December Birthstone | Tanzanite November 15 2014
Decembers birthdays have claim to three gemstones; Tanzanite, Zircon & Turquoise.
Discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania, and found exclusively in this tiny area of the world, tanzanite exhibits a rich violet-blue color for which the gemstones is treasured; often it is heat treated to achieve this color. Colors range from blue to purple and tanzanites that are medium dark in tone, vivid in saturation, and slightly violet blue command premium prices. As tanzanite can be less expensive than sapphire, it often was purchased as an alternative. However, it has increased in popularity and now is valed more for its own beauty and brilliance than as a sapphire substitute.
Derived from the Arabic words zar and gun, meaning gold and color, zircon if found in a wide range of colors such as: blue, yellow, orange, brown, green, colorless, and red. For many years colorless zircon was used to imitate diamonds. Fold wisdom grants zircon the power to relieve pain, whet the appetite, protect travelers from disease and injury, to ensure a warm welcome, and to prevent nightmares guaranteeing a deep, tranquil sleep. Major sources of zircon are the Chanthaburi area of Thailand, the Palin area of Cambodia, and the sourthern part of Vietnam.
The name turquoise, from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one one of the oldest known gemstones. Turquoise varies in color from greenish blue, through robin's egg-blue to sky blue shades and its transparency ranges from translucent to opaque. Turquoise is plentiful and is available in a wide range of sizes. It is most often used for beads, cabochons, carvings, and inlays. Although its popularity fluctuates in fashion, it is a perennial favorite in the American Southwest.
info courtesy of American Gem Society
November Birthstone | Topaz November 15 2014
Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, or blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, and pink. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body of color with pinkish undertones.
Citrine is another birthstone for November and is known as a "healing quartz". It is said to support vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer. Citrine can be found in a variety of shades ranging from pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is one of the most affordable of gemstones and plentiful in nature.
info courtesy of American Gem Society
October Birthstone | Tourmaline November 15 2014
The month of October has two birthstones, Tourmaline and Opal. Though Opal is a popular stone, Tourmaline seems to be the favorite gemstone for many people because of its availability in a rainbow of colors. opal gemstones are unique because each has its own color combination.
September Birthstone | Sapphire August 25 2014
Sapphire, the September birthstone, has been popular since the Middle Ages and, according to folklore, will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Medieval clergy wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, while commoners thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. Blue sapphires range from very light to very dark greenish or violet blue, as well as various shades of pure blue. The most prized colors are a medium to medium dark blue or slightly violet blue. Sapphire is a variety of the gem species corundum and occurs in all colors of the rainbow. Pink, purple, green, orange, or yellow corundum are known by their color (pink sapphire, green sapphire). Ruby is the red variety of corundum. -
Info courtesy of: http://www.americangemsociety.org
August Birthstone | Peridot August 25 2014
Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year. As peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the Earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes, in Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Today, most of the peridot supply comes from Arizona; other sources are China, Myanmar, and Pakistan. This gemstone comes in several color variations ranging from yellowish green to brown, but most consumers are attracted to the bright lime greens and olive greens. Peridot, in smaller sizes, often is used in beaded necklaces and bracelets.
info courtesy of http://www.americangemsociety.org
July Birthstone | Ruby June 26 2014
Along with its close relative, the sapphire, the ruby is a form of the mineral corundum, which is normally drab and grey in color. Red gemstone corundum is called ruby. All other gemstone corundum colors – orange, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, violet, black, and colorless – are called sapphires.
In the Orient, rubies were once believed to contain the spark of life – “a deep drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth,” according to ancient Eastern legends. Ancient Asian stories tell that the ruby was self-luminous. They called it “glowing stone” or “lamp stone.” It’s said that an Emperor of China once used a large ruby to light his chamber, where it glowed as bright as day. Brahmins – Hindu priests of the highest caste – believed that the homes of the gods were lit by enormous emeralds and rubies. Later, Greek legends told the story of a female stork, who repaid the kindness of Heraclea by bringing her a brilliant ruby – a ruby so bright that it illuminated Heraclea’s room at night.
Ancient Hindus, Burmese, and Ceylonese regarded sapphires as unripe rubies, believing that if they buried the sapphire in the ground, it would mature to a rich red ruby.
In the Middle Ages, rubies were thought to bring good health, as well as guard against wicked thoughts, amorous desires, and disputes. Rubies, along with other types of red stones, were said to cure bleeding. And it was believed that the ruby held the power to warn its owner of coming misfortunes, illness, or death, by turning darker in color. It is said that Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, predicted her downfall in seeing the darkening of her ruby.
Because of their rarity, there are very few famous large rubies. In his 13th-century books of his travels, Marco Polo relates the tale of a magnificent gemstone – believed to be a ruby nine inches long and as thick as a man’s arm – belonging to the King of Ceylon. Kublai Khan, the Emperor of China, offered an entire city in exchange for the enormous stone, to which the King of Ceylon replied that he would never part with his prize for all the treasures of the world.
The word ruby is derived from the Latin “ruber,” meaning red. This name was once used to describe all red stones, including red spinel, red tourmaline, and red garnet. Many famous rubies in history turned out not to be rubies after all. For example, the famed Timur ruby – given to Queen Victoria in 1851 – was later found to be ruby spinel.
June Birthstone | Alexandrite & Pearl June 03 2014
June birthdays claim two birthstones; pearl and Alexandrite. Pearls have been wildly popular in jewelry for centuries because of their natural beauty. Alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare and desirable since they change color based on the lighting.
May Birthstone | Emerald April 17 2014
As the Birthstone for May, the Emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Today most of the world's Emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality Emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.
info courtesy of American Gem Society
April Birthstone | Diamond March 12 2014
Diamond, the birthstone for April, is the most popular of all gemstones. A diamond is a mineral compound made of pure carbon and is the hardest natural substance on the planet. They are so strong they can only be cut or polished by another diamond. The name itself is derived from the Greek word “adamus,” which means “invincible.” Diamonds are typically colorless, but yellow, brown, green, gray, black, pink, blue, red, and purple stones can also be found along the diamond color spectrum. Jewelry-grade diamonds are rated based on color from bluish-white to yellow, and on clarity, which ranges from pure to various levels of flawed. Diamonds are measured in carats—the higher the carat weight and purity level of a stone, the more valuable the gem.
info courtesy of jewelryinfoplace
March Birthstone | Aquamarine March 10 2014
The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. Its pale, cool color beautifully complements spring and summer wardrobes. Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
February Birthstone | Amethyst February 10 2014
Amethyst, the gemstone believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. It has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. Amethyst is purple quartz, a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth. Historically, the finest amethyst were found in Russia and were featured in much royal European jewelry. Today, while Brazil is the primary source of this gemstone, fine material can be found elsewhere, especially in Zambia.
Caring for Cab Jewelry January 26 2014
Caring for your jewelry may seem complicated, but with the right care, your cabochons will last a lifetime. Many items are easily damaged and you really don't want to spend a lot of money for something and end up destroying it. Here are a few tips on caring for your cab jewelry.
1. Always clean your stones with hot soapy water. Some chemicals may damage your stones, soapy water works best.
2. Dry cabs with a soft towel.
3. Some stones are safely cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners and some are not. Stones you want to keep away from ultrasonic cleaners include amber, coral, lapis, opal, pearl and turquoise.
4. Clean gemstones with a smooth, soft cloth to remove fingerprints and environmental contaminants.
5. Always store stones away from intense heat and light.
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