Tag Archives: gem

The wondrous opal – October’s radiant birthstone

Those born in October have the most gorgeous and unique of gem stones to honor their birth month; the opal, a personal favorite of mine. If October is your birth month, you are in luck! Opals are said to symbolize healing, success, confidence and passion. The name “opal” is derived from the Greek word opallos,…

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Sapphires Rule September

September’s birthstone, the beautiful blue sapphire, provides a royal and historied theme for this month’s birthstone. Second only to the diamond in hardness, sapphires are a durable gem stone for setting into jewelry. If you think today’s sapphires must be dark and muddy blue, you haven’t seen my collection. A variety of the mineral corundum,…

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My newest interchangeable pendant

As many of my clients know, I have a lot of gemstones to work with.  Some are recent finds at shows, or from cutters I work with in the US and around the world.  This one contains an assembled gemstone called and intarsia, by Steve Walters, one of my favorite cutters because of his shapes…

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Marc Aronstam on color-change gem stones

Gem stones are amazing things. The science and nature-loving geek in me loves to study each gem before I ever consider how it might look housed in a ring or a necklace. Particularly fascinating to me are the gems that change from one color to another depending on the type of light, from red to…

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August’s birthstone is the beautiful peridot

One of the most often neglected birth stones is peridot.  This is a pity since I think the gem is absolutely beautiful.  When clients say they don’t like their birthstone, they have only seen the more commercial material, more drab and olivey green.  When I pull out one of the Pakistani peridots, in a fiery…

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Marc Aronstam on gem stone color

Color is by far the most highly touted virtue of gem stones. When you see a beautiful cornflower blue sapphire, or a gorgeous Granny Smith apple green peridot, what attracts you most are the deep colors of the stones. When jewelers determine the quality of a gem stone based on its color, they talk about…

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Ethical gemstone buying at Aronstam Fine Jewelers

There is significant buzz and a fair amount of contention right now in the jewelry industry about the term ‘fair trade’ as it pertains to gem stone purchase. Does fair trade actually mean something or is it simply a tag for marketing? As an American jeweler for over four decades now, I have watched interest…

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Marc Aronstam on: gemstone hardness versus toughness

The more you know about gemstones, the better you understand and appreciate the gem stones in your personal jewelry collection. That’s why I’d like to blog about two properties of gem stones you often hear about: hardness and toughness. Although they sound similar, hardness and toughness of a gem are two separate, unrelated physical characteristics…

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Meet Tracy, Aronstam’s on-premises graduate gemologist – She’s a gem!

Tracy is all about the inner – and outer beauty of our gemstones. As a graduate gemologist from GIA, she’s trained to use some of our more technical instruments. The most valuable and useful instrument to any gemologist is the microscope. Your average jeweler’s loupe has a 10x magnification.  Our microscope allows her to see…

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My favorite adventures begin with “Can you find me a….”

It usually begins with a tour of the Aronstam showroom, and questions about some of the more unique items on display. If you’ve been to the store on East 82nd Street just off River Road, you know what I mean. The two giant pod-like amethyst geodes that bookend the front door will lead to checking…

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