GEMSTONE LOCATOR PAGE No. THREE
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Variety, Beauty and Originality in Jewelry Design
Traditional Birthstone Chart
Januauary - Garnet, (Almandine)
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine, Bloodstone
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphires (All Colors)
October - Opal, Pink Tourmaline
November - Imperial Topaz, Citrine
December - Blue Zircon, Turquoise
The Anatomy of a Gemstone
CUT: Cut is the only C that is controlled by man — all other characteristics of the natural gemstone were determined by Mother Nature, and the Cut of a gemstone can be the single most important characteristic that determines its value. Two gemstones of the exact same size with similar clarity and color grades may appear dramatically different to the eye, and have significantly different values.
GEMSTONE CATEGORIES: The various gem categories (i.e. Precious, Semi Precious, Rare and Museum) are standard classifications based on value and rarity. Precious Gems include those varieties (e.g. Diamond, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby.) with high market values, while Museum Gems include rare and hard to find varieties of gems in large and small sizes, pieces which are suitable for collections, usually one of a kind pieces. Rare Gems are rarer lesser-known varieties. Many Rare Gems are Museum Gems. Semi-precious gems generally includes everything else that is mainstream.
Gemstone Shape and Personality: Can the shape of the gemstone you would choose to wear somehow be related to your personality characteristics. Here are six of the most popular shapes and their prescribed meanings.
The Pear Shape Diamond: The ideal choice for the woman who is bold, outgoing, stylish, and this woman loves art.
Square Cuts: Emerald and Princess Cut Diamonds: The choice for the woman who is sophisticated, adamant and fiery, well organized, disciplined, and efficient.
The Marquise Shape Diamond: The perfect choice for the woman who is creative, innovative, not in need of universal approval, a shrewdly independent thinker and doer.
The Heart Shape Diamond: What could be more perfect for the woman who is a dreamer, very sentimental, dramatic, and devoted?
The Oval Shape Diamond: The ideal selection for the woman who is innovative, the oval shape represents a large family, and is said to be chosen by women who are unique, and slightly complex.
The Classic Round Shape Diamond: A great choice for the woman who is secure, traditional, home and family centered, easygoing and dependable.
Gemstones and Crystals
Antique Cushion Cut Garnet
Blue Topaz - Portuguese Faceting
Brown Star Sapphire
Blue Green Sapphire
Bluish Grey Spinel
Bluish Green Cushion Cut Tourmaline
Catseye Green Tourmaline
Chakra Red Crystal
Chakra Yellow Crystal
Cushion Cut Amethyst
Cushion Cut Concave Faceted Smoky Topaz
Cushion Cut Golden Yellow Citrine
Cusion Cut Sphene
Cushion Cut Sphene
D Color Step Cut Flawless Diamond
Prasiolite - Green Amethyst
Prasiolite - Green Amethyst
Greenish Gold Tourmaline
Greyish Violet Spinel
Lime Green Tourmaline
Madagascar Demantoid Garnet
Emerald Cut Mystic Topaz
Emerald Cut Mystic Topaz
Orangish Yellow Zircon
Oval Spessartite Garnet
Non-Copper Bearing Trillion Paraiba Tourmaline
Pear Shape Portuguese Cut Smoky Topaz
Prehnite - a form of calcium aluminum silicate, has a vitreous mother-of-pearl luster. It occurs in a range of green hues, from yellow-green to apple-green. It is typically translucent, so you'll usually find it cut as cabochons.
Portuguese Faceted Green Tourmaline
Portuguese Faceted Multicolor Tourmaline
Blue Cabochon Sapphire
Scissor Faceted Watermelon Tourmaline
Scissor Faceted Golden Yellow Tourmaline
Swiss Blue Topaz - Cabochon
Custom Cut Swiss Blue Topaz
Grade 3 Trillion Cut Tanzanite
Teal Blue Sapphire
Cabochon Swiss Blue Topaz
Pear Cut Violet Amethyst
Green Amethyst (Green Amethyst can be a confusing gem as it is traded under a variety of names and is even sometimes mistaken for other gemstones (e.g. Peridot and Tourmaline). The green variety of Quartz, Green Amethyst is also known as Vermarine, Green Quartz, Lime Citrine or by its gemological name, Prasiolite. Although reasonably affordable, it is unusual and remains a collector’s gemstone. By definition, amethyst is purple quartz.)
Oval Yellow Zircon
Yellowish Green Scissor Faceted Tourmaline
Pear Shape Yellow Sapphire
Cornflower Blue Quartz
Bluish Green Sapphire with Yellow Tinge
Greenish Blue Sapphire
Orange Mandarin Garnet
Orange, Pink and Green Tourmaline
Orange, Pink and Green Watermelon Tourmaline
Orange, Purple and Green Tourmaline
Silver Blue Spinel
12-Ray Star Sapphire
Bi-Color Citrine - The L.A. Laker Stone
Jewelry as an investment works for some and not for others. A pure love and respect for gemstones is where some people get their inspiration, collectability and resale value motivate others. One of the true diamond divas of the 20th Century would have to be screen actress Elizabeth Taylor. Her jewelry collection was vast; it is reported Liz' jewelry lockbox contained over 200 carats of the world's top quality diamonds. One stone, the colorless and internally flawless almost 70 carat Taylor-Burton diamond, was given to Elizabeth Taylor in the 60s by Actor Richard Burton. It is a pear-shaped 69.42 carat diamond. The stone has quite a history in that it was originally sold at auction in 1969 with the understanding that it could be named by the buyer. Cartier of New York successfully bid for it and immediately christened it The Cartier. The next day Richard Burton bought the stone for Elizabeth Taylor for an undisclosed sum, renaming it the Taylor-Burton Diamond. It made its debut at a charity ball in Monaco in mid-November, 1969 where Miss Taylor wore it as a pendant. In 1978, Ms. Taylor announced that she was putting it up for sale and planned to, after visiting the country of Africa, use part of the proceeds to build a hospital in Botswana. Just to inspect the diamond, prospective buyers had to pay $2,500 to cover the cost of showing it. In June 1979 it was sold for nearly $3 million dollars, and was last reported to be owned by a Princess in Saudi Arabia. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however, with that said, the only thing that has ever been compared to the awesome beauty of a gemstone is the beauty of a woman. That is why the fine gemstones represent love and so many beautiful stones are gifted between people all around the world every single day. When is the last time you bought yourself, or the one you think of most ... a beautiful gemstone?
Platinum, like gold, has a long and distinguished history. Its use began in antiquity and it has undergone a resurgence in popularity over the last 200 years. Platinum was held in high esteem during early Egyptian times. Native people in South and Central America worked it as early as 100 B.C. Spanish conquistadors discovered platinum artifacts among the gold they were seeking when they came to the new world. They named the curious metal "platina," or "little silver." They also considered it worthless, and discarded it. Platinum didn't reach Europe until the 18th century, but then it caught on in a big way. King Louis XVI elevated it by terming it "the metal of kings."
For centuries, the only large amounts of platinum outside of South America were found in Russian mines. Russia used platinum coins in the 19th century. In Spain, some gold coins were faked by gold-plating platinum coins. Today, platinum is far more valuable than gold. Platinum's initial uses were probably limited by its hardness and its very high melting point. The early forging and casting techniques made it quite a difficult metal to work with. During the latter part of the 19th century, and the first half of the 20th, platinum was the premier metal for all-important jewelry. Platinum dominated the world of jewelry design during the Edwardian era, and the Art Deco period well into the 1930s. It all came to an abrupt end in World War II, when platinum was declared a strategic metal and its use banned for all non-military purposes. Platinum has many industrial applications, which made it invaluable to the military during the war. Platinum is vital to the automotive industry as well as to electrical engineering, electronics and petrochemicals. The medical and dental fields also use it to a great degree. Every car in the United States has platinum in its catalytic converter, which reduces emissions. Only about one-third of the platinum mined today is used in jewelry, where it consistently commands higher prices than the purest gold. Because of its many uses, almost all platinum mined and refined is immediately committed to use. An interesting note: There are no stockpiles or "reserves" of platinum in any government or banking storage. The appeal of platinum is in its appearance. Its white luster is unique. It is also the strongest precious metal used in jewelry, and is almost twice as heavy as 14-karat gold. This weight is one of platinum's strongest selling points, because it gives "heft" to fine jewelry, which people naturally equate with value. In recent years platinum has rapidly grown in popularity. It's become the new choice for many diamond engagement rings because its luster brings out the brilliance of diamonds far better than gold. Many fashion consultants agree that platinum (and white gold) is more compatible with fairer skin tones. The Japanese seem to be listening -- almost 85% of platinum jewelry produced every year is purchased by Japanese consumers! Despite its growing popularity, platinum remains one of the world's rare metals. The annual worldwide production of platinum amounts to some 160 tons, compared to about 1,500 tons of gold.
It can be found in just a handful of regions of the world. The mining and refining processes are both arduous and time-consuming. For example, in order to extract a single ounce of platinum, about 10 tons of ore need to be mined. After that, the refining process takes a full five months. Platinum in jewelry is actually an alloyed group of six heavy metals, including platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. These other metals are so similar to platinum in weight and chemistry that most were not even distinguished from each other until early in the nineteenth century. Today, it is often alloyed with copper and titanium. It's the only precious metal used in fine jewelry that is 90% to 95% pure, largely hypoallergenic, and tarnish-resistant. Look for platinum jewelry marked 900Pt, 950 Plat, or Plat. One final word about precious metals: Like gold, platinum is durable, sturdy and dependable, making it an ideal setting for your precious diamond jewelry. However, to get a lifetime of enjoyment from your jewelry, be sure to keep it clean and safe. Do not wear platinum jewelry during rough work or when handling harsh chemicals. Store it in a fabric-lined box away from other pieces so it does not get scratched. Finally, check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage to prongs or bezels. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for repair.