Gemstone Hardness: Why Are Some Gemstones Better to Wear in Engagement Rings than Others?

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different diamond engagement rings in San Diego, but only a few set with an amethyst or an emerald? Our customers often ask us whether or not they can get a specific gemstone set in their engagement ring. And while there’s nothing stopping you from using an emerald or an amethyst, they are not the most recommended gemstones by jewelers for use in an engagement ring. Why?

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Gemstone Treatments: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Gemstone treatments are procedures that precious stones are often subjected to in order to improve one of their aspects, like color or clarity. While some treatments are considered an industry standard, others can affect the value of the gemstone, and if the treatment is not disclosed, a higher price could be charged for a lower quality stone.

For example, customers buying diamond rings in San Diego from shady sources might end up with an imperfect diamond but be charged for a more valuable one without even knowing the difference. In this article, we will list a number of common gemstone treatments, the legitimacy of their use, and whether or not you can detect them yourself.

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Most Commonly Used Gemstone Treatments for Vintage Engagement Rings in San Diego

You may have heard the term “gemstone treatments” over and over again while you were browsing for authentic vintage engagement rings in San Diego. In case you were wondering, they are just what the name implies: treatments used on gemstones to make them look better, brighter or more colorful.

While you might be inclined to think that all treated gemstones are shady business, there are treatments that are widely used and approved of in the jewelry industry, because they enhance the stones and don’t negatively affect their value. On the other hand, there are some treatments that are widely discouraged.

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How Do Gemstones Get Their Colors?

Have you ever wondered why rubies are red, and emeralds green? Also, why are there white diamonds, but also pink ones and yellow ones? There are a lot of misconceptions that diamonds and other gemstones are of virtually the same mineral composition. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Here we offer a glimpse into the world of gemstones: what they are, and what gives them those beautiful colors that we find so captivating.

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Certified Rolex Repair in San Diego: What Does It Actually Mean?

If you own a fine Swiss or German watch, such as Rolex, you don’t want to risk damaging it or decreasing its value in any way by taking it to just any repair shop to be serviced. As the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, a Rolex requires nothing less than the skill and precision of a certified watchmaker.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of San Diego Rolex repair service providers who claim to be ‘’Certified Rolex Watchmakers‘’ or claim that their company is an ‘’Authorized Rolex Repair Center’’, while none of it is actually true.

So how do you know who to trust?

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How to Tell if a Diamond is Real or Fake?

Diamonds are a very expensive purchase, which is why you can’t blame someone who has purchased from a private party for doubting they were sold the real deal. Many owners might at some point suspect that their diamond is not authentic, especially if it didn’t come with a certificate issued by a prestigious laboratory such as the GIA.

The safest way to ensure that your purchase is legitimate is to buy diamond jewelry or wedding rings in San Diego from trusted professional jewelers like Leo Hamel’s. However, if you already made a purchase and doubt the diamond’s authenticity, there are several possible methods to check if your diamond is real or fake.

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Quartz or Mechanical: How to Recognize and Choose Between Different Watch Mechanisms?

The watch movement or the caliber is a mechanism that makes every watch tick. It is an engine that powers a watch and all of its functions. The mechanism inside the watch moves the hands and powers any additional features such as annual calendars, chronographs or dual time zone displays. Powering all the timekeeping tasks, the movement is the most important component in any watch – just ask any professional who specializes in watch repair in San Diego. There are many different movements that power a watch, but they all fall into two categories: mechanical and quartz movements.

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How to Keep Your Jewelry Shining Forever: Proper Cleaning and Storing Tips

Did you get a fancy new gold necklace for Christmas or a shiny engagement ring? Congratulations! What makes fine jewelry so eternal is that it can always look as shiny as when you first got it, provided you take good care of it. Properly storing and caring for your jewelry, combined with an occasional visit to a professional who specializes in repairing and cleaning fine jewelry and engagement rings in San Diego, will ensure that you will proudly wear your precious possessions for years and years to come.

While some pieces of jewelry are fairly easy to maintain, others like pearls require extra attention and special precautions to be taken. In this guide, we will go through the proper ways of cleaning and taking care of different pieces of jewelry so that they truly last forever. Continue reading How to Keep Your Jewelry Shining Forever: Proper Cleaning and Storing Tips

How to Take Care of Your Fine Jewelry when Traveling

If you are like me, packing for a trip is tantamount to a nightmare. I never seem to be able to leave some things behind because I start imagining myself in all the wonderful places I’m about to visit and, of course, I envision all the outfits. So how can I possibly decide on packing only the essentials?

The same goes for jewelry. Some pieces are such an important addition to my outfit that I simply cannot do without them. That in mind, I take extra care of my fine jewelry when I travel. Here are some of the things I do to make sure all my favorite diamond jewelry, pearls and fine gemstone pieces remain in tip-top shape during (and after) my trip.

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Jewelry Eras Explained


Circa 1714-1830

This jewelry style was named for the four Kings named George who ruled England during this period. The designs are bold, ornate, and symmetrical. Bows and swags were popular motifs, and the techniques of chasing and repoussé were often used. Garnets, topaz, coral, and diamonds were fashionable, set in high karat yellow gold and silver settings. The diamonds in jewelry from this time were usually rose cut or table cut and often foil backed to give them more shine.


Circa 1837-1901

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Victorian jewelry was named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, and includes different styles that were popular during her reign. Sentimental jewelry was in demand and many people had lockets, brooches or pendants made with human hair from loved ones. After Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria wanted to remain fashionable while in mourning and “mourning jewelry” was created using jet and other black materials. Neo-Classical designs based on archeological finds in Greece and Rome were also popular, as well as Egyptian and Assyrian themes. Other recurrent designs included crescent shapes, snakes, and cameos. The gemstones most commonly used in Victorian jewelry were diamonds, jet, garnets, amethyst, coral, turquoise, tortoise shell, and chalcedony, and were often set in silver and yellow gold. Diamonds were usually rose cuts or early brilliant cuts.

Art Nouveau

Circa 1895-1915

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Art Nouveau is French for “new art.” This style was greatly influenced by the Japanese art that was being imported to Europe at the time. It is also seen as an artistic revolt against the mechanical themes and methods of manufacture that came out of the Industrial Revolution. Nouveau designs were more organic and asymmetrical. The jewelry incorporated sweeping and flowing lines with natural motifs such as flowers, insects, birds, and the female form. Diamonds were uncommon in this style and overshadowed by the use of colorful enamels and glass, and gemstones such as pearls, opals, amber, moonstone, tourmaline, amethyst, and chalcedony. Noted Art Nouveau designers were Rene Lalique, a glass designer renowned for his stunning creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewelry, chandeliers, clocks, and, in the latter part of his life, automobile hood ornaments, and Louis Comfort Tiffany, who designed stained glass windows and lamps (hence Tiffany lamps), glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels and metalwork.


Circa 1901-1915

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This style of jewelry was named for England’s King Edward VII. During his reign, jewelry was flaunted as a statement of wealth. Edwardian jewelry was made using the finest gemstones and precious metals. Use of platinum in jewelry became widespread and was valued not just for its pure color,1 but for its strength as well. Platinum’s strength and durability allowed for more intricate designs and the use of delicate filigree. Edwardian jewelry is distinctive for its white-on-white look using fine platinum filigree set with top quality pearls and diamonds.

Art Deco

Circa 1915-1939

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Art Deco design came into vogue after the end of WWI. The forms were bolder and geometric compared to the delicate Edwardian and flowing Art Nouveau styles that predated Art Deco. Strong, contrasting colors were achieved using richly hued gemstones such as diamonds, black onyx, lapis lazuli, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, jade, turquoise, and coral. Platinum was the most common metal used, but jewelry was also crafted from white gold. Designs were streamlined, linear, and geometric.


Circa 1940s

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During WWII, gemstones and platinum were in short supply so gold and enamel became very popular. Different colors of gold such as rose and green were used along with yellow gold to enhance the design and make up for the lack of color from gemstones. Retro jewelry is characterized by flowers and bows, animal figures, and industrial-inspired designs. Gemstones that were lighter in color such as citrines, aquamarines, and amethysts as well as smaller diamonds, sapphires, and rubies were used sparingly as accents.