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Which Sapphire Sets off Your Skin Tone?

Which Sapphire Sets off Your Skin Tone?

It’s September which means that it’s the month of the beautiful sapphire. These sparkling gemstones are one of the three precious stones which have their base in the crystalline form of aluminum oxide: corundum. Rubies and padparadscha are corundum cousins of our typically blue, glittering sapphires which differ from their beautiful relations because of the very special inclusion of trace element, iron.
September 01, 2018 by SWCreations Jewelry
Jewelry Color of the Month: September Blue

Jewelry Color of the Month: September Blue

What is the jewelry color of the month for September? Although you might expect yellow or orange to match the beautiful fall foliage, September's hue is blue.

The September birthstone is sapphire. The most popular color for sapphire is blue, although it also comes in pink, yellow, brown, and other shades.

The Color of August Jewelry

The Color of August Jewelry

August is hot and humid, and what better way to cool off than a nice cool ice or a day at the beach?  The color of August?  The bright green of lime ices and peridot and the soft green of sea foam.

Don't Lick this Anklet

Though it looks good enough to eat, this anklet won't melt on your ankle.  This beautiful peridot crystal pearl mix anklet has the look of a lime ice, cool and green, thanks to the peridot Swarovski Austrian crystals.  With white Swarovski crystal-based pearls and silver, this anklet says August.

August 18, 2016 by SWCreations Jewelry
Legendary October Birthstones: Tourmaline and Opal Myths

Legendary October Birthstones: Tourmaline and Opal Myths

The October Birthstones,Tourmaline and Opal are set apart from other birthstones by their dazzling rainbow colors. Rubies, amethysts, emeralds; all of these stones have intense and gorgeous color, but none of them have the diversity of the October birthstones. Perhaps because of their unique coloration, opals and tourmalines are surrounded by myth, superstition, and folklore.
tourmaline birthstone jewelry

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a stone that can be found in every color of the rainbow, and is often found with multiple colors. According to one Egyptian legend, the tourmaline passed over a rainbow as it made its way up from the center of the earth, and took on all the colors for itself. Another legend states that magicians in the Andes mountains crafted magical staffs of tourmaline which contained ancient knowledge of the world.

Because of its mystical colors, common folklore surrounding the tourmaline includes its ability to cure depression, attract friends and lovers, and inspire creativity.

Opal

Because of its glittering and magical appearance, opals have garnered hundreds of legends and myths to explain their creation. Arabic legends tell of opals being born from flashes of lightning, the Greeks believed them to be the tears of Zeus, and in a legend of India the goddess of the rainbow was turned into the stone which became the opal. Australia, the homeland of the opal, has many legends of its own as well, one of the more famous stating that opals sprang from the earth at the touch of the Creator's footsteps. One aboriginal legend even credits the opal with the creation of fire; according to this story, a pelican came upon a field of glittering opals and, being curious, began to peck at them. As he pecked, the fiery stones sparked to life and a fire spread for the first time.

Opals were thought to ward off disease and protect the wearer from evil; in medieval times, blond woman even believed that the stones would preserve the color of their hair. 

Opals and tourmalines may not have magical powers, but one thing is for sure; these colorful stones are as unique as they are beautiful. October may be over, but these magnificent gemstones never go out of season. To find the best of opal or tourmaline jewelry, contact us.

 

Source:

Myths and Legends Behind Amethyst Birthstone Jewelry

Myths and Legends Behind Amethyst Birthstone Jewelry

Amethyst is an instantly recognizable purple quartz stone that is used for jewelry and healing purposes throughout the world. Ranging in shade from pale lavender to the deepest purple, the gem is prized for its beauty and properties and is the birthstone for the month of February. With these amazing properties, amethyst birthstone jewelry is an ideal gift for a beloved friend or family member -- or even for yourself.

Amethyst Origins

One of the earliest legends surrounding the amethyst comes to us from Ancient Greece and explains the origins of this highly regarded purple stone. In the story, Dionysius, the Greek god of wine and revelry was angered at a mortal woman, who failed to pay him the proper respect.

December Birthstone – The traditional birthstone for December

December Birthstone – The traditional birthstone for December

The zircon is a type of mineral that belongs to the family of nesosilicates. Zirconium silicate is the chemical name and Green, brown, red, golden yellow, and colorless are the natural color of Zircon. The Matura diamond are colorless minerals that has the gem quality and are very popular as a substitute for a diamond. They are not be confused with the cubic zirconia which is a synthetic mineral with a totally different chemical composition.
October 08, 2013 by Stephanie White
Sapphire—A Gem Fit for Royalty

Sapphire—A Gem Fit for Royalty

For centuries, sapphires have made their mark in the history of our world.  SWCreations Sapphire Birthstone ArticleUnderstandably so—they are beautiful and unique gemstones that come in many different varieties.  In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers recognized sapphire for its wonderful qualities and named it as the official birthstone for the month of September.  It is the designated gem given for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversaries and if a couple is blessed enough to make it to their 65th anniversary, the unique star sapphire is often given.

sapphire gemstones

The sapphire is actually a gemstone that belongs in the corundum family.  Corundum is a pure aluminum oxide mineral which is crystallized from extreme heat and pressure.  Since ancient times, Sri Lanka has been one of the largest producers of high quality sapphires, but it can be found on all continents including Burma (modern day Myanmar), South Africa, Canada, and the US.

The US has been mining sapphire since they were discovered in the gravels of the Missouri River in Lewis and Clark County, Montana in 1865.  Many other sources were soon to be discovered in Montana, followed by a discovery from the Cowee Valley in Macon County, North Carolina in 1895.

People in the US continue to mine them today, but mostly as more of a hobbyist venture than a serious business.  Tourists in North Carolina will often pay a fee to purchase buckets of gravel or to dig in designated areas in the hopes of finding sapphire or other precious gems.

The most popular color for sapphire is deep royal blue, but they can actually be found in almost all colors including pink, white, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown and even colorless.  Here are just a few different varieties:

  • Bi-colored Sapphire – a sapphire with more than one color
  • Cat’s Eye Sapphire – a sapphire exhibiting a “cat’s eye effect” where there is a thin band of light down the center of the stone.
  • Color Changing Sapphire – a rare sapphire that exhibits different colors in different light.  In natural light the sapphire is blue, but changes to violet in artificial light.
  • Fancy Sapphire – any sapphire other than blue
  • Padparadschah – the name for a rare orange-pink variety of sapphire
  • Verneuil Sapphire – a synthetic sapphire – grown in a laboratory
Historically, there have been many cases in which sapphires have made their appearance.  The Stuart Sapphire, which dates back to 1214, passed through the hands of many kings and eventually ended up adorning Queen Victoria’s State Crown.  In time it was replaced by another gem, and is now on display as part of the British Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London.
sapphire gemstone earrings
Another famous account occurred when the Russian Emperor Alexander II purchased a sapphire weighing 260.37 carats for his wife, the Empress Maria Alexandrovna.  This stone is now owned by the State Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation, where it is proudly shown at their museum in Gokhran, Russia.

Sapphire hasn’t been absent in modern times either.  Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford and Jean Harlowe all had sapphire engagement rings.  Perhaps the most famous account in today’s time occurred when Prince Charles gave Princess Diana an 18 carat engagement ring surrounded by 14 diamonds in an elegant cluster setting.

As with all gemstones that have been around since nearly the beginning of time, sapphire has its own folklore and legends associated with it.  It’s easy to understand why so many choose it for an engagement ring because it is associated with fidelity, compatibility, and mutual understanding.  Some of its powers are thought to include spiritual enlightenment, and the ability to heal rheumatism, colic, and mental illness. When gazing into a cool blue stone, one can easily understand how it brings peace of mind and serenity to its owner, while promoting a life of truth and sincerity.  The sapphire is truly a royal beauty.


Other Sapphire Sources:
June’s Birthstone: The Ethereal Pearl

June’s Birthstone: The Ethereal Pearl

Pearl is June’s birthstone, lending its ethereal beauty to the traditional month for weddings. Since ancient times, when the month was dedicated to the Roman Goddess of marriage, it has been considered good luck to take marriage vows beneath June’s sunny skies. Even today, one cannot imagine June without conjuring images of brides in lace and, of course, pearls.

July’s Birthstone: Ruby Passions

July’s birthstone is ruby. Given that July is a month dedicated to Julius Caesar—a dictator who died in a pool of his own blood--the red gemstone seems somehow appropriate. But then, July has always been a month for red hot passions, whether murderous rages or ardent love affairs. In that respect, with its own internal fire, ruby is the ideal birthstone for the hottest month of the year.

Because ruby represents such fiery human passions, it’s a common alternative to diamonruby birthstone gemstoned for engagement rings. This might also be because ruby is the red variety of corundum, an extremely durable mineral that scores a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, second only to diamonds. As a birthstone it rates highly because of this hardness and also because it doesn’t require special care.

Whereas diamonds and most other translucent gemstones are valued primarily for their clarity, color is the most important factor for rubies. This is because it’s nearly impossible to find a flawless ruby. Inclusions are the main way that experts can tell genuine rubies apart from synthetics or simulated rubies. So while rubies range from orange to purple, the richer the red, the more costly they are.

In truth, there is something of a special glow to the reddest of the red rubies. Since ancient times, ruby admirers have commented on the stone’s ability to cast fiery light. Chinese Emperors claimed they could light up banquet halls with rubies alone. These stories are certainly exaggerated, but may have originated from an actual scientific property of rubies called fluorescence. Under certain conditions, a ruby absorbs blue light, goes into an excited state, and emits radiation on the red end of the spectrum. This quality led scientists to choose rubies for the creation of the first lasers.

But before July’s birthstone was put to use in modern technology, ruby beaded jewelry was prized purely for its symbolic qualities. For thousands of years, rubies have been one of the most sought after gems on earth, and one of the rarest. Ruby was one of the twelve gemstones on the breastplate of Aaron in the bible and has always represented fire and blood. Moreover, royals believed that if held by its rightful owner, ruby beaded jewelry would change color to warn of danger. Most famously, Katherine of Aragon is said to have foreseen her fall from political grace when her ruby darkened.

Ancient Indians called ruby the “king of gemstones” and when a large ruby was found, a diplomatic envoy was sent to officially greet the stone as if it were a demi-god. Ruby beaded jewelry was also prized by warriors who thought it stimulated their courage and willingness to die for a cause they passionately believed in.

As you can see, rubies have never been associated with any of the soft and lofty emotions that other gemstones bring to mind. Ruby is not meant for cool tempers and tender sentiments. It is a July birthstone, after all, meant to be worn by moody Cancers and fiery Leos. Intensely red and passionately beautiful, July’s birthstone continues to blaze its way through history as one of our most cherished treasures.

Links:

Wikipedia on Rubies

International Colored Gemstone Organization on Rubies

 

August’s Birthstone: Peridot, the Evening Emerald

August’s Birthstone: Peridot, the Evening Emerald

august birthstone gemstone

August's birthstone is peridot, a yellow-green gemstone that glows like a firefly on a hot, lazy night. In color, peridot can range from olive to cat-eye green. And unlike cool emerald, with its pine-forest overtones, peridot calls to mind warmer climes. Reminiscent of lemon wedges, watermelon rinds and pistachio ice cream, peridot seems to capture all the memories of summer as of it fades.

Though peridot is one of the more obscure birthstone gems and hasn’t recently been in favor with fashionistas and gem connoisseurs, it was once one of the most prized gemstones in the world.  A very old gemstone, peridot is one of the twelve on the breastplate of Aaron in the Bible.  But somewhere along the way, peridot became so rare and unfamiliar that it was confused with other gemstones like emerald and green tourmaline. Only since modern science has been applied to gemology have some of the great gemstones in royal collections turned out to be peridot.

In spite of its exile from public consciousness, peridot has a rich history. Isiacs in Egypt believed that they could commune with their goddess by drinking out of peridot cups. The Egyptians also fashioned elaborate peridot beaded jewelry and called peridot the “stone of the sun.” Hawaiians believed that peridots they found on sandy beaches were the teardrops of their volcano goddess.

In terms of lore, peridot is strongly associated with nighttime, dreams and eloquence. Ancients believed it warded off anxiety and orators wore peridot beaded jewelry to grace their speeches with luck. Ancient mariners wore the stone to ward off nightmares.

Peridot clocks in at a respectable 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, making it harder than obsidian but not as hard as aquamarine. Still, it doesn’t scratch easily and requires next to no care, which makes it ideal for birthstone jewelry and everyday wear. As for the valuation of peridot, it depends upon the color. The purer and more vibrant the stone, the higher its value. Peridots tinged with brown, however, are considered less valuable.

The actual, as opposed to commercial, rarity of peridot is in some dispute.  For many years, peridot was found only on a desolate isle near Egypt, so rare as to make it fall out of fashion. However, lower quality peridot discoveries in Pakistan and even Arizona have flooded the market and put this gemstone into an accessible price range.

During August, at summer’s close, the nights are short and the darkness held at bay. So too did our ancestors believe peridot kept away night terrors with its cheerful glow. As such, August’s birthstone is a sentimental favorite--like catching a lightning bug in a jar and wearing it in remembrance all year.

Links:

International Colored Gem Association on Peridot

Wikipedia on Peridot

 

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