If you or a loved one has an October birthday, then you probably already know that this month has two special birthstones: pink tourmaline and opal. While opal is much more well known than pink tourmaline, both of these stones have special properties and fascinating histories, making them the perfect gift for anyone with an October birthday—or anyone who appreciates beautiful jewelry!

From your go-to jewelry store, here are some interesting facts about October’s two birthstones, opal and pink tourmaline in Sterling Heights, MI.

Pink tourmaline

  • Name and origin: The name “tourmaline” comes from an ancient form of Sinhalese, the language spoken today in Sri Lanka. It should come as no surprise, then, that tourmaline can be found in its natural form in Sri Lanka, as well as the Middle East, Russia and parts of Africa. It can also be found in some coastal parts of the United States—California and Maine, specifically.
  • Color variety: While most gems only come in one or two basic shades, tourmaline can be found in a wide range of colors. This makes it a great birthstone, as you can choose a tourmaline piece that as a gift fits the recipient’s unique personality.
  • Ruby similarities: We mentioned that tourmaline comes in a wide range of colors. One of those colors—one of the most common for tourmaline, in fact—is a deep pink or red that resembles a ruby. In fact, there have been instances in history when famous designers and royalty have tried to pass off rubellite tourmaline as real rubies.
  • Ancient and modern uses: In ancient times, tourmaline was thought to bring insight and goodness to its wearers, and to warn users of impending danger. Today, African and Native American peoples still see this gem as a source of physical and emotional healing.


  • Formed by rain: How exactly opal forms still remains something of a scientific mystery. However, many believe that opal is formed by rainwater dripping in the crevices of a rock, creating a unique, beautifully colorful design.
  • Out of this world: Do you have a space enthusiast in your life? If so, opal jewelry might be for them, because this stone has been spotted on the planet Mars! It is one of only a few gems that have been found outside of this planet.
  • Ancient meaning: “Opal” is derived from the ancient Greek word “Opallios,” which means “ to see a change of color.” The Greeks thought opal came from the god Zeus’ tears of joy after winning a battle. Ancient Romans, meanwhile, considered opal to be a sign of good fortune.
  • Down Under: Ninety-five percent of the world’s opals today come from Australia. In fact, native Australian Aboriginals refer to opal as “God’s footprint.”

With two beautiful and fascinating birthstones to choose from, finding a jewelry gift for your loved one with an October birthday should be a piece of cake! If you are looking for quality opal and pink tourmaline jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI, please come by Howard’s Fine Jewelry, your locally owned jewelry store.

We’re very thrilled to be celebrating our 70th anniversary this year at Howard’s Fine Jewelry. It is hard to believe we’re entering our eighth decade in business as the go-to jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI, and we couldn’t be prouder of the legacy of high-quality jewelry pieces we’ve sold over the many years we’ve been working in the area.

We are so grateful to the many wonderful customers who continue to support us by coming in and purchasing our pieces and recommending our jewelry to their friends and family—we would not be celebrating this amazing milestone without your patronage and loyalty, and we do not take that for granted!

A brief history

We’ve been a mainstay in the Sterling Heights community since 1948. Our initial location was over on 7 Mile and Van Dyke, and we eventually moved to the corner of 8 Mile and Van Dyke to a slightly larger location.

It was at our second location that we truly began to take off as something more than just a tiny business. We became a powerhouse local business that sold far more than just jewelry. We sold many general goods at discount prices—the only store in the area offering the kind of discounts we provided at the time.

In 1989 we moved to our current location, 15 Mile and Van Dyke, and once again returned to focusing strictly on jewelry. We have maintained that focus ever since.

I personally took over the business in 2008, the year we celebrated our 60th anniversary. At the time, the economy was dreadful—the markets had just crashed, and we were heading into the worst economic downturn in decades. Many businesses, small and large, shuttered and failed, both here in Sterling Heights and on a national level.

Business was difficult during those times for us here at Howard’s Fine Jewelry, but we weathered the storm, and we sit here feeling more fortunate than ever at our 70th anniversary to be able to serve the people of the Sterling Heights are and beyond. Now, we’re once again a healthy company doing great business and providing unbeatable prices on outstanding jewelry items. We still provide the same high level of customer service that customers expected out of us generations ago, thanks to the dedication of our friendly and highly knowledgeable staff.

There are some things about our business that have changed. Our location has moved twice, the appearance of our current location has changed numerous times, and we have put more effort into our website and online branding to keep up with the constantly evolving world of business and technology.

But our commitment to outstanding products and customer service will never change. For as long as we’re in business, we strive to be the go-to source in the area for all your jewelry needs.

Come on down today to our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI and help us celebrate this big milestone for our business. We look forward to welcoming you to Howard’s Fine Jewelry!

While diamonds have long been the stone of choice for engagement rings, we have recently seen a reemergence of colored gemstones as an extremely popular alternative. There are many reasons why gemstones have made such a comeback, including their own unique beauty in addition to many of the ethical dilemmas surrounding the diamond mining business.

Sapphires are the birthstone for the month of September, so we thought it would be fitting to discuss a rising trend of sapphire engagement rings. Perhaps the most famous example of a sapphire ring in the world belongs to Kate Middleton, who helped bring sapphire back to the forefront. But here are just a few of the other reasons why sapphire in Sterling Heights, MI mkes a great stone for an engagement ring:

  • They’re unique: No two sapphires are alike, even sapphires of the same color. This means every single sapphire ring is one of a kind and has its own character. You’re getting a completely customized piece every time you purchase a sapphire ring—the jewelers can cut the gemstones in just about any shape and at very reasonable prices, while also using cutting techniques that maximize the luster and brilliance of these gemstones.
  • They’re ethical: Sapphires are usually mined in small community-operated or family-owned mines, meaning the benefits of their sales are more easily tracked than diamonds. The worldwide Kimberly Process established some rules that would halt the trafficking of conflict diamonds (frequently referred to as “blood diamonds”), but it is incredibly difficult to guarantee none of these diamonds will enter legitimate markets. Plus, the larger scale at which these stones are mined and the turbulent (at best) political conditions in the areas that host most of the world’s largest mines make it difficult to track their source. Therefore, if you’re looking for an ethical choice in your jewelry, sapphires are the way to go.
  • They’re durable: Sapphires come in at a nine out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning it is extremely scratch resistant and durable. Other gemstones, such as emeralds, do not have the same indestructible characteristics. Considering an engagement ring is something a bride will likely wear every day for the rest of her life, having a stone that is not only beautiful but durable as well is something you should prioritize in your purchase.
  • They’re becoming more valuable: Sapphire sales are skyrocketing in value as they gain popularity around the world. This is especially true of untreated sapphires, because consumers are learning more about the benefits and value of natural, untreated sapphire stones. As sapphires become more common in engagement rings and jewelry, the gem will only continue to become more valuable, meaning now is a perfect time to make the purchase.

These are just a few of the reasons why sapphire in Sterling Heights, MI is becoming more popular for engagement rings. If you’re interested in learning more about using precious gems aside from diamonds in engagement rings, contact Howard’s Fine Jewelry today.

What do engagement rings in Sterling Heights, MI symbolize? Traditionally, giving someone an engagement ring is a symbol of the love, caring and devotion you and your romantic partner share. It’s also a promise that marriage is coming soon. However, the shape and design of the engagement ring carry a variety of symbols that may be acknowledged by a couple. Ultimately, you want to do your best to select the perfect ring to represent your special relationship.

Know that it’s okay to go out on your own and choose a ring to give to your future spouse. Likewise, it’s perfectly fine to shop around for the perfect engagement ring together. Either way, there are some things you should look for when shopping for the perfect engagement ring. Check out our tips below:

  • The shape of the stone: While the four Cs of rings—cut, color, carat and clarity—are important, the first thing you need to know is what shape you and/or your partner favors. In fact, the shape is the factor that matters most. When we say “shape,” we are talking about the geometry of the stone, not the cut. The cut of the stone refers to the angles of the facet in the ring’s stone.
  • The setting: The most important thing after the shape is the setting. The setting is the metal framework that holds the stone securely in place, so it comes as no surprise that a quality setting is the thing that can set the tone for an engagement ring. For instance, a classic round stone gets a fresh pop of life in a bezel ring setting, while the look of an oval stone is transformed to appear more traditional when in a four-prong setting. The key to the perfect engagement ring? Selecting the right combination of shape and setting.
  • The type of metal: Luckily for you, you have a selection of metals to choose from for your engagement ring band. A popular choice is platinum. This metal is durable, and because it’s a pure metal, it’s a great choice for someone with sensitive skin who can only wear hypoallergenic materials. Gold is another wonderful and beautiful option, available in white, yellow and rose. Know what color of gold looks best on your partner by asking them or inspecting the jewelry they wear often.
  • Your partner’s style: If you and your partner won’t be shopping for an engagement ring together—if you want it to be a surprise—then you’ll need to do some spying. Seek help from their siblings or best friend, just as long as they can keep it a secret. Alternatively, snatch a look at their favorite pieces of jewelry to find out if they like platinum, yellow or white gold, round or oval cut stones. Also, pay attention to whether they prefer vintage or more modern style jewelry.

Choosing the perfect engagement ring is not that difficult when you know what to look for ahead of time. For a selection of beautiful engagement rings in Sterling Heights, MI, pay a visit to Howard’s Fine Jewelry!

You’ve probably seen diamonds, rubies and jade stones on rings and other types of pieces of jewelry, but what about peridot? Peridot is a gem that is yellowish-green in color and a transparent type of olivine. And even though it’s a birthstone, it is not worn as much as some other birthstones. In fact, many people with August birthdays don’t even know what peridot is until they perform an internet search for their birthstone!

Let’s get to know this pretty little gemstone a bit better. Below are some interesting facts about August’s birthstone. You’ll find peridot pieces available for 50 percent off at our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI this month!

  • Peridot or chrysolite: Chrysolite is another name for peridot. This stone’s two names are used interchangeably when referring to gemstones in jewelry. Interestingly enough, during Ancient Greek times, “chrysos” meant “gold,” and “lithos” meant “stone.”
  • It is found in varying shades: As far as gemstones go, peridot is one of very few stones that exist in only a single color. In this case, all peridot gems are green, but they’re found in different shades, ranging from pale green to bright lime green to olive green. The most sought after peridot gems are the ones that are sparkling lime-green, free of any yellow or brown hues. All shades of peridot green look beautiful paired with platinum or silver metals, which creates magnificent pieces of jewelry.
  • It’s mined worldwide: Peridot gemstones were made famous in Egypt, but it is not mined there exclusively. In fact, many peridot mines can be found in the United States (Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii and Nevada), as well as in other countries, including China, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
  • Cleopatra wore peridots: Egypt was the primary source of peridot gems during ancient times. As such, it makes since that the Egyptians would cast a spotlight on peridot. The stones were often made into talismans to ward off evil, but are most famously known for being the gemstone worn by Queen Cleopatra. Like many other people, you may have thought she wore emeralds, but they were in fact peridots. This belief was ingrained into minds because travelers at the time did not know of peridot, regularly mistaking the stone for darker green emerald gemstones.
  • On display at the Smithsonian: Did you know that the Smithsonian Museum houses the world’s largest known peridot gemstones? One famous peridot is a 46.16 karat gemstone mined and fully extracted in Pakistan. Another large peridot that’s a part of the Smithsonian’s collection weighs 34.65 karats. It is a necklace with a modified triangular step gemstone that was found in Arizona on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.

Peridots are commonly used for rings, pendants and earrings, and they can be cut into shapes ranging from oval to teardrop. In honor of August’s birthstone, Howard’s Fine Jewelry is having a sale on peridot jewelry. Ask us about how to get 50 percent off a lovely peridot piece! You are also welcome to visit our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI anytime for a close-up look at our selection of fine jewelry.

Summer has officially arrived, which also means that wedding season is in full swing. The beautiful weather makes the summer months the ideal time for a destination or outdoor wedding. While you are ironing out the last details of your big day, organizing your registry and putting the finishing touches on your honeymoon plans, it’s important to think a little bit about the kinds of wedding bands you want. Even though many of your guests might not get a good look at your wedding rings, you’ll be looking at them for years to come, so it’s important that you choose a style that you really love. While purchasing wedding rings can seem overwhelming, you can make the right selection by following some simple tips:

  • Start with a budget: Before you can start shopping at a jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI, always work with your partner to set a budget—and stick to it. Weddings are already an expensive event, and you don’t want to put any extra burden on yourself by falling in love with a wedding band that’s way outside of your budget. When you go ring shopping, make sure to tell your jeweler about your budget and ask them to avoid showing you anything that is out of your comfortable price range.
  • Think about your lifestyle: If you or your partner has a particularly hands-on job or you spend a lot of time on projects or physically involved hobbies, you might not want to buy a ring that has gemstones or other settings, since they are more likely to come out under stress or incur damage.
  • Don’t get hung up on matching sets: If you and your partner have very different preferences when it comes to wedding bands, you don’t have to get a matching set. If you like platinum and your partner likes gold, why not get one of each? You can still get your rings in similar styles or add personalized engraving, but you don’t have to try to come to a consensus on a specific material.
  • Figure out a general style: Before you go to a jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI, it’s helpful to have some direction. While you don’t need to have a very specific style in mind, it’s a good idea to at least know what you don’t want in your wedding band. Ruling out certain styles and features can help ease your shopping experience significantly.

Whether you know exactly what style you want for your wedding bands or you don’t have the faintest idea of what you’re looking for, you can end your search for the perfect rings at Howard’s Fine Jewelry. Our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI carries an extensive selection of fine jewelry, including wedding rings that are designed to fit a variety of preferences, styles and budgets. For 70 years, our team has delivered outstanding customer service and a quality selection of products that stand the test of time. Stop by today for a consultation, and let us help you find the perfect pieces of jewelry for you.

If one of your close friends or family members has a birthday in July, you might be at a loss trying to figure out what to give them. Giving birthday gemstone jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI can be a thoughtful gift, and July’s birthstone is the ruby. The ruby is a beautiful stone, but you might not know much about it beyond its signature red hue. Find out a little bit more about this gemstone and tell your loved one about the significance of the ruby to put even more meaning behind a ruby birthday gift.

The origin, significance and status of the ruby

The actual name “ruby” comes from the Latin word “rubis,” which can literally be translated as “red.” The ruby has all kinds of wonderful meanings behind it. The gem represents love, emotion, passion and courage, and has long-been considered the king of all gemstones. Centuries ago, it was commonly believed that the person wearing a red ruby would encounter good fortune. As such, rubies have been worn by royalty, including kings and emperors, throughout history.

Rubies come in a variety of red shades, with hues ranging from reddish purples and blues to red-oranges. Burmese rubies are the most valuable rubies and have a distinctively vibrant red color that has some blue undertones. Rubies are nearly as strong as diamonds and exceed emeralds in their strength. They are also one of the most valuable gemstones on the planet. In fact, rubies that don’t have any imperfections actually surpass diamonds in value. Over the years, many labs have produced synthetic rubies that closely imitate the real thing.

Despite their inherent beauty and strength, most of the rubies that you see incorporated into jewelry have been treated to some extent to increase their appearance and strength. The most popular and valuable rubies tend to come from Thailand or Myanmar, which is where the term “Burmese ruby” came from. Because a ruby’s color is defined by a specific mineral, the geographic location of a ruby can have a significant impact on its appearance, depending on the geological presence of chromium. Myanmar rubies are renowned for their impressive fluorescence. In fact, these stones are even known to have a kind of glowing appearance when exposed to sunlight.

Shop for jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI

Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone? Come to Howard’s Fine Jewelry to browse an extensive selection of beautiful pieces. Whether your loved one has a more classic style or likes jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI with a modern design, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. We’re proud to have a 70-year history in the community and an outstanding track record for quality and customer service. We will work with you to determine what your style and budget can accommodate and can show you pieces that have all of the elements you’re looking for. Come see what we have in stock by browsing our website or visiting us in person today—we look forward to helping you!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! If you want to find that perfect jewelry gift, Howard’s Fine Jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI is here for you. We have a wide inventory for a variety of preferences and budgets. There are even pieces on sale, so visit us today for a deal and know that you are prepared for Mother’s Day. Here’s what we offer for that perfect gift:

  • Gemstone variety: Diamonds are not just for weddings and romantic gifts. They also work for Mother’s Day, as we offer tasteful pieces in earrings and pendants. But if your mother or spouse prefers different gems and colors, we are here for you. Check out our emerald, aquamarine, ruby and sapphire pieces as well, for those who want something beyond the basic diamond or plain gold piece. Emeralds are the May birthstone, and you can make Mother’s Day extra special for those moms who also have birthdays this month. Many of our rings are on sale, which makes this an excellent opportunity for that personal gift.
  • Watches: Sometimes we need a classic watch that does not communicate with our smart phones or count our steps. The Apple Watch and Fitbit are staples of most people’s everyday life, but sometimes a special occasion demands something better—or at least a break from the world’s distractions, demands and fitness goals. Those devices do not match well for an evening out, or your spouse or mother may enjoy being less connected some days. We offer Citizen, Bulova and ESQ watches for men and women. These high-quality timepieces are functional and attractive. They are also fine classic designs that are built to last.
  • Diamonds: As mentioned above, diamonds offer more flexibility than realized. While culture often associates diamonds with romance, it is a versatile gem that is appropriate for any occasion. Howard’s Fine Jewelry offers a vast array of diamond items including pendants, earrings, bracelets and, yes, non-wedding ring styles. Diamonds also work well in combinations, as we currently stock diamond earrings that also feature rubies. No matter the occasion or design, diamonds always make a fashion statement.
  • Gold options: If you or your gift recipient are not fans of yellow gold, have no fear—our pieces are also available in white or rose gold. We use high-quality 18-karat gold that offers the durability and shine needed for jewelry pieces that last. This allows us to offer something for everyone.
  • Budget considerations: You do not have to be rich to afford that unique and valuable gift. Many items are available on sale, and silver is just as acceptable for mounting as gold. Quality and meaning are not incompatible with budgets, so do not write off jewelry just yet. Visit us today and see that we have something for everyone—and every budget.

Visit Howard’s Fine Jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI and enjoy our wide selection of Mother’s Day gifts that are sure to please the special person in your life. We look forward to showing you what we offer!

Emeralds are the birthstone for May and a traditional gift for 20th, 35th and 55th wedding anniversaries. Our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI currently has emerald inventory on sale, and this would be an excellent opportunity to enjoy these green gems. Before you buy, here are six fascinating facts about emeralds:

  • Colombia is a big producer: The most common source for emeralds is Colombia. Our latest inventory features Colombian emeralds, and that makes sense when you know that over 50 percent of emeralds sold worldwide are from that country.
  • Ancient gem: Emeralds are among the four precious gemstones; the other three are diamonds, sapphires and rubies. The oldest emeralds are estimated to be 2.97 billion years old and were first mined in Egypt around 1500. Incas enjoyed them, too. However, the Spanish did not discover emeralds until the 16th century, when they first arrived in South America.
  • They are difficult to create in labs: A demand for synthetic gems started in the 20th Many of them match in quality to their natural counterparts and make fine jewelry more accessible to more people. Sapphires and rubies were first created in the lab, but emeralds took a little while longer. In 1935, American chemist Carroll Chatham created a one-carat emerald that is now on display in the Smithsonian.
  • Unexpectedly fragile: Emeralds rate 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This is a durable rating, but emeralds lack the density of diamonds and other gems. A one-carat emerald looks larger than a one-carat diamond because of this characteristic. Jewelers must be extra cautious when mounting emeralds into settings because they are susceptible to chipping and cracking. Many jewelers treat emeralds by filling their cracks with oil to reduce the chance of chipping or cracking. Once purchased, you can maintain your emeralds by coating them with baby oil as an extra precaution.
  • High value: The highest quality emeralds are worth more than diamonds. All emeralds have imperfections, but that is accepted as their character standard. The most important element of an emerald is its color; the highest-valued ones are vivid or blueish green and largely transparent. If they are too light, they are not considered emeralds by most gemologists. An emerald pendant belonging to Elizabeth Taylor sold for $6.5 million in 2011, which averaged about $280,000 paid per carat. So, if you choose wisely, your emerald jewelry will be more than an accessory—it will be a good investment.
  • Folklore abounds: Emeralds are surrounded with mystic properties. Ancient tales claim that placing an emerald under your tongue helps you see into the future. Wearing emeralds was thought to support intuition and limit memory loss. If you believe your spouse or partner fails to tell the truth, emeralds are said to act as a truth potion, so you can determine whether your gut feeling is correct. Once, early lapidaries used emeralds to reduce eyestrain after long periods of concentration. Of all these myths, that one remains true—it is often thought emeralds help with eyestrain after long computer use.

Howard’s Fine Jewelry offers jewelry for a variety of occasions, including those May birthdays and anniversaries on your list. Visit our jewelry store in Sterling Heights, MI today to see our collection of Colombian emeralds!

Moms go above and beyond every single day of the year. They’re always ready to drive the kids to soccer practice or read one more story aloud before bedtime. This year, let your mom, grandmother, wife or a woman who’s like a mother to you know just how much you appreciate all she does. There’s no better way to spoil her than with a present she can wear and cherish forever.

Howard’s Fine Jewelry has you covered this Mother’s Day with our unique collection of premium jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI. Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas for mom this year:

  • Personalized pieces: A personalized necklace, ring or bracelet is an everyday reminder of how important Mom is. Consider having the names of each child engraved on a bracelet, or add their birthdates to the inside of a gold band featuring a beautiful ruby stone.
  • Classic bracelet: Give mom a staple she can turn to for years to come. A classic sterling bracelet is a timeless piece that can easily transition from casual to formal. Another option is a diamond tennis bracelet that will be sure to wow everyone at the next party.
  • Diamond pendant: A diamond pendant is a beautiful gift Mom will absolutely adore. Consider a white gold diamond pendant in the shape of a heart, flower or cross. These minimalist designs are sure to make a statement.
  • Diamond earrings: Every woman needs a good pair of diamond earrings. Diamond dangle or stud earrings will leave her speechless as soon as she unwraps the box.
  • Charm bracelet: Give Mom something personal this Mother’s Day with a custom charm bracelet. Choose from a variety of different charms that convey her personality and interests. Add a flower charm for the mom who loves to garden, or the logo of her favorite sports team. Gift her an additional charm each year for a new Mother’s Day tradition she will love.
  • Custom jewelry: Do you already have the perfect gift in mind? Let your creativity shine by creating a custom piece of jewelry for Mom. A jeweler will work with you to turn your idea into reality. The gift will mean even more to Mom when she hears it’s an original idea made just for her.
  • Birthstone: Incorporate Mom’s birthstone into a ring, necklace or earrings for a personalized touch. July’s ruby birthstone will pair well with a gold band, while the dark opal stone of October is a perfect match for a statement necklace.

Jewelry is the perfect gift to tell Mom how special she is this Mother’s Day. From customized pieces to diamond heart shaped pendants, Howard’s Fine Jewelry is here to help. You’re sure to find something she will love among our selection of fine jewelry in Sterling Heights, MI. Stop by today to browse our selection of jewelry in the store, or check out our stock online today. We look forward to helping you make this Mother’s Day one she will never forget.