A&L Blog

Sapphire As An Alternative To Diamond In Engagement Rings

Sapphires are quickly becoming the hottest trend in engagement jewelry, partly because Heidi Klum, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Hurley and Penelope Cruz have all recently sported sapphire engagement rings.

But there are other reasons to choose a sapphire to pledge your devotion. These tough, durable, beautiful stones make a perfect choice for a unique bride or a more traditional one. After all, sapphires have a history as engagement jewelry older than diamonds.. and they’re often more affordable than a diamond  — more bling for the buck! 

Why Sapphire Is A Great Alternative To Diamond

Though diamonds have been the standard choice for engagement rings, by choosing a sapphire, you immediately set yourself apart. If you swim against the current, or are artistic & unique, a high-quality sapphire engagement ring could be the answer.

And sapphires don’t need to be blue!

Lots Of Different Types Of Sapphires

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) defines sapphire as any corundum that is not red. Red corundums are called rubies — and they make lovely engagement rings, too.

You can find a sapphire in any color other than red. Beyond the traditional blue, popular colors on the market today are:

  • Vivid flame orange 
  • Sunny yellow 
  • Teal 
  • Mint 
  • Purple 
  • Pink

Sapphires Are Tough Gemstones

Of all gems other than diamond, sapphires are most durable. This makes sapphire engagement rings great for everyday wear, an essential point in choosing your engagement ring.

You will wear your engagement ring every day for decades, and eventually hand down a high-quality ring to your heirs. The central stone of any engagement ring must withstand a lot of wear! 

Diamonds are indeed harder than sapphires. They’re a 10 on Moh’s hardness scale and the hardest substance on earth. But a sapphire ranks 9, just behind a diamond, and will surely be tough enough to hold up to decades of daily wear.

Where To Find A Sapphire Engagement Ring

The experienced jewelers at Argo & Lehne are here to help you choose the perfect engagement ring. Whether it’s a diamond ring, a sapphire or a ruby engagement ring, custom, contemporary or vintage, we’re here to share a century of experience. Check out our blog for more jewelry resources, & contact us to learn more.

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Vintage Jewelry Trends That Are Back in Style

As the saying goes, “what goes around, comes around”. This is true with jewelry as well as clothes. Of course, timing on these trends is of utmost importance. With an acute eye for fashion forecasting, we are here to tell you about all the vintage jewelry trends that are back in style. This way, you can be your most fashion forward self and be ready to dazzle in the upcoming season.

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What Birthstone Is Peridot?

Since Biblical times, each month of the year has been assigned one precious gemstone known as a birthstone for the month. The association of gems with birth months comes from the breastplate of Aaron which held a different gem for each of their tribes of Israel, each of which was celebrated in a different month.  Christian culture associated each disciple with a month and kept the tribe’s gem for that month. Other gems are linked to the twelve signs of the zodiac which do not quite coincide with today’s.. Many cultures throughout history have believed that birthstones hold magical powers or protection for the wearer, and this belief has permeated modern jewelry myths to this day.

The month of August is classically linked to a particularly extraordinary gem: the Peridot.

What Is Peridot?

Peridot (pronounced PEAR-A-DOE) is a beautiful gem of the mineral olivine, known for its distinctive vivid green coloring. The intensity of yellowish-green is deeper with more iron content, It’s value is more because of this beautiful coloring. Peridot has the nickname “evening emerald,” as it glows prettily under lamplight. 

The gem peridot has been found in numerous locations throughout the world, and is also one of the first known gems to also come from outer space! Extraterrestrial peridot found in Pallasite Meteorites is not large enough or strong enough for use in jewelry but is evident as flecks of olivine crystals. Peridot is softer than many gems, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Most peridot mined for jewelry is from China, Myanmar, Tanzania and the United States.

The History Of Peridot

Some think “peridot” comes from the Arabic word for gem, “faridat.” Valued in many ancient and medieval cultures, peridot can be traced back to the second century BCE in priests’ jewelry and chalices, and even further back to the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. In fact, a small island off the coast of Egypt once known as Topazios (now Zabargad) is the oldest recorded source of peridot. Cleopatra was famous for her vast collection of emeralds, which historians now believe must have included many specimens of peridot.

The Power Of Peridot

Some believe gemstones hold supernatural powers providing good luck and protection to the wearer. The birthstone of August, peridot is associated with harmony, good health, and peacefulness. Supposedly, peridot can calm anger, free the mind of envious thoughts, and ease depression. It symbolizes strength and has been used for hundreds of years as a protective charm that shields its owner from evil spirits. Specifically, peridot that is set in gold is thought to ease “terrors of the night”, protecting from nightmares and restless sleep.

 

Whether you are drawn to this gorgeous gemstone for its purported benefits, its lovely color, or because you were born in the month of August, there is no doubt that Peridot has a colorful history as a valuable gemstone. Contact Argo & Lehne Jewelers today for more information about our assortment of Peridot and other birthstone jewelry. View our collection here (https://www.argolehne.com/?s=peridot&post_type=product)

Show images of the three sale peridot items. Find these three pieces at an exceptional value all this month in our 97th Anniversary Sale.

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How Can You Tell The Quality Of A Ruby?

As one of the world’s most popular gems, many ask what makes a ruby so beautiful and how does one tell if the ruby they are looking at is of high quality? This is a great question! You don’t need to be a gemologist to understand the quality and value of a ruby, but we all might benefit from more education shopping for rubies. In this article we will tell you all you need to know about rubies and answer the common question “How Can You Tell The Quality Of A Ruby”.

The History Of Rubies

Portrait for the Coronation of Queen Victoria by George Hayter (detail), wearing the new Imperial State Crown made for her by the Crown Jewellers Rundell and Bridge, with 3093 gems, with the Black Prince’s Ruby at the front. (Public Domain photo)

Many cultures have considered rubies the gemstone of kings. Historically, the stone was worn in many battles as it was thought to be a stone of protection.  Some cultures even went as far as inserting the stone into the skin as they believed this would protect them. Ruby goes back as far as the Bible and is still ever so popular. With its intense red color it only makes sense that it also symbolizes wealth and passion. It is the birthstone of July and Cancer and both the 15th and 40th anniversary stone.

Historically, all red stones were called rubies from the Latin word, ruber or “red”. It wasn’t until ruby was identified as corundum did it separate them from other luscious red stones. You may have heard of the the famous 14th century Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial Crown. Well, this “ruby” is actually a red spinel and was thought to be a ruby until the 1940’s.

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What To Engrave On Wedding Rings

Shopping for wedding bands is such a wonderful and personal experience for the bride and groom. Your wedding rings symbolize the joining of two unique individuals into one union and what better way to personalize them further with an engraving?

Engraving Ideas

There are so many options for what to engrave on your wedding rings. At Argo & Lehne Jewelers, we think the most important thing is that your engravings signify something special to both of you. These inscriptions will be on the inside of your wedding rings, meaning primarily for your eyes only as a constant reminder of your bond and love. Although your engraving can be almost anything (as long as it will fit inside the band), here are a few ideas to consider:

  • A Special Date – A special date can be your wedding day, the day you met, or a day that might be completely random to anyone else but has special meaning to the two of you. Dates are very popular to engrave, especially the wedding day date as for generations to come it will be on the ring and signifies the start of married life. 
  • Nicknames – Do you have a name you call one another? Engraving is a great way to always remember that affection and name that only your husband or wife calls you. This is a less traditional option but can be very sentimental and unique.
  • Initials – The use of each other’s initials adds a timeless inscription symbolizing the joining of two individuals. The nice thing about using initials is that you also will have room for your wedding date as well given the small area inside wedding bands.
  • Last name – Two last names often become one after marriage. You can begin that joint voyage with a last name engraving. 
  • Sentiments – “Forever Yours,” “I do,” and “Happily Ever After” are examples of sentiments that echo your commitment. A sentiment from your vows or something you always say to each other is also very personal.
  • Verses, Song Lyrics, or Poetry – Many couples have a special bible verse, song, or poem that perfectly represents them. Using the bible verse or song title is something you can work with the engraver on to see what will fit the best.
  • Shared Phrases – Splitting a message into two rings, so the message is only complete when they are read together, is also a great way to signify your togetherness. 
  • Secret Message – A word or phrase may not have any meaning to anyone else, but the two of you due to a past shared experience. 

How to Engrave Your Wedding Rings

Take some time to consider your engraving. Don’t forget to consider the limited space available. Once you have settled on the perfect choice, write the engraving down and double-check all spelling before turning it over to your jeweler. Upon return delivery, check carefully to make sure the engraving is correct. Didn’t get your wedding rings engraved initially? No matter where you are in your love story, it’s never too late to have your wedding rings engraved. 

There is no right or wrong answer for the perfect engraving for your wedding rings. Your rings should be as unique as you are. Argo & Lehne Jewelers welcome the opportunity to be a part of your wedding story. 

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How To Choose The Perfect Vintage Cocktail Ring

Cocktail rings are and always have been a symbol of independent women! During the 1920’s, alcohol was strictly prohibited in the United States. As a result, secret trendy bars popped up everywhere. People flocked to these hideaways for fun and illegal cocktails. It was the first time in US history that women stepped onto the bar scene. They did it in style, wearing long pearl strands, stackable bracelets, and large flashy rings meant to be seen as they sipped their forbidden beverages. Although prohibition has long been in our rearview mirror, the cocktail rings remain timeless. These rings are still big and bold and as unique as the women who wear them! 

So how do you choose the one that is right for you? At Argo & Lehne, we always encourage individual style, and there are so many beautiful and unique options in vintage cocktail rings. Here are a few things to consider when selecting your vintage piece.

What To Consider When Buying A Vintage Cocktail Ring

When considering purchasing a vintage cocktail ring there are a few factors that need to be looked at in order to make sure that you find your perfect ring. Doing some preliminary research can lead you to your special piece that you will love for years to come!

 

Price Range

You will be able to find a beautiful vintage cocktail ring in any price range. Because of this, you should think about your budget before beginning the search. This will help you narrow down the selection so you can spend time focusing on rings in your price range. At Argo & Lehne, we have a wide assortment of vintage cocktail rings, ranging from more dainty and demure styles to beyond WOW!

Platinum vintage princess cocktail ring set with an approximate .80 carat center diamond and 42 other diamonds. Total diamond weight estimated 2.07 carats. Current size 6 1/4.

https://www.argolehne.com/product/platinum-vintage-diamond-cocktail-ring/

Condition

You can expect to see some visible wear and tear in many vintage cocktail rings. It’s what adds to the character of a vintage piece and holds stories of past decades. You should make sure that the ring is in good condition, however. No stones should be missing and the enamel shouldn’t have any cracks in it. You’ll also want to make sure the prongs are not bent or out of place. They should be secure with no loose gemstones. Of course many of these items are fixable but unless you really know what you are doing it would be difficult to price additional work into your total cost. Selecting a ring that is in good condition or better is a smart way to purchase. We pride ourselves on the flawless presentation of our vintage jewelry pieces and will make sure it is in tip top condition!

Seller

You want to make sure that you are purchasing from a reputable seller like Argo & Lehne Jewelers.  If you are buying from a fine jeweler, you should check their credentials. For example at Argo & Lehne Jewelers we are a member of the AGS (American Gem Society), GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the BBB (Better Business Bureau). You can also look at a jeweler’s reviews as well as their longevity. If they have been in business for a long time more times than not it is because they have been a reputable jeweler. If you have purchased or are thinking to purchase a vintage piece, we are always here to help.  We clean jewelry and check stones complimentary while explaining the condition of the piece. If any repairs need done to the item we will let you know. 

Metal

Make sure you ask about what metals and alloys the ring is made of to prevent any hidden nickel allergies. Metal will determine how much upkeep is needed for the ring. For instance, a sterling silver ring will tarnish over time and needs to be stored in airtight storage when not worn, and a platinum vintage ring will be less maintenance when not being worn.

Comfort

Your comfort is key. The whole purpose of the cocktail ring is to make you feel like a queen, so make sure you’re comfortable in it. Trying on vintage cocktail rings at Argo & Lehne is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon, seeing how the light catches the ring and how comfortable it is on your hand. Book a Consultation with one of our sales associates here: https://www.argolehne.com/contact/

The Perfect Vintage Cocktail Ring

The bottom line is to choose the ring that makes you feel bold, stylish, independent, and fearless when wearing it! Cocktail rings can be a wonderful topic of conversation and tell a lot about a woman’s style.

If you need help searching for a vintage cocktail ring, then get in touch with vintage jewelry experts at Argo & Lehne Jewelers today. We will work with you to find the right cocktail ring for your style and budget. Get in touch today to get started.

https://www.argolehne.com/product/platinum-vintage-sapphire-diamond-ring/

https://www.argolehne.com/product/white-gold-zircon-diamond-ring/

https://www.argolehne.com/product/yellow-gold-bezel-milgrain-diamond-bubble-band/

https://www.argolehne.com/product/rose-gold-3-butterfly-ring/

 

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Art at Argo’s “Celebrating Sunlight” paintings by Carrie & Michelle Boerio

I recently had the honor of meeting artist, Carrie Boerio in the store and we discussed her and her daughter’s artwork. Once I was able to research and view their works I was like a moth to light! The vivid colors and broad brushstrokes encapsulated in each of their individual paintings draws you in and makes you want to see more. I’m fascinated by these two women for many reasons but absolutely admire and adore their strong, collaborative approach to their art and careers while still being able to clearly define their work as individuals. There are so many similarities and approaches which result in very different and equally beautiful results. Their encouragement and support for each other is so inspiring. With the bright days of summer finally here, what better time to share these artists colorful and radiant works at Art at Argo’s, “Celebrating Sunlight”.

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Bridal Package Giveaway

bridal package giveaway

Many wedding plans have been canceled and delayed due to the pandemic, but we have noticed that proposals have not been thwarted. In fact, they may have even increased during this time.

Love endures and we want to celebrate! And what better month than June, bridal month.

Whether you have purchased your engagement ring through us, another jeweler or are entering on behalf of an engaged friend, we welcome you to enter our

Instagram Bridal Package Giveaway

Recently engaged or know someone who is? Enter our Bridal Package Giveaway! All entrants will receive 20% off* their next A&L purchase. The grand prize winner may browse the biggest jewelry box, our store, and borrow jewelry for your Big Day! The grand prize winner will also receive a $500 Argo & Lehne gift card for something beautiful to remember this most exciting occasion and an engagement photoshoot with @stephaniewestphotography.

To Enter:

  • LIKE the post
  • FOLLOW @argolehnejewelers + @stephaniewestphotography
  • TAG a friend (1 TAG = 1 entry. TAG as many friends as you would like.)
  • All are welcome to enter for the 20% off but only engaged entrant can win the grand prize. 
**Earn a BONUS entry by SHARING this in your story and tagging us.

The winner will be selected on Monday, June 21, 2021 through DM.    

May your engagement be sparkling. May your wedding be unforgettable. May your love grow always. Congratulations!

To learn more about Stephanie West Photography read our recent blog post on her 2021 Bridal Photography Trends.

*excludes vintage collection, loose diamonds, giftware and artwork. 10% off diamond stud earrings. 1 coupon per customer. valid until 12/1/2021. Each entrant will receive the coupon code via DM on their Instagram. Make sure to allow access to send messages.

 

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2021 Bridal Trends – Photography

All of June we are highlighting “bridal month” and reporting 2021 bridal trends to our customers. Whether you are planning your wedding, dreaming of it one day or just love all things bridal like we do, we have all the 2021 Bridal Trends right here. In this post we are focusing on photography and have reached out to Stephanie West from Stephanie West Photography. Stephanie has shot some beautiful photos for us and as well as one of our own employee’s engagement photos.

2021 Bridal Trends

Stephanie West Photography, the insanely gorgeous and detailed shot Stephanie took for our new homepage look!

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Mother’s Day Photo Contest

Know a mom who deserves recognition this Mother’s Day?

Argo & Lehne wants to know about her.

Michelle Ward, president at Argo & Lehne Jewelers with her daughter. Photograph: Hugues Saint-Amand

 

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