The Jewelry Box
Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning

Ah, spring cleaning in April — a traditional rite of passage into the very welcome warmer months of May and June. Historically, this refers to housecleaning, as well as outdoor items  — but it would be an excellent idea for you to consider adding your jewelry to the list. Of course, jewelry always looks best when it’s been cleaned, but there are several very good reasons why you...
March birthstone: Dual identity

March birthstone: Dual identity

Being somewhat of a traditionalist, it makes me a bit crazy when I see people attempting to promote the use of light blue topaz as a substitute for the March birthstone, which is aquamarine — although aquamarine is not the only birthstone for the month. Bloodstone (also known as heliotrope), which today is considered to...
Amazing amethyst

Amazing amethyst

Amethyst just happens to be the primary birthstone for the month of February, but without a doubt, this wonderful gemstone can make a great fashion statement when worn at any time of year. In fact, it is one of the most popular of all colored stones, and for good reason. Amethyst (a purple variety of quartz)...
New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

With the holidays now behind us, and as we begin a new year, this would be a great time to check some basics that will help protect your best interests in your jewelry, so here’s a short list of suggestions. If you have not already done so, a review of your current insurance would be a...
Holiday happiness

Holiday happiness

If you are considering having the purchase of fine jewelry play any part in your holiday happiness, this could actually be a good time to make a purchase, either as a gift, or for yourself — and there are several good reasons for this. You may have noticed that over the past year or so, the price of...
Terrific Topaz

Terrific Topaz

No, not the 1969 Alfred Hitchcock classic (although the movie was terrific); TOPAZ, the wonderful natural gemstone, which coincidentally, is the birthstone for the month of November. Actually, there are two “topaz” gemstones that are accepted as the birthstone: Genuine (precious) topaz, and ”topaz” citrine. The colors of these two stones may be very similar when they occur in light yellow to medium golden...
October Opals

October Opals

Of all the popular birthstones, opal (the October birthstone) is the only one with a “bad rap” —  the idea (based completely on superstition) that opals are bad luck, which is complete and utter nonsense. In fact, perhaps the first recorded use of opals was in ancient Rome, at which time opals were given only positive attributes. Although opals have...
"Sapphires of September"

“Sapphires of September”

Aside from being the September birthstone, sapphire is truly one of the most magnificent of all colored stones, and comes in a fantastic range of colors (not just blue), including just about every color you can think of, except one. (I’ll tell you at the end of the column. If you read the July column,...
Peridot perspective

Peridot perspective

Of all the modern-day birthstones, peridot, the August jewel, is possibly the most maligned, even though a good-sized, fine quality peridot, when properly cut, can rival most of the other birthstones (with the exception of diamond) in brilliance, and will rarely fail to elicit a very positive response from an observer. The pale lime/olive green color is seldom found in other natural stones, and indeed,...
Ruby, Will you be mine?

Ruby, Will you be mine?

As a civilization, we’ve been enamored of rubies far longer than we have of most earthly objects, and for literally thousands of years, ruby, when bestowed as a gift, has stood for romance and devotion. Because of the rich color, rubies have always held a fascination unparalleled by other colored gemstones. In fact, by Roman times, these gems were held in such...
Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom

Ah, June. Weddings, flowers, picnics — and pearls, the premier June birthstone. The most delicate of all the birthstones, their use is enduring, having been valued and enjoyed (in one form or another) for millennia. Originally, pearls were found only as natural, or “oriental,” pearls, formed exclusively by the chance entrapment of a grain of sand...
May Emeralds

May Emeralds

One of the most highly prized gemstones in the world is emerald, the May birthstone. Emerald (a member of the beryl family, and first cousin to aquamarine) is fairly hard (71/2 – 8 on the Mohs scale) as gemstones go, although by no means truly durable, and is subject to chipping (or breakage) with relative...