JUNE BIRTHSTONE & 55TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
If you love magic, especially the magic of science, you'll love Alexandrite, the color-change gem. Alexandrite is a rare form of the gem chrysoberyl and changes color in different lighting. In daylight, it will appear bluish-green to green and under incandescent light it will appear violet, ruby red, or purple. You can observe it changing color back and forth by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light. High quality Alexandrite is one of the most expensive of all gemstones. Its value is based on its limited quantity, its size (rare over 2 carats), clarity, and quality of color change. It is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Africa.
Alexandrite was named after Alexander II, Czar of Russia, because it was supposedly discovered on his birthday in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830’s. Because of this, Alexandrite was considered a stroke of luck and worn as an amulet of good fortune. It is also said to strengthen intuition, aid in creativity and inspire the imagination.
TAKE A LOOK: ALEXANDRITE GEMSTONES
FEBRUARY BIRTHSTONE & ANNIVERSARY
A member of the quartz family, Amethyst comes in a variety of purple shades of varying intensity – from pale lilac to reddish or bluish violet to deep purple. The most valued shades are deep, rich purple and deep purple with a reddish tinge. Purple has long been considered a royal color, so it is not surprising that Amethyst has been so much in demand throughout history. Amethyst is extremely popular with jewelry designers not just for its beautiful color but also for its affordability and wide availability in different sizes and shapes. It looks stunning in both yellow and white metals and complements almost every outfit in your wardrobe. Amethyst is found in Brazil, Uruguay, Siberia, and North America, and often enhanced by traditional heating methods to lighten color and/or remove smoky components.
For centuries Amethyst has been linked to many myths and legends as well as religions in numerous cultures. The name Amethyst means “not drunk” in Greek and is believed to guard against drunkenness. It is also believed to inspire courage, calm, and contemplation. As the gem of optimism and good fortune, it reveals the positive vibrations surrounding those who wear it.
TAKE A LOOK: AMETHYST GEMSTONES
MARCH BIRTHSTONE & 18TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Aquamarine, which means “seawater”, is a member of the Beryl family and is known for its serene, oceanic shades of blue, ranging from pastel to bluish green to deep blue. Differences in shade and depth of color have an effect on its value. A gem that is deep blue is considered most valuable. Aquamarine is normally heated to remove yellow components.
Aquamarine is associated with much lore. For centuries, this timeless gemstone is believed to be a symbol of youth, health, hope, and happiness. Known as the “gem of the sea”, aquamarine amulets engraved with images of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, were thought to keep sailors safe and guard against storms. It is also thought that aquamarine has a soothing influence on married couples, making it a good anniversary gift.
TAKE A LOOK: AQUAMARINE GEMSTONES
NOVEMBER BIRTHSTONE & 13TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Citrine is a member of the quartz family and derives its name from the French word “citron”, meaning lemon. Citrine can vary in color from pure yellow to golden honey to smoky brown. Heating various types of quartz produces citrine. Of all the earth toned gems, citrine is one of the most popular and affordable, and can brighten almost any jewelry style, blending especially well with the yellow gleam of polished gold. Generally, the most valued types are in intense orange colors. Brazil and Zambia is the primary source of this gemstone.
In ancient times, Citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. Revered as a gift of the sun by the ancients, citrine was believed to inspire optimism and good spirit. Sister to amethyst, this golden quartz gem is a symbol of warmth and affection. Today, Citrine is known as the merchant’s stone and is associated with success and prosperity.
TAKE A LOOK: CITRINE GEMSTONES
Since ancient times, diamonds have been admired objects of desire. Formed one hundred miles beneath the Earth’s surface over a billion years ago, diamonds are the hardest gem of all. Diamonds have a long history of folklore; some of which say diamonds were created when bolts of lightning struck rocks, and others said the gem possessed healing powers. For centuries, diamonds have been adorned by women and men and regarded as the ultimate gift and a symbol of eternal love.
Today, diamonds are still admired all around the world. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no standard by which diamonds could be evaluated. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4C’s of Diamond Quality are the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.
TAKE A LOOK: DIAMONDS
MAY BIRTHSTONE & 20TH OR 35TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Emerald is the most precious stone in the beryl family and is known for its distinctive rich green color. Emerald is found in shades of green from light to dark, sometimes revealing a cool blue-green or warm yellowish-green. Typically, the deeper and more vivid green, the more valuable the emerald. Also constituting value is size, as emerald’s over 2 carats are hard to come by, and clarity, as eye-clean gems are exceptional. Emeralds inherently possess internal birthmarks, known as inclusions, and traditional enhancements such as oils are used to hide inclusions.
Prized for its vivid green color, emerald boasts a long history as a jewel fit for kings and queens. Emerald is revered as a talisman of good fortune, believed to bring health and wealth to its owners. The ancient Egyptians mined emeralds nearly 4,000 years ago, and Cleopatra was an avid collector. South America's rich bounty of emeralds was discovered by 16th Century Spanish explorers who found large emeralds in the possession of the Aztecs and Incas. Believed by the ancients to empower the owner with foresight into the future, emerald is regarded as an amulet for good fortune. Emerald, to many, symbolizes rebirth and the abundance of the life force. The rich green hue brings to mind the regeneration of life in spring and hope of new possibilities.
JANUARY BIRTHSTONE & 2ND ANNIVERSARY
Garnet is one of the few gem varieties that spans a broad spectrum of colors. Named for its likeness to pomegranate seeds, garnet is best known for its shades of red. This gem is available in a rainbow of colors from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Demantoid and Tsavorite. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite, and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhodolite, Lively, bright colors usually command higher prices in better qualities of garnet that are typically eye-clean. Rhodolite, partiiculary in its reddish colors, and spessartine, in bright orange red, are uncommon anad considered more valuable, with the most rare garnets recognized as tsavorite and demantoid.
Known as the gem of commitment, garnet has historically signified faith, friendship, loyalty, and truthfulness. Believed to calm anxiety, cheer the heart, encourage guidance and inspire creativity, garnet illuminates the bright disposition of those who wear it. Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home.
A member of the spodumene family of minerals, Kunzite was discovered by American gemologist George Kunz in the United States early in the twentieth century. Gem quality kunzite is strongly pleochroic, exhibiting two different shades when viewed from different angles. Kunzite’s color ranges from pink-violet to light violet.
Today most kunzite is mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar. Kunzite is often found in association with morganite and pink tourmaline, the other popular pink gemstones.
Kunzite is relatively hard, but should be handled with care because, like diamond, it has a distinct cleavage. A sharp blow, if it lands in the wrong place, can break it in two. Kunzite should also be protected from heat and continued exposure to strong light which may gradually fade its color.
TAKE A LOOK: KUNZITE GEMSTONES
A member of the beryl family, Morganite (also called pink beryl) was named after millionaire bank tycoon J.P. Morgan, who was an avid gem collector. Morganite possesses dazzling brilliance and lushness, and is seen in a range of pink colors, including pastel pink (apricot), rose-lilac, peach, violet, and salmon. Morganite is a durable gemstone perfect for everyday wear and looks terrific in both white and gold metals. With so many shades of pink available, it is no wonder why this fashionable gemstone is a favorite for women of all ages. There are deposits of this gemstone in Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia.
Morganite was first discovered in California in the early twentieth century. It is known as the stone of divine love and this pink gem promotes love and prosperity.
OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE & 14TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Revered as a symbol of hope, fidelity, and purity, opal was dubbed the “Queen of All Gems” by the ancient Romans because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Opal is prized for its unique play of color, the ability to diffract light into flashes of rainbow color.
Opal occurs in different colors, ranging from semi-transparent to opaque. The most common is white opal. Crystal or water opal has a colorless body. Black opal is the most valued opal and has a dark blue, gray, or black body color. Boulder opal combines precious opal with the ironstone in which it forms. Fire opal has a red, orange, or yellow body and are quite different from the other varieties of opal. Their day-glo tones, which are translucent to transparent, are beautiful with or without play of color. Today's supplies of opal come primarily from Australia, Mexico and the United States. Most opals are not faceted but cut into rounded or free-form cabochons that enhance their play of color.
TAKE A LOOK: OPAL GEMSTONES
PEARLSJUNE BIRTHSTONE & 3RD & 30TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
According to ancient Chinese legend, the moon holds the power to create pearls, instilling them with its celestial glow and mystery. Pearls were believed to possess mystical and healing powers. Pearls have been treasured for their lustrous, creamy texture and subtle iridescent reflections since the dawn of humankind. Pearls are unique in the world of colored gemstones since they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Because natural pearls are so rare and difficult to recover from the ocean's depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks similar to those produced by nature. Pearls are most commonly thought of as round and white but they come in many shapes and colors including cream, pink, peach, cinnamon, gold, blue-gray, and black. Cultured pearls come in many beautiful colors, from pale cream and white to rose, lilac, green, gold, gray, and black. Today, cultured pearls are grown and harvested in many parts of the world including the fresh waters of the Tennessee River. The majority of cultured pearls come from Japan, China and the South Pacific. Pearls are a very versatile and no matter the color or size, they can be worn every day or they can complement the most formal attire.
TAKE A LOOK: PEARL
AUGUST BIRTHSTONE & 16TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
In ancient times it was believed that Peridot was a gift of Mother Nature to celebrate the annual creation of a new world. Known as the gem of the sun, Peridot is said to bring the wearer magical powers and healing properties. A guard against the evil eye, peridot was thought to protect against nightmares and sweeten dreams and reveal insights. It is also said to instill power, and influence through the wearing of the gemstone.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that exists in only one color; green. Peridot ranges in color from yellowish green to deep olive green. The most desirable color is a rich green with no tinge of yellow or green. Today, most Peridot comes from Arizona but it is also found in China, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
JULY BIRTHSTONE & 15TH & 40TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Ruby is a member of the corundum family and comes in only one color: red. Ruby is a sister stone to sapphire and is the hardest gemstone after diamond, making it ideal for all types of jewelry. The color of a Ruby is the most important feature of the gemstone and key when considering value. Ruby comes is a variety of shades of red from purplish and bluish red to orangey red. The most desirable color is the so called “pigeon’s blood”, which is a pure red with a hint of blue. Rubies are routinely enhanced by traditional heating methods to produce, intensify, or lighten color and/or improve clarity.
Believed to burn with an inextinguishable fire, ruby has historically signified great passion. This fiery gem – the color of the heart – has always been associated with deep love. Historically, ruby was believed to attract and maintain love which is why it is a popular gem choice of brides who want to express their unique personality. Also the color of blood, ruby signifies great courage. Ruby is recognized as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence, and bring success. It was believed wearing a fine red ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner
TAKE A LOOK: RUBY GEMSTONES
SEPTEMBER BIRTHSTONE & 5TH & 45TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Most commonly known for its shades of celestial blue, sapphire comes in almost every color but red, which is exclusive to is sister gemstone, ruby. Sapphire is a member of the corundum family and is the hardest gemstone after diamond, making it ideal for all types of jewelry. Sapphire is available in yellow, peach, orange, cognac, pink, violet, purple, and green, as well as colorless, white, gray, and black. The purer the color of a natural sapphire, the greater the price it commands. The most desired color of blue in a sapphire is a pure corn-flower blue. The most desired fancy colored Sapphire is called Padparadscha: the rare and beautiful pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset. These ultra-rare, ultra-expensive stones are among the most coveted gems in the world.
Sapphire was believed to inspire peace, joy, wisdom, and prosperity, as well as good health and well-being. A gem of sincerity, sapphire illuminates the true inner beauty of those who wear it. A gift of a sapphire symbolizes a pledge of trust and loyalty, making sapphires one of the most popular engagement gemstones today
Sapphire is found in many parts of the world, but the most prized Sapphires are from Myanmar (Burma),Thailand and Sri Lanka. Sapphires are routinely enhanced by traditional heating methods to produce, intensify, or lighten color and/or improve clarity.
Centuries ago, in Sanskrit writings, spinel was called the daughter of ruby, adored, yet somehow different. The Crown Jewels of Great Britain are graced with spinels and have resided in the regalia of kingdoms throughout history. Found in Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka, and Madagascar, spinel comes in a variety of colors including oranges, pinks, blues, lavenders, mauves and vivid reds. The most desirable color is a hot pink with a tinge of orange that is mined in Burma. Spinel also comes in beautiful blues, but these are extremely rare
Spinel is thought to protect the owner from harm, to reconcile differences, and to soothe away sadness. However, the strongest reasons for buying a spinel are its rich, brilliant array of colors and its surprising affordability.
Tanzanite is an exotic gemstone that can only be found only in one place on Earth: the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. One of today’s most popular blue gemstones, Tanzanite comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and striking assortments of blue tones. Rarely pure blue, Tanzanite almost always displays its signature overtones of purple. In smaller sizes, Tanzanite usually contains lighter tones and the lavender color is more common. While in larger sizes, Tanzanite typically displays a deeper, richer and beautiful blue. Tanzanite has the beauty, rarity and durability to rival any gemstone.
NOVEMBER BIRTHSTONE & 23RD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Topaz comes in a variety of colors including yellow, brown, honey, green, blue, red, pink and sometimes no color at all. The most rare and valuable colors called Imperial Topaz are natural pink, sherry red, and fine golden orange. Blue topaz is the most affordable because it is readily available. Colorless topaz is routinely heated and irradiated to produce blue, red or green colors. Topaz in yellow and orange is occasionally irradiated to intensify color. Brown topaz is not commonly enhanced.
The Egyptians said that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the sun god. Legend has it that topaz dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight. Topaz is thought to fuel matters of the heart, inspire courage, increase intuition, and sharpen wit.
OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE & 8TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Perhaps the most diverse gemstone available, Tourmaline lives up to its name, which means “multi-colored” and is available in a dazzling array of colors and color combinations including: pink, deep red green, dark green, blue green, deep blue, ocean blue, violet, peach, yellow, and orange. Tourmaline looks terrific in both yellow and white metals and can easily enhance any jewelry collection. Also there are bi-color or tri-color tourmalines where two or more colors appear side by side in the same gemstone. Tourmalines are commonly enhanced by traditional heating methods to produce one of the dazzling hues.
Tourmaline is esteemed as a gem of enlightenment and resolution. Believed to foster compassion, composure, and reflection, tourmaline reveals the most captivating characteristics to those who wear it. Ancient mystics also believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.
One multi-color variety is known as Watermelon Tourmaline and features green, pink, and white color bands. To resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink center, white ring, and green edge.
With Tourmaline available in so many colors, you’re sure to find one in your favorite color.
VARITIES OF TOURMALINE:
RUBELLITE TOURMALINE - also known as Red Tourmaline, ranges in color from vibrant pink and ruby red color, with a tint of violet. The ruby color is most valuable and Its vibrant color reflects passion, energy, and life and it is believed that Rubellite helps bring emotional balance and calm.
PARAIBA TOURMALINE – are known for its unique and vivid shades of neon blue and green that have made it one of the most precious and valuable gems in the world. It was discovered in the 1980′s and is reminiscent of the blue ocean.
INDICOLITE TOURMALINE -- refers to tourmaline with blue shades
When most people hear the name Zircon, they think of blue or a bright sky blue. But this versatile gemstone can be colorless, green, blue, yellow, brown, orange, dark red, and all the colors in between. The fiery, brilliance of zircon can rival any gemstone and its affordability makes it a popular gem with collectors who can collect different colors or zircon from different localities.
In the Middle Ages, Zircon was said to aid in resting, bring prosperity and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. Zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries.
Thank you to AGTA for the use of their gemstone photos and information in our gemstone descriptions.