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Gemstone Guide

Alexandrite

Alexandrite

Alexandrite is an exceedingly rare gemstone. In exceptional quality, this gemstone demands the highest price of all gemstones. It has a beautiful property of changing colors under different light sources from a purplish-red to bluish-green. The gemstone was discovered in the 1830s in Russia's Ural Mountains and was named after the Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Today the gemstone is found in Russia, Brazil, Zambia, Madagascar, Burma, India, and Sri Lanka. Alexandrite is one of the birthstones for June.

Amethyst

Amethyst

Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is a deep purple color. Amethyst is common and found throughout the world. Fine quality amethyst primarily comes from Brazil. The stone has been used for centuries with crystal healing. Today it is one of the more popular gemstones used in jewelry. Amethyst is the February birthstone.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a blue colored gemstone. The color of aquamarine ranges from pale blue to dark blue and sometimes bluish-green. The best quality aquamarine sources are in Brazil. It is also found in Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of the United States. Aquamarine is a birthstone for March.

Citrine

Citrine

Citrine is a yellow variety of quartz with colors ranging from light to dark yellow. Fine quality citrine is transparent while lower grades are translucent and used primarily for beads or cabochon cut stones. Natural citrine is exceedingly rare and found in small amounts in only a few places in the world. Russia, Spain, France, and Hungary are known for their natural citrine. Citrine one of the birthstones of November.

Diamond

Diamond

Diamond is one of the four prominent gemstones, or precious gemstones. Diamond is the hardest of all gemstones and is used extensively in jewelry today. The durability and beauty of a cut diamond makes it one of the most coveted stones. It was not until the late 1920s that diamonds became the norm for engagement rings. Early diamonds were used by royalty and many are found in museums. Diamond is April's birthstone.

Emerald

Emerald

Emerald is a rare green variety of beryl. It is one of the four precious gemstones and is much more limited than diamond. Emeralds have been prized because of their beauty for centuries, especially in ancient Egypt. The finest emeralds come from Columbia and South America, though today, African emeralds are quite popular in jewelry. Emerald is the birthstone of May.

Garnet

Garnet

Garnets range in color from brown to orange to bright green. Some of the varieties of garnets such as Demantoid and Rhodolite are expensive, while others often Brown and semi-transparent are inexpensive and used extensively. To the ancients, the stones represented prosperity and pleasure. Garnets are the birthstone for January.

Morganite

Morganite

Morganite is the pink variety of beryl. It is a relative of Emerald and aquamarine. The pink color of morganite is caused by minute quantities of manganese. It is named after J.P. Morgan, who was an avid collector. It is found in Madagascar, the United States, Brazil and various countries in Africa.

Opal

Opal

Opals are unique as they can display every color of the rainbow through what is called a play-of-color. Opals are formed as the product of rainfall, where dissolved silica flows deep in the group and settles between layers of sedimentary rock. In ancient times, Opals were known as the queen’s gem, as it displays colors of all other gems. Opal is one of the birthstones for June.

Pearl

Pearl

Pearls are a mineral formed organically in the living shelled mollusk. Pearls are composed of calcium carbonate with layers deposited on top of the irritation or introduced seed. Most pearls are cultured or farmed today, and natural pearls are scarce and expensive. Pearls range in color from iridescent, white, pink, cream, brown, and black. Natural pearls are unique in that they are created biologically by a mollusk, either freshwater or saltwater. Pearls are one of the birthstones for June.

Peridot

Peridot

Peridot is usually a greenish-yellow and is common in certain volcanic rocks. It will range from olive green to lime green colors. It has been mined in Egypt for thousands of years and can be found in many locations throughout the world. Peridot is the August birthstone.

Ruby

Ruby

Ruby is the red variety of corundum and is one of the hardest minerals on earth next to diamonds. It is one of the four precious gemstones and prized for its hardness, luster, and rarity. Large transparent rubies are extremely rare and more valuable than diamonds. Ruby is the birthstone for July.

Sapphire

Sapphire

Sapphire is from the mineral corundum and comes in every color except red. It is one of the four precious gemstones and is a durable hard stone that can be worn on any occasion. They are found throughout the world, but the deposits are extremely rare. Most sapphires come from Thailand, Burma, Africa and even some locations in the United States. Sapphire is September's birthstone.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is primarily found in blue or blue velvet. It was named after Tanzania, where it was first discovered. The stone can be quite fragile and should be worn cautiously. Tanzanite is found primarily in deposits in Tanzania but has recently been discovered in other locations in Africa. Tanzanite is the newest addition to the birthstone list for December.

Topaz

Topaz

Topaz comes in many colors which often have different related properties. It is a hard stone and has been used in jewelry for centuries. Most of the Topaz comes from Brazil but is also found in India, Russia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Italy and Japan. The exceptional qualities are called Imperial Topaz or precious Topaz. It is one of the birthstones for November.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a silicate mineral. It is found all over the world and comes in a variety of colors. Transparent vibrant colored tourmalines are still rare and considered valuable. The crystals can be large and beautiful. The most popular colors are green, red, pink and neon blue. It is an alternate birthstone for October.

Turquoise

Turquoise

Turquoise is an opaque greenish-blue gemstone and has been used for jewelry for thousands of years. It is found throughout the world and, in some parts, is mined as copper ore. Turquoise is found throughout the world with much of modern turquoise coming from the United States, South America and the Middle East. It is one of December’s Birthstones.

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