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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Unique Bridal Jewelry Trends to Try Out in 2017

wedding jewelryYour engagement ring is one that you will wear forever to symbolize the love between you and your spouse. No matter if you are a bohemian bride or just want a unique engagement ring to show off on Instagram, there are plenty of fine jewelry options out there that will give you the engagement ring of your dreams.

Here are some of the most unique trends in wedding jewelry that will make your entire bridal party jealous.

Rose gold
Many brides think that their engagement rings can only be set in gold or silver, but this is absolutely not true! Go for something a little unique and have a rose gold setting instead. This shade flatters all skin tones and looks absolutely stunning with a simple, classic solitaire diamond.

Colorful stones
Who says that you have to settle for a classic white diamond for your bridal jewelry? Over half of all brides say that they would wear a colored stone in their engagement ring, such as celebs like Halle Berry or Jessica Simpson. Some colors to consider include ruby, yellow diamonds, black onyx, or sapphire.

Floral accents
Love nature? Incorporate some details from your garden right into your ring. One of the top trends in wedding jewelry right now includes rings with flowers, vines, and vines that circle around the center stone for a feminine touch.

Square bands
No matter the stone, implementing a square band is an extremely sleek and modern touch. It is much more comfortable than a round ring as it won’t pinch the skin on your fingers.

Pear cut diamonds
Pear and marquise diamonds are making a comeback! The best part about them? They instantly slim your fingers and look exceptionally elegant with a thin wedding band.

Double shanks
If you are looking for outstanding bridal jewelry, consider going with a double-shank band, because nothing makes a stronger impression than two diamond encrusted bands! This design also gives any engagement ring a more architectural, fashion-forward look.

Mixed metal
Can’t decide what color you want in your wedding jewelry? Don’t worry, you don’t have to! Simply choose a mixed metal band that incorporates rose gold, silver, and gold into one band. Plus, it will match everything!

Does this list give you some inspiration for the ring you are looking for? Visit McGee and Company Fine Jewelers today to get the ring of your dreams!

Is It True That Millennials Don’t Like Diamonds?

jewelry purchase

Millennials are the largest generation since the baby boomers, and are effectively changing the jewelry industry. The most common trend among millennials is that they are simply not buying diamonds — the precious stone that humans have obsessed over for thousands of years. Because of this, it’s a common belief that millennials simply don’t like diamonds.

But is this really true? Unlikely.

There are a number of reasons that millennials aren’t as highly represented at major jewelry store counters.

  1. First, millennials are getting engaged later in life, if at all. Marriage simply isn’t a huge priority for the millennial generation. Many delay marriage well into adulthood, leading to fewer engagement rings being purchased at this point in time.
  2. Many young people still have relatively low incomes, too. As many of these young adults are either in college, pursuing post-graduate degrees, or have recently graduated, they haven’t had much time to build up their bank accounts. With the rising costs of living, many people — not just millennials — have limited their jewelry purchases and cut their diamond purchases in lieu of more economical pieces.
  3. Millennials also prefer responsibly sourced jewelry. Diamond sourcing has been a problem in the past, but millennials have brought attention to the unethical practices of diamond mining in some parts of the world. Some diamonds are sourced from countries struck by war or poverty.Millennials are very aware of where their goods come from and feel much more positively about lab-created diamonds. Among all genders, 80% of millennials feel either happy or neutral toward the concept of lab-grown diamonds. Far lass older people feel that responsibly sourced jewelry is important, which explains the generational divide in consumer behavior.
  4. However, millennials are finding more unique pieces more to their liking. Many twenty-somethings do want diamond jewelry, especially for bridal jewelry. But rather than going to big-name jewelry stores, millennials are gravitating to local jewelers or custom jewelry services to find one-of-a-kind rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more.When it comes to fine jewelry, diamonds aren’t always a requirement for millennials. Their jewelry purchases tend to be more eclectic.

Looking for the best custom jewelry Indianapolis has ever seen? We can source our jewels based on the wants and needs of the customer to create special, custom jewelry. Whether you’re looking for diamonds or something totally different, McGee & Co. has something in store for you.

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.