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!

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.

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.

The Biggest Bridal Trends for 2015

We just returned from the JCK Las Vegas show where we met with some of the biggest vendors in the industry and got some great insight on what the latest and greatest trends are for engagement rings and wedding bands.  Check it out below:

  1. The Bigger the Better– With celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé sporting 20+ carat diamonds, more and more, our vendors are getting requests for larger stones — even if it means compromising quality.  There are a few ways to achieve this look without breaking the bank account.  One option is to look for a diamond that may have slight imperfections (in most cases you won’t be able to see inclusions with an SI2 stone and up) or you may want to consider Estate pieces.  Old European Cut diamonds date back as far as 1890-1930 and achieved a  more mathematically round cut stone and bridged the gap of Old Mine cuts and today’s Round Brilliant cut.  These rings can come in very unique and intricate settings (who doesn’t love a vintage look?) but can also be reset to achieve a more modern look.   Another option is to add a halo (or two) which creates the effect of a more prominent look and size, yet can significantly reduce the cost versus going up a size in carat weight.  Lastly, check out Michaels Jewelers’ Special Buys which provide a unique opportunity for stones that are superior but aged and priced far below market value.  So if you don’t quite have the budget of Jay-Z or Kanye, consider this look!

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  1. Bright, Beautiful Color – Kate Middleton’s oval Sapphire engagement ring (inheritated by the late Princess Diana) is perhaps the most famous of engagement rings, but certainly not the first! Celebrities have gone non-traditional with colored gems and diamonds such as Halle Berry’s Emerald, Carrie Underwood’s Yellow Diamond and of course, who could forget Bennifer’s Pink Diamond?  Morganite and Amethyst styles are extremely popular and we even had a request for a custom Black Tahitian Pearl engagement ring! If you’re not willing to fully commit to color, accenting your ring with your favorite colored stone or birthstone is also a great way to make your ring truly unique.  We are also seeing colored stones in wedding bands — why not consider mixing and matching your favorite colors together?  We recently saw some bands that alternated diamonds and gemstones which achieved the perfect pop of color.  One caveat with this style is gemstones all have different quality levels in terms of hardness so there is risk in the wear varying depending on which stones you mix and match.  This trend isn’t going away so why not consider one of these vibrant gems when it  comes to ‘the ring’?

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  1. Mixed Metals – White metals dominated the industry for quite some time but we are pleased to see more and more colored and alternative metals come back into the mix. Rose Gold, Yellow Gold and two-toned combinations are everywhere in both engagement rings and wedding bands. Combined with diamonds or the gemstone trend, colored metals are a great way to incorporate your favorite tones.  Pink Gold makes a perfect pair with Morganite and we love the monotone look of yellow Diamonds and yellow gold.  We are also seeing a huge trend in men’s alternative metal bands.  Tungsten Carbide, Titanium and Cobalt are extremely scratch resistant and come in a variety of colors and styles as well as significantly inexpensive in comparison to traditional gold and platinum.

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