Alexandrite

Alexandrite Engagement Ring

Alexandrite’s claim to fame is its ability to change from the color red to green. Alexandrite is transparent, and under incandescent light it appears red as a raspberry, but walk outside into the sunlight and it turns to a grassy green shade.

Alexandrite Facts
The stone was named in honor of Russia’s Alexander II. As the story goes, alexandrite was discovered in Russia on Alexander II’s birthday in 1831, the day he reached his majority. This fascinating stone is a type of chrysoberyl. Most alexandrite is cut in facets, but cat’s eye alexandrite from Brazil is sometimes cut in a rounded, cabochon style.

Alexandrite Size
Alexandrite is a rather uncommon gem particularly in larger sizes. Stones larger than 2 carats are extremely rare and can command prices of thousands and thousands of dollars.

Alexandrite Ring

Synthetic Alexandrite
Until 1973, synthetic alexandrite stones weren’t good enough to fool gemologists. However in 1973 a convincing substitute was created. While good gemologists are able to tell the real thing from the fake, the average consumer might find it more challenging. Be particularly careful when buying alexandrite jewelry from the seventies, when the synthetic stone was new and many gemologists hadn’t yet learned to tell the difference.

Folklore
Alexandrite is not on the birthstone list, probably because it is relatively rare, however it does have some folklore associated with it. Some consider alexandrite to be the stone for a child born on Friday, or just Friday’s stone. Russians consider an alexandrite to be a lucky stone, due to its red and green colors.

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Tanzanite Rings

What is Tanzanite?
Take some dull brown zoisite, add some high heat and voila!  You have beautiful blue or purple tanzanite, perfect for use in tanzanite rings. One of tanzanite’s most fascinating qualities is the way the same gemstone can seem to be different colors in different light. Sometimes it looks blue, others it seems violet, and some stone even show bits of red.

Discovery of Tanzanite used in Tanzanite Rings
Tanzanite was discovered in the African nation of Tanzania in 1967, making it a relatively new gem compared to stones like garnet, which have been around for thousands of years.  It is said that people of the Masai tribe witnessed a brown zoisite rock in the path of a brush fire turn to a beautiful blue color, and a few enterprising members of the group began trading the now pretty stones.  They caught on quickly, and before long the Tiffany Jewelry Company realized that this gem was a potential winner, if marketed properly.  They came up with the trade name tanzanite, in honor of the country where the gem was first found, and that name sticks to this day.  Appropriate, since as of this writing, tanzanite has not been found outside of Tanzania.

Tanzanite Rings
The brilliant blue and violet shades of tanzanite make it a popular choice for rings. These hues complement a number of outfits and go well with yellow metal, like gold, and white, like silver or platinum. Tanzanite gemstones also look fabulous when mounted next to other precious and semi precious stones, as in an emerald, amethyst, garnet or tanzanite and diamond ring.

Birthstone Tanzanite Rings
Since tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone, it is not one of the original birthstones.  However its popularity led the American Gem Trade Association to update the birthstone list in 2002, making tanzanite a birthstone for the month of December, sharing the honor with zircon and turquoise.  Tanzanite rings are fantastic birthday gifts for anyone born in December, but they are also appropriate for Christmas gifts, Valentine’s, mother’s day, or any other gift giving occasion.

Caring for Tanzanite Rings
Tanzanite measures in at about 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, which is a tool to measure gem hardness.  In comparison, a diamond is a 10, while turquoise comes in at around 5. Because tanzanite is a bit lower on the scale owners of lovely tanzanite rings should avoid situations that could damage them or cause them to scratch or break.  Tanzanite jewelry should be removed while using harsh chemicals, such as cleaning solutions, or while engaging in activities that could cause the ring to be knocked around, like sports or building.

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Ruby Quartz

 In some quarters, ruby quartz is better known as the substance the X-men comic book hero Cyclops uses in his eyeglasses to keep him from unintentionally destroying things with his powerful eyes. As gems go, ruby quartz is fairly new in the jewelry world but continues to gain popularity. Because it is not a well known stone, ruby quartz lends an unexpected and striking look to jewelry.

Appearance
Ruby quartz is not actually related to the ruby, but rather gets its name from its ruby red color. Many who first learn of ruby quartz assume that it’s a pure red stone, just like a ruby, but in fact it can be solid red or veined with many different colors. The stone is usually turned into beads, in any number of shapes and sizes, which are then used to make bracelets, pendants, necklaces and occasionally ruby quartz rings.

Delicate Stone
Jewelry lovers should be aware that one of the properties of ruby quartz is that it’s a delicate gemstone and is more prone to chips and cracks than some of the other stones typically used to make jewelry. For that reason, some prefer to wear the hardier imitation ruby quartz rather than the fragile natural stone. In fact, much of the ruby quartz jewelry on the market today is actually simulated ruby quartz.

Where to Find Ruby Quartz
Because it is a lesser-known gem, one can’t expect to walk into a jewelry store and find ruby quartz the way you surely see a ruby or diamond. However, the internet is a fantastic source for those eager to own some ruby quartz jewelry of their own. Try popular websites like Overstock.com and Amazon.com, or try your luck with a Google search and see what pops up, being careful only to buy from reputable websites of course. Alternatively, you can buy the ruby quartz beads and create your own amazing, one-of-a-kind jewelry.

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Amethyst Rings

With lovely violet hues, beautiful amethyst rings have long been admired by jewelry lovers. While amethyst stones, also known as purple quartz, are not unusual, most amethyst stones are not of sufficient quality to be set into amethyst rings or other jewelry. These lower quality stones are the ones you see used as bookends or knickknacks on a shelf.

 

Amethyst Rings and Color
The shade of amethyst rings can be the softest lavender or deepest purple. Amethyst can actually turn yellow when subjected to high heat – very high, like 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Amethyst Ring Folklore

Ancient people often attributed metaphysical qualities and healing powers to gemstone jewelry. The ancient Greeks believed that amethyst could cure and prevent drunkenness, and it is said that they even imbibed alcoholic drinks from amethyst cups in order to avoid drunkenness. (Authors note: when I read that I can just picture those amethyst vessels in my mind – can you imagine how beautiful they must have been?) The ancients also believed that amethyst cured poisoning and made the person wearing it more intelligent.

Amethyst Mining Locations

While amethyst is mined at locales all over the world, the majority of the amethyst rings we see today feature amethyst mined from South America, particularly Uruguay and Brazil. The discovery of huge amethyst deposits there during the 19th century lead to an increase of amethyst on the jewelry market, and a consequent devaluation of the stone.

Cuts of Amethyst Rings
Stones in amethyst rings are usually cut into round shapes in order to best display the amethyst’s depth of colors. While amethysts can be found in smooth, unfaceted cabochon shapes, jewelers usually cut them with facets, to better take advantage of light to enhance the stone’s color and sparkle.

Amethyst Birthstone Rings

Amethyst rings are ideal gifts for those born in February, because amethyst is the birthstone associated with February. They’re also perfect in mother rings or grandmother rings for women with a child or grandchild born in February.

Synthetic Amethyst Jewelry

It is best to visit a jewelry store with a good reputation when purchasing amethyst rings. This is because the synthetic amethyst that is on the market right now looks so similar to genuine amethyst that it can be difficult for laymen to distinguish between the two. On the other hand, if you want the look of amethyst without the prices, synthetic amethyst might be just right for you.

Caring for Amethyst Rings

Amethyst can be cleaned with warm, soapy water or jewelry cleaning solution available at your favorite jewelry store. Ultrasonic cleaners are another option for cleaning amethyst rings. Because heat can affect the color of amethyst, avoid heat and cleaning methods that employ heat, such as steam cleaning.

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Gemstone Jewelry

There’s nothing like beautiful gemstone jewelry to make a woman’s eyes light up in delight.  For thousands of years women and men have used gemstones to add a little something special to an outfit or even items like daggers and swords. To this day, gemstone jewelry is prized for its value and beauty.

 What are Gemstones?

Gemstones are generally minerals found in rocks, like ruby quartz or emerald, or sometimes a petrified substance, like amber.  Even though a miner may find a gem stone, it might not be of good enough quality to be used in fine jewelry, and might instead wind up as a pretty bookend on a shelf. 

Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstone Jewelry

Ge stones are generally divided into two categories: precious and semi precious stones.  Precious stones are generally considered rarer and more valuable than the rest.  Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are considered precious gem stones.  The others, stones like aquamarine, tanzanite and amber, are called semi-precious stones.  The purple stone  in amethyst rings was once considered a precious gemstone, but after rich deposits were discovered it became less rare and valuable, and today amethyst is generally classified as a semi precious stone.

 Gemstone Cuts

When gemstone are first mined, even first rate gemstones are not ready to be set in jewelry.  They must first be cut, and then polished til they shine.  Jewelers usually cut the gems into a smooth, rounded shape, called cabochon, or more frequently into facets.  Facets are smooth flat planes, that catch the light and reflect it, enhancing that coveted sparkle

 Gemstone Enhancements

Sometimes cleaning and polishing aren’t enough, and jewelers employ other methods to help a gem look its best. For example, the gem used in tanzanite rings is a dull brown color when it’s pulled from the earth, but after heat treatment it becomes a stunning shade of blue or violet. Stones prone to surface imperfections, like emeralds, are frequently treated with oil or wax to make those imperfections less noticeable.

 Birthstones

While there are countless types of gemstone jewelry – emerald engagement rings, garnet earrings, anklets, mood rings and more – birthstone jewelry is a particularly well-liked kind of gem stone jewelry.  When a child is born, the month she is born in is associated with a gemstone, and that stone will be her birthstone throughout her life.  Most months have two and sometimes three birthstones – a main stone and an alternate.

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