Did You Know Each Anniversary Has a Special Gemstone?

An anniversary is a joyous occasion, a time to honor and celebrate the love that you and your spouse share. Whether you’ve been married for years, or are just beginning your journey as newlyweds, there’s no better way to mark your time together than with breathtaking anniversary jewelry. Jewelry is romantic and everlasting, a gift that can be cherished long into the future.

Best of all, each anniversary is traditionally marked by an alluring colored gemstone or precious metal, so shopping for anniversary jewelry is that much easier! If you’re in need of a little inspiration before you shop, we’ve put together a quick list of anniversary jewelry gift ideas that are certain to make your sweetheart swoon.

First Anniversary

The traditional gift for first anniversaries is gold, while the modern alternative is green peridot. Gold is commonly used for jewelry and watchmaking, meaning your options will be plentiful if you decide to go the traditional route. A gold bangle bracelet or gold hoop earrings is a gift that she can wear every day or give him a gold link chain that he may never take off. Set the gemstone peridot into gold jewelry, and you’ve got both anniversary markers in one. This enchanting green gemstone can be found in all types of anniversary jewelry. Surprise her with an elegant pair of peridot stud earrings for a unique gift that she surely won’t expect.

Fifth Anniversary

To mark the 5th wedding anniversary, you can give the gift of sapphire or pink tourmaline. Both richly colored gemstones make a spectacular surprise for the loved one in your life. A pink tourmaline pendant is a vibrant accessory to compliment her favorite outfit. Maybe he’d love a deep, blue sapphire ring that makes him look and feel like royalty. If blue is not their best color, not to worry! Sapphires come in a spectrum of colors like warm, golden yellows and enchanting, rich purples, so there’s something for every taste!

Tenth Anniversary

10th anniversaries are traditionally celebrated with every woman’s favorite gemstone – the diamond! There is a wealth of options to choose from when it comes to diamond anniversary jewelry. Dazzle her with a delicate diamond pendant that she can wear with anything. Or perhaps a vintage diamond ring to symbolize your continued love and commitment to her. One or two diamond stud earrings make an elegant gift that any pierced man is sure to love. No matter what you choose, you can never go wrong with sparkling diamond anniversary jewelry.

Fifteenth Anniversary

Romantic red rubies are the traditional gemstone to mark 15th wedding anniversaries, while alexandrite is the modern alternative. If you’re celebrating 15 years with your sweetheart, these two popular gemstones make a superb gift. She’ll look ravishing in a ruby bracelet, or even a charming ruby brooch. If he’s a sharp dressed man, give him ruby cufflinks. Rubies look great on their own but are exceptionally beautiful when paired with diamonds.

Alexandrite, on the other hand, has unique color changing properties that make it especially attractive in anniversary jewelry. This exotic gemstone is known as the “emerald by day, ruby by night,” appearing to be a greenish blue color in daylight, and a deep red to purple in darker environments. If she loves pieces that are uncommon, she’ll be mesmerized by a piece of alexandrite anniversary jewelry.

Twentieth Anniversary

20 years of marriage is quite an accomplishment, and a wonderful excuse to spoil your loved one. The traditional gemstone for 20th anniversaries is emerald, and the contemporary alternative is yellow diamond. These vibrant, colorful gemstones look beautiful when they’re set in jewelry, and will surely brighten every day. A vintage emerald cocktail ring is an eye-catching statement piece that she’ll love to accessorize with, and his yellow diamond ring will be the envy of his friends. Or give her a special glow in a pair of brilliant yellow diamond earrings. What better way to show them just how much you’ve cherished the last 20 years than with splendid emerald and yellow diamond anniversary jewelry?

Thirtieth Anniversary

The 30th year of marriage is celebrated with pearls and is known as the pearl jubilee. Pearls are classic and timeless, a fitting representation of your love that has endured for so long. An elegant strand of pearls makes a charming gift, one that she’ll wear for many years to come. If she prefers something with a bit of sparkle, opt for a pair of pearl earrings with diamond accents.

Pearls may be traditionally worn by women, but famous men in music and film are now wearing pearls, from chokers to earrings. Pearls come in a variety of colors besides the conventional white. Golden pearls, for example, have a warm, champagne colored glow that looks especially glamorous. She’ll be itching to get dressed up and show off her new pearl anniversary jewelry!

Fiftieth Anniversary

Not many couples can boast that they’ve made it 50 years with their better half. Imagine all the tender moments you’ve undoubtedly shared with someone after so many years living as one. 50 years should be celebrated spectacularly, which is why it’s known as the golden jubilee. For your first gold anniversary, you may not have been able to afford anything extravagant. After half a century together, you’re able to splurge on something truly special for your loved one. A luxurious gold watch always makes a wonderful gift for the man of your life, and a gold diamond bracelet is one perfect gift to completely dazzle your woman.

Anniversary Jewelry in San Diego

Shopping for an upcoming anniversary with your loved one? We can help you to make it an event to remember! Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers is your go-to San Diego jewelry store for beautiful, one-of-a-kind anniversary jewelry. Our selection of gemstone jewelry is vast, so there’s no shortage of options when choosing the perfect gift!

Where Do Pink Sapphires Come From?

Rose gold filigree engagement ring centered with a pink sapphire.

Did you know that the gemstone sapphire comes in every color of the rainbow except red? (A red sapphire is called a ruby!) Everyone knows and loves serene blue sapphires, but pink sapphires are in a class of their own. Ranging from a soft rose to a vivid fuchsia, pink sapphires are eye-catching gems. Being in the mineral corundum family, the gem rates a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Because pink sapphire is tough and durable, it makes a great choice even for an engagement ring!

The best source for mining the finest pink sapphire is Myanmar, although it can be found as close to home as Montana. Other sources include Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Australia.

Pink sapphire is said to bring love and allow one to surrender for the greater good. Since all colors of sapphire are accepted as September birthstones, not just the blue ones, pink sapphire makes a unique gift for your September-born loved one.

The Rich Amethyst Birthstone for February

Those born in the month of February are fortunate enough to have the gemstone amethyst as their birthstone. The gemstone amethyst is popular for its vibrant color, rich history, and variety of mystical properties. It is also the gemstone associated with 6th wedding anniversaries. A type of the mineral quartz, amethysts come in shades ranging from deep purple to pale, pastel lavender. If you’re a February baby, or are shopping for one, read on to find out what makes amethyst jewelry so alluring.

Amethyst History

Amethysts have been treasured since the time of the ancient Greeks. In fact, the origin of this purple gemstone’s name is quite intriguing. The name amethyst is derived from the Greek word, “amethystos,” which translated means “remedy against drunkenness.” The Greeks associated this gorgeous purple gemstone with the wine god, Bacchus, because of its grape-like color. They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness, keeping the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Wine goblets were made from or decorated with amethyst to ward off the effects of their indulgence. But the Greeks weren’t the only ones to cherish this glittering gem.

Purple has always been considered a regal color, and because of this, amethysts have been seen in religious and royal jewelry. Buddhists believed amethyst powers helped to enhance meditation and used them to make prayer beads. Throughout the ages, powerful and rich monarchs used amethyst as a symbol of royalty. Amethyst was a personal favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia.

Today, some amethysts even decorate the British Crown Jewels. Until the 19th century, amethyst was considered a precious gemstone alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. However, a large deposit of amethyst was found in Brazil, lowering the gemstone’s financial value because of increased supply. Although amethyst is now considered a semi-precious gemstone, the discovery of Brazilian gems has allowed for large amethysts to be used more frequently in jewelry.

Rose and white gold pear-shaped amethyst and diamond stud earrings.
White gold drop necklace set with amethyst wrapped around branch.
Loose oval cut amethyst in jewelry storage box with whtie gold amethyst rings and necklace.

Mythical Properties

Admirers of amethyst prize the gemstone for its symbolism as well as its beauty. The February birthstone is associated with several different properties including peace, courage, balance, and inner strength. They are also thought to bring wisdom and protection to the wearer. Leonardo da Vinci once wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts. Due to its history, amethyst is often regarded as the “sobriety stone,” believed to help treat alcoholism and other addictions. Besides being worn as jewelry, amethyst geodes are also popular household and workplace decorations, promoting positive energy and calmness.

Caring for Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst is relatively easy to care for. It is ranked 7 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning it is a durable gemstone. This makes amethyst jewelry great for everyday wear. Just be careful to avoid prolonged exposure to heat and chemicals as this has the potential to cause the color of your amethyst to fade. Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner or steamer; however, the safest cleaning method is to use a soft brush with warm, soapy water.

Birthstone Jewelry in San Diego

Whether you need the perfect gift for a February-born loved one or a stunning surprise for your 6th wedding anniversary, you’ll find it at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Our radiant collection of amethyst jewelry ranges from delicate stud earrings to mesmerizing amethyst and diamond halo rings, and everything in between! This gorgeous gemstone is sure to make an awe-inspiring gift for anyone in your life, February-born or not!

How Does Gemstone Hardness Vary?

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different diamond engagement rings, but most are set with diamonds? Our customers often ask us whether they can get a specific gemstone set in their engagement ring. There’s nothing stopping you from using an emerald or an amethyst. However, they are not the most recommended gemstones by jewelers for us in an engagement ring.

If you’ve looked for an answer to this question you’ve likely come across something called the Mohs Scale of Hardness. And among the many specs and diagrams, you may have missed how this scale impacts which gemstones are the most suitable for an engagement ring. Fortunately, our experts are here to provide an answer as to why you’ll see mostly sapphire, ruby, or diamond engagement rings, while others like amethyst and aquamarine are less often used for that purpose.

What is the Mohs Scale?

Gemstones exhibit different degrees of “hardness” that range from the more fragile ones like pearls to the harder ones like diamonds. To compare the level of hardness, jewelers refer to the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The scale was first conceived by a German geologist named Friedrich Mohs back in 1812. He referred to it as the “scratchability scale.” The more resistant a gem is to being scratched, the higher its number on the list.

The highest-ranking gemstone on the list is diamond, ranking at number 10. This means that nothing can scratch it – except another diamond. On the other hand, the lowest entry on the list is talc. As you might have guessed, any other mineral on the list is able to scratch it. Similarly, a topaz ranking at a number 8 can scratch a quartz ranked number 7, but not vice versa.

Now, pay close attention to this part. The Mohs scale is an ordinal one, which means that even though the gemstones are linearly listed according to their hardness, the differences between these levels vary widely. For example, the list-topping diamond at number 10 is four times harder than corundum (rubies, sapphires) ranking at number 9. However, corundum is only two times harder than topaz that is ranked number 8. It’s generally recommended that gemstones used in rings that will be worn daily are at least a 7 on the Mohs scale since our hands are more likely to suffer impacts as we go through our busy days.

Loose princess cut diamond held by tweezer.
Jeweler holding round cut green gemstone with tweezers.

Hardness vs. Toughness & Stability

The hardness is only one of the factors that jewelers consider when recommending the gemstone for your unique engagement ring. Every gemstone has different properties and varying tolerances to environmental factors. When choosing which gemstone to use in engagement rings, experts look at three factors: hardness, toughness, and durability. We’ve already covered what hardness means for gemstones used in rings, so let’s talk a bit about toughness.

Toughness is determined by the strength of the atomic bonds of a particular gemstone and the way these bonds are formed. The toughness scale measures how much work is required to separate two surfaces along a specific crystallographic plane. This means that there are certain angles along which the uber-hard diamond is more vulnerable to breaking, and a solid blow along these angles can fracture it.

That’s why diamonds with thin girdles or exposed culets may be vulnerable to chipping or breaking. Therefore, diamond is not rated as the toughest gemstone; actually, jadeite jade is by far the toughest gemstone, extremely difficult to crack or break. Finally, gem stability determines how resistant the mineral is to outside factors such as temperature, chemicals, light, and humidity. So again, even though diamonds top the Mohs scale, they can be vulnerable to sudden or extreme temperature changes.

Gems like iolite, opal, or kunzite are also vulnerable to this “thermal shock,” as jewelers refer to it. Other gemstones are prone to damage due to different levels of humidity. While opals can crack due to low humidity, other gemstones like azurite can be damaged if exposed to water. Similarly, some gems like amethyst or topaz can lose color if exposed to intense light for long periods of time. Finally, some common chemicals can damage other gems: pearls can get damaged if exposed to something as mild as perfume.

How Do You Pick the Perfect Ring?

Knowing all these facts you now realize why it’s recommended to choose a durable gemstone for your engagement ring. It’s generally suggested that gemstones used in rings that will be worn daily are at least a 7 on the Mohs scale, since our hands are more likely to suffer impacts as we go through our busy days. And the higher on the scale, the better the gemstone will hold up over time. Therefore, jewelers don’t recommend using gems like amethyst or emerald in engagement rings, as these minerals can be more vulnerable to damage.

But don’t despair – if you adore a less durable gemstone, you can still have it set in your engagement ring! The expert jewelers at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers can help you choose a setting that will offer your gemstone as much protection as possible. You’ll just want to be more careful when wearing it, take extra care when cleaning and storing it, as well as remove it for swimming or hot tubbing.

What Makes a Black Diamond?

Be spooked by the intensity of a black diamond this year and enchant your jewelry collection with a gemstone rarity. Similar to white diamonds, black diamonds are crystallized carbon and are evaluated by the 4Cs: color, carat, cut, and clarity. Along with the appearance of a glossy surface, a black diamond is higher in density than a white diamond. This means that stones of the same carat weight have different relative measurements.

White gold drop earrings centered with black pear cut diamonds surrounded by white diamond haloes.
Yellow gold engagement ring centered with a pear cut black diamond and white diamonds in the band.
White gold pendant centered with a pear cut black diamond surrounded by a white diamond halo.

The mesmerizing dark color occurs from exposure to extremely high temperatures or dominating dark inclusions. Although shiny on the surface, black diamonds absorb light rather than refract it. They don’t exhibit the multi-colored sparkle for which white diamonds are known. Industry standard treatments ensure a uniformity of color in most black diamonds. Natural, untreated black diamonds are extremely rare and carry a remarkably hefty price tag. Looking for a truly rare gift to give in the new year?

Consider wrapping up this unique gemstone that is quickly rising in popularity. With artful conceptions from designers such as John Hardy, Sydney Evan and treasured vintage jewelry, the beauty of a black diamond can be found in a variety of pieces currently for sale in our San Diego showroom. Stop by our Old Town location soon and see what timeless pieces we have in store!

December Birthstones: Turquoise, Blue Zircon, & Tanzanite

December birthstones aren’t the colors you’d expect, as shopping during the month of December you’re bombarded with holiday hues like red and green. But when shopping for a December baby, you have an entirely different color palette to discover. Shopping for a loved one born during the month of December can be a little tricky since you have to find them a birthday gift in addition to a holiday gift. However, you can make searching for the perfect gift easier by purchasing beautiful December birthstone jewelry!

December babies are lucky enough to have not two, but three different birthstones: turquoise, blue zircon, and tanzanite. These glittering gemstones range from the oldest on Earth (zircon), to one of the first mined and used in jewelry (turquoise), to one of the most freshly discovered (tanzanite). All the December birthstones are available in a variety of shades ranging from blue to violet, so you’re sure to find something to entice your loved one. Here are some fascinating details about these dazzling December birthstones to help you decide!

Woman wearing turquoise jewelry.

Turquoise

Revered since ancient times, turquoise is known for its distinct color, which ranges from bright robin’s egg to pastel blue to a bluish green. Turquoise might lack the sparkle and clarity of transparent colored gemstones, but what it lacks in brilliance, it makes up for in soul-satisfying color. The December birthstone has been highly regarded for thousands of years by cultures like the Native Americans, Aztecs, and the ancient Egyptians.

Throughout its history, people have attributed special powers to turquoise. Turquoise is thought to offer safety from misfortune and ward off ill will. Turquoise is also thought to protect its wearer from harm while bringing good luck and longevity. In lighter shades, turquoise energy is believed to promote inner harmony and tranquility. Darker, richer tones are alleged to counter intolerance and allow us to adapt to new ideas and environments.

The word turquoise means “stone from Turkey” since the gemstone was brought from Turkey to Western Europe. Turquoise is a relatively soft gemstone, which makes it ideal for carving unique pieces of jewelry. If you know a December baby who loves bold, statement accessories, they are sure to love turquoise jewelry.

No matter what kind of turquoise jewelry you decide to gift your December loved one, it’s important to they know to take special care of it. High temperatures can damage its surface or cause discoloration. Exposure to chemicals, cosmetics, and even the natural oils in skin can alter its color. Turquoise should always be cleaned with warm soapy water, never in steam or ultrasonic cleaners.

Loose cut blue zircon and white gold ring centered with blue zircon on a white table.

Blue Zircon

Zircon is the oldest natural mineral on Earth, dating back 4.4 billion years. Zircon can be found in a myriad of colors, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red, and even clear. Heat treatment is commonly used to intensify these beautiful colors. During the Middle Ages, people believed zircon could stimulate sound sleep, ward off evil, and deliver prosperity and wisdom.

Today, zircon is considered a grounding stone that heightens confidence and compassion. With this gemstone, you have plenty of beautiful color options. While blue zircon is a common December birthstone, you can certainly purchase other colors to match your December-born loved one’s favorite hue. That way, you know you’re buying a can’t-miss gift!

As with turquoise, zircon requires special care. Zircon tends to be brittle, so it’s best worn and stored in a manner that avoids hard rubbing against other materials. Since most zircon is heat treated, there’s a possibility it may revert to its original color if exposed to high heat and bright light for prolonged periods of time. Warm, soapy water is best for cleaning zircon. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners should not be used for this December birthstone.

White gold tennis necklace set with tanzanite.

Tanzanite

Unlike most gemstones that have been beloved for centuries, tanzanite’s history is relatively modern. Discovered in 1967, tanzanite is an exquisite blue-to-purple variety of the mineral zoisite and can only be found in a single region of the world. This gorgeous blue December birthstone was names after its exclusive origin in Tanzania. Tiffany & Co. was the first company to market blue zoisite as tanzanite, and the name seems to have stuck.

Tanzanite has become one of the most popular blue gemstones, second only to sapphire. The captivating color of tanzanite ranges from lush blue to vibrant violet to deep, rich purple. Tanzanite is a very unusual gemstone. One of the most alluring aspects of tanzanite is its pleochroic quality. This means tanzanite can reveal different colors when viewed from various directions. Between its exotic color and scarce supple, tanzanite is treasured by many and makes an excellent December birthstone gift.

While tanzanite can be worn in all kinds of jewelry, proper discretion should still be taken against rough wearing or hard blows. Tanzanite is stable under normal wearing conditions – it’s resistant to the effects of heat, light, and common chemicals. However, it should still not be overly exposed. Warm, soapy water is the best way to clean tanzanite. It is not recommended for ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

No matter which December birthstone you think is best suited for your loved-one, they are sure to feel simply stunning wearing jewelry with such significance and symbolism. We’re bound to have what you’re looking for in our luxurious collection. Visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers on San Diego Avenue and explore our stunning turquoise, blue zircon, and tanzanite offerings!

A Diamond’s Journey to Fine Jewelry

Have you ever wondered how diamonds are formed and what the mining process looks like? Diamonds have a long way to go, starting with their formation in the Earth, mining, and cutting to reaching diamond wholesale brokers and jewelry stores in San Diego or elsewhere. Read on to find out how diamonds travel from beneath the ground to your jewelry box.

How Diamonds Are Formed

For a diamond to form in the ground, extreme temperatures and pressure are necessary. More specifically, the temperature has to be between 1700 and 2400 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pressure has to be between 650k and 870k pounds per square inch. This critical environment is necessary not only for diamond formation but also diamond stability. According to geologists, commercial diamond deposits contain diamonds that are formed in the Earth’s mantle, 90-120 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Once formed, these diamonds are believed to be brought to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. Diamond prospectors are on the lookout for kimberlite and lamproite pipes formed during these eruptions.

Main Diamond Miners and Producers

Originally, the majority of the world’s diamonds came from South Africa, India, Brazil, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Congo. Nowadays, the majority of mines are located in Russia and Botswana. The biggest diamond miners of today are De Beers, ALROSA, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Debswana Diamond Company Ltd., and Dominion Diamond Corporation. Around 50% of all diamonds are mined either directly from the ground, the mines or kimberlite and lamproite pipes, while around 48% is mined from riverbanks and other marine environments. Miners have to sift 200-250 tons of Earth on average to mine 1 carat of diamonds.

Rough uncut diamond on black rocks.

Sorting the Diamonds

When they are mined, diamonds are far from polished jewelry-grade gemstones; instead, they are still in their crystal form. Before they are sold, they have to be sorted. The majority of diamonds are sorted by DeBeers (around 45%), whereas the rest are sorted in Mumbai, Antwerp, and Johannesburg. There are three categories into which a rough diamond can be sorted.

Gem-Quality Diamonds

Around 20% of mined diamonds are sorted into the gem-quality category. These are composed of at least 99.95% carbon. As the name suggests, they are used for jewelry making. They are valued for their color and clarity, whereas shape is not so relevant at this point.

Industrial-Quality Diamonds

Around 80% of the world’s mined diamonds fall under this category. They are mostly yellow in color as yellow diamonds are the hardest diamonds. Industrial diamonds can be classified either according to their carat weight or the number of points. They are used in the automotive, aviation, and marine industries for making tools for drilling or as abrasives.

Other Diamonds

Diamonds that are not sorted into the gem or industrial categories appear in very small percentages. They are typically crushed and later used as diamond dust for diamonds polishing.

Tweezers holding loose round cut diamond.

Diamond Cutting and Grading

After they are sorted, gem-quality diamonds are cut into the desired shape. Cut is the most important feature of a diamond, so this process is extremely important. Most diamonds are cut in Belgium, Israel, India, South Africa, Russia, and Canada. The cutting process can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, with some large diamonds event taking years to cut. For example, the Pink Star diamond, the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid pink diamond ever graded by GIA, took two years of cutting and polishing to be honed into the desired oval shape.

Reaching the Consumer

Once the diamonds are cut and polished, they are ready to be sold to the manufacturers, dealers, retailers, or collectors. At this stage, gem-quality diamonds are ready to be set into jewelry. On average, it takes around 5 months for a diamond to reach the consumer after it has been sorted.

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers offers premier-quality diamond jewelry, most notably exquisite new and vintage diamond engagement rings. Stop by our luxurious showroom on San Diego Avenue and check out our collection of dazzling diamond jewelry!

What Makes Colored Diamond Jewelry So Unique?

Diamonds come in as many hues and intensities as nature can possibly create. The most common diamond is the white, or colorless, diamond. However, this “white” color ranges from completely colorless to actually showing a light tint throughout the body of the diamond. The light coloring is most commonly shades or yellow, and sometimes shades of brown.

These color distinctions are very subtle and are often indistinguishable to the untrained eye, but they can make a big difference in diamond quality and price. Diamond color is graded on a scale from D to Z, from absolutely no hint of color to a visible tint of color throughout the body of the stone. Diamonds graded from D to F are considered colorless; G to J is considered near colorless; K to M is faint color; N to R is very light color; and S to Z is light color. The less color in the diamond, the whiter the diamond appears.

The further down the scale (from N to Z), the more yellow or brown the diamond appears. Diamonds actually occur in all shades of the rainbow, not just white. Naturally colored diamonds include brown, red, pink, gray, blue, green, violet, purple, orange, yellow, and black. When yellow and brown diamonds are an intensely saturated color, they are referred to as “fancy” colored diamonds and are most valuable.

Colored diamonds are created in the same fashion as colorless diamonds, but more chemistry is involved. When foreign materials other than carbon are present during a diamond’s crystallization process, it alters the chemical development, thus changing the color of the diamond. The result is a beautiful, naturally colored diamond.

How Do Diamonds Get Their Natural Color?

When different trace minerals and elements are trapped during the crystallization process the result is the creation of different hues.

Rose gold engagement ring centered with a pink diamond surrounded by a white diamond halo and white diamonds in the band.

Brown, Red, and Pink Diamonds

While still buried deep within the Earth’s core, intense pressure and heat causes distortions in the crystal lattice during the diamond’s voyage to the surface. This change in the electron structure absorbs green light, which reflects a pinkish hue and produces brown, red, and pink diamonds.

Gray and Blue Diamonds

When boron is present during the chemical process it bonds to the carbon in the crystal structure. This bonding causes the absorption of red, yellow, and green areas of the color spectrum and reflects a bluish/grayish color.

Green Diamonds

Right before a diamond is about to burst through the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust, it absorbs naturally occurring radiation. This radiation absorbs red and yellow light, which creates a green reflection.

White gold engagement ring centered with a green diamond and white diamonds in the band.

Violet and Purple Diamonds

There are a few different theories about how these diamonds get their color. The cause of color is due to a type of crystal distortion; however, it is also believed the presence of hydrogen is a key factor.

Orange and Yellow Diamonds

Orange and yellow hues are attributed to one specific element – nitrogen. Nitrogen atoms will bond in such a way that blue light is absorbed, producing a yellow reflection. The absorption of both blue and yellow spectrums results in an orange reflection.

Black Diamonds

Contrary to all the above colors, a black diamond’s color is not related to trace elements. Small inclusions of graphite and iron clusters create this color, making the diamond appear opaque.

Here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, we have a vast array of loose and mounted diamonds to choose from. Whether you’re looking for the traditional “white” diamond or a unique, natural color, stop by our jewelry store on San Diego Avenue to find your favorite diamond. Our expert salespeople will guide you to make the very best decision for your needs.

Celebrate July Birthdays with Rubies!

Antique yellow gold filigree earrings, ring, and necklace set with rubies.

You’re probably burned out from hanging out at the beach, grilling the day away, and watching a magnificent firework show lighting up the sky, but the doesn’t mean you get to slack on giving incredible birthday gifts. Putting some thought and effort into purchasing a birthday gift makes it that much more special. And that’s exactly why birthstone jewelry always makes an exceptional birthday gift. Ruby is the July birthstone, and we’re here to show you some of the rosiest rubies to gift your friend or loved one born in this glorious summer month.

Rubies have been one of the most valued gemstones for thousands of years, representing wealth, wisdom, passion, and love. Regardless of the gift you choose, its underlying message will show just how much you care.

A dainty ruby and diamond flower ring makes a beautiful gift. The combination of rubies and diamonds is truly remarkable. The brilliant red ruby give major summer vibes while the diamond halo displays the perfect amount of sparkle and shine. This is a fantastic birthday gift for any July baby who adores all things nature inspired.

Dangle earrings are very trendy right now, so grabbing these for your fashion-forward friend is a great idea. These earrings are versatile so whether she’s trying to keep it casual or dressing up for a night out, they will look absolutely beautiful. It’s essential for every girl to have a pair of earrings that make it easy to dress up or dress down, so you know she’ll really appreciate these.

Brooches are making a comeback! Gone are the days when brooches were only worn by little old ladies in their Sunday best. Now, there are so many different creative ways to wear a brooch! This ruby brooch looks gorgeous securely pinned to the lapel of a blazer, but our favorite way to wear it is as a pendant. All you have to do is clasp the pin shut, slip a chain through and voilà! It’s now a stunning ruby flower pendant! This is the perfect July birthstone gift for anyone who enjoys playing around with creative expression.

Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes something sweet and simple can be more meaningful than something grand and extravagant. This ruby and diamond halo pendant is the perfect July birthstone gift for anyone who keeps her jewelry to a chic whisper. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, and it’s a charming tribute to their summer birthday.

If you’re looking for something truly breathtaking, this is the piece. Doesn’t the vivid red tone of the rubies paired with the sparkle of the diamonds completely mesmerize you? Tennis bracelets are classic and exquisite, making this a fantastic July birthstone gift for any lady who is all about class and elegance. As soon as she opens the box, this is sure to become her new favorite piece of jewelry.

If none of these gorgeous gift ideas seem right for the special person you’re shopping for, don’t be discouraged! Visit our jewelry store on San Diego Avenue to browse hundreds of other options! Our vast collection is brimming with new, designer, and vintage ruby and colored gemstone jewelry. Let us help you select something spectacular to stun your July-born loved one.

Moonstone is One of June’s Birthstones!

For most months you only get one birthstone, however those lucky enough to be born in June get three different birthstones! They are pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. If you’re a June baby or are simply shopping for one, you have a variety of choices when it comes to birthstone jewelry.

Each gemstone holds different meanings and symbolism. Not only is gifting birthstone jewelry a beautiful gesture, but it can also hold a deeper meaning which gives more sentimentality to the gift. Let’s dive into how each of June’s birthstones differ.

Moonstone: June's Mystical Birthstone

Last, but most certainly not least, is the moonstone. Ancient Romans believed moonstone was frozen moonlight. Pliny, the Roman historian, wrote that moonstone’s appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. According to Hindu mythology, this gemstone was created by solidified moonbeams. Now, we know moonstone isn’t actually from the moon. But what is it exactly?

Moonstone is a type of mineral feldspar, usually with a bluish tone. However, it can also be found in colors such as pink, yellow, green, and gray. The distinguishing characteristic of the moonstone is its adularescence, which is the light that appears to billow across the stone. This effect is reminiscent of a shimmering full moon peeking through a sky full of milky white clouds.

This June birthstone is perfect for any June-born with a love of all things cosmic and celestial. As its name suggests, moonstone is associated with lunar mystery and magic. In different lighting and at different angles, it truly does look like a little piece of the moon.

This shimmering gemstone is believed to have calming and balancing energy. Moonstone is also believed to be a “dream stone,” used to treat insomnia and sleepwalking, encourage sound sleep, and promote vivid dreams.

If you’re interested in owning or gifting pearl, alexandrite, or moonstone jewelry for a June birthday, visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. You’ll always find something spectacular in our vast collection of beautiful fine jewelry!

On the other hand, if you already own pearl, alexandrite, or moonstone jewelry that you need to get appraised for insurance or estate purposes, don’t hesitate to contact the San Diego Gemological Laboratory! Our independent appraiser, Elliot Grunwald, is a Graduate Gemologist from GIA.

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