• two rubies
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Ruby: July’s Birthstone

    If you were born in July, your birthstone is one of the longest-loved gemstones of all: the ruby. Named for its gorgeous red hues—the latin word for red was ruber—this gem has been treasured for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at why it was deemed so special and why it continues to captivate today!

    The King of Precious Stones

    Breath-taking ruby pendant crafted from gold and accented by diamonds – available here!

    All across the world, references to rubies can be found dating back millennia. In ancient India, rubies were known as “the king of precious stones.” In the Bible, rubies were associated with wisdom and beauty. To others, these fiery stones were believed to bring peace and even rebirth its wearer.

    Though these associations may have faded in hearts and minds of people today, the ruby’s allure certainly hasn’t! In fact, rubies can still command the highest per-carat price of ANY colored stone—including colored diamonds!

    The Most Valuable Form of Corundum

    Absolutely stunning two-tone engagement ring featuring a high-quality ruby at its center – available here!

    Did you know that rubies and sapphires are made of the same mineral called corundum? Though their mineral make-up is virtually identical, tiny amounts of trace elements make all the difference! Believe it or not, a little bit of chromium is all it takes to produce those famous red to pinkish hues—turning a would-be sapphire into a ruby!

    So, why are those red hues more valuable than all the others? As usual, it’s all about rarity, and high-quality rubies above one carat are extraordinarily rare. That’s why certain treatments to improve the color and appearance of less rare rubies—say, one that’s light pink or one with an abundance of inclusions—have become commonplace.

    The most common of these treatment is the application of extreme heat. Amazingly, temperatures of up to 3300ยฐF can turn a pale stone into a vibrant one! Similarly, “lead glass filling” can be used to turn a highly fractured ruby into one that appears quite transparent, allowing more light to pass through the stone to show off its gorgeous facets.

    Caring for Your Ruby

    Stunning ruby & diamond wedding set – available at our Brentwood showroom!

    With a hardness rating of 9.0 on the Mohs scale, rubies are exceptionally durable stones that are well-suited to daily wear. However, it’s important to know if your ruby has received any of the the treatments described above so that you can properly care for it.

    For example, if your ruby has undergone the fracture-filling process, you should never use an ultrasonic cleaner, and you’ll want to keep it away from any sort of acid (i.e., lemon juice). That said, soap and warm water is perfectly safe and more than enough to keep your ruby shining. In fact, simply using a damp cloth will work wonders, too! When in doubt about how your stone has been treated, always play it safe!

    Why not stop by our stores and check out our collection of ruby jewelry in person or browse right here online!

    We hope to serve you soon!

  • alexandrite and black pearl
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Pearl & Alexandrite – June’s Birthstones

    June babies are lucky enough to get two very unique birthstones to choose from: pearl & alexandrite! You’ve probably seen a pearl before, but you may not have seen an alexandrite up close and personal. Let’s take a look at these gorgeous stones and see which one you would choose (or, why not choose both?)!


    Unlike most gemstones, pearls actually grow within a living organism! When some type of irritant—like a piece of sand—enters the shell of an oyster, a pearl can begin to form. Layer by layer, the oyster covers this irritant with nacre, which is the iridescent material pearls are famous for. Since this is actually quite rare, pearls are now cultured on farms across the world to encourage this process.

    A creamy white pearl surrounded by diamonds – available here!

    While nacre is stunningly gorgeous, this special material is in need of extra care and protection. Pearls are only a 2.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness (for reference, a diamond is a 10), so they are very vulnerable to bumps and scratches which can permanently damage the nacre. It’s for that very reason that pearls are commonly fashioned into necklaces, bracelets or earrings, because these types of jewelry are less likely to result in wear & tear. Nonetheless, pearls can definitely be fashioned into rings as well—like the beautiful example above—they just need a little extra care!

    Though it’s always a good idea to remove your rings when washing your hands or doing manual work, this is especially important for pearls. In fact, when it comes to cleaning your pearl jewelry, you won’t usually need to use water at all! Instead, wiping gently with an extra soft towel is typically sufficient. To learn more about care, cleaning and buying tips for pearls, check out our article here!


    “Emerald by day, ruby by night” – that’s how the finest alexandrite has been described since its discovery in the 1800s. Why? Because alexandrite’s color actually changes based on the light! This awesome quality makes alexandrite quite rare and one of the more expensive colored gemstones available today, making its lab-created variety an attractive alternative. We have a few pieces of lab-created alexandrite at our Hendersonville showroom, but we can always order its natural variety too!

    Depending on the light, fine alexandrite like this lab-created stone can range from green to purple to red!

    Alexandrite’s color-changing ability isn’t the only thing that makes it desirable, though—this stone is also very durable, coming in at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. That makes it absolutely perfect for daily wear without having to worry too much about accidental damage. Plus, cleaning your alexandrite jewelry is a breeze—warm, soapy water can usually get the job done, but ultrasonic cleaners are safe too!

    So, which of these beauties would you choose? Lustrous pearls or color-changing alexandrite? We’d love to show you both in person, so why not stop by our showrooms? Alexandrite is in stock at our Hendersonville store, but we have all kinds of pearls at both stores!

    As always, you can shop online too! Check out our alexandrite collection here and our pearl collection here!

    We hope to see you!