Michael Barin

Fine Jewelry

May Birthstone (Emerald)

“Who first beholds the light of day
In Spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.”

A symbol for rebirth, the Emerald is believed to supply its owner with foresight and abundant good fortune. Its traditional association with love and fertility makes it a perfect stone for mothers and wives; however, today Emeralds are also known to represent wealth and wisdom.

As if that’s not enough, the soothing, green hues are easy on the eye, effectively relieving stress and strain. In a world surrounded by artificial light and computer screens, we could all take a moment and get lost in a lush, green Emerald.

Originally mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C., this ancient gemstone later appeared in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. Favored by Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, and Henry II, Perfect Emeralds are considered to be amongst the rarest gemstones.

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Zircon the Starlight Gem for December Birthstone

Zircon can be seen in many diverse colors. They can show a variety of hues such as; yellow, green, red, reddish brown, and blue. Zircon crystals form in different types of rocks, and possess a range of optical and physical properties. It is found in Cambodia, Madagascar, Canada, Ukraine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Australia. Australia is the most popular in zircon mining, producing 37% of the world’s total supply of the mineral. Zircon is a gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewelry. Although Zircon isn’t as well-known as some other gems, this stone is well known among geologists. The oldest rock ever discovered was a zircon found in Australia dating 4.4 billion years, nearly as old as the planet itself (the oldest diamonds are 3.3 billion years old).  Zircon is not the same thing as cubic zirconia. This misunderstanding is due to the similarities between the names and because they both have been used as diamond simulants. Zircon, however, is not a manmade stone. It is a naturally occurring gemstone from the mineral zirconium silicate. In the Middle Ages, zircon was believed to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, promote riches, honor, prosperity, and wisdom. Zircon is now believed to have the ability to increase one’s self-confidence, and to aid the wearer in loving the self as well as others, as it brings compassion. Zircon is known to be a grounding stone that inspires, motivates and gives guidance when guidance is needed, therefore helping to achieve one’s goals. Blue zircon was a particular favorite in Victorian times. Fine gems were often featured in English estate jewelry in the 1880’s. A gemologist, by the name of George Kunz, Tiffany’s famed gem buyer, was a notable zircon advocate. He once proposed the name “starlight stone” to promote the gem’s fiery nature, but the name never caught on.

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October Birthstone (Opal)

Opal is the stone attributed to those born in the month of October.

Often compared to volcanoes, galaxies, and fireworks, Opals have a rich history due to their striking color pattern.  Highly prized and sought after by kings, emperors, maharajas and sultans, the majestic Opal has been desired throughout the ages. The Romans prized opals, ranking them second only to emeralds, and believed them to bring the owner good fortune. Arabic legend says the stone descended to Earth from a foreign galaxy in a flurry of lightning and storm.

 A Lightning Ridge Opal hangs from an 18 Karat Yellow Gold chain studded with natural Lapis Lazuli beads. The pendant, accented with 20 Karat Yellow Gold and White Diamonds, is a work of art within itself.

 A Lightning Ridge Opal hangs from an 18 Karat Yellow Gold chain studded with natural Lapis Lazuli beads. The pendant, accented with 20 Karat Yellow Gold and White Diamonds, is a work of art within itself.

The name Opal comes from "opalus," which means “to see a change in color”.  Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue.

An opal's beauty is the product of contrast between its color play and its background. Opal is a formation of non- crystalline silica gel that seeped into crevices in the sedimentary strata. Through time and nature's heating and molding processes, the gel hardened into the form of opals.

The opal is composed of particles closely packed in spherical arrangements. When packed together in a regular pattern, a three-dimensional array of spaces are created that give opal its radiance.

18 Karat Yellow and White Gold Ring, with a 15.47 CT Lightening Ridge Opal Center Stone accented with 1.80 CT Rose Cut Diamonds. Yellow Gold Band accented with 0.66 CT Diamonds. 

18 Karat Yellow and White Gold Ring, with a 15.47 CT Lightening Ridge Opal Center Stone accented with 1.80 CT Rose Cut Diamonds. Yellow Gold Band accented with 0.66 CT Diamonds. 

There are three main aspects of an opal’s quality:

1.    Color: Background color and play-of-color

2.    Pattern: Arrangement of play-of-color

3.    Clarity: Transparency and quantity of inclusions

10 Ct Opal center stone that is set in 18 Karat Yellow Gold and Organic Silver. The band is accented with Sapphires to compliment the whimsical center stone. 

10 Ct Opal center stone that is set in 18 Karat Yellow Gold and Organic Silver. The band is accented with Sapphires to compliment the whimsical center stone. 

Common terms for play-of-color patterns include:

·        Pin-fire or pinpoint: Small, closely set patches of color

·        Peacock: Mainly Blue and green

·        Harlequin or mosaic: Broad, angular, closely set patches of color

·        Flame: Sweeping reddish bands or streaks that shoot across the stone

 With no two opals the same, this stone’s intrinsic beauty and ever-changing colors and patterns keep those who poses it spellbound. Individual opals can vary widely in appearance and quality. As diverse as snowflakes or fingerprints, each gem can differ noticeably.

September Birthstone (Sapphire)

For those who were born in the month of September the Sapphire is the traditional birthstone.  Sapphires are one of the four precious gemstones (the other three are diamonds, rubies, and emeralds).

Sapphires come in almost any color imaginable, but you may be curious as to what makes this gemstone so versatile. Ready for another chemistry lesson?

A sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, among the strongest natural gemstones in existence. Pure corundum is colorless, but minute trace elements give the gemstone its signature variety of colors. Blue sapphires, for example, are colored by a combination of the trace elements iron and titanium. Iron and chromium create gold and orange sapphires, while chromium yields pinks and reds. The many combinations of trace elements result in extraordinary colored sapphires sometimes referred to as fancy color sapphires. Most natural sapphires are exposed to heat in order to improve their color and clarity. This practice is widely accepted and results in more vibrant, stronger stones that are more resistant to accidental chipping and breakage. 

The word “sapphire” comes from the Latin word “sapphiru,” meaning "blue." Cornflower blue sapphires, also known as Kashmir sapphires, are the most valuable. These stones are often associated with loyalty and dignity, making them a top choice for royalty. In fact, members of the Vatican traditionally wore blue sapphires because the gems were believed to represent purity of purpose and deed.

The largest cut and polished sapphire, the Millennium sapphire, was discovered in Madagascar in 1996 and has a weight of 61,500 carats.    

August Birthstone (Peridot)

     Known by the Egyptians as the “gem of the sun,” Peridot is a stone of compassion, friendly energy, and prosperity. In fact, some historians have come to believe that the emeralds Cleopatra adorned herself with were actually deep green Peridots. The first source of this regal gem was documented on a small Egyptian-owned Island, with ancient papyrus scrolls recording the mining of it as early as 1500 B.C. Further on throughout history, Peridot was used to adorn everything from a queen’s crown to a knight’s sword, making it one of the most prominent gems throughout history.  

     Peridot’s color ranges from pure green to yellowish green to greenish yellow. Pure green stones are very rare, with most of them being yellowish green. Peridots with the finest color tend to come from Burma and Pakistan. The stone retains its rich color even under artificial lighting, leading it to sometimes be referred to as the “evening emerald.”

     Michael Barin himself prefers to work with Pakistani Peridot on account of its “darker, deeper color” when compared to stones coming from Burma, which are “more teal and opaque.” He purchased his first Peridot for his daughter, since it is the birthstone for August, and the rest, as we say it, is history. 

Pear Shaped Pakistani Peridot set in 18 Karat White Gold, accented with Micro Pave Ideal Cut White Diamonds. GIA Certified Center Stone with a Total Weight of 44.30CT. White Diamond Quality G/VS2 with a Total Weight of 4CT.   

Pear Shaped Pakistani Peridot set in 18 Karat White Gold, accented with Micro Pave Ideal Cut White Diamonds. GIA Certified Center Stone with a Total Weight of 44.30CT. White Diamond Quality G/VS2 with a Total Weight of 4CT. 
 

Sizing Spheres

Do you ever have problems with rings slipping, sliding, and rolling around your finger? When your beautiful gemstones end up on the wrong side of your finger, they are instantly more vulnerable and susceptible to chips and scratches.

To combat this issue, Michael Barin came up with another innovative solution – tiny spheres inserted on the inner side of the band that keep large, top-heavy rings secured in place. The spheres are made to match the metal of the ring, ranging from high-carat gold to platinum. 

Butterfly Sizers

If you’ve been keeping up with our products on Etsy and 1st Dibs, you may have noticed the following comment:

Organic Silver and Tourmaline Slice Butterfly Ring with a Butterfly Sizer

Organic Silver and Tourmaline Slice Butterfly Ring with a Butterfly Sizer

“This ring may be sized down with the addition of a butterfly sizer.”

What exactly is a butterfly sizer? Let us explain.

The innovative and creative individual that he is, Michael Barin came up with a solution to size down very intricate rings and accommodate women with large knuckles. By inserting flexible wings to the inside of the band, he achieved a more comfortable fit for rings that are difficult to slide on, but need to stay securely in place. Women with arthritic hands will be happy to know that the butterfly sizer will allow them to remove rings without any difficulties – the wings open to allow the wearer to slip off the ring and later put it back on again with the same ease.   

July Birthstone (Ruby)

The ruby is the birthstone of those born in the month of July, the most fiery and hot month of the year. Ruby is also the gemstone to be given on the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

Ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, along with emerald, diamond and sapphire.  A true Ruby has some minor imperfections including rutile inclusions. Those very imperfections give Ruby its inner light rays and make it stunningly beautiful.

The red color of the stone is due to the element Chromium. Minimum color saturation must be met to qualify the stone as a Ruby. Otherwise the stone is called a Pink Sapphire.   Ruby’s redness symbolizes love, power and passion. There was a time in history when the healing crystal Ruby was considered even more precious than Diamonds, which is why it often adorned the clothing and jewelry of nobility. Red is the color of our most intense emotions - love, anger, passion. In Ancient Egypt, it was even regarded as the "king of precious stones."

Just like red roses and red Ferraris, this ruby ring will get your heart beating. The brushed white gold perfectly complements the deep, crimson tones of this intricately cut ruby slice. The encrusted white diamonds add a generous touch of luxury, while the delicate rose gold on the inside of the band is unmistakably feminine. 

 

 

June Birthstone (Moonstone)

In Europe, moonstone is considered to be the birthstone for June, although in the United States it shares that distinction with alexandrite and pearl. Moonstone is also the stone traditionally given in celebration of the 13th anniversary of marriage.

It is easy to see why ancient Hindu mythology believed moonstone was made of solidified moonbeams. In 100 AD, the Romans made jewelry with it and thought it was magically formed out of moonlight. Ancient Greeks linked the stone with the moon deities.

Moonstone comes from the mineral family feldspar, which is one of the most plentiful in the world, however fine gem quality moonstone is scarce. It's internal structure scatters the light that strikes it, creating a phenomenon known as adularescence. The more shimmer the stone has, the more valuable it is.

As you gaze into this hand-fabricated moonstone ring, it is easy to see why this ethereal gemstone has long been regarded to have calming, healing properties. Legend also says that two people wearing moonstone will fall passionately in love during a full moon.

May Birthstone

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.

A symbol for rebirth, the Emerald is believed to supply its owner with foresight and abundant good fortune. Its traditional association with love and fertility make it a perfect stone for mothers and wives; however, today Emeralds are also known to represent wealth and wisdom. As if that’s not enough, the soothing, green hues are easy on the eye, effectively relieving stress and strain. In a world surrounded by artificial light and computer screens, we could all take a moment and get lost in a lush, green Emerald.

Originally mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C., this ancient gemstone later appeared in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. Favored by Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, and Henry II, Perfect Emeralds are considered to be amongst the rarest gemstones. Michael Barin never settles for anything less than perfect, so you know he’s turning these beautiful stones into one-of-a-kind works of art that will dazzle for a lifetime.