Category Archives: Birthstones
Gemstones for every month
November’s birthstone’s don’t usually make the top of everyone’s list of favorites. We would love to change that!
Ancients believed that topaz could cool boiling water, hot tempers, and high fevers – a fitting tribute to its fiery glow. It was also thought to prevent colds – making it the perfect birthstone for cold & flu season!
Topaz is famous for its warm, golden, autumn-like tones. Like a diamond, topaz in its purest form is colorless – it’s the gases and other minerals trapped inside the crystals that give it color. The composition of a topaz makes it highly sensitive to treatments such as heat and irradiation that can change or enhance the color. This is how we get the hugely popular blue topaz.
Topaz is mined from prehistoric granite deposits all over the world, but especially in Brazil, Russia, and parts of Europe & the US.
If topaz is your birthstone, now is the best time of year to let it shine. It’s a great choice for a beautifully-set pendant that can be the centerpiece of your fall wardrobe. Topaz is a hard stone but always avoid impacts that could cause cracking. Clean gently with soapy water – ultrasonic and steam cleaners can discolor or damage the stone.
Alternate Birthstone: Citrine
August has a NEW birthstone!
Famous in crown jewels. Prized for stunning, vivid colors & impeccable crystals. From a ruby red, to a shimmer like a black diamond – thanks to trace minerals, it’s naturally available in every color of the rainbow. SPINEL (pronounced “spin-ELL”) is the now on the birthstone calendar! August just got a lot more colorful.
Peridot is a precious mineral with a unique transparency and a refreshing green color that ranges from a rich olive to brilliant chartreuse. It has a long history of being confused with green gems such as topaz. In ancient times, high-quality peridots were often mistaken for emeralds – in fact today they are sometimes called “evening emeralds,” because their color appears so much richer in dim light.
Image: Legend Diamond
Peridots are found in southeast Asia, parts of Africa, Australia, and the American Southwest. A barren volcanic island in the Red Sea called Zabargad has long been acknowledged as the world’s premier peridot hotspot. The peridots of Hawaii were traditionally known as the “tears of Pele,” the fire goddess – a nod to their volcanic source. Some have even been found in the remains of meteorites.
July’s birthstone, the fiery ruby, is named from the Latin word “ruber” meaning red. Exceeded only by the diamond in hardness, it’s a form of the mineral corundum, and therefore the sister gem of sapphires. While most corundums are blue, only the red kind earn the title of ruby, rarest of gems. Their vivid color comes from trace amounts of chromium – but that’s a mediocre explanation for a stone that has inspired centuries of fascination.
Photo: The “Carmen Lucia Ruby” is one of the finest and largest rubies known to man, at just over 23 carats (Smithsonian Museum of Natural History)
Perhaps the most brilliant of gemstones, its luminous color spawned legends of gods and kings who lit their palaces with enormous rubies. Above all, rubies symbolize passion, and they were once the most popular wedding gem. They are believed to promote good circulation, stop bleeding, protect the heart and promote vitality; warn against trouble by darkening in color; and win the wearer devoted love.
Most rubies come from South & East Asia. In these regions, it is widely believed that sapphires are “unripe” rubies, and if planted underground, they will turn red. Strangely enough, large deposits of rubies have been discovered under Greenland’s receding ice shelf – as if the fiery gemstone itself is melting the glacier from beneath!
GIA (Gemological Institute of America) – Fascinating & authoritative mini-site about the rarest precious gem
Looking after your ruby
Despite their durability, nearly all rubies are given brief heat treatments to enhance their quality, since they contain many small inclusions. On rare occasions, these imperfections align in such a way that they create spectacular light effects within the gem.
If you are the privileged owner of a piece of ruby jewelry, count yourself lucky – they’re not only a rare and striking treasure, but easy to care for. As with all precious gems, avoid sharp blows and store in a safe place away from extremes. Remember that rubies can scratch other softer gems. Clean ruby jewelry periodically with gentle soapy water to keep it at its brilliant best.
Recently, growing controversy over lead-filled rubies has taken center stage among consumers. In this form of enhancement, superheated lead-based filler is forced into a ruby’s internal crevices, cooling to a glass-like substance that boosts clarity above and beyond the ordinary heat polishing. The result is a much more fragile state than the usually durable red corundum. This can prove disastrous when information about this kind of treatment is not properly disclosed, and the owner (or bench jeweler) unwittingly subjects the gem to routine maintenance that can cause it to shatter.
A trained jewelry can determine whether your ruby has been enhanced by fracture-filling. These will require much more delicate handling, similar to many softer gemstones. Because fracture-filled rubies are natural rubies, they are sold as genuine stones and even set in estate jewelry, but often the documentation about their treatment gets lost along the way. When buying a ruby it’s important to ask about its condition, and if possible have it examined or appraised by a GIA qualified jeweler. Ideally, this is the best source to buy a precious gem, because a certified retailer will have the expertise and credentials to ensure the finest quality for the price and 100% disclosure backed by the highest industry standards.
Rubies on your wish list?
Check out our favorites – build your wish list online! Ruby pendants, earrings, custom-designed jewelry, and awesome deals like this stackable ruby & diamond ring. Fun fashion or even a wedding/anniversary ring.
See http://www.fayesdiamondmine.com for more.
Faye’s Diamond Mine: July on Pinterest
Did you know June has three very fascinating, uniquely iridescent, and MAGICAL birthstones – which is your favorite?
Click the link to watch video, or check out our YouTube channel!
The rich, royal look of the emerald! This blast of bright spring green conjures up visions of all things lush and lavish… But it is as delicate as it is decadent. Read on to find out how to care for your precious emerald jewels, and what to look for when shopping for this birthstone.
Emeralds have always been prized for their exquisitely rare deep green. Only the green garnets are a close competitor for color, and few jewels carry the kind of prestige to land them a place among the cardinal gemstones. The name “esmeralda” or green very simply evokes the exquisite splendor that captivated famous admirers from Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie.
How do I care for an emerald?
- Treat them gently. Avoid strong vibrations such as ultrasonic jeweler cleaners, extreme temperatures, and as always, strong chemicals or solvents.
- Keep an emerald looking its best & brightest with a regular bath – lukewarm water and mild soap applied with a soft brush will restore its luster and remove dirt & oils on its surface.
See something you like? Visit our online showcase at www.fayesdiamondmine.com & add it to your Wish List!
Thinking about emerald jewelry? Why not let us design something around a gemstone of your choice? Ask us about our exclusive custom services.
Top 10 Reasons Why Diamonds May Be the Most Amazing Thing Ever
We get to celebrate diamonds all month long! It’s April, and that means a feature-focus on the most enthralling, most enduring precious jewel known to man. Having a diamond for your birthstone has more than a few perks – and here are some reminders of just what a marvel a diamond is.
- Diamonds are among the oldest things in existence. Most diamonds on earth were created during the formation of the planet, when the temperatures & pressures at the core were so high they could crystallize the pure carbon into the hardest material in existence.
- Diamonds can be formed in supernovae (exploding stars), meteor impacts, and volcanic eruptions.When you look at a diamond, you’re seeing a snapshot of the universe’s most spectacular power.
- Diamonds aren’t the rarest gem. But take a look at just how hard it is to get one.It takes on average a million parts earth removed to each single diamond mined. Only 20% are used in jewelry. Out of these, only one in a million is as large as a carat. A 1-carat diamond of gem quality is so rare that approximately 2,000 tons of earth are removed to find just one.
- Diamonds are the hardest substance known anywhere.On the 1 to 10 scale used to measure hardness, it’s the only thing around that measures 10. It’s 58 times harder than the next thing down on the list. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond.
- Diamonds come in all colors.Traces of minerals or gases that are trapped between the diamonds atoms respond to pressure, heat, or radiation with changes in color. Pure colorless diamonds are still the most desirable, but red is the rarest of all. Small amounts of nitrogen create a yellow tinge, while the gas boron gives off a blue color. Pink diamonds are still something of a mystery; unlike other colors, they contain no impurities. An atomic phenomenon is believed to trap the light spectrum, leaving only one color to escape.
- The biggest diamond ever discovered is 2,500 miles wide.That’s no joke. It’s in a white dwarf star named “Lucy.” (“You said how many carats?” – Read more…)
- The biggest diamond discovered on earth measured over 3,000 carats.Before cutting, the gem value of the Cullinan diamond in today’s money is estimated at $2 billion. This superstar didn’t sacrifice quality for quantity; its gem-quality clarity and near perfect color purity landed parts of the finished product among the British crown jewels. (World’s largest diamond found – Read more…)
- Long before De Beers, the diamond was one of the most priceless things known to man.The diamond giant De Beers helped make diamonds available to the general public, and told the world that “a diamond is forever.” But in the 1st century, Roman historian Pliny wrote, “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” The Mughal Empire of India, the most jewel-rich kingdom in history, amassed collections of diamonds that have been passed down through royalty to the present day.
- About 90% of diamonds are cut in only 4 places in the world.Most gem-quality diamonds, in their natural state, still aren’t up to par for wearing in jewelry. Fine diamonds are the result of nature’s collaboration with an experienced diamond cutter. This exclusive profession is often passed down in families. Their artistry, skill & many years of painstaking practice bring out the best of a diamonds natural beauty.
- A diamond’s value is timeless.As one of the world’s most precious substances, they have been greatly desired across the globe for countless ages. They are changeless and astonishingly durable. The powerful symbolism they embody only adds to their tremendous intrinsic worth. Diamonds don’t get old – only more valuable. That’s why they perfectly represent love, power, and the majesty & mystery of the universe.
The name aquamarine comes from the Latin “aqua” = water and “mare” = sea. Thanks to its sea-blue color, it’s also been called “The Sailor’s Stone.” Legend has cast it as a sacred gem of Poseidon, god of the sea, and a magical treasure found in the lair of mermaids.
The breezy blue gemstone is perfect for birthdays teetering on the edge of springtime. In folklore, it is believed to have a pleasing, gentling effect, it was said to protect voyagers from tempests; to pacify the mind and give ease and fluency of speech; and to promote compassion and trust and bring good health.
Aquamarine has always been extremely popular, even though it is not particularly rare, and can still be found in many parts of the world. Its striking beauty has made it a favorite among royalty, jewelry connoisseurs, and modern designers alike. It was a favorite material among the gemstone carvers of ancient China (a tradition that is still carried on today).
Aquamarine is actually a kind of beryl, closely related to the emerald, and is often found with a strong green haze. Some aquamarines have an almost crystalline paleness, earning it the nickname “the poor man’s diamond” – though as a rule, the more intense the color, the higher the value. Most gemstone-grade aquamarines come from Brazil where the largest deposits are found. Other important sources are located in Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and the US. Aquamarines are very durable, but it is recommended to avoid cleaning methods that use heat or steam.
It is said that anyone can wear an aquamarine well, because its gentle color is so easy to blend with a color palette. It is an excellent match for a sparkling pastel style.