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zircon

Gemstone :
Zircon

Birthstone Month :
Zircon is associated with the birthstone months of December and October.

Zodiac :
Zircon is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol :
ZrSiO4

Chemical Make-up :
Zircon is a Zirconium Silicon Oxide.

History & Lore :
The name Zircon is believed to of been derived from the Persian word 'zargun' which means “gold-colored”. Zircon is however a beautiful natural gemstone that can be found in various colors.

An interesting fact about Zircon is that geologists can determine how long a certain stone has existed by using modern analytical techniques. This is possible because Zircon crystals accumulate atoms of Uranium which decay to lead at a known rate. 
By measuring the relative abundance of the two types of Uranium and Lead in Zircon's chemical composition, scientists can then determine how old it is.

Zircon is so far the oldest mineral known to man, with the oldest specimens to date being found in Western Australia (4.404 billion years old), and Chile (4.6 billion years old).

Colorless Zircon specimens have long been a popular substitute for diamonds. This is because of Zircon's high refractive index, luster, and light dispersion. Today Zircon is often overlooked, probably due to its name being similar to the synthetic, man-made Cubic Zirconia, also a diamond substitute.

In the middle ages, Zircon was believed to aid sleep, promote honor, and to bring prosperity and wisdom to its wearer.

Availability :
Zircon is readily available at affordable prices. Natural blue colored Zircon is somewhat rare and because of this blue colored Zircon gemstones demand a premium.

Sources :
Zircon deposits occur worldwide. Noteworthy deposits include: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, India, Italy, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Norway, Russia (Ural Mountains), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.

Evaluation :
Zircon is rated at 7 to 7.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and though a hard and durable gemstone, Zircon should be worn and stored with care as it can abrade and facets can chip.

For many years, colorless Zircon was the most popular variety. This was due to it's striking resemblance to the Diamond. Today however blue Zircon is the most popular color. Blue Zircon is found in pastel blue and occasionally bright blue. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, yellow, golden-yellow, brown, and orange colors.

Zircon has a very high refractive index meaning it has the ability to strongly bend light, in fact, it is strikingly similar to that of the diamond, explaining why it has been a popular substitute. Zircon also has a beautiful luster and a high light dispersion that accounts for the stone's beautiful “fire”.

Zircon is found in both a low and a high variety. The two varieties are separated by their difference in refractive index and specific gravity. The “high type” naturally has a higher refractive index and specific gravity than the “low type”. The differencea are a result of the decay of Uranium and Thorium, elements that are naturally present in Zircon. The radioactive decay from the Uranium and Thorium causes the crystal structure of the low type to break down over millions of years. Fortunately, heat-treatment can reverse much of this deterioration and to convert low type into high type stones.

Common Cuts :
Zircon is most commonly and almost exclusively faceted into cuts that will allow the best brilliance and fire to be exhibited.

Routine Enhancements :
Zircon displaying a color that is not considered to be of gem quality is often heat-treated to produce a more desirable color. In general, brown crystals are most often used to produce (depending on the amount of heat applied), colorless, red, golden-yellow, and blue Zircons.

Care & Cleaning :
Zircon is a relatively hard gemstone, though it should be stored carefully because it can abrade and facets can chip. Zircon is best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush to remove any collected dust or grease. As with most gemstones, Zircon should be kept away from household chemicals and exposure to excessive heat as both can cause permanent damage to the stone.

Zircon jewelry should always be stored in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items to avoid chipping and scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 4:05:47 AM By System Administrator Comments Zircon ,
YellowTourmaline

Gemstone:
Yellow Tourmaline

Birthstone Month:
Tourmaline is one of the two gemstones associated with the month of October.

Zodiac:
Being one of the two accepted birthstones for the month of October, Tourmaline is one of the zodiac gemstones for Libra and Scorpio.

Chemical Symbol:
The general symbol for Tourmaline is (Na, Ca)(Li, Mg, Al)(Al, Fe, Mn)6(BO3)3(Si6O18)(OH)4

Chemical Make-up:
Tourmaline is made up of the complex Aluminum Borosilicate element, and depending upon the color of the gemstone, one or more of a number of metal ions, usually Iron, Magnesium and Lithium. Yellow Tourmaline owes its color to traces of Magnesium.

History & Lore:
The name Tourmaline is widely accepted as being derived from the Singhalese expression tura mali, which when translated means “stone of many or mixed colors”.

Tourmaline is often referred to as the rainbow gemstone, due to the huge amount of colors that it is available in. This was certainly believed by the ancient Egyptians who believed that when Tourmaline traveled from its home in the earth's core to the surface, it did so along a rainbow, which subsequently gifted the gemstone with all of the colors of the rainbow.

Tourmalines exhibit piezoelectricity and when these stones become warm they become electrically charged – positively at one end and negatively at the other, acting like a magnet and strong enough to attract small particles of dust or ash. It is for this reason that the Dutch of old used Tourmalines to clean their pipes!

As with most gemstones, ancient civilizations credited Tourmaline gems with magical and mystical powers, including having the power to guard against danger and misfortune. Tourmalines are said to have an especially strong influence over friendship and love, lending permanence and stability to both. Tourmaline gems help to amplify psychic ability / energy and are an excellent aid to increasing self-confidence and understanding. Tourmaline is believed to help assist with tranquil sleep, calm nerves, improve concentration and creative processes and to be an aid to curing cancer.

Yellow Tourmalines are believed to activate the solar plexus chakra which can in turn enhance personal power and intellectual pursuits. In addition to this, Yellow Tourmalines are said to bring heightened intelligence, creativity, initiative, and spiritual awareness.

Availability:
Yellow Tourmaline gemstones are highly sought after by collectors and are rarely used in commercial jewelry, not only because they are currently being mined in but one location, but also because only 10 percent of these mined stones are suitable for jewelry purposes. In addition to this, Yellow Tourmaline rarely occur in large sizes. It is estimated that after being cut, over 95 percent of the stones will weigh less then one carat.

Sources:
Yellow Tourmalines are currently being mined in Malawi, a country located south of East Africa.

Evaluation:
Tourmaline (regardless of variety) is rated at 7 – 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and as such is suitable for all jewelry uses and is considered durable enough to be worn everyday.

Found in an amazing variety, the sheer number of available Tourmaline colors is second to none and unmatched by any other gemstone. Tourmalines can be found in shades of blue, black, brown, colorless, green, orange, pink, red, yellow and other colors in varying shades and hues, varying from completely transparent to opaque. In addition to this there are also known occurrences of bi-color, tri-color, mulit-color and “Cat's Eye” Tourmalines, ensuring that the Tourmaline truly is a gemstone that is available in a color to suit all styles and tastes.

A Tourmaline gemstone viewed from different angles will result in differing color intensities being visible. The only one thing that you can be sure of is that the deepest coloration will always be shown along the stone's main axis. When selecting a Tourmaline, go with the color that you like but generally try to steer clear of any stone that is cut too dark.

Yellow was formerly the missing color that was needed to complete Tourmaline, the “Rainbow Gemstone”. Although yellow Tourmalines were being mined, most displayed a brownish tinge that greatly decreased their overall value and desirability. Then in the autumn of 2000, rumors surfaced that beautiful yellow Tourmalines had been discovered in Malawi, a country located south of East Africa. The rumors were in fact true, and bright yellow colored Tourmalines soon became offered in the market.

Yellow Tourmalines offer a pleasant lemon yellow color with an occasional fine greenish hue. The Malawi deposits will also occasionally have a brown undertone but will most often be removed through both the heat-treatment process and by the cutter. Another unique and interesting characteristic about Yellow Tourmalines is their fine scent. This scent is of course not natural and can't be enjoyed by the wearer but instead by the cutter who fashions the stone. This is because when Tourmalines are mined they are often found embedded in black material which will need to be removed before the stone can be cut. An owner of one Malawi mine discovered that the black material can be removed quite effortlessly by boiling the stones with a little lemon juice. Because of this interesting experiment, cutters can enjoy the fresh scent of these stones well fashioning them.

Common Cuts:
Owing to the fact that Tourmaline crystals are long and narrow in shape Tourmaline gems are most commonly, although not exclusively cut into square or rectangular stepped shapes.

Routine Enhancements:
Yellow Tourmalines are occasionally heat-treated in order to remove unwanted brown undertones and to remove “silk” (a form of natural imperfection / inclusion). Some colored Tourmalines actually transform into other Tourmalines (most commonly the Achroite Tourmaline variety), during this heating process.

Care & Cleaning:
Use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to clean Tourmaline. Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe. Never use chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid or ammonium fluoride to clean Tourmaline because it can erode the stone. Much like many gemstones, Tourmaline should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and light as this can cause permanent color change. Always keep your Yellow Tourmaline jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry, in order to avoid damage/scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 4:03:49 AM By System Administrator Comments Yellow Tourmaline,
YellowSapphire

Gemstone:
Yellow Sapphire

Birthstone Month:
Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September.

Zodiac:
Sapphire is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Taurus.

Chemical Symbol:
Al2O3 + Fe2+ & Ti4+

Chemical Make-up:
Sapphire is a form of Aluminium Oxide known as Corundum. Pure Corundum is in fact clear, and Yellow Corundum, or Yellow Sapphire, is made up of Corundum and traces of Ferric Oxide, which accounts for the yellow coloration.

History & Lore:
The name Corundum is believed to originate from either the Indian word kauruntaka, or the Sanskrit word kurivinda. Sapphire, the name for this particular type of Corundum is taken from the Latin word sapphirus, meaning “blue”.

It was the belief of the ancient Persians that the Earth actually rested on an enormous Sapphire and that the reflection from this Sapphire was what gave the sky its blue coloration. Sapphire has been the pre-eminent blue gemstone for centuries since.

Sapphire is a powerful stone that can take negative emotions and feelings and transform them into peace, love and joy. Sapphire is a very helpful gemstone, often used to treat skin and eye disorders, and to ward off infection. In addition to this, Sapphire has long been regarded as a symbol of constancy and sincerity. Sapphire bestows innocence, truth and good health, and has traditionally been a popular choice amongst Royalty, often having been used in Engagement Rings as an alternative to Diamonds.

Sapphire aids the wearer with opening the third-eye chakra, and is an aid to getting inside the subconscious mind, as well as being a gemstone said to attract divine favor.

Availability:
It is an extremely hard and a very expensive exercise trying to source natural Sapphires that have not been heat-treated as these gems are amongst the most valuable gemstones known today. However, thanks to modern gemstone enhancements and treatments, it is now possible to own wonderful, heat-treated natural Sapphires that are both available to meet demand, and priced at a level making this beautiful gemstone attainable / available to most people. Yellow Sapphires are virtually unknown to a vast majority of people, making it relatively inexpensive.

Sources:
Whilst today's main sources of Sapphire are Africa, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand and the United States (Montana, North Carolina), there are also known Sapphire deposits in Brazil, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam.

The highest quality and most desirable Sapphires are those that originate in India, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Sapphires from India and Myanmar (Burma), are highly prized for their pure blue colors and stones from these regions are priced accordingly, often at collectors prices, particularly if there is documentation available to prove the origin of the Sapphire. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Sapphires are sought after for both their delightful pastel blue and fancy colored variations.

Evaluation:
Sapphire is rated at 9 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and is second only to the Diamond in this regard. Sapphires therefore are perfectly suited to all jewelry purposes / uses and is a very hard-wearing, durable and versatile gemstone suitable for everyday wear.

When thinking of Sapphire, most people immediately think of, and prefer, a blue gemstone. Sapphire is however actually much more than just a blue gem and is found in various colors including, black, blues, browns, colorless, pink, orange, peach, purple, violet, white and yellow. Yellow Sapphires, often confused with Citrine, exhibit a stunning lemon yellow that lack any golden or orange tones. The most valuable are stones displaying a deep, pure yellow with a brilliance similar to that of a diamond.

When buying Sapphires, color, clarity and size are the main considerations and those that have the most effect upon overall worth. Pay particular attention to color - look for a stone that displays intense, uniform coloration with no overtones or secondary colors. The purer the color, the more valuable the Sapphire is considered.

Common Cuts:
Being an extremely hard gemstone that is very well-suited to jewelry purposes, Sapphires are cut into almost all of the known gemstone cuts, with Cushion, Emerald, Pear and Oval cuts being particularly popular.

Routine Enhancements:
Almost all Sapphires found on the market today have been heat-treated in order to intensify color and remove “silk”, small inclusions present in most natural Sapphires. This method of treatment is considered permanent and color should not fade over time.

Care & Cleaning:
Sapphires are a very tough, durable gemstone and can safely be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush, and can also safely be cleaned using most modern mechanical cleaners. Do however avoid subjecting Sapphires to prolonged exposure to strong heat or light sources, particularly with regard to heat-treated gems, as prolonged exposure may cause permanent changes in coloration.

Sep 3, 2015 4:01:34 AM By System Administrator Comments Yellow Sapphire,
WildHorseJasper

Gemstone:
Wild Horse Jasper

Birthstone Month:
Jasper is associated with the birthstone month of January.

Zodiac:
Jasper is associated with the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Leo.

Chemical Symbol:
SiO2

Chemical Make-up:
Jasper is a microcrystalline variety of Quartz, and a member of the Chalcedony family. It often contains organic material and iron oxides that account for its interesting patterns, bands, and colors.

History & Lore:
The name Jasper means “spotted stone”, and is ultimately derived from the Persian word 'yashp'.

The name Wild Horse Jasper is derived from the location in which it is mined, at the Wild Horse Canyon in Oregon

Jasper was a favorite gemstone of ancient times and can be traced back to Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Latin, and Assyrian literature.

Jasper is a protective stone and is said to align the chakras and balance the yin and yang energies. In legend, Jasper was believed to protect against evil spirits and forces, and was also believed to bring courage and relief from pain. It is also said to protect against venomous snake and spider bites.

Availability:
Wild Horse Jasper is readily available at affordable prices.

Sources:
Wild Horse Jasper is mined at the Wild Horse Canyon in Oregon.

Evaluation:
Jasper is rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and should be protected from scratches and sharp blows. Wild Horse Jasper is a member of the Picture Jasper family and is very rich in color combinations of grays, tans, and dark browns, which create stunning scenic landscape patterns much like that of Owyhee Jaspers and other Picture Jasper varieties.

The value of Wild Horse Jasper can be determined by the saturation and richness of the colors, the beauty of the exhibited landscape patterns, and the design in which it is formed.

Common Cuts:
Jasper has been used for sculptures, bowls, vases, seals, and other ornamentation purposes dating back thousands of years. As a gemstone, Wild Horse Jasper is most commonly found cut into cabochons and beads.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known enhancements for Wild Horse Jasper.

Care & Cleaning:
Jaspers are often sealed with petroleum products therefore they should not be cleaned with water because it can remove the coating / polish. It is best to clean your Jasper jewelry with a soft dry cloth. As with most gemstones, Jaspers should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and household chemicals that can damage the stone. Always keep your Jasper jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 3:59:39 AM By System Administrator Comments Wild Horse Jasper,
WhiteSpinel

Gemstone:
White Spinel

Birthstone Month:
Spinel is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac:
Spinel is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol:
MgAl2O4

Chemical Make-up:
Spinel is a Magnesium Aluminum Oxide or Magnesium Aluminate.

History & Lore:
It is not known for certain how the name Spinel originated. The most common suggestion is that it is derived from the Latin word 'spina' meaning thorn, a reference to its fiery color and the sharp pointed crystals that are found within some Spinels. Spinels were often referred to as 'balas rubies' in ancient times. 'Balas' or 'Balascia' is a territory in Northern Afghanistan now known as Badakshan, and is where Spinels may have originally been discovered. This area was an active gem-producing region in the Middle Ages, and large beautiful red to pink Spinels that were initially thought to be Rubies were discovered there. These Spinels were also considered the best Rubies of their time!

Many royal crown jewels thought to contain rubies that have actually turned out be Spinels. The Black Prince's Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown is a actually a 170 Carat red Spinel. The Timur Ruby that has the engraved names of the Mogul emperors on its face was once thought to be a Ruby as well. This magnificent 352 Carat stone is also in fact a red Spinel, and is now owned by Queen Elizabeth of England.

The most famous of White Spinels in recorded history is the Great White Spinel of Kandy, a city in central Sri Lanka (Ceylon). It's recorded weight was 71.25 Carat, and in 1803 it was set in gold, surrounded by Rubies, and was presented by Boldoc Swamie, the King of Kandy at that time, to a Major in Her majesty's regiments. Due to misbehavior, the aforementioned Major was later court-martialled and kicked out of the army, leaving him with no income to support his wife and children. He therefore sold the Great White Spinel and it disappeared for almost a century. It reappeared again in the nineteenth century at an auction at the French Court. However, the sale did not go through and to this day this great stone has yet to have been re-discovered. In today's gem marketplace, the Great White Spinel has an estimated value in excess of US$1,000,000.

Spinels are associated with love, and help the wearer to put their ego aside, and become devoted to another person. The Spinel also encourages passion and is said to increase the duration of one's life.

Availability:
Spinel is relatively unknown to the common consumer, nor has it been marketed by any of the major gem companies. Because of its rarity, if demand was to rise sharply, demand would soon outstrip supply.

Sources:
Myanmar (Burma) supplies the finest quality Spinels. There are also known Spinel deposits in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Italy, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Sweden, Tajikistan (part of the former U.S.S.R), Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam.

Evaluation:
Spinels are rated at 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and are a durable stone that lacks cleavage, making it ideal for all jewelry purposes and well-suited for every day wear. Spinel can be found in an assortment of colors including red, yellow, brown, pink, rose, orange, blue, green, violet, purple, black, and white (colorless). White Spinel is extremely rare and unfortunately has developed an misunderstood reputation , which is due to synthetic White Spinels that appeared on the market years ago. These synthetic Spinels, used as a Diamond substitute, had a poor hardness and often appeared badly scratched and worn. Natural White Spinels are in fact beautiful and durable gemstones.

Top quality stones should be deep and rich in color, eye-clean, and without any traces of secondary brown colors. Spinels are a favorite of gem connoisseurs and gem collectors due to their brilliance, hardness, and wide range of beautiful colors. Although Spinel gemstones are a rarity, Spinel makes a beautiful stone for almost any jewelry purpose.

Common Cuts:
Spinel is a durable stone that lacks cleavage and for this reason it is suitable for all jewelry purposes. It is most often found in oval, round, and cushion cuts and owing to its rarity cannot currently be found in calibrated sizes.

Routine Enhancements:
White Spinels have often been synthetically produced for low-quality jewelry purposes and as a Diamond substitute.

Care & Cleaning:
Spinel is a very durable stone that lacks cleavage making it difficult to chip and scratch. Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are generally considered safe, but they should be used with caution. Avoid household chemicals and prolonged exposure to excessive heat, as this can permanently alter coloration or damage the stone. Spinel can also be cleaned in warm soapy water with a soft brush to remove lingering grease and dirt. Always store your Spinel jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items so as to avoid damage / scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 3:57:12 AM By System Administrator Comments White Spinel,
WhiteSapphire

Gemstone:
White Sapphire

Birthstone Month:
Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September.

Zodiac:
Sapphire is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Taurus.

Chemical Symbol:
Al2O3 + Fe2+ & Ti4+

Chemical Make-up:
Sapphire is a form of Aluminium Oxide known as Corundum. White Sapphires are the purest form of Corundum because they contain none of the trace elements that cause coloration.

History & Lore:
The name Corundum is believed to originate from either the Indian word kauruntaka, or the Sanskrit word kurivinda. Sapphire, the name for this particular type of Corundum is taken from the Latin word sapphirus, meaning “blue”.

It was the belief of the ancient Persians that the Earth actually rested on an enormous Sapphire and that the reflection from this Sapphire was what gave the sky its blue coloration. Sapphire has been the pre-eminent blue gemstone for centuries since.

Sapphire is a powerful stone that can take negative emotions and feelings and transform them into peace, love and joy. Sapphire is a very helpful gemstone, often used to treat skin and eye disorders, and to ward off infection. In addition to this, Sapphire has long been regarded as a symbol of constancy and sincerity. Sapphire bestows innocence, truth and good health, and has traditionally been a popular choice amongst Royalty, often having been used in Engagement Rings as an alternative to Diamonds.

Sapphire aids the wearer with opening the third-eye chakra, and is an aid to getting inside the sub-conscious mind, as well as being a gemstone said to attract divine favor.

Availability:
It is an extremely hard and a very expensive exercise trying to source natural Sapphires that have not been heat-treated as these gems are amongst the most valuable gemstones known today. However, thanks to modern gemstone enhancements and treatments, it is now possible to own wonderful, heat-treated natural Sapphires that are both available to meet demand, and priced at a level making this beautiful gemstone attainable / available to most people. Being that coloration is such an important value aspect when evaluating Sapphires, White Sapphires are generally not in high demand.

Sources:
Whilst today's main sources of Sapphire are Africa, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand and the United States (Montana, North Carolina), there are also known Sapphire deposits in Brazil, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam.

The highest quality and most desirable Sapphires are those that originate in India, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Sapphires from India and Myanmar (Burma), are highly prized for their pure blue colors and stones from these regions are priced accordingly, often at collectors prices, particularly if there is documentation available to prove the origin of the Sapphire. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Sapphires are sought after for both their delightful pastel blue and fancy colored variations.

Evaluation:
Sapphire is rated at 9 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and is second only to the Diamond in this regard. Sapphires therefore are perfectly suited to all jewelry purposes / uses and is a very hard-wearing, durable and versatile gemstone suitable for everyday wear.

When thinking of Sapphire, most people immediately think of, and prefer, a blue gemstone. Sapphire is however actually much more than just a blue gem and is found in various colors including, black, blues, browns, colorless, pink, orange, peach, purple, violet, yellow and white. White Sapphires, or more appropriately named Colorless Sapphire, make an excellent diamond substitute as it is an extremely brilliant gemstone and second only to Diamond in hardness. When buying White Sapphires, brilliance, clarity, and size are the main considerations and those that have the most effect upon overall worth.

Common Cuts:
Being an extremely hard gemstone that is very well-suited to jewelry purposes, Sapphires are cut into almost all of the known gemstone cuts, with Cushion, Emerald, Pear and Oval cuts being particularly popular.

Routine Enhancements:
Almost all Sapphires found on the market today have been heat-treated in order to intensify color and remove “silk”, small inclusions present in most natural Sapphires. This method of treatment is considered permanent and color should not fade over time. Many White Sapphires are illegally diffused with a blue coating and sold as Blue Sapphires.

Care & Cleaning:
Sapphires are a very tough, durable gemstone and can safely be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush, and can also safely be cleaned using most modern mechanical cleaners. Do however avoid subjecting Sapphires to prolonged exposure to strong heat or light sources, particularly with regard to heat-treated gems, as prolonged exposure may cause permanent changes in coloration.

Sep 3, 2015 3:55:12 AM By System Administrator Comments White Sapphire,
WatermelonTourmaline

Gemstone:
Watermelon Tourmaline

Birthstone Month:
Tourmaline is one of the two gemstones associated with the month of October.

Zodiac:
Being one of the two accepted birthstones for the month of October, Tourmaline is one of the zodiac gemstones for Libra and Scorpio.

Chemical Symbol:
The general symbol for Tourmaline is (Na, Ca)(Li, Mg, Al)(Al, Fe, Mn)6(BO3)3(Si6O18)(OH)4

Chemical Make-up:
Tourmaline is made up of the complex Aluminum Borosilicate element, and depending upon the color of the gemstone, one or more of a number of metal ions, usually Iron, Magnesium and Lithium.

History & Lore:
The name Tourmaline is widely accepted as being derived from the Singhalese expression tura mali, which when translated means “stone of many or mixed colors”.

Tourmaline is often referred to as the rainbow gemstone, due to the huge amount of colors that it is available in. This was certainly believed by the ancient Egyptians who believed that when Tourmaline traveled from its home in the earth's core to the surface, it did so along a rainbow, which subsequently gifted the gemstone with all of the colors of the rainbow.

Tourmalines exhibit piezoelectricity and when these stones become warm they become electrically charged – positively at one end and negatively at the other, acting like a magnet and strong enough to attract small particles of dust or ash. It is for this reason that the Dutch of old used Tourmalines to clean their pipes!

As with most gemstones, ancient civilizations credited Tourmaline gems with magical and mystical powers, including having the power to guard against danger and misfortune. Tourmalines are said to have an especially strong influence over friendship and love, lending permanence and stability to both. Tourmaline gems help to amplify psychic ability / energy and are an excellent aid to increasing self-confidence and understanding. Tourmaline is believed to help assist with tranquil sleep, calm nerves, improve concentration and creative processes and to be an aid to curing cancer.

Watermelon Tourmalines believed to be particularly effective in helping one recover from emotional problems. It is also believed to have the combined metaphysical properties of both Green and Pink Tourmaline.

It is believed that Green Tourmaline is particularly useful with energizing and rejuvenating the wearer, which can stimulate creativity and bring success and prosperity.

Pink Tourmaline is believed to represent harmony, joy of life, and lust. It vibrates the heart chakra allowing the wearer to open themselves to many levels of love. It is also believed to inspire spirituality and creativity well enhancing the one's willpower.

Availability:
Watermelon Tourmaline is a unique gemstone highly valued by collectors. The vast majority of the stones mined tend to be heavily included, with the clean gems being much more rare and naturally more expensive.

Sources:
There are known Tourmaline deposits throughout the world including, Afghanistan, Africa, Brazil, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Pakistan, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (California, Connecticut, Maine and Utah). The majority of Watermelon Tourmalines on the market today are mined in Newry, Maine by the Plumbago Mining Corporation®.

Evaluation:
Tourmaline (regardless of variety) is rated at 7 – 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and as such is suitable for all jewelry uses and is considered durable enough to be worn everyday.

Found in an amazing variety, the sheer number of available Tourmaline colors is second to none and unmatched by any other gemstone. Tourmalines can be found in shades of blue, black, brown, colorless, green, orange, pink, red, yellow and other colors in varying shades and hues, varying from completely transparent to opaque. In addition to this there are also known occurrences of bi-color, tri-color, multi-color and “Cat's Eye” Tourmalines, ensuring that the Tourmaline truly is a gemstone that is available in a color to suit all styles and tastes.

A Tourmaline gemstone viewed from different angles will result in differing color intensities being visible. The only one thing that you can be sure of is that the deepest coloration will always be shown along the stone's main axis. When selecting a Tourmaline, go with the color that you like but generally try to steer clear of any stone that is cut too dark.

Watermelon Tourmalines are bi-colored stones with a green border enveloping a red center and often obscure or heavily included. Eye-clean stones are one-of-a-kind and are highly sought after by gem collectors and connoisseur.

Watermelon Tourmalines are presently enjoying strong demand, but for the moment pricing remains reasonable. When considering buying a Watermelon or any other Bi-color Tourmaline for that matter, pay particular attention to color separation and be sure to select a stone that does not suffer from numerous heavy inclusions as these will have a detrimental effect on the overall worth of the gemstone.

Common Cuts:
Owing to the fact that Tourmaline crystals are long and narrow in shape Tourmaline gems are most commonly, although not exclusively cut into square or rectangular stepped shapes. Watermelon Tourmalines are often cut into thin slices similar to its namesake.

Routine Enhancements:
Watermelon Tourmalines are occasionally heat-treated in order to lighten colors and to remove “silk” (a form of natural imperfection / inclusion).

Care & Cleaning:
Use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to clean Tourmaline. Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe. Never use chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid or ammonium fluoride to clean Tourmaline because it can erode the stone. Much like many gemstones, Tourmaline should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and light as this can cause permanent color change. Always keep your Watermelon Tourmaline jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry, in order to avoid damage / scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 3:53:08 AM By System Administrator Comments Watermelon Tourmaline,
VioletSpinel

Gemstone:
Violet Spinel

Birthstone Month:
Spinel is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac:
Spinel is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol:
MgAl2O4

Chemical Make-up:
Spinel is a Magnesium Aluminum Oxide or Magnesium Aluminate. Violet Spinel is colored by traces of Manganese.

History & Lore:
It is not known for certain how the name Spinel originated. The most common suggestion is that it is derived from the Latin word 'spina' meaning thorn, a reference to its fiery color and the sharp pointed crystals that are found within some Spinels. Spinels were often referred to as 'balas rubies' in ancient times. 'Balas' or 'Balascia' is a territory in Northern Afghanistan now known as Badakshan, and is where Spinels may have originally been discovered. This area was an active gem-producing region in the Middle Ages, and large beautiful red to pink Spinels that were initially thought to be Rubies were discovered there. These Spinels were also considered the best Rubies of their time!

Many royal crown jewels thought to contain rubies that have actually turned out be Spinels. The Black Prince's Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown is a actually a 170 Carat red Spinel. The Timur Ruby that has the engraved names of the Mogul emperors on its face was once thought to be a Ruby as well. This magnificent 352 Carat stone is also in fact a red Spinel, and is now owned by Queen Elizabeth of England.

Spinels are associated with love, and help the wearer to put their ego aside, and become devoted to another person. The Spinel also encourages passion and is said to increase the duration of one's life.

Availability:
Spinel is relatively unknown to the common consumer, nor has it been marketed by any of the major gem companies. Because of its rarity, if demand was to rise sharply, demand would soon outstrip supply.

Sources:
Some of the finest quality Violet Spinels are sourced from Sri Lanka (Ceylon). There are also known Spinel deposits in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Italy, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Sweden, Tajikistan (part of the former U.S.S.R), Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam.

Evaluation:
Spinels are rated at 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and are a durable stone that lacks cleavage, making it ideal for all jewelry purposes and well-suited for every day wear. Spinel can be found in an assortment of colors including red, yellow, brown, pink, rose, orange, blue, green, violet, purple, black, and white (colorless).

Top quality stones should be deep and rich in color, eye-clean, and without any traces of secondary brown colors. Spinels are a favorite of gem connoisseurs and gem collectors due to their brilliance, hardness, and wide range of beautiful colors. Although Spinel gemstones are a rarity, Spinel makes a beautiful stone for almost any jewelry purpose.

Common Cuts:
Spinel is a durable stone that lacks cleavage and for this reason it is suitable for all jewelry purposes. It is most often found in oval, round, and cushion cuts and owing to its rarity cannot currently be found in calibrated sizes.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known enhancements for Violet Spinel.

Care & Cleaning:
Spinel is a very durable stone that lacks cleavage making it difficult to chip and scratch. Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are generally considered safe, but they should be used with caution. Avoid household chemicals and prolonged exposure to excessive heat, as this can permanently alter coloration or damage the stone. Spinel can also be cleaned in warm soapy water with a soft brush to remove lingering grease and dirt. Always store your Spinel jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items so as to avoid damage / scratching.

Sep 3, 2015 3:50:17 AM By System Administrator Comments Violet Spinel,
VioletSapphire

Gemstone:
Violet Sapphire

Birthstone Month:
Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September.

Zodiac:
Sapphire is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Taurus.

Chemical Symbol:
Al2O3 + Fe2+ & Ti4+

Chemical Make-up:
Sapphire is a form of Aluminium Oxide known as Corundum.

History & Lore:
The name Corundum is believed to originate from either the Indian word kauruntaka, or the Sanskrit word kurivinda. Sapphire, the name for this particular type of Corundum is taken from the Latin word sapphirus, meaning “blue”.

It was the belief of the ancient Persians that the Earth actually rested on an enormous Sapphire and that the reflection from this Sapphire was what gave the sky its blue coloration. Sapphire has been the pre-eminent blue gemstone for centuries since.

Sapphire is a powerful stone that can take negative emotions and feelings and transform them into peace, love and joy. Sapphire is a very helpful gemstone, often used to treat skin and eye disorders, and to ward off infection. In addition to this, Sapphire has long been regarded as a symbol of constancy and sincerity. Sapphire bestows innocence, truth and good health, and has traditionally been a popular choice amongst Royalty, often having been used in Engagement Rings as an alternative to Diamonds.

Sapphire aids the wearer with opening the third-eye chakra, and is an aid to getting inside the sub-conscious mind, as well as being a gemstone said to attract divine favor.

Availability:
It is an extremely hard and a very expensive exercise trying to source natural Sapphires that have not been heat-treated as these gems are amongst the most valuable gemstones known today. However, thanks to modern gemstone enhancements and treatments, it is now possible to own wonderful, heat-treated natural Sapphires that are both available to meet demand, and priced at a level making this beautiful gemstone attainable / available to most people.

Sources:
Whilst today's main sources of Sapphire are Africa, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand and the United States (Montana, North Carolina), there are also known Sapphire deposits in Brazil, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam.

The highest quality and most desirable Sapphires are those that originate in India, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Sapphires from India and Myanmar (Burma), are highly prized for their pure blue colors and stones from these regions are priced accordingly, often at collectors prices, particularly if there is documentation available to prove the origin of the Sapphire. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Sapphires are sought after for both their delightful pastel blue and fancy colored variations.

Evaluation:
Sapphire is rated at 9 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and is second only to the Diamond in this regard. Sapphires therefore are perfectly suited to all jewelry purposes / uses and is a very hard-wearing, durable and versatile gemstone suitable for everyday wear.

When thinking of Sapphire, most people immediately think of, and prefer, a blue gemstone. Sapphire is however actually much more than just a blue gem and is found in various colors including, black, blues, browns, colorless, pink, orange, peach, purple, violet, white and yellow. Violet Sapphire closely resembles fine Amethyst, with a somewhat redder tone. Some Violet Sapphires may have color changing tendencies, changing to blue in daylight.

When buying Sapphires, color, clarity and size are the main considerations and those that have the most effect upon overall worth. Pay particular attention to color - look for a stone that displays intense, uniform coloration with no overtones or secondary colors. The purer the color, the more valuable the Sapphire is considered.

Common Cuts:
Being an extremely hard gemstone that is very well-suited to jewelry purposes, Sapphires are cut into almost all of the known gemstone cuts, with Cushion, Emerald, Pear and Oval cuts being particularly popular.

Routine Enhancements:
Almost all Sapphires found on the market today have been heat-treated in order to intensify color and remove “silk”, small inclusions present in most natural Sapphires. This method of treatment is considered permanent and color should not fade over time.

Care & Cleaning:
Sapphires are a very tough, durable gemstone and can safely be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush, and can also safely be cleaned using most modern mechanical cleaners. Do however avoid subjecting Sapphires to prolonged exposure to strong heat or light sources, particularly with regard to heat-treated gems, as prolonged exposure may cause permanent changes in coloration.

Sep 3, 2015 3:47:51 AM By System Administrator Comments Violet Sapphire,
UmbaliteGarnet

Gemstone:
Umbalite Garnet

Birthstone Month:
Garnet is associated with the month of January.

Zodiac:
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign Aquarius.

Chemical Symbol:
Mg3Al2(SiO4)3

Chemical Make-up:
Umbalite Garnet has a chemical composition containing a mixture of Pyrope and Almandite, and traces of Spessartite.

History & Lore:
The name Garnet comes from the Latin word granatium which means “pomegranate”. Many believe that Garnet was likened to the the pomegranate because its coloration is similar to that of the seeds of the fruit.

The name Umbalite is derived from the location in which it was discovered, Tanzania's Umba Valley in 1978.

It is believed that Noah used a huge Garnet to illuminate the night to help steer his ark to safety. Garnets have also been used by many explorers and travelers as it is believed to protect the wearer when journeying far from home.
Garnets have also been set in shields, armor, and buckles by crusaders for it is believed that it gives protection from wounds & stops bleeding. Many native tribes from North, Central, and South America wore Garnets to ward off evil influences and spirits.

The Hunzas used Garnet bullets to fend off the British troops during their quarrel of 1982, believing that it was stronger and more deadly then lead.

Garnet is said to be the stone of romantic love and passion, enhancing sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy. It is said to awaken creativity, positive energy, and self-confidence, and can bring success to one's career or business. Garnets have been thought to treat infectious diseases, blood poisoning, and heart and lung diseases. It is also a protective stone which is effective for protection from evil and nightmares and one that can be used for spiritual healing. Whilst Garnet is primarily associated with the root chakra, it is also effective at opening other chakras, depending upon the color of the stone in question.

Availability:
Umbalite Garnet is extremely rare and production of this unusual gem has been irregular. It is highly sought-after by gem connoisseurs.

Sources:
The sole source of Umbalite Garnet is Tanzania's Umba Valley.

Evaluation:
Umbalite Garnet is rated at 7 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. The Garnet is a popular gemstone choice the world over because it is a natural, untreated gemstone that is generally affordable.

Umbalite Garnet is closely related to Rhodolite Garnet as it is a combination of Pyrope and Almandite, with small traces of Spessartite. The major difference between these two Garnets is that Umbalite is a lighter pinkish-purple due to the Spessartite traces. The saturation and color differences are particularly noticeable in smaller sized stones. Larger stones, like in all Garnets, tend to get darker as the size increases, making it more difficult to notice the difference with the untrained, unaided eye. Umbalite Garnet also has a high refraction of light that allows exceptional brilliance and fire.

The most desirable and sought-after stones are those that display a well-balanced and saturated color. Clarity and carat weight are also both important factors when evaluating Umbalite Garnet and lastly, it is very important to consider well-cut stones as this will ensure that the maximum amount of brilliance is displayed by the gem.

Common Cuts:
Umbalite Garnet is usually cut into the shape / cut that will show the least amount of color darkness. The shapes most effective for doing this are Cabochons, Cushion, Oval and Round.

Routine Enhancements:
There are no known treatments for Umbalite Garnet.

Care & Cleaning:
A Garnet can be cleaned using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for most Garnets but not for all, so should be used with caution. Garnet should be kept away from chemicals that will cause it to erode such as hydrofluoric acid. Garnet should also be kept away from drastic temperature changes as this may cause fracturing.

Always store your Umbalite Garnet jewelry in a fabric-lined box, away from other jewelry in order to avoid scratching / damage.

Sep 3, 2015 3:44:09 AM By System Administrator Comments Umbalite Garnet,
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