Birthstone Jewellery Part 2

Birthstone Jewellery Part 2

We continue our in depth look at the history, legend and meaning of precious gemstones as monthly birthstones:

Gemstones in the Bible

According to the book of migration in the Bible: a Hebrew high priest, named Aaron, was prearranged by God to make a protective covering with 12 gemstones. Today’s birthstones are linked to these stones. These stones were set in four rows of three and were mounted in gold filigree settings. There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each impressed like a seal with the name of one of the twelve ethnic groups. The first row stones were Carbuncle, Sardius, and Topaz. The 2nd-row stones were Sapphire, Diamond, and Emerald. The 3rd row Ligure, Amethyst, and Agate. The fourth row was Jasper, Beryl, and Onyx.

Gemstones and the Apostles

In the eighth and ninth centuries, gemstones were also associated with the twelve champions. Since that time these twelve gemstones have been inter-related to Zodiac Signs and birth months. During these days, Christians allocated stones to characterize the twelve apostles: Andrew – Ruby, Simon Peter – jasper, Philip – carnelian, Bartholomew – peridot, James and John – emerald, Matthew – topaz, James – sardonyx, Thomas – aquamarine, Thaddeus -chrysoprase, Paul – sapphire, Matthias – amethyst, Simon – zircon. It is supposed that the actual wearing of birthstones, more than likely instigated in Poland, just about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Some alleged that the wearer heightened the powers of a gemstone for a particular month. Due to this reason, it is said that people wore the different birthstones for each month, hoping to accomplish the full effects of that stone.

Modern Birthstones

In 1912 the Jewelers of America prearranged an authorized list that would attach each month with fastidious stone. The list was tainted according to what was most commercially accessible; and not essentially to what was believed the appropriate birthstone for that particular month. This list is same as worn today, to categorize the stone that characterizes the month.

When selecting a birthstone, remember that the same four C’s that concern to diamond buying also applies to colored gemstone obtains. Birthstone gems evaluation and price pedestal are based on the four C’s of Carat Weight, Cut, Clarity and Color as well as the place of origin, possible treatment, rarity and of course, the current fashion.

The birthstones prices rise because at this time it is a major fashion trend. How you care for your gemstone will keep it in pristine condition for many years to come, often resulting in it becoming an heirloom.  Read more about how to care for your gemstones here.

For part 1 of our discussion, and January to May, please read our blog here.

June Birthstone – Pearl

Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. Mollusks produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that are in their shells. (Usually not a grain of sand, as commonly believed.) These rare gems don’t require any polishing to reveal their natural luster. The rarest, and therefore most expensive, pearls are natural pearls made in the wild.

Pearl R299

Above image: Pearl in Sterling 925 Silver Ring  available at R299

Unfortunately, the majority of pearls on the market today are cultured or farmed by pearl oysters or freshwater pearl mussels. Pearls are very soft, ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale. They are sensitive to extreme heat and acidity. In fact, calcium carbonate is so susceptible to acid that pearls will dissolve in vinegar. That is why you should be very careful wearing them. Pearls used to be found in many parts of the world, but natural pearling is now confined to the Persian Gulf waters near Bahrain. Australia owns one of the world’s last remaining pearl diving fleets and still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean.

Today, most freshwater cultured pearls come from China. South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

In many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence. That is why it’s traditional for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. Besides being a birthstone for June, the pearl is a frequent gift on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries.

Pearls protect love and can help preserve chastity. A very strong amulet for lovers. Helps to achieve reciprocity, and then to keep love throughout life. Its owner can find a common language with almost any person. Soothes evil hearts. Can not stand adultery.

July Birthstone – Ruby

Rubies have been particularly famous in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Accordingly, the name “ruby” comes from rubeus, the Latin word for red. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby comes from the word ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” Tough and durable, ruby measures 9 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is the only natural gemstone harder than ruby.

Ruby and Emerald R1249

Above image: Ruby & Emerald Ring available at R1249

In many cultures ruby is a symbol of true love. Therefore, it was a perfect wedding gem. Indian magicians said that it is able to give unlimited power. Have an irresistible impact on people. At the same time, the ruby strengthens the feeling of oneness with other people, generosity and the ability to compassion. Possession of a ruby gives courage and dignity. Helps to cope with heartache and restore lost interest in life. Ruby gives women fertility. Ancient Chaldeans said: “Give a ruby to woman who can not give birth and she will do it immediately.”

People believed before that weak people should not to look at the ruby. They risk to fell into the illusion. Many still believe that the ruby, by changing color shades, warns its owner of the danger.

August Birthstone – Peridot

Peridot is not so widely famous as diamond, ruby or garnet, however, it’s beauty is unbelievable. It seems to radiate the light energy of the spring sun and young grass. The origin of this gem’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word “peridot” comes from the Arabic faridat which means “gem”. Some believe it comes from Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps, that’s why peridot is a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. Peridot is not so expensive as compared to diamonds and rubies. Although, you probably know that existing classification of gemstones into precious and semi-precious is misleading. Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. Other sources are China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa.

Peridot R399

Above Ring: Peridot available at R399

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. So, while raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

People believe that the stone helps to become more determined when realizing important plans and dreams. It sharpens intuition and protects against bad decisions. The person who wears jewelry with peridot feels easy, calm and happy. He/she realizes that problems lie outside, do not touch and do not hurt him/her. And their solution turns out to be simple and obvious.

September Birthstone – Sapphire

September’s birthstone is the sapphire—a precious gem of wisdom, loyalty and nobility. This stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers. When people say “sapphire,” they’re usually referring to the royal blue variety of this gem. Although it can occur in all colors of the rainbow (except red, which is classified as ruby instead). The name “sapphire” comes from the Latin sapphirus and Greek sappheiros meaning “blue stone,” though those words may have originally referred to lapis lazuli. In 1902, French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process to make synthetic sapphire. The abundance of synthetic sapphire unlocked industrial applications. Among them integrated circuits, satellite communication systems, high-durability windows and scientific instruments. This gem became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Prince William later gave this ring to Catherine Middleton when he proposed in 2010.

Sapphire

Above Ring: Sapphire and CZ available at R499

In the countries of the East, it has associations with such fine human qualities as friendship, modesty and unselfishness. In some legends there is a mention of a ring with a sapphire, which helped to distinguish the truth from the lie. Natural sapphire strengthens eyesight, cleanses the eyes, destroys blood spots in them. It treats kidneys’ diseases, bladder and urinary ducts, contributes to the removal and resorption of stones in the kidneys. It helps the treatment of diabetes, headaches, inflammation of the joints and middle ear; and has a beneficial effect on eczema and other skin diseases and epilepsy.

October Birthstone – Pink Tourmaline

The name “tourmaline” comes from the Sinhalese words tura mali, which mean “stone of mixed colors.” As its name implies, tourmaline stands apart from other gems with its broad spectrum of colors in every shade of the rainbow. By its nature, tourmaline is not one mineral. It is a fairly complex group of minerals with different chemical compositions and physical properties. However, most commonly only pink tourmaline is listed as birthstone for October.

Rainbow Tourmaline R799

Above Daisy Ring: Rainbow Tourmaline available at R689

Tourmaline deposits are available t in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S.—mainly Maine and California. Tourmaline is desirable because of its sheer range of color options. Combined with a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, tourmaline makes very wearable jewelry.

Rainbow Tourmaline R829

Above Ring: Rainbow Tourmaline available at R829

Pink tourmaline helps unfortunate lovers. Tourmaline improves the state of the endocrine and nervous systems, helps with oncological diseases, improves sleep. Tourmaline has a beneficial effect on both the body and the mind. They create a feeling of peace and security. Tourmaline are used to concentrate attention during meditation.

November Birthstone – Citrine

Citrine quartz was popular since ancient times. The name citrine was used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385, when the word was first recorded in English. Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Different geographies yield different shades of citrine. Unfortunately, citrines appear rarely in nature. Therefore, most citrine on the market is heat created from other varieties of quartz. This is usually less expensive purple amethyst and smoky quartz—to produce golden gems. With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, citrine is relatively durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear—making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewelry.

Citrine and Aquamarine

Above: Citrine & Aquamarine Ring in 925 Silver available at R499

Citrine is sometimes famous as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. People sometimes call it the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity. Due to its crystalline form and yellow color, citrine is a stone that has absorbed solar energy. So the owner of the citrine has the right to rely on energy support from its side with the decline of vitality, apathy, depression.

Citrine R899

Above: Faceted Pear Cut Citrine Ring in 925 Silver, available at R899

Citrine elevates self-esteem, adds self-confidence, organizes thoughts, encourages creativity. It is able to attract good luck in financial affairs. A crystal citrine, located close to cash, will contribute to the growth of wealth in the house. This stone, like the sun, brings warmth and light to the house, it is able to establish relations between people.

December Birthstone – Topaz / Tanzanite / Turquoise

Cultures around the world have admired the distinct color of turquoise since ancient times. The word turquoise dates back to the 13th century, drawing from the French expression pierre tourques, which referenced the “Turkish stone” brought to Europe from Turkey. The earliest evidence comes from ancient Egyptian tombs, which contain elaborate turquoise jewelry dating back to 3000 BC. Egyptians set turquoise in gold necklaces and rings, used it as inlay and carved it into scarabs. The U.S. is now the world’s largest turquoise supplier. Nevada, New Mexico, California and Colorado have produced turquoise, but Arizona leads in production by value, as well as quality. The stone’s popularity here makes it a staple in Native American jewelry.

Turquoise R399

Above Turquoise Cabochon in 925 Silver available at R399

The main property of turquoise is to reconcile everything hostile, to calm quarrels, to establish peace in everything, to remove unjustified anger and malicious thoughts - as well as to relax the mind. Turquoise brings happiness in love, establishes peace in the family, stops the quarrel between spouses, attracts friends and arouses sympathy for its owner. It brings prosperity and wealth (attracts money to the owner), strengthens intuition, makes a person ambitious, brave, prudent, discerning, protects its owner.

The December birthstone, Topaz, can be found with fluorite and cassiterite in various areas including the Ural and Ilmen mountains of Russia, in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico; Flinders Island, Australia; Nigeria and the United States. It symbolizes love and affection and is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. Topaz is a powerful stone in the way that quartz is. It is a balancing and calming stone that balances emotions, releases tension, balances emotions, and can bring joy. Topaz is also believed to bring success and good fortune, and synchronicity.

Topaz R619

Above: Topaz Ring in 925 Silver available at R619

Tanzanite is used as a relatively cheap gemstone, where it can substitute for the far more expensive sapphire after undergoing artificial heat treatment to form a deep blue coloration. Tanzanite has a hardness of about 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Naturally formed tanzanite is rare and is endemic only to the Mererani Hills and found naturally in Africa. Tanzanite is called a "stone of magic" that helps with spiritual awareness and psychic insight. It is also sometimes called the "workaholic's stone".

Tanzanite R899

Above Tanzanite Ring available at R899

Gemstones are here to stay and will always be in fashion!!

Gemstones are worn today for beauty and are frequently chosen for aesthetic reasons. Still, it is common to wear your birthstone or one of someone significant to you. It also makes a unique gift for someone special. There are numerous categories accessible whether it is an earring, a worry stone or a ring, a necklace, or bracelet. No problem what jewellery or stones you like to wear, birthstones are always up-to-the-minute. Thank you for reading and remember: There always will be trends that come and go, but Birthstone Jewellery is here to stay!

Should you be interested in purchasing any of the above rings, please contact us directly at shop@oluxo.co.za

References: Blue Nile, Michael Hill, American Gem Society.

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