Irish Traditions

Complete Guide to the June’s Birthstones

June’s Birthstones

If you were born in June, you have three intriguing birthstones to choose from: pearl jewelry, moonstone jewelry, and alexandrite jewelry. Because alexandrite is one of nature’s rarest gemstones, most birthstone jewelry lovers born in this month will gravitate toward pearl and moonstone.

Do you want to learn more about June’s birthstones? You can find out everything you need to know about these delightful gems right here. What exactly are June birthstones? What is the origin of June birthstones? The three exquisite gemstones designated for June birthdays are pearl, moonstone and alexandrite.

Meanings of Birthstones

Birthstones have been associated with folklore throughout history. They, like zodiac signs, detail various symbolic powers and qualities. Wearing your birthstone connects you to the qualities it represents, according to popular belief. Many people today do not believe in the mythical healing powers of birthstones. However, their symbolic significance is still valued. In general, birthstone jewelry is thought to bring good fortune to those born in the month.

Why are there three birthstones in June?

Because many historical stones have become too rare to be sold on the market and to suit customer preferences, some months contain multiple birthstones. Pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite are June’s three birthstones; the only other month with three birthstones is December. December’s Birthstones are turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite.

June Birthstone’s Meaning

June’s birthstones are all stunning in their own right. Each of the three June birthstones has its own symbolic meaning as well. Moonstone June Birthstone Jewelry and alexandrite June Birthstone Jewelry are new additions to the list of birthstones. Pearls and moonstones have a long history, whereas Alexandrite is a relatively new discovery. Indeed, it has gained traction in recent decades.

The Origins of June’s Birthstones

The June birthstones (pearl alexandrite and moonstone) are all from different parts of the world.
Pearls can be found in waters off the coasts of China, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and French Polynesia. Alexandrite, on the other hand, has always been restricted to Russia’s mountains.
However, a significant deposit was discovered in Brazil. The United States, Brazil, and India are among the top moonstone exporters. The color of this June birthstone or moonstone jewelry changes depending on the lighting. It can appear green like an emerald during the day, but it also has a blue sheen in fluorescent light and a purple sheen in incandescent light.

June Birthstone Meaning

Alexandrite: The June Birthstone Alexandrite is thought to be both unbreakably strong and to increases self-esteem.

Pearl: The June birthstone pearl, has long been a symbol of purity.

Moonstone: The June Birthstone Moonstone brings prosperity, amplifies passion, and balances the negative and positive sides of the mind.

Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions

April’s Birthstone is Diamond

April Birthstone is the Diamond

Those who were born in April are fortunate as the birthplace of the Diamond for April.
Timeless and immensely popular are diamond birthstones – 86 percent of U.S. pairs, after all, select diamonds as their central stones for engagement rings.

If you like the greatest in life, diamond birth pieces are your birthplace! Were you aware that they are the hardest jewel on the earth, too? This brilliant gem will not just amaze you, but you will not be worried about breaking it because it is exceptionally long-lasting.

The official birthstone for the month of April is the Diamond , the color is naturally clear or white in color and the alternative April gemstone is any clear stone such as sparkling Quartz or Cubic Zircon.

The beautiful, strong and brilliant Diamond is April’s birthstone. In the zodiac April is for Aries star sign (Mar 21 – Apr 20) . Other birthday symbols for April include the birth flower the Sweet Pea and Daisy.

The gemstone diamond symbolizes the magic of romance and love. Making Diamonds the natural and traditional gem of first choice to be set in engagement rings and wedding rings. Diamonds are a very popular gemstone worldwide. They are expensive and highly valued according to carat weight, clarity, color, and cut, known as the 4 ‘C’s of diamonds.

Besides being a meaningful gift for a special April birthday, Diamond jewelry is the also given to celebrate special wedding anniversaries such as the 10th, 60th and 75th.

APRIL BIRTHDAY SYMBOLS

April Birthstone: Diamond

Alternative April birthstone: clear Quartz

April Birthstone color: white or clear

April Birth flower: Sweet Pea

Celtic Jewelry, Interesting Stories, Irish Traditions, Jewelry Care

Brief History of Gold Jewelry

Gold and gold jewelry has been a treasured commodity throughout ancient history. The first historical evidence of gold jewelry in a society occurred in ancient Egypt around 3,000 B.C. Gold was a highly valued metal that was easy to work with in its purest form. Gold was treasured in Egyptian mythology. Gold and gold jewelry was highly valued by pharaohs and Egyptian temple priests. So important, and highly treasured that the capstones on the Pyramids of Giza were made of solid gold.

Ancient Greeks and Gold

Later on in ancient history, the Greeks saw gold as a symbol of social status and as a form of glory amongst the immortal gods and demigods. The average Greek used gold to reflect wealth wealth and as currency.

Gold Fun Fact

The Olympics tradition of giving gold medals to the victors began during the modern Olympics and actually has very little to do with ancient Greek tradition.

Celtic Gold Jewelry History and Origins

From what historians can discern the Celts began working with gold in the early bronze age. They started working in sheet gold, creating sundiscs and crescentic gold collars called lunulae.

Around 1200 BC new gold working techniques were developed. During this time a great variety of torcs including torc bracelets were made by twisting bars or strips of gold.

It is believed around 1200 BC the Celts began to develop new gold working techniques. It is thought that during this time many of the Celtic torcs discovered were made by simply twisting bars of pure gold or strips of pure gold.

Around 900 BC – the Late Bronze Age – and the Celtic jewelry metal work of this period consisted of two main types. Celtic Jewelry pieces including Celtic bracelets and Celtic brooches used as fasten their cloaks, in dramatic contrast to previous sheet gold collars and ear-spools.

What is Pure Gold?

According to the World Gold Council “‘Caratage’ is the measurement of purity of gold alloyed with other metals. 24 carat is pure gold with no other metals. Lower caratages contain less gold; 18 carat gold contains 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent other metals, often copper or silver.”

What is Karat Gold?

Karat Gold refers to a standardized industry unit of measurement regarding the percentages of metal alloy added to pure to to either strengthen it, decrease gold caratage to reduce costs or change it’s color.

Celtic Jewelry, Irish Jewelry, Jewelry Care

What Does Gold Karat Mean?

What is Karat Gold?

Karat Gold refers to a standardized industry unit of measurement regarding the percentages of metal alloy added to pure to to either strengthen it, decrease gold caratage to reduce costs or change it’s color.

This World Gold Council chart shows some examples of the composition of various caratages of gold.

 CaratageGold(Au)Silver (Ag) Copper (Cu)Zinc (Zn)Palladium (Pd) 
Yellow Gold9k37.5%42.50%20%  
Yellow Gold10k41.70%52%6.30%  
Yellow Gold14k58.30%30%11.70%  
Yellow Gold18k75%15%10%  
Yellow Gold22k91.70%5%2%1.30% 
White Gold9k37.5%62.5%   
White Gold10k41.7%47.4% 0.9%10%
White Gold14k58.30%32.20%  9.50%
White Gold18k75%   25% (or Pt)
White Gold22kN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rose Gold9k37.5%20%42.5%  
Rose Gold10k41.70%20%38.3%  
Rose Gold14k58.30%9.2%32.5%  
Rose Gold18k75%9.2%22.2%  
Rose Gold22k91.7% 8.40%  

Notes:

White gold compositions listed here are nickel free. Nickel-containing white gold alloys form a small/very small percentage of white gold alloys and generally contain other base metals such as copper and zinc.

The following are the common standards of fineness that are used:

.375 = 9 carat (England and Canada)

.417 = 10 carat

.583 (.585) = 14 carat

.750 = 18 carat

.833 = 20 carat (Asia)

.999 (1000) = 24 carat pure gold

What are Rose Gold rings?

Rose gold wedding rings are a beautiful color of gold often seen in Victorian pieces and has become popular in wedding rings today. Rose gold rings contains Yellow Gold, but with a higher or larger percentage of Copper as the added alloy to give it its pink gold or “rose” color.

What about White Gold?

To make white gold rings, or jewelry, pure gold is combined with higher or larger percentages of white metal alloys like silver, nickel & palladium. To make white gold rings or silver rings have a whiter or brighter white it is often plated in rhodium.

Pure Gold is yellow and even when combined with white metal alloys it still can appear very yellow in color therefore the white gold wedding rings like sterling silver wedding rings are plated with a very bright white metal called rhodium.

Caring for your Gold jewelry

To keep gold wedding rings and gold jewelry shiny, you should clean your Celtic jewelry regularly with a solution of 10-parts warm water and 2-parts dish soap. The favorite dish soap of jewelers for jewelry is Dawn.

In regard to white gold and sterling silver Celtic jewelry it is important to remember that Rhodium-plate eventually wears off over time and normal wear revealing the true color of the metal beneath and allowing for tarnishing. How long will it take for the plating to wear off is unknown and depends on how well the jewelry is cared for. However remember that rhodium-plating is replaceable and can be re-done by your local jeweler, and is relatively inexpensive.

Irish Jewelry, Jewelry Care

Why Sterling Silver May Turn Your Finger Green

If a person has a natural high acidity level in his/her skin, it is possible for his/her finger to “turn green” from silver or gold jewelry, or for silver jewelry to blacken especially when the weather is hot and humid. The green is actually caused by oxidation, and all silver will oxidize (it’s also what gives silver a tarnished look). There are some costume jewelry items that cause the same effect. Most of them contain nickel. It’s not poisonous in small quantities but it can provoke a reaction in people allergic to nickel. This “green finger effect” and the tarnishing of silver may also be an allergic reaction to alloy elements in sterling silver or gold. In some cases, the alloys, used to make jewelry more durable, may react with your body chemistry, chemicals in the air and household chemicals such as soap, salt and sun tan lotion causing a harmless green or black discoloration on the skin, which can be easily removed with soap and water, silver cleaner or with a polish cloth. For this reason, most retail silver jewelry and white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium, which serves as a defensive layer and prevents this reaction from happening to anyone with allergy.

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver jewelry is usually made of a precious metal mixed with a metal alloy. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, with the remaining 7.5% made up of other metals. Common metal alloys include nickel and copper to strengthen the silver since it is soft. Metal alloys can cause an allergic reaction, causing a black or green ring to form around the finger. The acid in your skin can also cause a reaction with some metals, which can result in discoloration. Most sterling jewelry pieces are plated with rhodium that prevent tarnishing and green figure but it can wear off eventually.

How to prevent discoloration from silver jewelry?

Generally harmless and basic household chemicals, alloys, and acid should not keep you from wearing your rings. There are many things you can do to prevent the dreaded green or black finger stain. Remove your rings before swimming in swimming pools or hot tubs. Chlorine is a chemical. Avoid wearing your rings when handling any household cleaning products they are chemicals. Even hair spray, perfume and sun tan lotion are simple chemicals that can react with your jewelry and its finish. It a good idea to also remove your rings at night and clean them regularly. If these tips aren’t enough to prevent your rings from leaving a stain on your finger, consider taking your rings or chains to your local jeweler to have it coated or re-coated with rhodium on the inside to prevent a reaction. Your local jeweler can coat your jewelry usually fast and for an affordable amount.

Irish Wedding Traditions

How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Ring

Shopping for a wedding ring can be a very confusing process since most people have never done it before. Let’s face you it that there is some pressure there because you are basically picking out a piece of jewelry your are going to have to wear a very long time. The pandemic hasn’t made the process any easier since most people are know purchasing their wedding rings online due to shopping safety and inventory constraints. But don’t worry most online jewelers like The Irish Jewelry Company usually have their wedding ring assortments broken out in a variety of categories making it easier to shop for that special rings either by styles, metal or price point. Just remember the following advise when choosing a unique wedding ring.

Reflect Your Personal Style

Choose a wedding ring that says something about you or that represents your relationship. Couples choose Celtic wedding rings like the Trinity Knot Wedding Band to also represent their heritage and faith. Wedding rings essentially become a part of you, and often become treasured family heirlooms passed down to future generations.

Know Your Budget

Discuss finances and set a clear budget for wedding ring shopping. There’s no shame in setting an affordable budget and knowing what you can afford when shopping for your rings. Especially if you are shopping online and have done your research. Your friend’s jeweler or my Irish jeweler might offer an item for several hundred dollars more and bad reviews then an online jewelry store like The Irish Jewelry Company. So shop around the online competitors. And don’t think working with a budget means you can’t go with a beautiful style wedding ring you love. Online stores The Irish Jewelry Company often offer Celtic wedding ring designs in several metal options in variety of affordable price points.

Shop a Few Months Before the Big Day

Shop early so your aren’t rushed or stressed over choosing a ring. Planning a wedding is a big deal and there is a lot to do. The last things a couple needs is to worry about getting their rings in time for the big day. Often wedding rings are made to order and the jeweler will need a few weeks to get the ring made. A wedding ring is something you’ll be wearing on your ring finger for life, so you want to make sure you pick out the right ring.

The Bottom Line is Enjoy the Experience

Most of all remember to do it together and have fun when shopping for a wedding ring even if its online. Consider your lifestyle and heritage when looking for a wedding ring and be honest with your budget. There are plenty of beautiful and handsome affordable wedding rings online especially at The Irish Jewelry Company.

Jewelry Care

Cleaning Your Sterling Silver Jewelry

Claddagh Trinity Knot Rings by The Irish Jewelry Company

Sterling silver is a commonly used precious metal for jewelry for its affordability and for it is lustrous color, versatility, and durability. Sterling silver is commonly used in Irish Jewelry like claddagh rings. But beautiful sterling silver jewelry requires good care or it could tarnish, losing its shine and luster.

Sterling silver is silver that has been combined with other metals. If a jewelry item is made of sterling silver, it means that it typically contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Hence the popular term when referring to sterling silver jewelry as 925. Other metals like nickel and copper are combined with silver to make it stronger but it also means it will tarnish.

Tarnish is corrosion that develops over sterling silver jewelry, causing an item to discolor and lose its shine. It typically occurs when the sterling silver reacts with the hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere. This is why silver is often recommended to be store in a sealed bag. Regularly wearing and cleaning your sterling silver jewelry helps to deter tarnish.

Cleaning your sterling silver with a mild dish washing detergent is important. It is the first cleaning method you should do before trying other complex silver cleaning methods.

Cleaning Sterling Silver

To get started, fill a medium-sized bowl or basin with warm water and add about 6 drops of mild dish washing liquid. Next, dip a soft brush into the solution and gently scrub the silver item with it.

Cleaning Plated or Rhodium Plated Silver Jewelry

In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of a mild liquid detergent with 1 cup of warm water. Then, soak your rhodium-plated items in the solution. Leave the items in the soapy water for about 10 minutes, but don’t let the jewelry sit any longer than 15 minutes. The extra time could cause damage.

If this method doesn’t achieve the desired result a professional cleaning and or refinishing at your local jewelry store might be necessary from time to time.

Jewelry Care

Summer Jewelry Care Tips

Panorama of mother and daughter with bike on a beach at sunset

Summer weather and all that comes with the excitement of the season can be very hard on jewelry of all kinds. Protecting your jewelry from the harsh summer elements and outdoor activities are every important part of your jewelry care routine. So as your pack up for your summer vacation or plan on that summer hike or even taking a trip to the beach, you should learn the best ways to care for your jewelry this summer in order to maintain its beauty! 

5 Tips on Maintaining Your Jewelry All Summer

  1. Consider the activity your are about to participate in when wearing jewelry. Will your jewelry make impact against hard surfaces when doing activities such as summer sports like hiking, rafting, climbing or biking can damage your jewelry by scratching the surface and dulling the finish. Be sure to remove any rings, bracelets or necklaces and store safety before embarking on your next active adventure! 

2. Hot temperature and high humidity can have an effect on the finish and look of your jewelry. Be sure to clean and wipe down your jewelry after wearing to keep sweat, humidity, and sunlight from dulling its sheen.

3. When gearing up for a fun day at the beach, remember that some types of jewelry may be better off left at home. Harder gemstones like diamonds and rubies can better withstand impact with sand and abrasive materials like salt, while softer gemstones like amethysts and opal might not fare as well. Also remember that sun tan lotion is a chemical and can also dull the finish of your jewelry.

4. Remember you can easily lose your jewelry while hiking or at the beach or even at a water park. Cold water can cause your hands to shrink making it easy for a ring to slip off. You might want to consider removing your claddagh ring before going in a pool, ocean, lake, or any water to avoid losing them! 

5. If your diamond, gemstone, or precious metal jewelry has had prolonged exposure to chemicals like chlorine or sunscreen, it is best to clean your jewelry daily to protect your favorite jewelry pieces from appearing dull or even tarnishing.  You might want to consider a professional cleaning after the summer.

Celtic Jewelry, Irish Jewelry, News

Men’s Jewelry Trends 2021-2022

Let’s talk about social media infuencers, those nifty trend setters. Today with the popularity of social media these days trends in jewelry especially, are spreading quickly. Men’s jewelry trends in fashion are on fire as of late. As it turns out men like to accessorize just as much as women. They are taking a lot more pictures of their own curated style on social media showing off their various talents, body art and fashion sense just as much as female influencers are these days.

Men’s Celtic Cross Tigers Eye Bracelet

Bracing for Bracelets

All over social media there are images of men wearing bracelets. Often these bracelets are stacked and they are a mixing looks such as chunky metal and beaded men’s bracelets. Usually multiple beaded men’s bracelets.

The Statement Ring

With every image of a man wearing a bracelet undoubtedly he also has on a big bold statement ring. Often multiple men’s rings on one hand. These rings are large statement rings that ooze a certain bad boy, rock and roll style.

Oxidized Celtic Knot Ring Silver 10K Gold

Bands are tried and true favorite

Often mixed in with the men’s statement ring is an assortment other rings including a few simpler yet stylish wedding band usually to accent these more bold statement rings. Men are wearing rings and multiple rings in a variety of metals such as stainless steel, sterling silver and gold. In all sorts of combinations. I have even see a few rock-in a claddagh ring.

Diamonds aren’t just a girls best friend

With the recent launch of a famous retailers men’s engagement ring collection it is more and more obvious there is a market for cross over men’s bridal and unisex wedding ring styles. Diamond Wedding rings that have a classic style that works for any and all sexes.

Men’s Celtic Tag Necklace

Symbols of faith and love

Men all over social media are depicted wearing symbols of their faith and love around their necks. Layered necklace in various combinations of crosses, like the Celtic cross and saint medals in a mix of metals. Claddagh necklaces for men have always been a traditional favorite symbol of love.

Claddagh Rings, Irish Jewelry

A Complete Guide to Buying a Claddagh Ring

Claddagh Ring Buying Guide

This Irish symbol of love and affection has become a popular world renowned token of love highly by couples young and old. These days you certainly don’t have to be Irish to love the Claddagh ring design and meaning. It is a universal symbol of love, friendship and loyalty.

The Claddagh ring meaning adds a layer of sentimentality to any type of claddagh ring design, be it a friendship ring, engagement ring, wedding ring or promise ring. If you’re looking for a ring steeped in cultural history, tradition or meaning, the Claddagh ring is perfectly suited.

Explore everything you ever wanted or needed to know about Claddagh rings.

What type of ring is a claddagh ring?

Like the much adored gimmel rings, the Claddagh ring belong to the romantic category of European rings known as fede ring. Worn as a symbol of betrothal a fede ring features hands and hearts similar to the Claddagh ring.

Claddagh Ring Meaning

The Claddagh ring features two hands clasping a heart with a crown. Every design element of the claddagh ring holds special meaning. The heart representing love, the hand symbolize friendship and the crown stands for loyalty. Hence the meaning of the Claddagh ring is one of friendship, love and loyalty.  

How to wear a Claddagh to indicate your relationship status:

  1. Left hand, heart facing your body – indicates that you are married
  2. Left hand, heart pointed outwards – indicates that you are engaged
  3. Right hand, heart towards you – indicates that you’re not available and may be in a relationship
  4. Right hand, heart pointing outwards – you’re single

Choosing the perfect Claddagh ring style:

Traditionally the early Claddagh rings was made of gold. Now a days, there are many versions of the claddagh ring in a large variety of metals including more contemporary alternative metals. There are traditional design versions of the Claddagh as well as more relevant and modern, contemporary Claddaghs that have been stylized to reflect current fashions and trends.

Here are some of The Irish Jewelry Company’s popular Claddagh ring variations.

Fenian Claddagh Ring

This version of the Claddagh Ring with two hands holding a heart and no crown was made in Dublin in the 1800’s. It became known as the Fenian Claddagh Ring or the Dublin Claddagh Ring

Celtic Knot Claddagh Ring

The Celtic Knot Claddagh Ring is a brilliant take on the traditional Claddagh ring. Two Trinity knots beautifully frame the Claddagh heart and crown center in this ladies Celtic ring. The age old symbol of Irish love and friendship blends seamlessly with the Celtic Trinity Knot.

Diamond Claddagh Engagement Ring

The Diamond Engagement Claddagh Ring radiates exquisite beauty. The Diamond Claddagh ring is one of Ireland’s best known symbols of love. There is an old Irish saying that goes, “With These hands, I give you my heart and crown it with my love” .

Claddagh Wedding Ring 14K Gold

This lovely comfort fit Claddagh wedding ring in 14K gold, embossed with alternating Claddagh & Celtic Knots is a typical Irish design. The Claddagh with its endearing meaning of love, loyalty, and friendship makes the perfect Irish wedding ring. This gold Claddagh wedding ring coupled with the Celtic Knot which symbolizes endless love and makes this ring the perfect choice to ‘Tie the Knot’.

Claddagh Promise Ring

This dainty hand crafted gold Claddagh Promise Ring with a green genuine emerald gemstone and rope shank in stunning 10k yellow gold is perfect for anyone. The 10k Gold Emerald Claddagh Promise Ring a great size to wear alone or to stack.

Mothers Claddagh Ring

The Mothers Claddagh Ring represents the eternal bond of friendship, love and loyalty shared between a mother and her child. A mother’s love is immeasurable. She has great dreams for her children and she patiently stands by as she watches them chase them. She is there to see them soar and she catches them when they fall. She might not always be perfect but in the end she will always be there. She is a devoted mother.

Men’s Claddagh Rings

The King Claddagh Ring is our heavy metal beauty! Our men’s Claddagh ring is massive  and ready for any amount of heavy guitar strumming. Even if it’s only air guitar. This is a traditional mens Claddagh ring taken to a new level of rockin. It doesn’t just show your heritage, it flaunts it! It says “That’s Right, I’m Irish!”

Choosing the right Claddagh Ring style:

It doesn’t matter which claddagh ring you choose. All that matter is you pick a design that speaks to you and to your heart. The bottom line is no matter which Claddagh ring style you choose you do not have to be Irish to wear the Claddagh. The meaning of the Claddagh symbol has transcended geographical boundaries and has become a genuine symbol of love to everyone.