December Birthstones

December just happens to be my favorite month. For me, it is a month that brings about time with family, bundled up movie nights with hot chocolate, outside fires in the fire pit, stockings busting with little gifts on Christmas morning, and all my favorite gemstones. December has several different birthstones that all fall within the realm of gorgeous in my book.

 

The first stone is zircon. The icy blue version of this beauty is often mistaken for other stones like blue topaz and aquamarine. The white color of this stone is not to be confused with cubic zirconia or CZs. But, white zircon has been used as a diamond substitute before. The white or colorless version of this stone is probably the least expensive. Blue zircon has a gorgeous teal blue color to it that represents the coolness of December quite nicely. An interesting fun fact about zircon is that it is one of the oldest minerals on earth! In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid in sleep, bring prosperity, and give honor and wisdom to its owner.

 

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Photo Credit: http://www.palagems.com/gem-news-2005

 

The second choice for December birthstones is turquoise. Some even call this stone the “earth element” of December. Turquoise is my all-time favorite stone. It is not classified as a precious gemstone but I think it is a universally gorgeous specimen. It looks good in gold or silver settings, compliments every skin tone, goes with black or brown, and is almost considered a neutral color itself in the fashion world. Turquoise has been around for decades and was used by the Egyptians and Aztecs. Native American jewelry often has turquoise accents and is said to have protective properties. The Tibetans believe that turquoise is a healing stone and have valued it for centuries.

 

Photo Credit: http://gregthorne.blogspot.com/2012/09/cerrillos-turquoise-from-new-mexico.html, https://www.brilliance.com, Click Here to View Brooch Listing

 

Next up is tanzanite. This stone is a more modern addition to the December birthstone list. Most of us know of tanzanite because a famous New York City jewelry store named Tiffany & Co used this stone a lot in their gemstone lines. It is only found in one place in the world, Tanzania. The color of tanzanite is unmistakable. It ranges from ultramarine blue to violet-blue. This fascinating stone continues to allure collectors and can usually fetch a hefty price tag.

 

Click Here to View Tanzanite Listings

Last on the list is the widely known, topaz. Topaz occurs in large deposits in many colors. The most important mines of topaz are in Brazil and the most sought after kind is imperial topaz. I like to associate the blue color of topaz with the December birthstone because of the icy color that is like blue zircon.

Click Here to View Blue Topaz Listings

Happy December! 

What “Vintage” Means To Me…

My grandparents live on a small cattle farm in Florida. There is a little cobblestone drive that leads to the side of the ranch style, brick house, where the garage is. On Saturday mornings when I was younger, we would go over for some of my Papa’s pancakes. He was a cook in the US Air Force and can make pancakes that are so sweet and cake-like that you can almost feel your teeth rotting. As a kid, these were my absolute favorite! Nanny would make bacon, grits, and eggs to go along with these pancakes. (There is no such thing as a simple, small meal on a farm.) I would watch my Nanny scurry about the kitchen that she had cooked in for over 40 years, it was like a well rehearsed dance. She was always dressed to the nines, even on a Saturday morning at 8am, her ruffle apron covering her blouse. She had a gorgeous wedding ring that would sparkle even when caked with pancake batter and she always had great earrings on. She didn’t believe in having “naked holes” or no earrings. Her hair was short and permed and the perfect style to showcase a pair of statement earrings. She was always so put together and beautiful to me. Even the neighbors who would come by early for coffee before starting their day, knew that Nanny would be up, dressed, and ready to receive them.

On the days that Nanny and Papa went to the flea market to sell old tools and other amazing vintage finds, she would still be decked out it all her jewelry. With her diamonds glistening in the Florida sun, she literally didn’t sweat, she sparkled! She was a believer in being thankful for what you had, enjoying it, and not letting it just sit in a box and collect dust.

I guess you could say that “vintage” is not just a type of jewelry style to me, it’s memories of days passed, it’s the smell of pancakes sitting around a farm table, it’s excellent craftsmanship, and it’s pure elegance. Now that I get to work in a place that has tons of beautiful, nostalgic, well-made vintage pieces, I get obsessed with all the amazing jewelry we have to offer. Our boutique has everything that is precious about the word vintage to me. Each piece has been carefully cleaned and inspected. Each piece is photographed to show its beautiful details. Each piece is ready to be a part of what vintage means to you! I’m sure you will be able to find a piece that brings back some memories of childhood. Or maybe you will find a piece that just speaks to you and you’re ready for it to come home with you and be a part of your kids’ and grandkids’ memories. Each piece is ready to become a keepsake for you and generations to come! Here are a few of my favorites!

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A ring like my Nanny’s in our Etsy store… click here to view listing

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A right hand ring similar to my Nanny’s…click here to view listing

Diamond earrings that remind me of the antique ones that I loved as a child…click here to view listing

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Gorgeous Art Deco vintage watch…click here to view listing

One of my favorite antique brooches…click here to view listing

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These RARE Tiffany & Co Diamond Earrings would be my Nanny’s new favs…click here to view listing

One more cluster ring that I love…Click here to view listing

September Birthstone ~ Sapphire

We have reached the start of fall folks!

Have you had your first pumpkin spice latte? (Basic, I know!)

Have you been to your local pumpkin patch yet (in Florida that means your local grocery store has put down some hay and created a faux farm experience for you)?

My favorite things about September are the changing weather, even if very slightly, and SAPPHIRES!

Did you know that sapphires come in all colors and when they reach a certain color of red they are rubies? The most desirable color is probably blue but it is nice to have such a durable stone available in any color you fancy.

One particularly famous blue sapphire is the one that Princess Kate wears as her wedding ring. It was originally from Princess Diana. Sapphires are an excellent choice for an everyday piece such as an engagement ring or wedding ring because of their resilience. They are second only to diamond for their hardness.

Here are some other fun facts about sapphires:

~Sapphire is Greek for Blue

~Sapphire is one of the “precious four” which also includes red ruby, green emerald, and diamonds (that’s a good group to be in association with!)

~ Sapphire has industry use because of its hardness. Apple recently used lab-created sapphire in its glass screen.

~ Sapphire, particularly the royal blue color, has been associated with royalty – hence its name

~ There are even special types of sapphires such as the star sapphire and color change sapphire

Because sapphire has been so desired among the masses, cultured sapphires and imitation sapphires were created. Keep in mind that when created sapphires hit the market, they were viewed as an advancement in sparkling science. Created sapphires make it possible for everyone to enjoy their beauty and not just the royals. Synthetic sapphires feature some synthetic counter parts but virtually the same physical and chemical components as a natural sapphire, they were just assisted in a lab by man to make them “grow”.

Our store features a lot of options for sapphire lovers! Check out a few of these…

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Synthetic Star Sapphire in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Custom Made Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Vintage Dark Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Sapphire & Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing blog-5

Princess Kate Inspired Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

A story of a “used” wedding ring set ~

My husband gave me a “used” or “pre-owned” diamond for my engagement ring. When I tell people that my engagement ring is not “new”, the typical response is usually utter shock, like my husband should be captured by the four horsemen of the apocalypse and taken to where he belongs. I want to address this topic because I have dealt with this for years. Most young ladies want their ring or diamond to be “new” so that it isn’t cursed or something. First off, diamonds aren’t really “new” unless you have a CZ or moissanite that is man made. Otherwise all diamonds come from about 90 miles under the earth’s surface and are made from extreme heat, time, and pressure. It is absurd to think that diamonds jump out of our earth and into your local jewelry retailer. It may catch you off guard to hear that most diamonds are “used” and have a history. This fact has never bothered me, actually I plan to write a book one day about the journeys and love stories of one diamond. I know what the main problem is though. Some people believe that if they get their engagement ring, wedding band, or anniversary gift from a store other than a retail store that there is some deep, dark, story associated with it and it is going to carry a hex that transfers over to them. I really am not that superstitious, even though my great-grandmother was Native American and had all kinds of superstitions that she adhered too. I guess I am more of an optimist. I have sold and traded jewelry that had nothing but happy memories attached. Just because a piece of jewelry is for sale in a second hand or estate jewelry shop does not mean it has a horrid past. Here is a story that I was a part of that may make you rethink “used” jewelry.

An older couple comes into our store and has been married for over 45 years. The sweet wife has had the same wedding set since their first year of marriage and that wedding set has been a part of raising babies, taking family vacations, Christmases, sport practices, graduations, etc. Those rings have been a part of the “American dream” love story. All those years of marriage there were many sacrifices made financially so that this lovely family could thrive. Now the time has come when the nest is empty and there is a little extra income to put a little extra sparkle on the finger of the lady who has given her all to her family for many decades. As the “old” set was traded in for a “new” one, you could tell that it was a celebration of where this couple had come from and where they were now. That loving couple walked out with a gorgeous “new” piece of jewelry and were off to continue their amazing love story. The “old” set was then cleaned, polished, and given a little check up (checking prongs, diamonds, etc) by our professional jeweler. When it was shined up like a new penny, it was put out for sale in our store. A few weeks later a nervous but excited young man walks in. He tells me that he only has so much he can spend on his future bride. They are just starting out, just finished school, just beginning new careers, and just starting their love story. He explains that one day he is going to give his bride the world and the biggest ring that he can buy, but right now he needs just a modest wedding set. One that he can afford but one that will be the apple of her eye. Instantly I knew the one! I pulled out the wedding set that had already been a part of an epic love story and handed it over to the young man for him to take a closer look. With eager hands and slightly embarrassed teary eyes, he said, “that’s it!” He went on to tell me that his future wife loved vintage things and that this little beauty would be the perfect ring to slip on her finger. I was ecstatic that this young man was going to “re-purpose” this “old” set and give it “new” life! Off he went with the small wrapped box bearing the ring that held his future! I just kind of paused for a few moments to reflect on the “passing of the torch”. I hoped that the older couple knew that trading in their rings had given this young man’s dreams a start. He was able to give his love a wedding set of quality that had stood the test of time and yet still eagerly awaited being a part of a new adventure.

I am a romantic at heart and working at a jewelry store that has these types of stories behind many of our pieces, just adds fuel to my passion for vintage (used) jewelry. I will forever view estate, antique, vintage, retro, Art Deco, Art Nouveau jewelry as a way of carrying on a legacy.

Check out a few of our engagement ring/weddings sets from the 1950s and I think you will agree with me that their simple elegance, classy look, and history give them even more appeal!

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Antique Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Classy Solitaire 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Mid-Century Square Illusion Head Solitaire Click Here to View Listing

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Ruby 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Antique Two Tone Cluster Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

Jewelry Gift Guide

“I want a dishwasher for our anniversary”

“For my birthday this year just mow the lawn”

“For graduation just give your money to my parents to help with tuition”

“This Valentine’s Day I want you to completely forget and ignore me”

“For Christmas let’s just work right through it and not exchange gifts”

I’m sure these phrases have been uttered before but I’m also sure that they are not truly meant. If you struggle with what to give as a good gift for any occasion, let me introduce you to the universal favorite gift ~ JEWELRY! (Shocking right?!? – since I write a jewelry blog :o) These are a few ideas to think about if you are coming up on an event and can’t muster up any ideas. We have a wide range of options so please do not hesitate to ask if you do have an idea and just need help with the execution. Our staff loves to help with these kind of details.

Anniversary ~

I’ll start with this very important life event and give several ideas that might help. When clients come in our store, my first thought is to look up and see what gemstone coincides with that anniversary year (see below chart). This creates a special tradition as well for the future.


(there are other charts that have alternative gemstones too)

Our Etsy store is packed full with many different options for most of these gemstones. If you don’t see something just let us know, our brick and mortar store also have a vast variety.

Another idea is the three stone diamond ring or necklace. This design has a meaningful significance behind the classic look. The middle diamond that is typically slightly larger is meant to stand for your present, the two side diamonds are your past and future. The symbolism is to be unique to you and your love. Other couples have said that it stands for friendship, love, and fidelity. You can make this one your own! Check out a few of these options.

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Three Stone Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Three Stone Diamond Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Birthday~

If you are purchasing for your lady, this is a wide open holiday! Any jewelry item is sure to be well received but a few of my traditional favorites are: diamond studs, diamond tennis bracelets, or a right hand ring. Check out a few of these…

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Diamond Studs in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Right Hand Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Graduation ~

Our store is based in Gainesville, FL, home of the Gators. We have several University of Florida charms that would be perfect for your UF alumni. If you have a grad at another school I would suggest looking for a piece with their school colors or even just one color. Check out a few of these…

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Gator Charm in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Multi Stone Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Valentine’s Day ~

We have a lot of great and affordable options for Valentine’s day. If you want to surprise your love this year we have the perfect gifts to suit any budget. Here are a few ideas…

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Cute Valentine Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Opal Heart Pendant in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Christmas~ 

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The family time, cooler weather, and festive things to do really makes my heart smile. On Christmas morning I always get most excited about the small box under the tree or in my stocking. Whether it be a classy pair of earrings or a new necklae, the tradition of jewelry at Christmas is one that I hope my hubby always keeps. Here are a few of my choice selections from our store right now…

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Diamond Statement Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Ornate Diamond Vintage Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Freeform Gemstone Brooch in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

There are many holidays in between (check out my previous post about jewelry gifts for our men folk and wedding day jewelry) but I hope this gets you ready for the gift giving season which in my book should be year round! Happy Friday!

 

Date Night Jewelry

Long August days are packed with busy busyness. Sometimes in the midst of our crazy lives as business women, moms, students, young professionals we get to have a romantic date night with our special someone. Date night can be just throwing on some jeans and going to the local pizza place or putting on that special boutique dress you’ve been saving for a while and going to the new hipster place downtown. No matter the venue or your attire, you want it to be special. Some ladies like myself love to go “all out” on some occasions. Life seems to speed by weeks at a time and I find that I have worn the same things over and over or have managed to wear workout clothes day in and day out. So when I do get the chance (and have advance notice) I like to really knock my hubby’s socks off with a new outfit, pretty makeup complete with my long “false-ies” aka eyelashes, freshly washed & curled hair, and some kind of eye-candy jewelry to complete my whole look.

I want to give you a couple of my go-to favorites for date night jewelry. You can shop these looks and others in our Etsy store.

1) Chandelier Earrings

Nothing compliments big, freshly curled hair like a pair of bold earrings that can hold their own with your hair down. These chandeliers have a long, cascading shape to elongate your neck and draw attention to your beautiful hair and fresh face. These are sparkling from every angle with an overall polished finish and natural diamonds accents. Diamonds always look better in candlelight, or natural light, or fluorescent lights, or ANY light for that matter!!!

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Chandelier Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

2) Layered Necklaces

I love the look of one sparkling, dainty, little choker necklace accompanied by a longer light-catching link chain. Both together add interest and character to a simple black dress or white tee shirt and jeans. Both are very versatile even for your everyday wear.

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Dainty Gold Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Long Layering Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

3) Lavalier or Statement Necklace

A lavalier is a term used for a delicate drop pendant. These are effortlessly feminine and romantic. This one has a flash of color to it. Garnets are a dark but lively gemstone that complement a wide range of wardrobe choices. A statement necklace makes a statement, whether that is a bold pop of color or an eye-catching bling. Statement necklaces are a perfect accessory to add to a simple outfit that you want to take to that next “WOW” level.

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Lavalier Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Statement Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

4) Gold Bracelets

Gold Bracelets are very in style right now…well really gold anything. Gold is the perfect metal to wear this time of year too. You have worked for months on your tan and gold will make it look deeper and bronzer. A gold bracelet, either simple or chunky, will add a classy touch to your casual or dressy attire.

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Chunky Gold Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Simple Gold Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

5) Cluster Rings

Cluster rings have a bit of a Retro vibe but I am in love with them. A cluster ring can have a floral or leaf type of motif that adds a time-honored classic feel to any date night outfit. Wear them on your ring finger, middle finger or pointer finger. Just wear them! I think you will find yourself falling for the all over diamond, starburst effect.

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Cluster Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Cluster Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Happy Friday and enjoy your date night if you have one planned. If not, plan one for next weekend and pick out a piece from our store and we will get it to you in time to shine! In closing, just make every day special for yourself and the one you love. Life like jewelry should be enjoyed! Cheers!

August Birthstone ~ Peridot

If August was a gemstone it definitely would be peridot and it just so happens that it’s the birthstone! I think of August as the hottest month, the month that you start longing for fall, and the month that everything in Florida seems to be at its peak in greenness. Peridot as a gemstone embodies all those traits for me. It has a vivid lime green color that makes me think of pool floaties, cut lime wedges in cold beverages, and the lime green summer dresses that make your tan look deeper. The green color is also a wonderful transition color from summer to fall.

Peridot has a long history on God’s “green earth” but also it has been found in fallen meteors and its main mineral, “olivine” has been found on mars! It literally is “out of this world.” All puns aside, peridot is just stunning. It is one of the only gemstones that only comes in the color of green. As many artists know, green comes in many, many different shades and hues; peridot does too. The tones range from yellowish-green to dark brownish-green, just like the changing leaves of fall.

Down to some nitty gritty fun facts about the glowing green peridot:

~ Peridot has “double refraction”, meaning that you see two of each pavilion facet. Which in plain English equals MORE SPARKLE and more color saturation being registered back to your eye.

~ Peridot is not usually treated in any way due to its excellent transparency and intense natural color from the iron content.

~ Some historians believe that the famous emeralds that were loved by Cleopatra were actually peridots. Ancient Romans actually referred to peridots as “evening emeralds” since their green intensity did not darken when the sun went down.

~ Peridot is believed to be the gem that Napoleon gave Josephine to declare his love for her.

~ Peridot has a pretty durable hardness and is comparable to quartz which can be worn daily under reasonable care.

~ Main peridot sources include Burma, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, and the United States (Arizona is the largest contributor).

So whether you love or hate the intense gemstone that is peridot, you can appreciate its unique nature and its historical stamp on our jewelry world. Check out a few peridot accented beauties in our store this month. And Happy Birthday to our August babies!

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Peridot Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Peridot & Amethyst Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Multi-Gemstone Ring with Peridot in Our Etsy Store  Click Here to View Listing