Modern Americans, and indeed people around the world, love jewelry made of rare gems and precious metals. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, gold, silver, and more are used to create jewelry, and in ancient and primitive cultures, even sea shells or beads were used like this. Precious metals and gems were often too expensive for anyone outside of royalty or aristocracy to afford them, but in recent centuries and now decades, it has become easier for everyday consumers to get their own gems, too. Jewelry stores can be found around the world, and these jewelry stores are a fine place to visit for getting engagement rings ordered or made, bridal jewelry for women, and even jewelry repairs if need be. What might someone expect when they walk into these jewelry stores?
Making Engagement Rings
It is a common custom ever since the 1400s for men to buy diamond engagement rings for women, and this tradition continues well into the present day. In the case of same-sex couples, it may be a matter of personal discretion to decide who buys what or whether to take some other route. In the meantime, the traditional model of a man buying a woman a diamond engagement ring is well-established, and jewelry stores nearly always have such rings ready-made. These rings are practically off-the-shelf stock models, and for some customers, that’s all that is needed. In other cases, though, the customer may get creative. It’s a growing trend today for men to create customized engagement rings for their girlfriends as a classy novelty and personal expression, and nearly any aspect of the ring can be modified according to taste. Men may note that some women in fact like to come along when shopping for engagement rings, so that these women can be sure that they’ll like the ring’s design.
Either way, a customer may start custom ring design at any number of jewelry stores by speaking with a shop associate and describing what they want the custom ring to look like. The staff member may draw a detailed sketch of that ring to confirm that all details are understood correctly, and once that is settled, a jeweler will start making that ring. This may take some time, and the customer will be notified when the ring is ready for pickup. What might this ring look like? The ring itself may be made of gold, white gold, silver, or platinum, and the supports for the gem may be shaped in attractive patterns. The gem may be cut into one of many different designs, and the gem may be either a traditional diamond or some other stone such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, or something else. The ring’s body may also have engraved patterns or a message, and the couple’s names, and a sentimental date or message, may be carved on the inside, too.
Engagement rings are popular enough, but jewelry doesn’t stop there. A jeweler may also be a repair shop, and many customers, men and women alike, may visit to have a ring, brooch, gem, or anything like that fixed. A ring’s gem may have fallen out, or a gem is chipped or scratched or otherwise impaired. Expert jewelers can fix these items as requested, and jewelers are known to use specialized microscopes so that they can observe even small details on a gem.
What is more, some gems are in fact not gems at all, but glass. Why glass? In the world’s oceans, sea glass periodically washes onto shores, and sea glass is popular for use as jewelry. Such glass is not naturally-occurring; it comes from broken glass trash thrown into the ocean across the decades and centuries. Glass trash is not as common now due to boosted recycling efforts, but all the same, many sea glass pieces are found, collected, and made into jewelry every year. These glass gems are ground into smooth and round shapes in salt water and have had their colors changed, and they can be worked into rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches, and more. Some sea glass colors are more rare than others, based on the types of glass thrown into the ocean. Red, orange, and pink pieces are quite rare and may merit high prices in the jewelry market.