October Birthstone Highlight

October Birthstone Highlight

Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones – opal and tourmaline! October’s birthstones offer a full spectrum of gems to suit anyone’s personal style.

Opal & Tourmaline overview:

  • Opal’s kaleidoscopic play-of-color can suit many changing moods and tastes to make this gem appropriate for anyone
  • Dozens of opal varieties exist, but only a few like Fire Opal & Boulder Opal are universally recognized
  • Color is the key factor of opal quality. Dark backgrounds provide more contrast against vivid play-of-color, making black opal more highly valued than milky white varieties
  • The most expensive tourmaline are the green to violet colors that are often called “electric” or “neon” by the trade
  • Tourmaline is desirable because of its range of color options, and it’s hardness makes for very wearable jewelry

Caring for & cleaning these gemstones:

Opal
  • The only safe way to clean opal is with warm, soapy water
  • Opals are sensitive to heat or excessive dryness
Tourmaline
  • Warm, soapy water is the best method for cleaning tourmaline
  • Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended

Gifting Ideas & Style Inspo

Opal makes a great gift for anyone born in October, but its array of colors makes this gem appropriate for anyone!

1. Perfectly paired 14K yellow gold opal jewelry set

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2. Dainty 14K yellow gold opal ring

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3. Shine bright in these opal and diamond halo studs

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Learn more about these gemstones from the American Gem Society here!

August Birthstone Highlight

August Birthstone Highlight

August not only has Peridot as a birthstone, but the recent addition of Spinel! Spinel was added to the August birthstone lineup in 2016, and it adds a multitude of color choices, while peridot was the original birthstone for August since 1912.

Some fun facts about these gemstones:

  • Peridot was believed to ward off evil spirits by the ancient Egyptians who called it “gem of the sun”
  • Peridot is one of the oldest known gemstones & thought by the ancients to protect against spells & curses
  • Yellowish green is the most popular hue of Peridot but can range from brownish-green to pure green
  • Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Hardness scale, but finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear
  • Ancient gemstone merchants revered spinel, and it was widely sought after by royalty. It was then known as ‘balas ruby.’ It wasn’t until the late 18th century that we developed the technology necessary to distinguish spinel as a separate mineral from ruby
  • Spinel ranges in hues from orange to red, pink, purple to blueish-green – making this a very versatile stone. Vivid red is the most desirable color of spinel gemstones

Caring for & cleaning Peridot:

  • Warm, soapy water is the best method for cleaning peridot
  • Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended for this gemstone

Peridot Style Inspiration

Whether you’re gifting this classic gemstone or incorporating it into your summer wardrobe, it will leave others green with envy! Check out our summer styling inspo:

1. Treat the August birthday girl to this perfectly paired pendant and ring set

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2. Complete any outfit with this dainty 14KYG peridot & diamond pendant

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3. Showcase your bold style with a gemstone ring that’s uniquely you

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To learn more about these gemstones – check out the American Gem Society article here!

Pro Tips: Diamond Fluorescence

Have you ever noticed the term “Fluorescence” when shopping for a diamond? Did you know that some diamonds show effects under ultraviolet light?

For most people who purchase diamonds, fluorescence will be a non-issue, but some might be confused by the term. Diamond fluorescence is a characteristic in which a diamond displays a glow (usually blue) when exposed to ultraviolet light. More rarely, they emit a yellow or orangy light. According to the GIA, about 25% to 35% of diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence.

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Source: GIA.edu

Our expert Blake, General Manager Michaels Jewelers Trumbull, shared the effects of diamond fluorescence and what to look for when selecting a diamond.

1. Strong fluorescence can make a diamond look hazy/milky and oily with less transparency in natural light. It may appear like a film on the stone, almost as though there are really bad finger prints you can’t wipe off

2. Slight fluorescence can actually improve the appearance of color in a diamond to make it look naturally whiter – This may save a little bit on the cost of the stone. However, to ensure the best reflection, refraction and dispersion, and to maximize these aspects of a diamond with superior cuts, you ideally don’t want any fluorescence conflicting with that

3. Overall, fluorescence is neither good nor bad. A diamond’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Leave us a comment below with any additional questions related to diamond fluorescence and what you’d like to see next in our Pro Tips series!

July Ruby Birthstone

July Ruby Birthstone

It’s officially summer and we’re excited to share the next gemstone in our birthstone highlight series! Referred to as the king of precious stones, ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum.

Check out some fun facts about this stunning gemstone:

  • Color is the most significant fact affecting a ruby’s value – fine gems are vibrant red to slightly purplish red
  • Corundum may show a star effect, which usually appears as a six-ray star pattern across a cabochon-cut stone’s curved surface
  • It’s the symbol of wealth and nobility
  • Ruby is the gem for the 15th and 40th anniversaries
  • It’s relatively hard, which means it’s a more durable gemstone and great for everyday wear

Caring for & cleaning rubies:

  • Warm, soapy water is always safe
  • Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated, heat-treated, and lattice diffusion treated stones
  • Fracture-filled, cavity-filled, or dyed material should only be cleaned with a damp cloth

Ruby Style Inspiration

We’re loving this vibrant gemstone for summer whether it’s paired with a fun outfit to make a statement or kept simple to add a pop of color.

1. Make a statement with this one-of-a-kind gold ruby ring from our Estate Collection

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2. Keep is simple with this delicate ruby and diamond necklace

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3. Hop on the vintage trend and mix and match styles – great for stacking or worn on their own

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To learn more about rubies – check out the GIA article found here.

February Birthstone Highlight

Today we’re highlighting the February birthstone, amethyst. While amethyst is most commonly recognized to be a purple color, this gemstone can range from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. The same stone can even have layers or color variants.

Here are some more fun facts about this gemstone:

Amethyst

  • It’s often associated with peace, courage and stability
  • English regalia were decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty
  • Amethyst jewelry has been found and dated as early as 2000 BC
  • Use this gemstone to celebrate the 6th & 17th year of marriage

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Multi Color Gemstone & Diamond Friendship Bracelet

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Amethyst & Diamond Pendant

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Amethyst & Diamond Bracelet

To learn more about this beautiful gemstone – check out the American Gem Society article found here.

Ultra Violet – Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone has recently announced the 2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet. For those of you who have a passion for purple, this color trend is for you!

Ultra Violet is a blue-based purple that is rich like the night sky. It communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

We thought it was fitting to share our favorite jewelry pieces that show off this beautiful purple hue!

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Amethyst & Diamond Pendant

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Amethyst & Diamond Ring

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Amethyst & Diamond Bracelet

Are you feeling this year’s color? Visit one of our 10 Michaels Jewelers locations to see more gemstones that exhibit this Ultra Violet hue.

Buying Guide: 10 Tips From The Pros On Buying Wedding Bands

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With our Wedding Band Event around the corner, we wanted to share 10 Tips From the Pros (our Managers) on buying Wedding Bands and Anniversary Bands:

1. Buy from a reputable jeweler! Buy from a jeweler who wants more than to just make a sale. Deal with one who wants to help you celebrate life’s most memorable moments, for a lifetime and more importantly, make sure they have a good reputation and proper credentials.  We recommend checking out the American Gem Society to find a jeweler who is certified to what is the upmost standard in the jewelry world.

2. Plan ahead and order early, if necessary! With so many designs and custom fittings available, you may choose something that will require additional time. Many special orders can take upwards of 4 weeks or more and you want to make sure you have plenty of time before the wedding to make sure your ring is perfect. 

3. Make sure it is what you want. Do you want his and her matching bands? Though matching bands are certainly available, it is not necessary to mach perfectly to either your engagement ring or your significant other’s ring.  Today, we find that more people are choosing non-traditional bands that include alternative metals or a different style that complements the engagement ring but gives it a new look.  Also – another element to consider is what you do for a living.  If you or your significant other works outside or with their hands, it may alter your decision as to what style works best for you everyday lifestyle.  

4. Decide what is most important to you. Is the quality of the diamonds more important than the size? Do you want Platinum or Gold? What is your budget? All of these factors will determine what the best value may be for you.  There are so many different options at all price points – ensuring you can find the perfect ring that matches all of your criteria.

5. Find a band that fits your engagement ring. If your engagement ring is set with a higher mounting, a curved band may be the best option so the wedding band runs flush with the engagement ring.  Another option would be an insert or wrap which are two wedding bands soldered together to frame your engagement ring.

6. Customize it! Michaels Jewelers offers many additional services such as custom sizing and inside ring engraving.  Did you see something on Pinterest or in a magazine?  Bring a picture of your dream ring to our store and let our associates help your design the perfect ring.  With our custom ring design, we can create your dream ring – the possibilities are endless! 

7. Make sure it matches your metal type! You should consider matching your metals so they age the same over time.  When it comes to the style of the ring, that’s where you can let your creativity kick in.  Today, we find that mixing and matching different styles can complement your engagement ring.

8. Consider having your engagement ring and wedding band soldered together to prevent friction, wear and keep them always aligned. Don’t worry; this process can be easily reversed if you wish to upgrade your ring in the future.

9. Don’t be afraid to add some color. Diamonds are the traditional stone when it comes to bridal however don’t be afraid to add in your favorite gemstone.  We love alternating deep hues of Sapphires or Rubies to give your wedding band a pop of color.  Does a birthstone have significance to you?  We have the ability to create any wedding band using gemstones.  

10. Take advantage of our special events! Michaels Jewelers’ Wedding Band Event  takes place from March 24th-April 29th.  During this time, when you buy one wedding band, you will receive a coupon up to $500* towards your second band!  Plus – our weekend trunk shows will showcase hundreds of different styles and you have the opportunity to meet our vendors who can help you pick out the perfect ring.  See below for trunk show dates:

March 24th – 25th – Meriden & Orange
March 31st – April 1st – Waterbury & Torrington
April 7th – 8th – Westfarms & Manchester
April 21st – 22nd – Avon & Danbury
April 28th – 29th – Trumbull & Bristol

 *See store for details

Michaels Stories – Peter & Lisa

Peter and Lisa met through a mutual friend in April 2014. They started dating shortly after and both knew from our first date that something special was happening between them. A few months into dating, we planned to have a baby – and now have a beautiful little girl.

It’ll be 3 years of being together this May. Peter recently proposed during dinner at the restaurant where we met. He reached for his pocket, pulled out a box, placed it on the table in front of Lisa, and asked her to marry him. Peter stopped in our Danbury store to pick out the perfect ring for Lisa – a classic 3 stone Treasure Chest engagement ring.  Now they are happily engaged and really excited about planning our wedding!

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Why Finding an AGS Jeweler is Important

Did you know that only 5% of jewelers, designers and appraisers have met the American Gem Society standards?  We are here to tell you what exactly is the American Gem Society (AGS) and why it is so important to find a jeweler who is AGS certified.

In 1934, Robert M. Shipley founded the AGS as a not-for-profit trade association comprised of retail jewelers, independent appraisers, suppliers, and selective industry members in the North America.  The goal was to build an elite group dedicated to consumer protection, ethical business practices and the development of superior gemological skills and knowledge.  The AGS was built with consumers in mind to protect them as well as their purchases by putting your trust into working with a consummate professional who adheres to the highest standards of the jewelry industry.

There are several titleholders which include:

  • Registered Jewelers (RJ)- a title earned by those who have completed the required coursework and classroom study of diamonds & gemstones who also adhere to the AGS‘s Code of Ethics.  This title but be renewed annual to increase knowledge and ethical practices
  • Certified Gemologists (CG)- A Certified Gemologist has taken advanced studies in diamonds and colored gemstones. A CG also demonstrates mastery of diamond, gemstone, and precious metal testing procedures
  • Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGA)- This title is the most highly regarded among peers in the jewelry industry. Why? Because it certifies that the sales person can identify diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry and determine their value. This title requires advanced training and experience in determining the value of diamonds and gemstones
  • Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers (ICGA)– This title represents those individuals whose sole business is appraising. He or she does not purchase or sell diamonds, gemstones, or jewelry.To receive this certification, the appraiser has completed the requirements for RJ, CG, and CGA, plus has successfully completed an extensive course in personal property appraising. He or she must not only complete the annual re-certification exam, but also submit proof of continuing education in their field every five years

In order for a jeweler to become certified by the AGS, one must meet strict criteria that include:

  • Have an exceptionally high level of gemological knowledge including successfully completing prescribed courses and classes in diamonds and colored gemstones
  • Possess a reputation for unquestioned integrity and must conduct business to enhance the confidence of the public
  • Demonstrate sincere interest in ethical business practices and exemplify this belief
  • Be a retail jeweler, jewelry business supplier or independent appraisal business that has been established for at least two years with demonstrated financial stability
  • All titleholders must be re-certified every year

In order to maintain membership, jewelers in the American Gem Society must agree to their Code of Ethics:

  • Provide full disclosure of all facts pertaining to the products they sell
  • Never intentionally deceive their employees, consumers, vendors, or business partners
  • Compete fairly and never speak unprofessionally about their competitors. Likewise, encourage their colleagues in the jewelry industry to embrace these principals.
  • Resolve any customer complaints relating to the sale of a product
  • Not sell conflict diamonds. AGS jewelers must make every effort to fully comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties
  • Continue their gemological and jewelry education, always improving their knowledge and keeping up with trends in jewelry and ethical business practices.
  • Adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) program, which is designed to comply with the USA Patriot Act

Michaels has several Managers and Associates with titles of Registered Jewelers, Certified Gemologists and Certified Gemologist Appraisers.  To find an AGS certified jeweler near you, click here.

 

 

 

 

*Many excerpts were derived from the AGS website