Friday, February 26, 2016

The appeal of diamonds

The appeal of diamonds and other precious gems has endured for eons. They confer on the wearer a feeling of beauty, value, status. We are drawn to them and we all have our personal favorites. Sometimes it’s our birthstone. For others, a particular stone reflects a favorite color. There is almost a magical feeling when you are near them, the energy they create it is palpable.

While the clear diamond has been the traditional stone of choice for engagement and wedding bands, other stones are actually more valued and prized because of their rarity. The sapphire has often been the stone of choice for royal betrothal rings. When Princess Diana selected her 18-carat sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring, she selected one of the rarest stones on the earth.  When Jennifer Lopez was engaged to Ben Affleck, she sported a 6-carat pink diamond ring. Camilla Parker-Bowles chose an emerald ring when she became engaged to Prince Charles.

We’ve become even more fascinated with beautiful jewelry because of the popularity of celebrity venues like award shows. Often this jewelry is on loan to the celebrity. At one time, we could only look at pieces like that a sigh wistfully. But with the creation of cubic zirconia, a nearly identical chemical twin to the diamond, we can satisfy some of our more extravagant whims without breaking the bank! And there’s no reason to let on that maybe that fabulous new ring you’re wearing isn’t really diamonds. Let everyone think your boyfriend or husband got a financial windfall and spent it all on you!

But when you can afford the real thing, there’s really nothing like it, is there? Is there a prized piece in your collection? Do you wear it often, or only on special occasions? If you don’t wear your jewelry often, give yourself a lift and start bringing that special ring out on regular occasions. It can certainly brighten up a dreary Monday when you’re wearing something special!

Rose Quartz

Who doesn’t love rose quartz in all its varying hues of pink? Rose quartz takes its name from the flower because of its translucent and delicate pink color caused by traces of iron, manganese or titanium. Rose quartz is usually very large - meaning that it doesn't form crystals. Rose quartz is found in Madagascar, India, Germany and several areas in the USA. Much rose quartz was extracted from a famous site near Custer, South Dakota, but now, most of the world's supply comes from Brazil. Rose quartz is one of the most valued varieties of quartz. The pink to rose red color is unique.

The color of rose quartz is still not completely understood. It has been said to be due to a number of different minor impurities present in the rose quartz including titanium, manganese and even colloidal gold. However, recent studies using micro-analytical methods have discovered that the color of massive rose quartz is actually due to microscopic mineral fibers in the rose quartz. X-ray diffraction tests on these microscopic fibers yielded patterns similar to the mineral dumortierite, suggesting the possibility of a totally new and as yet unknown fibrous mineral causing the color in massive rose quartz. The rare transparent crystals of rose quartz owe their coloration to aluminum and phosphorous impurities. Their pink color is photosensitive and can fade in sunlight.

Rose quartz is often called the 'love stone'. It is associated with forgiveness and compassion and can create a wonderful calming influence. It is soft and delicate inspiring feelings of love and friendship. Rose quartz is aid to help remove repressed anger and hatred and is said to remove negative influences such as jealousy and avarice. It is said to aid the spleen, kidneys and circulation system. Rose quartz also eases sexual and emotional imbalance and can also improve fertility. It makes a lovely gift as it is a symbol of love


Garnets have been known and used in jewelry for thousands of years. Legend says that Noah used a garnet lantern to safely steer his Ark through the darkness of the night and the great flood. Garnets are found in jewelry from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman eras. Many courageous discoverers and travelers wore garnets for protection, as they were considered popular talismans and protective stones, because it was believed in those days that garnets illuminate the night and prevent their wearer from any sort of evil. Today science explained to us that the proverbial luminosity of garnet is caused by its high refraction of light.
Although the color red is the one which occurs most frequently, there are also garnets showing different shades of green, pale to bright yellow, fiery orange and fine earth- and umbra-shades. Only blue is a color which is not available in garnet. Garnets are gemstones which are in high demand and are often worked into pieces of jewellery - especially since today not only the traditional gemstone colors red, blue and green are cherished by the consumer, but the intermediate shades and hues are also very popular. Garnets are unusual because their tone can change depending on whether they’re seen in natural or artificial light.
Some of the alternately-colored garnets are very famous. Spessartine garnets are a bright orange to orange-red. These are extremely rare. There is a type of garnet called a Mandarine garnet which is also orange. It too is rare.
There are even green garnets, even though one doesn’t associate this color with garnet. The star among green garnets is rare demantoid. It shows enormous brilliance, higher even than that of diamond. Russia’s leading court jeweler Carl FabergĂ© loved the brilliant green garnet from the Urals more than any other stone, and liked to use it in his creations.


Amethyst is a violet or purple variety of quartz often used as an ornament or jewelry. The name comes from the Greek A (not) and methuskein ("to intoxicate"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios. Beads of amethyst are found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.

Amethyst has been in use for thousands of years in magic, healing and psychic empowerment. Its violet color makes this one of the most sought after variety of quartz. It has a large number of qualities and uses that have been given it over the years and it is said to be a stone that radiates energy which has often been referred to as the purple ray. 
It is referred to as a Spiritual Stone because its color violet is same as that of  the crown chakra. Amethysts also are believed to calm emotions and reduce stress. It’s an amulet for travelers, and helps whoever holds the stone to have a more optimistic outlook and perspective. Placing it under your pillow is supposed to help induce sleep and prophetic dreams. 

Some people use amethyst balls not so much for divination, but to channel knowledge and healing from the universe. It’s also used for healing in a variety of ways. If you merely hold it in your hand or keep it in your pocket, you can channel the healing powers of amethysts. Although a healing crystal doesn’t necessarily need to be amethyst, it’s one that’s often used for spiritual as well as physical healing.


Citrine is any quartz crystal or cluster that is yellow or orange in color. Although, often cut as a gemstone, citrine is actually somewhat rare in nature. Citrine is one of the most affordable gemstones, thanks to the durability and availability of this golden quartz. Named from the French name for lemon,"citron," many citrines have a juicy lemon color, but like all gemstones, there is a range of colors that can be exhibited as citrine.

Citrine colors include yellow, gold to orange brown shades of transparent quartz. It’s a cheery-looking stone, and affordable and is popular as a gemstone for jewely. In ancient times, citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts.

Although the darker, orange colors of citrine, sometimes called Madeira citrine after the color of the wine, has generally been the most valued color, in modern times, many people prefer the bright lemony shades which mix better with pastel colors. Citrine is generally more inexpensive than amethyst and is also available in a wide range of calibrated sizes and shapes, including very large sizes.

Sometimes you will hear citrine referred to as topaz quartz, which is incorrect. This name was used in the past in reference to the color, which is sometimes similar to the color of topaz. Since topaz is a separate mineral, this type of name can be confusing and should not be used. However, citrine is considered an alternative to topaz as the birthstone for November.

Since most citrine on the market started its life as amethyst which was heated to turn its color to gold, citrine jewelry, as well as amethyst jewelry, should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat. With this precaution, citrine jewelry will last for many generations.