August Birthstone: Peridot

Like many other birthstone gems, peridot has a long and important history. However, unlike the other gemstones, peridot is only found in one color – a vibrant lime green that is the perfect complement to any summer wardrobe and to represent those born in the summer month of August.

There are a few differences that set peridot apart from other gemstones such as how it is formed. While most stones are formed in the Earth’s crust, there are two exceptions- diamond and peridot. These two stones form much deeper in the Upper Mantle, between 20 & 55 miles deep for peridot, and 100-150 miles deep for diamond! If that doesn’t twist your mind a bit… peridot stones have also been found in meteorites that have traveled through space and landed on Earth!

History:

The history of peridot dates back to ancient times, at least 4,000 years and especially in Egypt, however no one truly knows how old peridot is. This is because up until the late 19th century, peridot was very commonly mistaken for emerald. The first recorded findings of peridot gems were on the volcanic island of Zabargad, located in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt.

Zabargad Island

It’s said that Egyptian Pharaohs wore these gems in jewelry and clothing and were highly revered. It’s been discovered that many of Cleopatra’s famed and treasured emeralds were in fact peridot! These gems were so treasured by the Egyptians that the location of Zabargad was kept a closely guarded secret. In texts, it’s stated that the island was often covered in dense fog, making it nearly impossible for ancient navigators to find. With the fall of the Egyptian empire, the secret of the island’s location was lost and was not rediscovered until 1906; since then, the Zarbargad peridot deposits have been exhausted.

Peridot held a strong presence in many other cultures and ancient civilizations up throughout the middle ages. Medieval Europeans would bring the peridot stones back from the Crusades to decorate church plates and robes, and also used the gems as talismans that were said to have the power to remove “terrors of the night”.

Symbolism:

Today, along with being the birthstone for those born in the month of August, peridot also symbolizes the 16thanniversary of marriage. In lore and legends, peridot has always been associated with light. The Egyptians even called the gem “Gem of the Sun”.

The Catholic Church is also a major symbol of the gemstone. For centuries, the church has believed that peridot symbolized moral purity and to this day Catholic Bishops wear peridot rings and other jewelry.

Mystical Properties:

Over the course of history, there have been many tales and legends of how the peridot gemstone possesses a strong magical power. According to Pliny The Elder, the Great Roman Authority, peridots would exert their strongest magic when worn on the right arm, and that in order to maximize the stone’s potential it must be set in gold.

Peridot has long been considered an aid to friendship and can free the mind of envious thoughts. Other legends say the gem will bring happiness and good cheer, which in turn would attracts lovers which leads to many other legends stating that peridot can be used to enhance prosperity, growth and openness.

Cultures and legends over the course of history credit peridot with the ability to turn dreams into a reality, ward off anxiety, and lessen the thirst of a person suffering from a fever when placed under the tongue.

Like most other birthstone gems, peridot comes with thousands of years of history, legends and lore. Unlike other birthstone gems however, peridot has a few attributes that make it stand out against a sea of other glittering & valuable stones. With a vivid, solitary shade of green, the peridot is the perfect gemstone to help you wind down summer, lower stress and anxiety levels of the changing seasons and schedules, and enhance your confidence- making it there perfect gem to wear for just about anybody!

 

SOURCES: https://agta.org/education/gemstones/peridot/
https://www.jewelsforme.com/peridot-meaning
https://www.gemselect.com/other-info/about-peridot.php

July Birthstone: Ruby

As summer temperatures rise, what could be a better representation than the fiery color of July’s birthstone, the ruby.

The allure of rubies has worked into nearly all cultures around the globe from the beginning of history up to modern times, and with that history comes tons of legends and lore about the gem.

History:

There’s no recorded time of when the first ruby gemstone was discovered; however, there are records of the transport and trade of rubies in literature along the Silk Road in China, which was a trade route that connected China with other ancient kingdoms like Persia and Rome as far back as 200BC. The gem is also mentioned 4 times in the bible and considered the most precious of the 12 gemstones created by God. To sum it up, rubies have been revered and valued for most of human history!

The finest rubies were found in Burma and have been mined there since at least 600 AD. Burma’s ancient warrior were known to have the gem inserted into their flesh before battle, believing they would bring them invincibility and luck in battle (wearing them as jewelry just wasn’t enough!). Even through most of the middle ages, rubies were considered a stone of prophecy, and people thought that they would darken in color when danger was near.

Symbolism:

British Imperial crown dating back to the 1300s. The gem is known as the “Black Prince’s Ruby”. The stone is actually Spinel, but the difference between Spinel and Rubies was not discovered until the late 1700s.

Red has long been symbolic for our strongest emotions: love, anger, passion, fury and power. Strong associations with blood and fire were also tied in due the gem’s red hue, and ancients thought those who risked their lives were believed to have a special connection with the gem.

In the 8th century, an Arabic book on dreams talked about the significance of dreaming about rubies. It stated that if a king dreamt of a crown set with rubies, his enemies would fear him more, and great joy and fortune was headed their way.

Along with representing births in the month of July, the ruby also symbolizes the 15th and 40th anniversaries of marriage. With the gem’s passionate red hue, it makes the perfect romantic gift… no matter which month you were born in or how long you’ve been married!

Mystical Properties:

Because of ruby’s association with blood and fire, the list of mystical properties that the gem is said to have goes on forever. In the middle ages, rubies were believed to cure liver problems and counteract poison… and even restore youth and vitality when ground into powder and rubbed on your skin! (How about adding some ruby powder to your daily skincare routine?!)

 

Physically, the gems are thought to energize and balance, overcome exhaustion and detoxify the body and blood. Emotionally, rubies can be recognized as the stone of courage, which legend tells us that a person with a ruby can walk through life without fear of evil or misfortune. The gems are also known to increase motivation and the setting of goals.

Being the most historically significant gemstone, there’s no wonder the legends and lore that the gem has acquired over the centuries. The desire for this fiery stone is just as great today as it has always been and because it symbolizes passion, wealth and success, it’s a great gemstone for anyone to wear; whether your it’s your birthstone or not!

Rubies in Pop Culture:

I’m sure you’ve heard of Dorothy Gale’s red ruby slippers? From the iconic, technicolor film “The Wizard of Oz” which hit the box office in 1939. The film came in a time of war and hardship, and won the hearts of people with a magical escape from reality filled with witches, flying monkeys and munchkins.

Now, the pair that Judy Garland while filming the movie weren’t exactly covered in real rubies. Approximately 2,300 iridescent red sequins were sewn onto each shoe. This is because there were 6-7 identical pairs made for Judy to wear throughout filming. 

The ruby red slippers did not become a reality until 1989, when Harry Winston created a pair to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary. The iconic slippers covered in genuine rubies totaled a whopping $3 Million, featuring 4,600 rubies totaling over 1,300 carats, and 50 carats of accent diamonds.

Harry Winston genuine ruby slippers.

 

 

 

Sources: 
https://www.gia.edu/ruby-history-lore http://tappers.com/blog/2016/07/26/the-history-of-rubies/ https://www.jewelsforme.com/ruby-meaning https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-rubies-gems-yore/

 

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!