Hinsdale, Il.

Making Fine Jewelry and Friends Since 1981

Jewelry Information


Birthstones were thought to symbolize an individual’s predominant qualities endowed at birth. Their use as gifts in honor of birthdays and wedding anniversaries is a long-standing tradition. Before 1912, the assignment of gemstones to the 12 months of the year was a matter of opinion. In 1912, Jewelers of America (the American national association of jewelers) standardized the gemstone calendar to that observed today.


January's Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet provides a versatile family of affordable gems that can be enjoyed year-round. The most common garnets are the red to red-brown varieties that people know best. Red garnets can show almost as much fire as rubies.

Garnet is actually the group name for a family of gemstones that come in every color except blue. They’re beautiful, durable, and most garnets are very affordable.

Used For:  January’s birthstone, Aquarius Zodiac stone, and the second wedding  Anniversary gem


February's Birthstone: Amethyst

The royal purple amethyst has one of the most interesting histories of any gemstone. Ever since mankind first discovered amethyst around 3000 B.C., this accessible gemstone has been believed to possess a wide variety of amuletic qualities and properties.


March's Birthstone: Aquamarine

Aquamarine, the lovely blue-green member of the beryl family, has been used in jewelry since the third century B.C. and is one of the most fashionable gemstones today. For hundreds of years it was called “The Sailor’s Stone,” due to its sea-like colors, ranging from a pale sky blue to a deep blue-green, and was thought to protect sailors and people traveling over water.

Used For: You don’t have to be a sailor or a March-born baby to enjoy the beauty and sparkle of aquamarine. It’s a year-round treasure of a gem.


April's Birthstone: Diamond

April is the luckiest month of all, since diamonds are its birthstone. Most of the world’s famous diamonds are fancy colored diamonds. With modern enhancement technology there are more affordable colored diamonds available.

Used For: Diamond is also the gemstone for the 25th wedding anniversary.


May's Birthstone: Emerald

How would you like to wear a gemstone that could protect you from illness and let you see into the future? According to ancient belief, an emerald could do just that. Regardless of these legendary attributes, however, few would deny the pleasure and delight of owning May’s mesmerizing green birthstone.

While there is no official alternate choice for May’s birthstone, those seeking a different stone could choose one with an equally vivid shade of green. These include Tasavorite garnet, green Tourmaline or the less-known, but equally beautiful chrome Diopside.


June's Birthstone: Pearl

For many, June reminds us of the first days of summer and carefree weekends spent at favorite vacation spots. But one of the things least associated with June is the pearl, and for centuries, the pearl has been this month’s official birthstone.

In ancient mythology the pearl has been connected to the moon mainly because of its soft glowing appearance and the belief that pearls were formed from the teardrops of the moon that fell into the sea. The pearl, throughout history, has also come to symbolize various traits thought to reflect those individuals born in the month of June. Such virtues include purity, wisdom, charity and loyalty.


July's Birthstone: Ruby

Just as diamonds have become the gem of romance, ruby has been the gem of passion and the heart’s desire since the dawn of time. Because of its lovely red color, ruby has been associated with the heart, the blood and the centers of passion throughout its history.

Used For: In modern times, ruby has become the July birthstone, fifteenth and fortieth anniversary stone, and the gem of Cancer.


August Birthstone: Peridot

Looking at the popularity and profusion of peridot as August’s birthstone, it’s hard to believe that for almost 2,000 years the original source of this lovely summer gem was lost in the mists of history.

In this century, peridot has become the August birthstone, the 16th anniversary gem, and the zodiac stone for Leo. It has also been alleged to encourage a positive emotional outlook on life, to prevent fear or guilt, and to help develop patience.


September's Birthstone: Sapphire

Sapphire has held a special place in the hearts and minds of mankind ever since the first pebbles of this lovely blue corundum were found in Indian and Asian rivers centuries ago. Though sapphire grows in the ground like most gemstones, it is often washed down into riverbeds, called alluvial deposits, where its bright blue colors would easily catch the eye of ancient treasure hunters.

Used For:  Today blue sapphire is the September birthstone, the fifth and 45th wedding anniversary gem, and the zodiac gem for Virgo. It has become one of the world’s most popular gems


October's Birthstone: Opal or Tourmaline

Many people are unaware that Opal, one of October’s birthstones, is Australia’s national gemstone. Australia not only mines 95 per cent of the world’s precious black and white opal but offers opals of many varieties used in jewelry, including milky opal, jelly opal, boulder opal, crystal opal and some fire opal.
There was a time, in nineteenth century Britain, when opal was considered bad luck for anyone not born in October. This was largely because Sir Walter Scott, portrayed opal as bringing bad luck and death to one of his fictional heroines, Anne of Girstein. However, Queen Victoria, who adored opals, helped to dispel this notion by giving opals to all of her daughters, whether born in October or not. Thus, opal gained a wider popularity than ever, especially when the brighter gem and black opals from Australia became available.
People born in October have tourmaline as another option for their birthstone. Like opal, tourmaline comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, ranging from dainty to huge, at virtually every price level. Also like opal, tourmaline is said to bring high energy, good luck, creativity and romance, depending on its color.

Used For: October babies are not the only ones who can enjoy the versatility and variety of opal and tourmaline rainbows available. Both gems are lovely to wear and easy to acquire.


November's Birthstone: Topaz or Citrine

Topaz, November’s primary birthstone, has one of the most confusing histories of any popular gem. Though topaz has been known since antiquity, it has suffered from considerable misidentification since ancient times, most often being confused with Citrine, the alternative November birthstone.

Used For: Blue topaz is the fourth anniversary gemstone, and Imperial topaz is the gemstone for 23rd wedding anniversaries. Topaz is the zodiacal stone for Sagittarius.


December's Birthstone: Turquoise or Tanzanite

Turquoise is one of the oldest and best-known opaque gemstones, found widely among ancient Egyptian, Sumerian and Mesopotamian artifacts dating back before 3000 B.C.

In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association officially added tanzanite to the traditional list of birthstones for the month of December.


What are the 4 C’s of Diamonds and what do they mean?



It’s not a vegetable… The metric carat, which equals 0.20 gram, is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and most other gems. To simplify this further, it’s the size of the diamond when it’s loose, meaning not in the mounting. If other factors are equal, the more a stone weighs, the more valuable it will be. How many carats do I want? In the trade, diamond prices are expressed as a price per carat. The “Carat Weight” has the biggest impact on the price of a diamond. For example, a 2 carat diamond is more than double the price of a 1 carat diamond. To put it bluntly, SIZE DOES MATTER but it’s less important than the quality of the diamond. Consumers tend to prefer larger carat weights because they may carry more status. However, larger carat weight does not alone signify a better ring. Note: When you see “T.W.”, or “Total Weight”, it will refer to the total carat weight, per gem type (descriptions are usually broken down by gem-type). So a ring with emeralds and sapphires and diamonds could say: Emerald t.w. = 0.25 cts., Sapphires t.w. = 0.31 cts., Diamonds t.w. = 0.75 cts. This refers only to the weight as measured when the gems are loose and unmounted. It has nothing to do with the number of gems contained in the Jewelry. The above example could mean there were 5 emeralds, 7 sapphires and 50 diamonds as easily as it could mean that there were 2 emeralds, 2 sapphires and 2 diamonds.



If you’ve thought that diamonds are colorless, you may be surprised to learn that most diamonds have at least a trace of yellow or brown color.

Note that the color of a diamond has the second biggest impact on its price, after carat weight.

Grading “colorless” diamonds actually involves deciding how closely a stone approaches colorlessness. The reason colorlessness is most highly valued is that diamonds in these ranges act like prisms, separating white light passing through them into a wide spectrum of colors. The more transparent the diamond, the wider the spectrum of colors. Colorless diamonds tend to be more valuable.

Rare colors such as blue, pink, purple, or red also tend to be very expensive—and very beautiful—and are known as “fancy color” diamonds.

If a diamond does not have enough color to be called fancy, then it is graded in a scale of colors ranging from Colorless to Light Yellow, “D” through “Z”. A diamond with a “D” color is considered to be colorless. If the color is more intense than “Z”, it is considered fancy.



Are we expressing this clearly?

“Clarity” describes the absence or presence of internal and external flaws. A perfect stone with perfect clarity (clearness) is rare, although some flaws cannot be seen without using a loupe for magnification.

Just like eggs, diamonds come in grades!

Diamond Grades:

FL – Flawless
These stones have no imperfections inside or on the outside of the stone under the magnification of a loupe of 10X magnification.

IF – Internally Flawless
This grade is awarded to diamonds with no internal flaws and only minor external blemishes.

Very Very Slightly Imperfect—These stones have very, very small inclusions, which are extremely difficult to see under a loupe of 10X magnification.

VS1, VS2
Very Slightly Imperfect—These stones have very small inclusions, or imperfections, which are slightly difficult to see under a loupe of 10X magnification.

Slightly Imperfect—These stones have inclusions, which are fairly easy to see with a 10X magnification, and can be seen with the naked eye.

I1, I2, and I3
Imperfect—These stones have inclusions ranging from moderately visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.



The word “cut” doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond (when has trade jargon ever been clear and simple?). Rather, cut means the way the diamond was faceted to allow light to reflect from it. In a well-cut diamond, light enters the diamond and reflects straight back to the viewer’s eye. Some cutters will sacrifice cut to create the largest possible diamond, thus making too shallow or too deep of a cut and not allowing light to reflect as well as it might.

The width and depth can have an effect on how light travels within the diamond, and how it exits in the form of brilliance.

Too Shallow:
Light is lost out the bottom causing the diamond to lose brilliance.

Too Deep:
Light escapes out the sides causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.

Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cutting process. The ‘polish’ grade describes the smoothness of the diamond’s facets, and the ‘symmetry’ grade refers to alignment of the facets.

For the most beautiful diamond, look for a symmetry grade of excellent (EX), very good (VG), or good (G). Avoid diamonds with symmetry grades of fair (F) or poor (P).

Gemstone Anniversary gift guide

Although gifts have traditionally been given for wedding anniversaries since medieval times, Emily Post was the first to publish a list of suggested anniversary gifts.

Her first etiquette guide, published in 1922, contained suggestions for the first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth and fiftieth years of marriage. When her book was reprinted in 1957, that list was expanded to include suggestions for each of the first 15 years and for every five years after that.

As time went on, even this list was broadened by other authors to include gifts for every year from the first through twenty, plus every five years through the 75th wedding anniversary.



  • 25th Silver Jubilee
  • 30th Pearl Jubilee
  • 35th Emerald
  • 40th Ruby
  • 45th Sapphire
  • 50th Golden Jubilee
  • 55th Alexandrite
  • 60th Diamond Jubilee

Gemstone enhancements

For some of the more common gems

It is important to be aware of the fact that many gemstones that are being sold today have been treated or enhanced in order to improve their appearance. Many of the gemstones that we enjoy would never be sold if not for the permanent enhancements that they received. Over the years, many enhancement processes have been developed. Some are permanent but many are not.

Simi-Permanent or Temporary treatments include: Bleaching (B), Coating (C), Dyeing (D), Filling (F), Impregnation (I) and waxing (W).

Permanent enhancements include: Flux healing (FH), Fracture filling (F), Heat treatment (H), Irradiation (R) and Lasering (L).

The Federal Trade Commission publishes FTC guidelines for the jewelry trade, stating that consumers must be informed of any gemstone treatments that are not permanent or that “significantly affects” the value. There is nothing wrong with gem enhancements as long as you are aware of their effect on the gem that you are buying.




There is nothing wrong with gem enhancements as long as you are made aware of their use if they “significantly affects” the value or they are not permanent.

Amethyst / Citrine

Amethyst / Citrine, (quartz) Heat treatment

The darker hues of amethyst are rarely enhanced to perfect their color, although some varieties do respond well to heat enhancement.

Brownish varieties are commonly heated and magically turn into the bright yellow or orange colors known as citrine. This enhancement method is permanent and will last the life of the gemstone.


Aquamarine (Burl) Heat treatment

Many aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut. For those who prefer a purer blue, these stones are heated to enhance their blue color permanently.


Coral Dyeing

White is the most common color in coral, but a variety of other shades can be found, including pink, orange, red and black. The rarest color is a deep red.  Cora is commonly enhanced to improve its color and durability.

White coral is bleached. Pink coral is permeated with a colorless wax and orange coral is stabilized with plastic. Black coral is sometimes bleached to create gold coral. Occasionally, red coral is dyed to deepen or uniform its color. All commonly used forms of coral enhancement are stable.


Diamond Irradiation, Lasering

Within the structure of diamonds, we often find impurities, or inclusions, that may deflect light, distracting our eye from the radiance we value so much. Many of the imperfections are removed when the diamond is cut to shape. Today, cutters have the option of using an enhancement technique that focuses tiny beams of laser light at the imperfections and vaporizes them. The small laser hole created by the laser may be filled with clear resins or glass-hard substances, rendering them nearly invisible to the naked eye. This method can also be used to fill fissures that reach the stone’s surface, rendering them less visible to the naked eye. This treatment is permanent: only extreme heat or specifically formulated chemicals will remove the fillings.

Diamonds may also be colored in a variety of hues. Extreme heat and irradiation permanently enhance certain innate color properties, allowing them to display their hues in a more brilliant array. Black diamonds, for example, are usually enhanced in this way.

A new high-pressure high-temperature treatment, known as HPHT, can improve the color of certain types of diamonds. HPHT treatments can remove tints from some diamonds, making them more colorless, or intensify the pink, blue, green, and yellow colors in others. Because HPHT diamonds sell for less than naturally colored diamonds, industry rules require HPHT-treated stones to be identified with and inscription on the girdle of the diamond to prevent misrepresentation.

Doublets and Triplets

Doublets and Triplets (assembled stones)

Stone cutters will bond a piece of a natural gem to glass or another simulate to create a larger stone (doublet) or a thin slice of the gem is sandwiched  between two pieces of glass or simulate (triplets). In both the added material appears to have the same color as the gemstone.


Emerald (Beryl) Filling, Impregnation, Waxing, Oiling

Early gem dealers sought to purify the transparency of their emeralds be immersing them in clear oils or paraffin. They found that clear oils and waxes rendered surface fissures less visible to the eye. Today, there are many sophisticated technologies with which to clarity-enhance emeralds. In addition to the oils and waxes of ancient methods, they now use clear resins to penetrate the open fissures surfacing in the stones. Hardeners are often added to solidify these liquids. This step prevents the resin from evaporating, thus making the clarity enhancement more permanent than oiling or waxing the gem.


Onyx (Quartz) Dyeing

Ancient Greek philosopher Pliny recommends soaking dark-colored quartz in sugar water for weeks, then plunging it into acid, turning the sugar to carbon and blackening the stone. That’s how black onyx was born. Today, more modern methods can be used to create the even black tone of black onyx but some still prefer the ancient technique.


Opal Filling, Impregnation, Waxing, Oiling

Although opal is rarely enhanced by methods other than cutting and polishing, opals can be treated to bring out their play of color. One technique is to immerse white, grey, or black opal in a sugar solution and then in strong sulfuric acid, which carbonizes with the sugar and leaves microscopic carbon specks that blacken the body color, making its flashes of color more visible. Opals can also be permeated with colorless oil, wax, resin, plastic, and hardeners to improve their appearance and durability. Occasionally, some thinner or translucent opal may be painted with a black epoxy on the back side of the gemstone to darken the body color and improve the play of color. Fire opal is not commonly enhanced.


Pearls (Cultured) Bleaching, Dyeing, Irradiation

Because natural pearls are so rare and difficult to recover from the ocean’s depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks by carefully seeding them with irritants similar to those produced by nature. Due to the demand for perfectly matched white pearl strands, cultured fresh and saltwater pearls are often bleached to achieve a uniform color. They may also be polished in tumblers to clean and improve their luster.

Dies, heat treatment, and irradiation are sometimes applied to produce a wide range of hues such as yellow, green, blue, purple, gray, and black in freshwater and Akoya cultured pearls. Some south Sea cultured pearls are bleached to lighten their hue, but most South Sea and Tahitian cultured pearls are not subjected to enhancements to create or improve their color.


Ruby (CORUNDUM) Heat treatment, Flux healing, Fracture filling

Despite all the best efforts of gem merchants to use technology to enrich color, fine ruby is still exceptionally rare. After being extracted from the earth, rubies today are commonly heated to high temperatures to maximize the purity and intensity of their red hue. Impurities may also dissolve or become less noticeable after heating. However, heating will only improve the color if the gem already contains the chemistry required. Occasionally rubies with small imperfections are permeated with a silicate byproduct of the heating process, which helps to make small fissures less visible. This enhancement, like heating, is permanent and rubies, whether enhanced or not, remain among the most durable of gems.


Sapphire (Corundum) Heat treatment, Flux healing, Fracture filling, Diffusion

A perfect natural sapphire is as rare and valuable as a rare work of art. Thus, over the years , they have developed methods to enhance the purest hues of sapphire. This is now commonly achieved by controlled heating of these gems, a technique that not only improves color but also improves clarity. Heating sapphire is a permanent enhancement, as lasting as the gemstones themselves.

A new method of artificially changing the natural color of a sapphire is diffusion, whereby beryllium of a similar element is diffused into the surface of the gem, producing a richer color. Sapphire treated by diffusion is far less costly and much more available that rare fine untreated gems or those successfully Heat-treated.


Tanzanite Heat treatment

Mined only in Tanzania, virtually every tanzanite is heated to permanently change its color from orange-brown to a spectacular violet-blue color for which this precious gemstone variety is known.


Topaz Heat treatment

Blue, once the most rare color of topaz, is today the most common, thanks to a stable enhancement process that turns colorless topaz blue. After the raw topaz is extracted from the earth and cut, it is then irradiated to brown and then heated to a sky blue. This enhancement process is permanent.

Due the popularity of blue topaz, a new treatment process called vapor deposition has been developed to create additional colors of topaz. In this treatment process, similar to those used  by opticians and camera makers to make lens coatings, a thin colored film is bonded on the surface of topaz to create dark blue, red, pink, and green colors or rainbow iridescence. These vapor deposition-enhanced topaz colors must be handled with special care, as the coating is easily scratched.


Tourmaline Heat treatment, Irradiation

Occurring in more colors or combinations of color naturally than any other gemstone found in nature. Dark blue, blue-green, and green tourmalines are occasionally heated to lighten their color. Red tourmalines, also known as rubellites, and pink varieties are sometimes heated or irradiated to improve their colors. Heat and irradiation color enhancement of tourmalines is permanent.

Occasionally, some tourmalines may have surface-breaking fissures that are filled with resins, with or without hardeners.  Care must be observed with these gems.

Tourmaline is the gem of intuition and creativity. Tourmaline is named from the Sinhalese tura mali, which means “mixed stone.” Available in a rainbow of colors and color combinations, tourmaline lives up to its name. Legend says tourmaline inspires artistic expression. Certainly this gem inspires designers to create jewelry to suit every mood.

In addition to uniquely varied beauty, tourmaline has unusual electrical properties. Crystals acquire a polarized charge when heated or compressed.

October’s birthstone and the 8th anniversary gem, tourmaline crystals have unusual electrical potential: crystals acquire a polarized electrical charge when heated or compressed. This property has made tourmaline the latest miracle ingredient in moisturizers: manufacturers claim the gem helps pull pollutants from your skin.

Pink tourmaline was an obsession for the last empress of China, who slept on a pink tourmaline pillow to inspire good dreams. The empress set off a tourmaline rush in the San Diego area at the turn of the century, buying tons of California pink tourmaline for her court. Today, most pink tourmaline comes from Brazil.

Green tourmaline has a restful green color that blends well with other gems, just as green leaves make the flowers around them more lush. Green tourmaline jewelry will complement all the colors in your wardrobe too


Turquoise Filling, Waxing, Impregnation, Dying

To improve its color and durability, turquoise is commonly permeated with plastic, a stable enhancement. It is also sometimes permeated with colorless oil or wax, which is considered not as stable as plastic. Some turquoise is dyed to improve its color, but rarely, as this is an unstable enhancement.

Gemstone Information

Click buttons to the right to find out more about these gems



Hardness: 6.5-7

Colors: Green, yellow, red, reddish-brown, white and bluish-white

Note: A sub-variety of chalcedony that has banded or layered colors

Primary Sources: Brazil, Uruguay, Indonesia, China, India and US




Hardness:   8.5

Colors: Color changes under different lighting, from greens to red or purple

Note: A regal gem in terms of demand, named after Russia’s Czar Alexander II

Primary Sources: Ural Mountains, Sri Lanka, Burma, Brazil and India

When you are shopping for alexandrite jewelry, the most important value factors to consider are the quality of the gemstone and the strength of its color change. The purest forms of alexandrite possess beautiful color-changing properties varying with different sources of light. In daylight, the stone turns shades of emerald and sea green. When lit by candles, lamps, and other incandescent lights, the gems take on a vivid red, violet, or purple hue.

An eye-catching, gorgeous gemstone and a rare form of the gem chrysoberyl, Alexandrite’s discovery traces back to 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains. The gemstone was discovered on Alexander II’s 16th birthday and was thusly named after the future Czar. The gemstone’s red and green hues mirrored those of the Imperial Russian flag, greatly enhancing its popularity throughout the empire, and for centuries to follow. Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenshold’s new discovery was widely believed to bring good luck and fortune to its bearer.

Alexandrite is the June birthstone and the 55th anniversary gem

Alexandrite is a very tough and durable gem, perfect for everyday wear.



Hardness:  2-2.5

Colors: Yellow to brown

Note: True amber is light enough to float in saltwater

Primary Sources: Poland, Baltic Sea, Rumania, Dominican Republic and Mexico



Hardness:  7

Color: Violet

Note: Most highly valued of the quartz group and is said to have strong supernatural powers.

Amethyst is the gem of sobriety and peace. Its name comes from the Greek “amethystos” which means “not drunken.” They served wine in amethyst goblets during long banquets because they believed this wine-colored gem had the power to keep guests sober.

Since the middle ages, Bishop’s rings have been set with amethyst as a symbol of piety and celibacy. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethyst has the power to protect against evil thoughts and to sharpen the intelligence. Tibetan Buddhists use amethyst rosaries to enhance the peace and tranquility of meditation.

The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myth. One day when Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angry at he swore revenge on the first person who crossed his path. Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. When faced with the tigers Dionysus had unleashed, the girl prayed to Diana, who turned her into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. At the sight, Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse. The god’s tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.

Primary Sources: Zambia, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia, Congo, Madagascar and Russia




Hardness:  7

Colors: Violet blending to light yellow

Note: Iron content allows for this variety of quartz to contain both amethyst and citrine colors in the same crystal

Primary Source: Bolivia



Hardness    5.0

Colors: Blue, pink, yellow and violet

Note: yellowish-green apatite crystals found in Spain have been called “Asparagus stones”

Primary Sources: Madagascar, Brazil and Sri Lanka


Aquamarine (Beryl)

Hardness             7.5-8

Color: Light blue, blue and blue–green

Note: A member of the beryl family, aquamarine is Latin for “Water of the sea”

Primary sources:  Brazil,      Sri Lanka, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Nigeria and US

Aquamarine captures the beauty of the sea, its pastel blue tinged with a hint of green. The icy color is as fresh with earth tones as with other pastel shades and the perfect accompaniment to grey and navy.

Legends say that aquamarine is the treasure of mermaids, with the power to keep sailors safe at sea. In addition to calming the waves, aquamarine is also said to have a soothing influence on relationships, making it a good anniversary gift. Contemplating aquamarine can inspire inner peace too. A dream of aquamarine means that you will meet new friends.

This elegant gemstone is the birthstone for March and the gem for the 19th anniversary.

Some natural aquamarine has a hint of green. Aquamarine is always more saturated in larger sizes: it isn’t possible to get the best color in small accent stones.


Aventurine (See Quartz)

Color: A type of green quartz with mica inclusions.

Note: It is believed to be a strong healer for the physical body. It alleviates doubt, anxiety and stress



Emerald & Aquamarine

Hardness:           7.5-8

Colors: Gold, yellow-green, yellow, red and colorless

Note: The most common inclusion in beryl varieties are long straight tubes that are typically hollow or filled with liquid

Primary Sources:  Brazil,      Sri Lanka, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Nigeria and US

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

Hardness:  10

Note: Most of the world’s famous diamonds are natural fancy colored diamonds

Primary sources: Angola, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Namibia, Russia and South Africa

Since diamonds are associated with sparkling white brilliance, how can we explain the mysterious appeal of black diamond? This sleek modern gem is black as night, an inky bottomless pool. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sparkle: its faceted surface reflects as only diamond can.

Opposites attract: black diamond is often paired with colorless diamond for the ultimate in contrast. Designs that have patterns in black and white diamond are very fashionable. Carmen Electra even has a black diamond engagement ring.

Like virtually all of the black diamonds available today, Most black diamonds have been enhanced by heat or irradiation to create a green so dark it appears black. Natural color black diamonds exist but they usually owe their dark color to small back inclusions so that the color is not as evenly distributed as in enhanced black gems.

The most famous black diamond is the 67-carat Black Orlov, which has been exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. It was sold by Sotheby’s in 1995 by the auction house for $1.5 million. Legend is that once the black diamond was once part of a 195-carat rough diamond called The Eye of Brahma that was stolen from a temple in India. The gem was then cursed, leading the owners to try to change their luck by cutting into three gems.



Hardness:  6.5-7

Colors: Blue, purple, green, yellow, orange, grey and white

Note: Versatile in varieties, chalcedony is commonly cut into cabochons, cameos and carvings

Primary Sources: Australia, Namibia, Turkey


Carnelian (See Quartz)

Color: Orange

Note: this orange variety of chalcedony is one of the oldest power and protective stones in history. In ancient Egypt, it was placed in tombs as a magic armor for life after death.


Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl

Hardness:           8.5

Colors: Milky white, yellow, greenish-yellow, honey-yellow and dark brown

Note: Fine parallel inclusions produce the cat’s-eye effect

Primary sources: Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Tanzania and Brazil



Hardness:   2-4

Colors: Green and blue

Note: Mainly cut into cabochons and is said to have first been found in the copper mines of King Solomon

Primary Sources: US, Peru, Congo, Russia, Chile and Indonesia



Hardness:  7

Colors: Light golden-yellow to reddish-yellow

Note: Natural colors of citrine are quite rare with a majority of material heat treated to produce desirable colors

Primary Sources: Brazil and Uruguay

Citrine, a yellow quartz gem, adds a squeeze of lemony sparkle to any jewelry design. Often paired with amethyst, the purple quartz gem from the opposite side of the color wheel, citrine complements greens, pastels, reds, and earth tones too. Citrine is a warm golden color, compared to lemon quartz, which has a lighter yellow hue with a squeeze of lime. Citrine’s affordability is due in part to the fact that throughout history, it’s been confused with topaz, another golden-toned gemstone. Citrine even shares November birthstone status with topaz. In addition to being the birthstone for November, citrine is the gem for the 13th anniversary.



Hardness:  3-4

Colors: Red, pink, black and white

Note: Coral has many imitators with red the most sought after color

Primary Sources: Taiwan and Italy

Demantoid Garnet

Demantoid Garnet

Hardness:           6.5-7

Colors: Yellowish greens to emerald green

Note: Most sought after material from the Ural Mountains has signature horse-tail inclusions

Primary sources: Russia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and US



Hardness:  10

Colors: Colorless, yellow, pink, green, blue, brown, orange, red and black

Note: Most of the world’s famous diamonds are natural fancy colored diamonds

Primary sources: Angola, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Namibia, Russia and South Africa

The Romans thought diamonds were so brilliant they must be fallen stars. Born deep within the earth millions of years ago, diamonds have come to symbolize forever. Combine unrivalled hardness with brilliance and fire and you have the world’s most popular gem.

The ancient Greeks called diamond “adamas,” meaning invincible, theorizing that something so beautiful must be the crystallized teardrops of the gods.

Most couples around the globe mark their engagement with a diamond ring. Three stone diamond rings that symbolize past, present and future are a popular choice for an anniversary gift. Diamonds dazzle on every red carpet and draw crowds to museums.

Diamonds are judged according to the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. For color and clarity, less is more. Gems with the least amount of color and the fewest imperfections are the most rare and valuable. The bigger the diamond, the higher its carat weight and the more it costs per carat. Cut is arguably the most important value factor because the quality of a diamond’s cut gives it its life and sparkle.

Diamond is the birthstone for April and the gem of the 10th and 60th anniversary.

Diamond isn’t unbreakable but it’s pretty close. Avoid sharp blows with cleavers.

Diopside (Chrome)

Diopside (Chrome)

Hardness:  5-6

Colors: Light to dark green, yellow, blue and colorless

Note: A star diopside is one of the few gemstones in the world that exhibits a four-ray star phenomenon

Primary sources: Russia, India

Drusy Quarts

Drusy Quarts

Hardness:  7

Colors: Various colors

Note: Tiny drusy crystals create the sparkle and glitter effect associated with this gemstone

Primary Sources: Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Russia and India


Emerald (Beryl)


Hardness:  7.5-8

Colors: Light to dark green

Note: Caesar was said to have viewed gladiator battles through an emerald to soothe his eyes

Primary sources: Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Russia and India

Because the rich green color of emerald is the color of spring, it has long symbolized love and rebirth. As the gem of Venus, it was also considered an aid to fertility.

Cleopatra loved wearing emeralds to accent her beauty. Mummies in ancient Egypt were often buried with an emerald on their necks carved with the symbol for verdure, flourishing greenness, to symbolize eternal youth.

The emeralds the ancients adored, from mines in Egypt and perhaps what is now Afghanistan, were nowhere near as beautiful as those mined today. The modern emerald bounty began almost five centuries ago when Spanish explorers arrived in the new world. Montezuma presented Cortes with a staggering emerald crystal much larger and finer than any ever seen before. The Incas had an emerald goddess the size of an ostrich egg.

When buying an emerald, the most important value factor is color. Emerald is among the rarest of gems, are almost always found with birthmarks, often called the “jardin.” Some imperfections are expected and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones. These fissures that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil or resin to make them less visible to the eye.

Although emerald is a very hard gem, emerald rings shouldn’t be worn when working with your hands or exercising vigorously. Avoid cleaning emerald with hot soapy water or steam and never clean an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner.

Emerald is the birthstone for May and the gem of the 20th and 35th anniversary.

Fire Opal

Fire Opal

Hardness: 5.5-6.5

Colors: Orange, red and yellow

Note: The Aztecs, Mayans and Incas mined Fire Opal and traded these stones with Spanish explorers as early as the 1500s

Primary source: Mexico

Born in the fire of Mexico’s volcanoes, fire opal’s natural bright orange is unmatched in the gem kingdom. Fire opal glows with the fire of the sun: hot yellows, oranges, and reds so bright they look as though they might glow in the dark too.

Unlike most opal, fire opal is often faceted, so you can choose sparkle as well as color. It has a hazy velvety look that intensifies its color. Because it is light as well as bright, fire opal is especially good for earrings. Its juicy color is just the right accent to earth tones or black and also looks great paired with other bright tones.

Fire opal forms when water seeps into silica-rich lava, filling seams and hollows. Under heat and pressure, the silica forms a solid gel, trapping the remaining water within its structure. Small pebbles of fire opal are found embedded in lava flows>

Fire opal, like all opal, has high water content. As a result, it should be protected from heat and prolonged exposure to strong light, which could dry it out. Fire opal has been cured by drying it in the sun before cutting to make sure that any instability has been eliminated.

Although fire opal is durable, it should be protected from scratches when not being worn and rings should be removed during heavy activity.



Hardness:           7-7.5

Colors: Reddish-brown, reddish-violet, pink, green, yellow and recently indigo

Note: Asiatic tribes made bullets from red garnets to cause more lethal injuries

Primary sources: Sri lanka, India, US, Tanzania, Madagascar, Russia, Canada, Zambia, Malaya, Nigeria and Brazil

Break open a pomegranate: see the tiny glossy red seeds? Now you can see why garnet comes from the Latin word for seed, granatum. To the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, garnet was a tiny glossy red gem, bursting with fire. Beautiful garnet jewelry found in archeological digs is more than 5,000 years old.

Garnet is the birthstone for January, the zodiac gem for Aquarius, and the gem for the second anniversary. Garnets symbolize loyalty and kindness. In legend, garnets protect travelers when they are far from home.

Affordable red garnets from Mozambique, which have an earthy red ocher color, and rhodolite garnets, which have a juicy raspberry color. This beautiful purplish-red garnet was discovered in 1882 in the hills of North Carolina. Tiffany gemologist and author George Kunz named it after the rhododendron that grows in the mountains of that state.

Green Amethyst

Green Amethyst (Quartz)

Hardness:  7

Colors: Pale green, Seafoam

Primary Sources: Zambia, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia, Congo, Madagascar and Russia

This lovely seafoam quartz relative of amethyst, also known as prasiolite, has a flattering celadon color that goes well with everything in your wardrobe, from pastels to neutrals to brights.

Prasiolite comes from the Greek for “leek stone.” But today’s green amethyst has a softer color that is more sage than leek: miners have learned how to irradiate the quartz to produce a softer, more lovely color.

As affordable and wearable as its well-known gem siblings, amethyst, citrine, and rock crystal quartz, green amethyst is growing in popularity. It’s an alternative for February babies who prefer green to purple and is prized by jewelry designers for the way its hue blends with both warm and cool colors.

Like all quartz varieties, green amethyst is durable and suitable for everyday wear.



Hardness: 5-5.6

Color: Dark, silvery black, showing dark red color when cut into thin slices

Note: Major ore of iron. Hematite was regarded as the stone of the warrior because of its healing properties. Wise men of the Orient regarded it as a lucky stone to ward off the evil eye.

Primary sources: US, Italy, Brazil and England



Hardness:           7-7.5

Colors: Various blue to purplish blue hues

Note: Viking explorers took advantage of iolite’s polarizing qualities to determine the location of the sun on cloudy days when navigating the open sea

Primary sources: India and Madagascar

Long known as “water sapphire,” this lovely blue gem has the steely hue of the ocean at dawn. Named from the Greek ios, or violet, iolite at its best is a rich violet blue that might remind you of better-known gems like tanzanite and sapphire. The 21st anniversary gem, iolite is still not well known, despite a long history.

When Leif Eriksson and the other legendary Viking explorers ventured far into the Atlantic, they relied on iolite. Looking through a naturally polarizing iolite lens, they could determine the exact position of the sun to navigate safely to the new world and back.

The property that made iolite so valuable to the Vikings is extreme pleochroism. Iolite has different colors in different directions in the crystal. A cube cut from iolite will be blue from one side, clear as water from the other, and a honey yellow from the top.

Pleochroism may be helpful for sailors but it makes things difficult for a gem cutter. If iolite is not cut from exactly the right direction, no matter the shape of the rough, its color will not show to its best advantage



Hardness: 6.5-7

Color:  Shades of green, white, purple, red and black

Note: Jade has long been revered as the stone of peace, wisdom and true love in China. It has been carved by the Chinese for over 2000 years.

Primary sources: Burma, China, Russia and Canada



Hardness:      6.5-7

Colors: lavender, green, white, reddish, yellow and brown

Note: In pre-Colombian Central America jade was more highly valued than gold

Primary sources: Burma, China, Russia and Canada



Hardness: 6-7

Colors: Pinkish-violet and light violet

Note: Gem cutters consider kunzite difficult to cut because of its cleavage, splintery fracture and strong pleochroism

Primary sources: Brazil and Afghanistan

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli

Hardness:   5-6

Colors: Blue with gold, white and black flecks

Note: The most sought after lapis is a deep rich blue and has very little to no calcite or pyrite veins

Primary sources: Afghanistan, Chile and Angola



Hardness: 3.5-4

Colors: Light green, emerald green and black-green

Note: In the Middle Ages malachite was believed to protect children firm witchcraft and other threats

Primary source: Democratic Republic of the Congo



Hardness:           6-6.5

Colors: Colorless, white, yellow, orange and grey with white or blue sheen

Note: In India moonstone is believed to bring good fortune and is considered a sacred stone

Primary sources: Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Burma and Brazil

Morganite (Beryl)

Morganite (Beryl)

Hardness: 7.5-8

Colors: Pink, rose and peach

Note: Like its red beryl cousin, morganite gets its pink color manganese not lithium as was once thought

Primary sources: Brazil, Madagascar and US



Hardness: 6.5-7

Colors: Most popular in black but also found in brown, grey and white

Note: One imitator of the quartz variety of onyx is onyx marble, which is a member of the calcite family

The little black dress of gemstones, opaque black onyx takes on extra polish in eye-catching faceted cuts. It has the look of black diamond for less. Black onyx is the 7th anniversary gem and the zodiac gem for the sign of Leo.

This basic black gem first became popular in Victorian times, when demand for mourning jewelry led jewelry designers to look for all-black gemstones.

Ancient Greek philosopher Pliny recommends soaking dark-colored quartz in sugar water for weeks, then plunging it into acid, turning the sugar to carbon and blackening the stone. That’s how black onyx was born. Today, more modern methods can be used to create the even black tone of black onyx but some still prefer the ancient technique.

Black onyx is often seen in jewels of the Art Deco period, the perfect foil for diamond in black and white geometric designs.

Like all quartz varieties, black onyx is durable and suitable for everyday wear.

Primary sources: US, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, India and Africa

Opal  (Precious)

Opal  (Precious)

Hardness:   5.5-6.5

Colors: White, grey of black base with blue, purple, red, orange, yellow and green fire

Note: On the average an opal can contain 5-10% water, but can hold as much as 30% water

Primary source: Australia

Opal in large sizes are rare and costly, especially black opal. Usually cut as cabochons, sometimes beads. Occasionally found as fossilized (opalized) clamshells, snail shells, or wood. Transparent opals, such as Mexican red or orange fire opal, are often faceted. Values are normally determined by the presence and nature of color flashes (play of color).

Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline

Hardness:  7-7.5

Colors: Intense neon blue and neon green

Note: a collector’s stone that has hit astronomical prices which has brought about many blue tourmaline imitators

Primary source: The Paraiba State of Brazil



Hardness: 3-4

Colors: Pink, cream, gold, black and white

Note: The oldest known pearl jewelry was found in the coffin of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC

Primary sources: Japan, China, Tahiti, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, US and Burma

Throughout history, we’ve seen perfection in the pearl. In Persian mythology, they are called “the tears of the gods.” In some Muslim legends, the pearl is God’s first act of creation.

Pearls are an organic gem, created when a mollusk like an oyster covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre, the mother of pearl.

According to ancient Chinese legend, the moon holds the power to create pearls, instilling them with its celestial glow and mystery. The ancient Greeks thought pearls were dew from the moon collected by oysters that opened their shells as they floated on the sea at night.

Most pearls today are cultured by man. A shell bead or mantle tissue is placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. The mollusk does the rest: it covers the implanted shell or with layer after layer of lustrous nacre.

Today cultured pearls are the preferred accessory of powerful women from politics to Hollywood. Nancy Pelosi, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, and Angelina Jolie are known for wearing pearls.

Although the culturing of pearls began in Japan with the saltwater white Akoya pearl, today the majority of the cultured pearls on the market, even traditional-looking white strands, are freshwater pearls cultured in the lakes of China. China has added beautiful natural pastel shades to the pearl palette: lovely warm pinks, oranges, and purples.

In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, bigger mollusks produce South Sea cultured pearls and black Tahitian cultured pearls, which come in larger sizes. South Sea golden cultured pearls are the world’s most valued pearls for their buttery color and natural satiny luster.

The popularity of Tahitian cultured pearls has exploded over the past decade. These natural colored pearls are not just black: they are grown in an amazing range of colors, including pistachio, silver, eggplant, green, and charcoal, with shimmering iridescent overtones.

Natural cultured pearl colors are much more valuable than dyed pearl colors, which often look too vivid or harsh to come from nature. The quality of a cultured pearl is also judged by the orient, which is the soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre, and luster, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Also look for any flaws or spots in the nacre: the best pearls have an even smooth texture. Other factors that affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and color.

Cultured pearls can be distinguished from imitation pearls by a very simple test. Take a pearl and rub it gently against the edge of a tooth. Cultured (and natural pearls) will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is molded or painted on a smooth bead.

Because pearls are organic, they have a relatively low hardness of 2.5 to 3.5 and should be stored away from other jewelry to prevent scratching. Always put on perfume, lotion, and sprays before you put on pearls, since chemicals may be absorbed into the surface of pearls, staining them. Wipe your pearls clean with a moist soft cloth after wearing them.



Hardness:  6.5-7

Colors: Yellow-green, olive green, and brownish

Note: The Island of St. John was the only ancient source of peridot until other sources were discovered in the 1900’s

Primary sources: Pakistan, China, Burma, US, N. Korea and Vietnam

Peridot is the extraterrestrial gem: tiny peridot crystals have been discovered in meteors that fall to earth. On our planet, this lime-green gem forms in volcanoes, under tremendous heat and pressure.

Peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pele’s tears. The island of Oahu even has beaches made out of tiny grains of peridot. Today most peridot is mined, often by hand, by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.

The color of most gems is caused by traces of other elements but the color of peridot is an integral part of its structure. If you love citrus tones or earth tones, you’ll find that peridot is an integral part of your jewelry wardrobe too. Its bracing squeeze of green is also an ideal foil to sky blue.

The ancient Romans called peridot “evening emerald,” since its green color did not darken at night but was still visible by lamplight. Peridot was mined in ancient Egypt on an island called Zeberget. Later, peridot was also often used to adorn medieval churches.

With a hardness of 6.5, peridot is harder than metal but softer than many other gems. Store peridot jewelry with care to avoid scratches. When you wear it, protect it from blows. Because peridot is sensitive to rapid changes in temperature, never have it steam cleaned and avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

Peridot, is the birthstone for August, the zodiac stone for Leo, and the 16th anniversary gem.



Hardness: 6.5-7

Quartz is the most versatile gem family, spanning the spectrum from well known gems like purple amethyst, green amethyst and golden citrine, to lesser known varieties like chocolate brown smoky quartz, pink rose de France amethyst, lemon quartz, rose quartz, and clear rock crystal, which we group under quartz. As beautiful as it is affordable, quartz is an irresistible addition to your jewelry wardrobe.

All quartz gemstones are durable and suitable for everyday wear

Rhodolite Garnet

Rhodolite Garnet

Hardness:  7-7.5

Colors: Rose-red or pale to rich violet

Note: All garnets have similar atomic structures

Primary sources: Tanzania, Sri Lanka, India and Brazil

Rose quartz

Rose Quartz

Hardness: 7.0

Colors: Strong rose-pink to nearly white

Note: Pink quartz’s unique color is often due to the presence of the elements titanium

Primary sources: Brazil, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka and US

Legend has it that rose quartz is the love stone, with the power to heal a broken heart. Crystal healers advise sleeping with rose quartz under your pillow every night to keep love strong. Lemon quartz is a lively alternative to citrine: its yellow color has a hint of green and a bit of an edge. Light and bright, it adds a fresh accent to everything in your wardrobe.

Rubellite Tourmaline

Rubellite Tourmaline

Hardness:  7-7.5

Colors: Red to pink

Note: Rubellite can occur in violet and raspberry shades, but ruby red is the most sought after color in this gemstone

Primary sources: Nigeria and Brazil


Ruby (Corundum)

Hardness:  9.0

Colors: Various shades of red

Note: The red variety of corundum is associated with the color of blood; ruby was once believed to remedy hemorrhaging

Primary sources: Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India

Worn by passionate women with a flair for the dramatic, ruby is the gem of courage and emotion. Its fiery brilliance attracts the eye and quickens the pulse. In legend, ruby is the gem of the heart with the power to kindle the flame of desire.

The ultimate red gem, ruby has been the world’s most valued gemstone for most of recorded history. According to the Bible, only wisdom and virtuous women are more precious. Named from ruber, the Latin word for red, ruby is the epitome of the boldest of colors. Burning with an unquenchable fire, ruby has long been a symbol of undying love.

Wear ruby to add life to classic neutrals or Art Deco flair to graphic black and white.

When buying a ruby, color is the most important value factor.  Before their final polish, most rubies are heated almost to 2,000 degrees in order to intensify the red color and improve clarity. Heat enhancement is stable, does not require special care, and does not reduce the stone’s value.

Ruby, like sapphire, is the mineral corundum, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide. Corundum has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale and is also extremely tough: in its common form, it is used to polish other gems. As a result, rubies are durable and suitable for everyday wear.

Ruby is the birthstone for July, the fifteenth and fortieth anniversary gem, and the zodiac gem for the sign of Cancer.


Sapphire (Corundum)

Hardness: 9.0

Color: Various hues of blue

Note: In the 12th Century the Bishop of Rennes gave high praise to sapphire and had all ecclesiastical rings set with the gemstone

Primary sources: Burma, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, US

The ancient Persians believed the earth rests on a giant sapphire. Its reflection, they said, made the sky blue. Sapphire comes from the Greek word for blue, sappheiros, and this gem provides the most beautiful blues of the gem kingdom. Sapphire is the gem of truth. The tradition is so strong, we still think of an honest person as “true blue.”

Since the word sapphire is synonymous with the color blue, many people don’t realize that sapphire comes in other colors, like pink, yellow, and white.

In fact, the two most popular colored gemstones, sapphire and ruby, are twins separated at birth: different colored crystals of the mineral corundum, which comes in every color of the rainbow. When the family connection was discovered, gemologists decided that all the family members would be called sapphire except red, which would still be called ruby.

Sapphire symbolizes fidelity and the soul. In ancient times, a gift of a sapphire was a pledge of trust and loyalty. This tradition makes sapphire a popular choice for engagement rings. Princess Diana is among the many women who followed the sapphire engagement tradition.

Pink sapphire is even rarer than blue: in some ways it has more in common with ruby than the other colors of sapphire. Gem experts often debate where ruby ends and pink sapphire begins, since pink is really just light red. But the bright pastel shades of pink sapphire, from bubblegum to strawberry, have a candy-colored beauty all their own. They are the most feminine of gems, adding sweetness to delicate styles or a touch of romance to classic tailored designs.

Since most people assume that sapphires are blue, when you wear a yellow sapphire, people are more likely to guess that you are wearing a fancy yellow diamond. This gem’s understudy status means that yellow sapphire is more affordable than either blue sapphire or yellow diamond.

Yellow sapphire deserves more recognition. Its sunny color is an instant mood-enhancer on the grayest day. Rare and beautiful, yellow sapphire complements yellow gold and takes center stage set when contrasting against white gold and diamonds. Its durability means its beauty will last as long as diamond’s too.

Brilliant natural white sapphire also rivals diamond in rarity and beauty, offering the look and lasting value you love for less. Few gems have the beauty, brilliance, and durability of sapphire. It’s the perfect choice for jewelry you plan to wear for years and pass along to the next generation.

Sapphire with fine color is so desirable that producers take an extra step after mining and before cutting to make sure that a sapphire has the best hue possible. Before their final polish, most sapphires are heated to almost 2,000 degrees in order to improve the color and clarity. Heat enhancement is stable, does not require special care, and does not reduce the stone’s value.

Sapphire is the September birthstone, the gem of the fifth and 45th wedding anniversary, and the zodiac gem for Virgo.

Sapphires are durable and suitable for everyday wear.

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz adds earth-tone sophistication to any jewelry design. Cognac, chocolate, caramel: many of the world’s rich and decadent things are a beautiful brown. Smoky quartz has been valued for thousands of years. Although most smoky quartz faceted for jewelry today is mined in Brazil, it is also the state gemstone of New Hampshire and the official gem of Scotland, an early source.

In alpine countries, rosaries and crucifixes are often made from smoky quartz because it was said to protect from danger and also to help soothe grief. Smoky quartz is also said to bring its owner inner peace.

Smoky quartz used to be known as smoky topaz: you can still find jewelry stores today, online and off, that mistakenly refer to this brown quartz as topaz. The brown color of smoky quartz develops when rock crystal is exposed to radiation, either in the rock where it forms or after being mined. Most smoky quartz on the market is enhanced with radiation.



Hardness: 7-7.5

Colors: Orange to reddish-brown

Note: The gem’s namesake is the Spessart district of Bavaria where it was first discovered

Primary sources: Nigeria, Namibia, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma and Brazil



Hardness:  5-5.5

Colors: Yellow, brown and green

Note: The distinctive wedge crystal habit of sphene was the inspiration for its name, which mean wedge in Greek

Primary Sources: Madagascar, India and Brazil



Hardness:  8.0

Colors: Red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, blue, dark green and black

Note: Spinel is singly refractive and grows in the cubic system like diamond

Primary Sources: Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Cambodia, Vietnam and Afghanistan

Star Ruby & Sapphire

Star Ruby & Sapphire

Hardness:  9.0

Colors: Various hues of red and blue

Note: Perhaps the most famous star ruby weighs in at 138.7 carats and one of the world’s finest star sapphires weighs 563.3 carats

Primary sources: Madagascar, Burma, Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, Brazil, India and US


Sunstone (Feldspar)

Hardness: 6-6.5

Colors: Orange and red-brown

Note: The mineral content of Oregon sunstone differs from other feldspars found throughout the world

Primary sources: Oregon, USA and India


Tanzanite (Zosite)

Hardness:           6.5-7

Color: Sapphire blue to amethyst violet and green

Note: Thulite was the only variety of zosite on the market until 1967 when tanzanite was discovered

Primary source: Tanzania

Tanzanite has a velvety purplish-blue unlike any other gem. Mined in only one place in the world, a five-square mile area in Merelani in Tanzania near the feet of majestic Kilimanjaro, tanzanite is exceptionally rare.

This gem was discovered in 1969 and named by Tiffany & Co., who was the first to bring it to market.

The secret to tanzanite’s mesmerizing color is trichoism: crystals of tanzanite are three different colors from different directions. This means that blue and purple dance together in the depths of the gem as it moves and catches the light.

Only large gems show the most saturated colors. After mining, virtually every tanzanite on the market is heated to permanently change its color from brown to the spectacular violet-blue color for which this precious gemstone variety is known.

Of course, tanzanite is an ideal complement to all the rich blues, purples, and greens in your wardrobe. But the velvety depths of this gem are also beautiful worn with earth tones, from chocolates to rusts and golds.

Tanzanite jewelry is a little more delicate than other gemstone jewelry and should not be set in a ring that will be worn during strenuous activity. Never clean tanzanite in an ultrasonic cleaner or have a ring resized or repaired without having the gem removed.

Tanzanite is a birthstone for December, added to the official list in 2002 as a tribute to its beauty. It is also the gem of the 24th anniversary.

Tasavorite Garnet

Tasavorite Garnet

Hardness:           7.25

Colors: Green, pale yellowish-green and emerald green

Note: In 1968, tasavorite was discovered in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park

Primary Sources: Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar

Tiger Eye

Tiger Eye (Quartz)

Hardness:           7.0

Colors: Gold-yellow and gold-brown

Note: Tiger Eye is said to offer protection during travels

Primary Sources: Australia, Burma, India, South Africa and US



Hardness:           8.0

Colors: Light blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, pinkish-red, brown and colorless

Note: The Braganza is a famous giant topaz specimen set in the Portuguese Crown

Primary sources: Nigeria, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India and China

The beautiful blue of the sky on a summer’s day sparkles in every blue topaz. Fresh and breezy, blue topaz is one of the most versatile gems in nature’s palette. It is affordable and available in both small and large sizes, making it a designer favorite.

Blue topaz has a bright and lively Swiss blue color that looks right set in all metals. London blue topaz, is a darker, more intense shade of blue for extra drama. You’ll find that blue topaz jewelry complements almost everything in your wardrobe, from browns and grays to vivid tones.

Blue was once the rarest color of topaz, but today it is the most common, thanks to a stable color enhancement process involving irradiation and heat that was developed in the 1970s.

Legend says that topaz dispels enchantment. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz has the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.

Blue topaz is a December birthstone and the gem for the fourth anniversary.



Hardness:           7-7.5

Colors: Blue, yellow, green, violet, multi-colored.

Note: More natural colors than any other gem

Primary sources: Nigeria, Brazil, Pakistan, Madagascar, Namibia, and US

Tourmaline is the gem of intuition and creativity. Tourmaline is named from the Sinhalese tura mali, which means “mixed stone.” Available in a rainbow of colors and color combinations, tourmaline lives up to its name. Legend says tourmaline inspires artistic expression. Certainly this gem inspires designers to create jewelry to suit every mood.

October’s birthstone and the 8th anniversary gem, tourmaline crystals have unusual electrical potential: crystals acquire a polarized electrical charge when heated or compressed. This property has made tourmaline the latest miracle ingredient in moisturizers: manufacturers claim the gem helps pull pollutants from your skin.

Pink tourmaline was an obsession for the last empress of China, who slept on a pink tourmaline pillow to inspire good dreams. The empress set off a tourmaline rush in the San Diego area at the turn of the century, buying tons of California pink tourmaline for her court. Today, most pink tourmaline comes from Brazil.

Green tourmaline has a restful green color that blends well with other gems, just as green leaves make the flowers around them more lush. Green tourmaline jewelry will complement all the colors in your wardrobe too.

As with most gems, the different colors have been named to identify their origin or founder



Hardness:           5-6

Colors: Sky blue, blue-green and apple-green

Note: Turquoise has been a treasured gemstone since the ancient Egyptians first mined it in 6000bc

Primary sources: US and China



Hardness:           6.5-7.5

Colors: Blue, green, red, orange, yellow, brown and colorless

Note: To obtain the best optical effect zircon are usually cut in to a modified brilliant cut which has a second set of pavilion facets

Primary sources: Cambodia, Tanzania, Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Nigeria


Indicolite (Tourmaline)

Color: Blue with a touch of green color

Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon Tourmaline

Contains bands of green to yellow to red, like a slice of watermelon.

Interesting facts about Jewelry, Jewels and Gold

There are many different metals used to make fine jewelry today:

Gold, Silver, Platinum, Tungsten, Titanium and Stainless steel.


  • The largest gold nugget found in the U.S.A. was in California and it weighed 195 pounds.
  • The largest Pearl ever found weighed 14 pounds.
  • The largest gem quality diamond found is The Cullinan diamond at 3106.75 carats (621.35 grams, 1.37 pounds) rough weight. It was cut into 9 larger diamonds, the largest, the Cullian 1 at 530.20ct pear shape valued at $400 million + it is the 2nd largest faceted diamond.
  • A ruby is a red sapphire
  • An Opal will cut glass just like a Diamond.
  • A “carat” is the unit of weight for gemstones.
  • One carat is 1/5 of a gram and 28 grams equals one ounce?
  • The Karat is the measure for gold purity, 22 karat is pure gold, 18 karat is 75% pure gold and 14 karat is 58% pure gold
  • A six inch square cube of platinum weighs approximately 161 pounds
  • In ancient times, people believed that gold came from the Sun.
  • Some Religious groups believed gold was tear drops from their Sun Gods
  • In Asia people have been swallowing pearls, either whole or in powdered form for ages as a medicine to cure sicknesses
  • A Diamond is the hardest material mineral known to man. If you hit a diamond with a hammer you would crush it to a powder! This so called “hardness” relates to the ability to scratch other materials. People chip and break their diamond every day.
  • Colored diamonds are called “fancies”.  Judged on their own scale from Faint color to Fancy and Fancy Vivid. The more pronounced colors are worth more than the finest white diamonds.
  • The largest faceted diamond is the Golden Jubilee weighing 545.67 carats.


Since ancient times, gold has been used to create the finest objects of art, religious articles and fine jewelry. Because gold can be mixed with other metals to create different colors and karats, it is one of the most popular metals for jewelry today in the United States and Europe. To regulate the use of gold, the United States passed the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act, which states that if an item is marked with its quality, that mark should be accurate and within the tolerances provided by the Act.

The most common marks for gold jewelry are 18K or 750 (signifying 75% gold), 14K or 585 (58% gold), and 10K (42% gold). Ten karat gold is the lowest level allowed under U.S. law. Jewelry made of higher-karat gold is more yellow in color and slightly softer than gold jewelry made of lower-karat gold, which may include copper, silver, zinc, or other metals. You, the consumer, need to be concerned with the alloys if you are allergic to certain metals or have a high acid content in your body. Acid can turn the jewelry that you wear on your body to black and appear to be of poor quality when it actually is not.

Pure gold is 24kt and it is too soft for jewelry use. The metals that are mixed with pure gold to give it strength can also modify the color of gold resulting in different shades of yellow, white, and pink gold. White gold was originally developed to imitate platinum. White gold stamped 18 karat, would be 75% pure gold with an alloy containing 25% nickel and zinc.

Gold Compositions in Percentages (%)

  • Type
  • 10kt yellow
  • 12kt Yellow
  • 14kt Yellow
  • 18kt Yellow
  • 22kt Yellow
  • 12kt Red
  • 14kt Red
  • 12kt Green
  • 14kt Green
  • 10kt White
  • 14kt White
  • 18kt White
  • 18kt White
  • Gold
  • 42
  • 50
  • 58
  • 75
  • 92
  • 50
  • 58
  • 50
  • 58
  • 42
  • 58
  • 75
  • 75
  • Copper
  • 45
  • 36
  • 22
  • 10
  • 2
  • 48
  • 40
  • 7
  • 5
  • 33
  • 24
  • Silver
  • 9
  • 10
  • 18
  • 14
  • 5
  • 1.5
  • 1.5
  • 42
  • 36
  • Zink
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0.5
  • .05
  • 1
  • 1
  • 12
  • 8
  • 5
  •  Nickel
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • Palladium
  • 10
  • *
*18kt White with 25% platinum or palladium

Some gold producers are substituting the nickel with palladium to reduce allergic reactions.



Platinum is an extremely durable metal that has been used in making fine jewelry since the 1880s. Because of its density and strength, platinum is favored above all metals to hold diamonds and was often used in very intricate designs requiring great detail. Platinum weighs 60% more than karat gold by volume. In the early 1900s platinum became very popular, and its popularity grew until World War II, when it was temporarily banned from use in jewelry because platinum’s military uses had higher priority. In recent years, however, platinum jewelry has grown in popularity again. The most common marks for platinum are “900 PT, 900 PLAT, PT900 and 900 Plat 100 Irid,” this signifies the percentage of platinum to other metals. Because of the small percentage of other metals alloyed with it, platinum is hypoallergenic and excellent for people who are allergic to other metals.

With today’s higher metal prices, manufactures are adding more alloys to platinum. These pieces should be marked 585 or 750 along with the platinum notation. The addition of more alloys not only lowers the value, it also makes it less hypoallergenic.



Silver has been used for jewelry since 3500 BC. The word “sterling” is short for “Easterlings,” a form of money used in 12th-century England. Silver jewelry is popular because of its availability, affordable price and ease of manufacture. To be called “sterling silver,” an article must contain at least 92.5 percent silver; that is why sterling silver is marked “925.” Although rich in luster, silver tarnishes when exposed to the elements, causing it to turn dark or black. The tarnish can be cleaned using a variety of products on the market.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Strong and durable, most jewelry is made with 316 stainless (surgical grade) to be hypo allergenic.



Used in the making of aircraft parts because of its extremely light weight, corrosion resistance and strength. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world. It is stronger than steel and yet is very lightweight. Also it is known for its lustrous natural grey color and 100% hypoallergenic traits which make it safe for everyone because it will not react with your skin. Because of these human friendly traits titanium is increasingly becoming a more popular metal for used with different types of body jewelry. Unfortunately, titanium is expensive due to the fact that it cannot be soldered, its strength and the high-tech machinery and equipment needed to process titanium.Another quality trait about titanium is its non-magnetic properties, which makes it ideal where electromagnetic interference is a problem. Rings cannot be sized.


Tungsten (tungsten carbide)

An extremely hard metal originally developed by Osram, a German electric bulb company it is used primarily for industrial products like cutting tools. Now it is being used for rings and bracelets. Tungsten rings are very durable. They cannot be sized and can break into pieces if hit hard enough. Tungsten rings are a very durable alternative to the traditional gold or silver rings.

Article Sources: EzineArticles.com, ehow.com



Hardness:  10

Colors: Colorless, yellow, pink, green, blue, brown, orange, red and black

Note: Most of the world’s famous diamonds are natural fancy colored diamonds

Primary sources: Angola, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Namibia, Russia and South Africa

The Romans thought diamonds were so brilliant they must be fallen stars. Born deep within the earth millions of years ago, diamonds have come to symbolize forever. Combine unrivalled hardness with brilliance and fire and you have the world’s most popular gem.

The ancient Greeks called diamond “adamas,” meaning invincible, theorizing that something so beautiful must be the crystallized teardrops of the gods.

Most couples around the globe mark their engagement with a diamond ring. Three stone diamond rings that symbolize past, present and future are a popular choice for an anniversary gift. Diamonds dazzle on every red carpet and draw crowds to museums.

Diamonds are judged according to the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. For color and clarity, less is more. Gems with the least amount of color and the fewest imperfections are the most rare and valuable. The bigger the diamond, the higher its carat weight and the more it costs per carat. Cut is arguably the most important value factor because the quality of a diamond’s cut gives it its life and sparkle.

Diamond is the birthstone for April and the gem of the 10th and 60th anniversary.

Diamond isn’t unbreakable but it’s pretty close. Avoid sharp blows with cleavers.

Watch Water Resistance

Most consumers have been mislead about water-resistance,

No watch is waterproof.

All watches can leak at some time or water condition

A watch rated as Water Resistant may come in contact with water to a predetermined extent. Most watches have a measurement until which the depth of immersion is safe. It is important to remember that a water-resistant rating is based upon optimum conditions in a laboratory. Real life experience & aging of the gaskets will effectively decrease the manufacturer’s specifications of water resistance over time. When water comes in contact with the movement, it is the worst scenario that can happen to a watch – thus we strongly suggest that you always work well within the parameters of the manufacturer’s recommendations and have your watch tested at least once a year. Caffray Jewellers has the necessary equipment to test the water resistance of your watch.

Depth Ratings

Interpretation of the Depth Ratings

When a watch has a rating of 30m/99ft water resistant, it does NOT mean that the watch can be immersed to that depth. The depth rating posted by the manufacturer is theoretical in nature and can only be achieved in a laboratory – which is nearly impossible to replicate in real life.

Water resistance is specified in the depth of water measured in atmospheres, feet and meters. Here are some common water resistance levels and the degree to which they protect a watch:

1 Atmosphere / 33 Feet / 10 Meters: A watch with this resistance level is protected against accidental exposure to water; for example, splashes, perspiration or accidental immersion. It should not be exposed to any water pressure.

3 Atmospheres / 100 Feet / 30 Meters: This level will easily withstand splashes or brief immersion in water. However, it is not sufficiently resistant for swimming.

5 Atmospheres / 165 Feet / 50 Meters: A watch with this level of resistance is wearable around household sinks, while playing sports and while swimming in shallow water. Do not wear for scuba diving.

10 Atmospheres / 330 Feet / 100 Meters: This level of water resistance will allow a watch to be worn around household sinks, while playing sports and while swimming or poolside diving. Do not wear for scuba diving.

15 Atmospheres / 500 Feet / 150 Meters: A watch with this level of resistance is wearable around household sinks, while playing sports and while swimming in shallow water. It is also suitable for snorkeling.

20 Atmospheres / 660 Feet / 200 Meters: This level of water resistance will allow all water activities including skin diving and scuba diving at depths not requiring helium gas.

IMPORTANT: We strongly recommend purchasing a watch with a screw-down crown and case back if you intend on wearing the watch while you are in contact with water.

FTC Guidelines

Water Resistance vs. Water Proof

The U.S. FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which enforces the truth-of-advertising has deemed the term “Waterproof” inappropriate. In their opinion, a watch can never be 100% truly impervious to water, as the gaskets deteriorate over time & exposure, thus reducing the specified depth of water resistance. In the words of the FTC “The word proof connotes a measure of absolute protection that unfortunately does not exist with respect to watches, especially over prolonged periods of time.” The FTC has found the term Water Resistant to be more appropriate.


Water resistance on a watch is obtained by 3 important factors

  1. Case back – this refers to how the case back is attached to the watch.
  2. Crown – the single most important factor to ensuring water resistance. Used to set the time
  3. Gaskets: “O” rings are made of rubber, nylon or Teflon which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case.
  1. Case back – this refers to how the case back is attached to the watch.Snap-on case backs are sealed by pressure and are considered the least water resistant. The slightest nick in a case or deformity in a gasket (which will happen over time) will allow water to penetrate the case. Generally, these watches will have a water resistance of 30m/99ft maximum – which allows for contact with water but not immersion.

    Case-backs attached with screws would be the second level of water resistance. Having the case back attached with screws allows for a much tighter seal than a snap-on case back, however a deformity in the gasket will still allow water to penetrate. Generally, these watches will have a water resistance of 100m/330ft maximum – which allows for light swimming & immersion in a pool.

    Screw-in case backs are threaded and screws into the actual case. This creates a double seal, using both the threading & the gasket as a seal. Generally, (although not the rule) diving watches with water resistant ratings greater than 100m/330ft will have this type of case back.

  2. Crown – the single most important factor to ensuring water resistance.The weakest link in a watch for water to penetrate is the crown-stem hole. The stem of the crown is attached to the movement through a hole in the case edge. As the crown is constantly moved to different positions, wound and turned to correct the time, the gasket is constantly compressed, chafed & stressed. The slightest variation in the shape of the gasket or if the crown is not pushed all the way in will allow water to penetrate the watch through the stem hole.

    Screw-Down Crowns are threaded & screw shut to a matching threaded tube in the case. The crown has a gasket that is compressed & seals the opening when the crown is tightened – thus ensuring water resistance. A screw-down crown is an essential feature for any watch you intend on swimming with. As matter of fact, we do not recommend swimming with a watch that does not have a screw-down crown. No matter if the watch has a screw-down crown & chronograph pushers, the crowns & pushers are never to be pushed, adjusted or opened when the watch is immersed in water – unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. An additional benefit of the screw-down crown is that the crown is somewhat more protected from accidental knocks.

  3. Gaskets:”O” rings are made of rubber, nylon or Teflon which form watertight seals at the joints where the crystal, case back and crown meet the watch case. If the watch is a chronograph, the chronograph pushers will also have gaskets.

    Gaskets begin to erode and break down over time, diminishing the water resistance of a watch. It is important to test you watch once a year for water resistance. Caffray Jewellers has the equipment to test the water resistance of your watch.

Testing Methods

Water Resistance Testing Methods

There are 2 commonly used water-resistance testing methods:

Dry Test – The watch is placed in a chamber and the air-pressure is increased. The machine will detect the smallest variation in the case size. If the case expands, even slightly, then the watch is not water resistant.

Wet Test – the watch is placed in a chamber which is half filled with water and half air. Air pressure is increased while the watch is out of the water, then the watch is slowly immersed into the water. Once the watch is completely immersed, the air pressure is slowly released. If bubbles come out of the watch it means that air seeped into the watch prior to immersion & the watch is not water resistant. This method is generally used as a second test to pin-point the problem area.

ATM is short for “Atmosphere” which is equal to 10 meters. Another word for ATM which is commonly used in Europe is BAR – this too is equal to 10 meters.

Helium Escape Valve
The Helium Escape/Relief Valve is used only in extreme deep diving expeditions when a diver operates from a diving bell. As the bell is lowered pressure begins to increases & helium is added to the breathing mix. The helium is added to remove toxic air created by the extreme depth.

Helium is one of the smallest molecules & will seep into the watch through the seals until the air pressure in the watch equals the air pressure in the diving bell. As the diving bell surfaces & decompresses, the helium needs to escape from the watch at the same speed as the decompression – otherwise the pressure in the watch will pop the crystal off. To avoid that, Omega developed the helium escape valve which allows the helium to escape faster than it seeps in. Many brands use the escape valve in one design or another. Generally, the escape valve can be found on watches which have a water resistance rating of 300m or greater.

The helium escape valve never needs to be used in regular scuba diving unless diving in a controlled environment as described above.


Our Recommendations

  • Do not shower or swim with your watch unless it is rated 100m/330ft & has a screw-down crown.
  • Never open, wind or operate the crown while in water.
  • Never press the buttons of a chronograph watch while in water – unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer.
  • Do not subject your watch to extreme temperature changes.
  • Do not subject your watch to sudden & rapid air-pressure changes.
  •  Do not allow your watch to come in contact with corrosive chemicals, such as abrasive soaps & highly chlorinated water.
  •  Ensure that the crown is always pushed in, and if you have a screw-down crown make sure it is always tightened. Double-check before immersing in water
  •  Watches should not be put in a sauna or a hot tub since the exposure to heat can easily make the gaskets lose their shape and ability to keep water and dust out.

Watches should not be worn in the bath/shower. Soap can reduce the surface tension of the rubber gasket in a watch. The soap can also damage the seal itself, allowing water to get into your watch. Not to mention the soap build up in the links, clasp and bezel. We recommend you do not bathe with your watch.

Watch Repair

Watch Brand Pronunciations

Fine watches and the pronunciation of their names:

  • A Lange & Söhne  –  ah LAHN guh und ZO nuh
  • Alpina  –  al PEE nuh
  • Audemars Piguet  –  AWE duh mahr PEE gay
  • Baume & Mercier  –  BOWM and MURSE ee ay
  • Bédat  –  BAY dah
  • Blancpain  –  BLAHNK pan
  • Bovet  –  BO vay
  • Breguet  –  BREH gay
  • Breil  –   BRILE
  • Breitling  –    BRITE ling
  • Bulova   –  BULL uh vuh
  • Bulgari   –   BUL guh ree
  • Carl F. Bucherer  –  BOO kur ur
  • Cartier  –   KARR tee ay
  • Chase-Durer  –  CHASE DUR ur
  • Chopard  –   show PARD
  • Corum  –  KOR um
  • Cyma  –  SEE muh
  • Daniel Roth Roth:  –  ROTE
  • DeWitt  –  deh VITT
  • Doxa   –   DOX uh
  • Ebel  –    ee BELL
  • Franck Muller  –  FRAHNK MYOU ler
  • Frédérique Constant  –  FRED ur eek con STAHNT
  • Girard-Perregaux  –  zhee RAHRD PAIR uh go
  • Glashütte Original  –  glass HOO tuh or ig in AHL
  • Glycine  –  GLY seen
  • Greubel and Forsey  –  GROIB uhl and FORCE ee
  • Hublot  –  U blow
  • IWC Schaffhausen  –  Schaffhausen: shaff HOWZ in
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre  –   zhey ZHER leh KOOLT
  • JeanRichard  –   zhahn ree SHARD
  • Longines  –  LAWN jeen
  • Maurice Lacroix  –  Lacroix: LAH KWAH
  • Mido  –  MEE doe
  • Milus  –  mee LOOSE
  • Montblanc   –  MOHNT BLAHNK
  • Movado  –  muh VAH doe
  • Mühle Glashütte  –  MEW luh glass HOO tuh
  • Officine Panerai  –  off ih CHEE nay PAN ur eye
  • Omega  –  o MAY guh
  • Patek Philippe  –  pah TEK fill EEP
  • Perrelet  –  PAIR eh lay
  • Piaget  –  pee ah ZHAY
  • Rado   –  RAH doe
  • Roger Dubuis  –  roe ZHER do BWEE
  • Seiko  –   SAY ko
  • TAG Heuer  –   TAG HOI ur
  • Tissot  –  TEE so
  • Tutima  –  TOO tih muh
  • Ulysse Nardin  –  you LEESE nahr DAN*
  • Vacheron Constantin  –  ASH er ahn kon stan TAN*
  • Victorinox  –  vick TOR ih nox
  • Wenger  –  WEN ger
  • Wittnauer  –  WIT now ur
  • Zenith  –  ZEH nith

*(The last syllable is spoken with a short, nasal “a” with no real equivalent in English. The “n” is not pronounced fully, but cut off in the back of the mouth as soon as it begins.)