Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

How to choose an Engagement Ring

by Ann Covode

Young man with engagement ring making proposal to his beloved girlfriend outdoorsYou’ve fallen in love and you want to spend the rest of your life with your mate. You want to make the next step. How do you approach finding something special to pop the question? How do you go about finding a ring that she will want to wear for the rest of her life?

Building a relationship with a jeweler can better inform the buying process and save you time and money. The guidance of an experienced trusted jeweler is very valuable and can’t be replaced with a few weeks of online education. Most consumers don’t realize that a relationship with a good jeweler will last for many years.

Navigating the world of high-priced stones takes patience, knowledge and assistance, but thankfully you can spot issues before they arise if you know what mistakes to look out for and how to plan around them. Choosing an engagement ring without the help of someone who either knows your beloved well or, just as importantly, understands her needs might be a mistake. “You need to find a retailer who can be your partner in the process,” offers Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder of a Portland-based bridal jewelry line. “You want to feel like they are working on your behalf and are your advocate for finding the best quality and design at the best price.”

Eve Alfillé has some tips for couples hoping to tie the knot. She has been designing engagement and wedding rings for over 30 years. Many women come in to scout out the styles of rings they want. She may come in with her girlfriends just to try things on. It takes time to try things out. “It is a good idea to narrow your choices to 2 or 3 options”, states Eve. “Men are traditionally hunters more than gatherers so need a little guidance.”

Things to consider are choices of style and design and the color of metal. She adds “To preserve an element of surprise and fun…leave a few choices undecided so your mate can have a say too.” Suggests Eve. “Some men are very visual and like to be part of the design process.”

eve'sdesignsketchesIn Eve’s studio, she has many design models you can choose from. You can try on the models and even insert stones to test out the effect.

“A very important question to ask is…Do you like symmetry or asymmetry? This is a good starting point.”, she muses. “Another question for the wearer would be … how do you use your hands? “ she adds. Eve wants to create a ring that will last. “For instance, if she is a gardener, you might not want her to have too thin of a band. Does your girlfriend swim often? In this case you might want to choose 18 karat gold over 14 karat because of the chlorine.” She suggests. Jewelry metals are not hard. As a comparison, she notes that diamonds have a hardness level of 10 while steel’s level is 6 and pearls are 3. Gold, platinum and silver range from 2 ½ to 3.

Another important question is what type of metal does your partner prefers? Do they like yellow or white metals? Blond gold is a special alloy that Eve has designed to enhance the look of old diamonds. Another special alloy is Blush gold, a trademark of Eve’s, that is a lavender shade. It harmonizes well with platinum and looks really good on most skin tones. Whereas, Rose Gold, is more coppery with an orange hew.

Comfort is also a big consideration. If a ring is not comfortable you will want to take if off when you get home. “Our rings do not have sharp inside edges and feature a soft square shape that mimics the actual shape of the fingers while not being noticeable from the top.” She adds. “Gravity causes the ring to slide around the finger and we want to avoid that.” She states.

Stone choice is a very important design element as well. Eve has some suggestions for that as well. Since the Renaissance, diamonds have been the stones of choice. Other gems are close in hardness like sapphires, garnets and beryls. Sapphires come in many colors including red, yellow, green, and pink. The best known of the beryls; aquamarine will also give good wear. Another choice would be a colored diamond. Yellow diamonds are distinct but can be very costly. Champagne and cognac colors are another interesting possibility. Since the Argyle mine in Australia was mined, these have become more popular.

Eve recommends getting a better quality diamond versus size. Clarity and color are more important than size. Cuts also make a difference. The faceting can make a visual difference, as can the proportions. There are subtle differences in the cuts.

What if your family has a gem that they would like to give you? Both families may come with stones that they would be delighted to have you use. “I would try to use some from each family,” states Eve. One of Eve’s trademarks is a secret stone in the back of the ring that only the wearer can see. Perhaps you could incorporate your grandmother’s sapphire there? “A nice thing that some couples do is to give back to their relative the setting with a less costly gem.” She adds.

Another important design question is if she will be wearing the wedding band on the same finger? The design of that should be considered at the same time as the engagement ring. Does she want a straight or curved wedding band?

If you want to surprise your mate, how do you find the right size? A well-prepared man will try to figure that out. Eve recommends, “Ask a sister or mother. Women can find that information for you. Or steal a ring from her jewelry case and bring it to the jeweler. It is important to know which finger she wears it on and on which hand.” The right hand tends to be a ½ size larger than the left. She also suggests, “Plan a dinner and do a blindfold fitting at the shop.”

Eve recommends starting out with the design. Once you have that narrowed down, choose your stone and your metal. Eve will give you an estimate for different types of metals or stones for different budgets. Sometimes stones of odd sizes are more economical but still have high quality. When the ring has been carved you will have a look at it just to see the shape. A nice romantic touch would be to add an inscription inside the engagement ring. This can be as personal as you wish…. maybe words to a favorite song? In the wedding band, it is traditional to inscribe the couple’s initials and the wedding date.

Generally plan for around 6 weeks from the time you design the ring to include viewing the wax fitting and see the final design.



Newlywed Vine: This design is popular with younger couples.






Eve designed this beautiful, bright engagement ring for one of her customers using a 2 carat yellow diamond in 4 double prongs in 18 karat yellow gold. She added 5 red rubies curving in the top on each side, and a half-moon window. A square ruby secret stone with two tiny diamonds hides at the bottom for the pleasure of the wearer. This yellow diamond oval is nicely complemented on the underside with small rubies.


This one-carat diamond ring in 18k white gold features two smaller diamonds on the sides from Eve’s “Antiquities” series. Leaves play in the design and are an ancient symbol of fidelity. Eve used a bezel set in this ring as she was designing for an active person. The complementary band features 20 diamonds to represent 20 years of marriage. Diamonds radiate their light from the top so a bezel set does not hide any of the light from the ring.


This custom-made engagement ring, created expressly for the client is cast in 14 karat gold, from an original hand carved model from Eve’s Pompeii series. The stunning yellow diamond focal point is bezel set just slightly above the halo of 12 smaller diamonds. Eve placed 4 slightly larger diamonds top and bottom of the halo, as well as centered on each side, like the cardinal directions. The result is a halo of 12 sparkling diamonds resting atop a pretty, openwork band. Eve also added a deep blue aquamarine flush-set at the back of the band as the artist’s “secret stone” for the lucky wearer to enjoy.


andreaford2.jpgEve designed this beautiful opal ring for one of her brides.  The opal is diagonally set in platinum with six diamonds on the sides and four smaller rubies.  This design from Eve’s “Underwater” series is a wonderful example of a unique approach to an engagement ring.


An engagement ring is something that both families would like to see but it should be as personal as you wish to make it.



Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Throwback Thursdays – Timeless Fashions

By Jen Conley

Greetings fellow jewelry lovers! Last week, at our pearl society meeting, I presented on fashion trends that have been “trending” since the 1500s as seen through portraits and photographs. This week we decided to have a few photo-shoots inspired by several of those iconic images to showcase these trends.


Erica-Pearl Earring Image 1We start with incorporating pearl earrings to create a sophisticated look as seen in the iconic painting “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer circa 1665. Adding a pair of elegant pearl earrings can really elevate a look weather it’s for a job interview or a nice date.

The same can be said of a pearl necklace. Many powerful women can be seen wearing pearl necklaces throughout history including many first ladies of the United States and members of the British Royal family. A nested two strand pearl necklace like the gorgeous necklace Jackie Kennedy is wearing is a style marker of a strong and graceful woman.


Want to add a bit of drama to your everyday look? A geometric statement piece like a large pair of earrings is just what you need to have heads turning. This is particularly a great choice for those with short hair. The earrings can be well seen while the size and crisp lines of the shapes emphasize one’s jaw line.


Nothing says sexy like layering necklaces down the back of your neck. This is best achieved by wearing a layered 3 strand (or more) piece and letting it hang to the base of your shoulder blade or lower.


ERI-AA-Image 4.JPGAlessandra Ambrosio at the 2018 BlacKkKlansman premier.


ET-STU-Image5.JPGSearching for a Hollywood Glamour look? A large sparkling statement piece will do the trick. Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood Royalty, best knew how to put together a show stopping look. Throwing on just a statement earring can complete a look and make you look like the most glamorous person in the room without being extravagant.

The same can be said of statement rings. Michelle Yeoh’s stunning emerald ring, which was featured in the movie “Crazy Rich Asians”, creates a bold and eye-catching look whether worn walking down the red carpet or down the streets of L.A. A beautiful statement piece is a wonderful investment for fashionistas around the globe.


During the late middle ages and early renaissance, it was very stylish in Italy to wear multiple rings on different alternating fingers as well as to stack multiple rings. Angelo Bronzino painted a woman who combined these trends by wearing gorgeous ruby ring on her left index and two pearl stacking rings on her left hand. A sign of a wealthy and fashionable Italian noble.

RW-MCC-Image 7.JPG

Queen Elizabeth, a northern European fashion icon, followed Italian fashion in this rare early portrait where she too is wearing multiple rings on her fingers. This trend has resurfaced and become extremely popular over the last decade being worn by celebrities around the world. I mean…why wear just one when you can wear several and have an edgy look!

QE-MCC(image 8).JPG

Lastly, one of my favorite trends: the high-low necklace look. You can get this look by taking a long necklace (30 inches or longer) and wrap it once around the neck at choker length so that the rest of the necklace nicely flows down. This look has a few variations including a tie-knot style as seen on Natalie Wood while filming “This Property is Condemned” in 1965. This variation is a fun and chic way to jazz up any outfit. Be sure if you’re trying this at home do not tug the beads while making the tie because it will add tension to the fibers of the string and could cause the necklace to break. Just let gravity do the work and the necklace weight will make the “knot” fall into place. Having trouble recreating this look? Tune in to our Instagram @evejewelrygallery next week for a tutorial!


I hope some of these photos help inspire you next time you take a peek in to your jewelry box! Thank you for reading-in. Until next time, stay fashionable and remember ““Jewelry is like the perfect spice – it always compliments what’s already there” (Diane Von Furstenberg)


Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Birds and Feathers in History

by Ann Covode

Feathers have been in fashion for several hundred years.  Hats with feathers were all the rage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Feather Hat (2)We all know the iconic mega-feathered hats of the Edwardian era. The Edwardians were particularly enamored with plumage, but unlike their be-feathered predecessors, the Victorians and the Georgians, many a fine species of bird was taken to the brink of extinction by the incredible demand for ladies be-feathered hats.

Throughout history, hats have played a big role in indicating one’s status. We all know the famous scene in “The Duchess,” where Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, sports giant ostrich plumes in her giant hair, and starts a craze that would last decades. For the Edwardians, they took this to a new level, and often added entire birds to their heads, and sometimes these birds were fantastical creations cobbled together from several varying bird parts!GeorgeanaDuchess

Popular plumage for hats extended beyond ostrich, to include heron, peacock, egret, osprey, bird of paradise, pheasant…even vulture. The more “common” feathers for adornment were garden fowl, pigeon, turkey, goose, and coque/rooster. These feathers were made into plumes, pompoms, aigrettes, wings, pads, bands, breasts, and quills, and not by marchandes, milliners, and craftsmen in quaint little shops, oh no, by massive factories employing thousands of women and children, and dealing in hundreds of thousands of feathers per day. In 1900, in North America, the millinery industry employed 83,000 people!

The battle over the commercial trade in bird feathers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries “was one of the first times we saw a popular movement coalesce in defense of the environment, and not surprisingly it was to save birds,” says Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California and vice president of the National Audubon Society. American fashionistas were in a frenzy over feather hats. Haute headwear made from real bird plumage was seen everywhere. The delirium was so widespread, in fact, that by 1886, writes Douglas Brinkley in The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, “more than 5 million birds were being massacred yearly to satisfy the booming North American millinery trade.

Along Manhattan’s Ladies’ Mile — the principal shopping district, centered on Broadway and Twenty-Third Street — retail stores sold the feathers of snowy egrets, white ibises, and great blue herons.” He continues, “Dense bird colonies were being wiped out in Florida so that women of the ‘private carriage crowd’ could make a fashion statement by shopping for aigrettes. Some women even wanted a stuffed owl head on their bonnets and a full hummingbird wrapped in bejeweled vegetation as a brooch.”

By the late 1890s, women conservationists around the country were rallying to protect America’s birds. Like a confusing fall warbler, the national debate darted back and forth — lighting on the women of nature and the nature of women.

Harriet Lawrence Hemenway and Minna Hall were the two-woman dream team responsible for taking down the 19th-century plume trade and establishing the National Audubon Society. Appalled by the number of birds being killed in the name of fashion, Hemenway, an impassioned amateur naturalist, and her cousin Hall, persuaded their socialite friends to boycott the trade and protect the wildlife behind it. Ultimately, they recruited 900 women to join the fight, and gave rise to an establishment that, a century later, has grown to 1 million members and supporters strong.

FlorenceMerriamBaileyAmerican nature writer and ornithologist Florence Merriam Bailey was a jane of all trades. Not only did she work with the National Audubon Society during its early years, she is also credited for writing the first known bird guide, Birds Through an Opera Glass, published in 1889. A true pioneer in the field, Merriam protested the mistreatment, killing, and trade of feathered animals. Her legacy still remains in the form of a subspecies of the California Mountain Chickadee, Parus gambeli baileyae, that was named in her honor.

The Chicago Daily Tribune of Oct. 24, 1897, asked women to save wild birds from extinction by pledging that “they would not wear birds or bird plumage of any kind except ostrich plumes on their hats.” Ostrich plumes, the editor explained, can be gathered without torturing or killing the bird. Such solidarity, the report noted, had forced one large Chicago mercantile company to stop using “the plumage of song birds in trimming hats.” Sara A. Hubbard, director of the Illinois Audubon Society, told the paper: “I expect to live to see the time when the wearing of bird plumage will be a brand of ignorance.”

Feathers were also popular with the sporting crowd.  The popularity of salmon fishing grew through the mid-nineteenth century. This was around the same time that Britain was a powerful colonial nation. Because of this, fly dealers were able to obtain exotic feathers and tie more colourful patterns. Feathers from birds such as the Giant Ostrich from South Africa and the Common Peacock from India were commonly used. Using exotic jungle cock from Africa fly dealers were able to enhance the appearance of their flies. The dull grey patterns of the past were now a distant memory.

A forward thinking entrepreneur by the name of William Blacker moved to England from Ireland to set up a fly tying and tackle business. His intention was to capitalise on the brisk rise in popularity of Salmon fishing. Blacker was a very talented fly tyer and suddenly started producing flies that resembled works of art. With the boundaries of fly tying now stretched anything seemed possible. Unfortunately, William Blacker died at the age of 42 from TB and his creations were to be no more.

Although the variety of patterns were now on the increase, it was believed that the pattern of a salmon fly was likely to be more successful if it was designed for a specific river. Fly tyers made creations that were only exclusively to be used on a specific river. So the idea that a Tweed fish could be caught on a fly designed for the River Spey was unheard off. This popular theory gave rise to the notion that each river required its own combination of fly tying materials. It was from this era the term Spey; Tay or Tweed flies came from.

We were recently introduced to a fascinating book about a feather heist in England from one of our customers.  Kirk Wallace Johnson’s new book The Feather Thief is a veritable Mental ward of anoraks—explorers, naturalists, gumshoes, dentists, musicians and salmon fly-tyers. Indeed, about two-thirds of the way through The Feather Thief, Johnson turns anorak himself, chasing down stolen 19th-century plumes as relentlessly as Herbert Mental stalked the eggs of birders. Johnson’s chronicle of an unlikely crime by an unlikely crook is a literary police sketch—part natural history yarn, part detective story, part the stuff of tragedy of a specifically English kind.  It’s a good read and delves into the history of feathers and salmon fly ties.

Eve’s new Feathers series is an exploration into this beautiful natural shape and an homage to our feathered friends.  It is sure to be a fashion craze as well!  Thank goodness her feathers are in gold and silver with gem accoutrements instead of the real thing!


Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Peridots and Spinels for August

by Ann Covode

The birthstones chosen for August are peridots and spinels. Both have an interesting history and are beautiful!

GemperidotPeridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on the percentage of iron in the crystal structure, so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow, to olive, to brownish-green. In rare cases, peridot may have a medium-dark toned, pure green with no secondary yellow hue or brown mask. Olivine, of which peridot is a type, is a common mineral in mafic and ultramafic rocks, often found in lava and in peridotite xenoliths of the mantle, which lava carries to the surface; however, gem-quality peridot occurs in only a fraction of these settings.

Peridots can also be found in meteorites. Peridots can be differentiated by size and composition. A peridot formed as a result of volcanic activity tends to contain higher concentrations of lithium, nickel and zinc than those found in meteorites. Olivine is an abundant mineral, but gem-quality peridot is rather rare due to its chemical instability on Earth’s surface. Olivine is usually found as small grains and tends to exist in a heavily weathered state, unsuitable for decorative use. Large crystals of forsterite, the variety most often used to cut peridot gems, are rare; as a result olivine is considered to be precious. In the ancient world, mining of peridot, called topazios then, on St. John’s Island in the Red Sea began about 300 B.C. Peridot is sometimes mistaken for emeralds and other green gems.

Notable gemologist George Frederick Kunz discussed the confusion between emeralds and peridots in many church treasures, notably the “Three Magi” treasure in the Dom of Cologne, Germany. The August birthstone, peridot, symbolizes strength and is sometimes called the “evening emerald” for its light green color.

IMG_9373Eve had fun with both spinels and sapphires in these drop earrings in 18 karat white gold from Eve’s “Just Desserts” series. These lovely “Lime Jello” earrings feature four sapphires, two peridots and four diamonds. $2870





IMG_9381Eve’s “Paradiso” necklace features peridot in multiple bead sizes to create this interesting combination. $390. 


Spinel is a gemstone mineral that has been confused with ruby and sapphire for over 1000 years. Several of the most spectacular spinels ever discovered have been mounted in “crown jewels” and other “jewelry of significance” under the assumption that they were rubies or sapphires. Spinel occurs in the same bright red and blue colors as rubies and sapphires. Spinel forms in the same rock units, under the same geological conditions and is found in the same gravels. It is not surprising that ancient gem traders thought that these colorful spinels were rubies and sapphires. Two thousand years ago, gemstone traders did not know that spinel and corundum (the mineral of ruby and sapphire) have different chemical compositions and different crystal structures. Instead, gem traders thought that every bright red gemstone was a “ruby” and every deep blue gemstone was a “sapphire.” As a result, lots of spinels are now in very important jewelry collections based on their incorrect identification as a ruby.

CrownThe most famous example of a spinel being identified as a ruby is a 170-carat bright red spinel named “The Black Prince’s Ruby.” The first known owner of this beautiful stone was Abu Sa’id, the Moorish Prince of Granada, in the 14th century. The stone passed through several owners and eventually made its way into the Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom, where it is mounted immediately above the famous Cullinan II diamond. 

In July 2016, spinel was named a new birthstone for the month of August by the American Gem Trade Association and the Jewelers of America. Before then, peridot served as the August birthstone. Now both spinel and peridot will share the designation. This event and continued promotion of monthly birthstones will bring significant attention to spinel, which occurs in a variety of colors. Consumers will now have a choice beyond the yellow-green color of peridot.

bachanalEve’s Bachanal Ring is a glorious example of spinel. This ring in 18 karat white gold from Eve’s “In Great Spirits” series features on Plum Spinel, two raspberry spinels and four pomegranate spinels along with 30 diamonds. This celebratory ring is a one of a kind masterpiece! $14,800




IMG_9393One of our favorites at the Gallery are our Wine Angel necklaces in black Spinel. This elegant necklace measures 60 inches long and can be worn in various lengths as a necklace or bracelet. $210.  Also featured here a delicate look with peridot and Freshwater pearls, Eve created this baby bracelet. $48

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Red Hot Rubies!

By Katie McMath

laserAs the days get warmer and we enter July, ruby lovers rejoice! This month’s birthstone is not only vivid in color but fluorescent, making it glow from within like the sun. Ancient Greeks believed rubies could melt wax, while Hindu myth said they could boil water. This might sound farfetched until you learn that the first laser in 1960 was made with ruby. Theodore Maiman discovered that chromium, the element which grants rubies their color and fluorescence, becomes energized when hit with a flash of white light. This sends forth a highly concentrated red light beam, known as a laser. This is why we typically think of lasers as red! Rubies are still used today in lasers, watch-making and medical instruments. They are a 9 on Mohs’ hardness scale, making them one of the hardest stones. (Diamonds are a 10.) In short, this gem has far more to offer than beauty.

In fact rubies have been considered one of the most valuable stones for over a dozen centuries. In Hindu tradition they are valued above all other gems, called Ratna Raj or ‘Queen of Precious Stones’ in Sanskrit. Many believed offering rubies to the god Krishna could help them be reborn as emperors in the next life. It’s likely that the most famous gem in Hindu myth, the magical Syamantaka, worn by Krishna, was a ruby.

The history of rubies often blurs myth and fact. Red stones have been historically referred to as rubies regardless of their makeup. For example the Black Prince Ruby which completes the British Imperial State Crown is a red spinel. The same can be said of the Timur Ruby. Even the Latin word for red, ruber, reveals the link between color and stone. 

pic1In reality rubies are a variety of corundum, the same mineral as sapphire. The only difference is the presence of chromium which makes rubies range from deep burgundy or wine-colored, to hot pink, to vivid scarlet. 

Another myth revolves around location. Mogok, or the Ruby Valley, in Northern Burma was once claimed to be the sole source of rubies. Writers described the valley as rich with rubies since the dawn of time. Every ancient example was thought to have come from this one valley. In fact about 80% of ancient and contemporary rubies hail from Mogok, not a percentage to be scoffed at.  

It is said that one Burmese king ordered workers in the Mogok mine to give him the largest rubies they found, and paid them with the smallest. This gave miners incentive to crush up beautiful gems so they wouldn’t have to part with them. If this story holds any weight it offers another explanation as to why large rubies are so rare. In 2015 The Sunrise Ruby, weighing 25.5 carats, made history when it sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $30.3 million. More recently, a Harry Winston ring with a 22.86 carat Burmese ruby and two half moon diamonds sold for 7.1 million at Christie’s Auction House. 

Burmese rubies are famous for their almost indescribable red hue, which is simultaneously bright, dark, and vivid. This is called “pigeon’s blood.” The dramatic 1955 novel The Valley of the Rubies used this term again and again, calling it “some mystic incantation; some magic password…”

A stone so strongly linked to magic, royalty, and technology must be good luck. Its lively color can be likened to fire, blood, or life force itself, making rubies a passionate and vital stone. They are thought in Burma to increase courage and even bestow invincibility. Their use in lasers and medicine proves that they are highly energetic and durable. 

rubyHowever the Queen of Stones is not only reserved for royalty or high-end technology. Small rubies abound all over the world. They are even mined in Wyoming, Montana, and North Carolina, as well as Western and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Many have made their way to Eve’s gallery and been incorporated into stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces. 

nkl21897px600dkThe “Hard Candy” necklace from Eve’s Just Desserts series looks good enough to eat! Plentiful deep red cabochon rubies are accented with 14 karat gold details, including an intricately carved clasp with a single diamond. This beautiful piece is $2,950.00.

rng21817px600dkAlso from the Just Desserts series is Eve’s whimsical “Who Plucked the Cherries Out?” ring, featuring five rubies tucked into the crust of a sterling silver pie. The metal crisscrosses in an openwork pattern, implying missing cherries. This sweet ring, released during the celebratory mood of Eve Alfillé Gallery’s 30th year of business, is $580. It could make the perfect gift for your July-born loved one, especially if she has a sweet tooth. 

rng17246px600dkEve’s “Fiery Acanthus” ring features gently curved acanthus leaf forms, representative in the Mediterranean of enduring life and immortality. Their presence reminds one of Burmese lore that rubies grant courage and even eternal life. The central ruby is faceted to bring out its depth, weighing 1.08 carats. It shines, sanguine and bold. Four pale green irradiated diamonds balance their ruby neighbor, offering moments of calm around the fire. This gorgeous piece from Eve’s Acanthus series is $5,630.00

Enjoy the heat of the summer, as life is in full bloom around you, and take inspiration from this month’s high-spirited birthstone. Be courageous and beautiful like the dazzling ruby.