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Gem Encyclopedia

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Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Sometimes, even the same stone can have layers or color variants, so the way the gemstone is cut is important to the way the color shows in a finished piece.

Ancient Greeks believed that the amethyst protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset. The gemstone aids in the reduction of insomnia, arthritis, pain relief, and circulatory issues. It is also considered the gemstone of meditation, peace, balance, courage, and inner strength. Wearing it while meditating is said to deepen the practice and create a heightened awareness. Many recommend sleeping with an amethyst under your pillow in order to thwart insomnia and encourage lucid dreaming. It's also a healing stone, and can provide relief and peace even in the face of addiction and emotional trauma.

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Aquamarine is best known for its breathtaking range of blue colors and belongs to the same family as emerald (beryl). The name derives from the Latin expression for seawater. Aquamarine is colored by trace amounts of iron that find their way into the crystal structure. Aquamarine possesses a durable hardness (7.5-8 on the Mohs scale), which qualifies it for any kind of jewelry.

Aquamarine is the birthstone of March, and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. The gemstone is said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Aquamarine is thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. It has been said that the mineral gives the wearer protection against foes in battle or litigation. It makes the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and also quickens the intellect. Aquamarine is also known for releasing fear, calming nerves, and bringing mental clarity.

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Citrine is a stone as bright as its energy. Everything about this stone emanates positivity and joy. Even its name, which is derived from the French word for lemon, carries a sense of sun and joy attached to it. Citrine scores 7 on Mohs hardness scale, and is therefore one of the most durable gemstones. Citrine includes yellow to gold to orange-brown shades of transparent quartz. Although the darker, orange colors of citrine, sometimes called Madeira citrine after the color of the wine, has generally been the most valued color, but in modern times many people prefer the bright lemony shades which mix better with pastel colors.

Citrine has been an ornamental gem for civilizations as early as 300 B.C., and a favorite with jewelry makers since the ancient Greeks and Romans. The stone’s popularity resurged again during the Art Deco era, as early Hollywood stars boasted citrine jewelry like elaborate broaches, grand necklaces and other pieces where large faceted citrine was the center piece.

The gemstone is the official birthstone of November. Considered the gemstone to provide greater or increased hearing, citrine also promotes success, abundance, and clear thinking.

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Emerald is the bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral species that includes aquamarine. Emerald’s lush green has soothed souls and excited imaginations since antiquity. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdus.”

Emeralds are the rarest gemstones and are typically mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. The first known Emerald mines were in Egypt, dating from at least 330 BC into the 1700's.

The gemstone has many special qualities, but colored stone professionals generally agree that emeralds are, most of all, about color. Emerald has been the standard for green among colored stones for thousands of years.

Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds.

It’s important to understand that inclusions are a natural part of emeralds, and you should always expect to find them. Inclusions in emeralds are special, and if an emerald doesn't have any inclusions it is most likely synthetic, or an imitation. Emerald inclusions are often described as looking mossy or garden-like. They’re sometimes called “jardin,” which is French for garden. In the rare case of eye-clean emeralds, they are especially valuable.

Emerald scores an 8 on Mohs Hardness Scale.

This unique gemstone is the birthstone of May and is considered to be a symbol of rebirth and love. It symbolizes hope, growth, renewal and the search for meaning.

Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments. Legends endowed the wearer with the ability to foresee the future when emerald was placed under the tongue, as well as to reveal truth and be protected against evil spells. Emerald was once also believed to cure diseases like cholera and malaria. Wearing an emerald was believed to reveal the truth or falseness of a lover’s oath as well as make one an eloquent speaker. 

Legend also states that emerald was one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon. These four stones were said to have endowed the king with power over all creation.

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The Garnet group of related mineral species offers gems of every hue, including fiery red pyrope, vibrant orange spessartine, and rare intense-green varieties of grossular and andradite. Thousands of years ago, red garnet necklaces adorned the necks of Egypt’s pharaohs, and were entombed with their mummified corpses as prized possessions for the afterlife. In ancient Rome, signet rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax that secured important documents. Garnet scores 6.5–7.5 on Mohs Scale.

Garnet is the birthstone of January, and is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust. The garnet aids blood, heart, and lungs and is known to promote romantic love, passion, sensuality, and intimacy. In general, garnet has long been thought of as a travelers' stone. In fact, Noah's Ark is said to have had a garnet lantern to help navigate during the night. Garnet is also thought to promote successful business, encourage compassion and aid self-confidence. Garnet is said to have the ability to heal the blood and encourage good circulation.

Tsavorite is a trade name for the emerald-green variety of Garnet that originates in Africa. Tsavorite has become one of the most popular and expensive garnets due to its rarity. The gemstone was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. It was subsequently found in the same geological formation across the border in Kenya in 1970 near Tsavo National Park, a wildlife preserve in the African Serengeti, and given its name after the national park. Tsavorite was named by both Campbell Bridges, the discoverer of Tsavorite, and by Henry Platt, the president of Tiffany & Co. (one of the world's largest jewelry companies).

Tsavorite Garnet is thought to provide its wearer with strength, vitality and positivity. It is also believed to help the immune system, respiration, metabolism and detoxification. Due to its green color, traditional Hindu belief systems associate tsavorite with Anahata, or the heart chakra. This chakra relates to love, compassion, psychic healing and decision making. Thus tsavorite is thought to be helpful in calming the emotions. Tsavorite garnet is also an alternative birthstone for May, due to its green color.

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Iolite, often referred to as the "Viking's Compass," is a mesmerizing gemstone with a rich history and a strikingly captivating appearance. This gem, known for its deep blue to violet-blue hues, has long been cherished for its unique color-changing properties, which range from a sapphire-like blue under daylight to a purplish-blue or even a honey-yellow under incandescent light. Its name is derived from the Greek word "ios," meaning violet, emphasizing its enchanting violet-blue shades.

Iolite is more than just a beautiful gemstone; it also carries a sense of mystique and legend. Throughout history, it has been associated with navigation and has been believed to aid travelers in finding their way home. Its use as a navigational tool earned it the moniker "Viking's Compass," as it is said to have been used by Viking explorers to determine the position of the sun on overcast days.

Iolite is the gemstone for the twenty-first wedding anniversary, and scores 7.0 - 7.5 on Mohs scale of hardness.

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Our diamonds are lab grown, avoiding social and environmental impacts.

Lab-grown diamonds are atomically identical to mined diamonds. They are created in a lab, meaning that the origin of our diamonds is certain. Lab-grown diamonds offer the exact same clarity and quality as mined ones. The only difference is that they are created in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way. 

Lab-grown diamonds go by many different names: Aboveground Diamonds, Lab-Created Diamonds, Laboratory-Grown Diamonds, Man-Made Diamonds, Lab-Made Diamonds, and even Engineered Diamonds!

You can read more about our diamonds here.

Diamond is the birthstone of April.

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Moonstone is the popular name used for gem-quality feldspar that exhibits the phenomenon of adularescence. When light falls on the gemstone, it scatters in many directions, producing adularescence. This beautiful and intriguing adularescence that gives the gemstone’s surface a glowing appearance is what makes the moonstone so popular.

The name “Moonstone” was given because its appearance resembles the glow of the moon through a thin cloud cover. In fact, the most powerful time to wear the gemstone is during a full moon.

Sri Lanka is the world's most important source of fine-quality moonstone. Moonstone is also produced in significant quantities in Brazil, Myanmar and India.

The moonstone is the birthstone of June and is known for bringing good fortune. It enhances intuition, promotes fertility and brings success in love as well as business matters. Moonstone is a very personal stone. It is a reflection of the person who owns it. It does not add or detract, only shows how it is. This is why the moonstone is said to perceive that which "is". Moonstone is an excellent stone to use in meditation to understand oneself. It’s also a particularly good gemstone for women as women’s fertility cycles connect with the waxing and waning of the moon.

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Morganite is the pink to orange-pink variety of beryl, a mineral that includes emerald and aquamarine. Morganite ranges in color from pale pink to pink, violet-pink, peach, peachy-pink, or salmon color. Its color is thought to be owed to traces of manganese or cesium.

Morganite makes for a great alternative to diamonds when it comes to engagement rings, not only for its pretty-in-pink beauty, but because of its durability. In fact, it scores 7.5 to 8.0 on Mohs scale. That means, treated with care, a morganite ring can last you a lifetime.

Pink morganite was first identified in Madagascar, in 1910 and known as 'pink beryl'. Morganite was named in honor of J.P. Morgan, the American banker and philanthropist, by the New York Academy of Sciences. In fact, J.P. Morgan was an avid gemstone collector. George F. Kunz, the famous gemologist who headed the geological section of the Academy, said that Morgan was honored especially for his gift of several major gem collections to museums such as the American Museum of Natural History.

Morganite is a rare gemstone and it has been found in various locations in the world, including Madagascar, California in the USA, Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Its wide range of soft pinkish colors make it highly sought after by jewelers around the world. It is perfectly suitable for everyday wear, and it's is one of the most popular pink to peach gemstones.

Mythology says the stone brings compassion, assurance, healing, and promise — all things that make up a happy marriage. It is said to carry an energy that can warm the soul of its wearer. It is best used for opening the heart chakra and it is often used to help cleanse the body of stress and anxiety. All beryl gems, including morganite, represent purity and potential. Morganite is said to give women feelings of independence from men.

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Peridot, a vivid green gemstone, holds a special place in the gem world. It's a type of olivine mineral formed deep in the Earth's mantle and brought to the surface through volcanic activity. The color ranges from soft yellow-green to bright lime, thanks to its iron content.

Periodot is the birthstone August and is considered to be a symbol of strength, power, and protection. It is believed to bring good luck, success, and peace to the wearer.

Peridot's history is rich, with ancient Egyptians and even Cleopatra favoring it. Hawaiian legends link it to the tears of a volcano goddess. This gem is believed to promote harmony, protection, and luck while rejuvenating the mind and body.

It's popular in jewelry for its natural, earthy tones and can be cleaned with mild soapy water. Peridot's vibrant beauty and unique origins make it a gemstone of enduring charm.

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The ruby is the most valuable gemstone and its value increases based on its color and quality. The gemstone belongs to the corundum mineral family, which also includes sapphire. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby was called Ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.” Early cultures treasured rubies for their similarity to the redness of the blood that flowed through their veins, and believed that rubies held the power of life. Ruby retained its importance with the birth of the western world and became one of the most sought-after gems of European royals and upper class. Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. Rubies are mentioned four times in the Bible, in association with attributes like beauty and wisdom. Desire for ruby is just as great today as it always has been. As a symbol of passion, ruby makes an ideal romantic gift. People are drawn to the lush color because it also signifies wealth and success.

Ruby scores a 9 on Mohs scale, and thus has excellent toughness and does not break easily when struck. This makes it a great choice for rings subject to daily wear.

Ruby is the birthstone of July, and represent love, health and wisdom. It is believed that wearing a fine red ruby bestows good fortune on its owner. Aiding the emotions is the ruby's calling card, and the gemstone is also known to increase integrity, devotion, and happiness. Rubies are in fact considered to be one of the most powerful gemstones, packed with a fire that connects directly to the Root Chakra (the very base of your body's energy flow). If you are in need of more energy, this is the gemstone for you: It'll boost stamina in all aspects of your life. This includes the bedroom—rubies are believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac.

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Most jewelry customers think all sapphires are blue, but in fact sapphires come in a rainbow of colors from white, black, brown, gray, violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. Some sapphires exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light.

Sapphire scores a 9 on Mohs scale, and thus has excellent toughness and does not break easily when struck. This makes it a great choice for rings subject to daily wear.

For centuries, sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance. The world’s most famous engagement ring is Kate Middleton’s and Princess Diana’s blue sapphire, the "Royal Blue" - a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire from Sri Lanka.

Sapphire is the birthstone of September, and is the gemstone of creative expression and inner peace and meditation. Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue Sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm.

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Spinel has excellent durability (7,5 to 8 on Mohs scale) and is available in a brilliant range of colors (colorless, pink, red, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black).

In ancient times, Southeast Asia’s mines yielded exceptional large spinel crystals, which became the treasured property of kings and emperors, often passing through many hands as spoils of war. Red spinel has in fact long been mistaken for ruby by emperors and monarchs. Many of the famous “rubies” of history were actually spinels. One of the most famous examples is the so-called “Black Prince’s Ruby.” This historic gem is set in England’s Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London.

Spinel is the birthstone of August, together with the peridot. Spinel is believed to protect the owner from harm and soothe away sadness.

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Topaz has an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple. Colorless topaz is plentiful, and is often treated to give it a blue color. Topaz is also pleochroic, meaning that the gem can show different colors in different crystal directions. The gemstone has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it the hardest silicate mineral.

Topaz is the birthstone of November. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance people thought that topaz could break magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty, and intelligence.

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The tourmaline is highly sought after because it combines good hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) with excellent durability. It has one of the widest color ranges of any gem. Tourmaline’s colors have many different causes. It’s generally agreed that traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colors. Manganese produces reds and pinks, and possibly yellows. Some pink and yellow tourmalines might owe their hues to color centers caused by radiation, which can be natural or laboratory-induced.

The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “Turmali,” which was the name given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka back in the days. This all inclusive name indicates the inability of ancient gem dealers to differentiate tourmaline from other stones. In fact, at one time in history, pink and red tourmaline were thought to be rubies. Pink tourmaline tends to be pinker in color than ruby. However, their similarities in appearance are so strong that the stones in the Russian crown jewels believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be tourmalines. Tourmaline was in fact also confused with emerald for 300 years! The stone was first discovered by Dutch traders off the West Coast of Italy in the late 1600's or early 1700's.

Tourmaline is the birthstone of October, and is believed to reflect kindness, tolerance and femininity. Tourmalines are also believed to be useful in relaxing the body and the mind, and to help in the treatment of many different diseases such as anxiety, blood poisoning, arthritis, and heart disease.

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Zircon is a colorful gem with high refraction and fire that’s unfairly confused with cubic zirconia.

Zircon occurs in an array of colors. Its wide and varied palette of yellow, green, red, reddish brown, and blue hues makes it a favorite among collectors as well as informed consumers.

Zircon is a birthstone for the month of December, along with turquoise and tanzanite.

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