Articles about Jewelry
Different months of the year have long been represented by certain gemstones. These stones are known as birthstones. A birthstone is often supposed to bring good luck when worn by a person born in its month.
There have been many different sets of birthstones used throughout history and in different cultures. The tradition of birthstones arose from the Breastplate of Aaron in Biblical times. A ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel and also corresponded with the twelve sighs of the zodiac based on a colour system and the twelve months of the year. Color was thought to unleash the power attributed to the stone.
Garnets are most often seen in red, but are available in a wide variety of colors spanning the entire spectrum.
The name "garnet" comes from the Latin granatus "grain", possibly a reference to the Punica granatum "pomegranate" which has bright red, garnet-like seeds.
A number of gemstones sharing a similar cubic crystal structure and chemical composition make up the garnet family.
Six common varieties of garnet are recognized based on their chemical composition.
Pyrope (purplish red, orange red, crimson, or dark red),
Almandine (deep red, brownish red, brownish black or violet-red),
Spessartite (red, reddish orange, orange, yellow-brown, reddish brown, or blackish brown),
Grossular (varieties of which are hessonite- fine orange, cinnamon brown, or pinkish variety and tsavorite- fine dark green),
Andradite (black, yellow green, vivid green).
Pyrope and almandine are two most popular for jewelry. The blood–red color of the pyrope is due to its iron and chromium content.
Amethyst is the purple, lilac, and mauve gemstone variety and the most valuable of the quartz group. Amethysts were thought to induce a sober mind. The name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, which means “against drunkenness”.
The pale pinkish lavender or lilac shade colors are sometimes called "Rose de France". The most prized color is an intense violet with red flashes and is called "Siberian". Amethysts owe their color to the presence of iron. Rich source of good-quality crystals come from Russia’s Ural Mountains, Brazil, and Uruguay.
The seawater color of Aquamarine has given this gemstone its name. In the 19th century, sea-green varieties were the most popular, but blues are more valued today. Aquamarine is known as the sailor ‘s gem, ensuring safe passage across stormy seas.
Aquamarine is the blue, or aqua variety of the mineral beryl (Beryl is often unknown to the general public. Other gemstone color varieties that belong to beryl include emerald, morganite, and heliodor.). Aquamarine is a beryl with a hexagonal crystal structure and a chemical formula of Be3Al2Si6O18, a beryllium aluminium silicate mineral. Most gem aquamarines have been heat treated to produce the popular blue-green colors from less desirable yellow or pale stones.
Known as the king of gems, the diamond is the most precious of gemstones, famed both for its fiery brilliance and for being the hardest mineral on earth. Its name derives from the Greek word adamas, which means “invincible,” The Greeks thought that diamonds could protect against poisons.
Diamonds are form of carbon. They are sometimes found in conglomerate rock, which is a solidified mixture of pebbles and grains.
Diamonds can occur in nearly any colors. Traces of nitrogen give brown, yellow, green, and black stones. Colored diamonds contain impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, while pure or nearly pure diamonds are transparent and colorless.
Diamonds, symbols of love and fidelity, have been used in engagement rings since the 15th century.
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. The beautiful green shades of emerald derive from the presence of chromium and vanadium. It is highly prized as a gemstone and by weight is the most valuable gemstone in the world. Only the finest quality gemstones are transparent and flawless; most have tiny fractures or mineral inclusions.
Most emeralds are oiled as part of the post lapidary process to disguise these flaws and enhance the color.
Emeralds come in many shades of green and bluish green. There is a wide spectrum of clarity, along with various numbers of inclusions. Most emeralds are highly included, so it is quite rare to find an emerald with only minor inclusions.
Hundred of years ago, emerald were thought to possess healing powers, particularly for restoring eyesight.
Pearl has always been a valuable and divine jewel. They are softer than mineral gems and don't need to be cut and polished as they are naturally shiny.
Pearls fit into two categories: freshwater and saltwater. As their name implies, freshwater pearls are formed in freshwater mussels that live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. Saltwater pearls grow in oysters that live in the ocean.
The term “natural pearl” refers to a pearl that has formed as an accident nature and not by human intervention. Such pearls are rare and valuable.
Pearls have long been used medicinally. They were thought to cure everything from fevers to stomach ulcers.
Ruby is a deep, rich red, although the stone can appear in shades from pink to purple to brown, depending on the chemical content. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. The red color in ruby is caused by trace amounts of the element chromium. Rubies are second only to diamonds in term of hardness, which, along with the vibrancy of their color, makes them highly prized for jewelry.
Ruby is valued according to size, color, clarity and cut. All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions.
Rubbed on the skin, rubies were once thought to restore youth and vitality.
Traditionally ruby ring were given as a 40th –wedding-anniversary present.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in only one color. Peridot’s oily green color depends on its iron content. Peridot is the name given to gem-quality specimens of the mineral olivine. Olivine derives its name from its characteristic olive-green color, although it can also be bottle green or yellow green.
Peridot has been confused with many other gemstones, even emerald. Peridot is distinctly a different shade of green, many jewelers refer to peridot as "evening emerald", but with a hardness of 6.5, is much less durable.
According to Greek legend, vicious snakes lived on the island of Zebirget in the Red Sea, guarding the precious stone and killing anyone who dared to approach it.
In the Middle Ages, peridot was believed to dispel the darkness and terrors of the night.
Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum. The corundum group consists of pure aluminium oxide. The red variety of corundum is Ruby - all other colors are called sapphire. Sapphires come in a rang of yellows, pinks, and greens, as well as the better-known blue variety. Blue sapphire derive their color from mixtures of iron and traces of titanium, while green varieties are due to greater quantities of iron, and pink to presence of chromium.
At one time, sapphires were thought to exude heavenly rays that had the power to kill all poisonous creatures.
Opal is non-crystalline and is formed from a hardened silica gel. It is known for its rainbow iridescence.
Opal ranges from colorless through white, milky blue, gray, red, yellow, green, brown and black. Common opal is truly amorphous, but precious opal does have a structural element. Within Precious Opal, the variety used most often in jewelry, there are many organized pockets of the spheres. These pockets contain spheres of approximately equal size and have a regular concentration, or structure, of the spheres. This has the effect of diffracting light at various wavelengths, creating colors. Each pocket produces a different color, with a different intensity depending on the angle from which a viewer sees it.
Opal is found in fossilized shell, wood, and bone. The name “opal” is thought to come from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.”
The topaz occurs naturally in a range of different colors: white, gray, green, blue, pink or yellow and transparent and is also heat-treated to produce the more popular hues. When heated, yellow topaz often becomes reddish-pink.
Color is more important than size in determining the value of topaz. Pink, blue and honey-colored stones are the most sought.
The name “topaz” is thought to come from the Sanskrit tapas, meaning “fire” or derived from the Greek topazos, "to seek," which was the name of an island in the Red Sea from which a yellow stone was mined in ancient times.
Worn around the neck, topaz was thought to cure madness.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. First mined over 6000 years ago. The color of turquoise comes from the presence of copper and traces of iron that cause a greenish tint.
The name comes from a French word, which means stone of Turkey, from where Persian material passed on its way to Europe.
Turquoise has been devalued by the introduction of treatments, synthetics, and imitations, such as the mineral chrysocolla, and poorer turquoise specimens are often dyed or color stabilized with coatings of various resins. Heat, oils, cosmetics and perspiration affect the color of Real turquoise.
Turquoise has always been considered lucky, capable of safeguarding and bringing happiness.