Friday, 28 July 2017

24 Beautiful Garnet Rings

The History of the Garnet Gemstone

The word Garnet comes from the Latin word meaning pomegranate and has been used in jewellery and artwork for many thousands of years. Garnet rings have been found in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman ruins. Ancient Jewish text, the Talmud even believe that a garnet gemstone provided the only light on Noah’s ark!

In the late 1960’s the discovery of a bright green Grossular garnet in East Africa created waves in the jewellery industry. The green garnet was named “Tsavorite” by the infamous Tiffany’s jewellery firm. Then again in the 1980’s a fiery orange variety of spessartite garnet was discovered on the Angola-Namibian border. These radiant colours brought about a major development in bringing the garnet to the forefront of the exciting gemstones.

Red Hessonite Garnet Ring
Raw Garnet Ring
Garnet and Silver Ring
Garnet Ring-14 ct White Gold
Antique Victorian Almandine Garnet Ring
Vintage Bohemian Garnet Ring Vermeil on Sterling Silver

Identifying a Garnet

A Garnet can be identified by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness, refractive index, colour and cubic crystal structure. However, the quickest way to identify garnet is with the use of strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrations of iron and/or manganese. 

Garnet Characteristics

Types of Garnet

Almandine - also known as precious garnet, this type of garnet is a deep transparent red colour. Most of the garnet rings available are made with almandine.
Demantoid - a type of Andradite garnet, this type of gemstone comes in shades of green; demantoid also has an extremely high degree of brilliance that is often higher than that of a diamond. 
Grossular - also known as hessonite, grossular garnet comes in various shades of green. 
Mali Garnet - a cross between grossular and almandine, mali gemstones are in colours ranging from yellow, green-yellow, yellow-brown, and brown. 
Pyrope - this type of garnet comes in shades of red ranging from deep blood red to violet red, black-red, a rare blue color, and some colour changing varieties.
Rhodolite - a violet red variety of Pyrope garnet, treasured for its soft unique colour.
Spessartine - a type of garnet which comes in colours ranging from orange yellow to violet red. 
Tsavorite - a highly valuable form of grossular garnet which comes in a distinctive green shade. 
Uvarovite - a very rare and valuable bright green garnet. 

Colours of the Garnet

Garnet is available in a plethora of colours, such as yellow, orange, peach, green, red, purple, blue, brown and pink. Blue being the rarest and red the most common occurring colour. Garnets also exhibit colour changing qualities depending on whether they are viewed in incandescent or natural light. The rarest colour change garnet appears blue in daylight, and changes to purplish-red under torch light. Other colour change garnets are green, beige, brown or grey in daylight, and change to reddish or purplish-pink under incandescent light. The most important quality factor is the colour of a Garnet.

Clarity and luster

Garnet have a glasslike and clear luster. The rare green Demantoid garnet has a high refractive index and is prized for its brilliance and diamond-like luster. Garnets are generally clean stones; however, almandine garnets sometimes have asbestos fibre inclusions. These inclusions cause a star effect, which is treasured due to its rarity. Additionally, some orange garnet, such as spessartite and hessonite tends to exhibit eye-visible inclusions. The Russian demantoid garnet is highly for its distinctive, horsetail-like inclusions.

Cut, shape and treatment

Garnets are extremely adaptable and can be cut into any fashion and shape. Red garnet tends to be cut into standard shapes, whereas valuable garnets that are not often found in large sizes, such as tsavorite and demantoid, are cut into shapes that retain the most carat weight. A Garnet is also never artificially enhanced in any way.

Interesting facts about the Garnet

If you are lucky enough to be born in January then Garnet is your birthstone. Garnet gemstones have the greatest variety of colour than any other mineral and as their chemical composition varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than others. Garnets can be found all over the work, from Greece, India, Russia and even Tanzania! Garnet gems are also extremely durable, remnants for garnet jewellery can even be traced back to the Bronze ages. Legend has it that the Garnet can bring peace, prosperity and good health to the home. It is sometimes even referred to as the “Gem of Faith” and that to those that wear it and do good, more good will come.

The Garnet was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battel and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised it’s healing powers. The garnet is also meant to symbolise deep and lasting friendships, hence why a garnet is also given to someone whose friendship is deeply valued.

The Victorians are well known for making the Garnet popular and some of the loveliest garnet jewellery from the Victorian era mimics it’s pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece. In today’s modern times the Garnet can be found in a range of jewellery pieces and styles, from stunning rings to unique earrings. Since the garnet comes in a variety of colours, there is sure to be a Garnet piece that will be perfect for you.

Garnet Engagement Rings

Although almost a dozen varieties of garnet exist, mainly almandine, rhodolite or the highly valued tsavorite garnet are used in engagement rings. Engagement rings are naturally available in a lovely selection of delightful colours. As the Garnet is pretty strong it is perfect for every day wear like engagement and wedding rings. The gemstone is also quite affordable and beautiful to look at. A Garnet engagement rings is a perfect alternative to common ruby or diamond rings if you are looking for something that is a bit more unique.
The Garnet symbolises fire, passion and love which is very appropriate for an engagement ring! This year’s most popular garnet shapes for engagement rings include the cushion and emerald cut garnet gemstones. With so many different types and styles of garnet engagement rings and wedding bands available, couples should take their time to learn about the varieties that appeal to them to be sure they are buying an authentic stone for the right price.

Ring buying tips

Whether you are celebrating a 2nd wedding anniversary, after a bit of a different engagement ring or to recognise the wearer’s January birthday, a Garnet ring will be perfect for any occasion! Always ensure that you purchase your ring from a reputable jeweller that is licensed. Look how the gem reacts under light, both natural and synthetic and check for an intense, saturated colour to ensure that your gem is excellent quality. Remember that Garnets commonly come in a wide spectrum of reds, but can also be green, pink, colourless or blue. The price of the piece will likely increase the rare the colour, like blue or green.  
Garnets can also be judged along some of the parameters as diamonds in terms of clarity and cut affecting the beauty and value of the stone. Some Garnets like the Dermatoid and Hessonite garnets have inclusions that are part of the beauty of the overall stone. So you may discover that you like the unique look these inclusion bring to the piece. Remember to try and find a cut that spreads light evenly over the surface of the gemstone as this will help to bring out the overall beauty and colour of the garnet.

Look out for garnets that have been colour dyed or heat treated to improve their colour as these types of treatments on garnets are highly unstable and dramatically decrease the value of the stones. To ensure that you are purchasing a quality garnet with excellent properties, stick with reputable jewellers and boutiques who specialise in Garnet jewellery.

And remember that because garnet has been such a popular jewellery gemstone for hundreds of years, there are plenty of antique, estate and vintage garnet rings available. They should however always come with a certificate of authentication and/or an appraisal.

Due to the Garnet’s durability and richness of colour, you will not only have a stunning piece of jewellery but also an investment that will stand the test of time.

Caring for your Garnet ring

Depending on the type of garnet stone you have, will depend on the hardness of your gem and how easily it is susceptible to scratches. Although, Garnets have fair to good toughness, making them durable enough for all jewellery styles as long as they are treated with proper care. To care for your Garnet properly follow these handy tips:
Garnets should never be subjected to any hard blows or rough wear. Maybe take your jewellery off while doing the gardening!
Garnets are stable to light and chemicals, but they can however get damaged by hydrofluoric acid.
Cleaning your gem with warm soapy water is always the safest. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe expect for stones that have fractures and steam is not recommended.
If your garnet is fractured it can rarely be treated by fracture filling and should only be cleaned using warm soapy water.
Caring for your Garnet properly is highly important ensuring that your gem remains in excellent condition


Friday, 21 July 2017

22 Gorgeous Morganite Engagement Rings

Picking the perfect engagement ring is no small task and can be quite stressful, given the significance that an engagement ring plays. You’ll no doubt want the ideal ring for your future spouse, one that matches her personality and complements her style. Picking something traditional, such as a diamond ring is relatively straightforward, but it might not be the best choice for you. If you’re soon to be fiancĂ© is in any way unconventional, adventurous or would appreciate something a bit different, then you have a lot more options available to you and the complexity of the task has increased. A potential solution to the problem of a finding a ‘one of a kind’ ring could take the form of a Morganite Engagement Ring. The subtle look and remarkable quality of morganite gemstones means they are particularly well suited for an engagement ring, and make for a beautiful alternative to the more traditional diamond.














Morganite Engagement Ring on Twisted 18K White Gold Band, Solitaire, Promise Ring

Morganite Engagement Ring on Twisted 18K White Gold Band - Buy it from Etsy

Peach Pink Morganite Rose Gold Ring, Pear Cut Tulip Morganite Engagement Ring in Solid Rose Gold

Peach Pink Morganite Rose Gold Ring, Pear Cut Tulip Morganite Engagement Ring in Solid Rose Gold - Buy it from Etsy


MORGANITE & DIAMOND Gold Ring - Buy it from Etsy

Morganite Engagement Ring Rose Gold Wedding Women Bridal Set Pink Birthday Diamond Cushion Cut Halo Anniversary Gifts For Her Graduation

Morganite Engagement Ring Rose Gold - Buy it from Etsy

Morganite engagement ring with diamond Solid 14k Rose gold

Morganite engagement ring with diamond Solid 14k Rose gold - Buy it from Etsy

3ct cushion cut morganite engagement ring set, 2pcs bridal ring set, 14k rose gold

Three Carat Morganite Engagement Ring and Wedding Ring Set - Buy it from Etsy

Halo Diamond and Morganite Engagement Ring in 14k Rose Gold

Halo Diamond and Morganite Engagement Ring in 14k Rose Gold - Buy it from Etsy

 Morganite Rose Gold Ring

Morganite Rose Gold Ring - Buy it from Etsy

Tear Drop Morganite Engagement Ring Set Solid 14k Rose Gold

Tear Drop Morganite Engagement Ring Set Solid 14k Rose Gold - Buy it from Etsy

Morganite engagement ring set, white gold

White Gold Morganite Engagement Ring Set - Buy it from Etsy

Morganite is still relatively rare when it comes to engagement rings, so the ring could be unique within your social circle and would be an excellent talking piece if you do choose to select a stunning morganite gemstone and setting, the gem is like no other. Additionally, morganite is used in some forms of gem therapy, which adds an intriguing dimension to the stones qualities.

Morganite is a rare type of gemstone, which has a unique light pink hue, it’s widely considered to be the sister stone to both aquamarine and emeralds. Until quite recently, morganite was more commonly known as pink beryl. It wasn’t until a new source of morganite was discovered in Madagascar in early the 19th century that the gem was renamed from pink beryl to morganite. Morganite is a relatively new and exciting gem, one which is a great alternative to kunzite, pink tourmaline and pink sapphire. It was famous gemmologist George Frederick Kunz from Tiffany’s who proposed the name change. By changing the name to morganite, George was paying tribute to banker and gem enthusiast John Pierpont Morgan, who was a great collector of these gemstones and a benefactor. Today there are two major sources of the gemstone, Madagascar and Brazil. However, gems are also sourced from Russia, Namibia, China, Mozambique, Afghanistan and the USA.

Characteristics and Quality

Morganite has many good qualities which make it a great choice of gemstone, these include brilliance, clarity, luster and durability. The gemstone is typically free from inclusions, and it rates highly on the Mohs scale between 7.5 and 8, it’s also tough and can easily last a lifetime without damage. The stones innate durability and multitude of pink hues make the stone a very popular choice for jewellery which can be used for every day wear.

One of the major factors which contributes to the attractiveness of morganite as an engagement ring is it’s scarcity. Since the gems discovery, it’s been highly prized by gem collectors, which is partially due to its limited availability. Oddly enough, it’s the gems rarity which keeps it affordable, since there are not enough standard sizes stones for the major jewellery manufacturers to buy, the gem is largely ignored by the major players in the jewellery business. It’s this very fact that makes morganite such an intriguing choice.

Colours of Morganite

The intriguing and beautiful feminine colours present in the stone are caused by traces of manganese. The colours are distinguished and the gemstones brilliance and luster are outstanding. Morganite’s pink hues can vary, from subtle delicate lavenders, to bright almost luminescent fuchsias and even pastel apricot blends and salmon tints. The colours present in a morganite engagement ring can work wonders for complementing skin tones and are particularly well suited for a feminine personality. If you’re concerned about matching the engagement ring to fashion choices, then you need not worry, the stone is neutral enough to accommodate any colour or fashion choice, which is more than can be said for a vibrant opal ring or a bright blue sapphire. Due to morganite’s intense durability, a ring made with the gemstone can withstand the daily wear most engagement or wedding rings would be subjected to.

Morganite Ring Legend

As an engagement ring, morganite is a fantastic choice, it’s high hardness, resilience and delicate range of stunning hues make it one of the most desirable choices out of all the beryl group gems. Regardless of morganite engagement rings undeniable beauty and durability, they are also said to be a powerful stone, one which has the ability to improve the movement of energy around the body. Whether or not you adhere to the Gwyneth Paltrow school of mysticism or not, it still makes for an interesting conversation piece. Legend also states that beryl was used to ward of demons and evil spirits and that travellers would wear the gem while travelling to keep them safe from danger. There are countless other beliefs around wearing morganite, including the following:

  • Provides clarity of thought, relief and a positive attitude during periods of increased stress.
  • Facilitates the feeling of love and increased the tenderness in relationships (very important for an engagement ring).
  • Aids the development of skills such as communication, patience and the desire to work hard.
  • Helps alleviate symptoms related to the respiratory system and increases the availability of oxygen in cells.
  • Helps bring good luck, energy, cheerfulness and youthfulness.

Some astrologers advise wearing morganite as a way of protecting against the fast paced and hectic lives we now all lead. The belief is it provides relief from stress and promotes peace of mind, soul and body. Perhaps the most valuable claim is the fact that it inspires love, in this sense, a morganite engagement ring has a sweet symbolism and adds character to an already fascinating gemstone.

Morganite Care & Cleaning

Morganite is part of the beryl family of gemstones, like emerald and aquamarine, which means it’s softer when compared to the likes of a diamond, and if not cared for correctly, it is possible to scratch. However, the stone is not what could be described as delicate, it’s hard and durable for the most part, morganite therefor only requires minimal specialist care. Periodically after extended periods of ware, the stone will most likely benefit from being polished and buffed in order to restore the original luster and bring the stone back to its as new condition.

When at home, cleaning can be an effective way of ensuring your ring stays in tip top condition, but it’s also important to be consistent in your approach. Below are some simple and basic instructions for cleaning your morganite engagement ring, make sure you clean your ring over a basin (not the sink) as the gem can fall out, and the last thing you want to do is scrabble around the floor for it or watch as it disappears down the sink hole.

  1. Soak the ring in plain unadulterated warm water for five minutes.
  2. Using a very soft bristle brush, for example a childs toothbrush, gently work the brush all around the gem using water with a touch of soap added. Work thoroughly to remove all residue build up. 
  3. Rinse the morganite engagement ring thoroughly with water to remove all traces of soap and dirt.
  4. Shake of any excess water and gently pat dry with a soft clean cloth or paper towel.
  5. Wait for the ring to naturally air dry and admire the much cleaner ring. 

You can of course invest in a specialist cleaning products, just make sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure they are compatible with your rings materials and they’re not going to cause more harm than good. Even if you regularly clean the engagement ring yourself, it’s still recommended to have your ring professionally cleaned once every couple of years. Most of the professional services will polish and buff the morganite as well as the ring mounting, removing any superficial scratches in the process. After a professional clean your ring should look good as new.

Morganite Ring Value

The colour and cut are the two characteristics which having the biggest impact on the value of a morganite gemstone, followed closely by the gems carat size and clarity. A gemstone with a custom cut which works to maximise the stones colour, plus it’s fire and brilliance, will substantially increase the value of the stone.

As an average, a morganite ring made with a gemstone with a custom cut can be found for around the £250 mark, which is for a mid-quality stone. Generally speaking, the paler the morganite hue, the less it’s worth, for example a very pale morganite can be had for much less than £200 a carat. It’s worth noting that less expensive stones are unlikely to increase much in value over the years, but whether or not that’s a consideration when buying an engagement ring is a personal decision. If you’re looking for a gem which is widely considered to be better quality and better coloured, then the highly sought after medium pink morganite stones are recommended. As a rule of thumb, if the pink colour is too light then the gem might looked washed out unless it’s of a decent size, and conversely, if the pink colour is too dark then the gem might look oversaturated with colour.

The cost of a morganite does not exponentially increase in price as the carat weight goes up, as it does with the likes of a diamond. This affordability makes the morganite engagement ring especially appealing for future married couples with a budget to consider.

Smart Shopping

While it’s true that morganites are an affordable and durable gemstone, shoppers are still advised to be wary and smart when looking to purchase a morganite ring. Synthetic morganite are widely available, and while they are a perfectly legitimate shopping choice, they need to be labelled as such. Some unscrupulous merchants sell synthetic morganite under different guises in order to deceive the buyer. Be wary of anyone selling pink emeralds or pink aquamarines, these names are misleading and may in fact be artificial morganites. Having said that, if an morganite engagement ring is clearly marked as lab grown, and you’re comfortable with that fact, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying one. They are often considerably cheaper while the quality is often excellent.
To remain safe when buying a morganite ring, consider these tips when making your choice:

  • Have the ring appraised by an independent professional jeweller.
  • Check the exchange or refund policy.
  • Compare the available options and keep in mind the £250 cost per carat for a custom cut gemstone. 

You’ll often find morganite jewellery and morganite engagement rings paired with rose gold. Rose gold is certainly a beautiful option, it complements the pink shades of morganite very well, it’s still worth considering other colour options such as yellow gold, silver, palladium or platinum.

If you’re about to embark on the exciting path to a married life, or if you know of someone that’s thinking about starting the next chapter in their life by popping the big question, then we hope you’ve learnt everything you need to know about morganite engagement rings, and respect and love them as much as we do. If you find something you love, leave us a comment or send us a picture and we’d love to feature your store on our website.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

12 Stunning Opal Engagement Rings

An opal engagement ring can be the perfect choice for the special lady in your life. Some discerning women appreciate a ring that can be seen from far away, but they probably also want a ring that is both light weight and stunning. Bigger is not always better, and simple and subdued might not fit the bill either. Ideally you want something between those two extremes, something which is beautiful, light weight and won’t break the bank either. An opal engagement ring ticks all of these boxes so it could be the perfect choice for the love of your life.

Fun fact, opals are the national gemstone of Australia, which is not surprising when you consider that between 95-97% of all opals originate from the island nation. Gemstone opals form when rainfall dissolves the silica deposits which are present in iron ore. This silica rich water concentrates the silica in certain locations, and as the water evaporates, it leaves the silica behind which hardens into unique formations of gemstone, which we call opals.

The Evolution of the Engagement Ring

Is pretty well known that Diamonds only became the engagement ring of choice after a remarkably successful marketing campaign by DeBeers. Before this, a variety of coloured gemstones were common place for engagement rings, including opal engagement rings.
Historically speaking, opals have been believed to be the source of great luck, which is attributed to the fact that they possess all the powers of the gemstones reflected in the colour of the opal. Opals saw a marked decrease in popularity after the publication of a Walter Scott story, in this book, a protagonist wore an enchanted opal necklace, when unfortunately turned the character into ash once it came into contact with water. Not long after this, opals began to lose their market share, no longer being the number one choice for wedding and engagement rings, the diamond was now king. Fast forward to today and finding the perfect vintage opal engagement ring has become a fashionable pursuit, with good cause, they can be remarkably attractive.

For your consideration, we have brought together a collection of antique and modern opal rings, which we hope will inspire your hunt for the perfect opal ring.

Opals are one the most fragile types of gemstone, they are sensitive to both changes in humidity, shocks and rapid changes in temperature. They are of course stunning, but delicate, and prone to damage if not cared for correctly. It’s still possible to find vintage and antique opal engagement rings, which have stood the test of time and have been passed down from generation to generation.

An opal engagement ring is gaining favour these days, and is now the sixth most popular type of engagement ring, with ruby, emerald, tanzanite, sapphire and of course diamond all ahead. Black opals are the biggest selling type, but boulder opals are not far behind and have an undeniable appeal to buyers and collectors alike.

One of the most alluring features of an opal is the shapes and iridescent colours available. Light diffracts on the opals surface, creating a rainbow of colours, this effect is called opalizing. This effect ensures that no two opals are ever alike and it’s a major appeal of the gemstone, coupled with unique forms and shapes available, it produces a very appealing ring. For these reasons, the gem is perfect for couples looking for a unique and different sort of engagement ring, one which won’t cost a fortune but is capable of creating a mesmerising effect.

The cost of an Opal is largely dictated by its unique colour and form. The price difference between one opal and another can be substantial, and is largely determined by the pieces unique features and less so the carat size of the gem. Opals lend themselves very well to custom pieces of jewellery, allowing for the artistic desires of the jeweller to be expressed easily, assuring the buyer of a perfect engagement, wedding or promise ring.

If you’ve set your heart on buying an opal engagement ring, then you might want to prioritise choosing the type and colour of the Opal as a priority. As with most precious gemstones, you’ll want to carefully consider the type of stone used, the size of the gem, the patterns present and the brilliance on the stone.

Opal Types

The value of opals is largely determined by the type of stone and the size. A black opal is by far the most expensive sort, while a crystal opal is middle of the road price and lastly white opals are the least expensive.

Opal Colours

The larger the variety of colours present in an opal helps to determine the price of the gem. A gem which is dominated by fire colours has a greater intrinsic value, the most sought after colours in order are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Opal Size

As with most gems, for example diamonds, opals weight and size is measured in carats. If all other gem qualities are the same, then the larger opal will be more the more valuable option.

Opal Patterns

The unique combinations of patterns, colours and brilliance has a distinct effect on the perceived value of a gem. Broad patterns and large flashes are alluring and effect the cost of the opal, similarly, smaller patterns such as pinfire are also popular options.

Opal Brilliance

A clear and brilliant gem with vibrant clear colours is far more valuable than an opaque gem with muddied colours. It’s understandable that a dull subdued stone would be less sought after and valuable when compared to a vibrant colourful stone.

Buying Advice

Everyone women is unique and special in their own way, so it seems apt that a engagement ring should match. There are uncountable jewellery options available for someone looking to buy a piece for their partner, so it’s important to consider the personality of the recipient, matching the piece to the style, taste, budget and needs. At the end of the day, you’ll know your fiancĂ© better than anyone else.

If you do decide to buy an expensive opal engagement ring, one of your first priorities should having the ring appraised and insured. The rings value will likely go up over time, as long as it’s cared for carefully and does not suffer from any damage. In the worst case scenario of your ring being stolen or lost, the insurance coverage will at least go some way to reducing the distress caused by such an incident.

Try to be realistic about your engagement ring budget and try not to overstretch your finances, weddings are expensive events and it’s better to start your married life together without excessive debt. If you want to, you can always upgrade the engagement ring after a number of years, it could make for a wonderfully unique tenth wedding anniversary.

Happy engagement ring hunting!