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!

September Sapphire Birthstone

September Sapphire Birthstone

Sapphires have been cherished for thousands of years for their color, durability, and luster! September’s birthstone symbolizes wisdom, loyalty and nobility.

Most think of the royal blue variety, but this gemstone can occur in all colors of the rainbow (except red, which is classified as a ruby). This gives September babies a full spectrum of options when choosing the shade that best represents them.

Here are some fun facts that we love:

  • One of the world’s most famous blue sapphire engagement rings is the one worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, which previously belonged to the late Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Sapphire comes in many colors, including the rare pinkish orange variety known as Padparadscha, meaning “lotus blossom”
  • Long mineral inclusions that intersect can create the star effect when stones are cut as cabochons
  • They are remarkably hard and measure 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond

Care & Cleaning for Sapphires:

  • 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

Styling Sapphires

Sapphires make great gifts for anyone born in September or celebrating a 5th or 45th wedding anniversary. Whatever your reason for buying sapphire, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant gemstone!

1. Everyday staples laced with the beauty of blue sapphires! This perfectly paired set will make the perfect gift.

Sapphire-Diamond-Necklace-Ring

2. Sapphire and diamonds make the perfect pair – Layer up tennis bracelets for a stylish look heading into Fall!

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3. Add a pop of color to any outfit! This sapphire and diamond ring is sure to make a statement

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To learn more about sapphires – check out the AGS article found 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!

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.

June Birthstone Highlight

June Birthstone Highlight

June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones!

June’s birthstones range from creamy-colored pearl and moonstone to the rare color-changing alexandrite!

Some fun facts about these gemstones:

  • A pearl is an organic gem that grows inside saltwater and freshwater mollusks
  • Pearls are also gifted on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries
  • Moonstone comes in a range of colors spanning yellow, gray, green, blue, peach and pink—sometimes displaying a star or cat’s eye
  • Alexandrite is a very rare color change variety of the mineral chrysobery
  • Alexandrite is also the traditional gift to celebrate a 55th wedding anniversary.

Take a look at some of our top gifting ideas!

1. Add-Her Pearl necklace

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2. Gold pearl ring from our Estate Collection

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3. Freshwater pearl earrings & lariat necklace

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

 

 

May Emerald Birthstone

May Emerald Birthstone

Happy birthday May ladies! May birthdays fall right in the heart of spring, and the emerald is the perfect gem to symbolize and celebrate this month.Today we’re highlighting the Emerald, prized for its brilliant and beautiful green color.

Emerald color can range from light green to a deep, rich green. The most desirable emerald colors are bluish green to pure green with strong to vivid color saturation and medium to medium-dark tone.

Some fun facts about this beautiful gemstone:

  • Emerald is the symbol of rebirth, and is believed to give good fortune, foresight, and youth
  • The emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old
  • These gems are highly prized and intensely colored ones can be quite rare

Take a look at some of our top gifting ideas!

1. Emerald & diamond  halo pendant

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2. Emerald & diamond halo earrings and pendant

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3. Gold emerald & diamond pendant

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

April Diamond Birthstone

April Diamond Birthstone

Happy birthday April ladies! Continuing on with our birthstone series, today we’re highlighting the diamond, the most prized gemstone of all!

Diamonds come in a variety of colors including yellow, red, pink, blue, and green. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. Fancy-color diamonds are very desirable, but they’re more rare.

Some fun facts about this beautiful gemstone:

  • Diamond is the only gem made of a single element – It’s typically about 99.95% carbon
  • Over the centuries, diamond was thought to be an antidote to poison. It’s now the universal symbol of love!
  • Whether you’re celebrating an April birthday or a 60th or 75th wedding anniversary, giving a diamond means giving a perfectly beautiful gift that will truly stand the test of time

Take a look at some of our top gifting ideas!

1. Bezel set diamond ring & pendant

Bezel-Ring-Necklace

2. Diamond heart friendship bracelet

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3. Tiffany & Co diamond XO necklace from our Estate Collection

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4. Yellow gold pear shape diamond ring

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

January Birthstone Highlight

Today we’re highlighting the January birthstone, garnet. Red garnets have a long history, but this gemstone comes in a wide variety of colors from greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds, and even some blues. The price of the piece will likely increase for more rare colors like green or blue.

Here are some quick facts about this gemstone:

Garnet

  • The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age
  • The garnet symbolizes deep and lasting friendship
  • Can also be used to toast a 2nd wedding anniversary
  • Find a cut that spreads light evenly over the surface of the garnet. This will help bring out the overall beauty and color of the gemstone.

garnet ring

14K White Gold Garnet & Diamond Ring

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18K Yellow Gold Multi-Colored Gemstone Necklacegarnet bracelet
14K Yellow Gold Grossular Garnet & Diamond Bracelet

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

8 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOU JEWELER

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Let’s face it, you have you barber or stylist and your favorite local pizza joint but do you have a jeweler that you can call and trust?  Unfortunately, today, many retailers mark up prices just to reduce them or curb their answers to make it sound like you are getting a better deal than you really are.  With engagement rings averaging closer to $6,000, you should absolutely do your homework not only on the ring, but also on your jeweler.  Before you make any purchases you should ask these 8 questions to ensure your jeweler is a reliable one:

1. If I buy a diamond from you, do you guarantee that it will receive the same grade if I send it to any lab, including the GIA or the AGS? We have found many labs to be wildly inconsistent, sometimes over-grading a diamond by 5 to 6 grades. There are Jewelers who use this grey area to make unrealistic claims about the value they are offering. If the answer they give you is, “Well, we have a money back guarantee” or “even the GIA can grade it differently,” that demonstrates they are not confident in their offering and you should seek another Jeweler.

2. Do you guarantee the craftsmanship of your products beyond the return privilege or do I have to buy the warranty? Many Jewelers use extended service plans to boost their bottom line. Often, these plans include unusual use or abuse disclaimers that allow them to determine what they will or will not cover even after the customer has paid extra. In general, Jewelers who focus on selling extended plans should be avoided.

3. Do you have an accredited laboratory to handle appraisal and gem identification work?  As an AGS (American Gem Society) Jeweler, we submit to annual re-certification to insure that our equipment and
associates are up to standard. If a Jeweler needs an outside company to do appraisal work for them, you should question their ability to properly recommend or insure that the item you’re buying meets the specifications that the manufacturer has stated.

4. Can I see my diamond or gemstone under a loupe or a Gem Scope?  If the jeweler gives you a hard time, they should be avoided.  No Jeweler or gemologist would ever buy a piece of fine jewelry without inspecting it under 10X magnification. We inspect the match and consistency of the gemstones as well as the quality of the prong work.

5. Have you ever sold this product at the price shown on the tag? (If you are receiving a % off discount.)  Unfortunately, the oldest trick in the book is to mark up a product only to mark it down later.  The AGS considers this form of advertising to be less than honest and note in the best interest of the consumer or industry.  

6. If my jewelry needs to be serviced, where do you send it?  Many jewelers use trade shops that are out of state, which requires extra time and circumvents any quality control procedures. Our certified master goldsmiths perform all our repairs on premise.

7. If I want to upgrade m diamond, how much more will i have to spend? Many jewelers require you to double the purchase price. Our Love for Life Guarantee allows you to exchange your diamond engagement ring at any time with no upgrade required. In the future, if you wish to trade in your solitaire diamond earrings or the diamond in your engagement ring, Michaels Jewelers requires you to spend only 50% more.

8.  Are all of your Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires natural?  Several of the national chains have gone strictly to lab created stones and often the sales associate forgets to disclose the major difference. It is our opinion that full disclosure on any and all treatments is the only way to operate. This would be particularly true with gemstones that are grown in a laboratory.

If you have any hesitations about purchasing a piece of jewelry, visit any one of Michaels’ 10 locations where our professionals have the tools and experience to help guide you through any questions you may have.