June Birthstone Part II: Alexandrite

Alexandrite. June’s modern birthstone.

Alexandrite gemstones don’t come with all the history and lore like many of the other birthstones. In fact, the gem was not even discovered until the early 1800s. Its young life has no effect on its popularity and value however, as the gem is considered one of the rarest and most valuable in the world. So rare, that any quality of Alexandrite over 3 carats is extremely uncommon!  What makes this gem so desired, is its chemical composition which gives it a chameleon-like behavior, changing in colors from blueish green under natural light, to a reddish-purple under artificial light.

History:

Imperial Russia

According to legend, Alexandrite was named after the boy Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday in 1834, deep within Russia’s Ural Mountain range. Supposedly, miners were collecting emeralds. One miner gathered his collection of emeralds and took them back to camp at the end of the day, where in front of the campfire the stones glimmered in a brilliant shade of red! Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom. Russia was the only place that high quality Alexandrite was mined until almost all of their mines had been exhausted. It wasn’t until the 1990s when more high-quality deposits were discovered in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Africa and India. However, stones from each different area have their own characteristics.

Symbolism:

First the gem was most symbolic of Imperial Russia and was a prized possession among Russian Aristocracy.  It’s modernly known to symbolizes births in the month of June, and the 45th and 55th anniversaries of marriage. Since its discovery, Alexandrite has been said to bring luck, good fortune and romance. With the gem’s changing color, it was said to be a reminder that life is not only what it seems to be.

Mystical Properties:

There are many ways Alexandrite’s are said to aid in physical and emotional ailments. The gem is believed to be great for aiding in emotional balance including self-esteem and the connection with nature around you. Along with psychological benefits, alexandrite has also been thought to be beneficial physically. Things likes pancreatic disorders, swollen lymph nodes, and aliments of the spleen as well as the regeneration of neurological tissues and in the treating of diseases like Leukemia.

For being one of the world’s youngest known gemstones,

alexandrite does not lack in the sense of value and desire! Along with the pearl, this gemstone gives those born in June a great selection of both timeless & classy as well as modern & rare gems to choose from. (Can’t go wrong with either of those styles!)

 

June Birthstone Part I: Pearls

The Pearl. June’s traditional birthstone.

 

The pearl has been treasured among people and cultures for thousands of years- far longer than any gemstone the comes from the earth. This is because there is something special about the pearl that sets it apart for all the other gemstones. Pearls are the only gem that is not formed deep within the earth and are considered the world’s oldest gem! They are formed in sea creatures called mollusks, which include clams, oysters and mussels.

History:

Most likely, pearls were discovered by ancient people that were searching for food along the seashore. We know that pearls have been valuable to people for thousands of years thanks to pearl jewelry found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess that dates back to 420 BC. A pearl is naturally formed when a small foreign object gets inside the mollusk, and as a natural defense mechanism, the mollusk will produce layers of material that form around the object. The very existence of pearls could be considered a “freak accident”. You may have heard the term, ‘cultured pearl’ before. A cultured pearl is when the foreign object is purposely placed into the mussel. Cultured pearls became a thing as Nnatural pearls were becoming scarcer as the waters became more polluted and mollusk-producing areas were exhausted and overworked

Pearls through the Ages:

Ancients: 

  • Often worn as a protective amulet to stop the soul from leaving the body
  • Symbolic of the moon, had magical powers
  • Egyptians embellished their buildings, clothing, jewelry, and even tombs with pearls.
  • The Greeks and Romans held the pearl very highly and believed that the goddesses Venus (Roman version) and Aphrodite (Greek version) emerged from oyster shells in the sea.
  • Represented purity and used as currency in China

Middle Ages:

  • By law, only royalty and high nobility are allowed to wear pearls
  • Adorned wigs, clothing and decorative objects
  • Didn’t mind wearing imitation pearls when supplies for natural ones ran low
  • Renaissance era incorporated baroque pearls into designs, which are irregular shaped.
  • Knights would wear them into battle for good luck

19th Century:

  • Height of fashion for growing middle class
  • Became a status symbol for anyone with money to burn
  • Pearls appear in brooches and chokers
  • Long strands of layered pearls were popular in the 1920s
  • Cultured pearls and costume pearls became popular

 

Today, there are four main types of pearls:

  1. Akoya: the classic. Grown off the coast of Japan for over 100 years. When you picture a strand of pearls, most likely thinking of Akoya
  2. Freshwater: the fashion-forward pearl. Known for white and pastel colors, and untraditional shapes. Very affordable. Often come in a variety of shapes and dyed a variety of colors
  3. Tahitian: the dark, exotic pearl. Very rare, only naturally dark pearl. Grown in 
    the French Polynesia.
  4. 4. South Sea: Rolls Royce of pearls. Grown in Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Range in color. Largest saltwater pearls grown today. Come in a variety of shapes, because of how large they are, finding a perfectly round south sea pearl is extremely rare.

 

Symbolism & Mystical Properties:

Along with being the gem representing births in the month of June, the pearl also symbolizes the 3rd and 30th anniversaries of marriage. Pearls can symbolize numerous things- mainly depending on its color. For example, white pearls have long symbolized purity, which is why the gem has always been popular as bridal jewelry. Because the gem originates in the water, and because of its round shape and glimmering white color, it’s not surprising that the pearl has long been symbolic of the moon.

For a gem that has been present in human culture for thousands of years, the pearl has lost little value and is still a popular and prized gem to own today. Although June has the beautiful pearl to represent it, it’s actually one of those lucky months that get two gems. Along with one of the world’s oldest gems, June gets one of the world’s newest gems associated with it. Check back for part II to learn more of June’s other birthstone, Alexandrite.

Sources:
https://www.timemaps.com/civilizations/the-vedic-age/
http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/jewellery/article/history-of-pearls-pearl-jewellery-rings-earrings-necklaces/
https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-pearls-gems-yore/
http://visforvintage.net/2013/06/07/history-of-pearls/

May Birthstone: Emerald

May is the most defining month of spring; when everything starts to bloom and turn green. For this reason, emeralds make the perfect gemstone to represent this season of ‘New Life’. Ranging in color from light to a deep, rich green, emeralds have been a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings since ancient times.

History:

The word emerald is derived from the Greek word “smaragdus”, which literally means green. The stone has had an important presence in hundreds of cultures all over the world, and for as long as 6,000 years. Even today, emeralds are still considered one of the most prized gemstones. A fine emerald may even be two or three times more valuable than a diamond! (Who knew?!)

Traces of emeralds being mined go back as early as 330 BC in Egypt. The ancients worshipped the gem, believing they indicated fertility and rebirth. Cleopatra, famed queen in Egyptian history, cherished the gems. She even claimed ownership over ALL emeralds during her reign.Throughout history, emeralds had always been prized and worn by the wealthy and royalty.

Legend has it that Hernando Cortes,  conqueror of Mexico, tried to bring giant chunks of emerald that he took from the Aztecs, back home with him. However, one of his ships was shipwrecked, and hundreds delicately carved emeralds were lost to the sea forever.

Symbolism:

Known as the birthstone for those born in May, emeralds also represent the 20th and 35th year of marriage. The gem has long been a symbol of loyalty, peace and new beginnings. Because of this, the stone suggests the concept of eternity due to green being a color that constantly renews itself in nature though generations and time.

Many ancients taught that emeralds could enhance inspiration and patience and increase memory & understanding. With these advantages, the gemstone will attract prosperity in business. It’s also known that dreaming about an emerald is a dream of good omens… meaning it symbolizes that you have a lot to look forward to and that your future is bright.

Mystical Properties:

Going as far back as there is evidence of emeralds, there’s been evidence of the gem’s healing powers. In almost every ancient language, emeralds are mentioned to help eyesight. In some even, the gem was said to enable people to foretell future events if the gem was worn on the tongue or the left side of the body.

During the time of Hippocrates, emeralds were even crushed into a fine powder and made into an eye cream. Over the course of time, emeralds have been said to have many uses and beneficial properties. Still today, lower quality emeralds ground into a powder are used in Chinese folk medicines!

In today’s world, emeralds are an excellent gem for those involved with public speaking. This is because emeralds are believed to improve one’s intuition, thereby increasing their perceptions. The gem is known to bring calming and balancing benefits, which promotes creativity and eloquence.

 

The emerald is the perfect gemstone to represent the new season of life. It’s soothing green color takes you into long, lazy, summer days. With such a rich history and so many beneficial properties, this gemstone is a must-have in your jewelry collection.

 

sources: jewelsforme.com/emerald-meaning,  jewelrynotes.com/emerald-gemstone-meaning-symoblism-healing,  goodlucksymbols.com/emerald

 

April Birthstone: Diamond


Known as the “king of all birthstones”, diamonds are a gem that almost everyone loves no matter what month you were born in!

 

 

The word diamond is adopted from the Greek word, Adamas, meaning “invincible”.  The name reflects the stone’s physical properties due to the fact that diamonds are the hardest known element found on Earth; and are virtually indestructible!  Forming for billions of years, diamonds can actually be round in every color of the rainbow. Color depends on the type of impurities found inside the stone. For example, diamonds with a yellow hue have traces of nitrogen, while more blue stones have traces of boron.

History:

De Beers pint ad circa 1950s

Over the course of human history, almost every ancient culture had some sort of contact with the indestructible stone. The first discovery of diamonds can be traced as far back as 6,000 years ago! Records can show that ancient peoples used the unbreakable stone to carve their tools and other items our of wood and other rocks. Other civilizations like the Greeks and Romans believed that the gems were crystalized shooting stars that had fallen to the Earth, or that they were the tears of the weeping Gods above. It wasn’t until the Renaissance period that diamonds were first used as engagement rings. The trend was not very popular and only among the royal and wealthy.

However, in today’s world diamonds are extremely popular across the globe. They are used as adornments in jewelry and accessories due to their sheer beauty, their brilliance, and their indestructability. In 1947, a campaign launched that would change the diamond industry forever. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Diamonds are Forever”? The De Beers jewelry company, founded in 1888 in London, coined the term. It means that a diamond is a never-ending sign of love, and that this particular gem would always keep its value. The company also identified the industry’s first diamond grading system, known as the 4C’s (Carat, Cut, Color, Clarity). Almost every gemologist across the globe uses this system to grade and define diamonds!

Symbolism:

The immaculate gemstone first and foremost symbolizes love. The offering and acceptance of a diamond engagement ring represents a promise between two people to spend the rest of their lives together. Because of the stone’s known hardness, it symbolizes a deep everlasting love, purity, and faith. Diamonds also represent births during the month of April and 60th year of marriage. Finally, diamonds are a symbol of timelessness; mainly due to their physical attributes. The gems have been deemed the nickname, “The Stone of Immortality”, which may have led to the cause for the celebrated saying, Diamonds are Forever.

 

Mystical Properties:

Diamond in the Rough

Over the course of human history, and through hundreds of cultures and civilizations, diamonds have always been associated with improving the wearer’s life in several ways, specifically though… bringing clarity of the mind to wearer. Still to this day, it’s believed that the gem has the ability to reduce stress, fear, emotional pain and negative energies; all while attracting strength, power, creativity and innocence to the one who wears it. It’s rumored, that sporting this stone will help one accomplish the dreams and destiny.

 

This list properties and benefits diamonds can bring a wearer goes on and on. Recognized as the king of all birthstones, babies born in April sure are lucky! No matter your birth month though, you can never go wrong with the timeless gift of diamond jewelry.

 

sources: https://gemfind.com/the-history-and-power-of-the-diamond/https://www.americangemsociety.org/page/diamondhistoryhttps://www.jewelsforme.com/diamond-meaninghttp://www.adiamor.com/blog/education/the-symbolism-of-a-diamond/

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

Throughout human history, aquamarine has been a gem symbolizing eternal youth, hope, health and fidelity. The stone has been a valued gem for thousands of years and across dozens of cultures.

History:

Like many other  gems, the use of aquamarine goes back to ancient times. The word aquamarine is derived from the Latin words, “aqua” meaning water, and “marine” meaning sea, which together translates into “water of the sea”. Age-old stories were told of the gem being the treasure of sea witches (aka MERMAIDS!). They cleansed the gems in the ocean by the light of the full moon, and the gems were washed up on shore. because of its connection with the sea, sailor would wear the stone on voyages and believed it promised good luck and safe passage across stormy seas.

Traces of aquamarine can be found in ancient cultures across the globe such as the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Hebrews. The first recorded attributes of the gem were in the 2nd century B.C. It stated when the gem was put in water and taken as drink, it would be beneficial for damaged eyes and with all sickness.

Symbolism:

Aquamarine symbolizes the month of March and the 19th anniversary of marriage. However the gem has been a symbol of  youth, health, and hope throughout dozens of ancient cultures.  Aquamarine was thought to reawaken the love of married couples. The ancient Romans  believed the gem would absorb the atmosphere of young love, making it a very popular morning gift for a groom to give his new bride.

During the middle ages, the gem was claimed to be the best stone to use for fortune telling when cut as a crystal ball. Many different methods of using the gem as a divining tool have been described in ancient literature.

Mystical Properties:

Aquamarine is known to be a stone of enlightenment, spiritual awareness, and give the wearer the ability to control their emotions. The gemstone is also highly connected to the Moon and the element of water (again, MERMAIDS). It’s considered an “all purpose” healing stone that can help with both physical and mental disorders, and has documentation of physical benefits dating back to the 2nd century B.C.. Today, modern healers believe that aquamarine aids in fluid retention, a further association with the water aspects of aquamarine.

No matter if you wear aquamarine as jewelry or as in aid in your spiritual journey, its calming pale blue color is the perfect complement to any skin tone or setting!

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst has been a prized gem to man for thousands of years.

These gems have been set in religious and crown jewels and have been worn by bishops and figures of the Christian church for ages. It was even thought that Saint Valentine wore a ring set with an antique amethyst with a carved image of Cupid, which then connects the dots to the gem’s ties with the month of February!  The stone also symbolizes the 6th anniversary of marriage.

With being such a popular gem used throughout history, there are many legends and folklore that can be found for amethyst. At one time, true amethyst was valued equally with the diamond. However, after large amounts were found in South America and eventually all over the globe, the gem’s rarity and value decreased.

History:

We can thank the Ancient Romans for the most famous folklore legend about amethyst. Because of the gem’s grape-like color, the Romans associated it with the god of wine, Bacchus.  They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness and instill a sober mind. The name “amethyst”, is actually derived from the Greek word amethustos, meaning sober.

The legend goes:

Long ago, a beautiful woman was on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana. However, she had the misfortune of crossing bath with Bacchus, the god of wine. Bacchus was angered since he’d just been disrespected, he vowed he would take revenge on the next person he met. He spied the woman and unleashed his two guardian tigers on her. As the great beasts bounded towards her, the goddess Diana intervened. To spare her such a terrible fate, she turned her into pure, clear stone.

With immediate remorse, Bacchus wanted to atone for his actions. He poured his tears of wine over the stone, staining her a deep, violet hue. And so, the maiden Amethyst lent her name to the crystal.

Throughout time, many other legends and uses appeared for the amethyst gemstone; but we think we can all agree that the Roman’s legend for the gem is our favorite!

Symbolism:

Like we said earlier, amethyst is the gem that modernly symbolizes the month of February and the 6th anniversary of marriage. During the Renaissance period, amethyst stood for humility and modesty. Throughout the ages, the gem was also used by rich and powerful monarchs for symbolize royalty. It’s rumored that the gemstone was a personal favorite of Queen Katherine the Great of Russia, who reigned during the late 1700s. Amethyst has always been a symbol of religious classes that have ruled human cultures. In the Chinese philosophy of Feng Sui, amethyst is said to give and receive material wealth. At the highest level of the philosophy, the gem is said to give the spiritual understanding required to reach the state of bliss. Even today, amethyst represents the crown chakra at the top of the head where divine essence enters.

Mystical Properties:

To this day, amethyst is still used for healing remedies and spiritual enlightenment. For over two thousand years, the gems have been saturated with ancient magic. They are just as popular today as were back then!

Amethyst has had a presence in cultures all over the world. Centuries ago, amethyst was actually moistened and rubbed on the skin to prevent pimples and rough skin. In traditional Chinese medicine, it was used for stomach pains and bad dreams; and ancient civilizations believed that if the gem was placed under the pillow while sleeping, it was supposed to banish insomnia and promote pleasant thoughts and often prophetic dreams.

From alleviating headaches and depression, to being valuable for treating the central nervous system & brain, amethyst has hundreds of healing properties. It’s been said for centuries that the gem can bring forth the purest aspirations of human kind: chastity, sobriety, and control over one’s thoughts. The stone encourage calm, bravery, and contemplation.

This post could go on and on if we listed all of the properties and historical value associated with amethyst gemstones!

One thing is for sure- no matter if February is your birth month or not, sporting this stone can give you some serious health benefits and not to mention good graces while enjoying a few adult drinks!

source: jewelsforme.com

 

 

January Birthstone: Garnet

The new year is all about resolutions and high hopes for a fresh start for the year ahead.

What better way to represent that state of mind than with a beautiful garnet gemstone? Known for bringing a sense of goodwill, happiness, and prosperity, whether red is your color or not; having a garnet on you to start out the new year is never a bad idea!

History:

The word garnet is originally derived from the Latin word, ‘garantum’, meaning seed. This name for the gem came to be because of the gem’s resemblance to the bright, beautiful red seeds of the pomegranate. Although the most common garnet range in tones of

These are actual garnets, not seeds!

red, the rarest garnets are blue and colorless, or color-changing in different lights (extremely rare!). The use of garnets can be traced back all the way to the Bronze Age. Garnets were actually found in a necklace worn by a man whose grave dates back to 3000 B.C.. Other references go back to the Ancient Egyptians, who used the gem in jewelry and artwork. The gem’s popularity didn’t skyrocket until 18th century in Europe, where is was very popular in Victorian era jewelry.

Symbolism:

The list of symbolic meanings for wearing the garnet goes on and on. Not only is garnet the designated gem for births in the month of January, it also symbolizes the the 2nd anniversary of marriage. For centuries, garnet’s virtues have been believed to include passion, eternity, and love. One of the stone’s strongest virtues is the ability to help overcome depression. It was believed that the stone could dissolve behavior that is no longer positive, and aids in letting go of useless or old ideas. Supposedly, the garnet gemstone has extreme benefits in the realm of business. It’s said that the stone attracts people to the wearer which aids in business as well as personal success!

 

Mystical Properties:

For thousands of years, garnets have been said to bring a plethora of mysticalbenefits to those who wear it, both mental and physical. Throughout history, it has been said that a garnet engraved with a lion will protect and preserve health, cure the wearer of all disease, and could warn the wearer of approaching danger.  For this reason, and because of how durable garnets are making them last throughout the ages, determined the gems were used as a talisman for protection that were worn by warriors during battle. 

In ancient and medieval times, color played an important role in determining the use for different gems. Garnets were thought to relive skin conditions and regulate the heart and blood. The gem had different healing effects for men and women as well. For men, it keeps the reproductive system healthy; for women, it promotes hormonal balance and was thought to reduce swelling.

There are so many beneficial characteristics of the garnet. From helping you start off the new year with a fresh, positive outlook, to curing you of disease and promoting your reproductive system. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year off with positive vibes than to sport a garnet in our favorite setting!

December Birthstones: Winter Blues

 

Although the main colors associated with this time of the year are red and green, some are already feeling the winter blues; especially to those of you who aren’t used to the cold like us Montanans. If you spend any time researching how to cure the winter blues, there are three main remedies that are listed in every article: exercise, take vitamin D if the sun isn’t very reliable in your area, and get out of the house. We translate that last one into Shopping!

Those of you born in December are in luck, you have three different birthstones to represent your battle with the winter blues; which are tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise. The three of them each have special qualities that make them stand out among other gems. All are known for their intense shades of blue.

Zircon: one of the oldest gems on earth

Turquoise: one of the most used gems in jewelry

Tanzanite: one of the most recently discovered gem

Zircon

Zircon is one of the oldest minerals on Earth! The mineral has been found in the Earth’s crust for over 4.4 billion years. Gems with this much history are so fun to research and learn about because of the range of legends, mystical properties, and trends the gem has curated over time and throughout different cultures.  During the middle ages, people believed that zircon can induce sleep, promote prosperity, and even ward off evil. The gem was most popular, however, during the Victorian age, in English estate jewelry throughout the late 1800s.

The world Zircon, likely comes from the Persian word zargun, which means “gold-colored” This is because the gem most commonly occurs in a brownish-red, making the stone well known for its Earth tone colors. Not until the stone is heat-treated, do we get that intense, deep shades of blue that tie us back into winter. Today, zircon is thought of as the mother of all gems for increasing confidence and compassions.

Turquoise

Turquoise has been admired since ancient times and across TONS of cultures. The word, turquoise, dates back to the 13th century. It’s meaning: “Turkish Stone”. The stone was introduced to Europe by travelers from Turkey.  With a powdery blue to robin’s egg green color, it’s an easily recognizable gem to trace back through cultures.

According to Persian legend, turquoise is made of bone of those who died of unhappy love. They also believed that the gem ensured protections, so they heavily adorned their daggers, warrior’s armor and horses’ bridles with the stone. Early Native Americans mine the stone and shamans used them in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky.  Many other legends and artifacts show the gem was used in Aztec cultures, Ancient Egyptians, and kings and warriors throughout history.

The stone has been prized throughout the past for mystical and healing properties. The use of healing crystals is even totally trending in modern-day society. To this day, the gem is still one of the most-used stones in jewelry.  The gem’s properties are said to reconcile all hostile forces, to stop quarrels, establish peace in the family, and to even take away anger. According to legend, those who looked at turquoise in the morning would be care-free and easy-going all day long. Listen to this myth:  In the Medieval age, people believed that if a woman wished to win over the heart of a man, she should secretly sew a piece of turquoise into his clothes! (Does this really work? Asking for a friend….)

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is one of the newest gem that people have discovered. It wasn’t until 1967, when livestock herders came across the blue gem in the country of Tanzania, in Africa. To this day, the gem can still only be found in a few square miles in Tanzania, right near Mount Kilimanjaro; and it can’t be found anywhere else in the world! Because of the stone’s deep blue color and its extremely limited supply, this gem is treasured by many.  Almost all tanzanite stones on the market today are heat-treated to minimize brown and earth tone colors that are naturally found in the stone.

Almost immediately after the stone was introduced to the public, the infamous jewelry company based out of New York City

 

known as, Tiffany & Co. recognized the gem’s potential and agreed to become its main distributor. The company is actually who deemed the stone’s names as “Tanzanite” in order to highlight the stones exclusive geographic origin. They introduced the gem to the public with a promotional campaign in 1968.

Whatever your style or budget, at least one of December’s three birthstones will match your true-blue desires. All of them are relatively inexpensive, and they give those December babies a great selection of gems to choose from when shopping for a birthstone!

November Birthstones: Part II

(view part 1 of November Birthstones)

Hello! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Our favorite holiday. Not only for the pie- but for the shopping! The start of the holiday season is always the best. It calls for baking cookies and snuggling up next to the fire, and concocting a well-thought-out list for the big man in red. (plus, it never hurts to hand out the list to your loved ones!)  Most people build a list based on the winter season; things like snowboards, remote car-starters, and heated blankets are commonly asked for here in Montana (and for those others who actually get to experience a white Christmas!).

 

Being a family owned and operated, fine jewelry store, there’s one thing that always makes it onto our list. And that’s Citrine. Here at Greenleaf’s, we’ve always carried a pretty large selection of Citrine. Sometimes during our long, dark winter you just need a pick me up and get the essence of that summer sun. With Citrine’s golden, sunny glow it’s the perfect fit.

So, you should already know that the month of November has two different gems associated with it from our Part I post. We went over Imperial topaz, which also has that warm, sunny, golden glow to it!

Its history goes way back- like all the way to Ancient Greece. From its history to all its claimed mystical properties, Citrine is the gem that is a must-have on this year’s Christmas list!

QUICK FACTS:

  • Citrine is part of the quartz family. It’s the sister stone to Amethyst. (February’s birthstone, ranges from deep violet to lilac).
  • The only difference is when quartz is heated, iron impurities are reduced resulting in less amounts of violet & purple and stone yellow and orange tones
  • Natural citrine is very rare, and is much more valuable than other varieties of quartz.
  • Much of citrine today is heat-treated to achieve its golden orange colors
  • The name citrine is an old French word, “citrin” which means “lemon”.
  • Citrine became more popular toward the end of the 18th century in Europe. This time is referred to as the Romantic Period for having artistic, literary, and intellectual movements.

History:

The use of citrine goes back far into history. It’s know that even the Ancient Greeks used citrine in jewelry and tools during the Hellenistic Age (300-150 B.C.)! Citrine also made a large appearance in the decorative handles of daggers and swords used by 17th century Scottish warriors. However, the gem’s most recent pop culture appearance was during the Art Deco era. The gemstone was known for large, oversized pieces worn by movie stars and celebrities between World War I and World War II.

Symbolism:

Natural citrine has long been associated with mental clarity. Many ancient cultures believed that wearing the gem would help open up their mind and give energy to their creative and intellectual sides. It doesn’t hurt that the warm sunny tones of citrine can evoke thoughts of joy and elevated moods and thoughts! The gem has also long been associated with luck especially to those involved in business situations. Perhaps this is related to the idea that this gem helps you think clearly and make good business decisions.

Mystical Properties:

For centuries, citrine gemstones have been sought after for their healing properties. The warm golden yellows were known to be used to purify the body of toxins, strengthen the immune system, and improve blood circulation. The gem’s vibrant hues were thought to have to ability to elevate your moods, and treat depression and even heartache! (Talk about powerful!) Now although most don’t believe in the healing powers of crystals and minerals that are trending though pop culture right now, the association of citrine with health, hope and joy remains!

*Emotional benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
relieves depression, self-doubt, anger, and irrational mood swings

*Physical benefits of sporting a citrine gem:
beneficial for digestion, stomach problems and sleep apnea

As you can see, November has beautiful, sunny birthstones you can wear to warm you up a bit this season, with some amazing, positive, uplifting properties to get you through the winter!

November Birthstones: Part I

As the air turns crisper, the need for a cozy, warm- fuzzy feeling rises. Lucky for those born in November, because their two birthstones come in some of those, feel-good colors.

 

Like October, November has two gemstones that are associated with the month! Citrine and Topaz are the chosen lucky gems. Now, although Topaz comes in many different colors, the yellow topaz is the designated shade. These warm, sunny tones are sure to help you cozy up as winter sets in!

Both citrine and topaz are known for their calming energies, and bringing warmth and fortune. They actually look so similar that throughout history, they’ve often been mistaken for one another. (only the yellow topaz, of course!). Because of all the color topaz occurs in, it’s been mistaken for many other gems over history as well. Most natural topaz is a pale blue shade, while the most rare and valuable topaz is yellow, or pink to reddish-orange; while red and violet shades are incredibly rare. These gems are commonly treated to enhance their hues for jewelry.

Because imperial topaz is November’s original birthstone, we’ll go into detail in Part I.

History:

Topaz has a history that goes back at least two thousand years! Use of the gem can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, when they believed that the yellow topaz got its golden hue from the Sun God, Ra. The Christian Old Testament even refers to topaz! The name topaz derives from ancient Sanskrit language and means “fire”.

Symbolism:

Yellow topaz, also known as Imperial topaz, is well known for its smoky brown color and golden yellow tones, which have long been associated with the earth and harvest. These hues represented planting seasons and the fertility of life. Throughout history, yellow topaz gems have been symbolic of the outdoors and induce images of all things organic; the rich soil, harvest grains, even the sun.

Many believe that yellow topaz represents serenity and empathy. That’s because the brown and golden colors have long been associated with the home and family. Some even swear that when wearing a topaz pendant while entertaining guests, it will help foster an atmosphere of harmony, warmth and pleasantness. The stone is a symbol of balance and is believed to promote emotional stability and hospitality.

Mystical Properties:

In Ancient Greece, topaz was a powerful stone that could increase strength of the wearer and, (get this…) provide invisibility in desperate times. For centuries, topaz has been thought to be beneficial to those in creative fields, like artists, public speakers, writers, and actors. The gem supportive of visualization, manifestation, creativity and generosity, which will attract prosperity into one’s life. The golden rays of Imperial topaz will recharge the wearer, both physically and spiritually. Wearing the gem is thought to allow you to overcome self-imposed limitations, and help to recognize your abilities and move forward with generosity and an open heart.

All you November babies out there can cozy up with your own sunny gem this winter- and you only know the half of it!

Check back for Part II of our November Birthstones post to discover another golden gem associated with this month, the beautiful citrine. Happy welcoming winter! EDIT: Part II is here.