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A Shower of Diamonds for April

A rough diamond looks cold to the touch, like a tiny shard of ice. To a 5th century BCE alluvial miner sifting through the sand and gravel of the Krishna River in India, a sparkling diamond crystal must have seemed like something that fell all the way from the icy reaches of the Himalayas. But as we now know, they’re actually produced in the most fiery of conditions, deep in the churning mantle, where extreme pressure turns solid rock into very hot jelly.

American Gem Stories: Maine Tourmaline

When we think of tourmaline, we might think of far-flung places like Brazil or the Himalayas. But some of the world’s most beautiful (and largest) tourmalines can be found deep in the forests of Maine. The US state is probably known more for its rocky coastlines than for the shinier, more valuable rocks under its hills, more for the frights produced by Maine native Stephen King than for the beauty produced by nature.

American Gem Stories: Montana Sapphires

Nothing evokes the spirit of the American West for me more than cowboy boots and Montana sapphires. As pioneers and gold prospectors journeyed west in the mid-1800s in search of wealth and adventure, they found not only gold sparkling in the spring runoffs, but rounded pebbles of pale blue, pink, yellow and green sapphires.

American Gem Stories: The Ant Hill Garnets of Arizona

Mining is hard work in any climate, but it would seem particularly grueling under the heat of the Arizona desert. There is, however, one group of miners who have been at it for millennia who don’t seem to mind the heat at all: ants. Specifically, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, the red harvester ant.

Amethyst: The Queen of Quartz

The regal amethyst has been associated with royalty for centuries, and as one of my favorite gemstones, it has been a part of my company identity for decades. Many gems lay claim to the title Queen of Gemstones—emerald, opal, pearl—but amethyst is the undisputed Queen of Quartz. Let me share my love of February’s birthstone.

Aquamarine: Bringing Calm Seas in Windy March

It’s only the beginning of March and summer still seems a long way away, but this month’s birthstone, aquamarine, will transport you to the deck of a ship on some tropical sea, surrounded by clear skies and clear waters, embraced by the warm sun and a gentle breeze.

Beach Glass: Picking Up the Pieces

I am lucky to live on one of Chicago's most beautiful beaches. It sits quietly just north of the hustle and bustle of the Lakefront Trail. It is a hidden gem.

Blue Sapphire

While Sapphires are available in a wide range of colors from yellow to pink, green to purple, violet to orange, the Blue Sapphire is the most popular. I am often called upon to design engagement rings using a blue sapphire instead of a diamond as the centerpiece. 

Blue Zircon

Blue Zircon has a lively, natural light to medium slightly greenish-blue color with brilliance that rivals a diamond. I love designing with blue zircon, look for blue zircons in my upcoming collections!


These earrings are set with trillion cut Rhodolite Garnets and Diamonds in 18K Yellow Gold

Pearl Wisdom

Pearls. Idealized as perfectly round white orbs shimmering with a faint pink light, or black ones glistening with iridescent purple.


Pearls are a symbol of love, success, and happiness, and are used as an emblem of chastity and purity. Pearls are thought to give wisdom, to quicken karma, and cement engagements and relationships.


When I was growing up, my friends who were born in August always lamented their birthstone, Peridot, and for good reason.

Planet Peridot

Peridot has been found on Earth for millions of years, making it one of the oldest known minerals.

Tanzanite: The Queen of Kilimanjaro

In my last blog, I talked a little about tsavorite, one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, mined in only a small corner of Kenya and Tanzania. Tanzanite is another rare beauty from East Africa, perhaps even rarer than tsavorite. If you’re looking for tanzanite, you’ll find it only in an eight-square-kilometer region that lies in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Rare Beauty of Tsavorite

Few gems match the pure, rich green of emerald, but the tsavorite variety of garnet comes close. When we think of garnet, we probably think of a gemstone ranging in color from caramel brown to pomegranate red, but garnet appears in just about every color of the rainbow. Tsavorite, which ranges in color from olive to evergreen (the latter being the most valuable), is one of the rarest shades of all—and one of the rarest gemstones in the world.

The Smoky, Mysterious Beauty of Gray Spinel

Who knew gray could be so colorful? Yes, gray. Boring? Neutral? Depressing as a heavy autumn sky? The uniform of dystopian conformity? None of the above! Those using gray as a symbol of everything dull have obviously never seen the confounding beauty of a gray spinel.