We are going to reprint a great series of articles from the American Gem Society regarding “phenomena” in gemstones. To see the entire article click here:
There are several varieties of gemstones that display optical phenomena, which describes the many ways light interacts with the structural features or inclusions (internal characteristics) in the gemstone. Often these gemstones will be fashioned in a particular way that best displays these effects.
The science of optical phenomena can be fascinating, although the mystery and allure of these effects are what initially attract us! Below are six of the most familiar (and magical) displays of optical phenomena in gemstones.
Play-of-color is created by a combination of diffraction and interference, and is the result of the microstructure of opal: the chameleon of a thousand colors and October’s birthstone!
Opals are made up of many layers of small, stacked spheres of silica. These spheres diffract light, splitting it into a spectrum of colors. The layers of these spheres create interference allowing certain colors to dominate, depending on the angle the opal is viewed.
She said “I don’t really need anything for Valentine’s Day,” but you know better. You don’t want to be the guy that disappoints her when everyone else has said, “I love you,” and you’re the only one that hasn’t. Her friends and family will show her love with cards, flowers, and sweet treats… So how do you go above and beyond? How do you stand out from all of the other people who love her? Give her what no one else will on that day – jewelry!
Think that’s too materialistic? “She’s not really a jewelry person.” Jewelry isn’t just about the sparkle (though it’s definitely nice!) but about representing your relationship with something you picked out just for her. Trust us, if you do a good job in picking out the gift, she WILL wear it.
Here are the best jewelry ideas based on how serious your relationship is:
1. The ultimate romantic surprise – An engagement ring!
You’re ready to COMMIT! Think getting engaged on Valentine’s Day is cheesy? According to a Facebook study, Valentine’s Day is the third most popular day of the year to get engaged (after Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), so you wouldn’t be the only one – and it sure beats getting a box of candy hearts. If your lady is suspicious that something is about to happen, don’t be afraid to pop the question a little early, say the day or Saturday before February 14th. That way you can savor the moment, then tell everyone your big news on Valentine’s Day!
2. You’re in love, but not ready to commit to the big “M” – Get something personal.
Getting a piece of jewelry that has personal meaning proves how you have “studied” her and how special she is to you. You can choose a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings that have a personal note or her name engraved, the birthstone for the month you met, or a certain number of gemstones to represent the time you have been together. (Like sapphire to represent your first date in September or 3 stones for 3 years.) Getting creative adds more emotional meaning and makes the moment you give the gift to her much more memorable.
3. Still feeling things out in your relationship? – Get her something simple.
You two aren’t that serious yet, but you still want to impress her beyond the usual dinner date? Get her something simple she can wear every day. Every-day jewelry like hoop earrings or a delicate chain aren’t as big of a commitment and gives her a chance to feel special without jumping to conclusions. She gets to think of you everytime she wears your gift, and you look like the most romantic guy she’s ever dated!
While working on some social media (custom design work) posts I ran across an old interview with National Jeweler. It encapsulates the entire foundation for what we do:
“NJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’d offer to other independent jewelry stores?
SV: That’s easy. Day in and day out, I have to focus everyone’s attention on the front door and the people who come through that front door. As a Christian I believe that service is the best platform for our business, but not to meet our own needs or for profit or anything else. We have to be able to determine customers’ needs and then meet those needs. If we’re using fair pricing and reasonable, traditional jewelers’ methodology, then our business will survive.
That’s what I would advise them to do. Focus on that front door. Serve the customer.
Next: in the category of “electrically powered” watch movements is SOLAR
It all begins around 1970s when the watchmakers at that time wanted to improve upon their quartz watches. The electricity generated will be stored in a rechargable battery to prolong a satellite’s usage life. Next: in the category of “electrically powered” watch movements is SOLAR Citizen then followed suit with its Crystron watch, an analog watch with solar cells on the dial. Seiko also released their own version of solar watch, with the solar cells on top of their famous digital watch.
Citizen released the first solar watch with analog display – the Citizen Crystron. Notice that the four solar panels are directly on top of the panel for a not too glamorous look.
As we can see, most of the early solar watches are not that good looking since the boring gray solar cells has to be put on top of the dial. But that’s 40 years ago. Nowadays, most solar watches have solar cells underneath the dial, thus enabling its dial to be as good as normal watch.
So, today the service needed for a solar watch is minimal, IF and only IF it is exposed to sunlight regularly. Therefore: put your watch away,.. on the sash of a second floor window. If you are like me… thats not an option. One floor dwellings need to have a secure spot for the watch away from foot traffic to be secure! So,. carefully place the watch where it will get a minimum of four hours of sunlight, it does not have to be direct,.. but choose a bright spot.
If you choose to store your watch, we have experienced many customers who are forced to replace the power cell that holds the charge. The cell appears to be a normal watch battery with a little strap welded to the negative side of the cell.. its not a normal cell. It is equipped with the proper technology to hold a gentle feed of electricity from the photo cells under the dial of the watch. If it does not receive sufficient light,.. it will have to be replaced prematurely.
At Diadem jewelers we can easily supply the correct rechargeable cell and get the watch back it running order. Several different watch manufacturers use differing cells so there likely is a week or two to wait while we make the repairs.
Visiting a new jeweler for the first time? Here’s a quick guide to knowing when you have found a good store and when you might want to consider a different one:
1. When you leave your grandmother’s precious and sentimental diamond ring with this jeweler for a repair, the associate checking it in does not type up a detailed description of the ring.
This is a huge no-no. You should have written, objective evidence that what you dropped off is what you will pick up, especially with large diamonds. Jewelers should have the ability to show you the characteristics in your diamond and record them for future examination. It is also beneficial to have photographs of your jewelry and the name of the person who helped you on your receipt.
2.You’ve decided to take your grandmother’s diamond out of her old ring and put it into a new one. You’ve picked a style, but you’re not completely sure… To reassure you, the jeweler says “Don’t worry about it. You’ll love it!” and gives you a date to pick it up.
Custom work takes a lot of visualizing and imagination because your dream piece doesn’t exist, yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t get computerized images of what you’re hoping to create. Computerized images (called “renderings”) aren’t perfect because it’s difficult to depict a shiny 3D object in a 2D world, but it’s better than “hoping” your jeweler’s style and taste is the same as yours.
3. You are shopping for a gift and disclosed your budget to the associate helping you, but they keep showing you items that are out of your price range.
Not only does it feel uncomfortable and pushy, but clearly there is a breakdown in communication. Not listening well is a red flag that casts suspicion on your interactions in the future. This might include repair work, custom pieces, or exchanges and returns. If they are not listening well now, what issues could come up in the future? If it seems like the salespeople are more interested in lining their own pockets, then walk away.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take your time when visiting a jewelry store for the first time. All jewelers should be there to serve your needs!