Diamond Education

Choosing the Right Diamond

A Hengestone Gallerydiamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process.

Step 1- Set a Budget

While there is much reason behind the old adage that a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of enduring love, the guideline of two (2) month's salary, it is just that, a guideline. But a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process. Throughout the process, keep in mind that if you do it right, it's the only one you will ever have to buy and it will never wear out, never lose its sparkle, and always be a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next.

Step 2- Choose a Shape

The shape of a diamond reflects it character and different people are attracted to different shapes. There is a common misconception that all diamond rings look good on all fingers, but that's not quite true because some diamond shapes look more striking on some fingers than others. This quick guide will help you to learn the difference between the different diamond shapes.


Round- This is by far the most popular shape of diamond and has been around for hundreds of years. The diamond cutters have been working with this shape and making sure that maximum brilliance and shine can be obtained. When it comes to balancing the grades for clarity, color, and cut, this shape offers flexibility but will retain its brilliance and shine you are looking for.


Marquise- If you want a diamond that looks larger then its carat weight, this is the ideal shape for you. This stone is used with other shapes such as pear. If you wear marquise diamond in a ring, your hands will look slender and long. If you wish to know the outline of the diamond, you should look for the length to width ratio. This will also give you an idea about the shape and the look of the diamond.


Emerald- The striking point for these diamonds is in their pavilion. The original clarity of this diamond can be seen in its shape and oversized table. When you are making a purchase, make sure that you see the clarity plot and check for the certificate. The rectangular shape of these diamonds can vary greatly. Know the length-width ratio so that you understand how your diamond will look if you see it from the top.


Radiant- Radiant diamonds are unique. What makes them so are the corners that are trimmed with utmost care and perfection. The cut is also one of the reasons why this diamond is used with a number of shapes and used in making some exquisite jewelry pieces. Even when this diamond is set with round or baguette, it will make a striking appearance and give a new look to the jewelry item. The rectangularity in these diamonds can vary largely. Again if you wish to buy these diamonds, make sue that you take a look at the length width ratio.


Pear- If you have seen the shape of a teardrop, you would be able to get an idea about this particular shape of diamonds. These diamonds are cut brilliantly so that maximum shine can be obtained. This is also called a teardrop diamond because it has a single point and an end that is rounded. The overall look of this diamond is unique and thus it is used in a variety of jewelry designs. If you wear an elongated pear shaped diamond in your ring, your hands and fingers will look slimmer due to the shape of the diamond.


Princess- One of the most popular diamonds that are not round in shape is the princess cut diamond. They stand out of the crowd and look different due to their cut and brilliance. If you are buying a color grade diamond, the appearance of the diamond will be exceptional and the color that you choose will be visible in the corners of the diamond. These diamonds can be rectangular or square and by getting an idea of the length and width ratio, you will be able to get an idea of the exact shape of the diamond.


Oval- Just like the round diamonds, the oval diamonds too have a brilliance that the onlooker would fall for. Oval diamonds are quite popular and are used in rings and other jewelry items. They are used in rings to give a slender appearance to the hands and the fingers. If you are looking for a traditionally cut oval diamond, the length to width ratio will be between 1.33 and 1.66. You can ask the jeweler to tell you the exact length and width of the diamond so that you can imagine its shape when viewed from the top.


Trilliant- If you are looking for some fancy cuts, you should consider this shape. These cuts are unique and used in a variety of jewelry items. As the name suggests, these diamonds are cut into the shape of a triangle. The cut makes the diamond shine in a more brilliant manner. The unique triangle form generally has 50 facets and the sides of are cut in equal dimensions. The classy jewelry items have these diamonds due to their unique shape and cut. Most of the people consider buying these cuts for vanity jewelry rather than the everyday wear jewelry items.


Heart- As you know, heart symbolizes love; this is one of the most distinctive shapes of all the diamonds. The shape and cut are unique and this is what makes it a favorite with the jewelers. The corners of this diamond may show the color if you are buying a color grade diamond. The shape originated from the pear shape when a cleft was made in the shape. The length and width of the diamond can vary and thus the size of the heart and the broadness too will vary. Choose the size according to the jewelry item in which you wish to get it placed.


Asscher- This is yet another beautiful and unique shape of diamonds that almost look like emerald cut but its shape is slightly square. The pavilion of this diamond is cut in a rectangular style and this is what makes it different. Like other diamonds, the color that you choose will be visible in the corners of the diamond. Many stars and celebrities have been seen wearing jewelry items in these cuts and this has just added to the popularity of this cut. You should look at the certification and the depth ration while making a purchase for a diamond. Most of the diamonds cut in this shape will appear to be square. If you need a unique ring for your mate, an asscher cut diamond ring is the perfect choice.

Cushion- This shape has been around for hundreds of years and due to the shape of these diamonds, they are known as pillow cut diamonds. The corners of these diamonds are rounded and the facets are cut larger to increase the shine of the diamonds. The large facets give rise to clarity in the appearance of the diamond. You can buy these diamonds in square and rectangular shapes. These diamonds are rising in popularity by the day. Taking a closer look at these diamonds you will see a combination of oval and old mine cuts.


Step 3- The “4 C’s”


The quality of a Hengestone Gallery diamond is evaluated using 4 primary characteristics known as the 4C'S - cut, color, clarity and carat. There is a wide range of diamond sizes and qualities available within any given budget. The challenge is to determine which of the 4C's is most important to you in order to narrow this range so you can make the best choice.




Cut- The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. Cut is important because it is a direct indication of the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. Diamonds with perfect clarity or color but which are badly cut can appear dull and lifeless, but finely cut diamonds can in many cases be brilliant even if with average or below average color and clarity. The better the cut, the more rare and the more valuable is the diamond.




Color- The color of a diamond results from light passing through chemical impurities and/or defects is the crystalline structure. These inclusions alter the amount of light absorption pattern so that color is visible to the human eye. While diamonds come in many colors and many hues, the most common color and hue is yellow. The amount of yellow hue is graded according to a scale which ranks rewards the lack of color with the highest letter grades and which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavy yellow). Diamond whose color is beyond Z are denoted as "fancy" diamonds and are graded using their own scale and terminology. The purer and more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable is the diamond.



Clarity- The clarity of a diamond is a measure of the number and type of inclusions within the diamond and on its surface. The fewer the inclusions visible under a 10X magnifier, the higher the clarity grade which ranges from flawless to heavily included..



Carat- The term "carat" refers to the weight and size of a diamond. The value of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. Most diamonds fall in between 0.01 carat and 1.00 in size. Put another way, that range is between a hundredth of a carat and a full carat in weight.



Step 4- Other Characteristics



Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying. It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some diamonds under black UV lights. Some diamonds emit blue glow while others emit moderate glow, some don't even glow at all. Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth of a diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, F. Fluorescence is not that beneficial but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience.




For several centuries now, gemstones have been believed to hold magical powers, healing and aiding the mind, body, and soul. The majority of<-Company_Name-> gemstones are found in various spots across the world. And depending on where you live, they might even be right in your backyard. And if you live near the ocean, or fresh water source, you could even find a pearl. However, don’t get your hopes up for finding something in nature. Most natural stones and pearls are rare, unless you own a mine. That’s why your best bet for finding a great quality gemstone is to find a trusted jeweler at Hengestone Gallery .


Below is a list of the various Birthstone Gemstones listed in the order of their corresponding months:


January Birthstone


Garnet- This is a wonderful stone to start the year off with, mostly because there are a few different varieties to choose from. The most common type of Garnet are the red stones, which can be lighter or darker, depending on how much orange or purple are mixed in with the red. The less common variety are the stones with shades from yellow to orange. The least common, most expensive, and in the opinion of some, the most beautiful, are the green garnets.


February Birthstone

Amethyst- Next in line for February, this stone’s roots come from Greece, named from the word “Amethustos”, which literally translates into “Not Intoxicated”, and is believed to help one hold their liquor better. Mostly found in Brazil and Zambia, it’s a member of the Quartz family, though is also found in places like Russia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and Arizona. Sometimes heat is used to treat the stones to enhance their colors, making them a more brilliant purple.


March Birthstone


Aquamarine- A gemstone like this is not one you would want to pass up if you were born in March. This stone is beautiful beyond compare in some opinions. Like a diamond, it is most usually found in a flawless state, though today, most of its magnificent beauty is thanks to special treatments using heat in order to make the normally bluish-green color appear more blue. Some people believe this stone can be used to help make one more active, and to enhance a person’s happiness and intellect, as well as boost one’s courage and provide them with eternal youth. Its main source is Brazil, with its mineral rich soils, but can also be found in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and a few other places around the world.


April Birthstone


Diamond- Normally the best is saved for last. But that’s not the case here. The majestic diamond is April’s birthstone, and there’s no April foolin’ here. It’s the symbol for eternal love, as well as status. They range in size from very small to several carats, and are used not only in jewelry, but in industry as well. Those not worthy of being placed in a setting are used from anything to enhancing cutting blades (since the diamond is the hardest element known to man), to powering lasers and computer processors and storing data. A gem quality diamond, though, is handled delicately. If cut wrong, the stone can fracture and loses value. And not all gem quality stones are colorless. Some are dark gray, and even brown, and some even have hues of yellow and even blue. Also, like most other gemstones today, these can be manufactured in a lab. However, the manufactured stones are nowhere near the value of a natural one, which can be found pretty much around the world.



May Birthstone

Emerald- Number five on the list, the emerald, represents the month of May well with its color, since May is when the new grass and tree leaves flourish, stretching a blanket of green all over. This stone belongs to a group of stones called beryl, and rarely are flawless emeralds found in nature. Most have small fractures along the outside, and inside are usually arrays of tiny crystals that make each stone quite unique. But the stones that you see on display at in any jewelry store have most likely been treated in some way, likely having been dipped in some kind of oil or resin in order to fill those fractures and improve their natural appearance. To some, this stone represents blissful youth and rebirth.


June Birthstones

Pearl- This is another birth “stone”. The pearl is sometimes a victim of mistaken identity. It’s not actually a stone, but rather the byproduct of a living organism--the mollusk, and created when foreign debris gets inside its shell, causing the animal to excrete calcium carbonate around the debris. The most common of these animals known for growing pearls is the oyster. But did you know that any shellfish identified as a mollusk can actually grow a pearl, and not all of them are in saltwater? It’s true! Depending on where they are grown (i.e. saltwater, freshwater) depends on their shape, size, and color. These days, most pearls are farmed, meaning humans actually make the animal grow the pearl by inserting either a small bead of the substance known as mother-of-pearl, making them round, except when it comes to freshwater mollusks. Pearls grown in those animals are usually started off with a small bit of tissue, and are often a soft pastel color, whereas saltwater pearls are dark grey or green, and white. That way the pearl is thicker, and more lustrous, but usually misshapen. Natural pearls are rare, and are not always round.


Alexandrite- Named after Alexander II, who later became Czar of Russia, it was discovered in 1839. This actually makes this stone relatively new, given that most other gemstones had been used several centuries before then. It’s an uncommon stone, found mostly in Sri Lanka, but also in a few other places around the world. It also ranks as one of the hardest natural minerals. What makes this stone so unique is its color. Or rather, colors. In natural, or ambient lighting, the stone appears green and blue, with a hint of brown. In artificial lighting, like fluorescent, the stone appears to be almost maroon. However, manufactured Alexandrite does not change colors, and is only the unique blue color.


Ruby- Another gemstone that represents July, and one of the most well-known is the Ruby. Its rich red color is made it similar to red spinels, which have been used in England’s Crown Jewels. The most popular color of a ruby is known as “Pigeon’s Blood”, which is a deep crimson color. Like many other stones, this one can be manufactured in a lab under controlled conditions. But unlike some manufactured gems, it is easy to spot a ruby that has been manufactured, and one that is natural. Natural stones often have what are known as inclusions, often small growths of crystals inside the stone. Also, like many of the other colored gemstones, the ruby often undergoes treatments to help enhance the stone’s natural color.


August Birthstone


Peridot- This stone is one of the oldest, as far as discoveries, go. Its roots are tangled deep into the mystery and myth of Ancient Egypt. For years, the green jewels that Cleopatra wore were thought to be emeralds, but now, many believe that they were in fact peridots, since they used to be mined near Egypt. Its color resembles an emerald, but that’s where the resemblance ends. The larger a peridot is, the richer its color is. These days, it’s extremely rare to find a stone over 3 carats, and most stones are found in Arizona. The peridot’s color is 100% natural, and there are no known enhancements.


September Birthstone


Sapphire- A beautiful stone for September. When people think of this stone, they automatically picture the brilliant blue that sapphires are known to hold. But actually, sapphires come in a variety of colors, ranging from the blue, also known as “Kashmir”, all the way to the deep red we know as rubies. One of the most popular, rarest, and most expensive sapphires is known as the Blue Star Sapphire. This stone generally isn’t transparent like the other varieties, but its beauty isn’t any less. Finished with a round, smooth cut, it shows off an almost perfect six point white star. The effect is caused by light reflecting off small particles known as silk inside the stone. These stones are highly valued, and are expensive. But if you get the chance to buy one, don’t pass it up!


October Birthstones


Opal- October’s most unique stone. You will never see such a magnificent array of colors as you will when you look at an Opal. This stone is one of the softest and most delicate gemstones, and must be handled carefully. And since the opal contains about 30% water, special care is required to maintain its unique beauty. There are three different groups, or classes of opal. The first is known as Precious Opal. The mixture of colors, known as opalescence, is like a rainbow set inside the stone. The color of the stone vary, being either white, black (these have brilliant colors), and what are known as Jelly opals, which have little to no opalescence. The second class are known as Fire Opals. These are colored red, yellow, or orange with a brilliant mixture of colors. Lastly is the Common Opal, and are, for obvious reasons, the most common type of opal found, and usually have little no to opalescence.


Tourmaline- Another stone for October, this one, like some other gemstones, comes in an array of colors. The various unique shades of colors have their own distinct names, which keeps them from being mixed up with the more common colors of this stone. The brilliant red and pink hues are known as Rubellite, and the brilliant green hues, which contain the element Chromium, are known as Chrome Tourmaline. The purple-ish to bluish-green hues are called Indicolite. Sometimes the stones can be found with more than one color in them, and are found in various places around the world, including the United States of America.


November Birthstones


Citrine- This is a stone that represents November well because of its natural orange color, just like the leaves on the trees during this time of year before they shed and give way to Old Man Winter. Its color is also how it got its name, derived from the French word Citron, which means lemon. The stone ranges from a citrus yellow to a rich orange color. Like many other colored gemstones, this one is often treated with heat to help enhance its color, and the treatments are often undetectable. It’s a common stone, but found mostly in South America and Spain.


Topaz- This is another stone that represents November. However, throughout the years, it has commonly been the victim of mistaken identity. In times long since passed, any stone that was colored yellow, brown, orange, or even green were commonly referred to as Topaz. Before federal trade laws were placed in effect, citrine and treated yellow amethyst were often called, and advertised as being Golden Topaz, and the real deal was known as Precious Topaz. The most common variety of topaz is the orange or yellow colored stones. Less common, and most valuable is the imperial topaz, which has an orange base with pink and red undertones. Other colors include light blue, pinkish-red, light green, and colorless. It’s no surprise that this stone is commonly treated with heat to help improve the color.


December Birthstones


Turquoise- This is the most popular stone for December. Thought to bring good luck and riches to the owner, this stone was first discovered in Eastern Europe, mainly Turkey, in mostly arid conditions close to water tables. This stone gets its unique coloring from different minerals, like copper, and water. In turn, this makes this stone soft and delicate, its color easily changed or lost of not handled properly. The only treatment this stone receives is a mixture of oils, wax, and plastic and then polished to a brilliant shine.


Zircon- Another stone for December, it is found in a variety of colors when left au naturale, like pale yellow or green, or even colorless. Tiny deposits of thorium and uranium causes these colors, and over time, the radiation from them literally changes the molecular compound of the crystals. What are left are shades of red, brown, yellow and orange. However, there is also blue Zircon, which is created by treating yellow and brown stones with heat. What Zircon is probably most known for is its colorless version, which is used to imitate diamonds.


Tanzanite- Another stone unofficially associated with December is Tanzanite. This is probably due to it being a somewhat recent discovery, having been found in the late Sixties in only one place in the entire world. It’s public knowledge that the Tiffany Company was solely responsible for making this stone so popular. It’s also said that this stone is much rarer than diamonds.


Planning Your Wedding


After you pop the big question, and your special somebody says yes, the next step you need to take is planning your wedding. This takes a lot of thought and planning, so be sure to allow you and your bride-to-be plenty of time to get things in order. About a year to a year and a half would be sufficient time.


When you go to plan your wedding or union, here are some things you want to keep in mind if you are planning a formal ceremony. The first thing you will want to do is determine what your budget will be. The total price will add up quickly, so don’t be afraid to set limitations. Also, you want to choose a location for your ceremony, as well as the reception. Visiting different places, like chapels, or outdoor venues, and talking to a celebrant (the person who performs the wedding ceremony), as well as a wedding planner are good ideas. A wedding planner will help you choose color schemes, decorations, and floral arrangements.


Once you decide on a place to have your wedding or union, you want to decide on a date. Talk to your fiancée first, and then talk to friends and family to help determine the date that best suits everybody. Afterwards, it would be a good idea to get your invitation list in order. When making your invitation list, you want to keep in mind the cost of food, because most caterers will charge you based on the amount of people showing up or the amount of plates being served.


Next on the list is attire. Before you decide on a dress or tuxedo, it may be a good idea to go to bridal shows to get an idea of what you like or don’t like, and to get an idea on how much to spend. A bride’s dress is something special, and unique to the bride’s personality, so it should be the bride who has the final say. For a tuxedo, the groom should consult a tailor. Both the bride and groom should allow themselves ample time to get fitted and for any adjustments that may be necessary. The same applies for bridesmaid’s dresses and the best man/men’s tuxedo(s). Choose color schemes and styles, and then have those you select for the positions to come and be fitted.


Another good idea is to get a bridal registry at your favorite department store or website. What a bridal registry does is help the guests choose gifts. You and your special somebody make up a wish list using items in the store or on the website, and the store/website then shares the list with the guests. This helps to prevent somebody gifting the same item as somebody else, or something that the bride or groom may not want. It also helps to make returns easier since receipts generally aren’t given with the gifts.

Once all that is done, you will want to shop around for a photographer/videographer. After all, your wedding day is most likely the most important day of your life, aside from the birth of your children, so you will want something to help you remember that special moment. Also, you may want to find some entertainment, whether it be a live band, a DJ (Disc Jockey), or even karaoke. A wedding isn’t complete until the groom leads his new bride around the dance floor to his/her favorite song.




Lastly, you want to talk with your special somebody to decide on where you want to have your honeymoon (unless you plan to make it a surprise, of course!). This will be the place where the magic happens, so make sure it is a desirable place to go. If it is out of the country, be sure to order your passports and make travel arrangements well ahead of time. It’s best to use a travel agency because you can get special deals, and in case something happens, it can make cancellations easier and less costly.


Some other things you may want to consider when it gets closer to the big day is finalizing your invitation list so that you can relay it to your caterer, making sure your wedding license is in order, and making arrangements for out of town guests. Make sure you have the rings, and that your guests have directions to where the ceremony is, as well as the reception. Confirm the date with your entertainment and other professionals you hire, as well as finalizing travel dates. Make yourself presentable by visiting a salon and getting your nails and hair done. Most importantly, remember to relax, smile, have fun, and say “I do”!



Tips for Buying Jewelry


Hengestone Gallery jewelry makes a great gift for any special occasion, whether it be a birthday, holiday, anniversary, or even popping the big question. But finding the right piece can be difficult, especially if you are not sure of what you want, or don’t really know what to look for. Doing your homework and taking time to research can help you make buying jewelry easier. Here are just a few tips and explanations to help bring you understanding of fine jewelry without having to spend money on a buyer’s guide.




When it comes to the world of gemstones, there are only three different types out there to look for; Natural stones, Manufactured stones, and Imitation stones. Determining which kind to buy is really up to you, the customer. For some, it has to be natural. For others, price may be an issue. And then there are those who just like the look of something, but don’t want to pay a lot of money to look fabulous. But what do the terms “Natural”, “Manufactured”, and “Imitation” mean?


Natural Gems- This one is simple to explain. A natural gem is a gem that was created in the Mother Nature’s lab. A combination of heat, pressure, and thousands of years come together to make those pretty things that sparkle we call gemstones. These are also the most rare, and take the most effort to deliver to you, the consumer. They have to be mined, refined, graded and cut before they are mounted and sold.


Manufactured- Unlike natural gems, these are made in the controlled atmosphere of a scientific lab. Molecularly, they are structured the same as natural gems, and they look the same. However, manufactured gems lack the same value and rarity as their natural counterparts. Anyone with experience can tell the difference between the two.
Imitation- Like the other two, this one is rather self-explanatory. They look like manufactured gems at first glance, but can sometimes be manmade, like costume jewelry. They can even be natural, like Cubic Zirconia. Be sure to know what you are looking for, because sometimes imitation can be sold as manufactured gems (but don’t let this scare you out of buying because it won’t happen with the trusted jewelers at
 Hengestone Gallery!).




Things to Watch For: The Basics



Knowing what to look for when shopping for jewelry or gemstones can save a great deal of time, effort, and sometimes money. One thing that is important to know is how a gemstone is measured. In the gemstone industry, the stones are weighed by using carats as a unit of measurement. A single carat is equal to a fifth (1/5) of a gram, and is divided down in to one hundred (100) points. So if you were to buy a quarter carat stone, for example, it would weigh out to .25 carats, or 25 points.


Another thing you may want to know about gemstones before you buy is the difference between a treated and untreated stone. Sometimes gemstones undergo treatment to help improve their luster, or even to change the color. Most gemstones are treated in one way or another, but some treatments may change or wear off over time. Some gemstones may require special care, and need to be taken to an experienced jeweler. If you have a jeweler who sells treated stones, make sure they disclose that information before you buy because treatments can have an effect on the value of the stone.




With Hengestone Gallery, having your trust and confidence matters when it comes to buying gemstones or jewelry, or even finding a trusted jeweler in your area. At Hengestone Gallery, it is our goal to provide the best customer support and to be knowledgeable of the jewelry industry. Our certified appraisers have all the necessary experience and education to bring you valuation reports of your gemstones or jewelry in a timely fashion.


The appraisers here at Hengestone Gallery do not buy or sell, and are educated in the different purposes involved in appraising, such as estate tax. They also have access to gemological testing and a library to make accurate appraisals.





Something else that is important when buying gemstones or jewelry is insurance. Never buy an expensive or unique piece or gem without it. You never know when something may happen in today’s world. It can be used to repair or even replace your jewelry, and can cover theft, damage, and loss. It’s much cheaper and easier than replacing your jewelry out of pocket. There are different policies for different kinds of coverage, so be sure to ask your Hengestone Gallery jeweler for information on obtaining insurance, and find a policy that meets your needs.


All That Glitters…


No piece of Hengestone Gallery jewelry would be complete without precious metals. Such metals include gold, silver and platinum. They can be pure (which isn’t often), or, what is more common, are mixed with other metals to make what is called an alloy. Their values are determined by their karat quality. The more alloy there is, the less their karat quality.


Take gold for example. Gold, in its purest form, has a karat quality of 24 karats. When an alloy is mixed in with it, you get different quality levels ranging from 18 karat gold, to 10 karat gold. Jewelry made with gold should have its karat quality clearly marked somewhere on it, often on the bottom or the inside of the piece where it can’t be seen when worn. Along with the karat quality mark should be a trademark of the manufacturer. It’s often recommended that if you do not see such a mark beside the karat quality marking to find a different piece.


When it comes to platinum, things are done a little differently. The purity of platinum is measured in parts on a scale that go up to 1000. The reason for this is because platinum is mixed with other metals that are similar to platinum, and are known as “platinum group metals”. Such metals include, but not limited to palladium, rhodium, and iridium. So if you buy a piece of platinum jewelry, it will be stamped with a number such as 950, which means there are 950 parts platinum out of 1000, and means that the piece is 95% platinum, and like gold, it should have a trademark beside the number.


Silver is measured similar to platinum, being on a scale of 1000. A piece of jewelry that is marked as “sterling silver” is a piece that contains 92.5% pure silver. As with platinum, the number is stamped on the piece. With sterling silver, the number should read 925, meaning there are 925 parts of pure silver out of 1000. As with gold and platinum, a trademark should be stamped beside the number.


Finding the Right Precious Metal

Everybody has different tastes and likes, especially when it comes to jewelry. Think of a piece of Hengestone Gallery jewelry as an extension of your personality. But you can also buy jewelry to fit your lifestyle. If you are prone to beating up what you wear, you may want to get something more durable, such as platinum. But if you are a moderately active person who likes to stick to tradition, gold would be the better option, with 10 karats being the hardest, and 24 karats being the softest. If you like to wear different pieces of jewelry often, or switch pieces out, then silver may be the way to go. However, silver is the softest precious metal, and will scratch and scuff easily, so it isn’t recommended if you lead an active lifestyle, but is cheap enough to easily replace.

In the end, though, it all comes down to you. What do you want? How much do you want to spend? Ask yourself these kinds of questions before deciding on something. Remember, it’s your money, so be sure to get every cent’s worth! Go to Hengestone Gallery today to find a trusted jeweler near you.


Pearls: The Mother of Jewels



For years, pearls have been used as a symbol of status and beauty in many cultures. Today, though, anybody can get them, and are considered a classic in the world of jewelry and they come in different styles, settings, and sizes. And, unlike how it was years ago, when the only pearls you could get were straight from the oyster’s mouth, they are also farmed. But what does it mean to farm a pearl, you ask? And what is the difference?


The answer is easy, really. There is no difference, except that man plays a role in their growth. An oyster is the most common mollusk (or shellfish) used to produce pearls, and a pearl is formed when foreign matter, such as sand, gets inside the shell and irritates the animal. The shellfish then creates a substance known as nacre (NAY-ker), or what is commonly referred to as mother of pearl, around the irritating debris. Man’s role in making pearls is to introduce an irritant, which is usually a small bead of mother of pearl, to the inside of a shellfish. But what makes a pearl valuable?


There are a few things to look for when determining the value of a pearl: Shape, shine, and surface. Remember those because they are important. The shape of a pearl isn’t as important because they come in various shapes, such as oval, or round. A pearl should also have a nice shine to it, and the surface should be smooth and free of blemishes.
Did you know that pearls aren’t limited to just saltwater shellfish? Even freshwater shellfish, like mussels, can grow a pearl. But know this. Finding a pearl in the wild as opposed to pearls that are farmed is very rare. Natural pearls are more valuable than those grown on a farm. Pearls that are grown in saltwater vary in size and color, depending on what region they are from. They can be anywhere from 2mm-20mm in size, the larger ones being the rarest and most expensive, and can be anywhere from the creamy color that is most popular to blue or even green.
Freshwater pearls are slightly different than their saltwater counterparts. For example, where a starter bead is used to culture a pearl in saltwater, a small piece of tissue paper is used, which gives a thicker coating of mother of pearl. Also, colors are different, being various pastels.


Like with gemstones, there are imitation pearls as well. These are generally made by using a glass bead, and often offer a better shine, but not nearly the depth that farmed pearls have. An experienced <-Company_Name-> jeweler will know the difference between imitation and farmed pearls, though the difference between natural and farmed pearls may be harder to decipher. But since natural pearls are much more valuable than farmed pearls, you may want to consult with a Certified Gemologist at Hengestone Gallery.


The Mystical Powers of Gemstones




Throughout the ages, gemstones have been thought to hold certain mystical powers to help with various ailments. Below is a list of gemstones thought to hold such powers, and the powers they are thought to behold.


Amber- Believed to help soothe headaches and relieve stress


Amethyst- Thought to help with the relief from pain and problems with your circulatory system. It is often used for meditation, and finding inner peace and strength.


Aquamarine- This stone is believed to help with ailments involving the liver and upper digestive system, including teeth, and is thought to help let go of fear, as well as help clear the mind.


Citrine- A stone many believe helps to improve hearing as well promoting success and clear thinking.


Garnet- Helps with the circulatory and respiratory systems, and promotes romance and intimacy.


Lapis- Believed to help fight off depression and insomnia, and promotes honesty and helps one be creative and open with others.


Onyx- This stone helps with one’s spirituality and helps control one’s emotions.


Pearl- Helps to calm one’s nerves, and is believed to help one feel pure, charitable, honest, and loyal.


Peridot- Known for its calming properties, this stone helps with relationships by helping one to feel less angry, jealous, and supposedly helps slow the aging process.


Ruby- Helping to level out emotions, this stone is believed to help you feel happy and more devoted, as well as boost one’s integrity.


Sapphire- Helps to alleviate pain, promotes peace from within and helps one express themselves more creatively.


Topaz- This stone is believed to be very powerful, and helps level out emotions and helps protect against the green eyed monster known as Greed.


Turquoise- This gem is found a lot in folk lore and is thought to help one heal faster as well as balance out emotions.