• 23
  • Jan2020
  • 31
  • May2019

Moonstone: June’s Third Birthstone

Moonstone: June’s Third Birthstone

June’s third birthstone, moonstone, was named by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon.

The most common moonstone comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland that supplied this gemstone. This site also birthed the term adularescence, which refers to the stone’s milky glow, like moonlight floating on water.

Moonstone is composed of microscopic layers of feldspar that scatter light to cause this billowy effect of adularescence. Thinner layers produce a bluish sheen and thicker layers look white. Moonstone gems come in a range of colors spanning yellow, gray, green, blue, peach and pink, sometimes displaying a star or cat’s eye.

The finest classical moonstones, colorlessly transparent with a blue shimmer, come from Sri Lanka. Since these sources of high-quality blue moonstones have essentially been mined out, prices have risen sharply.

Moonstones are also found in India, Australia, Myanmar, Madagascar and the United States. Indian gemstones which are brown, green or orange in color are more abundant and affordably priced than their classical blue counterparts.

This beautiful gemstone’s weakness is its relatively low hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, making it prone to stress cracking and cleaving. Care is required with moonstone jewelry like rings or bracelets; so sometimes brooches and pendants are preferred for long term durability.

  • 01
  • May2019
  • 01
  • Apr2019
  • 20
  • Feb2019

Caring for Your Diamond Jewelry

Caring for Your Diamond Jewelry

So often we’re distracted by the beauty of our jewelry that we forget that it needs to be cared for to maintain the look we love! There are many things that we do and encounter in our daily lives that can be harmful to our jewelry so MDJ wants to help make you aware.


Did you know something as common as sunlight can be harmful to jewelry? Just as the sun can be harsh to our skin, light and heat can affect a colored gemstones durability and color. Over time the sun can fade or even damage some gemstones. To avoid this, it’s best that you leave your jewelry home on pool days and to store them properly away from the window to minimize direct exposure to sunlight.


Simple household chemicals can also damage or discolor precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Common chemicals such as hairspray, lotion and perfume can harm or permanently damage the surface of porous gems like pearls and turquoise. As a precaution, fine jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool or before scrubbing the house. In the event that you forget to remove your jewelry before an activity involving chemicals, be sure to thoroughly rinse the item immediately after to prevent prolonged exposure.

It’s always best to give treated gems special care. Many colored gems are commonly treated to improve the appearance of color and clarity. The treatments can be harmed by heat, solvents, steam and ultra-sonic cleaners. It is important to know if your gem has been treated so you can properly care for it.

Ultra-Sonic Cleaners

Use ultra-sonic cleaners with caution. Though you can purchase a professional ultra-sonic cleaner for your home, you should be aware that not all gems and jewelry can be safely cleaned in it. You should not use ultra-sonics to clean any of the following:

-Gemstones with surface reaching breaks that have been filled with a different substance like glass.

-Organic gem materials such as pearls, coral, ivory and amber.

-Gems that have been coated with a non-permanent substance like plastic or wax.

-Some heat treated gemstones.

-Gems that are susceptible to heat and temperature changes whether they are treated or not, such as: tanzanite, sunstone, moonstone, kunzite, malachite, opal, topaz and turquoise to name a few.

In addition, the vibration generated by the machine can sometimes shake gems loose or chip gems that are set with their girdles touching.

This type of cleaning is best left to jewelry professionals who know about different gem materials and understand when and how to use the ultrasonic cleaner safely. At Mark Diamond’s Jewelers we are always happy to clean and check your rings at no charge.

Home Care

The safest cleaning methods are also the easiest. Most colored gemstones can be cleaned with warm water, mild dish soap (not detergents) and a soft brush, like a standard soft toothbrush. When rinsing cleaning solutions, be sure to do so in a glass of water in case you lose a stone that way it does not go down the sink drain. Mark Diamond’s Jewelers also sells at home care for your jewelry that you can stop by and grab at any time.

It is best not to sleep in your jewelry. Doing so can shorten the life span of your jewelry tremendously. We don’t realize it but subtle snags on our pillow cases and sheets can cause harmful wear over time, especially to the prongs that we rely on to securely hold our stones.

Lastly, be sure to carefully store your jewelry to prevent scratching or tangling. I’m sure we’ve all had the same scenario of tossing a chain quickly into a bag or onto a counter then spent what felt like an eternity trying to untangle it. It’s best to hang these items or make sure to lay them so that it does not tangle.

We hope these tips were helpful and know that Mark Diamond’s Jewelers is always here for your jewelry needs

  • 12
  • Nov2018

Lab-grown Diamonds or Mined Diamonds

Lab-grown Diamonds or Mined Diamonds

I have personally been excited for over 45 years in the circle of Albuquerque Diamond Jewelers seeing how people react when they receive a diamond. The expression of love and commitment deserves something wonderful and rare to be presented as a gift.

Mined Diamonds have always been the go-to for diamond engagement rings in Albuquerque. They are rare, beautiful and ever-lasting. Under tremendous pressure and heat during the formation of our Earth, natural carbon yielded and created real and precious and rare diamonds of varying qualities and colors. There are two ways that labs use to grow diamonds.

     HPHT – High Pressure-High Temperature

     CVD – Chemical Vapor Deposition

HPHT diamonds utilize a belt press, the cubic press, and the split-sphere press.  All of these processes create an environment of extremely high pressure and temperature conducive to diamond growth. HPHT diamonds begin as a small diamond seed that is placed into carbon. Using one of the three above processes, the seed is then exposed to extremely high temperatures and pressurized. The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed. It is then carefully cooled to form a pure carbon diamond.

A CVD diamond begins as a thin slice of diamond seed, which is often an HPHT produced diamond. It is placed in a sealed chamber and heated to around 800 degrees Celsius. The chamber is filled with a carbon rich-gas, like Methane, and other gases. They are ionized into plasma using technology similar to that of microwaves or lasers. 

Now, diamond rings in Albuquerque NM, at Mark Diamond’s Jewelers, there is an option. Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive. They have been created to have their own qualities and colors and of course, cuts that are fabulous. Lab-grown diamonds are certified and graded. At Mark Diamond’s Jewelers, we will only sell lab-grown diamonds which are laser inscribed on the girdle. All of ours will come with its own grading certificate.

Remember, please ask questions about the differences. Shop where you are comfortable and welcomed. As I love this wonderful diamond engagement ring business, I hope you with your own real emotions and real feelings, can still link your love to the natural stones that are mined from this Earth.

-Ellen Diamond

  • 04
  • Oct2018

Expert Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Band

Expert Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Band

According to a recent Jewelers of America Report, “the typical American couple spent an average of $4,000 on an engagement ring, an extra $1,000 on the bride’s wedding ring, and an extra $500 on the groom’s band.”

A wedding band is one of the most important purchases you’ll make during your lifetime and marks a new beginning. As the cost of jewelry continually rises, you don’t want to start your married life in debt. Here are a few ideas from one of the leading jewelers in Albuquerque to save money and still get the best quality wedding band.

  • Solitaire – A single stone. Still the most popular choice in engagement rings. The head secures the diamond. Prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A four-prong-setting shows more of the diamond, but a six-prong setting is often more secure.
  • Sidestone – Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular sidestone settings include ‘channel’, which protects stones by keeping them flush, and ‘bar-channel’, which allows more light to enter the sidestones.
  • Three Stone – One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones.

A popular design choice that you won’t have to spend a small fortune on a wedding ring is a ring with a halo setting which can create the illusion of a larger stone. It’s important to pick the right setting for your wedding band, it can save you a lot of money and your ring can still look marvelous.

Pavé (pah-vey) – The main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to add sparkle and the illusion of greater size.

Choose a wedding band that is well pavéd with beautiful diamonds from one of the leading jewelry stores in Albuquerque to create the impression of a bigger diamond. Your jeweler can help you to create a brilliant ring.

Wedding Set

Consider investing in wedding sets instead of buying an engagement ring and wedding band separately. Wedding sets are popular these days. You can also customize the wedding set to achieve the style you like. Using the same jeweler for all the three rings will provide you with continuity of style to look great on your wedding day.

Less than a Carat

Did you know the main cost of a diamond wedding band is in the carat weight of the diamond you choose? Moreover, the difference between a 1-carat diamond and say a 0.98-carat diamond is huge, yet the overall size and appearance do not change much. So, choosing a slightly lower the carat size can reduce cost without affecting the appearance of your wedding ring.

Other Tips & Ideas

  • Avoid visiting big-name chain stores to get your wedding ring. They always come with huge overheads, the costs are usually higher and the quality is minimal.
  • When purchasing a diamond, know what diamond shape suits her. If she hasn’t made it easy for you by already voicing an opinion on the subject (or admiring someone else’s engagement ring), here are a few things to keep in mind when considering shape:
  • She will be wearing this ring 24/7 every day of your married life. It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear. If you’re uncertain about her shape preference, it’s sensible to stick to the classics. They became classics because they appeal to most people most of the time.
  • Cutting styles with fewer facets, such as emerald cut or rose cut, require higher clarity.
  • Your jeweler should be armed with expert training, open to questions and able to provide answers in clear, simple language.
  • Professional training can help you evaluate how knowledgeable a jeweler is. Preferably, their training comes from a highly-recognized and internationally accredited program, such as the GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG) or Applied Jewelry Professional (AJP) diploma programs.
  • Select a reputable jeweler as you would select your doctor from Albuquerque jewelry stores to find high quality, inexpensive wedding bands.

Make sure not to compromise on the quality of the diamond or wedding bands while looking for great discounts.

  • 17
  • Oct2017

Platinum Palladium White Gold

Platinum Palladium White Gold

Don’t Know How to Choose Between Platinum, Palladium or White Gold for an Engagement Ring?

These Pointers will help your decision

I’m a very lucky gal in that I get to play and see all kinds of magnificent jewelry pieces on a daily basis and having been in the jewelry business for 20 years, I’ve seen how different kinds of jewelry wears over time. I have noticed many customers who come in to Mark Diamond’s Jewelers requesting white gold for their engagement rings either have done their research and really know that’s what they want or they’ve been shopping elsewhere and have been grossly misinformed about the other noble metals.

Traditional metals that are used in jewelry are part of the “noble metals” group; the platinum group, silver and gold. These metals contain several metallic chemical elements that have outstanding resistance to oxidation, even at high temperatures.

Since pure 24k yellow gold is naturally yellow, it has to be alloyed with other metals in order to make it “white gold”. For instance 14k white gold can be alloyed with silver, palladium and nickel in order to make it “white” in appearance. Although all white gold is typically plated with a rhodium finish, this plating will eventually wear off and will need to be re-plated.

However a pro to owning white gold is that it is a much less expensive alternative to platinum and it scratches very differently. Every scratch made in gold actually removes metal like taking your finger nail and scratching a piece of chalk. You end up with chunks of chalk under your nail.

Palladium is slightly harder than platinum on the Mohs scale and is slightly more scratch resistant than platinum. Compared to platinum, palladium jewelry is generally less expensive (about 0.6-0.8 times) and more in line with the cost of gold jewelry.

Another thing to look at is the density of the metals themselves. Platinum is very dense per volume compared to palladium. The weight of a finished piece in platinum is much higher (and therefore more costly) than the same piece made in palladium.

A downside to owning palladium vs. white gold rings is that white gold rings are typically harder and more scratch resistant than palladium rings because of their alloy composition.

Why isn’t palladium jewelry more popular since it offers such great luster which enhances gems?

Platinum is much rarer than both gold and silver — so rare, in fact, that all of the platinum ever mined could fit into your living room. Palladium,well it is even rarer than that!

Well firstly, palladium is typically more lightweight and doesn’t offer that usual feel of durability or heft that platinum or gold offer. Secondly, most bench jewelers are not very well versed in working with palladium. It has slightly different properties for casting and soldering that many jewelers do not have experience with and therefore often prefer to avoid.

Here at Mark Diamond’s Jewelers however, our bench jeweler knows how to work with palladium and actually wishes there was more of it out there.

Now knowing the pros and cons of each, well personally, I’m a platinum girl. I love the feel of it and how well it wears. Of course my husband still remembers to this day that he bought my ring when platinum was the highest per oz it had EVER been!

In order to keep the cost down, 14k or 18k white gold is definitely the most popular, however keep in mind, depending on the wearer depends on how often you will need to maintain it by retipping, rebuilding and/or re-plating.

Come into Mark Diamond’s Jewelers and we’ll show you the difference.

Michelle Diamond-Reece, Mark Diamond’s Jewelers President

  • 23
  • Sep2017

Make Your Gameday Outfit Complete with Your Team Colors!

Make Your Gameday Outfit Complete with Your Team Colors!

As Fall rapidly approaches, images of leaves, sweaters, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Ugg Boots flood Social Media pages, and America’s football teams rush their home fields in pursuit of the coveted Super Bowl Champions Title and the huge ring that accompanies it. 

Most of us will never acquire a trophy with the majesty of the Jostens’ Ring, but fans can certainly show their support through many pieces of jewelry that can be worn year-round and not just through the Playoffs.

Just about every organization has licensed their logo to major jewelry manufacturers and all sorts of insignia, from charms to be soldered to charm bracelets, and watches that have team emblems on the face can be purchased.

For those who prefer to be subtler about their team spirit, fine pieces of jewelry can be designed into one of a kind creations. For Seattle Seahawks’ fans an oval shaped peridot surrounded by a halo of blue sapphires is an elegant design that will make a beautiful pendant, earrings, ring, or better yet, an entire ensemble.

Denver Broncos fans who also have an affinity for lesser known, but gorgeously unique gemstones can represent their pride with Carnelian, a bright orange, opaque stone that would make striking eyes in a bronco shaped brooch.

Also, for “America’s Team,” The Dallas Cowboy fan can slip on a beautiful, yet simplistic stackable band with alternating diamonds and sapphires that make a delicate accent while displaying the ultimate team spirit.

Whatever team is your home team, here at Mark Diamond’s Jewelers, we can create the most elaborate or most simplistic piece of jewelry to represent your love of the game!

Fia Bauer, Mark Diamond’s Jewelers Team Member

  • 18
  • Sep2017

Introducing Tacori Journeys, Your Journey Awaits!

Introducing Tacori Journeys, Your Journey Awaits!

Most of you heard about our Tacori Journeys launch event a few weeks ago, but for those of you that didn’t or were unable to attend, here’s the exciting new scoop!

If the beauty in Tacori pieces wasn’t enticing enough, they’ve added an entirely new element to their name. With insider access to exclusive hotel prices and a travel voucher that can be applied towards savings on your stay, Tacori Journeys is just another way to create unforgettable memories.

Sound too good to be true? Too complicated? I promise it’s not! Here’s how it works: with each qualifying Tacori purchase, receive a Tacori Journeys travel voucher that can be used towards savings on destinations around the world. It’s that easy! Your Tacori Journeys travel voucher awards you membership points that allow you to deduct savings from your points balance to arrive at the lowest available discount rate. We would be happy to demonstrate
some comparisons for you in our brand-new concept area.

We are all so excited about this because Tacori Journeys marries two of our favorite things, jewelry and travel, to help you make unforgettable memories. From the proposal, to walking down the aisle, to sinking your toes into the sand on your honeymoon, Tacori wants to help you mark the memorable moments of your life.

And Tacori Journeys is not just for engagement rings! With your qualifying purchase of Tacori fashion jewelry, you’ll also receive a travel voucher that you can use for that girls getaway you’ve been planning.

If you’ve visited our store, you know we have an amazing selection of not only bridal pieces, but also fashion pieces for special occasions or even every day staple pieces. So go ahead, buy that piece you’ve been eyeing to celebrate your recent promotion or just because! Your Tacori jewelry purchase can help you save on your next travel experience, and who doesn’t love a great getaway?!

We look forward to sharing the excitement with you during your next visit to Mark Diamonds Jewelers! Your journey awaits!

Alexis Deitch, Mark Diamond’s Jewelers Team Member