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Learn About Gems & Jewelry

Interested in learning more about a particular gemstone or antique jewelry? Our blog is the place to learn more.

All About Diamonds

All About Diamonds

There are a plethora of websites that offer diamond education about the 4C’s: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight (like the Gemological Institute of America). However a 4 C’s education does not tell a person everything they need to know about diamonds, nor does it...

All About Tourmalines

All About Tourmalines

Tourmaline, while little known to the general public, is widely considered by gemologists to be the most colorful and diverse gem family. This is in one part due to the wide variety of colors the gem can come in: from red to blue, from green to black, and all shades...

All About Sapphires

All About Sapphires

Sapphires are our best-selling colored gemstone family for two key reasons: 1) they come in every color of the rainbow and 2) sapphires are hard and tough enough to be worn on a daily basis- second only to diamonds in their hardness. We take great pride in our...

All About Moissanite

All About Moissanite

We are proud to be a preferred retailer of created Moissanite from Charles and Colvard. We think it is the best diamond substitute available so read below to learn more! Moissanite History Moissanite was discovered in the late 1890s by Nobel laureate Dr. Henri...

All About Opals

All About Opals

  Opals have captured the fascination of gem lovers since antiquity. The oldest known items featuring opals were found in ancient Mayan and Middle Eastern jewelry thousands of years old. In the middle ages opals found in central Europe became one of the most...

All About Garnets

All About Garnets

The garnet family of gemstones is one of the most underrated in the gem world. For the last century jewelers stocked red garnets heavily as the January birthstone, and then forgot about them for the rest of the year. This was a crime! Garnets are an ideal colored...

All About Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite

All About Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite

The above photo, courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America, shows the range that natural Beryls occur in. Emerald, aquamarine, and Morganite are the three most famous Beryls, but they come in rarer varieties too. Every member of this family is linked by...

All About Alexandrite & Chrysoberyl

All About Alexandrite & Chrysoberyl

The chrysoberyl (pronounced kris-o-bear-al) gemstone family is one of the most underrated in the jewelry world. Many people have heard of the “phenomenal” members of the Chrysoberyl family, like Alexandrite or Cat’s Eye, but these are just two members of a very...

What’s In a Name? The Paraiba Tourmaline Debate

What’s In a Name? The Paraiba Tourmaline Debate

Today’s blog post is a little technical, but the topics mentioned herein come up often enough in the jewelry industry and among our ‘collector clients’ that we thought it was time to add our two cents to the debate on Paraiba nomenclature.   The Back Story:...

Bicolor Imperial Topaz Ring

Bicolor Imperial Topaz Ring

This month's featured vintage item is centered with a Bicolor Imperial Topaz- a gemstone so rare that a Google image search returns less than 10 examples, most of which aren't this nice, and it isn't even mentioned in our gemstone encyclopedias!     This...

Creepy Crawly… Jewelry!

Creepy Crawly… Jewelry!

Ever since I was a little boy I have been fascinated with things that crawl through the dirt. While I liked to catch snakes and lizards- and I have the scars to prove it- nothing captured my fascination like a rare moth or beetle I had never seen before. I certainly...

The History of Statement Rings

The History of Statement Rings

Statement rings, aka cocktail rings, are terms commonly applied to large right-hand rings that are fun to wear and get lots of attention. While large and impressive rings have been worn by the wealthy for centuries, it wasn’t until the middle of the last century that...

Spotlight on the Victorian Era

Spotlight on the Victorian Era

Attributing antique jewelry to the particular era in which it was made can be quite difficult. One must use a combination of clues like the design of the piece, manufacturing techniques used, materials and gems present, as well as intended use of the item to establish...

Fine Alexandrite Ring

Fine Alexandrite Ring

It sure seems like we find ourselves showing clients and talking about alexandrite more than any other gem. Among jewelry connoisseurs, one of the measures of a jewelry store is whether or not they carry natural alexandrite. On the other end of the spectrum there are...

Spotlight on the Art Deco Period

Most of us have heard the word “deco” thrown around by countless designers, jewelers, etc- but more often than not we hear it used incorrectly. If you are interested in learning about the Art Deco period, or just want to drool over some amazing pieces of jewelry,...

Morganite

So what’s the deal with Morganite anyway, you know, that peach colored gem everyone wants? In the past couple of years Morganite has gone from a rarely encountered collectors-only gemstone to one of the most requested gemstones we carry. Before I analyze why that has...

Early Edwardian Cross Pendant

The Edwardian era welcomed changes in fashion and technology that forever changed the jewelry world. The passing of Queen Victoria in 1901, still in mourning over Prince Albert, finally allowed society to cast off its years or mourning clothes. Out went the depressing...

Downton Era Brooch

In honor of the final season of Downton Abbey, we present- An Edwardian Tourmaline Bar Pin- Circa 1915 In honor of the Downton premier, we decided to highlight this original Edwardian brooch, or bar pin. All brooches are fashionable now- worn on the lapel of jackets...

Recycled, Redesigned Pearl Ring

The below ring is a perfect example of the custom “recycled jewelry” work we are known for. The client who designed this had always wanted a pearl ring. She had inherited several antique diamond rings that she was hoping to re-design in some way. Unfortunately the...

Introducing Aragog- a Mid-Century Spider Brooch

Every once in a while a piece of jewelry actually stuns me. I stop breathing, my heart races, my vision blurs- and I form a permanent bond with the item. And it happened to me this morning, with this awesome mid-century figural brooch that depicts a spider in its web....

Imperial Topaz

Recently I had a client contact me looking for Imperial Topaz earrings. At first I was shocked- because very few people have even heard of imperial topaz even though it is the November birthstone. Once I had overcome the shock of the question my knee-jerk thought was...

The Elusive Gem Ruby

A fine, gem-quality ruby is second to none in the gemstone world. Rubies have the hardness and durability of a sapphire, the inner glow of an emerald, the rarity of a fine diamond (or more) and possess the rarest color in the gem world: pure red. So what makes a ruby...

Laser Prong Repair

The most frequent repairs we see are those pertaining to prongs in rings. Sometimes a client notices the ring is catching on clothing, which indicates that a prong has lost contact with the gem it is holding. Other times the client looks down and sees a prong has been...

Natural Emerald Alternatives

I am a May baby, and I am also a jeweler. Accordingly I have a deep and true love of fine emeralds. The dark bluish green color coupled with a near fluorescent glow is truly captivating. I enjoy faceted emeralds when they are of top color and clarity, but I personally...

Blue sapphire engagement rings- a comeback story

When asked to conjure up an image of an engagement ring I see a round diamond solitaire set in white gold- and for the last century this was the standard by which all engagement rings were made. However if the same question was asked of me circa 1890 I would likely...

Rose gold diamond engagement ring

One of the hottest jewelry trends of 2014-15 has been the comeback of rose gold. From chunky fashion necklaces and watches that are plated in a coppery-pink metal, to actual rose gold earrings and pendants, rose gold is now working its way into engagement rings and...

Fancy Color Diamonds- April Babies Listen Up!

Last week I spoke with three different clients with April birthdays and each one expressed disdain over their unexciting April birthstone. One client loves diamonds, but said that since almost all of her jewelry contained a diamond, she never feels like she has a...

Welcome to the Federal Way Custom Jewelers blog!

Welcome to the Federal Way Custom Jewelers Blog! We may be new to the world of blogging, but we are a 60 year old family jeweler in the south Seattle suburb of Federal Way. Over the years we have become experts (in our own minds anyway) in the art of custom jewelry...