Monday, May 5, 2014

May Birthstone of the Month - Gorgeous Green


As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, 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.

Source: American Gem Society

Friday, November 8, 2013


wo gems are appropriate for November birthdays - Topaz andCitrine.


Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity, all yellow gems in antiquity were called topaz. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body color with pinkish undertones. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones.


Citrine, the other birthstone for November is known as the "healing quartz". This golden gemstone 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. Citrine is found most frequently in Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain.

American Gem Society

Monday, August 26, 2013

September Birthstone


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 sapphire range from very light to very dark greenish or violetish blue, as well as various shades of pure blue.  The most prized colors are a medium to medium dark blue or slightly violetish blue.  Sapphire is a variety of the gem species corundum and occurs in all colors of the rainbow.  Pink, purple, green, orange, yellow corundum are known by their color (pink sapphire, green sapphire).  Ruby is the red variety of corundum.

Source American Gem Society.

Monday, July 29, 2013

August Birthstone

August Birthstone : Peridot

Birthstone Color: Yellow Green

If fire appears to leap from the vibrant green surface of the Peridot, this may be because this gem is formed as a result of volcanic activity.  Many years ago, natives discovered Peridot crystals in the black sands of Hawaii, explaining their presence as tears shed by Pele, the volcano goddess.  Throughout history, August's birthstone has been used as a means to connect with nature.  Early Egyptian priests drank a stimulating beverage called Soma from cups made of Peridot, believing this practice to draw them closer to Isis, the  goddess of nature.

The name Peridot comes from the Arabic word "faridat," meaning gem. Ancient Egyptians called them the "gem of the sun," because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun.  It was believed that the Peridot glowed with light even as darkness fell, which is why miners were said to have scouted for these gems during the night, marking their location, and returning in the light of day to retrieve them.  Perhaps this legendary mining method is the reason that the Peridot is sometimes called  "evening emerald."

Peridot is a mineral named Olivine, which is found in a variety of greens, ranging from light yellowish green to a dark olive.  Early mining for this gem was done on Saint John's Island near Egypt around 1500 BC.  The green crystal was considered protective against evil and when set in gold, especially helpful against night terrors.  It was ground to powder and used as a remedy for asthma and as a cure for thirst brought on by fever.  Today, Peridot is mined in Burma, Norway, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii, the Congo, and in Arizona.   

The force of nature is alive within a Peridot, making a gift of this gemstone symbolic of vitality.  It signifies strength, both individual and within a relationship, as well as the promise of new growth in years ahead.

Alternate August Birthstone

An alternate birthstone for August, Sardonyx is a type of translucent or opaque quartz with alternating parallel bands of brownish red and white. This stone was worn as a talisman by the Egyptians to protect against infections and evil.  Today it is highly polished and carved into beautiful beads and cameos.  Sardonyx is mined in India, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Brazil and Uruguay.  A gift of this stone is considered  symbolic of happiness within a relationship.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Top 10 Most Popular Diamond Shapes

# 1  Round Diamonds
Throughout time the round cut diamond has been the most popular diamond shape and nothing surprising because it's still the most desirable diamond cut for 2011. A round diamond represents approximately 75% of all diamonds sold world wide. A round shape diamond is generally superior to fancy shapes at the proper reflection of light, maximizing potential brightness.

# 2 Princess Diamonds
First Created in 1960, the Princess cut diamond is by far the most popular fancy shape diamond and still continues to grow in popularity and tops the charts and still retains the number two spot.

#  3 Radiant Diamonds
The Radiant Diamond is a modified square shape which makes a nice bridge between a cushion and princess cut diamonds. A radiant cut diamond has complete brilliant-cut facet pattern, making it a very desirable.

#  4 Cushion Diamonds
The cushion cut diamond combines a square cut with rounded corners. The first cushion cut diamond was created almost 200 years ago, the cut has gone through some very much needed refinements and this has led to a recent resurgence in popularity.

# 5 Asscher Diamond
The Asscher cut diamond was original produced in 1902 by two brothers in Holland, the name of the stone still retains the brothers last name "Asscher". This diamond shape is a forerunner to the emerald cut diamond, they are both similar to one another but the asscher is a square shape with large step facets, a higher crown and much smaller table. The diamond has been gaining more popularity and pushed ahead of the Emerald

# 6  Emerald Diamonds
This fancy shape diamond is by far one of the most unique cut diamonds and its due to the step cuts of its pavilion, it has an open table as well. They don't have the sparkle of a brilliant-cut diamond they actually produce a hall-of-mirrors effect, and with the interplay of light and dark planes it gets off an amazingly beautiful look. Due to the fact that inclusions and color is much easier to spot with the naked eye emerald cut diamonds have lost popularity and have dropped off in sales.

# 7 Oval Diamond
The Oval diamond is actually a modified brilliant-cut (round diamond) and similar to the round diamond they both poses a similar characteristic (fire and brilliance). The advantage of an elongated shape it actually creates an illusion of greater size but still very few people have been swapping round diamonds for oval cut diamonds.

# 8 Pear Diamond
Created by a combining a round and marquise shape diamond, with a tapered point on one end. The modified brilliant-cut pear shape diamond is very beautiful but you truly see its amazing cut only in large size diamonds (5 carats and above) making it a very uncommon diamond shape, a pear shaped diamond should possess excellent or very good symmetry.

# 9  Marquise Diamonds
Football anyone? Well, the marquise diamond is a modified brilliant-cut, and looks as it was a dazzling shiny football. Because of its long and narrow cut, it can also create the illusion of a greater size. Carat for carat, the marquise diamond has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape, making it a good choice when trying to maximize perceived size.

#  10 Heart Diamonds
A modified brilliant-cut heart shaped diamond is a unique and unmistakable symbol of love, popular in solitaire pendants. Heart shaped diamonds less than .50 cts are not a good choice, since the heart shape is much more difficult to perceive in smaller diamonds, especially after they are set in prongs. The heart shaped diamond actually looks smaller than they are and this doesn't help the demand for a heart shaped stone at all.

Source:  haroldk @ Ranker

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did you know that June has more than 1 Birthstone?


June counts three gems as birthstones, pearl, Alexandrite, and moonstone.


Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries.  They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age.  Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty. In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.Pearl


A relatively modern gem, Alexandrite, was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities.  Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and fluorescent light; it changes color to a purplish red in incandescent light.  Due to its rarity, some jewelers stock synthetic versions of this enchanting gemstone.  (Synthetic gemstones are man-made alternatives to the natural material, possessing the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone.)


The third birthstone for June is the Moonstone.  It was given its name by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone's appearance altered with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.  A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multirayed star or a cat's eye. Considered a sacred stone in India, moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color) and are believed to encapsulate within the stone a spirit whose purpose is to bring good fortune.  Part of the family of minerals called feldspar, moonstone occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne. The most prized moonstones are from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar are also sources.
Source: American Gem Society

Thursday, May 16, 2013



As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, 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.