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Blog — education & resources

Gemstone Love: Ruby

education & resources

Gemstone Love: Ruby

Birthstone month: July Color: Red Family: Corundum Moh's Hardness: 9 Transparency: Transparent Rubies are part of the corundum family, and are, in fact, simply red sapphires. Sapphires come in every color, but red sapphires are differentiated as rubies. They are brilliant red in color, with the highest quality stones leaning slightly towards purple-red. Corundum that is a paler red, leaning towards pink, is sometimes classified as a pink sapphire, instead of as ruby. The determination is often at the discretion of the dealer. Most natural rubies have some kind of inclusion, often displayed as a milky or "silk" look from...

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Learn the Lingo: Filigree

education & resources

Learn the Lingo: Filigree

Filigree refers to delicate wire work in a piece of jewelry. This style of decoration was historically (and sometimes, still is) created by bending, twisting and curling small pieces of wire carefully by hand. These days, filigree is most often created in the wax model, which is later cast in metal. Filigree can be the central design in a piece of jewelry, like in these elaborate filigree earrings: Or, it can be used as a decorative element to fill open space and add structural support, like in the side of this pendant: Filigree is often added to the airline of...

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Gemstone Love: Pearl

education & resources

Gemstone Love: Pearl

Birthstone month: JuneColor: AllFamily: PearlMoh's Hardness: 2.5Transparency: Opaque Pearls are lustrous, opaque specimens that don't quite fit into the gemstone mineral group. Rather, they're organic gemstones like jet or amber. Pearls are created when a small irritant, such as a piece of sand, becomes trapped or is intentionally placed inside specific types of mollusks. Natural pearls are found in nature, while cultured pearls have a small seed or starter intentionally placed inside the mollusk to grow a pearl. For both natural and cultured pearls, the mollusk creates layers of nacre around the irritant, and eventually a pearl is formed. Pearl...

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Pavé Setting Styles

education & resources

Pavé Setting Styles

Choosing a setting style is such a personal choice in jewelry. It's a tiny detail, but it can have a big impact on the overall look of a piece of jewelry. This week I'm talking about a few of my favorite pavé setting styles, and the pros and cons of each particular style. What is pavé, anyways? The word is French in origin and means pavement, as in paved with bricks. Therefore, pavé refers to a piece of jewelry that has a significant portion of its surface area covered in tiny diamonds set very close together, like bricks on a...

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Parts of a Faceted Gemstone

education & resources

Parts of a Faceted Gemstone

A faceted gemstone has several key aspects. The table is the very top, flat, polished face of a faceted gemstone. The crown is the general top section of the gemstone, above the girdle. The girdle is the widest point of the gemstone, and consists of a thin row of tiny facets. When viewed from above, the shape of the girdle determines the shape of the gemstone itself (oval, round, princess cut, etc). Facets are the tiny polished "faces" of the gemstone. The culet (if it exists; it's not always present) is the tiny facet on the very bottom of the...

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