Coral Rings

What is Coral?
While most stones used in jewelry are mined from the earth, coral hails from the sea. Coral is formed by colonies of sea invertebrates. It is mostly skeletal calcium carbonate and is opaque to semi-translucent. Buyers should be aware that glass and plastic copies are sometimes substituted for coral, so take care to purchase only from reputable dealers.

Coral Ring Color
Coral’s hues work well year round, with the harvest colors of autumn styles as well as the dark clothes of winter and the cheerful shades of spring and summer. While most associate coral with orange, it can also be found in shades of pink, black, white and red. Angel-skin coral is whitish with hints of peach, while blood, or noble, coral, the most costly form, is deep red. Different shades of coral are found in different parts of the world. The black coral you see in the jewelry case probably came from Mexico or Hawaii, while the white forms grew in Japan and some of the best red coral originated in Italian waters.

Types of Coral Rings
Coral can be relatively inexpensive and is found in both fine and fun jewelry. Sterling silver coral rings are quite common and easily found in gift shops, department stores and online. Gold coral rings are less common, but also quite beautiful and easily found online. Coral is frequently paired with stones like turquoise, onyx or diamond.

Coral Cuts
Coral in rings is most often cabochon cut, or domed, but sometimes it is carved or left in its natural, uncut shape.

Coral Hardness
Coral comes in at a 3.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The Mohs scale is a tool used to rate the hardness of different gems with diamond, the hardest known natural substance, given a 10. At 3.5, coral is one of the softer gems.

Care of Coral Rings
Because coral is one of the softer gems, coral ring wearers should remove the ring before cleaning or taking part in sports that might knock the coral around, causing scratching or other damage. Also remove the coral ring before cleaning and subjecting it to harsh chemicals that could damage it. Acids found in common household items like vinegar can damage coral, so be sure to remove the coral ring when mixing a vinaigrette or using vinegar to remove scale from the sink.

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Cat’s Eye Rings

With attractive shades ranging from caramel to grass green, cat’s eye rings are a great addition to any jewelry collection.

What is Cat’s Eye?
Cat’s eye is a member of the chrysoberyl family, which includes the gems chrysoberyl and alexandrite. The chrysoberyl family is interesting in that though the three gems are alike chemically, they look nothing like one another.

Cat’s Eye Rings Appearance
Cat’s eye is milky and translucent, is found in shades from honey to green, and , when properly cut displays a white line of light down the center of the stone, giving the appearance of an eye lit from inside – hence the name. This effect, known as chatoyancey, is best observed under one strong light, directly overhead. The “eye” effect is found only in cabochon, or rounded, stones, not in stones cut in facets.

Cat’s Eye Ring Texture
The cat’s eye gem is known for its smooth, velvety texture.

Cat’s Eye Hardness
Cat’s eye weighs in at an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is a tool used to rate gem hardness from 1 to 10, with diamond, the hardest known substance. The harder a gem, the more resistant it is to scratching and chipping. At 8.5 a cat’s eye is relatively hard, making it a good choice for use in cat’s eye rings, which tend to get knocked around quite a bit with regular wear.

Sri Lanka is the source of the finest cat’s eye gemstones, but they are also found in India, Burma, Brazil and Madagascar.

Cat’s Eye and Tiger’s Eye
Cat’s eye is sometimes confused with the gem tiger’s eye, however tiger’s eye is the mineral quartz, not chrysoberyl, is brown, and has a less dramatic eye effect.

Cat’s Eye Folklore
Ancient people believed the cat’s eye gem could see everything and could therefore protect its wearer. Ancient people also believed that the cat’s eye gem promoted happiness and serenity.

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Sapphire Earrings

A spot of brilliant blue is at each of your ears, sparkling in the light. They’re sapphire earrings and they’re lovely. People have adorned themselves with earrings for thousands of years, from the days of the ancient Persia and ancient Greece. Sapphire earrings have been charming jewelry lovers for generations.

Sapphire Color
The gem we know as sapphire is the blue form of the mineral corundum, while ruby is its red form. Generally speaking, the most desirable shades of blue sapphires are a pure blue, without green or yellow undertones. Corundum actually comes in many colors, but these are two of its best known forms. Pink, yellow and green sapphires are known as fancy sapphires and are being seen more and more in jewelry shops.

Sapphire Hardness
Sapphire is one of the harder gems, measuring a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The Mohs scales rates hardness on a scale from 1 to 10, with diamond, at 10, being the hardest. This makes it a good choice for jewelry you wish to wear often, like sapphire earrings, since it is less likely to be scratched and damaged than softer stones.

Sapphire Origins
Some of the sapphires in earrings with the richest blue color hail from Burma and Kashmir. Sapphires from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) also have a lovely blue shade, though less of a deep blue shade than that of the Burma and Kashmir stones. Burma, Kashmir and Ceylon stones tend to be more costly than sapphires from places like Australia, Brazil, Africa and Montana in the U.S.

Types of Sapphire Earrings
The most commonly found sapphire earrings are studs, where the gemstone is mounted on a post that fits through the ear, dangle earrings, where the gemstone dangles from a wire or post that fits through the ear, and hoops, where the stone is mounted on a hoop earring.

Types of Metals
Because sapphires are considered precious gemstones, sapphire earrings are most frequently made using precious metals like gold, white gold or sterling silver.

Where to Buy Sapphire Earrings
Sapphire earrings are popular and easy to find. Check fine jewelry stores, the jewelry counter at department stores and discount stores like TJ Maxx. Scour antique shops and malls for unique styles from decades ago. Shop online at reputable websites like

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Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings

More and more women are choosing colorful engagement rings. Some go for sapphire rings, some for emeralds, and some women are choosing the unique sparkle of yellow diamond engagement rings.

What are Yellow Diamonds?
Colorful diamonds result when impurities are trapped in the diamond while it forms. In the case of yellow diamonds, nitrogen was in the diamond while it formed, causing the yellow hue. Because of the prevalence of nitrogen, yellow diamonds are the most common of colored diamonds.

Types of Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings
Different types of yellow diamond engagement rings are available, and couples can choose rings where the yellow diamond is the primary stone, or rings that use yellow diamonds as accent stones. When the yellow diamond is the main stone, small round white diamonds or baguettes are frequently used to the sides of it. Alternatively, a couple can go with the traditional white diamond solitaire, with small yellow diamonds to the side. On the other hand, couples may choose to use channel-set white and yellow diamonds on the wedding band instead of the engagement ring.

Yellow Diamond Hardness
Regardless of color, diamonds are the hardest known gem, measuring a 10 on the mohs scale, a tool for comparing gem hardness. Because of this, diamonds are less prone to scratching, chipping and cracking than other gemstones. This makes yellow diamonds ideal for use in engagement rings, which may be worn every day of a woman’s married life.

Yellow Diamond Color
Some diamonds have just a touch of yellow color, while others are a strong banana yellow shade. Light yellow diamonds are sometimes referred to as Champagne Diamonds, while darker yellow diamonds are Canary Diamonds. All other properties being equal, darker yellow diamonds are generally more valuable than lighter.

Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring Metals
Yellow diamonds look stunning against white metals like platinum and white gold, particularly when combined with white diamonds. While the white metals are currently more fashionable, yellow gold and yellow diamonds can also make an attractive combination in an engagement ring.

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Cocktail Rings

Cocktail RingFlashy and flamboyant, cocktail rings have been around since the middle of the 20th century. They were originally designed as glamorous accessories to be worn with evening wear, at cocktail parties and other events calling for a bit of extra sparkle.

Cocktail rings are usually large, with one big stone in the center surrounded by smaller stones, or sometimes small stones galore grouped together. Settings in cocktail rings tend to be higher than in other rings, so that the gem stones stand out more from the finger. Settings and ring designs tend to be elaborate.

Cocktail rings usually serve as a focal point for an outfit, so other jewelry worn should be more subdued, so that it doesn’t clash with the ring. Also, if your outfit is flashy, carefully consider whether the cocktail ring complements it or competes with it.

Cocktail rings come in a range of prices, from inexpensive dime store baubles, to well-made costume jewelry, to rings set with precious gems, costing thousands of dollars.

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Amber Earrings

Amber in Amber Earrings
Amber jewelry is unique among gemstone jewelry in that amber was not originally a stone, but rather prehistoric sap.  Millions of years ago the sap seeped from the trees and over time was fossilized into the hardened stone we know today.  Although the term amber is synonymous with the soft yellow shade that the stone is known for, amber stones can actually be brown, black, green, blue or even reddish.

Uses of Amber
Throughout history people have used amber to make decorative objects, such as bottles, bowls, figurines and jewelry. There was even a room with walls made entirely from amber in the Catherine Palace of Russia’s Tsars.  It was lost during World War II and has never been recovered, though a replica was made so that today’s visitors can see how it looked.

Objects in Amber
Amber frequently contains objects that were trapped in the sap before it hardened. These might include things like pine needles, flowers, bees or flies.  These have been helpful in giving scientists and interested laymen a sort of window into the past, to see what kind of plant and insect life existed in the prehistoric times.  These objects are called inclusions, and amber with inclusions is frequently used to make amber earrings and other jewelry.

Amber Mining
Amber hails from spots all over the globe, including places like Burma, Italy, Romania and the Dominican Republic, where much of the amber with inclusions is found.  However, the lion’s share of the amber on the market today is mined in the Baltic Sea area. There was a time when lucky people would find this desirable substance washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea, but today it is mined.

Amber in Earrings
Jewelers preparing amber to be set in earrings will cut it to the desired size and shape and then polish it to give it a bit of sparkle and shine.  If there are inclusions, a good jeweler will make sure that they are displayed attractively before setting the stone. When buying amber earrings, look for pieces without bubbles in the amber, and buy only from reputable dealers since convincing glass and plastic imitations abound.

Amber Hardness and Care
On the Mohs scale, which is used to measure the hardness of gems, amber comes in at around 2 or 2.5.  Diamond, the hardest gem, is at 10, so that tells us that amber is one of the softest stones used in jewelry.  Because of this, owners of amber earrings should take special care not to scratch or otherwise damage the amber.  Keep the earrings away from harsh chemicals and detergents. Remove them before showering, and don’t spray hairspray, gel or other hair products on them.  Make sure that they’re stored in a soft cloth, so that the posts, prongs and stones of other jewelry in your jewelry box do not harm the amber.

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Ruby Rings

Whenever I go to a jewelry counter my eyes zoom past the amethyst rings, pearls and even diamonds, straight to the rubies. I’m drawn to them like a bull to a red cloth. And I’m not alone – ruby rings have long been prized for their beauty, dramatic red hue and value.

Why People Choose Ruby Rings
Many like to wear ruby rings because of the strongly colored stone, others wear them because they were born in July and ruby is their birthstone. Some like a variety of colorful gemstones to match with different outfits. Also, ruby is a durable stone, coming in at 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, so that it is less prone to chipping and breaking than many gems, which makes it ideal for ruby rings, which can knocked around quite a bit in the course of a day.

Types of Ruby Rings
There many, many choices of ruby rings available on the market. There are womens ruby rings and mens rings. Ruby engagement ring settings and ruby cocktail rings. Modern and antique ruby rings.

Ruby Ring Prices
While it is true that rubies are some of the most valuable gems around, a variety of factors determine the price of a ruby ring, and there are quite a few cheap ruby rings available. The color of the ruby affects value, with a rich red being the most costly, and lighter or dark reds less so. Clearer gems are more expensive than cloudy rubies or those with visible inclusions. If all other factors are equal, a larger ruby will cost more than a smaller one, and round rubies are generally more expensive than pear or marquise cuts.

The ring setting also affects the price of a ruby. The type of metal used for the setting is important, with platinum more valuable than gold, which is more valuable than silver. The size and style of the setting is key, so a thick, highly embellished setting will generally fetch a higher price than a thin, simple one.

Ruby Ring Quality
While rubies are one of the most valuable gems, the quality of the stone used in the ring can vary quite a bit. One factor of quality is the color. The best rubies will have a deep red color, but not too dark like a garnet, and not too light. Pink stones are usually considered pink sapphires rather than rubies. The clarity of the stone also determines quality, with clearer stones being more valuable than cloudy stones with visible inclusions.

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Properties of Ruby Rings

If you’re like me, you’ve chosen your ruby rings because they’re, well, pretty. But there’s much more to this stunning stone than mere looks. Let’s explore the substance behind the beauty.

Color and the Ruby
Can a ruby be any color other than red? Well, not really. The ruby is the red version of the mineral corundum, which is a form of aluminum oxide. Corundum can be colors ranging from clear to green to blue, but only red corundum is called ruby. All other colors of corundum are called sapphires, although in some parts of the world pink corundum is also known as ruby.

Colors can vary within the ruby family as well, and are a large determinant of value. The most valuable rubies are a rich, red color – not too light and not too dark. Many rubies have yellow or blue undertones, which add to their individuality.

Ruby Hardness
Rubies measure in at 9 on the MOHs gem hardness scale. In comparison, diamond comes in at 10 and tanzanite at around 6.5 to 7. The ruby’s high measurement on the scale tells us that it is a strong gem and is less likely to break or be scratched than gems that are lower on the scale. This is good news for those who like to wear ruby rings, since gems in rings tend to be knocked around more in the course of a day than gems in earrings or necklaces.

Size and Shape
Rubies come in sizes ranging from tiny to huge. You will see rubies in rings cut into a variety of shapes – round, marquise, pear – but oval is the most popular cut for rubies. Cabochon, or unfaceted, cuts are frequently used with lower quality rubies.

Ruby Clarity
In general, rubies tend to be less clear than other types of gem quality corundum, so it is important to examine the stone closely for inclusions that can be seen without a jeweler’s loupe. All other factors being equal, the clearer the ruby, the more valuable it is.

Where Rubies are Found
Gem quality rubies are mostly mined in Asia, in countries like Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but are also found in Tanzania, Africa and India.

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Garnet Rings

There are so many pretty garnet rings out there that you can add to your jewelry collection.  Garnets are typically a dark, dramatic shade of red, or burgundy, sometimes with strong brown or orange tones.  Garnets can be paired with other gems to create an attractive piece of jewelry. A garnet and diamond ring, for example, makes a particularly nice combination. Those who like ruby rings may want to consider garnets as an alternative, especially considering the price of garnets of comparable size and clarity is generally much lower than that of rubies.

Garnet Ring Colors

While the deep burgundy mentioned above is typically associated with garnet, garnet gem stones can actually be found in many different colors.  Not just red tones, but orange and brown, and even lavender, green, yellow and blue are all possible colors for garnet gems.

History of Garnet Rings

While garnets have been around for thousands of years, they were particularly fashionable during the 1800s.  Jewelry lovers of the Victorian age were quite taken with the garnet, and the stone was popular in the rings and pendants of the age.  To this day, antique shops specializing in Victorian jewelry tend to carry many garnet rings.  As the Victorian age passed into the 20th century, the garnet fell out of style.

Antique Garnet Rings

Antique jewelry lovers should have no problem finding an antique garnet ring. Because garnet jewelry was so popular during the 1800s, there are still many gold garnet rings available in antique shops, antique malls and websites specializing in antiques.

Discount Garnet Rings

Garnet is a less expensive stone, and bargain hunters can bring the price of garnet rings down even more by purchasing silver garnet rings rather than gold, or purchasing lower quality garnets.  Discount garnets are those that are smaller, have flaws, are a lighter color or are poorly cut so that they do not reflect light well and thus do not sparkle.  Be aware that the garnets in some discount garnet rings have been treated with dyes, wax or oils to enhance their appearance.

Garnet Birthstone Rings

Each month of the year one or more particular gemstones associated with it, which are the birthstones for anyone born in that month.  Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January.  Garnet rings make fantastic gifts for anyone born in January, not only as birthday gifts, but for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or just to say “I love you.”

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Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

An engagement is such a thrilling time in a couple’s life.  The decision to spend the rest of your lives together is a momentous one, and what better way to celebrate it than with a beautiful engagement ring?  The engagement ring is a symbol of the commitment that a couple had made to be married, and as such, should be chosen with care. There are so many options out there, from traditional diamond to amethyst engagement ring and ruby engagement rings.  For a slightly unusual and interesting piece of jewelry that’s sure to stand out, couples may want to consider cushion cut engagement rings.

Engagement Ring History

Engagement rings may have first been used over a thousand years ago, when ancient Romans sported iron rings to announce to the world that they were betrothed.  Centuries later, when royal weddings were arranged, it became the custom to present a diamond engagement ring as a sign of good faith.  As time has gone on, it has become a custom in the west for the future groom to present his fiancée with an engagement ring, traditionally a diamond ring, however not all cultures follow this custom.

Cushion Cut Gems

The cushion cut takes it’s name from the fact that it resembles a chair cushion: it is a rectangular or square gem with round corners. It was the cut of choice in the 19th century, but fell out favor.  Cushion cut gems tend to have larger facets than other cuts, to better take advantage of the play of light. Today the cushion cut looks has romantic antique look, and engaged couples are rediscovering it.

Caring for Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Not only is an engagement ring a sign of a marriage commitment, but it is often one of a woman’s most cherished, and valuable, and should be cared for carefully.  The care of cushion cut engagement rings depends largely on the type of stone used.  Most rings can be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water, but consult your jeweler for instructions for a more thorough cleaning.  Be careful to avoid harsh chemicals, such as chlorine, bleach and other household cleaning substances.  Consider removing the ring when performing activities that will involve knocking your hands and rings around.

Where to Find Cushion Cut Engagement Rings

Interested in buying cushion cut engagement rings? Check out your favorite jeweler, or go online to find jewelry websites dealing in cushion cut rings, remembering to buy only from reputable stores of course.

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