope.

Browse our collection of emerald engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Garnet Gemstone Meaning

Garnet has long been associated with clergy and nobility. In ancient Egypt the pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces, and in ancient Rome rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax on important documents. Garnets also have ties to Ancient Greece, as the pomegranates the goddess Persephone ate in the underworld are believed to be the source for beautiful deep red garnets. Garnets are also one of the oldest stones to be used for spiritual protection throughout time. Glimmering red garnets are also thought to encourage passion and sensuality.

Browse our collection of garnet fine jewelry.

  1. Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Meaning

Lapis Lazuli is known as the wisdom stone because it is said to protect from psychic and mental attacks. This celestial blue gemstone is believed to bring peace, harmony, honesty, and self-awareness. When it comes to healing properties, Lapis Lazuli is thought to help with various ailments including inflammation, insomnia, depression, and vertigo.

  1. Moissanite Gemstone Meaning

Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.

Learn more about moissanite in our moissanite vs. diamond guide.

  1. Morganite Gemstone Meaning

This pink variety of beryl is believed to bring positive healing energy, inner peace joy, confidence, and unconditional love. It is also supposed to soothe anxiety and stress. Morganite was first discovered in the early 1900s by gemologist George Kunz, who proposed that the stone should be named after American financier and gem enthusiast J.P. Morgan. Morgan was one of the most prominent gem collectors of the early 20th century, so it makes sense he would eventually get a gem named after him!

Browse our collection of morganite engagement rings and loose gemstones.

  1. Opal Gemstone Meaning

Because opals can exhibit so many different colors within a single stone, it has long been thought to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans have considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth for centuries. Once, it was even thought to have the power to preserve the life and color of blond hair.

Browse our collection of opal fine jewelry.

  1. Pearl Gemstone Meaning

The oldest precious gem, pearls are known for their beautiful shimmering color and delicate beauty. In ancient China, pearls were believed to protect against fire, and in Europe they were associated with chastity and purity. Pearls retain that association with innocence today.

Browse our collection of pearl fine jewelry.

  1. Peridot Gemstone Meaning

Peridots have long been associated with Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians thought that peridot protected against nightmares and brought the wearer confidence, good luck, and health. In fact, it’s believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots.

Browse our collection of peridot fine jewelry.

  1. Rose Quartz Gemstone Meaning

Rose quartz is a healing crystal that is believed to give off powerful vibrations of love. Rose quartz stones are often used to support emotional and relationship health. They are primarily believed to make the user more open and available to receive love in their life.

  1. Ruby Gemstone Meaning

Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be emperors in a future life. People in India and Burma have also believed that rubies offered safety and peace, and medieval Europeans thought that these gems guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

Browse our collection of ruby engagement rings and fine jewelry.

  1. Sapphire Gemstone Meaning

Blue has long been considered the color of fidelity, and sapphires were once the preferred gem for engagement rings (before diamonds claimed that honor in the early 20th century). Sapphires are also very closely associated with royalty, as they were one of the most popular stones used in royal jewels. Sapphires are believed to attract abundance and blessings, invite spiritual clarity, promote health, and guard innocence.

Browse our collection of sapphire engagement rings, loose gemstones, and fine jewelry.

  1. Spinel Gemstone Meaning

Spinel is a gemstone that is believed to bring hope, energy, and joy for life. It is considered a high energy and healing stone that is mean to heal energy blockages and bring more vigor and vitality.

  1. Tanzanite Gemstone Meaning

For those who believe in the metaphysical, tanzanite is the ideal stone for opening your third eye and reaching a higher consciousness. Along these same lines, tanzanite is supposed to encourage perception and intuition. There are some who believe that tanzanite can also help detoxify the body and improve physical energy.

  1. Topaz Gemstone Meaning

Topaz symbolizes love and fidelity and is said to bestow strength and intelligence on the person who wears it, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Although topaz comes in several colors, orange topaz has been associated with fire in many cultures and eras. Like other golden stones, topaz is thought to bring good fortune and confidence.

Browse our collection of topaz fine jewelry.

  1. Tourmaline Gemstone Meaning

Tourmaline comes in a wide variety of colors and is considered a grounding and protective gemstone. Tourmaline is also believed to be a stone of reconciliation and is said to help heal broken hearts and mend friendships and other relationships. In feng shui, tourmaline crystals are often used for protecting the energy of a room.

  1. Turquoise Gemstone Meaning

From ancient times to today people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet thought to offer protection, and in ancient Persia (and modern-day Iran) some believe that wearing turquoise can ward off the “evil eye” (other people’s ill will).

  1. Zircon Gemstone Meaning

Folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares. In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom.

Final Thoughts

Do you buy into the idea that gemstones have special meanings or powers? Do you wear a gem as a good luck charm? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook , Twitter, or in the comments section!

Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gemological Society

The post Gemstone Meanings: The Surprising Symbolism of Your Jewels appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Meaning of November’s Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 10/08/2021 - 15:30

November babies are a lucky bunch because the November birthstones, citrine and topaz, come in a dazzling array of colors and are relatively affordable. So November babies, go ahead and drop hints about a beautiful piece of birthstone jewelry in the color of your choice! With a wide range of hues and styles, there are plenty of options to choose from. For the low-down on everything you need to know about these richly-colored citrine and topaz gems, read on.

Where are topaz and citrine found?

From the mountains of Russia to Finders Island, Australia, topaz is found all over the world. Pakistan, Brazil, and Sri Lanka are some of the leading sources of topaz. And fun fact: Topaz Mountain in Utah was named after its abundance of the mineral!

Like topaz, citrine is found across the globe, as it is a variety of quartz. And quartz is the most abundant mineral on earth.

Why does November have two birthstones?

The idea of birthstones traces back to ancient times with the 12 stones of the High Priest’s breastplate mentioned in Exodus. For a while, it was common practice to wear one stone each month throughout the year. In 1912, the Jewelers of America wanted to standardize the birthstones. Modern birthstones are based on what is easiest to sell in large quantities. This is why November has two birthstones. Topaz was the original birthstone, but citrine was later added as a more affordable option.

Facts About Citrine: Health & Wealth in Rich Colors

Citrine is a quartz gemstone found in golden shades ranging from pale yellow to deep brownish orange. As one of the more affordable gems, citrine makes for a good choice if you want an eye-catching ring or pendant with a larger gemstone. Citrine appears frequently in Edwardian and Art Deco engagement rings.

This gem is also known as “healing quartz,” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. And, according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance. While we can’t guarantee health and wealth will be gifts with purchase, we do think Fire Citrine Stud Earrings make an excellent birthday present for passionate November-born Scorpios.

The name for “Citrine” comes from the Latin root for “lemon,” and it’s no wonder that this sunny and golden stone has been thought to be a healing crystal that brings happiness, health, energy, and prosperity. For hundreds of years, citrine has also thought to ground and remove negativity — so this is the perfect gemstone for those seeking good vibes only!

Facts About Topaz: Symbol of Love in Favorite Hues

Topaz is a hard silicate mineral which gets its color from impurities or defects in its crystal structures, which turn it gorgeous shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, violet and pink. Topaz can also be colorless, and colorless topaz is often heated to create blue gems (most blue topaz isn’t natural—the color is created through treatment). The most valuable and expensive shades of topaz are deep orange with pink undertones called Imperial topaz, named after the Russian czars of the 19th century, and yellowish brown hue called sherry topaz.

The topaz birthstone symbolizes love and affection, and is said to bestow strength and intelligence on the person who wears it, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and a gift of blue topaz is said to be a promise of love and fidelity.

Topaz and Citrine’s Famous Fans

Both of the November birthstones have a royal advocate in the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton (who was born in January, but maybe garnet isn’t her favorite?).  If you glimpsed her engagement photos with Prince William you may have assumed that her glittery pavé drop earrings were diamond, but they were actually made of white topaz (the “Hope Egg” design by Links of London). The Duchess also has a favorite pair of cushion-cut citrine drop earrings by Kiki McDonough, a popular British (but of course) jewelry designer, and has appeared in white topaz and blue topaz earrings by McDonough.  We think topaz and citrine are a perfect fit with the Duchess’s down-to-earth elegance, because they’re nearly as dazzling as more expensive precious gems but with a more sensible price tag.

Citrine has also had bursts of popularity in the Victorian Era, when queen Victoria added citrine elements to her collection of royal jewelry. In the golden age of early Hollywood, global stars like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford famously wore glamorous citrine pieces.

Topaz and Citrine Care and Cleaning Tips

Although topaz and citrine are both hard stones, their shape can often lead to chipping. When wearing topaz or citrine jewelry, try not to knock it against hard surfaces, and keep it stored away from other stones. Also, don’t allow the jewelry to come into contact with harsh chemicals, including hand lotions and sanitizers.

To clean, soak the stone in a water solution and mild dish soap for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, gently remove any remaining dirt with a soft cloth and pat dry.

Final Thoughts

Are you a November baby? Do you prefer citrine or topaz? Let us know on InstagramFacebookTwitter or in the comments section!

Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gem Society

The post The History and Meaning of November’s Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Vintage Jewelry Guide: Historic Eras and Antique Diamond Cuts

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 10/07/2021 - 01:09

Antique jewelry can be both a beautiful investment and a fascinating glimpse into the style of the past.

From intricate engraving and milgrain details to shimmering colored gemstones and fantastical geometric designs, there are many design elements from history that continue to inspire jewelers today. Read on to learn more about some of the most distinctive hallmarks of the vintage jewelry design eras!

The 7 Vintage Jewelry Design Eras: At a Glance

Learn about the seven historical periods that make antique jewelry so distinctive:

1. Georgian: 1714-1837

Opulent and regal. Early styles were ornate while later styles ranged from Neoclassical to Gothic. Georgian jewelry is extremely rare today.

2. Victorian: 1837-1901

Named for Queen Victoria of England. Jewelry from the era is as exquisite as it is varied, reflecting Victoria’s changing tastes.

3. Art Nouveau: 1890-1910

Soft and mystical. Art Nouveau jewelers, thinking of themselves as artists, took extra care to craft beautiful settings.

4. Edwardian: 1901-1920

Graceful and elegant. In the Edwardian era, jewelers used filigree techniques to give their jewelry a wonderfully lacy look.

5. Art Deco: 1920-1930

Stylish and fun. Bright colors and geometric patterns expressed the confident and free-thinking tenor of the Roaring 1920s.

6. Retro: 1930s-1950

Bold and dazzling. With Hollywood in its golden age, jewelry became bigger, almost larger-than-life.

7. Modern: 1950s to Present

Light and textural. Modern jewelry designers had the ability to work with advanced tools and technology which created evolved designs based on pivotal fashion statements of past eras. Many of our Modern era pieces are previously owned, and some are newly made reproductions of past eras, as described on the product page.

Vintage Jewelry Design Eras: A Closer Look

Georgian Jewelry Era

Learn about Georgian jewelry, which is as rare as it is regal and ornate.

History & Style

Jewelry from the Georgian era, defined as the period between 1714 and 1837, has an opulent and regal flair. During the Georgian era, named for Kings George I, II, and III of England, fine jewelry was worn almost exclusively by the wealthy. These were the years of the American and French Revolutions, but the world of Georgian jewelry might best be imagined as the England of Jane Austen. As her heroines participated in the elaborate courtship rituals of the time, they adorned themselves with stately, hand-crafted Georgian jewelry.

The Georgian era spanned more than a century, and for this reason its jewelry is as varied as it is sumptuous. An ornate and playful style known as Rococo was favored in the early part of the era, while Gothic and Neoclassical designs took precedence later on. Diamonds initially were the gemstone of choice, with the most prevalent cuts being the rose cut and old mine. Colored gemstones such as emeralds, sapphires, and rubies became more common beginning in the mid-1700s. A distinctive feature of early Georgian jewelry is the use of closed back settings where gemstones were mounted in a way that enclosed their entire pavilion, or bottom half. To help reflect light and adjust a gemstone’s coloring, foil was sometimes placed underneath the mounted stone.

Rarity & Value

Sadly, few pieces of Georgian jewelry have survived to the present. Never mass-produced and sometimes falling victim to jewelers who valued it mainly for its components, Georgian jewelry has become extremely rare and precious. Brooches and rings are the most common types of Georgian era jewelry still in existence. Earrings and necklaces remain available to a lesser extent.

Victorian Jewelry Era

Learn about the Victorian era and its confident, joyful designs.

History

The Victorian period is named for Queen Victoria of England, the monarch who presided over the British Empire for more than six decades between 1837 and 1901. Until Victoria’s reign, fine jewelry had been mostly the province of aristocrats. However, during these years, jewelry became more broadly accessible, as an emerging middle class in Europe and the United States began to wear jewelry that was luxurious enough to be fit for kings and queens.

The Queen’s Influence

Because jewelry happened to be one of Victoria’s favorite realms, her exquisite taste helped guide public preferences. Victorian jewelry styles mirror the phases of Victoria’s life, as she moved from joy, to despair, and then back to joy again. In the Romantic Period, from 1837 to 1861, Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were deeply in love. Jewelry from these years expressed confidence, serenity, and romance. Hearts, bows, flowers, and birds were common motifs, as were enameled serpents and snakes.

Upon Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria entered a long period of mourning. During the Grand Period, from 1861 to 1880, jewelry became darker and more melancholy. Black jewelry made of jet, a fossilized coal, became popular, as did jewelry made of black onyx and black enamel. It was also during this period that revivalism became a trend; Victorian jewelers adopted designs inspired by ancient and Renaissance art. Eventually, Victoria emerged from her mourning. The Late Victorian period, from 1880 to 1901, was characterized by a return to more whimsical, buoyant designs. Stars, dragons, griffins, and crescent moons made their way into jewelry, and Japanese influences were notable.

Metals and & Gemstones

An important factor behind the evolution of Victorian jewelry was increased availability of gemstones and precious metals. By the mid-1800s, a series of gold discoveries had reduced the price of gold. Victorian jewelers were freed to try techniques, such as engraving and filigree, which enabled them to create splendid pieces of gold jewelry. Although silver was also becoming less expensive, it was gold that became the era’s preeminent metal. Diamonds, likewise, were becoming more abundant. The discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867 permitted diamonds to become a favored gemstone in Late Victorian jewelry.

Art Nouveau Jewelry Era

Learn about the romantic, nature-inspired designs of the Art Nouveau period.

History

As the 20th century was approaching, an imaginative and original style of jewelry-making burst forth from the vibrant European arts scene. The Art Nouveau (literally “New Art”) era, lasting from 1890 to 1910, overlapped with the Edwardian and Victorian eras and was relatively brief, though it made a lasting contribution to the meaning of magnificent jewelry. Art Nouveau was actually a broad artistic movement, with one of its key tenets that art should be a part of daily life. Thinking of themselves as artists more than jewelry-makers, Art Nouveau jewelers took extra care to craft exquisite, breathtaking jewelry.

Inspiration & Style

The mood of Art Nouveau jewelry is soft, mystical, and romantic. Pale colors and flowing, undulating curves helped to establish a soothing aura. Victorian and Edwardian jewelers often borrowed ideas from ancient and classical art and architecture. Art Nouveau jewelers, greatly influenced by depictions of nature in Japanese art, looked to the natural world for inspiration. Orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies, and butterflies were all prevalent motifs in Art Nouveau jewelry, as were depictions of the female form.

Metal & Gemstones

The established viewpoint during the 1800s had been that a gemstone was the most important element in a piece of jewelry. Breaking from tradition, Art Nouveau jewelers placed more emphasis on settings. This philosophy gave jewelers license to experiment with beautiful enameling techniques as well as with different gemstones and materials. Diamonds were used cautiously, while moonstone, amethyst, opal, amber, citrine, peridot, and freshwater pearls became common in Art Nouveau rings and jewelry. Materials such as horn, shell, and copper also were sometimes used, all in pursuit of the jeweler’s artistic vision.

Edwardian Jewelry Era

Discover the classic and refined appeal of graceful Edwardian designs.

History

Light, graceful, and elegant designs were characteristic of the Edwardian era, named for King Edward of Britain. Running from 1901 to about 1920, the Edwardian era is perhaps best known for extensive use of filigree techniques. By applying threads of gold, platinum, and other precious metals to the surface of their settings, Edwardian jewelers gave their jewelry a wonderfully lacy look. A piece of Edwardian jewelry was thus the perfect complement to the Edwardian woman’s ensemble, with her dress of lace and silk and hat topped with feathers.

Inspiration & Style

The Edwardian era was a time of both continuity and change. Although the 20th century was beginning, the culture of Victorian times had not completely receded, and jewelry was still designed to convey femininity and decorum. Edwardian jewelers preferred simple, classic motifs and palettes able to highlight a gemstone’s inherent beauty. Roman, Ancient Greek, Napoleonic, and French Baroque influences were all evident in Edwardian jewelry styles. Tassels, bows, laurel wreaths, garlands of flowers, and scrolls were also prevalent motifs that illustrated the refined yet energetic sensibility of the era.

The Edwardian Trio

Diamonds, pearls, and platinum were key components in Edwardian rings and jewelry. Pearls and diamonds were prized for their understated elegance, and jewelry was designed to showcase their natural beauty. Platinum, likewise, was an Edwardian favorite. Strong yet lightweight, it permitted jewelers to create “invisible” settings in which little metal was needed to secure a gemstone. Together, diamonds, pearls, and platinum—or some combination thereof—were an unbeatable combination. The white-on-white appearance was considered the epitome of sophistication and class.

Art Deco Jewelry Era

Learn about the Art Deco era, a period of expressive, bold and high-spirited styles.

History

The Art Deco era, running roughly from 1920 to 1935, was a high-spirited era of gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. During the Roaring Twenties, the economy boomed and jazz blossomed just as Prohibition heightened the urge to cast aside Victorian restraints.

Inspiration & Style

Art Deco jewelry is stylish and fun. Jewelry, like other areas of fashion, became a realm in which women felt free to express their individuality. Styles became bolder, sharper, and more masculine than in previous periods. The lacy, filigree patterns of Edwardian jewelry and the soft pastels and curves of Art Nouveau jewelry gave way to brighter colors and straighter lines. A signature characteristic of Art Deco jewelry is the use of futuristic motifs and geometric forms, reflecting the confident and free-thinking spirit of the times. The soaring Empire State Building and Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso perfectly embodied the new design choices of the Art Deco era.

During the Art Deco era, advancements in cutting techniques, including the advent of the modern round brilliant cut style, allowed for diamonds to become more dazzling and scintillating than ever before. Meanwhile, prosperity was permitting more people to afford diamond jewelry and engagement rings. New casting techniques further increased accessibility, as jewelers discovered more efficient ways to produce the most intricately detailed of settings. With platinum becoming a popular material, jewelers began using white gold—an alloyed form of gold—that was more affordable than either platinum or yellow gold though with a hue that was nearly identical to platinum.

Retro Jewelry Era

Learn about the retro era jewelry and its larger-than-life spirit.

History

Retro jewelry, sometimes called “cocktail jewelry,” refers to the style of jewelry that became popular beginning in the mid-1930s and continuing through the end of the 1940s. With the twin crises of economic depression and war, it might be expected that Retro jewelry would be minimalist and restrained. In fact, jewelry from the era was bigger, bolder, and more exciting than ever. In the midst of hard times, women sought jewelry that was eye-catching and extraordinary. This was also Hollywood’s golden age, and women wanted jewelry that reflected the glitz and glamour they saw on the big screen.

Retro jewelry was dazzling, almost larger-than-life. Cocktail rings, bracelets, and necklaces tended to be oversized, lending the jewelry a playful and whimsical dimension. However, larger did not mean less feminine. As World War II brought women into the work force and required them to adopt straight-fitting business attire, they chose jewelry that allowed them to express their femininity. Retro jewelry is characterized by curved designs and feminine motifs such as bows, ribbons, ruffles, and flowers—but almost always on a grand, Retro-era scale.

Metals & Gemstones

Creativity went hand-in-hand with Retro boldness. Partly this was due to war-time realities. A scarcity of platinum led jewelers to use more gold, but when they did so they experimented with exquisite new alloys. By mixing yellow gold with other metals like silver and copper, they produced gold with beautiful shades of rose and green. Budget-conscious jewelry shoppers as well as a limited supply of precious stones during the war fostered greater use of synthetic rubies and sapphires. Semi-precious stones such as aquamarine, citrine, and topaz were also prevalent in Retro rings and jewelry.

Modern Jewelry Era

Learn about the modern era jewelry and its sleek sophistication inspired by the past.

History

Modern era jewelry, also known as the Contemporary Era, spans a significant amount of time starting in the 1950s and spanning to present day. Unlike more micro trends like Art Nouveau or Art Deco, modern estate jewelry encompasses diverse styles spanning many decades of transformation. For example, stylish cocktail parties became fashionable between the 1950s-1960s, leading to the rise of the cocktail ring. These Mid-Century styles were larger than life and often featured oversized colorful gems. In the 1990s and 2000s, the joyful excess of mid-century designs were scaled back for sleeker and more modest styles. This era of jewelry history is still continuing and evolving, and we will better be able to define it when looking at it in the future.

Inspiration & Style

There are many factors that have affected and inspired jewelry styles of the Modern Era – including every style trend that preceded it. The 1950s were heavily inspired by “atomic” culture after WWII, and there were many rings, earrings, and brooches that featured shimmering precious metal rays that loosely resembled the structure of an atom. The advent of television also greatly affected trends and allowed people more access than ever before to celebrities, advertisements, and world news. Classic pearls like those worn by Lucille Ball and Donna Reed on their favorite sitcoms were on trend.

Another notable factor that affected women’s fashion in the Modern Era was the early feminist movement and the dramatic increase of women in the workforce. Because of this societal change, casual pieces became more in-demand from women who wanted everyday jewelry they could wear both to the office and on the town. “Day to night” looks and adaptable pieces dominated fashion magazines for decades. Bangles were a must-have for the 1960s, and “flower power” inspired a resurgence in floral, nature-inspired jewelry and natural materials like wood, amber, and ivory. The 1960s also reinterpreted many of the styles that first became popular during the Art Deco era. The decadent 1970s saw a renaissance for Art Nouveau styles, with an emphasis on carved, molded, and textured fashions. The earthy hippie culture inspired many to wear crystals like amethyst and quartz or Native American inspired pieces in silver and turquoise. The excess of the 1980s favored large and chunky pieces in bright colors. Big hair is best balanced out by equally large earrings, after all! Cocktail rings came back in style during this decade as well, and often served as a symbol of wealth or financial independence as a right hand ring. In the 1990s, styles returned to more muted and classic styles with a focus on creating a wardrobe with essential basic pieces. In the 1990s and beyond, the arrival of internet culture – and internet shopping – encouraged more self-purchasing and personalized pieces than ever before. Today, self-expression is the most important hallmark of the Contemporary era. There are no strict rules, and access to more culture and media than any other period of time allows us to pick and choose the styles we love the most for ourselves from everything that has come before.

Metals & Gemstones

Modern jewelry has the benefit of all the precious metals and gems of previous decades, plus even more options. While different metal types have been in vogue in different decades of the Modern era, shades of white gold, platinum, yellow gold, and rose gold were and are widely popular. From the mid-1990s through the early 2010s, white gold reigned supreme as the metal of choice for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. When fictional style icon Carrie Bradshaw on the show Sex and the City complained to her friends in dismay that her boyfriend bought her a yellow gold engagement ring, it was a cultural moment that cemented the idea that stylish modern women wouldn’t be happy with anything less than the silvery tones of platinum or white gold. However, the tables have now turned with yellow gold seeing a booming resurgence in popularity in the past few years. Rose gold also had a strong moment with romantic brides in the 2010s who loved the warm golden hues that were unique to what they were used to seeing from the older women in their family. The Modern era has also been the most flexible when it comes to mixing different metal types. Actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn famously received identical textured white gold and rose gold engagement rings from actor Mel Ferrer, who knew that Audrey would not be happy tied down to only one metal color. From meteorite and tungsten to ceramic and resin, even more materials are being creatively used to make rings and fine jewelry today.

White diamonds have been the most popular and sought after gemstones of the Modern era by far, with some notable celebrity exceptions. One of the most famous jewelry pieces of the Modern era is Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s stunning 12-carat blue sapphire diamond halo engagement ring. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was world famous for her stunning jewelry collection which featured a literal treasure trove of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. We have seen more and more celebrities in the 2010s through the present choosing colorful gemstones or colored diamonds for their engagement rings, as well, including Katy Perry, Elizabeth Olsen, Blake Lively, Lady Gaga, and many more. White moissanite, a gemstone with a similar appearance to diamonds but with a more flashing rainbow brilliance, is also becoming a popular gemstone choice in the Contemporary Era.

Alternatives to natural diamonds first became available during the Modern Era, and continue to increase in popularity. The first lab created diamonds were invented by General Electric engineers in the 1950s for commercial use, but it wouldn’t be for a few more decades that the process would be refined enough to create diamonds of high enough quality to be used in fine jewelry. Now, more and more people are opting for lab created diamonds as a more responsible alternative to mined diamonds.

Learn About 5 Antique Diamond and Gemstone Cuts

Diamond cutters in past centuries used techniques that are no longer common today. Often cutting diamonds by hand, they gave diamonds shapes and dimensions that capture the character and essence of their eras. Diamonds cut using the old techniques may exhibit less fire and brilliance, though they sometimes are preferred for their warmer, more romantic glow. In recent times, antique diamond cuts have enjoyed a renewed popularity. Diamonds cut using the old techniques are becoming increasingly sought after and desirable.

1. Single Cut

A single cut diamond has a large table and an octagonal girdle. The culet, or bottom edge of the diamond, may be pointed or it may be flat. A single cut diamond usually has 18 facets. The single cut is an extremely old diamond cut dating to the 1300s.

2. Rose Cut

The rose cut features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. With anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, a rose cut diamond resembles the shape of a rose bud. The rose cut dates to the 1500s and remained common during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

3. Old Mine Cut

Diamonds with this cut possess a squarish girdle with gently rounded corners. Old mine cut diamonds have a high crown, a small table, and a large, flat culet. They are similar to today’s cushion cut. The old mine cut dates to the 1700s and was most prevalent during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

4. Old European Cut

Like the old mine cut, diamonds cut into this shape possess a high crown, small table, and a large, flat culet. However, the old European cut has a circular girdle. With 58 facets, it is the predecessor of today’s modern round brilliant cut. The Old European cut dates to the 1800s and was used mostly during the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Nouveau eras.

5. Modern Round Brilliant Cut

In the early 1900s, diamond cutters began to experiment with new techniques. A breakthrough came in 1919 with the introduction of the round brilliant cut. Due to its ability to maximize fire and brilliance, the round brilliant cut has become the standard and most popular way to cut diamonds. Like the old European cut, a round brilliant cut diamond has a circular girdle and 58 facets. However, the round brilliant cut lacks a culet. The round brilliant cut became prevalent during the Art Deco and Retro periods.

Final Thoughts

Do you have a favorite era when it comes to vintage and antique style? Let us know in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The post Vintage Jewelry Guide: Historic Eras and Antique Diamond Cuts appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

No Two Dials Of The Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Gold Crystal Will Ever Be Alike

JustLuxe - Wed, 10/06/2021 - 01:00

How bespoke can watchmakers go? This is the question that plagues our affluent friends ask before they shop for their next wrist candy.

 

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via JustLuxe.com
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Best Jewelry Picks for Libras

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 15:39

It’s Libra season! Learn more about this charming air sign, and our top recommended gifts for Libras.

What is the Zodiac sign for libra?

The balanced and harmonious sign of Libra is represented by scales. In fact, “libra” means “scale” in Latin. Libras are also part of the air family of zodiac signs, and are the only sign represented by a non-living symbol.

What month is a libra Zodiac sign?

Libras are born between September 23 and October 22.

What is the Zodiac stone for libra?

Although Libra ranges between both late September and October, the seventh sign in the zodiac takes October’s birthstone of opal as its lucky stone. Other stones associated with Libra include October’s other birthstone, tourmaline, as well as sapphire, peridot, and lapis lazuli.

What are the personality traits of a libra?

Like other air signs, Libras are intellectual and inquisitive. Their love for art and beauty also makes them natural stylists and designers – Libras’ eye and taste are unmatched by any other sign in the zodiac.

As their symbol implies, Libras are also fixated on balance and harmony in their lives and in their relationships with others. Libras care deeply about the people around them, including their family, friends, a romantic partner, and even casual acquaintances. Due to their people-pleasing nature, Libras are sometimes in danger of spreading themselves too thin or giving the same high amount of energy to everyone they know, vs. the most important people in their lives. However, because of their innate empathetic abilities, charming Libras are blessed with the ability to navigate nearly any social situation.

Because of their focus on balance and justice, Libras like to approach ideas or problems from every angle. This makes them great listeners and sounding boards for their friends, but it can also cause them to be indecisive in their own lives as they get stuck comparing pros and cons. Libras are encouraged to learn to trust their own intuition and natural intelligence to help them become more decisive.

What type of jewelry is best for libras?

Libras are the aesthetes of the zodiac and are discerning connoisseurs of art, beauty, intellectual pursuits, style, and luxury. Libras love to surround themselves with stunning pieces that reflect their refined taste. The best jewelry for Libras will be stunning one-of-a-kind pieces that follow their personal style, rather than passing trends.

Libra Jewelry Gift Ideas

Our 14K yellow gold Libra Diamond Pendant and silver Libra Constellation Diamond Pedant beautifully show off Libra’s symbolism. A scale embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac air sign Libra: fashionable, romantic, and diplomatic. An impression in the symbolic shape of the Libra sign is carved into the textured second side, while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this special design. Full of personality and charmingly chic, our silver Zodiac-inspired pendant features the Libra constellation mapped out in glistening diamonds.

Balance Through Symmetry

With balanced scales representing this sign, it’s no wonder that Libras are fascinated by balance and harmony. Those born under this sign will always be seeking equilibrium in their life. Sleek and symmetrical jewelry pieces will be a perfect fit for this fair-minded air sign. Balanced pieces like our Chelsea Diamond Pendant and Zuri Huggie Earrings are sure to appeal to the Libra in your life.

Classic Beauty

Glamorous Libras are the intellectuals of the zodiac, and they gravitate toward high art, beauty, and culture. Luxe diamond encrusted styles beautifully represent Libras’ sparkling wit and intellect. Libras will appreciate luxurious and classic diamond pieces that transcend fleeting trends and never go out of style. A diamond tennis bracelet or diamond tennis necklace, like our Melrose Diamond Necklace, should be staples in any Libra’s wardrobe.

Joyful and Colorful

Joyful and colorful gemstone jewelry is sure to be a hit with the Libra in your life. Libras are peacemakers and value keeping everyone in their friend group happy and engaged. This social sign is well-known for their optimistic outlook that brings people together. Beautiful colored gemstone jewelry will reflect the happiness Libras bring. Something multi-colored, like our Rainbow Pavé Bar Bracelet, or a piece that comes in multiple color options, like our Mazarine Earrings, would be an excellent gift idea for a Libra.

Perfect Pairs

Creative and imaginative, Libras will be drawn to unique styles that reflect the core of their personality. Unique shapes, colors, and setting styles will help a Libra express their individual style. Libras are also more “we” than “me” oriented and seek balance through partnership or companionship. Pairs of earrings, or jewelry sets with matching styles, mirror the matched compatibility Libras seek in their personal relationships. Our Uptown Diamond Earrings featuring geometric diamond adorned rectangular shapes would make the perfect addition to any Libra’s collection. When looking for matching jewelry, look at larger collections like our Signature Collection, which will feature similar design motifs stylistically linking each piece together.

Final Thoughts

Which look is your favorite for Libras? Let us know your sign in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The post The Best Jewelry Picks for Libras appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Heart (and Chest) of Gold

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 13:40
Schiaparelli gets reliably weird with its accessories at Paris Fashion Week.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

In New Orleans, a Designer With a Daring, Completist Vision

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 14:15
A chronic experimenter, Bradley L. Bowers moves among the worlds of furniture, lighting and jewelry, challenging assumptions every step of the way.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Bag Returns From the Year 2000

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 12:33
Valentino pulls from its feathered archives as Paris Fashion Week marches on.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Conor McGregor Spins for Jacob & Co and Its Roulette Style Watch

JustLuxe - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 02:26

UFC Champ Conor McGregor recently raised the profile of Jacob & Co.

...

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Anatomy of a Ring

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 23:06

If you are just starting to engagement ring shop or just collecting inspiration for your Pinterest boards, you may have encountered some new lingo or terminology about engagement rings. While an engagement ring might seem simple, there are several design features that go into each setting. Knowing how to differentiate these parts can help you to fully explore your options during the buying process and communicate those preferences to a jewelry specialist or your partner. Read on to learn more about the anatomy of an engagement ring with our guide! 

What are the different parts of a ring called?  Center Stone 

The center stone is the largest diamond or gemstone that sits directly in the center of the setting. It is the star of the show and one of the most highly considered parts of the engagement ring. While the most popular shape for a center stone is round, fancy diamond shapes including oval, pear, emerald, cushion, marquise, and radiant cut diamonds are becoming an increasingly popular choice. 

 Side and Accent Stones 

Side or accent stones are the stones that flank the sides of the center gem and are attached to the shoulders or the shank of the setting. Side stones can either be made up of diamonds or gemstones and can come in any range of fancy shapes for a truly unique look. Accent stones can either span just a portion of the ring or fully encircle the entire band in an “eternity” style. 

Setting 

Engagement ring settings include every part of the engagement ring but the center stone and refer to how stones are set or mounted on to the band. The setting’s purpose is to support and highlight the beauty of the main center stone. The style of your setting can dramatically affect the overall final look, performance, and maintenance of your engagement ring. Settings are often broken down into distinctive style categories. Below are six of the most common: 

1. Solitaire 

Solitaire engagement ring settings are classic and eternally popular. They feature an all-metal band and a singular center stone, placing all the focus on the center gem. Solitaire settings can easily be made more stylized by pairing them with a diamond-accented wedding band.  

 

2. Halo 

Halo engagement ring settings feature a singular enter stone that is completely encircled by smaller gemstones for a dazzling look. Halo engagement ring settings often make the center diamond appear larger in size and are ideal for someone who is looking for showstopping sparkle.  

 

3. Three Stone 

Three stone engagement ring settings are highly sought after for their added sparkle and symbolic meaning. This setting features a main center gem with two smaller accent diamonds on each side. The three stones represent the journey a couple takes together – past, present, and future. 

 

4. Hidden Accent 

Engagement ring settings featuring hidden diamond accents are becoming an increasingly popular choice. The accents can be found hidden in a halo under the center stone, diamond accented bridge, or a diamond adorned gallery. Hidden accent engagement ring settings sparkle from every angle for a truly dazzling effect.  

 

5. Bezel 

Bezel engagement ring settings are the most secure as the outer edge of the center stone is completely enclosed with a layer of precious metal. This securely holds the center stone in place and creates a contemporary look.  

 

6. Pavé 

Pavé engagement ring settings feature a band that is mounted with tons of tiny diamonds that are set close together for a diamond encrusted look. This setting is perfect for the bride looking for an extra pop of subtle sparkle. 

 

Head 

The head is located at the top of the engagement ring and refers to the part of the engagement ring that holds up the center stone. The head includes the prongs and gallery. 

Prongs 

Prongs are the small metal tips that hold the center stone in place. They are either claw prongs which have pointed ends, bead prongs which are rounded, or sometimes V-shaped depending on your setting and center stone shape. Engagement ring settings most often feature four or six prongs, although some fancy diamond shapes such as a pear may require an odd number.  

 

Gallery 

The gallery is part of the head and refers to the detail on the underside of the ring center stone that you can see from the side profile. The engagement ring gallery is a place to feature intricate design details such as hidden diamond accents that add to the unique beauty of the ring.  

Bridge 

The engagement ring bridge is the part that rests on top of the finger and can be found under the head. The bridge increases support for the head and is often a place that includes added design details such as diamond accents or a milgrain pattern.  

 Shoulder 

The engagement ring shoulder refers to the top sides of the engagement ring that form the beginning of the shank. The shank can be twisted, flat, curved, or included other unique design details. 

Shank 

The engagement ring shank, commonly referred to as the band, is the metal part of the engagement ring that encircles your finger. The shank starts at the end of the shoulders and is typically all-metal, but can feature diamond accents that extend around the entirety of the shank – which is called an eternity band. The shank is an important design element affecting both the appearance of the ring and how it feels to the wearer. 

Sizing Area 

The sizing area is the bottom portion of the shank where the ring can be cut and sized to your exact fit. Sizing an engagement ring consists of cutting the sizing area and either adding or removing metal to make the ring larger or smaller.  

Final Thoughts 

For further questions about the elements of an engagement ring, our expert jewelry specialists are always happy to answer questions and help you explore your style preferences. You can visit one of our specialists in person at one of our showrooms, by booking a virtual appointment, or by chatting with them live on our site. Have more questions about the different parts of an engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below! 

The post The Anatomy of a Ring appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Rappers Come Shop for Jewelry. Icebox Turns the Cameras On.

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 19:06
An Atlanta store where hip-hop’s big names buy diamond-encrusted watches and chains has become a social media phenomenon by capturing the safe spaces of the rich and flamboyant.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Rappers Come Shop for Jewelry. Icebox Turns the Cameras On.

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 14:22
An Atlanta store where hip-hop’s big names buy diamond-encrusted watches and chains has become a social media phenomenon by capturing the safe spaces of the rich and flamboyant.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Meaning Behind October’s Two Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 21:26

If you’re holiday or birthday shopping for someone born in October, a piece of jewelry featuring one of October’s birthstones makes for a timeless treasure!

What are the two birthstones for October?

October has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. While both gemstones are available in a wide variety of colors, classic white opals and pink tourmalines are the two most popular choices for those born in this autumn month.

Is October’s birthstone opal or pink tourmaline?

The answer is: both! Opal is the traditional birthstone for October, but modern lists include tourmaline as well. It wasn’t until 1812 that the National Association of Jewelers began including both opal and tourmaline as the two October birthstones.

What color birthstone is October?

Opals are popularly known for their milky, rainbow-colored glow and fire. While white opals are the most common and popular, opals have hues ranging across the whole color spectrum including black opals, pearlescent pinks, pale greens, and more. Opals are beloved for the dramatic “play of color” that shimmers in bursts throughout the stone. Like opal, tourmaline is also admired for its wide variety of colors. Although this beautiful gem comes in a variety of hues, pink tourmalines are the most popular option for October birthstone birthday gifts.

Opal Birthstone History and Meaning

Like several of the world’s most popular gems, opals are believed to have originated in India. In Sanskrit, opals were called “upala,” meaning “precious stone.” When these ethereal gems were brought to the Western world, ancient Romans called them “opalus.” Bedouin tribes used to believe that opals contained lightning that fell during storms, and Ancient Greeks thought these stones gave the gifts of prophesy and health. In the past, opals were also believed to symbolize purity and hope due to their celestial coloring. Because of their unique smooth but fiery look, opals are most often polished in the cabochon style — a style where a gem is shaped and polished instead of faceted. In addition to being the birthstone for October, opals are also the traditional 14th wedding anniversary gift.

Opal Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

Opals range from 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning they are a relatively soft gem. For reference, diamonds rank 10 as the hardest mineral. Because of this, it’s important to treat opals and opal jewelry gently to avoid scratching or chipping the surface. It’s recommended that you store jewelry featuring opals by themselves away from other jewels, as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and other harder stones can scratch this October birthstone.

When cleaning an opal, the safest method is to gently wipe it down with lukewarm, soapy water. Other more intense cleaning methods could damage the gem. Opals have the potential to fracture due to extreme heat or sudden temperature changes, so steam or ultrasonic cleaning methods are not recommended.

Tourmaline Birthstone History and Meaning

The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word “toramalli,” meaning “stone with mixed colors.” This is because many tourmaline gems feature multiple colors in one crystal formation, and some can also appear to be different shades when looked at from different angles. One of the most famous examples of this is the “watermelon” tourmaline that features red and green stripes. In fact, there are very few types of gems that offer such a variety of colors as tourmalines do. According to ancient Egyptian legend, the stone traveled along a rainbow collecting all of the rainbow’s colors, which is why tourmaline is found in such a multitude of hues. Some of the most popular tourmaline colors are emerald green, red rubellites, and October’s birthstone of pink tourmaline. Because of its all-encompassing color variety, it’s believed that tourmalines help inspire art and creative expression.

Also because of its range of colors, tourmalines have often been mistaken for other gemstones throughout history. Conquistadors from Spain found green tourmalines in Brazil in the 1500s and mistook the gems for emeralds. One of the “rubies” in Russia’s “Caesar’s Ruby” pendant – part of the Russian crown jewels – is actually a red rubellite tourmaline. It wasn’t until scientists recognized tourmalines as a unique mineral species in the 1800s that these and several other famous gems were recategorized as tourmaline.

Different tourmaline colors are believed to have different healing properties or powers. Pink tourmaline is associated with gentleness, compassion, joy, and love. In addition to being one of October’s birthstones, tourmaline is also the 8th anniversary gift.

Tourmaline Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

Because it is rated 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, the tourmaline birthstone is considered generally suitable for everyday wear. You can clean this October birthstone with warm soapy water and a soft brush. A baby toothbrush is a great at-home cleaning tool for tourmalines and many other gemstones! Tourmalines are durable enough to withstand light and most chemicals, but too much heat can damage these colorful stones. Because of this, ultrasonic or steam cleaners are not recommended for tourmalines.

October Birthstone Jewelry

If you are looking for birthstone jewelry for those born in the month of October, there is a wealth of beautiful gemstone jewelry for you to choose from. Read on to see some of our customers’ favorite October birthstone jewelry!

Three Star Opal and Diamond Medallion

Two shining diamonds in star-inspired impressions border a glistening opal for a powerful, chic look in this golden disc medallion design.

Teardrop Opal Pendant

An opal cabochon rests within a bezel setting with an open back to allow maximum light to reach the gem. This reversible pendant can be worn on either side making it the perfect option for everyday wear. The length of the necklace can be adjusted to either 16″ or 18″ to suit individual preference.

Opal Stud Earrings

Fashion forward with classic sophistication, these striking opals are set in comfortable basket settings.

Opal and Tourmaline Diamond Earrings

These contemporary earrings feature both of October’s birthstones with a glistening opal center stone framed by breathtaking pink tourmaline and twinkling diamonds.

Pink Tourmaline Drop Huggie Earrings

These captivating huggie hoop earrings feature a dainty tourmaline hanging from lustrous precious metal. Secured with hinged latch backs, these chic earrings are perfect for everyday wear.

Pink Tourmaline Bezel Bracelet

Both elegant and timeless, this bracelet features a charming bezel-set pink tourmaline on a delicate cable chain.

Libby Earrings

Unique and as cute as can be, these whimsical earrings feature a glistening opal center stone with diamond and pink tourmaline accents.

Final Thoughts

Do you have an October birthday? Which of October’s dazzling birthstones do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The post The History and Meaning Behind October’s Two Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

When Old Spoons Make Really Great Necklaces

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Tue, 09/28/2021 - 09:05
The futurist Marine Serre bends antique silverware to her will on the first night of Paris Fashion Week.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The History and Meaning Behind August’s Three Birthstones: Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 09/27/2021 - 16:38

 

Celebrate the August birthday in your life with the gift of birthstone jewelry!  

August is one of the two months lucky enough to hold three unique gemstones: peridot, spinel, and sardonyx. Read on to learn more about the history behind these distinctive gemstones what makes them so enchanting. 

What is the meaning of the August birthstone? 

Although peridot, spinel, and sardonyx are all considered August birthstones – peridot is the most popular and well known. Known as a symbol of opportunity and prosperity, this vibrant yellow-green gemstone is beloved by many. Peridot is also believed to bring the wearer confidence, power, general good luck, and health. 

What is the original birthstone for August? 

Sardonyx was the first August birthstone dating back to ancient Egyptian times. Soldiers wore this stone during battle as they saw it as a sign of strength and protection. 

Why does August have three birthstones? 

A classic case of mistaken identity is part of the reason why August has three unique birthstones. Sardonyx, a stone that ranges from amber to bright green in color, was the original August birthstone. Due to its similar coloring, peridot was often mistaken for sardonyx, and was eventually adopted as the second August birthstone. Spinel was added as an alternate gemstone for August in 2016 in an effort to make modern updates to the birthstone list.  

Peridot Birthstone History and Meaning 

Peridots have been steeped in myth for thousands of years. The Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” and some thought it even protected against nightmares. Peridots are also closely connected to Hawaiian culture—they are thought to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele. The sand on the Big Island’s Papakolea Beach is a rare and beautiful green hue due to a high content of crushed olivine. 

Peridot is a rare gemstone that only occurs naturally in one color. It is a form of Olivine (think olive green), a mineral composed of magnesium and iron. With the inclusion of outside elements, certain gemstones can occur in every color of the rainbow. Peridot, however, only exists in subtle shades of green. 

Peridot ranges in color from yellowish lime green to deep, earthy olive tones, making them a highly sought-after choice for jewelry. These gemstones are a wonderful option for those who love green gemstones but are looking for a less expensive alternative to emeralds, as certain shades of peridot can easily be confused with emeralds. When set against lustrous sterling silver, peridots can show off their fresh, vibrant sparkle. 

Peridot Jewelry Cleaning and Care

Peridot is a relatively soft stone ranking at a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it durable enough for everyday jewelry but should be treated with care to avoid scratching. We recommend cleaning your peridot with mild soap and warm water, followed up by drying with a soft towel.  

Spinel Birthstone History and Meaning 

Long mistaken for rubies by ancient rulers and monarchs, this unique gemstone has recently surged in popularity. First mined in abundance in Southeast Asia, Spinel was initially mistaken for a ruby. The gemstone was beloved by royalty and spread in popularity through Asia and Europe. Legend has it that spinel gemstones are associated with revitalization and are said to inspire, refresh, energize, and give endurance to its wearer. 

Today, spinel has recently regained popularity as the demand for rubies has increased. Although vibrant red and cobalt blue spinel are most sought after – this stunning gemstone comes in virtually every color of the rainbow. These gemstones are a wonderful option for those who love red and blue gemstones but are looking for a lower price point to rubies and sapphires. 

Spinel Cleaning and Care Tips

Spinel gemstones rank an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and may require a little extra care due to their softness. We recommend removing your spinel jewelry before doing activities that may cause surface scratching to your gemstone such as exercising or outdoor activities. Spinel is also sensitive to intense heat and can potentially start to fade in color with prolonged exposure. An effective at-home care routine for your spinel jewelry consists of washing your pieces with warm soapy water and gently scrubbing with a soft bristled toothbrush, followed up by completely drying your jewelry and storing in a dry environment. 

Sardonyx Birthstone History and Meaning 

Used as a stone of strength and protection since ancient Egyptian times, sardonyx is associated with bravery, happiness, and optimism. Sardonyx has long been believed to absorb negative energy from its wearer and promote health, positivity, and good fortune.  

This unique semiprecious stone is a variety of silica which contains layers of tiny quartz fibers. These fibers are stacked on top of each other giving the stone a banded or layered appearance. The layers of stone vary in color and range from opaque to brown, and even a vibrant red.  

Sardonyx Cleaning and Care Tips

Sardonyx is a relatively soft stone ranking at a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This may lead you to take extra care and consideration when wearing your favorite sardonyx pieces. We recommend removing your sardonyx jewelry when doing physical activity that may cause abrasions to the surface of your gemstone such as: gardening, housekeeping, and exercise. Care for your sardonyx jewelry by washing your pieces with warm soapy water and gently scrubbing with a soft bristled toothbrush. Be sure to completely dry your jewelry using a soft towel and storing your pieces in a dry environment.  

August Birthstone Jewelry 

If you are looking for a piece of unique jewelry for yourself or someone born in August, (even if that is you!), read on to discover our favorite birthstone jewelry pieces! 

 

Peridot Stud Earrings

Trend forward with classic sophistication, these vibrant peridots are set in comfortable basket settings. 

North Star Peridot Pendant

 

Shining with the constant brightness of the North Star, this lovely pendant features a star-set peridot within a lustrous disc of precious metal. 

Magnolia Peridot Earrings

 

Glimmering peridot rests at the center of these beautiful floral earrings. 

Peridot Bar Pendant

This contemporary design features glimmering peridot set within an elegant silver bar as it hangs gracefully from a classic cable chain. 

Teardrop Peridot Pendant

A pear-shaped peridot rests within a bezel setting with an open back to allow maximum light to reach the gem. This reversible pendant can be worn on either side making it the perfect option for everyday wear. 

North Star Peridot Earrings

These eye-catching earrings feature a sparkling peridot at the center of each twinkling silver star. 

Peridot Twist Pendant

This spectacular pendant is crafted in recycled sterling silver and features a vibrant green peridot centered in a delightful sculptural twist. 

Peridot Bezel Bracelet

Both elegant and timeless, this bracelet features a charming bezel-set peridot on a delicate cable chain. 

Unity Peridot Pendant

 

This chic pendant features glistening peridot within a lustrous hoop of precious metal. 

Peridot Bar Bracelet

Both elegant and timeless, this bracelet features a charming bezel-set peridot on a delicate cable chain. 

Final Thoughts 

Which of the three August birthstones would you claim as your favorite? Share with us in the comments below or on our InstagramFacebook, or Twitter

The post The History and Meaning Behind August’s Three Birthstones: Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Cartier Tiara for Life’s Grandest Occasions

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Mon, 09/27/2021 - 13:00
This diamond-encrusted diadem is sure to be the crowning glory of any royal fantasy.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Janty Yates on Dressing the ‘House of Gucci’

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:34
The Oscar-winning British costume designer on delving into the archives and working with Lady Gaga for the hotly anticipated biopic.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Audemars Piguet Blends Tradition With Avant-Grande

JustLuxe - Thu, 09/23/2021 - 04:53

Drawing synergies between Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie, eclectic in colour, savoir-faire, materials and style, the Audemars Piguet 2021 summer collection finds inspiration in diverse worlds to present a kaleidoscopic view of the contemporary

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Categories: Latest Jewelry News

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