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When it comes to stunning simplicity and timeless classic fashion, Taylor Pilkington is an authority. The blogger and mama dished about diamond shopping with PJ in her recent feature, Everyday Jewelry Must-Haves, while telling us why she wanted to invest in smart jewelry essentials like the diamond studs she picked up for Galentine’s Day.
Taylor explained that having children led her to look at her investment jewelry a little more closely when shopping for her next piece(s). “I noticed that I began to consider years and years down the road before making a single jewelry purchase because I wanted to make sure I was investing in pieces that would not only last a lifetime, but also be something I could pass down when the time was right.” Knowing she wanted essential jewelry that can fit within the life of a busy mom, Taylor scooped up some classic diamond stud earrings. They were “my top choice for luxe simplicity because I knew they would be able to keep up, especially with the warmer winter months that are quickly approaching!”
Essential jewelry like diamond studs are perfect for wearing day-to-night, whether you’re hitting the gym, flying across the country, wrangling kids or owning the night at a fancy event. “If you’re a mom too, you’re probably familiar with feeling the need to obtain jewelry that can be worn everywhere and how complicated it can be to have jewelry that’s too fussy or high maintenance so scouting out pieces that can go with the flow is always ideal,” Taylor said.
Diamond studs are also one of the most versatile and customizable jewelry essentials. While Pratiksha uses a standard of white, eyeclean diamonds for earring studs (G-H Color, SI1-2 Clarity), you can customize your earrings with a different quality of diamonds to suit your budget.
If you’ve had your eye on a pair of diamond studs, consider investing in the perfect set for your jewelry wardrobe. As Taylor put it, “we all deserve something nice every now and then and this is your reminder not to wait on anyone else to make sure you get it.” For more of Taylor’s elegant fashion sense and clean, minimal aesthetic, follow her at @taylorpilk and at https://thearchivededit.com/.
Do you already have a set of diamond studs? Awesome! Stay tuned for more about how to upgrade and customize your diamond studs.
Long-term care & Restoring, refurbishing and repairing vintage jewelry
Back in part 1 of our Jewelry Care series, we covered light daily/weekly maintenance for your jewelry, and how to care for different materials. In part 2, we broke down the various ways to keep your jewelry in good shape via annual inspections, and more long-term wear repairs.
The most intense method of jewelry care involves the repair and restoration of your pieces. So you’ve got an old heirloom from your grandmother, or you found a one-of-a-kind treasure at a pawn shop, jewelry resale shop or estate sale? Beautiful: you’ve got many options to reinvigorate, restore or recraft your piece of jewelry.
Stone replacement: If you’re looking to replace the stones of a familiar heirloom, a jeweler can measure the opening for the stone to give you a best recommendation of material, carat weight and depth. It’s helpful to have any certifications, photographs or other valuable insight to help recreate the shape and color of the stone(s). Depending on your budget for restoration, the jeweler can provide valuable guidance on stone quality and optional alternatives to fit your price point.
Rebuilding prongs: The delicate prongs that hold diamonds and precious gemstones can grow worn after years of wearing. Rings are especially prone to damage since they endure a lot more action on your hands. Your annual inspection should involve checking the prongs for any bending or warping. Over time, it may be time to re-forge the strength of your prongs so they can do a proper job of holding on to your stones.
Run your fingers over the top of your pronged jewelry and you should feel small tips sticking out. If the prongs feel smooth, flat or even with the stone, it’s time for a touch up. Known as “retipping,” rebuilding the prongs on a piece of jewelry involves building up the prongs with new gold so that they are durable again. After filing and polishing, your new, durable prongs will look as good as new.
Recreating an old/broken vintage piece: sometimes, the changes needed to restore a piece involves recreating the metal setting entirely. The jeweler will need the old piece in order to replicate all the details, pop out the stones for repurposing, and produce a computer-aided-design (CAD) for your review. The design will help you see the different angles and provide any additional guidance before the final casting.
The biggest question of all when it comes to working on priceless family heirlooms: how can I find a jeweler I can trust? Once you hand that piece over, it’s important to do your homework and find a knowledgeable, quality jeweler with extensive experience in a wide breadth of materials and styles. And, preferably a jeweler who won’t take three months while charging an arm and a leg.
Lucky for you, our custom experts can turn around repairs and new custom pieces in as little as two weeks. Our design staff has over four decades of fine jewelry wisdom when it comes to sturdy-yet-fashionable styles, material integrity and craftsmanship. And since our expertise lies in diamonds and gemstones, our staff is familiar with stone hardness, color and quality matching, and the cuts that suit certain stone types the best. We want to help restore your beautiful jewelry to its glory days. We’re only a phone call or appointment away.
Our jewelry company was first launched when our founder, Tisha Vaidya, was seeking a way to combine her love of color and fashion with professional apparel. As someone who started her career in New York’s finance world, daily life was a wash of corporate black and white, offering nothing exciting for a woman who grew up around vibrant sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Tisha craved color every day, and knew that thousands of women do too, so she set her sights on making the gemstone world accessible for everyone.
Our Rainbow Collection was launched to commemorate women who live boldly, colorfully, and aren’t afraid to let their true personalities show. Celebrating those who are unashamedly young and fearless at heart, the collection features dainty pieces that play well with diamonds and other color stones. Our favorites include the best-selling rainbow stacking ring, chain bracelet, bar studs and huggies, as well as inventive styles with color gemstone clusters and unique opal doublets. The rainbow collection was also designed to honor the LGBT community, as these beacons represent the hope and change that has affected our laws since our company was founded four years ago.
The best part? Over half the collection is under $500, with our best-selling pieces falling within the $120-240 price range. And if you’re curious on how to style these beauties, you’re in luck! PJ’s rainbow goodies have been scooped up by some of our favorite fashion bloggers recently, showing how to style these babies in the wild. Read on to check out the eye candy!
Sasha Zavala scooped up our rainbow chain bracelet to match her vibrant style. As one of our newest Dallas style crushes, Sasha dropped by our DFW Jewelry Showroom last month, and we got to know each other a little better. You can read about her visit by checking out her blog post here, where she remarked, “A place where women can go touch, get educated, and experience fine jewelry? Without the HIGH markup prices... Yes, it does exist and is located in Dallas, TX.”
Angeline Holoub of @Sometime_Saturday treated herself to the rainbow stacking ring and rocks it solo on her index finger. We’ve had so much fun seeing her pair her Pratiksha pieces with gorgeous winter looks.
Ready to check out the collection? We thought you’d never ask.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
We love Maggie’s idea of creating a special pair of drop 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
The Cocktail Rundown
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.
Glenlivet Founders Reserve, a homemade strawberry syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, Lillet Rose shaken and served up. Worthy of at least one Nobel Prize.
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.
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.
The Jewelry Drop
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.
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 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.
Because we like options, the rainbow collections features all our favorite colors combined into beautiful hot stones. They compliment your daily diamonds to perfection.
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!
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.
Created from the side stones of our client's old ring
After 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!”
Fashioned from 4 diamonds from our client
When 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.
Crafted from an unworn wedding ring
After 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!”
Repurposed from our client's broken ring
We 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.
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.
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
Matt 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."
A Private Proposal Dinner at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India
On 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!"
A Snowy Mountaintop in Aspen, Colorado
On 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!"
A Surprise Christmas Day Proposal at His Future In-Law's House
Sneaky 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!"
A PJ Picnic Proposal on Art Hill in St. Louis, Missouri
Andrew 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!"
A Library Hunt in Philadelphia with All Their Family
This 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."
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cheat sheet for buying aquamarines and customizing jewelry:
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.