Adventures + Stories

Gold Theorem ring by Ellie Thompson
14 July 2022

What is a Karat of Gold?

When shopping for gold, you’ll always see it spoken of in terms of karats: 24k, 18k, 12k, and so on. But what exactly is a karat? What does it measure, and how does it compare to the confusingly similar “carat”?

Vivid blue round tanzanite polished gemstone on white background
21 June 2022

Tanzanite: The Queen of Kilimanjaro

In my last blog, I talked a little about tsavorite, one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, mined in only a small corner of Kenya and Tanzania. Tanzanite is another rare beauty from East Africa, perhaps even rarer than tsavorite. If you’re looking for tanzanite, you’ll find it only in an eight-square-kilometer region that lies in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Vivid green oval shaped Tsavorite stone on a white background
22 April 2022

The Rare Beauty of Tsavorite

Few gems match the pure, rich green of emerald, but the tsavorite variety of garnet comes close. When we think of garnet, we probably think of a gemstone ranging in color from caramel brown to pomegranate red, but garnet appears in just about every color of the rainbow. Tsavorite, which ranges in color from olive to evergreen (the latter being the most valuable), is one of the rarest shades of all—and one of the rarest gemstones in the world.

large dark green Ethiopian emerald stone on a white background
19 April 2022

This May, Step into an Emerald Forest

As the snow melts and the trees sprout leaves in May, we start to see the soothing, rich green of emerald all around us. If you feel the same sense of relaxation looking at an emerald that you do sitting in a green field in the springtime, it’s not just your imagination. Emeralds are said to relieve exhaustion and bring a sense of tranquility to the wearer, and like many of the properties often attributed to gemstones, this idea has some scientific basis.

Custom three diamond ring engagement ring by Ellie Thompson
24 March 2022

A Shower of Diamonds for April

A rough diamond looks cold to the touch, like a tiny shard of ice. To a 5th century BCE alluvial miner sifting through the sand and gravel of the Krishna River in India, a sparkling diamond crystal must have seemed like something that fell all the way from the icy reaches of the Himalayas. But as we now know, they’re actually produced in the most fiery of conditions, deep in the churning mantle, where extreme pressure turns solid rock into very hot jelly.

A group of beryl gemstones of various shapes, sizes, and colors
28 February 2022

The Spectrum of Beryl

Even if you’ve never heard of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate (Be3Al2Si6O18), you’ve definitely seen it before. It is the mineral form of emerald, aquamarine, and many other colorful gemstones.

Sky blue pear shape aquamarine
18 February 2022

Aquamarine: Bringing Calm Seas in Windy March

It’s only the beginning of March and summer still seems a long way away, but this month’s birthstone, aquamarine, will transport you to the deck of a ship on some tropical sea, surrounded by clear skies and clear waters, embraced by the warm sun and a gentle breeze.

A pair of vibrant purple hexagon shaped Amethyst
25 January 2022

Amethyst: The Queen of Quartz

The regal amethyst has been associated with royalty for centuries, and as one of my favorite gemstones, it has been a part of my company identity for decades. Many gems lay claim to the title Queen of Gemstones—emerald, opal, pearl—but amethyst is the undisputed Queen of Quartz. Let me share my love of February’s birthstone.

Swabs of 2022 Pantone color of the year, Very Peri
10 January 2022

Pantone Color of the Year: Very Pleased With Very Peri

It’s that time again: time to talk about the Pantone Color of the Year. The announcement of the new Color of the Year is always a fun time for artists and designers of all kinds as we begin thinking about and looking for inspiration for new projects for a new year.

Ellie Thompson + Co. rings
27 December 2021

Year End Reflections on Love, Connections, and Gratitude

Sometimes it felt like 2021 was just a long continuation of 2020 — 2020, the sequel, if you will. But there were good times, too, so we navigated the tough times and continued to grow with the help of you, our clients, family and friends.
December birthstones Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Blue Zircon
14 December 2021

The Winter Blues Have Nothing On December's Birthstones!

Traditionally, each of the twelve months was assigned one birthstone, but some months have multiples. December babies have the fortune of three separate birthstones - Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Blue Zircon - all of which take on a unique shade of blue.

orange sunset sky overlooking the Badlands
11 November 2021

American West Tour 2021 TRAVELOGUE

I love September in the Northern Rocky Mountains.  Every year I point my car West and head to Wyoming and Montana.

a ruby and a red spinel gemstone positioned side by side
11 October 2021

Ruby and Red Spinel: A Story About Sparkling Differently

Rubies and red spinel are some of the most scrumptious reds in the jewelry box. You may think they are the same (they can look really similar), but they're not. They have different properties that make them unique.

display or rings
05 October 2021

The Fierce and the Feminine

This article was originally published in "Explore Big Sky," on April 13, 2017.

Ellie Thompson's design table inside of her store
04 October 2021

INSTORE Magazine's Cool Store Winner!

This article was originally published in "INSTORE Magazine," on August 31, 2021.

a collection of colorful red, pink, orange, yellow, green, and purple garnets
17 September 2021

Garnet: The Classic Stone Enjoying a Colorful Renaissance

Since the Bronze Age, garnets have adorned the wealthy, from the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs to the markets of Rome to the streets of Victorian London.

Green and Blue Bi-Color pear shape Tourmaline
07 September 2021

Tourmaline: A Rainbow of Brilliance

Many readers may be familiar with tourmaline from hair dryer ads that talk about “negative ionization” and “infra-red heat.”

pair of round blue sapphire gemsontes
01 September 2021

Sapphire: The Royal Gemstone

A favorite of generations of British monarchs and beloved by Queen Elizabeth II, no other gemstone is as synonymous with royalty as the sapphire.

Group of pearls
30 August 2021

Pearl Wisdom

Pearls. Idealized as perfectly round white orbs shimmering with a faint pink light, or black ones glistening with iridescent purple.

set of green peridot gemstone earrings resting on a pear
23 August 2021

Planet Peridot

Peridot has been found on Earth for millions of years, making it one of the oldest known minerals.

Colorful gemstone ring
07 June 2021

Celebrate LOVE all Pride Month long

Ellie Thompson + Co. celebrates LOVE all Pride Month long with special pricing on custom, made-to-order, engagement rings, and wedding bands for men and women. Enjoy the experience of expressing your love in a unique way with specially crafted rings. 

Loose round brilliant cut diamond
26 April 2021

Lab-Grown Diamonds

After opening my new shop in Chicago’s Roscoe Village in the fall of 2019, I have received many requests and lots of enthusiasm for lab-grown diamonds, especially for engagement rings and stud style earrings.

Photo of Montana wilderness in winter, with mountains in background and snow in foreground
22 February 2021

Fire

It is well known in Montana that wood will keep you warm twice, once when you cut and stack it and again when you burn it. 

Open Heart Pendant
01 February 2021

Language of Love

In my early 20s, when I first started out in the jewelry industry, I joined the Chicago Chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association.

Flower Gemstone Earrings
31 January 2021

Designing the First Piece, PART V

A New Collection: Designing the First Piece, PART V And then the pandemic struck….

Winter in Chicago at the beach
29 January 2021

January Projects

I love winter in Chicago.

Gold Ginkgo Earrings
18 January 2021

The Gold Ginkgo Leaves from New Haven: What My Mother’s Gift Taught Me

I think often about the sentiment we attach to the jewelry we wear.

Images of beach glass pieces held in a hand at the beach
20 September 2020

Beach Glass: Picking Up the Pieces

I am lucky to live on one of Chicago's most beautiful beaches. It sits quietly just north of the hustle and bustle of the Lakefront Trail. It is a hidden gem.

Collection of Diamond Rings
15 February 2020

Finding Inspiration: The Custom Jewelry Design Process

I am often asked how I come up with my ideas. 

A CAD Design Drawing for a Pair of Flower Earrings
15 February 2020

A New Collection: Designing the First Piece, PART IV

So now, I am feeling the urgency to get The First Piece to Done!!!

Interior of jewelry designer Ellie Thompson's storefront in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago
13 February 2020

Ellie Thompson Brings Her Shop To Roscoe Village

This article was originally published in Park Bench on February 13, 2020

Jewelry Designer Sketchbook
05 February 2020

A New Collection: Designing the First Piece, Part III

After I decided to feature the beautiful oval spessartite garnet in the First Piece, I moved on to procuring gemstones for the first three pairs of earrings.

Sketches of a Flower Design Jewelry Collection
20 January 2020

A New Collection: Designing the First Piece, Part II

The "First Piece" is to be a large pendant, with a floral design in an architectural style made in 18K yellow gold, inlaid American walnut, with a spessartite garnet center, rubellite tourmalines radiating out to the perimeter, and a drop component comprised of peridot and diamonds.

New Flower Design Collection Sketches
12 January 2020

A New Collection: Designing the First Piece, Part I

Creating a new collection is not something I do on a timeline.

Pearl Jewelry
26 December 2018

Pearls

Pearls are a symbol of love, success, and happiness, and are used as an emblem of chastity and purity. Pearls are thought to give wisdom, to quicken karma, and cement engagements and relationships.

Peridot Gemstone Jewelry
26 December 2018

Peridot

When I was growing up, my friends who were born in August always lamented their birthstone, Peridot, and for good reason.

Turquoise
26 December 2018

Turquoise

While it is most commonly associated with Native American craftsmen working in sterling silver, I love the turquoise set in 18K gold. 
Blue Sapphire Ring
23 December 2018

Blue Sapphire

While Sapphires are available in a wide range of colors from yellow to pink, green to purple, violet to orange, the Blue Sapphire is the most popular. I am often called upon to design engagement rings using a blue sapphire instead of a diamond as the centerpiece. 

Rubellite Tourmaline Earrings
21 December 2018

Rubellite Tourmaline

Garnet Earrings
20 December 2018

Garnet

These earrings are set with trillion cut Rhodolite Garnets and Diamonds in 18K Yellow Gold

Blue Zircon Gemstone
19 December 2018

Blue Zircon

Blue Zircon has a lively, natural light to medium slightly greenish-blue color with brilliance that rivals a diamond. I love designing with blue zircon, look for blue zircons in my upcoming collections!

Photo of Chicago Beach in the Winter
17 December 2017

Everyday Adventures: Chicago in Winter, the Coastline Landscape

I find myself returning east to Chicago by mid-October. I would hate to miss a Chicago winter! 

collection of gold hoop jewelry on white background
07 August 2012

Best Jewelry Designers In Chicago

This article was originally published in "CBS Chicago," on August 7, 2012.

Chicago

  • Roscoe Village
  • 2139 W. Roscoe, 1E
  • 312.403.8887

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Proud Member Of

Lakeview COC Badge crop

 

Montana

  • Polaris, Montana
  • By Appointment
  • 312.403.8887

© 2022. Ellie Thompson Co.