Yellow Sapphires

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Sapphires are remarkable stones that are an excellent alternative gemstone to a diamond for engagement ring and other gemstone jewelry. But many jewelry consumers often associate sapphires with the color blue. But these amazing colored gemstones come in a variety of magnificent colors and hues. Some of these colors include: pink, green, and yellow. In fact, yellow sapphires are a great sapphire color that represents the warm and bright sunshine of a beautiful summer’s day. Yellow sapphires come in a huge array of different color hues such as light yellow (that can resemble fancy yellow diamonds) or deeper intense shades that can appear orange-like. Furthermore, yellow sapphire range from very light canary to an ultra golden color tone. And the most in-demand color tone is a medium vibrant canary yellow that will show good color and light reflection in all lighting conditions. This tone is comparable to yellow diamonds.
The scientific name for the sapphire is corundum, which is an aluminum oxide mineral. And gemstones in the corundum mineral family are very hard stones with a rating of 9 out of 10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. The only gemstone harder than corundum are diamonds, making sapphires a perfect alternative for an engagement ring.
90% of colored gemstones are the market has been heat treated to enhance the natural color of the stone. Heat treatment is an acceptable enhancement for colored gemstones, but for colored gemstone purest, unheated sapphires are also sold. However, these natural unheated stones are very rare and fetch a much higher price on the market.
Raquel Beezley Miss CA USA 2008
Sapphires can be mined from all over the world. However, Sri Lanka (formally called “Ceylon”) is the only location where fine quality yellow sapphires are mined. In fact, at INTA Gems & Diamonds, our owner Jerry Young travels to the mines in Sri Lanka to hand-pick each sapphire. Therefore, we guarantee, that are Ceylon sapphires are of the finest quality.
Unfortunately, unlike blue and pink sapphires, yellow sapphires are not as valued because people generally think of blue and pink for sapphires. However, these stones are actually very rare, yet lower in price than the more common colors. In actual fact, yellow sapphires are starting to show a steady increase in popularity. Soon, they will be just as popular as their blue and pink counterparts.  At INTA Gems, we sell a gorgeous selection of fine quality Ceylon yellow sapphires in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

August Birthstone: Peridot

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August marks the middle of summertime and what better way to celebrate than with the birthstone of the month—Peridot! Before purchasing a Peridot, here are a few facts every colored gemstone buyer should know:

Peridot is a stone that belongs in the olivine mineral group based on its color composition. And the stone’s name is derived from the Greek word Peridona which literally means “giving plenty.” In fact, the stone is said to bring good luck, fortune, and peace. It is also believed to attract love, calm anger, and protect against negative emotions. Furthermore, peridot is said to bring protection, health, and peaceful sleep to the wearer. Today, peridots can be mined from locations such as China, Pakistan, and the United States. In addition, they are also found in Africa, Australia, Germany, Italy, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Not to be confused with the deep green color of emeralds, peridot has a distinct coloration that ranges from yellowish green, olive, and brownish green. Peridot is a stone comprised of iron magnesium silicate. The traces of iron plays a huge part in shaping the stone’s beautiful and unique green coloration. In fact, the more iron the stone contains, the more intense the color of the stone is. And the more intensely green the stone is, the higher the price.

Moh’s Hardness Scale:
Peridots have a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness (which rates from 1-10; 10 being the hardest stone). Therefore, we recommend wearing peridot as only fashion jewelry, rather than everyday wear which could result in the chipping or scratching of the stone. In fact, peridots make excellent fashion earrings or pendants. These colored gemstones can also be used for rings, but due to the constant usage of working on things with our hands, it is not recommended. But if you do crave a gorgeous peridot ring, we suggest placing the ring in a safe jewelry box when doing household chores because it could damage the stone.

In terms of gemstone enhancements, peridots are usually enhanced with colorless oils or resins to reduce the visibility of the inclusions, resulting in the improvement of the stone’s overall clarity. These acceptable enhancements (along with heat treating) are also commonly used to improve color.

How to Clean Peridot Jewelry:
To clean peridots, soak in warm water with a mild detergent/soap. Then use a soft brush (i.e. toothbrush) to gently scrub. Lastly, rinse with warm water and pat dry. Never clean peridot with ultrasonic cleaners or household chemicals (i.e. alcohol) because it could potentially ruin the color or damage the stone. In addition, peridots should be kept away from excessive amounts of heat because it can damage the stone over time.

At INTA Gems & Diamonds, we have a magnificent collection of peridot gemstones that can be set into any gemstone jewelry. In addition, we carry a few fashion peridot earrings, pendants, and rings. For more information or directions to our store, feel free to contact us via email or phone.

Custom Orders


INTA Gems has a wide variety of engagement rings and an array of other diamond, gemstone and pearl jewelry. Sometimes though, there may be a piece of jewelry you desire that we do not carry. These occasions call for a customized piece of jewelry.

Ideas for custom jewelry can come from an heirloom, an existing piece of jewelry, or your wildest imagination. INTA Gems specializes in high quality gemstones and diamonds collected from around the world. Many such as this radiant cut 6.88 carat natural yellow sapphire may inspire you to create a customized gift for yourself or someone you love.

If you are thinking of creating a customized piece of jewelry, taking a look at our selection of gemstones is a good place to start.

Or, there may be an aspect of a friend’s or relative’s jewelry that has grabbed your attention and you want to incorporate that design aspect into a piece of jewelry for yourself. For example, you love your grandmother’s engagement ring but would prefer a cushion cut center stone. This too would be an occasion to let us create a custom design for you.

You also may have jewelry handed to you from parents and grandparents that is not wearable. Perhaps the gold has worn thin, the size is not right, or the style doesn’t suit you. Rather than let it sit unworn in a drawer, we can help you turn it into jewelry you will cherish as much as the previous owner.

Making Your Custom Design

Getting started creating your custom jewelry is simple. Simply make an appointment with one of our consultants by calling INTA Gems at 213 689 9650.

Because building a piece of jewelry requires a team of skilled artisans a custom order may take up to four to six weeks for completion.

Once it is complete, you will have a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to cherish for generations to come. Plus you will have the added bonus of being able to say “I designed it!”

These 6 simple steps explain each part of the process.

1. Consultation

    During your consultation, we will discuss what is important to you in creating your ideal jewelry. Our team will help you choose the appropriate gemstones and design elements to suit you and your budget.

    If you have any materials such as pictures or samples, bring these to your appointment. At your appointment we will also give you a price estimate and will require a deposit to begin designing.

    2. Drawing & Design

    Based on the criteria specified during consultation, we will create a drawing for you. The drawing is a fully rendered depiction of your custom jewelry from multiple angles. It is drawn by hand by a GIA Certified jewelry designer. When the drawing is complete, we will confirm with you that you are pleased. This can be done by email.

    3. CAD

    The drawing is brought to a specialist in Computer Aided Drafting, who will turn the two-dimensional drawing into a 3-dimensional file using state-of-the-art computer software.

    The 3D file is then printed in wax.

    4. Wax

    The 3D CAD file is sent to a printer which prints the jewelry in wax. This is called “growing” as the jewelry literally grows with each deposit from the printer.

    5. Metal

    The wax is then cast in the metal of your choice. A mold is made of the wax and the metal is injected into the mold. Popular metals for use with precious gems and diamonds include 14 or 18 karat gold and platinum. You can read more about choosing the right metal for your custom design here.

    6. Setting & Polishing

    The cast ring is sent to a skilled bench jeweler who will set the gemstones. The ring will be polished, finished and ready to wear and enjoy.

    INTA Gems and Diamonds is located in the LA Diamond District in Downtown Los Angeles. We carry a large selection of Loose Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Wedding Bands and Gemstones.
    Ph: (213) 689-9650

    Penelope Cruz’s Engagement Ring!

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    Penelope Cruz hasn’t announced her engagement or even admitted to dating beau Javier Bardem, but the huge sapphire ring on her finger says different!

    The huge stone is a vintage 3-carat estimated to be worth $30,000

    Penelope has famously dated many of the hottest male stars in Hollywood today, including Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey.

    Saphhire engagement rings are much more rare and special.  In fact, not many female celebrities have rocked a sapphire. But one other sapphire engagement ring holder was the late Princess Diana.

    Shoot for the Moon Emma Baker!

    intablogmiss california teen usa, miss california usa

    Everybody at INTA Gems and the Young family would like to send our full support to this amazingly beautiful young woman, Emma Baker, Miss California Teen USA. We’ve all had a great time getting to know you and your family this year.

    And personally, it was great to spend time with both Nicole Johnson, Miss California USA, and you and family at Disneyland before your trip began.

    We love you! Shoot for the moon Emma! ;-)

    Emma Baker, Miss California Teen USA 2010, is flying to the Bahamas to competed for the Miss Teen USA title on July 24th.

    We’ll be watching the live telecast at


    intablogcolored gemstones, education, gemstone, video

    Alexandrites, more rare than diamonds, are perhaps some of the rarest gemstones on the planet. First discovered in 1834 in Russian emerald mines, they were named after the Russian tsar, Alexander II. It is hardly used in modern jewelry because of the extreme rarity. While Russia used to be the sole-source for these precious gemstones, they are now found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Burma, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Unknown to many, alexandrite shares the month of June as its birthstone with pearl. It is also a popular gift for the fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.

    What To Consider When Purchasing An Alexandrite:

    1. There are many simulants and synthetic alexandrites on the market; therefore, choose a jeweler you can trust that will guarantee it is a natural alexandrite.

    2. Purchase an alexandrite with an independent report that states its nature of origin. The best alexandrites now come from Sri Lanka, Brazil and Russia.

    3. Pay close attention to the color. These stones should be green in fluorescent lighting and reddish-purple in incandescent lighting. The more distinct the change of color, the more valuable the stone. 4. Because it rates an 8.5 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness, it can easily be worn in many different types of jewelry.

    5. Clarity is always important when choosing a gemstone. A slight amount of inclusions is normal; however, the less the inclusions, the more expensive the stone can be.

    6. Make sure the alexandrite has not had any heat treatment. This process disables the stone from changing color, which is its most unique feature.

    7. Examine the cutting quality. If the stone is cut well, it will have excellent proportions that will enhance its attractiveness.

    8. Like diamonds, it is extremely rare for alexandrites to come in large sizes; therefore, higher premiums are paid for large stones.

    9. The two most common shapes for alexandrite are cushion and oval. To find a shape other than these two is a rarity.

    10. Choose a stone that you love. Regardless of what the gemological world says, it is most important for you to like the stone; otherwise, there is little point in the purchase at all.

    Please visit to see our wide selection of loose alexandrites.

    Mother of Pearl

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    Summer is approaching and what better way to show her you care than to surprise her with her birthstone for the month of June-the pearl! Even if June isn’t her birth month, pearls still make a beautiful gift, whether it is a pearl necklace, bracelet, or earrings. And in contrast to popular belief, pearls do not just come in white. They actually come in a variety of exotic colors that range from blackish, silver green, blue, pink, eggplant, and other colors. Pearls are also prized for their amazing mirror-like luster. At INTA Gems & Diamonds we have a tremendous selection of gorgeous Tahitian and fresh water pearls. But before you decide to purchase pearls, here are ten useful facts and advice that you should know:

    1. Tahitian South Sea Pearls are also referred to as Black South Sea Pearls tend to be larger than any other pearl. But unlike the name, they come in a huge variety of colors and are known for their gorgeous mirror-like luster. These pearls come from the Pinctada Margaritifera Oyster that is found only in Tahiti and a few parts of the French Polynesian Islands.
    2. Freshwater Pearls are pearls that are typically found in lakes and rivers in China and Japan. They are found within mollusks known as mussels. Freshwater Pearls tend to be naturally white or pink in color.
    3. There is no industry standard pearl grading system yet, but the two major pearl grading systems are AAA-A system and the A-D system. In the AAA-A system, AAA is the highest rating given to pearls that are considered virtually flawless with very high luster, and at least 95% of a clean surface that is free from defects. AA is the second highest grading in which the pearls still contains very high luster, but is at least 75% free of defects. The last grading is A, in which the pearl contains a lower amount of luster and at least no more than 25% defects shown on the surface.
    4. For the A-D system, A has the highest rating in which the pearl has a very high luster and only minor imperfections of over less than 10% of its surface. The next grade is B, which has high or medium luster, and the surface may have some visible imperfections but no more than 30% of its area. C graded pearls have medium luster, with surface imperfections over not more than 60%. The last grading, D, may have many slight defects (but no deep ones) that spread over 60% of its surface. And in terms of luster, a D graded pearl is irrelevant because the surface blemishes are taken more into account. Anything below the standard grading of D cannot be used in jewelry.
    5. Another factor to consider for picking pearls is the thickness of the nacre (the crystalline substance that creates the iridescence in pearls), which generally determines pearl durability over time. For instance, thicker nacre would be stronger and longer-lasting than one that is thinner.
    6. Pearl luster is the measurement of quality and quantity of light that reflects from the surface and just under the surface of the pearls. Luster is basically the reflective quality or brilliance of the surface of the pearl nacre. Saltwater pearls tend to reflect more than freshwater. And pearls that contain low luster appear to have a chalky and white look.
    7. Pearls come in a variety of shapes because they are a natural organic substance. Every pearl has a slightly different shape. The most commonly known are the rounded shaped pearls, but the perfectly rounded pearls are actually quite rare. Pearls shapes are divided into three main categories: Spherical (perfectly or nearly round), Symmetrical (balanced and regular), and Baroque (irregular or abstract). More specifically, the second basic pearl shapes are: Round, Near-Round (extremely rare), Oval, Button (slightly flattened into a disk-like button), Drop (teardrop-shaped), Semi-Baroque, and Baroque.
    8. In terms of color, pearls range from an entire selection of black to white. Other natural colors are silver, cream, champagne, gold, green, and blue. However, although two pearls can contain the same color, they may still have different overtones, giving it a much different look.
    9. Another thing to consider with pearls is the size. The size has a direct connection to the price of the pearl and its quality. For instance, larger pearls command higher prices (but also considering all the other factors). The size of the pearl is measured by its diameter in millimeters. Most pearls today tend to be sold within the range of 6.5-7.5mm.
    10. Lastly, taking all these factors into consideration, when choosing pearls, one must select one based on their own personal preference whether it is the shape, color, size, etc.

    Hope these essential basic tips are helpful! To find out more information on pearls or where to purchase some pearl jewelry, feel free to contact or drop by the INTA Gems store.

    Miss California USA, Nicole Johnson’s Send Off Party

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    The INTA Gems & Diamonds crew all went to Nicole Johnson, Miss California USA, send off party. In the photo is Shanna Moakler and Raquel Beezley, Miss California USA 2008. We’ll be going to Vegas to watch Nicole compete for the Miss USA title. Watch it this Sunday on NBC!

    For more information about Diamond Jewelry please see our website at

    Scrabble – Triple Letter Score! Will You Marry Me?

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    Nathan and Allison just got engaged! And they sent these great photos of their INTA Gems & Diamonds engagement ring. It’s always so nice to hear from our customers. Here are photos and an excerpt of an email that we got about Nathan’s proposal.

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    “As a favorite past time of Allison and I, a Scrabble photo was a natural way to propose. However the timing and perfect moment never came around for me to use this photo and the ring stayed locked in my cabinet for a month before I could get something better planned out. So finally, on Feb. 1st, Allison and I were up in Lake Tahoe on a ski trip getaway. I had planned out the day and was more nervous then I’d ever been. Little did Allison know, 3 days before our trip, I had called her mom and asked permission to ask her daughter to marry me. I wanted to start things off right, so this was a very important step for us. We skied all day, took a dip in our hot tub, had a casual walk near the lake, and then a romantic dinner at Cafe Fiore. As we were leaving the restaurant, Allison had mentioned that this was a perfect day. She was about to be even more surprised. Fidgeting to put on her gloves, I asked her to wait. I told her how happy these past 2 years had been. Being with her was more amazing then I could have ever imagined and I never wanted it to end. Photography was the thing that brought us together, so I thanked fate for this change in careers. I knew she could feel it coming, so I got on one knee and asked her to marry me. I didn’t need the Scrabble photo after all as she burst into tears with a passionate yes. We hugged and embraced for what it felt like was 5 minutes when I finally mentioned we should probably get out of the cold before our teardrops freeze to our face. She instantly called her mother and was very happy to know her mom had already been informed of the surprise and had given her full approval. It was a memorable trip and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing ring from Inta Gems. Thank you to everyone there for helping me pick out the perfect ring as well as making it the easiest process I ever imagined.”

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    Nathan is also a wedding photographer. If anybody needs photos, just tell them that INTA Gems & Diamonds sent you and his said that he would give you a discount or extra free prints.

    About Nathan Nowack Photography:
    Nathan Nowack is a photojournalistic wedding photographer that covers all of California. He strives for a simplistic beauty in my photos while also being artistic and fun. Nowack captures all those candid emotional moments at a wedding as well and have a full line of options including photo booths and albums. Please check out additional examples of his work at

    Photoshoot With Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA

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    IntagemsPeter, Miss California USA, Connie, and Jerry

    Peter with his beautifully designed crown!

    Nicole Johnson-Miss California USA 2010
    and Emma Baker-Miss California Teen USA 2010

    Nicole Johnson-Miss California USA 2010
    wearing the crown designed by Inta Gems

    Nicole Johnson-Miss California USA 2010
    wearing the crown designed by Inta Gems

    Nicole Johnson-Miss California USA 2010
    wearing Inta Gems jewelry

    Nicole Johnson-Miss California USA 2010
    wearing Inta Gems jewelry

    Jerry, Peter, and Connie

    Connie modeling Inta Gems jewelry

    Copyright INTA Gems & Diamonds 2010

    Photography by Jurgen Reisch