Sterling silver pendant with one 7mm round, one 6mm round, and one 5mm round Orissa purple garnet, 3.13ct. tw., hanging in a row on a sterling rod, attached to an 18 inch sterling silver chain
Gorgeous and classic Sterling silver pendant with a 6.1×8.7mm pearshape natural color rhodolite garnet, 1.55ct., accented with a 2.5mm CZ above. Hangs on an 18″ Sterling silver chain.
“By her who in this month was born
No gem save garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.”
– Gregorian Birthstone Poem.
Recognizing each month as having it’s own “birthstone” is a tradition that has been around since the 15th century. This is the first in our series of birthstone blogs, designed to give you in insight into the history and meanings behind the birthstones for every month.
Garnet, January’s birthstone, is unique in many ways. January is the only month that has not had any additional stones added as secondary birthstones, or had the stone change. What’s even more impressive is that garnet comes in every color of the rainbow. Think of all the possibilities January babies have for their birthstone jewelry!
If you’re looking for a piece of jewelry to give as a gift, garnet is an excellent choice because it signifies values such as friendship, loyalty and trust. It is also thought to keep the wearer safe during their travels. Metaphysically, it is thought to remove negativity and provide insight and guidance. Garnets are also a traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary.
Garnets are a group of hard, glassy minerals. There are actually 17 different varieties, all valued for their different colors, hardness and other special properties. For example, color-change garnet appears brownish or orange in the daylight, but rose-pink in incandescent lighting. Leuco garnet is entirely colorless. Garnet varieties found in green are the most uncommon and most valuable. The most common color garnet manifests itself in is red, and that is the stone most people picture when the word garnet is mentioned.
Looking for the perfect gift for your January girl? Browse our selection of garnet jewelry.
www.americangemsociety.org, www.birthdaygems.org, www.almanac.com, www.gemselect.com
14K yellow gold post style earrings with small faceted genuine purple garnet and an oval white freshwater pearl hanging below
Actual stones and pearls may vary slightly from picture.
Summer might be ending, but hot weather sure isn’t going anywhere yet. When you live in Florida like we do, you get to experience summer all year ’round. This has its high points, and its lows. With this being one of the hottest years on record, it’s almost unbearable to go outside in anything other than a sundress or your beach wear.
In conditions like these, it’s easy to end up in a bit of a fashion rut – when you only have so many summer worthy outfits in your closet, you run dangerously close to repeating your #OOTD posts on Instagram. Boring! So how to spice up your look? Accessorize, of course! We’re here to show you what to wear with all of your sundresses to brighten up your summer style.
This one’s easy. Wear a simple pendant that highlights the cut of your dress. Minimalist styles look best with this type of sundress, so pick a pendant that has one of the colors from your dress in it and isn’t too elaborate. Make sure not to wear a necklace that’s too long; you don’t want your pendant getting lost in your cleavage. We went for a red theme with the dress below, but you could also choose to accent the black designs with some black onyx or black spinel instead of garnet. Use the colors in your jewelry box to your advantage! The right jewelry selection can completely change the personality of your outfit and really spice up your wardrobe.
Get the look!:
With a crew neck dress you have a lot of possibilities. Since most of your upper body will be covered, layered necklaces look great with this style. You have to opportunity to wear jewelry that would usually detract from the rest of your outfit, and instead it complements your look! Might we suggest a pearl rope for layering? You can wear it long or double it up to make it shorter, and add a couple of your favorite pendants or other necklaces of different lengths for a trendy and personalized look.
Get the look!:
Tank style dresses are meant to look cool, casual, and breezy, so you don’t want to pack too much punch with your jewelry here, or else you will throw off that look. You definitely need a great pair of earrings to draw the attention back onto your face. Try on our ear climbers for size – you can wear them as a dangle or turn them upwards so they fit like an ear cuff. Balance this out with some delicate bracelets or rings to complete your look. Check out our beach-ready style below! (Pro-tip: don’t forget to remove your jewelry if you’re planning on actually going into the water.)
Get the look!:
The sweetheart neckline is the perfect cut for showing off a choker length necklace. You can mix it up depending on the day, too. Go with a large, chunky, or sparkly necklace to make a statement or style your dress with something more delicate for a softer look. In the picture below we’ve created a more dressy look, but the same outfit would look great with more casual accessories as well!
Get the look!:
For a strapless dress, statement earrings are the way to go! Necklaces can sometimes throw off the look of the straight neckline, and you’ll want to draw some attention up towards your face. You can personalize your look further with a trendy clutch or handbag, and a statement ring to balance out the heavy earrings. Think about what kind of themes you can you create with the jewelry and the clothes that you own: in the below example, we used black peacock pearls to compliment the peacock feather design on the shoes.
Get the look!:
Tell us what you think! Did you like our style edit? What fashion savvy advice do you have for staying in style in this heat?
If you’ve followed our birthstone blog series or read any of our gemstone spotlights, you’ll know that we love reporting on all the dazzling and little-known facts about all of our favorite stones. August, which formerly could only claim peridot (and the lesser known sardonyx) as it’s birthstone, now has three stones to call its’ own! June, October, November, and December all boast more than one stone as a traditional birthstone, as well. In addition to peridot, those born in August can now sport lovely spinel as their birthstone.
Spinel has been confused with ruby for many years, even in Europe’s crown jewels. You may have heard of the famed “Black Prince’s Ruby” – worn by royals since the 14th century. This stone is not a ruby at all, but a 170 carat spinel polished into an irregular cabochon. Other famous spinels include the nearly 400 carat spinel atop the Russian Imperial Crown, and the Samarian Spinel, which is an astonishing 500 carats and thought to be the largest gem-quality spinel in the world. It belongs to the Iranian Crown Jewels.
Colors and Physical Properties
As you would expect from the great ruby impostor, the most prized color for spinel is red. A quality it shares with true rubies, spinel takes its vibrant red color from chromium. It is also available in blue, pink, and orange, as well as lavender and violet ranging through to bluish-green. It is even found in brown and black. The variety of colors has contributed to its recent popularity, putting it in the same category as sapphires and garnets – two other popular stones known for their dazzling array of colors.
Spinel is mined in Burma, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, parts of the US, Australia, and Tadzhikistan to name a few areas. It is actually rarer (and more affordable) than many rubies! Pieces larger than 5 carats, however, are considered quite rare – especially in ruby red and cobalt blue (which resembles the most prized shade of sapphire). These are the two most popular colors. Spinel is often imitated due to its’ resemblance to many other stones. True spinel contains iron, which makes it slightly magnetic. This separates it from the synthetic stones, although all reputable jewelry dealers should label their products clearly as natural or synthetic. Spinel also differs from rubies and sapphires in that it doesn’t rank quite as high on the Mohs hardness scale. However, it does still claim an 8, which makes it good for most jewelry applications.
Spinel is said to contain many metaphysical properties, which vary depending on the color of the stone in question. Overall it is said to be a calming stone and is recommended to those suffering from stress. When broken down by color, red spinel is said to enhance vitality, while green and pink incite compassion and love. Yellow has ties to intellect, while violet has associations in spiritual development.
Click to view more spinel jewelry available from Pearls International Jewelers. If you would like a spinel for a custom jewelry piece, or would like to get more information about ordering the ring pictured above or any of the finished jewelry pieces from our Showcase, please contact us! (You can use the form below, or call at at 386.767.3473.)
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Pearls are sometimes referred to as the world’s most colorful gem, a title they have certainly earned! Rivaled only by garnets, which are available in every color of the rainbow, pearls are known for the amazing colors they display. However, not all of these colors occur naturally. There are many treatments that are considered acceptable in the jewelry trade to enhance the color and luster of the pearls in question. At Pearls International, we offer many color enhanced freshwater pearls so that you can find a color and style that suits your own personal flair. Note that when these treatments are done correctly, they do not detract from the value of the pearl. Here are the main treatments used to prepare pearls for use in jewelry:
Polishing: While it is is not necessary to cut a pearl or polish it in the manner you think of with other gemstones, they still have their own polishing procedure they are subjected to before being drilled and prepared to sell. They are simply tumbled in a salt water solution that is just course enough to remove any build up or organic matter from the pearls. This process can also sometimes remove small surface imperfections.
Maeshori: This is a process that originated in Japanese pearl farms, meaning “Before Treatment.” It refers to a range of treatments done at the farms, including polishing. When you hear of maeshori today, it means the process by which the pearl has been heated and then cooled in order to “tighten” up the nacre´ (smooth Mother-of-Pearl substance that forms the pearl) which causes the pearl to show increased luster. This process is comparable to a person getting a facelift.
Bleaching: Many freshwater and saltwater pearls are bleached to improve the color of white pearls. Bleaching also evens out some surface flaws. A natural color white strand will show slight variances in the hues of each pearl, while a bleached strand will appear very uniform. Pearl bleaching has been practiced for over 100 years and is considered an industry standard in production of white pearls.
Dyeing: Fancy color pearls such as cranberry and bright blue or green pearls have been treated with an organic dye. Sometimes freshwater pearls are dyed to mimic the color of saltwater pearls at a much lower price. Black freshwater pearls, for example, are dyed to look like Tahitian pearls. The same is true for chocolate color freshwater pearls. Chocolate Tahitian pearls are few and far between as it is, so it is a highly desired color based on rarity. Sometimes Tahitian pearls are dyed brown to make a matched chocolate Tahitian strand, without the pearl farmers having to wait the several years it would take to create a full strand of naturally chocolate color pearls. Dyeing a pearl does not detract from the value of the jewelry as long as it is done well. If you can see blotchiness on the surface of the pearl, or if you can see the original white color around and inside of the drill hole in the pearl, it has been poorly dyed. The color should be smooth and even across the surface of the pearl. Another common practice, related to dyeing, is called “pinking” which is most commonly done on Akoya pearls to increase the rosey overtones in the nacre´. This is achieved by soaking the pearls in a diluted red dye.
Irradiation: This is a treatment most commonly applied to saltwater pearls. It is rarely seen in freshwater pearls, because the cost of this treatment usually outweighs the value. The pearl is subjected to gamma rays, which darkens the pearl. In the case of saltwater pearls, it darkens the shell bead nucleus (which is made from a freshwater mussel). Because the center of the pearl has been darkened, the layers of nacre´ covering the pearl appear darker because of how the light refracts on the surface of the pearl, allowing you to see the nucleus underneath. The thicker the layers of nacre´ (so, the larger the pearl) the harder it is to see. Saltwater pearls treated in this manner will usually become silvery or gunmetal grey in color, not black. Freshwater pearls treated with irradiation will become very dark and it is a good way to get black freshwater pearls with high luster. It’s important to note that these pearls are not radioactive, and therefore are completely safe to wear and enjoy.
There are a couple of other treatments that some pearl farms may choose to do, but these are the most common and most acceptable in the pearl industry.
So, how can you tell if your pearls are a natural color or an enhanced color? Certain types of pearls are available in a range of natural colors. All others not listed are dyed or otherwise enhanced for fashion.
Akoya Pearls: Japanese Akoya pearls are one of the most popular pearl types on the market, and are the most obtainable saltwater pearls. They come in white and cream, with rose, silver, or gold overtones. They are also sometimes seen in a stunning silver-blue color, although these are very rare.
South Sea Pearls: These rare treasures are available in white and gold, with the darkest golden pearls being considered the most valuable.
Tahitian Pearls: One of the most sought after saltwater varieties of pearls, Tahitian pearls are prized for their dark color and ‘peacock’ overtones, although they can occasionally be found in chocolate as well. Most Tahitian pearls lean towards silver or grey rather than true “black.” (As in jet black, which is an unnatural color.) Pinctada margaritifera, the oyster that produces these gorgeous pearls, also produces their cousin, Fiji Pearls. Fiji Pearls are truly the most colorful pearl in the world, and one of the rarest. Because the waters they are farmed in are so nutrient-dense, they come in a rainbow of colors including the traditional blacks and greys, as well as bronze and gold.
Sea of Cortez Pearls: As only one pearl farm is currently culturing these pearls, Sea of Cortez pearls are the most rare. They are also never enhanced to improve their color, so you know that if you purchase a Sea of Cortez pearl, it is unaltered by man once it leaves the oyster. Their colors are similar to those shown in black peacock Tahitian pearls, although they are somewhat more bold and rich in color than the Tahitians are.
PS – You can click here to read more about the amazing Sea of Cortez and Tahitian black peacock pearls mentioned above!
Freshwater Pearls: Making up the bulk of the pearl market, most pearls you will come across while pearl shopping are freshwater. They take the least amount of time and effort from the pearl farmers to produce, and are cultured in several places around the world from a few different species of freshwater clams. These pearls naturally come in white and cream, as well as pastel colors such as peach, lavender, and pink. Any unusually dark or very brightly colored freshwater pearls are typically dyed.
When in doubt, a reputable company should always be honest with you about the jewelry you are buying – just ask!
This amazing ring features your choice of 21 small amethyst or multicolored gemstones in a cluster. The central seven stones are set in the shape of a flower.
Multicolored ring includes peridot, citrine, amethyst, garnet, and blue topaz, with the peridot stones surrounding a gorgeous multicolor flower shape.
Great birthstone ring!
So, you’ve found the girl of your dreams. The one. You’ve seen each other at your best and your worst times. She’s always there to have fun with, support you, and make you laugh. She’s your friend, lover, and confidant. The woman you are absolutely sure you want to spend the rest of your life with. And now you’re ready to take the next step and pop the question.
First of all, congratulations! The right match is hard to find, so cherish her!
Now that you’re sure you’re ready, though, where do you go from here? The world of jewelry shopping is tough for a guy, and this is the single most important piece of jewelry you will ever purchase. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.
But don’t panic! The experts at Pearls International have all the information you’ll need to choose the ring of her dreams.
The first step is to know what your lady wants.
Most couples today discuss the idea of marriage before the actual proposal. It’s best find out ahead of time if she is ready. In fact, one of the biggest marriage proposal mistakes you can make, according to The Knot, is to propose too early. Have a mature conversation to make sure your views line up – do you agree on the big questions in life, such as where you want to live and whether or not you want to have children later on down the road? After all, you will be spending the rest of your life together.
It turns out that most women actually want an intimate proposal, not a public one. Actually, 66% of women wanted their proposal to include just the two of them, while only 3% were dreaming of a public proposal. It’s not necessary to propose in front of an audience, especially if your hopeful bride-to-be prefers to share her love in private. If she’s the type of lady that doesn’t like to participate in PDA, she is probably also the type of lady that would rather have this most intimate moment occur privately. Plus, it gives you time to reflect and celebrate your togetherness before sharing the news with your friends and family.
The time and place of the proposal isn’t the only thing you should be cautious about, however. The big deal is the ring. In a survey of almost 20,000 couples, proposing empty-handed was ranked as the #1 worst proposal mistake. The ring definitely makes it real. There’s just something about having the right ring that makes a proposal feel more sincere. Remember, this is the most important piece of jewelry she’ll ever own, and one that will be on her finger every day of her life. When you have that big conversation about the future, it wouldn’t hurt to ask about the ring, too. In fact, over 50% of women said that they had something to do with their ring.
What to do if you have a picky lady?
You have lots of options! In fact, 40% of women said that they would want to go ring shopping with their future fiancé. You can also use a stunt ring, like Pearl Girl Sophie’s husband, Josh did. You can read the story of her custom designed ring here!
So what is a stunt ring? It’s a stand-in, so that you’re not proposing empty handed, but she also is able to get the ring of her dreams later on. A stunt ring can be an old family heirloom, or an inexpensive one purchased from a jeweler that you can exchange for the real deal later. Your wife-to-be may also choose to have this special ring made into a piece of jewelry she can wear every day.
How much do you really need to spend on a ring, anyway?
The good news is that ladies are actually not as set on having an expensive, lavish ring as you may think. 53% of women said they expected their future husband to spend less than $2,500. 30% preferred a ring with a value of $2,500-$5,000 dollars, leaving only 17% of women who expected something more expensive.
Is a diamond still the way to go?
Survey says…yes! Although times are changing, 67% of women still prefer a diamond. 18%, however, would like their ring to feature a colored gemstone. This is another situation where it never hurts to ask! There are lots of lovely diamond alternatives (that are nicer than a CZ) that she may be equally dazzled by. Sapphires are a beautiful choice, and come in white if you want a classic look. Other popular gemstones such as topaz and garnet are available in colorless varieties.
However, moissanite is definitely the #1 alternative for engagement rings that still have look of diamond. They rank at 9.5 on the Mohs scale (second in hardness only to a diamond), which is important because you don’t want to have to replace the stone later on due to wear and damage. A hard stone will last you a very long time. So we don’t recommend pearls (as much as we love them!) or other soft stones such as opals for a gemstone alternative, because they’ll need to be replaced frequently. If your lady is in the 18% that would like a colored gemstone, we consider sapphires and rubies to be the best choice as they are high on the Mohs scale. The possibilities are endless, however! There are lots of lovely stones to choose from. Maybe a ‘his and hers’ birthstone ring?
Yes, size matters, but it’s not what you’re thinking.
This one will surprise you – only 6% of women said stone size was the top factor when selecting their ideal engagement ring. The truth is that the design of the ring it the most important factor to nearly half of women surveyed, surpassing even diamond quality and ring craftsmanship.
So how can you be sure to get the style of ring she’s hoping for? You could always just ask – or if you’re set on the ring being a total surprise, ask her mother, sister, or best friend for ideas. Make sure your shopping partner is good at keeping secrets though, because you don’t want your intended to find out about her ring second-hand. Alternatively, dig through her jewelry box and/or pay special attention to the types of jewelry she already wears. Check the metal types and colors (Are they white, yellow, or even rose? Has she complained of metal allergies?), size and color of the stones she likes to wear the best, and her overall style. Engagement rings are available in vintage designs for a timeless look, the classic and always popular solitaire, in a range of unique customizable designs and more!
There is one size that DOES matter – the size of her finger! Ask her for her size, or keep it secretive with our handy ring sizer! She will surely want to wear her ring right away, and you don’t want to have to pay more later to have it adjusted to the correct size.
Still shaking at the thought of what to buy? Contact us to talk to a personal shopping consultant! All of our jewelry comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so that if it wasn’t the most perfect ring she’s ever laid eyes on, you can absolutely bring it back for a full refund or exchange. Call us today at 386.767.3473 and we’ll help you find the perfect ring to capture her heart!
A large silvery luster pink freshwater pearl and a 1.06ct trillion cut rhodolite garnet, on a Sterling silver snake chain.