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Fine Sapphire Jewelry for September

Fine Sapphire Jewelry for September

September is about to end, so let's talk about Sapphire, which is September's associated birthstone. Here are some interesting facts you may not have known.

Where Does Sapphire Come From?

This precious gemstone is actually 1 of 2 varieties of a mineral known as corundum. The second variation is the ruby, so both gemstones are often found in the same general areas. When it comes to mining for sapphire, there are impressive deposits found in Eastern Australia, Madagascar, Thailand, China, and North America (primarily in Montana). 

Fine Jewelry and Practicality 

In 1812, Freidrich Mohs, a German geologist, came up with a scale from 1 to 10 to determine the hardness of a mineral. The hardness is defined as how scratch-resistant a particular mineral is. Today this scale is known as Mohs' Scale of Hardness and on it, corundum sits at a solid 9. For reference, a diamond is ranked with a hardness of 10. Therefore, the only thing that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. Because of this, the vibrant blue gemstone makes a fantastic choice for decorating fine jewelry that will be worn every day, such as engagement rings or wedding bands. Many handmade watches feature sapphire crystals for added durability as well. 

Other Interesting Facts About the Sapphire Gemstone

  • Throughout history, this jewel has been believed by many cultures to have mystical powers. High nobles and royals have worn fine jewelry such as necklaces and earrings made with sapphire because it was believed that this would protect them from evil and provide them blessings. Today we attribute the signature "royal blue" color of sapphire to these decorated, high-status wearers. 
  • Some sapphires exhibit what is known as asterism This means the particular gem has inclusions that form a star-like pattern. This has become known as the "star sapphire", which adds to its value. 
  • The sapphire birthstone is most commonly blue, but it can also be found in yellow, purple, orange, and pink. It even occurs in a color-changing variety.
  • It is tradition to gift your spouse with sapphire jewelry on your 45th anniversary.

Fine Sapphire Birthstone Jewelry at ALKU Modern Jewelers

At ALKU Modern Jewelers in Katy, Texas, we offer carefully curated jewelry, as well as custom-designed jewelry services. If you have yet to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member born in September, or if your 45th anniversary with your spouse is coming up, contact us today so we can help you find or create a thoughtful, modern piece of jewelry that will be cherished forever and that can be passed down from generation to generation.

Designing the Perfect Ring at ALKU Modern Jewelers

Designing the Perfect Ring at ALKU Modern Jewelers

Buying jewelry can be an extensive process, and sometimes it becomes so stressful because you can't find the perfect piece of fine jewelry or fashion jewelry. It is all too common for us to see customers who want something just as special as the person they are shopping for, but end up having a hard time amidst all of the options. This is especially true when it comes to rings, as they typically have an extra special meaning behind them. At ALKU Modern Jewelers in Katy, Texas we can take care of that stress and even make shopping for modern jewelry a fun and creative experience.

The answer lies in the Creation of Identity. We offer custom jewelry design for those who may struggle with shopping around and also for those who want to create something extraordinary and unique that the special person in their life can identify with.

The Process of Creating Custom-Designed Jewelry

We pride ourselves in offering an exclusive experience so that you can create a one-of-a-kind piece that can be treasured for years to come, right inside of our on-site sketch room.

Step 1: Schedule a Free Consultation 

The first step in creating the perfect ring is to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with us. At this appointment we will ask you some questions to learn about you if you are designing a ring for yourself. If you are designing a custom engagement ring, promise ring, or eternity ring for someone else, we will ask you questions about that person so we can get a better idea of their personality.

Step 2: Designing Your Custom Jewelry

After we ask you questions and discuss your ideas, we will go into the design center with you. Your answers to the questions we ask will be important in helping you create the perfect ring. We use innovative software that allows us to show you what your ring can look like when it's completed, as it gives us the chance to try different jewel shapes, band detailing, colors, and other accents. This makes it easier to see if each design aspect works as beautifully as you imagined.

Step 3: Approving Your Customized Ring Design

Before we finalize your custom jewelry design, we want to make sure you are completely happy with it. The perfect jewelry won't be perfect if you, or the one who will wear it, are unhappy. Once you have tried a few different designs and pick one, we will submit the sketch generated by our software over to our manufacturing partner, who will then make the drawing come to life. It will be delivered within 4-6 weeks, depending on the intricacy involved.

Jewelry will always have a special story behind it, but custom designing a piece of fine jewelry will make it all the more special. If you are interested in creating something truly unique, contact us so we can help you in your Creation of Identity.

Entrust Our Experts at ALKU With All Your Watch Repair Needs

Entrust Our Experts at ALKU With All Your Watch Repair Needs

Did you know we offer expert jewelry repair onsite? Whether you are into collecting watches as a hobby, stick to one watch that your family has passed down for generations, or anything in between, our repair expert at ALKU Modern Jewelers can help you.

Common Reasons for a Watch Repair

Customers come into our Katy watch repair room for a plethora of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are listed below, but keep in mind that these are not the only instances in which we repair watches. In fact, we offer many more jewelry and watch repair services onsite.

Battery Replacement

We can easily replace your battery for a new watch, or an older watch that has been in your family for generations.

Watchband Replacement

Over time, metal or leather watch bands can break and require a full replacement. Other times, a simple repair may be needed. Sometimes a customer will see that one of their metal watchband links has fallen off as the result of a pin that came loose and fell out. In the case of leather watchbands, sometimes they dry out so much that they begin to crack.

Movement Calibration

As you wear your mechanical timepiece more and more, you may find it runs too slow or too fast. You can bring it to us and we will recalibrate it in order to ensure it gives you an accurate reading at all times.

Leave Watch Repair to a Professional

When you entrust your need for a repair to a professional watchmaker and repairman, you risk less damage. Although home repair kits are available to the DIY-er, we advise against using them. Higher-end watches like Omega's, for example, have a certain level of artistry and craftsmanship. It can be a little too easy to accidentally disrupt the craftsmanship, meaning your watch will turn out worse than it was at the time of initial repair. Regardless if you have a high-end watch or a less expensive alternative, it's best to let experts pinpoint the exact part causing the problem.

The Right Watch Repair Tools

Professionals have full access to the right tools, as recommended by the watch manufacturer. Some household tools, like pliers or screwdrivers may be used in a watch repair, but there is an array of specialized tools that may be required, and some may be hard to come across in the same quality that our repair people are provided with.

Inspection

While the watch is in for repair, the watchmaker will take a close look at every single component to ensure the rest of the watch is working well. In some cases, our repairmen have found causes for watch issues that may not have been thought of before. Trusting professional watchmakers means they can take preventative measures so your watch can last another while until the next repair is needed. Don't fret; repairs will always be needed, even if you take the best care of your watch. At ALKU Modern Jewelers in Katy we will treat your watch with the utmost respect and care it deserves.

High quality cut diamond that reflects the light beautifully

The 4C's of Diamond Quality

As early as the 1900's there was no standard method for judging diamonds. It wasn't until the middle of the century that the Gemology Institute of America (GIA) created the first method. Today, their 4C's system is the universal standard for understanding and assessing the quality of any diamond in the world. So what does each 'C' mean and how do they relate to quality?

Understanding the 4C's of Diamond Quality

Color

Color actually refers to the lack of color. To better understand, let's compare a diamond to a droplet of water. A droplet of chemically pure and structurally perfect water has no hue. The 4C's system uses a D-Z color grading system that measures colorlessness under controlled lighting. The system begins with a grade of D, which means the diamond is as colorless as it can get. The presence of color increases ever so slightly all the way to a grade of Z. While differences in color may not be obvious to an untrained eye, the price will reflect it.

Clarity

Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes, which are internal and external imperfections (respectively). Diamonds are the result of carbon that has been exposed to an incredible amount of pressure. Naturally, this will cause such imperfections. Keep in mind, though, that this means there is no such thing as a truly perfect diamond. The closer a diamond is to perfection, the more valuable it is. 

Cut

Judging the cut of a diamond has less to do with shape and more to do with how well it reflects light. This grading scale ranges from Excellent to Poor. When a diamond receives a grade of "Excellent" it possesses an even pattern of bright and dark areas. Brightness refers to the amount of internal and external white light it reflects. The grading scale for assessing the cut of a diamond also takes into account "Fire", which is defined as the scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow, and scintillation, which refers to the amount of sparkle a diamond produces.

Carat

Carat is perhaps the simplest to understand of the 4C's and refers to weight. A single carat measures about 200 milligrams, and in general, a diamond will increase in price as its carat weight increases. This is because heavier diamonds are so rare and more desirable.

Consult a GIA Certified Gemologist at ALKU Jewelers

We take pride in the diamonds we curate. They are so perfectly cut that they reflect up to 93% of incoming light. How a diamond is cut can affect its price by over 40%, so book your spot at our appraisal clinic on September 19th to have a GIA Certified Gemologist thoroughly evaluate your item. This way you can understand and protect its quality.

Pearl strands

How to Care for Your Fine Jewelry

What Is Fine Jewelry?

What is referred to as fine jewelry is any jewelry that is crafted using precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver. Fine jewelry also incorporates genuine, precious pearls or gemstones such as sapphire, ruby, amethyst, and more. This kind of jewelry will be higher-end and more expensive to reflect the use of these precious materials. Since buying fine jewelry is an investment and has the potential to become an heirloom, it is import to know the best way to take care of it to ensure these pieces can last for generations.

Storing Fine Jewelry

Before learning how to clean your handcrafted jewelry, you must learn how to store it when it is not being worn. A general safety tip is to keep your fine jewelry away from any direct sunlight and temperature changes, as these factors can have damaging effects on the brilliance and durability of your delicate pieces. This is similar to how the over-exposure to sunlight can hurt our skin and hair because of its harsh UV rays and in Katy, Texas we have scorching sunlight that seeps through our windows all too easily. Pearls, for example, can bleach when in excess contact with the sun. Colored diamonds and other gemstones can begin to shift in color with too much exposure. Excessive heat can dry out pearls and gemstones, creating cracks and lesions on their surfaces. Lastly, household chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine bleach are detrimental to the everlasting beauty of fine jewelry. For this reason, we recommend not wearing fine jewelry around such chemicals. Likewise, the chemicals found in shampoos, perfumes, and other cosmetics can also potentially damage pearls and gemstones because they, too, can be quite harsh on the smooth and delicate surfaces of the jewels. To mitigate this, we recommend that jewelry should be the final step before heading out for a special occasion.

Now that you know what dangers to factor in when storing your jewelry, the question is where to store it. The ideal storage space for fine jewels is that of soft-lined jewelry boxes and containers. The boxes and pouches in which your purchased pieces are contained upon leaving the jewelry store are perfect. If you prefer to organize all your pieces in one place, we recommend purchasing a jewelry box with multiple compartments so that no pieces come into contact with one another, as this can lead to scratches. With necklaces, it is best to hang each of them in a lined box.

Cleaning Fine Pieces of Jewelry

One of the best cleaning practices for timeless jewelry is using a mild dish soap (not detergent) and warm water. Depending on how dirty the jewelry is, your hands or a very soft brush may be used. Rinse it thoroughly (and carefully so as not to lose it) and gently pat dry with a lint-free cloth. You can then lay the jewelry out on the cloth to dry so you don't take any excess moisture to its storage container.

We recognize that sometimes soap and water may not be enough. In which case we recommend investing in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, keep in mind that this method does not work for all kinds of jewels. Organic materials, such as pearls, ivory, or amber can be damaged with this method. Other gems that are not well suited to ultrasonic cleaning are those which are extra prone to damage from temperature changes, such as opal or topaz. As an alternative, you can schedule an appointment with us at our Katy, Texas jewelry store for jewelry services. We offer free cleanings to ensure that your fine jewelry keepsakes are treated with the utmost respect and are brilliant once again. We also have GIA certified experts who will address any concerns you may have about caring for your valuable timepieces.