What is a gemstone?

Most gemstones are minerals that have been chosen for their beauty and durability, then cut and polished for use as human adornment.

The exceptions are organic materials such as amber, pearls and coral. There are about 3,000 gems that are admired and cut for their beauty, but only about 100 show up in jewelry because the rest are simply too delicate to wear.

Today many stones such as agates, jaspers, turquoise, crystals and others, including fossils are being used in high fashion jewelry. Many of these stones have unique properties that no other stones have and so are sought after for these special characteristics. Although most of these stones are opaque, many are semi-transparent or transluscent.

The allure of gemstones is color and light. The allure of organics is their rich colors and unique design patterns. In the 1930’s three main colored gemstones were recognized and used in jewelry; rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Those restrictions have disappeared.

Today partly because of advanced mining technology we have so many more choices as new gemstones are being discovered in sometimes difficult to reach locations. It is true that many gems are very rare and so become price restrictive for most, both jeweler and customer yet others are entering the market at more affordable prices, offering all of us, including collectors more choices of gems and stones.

At Mary Ann Archer, we love all stones for their uniqueness and individual beauty. When selecting gemstones, including diamonds, for our customers, we take our time in studying and selecting only finely cut stones to assure their beautiful brilliance of light and color. We travel to find stones for their rarity, quality of color, design interest and rarity to offer our customers a true work of art and a piece that is unlike any other. We strive to design and make jewelry that is unique, comfortable to wear and affordable.

“Re-creating your jewelry box memories into wearable treasures” is my specialty and I love making your dreams come true. Tapping into my insight and divine artistic inspiration, coupled with 50 years of jewelry making, my goal is to fulfill your personal desires and create an exclusive piece of jewelry – just for you.

My goal is to make your online shopping experience, informative, enjoyable and fun. My diverse and exclusive jewelry collections offer something unique and affordable for every shopper and is available only on this website and in my gallery. My oil paintings of northern Michigan can be seen in house or on my sister website: