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Get Your Green On

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Claddagh: Meaning and Origins

As we get nearer to what is considered in American culture as a prominent holiday which includes lots of green, eating and drinking, and various parades throughout the nation, Claddagh Rings and Jewelry become more and more popular. We often get asked what the Claddagh symbolizes. The Claddagh Ring is among a group of European Rings called "fede rings," which derives from the Italian "mani in fede" or "hands in faith/loyalty." "Fede rings" are made with two hands clasped, which generally symbolizes pledged vows, and because of this were often given as engagement and wedding rings in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. 

The traditional Claddagh Ring is a variation on that, showing two hands holding a heart topped with a crown. The hands signify Friendship, while the heart means Love, and the crown Loyalty. 

The current form of the Ring was first produced in the 17th Century in Claddagh, Ireland, situated outside the old city walls of Galway. However, the term "Claddagh" wasn't used until the 1840s. While there are many different legends about the origin of the Ring, perhaps the most likely is about Richard Joyce, a native of Galway. Captured and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith while working in the West Indies, Joyce learned the craft from his Master. When William III became King he demanded the release of all British prisoners, thus Joyce was set free. During his time in captivity, he fashioned a Ring for his love in Galway, and upon his return, presented it to her and married her.

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March's Birthstone: Aquamarine

Presenting in stunning ice blues and even an eye-catching greenish blue now and then, the Aquamarine is March's dazzling birthstone. 

Named for the Latin for seawater, the Aquamarine certainly does give the impression of watery depths. This gemstone is also thought to improve happiness in marriages. Aquamarines belong to the Beryl family (as well as Emeralds); many Beryls form large crystals, making the Aquamarine ideal for larger cuts that can be suitable for Fashion Jewelry.

 

Sitting at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, the Aquamarine can be a durable stone for jewelry as long as care is taken against scratching and knocks on hard surfaces. 

 

View our Aquamarine pieces

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IJO Spring Show 2015

We are at the IJO show picking out some great new things for the store. Today we focused on getting some new earrings that we know you will love! From sapphire to amethyst and many stones in between, we've picked out some unique pieces that are unlike anything we've offered before. We have also picked out a few fantastic engagement rings. We cannot wait to get them in stock and photographed! Rose gold has been a big trend at the show this year, and we found two-toned pieces that are phenomenal. We've also met some great vendors who will help us better serve you. Stay tuned for great communication from us coming up soon!

Our favorite part of the show is finding the perfect piece that you are looking for. We've found everything we've been on the lookout for so far. If you are looking for something specific, please email store@wandwjewelers.com by 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 23, and we will do our best to find it! 

Finally, we've partnered with some friends to bring you the ultimate buying experience this fall. We'll be announcing more information soon.

We're excited to get back to Marquette with these awesome new products and opportunities. 

- Chris

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February's Birthstone: Amethyst

Until rich deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 19th Century, Amethysts were as expensive as Rubies and Emeralds. Due to a range of rich colors, the Amethyst is in high demand from designers and consumers alike. Heat treating Amethyst between 878 and 1382 degrees F can create color variance, including green, light yellow, red-brown, or completly colorless varieties. 

It was also believed to prevent drunkenness, Amethyst coming from the Ancient Greek "amethystos" meaning "not drunk."

Worn by St. Valentine, the patron saint of romantic love, it is fitting that Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February. On the Mohs Scale it rates at a 7 and it has a good toughness, making it acceptable for every day wear, as long as proper care is taken to avoid the stone becoming scratched. Amethyst remains the most highly valued stone in the quartz family. 

 

View our Amethyst pieces

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