Welcome to the Josephs Jewelers blog where you’ll learn all about fascinating gemstones, beautiful jewelry and the inner workings of Josephs Jewelers.

8 Estate Engagement Rings For Your Holiday Proposal

Even with this year being somewhat unconventional, the upcoming holiday still takes the lead as the number one time to propose to your loved one. Traditions combined with the gathering of close family make it a perfect time for a surprise, especially when if it comes in our signature gold box.

A popular engagement ring look that has been becoming increasingly popular is estate jewelry. These pieces are one-of-a-kind treasures that have lived extraordinary past lives. The clean, detailed lines and overall uniqueness of these gems are definitely conversation starters. Plus, they would be great as future heirloom pieces! Many people are looking for special, custom pieces to match their personalities and estate engagement rings fit the bill. Our inventory is changing daily, but these 8 vintage-inspired, antique and true vintage estate engagement rings we definitely want on our ring finger this holiday!

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Understanding the 4 Cs Before Buying A Diamond Ring

When you’re looking for a piece of jewelry with any sort of diamond, you’re probably wondering why one ring that looks exactly identical to another costs more. That’s because of a little something called the “4 Cs.”

Think of every diamond as having its own personality since every single one is completely different (even if it looks the same to the naked eye).

So, what are the 4 Cs and how do they play a role in the beauty of a diamond for fashion jewelry or a diamond engagement ring?


Cut is the most important factor that affects the beauty of the diamond and is different than the shape of the diamond. It refers to the arrangement of the diamonds’ facets and the craftsmanship quality such as proportion, angle and polish. Cut is what will affect the sparkle of your diamond and how it interacts with light to create ‘fire’. This scale ranges from excellent—meaning it has an even pattern of bright and dark areas and is not too shallow or deep—to poor, where a diamond is limited by its weight ratio.

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How To Clean Jewelry at Home

Cleaning Diamond Jewelry at Home

Photo by Eric Welch/GIA

A common question we are asked at Josephs is, “how can I clean my jewelry at home?” It’s important for you to know that cleaning jewelry is not always easier at home. In fact, one jewelry cleaning solution will not work for all gemstones or metals because each needs its own care due to a number of different factors. An at-home method should only be used temporarily for hard gems like rubies, sapphires and diamonds, but it’s best to check with your jewelry professional.

Now more than ever, we understand the importance of cleaning jewelry in the comfort of your home. If you do not have our jewelry cleaner solution readily available, here are a few other recommendations that you can follow.

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March Madness



It’s March and that usually means basketball month is officially here! People everywhere gather together and fill out basketball brackets with the name of teams they think will make it all the way. This March, in honor of the games that were cancelled, we’re showcasing 16 fan-favorite pieces from Josephs. From contemporary Omega timepieces to trendy crowd-favorites like solitaire diamond pendants, we know one of these pieces will make an impression… and maybe walk away the champion of your heart.

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The Facts on Amethyst – February Birthstone

Amethyst has universal and timeless appeal with is rich purple color. Purple used to be the chosen color for royalty. Over time, amethyst became a popular stone choice for all. This birthstone can range from pale, soft lavender purple to a deep dark purple hue. The most desirable amethyst color is an intense, even-tone dark purple with flashes of red under incandescent light. The pale lavender is a less expensive option. Generally, amethyst is an affordable stone choice and it has a beautiful degree of transparency to it.

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Wedding Event at Josephs Jewelers | March 6 and 7

For two days only, you’re invited to say ‘yes’ to our second annual wedding event extravaganza. It will feature four of our bridal lines, including Simon G, Sylvie, Fana and Benchmark. On March 6 and 7, join our West Des Moines location to shop our largest selection of engagement rings, his and her wedding bands, and bridal jewelry!

Two-tone engagement ring from Simon G. More rings from this designer at our wedding event.Vintage-inspired engagement ringWhite gold solitaire engagement ring


Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win one of many Josephs gift certificates, with the grand prize being a $1,000 gift certificate! We’ll keep the other denominations a secret for now, but be sure to check our Facebook page for more details as the event gets closer!


Enjoy a small selection of beer and wine, available while you browse. Happy hour on Friday will begin at 3pm and will be all day Saturday!


In addition to our gift certificate prizes, customers will be able to play our ring toss game for a chance to win other fun prizes – all you have to do is make a certain amount of rings on the bottles to win something free!


Dates: March 6 (10am-6pm) | March 7 (10am-5:30pm)

Location: Josephs West Des Moines – 5425 Mills Civic Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266

Save the date for our wedding event; we hope to see you there!

All about Garnets – January Birthstone

If you were born in January, your birthstone is a garnet! This stone is also used for a second wedding anniversary. Here’s everything you need to know about this gemstone.

Garnets come in many colors ranging from uvarovite to red


Garnets have nine species; however the most common color associated with it is dark red. The ‘red’ name is derived from the Greek work pyropos meaning “fire-like”. Early scientists gave garnet its name due to its likeness in the rock crystal to red pomegranate seeds. It comes from the Latin word granatum meaning “seed-like”.


The birthstones initially represented each tribe of Israel, but was modernized in 1912 by the Jewelers of America.

Garnets were discovered in Egypt around 3100 B.C. and were often used in beads and inlaid jewelry. In ancient times it was thought their light could shine through a pocket. Some theologians believed Noah used a garnet to light up the ark. In the 18th and 19th centuries, garnets were quite popular in Europe and were sold as souvenir gems. The deep red garnets were mined in the areas known as Bohemia and Czechoslovakia (Eastern Europe). Garnets are also mined in Pakistan, Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, Tanzania, Canada and the United States.


Garnets come in every color of the rainbow and display incredible brilliance due to their single refraction. They are not treated to enhance color. Tsavorite is a variety of green garnet and is rarer than red garnets. Due to the rareness, it commands a higher cost in the marketplace. Tsavorite was originally discovered in Tanzania in 1968 and also Kenya. Promoters from Tiffany & Co. named it after Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.


Garnets are a 6½-7½ on Mohs Hardness Scale and are best cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Sudden hot temperatures of steam cleaners can cause fractures making them not recommended for cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe.

Garnets are a wonderful choice for a bright colored gemstone, especially with its great price!

These are the Top Engagement Ring Trends of 2020

Whether the time is nearing to get engaged, or you just enjoy the sights of sparkling jewels, there are many great upcoming engagement ring trends that we will definitely be seeing a lot of next year! Some of these trends are being carried over from last year (hello, pops of color), but there’s also a lot of new ones—like the comeback of rose gold! Excuse us while we squeal with joy as we unveil eight of the top engagement ring trends for 2020.

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Mined or Lab Diamonds: Which Variety is Right for You?

Which variety of diamond is right for you? You are probably debating between traditional mined-diamonds and the increasingly popular, lab-grown diamond. We want you to be able to make the best decision based on the facts—so we will share some of the current similarities and differences between the two.

A commonly asked question is: Do mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds look the same? The answer is YES. If both styles of diamonds are in front of you, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them with the naked eye.

Each comprises entirely of the element carbon under extreme pressure. Both mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds can range in degrees of color from colorless to varying hints of yellow. They can come with just a few inclusions (flaws) to several within the stone. They come in identical shapes and placed into the same settings. So, lab-grown diamonds are officially the real thing and are indeed a real diamond. Both are diamonds; however, the FTC requires us to refer to lab-grown diamonds as lab-grown diamonds.

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