Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Diamonds Grading History from an Idea to an Institution

If you are reading this blog, odds are you have heard the of the 4 C’s of diamond evaluation before. Well have you ever wondered where the 4 Cs came from? Well, as I don’t have as strong a background in the history of the jewelry industry as others and being a little curios, I decided to do a little investigation on the subject. I found out not only where the term came from, but what exactly the 4Cs are and it all starts in the 1940’s.

Robert M. Shipley

Robert M. Shipley: Founder of the Gemological Institute of America

The beginnings of the 4Cs were laid out by Robert Shipley, founder of the Gemological Institute of America. Originally based out of the Shipley home in 1931, the GIA continued to grow through 1940 when Richard T. Liddicoat, who is recognized as the “father of modern gemology”, joined the staff. It wasn’t until 1953 that Richard introduced the GIA diamond grading system which was a practical approach to grading the quality of diamonds on the basis of color, clarity and cut.

So what are the 4Css? Let’s start with Carat. A carat weight is the unit of measurement based on a base unit of 100 points. So that being said, a diamond with .50 carats is considered a 1/2 carat diamond. Next let’s move to color. The color of a diamond ranges from a scale of D meaning colorless to Z meaning near colorless. Clarity measures both any internal inclusions as well as any external blemishes. The final C is Cut. Cut measures the brilliance and fire of the diamond, in other words, the “sparkle” factor.

So now you know a little more about the 4Cs. If you are interested in learning more about them, I recommend you visit the GIA online at They have a wealth of information on the subject. For any additional questions you may have about the 4 C’s or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

A Jewelers Motivation for Inspecting Your Jewelry

Prongs that hold these stones in place run the risk of developing micro fractures if not cared for.

Today, let’s take a little blog real estate for some jewelry info good for all, not just customers of Kranich’s Jewelers. This simply lets you know why most jewelers suggest that customers get all tips, prongs, clasps and links on their pieces checked at least every 4-6 months. If you are a current Kranich’s Jewelers customer, you have no doubted been asked one time or another about our company Extended Service plan offered on almost every product for sale at the store and online.

When your jewelry is set, the points where the prongs are bent to hold your gemstones become a stress point. Sometimes, these points can develop tiny microscopic cracks which we call Stress induced corrosion. That is why sometimes very old pieces or pieces that have been sized and sized again become brittle or even break. Household cleansers, hand sanitizers or even highly chlorinated water can accelerate development of these little faults. This is the main reason we feel that it is good practice to bring your jewelry in for inspection on a regular basis.

A little added bonus when you bring your pieces in for inspection at most jewelers, it usually means your piece is going to be polished after inspection. Buildup from lotion, sweat and even just the environment sometimes gives your jewelry a dull look as time passes. So with a little buff and polish, sometimes it’s almost like getting a brand new piece of jewelry at the end of the day.
So we hope if you are still reading, you consider taking the time to have your jewelry inspected. It can make you pieces last a lifetime in the long run.

For any additional questions you may have about jewelry care or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

The Garnet January Birthstones

View all of our garnet birthstone jewelry at

Happy Birthday January readers. As I’m sure most of our January born readers are aware, the birthstone of January is the garnet. As yours truly’s mother was actually born this month, I felt it was time I look into some details about this gemstone. Let’s take a look at the history of garnet as January’s birthstone, some properties associated with this precious gem and maybe some suggestions on accessorizing with garnet.

Accessorize your garnet jewelry

The history of garnet as the January birthstone seems to have gone back for generations. The Latin word granatum malum roughly translating as the original Roman word for pomegranate, which was thought to have the same dark red color as the garnet birthstone lead many believe this is where the crimson jewel got its name. They have been known to be carried by travelers to protect against accidents and some even believe they even may help prevent nightmares. Garnet have even been found in Bronze age burial sites showing that they have been cherished through the rise and fall of civilizations. Their significance to the month of January is believed to be based in poems matching each month in the Gregorian calendar. It isn’t known if the verse below originally appeared in the Gregorian calendar or may have in fact been a clever marketing strategy by Tiffany & Co. where they were published as early as 1870.

By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.

The garnet that most are familiar to jewelry lovers is the deep dark red garnet, almandine
but they can range anywhere from a purplish rhodolite, to a green tsavorite or even an
orange Mandarin spessartite. The January birthstone has a hardness level between 7 to 7.50 on the mohs scale and is commonly cut in round, oval and cushion shapes. They mine garnet in African countries, famously in Russia and even some January birthstones are mined in the United states.

So what to wear with garnet you may ask? It’s all personal preference. How about a designer watch with a deep red strap?
Maybe combine that with a deep red handbag or tech case.Even a simple pair of red shoes accentuate the deep red color of the garnet. Simply look in most recent fashion magazines to get ideas to complete your dazzling look, perfect for any occasion.

For any questions you may have about birthstone jewelry or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.