Thursday, December 22, 2005

Stones for the Month


A birthstone is a gift of a precious material (jewelry, mainly gemstones; themselves traditionally associated with various qualities) that symbolizes the month of birth (in the Gregorian Calendar) of the birthday boy or girl. It is sometimes also called birthday stone.

There have been many different sets of birthstones used throughout history and in different cultures, but in 1912 the American national association of jewelers, Jewelers of America, officially adopted the following list; it is currently the most widely used list in the United States and many other places, including Australia (a jeweler's 'modern' list states they are selected for bright colors) and Thailand:

  • January: garnet
  • February: amethyst
  • March: aquamarine or bloodstone
  • April: diamond
  • May: emerald
  • June: pearl or moonstone or alexandrite
  • July: ruby
  • August: peridot or sardonyx and sapphire
  • September: sapphire
  • October: opal or tourmaline
  • November: topaz (any non-blue topaz)
  • December: turquoise or lapis lazuli or zircon or blue topaz or Tanzanite

Zodiac stones

This is an astrologic version of the birthstones, using zodiac signs in stead of calendar months of birth, and one completely different stone (the only link) :

  • Aquarius : Amethyst and moonstone
  • Pisces : Diamond
  • Aries : Diamond
  • Taurus : Sapphire
  • Gemini : Spinel
  • Cancer : Emerald
  • Leo : Ruby
  • Virgo : Opal
  • Libra : Peridot
  • Scorpio : Aquamarine
  • Sagittarius : Topaz
  • Capricorn : Garnet

Birthday stones by the week

While this word has also been used as synonym of Birth stone (see above), there is a separate list of assignment according to the day of the week of the recipient's birth:

  • Monday : Pearl
  • Tuesday : Garnet
  • Wednesday : Cat's eye
  • Thursday : Emerald
  • Friday : Topaz
  • Saturday : Sapphire
  • Sunday : Ruby

More about these stones

I am updating the information on the various stones mentioned above...
Context of interest about each stone will be mentioned in the following sub-headings...

  1. History of the stone and various beliefs and significance of the stone
  2. Value and worth of each stone as compared with other stones
  3. purchase and pricing tips
  4. Technical details about the material and composition
  5. Interesting design and setting recommendations

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kinds of Stone Settings

What is a setting?

Why are stones set?


The factors that affect the kinds of settings that we use for different jewelry designs are:
  1. Design or the look… the visual appeal
  2. Kind of stone eg Emerald vs Diamond vs Peridot
  3. Use of the product. For example a piece being worn for everyday work would not be adorned with precious stones in invisible set.
  4. Shape of stone
  5. Cost of setting and damage expected
  6. Maximum light penetration or reflection for that particular stone eg Kundan vs open setting

There are some very commonly known stone settings that we use to set various kinds of stones, which are mentioned below. To read about these please click on individual links...
  1. Prong Setting
  2. Bezel Setting
  3. Flush Setting
  4. Channel Setting
  5. Pave Setting
  6. Invisible Setting
  7. Combination Settings
  8. Some unusual Settings

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Why use gold???

So you are thinking of using Silver !!!

Silver being less expensive than gold, sounds like a more feasible option to use instead of white gold. It values not only lesser in dollars per ounce but is also lighter in weight (mass) and hence lesser quantity will be used to create the same piece when compared to gold. (A 10 gm gold bangle will look bigger when made in 10 gms of silver). Usually in the jewelry market we use sterling silver for all purposes of strength and durability.

However, cost sometimes can truly buy quality. In this case, durability at least!!! Silver tarnishes fairly easily when exposed to the atmosphere due to reaction with sulfur present in minute traces in the air. The brownish tint caused by this reaction can be removed by cleaning with regular silver polish available in the market, however it is a repetitive activity. Also such frequent cleaning of the delicate product may render the stones loose from their setting. Silver is a softer metal than gold thus the prongs built in silver to hold the precious stones as well as the links can easily get damaged. Silver gets scratched easily as well.

Most of all, silver is white and only a temporary gold polish can give it the look of yellow present naturally in gold.

But for those who want the benefit of wearing jewelry crafted beautifully in good looking stones without living with the burden of the extreme expense accompanied, silver is a beautiful metal!!!

Why not Platinum you wonder !!!

Platinum is more durable than gold and is known for its hardness and it does not get scratched as easy. Thus very fine details (and faults) on the metal can be easily observed in platinum. It sometimes even looks whiter than gold when rhodium polished. Stones set in platinum are fairly safe from falling off because the prongs are relatively stronger and resist bending braking or wearing out. In short platinum is a more practical metal than gold.

It is however a very heavy metal and much more expensive than gold as well. (A 10 gms platinum bangle will look much smaller than a 10 gm gold bangle). The labor costs involved in handcrafting platinum jewelry is way more than the cost of making gold jewelry. The machinery and equipment are also more expensive for platinum jewelry because of more frequent wear and tear and harder quality which is a hidden cost usually involved in manufacturing platinum jewelry.

In short platinum is more practical metal to make jewelry in for everyday wear such as in wedding bands and engagement rings but for elaborate jewelry such as this one which is not worn so frequently as daily, it may prove to be an impractical expense.

Jewelry however is known to be an aspirational expense and I would not dissuade a person from indulging into platinum for the same reason as all of us love to buy diamonds!!!

The Rain Dance

Peacock dancing in the rain

What is it that is so special about the monsoons in India...
The feeling of joy that showers down and back on those longing faces parched with the summer heat. The relief from each moment spent under the smoldering sun with that one anticipation of the cool sounds of water splashing all around. This joy that the monsoons bring to us is reflected most beautifully in the Dance of the Mayur... the Peacock.
I have assimilated my feelings in this one piece of jewelry. The diamonds in all their sparkle are as beautiful as the rain drops. The form is completely adapted from the plumage of a Peacock dancing in the monsoon. Sapphire full of its rich blue gives a hint of his beauty merging perfectly in that wondrous environment.

Materials used:
Diamonds and sapphire set in 18K Yellow gold

This design is completely molded in 18K Gold. I have used yellow gold as the base for the entire product with highlights of white rhodium polish on the prongs holding the diamonds. This makes the Diamonds look Bigger and whiter

Fine quality round brilliant diamonds varying from 0.02ctw to 0.20ctw(image placeholder) is used. The design is subtly given color by setting drop shaped Sapphire in rich velvety color.

Are you considering using alternate metal or stone options?

Some of the other options you can consider for this design in metal can be Silver, Platinum or several other not-so-precious metals such as Stainless steel, Titanium etc. Any of the above mentioned metals can be polished or plated with a yellow metal (may or may not be gold) if desired. Click here to read more.

Diamonds can be replaced by "diamond look alikes" … or can they??? You want to try using some other blue? What about another range of colors for this design lets say Ruby or emerald or aquamarine?

Gold weight
Diamond weight
Sapphire weight
Making charges
Other charges

Surbhi S Gupta