Tourmaline and Opal, October’s Birthstones

Tourmaline and Opal, October’s Birthstones

Tourmaline was first discovered in Sri Lanka. It was first brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Company. The most common tourmaline is schorl, it makes up about 95% of all tourmaline. Tourmaline comes in just about any color depending on trace elements found in the semi-precious gem. Multicolored crystals are common and this is one of the desired properties of the gem. The color of tourmaline can also be altered by heat and radiation. Tourmalines can now be found in Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar and primarily in Maine and California in the United States. Tourmalines are a great addition to a fashion ring, pendant or earring.

Opal is a gem that is multicolored. One of the most popular opals in modern times is the fire opal from Queretaro, Mexico.  The color ranges from yellow to orange to dark red. It is a transparent opal. The common opal is not multicolored in nature and more opaque, they are not often sought for jewelry. Another hugely popular opal is the precious opal. These are opals that present flashes of colors depending on the viewing angle.  The term “play-of-color” is associated with precious opals, the play-of-color basically means that multi flashes of color depending on how it’s seen by the eye. Precious opal is found in Brazil, the U.S., Canada, Honduras and a few other places in the world. There’s also a black opal that’s found almost exclusively in Australia.

If you’re shopping for an October birthstone jewelry piece we can help design the perfect gift for a loved one or yourself. Our jewelry design experts can take your initial idea and make your jewelry dream a reality. Your jewelry design is executed in-house from design to manufacture. You’ll even be able to see your jewelry rendered out by computer-aided-design even before it’s created. Check out our online jewelry design form or call (210) 490-2404 for more information.

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August Birthstone, Another Trifecta Gem Month – Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel.

August Birthstone, Another Trifecta Gem Month – Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel.

Peridot is a dynamic yellow-green gem found in volcanic rock. The most sought-after stones are bright olive greens and the lest desired are browner in color. Even the browner colored stones will be mostly green. Peridot is found in several places in the United States including Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. It is also found in Pakistan, South Africa, Mexico, Kenya, Egypt and several other countries. Peridot is formed deep down in the Earth’s mantle and is brought up by volcanic activity.

Sardonyx is a type of onyx it is made up of rows of white onyx and red sard, a carnelian. Sardonyx has widely been used in the making of cameos and other brooches. Sardonyx has widely been prized metaphysically for happiness, confidence, and optimism. The most prized Sardonyx comes from India, but it can also be found in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Germany, and Uruguay. Sardonyx is not typically used in high fashion jewelry but is widely used in bracelets and pendants.
Spinel has been used in some of the most famous jewelry collections in the world, including the British Crown Jewels and the French Crown Jewels. Spinels come in a variety of colors but the most coveted is red, similar to rubies. In fact, ages ago spinels were not considered to be different from rubies and many old rubies upon further inspection are actually spinels. Spinels in modern times are often used as alternatives to rubies as they are not as expensive.
If you think that any of these three gems would be a fit for you we can custom design a ring, pendant, earring, or just about any jewelry item for you. All design and manufacturing are executed in-house. We have complete control of the manufacturing and design process and you get a specific designer that will work with you from start to finish.  We can custom design jewelry in person or through our convenient online form or by phone at (210) 490-2404. We can work with just about any budget and offer to finance.

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Custom fashion ring designs that give a nod to the past

Custom fashion ring designs that give a nod to the past

Cocktail rings, a type of fashion ring, sometimes referred to as dinner rings, are quite large, and as a result of the way they are built, rise a fair amount off of the finger wearing it. These were originally a trend in the 1930s and were worn to what eventually became their namesake, cocktail parties. They are set with a lot of big, colored gems and smaller diamonds that come together to make it look beautiful, overdone, and elegant, as they were meant to be when taking them to these parties. Some may say that they look gaudy, but for a fashion statement, they’re on right on par with the single earring trend happening in 2017 and continuing for the near future.

Contemporary fashion rings are up to date, modern rings that are fashioned around not only around current industry standards and styles but also are harkening back to past ring designs with contemporary metal and gem combinations. You could say they are a new twist on new old-school contemporary. The style, design, cut, design, or even the materials that you choose to use to make it, such as rose, white and yellow gold combinations, can all determine whether or not it can truly be classified as an old-school style contemporary ring. The design is meant to evoke a feeling of belonging to an older era but at the same time screaming, look at me I’m modern too.

As always, all custom fashion ring design or cocktail ring design and manufacturing is performed in-house at Moses Jewelers, from creation to completion, we’re here to help your dream come to reality.

Birthstone Jewelry – Custom designed to perfection.

Birthstone Jewelry – Custom designed to perfection.

Birthstone rings feature gems that are, of course, associated with the birth month of the owner/wearer. This is an extremely personalized ring, as it is very different for every person, and makes it have more meaning to the person that wears it. A great gift for any mother is a combined birthstone ring where each child is represented by the birthstone. For individuals, a ring can be fashioned that is a unique design with inset birthstone gems. The design possibilities are endless. For a man or woman, a fashion ring can be created or even a signet-type ring. Below are the representative gems for each month:

  • January Birthstone: Garnet
  • February Birthstone: Amethyst
  • March Birthstone: Aquamarine
  • April Birthstone: Diamond
  • May Birthstone: Emerald
  • June Birthstone: Pearl or Alexandrite
  • July Birthstone: Ruby
  • August Birthstone: Peridot
  • September Birthstone: Sapphire
  • October Birthstone: Tourmaline or Opal
  • November Birthstone: Topaz or Citrine
  • December Birthstone: Tanzanite, Zircon or Turquoise

With advances in computer-aided design, you’ll be able to see your ring, pendant or earring design in short order before the piece is created. This way changes can be made to make sure you’re having your dream jewelry piece created with no variance in design and this piece can be duplicated exactly for others. An expert designer from Moses Jewelers can guide you on birthstone jewelry creation.

Obsidian – An inexpensive stone for jewelry accents and custom fashion jewelry design.

Obsidian – An inexpensive stone for jewelry accents and custom fashion jewelry design.

Obsidian is one of our oldest used materials and is able to be found around the entire planet. This material has also been referred to as volcanic glass and provides materials in many colors and patterns, with even more visible visual effects. Obsidian shares all basic properties of glass, and is also brittle, but it is these features that have made it extremely valuable for so long. People in the stone age used the extremely sharp edges to make tools that could skin animals well and could be used as effective weapons. Not only this, but there are obsidian tools and weapons in other areas that are assumed to have been used in rituals and ceremonies that were created all the way back to 10,000 BCE. There are even mirrors made out of this resource in South and Central America.

Obsidian was not naturally found in Egypt. However, it seems that it was a valuable item for trading, and shows why early Egyptian crypts contain features represented by obsidian, like pharaoh masks on tombs. In modern day, we are still finding new ways to use this material, as in 1970 it was discovered that the edges of obsidian scalpels cut cleaner than steel scalpels. It has also been used to make jewelry, ornaments, and more. Obsidian colorations range from black to green, to even blue or yellow, and is caused by different minerals being present within the material, such as magnetite for black and hematite for red/brown/pink. Small bubbles of air or gas within the obsidian, formed when it was cooling, gives it a luster or shine on the surface. Different levels of iron oxidation are responsible for the potential color of green or yellow.

Obsidian can be carved into decorations for the house, and are often used as the backing for opal jewelry. There are even reasons for wearing it that lie in people’s beliefs, as some think that it could shield you from negativity, connect you to the earth, or bring answers for the questions you may have. Obsidian is an inexpensive material that can be used as the main stone or accent stone.

Topaz – So many colors, so much joy – A great stone for any emotional connection, a perfect gem for custom design.

Topaz – So many colors, so much joy – A great stone for any emotional connection, a perfect gem for custom design.

Topaz mostly is found in the colors of orange, yellow, bright orange, blue, brown and pink.Topaz is a Greek word and is from the word Topazios, which is the historical name for St. John’s Island located in the Red Sea.  The most well-known colors are the yellow and blue topaz. Pure topaz is mostly colorless and it is impurities that are involved in color changes or color can be manipulated through man-made processes. In history, topaz is thought to be calming for the emotions and has many different meanings across cultures. In India, the gem is tied to longevity and intelligence. Across Europe topaz was thought to temper anger and in Africa, the topaz has been used in healing.

Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka are the top producers of topaz. The imperial topaz is pinkish in color and is the main color sourced from Brazil, this is a highly popular color. Irridation and heat treatment developed in the 1960s was discovered to turn colorless topaz into blue topaz, which is now one of the most cost-effective colors available. Topaz is highly used in rings, pendants, and earrings. It’s the perfect affordable gem for a colored stone ring. Topaz is a hard and durable stone that makes it perfect for jewelry.

Topaz is the November gem and is the official gem of Texas. The reds, pinks and violet color variations tend to be the most expensive stones. As mentioned previously, blue, which is almost exclusively man-made tends to be the most affordable topaz color. Other gems that have been mistaken for topaz are citrine, a yellowish gem, and some quartz varieties. If you’re wanting an affordable stone for a custom designed piece, then topaz may be a gem you’ll want to consider.

Peridot – A vibrant green beautiful stone great for a custom designed ring or pendant

Peridot – A vibrant green beautiful stone great for a custom designed ring or pendant

Peridot is a dynamic yellow-green gem found in volcanic rock. The most sought-after stones are bright olive greens and the lest desired are browner in color. Even the browner colored stones will be mostly green. Peridot is found in several places in the United States including Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. It is also found in Pakistan, South Africa, Mexico, Kenya, Egypt and several other countries. Peridot is formed deep down in the Earth’s mantle and is brought up by volcanic activity.

Peridot is the August birthstone. Peridot jewelry dates quite far back, with records dating to the second millennium BC. In Hawaii, the gem is the tear of the goddess Pele and in the Middle Ages, it was used for protection from evil ethereal beings.Some have been known to use the gem for energy balance. Peridot in Egypt is the “gem of the sun” and at one time was more precious than the diamond. It is the official gem of Egypt and is historically mined from St. John’s Island in the Red Sea.

Peridot is not as hard as a diamond or sapphire, it is considered average in hardness. This still makes it a great gem for use in rings, earrings, and pretty much any custom designed piece you may desire, but you’ll not want to go rapping it against hard services. If you’re looking for the highest quality gems, you’ll want to look for varieties found in Egypt, Myanmar or Pakistan. More affordable varieties are mined from veins found in Arizona and Mexico. No matter what you choose on the affordability spectrum, this gem is to this day is still highly sought after and is increasingly popular.

Tiger’s Eye Comparison to Cats Eye – Are they the same?

Tiger’s Eye Comparison to Cats Eye – Are they the same?

Tiger’s Eye and Cat’s Eye stones are not the same things. Both have many things in common, but they are each distinct from each other. Once their similarities and differences are shown, they can never be confused for each other again.

Their main similarity is an effect known as chatoyancy, which is the thin line that gives it the appearance of a cat’s eye, its namesake. This is due to parallel, mineral tubes that from within the stones. When they are polished, they reflect light in long, vertical lines. However, these stones do not have the mineral makeup you would expect. Tiger’s Eye is a quartz found near iron deposits in South Africa. It is this iron within the quartz that gives Tiger’s Eye it’s unique coloring of yellows, coppers, and browns.

Many mistake Cat’s Eye as quartz. However, it is actually Chrysoberyl, a gem formed from aluminum oxide. This gem comes in golden and green, though it has been known to come in red or blue. It is cut as an oval or sphere.

Both have been worn throughout history as medicinal amulets, Tiger’s Eye being used as a healing tool and given to children as a protective talisman. Likewise, Cat’s Eye has been said to bring wisdom and luck to those who wear it. Both mark important anniversaries, with Tiger’s Eye being appropriate for the ninth year, while Cat’s Eye is often given on the eighteenth.

Both are some of the most affordable gemstones and have a very high value of hardness, making them ideal for everyday use, being used in such jewelry as bracelets and rings. As it is quite resilient, Cat’s Eye jewelry can be found in antique sales.

Now that the differences between these two stones have been laid out, it is time to decide which Eye is right for you. If you have an anniversary or need an elegant, everyday statement piece, these may be the stones for you.