The sapphire, birthstone for September, is related to
July’s birthstone, the ruby. They are both a form of the mineral corundum. Red corundum is what we know as the ruby, while all other gem quality forms of corundum are called sapphires.
Typically, sapphires are blue stones, ranging from very pale blue to deep indigo. The color ranges on the presence of small amounts of titanium and iron within the crystal structure. The shade valued the highest is the medium-deep cornflower blue. Sapphires also occur in other natural colors and tints – colorless, gray, yellow, pale pink, orange, green, violet and brown – called fancy sapphires. These different colors are caused by different kinds of impurities within the crystal. For example, yellow sapphires get their color from ferric iron, while colorless gems have no contaminants.
The biggest source of sapphires world-wide is Australia, especially New South Wales and Queensland. Stones from Australia are usually blue stones with a dark and inky appearance. Kashmir, in India, used to be a well-known source of the cornflower-blue stones. In the United States, a major source is the Yogo Gulch Mine in Montana that mostly yields small stones for industrial use.
In ancient Grecian times, sapphires were found on the Island of Sappherine in the Arabian Sea. Ancient Persians called sapphire the “Celestial Stone.” It was the gem of Apollo, Greek God of prophesy and was worn by worshipers visiting his shrine in Delphi to seek his help.
A special orangy pink sapphire color is called padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in the language spoken in Sri Lanka. Stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labeled with this name. There’s no telling how many padparadschas have been sifted from Sri Lankan river gravel throughout history. Sri Lankans have a special affection for the stone that’s traditionally been linked with their country.
Sapphires were once believed to be protection against snakes. It was believed to kill poisonous reptiles and spiders if placed in a jar containing the stone. The French of the 13th century believed that sapphire transformed stupidity to wisdom, and irritability to good temper.
The sapphire was said to represent the purity of the soul. Before and during the Middle Ages, it was worn by priests as protection from impure thoughts and temptations of the flesh and also to symbolize heaven. Ordinary people believed the sapphire brought heavenly blessings to them. Medieval kings of Europe used sapphires for rings and brooches, believing that it protected them from harm and envy. Warriors presented their young wives with sapphire necklaces so they would remain faithful. It was believed that the stone’s color would darken if worn by an adulterer or adulteress, or by an unworthy person.
Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, loyalty, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has been used to decorate the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. Its extraordinary color is the standard against which other blue gems—from topaz to tanzanite—are measured. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles.
The sapphire is the most effective stone for healing the nervous system. It regulates the function of the thyroid gland and is used as a remedy for lack of appetite and nervous heart ailments. Psychologically, wearing the stone can strengthen willpower and helps to give healing strength.
"Healing Crystals and Gemstones from Amethyst to Zircon" by Dr.Flora Peschek-Bohmer and Gisela Schreiber, Konecky & Konecky, 2002
August has two birthstones, peridot and sardonyx. Peridot is a transparent form of olivine which is formed due to volcanic activity It ranges in color from olive green to lime green, sometimes with a brownish tinge to it, depending on the mineral content. The green color comes from its iron content and the brownish hue is from a higher iron content. Quality peridot are sometimes referred to as "Evening Emeralds" because they appear greener under artificial light.
This gemstone is associated with prosperity, growth, dignity, and love. It is also believed to have the power to ward away evil and nightmares. Peridot is believed to bring peace and progress to one’s life. In ancient times, Egypt was the primary source of peridot and was known as the 'Gem of the Sun'. Peridot is currently mined in Burma, Norway, Brazil, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Mexico. Small stones can also be found in Arizona. Peridot has also been found in some meteorites.
Peridot is one of the oldest known gemstones. It was believed that the gemstones worn by the Queen Cleopatra were not emeralds as was believed in history but may have actually been peridot. References to the August gemstone have also been found in the Bible, going by its Hebrew name ‘Pitdah’. The “topaz” on the breastplate of Aaron, in the Old Testament, was believed to actually be peridot. Ancient Egyptians, around 1580 B.C. to 1350 B.C., created beads from peridot. For Greeks and Romans, peridot was in popular use as intaglios, rings, inlays, and pendants. The Crusaders thought that peridots were emeralds, and brought them back to Europe where they were featured as ornaments in churches. The most sought after and expensive peridots are of the lime-green color not having any brown or yellow hue.
Sardonyx is a variety of the silica mineral called chalcedony. This sort of mineral contains layers of tiny quartz fibers, which are stacked on top of each other to give a banded appearance. The layers in these stones range from translucent to opaque.
Sardonyx can vary in color from white or gray to more colorful varieties such as browns and reds. The best stones are found in India but can also be found in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, and Uruguay. Here at home In the United States, you can find sardonyx in the Lake Superior region and in Oregon.
Cameos and intaglios are often carved from sardonyx. Sardonyx is a relatively common and inexpensive gemstone and was a favorite in ancient times because it was attractive, but also because it was could be found readily. Unlike most rare gemstones that could only be bought by the wealthy, sardonyx could be obtained by many people.
Roman soldiers wore sardonyx talismans to guard from evil and bring good fortune engraved with heroes such as Hercules or Mars, god of war. It was believed that the stone would make the wearer as brave and daring as the figured carved on it. During the Renaissance period, sardonyx was thought to bring eloquence to anyone wearing it and was highly valued by public speakers and orators.
Sardonyx is a stone of strength and protection. It is used to enhance willpower, integrity, stamina and vigor. It is also believed to bring lasting happiness and stability to marriage and partnerships. It also attracts friends and good fortune. A lovely stone to have!
Rubies are said to bring good health, wisdom, wealth and success in love and other matters. They are a good luck charm as well as being a beautiful and highly sought after gemstone.
Ruby is found in the corundum family, which is harder than any gemstone except for diamond. This makes ruby a candidate for wearing every day in rings, earrings and pendants. Unfortunately, high quality ruby is quite rare and the color determines the value. The color to look for is a medium or dark red or even a faint purplish red. What you don't want is a stone that is too light or has too much purple or orange. If the color goes to that range, it will be considered a fancy sapphire.
The ruby is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history. The Ruby was considered to have magical powers, and was worn by royalty as a talisman against evil. It was thought to grow darker when peril was imminent, and to return to its original color once danger was past—if it was in the hands of its rightful owner! Rubies were thought to represent heat and power. It was said that a pot of water would boil instantly if a Ruby was tossed into it.
The word Ruby comes from the Latin "ruber," which means red. Wear or carry Ruby to overcome exhaustion and lethargy. It stimulates circulation and amplifies energy and vitality to the whole system. Ruby has been known to calm hyperactivity in some individuals. Ruby is an aphrodisiac and deepens a couple’s relationship and encourages closeness and commitment.
Ruby is said to hold strong energy that helps to sharpen the mind and strengthens concentration. It also promotes courage and is good to have when dealing with difficult situations and during disagreements.
Ruby also helps reduce fear from nightmares.. It shields the home from fire and intruders, and if worn on the body is a good talisman for staying safe. Rubies also are used in technology such as in medical instruments and lasers.
Rubies have been mined for more than 2,500 years and today the highest quality stones are from Burma. They are also found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States.
No matter when your birthday is, Rubies have qualities that anyone can appreciate and delight in!
There are three birthstones associated with the month of June. They are the pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone.
The most common birthstone associated with the month of June is the pearl Pearls have been used throughout history as an adornment and were a favorite of the Romans. In England, the 1500s were known as "The Pearl Age".
Pearls are made inside shells of certain types of clams and oysters. While some pearls are formed in mollusks that live in rivers and in the ocean, many pearls are now farmed in oysters. Early commercial culturing began in the 1900s and since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost totally replaced natural pearls in jewelry design. Pearls are formed from a mineral that is what the shells of the mollusks are made of. They are unique in this way and don't require polishing or faceting to show their beauty.
Asian mythology says that pearls were thought to be dewdrops from heaven that fell into the sea and were caught by shellfish when there was a full moon. In 17th century Europe, pearls were used as decoration and adornment.
Pearls are said to help heal the stomach and help with immunity and emotional stress. Pearls aid in digestion and may reduce the chance of developing ulcers. They reduce stress, hypertension, headaches and exhaustion. They have a soothing influence and are said to reduce over-sensitivity and promote peacefulness. Pearls have long been a symbol of purity and innocence and are frequently given to brides to wear and have been sewn into their bridal gowns.
Moonstones & Alexandrite
A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multi-rayed star or a cat's eye. It is considered a sacred stone in India where moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color).
Moonstone soothes emotional instability and stress, and stabilises the emotions, providing calmness. Moonstone enhances intuition, promotes inspiration, success and good fortune in love and business matters. It also aids the digestive system, assimilates nutrients, eliminates toxins and fluid retention, and alleviates degenerative conditions of skin, hair, eyes, and fleshy organs such as the liver and pancreas. It balances hormonal cycles, being excellent for PMS, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding. Moonstone is also beneficial to men in reaching their emotional side.
Moonstones are believed to hold a spirit whose purpose it is to bring good fortune. The Roman natural historian Pliny, wrote that moonstone's appearance altered with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century. Moonstone is part of the feldspar family which occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne. Moonstones come from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar.
Alexandrite appears to be a beautiful green color with perhaps a blue or brown tint. But when looking at the stone under artificial lighting it turns a reddish violet. Alexandrite is not common and is extremely expensive because of this. Alexandrite is also one of the hardest stones available.
This stone is a somewhat new discovery. In the 1800s, the Russians discovered it and named it after the Czar Alexander II, who reigned during that time. Most Alexandrite it found in Sri Lanka but because it is so rare, synthetic versions have become popular. (Synthetic gemstones are man-made versions of a natural stone and possess the same properties).
Alexandrite is considered to be a stone of longevity and affluence. It brings peace to both mind and body and gives the wearer emotional strength. So it is said to be good for those that have a temper. It is also believed to purify the blood and improve blood flow and helps strengthen intuition and imagination.
We enjoyed great weather, music, food and friendship at the Wimberley Arts Fest this year! It was even better than last year, in my opinion. The weather turned out beautiful and we had some wonderful music playing for the two day show. The turnout was amazing and we had great success with our jewelry! It was so nice to visit with folks from far and near and get their feedback. That is invaluable! Hopefully, we will be able to do more Wimberley shows! We'll keep you posted right here.
We also had a great time in Bulverde! We were at the Bulverde Market Days Show and again we lucked out with beautiful weather and great customers. We ran into friends and family and had some surprises along the way. We were visited by one of our previous customers who came by to visit and shop and as always, we were delighted to see her! She looked lovely in her RiverRock druzy pendant!
We are so lucky to have such awesome and loyal customers and we hope to see you all again soon!
The emerald is the birthstone for May and belongs to the beryl family of minerals. Emeralds vary in color from light to deep green. The dark green emeralds are the most prized and rare and also the most expensive.
Emeralds were discovered in Russia in the 1800s ,however, Colombia produces the largest and highest quality emeralds. In the U.S., emeralds can be found in North Carolina. Other countries that mine emeralds are Brazil, Pakistan, India, Australia and Madagascar.
In addition to natural emeralds, lab grown or synthetic emeralds are a source for this stone. German chemists first manufactured synthetic emeralds decades ago and the U.S. began to grow good quality stones by 1946. But emeralds can be traced back to ancient times when they were worn by royalty in places such as Egypt. Queen Cleopatra wore emeralds that were thought to have been mined in Egypt near the Red Sea.
During the Spanish invasion to South America, the Spanish conquistadors took large quantities of emeralds from Peru but didn't discover their source. Later, in the 1500s, the Spaniards found and took over mines in Columbia. These mines have continued to be in use and produce some of the best emeralds in the world.
The emerald has many myths associated with it. It was once thought to prevent epilepsy, cure dysentery and fever, stop bleeding and protect the wearer from panic. The ancient romans dedicated the stone to the goddess Venus because the green emerald represented the reproductive forces of nature. Christians took it as a symbol of Christ's resurrection. The emerald was also believed to hold the power to tell the future in the Middle Ages. Whether these tales are true or not, the emerald continues to be a favorite and coveted stone and will probably continue to be sought after for centuries to come.
Photo 1: statesymbolsusa.org
Photo 2: Emeral rough: https://www.pinterest.com/triosjewelry/elegant-emeralds/
Photo 3: Spanish emerald and gold pendant: Wikipedia.org
For the month of April, the diamond is the traditional birthstone. The name comes from the Greek word "adamas" which means "hardest metal". This is descriptive of the property of the stone. It is a member of the carbon family which gives it incredible hardness.
While most diamond jewelry is "colorless" or clear, they can also range from pink to red, white to yellow, or green to blue.
This April birthstone is believed to bring good luck, protecting its wearer from misfortune.
Besides diamond, sapphire is also a traditional birthstone for April. While it can occur in a variety of colors anywhere from pink to orange and yellow and also from white to black — sapphire is most popular in its brilliant blue color. This April birthstone is believed to bring inner peace and spiritual enlightenment.
Beside diamond and sapphire, clear quartz, also known as rock crystal, has also been designated as a birthstone for April. This stone provides a less expensive alternative for an April birthstone than diamond. This new April stone is a colorless variety of quartz. When yellow in color, it is known as citrine, and when violet it's known as amethyst. This gemstone is a precious variety of corundum, which when red in color is known as ruby. Clear quartz is believed to bring inner peace, spiritual enlightenment and happiness.
Aquamarines are a form of beryl crystal that vary in color from a deep blue to a blue-green with different intensities. This is caused by traces of iron. Naturally occurring deep blue stones are the most prized because they are rare and so will be the most expensive. Yellow beryl stones can be heated to transform them to blue aquamarines.
The best commercial source of aquamarines is Brazil. Colombia, Russia and India also produce quality stones. In the United States, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina are the best sources.
The name aquamarine comes from the Roman word for water, which is "aqua" and the word "mare" which means sea because the stone resembles sea water. Aquamarines were believed to belong to sirens and were believed to be sacred to Neptune, Roman god of the sea. Because of this, sailors believed it held protection from perils at sea and sea monsters and promised safe voyages. It was also believed to hold medicinal and healing powers, curing ailments of the stomach, liver, jaws, and throat. Later, it was used as an antidote against poison and also was used in fortunetelling.
The second birthstone for March is the bloodstone. This quartz variety is also called chalcedony. Green chalcedony with red flecks in it is known as bloodstone. This stone can be found in India, Brazil, and Australia. Bloodstone is favored for carving religious objects, especially the Crucifixion. According to legend, bloodstone was believed to have formed during the crucifixion of Christ. When a Roman soldier thrust his spear into Christ’s side and drops of blood fell on some pieces of dark green jasper lying at the foot of the cross, the bloodstone was created.
Bloodstone was believed to hold healing powers, especially for stopping nosebleeds. Powdered and mixed with honey and white of egg, it was believed to cure tumors and stop all types of hemorrhage. Ancient alchemists used it to treat blood disorders, including blood poisoning and the flow of blood from a wound. Bloodstone was also believed to
draw out the venom of snakes.
Image Credit: Gunnar Ries
Image Credit: Ra’ike
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
February's Birthstone is Amethyst. It is also a Zodiac stone for the consellation of Pisces. It is associated with spirituality, wisdom, sobriety, and security. The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos” meaning “not drunk,” and was believed to prevent its wearers from intoxication. Amethyst is a quartz stone that comes in a variety of purple hues. Most common are the dark grape colors and the light lilac.
Today, most amethyst is found in Brazil but can still be found in Zambia and in the U.S. in Arizona and North Carolina, as well The color purple is traditionally the color of royalty and amethyst has been used since the dawn of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs and rulers.
Amethyst has been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning crowns, scepters, jewelry, and breastplates worn into battle. During the Middle Ages, it was used as medication, believed to dispel sleep, sharpen intellect, and protect the wearer from sorcery. It was also believed to bring victory in battle. In Arabian mythology, the amethyst was supposed to protect the wearer from bad dreams and gout. Amethyst is also symbolic of spirituality and piety.
Photo 1 credit: UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Each year Pantone chooses a palette that designers in all industries use in their designs for the season or the year. This year Pantone did something that they have never done before. This year's color of the year are actually two colors. They've chosen Rose Quartz and Serenity.
Rose Quartz is a soft pink color and Serenity is a soft baby blue. You will be seeing them in clothing, home décor, fabrics and of course, jewelry. They are great neutrals and perfect for spring and summer. I look forward to using them in some of my designs for spring! Here's a link to Pantone for more info on these two great colors and their meanings. http://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016?from=hpfeatures
I am excited to begin bringing you new information about trends in design and colors as they relate to jewelry and gemstones. I'll also be adding some great links that I've found along the way from professionals in both the fashion and jewelry industries. And I would love to hear from you!