January’s Birthstone – Garnet

The versatile gem stone garnet is the birthstone of January. Garnet has other uses as well – Garnet is also the traditional anniversary gem celebrating the 2nd year of marriage.

Garnets are mined worldwide. You’ll find mines in India, Brazil, the US, Madagascar, and other locations. Unfortunately, not all garnets mined are good enough quality to use in jewelry or some other designer function. Only the most precious stones found are fitting for consumer purchase.

A garnet is generally thought of as a red jewel, but you’d be suprised to know that garnets come in a broad variety of colors and tones. There’s something for everybody when it comes to a garnet.

You’ll find the gem in colors such as orange, pink, yellow, green, violet, and others. The color in the garnet is a direct outcome of the special combination of calcium, manganese, and iron.

Many think that there is no such thing as a blue colored garnet, but others will tell you differently. Apparently documented proof points to a blue garnet that was found in Bekily, Madagascar within the last decade or so.

The garnet has many places in history and tradition. Hebrew tradition says that one of the 12 stones in the breastplate of Aaron was a garnet. Noah is said to have directed the Noah’s Ark through the great storm by using the light of a garnet. Christians associate the garnet with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and is thus connected to the idea of salvation.

The garnet makes an ideal gift to a loved one because it’s carries a robust symbol of love. With its great selection of beautiful colors, it’s a fitting gemstone for any season.

Want to find out more about birthstones?  Take a look at the Toto jewellery blog!

February’s Birthstone – Amethyst

The signature February birthstone is amethyst which is characterized by its many variations of purple. When amethyst is subjected to intense heat it changes color to a yellow colored amethyst referred to as burnt amethyst.

Amethyst is made up of numerous different varieties of quartz mineral. Amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos which means sober. It is common belief that the name was made after the color of wine.

You are able to mine amethyst is South American countries that include Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. You are also able to excavate it in African countries such as Zambia, Argentina, and Namibia.

There are a few key locations you can find certain amethyst. In Guerrero, Mexico you can find dark deep purple amethysts, known to be one of the most precious in the world. Also in Vera Cruz, Mexico you can find pale crystallized amethysts that have developed in light colored rocks.

In Maraba, Brazil the gemstone is generally medium or pale colors. These amethysts are regularly cut. In Rio Grande de Sul, Brazil you can find amethyst stones from large volcanic rocks and is generally big.

North Carolina, USA offers some exquisite blue-violet colored amethysts. Maine, USA used to have amethysts but they aren’t for distribution any more.

Amethyst is thought to have powerful soothing effects on the wearer. It is believed to enhance a person’s ability to learn new ideas faster. It is can help you steady you mind and balance of emotional, mental, and physical states.

Amethyst is regularly known for being the gemstone for those who are the zodiac signs Pisces, Virgo, Aquarius, and Capricorn. It also symbolizes the gemstone for the 17th wedding anniversary.

These gemstones are beautiful and colorful, and for that reason often pretty expensive. Amethyst has been cherished for quite some time, dating back as far as 25,000 years ago.

[tags]february birthstone, amethyst, birthstone[/tags]

March’s Birthstone – Aquamarine

Regularly, women are more aware of their birthstone then men, purely because women tend to wear more jewelry with their birthstone it in. Even if you do know what your birthstone is it is still doubtful that you will know that the significance of your stone is.

Aquamarine is also known for being the anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage. You can find the bulk of this stone in Brazil, Nigeria, and Zambia.

The name aquamarine is made by combining the Latin words water (aqua) and sea (mare). Aquamarine is evidently named for resembling the blue dark seawater. Aquamarine is made up of an array of minerals that crystallize inside the earth’s crust.

Aquamarine can vary in color from a blue-green to a light blue. For a while the stones that contained green were often heat-treated to get rid of the unsightly color. Normally aquamarine gemstones are flawless.

It is said that if you dream of aquamarine that this signifies the making of new friends. Wearing aquamarine brings you adoration and affection. Giving this gem stone offers the gift of knowledge, foresight, and individual inspiration. It also symbolizes youth, fidelity, hope, and wellbeing.

When purchasing this precious gem stone be sure to buy it from a reliable source. This gem can lighten upon prolonged exposure to light.

There are many people who consider that aquamarine can help on the dependence of drugs, as an aid in digestion, and can be used as a remedy for swollen glands. Aquamarine is also thought to release anger and negativity and replacing it with mental peace and clarity. It is widely used as an aid in meditation and to help assist in self-expression.

It is believed that the connection with water led to the thought that aquamarine was particularly powerful if immersed in water.

[tags]aquamarine birthstone, march birthstone, birthstone, aquamarine[/tags]

April’s Birthstone – Diamond

By far the most precious and desirable of the birthstones, diamonds are created deep within the earth where there is enough intense heat and pressure for carbon to crystallize. Diamonds are the number one choice for engagement rings. The diamond also symbolizes the 10th and 60th years of marriage.

Diamonds are so gorgeous that ancient Greeks thought they were splinters of stars that had fallen to earth. Some even said that there were tears of the Gods. The precise origin of diamonds is a mystery to scientists and geologists.

India is thought of as having the first large source of diamond mining. Ancient Hindus called the diamond Vajra, meaning lightening because of the sparks of light that it emits as well as its incredible strength. By far the most pleasing stone on the globe, it is also known as the hardest substance in the world.

Diamonds are found nowadays in Australia, Botswana, Russia, and South Africa.

For quite some time diamonds have been known for having certain curative properties. In the middle ages gemstones were thought to cure illness if the patient took the diamond in their bed with them.

It is said that Cupid’s arrows were tipped in diamonds so it makes sense that over the years this beautiful stone has gotten a reputation as being the gift of love.

Diamonds used to be reserved for only royalty and others who were allowed their symbolism of might and courage. In 1477 Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy and set a tradition of diamond engagement rings.

Interestingly enough early Egyptians assumed that the vena amoris also known as the vein of love ran directly from the heart to the third finger on the left hand.

Giving a diamond for any purpose is sure to be appreciated.

May’s Birthstone – Emerald

Emerald is the birthstone for May and is known for being the 20th and 35th wedding anniversary gemstone. Many think wearing emerald brings you wisdom and growth. This is regularly given as a gift for an anniversary or as a sign of love and devotion.

At one point in time emeralds were prescribed for eye diseases because the exquisite color of green was thought to be very soothing to the eyes. In actuality, early gemstone cutters kept emeralds at their working tables to look at as a way of giving their eyes a rest.

The ancient Egyptians mined emeralds in the eastern region. In more modern times North Carolina is where the new source of quality emeralds can be found. You can find more emeralds in other areas of America, Colombia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Russia.

Egyptians carved emeralds with the signs of spring flora to denote eternal youth and buried the stones with the deceased. The ancient Romans thought emeralds were associated with fertility and renewal.

The Incas worshiped these stunning emeralds. In the 1500’s they were invaded by the Spanish Conquistadors who savagely stole their precious gemstones and even raided the mines. Now many of the world’s greatest emeralds are lost on the floor of the ocean inside Spanish ships.

Emerald is made up of the Greek word smaragdos which means green stone. Emeralds can vary from a deep blue-green to green hues and some have are a yellowish green. If the color is too yellow or blue then it loses its emerald title and becomes a different form of beryl.

The most exquisite emeralds are most commonly found in Colombia. They are known to have a deep grass green coloring with a highlighting of blue. Emeralds are certain to please anyone as a gift.

[tags]emerald, may birthstone, birthstone[/tags]

June’s Birthstone – Pearl

You may know what your birthstone is but do you know the significance that comes along with it? If you were born in the month of June then your birthstone is Pearl. The ancients thought that Pearl has truth and beauty properties.

It is now known that Greeks actually thought that pearls were the hardened tears of joy that the Love Goddess shook from her eyes as she was born from the sea. Arab legend states that pearls were made when oysters were lured from the depths of the ocean by the moon and then swallowed moonlit dew drops.

Pearl is also generally known as the anniversary gem stone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage. For centuries pearls have been found on crowns, jewelry, clothing, and temples. They were even known to be a favorite of Cleopatra. They are simple enough to be given to young girls and are a frequent gift for a first communion.

Magnificent pearls come in a variety of colors that range from delicate rose white to black. When it comes to pearls the higher the luster or orients the more expensive it is. It may be hard to envisage that these desirable treasures come naturally from the mollusk.

Deep sea divers seek out natural pearls in The Persian Gulf as well as the waters off Japan, the South Pacific Islands off northern Australia, and the coasts of Panama, Venezuela, and California.

Other than the common round shaped pearls normally seen, there are also large hemispherical cultured pearls known as mabe. These fresh water pearls are elongated in different interesting shapes and colors. The South Sea cultured pearls can grow upwards of 10mm.

There was a time when only those with royal status could sport something as precious as pearl jewelry, but these days they are seen on people from all over the world. Pearls are an ideal gift for anybody of any age.

[tags]june birthstone, pearl, birthstone[/tags]

July’s Birthstone – Ruby

Ruby is July’s birthstone and is known to have fire and emotion properties. Ruby is also known as being the anniversary gem stone for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary. Ruby mining began over 2,500 years ago and is still found in areas such as Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Ancient Hindus referred to rubies as the “Lord of Gems”. They are well known as one of the most cherished of all gems throughout all periods of history. The intense blazing glow of rubies is thought to have come from its internal eternal flame.

The ruby is an icon for many as everlasting love and is a combination of mineral Corundum which is called sapphire when it is any other color except red. Only the color red is referred to as ruby.

However there are many exquisite shades of red rubies ranging from an orangey red to a more purplish red. The most valued rubies are true red in color.

Rubies are known for being an enduring gemstone and are only surpassed by the magnificent diamond in regards to hardness. Ancient legends say that you should not make faces at a ruby in a museum or overlook it as it will grow dull if not properly appreciated.

Royalty selected rubies believing they could help protect them against evil by anticipating its arrival. Monarchs thought that rubies had the ability to darken when it sensed danger, and then return to its original color once the peril was gone.

The Balas Ruby is a special type of “spinel” which is a hard glassy mineral. Bohemian rubies are derived from rose quartz, while Siberian “rubies” are in reality red or pink tourmaline. Rubies are a truly magnificent gem stone and are great as a gift for anyone.

[tags]july birthstone, ruby, birthstone[/tags]

August’s Birthstone – Peridot

August’s birthstone is Peridot and comes from the Arabic word “faridat” which means gem. Peridot is regularly referred to as the evening emerald because when put under artificial light it has a green glow. Peridot is also given as the 16th anniversary gemstone.

Ancient Greek and Roman jewelry was heavy in peridot and has been admired all the way back to 1500 BC when the Egyptians began mining it. Egyptians referred to the stone as the “gem of the sun” and even supposed it had the ability to lower anxiety, enhance verbal communication, and help in the success of marriages.

The transparent colors in peridot come in a range of greens ranging from a light yellowish green to a deep olive color. The truer the green hue is of the peridot the most pricey it is going to be. If there is any slight color of brown in your peridot it greatly lowers the value as well as any obvious flaws.

You are able to find peridot crystals in the black sands of Hawaii where this specific gemstone is fairly abundant. You are able to find peridot here in large sizes. The Hawaiians think that peridot is the tears of Pele, their volcano goddess.

While peridot is most abundant in Hawaii you can also find it as far away as Burma, Norway, Brazil, Australia, the Congo, and even Arizona. Whereever it is found it is an amazing gem stone.

Peridot is said to have helped dreams become real and has been given the emblem of fame, strength, and energy. Peridot is found in Europe in medieval churches, heavily decorating treasures including the Cologne Cathedral.

It is known that Egyptian priests drank from cups made of peridot with the belief that it would draw them closer to Isis, the goddess of nature.

[tags]august birthstone, peridot, birthstone[/tags]

September’s Birthstone – Sapphire

September’s birthstone is sapphire and is thought to bring physical and emotional balance. Sapphire is also normally given as the 5th and 45th wedding anniversary. The Greek word for blue “sapphirus” gives sapphires their name.

Sapphires have long been a tradition for priests who think they embody purity, as well as king’s who thought they symbolized wisdom.

Compared to other gemstones, sapphires, like rubies, are a class of corundum. Sapphires come in magnificent colors that span from pink and lavender hues to a rare orange color and the most popular deep blue sapphire that helped earn its name.

Sapphires have been mined since the 7th century BC in an part of India now known as Sri Lanka. They are also found in other areas around the world such as Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, America, Thailand, Myanmar, Tanzania, China, and Myanmar.

Due to the way that corundum crystals are formed, it causes large sapphires very seldomly making the largest ones extremely valuable. The 563 carat Star of India which is on show at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. This sapphire is known as the most famous of star sapphires, which are cut to reflect light from inclusions within the stone and reveal a bright six pointed star pattern.

It was said that a poisonous snake put in a vessel made of sapphire would immediately die. Sapphires have earned a reputation as being a great all purpose medicine and have been ingested as an antidote to poison. Sapphires have also been ground into powders as a remedy for problems ranging from colic to mental illness.

Egyptians once associated the clear sapphire with the eye of Horas, the “eye in the sky”. Sapphires were used by Greeks to tap into their subconscious mind by opening of the “third eye”.

[tags]october birthstone, sapphire, birthstone[/tags]

Octobers Birthstone – Opal

Opal is said to enhance insight and dispels dread, and is known as being the birthstone of October. Opal is also given to as a 14th wedding anniversary gift. Opal gets it name from the Greek work “opallus” which means to see a change in color. This is apparent because opal has the ability to reflect wavelengths of light for a lovely vision. There are more than a dozen different colors of opals.

Opals are mined from deposits located mainly in Southern Australia, but there are still areas where you can find small amounts such as Mexico, Nevada, Brazil, and Czechoslovakia.

Opal is actually a non crystallized silica which is a mineral found near the earth’s surface in the areas where ancient hot springs once were. Roman’s referred to this gem stone as “Cupid Paederos,” which means a child as exquisite as love. The Romans also thought that opals fell to earth from the heavens in a flash of lightening.

On crowns opals symbolize hope and purity for ages. Ever since the 14th century there have been some cultures that have thought that this gemstone was an Eye Stone which watches over royal families. They thought that the opal was the sovereign of all gems because it has the range of all the colors in the rainbow.

You can acquire a black opal which has a dark body hue compared to most other opals, a white opal also referred to as a milky opal, a boulder opal which is very dark and magnificent in color, the crystal opal which has a transparent or semi transparent body tone and include forms of black and white crystal, and lastly the fire opal which is an American name meaning an opal that has a specific red hue.

It doesn’t matter which color of opal you buy just make sure you know what the hue symbolizes.

[tags]october birthstone, opal, birthstone[/tags]

November’s Birthstone – Citrine

The birthstone attributed to November is citrine, which is said to amplify creativity and feelings of joy. Citrine is also given as the anniversary gem stone for the 13th year wedding anniversary. The name comes from a French word for lemon, “citrin”, and comes in a array of quartz.

Citrine is mined abundantly in Brazil but has been found in areas of Bolivia. The colors extend from a vivid yellow to deep oranges as well as a desired the “Madeira red”. You can mine natural citrine in the Ural Mountains of Russia, France, Madagascar, and Dauphine.

Citrine has been used for improving the function of the body’s organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys, and the digestive system. Many medicinal practitioners all over the world use Citrine to remove damaging toxins from the body and treat muscular disorders.

Like all other forms of quartz, citrine has been assumed to have magical powers. For centuries people have carried citrine with them as protection against the plague, and evil people. It has also been used as a form of charm that protects against snake and spider bites.

Giving citrine as a gift to somebody special symbolizes your wishes for hope and strength. Citrine is glowing with sunshine yellow brightness which makes it ideal to enhance someone’s life.

Mental health citrine has been known as being extremely powerful for simulating someone’s mental capacities and enhancing creativity. Some judge that wearing citrine will improve your memory, give you more energy, and make you feel more optimistic. The magnetic powers of citrine are said to relieve depression and fear.

There is a large quantity of citrine that is offered in the huge market today, and most of it is heat-treated amethyst. In fact real citrine is lighter than the heat treated gems which tend to be a darker orange-brown or a reddish-brown color.

[tags]november birthstone, citrine, birthstone[/tags]

December’s Birthstone – Turquoise

December’s birthstone is Turquoise, and is also known as the 5th and 11th wedding anniversary stone. Its hue can span from the normal green blue to a light sky blue. It is supposed by some that turquoise got its name from “pierre turquoise” which means “Turkish stone” in French.

Some people think that the name comes from the Persian word “fiouze” which means turquoise. The Egyptians mined turquoise as far back as 6,000 BC. Some may be surprised when they learn that the finest turquoise comes from Iran, not the American Southwest. You can find exclusive pieces in areas such as Arizona and New Mexico, and areas such as Australia and Afghanistan.

For centuries turquoise has been treated as a holy gemstone and as a good luck charm. Ancient Egyptian tombs from about 3,000 B.C. contain the oldest proof of human kind’s attention in turquoise. There were lovely artifacts adorned with this popular gemstone that were hidden with the royal dead.

The tomb of Queen Zer was unburied in 1900. There was a turquoise and gold bracelet found on her wrist, making it one of the oldest pieces of jewelry ever found.

Turquoise has had a sacred place in the religious rites of North American Indians and by the Tibetans who embrace it in their rituals and ceremonies. People all over the world think that turquoise has the ability to promote mental and spiritual clarity to enhance wisdom, trust, understanding, and kindness.

Ancient Persians thought that the sky blue gemstones could be worn as protection to ward off unnatural death if worn around the neck. This gemstone is known worldwide as being a good luck charm to help avert accidents.

Turquoise is not only beautiful its bright color offers self confidence to different personalities, and is normally given as a token of friendship. Turquoise is allied to faithful and long lasting relationships.

[tags]december birthstone, turquoise, birthstone[/tags]