August birthstone: Peridot

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While the 64.57-carat cut peridot is magnificent, it is overshadowed by the amazing 7.9-cm tall crystal. Both are from Sappat, Kohistan, Pakistan- Jeffrey Scovil.

Gem miners find peridot as irregular nodules (rounded rocks with peridot crystals inside) in some lava flows in the United States, China, and Vietnam and, very rarely, as large crystals lining veins or pockets in certain types of solidified molten rock. Sources for the latter include Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar, and the island of Zabargad.

Suite of Peridot Jewelry

This incredible suite of peridot jewelry has a total weight of 350.40 carats. All are top-quality peridots from Pakistan. – © GIA & Harold & Erica Van Pelt.

Geologists believe both types of deposits relate to the spreading of the sea floor that occurs when the earth’s crust splits, and rocks from its mantle are pushed up to the surface. Sometimes—as in Myanmar— these rocks can be altered, deformed, and incorporated into mountain ranges by later earth movements.

Rarely, peridot can have an extraterrestrial source, being contained in meteorites that have fallen to earth.

The color range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green color to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot color seen in jewelry.

Princess Cut Peridot

Peridot is best known for its yellowish green color.

Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements.

Healing Sisters

These peridots from Peridot Mesa in the San Carlos Apache Nation, Arizona, are set in a jewelry style called “Healing Sisters.” – Courtesy Apache Gems

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Courtesy of GIA
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July birthstone: Ruby

round ruby ring

Since ruby has been used as a gemstone for centuries, it can be seen in a variety of styles, from Indian jewellery to Art Deco and contemporary fine jewellery. Ruby is a durable material that can be worn daily as rings, earrings, necklaces and so on. In Indian style jewellery, rubies are often mixed with emeralds and diamonds. Gold settings provide a striking contrast to the red of ruby. Modern jewellery settings for ruby include white gold and platinum, whereas traditional settings tend to be gold. Small rubies can be set closely together in an intricate style such as bead setting or “pavé”, which was made famous by jewellery designers such as Joel A. Rosenthal, known simply as JAR, who created exquisite flower jewels from colored gemstones.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.

Ruby Gemstone Jewelery Care and Cleaning

Rubies are tough and durable, so they do not require any special care. To clean your rubies, simply use warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Fracture-filled and diffusion-treated gemstones should only be cleaned with a damp cloth. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewellery or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sport. Do not expose rubies to acid and store rubies away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewellery box.

ruby set

For more info on Ruby, click on link below:

ruby rough

http://www.gia.edu/ruby

 

 

 

 

 

May Birthstone: Emerald

 

Emerald is the green to greenish blue variety of beryl, a mineral species that also includes aquamarine as well as beryls in other colors.

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Gem experts differ on the degree of green that makes one stone an emerald and another stone a less-expensive green beryl. Some people in the trade tend to give the name emerald to any green beryl colored by chromium. But to most gemologists, gemological laboratories, and colored stone dealers, it is more correct to call a stone green beryl when its color is “too light” for it to be classified as emerald. Even among that group, however, there’s a difference of opinion about what’s considered “too light.”

rough emeralds

GIA uses lab-graded comparison stones to determine if the green color is dark enough and saturated enough to be called emerald.

round emerald ring

For more info on Emerald, visit  https://www.gia.edu/emerald#

 

 

April Birthstone: Diamond

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A diamond is a stone that truly states, “I love you” in a deep way. In fact, you’ve probably heard the slogan many times that “a diamond is forever.” This is because of the stone’s symbol of deep, everlasting love, as well as the fact that it’s the hardest substance known on earth.The diamond is also the stone that marks the 60th anniversary of marriage, and is the birthstone for the month of April. It is believed that the first diamonds were discovered in India. In Ancient India, people viewed diamonds as religious icons.
Australia-origin-of-diamond.jpg Going back to early history, diamonds were always used to engrave tools because of their hardness. Diamonds have been found all over the world on all continents. In 600 AD, diamonds were found in Borneo, an island located north of Australia. In the 1700’s, Brazil was a rich source of diamonds, and in the 1800’s, South Africa was known for their large supply of diamonds. Since the 1970’s, Australia has been a large source for the precious stones.
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Ancient Greeks named the diamond “adamas,” meaning “invincible,” “indestructible,” “proper,” and “untamed.” Warriors in ancient Greece wore diamonds as the stones were thought to strengthen the warriors’ muscles and bring them invincibility. The power, hardness and beauty of the diamond have been prized throughout history in many civilizations. The famous Persian poet Hafiz remarked that, “the rainbow is confined in a diamond forever”. In antiquity, a diamond was always thought to be a symbol of innocence and purity. Ancient Greeks thought that diamonds represented the tears of weeping gods. Ancient Romans thought diamonds were considered to be parts of the outer rings of stars, which had fallen to the earth.

diamond-history-napolean-strength.jpg Almost every civilization has some kind of lore on the diamond. Every civilization’s lore however, shares one theme- that the diamond symbolizes all forces necessary for a healthy society, and that it brings its wearer great strength. The diamond was always considered a stone of winners. In fact, it was the talisman of Julius Caesar, Louis IV and Napoleon.
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The Renaissance Period was the first point in time when diamonds were used as engagement rings. They were thought to be a special gift, which represented the very ultimate gift of love. In 1477, this trend was started when Archduke Maximillian gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond engagement ring. This was a trend that was only popular among royalty and the very wealthy.

diamonds-facts-jewelry-rings.jpg Giving a diamond as an engagement ring did not actually become a standard until the De Beers marketing campaign started, during the 20th Century. Today, the primary use of diamonds is no longer for carving or protection during battles. They are now used for adornment because of the their sheer beauty- their dispersion of white light into many different beautiful colors, and their brilliance and indestructibility. Gemologists now rate diamonds based upon what is called “the 4 C’s,” referring to carat, cut, color, and clarity.
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“Carat” refers to the weight of the diamond. “Cut” refers to the brilliance of the stone, as the way it is cut determines how much brilliance a diamond will have. “Clarity” refers to the natural blemishes found inside diamonds (and remember, a flawless diamond is extremely rare). Finally, “color” is the last important factor when choosing a diamond. The highest color ranking for a diamond represents a completely clear and colorless stone.

Physical Properties and Science of Diamond

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As the hardest mineral in existence, a diamond is highly regarded for its beauty and ability to reflect light in an extremely dazzling way. Diamonds display a large amount of brilliance and fire, meaning they sparkle a lot, and always retain a freshly polished look.Created out of pure carbon, the carbon atoms within diamonds are bonded very strongly, which makes for the hardness and strength of the stone. Diamonds are the hardest known substances.

durability-diamond-jewelry-birthstone.jpg Because of the strength of this carbon bonding, diamonds rate a 10 on the Mohs scale- meaning they are as hard as a stone could possibly be. Since antiquity, it has been known that diamonds are the hardest stone. Because of this, the hardest diamonds can only be scratched with other diamonds. Also because of their hardness, not too much care is needed to keep your diamond looking new. It keeps a polish for a very long time and is therefore suitable for everyday wear. Other chemicals cannot affect diamonds, because they are the most durable and inert material.
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In their most natural form, diamonds are clear, but because of impurities of light elements, such as nitrogen, diamonds can also be found in colors such as orange, green, blue, pink, black, yellow, orange, green, red, and brown.

diamond-light-refraction-facts.jpg The brilliance of a diamonds comes from a combination of reflection, dispersion, and refraction. A ray of light first passes through a diamond and is then bent, or refracted. Then, this bent ray is reflected through a facet at the bottom of the stone and through the top of the stone. When refraction occurs, each ray is bent at a slightly different angle, which is referred to as dispersion. Of all gems, diamonds have the highest index of refraction.
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The most popular cut of diamond is called a brilliant cut, a cut where numerous facets are placed so the most rays of light will reflect through them. This cut is determined by mathematical and empirical analysis. A Brilliant cut does not refer to the shape of the actual stone, but the proportion and symmetry of the diamond.

 

For more info on diamonds, click on: https://www.gia.edu/diamond

March birthstone: Aquamarine

aquamarine crystal

If you were born in March, you’re lucky enough to have aquamarine as your birthstone. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family, which also includes emerald. Aquamarine exists in many different shades, from pale blue to greenish-blue shades. Deeper colored aquamarine stones have the highest value, and connoisseurs typically prefer a pure blue stone with no green or gray in it. However, aquamarine is stunning regardless of the shade.  aqua ring

Characteristics of Aquamarine

Aquamarine is unique in that it never has inclusions, meaning that it’s flawless. In very rare cases, the stone will have inclusions that are only visible through magnification. Aquamarine stones are available in various shapes similar to diamonds but is often found in oval or emerald shapes.

Aquamarines vary in color from pale blue to greenish-blue. The varying intensity of the color is due to the quantities of iron in the beryl crystal. Naturally occurring deep blue aquamarine stones are rare, expensive, and in high demand. Aquamarine with a greenish color is often heated to remove the yellow component of the color. You can still find aquamarine that’s greenish in color, and these stones will be less expensive than aquamarine that has more blue to it. The icy blue color of aquamarine is flattering to a variety of skin tones, making this stone a timeless classic in the gem world.

Where Aquamarine is mined

Aquamarine is mined in Nigeria, Zambia, Pakistan, Brazil, Mozambique, and Madagascar. The largest source of aquamarine is Brazil.

Cleaning and care

Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, meaning that it is a durable gemstone that’s perfect for everyday wear. Heat exposure is not recommended for aquamarine, but the color will remain the same even when exposed to light. To clean your aquamarine jewelry, use mild dish soap and a toothbrush to clean behind the stone where dust can collect. Cleaning aquamarine using ultrasonic and steam cleaners is usually safe unless the stone has liquid includes or fractures. This is rare, but if your aquamarine stone has fractures, you should only clean the stone using warm, soapy water.

* For more info on aquamarine..visit https://www.gia.edu/aquamarine

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.

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Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.”

Amethyst’s purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.

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Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.

https://www.gia.edu/amethyst

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