Reimagining Heirlooms: Crafting New Jewelry with JB Jewelry

If there’s one thing I value about my job as a gemologist at JB Jewelry, it’s breathing new life into jewelry. Like a modern-day fairy godmother of the gem world, I have the privilege of taking heirloom stones and cherished jewelry pieces and weaving them into new, contemporary pieces that sparkle with renewed charm. Imagine, a client meets with me, bringing a diamond pendant necklace and an old wedding ring set, full of sentimentality. Alongside these, she brings a bag of assorted gold jewelry pieces she no longer wears. And that, my friends, is where the magic begins.


My most recent project was a testament to the stories that jewelry tells, and my role in preserving and reimagining those stories. We embarked on a journey to transform her cherished pieces into a new custom-designed set of stackable rings that would keep her history alive while embracing the present.


The initial stages take time and imagination.  Sorting through ideas that are deemed worthy of recreating.  To craft these rings, we decided to repurpose the heirloom stones into a series of four interchangeable rings- a decision that felt like giving life back to the unworn jewelry.


But we didn’t stop there. In the spirit of eco-conscious design, we decided to melt down the gold from the other miscellaneous pieces she has brought along. It was exciting to think that all these older pieces would become part of a brand-new creation. What’s even better, melting the unwanted jewelry would ensure that nothing went to waste and at the same time help to offset the cost of our creative endeavor.


Creating these new pieces is a passionate process that allows our creative juices to flow freely together. I love this part of my job where I can infuse my love for storytelling and aesthetics. Working closely with our client, we sift through images and ultimately my jewelry is able to fuse these ideas together and create a CAD (computer animated design) to bring our vision to life.


The process is nothing short of an alchemical transformation, turning all this older material into a brand-new creation.  As we toiled with the gold castings of these new rings, it was thrilling to watch the transition from old and cherished to something fresh and modern. Each cut and curve had a purpose, each stone held a piece of history, and every piece of gold carried the essence of the past.


The result was a remarkable set of four stackable rings that not only adorned her fingers but also adorned her heart. Each ring represented a unique part of her story, a testimony to her love, resilience, and the cherished memories she had collected with these jewelry pieces. This transformation is the epitome of what we do at JB Jewelry – taking the past, molding it into the present, and creating pieces that will be treasured for future generations.


This, my jewelry aficionados, is why I am passionate about what I do. It’s about crafting new stories, celebrating the past, and ensuring that the jewels we create are not just exquisite adornments but vessels of emotions and narratives. So, next time you look at your jewelry box, think about the stories behind those gems and metals. Who knows, they might be yearning for a transformation of their own, ready to become part of your unique, fresh, contemporary tale. And when that time comes, I’ll be here, ready to make the magic happen.


Until next time, stay chic, stay fabulous, and keep telling your story with every shimmer and sparkle.

Fall Engagements

Hello, my fabulous readers! As the crisp air of fall sweeps through the city, bringing with it the promise of cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and the rustle of leaves underfoot, love seems to blossom like the vibrant hues of autumn foliage. There’s something enchanting about the fall season—the way it embraces you in a warm, comforting embrace, just like a perfect marriage proposal.

The arrival of fall gives us a wonderful excuse to cozy up in soft scarves, knit sweaters, and boots that click in tune with the laughter of fallen leaves. It’s a season that beckons romance and whispers sweet promises, making it an ideal backdrop for a proposal that’s as heartwarming as a cup of cocoa by the fire.

As we approach the holiday season, memories of cherished family gatherings flood our minds. The fall is a time of rekindling old traditions and forging new ones, a perfect setting to pledge a lifetime of love and togetherness. Picture this: a proposal amidst the glow of twinkling lights, surrounded by the fragrance of pine, and with the sound of carolers filling the air. A scene straight out of a holiday movie, creating memories to be cherished for a lifetime.

Now, let’s talk about the key ingredient—the element of surprise and romance. Every woman dreams of a proposal that sweeps her off her feet, that makes her heart skip a beat. A surprise that embodies the essence of your love story, a moment that leaves her breathless with joy. Perhaps a surprise proposal during a scenic fall hike, as the sun sets and paints the sky with hues of pink and orange, or maybe during a cozy picnic under a canopy of trees, with the scent of autumn in the air.

And, of course, we cannot overlook the importance of the perfect ring—the symbol of your love and commitment. For a sophisticated and stylish woman, the cut of the diamond is of paramount significance. The classic round cut is timeless and elegant, while the princess cut exudes a modern and edgy vibe. For a vintage-loving heart, an emerald or cushion cut may be the perfect choice, reminiscent of a bygone era. It’s all about finding that unique cut that mirrors her personality and style, a reflection of the eternal love you share.

The perfect marriage proposal during the fall season embodies warmth, surprise, and the promise of a love that’s as beautiful and vibrant as the autumn leaves. It’s a tale of two souls intertwining amidst the magic of this wonderful season, creating a love story to be celebrated for all the cozy fall seasons yet to come.

Fall in Love With These Diamonds: A Season of Romance by JB Jewelry

As the vibrant hues of autumn grace the world, love is in the air and the promise of cozy moments with a loved one beckons. Embrace the changing of seasons and the approaching holidays with timeless beauty from JB Jewelry. Fall is the perfect time to kindle the flames of love and propose, and what better way to capture your love's heart than with exquisite diamond cuts—heart, oval, and pear.

Heart Cut: A Symbol of Everlasting Love

This fall, let your love bloom like the autumn leaves with a heart-cut diamond. Its enchanting silhouette represents the purity of love and the commitment to a lifetime together. Like the changing leaves, the heart-cut diamond showcases the vivid emotions that come with this wonderful season of love.

Oval Cut: Grace and Elegance for Autumn Romance

Just as autumn unveils its beauty in subtle yet profound ways, the oval-cut diamond epitomizes grace and elegance. Its elongated shape evokes the image of fallen leaves gently swaying in the autumn breeze. Embrace the season of love with the oval-cut diamond and let its timeless beauty reflect the enduring love you share.

Pear Cut: Embrace the Harvest of Love

Celebrate the bountiful harvest of your love story with the pear-cut diamond. Its unique teardrop shape mirrors the falling leaves of autumn and symbolizes new beginnings. As you prepare to propose during this magical season, let the pear-cut diamond be a testament to the promise of a beautiful and fruitful journey ahead.

With the holidays on the horizon and the beauty of fall surrounding us, seize the opportunity to make this season memorable by choosing the perfect diamond cut to encapsulate your love story. At JB Jewelry, we offer a curated collection of exceptional diamond cuts that will help you express your love and mark the beginning of a lifetime together. Fall in love all over again this autumn, and let our diamonds be the symbol of your eternal love story.

Rose-Cut Gems from the Baroque Era

Colored stones from the Baroque era fashioned as rose cuts have received little attention to date. Even the colored stone rose cuts incorporated in notable collections, such as the Cheapside Hoard discovered in London in 1912, have not been studied in detail, and only very limited further examples are depicted and described in gemological texts. Recent work with five objects of liturgical insignia and electoral regalia belonging originally to the archbishops and prince-electors of Trier and Cologne has thus offered an opportunity to augment available information. All of these pieces date to the second half of the seventeenth century. Although the table cuts from that era were still quite simple, consisting of an upper flat table facet surrounded by one or two rows of step-cut facets, the rose cuts were enormously varied and complex while still generally following a symmetrical pattern in the facet arrangement. The goal of the study was to contribute to filling a gap in the historical information on gem cuts by offering an overview of the many rose cuts used for colored stones in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Rose cuts encompass a variety of faceting arrangements, all of which lack a flat table. In contrast to the considerable literature on the use of rose cuts in diamonds, there has been a dearth of information regarding their use in colored stones.

Although today the interested gemologist, art historian, or jeweler might be able to find various photographs or drawings of art objects exhibiting rose-cut colored stones, no systematic evaluation of such cuts is available in the literature. While nineteenth-century texts may present a broad selection of table cuts, along with covering the three traditional rose cuts for diamonds, other gem cuts without flat tables are not shown or described as being commonly available. Presumably such objects were not known to the authors of these treatises and were thus considered extremely rare, an estimation borne out by their treatment in Schrauf (1869). There, a rose-cut garnet with a flat base and eight rhombus-shaped facets forming a central dome was drawn and characterized as a unique gem fashioned in the eighteenth century or before, and a similar stone with eight kite-shaped facets topping the central dome was also described as unique and very rare.

Rose cuts are still produced from multiple gem materials, primarily garnet (figure 5, left and center) and quartz (figure 5, right), and thousands of facet designs including numerous rose cuts can be found by interested users and cutters in modern texts (e.g., Long and Steele, 1979–1989) and online databases (e.g., However, these are mainly cuts developed in the nineteenth or twentieth century, and the publications are silent as to whether the designs find any analogue in objects of eras past.

The colored stone rose cuts featured in the current study came to light during examination of five objects of liturgical insignia and electoral regalia. Four were from what is known as the Trierer Kurschatz (the treasury of the archbishops and prince-electors of Trier, who were one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire1). The work began principally with gemstone identification at the time the collection was publicly presented in October 2017 (“The Munich Show,” 2017). The investigation continued at the Diözesanmuseum Limburg (Museum of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg), where the treasury is normally exhibited, with the focus turning in part to the cuts of the stones. It soon became apparent that these artifacts, dated to the second half of the seventeenth century, contained numerous colored stones with rose cuts differing markedly from the standard cuts presented for diamonds in gemological texts

December | Turquoise, Tanzanite & Zircon

Turquoise, tanzanite and zircon are the three birthstones for December. These December birthstones are mined around the world and all have their own unique take on the color blue, allowing you to choose the birthstone that best fits your style. Learn more about their history and where they can be found.


Turquoise is a semi-translucent to opaque gem that ranges from blue to green and often has veins of matrix (remnants of the rock in which it formed) running through it. This December birthstone has been cherished for millennia. The pharaohs and other rulers of ancient Egypt adorned themselves with it. Chinese artisans carved it more than 3,000 years ago.

The turquoise birthstone was thought to possess many beneficial powers, like guaranteeing health and good fortune. From the 13th century on, it was believed to protect the wearer from falling (especially off horses), and would break into several pieces at the approach of disaster. Hindu mystics maintained that seeing a turquoise after beholding the new moon ensured fantastic wealth.

This turquoise birthstone also played an important role in the lives of Native Americans. The Apache thought turquoise could be found by following a rainbow to its end. They also believed that attaching the December birthstone to a bow or firearm made one’s aim more accurate. The Pueblo maintained that turquoise got its color from the sky, while the Hopi thought the gem was produced by lizards scurrying over the earth.

This December birthstone adorns the funerary mask of King Tut, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. It also appears in jewelry belonging to more modern royalty: Wallace Simpson (1896–1986), Duchess of Windsor (the woman for whom King Edward VIII gave up his throne), wore a famous amethyst and turquoise necklace made by Cartier. Turquoise is also the gem of the 11th wedding anniversary.

In European tradition, the gift of a turquoise ring means “forget me not.” Turquoise is considered a national treasure in Tibet, where it is believed to grant health, good fortune and protection from evil. December's birthstone also imparts peace to those who wear it.


Tanzanite may be a relative newcomer to the world of colored stones, but it was one of the most exciting gem discoveries of the 20th century. Blue stones emerging from Tanzania were identified as the mineral zoisite in 1962. Not until 1967, though, did prospectors locate the primary source for this December birthstone: the Merelani Hills. It was eventually named tanzanite in honor of its country of origin. The tanzanite birthstone is often described as “velvety,” mostly because of its deep and saturated color, which ranges from a pure rich blue to violet, with the blue considered most valuable.

Tiffany & Co. believed that tanzanite had international appeal and became its main distributor. In 1968, Tiffany launched a major advertising campaign to promote it. With its vivid colors, high clarity and potential for large cut stones, tanzanite quickly became a sensation. Today, it is not only a December birthstone, but it is also the gem for the 24th wedding anniversary.


The origins of the word “zircon” have elicited colorful debate. Some scholars believe it comes from the Arabic word zarkun, meaning “cinnabar” or “vermilion.” Others think the source is the Persian word zargun, or “gold colored.” Considering the broad color palette for this December birthstone – red, orange, yellow, brown, green and blue – either derivation seems possible. Colorless zircon is known for its brilliance and flashes of multicolored light, called fire, which have resulted in centuries of confusion with diamond.

During the Middle Ages, this December birthstone was thought to lull one into a deep sleep and scare off evil spirits. In the Hindu religion, zircon alternates with hessonite garnet as one of the nine gems of the navaratna. When worn together, the nine gems protect the wearer and bring wealth, wisdom and good health.

Victorians had a fondness for blue zircon. Fine specimens can be found in English estate jewelry from the 1880s.

November | Topaz & Citrine

Topaz and citrine are the two birthstones for November. Both are fairly abundant making them affordably priced. These two November birthstones are known for their calming energies and can be found around the world. Learn more about these birthstones so that you can pick the perfect one for yourself or a loved one.


The variety of topaz hues includes colorless, light blue, yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown and, very rarely, red. The vast majority of blue topaz seen today is the permanent result of treating colorless topaz with irradiation and heating. The rainbow effect seen in “Mystic Topaz” is created by coating colorless topaz with a thin artificial film.

Some believe the word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means “fire.” Others trace it back to the Greek topazos. This November birthstone was long thought to have many benefits. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. From the 1300s to the 1600s, Europeans thought it could thwart magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty and intelligence.

The distinctly pinkish orange Imperial topaz has aristocratic cachet. It is commonly believed that the name originated with the Russian royal family’s insistence on keeping the finest colors of this gem, which was mined in Russia’s Ural Mountains, exclusively for their use. An alternate explanation, especially popular in Brazil, is that it dates from an 1881 visit by Brazilian Emperor Pedro II to Ouro Preto—the town closest to Brazil’s most productive topaz mines–and the gift of a reddish topaz to him.

Blue topaz is the gem of the fourth wedding anniversary, and Imperial topaz is the gem of the 23rd wedding anniversary.


This November birthstone is the transparent yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz, which has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Citrine has been a popular gemstone since ancient times and has shared a history of mistaken identities with the other November birthstone, topaz. As a result, people thought citrine had the same powers as topaz. They believed the citrine birthstone could soothe tempers and calm the wearer.

The ancient Greeks carved rock crystal ornaments that glistened like permafrost. Roman pontiffs wore rings set with massive purple amethysts, and citrine has been reported in Roman jewelry. It was particularly popular in colorful Scottish jewelry from the Victorian era. Citrine, believed to derive from the French word for “lemon” (citron), is given for the thirteenth wedding anniversary.

Today, most of the citrine in the marketplace results from the heat treatment of amethyst. With its ready availability in a broad range of sizes, citrine birthstone is one of the most affordable and desired yellow gemstones.

October | Opal & Tourmaline

Opal and tourmaline are the two birthstones for October. Both of these gemstones are known for their endless color combinations and are believed to have been created from rainbows. Learn more about these two birthstones for October and discover their meanings and where they can be found.


The name of this, the traditional October birthstone, is believed to have originated in India (the source of the first opals brought to the Western world), where in Sanskrit it was called upala, a “precious stone." .” In ancient Rome, this became opalus. Most opals are valued for their shifting colors in rainbow hues – a phenomenon known as “play-of-color.”

The October birthstone’s dramatic play-of-color has inspired writers to compare it to fireworks, galaxies and volcanoes. Bedouins once believed opal held lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. Ancient Greeks thought opals bestowed the gift of prophesy and protection from disease. Europeans long maintained opal to be a symbol of purity, hope and truth. Hundreds of years ago, opal was believed to embody the virtues and powers of all colored stones.

Opal is also the stone given to celebrate the 14th wedding anniversary.


Tourmaline is the newer October birthstone. The name comes from the Sinhalese word toramalli, which means “stone with mixed colors,” because it often has multiple colors in one crystal. Very few gems match tourmaline’s dazzling array of colors. Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed this October birthstone could inspire artistic expression – it has a color palette for every mood. Among the most popular are the pink and red rubellites, the emerald green “chrome” tourmalines, and the neon green and blue-to-violet “paraíba” tourmalines.

Because of its vast range of colors, tourmaline was often mistaken for other gemstones One of the “rubies” in the Russian crown jewels, the “Caesar’s Ruby” pendant, is actually red (rubellite) tourmaline. A Spanish conquistador found green tourmaline crystals in Brazil in the 1500s and confused the stones with emerald. These and other cases of mistaken identity continued for centuries until scientists recognized tourmaline as a distinct mineral species in the 1800s.

Different colors of tourmaline are thought to have their own healing properties. Black tourmaline is believed to protect the wearer and give a sense of self-confidence. Pink tourmaline embodies love and is associated with compassion and gentleness. Green tourmaline promotes courage, strength and stamina. Tourmaline is given to celebrate the eighth wedding anniversary.

September | Sapphire

Sapphire, the September birthstone comes in all the colors of the rainbow – except red. Learn more about the birthstone of wisdom, loyalty and nobility and discover its history and where it can be found.


The September birthstone has traditionally symbolized sincerity, truth, faithfulness and nobility. For countless centuries, sapphire has adorned royalty and the robes of the clergy. The elite of ancient Greece and Rome believed that blue sapphires protected their owners from harm and envy. Clerics of the Middle Ages wore sapphires because they symbolized Heaven. Ancient Persians believed the earth actually rested on a giant sapphire, which made the sky blue.

The September birthstone was reputed to have healing powers as well. Medieval Europeans believed that sapphire cured plague boils and diseases of the eye. The sapphire birthstone was also thought to be an antidote to poison.

Famous sapphires include the Rockefeller Sapphire, a 62.02 carat (ct) rectangular step cut stone that was unearthed in Myanmar (Burma). Acquired in 1934 by financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) from an Indian maharaja, the gem was recut and remounted over the years. The sapphire was first set as a brooch and later as a ring featuring two cut-cornered triangular diamond side stones. Perhaps the best-known sapphire in recent years is the 12 ct blue gem surrounded by diamonds in the sapphire engagement ring first worn by Princess Diana and then given by her son to Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge.

In addition to being the September birthstone, sapphire is also the gem commemorating the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

August | Peridot & Spinel

If you were born in August then you have a couple of birthstones to choose from. Peridot and spinel are the three birthstones for August and they come in a variety of shapes and colors. Learn more about these two august birthstones and discover their meanings and where they can be found in the world.


Peridot is the yellowish green to greenish yellow gem variety of the mineral olivine. Throughout history, peridot has often been confused with other gems such as topaz and emerald. The Red Sea island of Topazios, a purported source of the name “topaz,” actually produced peridot. The Shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral is decorated with 200 carats of gems that were believed to be emeralds but are, in fact, the August birthstone peridot. Some historians even speculate that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have been comprised of peridot.

The word “peridot” comes from the Arabic faridat, meaning gem. This August birthstone was valued in many ancient and medieval cultures. It appeared in priests’ jewelry as early as the second century BCE and later in the chalices and churches of medieval Europe. The peridot birthstone has also been used for centuries as a protective talisman, shielding the owner from evil spirits and “terrors of the night.”

Peridot is the gem given to celebrate a 16th wedding anniversary.


The name “spinel” comes from the Latin word spina, which means thorn, in reference to the shape of spinel crystals. This second August birthstone comes in a wealth of colors: intense red, vibrant pink, orange, purple, violet, blue and bluish green.

For centuries, spinel was mistaken for other gemstones. Some of history’s most famous “rubies” have actually turned out to be this August birthstone. The approximately 170 ct Black Prince’s “ruby,” for example, was owned by a succession of Moorish and Spanish kings before Edward, Prince of Wales (also known as the Black Prince) received the stone in 1367 as payment for winning a battle on behalf of Peter of Castile. Not until the 18th century was spinel clearly separated from ruby on the basis of their chemical differences. Today, this historic red spinel is set in Great Britain’s Imperial State Crown, just above the 317.40 ct Cullinan II diamond.

Red spinel, along with other red gems, was thought to be a remedy for all types of blood loss and inflammatory diseases. The red gems were believed to ease anger and promote harmony. This August birthstone is traditionally given as a 22nd wedding anniversary gift.

July | Ruby

Ruby, the king of precious gems represents passion, love and success. Shopping for ruby, the July birthstone? Learn about its history, origins, care and cleaning, and where they can be found in order to help you pick the right one for yourself or a loved one.


In ancient India, ruby was called the “king of precious stones” for its rarity, hardness (second only to diamond), beauty and seemingly mystical powers. Long associated with the life force blood, ruby was a symbol of power and youthful energy in Indian jewelry. In past centuries, some believed this birthstone for July could predict misfortune or danger, and others claimed it would cure inflammatory diseases and soothe anger. Burmese warriors believed it made them invincible in battle. Medieval Europeans maintained that rubies bestowed health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.