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Happy National Watermelon Day

Written by Erick Razo On August 3, 2017.

 

During the summertime we love to gather around the grill and eat our favorites meals. Burgers, hot dogs, ribs, salads, desserts, etc. One fruit that you will most likely see at almost every cookout is watermelon, the sweet and refreshing fruit that almost everyone enjoys eating. In case you did not know today is National Watermelon Day, and in the gemological world, we have our own kind of watermelon. No, you can’t eat this one, but you can enjoy wearing it to all the cookouts you attend this summer and all of the summers to come. Lets take a look at watermelon tourmaline!

Watermelon tourmaline rough crystal with two slices, from Brazil.

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Watermelon tourmaline is an interesting, multi-colored variety of tourmaline. Gems are usually fashioned in thin polished slices to display the crystal’s concentric color rings. If you use your imagination, the green and white represents the rind of the watermelon and the pink represents the sweet fruit. Incredibly, the colors of watermelon tourmaline are 100% natural, a rare occurrence in nature that makes the gem highly collectible. They make pretty, unique pieces of jewelry that can make anyone smile. Stop by our store to see our pair of watermelon tourmaline, and we hope you enjoy National Watermelon Day!

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The wonderful world of color PT.7: Peridot

Written by Erick Razo On August 2, 2017.

The Earth is filled with many wonders, some are vast and mysterious like the ocean, others are tall and full of intrigue like the mountains, and others hide underground waiting to be found. This month we will be looking at a stone that not only is found in the Earth’s mantle, but that can also come from outer space. This month we will talk about Peridot.

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Origins

Peridot, is pronounced “Pair – eh – dough” and comes from the Arabic word faridat which means “gem”. Peridot has been around since ancient times, records indicate that peridot was mined by the Egyptians in the island of Topazos in the Red Sea. Peridot has always been associated with light by many ancient cultures, some Egyptians would set the stone in gold and wear it on their left hand to ward off evil spirits of the night. Some Hawaiian tribes believed peridot to be the dried up tears of the goddess Pele who was believed to control all the volcanoes in the islands, one of the sources of peridot is actually from volcanoes. Peridot suffered from the epidemic of mistaken identity that plagues a lot of colored gemstones, during medieval times peridot was sold as low quality emerald.

 

Geography of Peridot

Peridot can be found in almost every continent and the quality of peridot is high in almost all of their sources. Thailand is one of the main producers of peridot rough and you can find it in almost all the jewelry worn in that country. One of the rarest source of peridot are meteorites from outer space!

Peridot-Map

Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

Peridot is the gem variety for the mineral olivine. Most quality peridot is found as irregular nodules (a rounded rock with peridot crystals inside.) Large peridot crystals are quite rare and fetch high prices by collectors. Peridot occurs mostly in basalt rocks, a type of volcanic stone rich in magnesium and iron. Basalt rocks form after volcanic eruptions as the molten lava cools. These rocks are high in iron which helps enhance peridot’s color. Therefore basalt rocks are ideal for high quality peridot.

Photograph of a forsterite in basalt (170991) from the National Mineral Collection

Peridot Jewelry

Peridot gives a narrow brown- green to yellowish green to pure green colors, that can be enhanced when set in yellow metal which warms the color of the stone, to contrast the color designers set peridot in white metals as well. Peridot is highly doubly refractive, which means it exhibits a characteristic sparkle, making it highly attractive for designers and consumers. Peridot can be found in necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings.

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Wear and care of Peridot

Peridot has a 6.5-7 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 fair hardness, Peridot is ideal for jewelry wear, but it should not be subjected to heavy every day wear. With the right care and the right mounting, you can create a piece that can last for decades.

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Peridot’s beautiful range of colors made it desirable for the elite of Europe, during the belle epoque, a period of prosperity and peace right before the outbreak of world war one. Prince Albert the son of queen Victoria, loved peridot and wore it in almost every single piece of jewelry he owned. The pastel colors, the beautiful doubling and the lore that surround this stone makes peridot a phenomenal choice for your next piece of jewelry. Next time you come in, let us show you some of the beautiful colors of peridot.

 

A modern twist on an old design

Written by Micah Brown On August 1, 2017.

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Over a year before Ray and Megan shared the magic moment pictured above, they brought in a family wedding set to be totally revamped. Years of loving wear had taken their toll on the frail rings. The couple wanted to totally redesign the rings but keep with the spirit of the original piece (shown below).

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For the redesign, the couple wanted to only use diamonds they already had in the heirloom engagement ring and wedding band (not pictured). The two initial concepts are presented below. The first was to give a more modern flair to the ring by adding a full bezel around the center stone. The second kept more in step with the original design but was still fresh and new.

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The customers decided on the final concept below. Which utilized every stone they had available from the original set. To insure that the piece would last a lifetime and be able to be passed on to future generations, Platinum was the metal of choice for Ray and Megan.
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After a few weeks of patience, as the engagement ring was produced, the day came for Ray to come and pick up the new heirloom. To say he was thrilled was an understatement. The completed piece thoroughly exceeded any expectation that he had garnered from the computer generated images that were provided to him.

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Several months later we produced the matching wedding band and the couple came in to pick out Ray’s wedding band. He decided on a ceramic and tungsten band from Lashbrook, one of our favorite wedding band manufacturers.

After their wedding, back in May, they send us a few pictures from their wedding by NY based photographer, Gabriela Bucero.

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The wonderful world of color PT.6: Ruby

Written by Erick Razo On July 17, 2017.

When you talk about love, what color comes to mind? You probably said red right? The color red is often associated with our most intense emotions—love and anger, passion and fury. In the gemological world there is a stone that presents us with more beautiful shades of red than any other gemstone. This month we will be looking at the stone that many have called “the most precious stone created by God,” we will focus on Rubies.

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Origins

Ruby comes from the Latin word ruber which means “red,” this inherent color can vary from orangy red to purplish red.Rubies have been around since ancient times and have many myths created about them over the years. Each region where the stones are found, have made their own lore about rubies. An example of this comes from the ancient warriors of Myanmar, who believed rubies were dried drops of blood, and in order to become stronger and be protected in battle they would put rubies inside their arms to become one with the stone. The beauty of this stone made it be wanted by all the elite of Europe and were usually given to people as sign of power and love. Ruby is considered one of the most historically significant gemstones.
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Geography of Ruby

Rubies can be found in almost every continent, but the best quality rubies are found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Himalayas. Myanmar has a legendary valley of rubies; Called Mogok and is known for giving some of the most beautiful rubies in the world. Rubies found outside of one of these major sources, tend to be lower quality.

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Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

Natural rubies occur when aluminum and oxygen combine to create a compound, along with chromium as a trace element that allows ruby to obtain it’s deep red color. Most quality Ruby grows from marble stones that occur during a metamorphic process. Heat and pressure from mountain formation create the marble stones that are low in iron and high in chromium, which helps enhance the color of the ruby.  Rubies can also be found in basalt rocks, which contain a lot of iron, which tends to tone down the color of the ruby. Almost all rubies have inclusions inside them that often dictate how the stone will be cut and fashioned. They often cut in common shapes like round, oval, pear, marquise. When stones are heavily included they are typically cut into cabochons, a smooth stone with no facets, a domed top and a flat or slightly domed underside.

Ruby rough from Afghanistan

Ruby Jewelry

Ruby gives us a range of red colors that can be enhanced when set in yellow metal which warms the color of the stone, but you will find the stone also set in white metal. This beautiful deep red makes it highly attractive for designers and consumers.  Rubies 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 Ruby

Ruby has a 9-9.5 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 great hardness, Rubies are ideal for heavy everyday wear.  This is why rubies are one of the most important colored gemstones in the market today.

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The sensation of love is like a fire burning deep within our hearts, yet it does not leave any scars. It gives us a courage that we did not know we had and it shines bright within our hearts. Ruby is a stone that symbolizes love not only because of the red color, but because of it’s impurities and the hardness it posses. The impurities are similar to the people we love, who are full of flaws and virtues, but that is why we love them. We can become entirely different people when it comes to the ones we love, and that hardness that ruby has is similar to how through tough times we can continue to shine bright and love. Ruby is the perfect stone for July, so come on in and let us show you the wonderful world of color.

How to buy a 3 carat diamond for $3,200!

Written by Micah Brown On June 29, 2017.

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Misinformation, half-truths, deliberately misleading, false advertising…lying. This is common to man. Think about it, we are taught our ABC’s and how to count and tie our shoes but one thing we didn’t have to learn was how to lie.

Unfortunately, many people bring this pre-programmed ability into their business practices. No industry is untouched by deception. Luxury items, especially jewelry, are a huge target for those looking to scam unassuming consumers out of their hard earned money. The truth is, under normal circumstances, you can not buy a 3 carat diamond for $3,200; however, you may be lead to believe that you can. Keep reading to find out how and what you can do to protect yourself against this kind of malpractice.

Our case in point follows, a for sale item on the popular auction based website EBAY.

Before we talk about this example, we must make clear that this is not an attack on EBAY. There are things the site could do to create better boundaries and police illicit behavior but they are not ultimately responsible for the problem. As we stated the problem is within people not within a website.

That being said, take a look at the following image and ask yourself, “What is this auction for?”

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Given all of the information available, it appears that this is an auction for a 3 carat diamond ring set in 14K white gold with an appraised value of $9,800 that is selling for $3,250

If you scroll down the page, you are presented with some more information.

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Here we see two videos and some more information. All of which seems to support the information on the first page. So, the average consumer who is looking for a diamond engagement ring and has done some online research sees that they are planning to purchase a 14K white gold engagement ring set with a 3ct. D/VVS2 diamond that has been certified by International Diamond Trading Corporation. If they go through with this purchase, they have just bought a lie.

Did you catch it yet? THIS IS NOT A DIAMOND RING!

Lets look again at our images with some attention drawn to how many times “diamond” and diamond grading terms are used in relation to this product.

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This product has references to “diamond” or diamond grading terms nineteen times. So you may be asking, “Well if it’s not a diamond what is it?”

If you haven’t caught it yet, let’s look one more time at the images with a different emphasis added.

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Nowhere on the first page of this auction can we see that this product is anything other than a diamond. Scroll to the bottom of the page and we see one small note. “This is not a Natural GIA certified Diamond, this is a cultured diamond.”

The question then follows, what in the world is a cultured diamond? If you search for “cultured diamond” you will be presented with a plethora of information about laboratory grown or man made diamonds. They are chemically the same material as their naturally occurring counterpart however they are made in a lab instead of grown in the ground. Their technical term is “synthetic diamond”. Synthetics serve a purpose in the industry and have done so for many years, especially in the colored stone arena, offering consumers a less expensive alternative which offers identical performance. This is a good solution for customers as long as they are informed and know what they are buying and why.

However, this ring isn’t even a synthetic diamond! It is a diamond simulant! A simulant is any substance which appears to be something else. It shares no other characteristics with the material it is imitating other than appearance. Glass, for example, is a diamond simulant. This ring is Moissanite, a popular diamond simulant since the late 1990’s.

You might be wondering, “Where does it say that?!”

Let’s look at our image one last time,

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Five times. That’s it. Five times in the entire listing is Moissanite mentioned. However the item is still referred to as a “cultured diamond” the same number of times! The seller uses this term interchangeably on purpose to confuse the consumer.

Are you upset yet? Thoughts of “How could they?!” might have come to mind.

There are many other things that are wrong with this listing but this is by far the biggest issue, intentional misinformation in order to deceive. This example, and many others like it, is not only confined to auction or sale sites like EBAY. This kind of deliberate deception is prevalent (to varying degrees) all over the internet. Deception like this is not only a threat and a reality online, but in brick and mortar stores as well. Even the largest jewelry store chains in the world are not free from the propensity to flat out lie in order to make sales. Again the problem lies with the individual selling the item, they are the one choosing to be dishonest.

You may be wondering, “Then how can I trust anything a jeweler says?”

Finding an honest jeweler is not impossible. There are organizations of jewelers that submit themselves to standards and codes of ethics which they are expected to uphold in order to be considered for membership. One such organization that is dedicated to consumer protection is the American Gem Society (AGS). From their website,

“The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by a small group of leading jewelers. Their goal was to create an organization that could help protect the jewelry-buying public from fraud and false advertising…

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.”

The American Gem Society is the only organization in the world with this level of dedication to protecting YOU, the consumer! An AGS store is one who is dedicated to taking care of the needs of the customer. Once you have found a store dedicated to protecting the consumer it is imperative to go even a step further.

American Gem Society stores have to have at least one member, associate or owner who has met particular education requirements. For example, the highest credential in the entire jewelry industry is a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, a title bestowed by AGS. The individual who reaches this level has the equivalent of a master’s degree in the field of gemology and also has qualifications to accurately appraise any piece of jewelry for a variety of purposes such as fair market value, insurance, or estate value. Those who have achieved or are on the path to obtaining this level of certification have an immense knowledge of the jewelry industry and are dedicated to teaching consumers. When you are educated you can make better buying decisions and get the most for your money. Education is the key to giving you the confidence necessary to not only make good purchases but enables you to sniff out any wind of shady business practices. Even with our current access to the ever growing stockpile of information this type of education is impossible to obtain through mere internet research.

Much like you cannot use even the most thorough internet research to diagnose and treat cancer, you cannot use internet research to have the type of professional education provided through an organization like the American Gem Society. There are approximately 400 Certified gemologist appraisers in the world, as of this writing, our owner and our store manager are 2 of those 400. One of our associates is a Registered Jeweler through American Gem society and another is a Certified Sales Associate.

At Diadem Jewelers, we are committed not only to the ethics of the American Gem Society but the highest ethics code given to mankind–the infallible, inspired word of God, the Bible. Which tells us plainly that within every one of us is a baked in desire to deceive, not only others but ourselves. It could be something “small”, a “little white lie” as many people call them, such as tearing off the date on an expired coupon or something “big” like embezzling or an affair. Lying pervades all of humanity, some lies do have greater corporal circumstances but the truth is all lies are condemning. Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written: ‘No one is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'”

The first sin was committed because man chose to believe a lie rather than the truth. The effects of that sin trickle down through all of humanity and thus we are born into sin. It is our nature. The only way we can be freed of the just punishment for that sin is by a work of God to transform our mind in order to believe that this very God sent His only son to die for our sins, thereby allowing us to be considered as righteous and holy and be counted as the sons and daughters of God. That realization will, in turn, drive us turn from sin and desire to sin no more.


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