Yearly Archives: 2012

Amber

Other Names: ambrite
Origin of Name: Arabic anbar, originally referring to the Sperm Whale now called ambergis
Meaning of the Stone: Associated with the zodiac of the Taurus
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Organic Resin
Region: Russia (Baltic Sea), Dominican Republic,Italy, Germany, Poland,Britain
Color: yellow, gold-yellow, dark brown, blue, green( non-natural color)
Transparency: Transparent to translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 2-2.5( app. 1.1)
Crystal System: Amorphous
Similar minerals: copal, kauri, celluloid

1. Legend and History:

Amber has strong connections with the earth, and more specifically the age of the world, due to the way in which it is created and therefore it is believed to connect the person whom wears it with the earth, and ground his energy. In ancient times a common belief existed that amber offered light to the deceased to pass through the underworld, but also provide witches and magicians with magical powers of light.
Furthermore, amber is believed to have the ability to cleanse the body and mind, while also withdraw ones illness and fill the body with life and strength; In addition, amber removes negative energy and pain, while bringing the body to a balance with nature and self heal itself.
Amber is thought to display it’s healing attributes more when worn for long periods, mainly on the wrist or around the neck.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Amber is not precisely a crystal, but organic resin which has been crystalized and fossilized; it is heterogenous in terms of it’s composition and a macromolecule. It’s precise composition is not known due to the fact that it may vary depending on the plant species from which it has been released. The exact formation of amber however is due to molecular polymerization, which occurs when the resin which has been released from the plant or tree undergoes high pressure and temperature produced by the overlapping layers of earth, transforming the resin first into copal, and then, due to sustained heat, into amber.

3. Interesting Facts:

Archeological findings of entrapped insects and other organic mater have proven the existence of million year old amber deposits, which occurred from the resin being encased in dirt and stone over a long period of time, which through a fossilizing process turned into amber. Certain amber stones are highly valued due to the age and condition of the entrapped insect, as in some cases it may be a pre-historic organism, although in such instances the amber is considered less expensive and rare than the actual organism, as it may tend to show significant information in reference to the general pre-historic times.

4. Care and Storing:

Due to the fact that amber is an extremely soft stone, it requires special care when cleaning and storing; Amber should not be stored along with metal or other jewelry as it may be scratched and loose it’s brightness, thus the best storing method would be in a soft cloth, and away of direct sunlight. In order to clean amber, warm water and soft cloth is adequate to remove dirt and smudges; in addition, olive oil may be used in order to polish it and make it brighter.

Amazonite

Other Names: Amazon Stone, Stone of Courage
Origin of Name: Such green stones were formed around the shores of the Amazon river, this however is rather misleading as no facts prove that amazonite occurs in that specific area.
Meaning of the Stone: The “hope stone” due to it’s legend of inspiration
Classification: semi-Precious
Family: Microcline feldspar
Region: Formerly almost exclusive to Russia, USA, Brazil, Australia, Namibia
Color: Green
Transparency: Translucent, Opaque
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 5-6 (2.56-2.57)
Crystal System: Triclinic, Prismatic
Similar Minerals: quartz, muscovite, plagioclase feldspars

1. Legend and History:

Legend has it that the Amazonite stone received it’s name from the mythical civilization of the Amazons, in Ancient Greece; a tribe of female warriors in no need of men. Other discussions around the name show that it may have occurred from the coloring of the stone which resembles the shady green color of the shores and waters of the Amazon river, although no deposits are found in that geographic area.
Amazonite is also said to have been used by Ancient Egyptians as a stone to sooth and cool down ones mental state, while also heal spiritual growth.
Further uses of Amazonite in healing processes are said to include alignment of the heart and solar plexus chakras, enhancing of creative expression, and offering confidence.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Amazonite is a variety of microcline feldspar, and is a mineral of limited deposits; it was formerly obtained from only one deposit, in the area of Miass, in Russia, in more recent excavations however, large deposits of high-quality crystals have been found in the US, Madagascar and Brazil.
The natural green color of Amazonite remained a mystery for many years, and the general belief was that the color was due to copper components; recent studies however show that the rare natural color of the Amazonite stone is a result of small quantities of lead and water in feldspar.
Amazonite is generally cut en cabochon, however, the natural green coloring creates a beautiful antithesis of colorations when set on silver and used for the creation of bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry pieces.

3. Interesting Facts:

Although amazonite is a mineral belonging to the microcline feldspar category, it is cut, in most cases, and used as a gemstone due to it’s bright green color when polished.

4. Care and Storing:

Amazonite ranks rather low on Mohs scale of hardness and therefore wearers of this stone must be careful not to fracture it, especially those which have been cut and used as a gemstone, as they are more prone to damage. Given the rarity of such stones, owners of this beautifully natural colored green stone, must clean and polish it regularly and be highly cautious when storing it.

Almandine Garnet

Other Names: Almandite (incorrect name), Ceylon-ruby, Syrian Garnet
Origin of Name: Almandine may have originated from the name Alabanda in Asia Minor
Meaning of the Stone: Birthstone of the Aquarius
Classification: semi-precious
Family: ferrous Aluminum Silicate
Region: Burma, Madagascar, USA, Tanzania, Brazil, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka
Color: dark colorations of brown-red to violet-red
Transparency: translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5 (3.93-4.05)
Crystal System: Isometric-Hexoctahedral
Similar Minerals: Phenakite, Olivine, Andradite, Kyanite, Topaz

1. Legend and History

Almandine was named after an alteration of the the word alabandicus, which the initial name of the stone given by Pliny the Elder to a stone found in Asia Minor, and more specifically Alabanda, thus also contributing to it’s name via means of topography.
Popular belief in ancient times said that those whom dreamt of almandine garnet would soon find the solutions to the mysteries of life; In addition, it was also believed that gemstones held the reflection of the galaxy, and the almandine garnet specifically was believed to hold the reflection of Mars, Pluto and Mercury.
As the majority of precious and semi-precious stones, almandine garnet is also believed to hold certain healing powers, such are, help with problems occurring from arthritis, varicose veins, and backache.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Almandine garnet is found in large amounts around the world, thus allowing for a low price, and wide distribution. As the stone is rather dark when delivered from nature, it is usually cut and hollowed out in order to allow light to fill it and gain somewhat of a spectrum of light. The usual cut used for such types of stone is either the brilliant, which brings out it’s natural deep red color, or in a cabochon style, or‘carbuncle-cut’.

3.  Interesting Facts:

Almandine stones sometimes are found to have asbestos fiber in their containments, which, when properly cut may produce high quality rare stones.

4.  Care and Storing:

As this is a semi-precious stone, it is rather easy to take care of, but nonetheless some amount of caution must be used as almandine is still a crystal, despite it’s abundance in deposits. The best storing for any type of stone, including almandine, is in a presentation box, or velvet pouch in order to mitigate damage to the specific cut and shine of the stone.

Alexandrite


Other Names: Chrysolite during Victorian era
Origin of Name: Gemologist Nils G. Nordenskiold named it as a tribute to Tsar Alexander II of Russia
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: Precious gemstone
Family: Chrysoberyl
Region: Ural Mountains, India, Sri Lanka,Madagascar, Tanzania,
Color: emerald green, red, blue green, orange yellow, color according to angle and type of light
Transparency: Transparent to Translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 8.5( 3.70-3.78)
Crystal System: Orthorhombic
Similar minerals: Chrysoberyl, Cymophane

1. Legend and History

Alexandrite is a relatively new stone, as it was discovered in 1834 in the emerald mines of the Ural mountains in Russia, by a Finnish gemologist, Nils G. Nordenskiold, whom is said to have named it Alexandrite in honor of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The main reason for Aexandrite becoming the stone of the Tsar, but also the fascination of Russian jewelers around this stone lies in the color; Alexandrite demonstrates the principal colors of old Imperial Russia’s flag. Despite it’s young age however Alexandrite is thought as a highly noble stone, with royal roots due to it’s impeccable beauty, and rareness in some varieties. Russian jewelers were fascinated with the colorations of this stone, and created many pieces, however, it is highly difficult to come across such antique jewelry pieces nowadays as they are kept well guarded by their owners.
As all precious stones, Alexandrite too is said to have certain healing abilities and mystical powers, such as improving the central nervous system, relieving from spleen and pancreas problems, but also assisting one in matters of self-esteem and the ability to be joyful.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Alexandrite is not easily found, due to it’s rather rare chemical disposition, despite being a variety of chrysoberyl. The primary source of Alexandrite is Russia, and more specifically the Urals, however, when the Russian deposits were thought almost obsolete, excavations began in search of new sources of Alexandrite, and they were indeed found in Brazil, more specifically Minas Gerais, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Madagascar. This remarkable gem was mainly used for the creation of expensive and extravagant jewelry, affordable only to the most fortunate of persons.

3. Interesting Facts:

When the Russian deposits of Alexandrite were thought to have been exhausted, interest in the stone showed a significant decrease due to the fact that other deposits did not show the same characteristics, mainly that of the color change, until 1987 when the deposit in Minas Gerais of Brazil was discovered and showed similar attributes to the rare beauty found in the Russian Alexandrite.
Furthermore, this gem is rather understated, as the uniqueness and rarity may be seen only by an expert or enthusiast, as at first sight, it’s interchanging colorations and mysterious sparkle cannot be seen, unless exposed to different light sources.

4. Care and Storing:

Alexandrite is a high valued precious stone, and must be kept well and safe in order for it’s wearer to be able to enjoy it’s fascinating colorations for years. Frequent cleaning with a soft cloth and salt water will help keep the gem sparkle, while rubbing down with a pure cotton cloth will keep it’s shine. Alexandrite must be kept in a presentation box and not in direct reach of light at all times.

Agate

Other Names: Achates
Origin of Name: Greek Achates, as it was first found along the shore line of that river.
Meaning of the Stone: Providing Balance, (etymologically there is no meaning of the name)
Classification: Semi-Precious
Family: Microcrystaline Silica/ Chalcedony Quartz
Region: All regions, mainly Africa, Asia, South America, Egypt,Germany, India,Italy,Mexico, USA
Color: white, grey, blue orange, red, black and varieties in between
Transparency: Semiopaque
Fracture: Conchoidal, containing sharp edges
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7 (2.58-2.64)
Crystal System: Rhombohedral Microcrystaline
Similar minerals: Turritella Agate, Moss Agate,Eye Agate, Chalcedony,Beryl

1. Legend and History

Historical findings have shown that the Agate stone was first discovered around the 4th and 3rd century BC, by a Greek philosopher, Theophrastus, around the shores of the Achates river, thus obtaining it’s name. It’s use was widespread in that period, and it was most commonly used for hardstone carving.
Agate was also believed by Ancient populations to hold certain supernatural powers, such as making the wearer of this stone invisible and discern truth. Legend also has it that Agate prevents insomnia, improves concentration and memory, enhance ones courage, and protect against danger.
In reference to star-signs, it is believed that Agate is extremely advantageous to those born under the sign of the Gemini, as it calms them and keeps them focused.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Agate belongs to the chalcedony family formed through layers of quartz; most agate stones occur from volcanic residue such as rocks, or parts of molten lava. Agate stones are, due to their origin in nature, found in the form of rounded nodules and usually display a central cavity when sliced. Most forms of the stone have natural colors although they can be heated or dyed for an added, decorative, effect. In order for agate to be formed the existence of volcanic ash, water (rainfall or underground) manganese, iron and mineral oxides along with silica is necessary, whilst the various colorations are also dependent of the type of mineral oxides.

3. Interesting Facts:

Agate and Chalcedony share a similarity not only in the gemstone family, but also in reference to their names, as both are used interchangeably, although Agate is the primary name for for those varieties of Chalcedony which are banded. Historically, agate is the oldest stone which has been recorded, and is thought to be the appropriate gift for the 12th and 14th wedding anniversary, in the form of either rings, earrings, or pendants; bracelets and necklaces can also be decorated with agate stones as they may release more of their energy while in contact with the body.

4. Care and Storing:

If the correct care and storing is not provided to an Agate stone, as well as any other precious stone, it may lose it’s shine, and be prone to damages. Frequent cleaning of the stone is recommended by means of a soft cloth and water; furthermore, if the weather allows, Agate stones tend to clear beautifully if left in rain water over night, you must be cautious however that the water is clean, and not acidic. Another fact which the owner if such stones must be aware of, is that chlorine may severely damage agate, thus it is best to remove all agate jewelry prior to entering a swimming pool. Storing of agate, and all precious stones, is best in a cool dry place, in a jewelry box, or soft velvet pouch, so as to mitigate scratches and loss of shine.

Absolute Jewelry at JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show

We interview Trisha Watson from Absolute Jewelry to showcase and teaches us about some of the products available at JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show!

Sensational Wholesale Accessories at JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show

We interview Sensational Wholesale Accessories to showcase and teach us about some of the products at the JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show.

Fashion Jewelry LA at JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show

We interview Fashion Jewelry LA to showcase us and teach us about some of latest fashion trends and styles in the jewelry industry at the JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show.

JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show 2012

 

Here’s a quick montage of some of the exhibitors featured at the JOGS Gem & Jewelry Show. Enjoy the video!

February Birthstones – Amethyst

February Birthstones – Amethyst

February

· Amethyst is the birthstone for February
· Amethyst represents Courage and Inner Strength

The amazingly beautiful purple gemstone Amethyst is revered the world over. Amethyst was once considered a talisman to help prevent drunkenness but also has been a symbol of Royalty by Pharaohs, Kings and Queens as well a leading adornment for many religious sects, as it was thought Amethyst could encourage celibacy. Catholic Bishops still wear Amethyst rings.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci wrote ” Amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence”.

Amethyst is also believed to promote mental and spiritual balance.

Here is a list of the Birthstones, Names and Meanings, month by month to help guide you in understanding the Birthstones of yourself or a loved one, and the significance that these Gemstones can have on our daily lives.

This is an easy guide to which gems are used for which months birthstone.

Each month of the year has been given it’s own gemstone, which many believe if worn by somebody born at that time of year will have greater luck, well being and spiritual enlightenment.

Precious and semi-precious natural gemstones have been used in this fashion for thousands of years by everyone one, from the Egyptians to Native Americans. Turning raw pieces of gemstones, created over millions of years, into polished, beautiful birthstone jewelry to give to the people we love. These have to be one of the most sentimental and perfect gift ideas on the planet.

I hope you find the information provided both useful and interesting.

Feel free to visit the full list – Birthstones By Month