Is Used Jewelry Worth Anything?

Big pile of used jewelryIn the world of jewelry, the term “used” is pass√©. “Gently loved” is the expression for jewelry that’s had more than one owner. Plus, unlike automobiles, jewelry doesn’t necessarily lose its value the minute you take it out of the showroom. According to Jennie’s Junque Store, you can get a pretty penny for costume jewelry right alongside vintage jewelry, especially if it was designed and made by a collectible designer. In fact, Reader’s Digest reveals that among antique jewelry it’s the designer pieces such as Harry Winston engagement rings and Van Cleef and Arpels pendants and earrings that are “hot” items. (more…)

10 May 2015

Do People Still Give Promise Rings?

Do People Still Give Promise RingsIn high school years, promise rings were a big deal. The couples who had been seriously dating would often end up “pre-engaged” after panicking at the thought of going to separate colleges or one going away to school while the other stayed home. A diamond ring of several carats wasn’t expected because, typically, promise rings are purchased on an income that is usually from an after school part-time gig. Instead, promise rings are a bit more flexible than engagement rings. They may be sterling silver rings, or ones set with semi precious stones rather than a diamond. Yet, to a teen-aged girl, promise rings may as well be engagement rings. He is hers. He promised, right? (more…)

25 Apr 2015

October Birthstones

October Birthstones opalPeople born in October are some of the few who have a choice in birthstones, and have even more choices among those. The American Gem Society lists both opals and tourmaline gemstones as the official October birthstones. Additionally, the AGS reveals that tourmalines come in more than one color. That means that if you prefer a solid-colored stone over the ethereal luminescence of the opal, you can take your pick among black, pink and green tourmalines. Black tourmaline looks a bit like flint, however, and is used less for representing October birthdays than the pink and green varieties of tourmaline. (more…)

17 Apr 2015


Sapphire: birthstone for SeptemberThose born in September have the honor of their births being represented by the brilliant blue gleaming sapphire gemstone. Believed to have amazing power, the Farmer’s Almanac says that sapphires were trusted to protect wearers from evil and even poisoning. (more…)

10 Apr 2015

Peridot Birthstone for August

august birthstone: peridotThe cool green peridot is the gemstone that’s known as the birthstone for birthdays in the hot and sizzling month of August. The Farmer’s Almanac says that the stone symbolizes strength and, because peridot is considered a heart chakra stone, the gift of a peridot pendant that doesn’t include any other types of stones is a thoughtful gift for an August birthday. That’s because a pendant holds the stone near the solar plexus chakra, encouraging warm, loving feelings toward creation, according to HealingCrystalsforYou.¬† (more…)

03 Apr 2015

Championship Rings

Jordan's championship ringsSporting the bling of six championship rings, it’s hard to remember that Michael Jordan wasn’t born with a 48-inch jump. According to some sources, he worked with trainer Tim Grover to increase vertical jump inches. Obviously the hard work and training paid off in the form of multi-million dollar contracts with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, not to mention the lucrative endorsements. However, Air Jordan would probably tell you that his hard-earned championship rings have as much sentimental value as they do actual monetary worth. (more…)

27 Feb 2015

Working With Gemstones

working with stonesWorking with gemstones is more than a job. It’s a form of art. Those with artistic talents may be naturally drawn to creating jewelry and other things with gemstones. However, if you don’t feel you have the natural talent to make a living from it, working with gemstones is something you can indulge in as a hobby. When using gems to create items for display or wear, you might think the first logical step would be to design the piece and then find the stones to set into it. Many times, though, it’s when you see a cut stone, ready for setting, that inspiration strikes. Your mind’s eye envisions the finished piece, created around the bare gemstone. (more…)

24 Feb 2015

Are You Allergic to Precious Metals?

Allergic to metalYou adore the gold pendant set with sparkling gemstones that your truelove gave to you, but every time you wear it, an itchy, unsightly rash develops around your neck. Curiously, the same reaction occurs whenever you wear the silver bracelet you got as a souvenir from your cruise to South America. At first thought, it might seem like you’re allergic to all jewelry, but DermNet NZ points out that often what people mistake for an allergy to precious metals is really an allergy to nickel. (more…)

16 Feb 2015

Ruby: July Birthstone

July birthstoneBirthdays landing in the heat of summer deserve a fiery birthstone, so it’s fitting that blazing red rubies are birthstones for July. Rubies have been making an impression on people for centuries. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s been considered the King of Gemstones since ancient times. (more…)

09 Feb 2015

Alexandrites and Pearls: Birthstones for June

pearl-necklaceMaybe it’s because of June’s association with the Gemini zodiac sign that birthdays in this summer month get two birthstones, one for each side of the twin personality. Both pearls and alexandrites are recognized as birthstones for June, though Crystal Cure reveals that four other months have at one time or another claimed the pearl as a birthstone. Because it isn’t a traditional, glittering gem you may not consider a pearl to be a precious gemstone. However, pearls have been sought-after symbols of affluence and wealth for centuries. Other than their appearance, the element that sets pearls apart from other gemstones is that they come from a living creature rather than being mined from the earth. The Farmer’s Almanac says that pearls symbolize purity, and that’s why they’re often worn by brides and sewn onto their gowns.

pearl-ringJune’s alternative birthstone, the alexandrite, is a relatively new gem, having only been discovered as recently as 1834, says the International Colored Gemstone Association. It’s possibly the alexandrite’s unique ability to change color that made it a logical choice to be the birthstone symbol for the duality of Geminis. Alexandrites are a variety of chrysoberyl. The highest quality stones appear green in natural light, but become red or a reddish-purple when viewed under artificial light. says that alexandrites can even display different hues of green, red or purple, depending on which angle you view them from.

Like all gemstones, both June birthstones are thought to possess protective and healing qualities. The Gemological Institute of America tells pearl enthusiasts that it is a moon gem, and that pearls are thought to protect wearers from fire and even fire-breathing dragons. Geminis who favor alexandrites over pearls may be people who don’t fear dragons but who are looking for love or improved fortune. AJS Gems says that alexandrites are believed to facilitate romance and encourage joy for those who are excessively disciplined. The color-changing stones are also said to give hope and strength to the despairing and increase creativity, imagination and intuition.

23 Jan 2015