In ancient times, this gemstone was said to aid seafarers; thus it is an excellent gift suggestion for sailors or one who takes frequent cruises! To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends; to wear aquamarine earrings brings love and affection. Aquamarine is a universal symbol of youth, hope and health.
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family (“cousin” to Emerald) and its name in Latin means water of the sea. Aqua rates 7.5-8 on Moh’s Hardness Scale. The color of aqua will range from blue-green to green-blue in varying intensities of hue but the rich deep blue color is the most valuable.
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed amethyst would prevent its wearer from becoming intoxicated. They also made drinking vessels out of this purple gemstone to help keep them “sober” when using it.
Garnet is a remarkable gem in that it comes in all colors except blue. Its reds range from raspberry to blood-red to orangey or brownish red.
Garnets are found in the US, Africa, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia and India.
Garnet’s name could be from the Latin word “granatus” meaning grain. This is possibly referring to the “punica granatum” (pomegranate) with red seeds similar to garnet crystals.
Another thought is that the name came from the middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red.
Garnet’s history in jewelry can be traced from the Egyptians to ancient Greek and Roman empires.
Blue zircon is the birthstone for December. Zircon is a brilliant yet affordable gemstone and its fire can rival that of a diamond. Zircon is commonly seen in a rich light to medium blue color but is also available in gold, white, orange, and green color. The majority of zircon is mined from Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Zircon is a natural gemstone – not to be confused with the man made cubic zirconia, a diamond simulant.
Turquoise is one of the oldest known gems – old as time and timeless! It is the original birthstone for those born in the month of December. The Egyptians were mining turquoise in 3200 BC in the Sinai. The stone was thought to promote prosperity and to offer protection from evil.
Turquoise is porous and should be kept away from heat and household chemicals. The major mining sources for turquoise are USA, Australia, Chile, China and Mexico.
With the help of a hefty marketing push from Tiffany’s (which came up with the name), this blue variety of Zoisite has done well as a precious stone since its discovery in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967. Connections or not, it’s hard to argue with its often stunning (and OK, yes, usually enhanced) violet-blue color.
Turquoise and blue zircon were the two existing December birthstones that had to move over to share space with tanzanite when the AGTA added it to its official birthstone list in 2002.
This gemstone rates 8 to 8.5 on the Moh’s Hardness Chart making it an excellent choice for every day wear.
Alexandrite is sometimes called “Emerald by day, Ruby by night” due to its color change.
Alexandrite is the gemstone gift for June birthdays and the 55th wedding anniversary.
This chysoberyl contains iron and titanium, as well as chromium, which produces its color-changing quality.
Due to its scarcity and seemingly magical color change, alexandrite is one of the most valuable gemstones in the world.
Alexandrite is one of the most desired gems. It is green in daylight and red in artificial light. This beauty is the official birth stone for June.
The most desired Alexandrite gemstones were mined in Russia but the deposits in the Urals are worked out. Today they are mined in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Rhodesia. They are part of the gem family Chrysoberyl.
Sizes above one carat are rare and finer gems are often more expensive than comparably sized rubies or sapphires.