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Gemstones

Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst Gemstones During the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst holds the power to dispel evil thoughts and quicken one's intelligence. Purple is the color of royalty and of passion, and the provocative amethyst has been used by healers for centuries to increase their psychic abilities and intuition. Cross-culturally, this popular gemstone was used as a symbol of peace and unification. It is also thought to evoke feelings of serenity and calmness in those who wear it.AME

Non-Diamond Engagement Rings

In the past few years, non-diamond engagement rings have become increasingly more popular. Often times a man will purchase an engagement ring featuring a non-traditional stone or his future wife's birthstone in the main setting. There are a number of reasons for this, including cost considerations or the desire a more unique proposal.While these gemstones can look great and add dashes of color to a woman's style, many advise against non-diamond engagement rings. There are a number of reason

Abalone Shell Jewelry

Abalone Shell: swirling shades of the seaThe abalone shell has been coveted for centuries for its iridescent glimmer and natural decorative patterns. Early civilizations all around the globe showcased the shell for its ornamental beauty from the Native Americans of the United States to the Maori of New Zealand.The one-piece abalone shell, which is round or oval, sometimes resembles a flat ear shape, leading to abalone's nickname "ear-shell." There are about one hundred different abalone

Jasper Jewelry

Jasper: nature's patterns at playJasper's name means "spotted stone", referring to the gemstone's highly decorative, natural patterns. Jasper is a type of quartz mineral that contains a high percentage of organic material that determines its color and appearance. Jasper gemstones can be red, brown, green or yellow. The stone's patterns vary greatly as well, appearing as specks, bands, stripes, spots, flames, spheres or orbs. Sometimes jasper is called "landscape jasper" if the stone's pattern

Cubic Zirconia Jewelry

Cubic Zirconia: faux and fabulousCubic zirconia is a mineral, zirconium oxide, which is very rare in nature, but can be manmade to create a brilliant gemstone with all the fire of a diamond. In fact, only a trained eye can tell a real diamond from cubic zirconia!In the 1930s, German mineralogists discovered a naturally occurring cubic form of zirconium oxide (CZ for short), but there is no record of the mineral being found again.It wasn't until the 1970s when Soviet scientists, looking f

Rubellite Jewelry

Rubellite: the hue of romance The name rubellite comes from the Latin word "rubellus" meaning reddish. Rubellite is one of the most prized members of the tourmaline gemstone family, coming in a range of romantic shades from deep cranberry red to fuchsia pink. However, not all red and pink tourmalines are considered rubellites. A red or pink tourmaline can only be called a rubellite if the gemstone's color remains constant in different types of light. Many red and pink tourmalines r

Kunzite Jewelry

Kunzite: pretty in pinkPale has never looked so pretty! Kunzite gemstones are favored for their range of pastel shades — from delicate light pink to violet-purple or lilac. This relatively new gemstone was discovered in the Unites States around the turn of the century and was named after New York City jeweler George Frederick Kunz in 1902.Part of the allure of kunzite jewelry is the gemstone's ability to reveal three different colors when viewed from di

Calcite Jewelry

Calcite: Earthen RainbowThe mineral calcite is found sprinkled across the world and at practically every source you will find calcite in a different, dazzling color. Stemming from the Greek word chalix meaning "lime," calcite is found in nearly any hue of the rainbow, from red to yellow to violet to green. As diverse as calcite's color can be, so is its form. Calcite crystals occur naturally in an infinite variety of shapes, including the spiky stalactites and stalagmites found in caves, so ev

Labradorite Jewelry

Labradorite: Hidden Prism At first glance, the mineral labradorite glimmers with an alluring deep gray sheen; on closer inspection, one finds that labradorite shifts and dances with every color of visible light. The uniquely layered structure of labradorite results in a phenomenon geologists call "labradorescence," wherein light is reflected and separated into a whole host of colors. Thus, labradorite might appear blue from one angle and pink from another, a quality unique to this minera

Sodalite Jewelry

Sodalite: Blue of Sea, White of WavesWhen a large deposit of sodalite, which is named for its high sodium content, was discovered in Ontario, Canada in 1891, it became a popular choice to craft into ornaments and jewelry. Deep, deep blue and opaque, sodalite's appearance is similar to that of lapis lazuli. However, sodalite exchanges lapis lazuli's flecks of golden pyrite for veins of creamy white calcite. This combination of enchanting blues with streaks of bright whites results in a stone of

Cinnabar Jewelry

Cinnabar: lacquered & lovelyCinnabar is thought to come from the Persian word "zinjifrah" meaning dragon's blood, most likely referring to the gemstone's red shade.Cinnabar found in nature is a red mineral containing mercury. Early alchemists learned how to extract the mercury from cinnabar. Many were searching for ways to transform cinnabar into gold, while others were trying to find the secret to immortalization. Cinnabar was also used in ancient Mayan burial chambers and in Chinese carv

Malachite Jewelry

Malachite: variations of green add intrigueMalachite is one of the most ancient gemstones and was mined in Egypt as far back as 4,000 BC in the famous King Solomon's mines on the Red Sea. The mines were believed to be under the spiritual dominion of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of beauty, joy, love and motherhood. Ancient Egyptians thought malachite had strong therapeutic powers and would wear the stone in bracelets and necklaces to ward off danger and illness.Today, polished malachite is ofte

Tiger's Eye Jewelry

Tiger's Eye: a beautiful golden glowIt's almost impossible to resist gazing at tiger's eye the golden-brown gemstone that resembles the eye of a magnificent tiger. What makes tiger's eye even more intriguing is the stunning play of light and dark bands that flash across the stone's surface.Tiger's eye was rediscovered in South Africa in the early 1800s. Tiger's eye is actually quartz embedded with crocidolite fibers. These fibers display a phenomenon called chatoyancy thin parallel bands of l

Emerald Jewelry

Emerald Gemstones:The Jewels of the NileThousands of years ago, the earliest emerald were discovered in Egyptian mines dating back to 2000 B.C. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt had a large cadre of emeralds and other jewels, but it is said that she loved her emerald jewelry the best. As the precious gem associated with the goddess Venus, emerald is also commonly believed to aid in fertility. Even today, Hollywood trendsetters adorn themselves with this magnificent stone: Angelina Jolie wore

Opal Jewelry

Opal: a mysterious play of colorThe opal's iridescent luster has fascinated since ancient times. Swirling shades of the rainbow can all appear in one stone, like a kaleidoscope display. The word opal has origins in the Latin word "opalus", meaning stone of several elements, and in the Greek word "opallios", which translates as color change.There are many myths associated with the opal. In ancient Arabic times, it was believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning. Ancient Greeks

Garnet Jewelry

Garnet: The Luminous Guide of Noah's ArkAccording to legend, Garnet gives its wearer guidance in night travel, wards off depression and promotes long-lasting love. Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer through the dark night in his ark. Garnets are also found in jewelry from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one's safe travel and speedy homecoming. Far from being only a winter gem, the garnet

South Sea Pearls

South Sea Pearls: a rare and luxurious findThe most rare of all cultured pearls, the South Sea pearl is prized for its dramatic large size. This unique pearl is grown in the Pinctada Maxima oyster in the tropical waters of Australia as well as the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand. A fully-grown Pinctada Maxima shell can measure 12 inches.When first discovered in Australia, the Pinctada Maxima oyster was gathered by hand from the water and its shell was used for decorative purposes.

Ruby Jewelry

Ruby: an intense fiery glowWith its deep, rich red color, the ruby seems to bring feelings of romance, love and passion to life. Throughout history, the ruby has been one of the most prized gemstones, even preferred over diamonds. The ruby is mentioned in the bible several times, and in ancient Sanskrit writings, it is praised as the "king of precious gemstones." The glowing red stone has also been the gem of choice for royalty throughout the ages, receiving a place of honor in r

Rhodonite Jewelry

Rhodonite: pink with a punchRhodonite comes from the Greek word "rhodon" meaning rosy. Rhodonite's deep pink to mauve coloring is oftentimes intermixed with black and gray flecks that add to the stone's natural beauty.Rhodonite jewelry has been popular in Russia for centuries. The mineral, found in the Ural region, was one of the favorite gemstones of Russian nobility. A whole slab of rhodonite was used to create an elaborate tomb for the wife of Czar Alexander II. The tomb, polished by hand a

Mother-of-Pearl

Mother-of-Pearl: a moonlit shimmerMother-of-pearl is the iridescent lining found on the inside of some mollusk shells such as oysters, abalone, mussel and paua. Originally known as nacre, coming from the Arabic word "naqqarah" meaning shell, mother-of-pearl's lustrous beauty has been prized for thousands of years.Going as far back as 2400-2600 B.C., beautiful musical instruments with mother-of-pearl inlays were buried in the tombs of Sumerian royalty from ancient Mesopota
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