Tag Archives: Birthstone

Citrine or Topaz – November Birthstone

Once again, we find that there are two gemstones identified as being associated with November birthdays. The November birthstone twins include the warm colour of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and it’s believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz colour but it is found in a variety of rich colours like blue, pink and yellow.

Citrine or Topaz - November Birthstone
November Birthstones

November’s birthstones, Topaz and Citrine, are both known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them.

Topaz and Citrine look so similar, in fact, that they’ve often been mistaken for one another throughout history. They are actually unrelated minerals, and topaz occurs in a wide spectrum of colours far beyond yellow.

Both of November’s birthstones are fairly abundant and affordably priced, even in large sizes, which means everyone can find a way to fit Topaz and Citrine into their budget.

Learn more about each November birthstone by reading on.

Citrine – November Birthstone 1

November’s first birthstone, Citrine, is a variety of quartz that ranges in colour from a pale yellow to a brownish orange. It takes its name from the French word for lemon, citron, because of these fruit-inspired shades.

Crystals of Noevmber Birthstone, Citrine
Crystals of November Birthstone, Citrine

The pale yellow colour of Citrine closely resembles some colours of Topaz, (see below), which explains why November’s two birthstones have been so easily confused throughout history.

Citrine’s yellow shades 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 geographical areas produce different shades of Citrine.

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

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.

Topaz – November Birthstone 2

Through much of history, all yellow gemstones were known as Topaz and all Topaz was thought to be yellow. But real Topaz is actually available in many colours, and it is not related in any way to the gems that originally carried the name.

The name topaz comes from the Island of Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea.  It is very likely that the yellow stones that were mined there probably were not Topaz, it gave it’s name to most yellowish stones.

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

November Birthstone - Colours of Topaz
November Birthstone – Colours of Topaz

The most prized colour 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 more usually created 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.

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

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

More Information:

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Sapphire - September Birthstone

Sapphire – September Birthstone

Sapphire is the Birthstone for you if you were born in September.

The Imperial State Crown showing the St. Edward's Sapphire.
The Imperial State Crown showing the St.Edward’s Sapphire.

It has been a popular gemstone since Ancient Greek and Roman times. Polished sapphires have been found that date back more than 2000 years. In the Middle Ages, according to folklore, they will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Medieval clergy wore them to symbolize heaven, while their parishioners thought the gemstone attracted heavenly blessings.

The sapphire was said to represent the purity of the soul.  Medieval kings of Europe valued these stones for rings and brooches, believing that it protected them from harm and envy. Warriors presented their young wives with sapphire necklaces so they would remain faithful. It was believed that the stone’s colour would darken if worn by an adulterer or adulteress, or by an unworthy person.

Ancient Persians called sapphire the “Celestial Stone.” It was the gem of Apollo, Greek God of prophesy and was worn by worshippers visiting his shrine in Delphi to seek his help. It was used by ancient Etruscans as far back as the 7th century B.C.

The most sought-after sapphires are a medium to medium dark blue or slightly violet-blue. However, these stones, or their very close relations, are found in every colour of the rainbow. Sapphire is a variety of the gem species corundum and occurs in all colours of the rainbow. Pink, purple, green, orange, or yellow corundum are known by their colour. Ruby is the red variety of corundum.

Where do the colours come from? Find out here.

Where is Sapphire Found?

The biggest source of sapphires world-wide is Australia, especially New South Wales and Queensland. Found in alluvial deposits of weathered basalt, Australian sapphires typically are blue stones with a dark and inky appearance. Kashmir, in India, used to be a well-known source of the cornflower-blue stones. In the United States, a major source is the Yogo Gulch Mine in Montana that mostly yields small stones for industrial use.

Yogo Gulch Sapphire Mine
Yogo Gulch Sapphire Mine. Image by bal_agates

Sapphires were once believed to be protection against snakes. It was said that if poisonous reptiles and spiders were placed in a jar containing the stone, the creatures would immediately die. The French of the 13th century believed that sapphire transformed stupidity to wisdom, and irritability to good temper.

One of the most famous sapphires rests on the Imperial State Crown, worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It is normally kept with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. This gem is called the St. Edward’s Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone on a ring during his coronation in 1042.

 

August Birthstone - Peridot

Peridot – August Birthstone

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour, an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. Therefore, the colour of individual gems can vary from yellow to olive to brownish-green. The most valued colour is a dark olive-green.

Peridot can be found in a variety of colours
Peridot can be found in a variety of colours

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.”

Most peridot were formed deep inside the earth. They were delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial gemstone is extremely rare. You’re not likely to find this in a retail jewellery store.

It also appears in Hawaiian folklore as originating from the tears of the goddess Pele who is associated with fire and volcanoes.

Peridot and Cleopatra

Cleopatra’s favourite jewel was reputedly Peridot, perhaps linked to the fact that the ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad. This is 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-coloured, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewellery at all price points.

This stone has always been associated with light. In fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits.

Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green gem on an island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising Pharaoh drove them into the sea. From the earliest times, people confused this stone with other gems. It was one of many gems labelled as “topaz”.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.

August Birthstone - Peridot

Read more:

Heart Pendant 18mm Crystal AB - Swarovski Elements

Diamond – April Birthstone

If you have a close friend or family member with an April birthday, you have a real quandary when it comes to choosing suitable jewellery as the logical choice is that most precious of gemstones – diamond – April Birthstone.

Diamond - April Birthstone
Diamond – April Birthstone

You probably know that a diamond is simply carbon. This is the same stuff as a pencil “lead” or soot, but few women would thank you for jewellery made from pencils or the smoke residue from a bonfire!

Research has shown that South African diamonds were produced during three main time periods in the history of the Earth. The oldest diamonds in existence are about 3.3 billion years old. These were formed during earth’s beginnings.

The second major phase came about 2.9 billion years ago. Impurities inside these diamonds suggest that these diamonds formed in rocks in a shallow sea. This could show that the carbon that made these of diamonds came from the remains of ancient sea creatures.

The youngest large batches of diamonds in existence are thought to be 1.2 billion years old.

It also seems that the planet no longer produces diamonds in the same way that it used to. This must mean that there are fewer diamonds to be discovered today.

Read more: http://www.abazias.com/diamondblog/diamond-industry/how-old-is-your-diamond

Affordable Alternatives to Diamond – April Birthstone

Cubic Zirconia

Raw Cubic Zirconia
Raw Cubic Zirconia

Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important competitor for diamonds since commercial production began in 1976.

Moissanite

Moissanite
Moissanite

Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.

Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so moissanite available today is laboratory-created. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized to produce what is now one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.

Moissanite is now engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds.

Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski Crystals in Birthstone Colours
Swarovski Elements Crystal Jewellery

Swarovski Crystals are a man-made product of raw materials using natural minerals and pure quartz sand. The minerals and sand are combined and fired for an undisclosed period of time. Once removed from firing, they go through a very slow cooling process. The slow cooling process reduces flaws and imperfections in the final product.

Read more in our post about Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski Elements Jewellery, an alternative to Diamond – April Birthstone from LoveTaliesin Jewellery

Aquamarine Chips

Aquamarine – March Birthstone

Aquamarine is the March birthstone. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 19th Wedding Anniversary.

Aquamarine Chips and Nuggets - March Birthstone
Aquamarine Chips and Nuggets – March Birthstone

Sue has been making some bracelets with these Aquamarine Gemstone chips and nuggets. We also have some beautiful Swarovski Crystal jewellery in Aquamarine. Both are perfect gifts for a March birthday.

Aquamarine – The March Birthstone

The name Aquamarine comes from the Latin words “aqua marinus”, meaning “water of the sea,” and refers to its sparkling ocean-like colour. It is member of the Beryl family of gemstones and its colour, like that of the sea, ranges from pale blue to blue green.

In ancient times, Aquamarine was considered to me mermaids’ treasure and has long been a good-luck stone for sailors and people making sea voyages, helping dispel fear of water. It also has a role in guarding anyone on any long-haul travel such as flying or driving long distances. It is also a good stone for learning to swim.

It is also an aid to meditation, allowing us to explore the depths of our souls and to come face to face with ourselves. 

It is a love crystal, given to encourage a lover to return, and to help two people to live together in harmony. It is even supposed to be able to reduce arguments! Aquamarine jewellery is often given as a love token and to increase commitment.

Aquamarine is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Ukraine.

Other Varieties of Beryl

Aquamarine is the blue variety of Beryl, though the Beryl family forms in other colours used as gems, such as green Emerald, yellow Heliodor and Golden Beryl, pink Morganite, Red Beryl or Bixbite, and the colourless variety, Goshenite.

Aqua Marina – From “Stingray”

For those of us who remember 1960s television, Aqua Marina will also be associated with “Stingray”.

March Birthstone Jewellery from LoveTaliesin

When you’re looking for a gift for someone with a March birthday, you’ll find some great ideas here in our jewellery collections. Sue’s gemstone jewellery range has some unique, one-off hand-made Aquamarine bracelets and our Swarovski Elements collection also offers the sparkle of these crystals in the sun-soaked seaside blue of Aquamarine.

Gemstone Jewellery with March Birthstone

Swarovski Elements Jewellery with March Birthstone

https://www.swarovski.com/


Adapted from: http://www.4facets.com/birthstones.html#aquamarine

February Birthstone - Amethyst

Amethyst – February Birthstone

If you’re looking for a gift for someone born in February, consider the February Birthstone, Amethyst. It is a fairly common stone hand has been used in jewellery since the Ancient Egyptians.

February Birthstone - Amethyst
February Birthstone – Amethyst

Amethyst is quartz crystal in shades of purple, lilac or mauve. It is a stone that traditionally  guards against drunkeness! The word amethyst is from Greek and means “without drunkenness”. It is also said that it can protect from poison.

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed Amethyst would ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, and keep the wearer clear headed and quick-witted. For centuries, Amethyst has been associated with many myths and legends as well as religions in numerous cultures.

Amethyst Crystals
Amethyst Crystals

Properties of Amethyst

As well as providing us with some stunning jewellery, there are lots of people with strong beliefs in the mystical and spiritual properties of Amethyst.

Among it’s many properties, Amethyst is said to help insomnia. Put an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams, or rub it across your forehead to offer relief from a headache.

The ancient Egyptians used Amethyst to guard against guilty and fearful feelings. It has also been worn as protection from self-deception, as well as a protection against witchcraft. Amethyst has a long history of being used to open the spiritual and psychic centres. It is also used as a meditation aid when worn as a necklace.

Some people within the spiritual community believe that Amethyst is the perfect stone to symbolize The Age of Aquarius.

The Bishop’s Stone

Amethyst is also the Bishop’s Stone and worn by Catholic Bishops to this day. In this use, Amethyst is a symbol of piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom.

Bishop's Ring with Amethyst
Bishop’s Ring with Amethyst

Amethyst for Healing

You will often see healers wearing several pieces of Amethyst jewellery, especially an Amethyst necklace set in silver. This is said to focus energy. The person receiving the healing may also have an Amethyst to hold during the healing

February Birthstone From LoveTaliesin Jewellery

You can see an ever changing selection of semi-precious jewellery set in 925 silver on our craft fair and sales stalls. See our calendar page to find out where we are going to be.

Our semi-precious jewellery range includes some stunning hand-made Amethyst pieces.

You can also find the February Birthstone in our Swarovski Crystal Elements range on the stall and here on the website. The deep purple colour known as Heliotrope is a great match for the darker Amethyst colours.

More Information

http://www.wixonjewelers.com/education/gemstones/gemstone-guide/#amethyst

https://crystal-cure.com/amethyst.html

Heart Pendant 18mm Light Siam Swarovski Elements

Garnet – January Birthstone

Garnet, the January Birthstone, is mined in a rainbow of colours. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized colour of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.

This gem is also available inthe deep red Bohemian Garnet, the vibrant green of the Russian Demantoid. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron.

January Birthstone - Garnets in various colours and cuts
January Birthstone – Garnets in various colours and cuts

Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travellers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the January Birthstone, but with its stunning variety of colours and its mystical powers it has been given as a gift for all occasions for centuries.

Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays and jewellery.

See more at: Wixon Jewellers Website

January Birthstone from LoveTaliesin Jewellery

You can see an ever changing selection of semi-precious jewellery set in 925 silver on our craft fair and sales stalls. See our calendar page to find out where we are going to be.

You can also find the January Birthstone in our Swarovski Crystal Elements range on the stall and here on the website. The red colour known as Siam are a great match for the deep red Bohemian Garnet.

Click on the images below to see more about the Swarovski Siam jewellery available at the moment.

Heart Pendant 18mm Light Siam Swarovski ElementsHeart Pendant 18mm Dark Siam AB - Swarovski ElementsSwarovski Heart Set Dark Siam ABSwarovski Butterfly Pendant and Earring Set Light Siam