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The wonderful world of color PT.4 : Emerald

Written by rdjadmin On May 15, 2017.

The beauty of May is the nice sunny days it provides. The grass is greener than ever, every flower is in full bloom and the trees are back to being covered by green leaves. In the gemological world, May is associated with a birthstone which has a narrow color range of intense, bright, and cool colors that has been sought after since ancient times.  This month’s birthstone is Emerald. Emerald is a stone that belongs to the species (or family) called Beryl which includes other stones like: Aquamarine, Morganite, Heliodor and Red Beryl.

emerald

Photo courtesy of GIA.

Origins

Emerald got its name from the Greek word smaragdus which means green.

Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder once said, “Nothing green is greener than emerald.” Emeralds have many unique characteristics, but their color is the most important one of them. This is why Emerald is the world’s premier green stone, but the fascination for the color of this stone began around 330 B.C.  Cleopatra began to mine for emeralds around the Red Sea and used to wear them in necklaces, but it was not just Cleopatra who fell in love with the green of emerald. The Incas in South America used emeralds in their jewelry. The emeralds found in Colombia were and still are considered the most beautiful in the world.

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Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Geography of Emerald

 

Top quality emerald comes from four major sources Colombia, Brazil, Zambia and Sandiwara. Emerald found outside of one of these major sources, tends to be lower quality and rarely used in fine jewelry. These four countries are used as references for what color makes an emerald.
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Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

 

Most quality emerald grows from metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. Natural emeralds occur when beryllium, aluminum, silicon, oxygen and one or more of the trace elements – chromium,vanadium and iron modify the color of the emerald crystal. Rough Emerald typically grows as a elongated six-sided prism. Since they have uniform physical properties, cutters appreciate that they can cut the stone in almost any direction. All emeralds have inclusions inside them, some of which can resemble garden looking structures known as Jardin (french for garden). Emerald cut emeralds (no pun intended) are the most common shape that this gem is cut to, but they can also be found in round, oval, pear, marquise, and when stones are heavily included they are cut into cabochons.

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Emerald Jewelry

Emerald gives us a range of green colors that can be greenish blue to a pale green, these colors get enhanced when set in yellow metal , but you will find the stone also set in white metal. This beautiful greens make it highly attractive for designers and consumers alike. Emeralds can be found in necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings, and can be used for carvings and fantasy cuts (wild non-traditional shapes with intricate patterns.)

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Wear and care of Emerald

Emerald has a 8 – 8.2 on the Moh’s scale. The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. The top of the scale is Diamond at 10 and graphite at 0. Due to its relatively low hardness, Emerald is not  ideal for heavy everyday wear. In the right setting and with the right care, this stone can look great for decades.

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Just like a beautiful garden emerald offers unique characteristics that resemble the beauty of nature. Emerald is a stone that has become more popular in the recent years and can create some astonishing engagement rings, birthday or anniversary gifts. We have several sizes and shapes and not to mention many mountings to choose from, so on your next visit please ask us to show you the spectacular greens of Emerald.

 

The Dying Art of Celebrating Life’s Achievements

Written by Andrea VanDerwerker On May 3, 2017.

What do you usually do to remember significant events in your life? Take pictures? Write about it? If it’s related to a friend or family member, do you give them a gift? In this culture that is focused on “instant gratification” we have lost the value of celebrating an achievement with things that take time and require quality craftsmanship. To often we default to the instant gratification of going to a restaurant, posting a picture on social media and calling it a day. However, we believe that a special occasion deserves a special memento, and what better way to mark that occasion than with a unique piece of jewelry? Say you just graduated medical school, you just had a baby, you finally got a promotion at work, or any important accomplishment or event. From a bold colored stone ring to a simple pair of earrings, there is a perfect piece for every one of life’s milestones. A big accomplished goal deserves a big reward!

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Meet the Rivers. Recently, they set a goal to run their first full marathon. Not only did they achieve their goal, they did it together! Obviously, this was a huge commitment requiring months of dedicated diet and exercise, needless to say completing this goal was exciting. They wanted to commemorate this momentous milestone, but wanted more than the quintessential “26.2” bumper sticker, so they decided to create two custom pendants. They already had diamonds that they wanted to use, from older pieces of jewelry, which helped them cut down on cost, as well as make the pendants even more special.

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The Rivers’ marathon pendants are made in 14K white and yellow gold with a single bezel set diamond in each. Unlike a bumper sticker, these are going to last a lifetime and they will to be able to tell their fantastic story to anyone who asks about their pendants. So what life goal have you achieved? How will you remember it? How will your children remember it? If you are particularly proud of an accomplishment, let us help you make it an occasion to remember for years to come through the custom jewelry process.IMG_7504

Wonderful World of Color! PT.3 : Diamond

Written by rdjadmin On April 24, 2017.

There is nothing more romantic than the warm orange glow of a beautiful April sunset. The sun is sharing his warm with us, the  blooming flowers are filling the air with their lovely fragrances, the colors of Easter are appearing everywhere, and the sound of the laughter and good times are all around. April in the gemological world, provides us with a gemstone so beautiful and rare it has been associated with love for many centuries and will for years to come, Diamonds.

 

Origins

 

The love for diamonds began on their discovery in the rivers and streams of India. It has been estimated that diamonds began to be traded as early as the fourth century B.C. They would not begin their long journey to Europe until the 1400’s. From there they would become a must have accessory by the elite of Europe and then travel to the Americas. Diamond comes from the Greek word Adamas which means “invincible.” Given the fact that diamond is the hardest material in the world, its name is suited perfectly.

diamond

Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Geography of Diamond

 

Diamonds can be found in many parts of the world, from Arkansa all the way to Australia. Jubilee mine (Russia), Argyle (Australia), Catoca (Angola), Diavik (Canada) are some of the most important mines in the world. Australia, Africa, Brazil, Canada and Russia are the major suppliers of diamonds in the world.

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Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

 

Diamonds are the only gemstone made of a single element: Carbon. Diamonds are 99.95% carbon, and the remaining 0.05% are other trace minerals that can affect the color or shape of the stone. Diamonds form at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 117 miles) below the Earth’s mantle, here the temperature and pressure are just right to allow host rock minerals to provide the necessary carbon amount for diamonds to grow. Diamonds grow with a cubic crystal structure, but well-formed crystal grows in an octahedral shape (is two four-sided pyramids touching base to base.)

Rough diamonds.

Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Diamond Jewelry

 

The beauty and durability of diamond make it perfect for any piece of jewelry. Rings, bracelets, wedding bands, pendants, even watches are adorned with the beautiful radiance that diamonds give us. Diamonds come in many shapes and colors, allowing the ability to go well with any color of metal it allows designers to create astonishing one of a kind piece. Diamonds are the first stone of choice for most engagement rings or companions to a colored center stone. Here at Diadem, we have had the pleasure of designing some unique one of a kind piece, some of our favorites are shown in the pictures below.

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Wear and care of Diamond

 

The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. Diamond is the highest in the scale with a 10; this makes it the hardest material, and it can only be scratched by another diamond. Diamonds are ideal for everyday wear thanks to their durability and their toughness, but diamonds can chip or break. Fancy cut diamonds like marquise, pears, princess, hearts and trillions have corners that can be brittle and cause the diamond to chip. This is why it is important to consider the necessities of each diamond and choose a mounting that will help the diamond be safe and perform for a lifetime.

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The beauty, durability, and symbolism of diamonds granted it the nickname “a girl’s best friend.” The beauty of this stone is similar to that of the smile of your significant other when they smile at you and the whole world is full of color. The durability of diamond is akin to the promise of love that you and your significant other have towards one another; because even under pressure diamond stays strong and remains beautiful, just like the love that you and your significant other share. April gives us the beautiful sunset and memories to be created. With the stone of April in hand, the right time to ask the question“Will you marry me?”

Humble Beginnings

Written by Andrea VanDerwerker On April 5, 2017.

When you think about your holidays what comes to mind? Maybe it’s eating a specific food that your mom makes on Thanksgiving, a movie you watch on Christmas Eve, or watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop on TV right at midnight. Whatever it is, how you feel in that moment eating your favorite food, watching the movie that you’ve seen year after year but never gets old, or cheering the New Year in with family and friends? Those are traditions that bring excitement, warmth, and nostalgia of a simpler time.

When it comes to traditions, I am the biggest proponent of keeping, spreading, and helping others see their importance. Not only in the tradition itself but their sentimental value as well. “Himmeli” is a word (originating from the Swedish word “himmel” meaning “sky” or “heaven”) you may have never heard of one, but you’ve definitely seen one. I’m sure you’re asking, “What is a Himmeli?” I asked the same thing the first time I heard of one. In short, the Himmeli started out as an old, traditional Finnish Christmas ornament. But what began as a simple decoration has become a fashionable and trendy element in modern design.

The original Himmeli mobiles were often constructed with some sort of reed or rye straw along with string. It is said that they were sometimes decorated in many different ways, employing the use of things such as dyes, paper flowers, wool, colored cloth, etc. They were commonly found to be very simple, undecorated structures and seen hanging throughout the homes of agrarian families even before the 1800s. Himmelis were made and hung up during the Christmas season, specifically over the dining table as sort of a “good luck charm” in hopes that it would bring a plentiful rye crop in the coming harvest season. These structures were also frequently used as decorations for Christmas trees and again, used as decorations throughout the home. As a tradition, Finnish and other Nordic families would build a new Himmeli every Christmas season. It was not uncommon for a Himmeli mobile to be left up into the the middle of the summer.

It was speculated that the popularization of Christmas trees in the home eventually overshadowed the tradition of the Himmeli and for many years they were not seen as frequently in the home. In the 1900s
some women’s organizations noticed that the tradition was slowly but surely being lost and a campaign of sorts was put together in order to bring the Himmeli back to the forefront of the Finnish Christmas traditions. This campaign consisted of printing and distributing what we would now call “DIY instructions” on how to build your own Himmeli. Slowly the Himmeli regained popularity again and it was frequently seen in Nordic homes once again, this time used as decoration rather than the “good luck charm” that it had previously been for farming families.

Now, cut to the 21st century, and what used to be a simple, humble geometric structure made with straw and string has become a very popular and essential design element in modern and minimalist decorating. Many Himmelis that are being used for decorating purposes these days are made with brass, various metals, and some even continue to be made with sturdy straw material and string. It is not unusual to see these Himmeli based structures being used as plant holders, tables, lamps, trinkets, and wall decor. Just go talk to one of your friendly neighborhood hipsters and chances are they don’t know what a Himmeli is, but I bet you they have at least one represented in their cool, downtown studio apartment.

My favorite Himmeli is a necklace made in 14kt gold with small diamonds.  It is a new and beautiful take on a quaint traditional Christmas ornament maintaining the sentimentality of a treasured Finnish Christmas tradition while incorporating a modern design element into a piece that can be dressed up or down.

I hope that now you can see that this piece is even more than just a trendy necklace. It carries with it centuries of tradition and history which holds much more value than any price tag. With this Himmeli, history comes alive in a new and exquisite way.

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Photo Sources:

https://thestrawshop.com/eija-koski/
http://magdankotona.blogspot.fi/search/label/himmeli

The Wonderful world of color! PT.2: Aquamarine

Written by rdjadmin On March 4, 2017.

March is here and with it, the smell of flowers in bloom and the sounds of people enjoying the weather that spring provides. Spring means you can finally wear your favorite sundress, shoes and of course your favorite pieces of jewelry. In the jewelry world, March is associated with a birthstone which has a narrow color range of serene, calm, and cool colors that will match many outfits you wear this spring. This month’s birthstone is Aquamarine. Aquamarine is a stone that belongs to the species (or family) called Beryl which includes other stones like: Emerald, Morganite, Heliodor and Red Beryl.

 

Origins

 

The record of finding the first large Aquamarine crystal dates back to 1811, in a riverbed near Teofilo Otoni, in Brazil, it weighed about fifteen pounds! The stone get it’s name from the latin word Aqua which means “water” and Marine which means “of the ocean.” Many of the hues this stone can be found in resemble the beautiful blues of oceans from all over the world.

Aquamarine, heart-shape, from Brazil, 32.10 cts

Photo Courtesy of GIA

 

Geography of Aquamarine

 

Top quality aquamarine comes from three major sources Brazil, Pakistan and China. Aquamarine can also be found in Africa, Australia and even the United States. Aquamarine found outside of it’s major sources tends to be lower quality and rarely used in fine jewelry.

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Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

 

Most quality beryl grows from Pegmatites. This is a type of igneous rock that is extremely rich in exotic minerals (Tourmaline also grows in this type of rocks, to find out more about Tourmaline click on the link here.) A Pegmatite allows crystals to grow to a considerable size, large rough can weigh up to 100 pounds, often extremely pure and almost free of inclusions. Rough Aquamarine typically grows as a six-sided column with flat faces at the end. The iron in the chemical composition is what gives Aquamarine its blue color. 

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Photo Courtesy of GIA

Aquamarine Jewelry

 

Aquamarine gives us a range of blue colors that can be greenish blue to a pale whitish blue, these colors perform well when set in either white or yellow metals, making it  highly attractive for designers and consumers alike. Aquamarine can be used for carvings and fantasy cuts (wild non-traditional shapes with intricate patterns), but you will see it mostly in pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets in common shapes and sizes (called calibrated sizes). Aquamarine stones can be very large which allows many designers to create over the top designs that can attract consumers looking for a unique piece.

 carving Aquamarine fantasy

Photos courtesy of GIA

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Wear and care of Aquamarine:

 

Aquamarine has a 8 – 8.2 on the Moh’s scale. The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. The top of the scale is Diamond at 10 and graphite at 0. Due to its relatively low hardness, Aquamarine is not  ideal for heavy everyday wear. In the right setting and with the right care, this stone can look great for decades.

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Photo courtesy of GIA

 

Aquamarine Tales and Folklore:

 

Aquamarine has a lot of folklore stories behind it, one of them is the story of sailors who would give aquamarine to their spouses, daughters and mothers with their names carved in the stone before they venture on their journeys overseas. This gift symbolized their promise to return from the oceans and be next to their loved ones forever. Aquamarine is a stone that has become more popular in the recent years and can create some astonishing engagement rings, birthday or anniversary gifts and just like the sailors in the stories, this could be a way to symbolize the love for a significant other. We have several sizes and shapes and not to mention many mountings to choose from, so on your next visit please ask us to show you the spectacular blues of Aquamarine.

color range.

Photo courtesy of GIA.


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