Looking to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done? Then come on out to Howard’s Fine Jewelry! We can promise you you’ll find the best jewelry prices in town in Sterling Heights, MI at our store, with a level of quality supported by our 70 years in business helping the people of our region with all their jewelry needs.

Here are just a few tips to help you find the perfect jewelry gift this Christmas:

  • Make it practical: While it can be nice to have something for very special occasions, many people who wear jewelry like to have something they’d wear on a daily basis. Think hoops, rolling bracelets, charms on long chains or anything else that can go with daily attire.
  • Avoid the big brand names: It’s always better to support local businesses and avoid going to the big brand name jewelers when you can. Most of those larger stores have higher prices because they’re spending more money on their advertising and awareness activities. When shopping at a smaller store, you’re supporting local business owners who take a tremendous amount of pride in their craft and their work. This goes for brand name jewelry as well—just because something has a familiar brand name and costs more does not mean it’s any better than a brand name you’re unaware of.
  • Look for birthstones: Jewelry that features the gift recipient’s birthstone is always a meaningful gesture. There are plenty of birthstones and semi-precious stone alternatives that will be impressive, beautiful and meaningful.
  • Get advice: If you’re not particularly knowledgeable about jewelry, then it makes sense to seek the advice of someone who is. Fortunately, a skilled jeweler will be able to answer any questions you have and make some specific recommendations for you based on what you think you might be looking for. Jewelers in smaller shops are much more likely to provide unbiased advice than jewelers in big brand name stores that are angling hard for a commission.
  • Bring a friend or family member: If you’re buying for a specific person, it can be a good idea to bring a friend or family member along who knows their tastes and can give you a second opinion on items you’re looking at. Though everyone is going to have different tastes, it can help to have another person with you to bounce ideas off of.
  • Look at pearls: Pearls are a perfect complement to just about all types of styles, and they’re nowhere near as expensive as diamonds. There are multiple grades of pearls to choose from, meaning you have various price points to accommodate any budget, but if you’re looking for a necklace, then pearls are a solid idea.

For more information and tips about purchasing jewelry this Christmas season and in the months ahead, we encourage you to contact the experts at Howard’s Fine Jewelry today. Remember, Howard’s Fine Jewelry has the best jewelry prices in town in Sterling Heights, MI, so come on down today before the holiday is over!

The three birthstones for December are all varying shades of blue: blue topaz, tanzanite and turquoise. Each of these gems has their own unique properties and historical characteristics, and all are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to precious gems, despite having undeniable beauty.

Here’s a bit of information about each of these three December birthstones.


Tanzanite is the blue variety of a mineral called zoisite that is only found in Tanzania (hence the name of the stone). Tanzanite was discovered relatively recently, in 1967, and has since rapidly risen in terms of worldwide popularity.

Most tanzanite you’ll find on the market today has been heat treated to minimize the brown colors that occur naturally in the stone. As a result, the blue shades in the stone get enhanced, and are capable of rivaling even sapphire.

Even with the greater awareness of tanzanite and the greater demand for the stone, it’s still only found in a very small area in Tanzania, close to Mount Kilimanjaro. The price and availability of the stone are therefore tied directly to the mines that produce it in an area of just a few square miles.

In terms of hardness, tanzanite in Sterling Heights, MI comes in between a 6.5 and a 7 on the Mohs scale, not nearly as hard as sapphire and making it a bit vulnerable to scratching. Therefore, it’s better for use in earrings and pendants than it is in rings.

Blue topaz

Blue topaz, also known as blue zircon, is a blue variety of a gem that commonly occurs in a brownish red color, which can make it popular for people looking for a stone with earth tones. The blue color results from heat treatment, which helps to stabilize the radioactivity that can occur in the stone.

The stone is found in a variety of locations, including Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cambodia, Canada and the United States. The largest producer is Australia, where the stone dates back 4.4 billion years. About 37 percent of the world’s supply of the gem comes from Australia.

Fun fact: in the Middle Ages, people believed blue topaz in Sterling Heights, MI was capable of warding off evil, inducing sleep and promoting financial success and prosperity among its owners.


Most people are familiar with the beautiful light blue-green of turquoise in Sterling Heights, MI. It has been a staple of jewelry collections since ancient times, often referred to as the “Turkish stone,” and the color often referred to as “Persian blue.” Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was an important historical source of turquoise, but today the United States is the world’s largest supplier, with turquoise being found and produced in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. The stone’s prevalence in the Southwest made it a Native American staple.

Turquoise can be sensitive to direct sunlight and to solvents found in makeups and perfumes. It also only registers up to a 6 on the Mohs scale, which means it’s not ideal for use in rings.

For more information about these December birthstones, contact Howard’s Fine Jewelry or visit our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI today!