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Citrine and Topaz Decorate November Birthdays!


Through much of history, all yellow gems were considered topaz and all topaz was thought to be yellow. Topaz is actually available in many colors, and it’s likely not even related to the stones that first donned its name.

The name topaz derives from Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. Although the yellow stones famously mined there probably weren’t topaz, it soon became the name for most yellowish stones.

Pure topaz is colorless, but it can become tinted by impurities to take on any color of the rainbow. Precious topaz, ranging in color from brownish orange to yellow, is often mistaken for “smoky quartz” or “citrine quartz,” respectively—although quartz and topaz are unrelated minerals.

The most prized color is Imperial topaz, which features a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones. Blue topaz, although increasingly abundant in the market, very rarely occurs naturally and is often caused by irradiation treatment.

The largest producer of quality topaz is Brazil. Other sources include Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and the U.S., mainly California, Utah and New Hampshire.

Measuring 8 on the Mohs scale, topaz is a rather hard and durable gem. Its perfect cleavage can make it prone to chipping or cracking, but when cut correctly, topaz makes very wearable jewelry.

Topaz is a soothing stone that has been said to calm tempers, cure madness and eliminate nightmares.

November’s second birthstone, citrine, is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades.

The pale yellow color of citrine closely resembles topaz, which explains why November’s two birthstones have been so easily confused throughout history.

Citrine’s yellow hues are caused by traces of iron in quartz crystals. This occurs rarely in nature, so most citrine on the market is made by heat treating other varieties of quartz—usually the more common, less expensive purple amethyst and smoky quartz—to produce golden gems.

Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Different geographies yield different shades of citrine.

With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, citrine is relatively durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear—making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewelry.

Citrine is sometimes known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity.

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Opals and Tourmaline for October!

Beautiful Opals and Tourmaline for October!

Revered as a symbol of hope, fidelity, and purity, opal was dubbed the Queen of Gems by the ancient Romans because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Opal is prized for its unique play of color, the ability to diffract light into flashes of rainbow color.
Opal occurs in different colors, ranging from semi-transparent to opaque. The most common is white opal. Crystal or water opal has a colorless body. The most valued variety, black opal, has a dark blue, gray, or black body color. Boulder opal combines precious opal with the ironstone in which it forms. Bright yellow, orange, or red fire opal are quite different from the other varieties of opal. Their day-glo tones, which are translucent to transparent, are beautiful with or without play of color. Opal, along with tourmaline, is the birthstone for October and the suggested gift for the fourteenth anniversary.

For centuries tourmalines have adorned the jewels of royalty. The Empress Dowager Tz’u Hsi, the last empress of China, valued the rich pink colors above all other gemstones. The people of ancient Ceylon called tourmaline “turmali,” the Sinhalese word for “more colors.” Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.
Vivid reds, hot pinks, verdant greens and blues abound in this marvelous gem variety. Earth tones as varied as a prairie sunset are readily available. Not only does tourmaline occur in a spectacular range of colors, but it also combines those colors in a single gemstone called “bi-color” or “parti-color” tourmaline. One color combination with a pink center and a green outer rim is called “watermelon” tourmaline, and is cut in thin slices similar to its namesake.



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Sapphire is for September

Besides blue sapphire and ruby, the corundum family also includes so-called “fancy sapphires.” They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, or brown.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries.
The most highly valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium dark tones. Preferred sapphires also have strong to vivid color saturation. The saturation should be as strong as possible without darkening the color and compromising brightness.
Blue sapphires often have some inclusions. Blue sapphires with extremely high clarity are rare, and very valuable. Price can drop if the inclusions threaten the stone’s durability. Kashmir sapphires contain tiny inclusions that impart a desirable velvety appearance.
To achieve the best overall color, maintain the best proportions, and retain the most weight possible, cutters focus on factors like color zoning, pleochroism, and the lightness or darkness of a stone.
Blue sapphires can range in size anywhere from a few points to hundreds of carats, and large blue sapphires are more readily available than large rubies. However, most commercial-quality blue sapphires weigh less than 5.00 carats.

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August is for Peridot

The ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad, the source for many large fine peridots in the world’s museums. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Today this gem is still prized for its restful yellowish green hues and long history. Large strongly-colored, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewelry at all price points.
Peridot crystals are found in meteorites: some rare extraterrestrial crystals are even big enough to facet as cut gemstones.
Most gems are colored by impurities such as iron. Peridot’s color is intrinsically yellow-green. Higher-quality stones have an intense color.
Peridot has extremely high double refraction: when you look closely through the gem, you can see two of each pavilion facet.

Stop by Gemstone Jewelers today to see our most beautiful peridot birthstones and celebrate your August birthday!

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July’s Birthstone is Ruby


Believed to burn with an inextinguishable internal fire, ruby has historically signified great passion. This fiery red gemstone-the color of the heart-has always been associated with deep love. Also the color of blood, the ruby signifies great courage.

Ruby is also recognized as the traditional gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Historically, ruby was believed to attract and maintain love. Ruby is a popular gemstone choice for brides who want to express their individuality.

Ruby is recognized as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence, and bring success. The gem of gusto, ruby brings to light the electrifying personality of those who wear it.

The shades of red in which the ruby comes vary from purplish and bluish red to orangey red in medium to dark tones. Color is key when considering value. Prized colors are pure red with no overtones of brown or blue. Better qualities are usually free of inclusions. Ruby in sizes over 2 carats is rare. In its finest quality, any size is rare.

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Have a Happy 4th of July from Gemstone Jewelers!


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Happy Father’s Day from Gemstone Jewelers!

Happy Father’s Day from Gemstone Jewelers! Is he the myth, the man, or the legend? Mine is all three! Come on in to Gemstone Jewelers and check out our significant men’s collection. Pictured is our men’s 14kt nugget ring with amethyst and diamonds, our 14kt rope chain, and 14kt bracelet!

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Pearl, Moonstone, & Alexandrite – Our June Birthstones

Those born in June are lucky to choose from three birthstones: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite!

One of three birthstones for June is the pearl. Historically, pearl was believed to possess mystical and healing powers. Roman women slept with them under pillows to sweeten their dreams and ancient Asian cultures used pearls in medicinal ways. A June birthstone, pearl is a recognized gift for the 3rd and 30th wedding anniversaries. Pearls come in many shapes and colors, and are available in both saltwater and freshwater varieties. Five factors determine value: luster, orient, surface-cleanliness, shape, and size.

A second birthstone for June is the moonstone. Moonstones are believed to be captured moonbeams that reached earth, moonstone is considered a good luck gem, especially for lovers. A gift of moonstones is said to arouse love and passion. Moonstone also is credited for calming nerves, strengthening resolve and guarding against recklessness.

The third birthstone for June is alexandrite and is named after Alexander II, Czar of Russia. Alexandrite was discovered on his birthday in the early 1830’s. Because of this, alexandrite was considered a stroke of luck and worn as an amulet of good fortune. It is also the recognized gift for the 55th wedding anniversary. A rare form of the gem chrysoberyl, alexandrite changes color in different lighting. In daylight it is emerald green, blue-green, or pastel green. In incandescent light, it is violet, ruby red, or purple.

Pictured here is the very beautiful, eye-catching emerald cut lab alexandrite and diamonds set in 14kt yellow gold. Come visit us at Gemstone Jewelers to see this beauty in person!

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Emerald – Our May Birthstone

Emerald is the bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral that includes aquamarine. The most important quality factor for an emerald is the color, with bluish green to pure green being the most desirable. .
The emerald stone has always been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love, so it’s perfect for mothers! Emeralds represent wisdom, growth, and patience and are known for their many healing properties such as being an antidote to panic attacks, poison, and cures fever.

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Diamond – Our April Birthstone

The diamond has maintained its position throughout history as a perfect icon for love and marriage. Although colorless is the most common, diamond actually comes in a variety of colorful hues including yellow, pink, blue, green, brown and black.
April’s birthstone, diamond, is the favored gift for the 10th and 60th wedding anniversaries. Symbolizing lasting love and friendship, diamond was believed to inspire loyalty, rouse romance and encourage a joyful life. The gem of character and spirit, diamond radiates the dazzling personality of those who wear it.

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