• peridot and diamond earrings
    Birthstones,  Gemstones

    August Birthday Gift Guide

    Looking for the perfect August birthday gift for that special someone? Look no further than Service Jewelry & Repair! August’s birthstone is peridot (which you can learn more about here), and we have peridot jewelry for all budgets and tastes. Not in the market for jewelry? We’ve picked out some great watches too!

    Peridot Jewelry


    peridot earrings

    Kit Heath Peridot Silver Earrings – $45

    Created by UK designer Kit Heath, these adorable sterling silver earrings make a perfect–and affordable–birthstone gift! There’s even a matching necklace!

    peridot and white topaz pendant

    10kt Yellow Gold Peridot & White Topaz Pendant – $400

    This lovely pendant features a pear shaped 1.90ct peridot and a glittering white topaz accent.

    peridot and diamond earrings

    14kt White Gold Peridot & Diamond Earrings – $940

    In timeless white gold, these beautiful earrings feature round cut peridot with petite diamond accents.

    1.05ctw Peridot Wedding Set – $2850

    For an unforgettable birthday, how about popping the question with this stunning peridot wedding set?

    You can see our entire selection of peridot jewelry here!

    Watches


    seiko solar watch with green canvas strap

    Seiko Men’s Essential Solar Watch – $205

    For the outdoor-lover, this Seiko watch features a durable canvas strap, easy to read luminescent dial markers, and is recharged by the sun!

    green raymond weil tango watch

    Raymond Weil Tango Sport Watch – $995

    For the green-lover, this Raymond Weil Tango watch features all stainless steel construction, green rotating bezel, plus a green second hand.

    two-tone rolex 1991 watch with diamond bezel

    Pre-Owned Rolex 1991 Oyster Perpetual Datejust – $7900

    This stunning Rolex features 18kt gold accents, 10 diamonds on its jet black dial, plus diamonds all around the bezel–truly a show-stopping birthday gift!

    If you still need help deciding, why not pop into one our stores? We’re always ready and happy to help!

  • garnets
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Garnet: January’s Birthstone

    Happy birthday, January babies! Your lovely birthstone is garnet. Lets take a look at what makes this precious stone so special.

    An Ancient Adornment


    The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word granatus, which means “pomegranate.” Though this gem is usually found in its deep red variety (hence the name), it actually comes in orange, yellow, purple and even green too!

    Artifacts featuring red garnets have been found across the ancient world. From Egyptian necklaces to Roman signet rings to the favorite adornments of medieval clergy and nobles, it’s easy to see that garnets were a highly valued gem.

    Gorgeous garnet and diamond ring in 14kt white gold – available here!

    This trend continued into more modern eras too, especially among the Victorians. Lovely red garnets were used as embellishments for everything from hair combs to choker-style necklaces. During this time, most garnets were mined in Bohemia, which was famous for these exquisite gems.

    Today, the vast majority are mined in Africa, but believe it or not, Southern California was once know for producing them too! In fact, various deposits are scattered across the globe, all the way from Afghanistan to Brazil.

    Care & Keeping


    Interestingly, not all garnets have the same hardness rating on the Mohs scale. These beauties can range anywhere between 6.5 to 7.5, making them a stone that requires a bit more care. That’s why you’ll often find garnets set in earrings, pendants or fashion rings rather than engagement rings. That way your garnet is not subjected to the various bumps and scrapes of daily wear.

    All that being said, it’s super easy to clean garnets. Warm soapy water and a soft brush will get the job done at home, or you can use an ultrasonic cleaner (so long as you’re sure your garnet is not fractured/fracture filled). However, always be sure to store your garnet jewelry away from other jewelry. Harder stones (like diamonds, rubies, or sapphires) can scratch it, while garnets themselves can scratch softer stones (like pearls or opal).

    January Gift Guide


    Looking for the perfect birthday gift for that special someone? Here’s a small selection of a few of our favorite garnet pieces.

    Sterling Silver Garnet Studs

    These dainty earrings are an affordable birthstone gift for that special someone–just $142!

    Le Vian 1.90ct Rhodelite Garnet & .13ct Diamond Pendant

    You can never go wrong with a designer piece from Le Vian! This gorgeous 14kt gold pendant is only $849!

    Le Vian 0.65ct Purple Garnet & .42ct Diamond Ring

    For a nontraditional choice, how about this purple garnet ring–also by Le Vian! This gorgeous piece is only $1,199!

    Shop the entire collection of garnet jewelry here, stop by one of our stores, or use our Contactless Concierge service! We hope to serve you soon!

  • sapphire bracelet
    Birthstones,  Gemstones

    Happy Birthday, September Babies!

    Can you believe it’s already September?! Summer may be on its way out, but we have just the thing to chase your blues away–a sapphire birthstone gift! If you want to learn more about this amazing birthstone, check out our sapphire blog post, then take a look at some of our favorite pieces below!

    created sapphire & diamond ring

    10kt 5.0ct Created Blue Sapphire & 1.2ctw Created White Sapphire Ring

    With a stunning 5.0ct blue sapphire at the center & a price tag of only $600, you simply cannot go wrong with this ring!

    sapphire & diamond pendant

    14kt White Gold .330 Ctw Sapphire & Diamond Pendant

    Coming in right at $1000, this pendant makes an excellent keepsake, featuring a stunning round cut blue sapphire and diamond accents.

    blue sapphire earrings with diamonds

    14kt White Gold Sapphire & Diamond Earrings

    Reminiscent of royalty, these jaw-dropping earrings feature oval cut blue sapphires surrounded by diamond accents–and are only $1200!

    pink sapphire & diamond ring

    14kt Yellow Gold Pink Sapphire & .25ctw Diamond Ring

    Are blue sapphires not your style? Don’t worry, they come in almost every color! Check out this stunning oval cut pink sapphire ring, surrounded by two diamond halos!

    EFFY .620 Ctw Black Sapphire & Silver/Gold Cuff Links

    Add a little bling with these two-tone sterling silver cuff links, featuring rows of jet black sapphires.

    men's two tone effy ring with black sapphires

    EFFY .330 Ctw Black Sapphire & Silver/Gold Ring

    Why not complete the set with this stylish EFFY ring? It features the same jet black sapphires & two-tone style.

    Check out our full sapphire collection online, or better yet, drop by one of our stores and see it all in person!

    We hope to serve you soon!

  • gold in front of cash
    Diamonds,  Events,  Gemstones,  Watches

    Two Day Gold Buying Event

    Did you know gold prices are at an all-time high? Take advantage of these amazing, limited-time prices at our upcoming Gold Buying Event! We’re offering INSTANT payment for your unwanted gold, silver, diamonds, and watches, plus a 20% BONUS if you choose a store credit!

    For your convenience, we’re hosting this event at both of our stores on separate weekends. Check out the details & make your appointment below:

    Hendersonville

    September 11-12

    1050 Glenbrook Way, Suite 400
    Hendersonville, TN 37075
    (615) 826-5338

    HOURS

    Friday the 11th • 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
    Saturday the 12th • 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

    Brentwood

    September 18-19

    782 Old Hickory Blvd. Suite 104
    Brentwood, TN 37027
    (615) 221-4392

    HOURS

    Friday the 18th • 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
    Saturday the 19th • 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

    Book an appointment


    Time

    Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Now is the perfect time to get top dollar for your unwanted jewelry and watches!

    We hope to see you soon!

  • an oval peridot and a pear shaped peridot
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Peridot – August’s Birthstone

    Ranging from grassy green to yellowish green, peridot is the captivating birthstone of August. For thousands of years, peridot’s unique green hues have been treasured—and often mistaken for other gems! Today, we’ll learn a little bit about where peridot comes from, what makes it special, and how to care for it.

    From the Sky to the Earth


    Peridot is found across the world in places like China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and here the United States. Arizona is the main source in America, but Hawaii is home to the famous “Peridot Beach,” which awes visitors with its luminous green sands.

    Most of these peridot deposits were formed under extreme conditions by the earth itself, but did you know that some came from meteorites? That’s right–some deposits of gem quality peridot actually traveled all the way from outer space!

    peridot cocktail ring

    14kt White Gold Peridot & Diamond Estate Ring

    A stunning pear-shaped natural peridot set in white gold and surrounded by diamonds.

    No matter its origins, peridot has been a favorite gem for thousands of years, but its various green hues have also caused confusion. Lighter peridot has often been confused for green topaz, while its deeper green shades have been mistaken for emerald. In fact, many famous collections of “emeralds” actually turned out to be collections of peridot!

    Like many gemstones, ancient people believed peridot would protect them from evil spirits and nightmares. While we may not believe that today, peridot’s allure has remained unchanged. In addition to being August’s birthstone, peridot is also given to celebrate the 16th wedding anniversary.

    Care & Keeping


    Peridot is around 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means it’s a bit softer than other favorites like sapphires or rubies. While you might not want to choose peridot for an everyday ring, it’s an excellent choice for earrings, pendants, and formal wear rings.

    oval cut peridot earrings

    14kt White Gold Peridot Earrings

    Perfect for everyday wear, these oval cut peridot earrings are set in classic white gold.

    Not only will you want to store peridot away from other gems (it could be scratched by tougher stones like diamonds), you’ll also want to take extra care when cleaning. Never use a steamer or ultrasonic cleaner, as these processes can permanently damage your stone! A gentle combination of warm water and mild soap will do the job just fine, but we can always do a thorough cleaning for you at our showrooms or corporate office!

    If you’re in the market for the perfect August birthday gift or simply a peridot lover, why not drop by our showrooms and take a look? Or, if you’d rather shop from the comfort of your own home, take a look at our full collection online here! We hope to serve you soon!

  • 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 3300°F 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?)!

    Pearl


    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!

    Alexandrite


    “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!

  • close up of abalone shell
    Education,  Gemstones,  Miscellaneous

    Abalone – Treasure from the Sea

    If you’re no stranger to fine jewelry, you’ve probably seen a classic strand of pearls or a beautiful watch with a mother-of-pearl dial, but have you come across a piece featuring abalone?

    You may already know that mother-of-pearl is derived from the nacre of mollusks (the highly iridescent inner layer of the shell). Abalone is actually a specific type of mother-of-pearl, derived solely from the group of sea snails known commonly by the same name.

    The inside of an abalone seashell

    While other mollusks typically produce a milky nacre, abalone snails produce a darker material with more dramatic colors. These snails are found in seas around the world, including off the coast of California! Sadly, many of these snails are facing extinction in the wild, but abalone farming is helping to combat this risk. For this reason, abalone is rarer and typically more valuable than regular mother-of-pearl.

    Check out this gorgeous EFFY abalone ring – available here!

    One of the really cool things about abalone is the way light affects its appearance. Check out the difference in the image above–direct light brings out a bright rainbow of color, while indirect light reveals rich purples and greens.

    This Damascus steel knife features a mesmerizing abalone handle – available here!

    If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind piece, look no further than abalone. Every single abalone shell produces a unique iridescent pattern, making it a perfect decorative element on everything from guitars and knives to jewelry and watches.

    You can view our collection of abalone jewelry and gifts online or come see it in person! We carry unique pieces at both of our retail locations.

    We hope to see you!

  • bloodstone and aquamarine
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Aquamarine & Bloodstone – March’s Birthstones

    When it comes to birthstones, March babies have two distinct choices: aquamarine and bloodstone! Let’s dive into what makes these stones unique.

    Aquamarine


    When you look into aquamarine, it’s like gazing into crystal clear waters–and that’s precisely how it got its name! With hues ranging from deep green-blue to light aqua, it’s easy to see why “aquamarine” was named for the Latin word for seawater.

    This aquamarine ring by EFFY is a stunning example of that coveted crystal-clear hue – available here!

    For this reason, ancient sailors came to believe that it could keep them safe at sea, and aquamarine’s reputation for protection has followed it all the way into the modern era. Not only is it known as a calming charm, it has also come to symbolize purity of spirit and soul.

    The two largest sources of aquamarine are Brazil and Pakistan, but this lovely stone is also found throughout Africa, Asia and even in parts of the United States!

    Another stunning example of crystal-clear aquamarine – available here!

    When it comes to durability, aquamarine is tough enough for daily wear–coming in at 7.5-8.0 on the Mohs scale–which makes it perfect for gifts meant to last a lifetime and beyond.

    Aquamarine is also super easy to clean–just a bit of mild dish soap and warm water will usually do the trick, but ultrasonic cleaners are typically safe too.

    Bloodstone


    Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is the lesser known birthstone of March, but it has a long and fascinating history of its own. A type of chalcedony, bloodstone is typically dark green with red inclusions of iron, giving it the appearance of being speckled with blood.

    Believe it or not, ancient Christians believed this stone held religious significance, as the blood red spots were seen to represent the blood of Christ.

    Outside of Christianity, bloodstone was thought to give the wearer strength and youthfulness and is still sometimes used as a lucky charm for modern athletes.

    Though bloodstones have been found all across the earth, almost all that is sold today comes from India. Often times it can be found as pebbles in riverbeds!

    Unlike aquamarine, bloodstone is quite soft–with a rating of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale–but this makes it perfect for carving or other unique uses. It can also be cleaned with warm water and bit of mild soap, but extra care should be taken to ensure bloodstone is not exposed to extreme temperatures or scratched.

    Though we don’t have bloodstone jewelry on display, we can always order or custom-design a bloodstone piece just for you!

    Stop by either of our store locations to see our aquamarine collection or to find the perfect bloodstone piece! We hope to serve you soon!

  • diamond in tweezers
    Diamonds,  Education,  Gemstones

    Natural vs. Synthetic vs. Simulant

    When shopping for diamond or gemstone jewelry, simulants and synthetics are bound to catch your eye. These beautiful gems tend to cost a whole lot less than natural stones, yet they can look exactly the same! You might be wondering exactly what these stones are and how they differ from their natural counterparts. If so, you’re in luck! Today we dive into the differences between natural, synthetic and simulant gemstones so you can make the best choice for you!

    Natural


    A natural gemstone is just what it sounds like: it’s any gemstone that was formed by nature. Many gems—like diamonds and rubies—are formed by the earth itself, while others—like pearls and abalone—are formed within mollusks and oysters. All of these processes are “natural” because human beings didn’t play a role in them.

    This 18kt white gold ring features five natural rubies surrounded by diamonds – available here!

    These natural processes are usually very slow and only happen under the right conditions. Plus, after the natural gem is formed, intensive mining is usually required to extract it. In the case of natural pearls, underwater diving is necessary to collect oysters—none of which are guaranteed to have pearls within them.

    In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find truly natural pearls on the market today. That’s because finding and harvesting wild oysters is so difficult and labor intensive that it simply isn’t done much anymore. Instead, pearls are “cultured” on farms, which is what you will find in the vast majority of jewelry stores today. Cultured pearls are like natural pearls in every way except for their “seed.” In nature, an irritant just happens to enter the oyster, beginning the pearl-producing process. On a pearl farm, the “seed” is surgically implanted—but there’s still no guarantee a pearl will form!

    All of these factors contribute greatly to the value of natural gemstones and pearls. Their price reflects not only the miracle of their existence, but also the amount of hard work required to bring that gem to you.

    Synthetic


    Synthetic gemstones are chemically and physically identical to their natural counterparts, but they aren’t formed naturally. Instead, modern science and technology are put to use to create gemstones in the lab! That’s why synthetic gemstones are sometimes called “lab-created” as well.

    If you’re a lover of flawless gemstones, synthetic or lab-created gems might be for you! That’s because lab conditions can be completely ideal, allowing the gemstone to grow without interference from contaminants or sudden changes in pressure and temperature. The result is a perfect stone—at a fraction of the price!

    This 14kt yellow gold ring features a lab-created emerald at the center surrounded by a halo of diamonds – available here!

    That being said, lots of people love inclusions in their gemstones. They can add a sense of uniqueness, and some natural gemstones—like emeralds—are rarely found without them. Luckily, lab-created gems can be formed with inclusions too. That way, you can get the natural look without the natural price!

    Today, labs can grow almost any gemstone under the sun—including diamonds—so they’re definitely something worth considering. Synthetics can give you greater carat sizes, higher quality and a wider range of colors at a lower price.

    Simulant


    A simulant is not the same as a synthetic, but people often get these terms confused. A simulant simply looks like a particular stone, but it is not chemically identical. For example, a natural emerald and a synthetic emerald are both emeralds. The only difference between them is how they were formed. An emerald simulant, however, is not an emerald. It is simply a green stone that looks similar to an emerald. For this reason, simulants are sometimes called “imitation” stones.

    Cubic zirconia (CZ) is probably the best known simulant today, as it is commonly used to mimic the look of a diamond. However, a CZ is not a diamond. These two glittering gemstones are made of completely different minerals and have many optical differences. In fact, CZ is an entirely synthetic gem in its own right—since it is made exclusively in the lab—but it is not a synthetic diamond.

    This stunning sterling silver engagement ring features dazzling cubic zirconia – available here!

    Over the years, many colorless gems have been used as diamond simulants, because high-quality diamonds can be very expensive. White sapphires, zircon, white topaz, and even glass have all been used as affordable imitation diamonds.

    Today, moissanite is a very popular diamond simulant. Like CZ, moissanite is another purely lab-grown gemstone—at least on earth! Super rare bits of natural moissanite have actually been found in meteorites, but you won’t find those in your local jewelry store.

    The benefits of simulants are similar to the benefits of synthetics—you can get the look you want for less! A main difference to consider, however, is that a simulant’s hardness and durability will likely differ from a natural or synthetic stone. This can be good or bad, depending on what you’re needs are.

    Say, for example, you love the look of opal but are concerned about having to be careful with it. A much more durable opal simulant could be perfect for you! On the other hand, no simulant can compare to a natural or synthetic diamond’s durability. Diamonds rank in at the very top of the Mohs scale of hardness, while CZ scores 8-8.5 and moissanite 9.25.

    The Bottom Line


    When it comes to choosing the gemstone for you, the most important things to keep in mind are cost, durability, and your desired look. For some, absolutely nothing compares to the miracle of a natural gemstone. Knowing that it was formed by the earth or inside a living thing is truly special and unique.

    For others, the scientific marvel of a synthetic gemstone is hard to beat. It’s astonishing that laboratories can replicate the immensely complex processes required to form gemstones—to say nothing of how much faster they can do the job!

    For others still, it’s more about the way the stone looks and holds up day-to-day. Whether you’re simply looking for a specific color or a durable look-alike, simulants can be a great affordable choice.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about what you prefer! If you’d like to learn more or need help deciding, we’d love to be of service! We can even show you natural, synthetic and simulant gemstones side-by-side for easy comparison. Drop by one of our stores or contact us for more information. We hope to see you soon!

  • aquaprase pendant and ring by le vian
    Designers,  Education,  Gemstones

    Aquaprase – A New Gem?

    Some of our newest Le Vian pieces feature a gorgeous, unique gemstone known as Aquaprase—have you ever heard of it? If not, you’re certainly not alone! In fact, Aquaprase has only been on the market for a few years now, and many people have yet to come across it. This stone has a really cool story behind it, and we think it’s worth sharing!

    It all started in 2013, when an unusual blue-green stone was discovered by a veteran gem explorer named Yianni Melas. He was certain he had found something new, but controversy ensued as he tried to prove it. After all, the earth has been mined for centuries; most people doubted there could possibly be anything left to discover. Some tried to convince him that he had simply found opal, but he didn’t think it really looked like opal. Others were sure it was chrysoprase (a yellow-green variety of chalcedony), but the stone he found was clearly blue-green.

    Raw Aquaprase from Africa – Photo by Yianni Melas

    Initial lab reports said the stone was indeed chrysoprase, but Melas was still not convinced. Certain that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) could figure it out once and for all, he sent it off to them for analysis. After many months of careful inspection and testing, the GIA verdict came back: it wasn’t chrysoprase afterall—it was a new type of chalcedony! Finally vindicated, Melas dubbed the stone Aquaprase, meaning blue-green in his native Greek.

    Ever since, Melas has been devoted to bringing Aquaprase to the marketplace while also ensuring that it’s mined ethically and responsibly. One of the cool things about Aquaprase is that the stone undergoes very minimal processing before being set into a piece of jewelry. Most popular gemstones—like sapphires, rubies and emeralds—are often heat-treated, oiled, dyed, and/or stabilized before being sold. Not so with Aquaprase! It’s about as natural as a gemstone can be, yet it’s strong, durable, and its captivating color never fades!

    Check out this amazing Le Vian Aquaprase pendant with diamond accents – available here!

    Take a look at more of our Le Vian Aquaprase pieces online here or stop by one of our stores to see this new fascinating gemstone in person! We think you’ll love it as much as we do!

  • Turquoise, Tanzanite and Blue Zircon
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Turquoise, Tanzanite & Zircon: December’s Birthstones

    For December birthdays, there are three amazing gemstones to choose from. Traditionally, the blue variety of tanzanite, turquoise and zircon have been chosen for December, but there are actually many different hues and shades available for each. Let’s take a look at these three stones and see which one is right for you or that special someone!

    Turquoise


    This amazing stone—ranging from true blue to grassy green—has been treasured for thousands of years, everywhere from Ancient Egypt to Native America. Carved, polished and worn as adornments, this gem was considered to bring good health and good fortune to those who possessed it.

    Unlike many popular gemstones, turquoise is often totally opaque and can feature black or brown veining (called matrix). Matrix designs show mother nature’s hand at work, giving these pieces of turquoise a one-of-a-kind look.

    EFFY turquoise and yellow gold ring
    Some turquoise, like the polished one in this EFFY ring, feature a consistent blue color with no matrix – available here!

    Turquoise has been mined all over the world—from the hills of Iran to the mountains of China to the American Southwest—and is rated between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It’s relative softness is precisely what made this stone so perfect for intricate carving, but a little extra care is in order to maintain its beauty.

    Like most fine jewelry, you’d want to remove turquoise before doing housework or gardening, but you want to be careful when you clean the stone too. For example, you should never clean turquoise jewelry with an ultrasonic cleaner or steamer. High heat can damage and discolor the stone, so it’s best to stick with warm soapy water. Luckily, that’s easy to do at home!

    Tanzanite


    Most gemstones have been objects of fascination for thousands of years—but did you know that tanzanite was discovered in the 20th century? Found in the 1960s, this stunning gem was named after its place of origin: Tanzania, where it continues to be mined exclusively.

    With velvety hues ranging from rich blue to pale violet, tanzanite ranks between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. That means some extra care is needed when handling and cleaning this precious gem. Like turquoise, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers should not be used on tanzanite, as high heat and damage or even crack the stone.

    tanzanite ring made from 14k white gold
    This white gold ring features a deep purple tanzanite set within a protective bezel – available here!

    Earrings and pendants are very popular settings because they can shield tanzanite from abrasion. However, if you’d love to have a tanzanite ring, try to find one with a protective setting—like the bezel-style ring above. These settings will give you extra peace of mind and help keep the stone in stunning condition.

    Zircon


    Zircon has long been associated with good health and was even thought to promote deep sleep. This stone can be found in a rainbow of hues or even be completely colorless. In fact, colorless zircon is so stunning that it’s often been mistaken for a diamond! However, zircon should not be confused with cubic zirconia (a synthetic stone sometimes used as a diamond simulant).

    Unlike cubic zirconia, zircon occurs naturally and can be found in Sri Lanka and Australia. In fact, zircon is earth’s oldest mineral! It ranks between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, and like December’s other birthstones, you should handle it with a bit of extra care. If set into earrings or a pendant, zircon should be quite safe for daily wear, but you’d want to take a zircon ring off before working with your hands.

    Check out these imitation blue zircon earrings – available here!

    When it comes to cleaning the stone, you shouldn’t use ultrasonic cleaners or steamers. Not only can high heat damage zircon, but it can also change its color! As always, warm soapy water is an easy, safe way to keep this gem sparkling.

    So, there you have it—December’s three amazing birthstones! Why not browse our collection of jewelry featuring these gems online or in our stores? We hope to see you soon!

  • blue topaz and citrine
    Birthstones,  Education,  Gemstones

    Citrine & Topaz: November’s Birthstones

    Of all the birthstones, November babies have the most variety to choose from! Not only is citrine an option—a warm, yellow to orange colored gem—but all of topaz’s colors as well! Let’s dive into the similarities and differences between these two stunning stones—and maybe help you decide which one is the right choice for you or that special someone!

    Citrine


    Citrine may have gotten its name from the French word citron, which means “lemon,” but history isn’t very clear on this. In fact, citrine’s past is sometimes hard to trace because it was often misidentified as orange or yellow topaz! Indeed, all yellow gemstones were simply assumed to be topaz for a long time, but citrine is actually quite distinct.

    Stunning 14kt white gold ring featuring 5.50ct oval cut citrine with diamond accents – available here!

    Citrine is the yellow to orange variety of quartz, which is mined in places like Bolivia, Spain and Mexico, but much of the citrine that is available for purchase today is not naturally occurring. Instead, amethyst (another variety of quartz) is subjected to heat, which will change its purple hue to a sunny yellow-orange! This helps keep citrine abundant, making it an affordable option even at larger carat sizes. Plus, since this gem ranks in at 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness with good toughness, it’s safe for daily wear!

    Topaz


    For centuries, topaz—specifically the yellow variety—was thought to calm its wearer, dispelling anger and helping to bring about a long life. Indeed, as mentioned above, all yellow gems were once thought to be topaz, and topaz’s other hues were mistaken for other gems too! When modern science came on the scene, gems began to be identified by their chemical makeup, bringing newfound appreciation for this particular stone.

    Gorgeous 10k white gold ring featuring three emerald cut blue topaz – available here!

    Believe it or not, pure topaz is totally colorless, but it can be tinted by any number of impurities—in the lab or in nature—to yield a rainbow of different colors. One of the most popular shades of topaz today is light blue or aqua, which very rarely occurs in nature. Instead, colorless topaz is subjected to irradiation to produce that particular hue, making it available at an affordable price.

    Topaz actually ranks higher on the Mohs scale than citrine—graded as an 8 vs. a 7—but it’s not quite as tough. Some additional care is needed to prevent chipping and cracking of topaz, because intense heat or ultrasonic cleaners can damage the stone and even fade its color. Nonetheless, warm soapy water is safe and easy to use on this beautiful stone.

    Take a look at our stunning line of citrine and topaz jewelry or visit one of our stores to see it in person!