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February Birthstone Spotlight

February’s Birthstone is Amethyst!

 

Amethyst and Diamond Pendant

Amethyst, the purple variety of quartz, has a full history and folklore. Scholars believe the name comes from the Greek word amethustos, which means “not drunken.” According to Greek mythology, amethyst was the rock crystal of the dyed tears of Dionysus, the god of wine and mischief. Bacchus is his Roman counterpart. Both Greeks and Romans wore amethyst to prevent intoxication, going as far as to make cups out of it to help keep them sober.

With its rich purple color, it is unsurprising that amethysts have long been linked to royalty and crown jewels. The Bible mentions amethysts several times and in the past, Christian bishops often wore amethyst rings. Leonardo Da Vinci was another amethyst enthusiast; he believed the gem could make evil thoughts disappear and increase intelligence.

Amethyst and Diamond RingMajor sources of amethyst include Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia. Their colors can range from pale lilac (sometimes referred as “Rose De France”) to deep purples. Today, most amethysts undergo a permanent heat treating process to enhance the color.

Amethyst has a hardness rating of 7, which means it is suitable for all types of mountings, even rings and bracelets. Clean your amethyst jewelry with warm soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe, but steamers are risky.

Happy Birthday, February Babies!

Amethyst and Diamond Earrings

 

There’s More Than One Finger To Wear an Engagement Ring…

bridal jewelryWhile the left-hand ring finger is considered off-limits for any jewelry until somebody pops the question, this long-held notion may be coming to an end. According to a report from Brides.com, more brides are opting for an alternative way to wear their engagement rings, leaving prime real estate on the left hand, ready for any jewelry a woman chooses.

The reason why brides typically wear their engagement ring and wedding band on the left-hand ring finger is because, in Roman times, people believed that a vein, known as the vena amoris, ran directly from your left ring finger to your heart. However, even long after that myth was disproved, tradition still stands, and many will flaunt their wedding jewelry on their left hand.

The idea of an engagement ring didn’t even occur until 1477, when Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring as a token of love and a promise of marriage. Before that, rings were not worn to symbolize marriage.

These days, there is no right or wrong way to wear bridal jewelry, and many choose to mix it up to fit their unique tastes.

While traditionally the engagement ring is worn atop of the wedding band, stacked, some brides choose to add even more dazzle to their fingers. They may choose to wear two wedding bands on either side of the ring for a more symmetrical touch. Some even have custom jewelry made to have the ring look even bigger. Whether you want a subtle, elegant band and stone or something flashy with a “wow” factor, it can certainly be done.

Other brides have decided to wear their rings on separate hands for balance, presumably. You can wear either ring on either hand and perhaps even add anniversary bands later to create a meaningful stack.

One of the biggest problems for left-handed brides is that their engagement and wedding rings may get in the way when they write. But in fact, in some Orthodox communities, it is customary to wear your bridal jewelry on your right hand. Conveniently, this leaves your dominant hand free for other tasks.

Some brides who work with their hands very often don’t like wearing a ring at all. While they may don it on special outings, some choose to wear their ring as a pendant from a matching chain to keep the hands free.

None of these ways are wrong. It is totally the decision of the bride. So if you have a unique idea for your bridal jewelry, consider visiting McGee Jewelers for a custom jewelry design that you’ll treasure forever.

January Birthstone Spotlight

January’s birthstone is GARNET.

Although the history of garnet as jewelry can be traced from the Egyptians to ancient Greek and Roman empires, the origin of the word itself is up for debate. One theory claims a derivative from the Latin word “granatus”, in reference to pomegranate seeds. Another notion of the word’s origin comes from the middle English word “gernet” which means dark red.

Because garnets have such a rich history, they also have a rich lore. Traditionally seen as a healing stone, garnets are said to help with the circulatory system, fevers, and general good health. Another interesting tidbit – Noah supposedly made a garnet lantern for the front of the ark to guide him during his voyage.

Most people are familiar with the beautiful deep reds associated with garnets. However, garnet is actually a name that encompasses a six minerals with a common crystal structure, but different chemical compositions. Just a few: Spessartite is a reddish orange – yellow orange, Rhodolite is a light to dark purplish red, Tsavorite is a light to dark green.

Clean your garnet jewelry in warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe. Never use in a steamer.

Happy Birthday, January Babies!

 

 

Why to Shop Locally for Your Fine Jewelry

local jewelersWhen looking for that perfect piece of jewelry, many people believe that they can find a great bargain online. While this is technically possible, more often than not these people end up disappointed. Online shopping is convenient, and you can sometimes find great discounted prices, but you also have to consider the downside. Certain items, like shoes, cars, and jewelry, really need to be seen in person before handing over your credit card.

Nearly 38 million Americans purchase fine jewelry every year, and of course some will turn to the Internet to do so. But by foregoing trips to your local jewelers, you’re missing out on the following things:

The Feel
When you visit local jewelers, you get a taste of authenticity. You also get the chance to examine a piece closely. If you’re looking at engagement rings or other bridal jewelry, this is especially important. You need the piece to be absolutely perfect.
The only way to truly appreciate a piece of fine jewelry is by looking at it in natural light. An internet photo just won’t do it justice.

Quality
When you’re looking at jewelry online, you can’t guarantee that you’ll receive exactly what you see in the photograph. Virtually all commercial photography goes through an extensive Photoshop-powered enhancement to make the product look better. In the worst case scenario, an internet jewelry dealer will send you a piece that is almost totally unrecognizable.

If you don’t see the piece in person, how can you determine the exact quality of the gemstones? How can you know exactly what color gem you will be getting, or exactly how it glitters in the light? When you go to a local or custom jeweler, you can examine the quality of the workmanship that went into the jewelry firsthand.

Custom Designs
At local shops like McGee and Co. Fine Jewelers, you’ll be able to explain the design you want in exact detail. That means you can craft one-of-a-kind custom jewelry designs.

Say that you want something elaborate or meaningful, but are unsure where to turn. While an online site may give you plenty of options to choose from when it comes to your “custom” piece, they cannot give you the same level of service that local jewelers can. You can also consult with your jeweler and check up on the progress.

For instance, our experienced jewelers know what your options are and will make sure that you are absolutely satisfied before the piece is made. We first opened our doors in 1988, and we have lots of experience in helping customers realize exactly what they want.

We can give you options that you may not have thought of, helping you create a piece of custom jewelry that can be cherished for years to come.

If you want an exceptional piece of custom jewelry that you can’t find anywhere else, a local store should always be your first choice.

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December Birthstone Spotlight

December’s Birthstone is Tanzanite (or Turquoise, or Blue Zircon, or Blue Topaz).

Tanzanite & Diamond RingOne of the world’s newest gemstones, Tanzanite was only discovered in 1967. The first Tanzanite crystals were originally Tanzanite & Diamond Earringsmistaken for sapphires and mines sprung up to capitalize on the new-found source. In spite of the mistaken identity, Tanzanite quickly became popular in its own right.

Because Tanzanite is commercially mined in only one location, the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, they are actually rarer than diamonds. Tanzanite is pleochroic, or shows one of three different colors depending on the direction from which the stone is viewed. Rough Tanzanite is usually brown and then the crystals are heat treated to bring out the rich blues and violets.
Clean your Tanzanite jewelry in warm soapy water. Avoid chemicals, hard blows, and ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

 

Happy Birthday December Babies!

Tanzanite & Diamond Pendant

 

Birthstone Spotlight – November

November’s Birthstone is CITRINE!

Found primarily in Brazil, Citrine, a variety of quartz, comes from around the world. Its name is derived from the French word for lemon. With a color range from pale yellow to reddish-brown, this sunny gemstone promotes happiness and cheer and blocks negative energy. Also believed to enhance creativity, Citrine was very popular during the Art Deco period between WWI and WWII. Be sure to protect your Citrine from scratches and prolonged exposure to heat.

Citrine and Diamond Earrings Citrine and Diamond Pendant Citrine and Diamond Ring

Happy Birthday, November Babies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthstone Spotlight – October

October’s birthstone is OPAL!

yellow gold opal ringThe opal has long been a sought-after gemstone, with the earliest known opal artifacts dating back to about 4000 B.C. Some of the first beliefs surrounding this unique stone include its capability to amplify feelings, promote spontaneity, and enhance psychic abilities. Opals are also known as symbols of hope and purity.opal earrings set in yellow gold

Most opals come from Australia, with Lightning Ridge being one of the most famous mines. Opals are described by their background color (bodycolor) and how their play-of-color displays against it. The five types are: White or Light Opal, Black Opal, Fire Opal, Boulder Opal, and Crystal or Water Opal. Fire Opals have a warm bodycolor and don’t often show play-of-color. Boulder Opals have dark bodycolor and parts of the surrounding rock are incorporated into the finished gem.

One of the more delicate gemstones, opals need protection from scratches, household chemicals, and temperature changes. Clean your opals with warm soapy water to help keep their brilliance. Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners. 

yellow gold opal ringOpal pendant with yellow gold chain

Why Are People Upset About Amanda Seyfried’s Engagement Ring?

local bridal and wedding jewelry storesIt isn’t out of the ordinary for significant others to consult with each other about engagement rings before the question is popped. In fact, 61% of guys do just that. Wedding jewelry is a very personal choice, and while some like to be wowed with large-diamond engagement rings, some prefer more modest bridal jewelry.

Amanda Seyfried, for example, has been recently seen wearing a simple gold band on her left ring finger following her engagement to actor Thomas Sadoski.

The actress and singer, well known for her film debut in “Mean Girls” and her most recently released film, “Fathers and Daughters,” has been criticized for her modest, dainty band. Social media has been blowing up since the ring was spotted by paparazzi, with Internet users calling the ring “disappointing” and suggesting that her marriage will end in divorce. These online trolls helpfully suggested that she’ll get a bigger, better ring next time around.

Many people live vicariously through the celebrities whose lives are constantly flashing before us, but it is good to take a step back and remember that they are only human and have wants and needs just like ours. Seyfried has been proudly sporting her engagement ring — as she should! — and it appears as if she is happy with it.

Not all jewelry has to be expensive, even the jewelry worn by wealthy celebrities. Every couple to be wed deserves the bridal jewelry that they want, not what others want for them. That’s why why browsing local bridal and wedding jewelry stores can help you find something uniquely special, and not just a representation of what popular culture thinks engagement rings should look like.

Custom jewelers are able to help you design your own special ring, with whatever stone, setting, and band you desire. Even better, they can help you find the perfect ring without breaking the bank.

By consulting with jewelers at local bridal and wedding jewelry stores, you can ensure that the ring materials will be sourced and transformed according to the right specifications.

At McGee and Company Fine Jewelers, our family jewelers would be honored to help you find or create the exact ring that you want, whether is is flashy or minimal. Regardless, it will be statement-worthy and unique to you.

Birthstone Spotlight – September

September’s birthstone is SAPPHIRE!

White gold sapphire and diamond pendantHistory & Folklore

Derived from the Latin word for blue, “sapphires” were believed to be the guardians of love. Ancient Persians believed the Earth rested on an enormous blue sapphire, and its reflection caused the blueness of the sky.

Traditionally, sapphires have been worn as amulets to protect against disease and to grant peace and happiness. A gift of sapphire represents loyalty and love. With all this symbolism, it’s no wonder that the British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires!

Facts about SapphiresWhite gold sapphire and diamond earrings

Fine sapphires were originally mined in India, specifically in the Himalayas. Newer sources of sapphires include Thailand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Myanmar, and Kenya.

The most valuable sapphires possess an intense, light violet-blue color. However, beautiful sapphires can come in a range of colors, such as pink, yellow, green, and purple. The pinkish-orange sapphire even has its own name – Padparadscha, which is Sinhalese for “Lotus Flower”.

With a hardness rating of 9, sapphires do well in all types of jewelry settings and have even become quite popular as a center stone for engagement rings. You can safely clean your sapphire jewelry in warm, soapy water or bring your pieces in for professional cleaning and inspection. We’ll get you bright and shiny in no time!

Happy Birthday, September Babies

 White gold sapphire and diamond ring

When it Comes to Engagement Rings, There is No One-Size-Fits-All

jewelry repairDiamonds and gold are certainly the most popular engagement rings out there for American brides, but that’s often due to a societal expectation. Many brides are willing to try something more unique, like a colored stone or a lab-grown diamond. If you’re looking to pop the question soon but want a more custom jewelry design, be sure to talk to your local jewelers.

Jewelers have eyes for design and will more than likely be happy to help you create a custom piece. Much like jewelry repair, you can replace a stone, resize a band, or even engrave a meaningful message. Many people choose to repurpose family heirlooms with sentimental value for their brides, adding a personal twist.

Contrary to popular belief, fine jewelry does not necessarily have to be extremely expensive. While about a third of people are willing to spend over $1,000 for diamond jewelry, it’s possible to find a special non-diamond stone that is just as beautiful and won’t break the bank.

Some more non-traditional stones can look similar to diamonds, like moissanite, which is softer than a diamond, scoring a 9.52 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, while diamonds score a perfect 10 as the hardest substance on earth. Moissanite also has a heightened sense of brilliance that will reflect light in a flashier, more colorful way.

Opting for something completely different can be a crap-shoot, but the majority of men say that they discuss what their partner would like before buying the ring. Some options to consider include morganite, which usually ranges from pink to orange-pink and is one of the most popular non-diamond rings today.

Garnets are usually a deep red color, but can be found in virtually any color. That’s because garnet is not just one mineral, but a term used to describe several very closely composed minerals.

If you happen to have a specific stone in mind, consult with your jeweler to see if the stone would be best used in an engagement ring. Since most brides choose to wear their rings every day, the gem you choose should be durable enough to hold up to her everyday life. If you choose a stone too soft, it is more susceptible to surface scratches. While jewelry repair and stone replacement is always an option, that could cost you more in the long run than you initially saved. It’s better to be safe and pick a gem that will last a lifetime.

Searching for the perfect engagement ring or custom jewelry repair in Indianapolis? Then contact McGee Jewelers and find the perfect fit.