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Gemvara Blog » Melissa Sullivan
6 May

The Gemvara Birthstone Guide

5_6 Birthstone Guide

Discover the lore, power, and meaning behind your birthstone with the Gemvara Birthstone Guide.

13 February
3 January

The Rich Hues of Garnet, January’s Birthstone

One of our favorite things about January (besides is marking the start of a new year) is its beautiful birthstone: garnet! This remarkable gemstone has been a staple of jewelry for centuries, adorning the necks of Egyptian pharaohs and embedded in the signet rings of the Romans.
January's Birthstone - Red Garnet
Garnet comes in a wide range of colors and here at Gemvara we offer two spectacular shades of Garnet to customize with. The traditional red garnet, also known in ancient times as “carbuncle,” and the vibrant rhodolite garnet, a rich raspberry hued gemstone. Both garnets are stunning and pair well with any metal type, from silver to rose gold. To help you get started we have included some “insider” tips on January’s birthstone.

January's Birthstone - Rhodolite Garnet

When you are shopping for garnet, the most important value factor to consider is the quality of the garnet – the more vivid and bright the color, the more valuable the garnet. Cut is even more important than clarity, since a well-cut garnet will dance with light and because all Gemvara jewelry is made to order, we hand-select fine-quality garnets to perfectly suit your design.

With two shades of garnet to customize in, creating a piece of birthstone jewelry has never been easier. Not to mention you can create with the shade of garnet you love most. How do red garnet and rhodolite garnet inspire you?

10 December

Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014: How to Get Inspired

Given how much we love a pop of color here at Gemvara, we’re always very excited when the ultimate color authority, Pantone, announces their Color of the Year.  2013 was the year of emerald, and it was embraced everywhere from the red carpet to the stunning rings adorning Gemvara customers’ hands.

Pantone has announced that the 2014 Color of the Year is… Radiant Orchid!  Pantone describes this beautiful color as “a captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.”  In a press release, Pantone explains this color choice is meant to “intrigue the eye and spark the imagination.”  Well, we’re definitely intrigued by this gorgeous shade of purple and inspired to create in this lovely hue.

We’re sure Radiant Orchid will be seen everywhere from fashion, to home decor, and of course in jewelry. Here are some ways to get inspired by Radiant Orchid and incorporate the color into your custom-made fine jewelry from Gemvara.

Radiant Orchid - Flamenco Ring

The unique design of the Flamenco Ring reminds us of the unique shape of an orchid. Customizing the ring in rhodolite garnet, pink sapphire, and amethyst brings the orchid inspiration to life in a vibrant, jaw-dropping ring.  If you’re looking to embrace Pantone’s Color of the Year, create a piece of jewelry using the many shades of pink and purple we have to create something exquisite.

Radiant Orchid - Faye Ring

In a classic diamond solitaire ring, you can still add a pop of color and use unique inspiration to make the ring uniquely yours.  We took the inspiration of Radiant Orchid to create a band of alternating diamond and amethyst.

Radiant Orchid - Brilliant Infinity Twist Band

Using the pink hues that create Radiant Orchid, we customized the Brilliant Infinity Twist Loop in dazzling pink sapphire.  This gemstone is a gorgeous shade of pink, capturing the same energy and vibrancy of Pantone’s Color of the Year.  For a subtler shade of pink, try customizing in pink tourmaline for a softer look.

Radiant Orchid - Brilliant Jessamine Ring

Fully embracing the beauty of purple, an amethyst is a bold shade of eye-catching fuchsia.  Pairing amethyst with other purple gemstones, like iolite, creates a striking piece of jewelry.


6 November

Love stories, custom made: Gary & Courtney

We couldn’t stop smiling when a video of Gemvara customer Gary’s proposal to his fiance Courtney was posted on YouTube.  His unique (and unusual proposal) at a Halloween party was a surprising and sweet moment captured on video.  We just had to know more about Gary’s inspiration for his proposal and the engagement ring.

The Proposal


“I write messages on my head to earn some extra money. That last sentence was not a typo!” Gary laughed to us.  Seeing that he wanted to  propose to Courtney in a memorable fashion, he waited with his idea until their favorite holiday: Halloween.  At a recent Halloween party, Gary and Courtney’s childhood friend Shannon snuck into the bathroom to write his romantic proposal on his head.  With a large hat as part of his costume, it was the perfect way to conceal his message until the moment was right.  With camera in hand, Shannon asked to take a picture of the couple but when she said, “Smile!” it was the go-time.  Gary moved from the couch down to one knee on the floor and removed his hat.  “Will you marry me?” on his head, and a custom Gemvara engagement ring in hand, Shannon was overjoyed. She said yes!  Gary revealed a funny detail you can overhear in the video: “In the video, you can hear Courtney’s reaction to seeing the message written on my head, ‘Who did that to you?!’ She admitted that she felt an initial feeling of slight jealousy because it was obvious another woman had touched my head!  When she found out it was her friend Shannon, she decided I wasn’t in the doghouse.”

The Ring


Gary describes him and Courtney as “a slightly oddball couple, and traditional things aren’t for us.”  Courtney had dropped many hints that she was not a diamond girl.  When it came time to create the perfect engagement ring, Gary used their favorite colors as his inspiration.  Courtney’s favorite color is orange, so the center stone is a radiant fire opal.  Gary chose amethyst for the side stones for his love of purple.  “It is symbolic of our love and lives together, and shows that we will always be beside each other.”  Inside the ring Gary engraved “I love you, Honey Poodle,” his nickname for Courtney.  Let’s hope Gary’s wedding band will include an engraving of his nickname!

“I love Courtney very much, and we both love the beautiful ring from Gemvara!”

Congratulations to Courtney and Gary on your exciting and unique engagement! What a memory to capture forever.


18 October

A Mixed Metal Wedding, Curated by Bespoke Bride

10_20 Mixed Metal Header

We love finding inspiration on Pinterest and were completely charmed by UK wedding blogger Bespoke Bride’s unique and creative ways to customize a wedding with your personality. Using one of our favorite jewelry trends, mixed metals, we had Jess from Bespoke Bride curate a Pinterest board of opulent, metallic inspiration and guest blog for Gemvara.

If you’re a lover of fabulous jewellery like us then creating a wedding day around this theme is just about as glamorous as it can get! But how would you ever choose between the gorgeous tones of golds, silvers, coppers and more I hear you cry?! Good news: you don’t have to! Why not switch it up with a mixed metal wedding theme?

Imagine yourself walking down the aisle covered in silver hues while your bridesmaids follow behind you in coppers and gold! Imagine a wedding cake combining metal glamour into its design! Tables doused in golden glitz with silver elements threaded through! What’s that? You’re having trouble imagining it? Then let us tickle your mind taste buds with a little inspiration

What do you think? Are you as in love with this as we are? Don’t forget one of the best ways to incorporate mixed metal into your wedding day is with jewellery! Go on… treat yourself.

Much Bespoke Love,

10 September

Get Inspired: Your Perfect Fall Wedding

Get Inspired - Your Perfect Fall Wedding

Nothing is lovelier than the vivid, earthy color palette of autumn as a backdrop for your wedding. While the hot days of summer fade away and the crisp September air greets us, here at Gemvara we have felt so inspired by the season. With a little help from Pinterest, we have curated a fall wedding board overflowing with great ideas – from the quintessential rustic fall wedding venue to the perfect autumn-inspired wedding bouquet.

Here are some of our favorite ideas to help make your fall wedding even more memorable.

1. Leaves, Vines, and Berries. Liven up the flowers in your centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres by mixing in pretty autumn leaves or deep green vines. Add fondant leaves and berries to your wedding cake, in deep reds, golds, and oranges, for a unique and truly seasonal touch.

2. A Natural Backdrop for your wedding photos. Scout out locations with your photographer beforehand that will serve as incredible spots for your wedding photos. The warm hues, falling leaves, and even rustic touches like an old barn or lake cabin, will make for some incredible photos.

3. Pumpkins with a purpose. An affordable and creative idea, pumpkins are the “it” decoration for your fall wedding. The best idea we have seen so far? Use smaller pumpkins as place card holders for your guests. Not only do they serve a practical purpose during your wedding reception, but also double as great wedding favors and are an unexpected fall delight.

4. Expand your palette beyond orange and yellow. Expand your palette to include darker hues to create a romantic and cozy feel. A deep violet purple, or a smoky brown helps to balance the brighter colors and creates a rich and dynamic feel to your wedding.

30 August

Shades of Sapphire: September’s Birthstone

A gem loved by royalty, the lusciously hued sapphire is also the birthstone for the month of September.  Gemvara offers four shades of sapphire to customize with (blue sapphire, pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, and white sapphire), but sapphires actually come in every color except red.  That’s because the red version of the stone is, in fact, actually a ruby, as both sapphire and ruby come from the mineral corundum.

Sapphires are widely popular and have been used as the center stone of engagement rings for centuries, but have been popularized in the modern times by Princess Diana and Duchess Kate Middleton.  It’s also said that the Heart of the Ocean from the movie Titanic was based on an actual sapphire lost at sea on that fateful voyage.

Celebrating a birthday this September?  Sapphire jewelry is the perfect gift, especially when you can pick the shade of sapphire you love most on Gemvara.  Which shade of sapphire is your favorite?

September Birthstone Sapphire

13 March

How to Wear Your Claddagh Ring

Full of tradition and symbolism, the Claddagh Ring is a piece of jewelry worn for generations.  The detailed design features two hands clasping a heart, topped with a crown and is said to symbolize love, friendship, and loyalty.  Claddagh Rings have been worn and passed down for centuries as friendship rings, promise rings, and even for engagements and weddings.

What most find interesting is in the way it’s worn. Depending on the hand and the direction of the heart, the Claddagh Ring often conveys the status of one’s relationship. How would you wear yours?

Claddagh Ring

24 February

Red Carpet Inspiration: Annabel Tollman’s Celebrity-Inspired Creations

Awards season is in full force and wrapping up with tonight’s Oscars.  Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman has been quite busy dressing some of the biggest celebrities for their red carpet moment.  Annabel took some time to pick a few of her favorite red carpet looks from this season and use their fashion to inspire some gorgeous Gemvara pieces.


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