Featured Item: Ethiopian Opal Lariat Necklace in Yellow Gold

The inspiration for this designed piece came from an antique lariat, a delicate necklace that has a long tassel as its centerpiece. Antique lariats date all back to the turn of the century, the Victorian time period, and like lavaliers were often given as engagement gifts from a man to a woman. This lariat features…

Quality Characteristics and Value of Sapphire

Are sapphires graded like diamonds, using a grading scale like the 4Cs?  How do I know the sapphire I am buying is worth the asking price?  Why is one sapphire so much more expensive than another of the same size and carat weight? These are some of the common questions that we receive about our…

Meet Alex! Our Online Sales Manager

If you have purchased from us online, you have likely worked with Alex, our online sales manager.  She first began at MSJ in our Portsmouth, NH store and now manages all of our online sales.  She is the creative behind our Instagram account and our unique window displays.  You’ll never find her without high heels…

Origins of Sapphire: Kashmir, Ceylon, Australian and Montana Sapphire

Sapphire, whether from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Thailand, Africa, or Montana US, all have the same chemical composition – they’re all corundums.  The difference lies in their growing environments and the trace elements present during their formation. Quality characteristics such as color and saturation, sparkle or “life”, cut and color modifiers help us determine a sapphire’s country of origin. Traveling…

Bloodstone, My Love: A Secondary March Birthstone

My Love of Bloodstone: The Moon-Lit Dancers One of my first pieces of jewelry was a bloodstone pendant, my father gave me, set in a simple four prong silver mounting. The piece was particularly special because the red specks formed two dancers beneath a glowing orange moon. For me, this stone symbolizes freedom of expression,…

Crescent Moon Jewelry: Its History and Why it Makes the PERFECT Wedding Gift

This simple, delicate curve has been a favorite motif of artists and jewelers for thousands of years. Although the crescent moon appears on talismans and jewelry from some of the oldest of archaeological finds, in vintage jewelry we see it most often in Victorian and Art Nouveau era pieces. The Roman Goddess Diana: Surge of Mythological Motifs in Art Nouveau Jewelry…

Aquamarine Gemstone: March’s Cleansing Birthstone

Aquamarine, literally translated from the Latin, means “Water of the Sea”, a name given to this beryl both for its unique color, and for its soft, watery translucence. The gemstone is believed to be a healer of one’s body by both soothing and cleansing it, as ocean water would. The Beryl Family Aquamarine is part…

Rhodolite Garnet | Elizabeth’s Ring Envy

Rhodolite Garnet, Raspberry Garnet, Pink Garnet! A guide to this pink garnet gemstone! We just sold the most amazing rhodolite garnet last week and I’m missing it! It was a classic cushion cut shape set into a sleek and modern yellow gold half bezel – the perfect set up to show off the beauty of…

Caring for Emerald Jewelry | A Guide for Cleaning and Maintenance

We just sold the most amazing oval emerald in our Portland, Maine store; a 5 carat oval in a simple yellow gold mounting. One of the customer’s biggest concerns was how best to care and maintain this high-end and rare gemstone so that she can always enjoy it and eventually pass its beauty to a family member….

A History of Rose Gold Jewelry from Victorian to Modern

Victorian Rose Gold Jewelry  Rose gold was the favorite metal of the Victorian era, particularly in the British Empire. It was often accompanied by blue sapphire, mined from British-ruled India.  These precious gems made their way to London, where they were often set by master jewelers into rose gold mountings! Their color, a dark, cobalt blue…

Stacking Bands: 2017 Favorites from MSJ

I have been totally obsessed with stacking bands lately! Since the introduction of the Elizabeth Henry stacking bands, I have been playing with gold colors, gemstone combinations, textures, and widths regularly!  I’ve been amazed at some of the unusual combinations that surprise me, like the combination of old and new in one of the photos below….

Jewelry Repair in Our Dover, New Hampshire Location

OUR WORKSHOP With six in house jewelers and decades of experience at the jeweler’s bench, our team of metal smiths can meet all your jewelry repair needs. We specialize in antique jewelry restoration and we work in all precious metals: platinum, gold, silver and palladium. Our workshop, established in our Dover New Hampshire location, services all four…