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JANUARY

BIRTHSTONE

Garnet is the birthstone for January.

ORIGINS

Garnets are found in mines all over the world. Some of the locations include India, Brazil, Africa, Australia, Russa, Madagascar and the United States.

TREATMENTS

There are currently no treatments that are used to treat Garnets.

CARE

Garnet is a 6.5 - 7.5 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, soap and warm water, or an ultrasonic cleaning machine.

LORE

Garnet has been used in jewelry for over 5,000 years, starting in ancient Egypt. The gems were fashioned into beads or set into forged jewelry. Although Garnet is most well known for its dark red color, it can also be found in forest green, rich gold, orange, and delicate pink.


FEBRUARY

BIRTHSTONE

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.

ORIGINS

Russia is a well-known source for Amethyst. They can also be found in South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, South Korea and the United States.

TREATMENTS

Amethyst is sometimes heat-treated to lighten darker gems.

CARE

Amethyst is a 7 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a fairly durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, soap and warm water, or an ultrasonic cleaning machine.

LORE

Amethsyt was once worn only by royalty or religious figures to show their status and power. Many believed that it would imbue the wearer with mystical powers including extraordinary stength and a quick wit. The Greeks believed that the gemstone was connected to Bacchus, the god of wine, and by wearing it the drinker would remain sober.


MARCH

BIRTHSTONE

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March.

ORIGINS

Brazil is the most important source for Aquamarine. They can also be found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, and the United States.

TREATMENTS

Almost all aquamarine is heat treated to remove the greenish hue in its color. Aquamarines that have been treated are stable, but should not be exposed to high heat or their color may fade.

CARE

Amethyst is a 7.5 - 8 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine.

LORE

Aquamarine was named by the Greeks because of the way its sparkled like the sea in sunlight. This gemstone often has no inclusions, and is said to symbolize purity of the spirit.


APRIL

BIRTHSTONE

Diamond is the birthstone for April.

ORIGINS

Brazil is the most important source for Aquamarine. They can also be found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, and the United States.

TREATMENTS

Almost all aquamarine is heat treated to remove the greenish hue in its color. Aquamarines that have been treated are stable, but should not be exposed to high heat or their color may fade.

CARE

Amethyst is a 7.5 - 8 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine.

LORE


MAY

BIRTHSTONE

Emerald is the birthstone for May.

ORIGINS

Emeralds can be found in Brazil, Pakistan, Africa, Russia and Columbia.

TREATMENTS

Nearly all emeralds are “oiled” or “infilled” to improve their appearance, and reduce the visibility of naturally occuring fissures. These treatments have been performed for thousands of years, but are not considered stable. The fillers will deplete over time or when exposed to heat.

CARE

Emerald is a 7.5 - 8 on the mohs hardness scale, but the inclusions or “garden” inside emeralds make them especially sensitive to sharp blows and temperature changes.Care should be taken when cleaning and wearing jewelry with emeralds. Never clean emerald jewelry with an ultrasonic cleaner, steam cleaner, commerical jewelry cleaners or strong detergents. Emerald should be cleaned using a mild soap, soft brush and lukewarm water.

LORE

Emeralds have been coveted for thousands of years as a symbol of rebirth and enduring love. No other green gemstone can compete with the beauty and eternal popularity of the emerald and its enchanting “garden”.


JUNE

BIRTHSTONE

Alexandrite & Pearl are the birthstones for June.

ORIGINS

Alexandrite was first found in the Ural mountains of Russia, but has also beeen found in Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Madagascar.

Pearls are found in waters all over the world.

TREATMENTS

There are currently no treatments that are used to treat Alexandrite.

Pearls are often bleached to enhance color and to create a uniform look for necklaces.

CARE

Alexandrite is a 8.5 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using a steam cleane, ultrasonic cleaning machine, any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water.

Pearls are a 2.5 - 4.5 on the mohs hardness scale, and are a soft but durable for jewelry. Pearls should not exposed to any harsh chemicals, and should only be cleaned with mild soap and distilled water. Pearls should never be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, steamer, or commerical cleaner.

LORE

Alexandite was named for Czar Alexander II, is one of the rarest gemstones, and is more valuable than sapphires, rubies and emeralds above 1 carat. This color-changing gemstone is green to bluish green in sunlight, and red to purplish red under incandescent light.

Many superstitions surround pearls including the idea that they represent tears, and should not be given as a gift or worn on a wedding day. Pearls are also believed to bring good health and wellbeing.


JULY

BIRTHSTONE

Ruby is the birthstone for July.

ORIGINS

Some of the finest rubies are mined in Myanmar. Rubies can also be found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Thailand.

TREATMENTS

This gemstone is routinely heat treated to improve the color and appearance. Rubies that have been heat treated are very stable.

CARE

Ruby is a 9 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a hard and durable stone to be used in jewelry. Ruby can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, soap and warm water, or an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Rubies with a glasslike appearance in surface-reaching fractures should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or ultrasonic machine.

LORE

Ruby holds the title “King of Gems” because of its crimson hue, and its


AUGUST

BIRTHSTONE

Peridot is the birthstone for August. An alternative birthstone is Spinel.

ORIGINS

Peridot can be found in areas with volcanic activity including Italy and Hawaii. Most peridots are found in Myanmar, China, Brazil, Pakistan and the San Carlos Native American Reservation in Arizona.

Pink, Red and Orange spinels can be found in Myanmar, as well as Sri Lanka, Thailand and Tanzania.

TREATMENTS

There are currently no treatments that are used to treat peridot, or spinel.

CARE

Peridot is a 6.5 - 7 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a fairly durable stone to be used in jewelry. This gemstone does not react well to heat, and should never be cleaned using a steam cleaner or an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Peridot can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water.

Spinel is a 8 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a hard and durable stone for jewelry. It can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner, steam cleaner, any commerical jewelry cleaner, or mild soap and water.

LORE

This volcanic gem is created by violent volcanic activity, and has even been found in some meterorites. Peridot has been used in jewelry for over 3,500 years. It was first mined on the Isle of Serpents in the Red Sea, and was used in jewelry for rulers of Ancient Egypt, including Cleopatra.

Spinel has long been overlooked and often confused with more popular gemstones. Because of spinels range of colors it has been mistaken for rubies in royal jewelry throughout Europe. Spinel comes in an array of colors including shades of purple and pink, oranges, and cooler blues and grays.


SEPTEMBER

BIRTHSTONE

Sapphire is the birthstone for September.

ORIGINS

Fine quality sapphire has been found in the Kashmir district of India. It has also been found in Australia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States.

TREATMENTS

Almost all sapphire have been heat treated to improve appearance. Heat-enhanceed sapphire is very stable.

CARE

Sapphire is a 8 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a very hard and durable stone to be used in jewelry. Garnet can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaning machine, steam cleaner, any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water.

LORE

Sapphire, the gemstone of the sky and heavens has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Sapphire has been known to symbolize honestly, truth and faithfulness, making it an excellent choice for an engagement ring. The best color sapphires show a vibrant hue and medium tone.
Sapphires come in an assortment of colors including pink, orange, purple, yellow, and green.


OCTOBER

BIRTHSTONE

Tourmaline is the birthstone for October. An alternative birthstone is Opal.

ORIGINS

Some of the nicest tourmaline has been mined in Southern California near San Diego. It has also been found in Brazil, Madagascar, Africa and Sri Lanka.

Opal is mostly mined from Australia, but can also be found in Japan, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, and the United States.

TREATMENTS

Some tourmalines are heat treated to reveal their finest color. A treated tourmaline should not be exposed to prolonged sunlight or high heat, as color may fade.

Opal is typically untreated, but can sometimes be oiled to increase its stability. This gemstone may also be layered in “doublets” to increase durability.

CARE

Tourmaline is a 7 - 7.5 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a hard gemstone that is resistant to scratches and breaking. Tourmaline can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine.

Opal is a 5.5 - 6 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a softer gemstone for jewelry. Opal scratches easily and care should be taken when being worn. Opals should only be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap if needed. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner, commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine, or commercial jewelry cleaner.

LORE

A gemstone of many hues, tourmaline has historically been confused with many other gemstones. This gemstone naturally occurs in more colors and combinatons that any other gemstone. Some tourmaline cut from a multi-colored crystal can even show two or more colors in a stone, like watermelon tourmaline.

Opal was named from the Greek word "opallus" which means a change in color. Pliny the Elder said opal was a gemstone which stole the best elements of other gemstones, "so that all colors shine and sparkle together in a beautiful combination". Opal has long been associated with healing, and is believed to cure depression and help the wearer find their true love.


NOVEMBER

BIRTHSTONE

Topaz is the birthstone for November. The alternate birthstone is Citrine.

ORIGINS

Most topaz is found in Brazil and Nigeria. It can also be found in Russia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Citrine can be found all over the world, but Brazil is the leading source for this gemstone.

TREATMENTS

Topaz is routinely treated using heat and irradiation to bring out shades of pink, blues and greens. Enhanced topaz is usually very stable.

Most citrine is lightly heat treated at the source, and is a very stable and permanent.

CARE

Topaz is a 8 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a hard and durable stone that is resistant to scratches. This stone is sensitive to hard blows and could split or break. Topaz can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or soap and warm water. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine.

Citrine is a 7 on the mohs harness scale, and is a durable stone for jewelry. It can be scratched by other harder gemstones, and should be stored or worn away from other jewelry. Citrine can be cleaned using soap and warm water, and an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner, or exposed to harsh chemicals.

LORE

Topaz ranges from ocean blue, to golden brown, to sherry red. The rarest colors being rich pinks and reds.

The warm tones of citrine are said to promote positive energy, bring prosperity in business, and relieve stress.


DECEMBER

BIRTHSTONE

Tanzanite is the birthstone for December.

ORIGINS

Tanzanite is only mined in one location, the Merelani Hills of Tanzania in eastern Africa.

TREATMENTS

Nearly all Tanzanite is heat treated to bring out the rich violet, and blue tones that this gemstone is known for. Natural tanzanite has some bronze and brown tones.

CARE

Tanzanite is a 6.5-7 on the mohs hardness scale, and is a hard gemstone but may chip or break with moderate blows. Tanzaite can be cleaned using any commercial jewelry cleaner, or mild soap and warm water. They should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner or commercial ultrasonic cleaning machine.

LORE

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, where it gained its namesake, and is a relatively new gemstone. Tanzanite owes its beauty to a property called pleochroism, the ability to display more than one color. Depending on the angle, this gemstone can appear blue, purple, violet, gray or bronze. A smaller carat tanzaite will appear more light purple or lilac, where a 4 to 5 carat stone will have the deepest color.