Jessop Jewelers Blog

  • Say It With Sapphires

    Posted on: September 4, 2015

    Sapphires belong to the gem species corundum and although most sapphires are blue, they can occur in virtually any color except red. Essentially, if the corundum in question is considered to be more than 50% red, it is called a ruby! With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale (second only to a diamond) and excellent toughness, sapphire is the most durable of all colored gemstones and holds up well to everyday wear. This fact was not lost on England’s royal family as sapphire was the gemstone of choice for Princess Diana’s famous (and fabulous!) engagement ring. Diana’s son William subsequently presented this same ring to his future wife Kate when he proposed.

    In ancient times, sapphire was believed to protect the wearer against capture by an enemy and also against poison. According to legend, if a poisonous snake was put into a container with a sapphire, the gemstone’s rays would kill the snake! In modern times, sapphire has come to symbolize truth, sincerity, and constancy and is recognized as the birthstone for September.

    What is the “best” color for a sapphire?

    This is truly a matter of personal preference, but sapphires are generally grouped into “trade grades” (most often related to their source) and traditionally the finest sapphires are considered to be the Kashmir stones from India. These gems exhibit a medium to medium-dark, velvety, slightly violetish blue (also described as “cornflower blue”) with a milky or “sleepy” transparency giving them a beautifully subtle look. Today, Kashmir sapphires are very hard to come by. Next on the most desirable list are Burma sapphires, which are characteristically a more “royal blue” and don’t have the haziness of Kashmir (considered desirable by connoisseurs). For those who prefer a lighter tone, Ceylon sapphires (from Sri Lanka) are slightly grayish and notable for being fairly brilliant.

    Colors of sapphires other than blue are referred to as “fancy” sapphires. These colors range from vibrant pinks to spectacular oranges (called “padparadshca” sapphires) and also include purple, yellow, and even green! These gemstones provide the best of both worlds for color and durability.

    Although unheated sapphires are available (always get certification if you are considering a purchase), heat treatment of sapphires, to bring out their color and clarity, is quite prevalent and the results are stable.

    Prices vary widely among the great range of sapphire colors and qualities, so no matter what your budget, there is a sapphire somewhere waiting just for you!

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    View sapphire jewelry from our Jessop’s Collection...

  • A Rosy Outlook for Rose Gold

    Posted on: August 20, 2015

    Since the beginning of the 21st century, rose gold has been having a comeback in popularity. As fashion trends have become more colorful and feminine, the interest, desire, and demand for rose gold has risen.

    Rose gold (also known as pink or red gold) is made from combining yellow gold with copper. The intensity of the rose color depends on the ratio of yellow gold to copper; less copper in the mix produces a softer shade of rose, while more copper deepens the rose color of the metal.

    The origin of rose gold dates back to 19th century Russia. During the Mid-Victorian era, rose gold was considered the color of romance. Then in the late 1920’s, Cartier introduced the ‘trinity band’ consisting of three interlocking gold bands in white, yellow, and rose. This reignited interest in rose gold and introduced the trend that continues today of mixing metals.

    Rose, White & Yellow Gold Diamond Band by Simon G Rose, White & Yellow Gold Diamond Band by Simon G

    So next time you are looking for that special purchase, consider romantic rose gold. It is very complimentary to all skin tones, appeals to all age groups, and is a way to have something unique and modern, yet with a vintage feel.

  • Spark Creations – New at Jessop's

    Posted on: August 14, 2015

    After a year of consideration, we are pleased to be selected to represent Spark Creations as an authorized retailer for this very exciting jewelry line.

    Spark Creations has been a leading creator for the most beautiful collections of precious jewelry for over forty years. Their motto is, “When it comes to color, nobody does it better!” Their One-of-a-Kind Collection features distinct and unique pieces.

    Spark Creations Ring Spark Creations Necklace

    Come by and visit our showroom to see and marvel at the stunning colored gemstone jewelry from their collections. We know you will appreciate the fine quality craftsmanship, elegant top quality gemstones, and exquisite style of Spark Creations.

    Sample of some of the stunning pieces created by Spark...

  • Peridot – Green with Envy

    Posted on: August 7, 2015

    Peridot is a unique and beautiful gemstone designated as the birthstone for the month of August. It is said to possess healing properties providing protection against nightmares, and magical powers which bring power, influence and a wonderful year to the wearer. What more could you want in a birthstone!

    Where is peridot found?

    Peridot has been mined for over 3,500 years, and actually was the most popular gemstone during the Baroque Era (circa 1600-1725). Today the majority of peridot is mined in Arizona, but other significant sources include China, Myanmar and Pakistan.

    Fine peridot captures the brightest and prettiest colors of summer, from lime to olive greens, and it is one of the few colored gemstones that are not routinely enhanced (treated). Peridot is also well suited for jewelry wear, with a respectable hardness of 6 ½ to 7 on the Mohs scale.
    It is best to clean peridot jewelry with warm soapy water, and always avoid any sudden temperature changes.

    See some of the pretty peridot pieces available...

  • It’s summertime and the weather is humid. Do you find your rings more difficult to remove? Jessop’s offer a solution..Superfit!

    Changes in temperature and weather, arthritis, injuries, or other health issues can make wearing your rings difficult or impossible. Sizing a ring to fit over the knuckle may not work for everyone.

    Jessop’s customers with unique sizing challenges have benefited from retrofitting their ring with Superfit technology: a way to customize the shank of any ring, no matter the age or style, to a hinged design that is easily opened and closed, fits securely around the base of your finger, and is virtually undetectable. So, you can enjoy wearing that favorite ring again!

    Call or visit us today to learn more about how Superfit can help you.

  • Ruby - The Stone of Passion

    Posted on: July 10, 2015

    Ruby Stone

    Ruby is the red variety of the mineral species corundum; all other colors of corundum are called sapphire. Officially designated as the birthstone for July, rubies are traditionally given to celebrate the 15th and 40th anniversaries.

    In ancient times rubies were revered as the “Lord of Gems”. Their rich red color represented passion, power and majesty! Also known as the “Lover’s Stone”, rubies have often been used by Europeans in engagement rings. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale (second only to diamonds) and excellent toughness, rubies are indeed a very good choice for rings which are going to be worn every day.

    Why are rubies so expensive?

    Very fine rubies are scarce and one of the rarest of all colored gemstones. In top qualities, there are fewer rubies than diamonds, thus the price of a fine ruby may exceed that of a fine diamond. In addition, the per carat price for the best rubies increases quite dramatically as they increase in size.

    What is the best color for a ruby?

    Ruby Necklace
    As with most colored stones, the most significant factor affecting the price of a ruby is its color. The most prized color is a medium to medium-dark, pure red or slightly purplish red and historically referred to as “pigeon’s blood”. If the stone is considered be less than 50% red, it will be classified as a fancy color pink, orange or purple sapphire depending on the dominant hue.

    Are all rubies treated?

    Rubies are commonly heated to deepen the color and improve the clarity. The results are permanent and are accepted in the trade. Fine, unheated rubies command much higher prices and should be documented to justify the premium value. There are various other treatments being used on rubies today, many of which are not stable. As always, if you are shopping for a ruby, you will be best served by a knowledgeable, trustworthy jeweler with the highest professional credentials.

    What is the best way to clean a ruby?

    Good quality rubies can withstand ultrasonic and steam cleaning, but using warm, soapy water and a soft brush is the safest way to clean a ruby.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    Browse beautiful ruby jewelry in the Jessop’s collection...

  • Jessop’s Custom Jewelry Design Process

    Jessop’s has a proud tradition of helping to create special and unique custom jewelry pieces that meet the needs, wants, and desires of our clientele. Bringing the imagination to reality is always an exciting process!

    1) The steps begin with an initial consultation and collaboration of the design concept. Once everything is agreed upon, a sketch is made by our goldsmith as a working reference.

    2) Gemstones are carefully selected for size, quality and color.

    3) The framework is hand-crafted by our artisan goldsmith.

    4) Then the piece is assembled, polished and ready to become your family’s heirloom.

    What’s in your imagination?

    View a sampling of our Jessop’s custom jewelry offerings...

  • The Luminous Moonstone

    Posted on: June 23, 2015

    How did Moonstone get its name?

    Moonstone is the one of three recognized birthstones for the month of June. During early Roman times, moonstone was given its name because its appearance was thought to change with the different moon phases; this belief is no longer held true. However today, highly revered in India, it is believed to bring good fortune.

    What should you look for in a moonstone?

    Moonstone comes in lots of pale colors (such as yellow, peach, pink, green, brown to colorless) and is characterized by a special optical phenomenon known as adularescence. This is what gives moonstone its translucent or opaque iridescent appearance; it seems to glow! It is also possible to find rainbow, cat’s eye or star moonstone, as well.

    Another popular presentation of moonstone is to carve the surface into decorative design motifs, such cameos, florals, or whimsical “man-in-the-moon” faces. The carved surface together with the stones iridescent sheen creates an intricate three-dimensional effect many find desirable.

    The beauty of moonstone is best shown as a high-domed, cabochon cut stone. This shape displays its extraordinary appearance in the best way. Those stones that come closest to being colorless, possessing a strong blue colored sheen seen from all angles (like billowing clouds), and transparent (with no visible inclusions) are considered most valuable and rare to find.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    View moonstone jewelry from our Jessop's Collection...

  • Even though you don’t wear your pearl necklace very often, it should be maintained with care. You certainly don’t want to wear your necklace for a special event only to have it fall apart before your eyes, and everybody else. Oh, the embarrassment!

    How often should pearls be restrung?

    We recommend having your pearls cleaned and restrung every 1 to 3 years, every year if you wear them with frequency. Perfumes, lotions, or body oils can affect both the color and luster of pearls, as well as affect the silk thread used to string your pearls. If you find the silk thread or knots fraying or soiled, or some pearls moving around too easily on the thread, then chances are you’re due to bring them in for a little TLC.

    Pearls overdue for restringing
    Pearls overdue for restringing
    Pearls newly restrung
    Pearls newly restrung

    Silk thread is the strongest and finest stringing material recommended and perfectly suited for fine pearls. The soft, organic nature of silk will not scratch or damage your pearls delicate surface and gives your necklace a more gentle continuity.

    What can be done with an unused strand of pearls?

    We have noticed that some of our good clients don’t wear their beautiful pearls because their length preference has changed. When originally purchased, the strand may have been at a 16” length. Now that they prefer to wear an 18” or 20” length, no problem! We can match and add to most strands without difficulty.
    Would you like your necklace modernized a bit? Let’s add another strand and make it a stylish double strand or possibly a triple strand necklace. New clasps also give new life to your pearls. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help.

    Come see some of the beautiful pieces in our pearl collection…

  • Natural pearls, Japanese Akoya, Chinese Freshwater, or Tahitian South Sea - with so many pearls, who can keep them all straight? As the beautiful birthstone for the month of June, pearls can be found in a variety of hues that will flatter anyone’s skin tone. So, what should you know when buying or wearing pearls?

    How are pearls formed?

    Natural pearls are formed when a foreign body finds its way into a mollusk and the mollusk protects itself by secreting a substance called nacre to cover the irritant. As this is a random occurrence in nature, natural pearls are very rare and therefore, very expensive. Virtually all pearls are cultured, which means they are grown in mollusks with some human intervention. necklaceAkoya and South Sea pearls are cultured in saltwater by implanting a bead nucleus to start the pearl formation, while freshwater pearls are cultured by implanting a small piece of mollusk tissue instead of a bead. In either case, the size and variety of the mollusk determines the possible size and color of the pearl.

    No matter what the origin of the pearl, there are specific quality factors which are taken into account in determining the pearl’s value, and ultimately its beauty. These factors include size, shape, color, luster, surface, and in the case of a pearl strand, how well they are matched.

    What is the best size pearl to buy?

    Cultured pearls range in size from as small as 1mm to as large as 20mm. The most popular size is around 7-8mm. Slightly smaller sizes might be preferred for younger girls or petite women, while taller or more full figured women may want their pearls a little larger. With all other factors being equal, the larger the pearl, the greater its value. Pearls larger than 10mm are generally black Tahitian, white South Sea or large freshwater.

    When it comes to shape, round and near round pearls are most valuable due to their rarity, but beautiful pearls can also be found in off-round or free form shapes referred to as baroque or semi-baroque.

    What colors do pearls come in?

    necklace-2The palette of pearl colors includes white, cream, golden, pink, gray, black and virtually everything in between. In addition to the basic body color, many pearls have color overtones (such as rosé or silver) which affect their appearance. The most valuable colors in the light body group are pink, pink rosé and white rosé, with the latter being the most popular. But, the “best” colors are largely a matter of personal taste depending on a person’s skin tone and the color of clothes they enjoy wearing.

    What is the most important pearl quality?

    It is generally agreed that luster is the single most important factor affecting the beauty and value of a pearl. Luster refers to the brilliance and reflectivity of the pearl’s surface. The most lustrous pearls are notably bright and shiny, reflecting mirror like images, and are highly desirable. In addition to excellent luster, the finest quality pearls have a surface that is smooth, clean and blemish free.

    What kind of pearls should I buy?

    When making comparisons, keep in mind that freshwater pearls may not be as round as Akoyas, and their luster is often not as shiny or sharp. Freshwater pearls are available in a greater variety of natural colors and tend to be less expensive. In larger sizes, top quality white South Sea and black Tahitian pearls are far more valuable than freshwater pearls.

    What is the best way to clean pearls?

    necklace-3People often ask about the proper care and cleaning of pearls. The preferred cleaning method is to gently wipe the pearls with a soft, damp cloth after each use. If a more thorough cleaning is needed, use a mild soap solution (such as Woolite in warm water), rinse completely, and then lay the pearls flat to dry before storing. The Mohs scale of hardness ranks pearls at a relatively soft 2.5 to 4 on a scale of 10, with diamonds holding the top spot at 10. Due to this delicate nature, “last on, first off” are good words to live by when wearing pearls. One should avoid contact with cosmetics, hair spray, perfume or household chemicals as much as possible. If the knots have become frayed or soiled, or there is too much movement of the pearls in between the knots, it is time to take them to a reputable jeweler and have them re-strung.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    - View pearl jewelry from our Jessop’s Collection -

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