Birthstone for February: the Amethyst

Birthstone for February: the Amethyst

Added over 4 years ago

Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz (SiO2). The name originates from Greek and means “not intoxicated", a reference to the belief held by the ancient Greeks and Romans that the stone prevented drunkenness...

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World's Largest Blue Topaz Named After the Town of Marbella

World's Largest Blue Topaz Named After the Town of Marbella

Added over 6 years ago

The largest blue topaz to be found anywhere in the world, an exceptional 8,225-carat gemstone with breathtaking purity, colour and transparency, has been named after the town of Marbella in Spain...

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The Pearl

The Pearl

Added over 6 years ago

Pearls - the birthstone for June and the anniversary gem for the third and thirtieth wedding anniversaries.  Universally recognised as an emblem of modesty, chastity and purity, the  pearl has also come to symbolise a happy marriage and is the only gemstone formed inside an living creature.  Pictured is a luminous set of baroque pearl earrings and necklace, worn by Swarna

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The Birthstone for March - the Aquamarine

The Birthstone for March - the Aquamarine

Added over 7 years ago

Aquamarine is considered the birthstone for those born in the month of March or under the sign of Scorpio.

Pictured is a beautiful specimen of an aquamarine crystal occurring naturally with tourmaline in a deposit of quartz

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The Properties of Stones

The Properties of Stones

Added over 7 years ago

 A summary of the healing and metaphysical properties of all the major gemstones.

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The Yellow Topaz

The Yellow Topaz

Added over 7 years ago

Yellow topaz, also called "Imperial topaz" for its association with Eastern European royalty, is considered the birthstone for November or those born under the sign of Sagittarius (the alternative birthstone for November is the citrine).

Pictured here is a magnificent early Christian ornament in gold from Constantinople, featuring a square cut yellow topaz surrounded by garnets. Picture courtesy of Shakko

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The Opal

The Opal

Added over 7 years ago

Opal is considered the birthstone for those born in the month of October or under the sign of Libra.

A very much-misunderstood stone, renowned the world over for its fiery iridescence and flashes of magnificent colour, the beautiful precious opal is actually classified as a mineraloid gel, comprising tightly packed silica spheres and up to 20% water molecules. The famed opal fires are by causing the interference and diffraction of light as it passes through the silica spheres...

Pictured is a magnificent example of a black opal, the most highly prized of all opal colours. Picture courtesy of Ra'ike


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The Sapphire

The Sapphire

Added over 7 years ago

Possibly named after the Greek word "sapphiros", meaning blue (although all blue gemstones were called sapphiros at that time), sapphires were unknown in the west before the Roman Empire; however in the east, stones were mined in India and Sri Lanka from at least the 1st Century BC onwards...

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The Beauty of Amber

The Beauty of Amber

Added over 8 years ago

Arguably the first gemstone ever collected and worked by human beings, all amber is between 20 and 345 million years old, and can continue to change in colour and appearance even when cut and set into modern jewellery - no wonder it is called the "living stone" and loved by people the world over.  So how does amber form and where does it come from?

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The Story Of Coral

The Story Of Coral

Added over 8 years ago

While many people know of the red coral used in jewellery making, they would be surprised to learn that the term actually applies to at least 100,000 known species found throughout the world's seas, from the polar regions to equatorial reefs and at all depths from the intertidal zone to the bottoms of the deepest oceanic trenches - and scientists estimate that there may be another 900,000 species awaiting discovery...

Pictured is a beautiful coral and silver bracelet from Mexico.  The size of the coral pieces, dark areas and concentric growth rings clearly identify it as a species of bamboo coral, which has been dyed a deep red colour.

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