Customize jewelry selections with colorful and timeless designs.
Emeralds, sapphires and rubies, oh my! With spring approaching faster than we know it, adding gemstones to your jewelry is the perfect accessory for the season, plus a great way to add in a pop of color as the leaves and flowers bloom with vibrance in the next few months.If you aren’t in the spring mood yet, get in the Valentine’s Day spirit, and customize your jewelry with a pop of radiance. These gemstones can be a shining alternative to a diamond that would be a great addition to the month celebrating love.
Kristin Chao, a staff member at Johnson Jewelers specializing in advertising, trends and social media, says gemstones are a great way to add spice to your jewelry collection and that pieces are customizable to fit in a specific aesthetic.
There are two types of custom pieces at Johnson Jewelers—the first “customization” entails taking an existing piece that has already been manufactured and tweaking it with a different stone, adding engraving or making the piece into different widths. A fully customized piece starts with a sketch that is later implemented into a 3D render. From there, the customer can improve the look or approve it—either route is turned into a beautiful, unique one-of-a-kind piece.
“We are seeing people play around with gemstones a lot, more than they were ever before. Our customers are throwing out the rule book as it was—people still love gemstones as a birthstone, but now people are just picking whatever color and gemstone they like,” Chao says. The influx in gemstone popularity has spiked a trend in upcoming styles. Many are intermixing gemstones with a variety of combinations and colors—some rubies and sapphires, or diamonds and emeralds. “The variety of gemstones makes it a more customized piece. The trends seem to be moving away from one huge stone on a tiny little piece,” Chao says.
For engagement rings and bridal pieces, many trends now are pointing back to the classic designs. “We are seeing customers wanting bigger bands that we saw on our own mothers in the ’80s and ’90s, with a really impressive center stone,” Chao says. “… When they are making a really big purchase, they’re feeling like they want to go classic. They don’t want to take a risk on things that are trending for bridal pieces.”
Gemstones allow a ring to mimic classic designs and to be customized to a specific liking, and there are many great alternatives to even the classic diamond. “Colored gemstones to a lot of people have a little bit more personality. Maybe they are getting a birthstone of a loved one or even their favorite color,” Chao says. “Gemstones can add a bit more flare than the classic diamond. Also, if you’re looking for a really impressive piece, but it’s not in your budget, often we set it with a gemstone to make it affordable.”
Moissanite is the closest looking gemstone to the diamond—with a hardness of nine on the Mohs Hardness Scale, it is quite similar to the diamond in color and durability. Moissanite is also more environmentally friendly, as it’s not mined but instead is lab-made. The big difference is the sparkle the gemstone emits,
in comparison to the diamond, moissanite actually has more sparkle.
“Moissanite has been getting really popular. In years past, it was cubic zirconia as our ‘fake diamond.’ The moissanite though has a lot of fire and a lot of sparkles. They also have more of a rainbow sparkle, whereas the diamond’s sparkle is considered colorless—it has a disco ball effect really. It’s ultra-ultra sparkly,” Chao says.
To ensure your custom jewelry remains timeless, Chao’s advice is to stick to the big three gemstones: ruby, sapphire and emerald. “Those are the most classic; the color is unmistakable. When you see an emerald, you know it’s an emerald; when you see a ruby, you know it’s a ruby. Some other gemstones, like aquamarine or citrine, are beautiful, but they aren’t recognizable—so those sometimes read more as trendy than timeless,” Chao says. Customization has no rules though, so if a gemstone you love isn’t in the big three, it can easily turn into a statement piece. For Chao, sapphire is her personal favorite gemstone, and she has a sapphire on her engagement ring, adding uniqueness and her own personality to a personal piece.