Category: Gems

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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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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November Fireside Chats – An Exploration of Personalized Gifts

As 2020 has been a year to reflect, we anticipate an uptick in personalized jewelry gifts this holiday season. This month we will dedicate each Friday to inspire and advise on thoughtful gifts for all your loved ones during our 9am Fireside Chats. So, kick back, get cozy and enjoy our chats live or at your convenience on our Facebook page. Jump to the bottom of the post to find out how to be entered to win one of four fabulous prizes to include an Argo & Lehne gift card.

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Amazing Amethyst!

Queen Elizabeth in the Kent Amethysts. Photo: royaljewellists.boardhost.com

 

Purple – combining the passion of red and the calm of blue – conveys balance and bliss, and a hint of mystery. Those of us who love it see it as a powerful color. Think of the purple robes and amethyst jewels of royalty. Amethyst was once up there with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies in rarity and preciousness, and thus was considered crown jewels material. Then in the early 19th century, a large deposit was discovered in Brazil and suddenly, supply and demand being what it is, amethysts became more plentiful and less valuable. We see that as a plus – amethysts haven’t changed. If anything, they are better with more from which to choose. But now they’re not just for royalty and the wealthy but are readily available to all of us!

 

Color is the sublimely beautiful main attraction of the amethyst. It is always purple, but can range from a light lavender or even purplish pink to very dark, almost black purple, and also reddish to a more bluish hue. Hue, tone, and saturation determine the color quality. Hue is the basic color (i.e., reddish purple); tone is the darkness or lightness; saturation is the amount or intensity of the color, or what Bob Argo calls “juiciness”. Stones fetching higher prices are medium to dark but not too dark, slightly reddish purple and highly saturated. However, some prefer the lighter, more delicate pastels, which are very lovely in their own right.

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