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Fascinating Phenomena in Gemstones, Part 4

Written by Brian Wilson On February 18, 2020.

The first 3 parts of this article can be found here, here, and here.

Continuing on in our look at phenomenal gemstones,
today we examine one of the favorite phenomena – Color Change This is part 4 in a reprint of an article from the American Gem Society seen here.

Color Change

A small number of gemstones display the color change optical phenomena. Depending on the lighting environment, the color change appearance can vary due to the shifting wavelengths. The technical term for this is photochromism or photochroism; “color-change” is a lot easier to say!

The best-known color changing gemstone is alexandrite. When viewed in sunlight, it appears greenish. When placed under incandescent light, it appears reddish. Other varieties of color-changing gemstones include sapphire, garnet, spinel, diaspore, and tourmaline.


On the website, GIA (Gemological Institute of Amercia), has the following to say,

Often described by gem aficionados as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is the very rare color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable.

Color Change Sapphires

On the website, GIA (Gemological Institute of Amercia), has the following to say about the quality of sapphires as related to color change,

Figure 15. This 5.68 ct cushion mixed-cut sapphire showed a strong color change from grayish violet in fluorescent light to purple-pink in incandescent light. GIA

Color-change sapphires are corundum’s chameleons—stones that change color under different lighting. Under daylight equivalent (fluorescent or LED daylight-balanced) light, the typical color-change sapphire’s basic color ranges from blue to violet. Under incandescent light, it ranges from violetish purple to strongly reddish purple. Some rare color-change sapphires change from green in daylight to reddish brown in incandescent light.

When gem experts judge color-change sapphires, they describe the color change as weak, moderate, or strong. The strength of the stone’s color change is the most important quality factor affecting its value.

How to Make Gift Giving a Special Moment

Written by Sonya Zelaya On February 18, 2020.

You’ve done the research. You’ve kept your ears open in case there was interest in any particular style. Now you have invested in the perfect piece of jewelry as a gift – Don’t let the moment you give it go to waste!

So how do you make that moment special? 

Step One: Have it nicely wrapped. 

Don’t be afraid to go over the top with this! There is no such thing as a gift wrapped “too” nicely.  Have a nice box for your piece of jewelry, wrapped in thick paper and ribbon. A wax seal on the paper gives it a final touch of sophistication. Place the gift in a nice bag with tissue paper, as it helps hide clues about what you purchased. Most fine jewelers will do this for you at no additional charge.

Step Two: Choose the location and timing.

If you’re on your way out the door and toss a gift bag to someone on the couch, it will come across as an afterthought or something you just had to “get over with.” If the person you are giving the gift to sees that you have been intentional with the location and timing, then your recipient will feel more special and important.

The more expensive the gift, the more effort you should put into planning. Giving your wife an $8,000 diamond necklace? Go the extra mile and go out for a nice dinner so the environment matches with the occasion. Surprising a girlfriend with earrings that cost you $100? They are the perfect surprise over a cup of coffee at your favorite bakery or on a walk at a beautiful park. 

Step Three: Choose the right words

You’ve picked the right gift, the right location, and the right moment – Don’t just lay the bag on the table, stare, and wait for your gift recipient to read your mind. Here are some ideas of what you can say to indicate that the surprise is for him or her:

  • “I wanted to wish you a happy birthday/happy anniversary by getting you something special.”
  • “I want to celebrate your birthday/ your promotion/ our first baby together with something that reminded me of you.”
  • “I really love you and want you to have this so that you will always remember.”

It doesn’t have to be an eloquent speech or more than a couple of sentences. Let them open the gift and give them a moment to react and try on the jewelry. After they have been able to give an initial reaction, give the rest of the explanation for why you chose that particular item for them. Such as, 

  • “When I saw it, I immediately thought of you! It really matches your style.”
  • “The beautiful color reminded me of your eyes.”
  • “I chose it because the gemstone represents our anniversary/baby’s birthstone/your birthday…”
  • “I chose something with three stones to represent us being together for three years.”
  • “I got this for you so you could look elegant on your first day with the corner office.”

By adding the explanation, it shows that you went above and beyond. You didn’t just cover your eyes and throw a dart at your final choice, but you took the time to really think about this person and what they would love and appreciate. And that is what transforms a shiny piece of jewelry into a token of your love! 

Need help finding a jewelry store to get the right gift in the first place? Check out our article “Which Jeweler Do I Choose?” to get 3 tips before you even visit a store. 

And remember, we’re always here to help!

Fascinating Phenomena in Gemstones, Part 3

Written by Brian Wilson On February 14, 2020.
GIA provides this image of moonstone as part of their GemKids Glossary, here.

Part 1 of this article can be found here, and part 2 here.

Continuing on in our look at phenomenal gemstones, today we consider two of the least know phenomena – Adularescence and
Labradorscence. This is part 3 in a reprint of an article from the American Gem Society seen here.


Adularescence is the phenomenon typically seen in moonstone, which is a member of the feldspar family. It produces a billowy soft blue to milky white light that appears to move across the gemstone. This occurs when light hits the alternating layers of albite and orthoclase, which are two differing forms of feldspar within the gem.

The layers of feldspar interfere with the light rays causing them to scatter and the eye to observe adularescence. The effect is best seen when the gemstone is cut en cabochon [en CAB-ah-shawn]—that is, with a polished, domed top and a flat or slightly rounded base

Thank you to for this image, see more here.


Labradorscence [lab-ra-dor-es-cence] is an optical characteristic often seen in labradorite. The effect is a spectacular play-of-color that is metallic or iridescent, displaying blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. This is an interference effect within the gemstone caused by internal structures that selectively reflect only certain colors.

Best Jewelry Gift Ideas for Your Wife

Written by Sonya Zelaya On February 13, 2020.

You have already given her the most precious jewelry she owns, her engagement ring and her wedding band… so where do you go from there?

Here are three ideas that will help you with Valentine’s Day, her birthday, your anniversary, Christmas, Hanukkah, just because, or any other occasion you celebrate!

1. Celebrate your children.

Why bring the kids into this? Because they wouldn’t be here without both of you! 

Birthstones are the most obvious option to represent your kids. If you’re in a hurry, focus on getting one child’s birthstone. If you have multiple children, start with the oldest (not your favorite!) and use the other’s birthstones as future gift ideas. For example: Have a daughter born in June? Get your wife a chain necklace with a single pearl.

Want to get one piece of jewelry with all of their birthstones? Since that can mean any combination and number of gemstones, make sure you have plenty of time to put something together. Give your jeweler at least two weeks notice. Look for  “mother’s” rings, necklaces, or bracelets that can incorporate multiple stones for inspiration.

Want to forgo using multiple birthstones but still represent your children? Use a single gem to represent the number of children you have. You can use all diamonds, the birthstone of the month you were married, or the traditional stone for the anniversary you are celebrating to represent your children as a result of your relationship.

Go with diamonds for a classic look, rubies for marriages in July or 15th wedding anniversaries, or multiple birthstones!

2. Remember that time when…

Choose something that will invoke a memory or a special time with both of you. Remember that time when you were camping, looking at the stars, and talking about your future together? A beautiful pair of star earrings will remind her of that special moment. 

If you want to refer to an inside joke, it can be risky. What might be funny to you might not be so funny to her. Beware of jokes related to making sandwiches, cleaning, cooking, bodily functions or fluids, or anything related to her eating habits and/or weight. 

A good rule of thumb: Is the story or joke something you guys have laughed about already? If she hasn’t laughed yet when you mention her always stealing your fries, that’s a no-go. Want to stay really safe? Make the joke on you. And double check any return policies.

“I wish upon a star… that all of our dreams come true.”

3. If you’re not sure, diamonds are always a winner.

With their sparkle, diamonds go with everything. Diamond studs go with a t-shirt and jeans. A necklace with little diamonds or a single diamond is subtle enough to wear anywhere. In our 20 year history as a store, it’s incredibly rare for a woman to want to return diamonds.

Diamond necklaces come in all varieties
and can be worn every where!

Once you’ve picked out something special, don’t undo all of your hard work and fumbling the presentation. Learn how to make giving her gift a special moment!

Fascinating Phenomena in Gemstones, Part 2

Written by Brian Wilson On February 12, 2020.
Blue Star Sapphire

For part 1 of this article, click here.

As we continue our look at the world of phenomenal gemstones, we examine in this part two familiar phenomena, but the actual names are not very familiar – Asterism and Chatoyancy. This is part 2 in a reprint of an article from the American Gem Society seen here.


Asterism, or stars, relates to the four- or six-rayed star pattern of light produced by the fibrous inclusions, elongated needles, or growth tubes in a gemstone. This singular, celestial-like phenomenon is best seen in a gemstone cut en cabochon.


Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl

Chatoyancy [sha-TOY-an-cee] is also known as “cat’s eye.” Fine needle-like or fibrous inclusions within the gemstone are what causes this effect. Again, stones fashioned as cabochons display this effect the best.