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Jewelry Care Part 2: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

Jewelry Care Part 2: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

We covered the basics on daily and weekly/monthly maintenance on your fine jewelry in our first Jewelry Cleaning blog. But to show your pieces some true love, we recommend bringing them to your trusted jeweler once a year for a quick inspection and clean-down. An annual cleaning can help remove old build-up that may not be reached by your weekly cleaning ritual, but it can also detect and prevent any issues that may occur in future wear. Read on to learn our top tips for tip-top jewelry maintenance. 

Annual Inspections

It’s a great idea to have your bigger jewelry items inspected once a year. A reputable jewelry company will check the integrity of the prongs to make sure there isn’t risk of losing a stone. They will also provide an in-depth cleaning of the areas that are hard to reach with typical jewelry cleaners, and know what type of materials to use to avoid any damage to sensitive stone types.

jewelry professional inspecting jewelry

How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry

There are other services worth considering after a few years of wear and tear. For white gold jewelry, rhodium plating gives the gold an ultra-white color by coating the existing metal. We prefer rhodium plating on all white diamond/white metal jewelry such as engagement rings and wedding bands, and the plating will last for over a year with proper maintenance. Other services to consider including buffing your rings, as they handle a lot of wear and tear over time. Your ring will look brand-new with a quick buff, removing a year (or more) of scuffs and scratches so your metals will reach optimum shine. 

rhodium plating and buffing for jewelry

Professional jewelry cleaning and maintenance is recommended yearly. We encourage you to bring your Pratiksha Jewelry back to us for professional servicing, including cleaning, inspection, pearl restringing, and repair of clasps, settings, and damaged or lost gemstones.

No-nos

We recommend avoiding the use of ultrasonic cleaners as they can damage jewelry, especially soft stones and metals. These cleaners expose jewelry high heat and vibration which can shatter stones like tanzanite, emerald, or even diamond. When rinsing your jewelry, be careful that your drain is sealed tightly. A mesh loose tea infuser works well for rinsing jewelry without worrying about losing a slippery piece of jewelry down the drain.

jewelry in the sun

In much the same way that the sun can damage our skin, it can also weaken and fade some gemstones, such as amethyst, citrine, smoky quartz, or emerald, with prolonged exposure. Heat and sun exposure dry out the natural moisture of pearls and opals, leading to cracks and discoloration.

When in doubt, always ask a professional. We’re here to help you and your jewelry sparkle all holiday season, and for many decades to come! Now through Thanksgiving, you can make an appointment for a complimentary jewelry cleaning on us! Please give us a call or email us to make your pre-holiday jewelry cleaning appointment.

Keep reading Part 3 to learn about care, repairs and refurbishing heirloom jewelry.

Jewelry Care Part 1: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

Jewelry Care Part 1: How to Maximize the Life of Your Jewelry

It’s the season for glitter and lights, and we’re gathering our accessory glam squad (aka jewelry essentials) for holiday parties, family gatherings and traveling. Diamond, gemstone and pearl jewelry need to be in top shape for mingling, jingling, and showing off on Instagram stories. Like all fine things, jewelry requires a bit of maintenance and care to prolong integrity and sparkle. Jewelry will stand up to generations of parties and fun as long as you take a few minutes to properly care for your valuables.

Daily Care - How to Keep Your Jewelry Clean

cleaning cloth and fine jewelry

Chemicals in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, and household cleaners as well as natural pollutants can dull or damage your gemstones and metals. Because of this, your jewelry should be put on last when dressing to avoid unnecessary exposure to beauty products and removed before swimming or household cleaning. It is good practice to wipe down your jewelry with a lint-free cotton cloth after every wear. Do so gently to avoid snagging the fibers on delicate prongs.

Every Few Weeks - How to Clean Jewelry at Home

Most diamonds, gemstones and metals only require gentle cleaning with a soft bristle brush in warm water with a few drops of mild liquid soap. Avoid any cleaners with ammonia, bleach or abrasive materials, and dry thoroughly with a cotton cloth. You’ll come across many DIY jewelry cleaning solutions on the internet, but many of them suggest salt, baking soda or other abrasive kitchen staples. We advise using these materials on DIY skin scrubs, but not for cleaning jewelry: the goal is to keep the stones and metal scratch-free, not to smooth out the edges!

cleaning supplies for fine jewelry

How to Clean Diamond Jewelry or Gemstone Jewelry

It’s recommended to get a new, soft brush specifically for cleaning jewelry, since old toothbrushes may have toothpaste or other risky chemicals. With some plated jewelry (such as gold vermeil), you run the risk of rubbing off the gold plating with a brush. But if you’re cleaning a Pratiksha piece, brush away: all our pieces are made with solid 14 and 18 karat gold, and never plated. Platinum jewelry will develop a lovely patina finish over time, but if you prefer, you can have your platinum jewelry polished to maintain its original shine.

pearls and soft makeup brush for cleaning

How to Clean Pearls

Pearls are exceptionally soft and vulnerable to scratching. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) suggests gently cleaning them in warm, soapy water with an unused, soft makeup brush, then laying them to dry completely on a towel before wearing. Pearl strands stretch with regular wear and should be restrung about once a year.

opal doublet jewelry

How to Clean Unique or Rare Gemstones

A few of our pieces feature doublets, which are stones created by fusing a slice of an opaque gemstone with a translucent or transparent gemstone layered on top. These handcrafted stones require special care to keep them looking their best. Avoid soaking doublet jewelry in water or any solvent cleaning solutions, and remove them before washing hands or swimming. We recommend that doublet gemstones never be steam cleaned. To maintain your doublet jewelry’s shine, wipe your piece with a soft polishing cloth after wearing.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Jewelry Care series for our recommendations on annual care! We're also offering complimentary professional cleaning for any of your jewelry, now through Thanksgiving! Please give us a call or email us to make your pre-holiday jewelry cleaning appointment.

Design Diaries- Maggie's Bridal Earrings

Design Diaries- Maggie's Bridal Earrings

When we think of the ideal Pratiksha bride, we think of someone like Maggie: a digital-savvy woman with a modern aesthetic and vision. For her big day, she had imagined a pair of elegant and dainty diamond drop earrings that would be a stylish, versatile, and a smart investment for her jewelry wardrobe. We were so pleased to work with her to design a pair of custom earrings for her wedding day, and this special, one-of-a-kind gift to herself was the perfect compliment her bridal look!

custom diamond drop wedding earrings in platinum

Tell us how you met your husband:

“We met on Tinder. Our first date was a Skype video date!”

Can you share your proposal story?

“Stuart planned a surprise party for me, and proposed during the party in front of 50 of our closest friends.”

custom diamond drop bridal earrings

Tell us about the jewelry:

The earrings are made in platinum. They feature 18 round diamonds set in a cascading drop, with a total weight of 1 carat of diamonds in tapering widths.

custom designed diamond line earrings

We love Maggie’s idea of creating a special pair of earrings for her wedding because they’re a perfectly timeless style that can be worn with anything. The earrings you wear on your wedding day will featured heavily on every photograph (even more than your engagement ring), so it’s a really good idea to spend some time thinking about your bridal jewelry and how it will tie into your look. Maggie’s dress featured a high neckline with lots of detail, so it was a wise choice to skip a necklace in favor of these dangling earrings. They feature such a romantic silhouette, resembling falling snow and shimmering clean lines. This set of diamond drops will always keep memories of her special day close to her heart.

custom made diamond earrings for wedding day

Forgotten Details - How To Design The Side Profile Of Your Engagement Ring

Forgotten Details - How To Design The Side Profile Of Your Engagement Ring

We love getting the chance to work with couples who co-design the bride’s engagement ring. Often, first-time ring shoppers have discussed a general style, shape or budget amongst each other, but the side and underside details of the ring are often overlooked. The side profile of a ring is an especially important ring area for the wearer of the ring, because she will have a daily close-up view of these thoughtful details. It's a somewhat private space on the ring where many couples choose to include personal touches that are meaningful to them.

Ideas for bridal ring sides have included birthstones, engraved initials, and incorporating filigree details that resemble archways and architecture of the couple's favorite location. A little attention and sparkle goes a long way with decorating the sides of a custom engagement ring, and we’ve broken down some of our favorite options to consider when designing your piece.

double edge halo on a diamond engagement ring side view

Double Edge Halo

A halo that faces the front of the ring helps add surface area and size to the center stone. But a double edge halo adds diamonds around the rim of the halo, creating a spectacular presence for the side view of the ring.

hidden diamond halo on engagement ring side view

Hidden Halo

These halos show peekaboo diamonds through the underside of the center stone. While they may not show on the front profile, they add classy side sparkle and lift extra light into the center stone through the bottom.

peekaboo diamond details on underside gallery of engagement ring side view

Peekaboo Diamonds

Little stones that peek through the underside of the crown of the ring are a welcome detail for the bride. We recommend stones along the gallery with cathedral settings that prop up the center of the ring.

gold filigree details on engagement ring shank and side view

Filigree

Filigree looks like curling, scrolling, detailed metal work along the path of the ring. Filigree details add a very romantic touch and are a gorgeous addition to the gallery or shank. We recommend this look on antique styles, three stone rings and halo pieces that have plenty of surface area underneath the head of the ring.

two tone rose and white gold details on side view of custom engagement ring

Two-Tone Metal

Surprise! A burst of yellow or rose gold within the basket or shank add a delightful and unexpected pop to the side detail of the ring. This method is achieved by melting the secondary color of metal on top of the setting after casting.

milgrain and engraved gold details on custom diamond engagement ring

Milgrain and Engraving

Fine metal work adds a complex look that compliments romantic and vintage jewelry styles. Milgrain, defined as tiny beads of metal that line the setting and stones, add extra sparkle to the setting and call out special details within the ring. Engraving (or etching) covers a lot of ground when rings are concerned. Defined as a method of shaping the metal with ripples, leaves or designs, engraving can also include personalizing the piece with writing, such as your names, anniversary date or other special details. Engraving is most commonly done by hand.

Want to learn about more custom engagement ring options? Head over to our Custom Inspiration Gallery and play with the Engagement, Bridal and Wedding style filters to see a gallery of ideas and options!

Sip & Sparkle – Our Showroom Event with Source Craft Cocktails

Sip & Sparkle – Our Showroom Event with Source Craft Cocktails

It was a night of toasts, tastes, talk and tinkling of diamonds, gemstones and pearls. Recently, we invited Source Craft Cocktails of Dallas over to host an intimate crowd of ladies in our brand-new jewelry showroom. The company brought our space to life with elegant handmade cocktails that they cleverly named after strong women who win national prizes, conquer politics, and dominate showbiz.

tisha and attendees at sip and sparkle cocktail and jewelry party

The Cocktail Rundown

Paloma Ferguson

Featuring Desert Door Sotol, this take on the Paloma has fresh squeezed lime, homemade grapefruit shrub, shaken and topped with Topo Chico. Strong as Texas’ first female governor.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A notorious French 75 variation with fresh lemon, cold pressed grapefruit juice, Hendrick’s Gin shaken and topped with a great summer rose.

Curious Curie

Glenlivet Founders Reserve, a homemade strawberry syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, Lillet Rose shaken and served up. Worthy of at least one Nobel Prize.

Oprah Winefrey

Homemade raspberry syrup, fresh mint, and sparkling wine. EVERYONE gets a spritz!

Frances Willard Style

Head of the Women’s Temperance Movement, and the name of a special MOCKTAIL.

yellow sapphire cocktail ring and rum cocktail

The cocktails were enormously popular among our guests and provided a most Instagram-worthy, colorful backdrop. Source Craft specializes in close-knit gatherings where they bring EVERYTHING, including glasses, fresh squeezed juices, hand-made syrups, and talented bartenders. Not only do they work their magic to make memories and ensure that no guest leaves thirsty, but they also host educational classes for small groups. We’re thrilled to have a partner in the Dallas area that compliments fine jewelry to a tee.

Our guests? We invited some of our closest pals to sample the goods, all of whom are ladies that move and shake within the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our new collections were at the forefront.

women shopping for jewelry and trying on necklace

The Jewelry Drop

Daily Candy

A collection of semi-precious jewelry set with amethyst, topaz, garnet, citrine, and other colorful gems in stackable rings, layerable necklaces and playful earring designs.

(Not-Your-Mother’s) Pearls

New ideas brought to the table on classic pearl twists, with new rings that feature gradient colored gemstones with a pearl center, baroque pearl drop earrings, and delicate pearl necklaces.

Every Day Diamonds

Every day with diamonds starts a little brighter. You don't need special occasions to pile on the diamond stackable rings, staggered necklaces or classic diamond staples such as tennis bracelets and studs.

Rainbow

Because we like options, the rainbow collections features all our favorite colors combined into beautiful hot stones. They compliment your daily diamonds to perfection.

women shopping for jewelry and modeling necklace

We could not be more grateful to know these brilliant and talented women and that they came out for our official showroom debut. An extra special thanks goes out to Source Craft Cocktails for blowing us away with their classy crafts and bringing together a very special night for our team.

Want to be a part of our next gathering? Follow us on Instagram for new event announcements, collection and product drops, and highlights from our new space!

Old Stone, New Life

Old Stone, New Life

What revvs our engine? As designers, we really love the challenge of repurposing diamonds, gemstones and pearls into a brand new treasured jewelry piece. Styles and sentiments can change, but it doesn't mean that the stones in your old jewelry deserve a prison sentence, condemned to a life sitting your jewelry box or shoved underneath your bed. Collaborating with our clients to craft pieces of jewelry around their stones is very empowering for both parties. We get to explore creative solutions while our clients get to harness the value of their precious stones, turning it into a masterpiece that they designed for themselves.

Have a look at some of the brilliant ways our clients have recycled their fine jewelry diamonds and gemstones.

Blue Topaz Cocktail Ring with Baguettes

Created from the side stones of our client's old ring

blue topaz baguette cocktail ringAfter bringing in an old ring, Joan wanted to use the diamond baguette side stones to design a new cocktail ring. We helped her choose an oversized emerald-cut blue topaz as the focal point, adding a generous splash of color and maintaining the clean lines of the step-cut stones. The result was a beautifully unique and contemporary topaz ring that took our breath away. She said, “I’ve always wanted a custom signature piece that is uniquely mine!”

Joan's Design Story

 

Diamond Halo Pendant

Fashioned from 4 diamonds from our client

diamond pendantWhen our client asked us to dismount her four diamonds, we realized that they slightly graduated in size. With four slightly different sized diamonds, we made a digital rendering using the exact measurements of the stones. After setting the largest diamond into a jump ring with a halo of tiny stones, the other stones were added to the bail for an elongating look. The end result was a gorgeous daily pendant that she can wear out with friends, in the office, or at any fancy event.

See More Angles

 

Layered Princess Diamond Pendants

Crafted from an unworn wedding ring

princess diamonds repurposed into new pendantAfter our client had grown frustrated with trying to sell her old engagement ring, Lillian still saw value in the gorgeous princess diamonds, and so did we. We crafted two new layered necklaces from the diamonds, creating a solitaire slide pendant from the center stone and stacking the side stones into a bar pendant.

Thrilled with the new contemporary look, our client remarked “I love that I now have two beautiful necklaces to wear, instead of just letting an old ring sit in my safe deposit box!”

Lillian's Design Story

 

Three Stone Sapphire Engagement Ring

Repurposed from our client's broken ring

three stone diamond and sapphire engagement ringWe didn’t create our client’s original engagement ring, but when the head broke off the band (yikes!), she brought it to us for a repair and a revamp. She had an idea to match the new band with one of her favorite sapphire stackable bands, which she often wore along her wedding ring stack. The new, cohesive look offers a gorgeous splash of royal blue along the sides of the set, and we just can’t get enough of the new contrasting style.

See The Set

 

Do you have an old stone you'd like to breathe some life into and create a new piece of jewelry? We'd love to talk to you about your options. Check out some other beautiful pieces our clients have created for themselves as a "just-for-fun" treat in the gallery below.

To Me, From Me, Love Me: Self-Designed Jewelry

Proposal Feels

Proposal Feels

The PJ Custom team has been privileged to craft engagement rings for over thousands of proposals globally, from Paris to Iceland to Texas. As a family business of crafters and designers, we cherish being a part of our clients' important life moments as they start their own beginning as a family. Proposals mark the point where two paths become one, and family cultures and values blend together to create a brand new story.

To honor #NationalProposalDay today, we rounded up stories of where some of our favorite "forever" moments happened.

A Paris Pratiksha Proposal

sarah proposal and ring eiffel towerMatt popped the question to Sarah under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Sporting a very unique and sparkly engagement ring, Sarah says "I am beyond elated with this beautiful piece of jewelry, and can't believe that this is what I get to look at for the rest of my life. The three rows of diamonds mean "I love you" and the two rows of baguettes symbolize Matthew and me." 

See Sarah's Story

 

A Private Proposal Dinner at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India

cushion engagement ring and india proposal in rambagh palaceOn her first trip to India, this lucky bride-to-be received the royal treatment for her proposal. A private dinner on the terrace awaited her at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, complete with flowers, candles, musicians and dancers. "It was truly the most romantic night of my life!"

Read Their Story

 

A Snowy Mountaintop in Aspen, Colorado

five stone engagement ring in aspen colorado proposalOn their last day of a ski trip, Kirk proposed in Natalie's favorite place in the entire world with her dream ring. "I love that I have a ring like no one else's!"

Read Natalie's Story

 

A Surprise Christmas Day Proposal at His Future In-Law's House

east west oval engagement ring and christmas proposalSneaky sneaky... David tricked his future fiancee by telling her he would fly out to her parents' house the day after Christmas, even booking and cancelling a flight to show evidence! But in reality, he flew in Christmas day to pop the question. "Her dad and sister helped me execute my master plan. I took pictures along the way, including me at the airport, on the plane, and at her front door. I texted them all at once... surprise!"

Read David's Story

 

A PJ Picnic Proposal on Art Hill in St. Louis, Missouri

art hill proposal and emerald engagement ringAndrew told Andie he wanted to marry her after just two dates, but for his proposal, he organized a classy picnic on Art Hill. "I set it up complete with champagne, snacks and flowers. When she arrived, I got down on one knee. Both of us were so excited, we sort of forgot to eat!"

Read Andrew's Story

 

A Library Hunt in Philadelphia with All Their Family

twisting engagement ring with library proposalThis couple bonded over their love for museums, monuments, memorials and books before the big question. "Jamie proposed in the beautiful Free Library of Philadelphia. He led me through the library on a scavenger hunt. Each of our family members was there with a book and the next riddle."

Read Anjali's Story

Joy to the Jewel

Joy to the Jewel

With ancient history rooted in folklore, spiritual influence, medicinal and cultural values, jewels have captures human interest for thousands of years. The perfect application of minerals, time and pressure create these precious treasures of the earth, with nature determining their rarity. Everything else about gemstones is created by human interest, such as their value, fashionability, legacy, cultural importance, and all the fun stories (including how effective they are at warding off bad luck).

In honor of National Jewel Day today, we put together a collection of our top gemstone picks. You'll find these beauties bedazzling many of our top selling styles, as these stones offer high color saturation, hardness, quality and durability for daily wear-and-tear. There's a reason that royal jewels have stood strong through centuries of politics, family dynasties, drama and debacles... they're strong and beautiful, just like the women who wear them.

loose rubies

Birthstone: July
Anniversary Stone: 15th, 80th
Shop Loose Rubies
Shop Ruby Jewelry

For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. The Sanskrit word for ruby is "ratnaraj," which means something like "king of the gemstones." It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent color, excellent hardness, outstanding brilliance, and extreme rarity. For a long time, India was regarded as the ruby's classical country of origin. 

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, named from the Sanskrit word "kuruvinda." Only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby, with all other colors being classified as sapphires. The close relationship between the ruby and the sapphire has only been known since the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to modern technology allowing us to study mineral composition. Up to that time, red garnets or spinels were also thought to be rubies, and many famous historical rubies were later discovered to actually be spinels.

color sapphires

Birthstone: September
Anniversary Stone: 5th, 10th, 45th, 70th
Shop Loose Sapphires
Shop Sapphire Jewelry

If there is talk of the sapphire, most gemstone aficionados think immediately of a velvety blue. However, the beloved royal blue is only one of a rainbow of colors in the family of sapphire gems. Composed of corundum, a mineral second only to diamond in hardness, the sapphire is actually defined as any color of the mineral besides red (reserved for ruby). The most valuable are genuine Kashmir stones (pure, intense blue with subtle violet undertone), with Burmese sapphires valued almost as highly; then come the sapphires from Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

Star sapphire varieties feature a star-like phenomenon known as “asterism,” when direct light shows star-like rays throughout the stone. Other rare sapphire colors include orange, green (mostly found in Thailand and Australia) and the most rare and highly prized of all: the Padparadscha sapphire (the enchanting coral stone found in Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring).

loose emeralds

Birthstone: May
Anniversary Stone: 20th, 35th
Shop Loose Emeralds
Shop Emerald Jewelry

The famous green stone has a long and colorful history (one of the oldest of all gemstones) and was the preferred stone of Cleopatra. This variety of beryl can grow to fantastic sizes: the Bahia Emerald, one of the biggest found in the world, is 840 pounds and is worth over $372 million.

Emerald is known for its verdant green coloring, which is its most important characteristic when estimating its value. It is also known for its flaws, which are tolerated more than any other stone as a mark of its character. Most emeralds feature tiny fissures, cracks, and inclusions, and flawless stones are extremely uncommon. Some actually prefer a stone with minute flaws over a flawless one as proof of its authenticity. Oil and resin treatments are common in the industry to improve the appearance of these imperfections.

tanzanites and tanzanite jewelry

Birthstone: December
Anniversary Stone: 8th, 24th
Shop Loose Tanzanites
Shop Tanzanite Jewelry

Tanzanite is a fairly new to the gemstone world. It was discovered in 1967 by Masai tribesman Ali Juuyawatu, who happened upon the glittering stones weathered from the earth and brought the find to ruby prospector Manuel de Souza.

So far the extremely rare stone has only been found in the original region of its discovery, the Mererani Hills in Northern Tanzania. It is a transparent indigo blue stone that resembles sapphire in coloring, brilliance, and luster. Given its pleochroism (change in color depending on orientation to the light), tanzanite can appear bright blue, violet purple, and rarely have a desirable burgundy flash. The stone was officially added as a birthstone for December in 2002 by the American Gem Trade Association, the first stone added since 1912.

Pastel colored tanzanite is far more common than darker-colored stones – about 80% of  mining production is pastel in shade, from soft greyish blues to lilacs. This is partly because the smaller tanzanite stones do not “hold” a deep blue color well, meaning that dark blue tanzanite is typically only available in larger stones over 2.50 carats. Supply of the stone is extremely limited and is expected to run out in the next 25 years. 

shop amethyst

shop garnet

shop topaz

shop aquamarine

March of the Aquas

March of the Aquas

There was a collective gasp heard around the world last spring when the Duchess of Sussex departed for her wedding reception. True, she brought the wow-factor with her dazzling wedding dress and chic reception gown, but all eyes were on the enchanting aquamarine cocktail ring adorning her finger for the black-tie event. The heirloom ring was from Princess Diana, her late mother-in-law, and was a famed piece of jewelry that she had worn many decades ago. The bittersweet moment showed that even though the women would never get to meet, there was a lot of love and pride present for the couples’ big day.

Aquamarine is March’s spring-tastic birthstone, and also serves as the 19th wedding anniversary stone. A member of the beryl family, aquamarines come from the same family as emeralds and morganite. While even the palest blue stone can be breath-taking, aquas range in color spectrum to a dark, denim-like teal. You can see what that might look like in the following examples.

aquamarine rings with diamond

To us, aquamarine serves as a “vacation stone,” immediately conjuring memories of sun-kissed ocean fun, sunny blue skies, and tranquil purity that lets us escape from daily mundane tasks. Our favorite materials to pair with aquamarine are cool white gold settings and crisp white diamonds to show off the aquamarine’s spectrum of blue. We like to think of diamonds as the “wing man” for aquamarines since they enhance the beauty and charm of the stone’s hue. Warm yellow gold is also very flattering, as it helps draw focus to the greener tones found within the stone.

custom aquamarine wedding band and engagement rings

Check out our Aquamarine Showcase Gallery to see more PJ Custom examples

Cheat sheet for buying aquamarines and customizing jewelry:

  1. Aquamarines register as a 7.8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them a durable choice for any kind of jewelry, including bridal and daily wear.
  2. Most aquamarines are heat-treated, which is a very common process for many different types of precious gemstones to bring out more of the color saturation. Treatment does not compromise the value or integrity of the stone, but aquamarines with more beautiful color quality and saturation command much higher prices.
  3. Aquamarines grow in large crystals, making many high-carat stones available. Since they are beryl crystals, aquas can sometimes have microscopic bubbles or inclusions within the jewel. Though they are not necessarily unattractive, you can ask your jeweler for an “eye-clean” aquamarine to make sure your stone looks crystal clear to the naked eye.

emerald cut aquamarine

3.26ct. Emerald Cut Aquamarine

$590

round aquamarine

2.51ct. Round Aquamarine

$850

oval aquamarine

1.82ct Oval Aquamarine

$209

Fun facts about aquamarines:

Aquamarines derive their name from Latin “aqua marina,” meaning “sea water,” and has thousands of years of history bringing luck to sea voyagers. The mysticism surrounding the stone was believed to come directly from mermaids, protecting the sailors from danger, evil, seasickness and other medical ailments. Ancient Romans believed that the stone could cure medical ailments as well, and healers in the Middle Ages believed that the stone warded off anxiety and toxins from poison.

Our Co-Founder Rocks

Our Co-Founder Rocks

Our fierce, fiery co-founder is a force to be reckoned with. Pratiksha Vaidya, aka “Tisha,” launched our fine jewelry line with the goal of offering high-quality, beautifully trendy pieces within reach. Growing up as a fourth-generation fine jeweler, Tisha spent her childhood shuffling Ceylon sapphires and learning the ins and outs of jewelry fashion. She took this love of color and design along when she moved up north to spend her college years in New York City and beyond.

After graduating with her Master’s at The Wharton School and working in finance, she often found there was a fine balance between looking elegant but also classy and professional. She sought to create a jewelry collection designed for women who mean business, embody the spirit of fun and fashion, and lower their expectations for no one. We sat down to learn a bit more about the woman behind the jewelry line.

tisha designing jewelry

You launched Pratiksha Jewelry after becoming personally frustrated with your other jewelry falling apart. Do you have any stories about jewelry failing you right before an important moment?

"I used to wear big costume necklaces that were full of color and personality, anything to help balance out the wardrobe of black, navy and gray that I wore while working at a conservative firm. I was pitching a major deal to our Investment Committee, and my necklace suddenly broke and fell onto the table! It clattered and crashed, totally throwing me off my game… so embarrassing! This was one of several incidences that forced me to explore jewelry alternatives, where I wanted to combine my love of color and design with quality craftsmanship that functions in the working world."

What did you hope to change about the fine jewelry business?

"I wanted to change the notion that jewelry has to be gifted and be purchased for you. There’s a rising force in the industry - working women. Empowered women.  We are comfortable being the primary breadwinners of the house, taking on Corporate America, and buying ourselves beautiful accessories like handbags and shoes that are long-term investments for our wardrobe. But for some reason, we have an obstacle when it comes to buying ourselves fine jewelry despite earning that right. I wanted to take back ownership of that purchase."

What was it like growing up around the jewelry business?

"Sparkly! I learned early on to appreciate quality first. I also learned very valuable lessons around work ethic, the value of creating your own destiny, and creativity around precious materials."

amethyst halo ring on hands with henna

What do you love most about designing bridal jewelry with your clients?

"I love hearing about the couple and incorporating personal details of their relationship into the design of the rings. As a small business, we cherish each of our clients and appreciate their support. I feel like I’m invited into their 'inner circle' when I’m asked to design such a special ring for their life milestone."

What do you love most about designing with color stones?

"I love color! My personality is far from muted, so why should my jewelry be any different? I love diamond staples, but I really love the ability to turn precious and semi-precious color stone pieces into “every day” accents. Particularly, I love the color stone trend for engagement rings. Check out some of my favorite PJ Custom bridal ideas below."

black diamond ring and emerald ring

What’s it like co-founding a company with your brother?

"Like any partnership, it takes a lot of work! But there’s no one in the world I trust more. We are polar opposites in terms of our working style, but are identical in our long-term goals and milestones for the company."

What is something you think about anytime you lay out the groundwork for a Pratiksha design?

"My philosophy is that jewelry should be worn and appreciated every day, not adored from afar. Every piece we design is with a living, breathing woman in mind. Where does she work? Dine? Work out? Hang with friends? Go on dates? The balance of beauty with practicality of wear is something we heavily incorporate into the design of every Pratiksha piece."

Your "Soul" Stone

Your

Any time I meet up with one of my long-time friends, Emily, I can always count on her wearing her moonstone pendant. Emily’s carefree, spirited personality is perfectly encapsulated in this quirky and colorful gemstone, and I remember how it shimmers when we laugh together, make her signature s’mores dip, and run after our kids. Now every time I see a moonstone I think of her, and it brings a flood of our memories back.

moonstone ring and moonstone pendant

Making a connection with a gemstone is meaningful to not only you, but the people who see you wear it. Do you have a gemstone that really resonates with your personal style? Whether it’s a birthstone, a stone from a family treasure, or your “soul stone,” there is fascinating significance and cultural values behind each gemstone. Many of them have thousands of years of history (i.e. ruby, emerald, and sapphire), but some have only been recently unearthed (i.e. tanzanite in 1967). If you do some soul searching of your own, you’ll be surprised to find what kinds of naturally occurring colors appear in the gemstone world, and which ones mean a little bit more to you than just surface beauty.

Take a dip into history

Many gemstones have an ancient past with symbolism stemming from Eastern cultures. The aquamarine, for example, was commonly known as the “sailor’s gem” to ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed the stone ensured safe and prosperous voyages across the sea. If you’re curious about interesting stone facts and their historical value, take a look at any of the stones that pique your interest on PJ Custom. The product page has a tab that features cool and unusual facts about each stone used in fine jewelry, as well as buying tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.

how to learn more about gemstone

Explore your birthstone collection

If you love your month’s birthstone, awesome! These collections of jewelry by month can help inspire a new look for you. But you may be surprised to find that many months feature an “alternative” birthstone, such as June, October and December (which has 3!). Additionally, many birthstones such as Garnet (January), Sapphire (September) and Tourmaline (October) feature a rainbow of color options that beg to be considered. You can find all the alternative birthstone options in our gemstone inventory when you click the “Birthstone” tab.

Do you have a special anniversary in your life?

Most people liken anniversaries to weddings, but that’s an old philosophy. Celebrating the annual turn of anything of great significance in your life is worthy of commemorating in a fine jewelry piece. For example, one of our clients just celebrated her tenth year of sobriety. We suggested a sapphire, traditionally honored as the tenth anniversary stone, and created a pendant she could wear daily. Her strength, resilience and perseverance through her challenges were encapsulated in a fine jewelry piece to remind herself of her inner strength and worth.

loose sapphires and ring

The world of gemstones and their cultural significance are continually evolving. Take a look at our Gemstone Gallery to discover a jewel that speaks to you.

Design Diaries: Heidi and Neal

Design Diaries: Heidi and Neal

Tomorrow we turn the calendar page to mark the official season of love! Valentine’s Day ramps us up because there are SO many different ways to honor timeless love with fine jewelry, including gifts of love to yourself, a parent, sister or bestie. Amongst the women who choose and purchase their own fine jewelry, over half of the brides we work with are actively designing their own engagement rings.  We love this turn of tradition on its head, where women are taking charge of the piece of jewelry they’ll be wearing every day for the rest of their lives.

Take a note from PJ Custom bride, Heidi, who had a hand in the design of her engagement ring, but still got a wonderful surprise for her proposal. We love this method of engagement jewelry design because everyone wins while the romance is still kept alive. This PJ Custom couple’s Valentine’s Day engagement is particularly special because Neal picked out a beautiful and famed location – the Taj Mahal – to pop the question during his fiancee’s first visit to India. Built in 1643, this historic location’s name means “Crown of the Palaces,” and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to be “as beautiful as his love” for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

heidi and neal proposal

TELL US YOUR STORY!

Heidi: Neal and I met through friends. A fun fact about us as a couple: we are polar opposites! He took me to India for my first time, and proposed at the Taj Mahal on Valentine’s Day.

proposal at taj mahal on valentines day

DID YOU DROP HINTS ABOUT WHAT YOU WANTED IN AN ENGAGEMENT RING?

I gave him several pictures but didn’t know which idea he would go with, so the ring was a surprise!

double halo engagement ring

SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT BLING!

Pratiksha only uses the best quality and I get compliments ALL the time. It’s something about the design and quality that catches people’s eye.

NOTES FROM TISHA

I’m swept away by the level of detail of this proposal! I can’t imagine a more romantic backdrop than some of India’s most beautiful buildings and scenery.

To get the conversation started about your own custom jewelry project, send us an email at hello@pratikshajewelry.com,or visit our Custom Jewelry Gallery to get the creative juices flowing!