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.
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.
Affordable Alternatives to Diamond – April Birthstone
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 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 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.
Aquamarine is the March birthstone. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 19th Wedding Anniversary.
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.
The 14th February is Valentines Day when we celebrate our love for someone. Here are six things that you might not know about Valentine’s Day and St Valentine.
It started with the Romans
Valentines Day goes back to the Roman Empire and Emperor Claudius II. He wanted more soldiers for the Roman army, but lots of men refused to leave their wives and families. So the Emperor decided that the solution was to ban all marriages.
However, a very popular priest in Rome thought that this was unfair and started to marry couples in secret. Eventually, Claudius II found out about these secret marriages and was furious. He ordered that Valentine should be thrown into jail, where he eventually died on February 14th. His friends hadn’t forgotten him and they made sure that he was buried in a churchyard in Rome.
The Parliament of Fowls was probably written sometime in the late-1370′s to the late 1380′s. This contains the earliest known reference to “Saint Valentine’s Day” as an occasion for romance.
[…] ther sat a quene
That, as of light the somer-sonne shene
Passeth the sterre, right so over mesure
She fairer was than any creature.And in a launde, upon an hille of floures,
Was set this noble goddesse Nature;
Of braunches were hir halles and hir boures,
Y-wrought after hir craft and hir mesure;
Ne ther nas foul that cometh of engendrure,
That they ne were prest in hir presence,
To take hir doom and yeve hir audience.
For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,
This translates into modern English as:
There sat a queen who was more lovely by far than any other creature, just as the summer sun outshines the stars. This noble goddess Nature sat enthroned in a pavilion she had wrought of branches upon a flowered hill atop a meadow. And there was not any bird born of love that was not ready in her presence to hear her and receive her judgment. For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when all the birds of every kind that men can imagine come to choose their mates.
However, it is fairly certain that the church celebrated the Feast of St. Valentine before Chaucer wrote this.
The origin of Valentine’s day cards lie in letters and poems. The tradition of sending poems to a love on Valentine’s day was started by a French nobleman, Charles Duke Of Orleans around 1415, who was taken prisoner during the Battle Of Agincourt. He sent love poems to his wife back in France each year.
The 14th February became associated with love in the Middle Ages, especially through the writer Geoffrey Chaucer.
It took almost 200 more years for commercial Valentine cards to make an appearance in 1800. These also started with just poems, but it wasn’t long before artwork was added to give more romance.
How Did Our Blood Pump Become The Icon For Valentines Day and Love?
It may well all be the fault of a North African plant. As far back as the seventh century B.C., there was a profitable trade in a plant called Silphium. Among other uses, Silphium was reputed to provide a form of birth control. The Silphium plant was so important that Cyreneian coins depicted the plant’s seed pod, which looks like the heart shape we know today.
It is said that the heart shape of this seed pod first became associated with sex, and eventually, with love.
By the 17th Century, Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque had a vision of it surrounded by thorns. This symbol became known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was associated with love and devotion.
Before the medical profession disavowed the world, it was generally believed that the heart was the seat of all human emotions and feelings. So the gift of a heart represented the giving of everything to someone you love. This ancient belief has lingered on through the ages.
Cupid, draw back your bow
And let your arrow flow
Straight to my lovers heart
Cupid’s arrows come in two varieties:
The Golden Arrow, which generally signifies true love
The Leaden Arrow, which represents wanton and sensual passion.
He is sometimes portrayed with a torch with which to inflame desire between men and women.He is often described a mischievous because his interference doesn’t always have happy consequences.
Cherubs are also believed to be descendants of Cupid. Depicted as loveable little winged creatures, but without the use of arrows.
Love Is Only Chemicals
Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in the sense that we have no control over it. But then, that is not so surprising since love is basically chemistry. While lust is a temporary passionate sexual desire involving the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and oestrogen, in true love, or attachment and bonding, the brain can release a whole set of chemicals: pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. However, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defence and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security.
Written by Jim Al-Khalili – a theoretical physicist and science writer
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.
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.
The making of Swarovski Crystals begins with a secret family formula that has been used for over one hundred years. This formula originated from the Swarovski family and generates the foundation for the finest quality of full lead crystals, making them known as the diamond of the crystal market.
Daniel Swarovski (October 24, 1862 – January 23, 1956), formerly Daniel Swartz, was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).His father was a glass cutter who owned a small glass factory. It was there that a young Swarovski served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.
In 1895, Swarovski financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosman, Daniel Swartz & Co., which was later shortened to K.S. & Co.The company established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol (Austria), to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes Daniel Swarovski patented.
Nadja Swarovski, the founder’s great-great granddaughter, is a member of the Swarovski executive board.
Although the basics of making Swarovski Crystals are known, the complete process will continue to remain a family secret to deter replication by other crystal competitors.
Making Swarovski Crystals
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. These speciality crystals have a lead content of 32% which enables them to be categorised as full lead crystal. Even though lead is a known toxin, the wearing of crystal jewellery containing lead does not pose any risks.
Although Swarovski Crystals are often referred to as Swarovski silver, the crystals do not contain silver and are named as such for their silver brilliant appearance. Once a solid product, the crystals are cut using a cutting machine designed by Daniel Swarovski. This machine makes it possible to cut crystals so they have as many as one hundred mirrored facets in various directions allowing light to refract creating brilliant prisms and an array of colours. The directions in which the crystals are cut are determined by a computer, then processed with a technology that simulates the cut effects in three dimension. After a crystal has been completed, it is polished to create a superior finish.
To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. For example, Aurora Borealis, or “AB”, gives the surface a rainbow appearance. Other coatings are named by the company, including Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.
In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).
Using Swarovski Crystals
Swarovski Crystals are made into pendants, necklaces, rings, beads and any possible jewellery combination imaginable. Modern designs also feature Swarovski Crystals on fashion wear such as clothing, purses, belts, sandals and more. Brides like to use Swarovski Crystals due to the fact that from a distance, their appearance and shimmering capabilities emulates the same characteristics of diamonds. Designers continue to create new shapes, colours and themes so Swarovski Crystals can continue to put on a unique show of colour and light.
LoveTaliesin Jewellery and Swarovski
Sue has designed a beautiful range of jewellery using Swarovski Crystal Elements.
Click here to buy your gift or treat for yourself.