Category: Fashion

Jewelry Trends from the Oscars You Need to Be Paying Attention To

Who else watches the Oscars to drool over all the gorgeous, custom, unique and rare gems worn by all of the lovely red-carpet celebrities? This year definitely did not disappoint! We noticed a few trends that we’re excited to see taking to the streets. Here are a few of our favorites, and how to wear them off the red carpet.

1) Statement earrings

It seems like all the celebs this year were rocking some type of statement earrings. Each had their own personal style, and each looked fabulous flaunting it!

Photo by George Pimentel/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron went big and bold with her statement earrings. Style tip: if you’re going to rock earrings as dazzling as the ones above, definitely go with a bare neck as well. You don’t want your necklace to be in competition with your earrings, and if you’ve got a killer pair of statement earrings you’re dying to show off, then you certainly want to let them do the talking.

Pictured below: some of our favorite big, bold statement earrings available here at Pearls International.
Black Pearl Waterfall Earrings White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Emma Stone rocked a slightly more delicate, yet still impactful look with these beautiful diamond earrings. The best thing about these earrings is the movement they allow. The diamond sparkle is ready to catch your eye with each turn of her head. This is really a statement look that can work for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Isabelle Huppert shows off a dazzling ear climber. Ear climbers are something we’ve always been a fan of. One of our most popular earrings are our pearl ear climbers, which can be worn up the ear like in Isabelle’s photo, or turned downward as a dangle earring for a different statement. You can check them out in white pearls (pictured below) or black pearls.

White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

2) Layered bracelets and cuffs

A few of the stars were wearing some awesome, fashionable bracelet combos this year. Often bracelets are overlooked in favor of flashy necklaces, but we thought they definitely deserved a mention. Two big style trends we saw on the red carpet this year were layers of similar bracelets on one wrist, like Halle Berry’s (pictured below) and big, bold cuffs like the ones worn by Priyanka Chopka.

Photo by Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

The cool thing about this style is that you can make it as casual or dressy as you want. Stack delicate pearl bracelets with diamond bands or some of your other favorite gemstones for your own version of a red carpet look, or try pearls and leather or simple chain bracelets for a more casual stack. There are so many ways to showcase your own personal style with this look!

Photo by Lionel Hahn/ABACA USA/INSTARimages.com

We just love Priyanka’s look here – the symmetry of her matched cuffs and how it compliments the unique texture of her dress, and of course the statement earrings! You can click here to shop some bracelet inspiration of your own.

Are you more of a Priyanka or a Halle when it comes to bracelet style? Tell us in the comments!

3) Choker length statement necklaces

This is a timeless red carpet look but one that never fails to amaze! Rather than wearing huge, heavy necklaces, these celebrities wore statement pieces in a choker length. Their individual styles shine through here as well.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Janelle Monae has an over-the-top look going on here – but it totally works for her! The whole outfit has the effect of making her look like something out of a fairy tale, but we can’t help to be drawn to that incredible choker.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jessica Biel’s runway style also included an elaborate choker. This one was handcrafted by Tiffany and Co. Gorgeous!

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Alicia Vikander and Taraji P. Hensen are just two examples of dazzling diamond chokers worn at the Oscars this year. Both styles are elegant and absolutely flattering.

Look for a statement necklace of your own here!

4) Honorable mention

Pharrell Williams was killin’ it in these layered necklaces and elaborate pearl brooch, proving once and for all that pearls are for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage



You might also like:

Jewelry Trends from the 2016 Oscars

5 Reasons We Like Pearls Better Than Diamonds

Pearls: The Final Frontier in Men’s Fashion

Welcome in 2017 and the New Color of the Year, Greenery!

Greenery

As 2016 rolls out and 2017 makes its’ way in, it’s time to say goodbye to last year’s colors of the year – Rose Quartz and Serenity. Pantone made a
Quote about Pantone's 2017 Color of the Year from their Websiteground-breaking decision last year by choosing two colors instead of just one for their iconic color of the year slot, but as all good things must come to an end, so must last year’s trend.

This year we are welcoming in “Greenery.” Greenery is the perfect symbolism for a promising new year, as it is meant to evoke feelings of springtime, renewal and freshness. It’s no secret that 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people, so the vitality, passion, and affirmations that Greenery symbolizes can be seen as a reflection of what we all are hoping for out of the new year.

The bold, bright yellow-green tone is a refreshing change from the serene, pastel colors of last year. Even better, Greenery itself seems to go with just about everything. Wear it as a bright, earthy addition to your neutrals or deeper shades. It’s even just light enough to be a daring compliment to pastels.

Our favorite Greenery pairing? Idocrase – a rare volcanic mineral very similar to Jadeite and Nephrite jades, but in a lighter chartreuse to lime green color range.

Idocrase "Aztec Jade" Earrings in 14k Gold

This material is found exclusively in a remote area near Hermosillo, Mexico, and was used in decorative jewelry and ornaments by the local natives of that area.
Idocrase is also known as Aztec Jade, Vesuvianite, Californite, California Jade, Caribbean Jade.

Click to shop our Aztec Jade collection!


Summer Stylin’ – How to Accessorize that Sundress

Summer might be ending, but hot weather sure isn’t going anywhere yet. When you live in Florida like we do, you get to experience summer all year ’round. This has its high points, and its lows. With this being one of the hottest years on record, it’s almost unbearable to go outside in anything other than a sundress or your beach wear.

In conditions like these, it’s easy to end up in a bit of a fashion rut – when you only have so many summer worthy outfits in your closet, you run dangerously close to repeating your #OOTD posts on Instagram. Boring! So how to spice up your look? Accessorize, of course! We’re here to show you what to wear with all of your sundresses to brighten up your summer style.

V-Neck

This one’s easy. Wear a simple pendant that highlights the cut of your dress. Minimalist styles look best with this type of sundress, so pick a pendant that has one of the colors from your dress in it and isn’t too elaborate. Make sure not to wear a necklace that’s too long; you don’t want your pendant getting lost in your cleavage. We went for a red theme with the dress below, but you could also choose to accent the black designs with some black onyx or black spinel instead of garnet. Use the colors in your jewelry box to your advantage! The right jewelry selection can completely change the personality of your outfit and really spice up your wardrobe.

Styling a V-Neck Sundress with Pearl and Garnet Jewelry and Accessories

Get the look!:

Printed V-Neck Sundress
Red Glitter Flats
Rhodolite Garnet Pendant in Sterling Silver
Freshwater Pearl and Garnet Earrings

Crew Neck

With a crew neck dress you have a lot of possibilities. Since most of your upper body will be covered, layered necklaces look great with this style. You have to opportunity to wear jewelry that would usually detract from the rest of your outfit, and instead it complements your look! Might we suggest a pearl rope for layering? You can wear it long or double it up to make it shorter, and add a couple of your favorite pendants or other necklaces of different lengths for a trendy and personalized look.

How to style a crew neck dress and pearls

Get the look!:

Anni Coco® Dress
Shoes by Dream Paris
Leather handbag
Atlantis Collection Seahorse Pendant
White pearl rope
Pearl Studs, 10mm

Tank Cut

Tank style dresses are meant to look cool, casual, and breezy, so you don’t want to pack too much punch with your jewelry here, or else you will throw off that look. You definitely need a great pair of earrings to draw the attention back onto your face. Try on our ear climbers for size – you can wear them as a dangle or turn them upwards so they fit like an ear cuff. Balance this out with some delicate bracelets or rings to complete your look. Check out our beach-ready style below! (Pro-tip: don’t forget to remove your jewelry if you’re planning on actually going into the water.)

Style guide for a tank dress

Get the look!:

Tie-dye dress
Flip flops
Starfish tote bag
White freshwater pearl ear climbers
Blue topaz ring

Sweetheart Neckline

The sweetheart neckline is the perfect cut for showing off a choker length necklace. You can mix it up depending on the day, too. Go with a large, chunky, or sparkly necklace to make a statement or style your dress with something more delicate for a softer look. In the picture below we’ve created a more dressy look, but the same outfit would look great with more casual accessories as well!

Sweetheart dress styled with pearls and crystal accessories

Get the look!:

Pearl and crystal choker
Vintage Sundress
Spiral earrings
Sam Edelman dress sandals
Pearl cocktail ring
Satin handbag

Strapless Dress

For a strapless dress, statement earrings are the way to go! Necklaces can sometimes throw off the look of the straight neckline, and you’ll want to draw some attention up towards your face. You can personalize your look further with a trendy clutch or handbag, and a statement ring to balance out the heavy earrings. Think about what kind of themes you can you create with the jewelry and the clothes that you own: in the below example, we used black peacock pearls to compliment the peacock feather design on the shoes.

Accessorize a black strapless dress with black peacock pearls and designer shoes.

Get the look!:

Strapless Black Stretch Dress
Black Pearl Hoop Earrings
Black Peacock Pearl Ring with Crystals
Handcrafted Black Peacock Flats

 

Tell us what you think! Did you like our style edit? What fashion savvy advice do you have for staying in style in this heat?

Jewelry Trends From the Oscars!

oscars-2016

The 2016 Oscars was held on February 28th and it was a really fun year for #oscarsjewelry trends! In case you missed it, check out Indesign.Jewelry’s post on this year’s trends. We were especially excited about Trend #1! 😉

Here are some of our favorite pieces from this years ceremony!

 

 

Brie Larson looking drop-dead gorgeous! Check out that absolutely stunning pearl studded belt!
Brie Larson looking drop-dead gorgeous! Check out that absolutely stunning pearl studded belt!

 

Left: The lovely Whoopi Goldberg wearing an amazing statement bracelet! The octopus bracelet she is wearing and the bracelet pictured on the right were designed by Sevan Bicakci.
Left: The lovely Whoopi Goldberg wearing an amazing statement bracelet! The octopus bracelet she is wearing and the bracelet pictured on the right were designed by Sevan Bicakci.

 

Tina Fey wearing a stunning Bulgari sapphire necklace. She seemed to be one of the few ladies sporting colored gemstones instead of white gold and diamonds, and we're definitely into it!
Tina Fey wearing a stunning Bulgari sapphire necklace. She seemed to be one of the few ladies sporting colored gemstones instead of white gold and diamonds, and we’re definitely into it!

 


 

What were some of your favorite looks? Tell us in the comments!

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Bold Color Choices From Pantone for 2016!

For the first time ever, Pantone has announced not one but two colors of the year! Rose Quartz and Serenity, chosen for their gentle, soft nature, are meant to be paired together. Pantone says the color choice challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

Inspired by society’s change towards gender equality and the younger generation’s boldness and tendency to be less concerned about stereotypes and judgement, this duo is a bold choice.

While Rose Quartz is meant to instill a sense of compassion, warmth, and composure, Serenity adds balance with it’s cooler, peaceful tone.

How to wear it?

Together, of course! Try a Rose Quartz top with one of our blue quartz and pearl necklaces with white gold to add a splash of sparkle.

White Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Blue Quartz

Rose Quartz and Serenity also pair well with all shades of yellow and pink, as well as greens, purples, and deep brown shades, according to Pantone’s recommendations.

Lillac Freshwater Pearl Pendant With Crystal Elements

Why not check out our peach, pink, and lavender pearl jewelry for some more Rose Quartz-inspired styles?


Pearls For Halloween!

Pearls are always appropriate.

-Jackie Kennedy

We couldn’t agree more! So why not incorporate your favorite gem into your Halloween costume? Here are some fun ways to wear pearls to that costume party you got invited to!

1) Imitate one of your favorite “pearl girls” in history and pop culture! Here are some examples:

Audrey Hepburn in her iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit.

Audrey Hepburn

One of Rihanna’s many pearl looks!

Rihanna with her pearl glasses. Rihanna in layered pearls.

Rihanna layered real and faux pearls for her runway look – you could do the same for your statement costume!

Some other icons known to rock the pearl look: Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Coco Chanel, Lucille Ball, and Lady Gaga. Get creative!

2) 1920’s Flapper

Flapper costumes are easy, fun, and beautiful! Enjoy a store-bought version or do-it-yourself!


Flapper Halloween Costume Flapper Halloween Costume DIY 1920's Flapper

Rope Necklaces
Don’t have a pearl rope? Click here to check out our gorgeous selection of ropes you can wear all year long!

 

3) The Silent Movie Actress

This one is great for DIY by yourself or with a partner! Dress in all black and white, paint your face so you look pale, add some bold, black make-up, don your favorite pearl strand, and carry a sign with your “lines” on it!

Silent Movie Costumes

4) Mermaid

Why wouldn’t a beautiful sea creature wear pearls?! Incorporate pearl necklaces and ocean-inspired jewelry into your store-bought mermaid costume, or glue faux pearls to your DIY top.

Atlantis Collection Sterling Silver Jewelry

Or try a combination of both! This one has endless possibilities. Here are some pictures for inspiration. (Including one by Kim Kardashian!)

Mermaid costume with pearl necklace Mermaid with Pearl Necklace Kim K's gorgeous mermaid Halloween costume DIY Mermaid Top

5) Wilma Flintstone

Bet you didn’t think of this one! We didn’t forget Wilma’s love for her chunky pearl necklace. For extra fun, dress the whole family up as Flintstones!

Wilma Flintstone Costume

 

6) Dr. Frank N. Furter

If you’ve ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know Tim Curry’s character rocks a very…um…unforgettable look. This one is fun for the girls, and for the guys (if they’re bold enough!)

Here are some photos that are slightly more modest than his movie version. Either way, you’re sure to be the life of the party!

Tim Curry In The Rocky Horror Picture Show DIY Frank N. Furter Costume for Ladies Men's Dr. Frank N Furter Costume

What do you think of our list? Are you daring enough to try any of them this coming Halloween? Have another festive pearl look you think we may have forgotten? Tell us in the comments!


Watch Us Take This Ring from Concept to Concrete in Just a Few Quick Steps

If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect piece, but everything you’ve seen just doesn’t quite make your heart race, consider having your jewelry custom designed! Pearls International can take your wildest ideas from dream to reality in just a few short steps. Email or call us at 386.767.3473 to find out more! 

I got married last October. When my husband-to-be, Josh, popped the question, to say he was feeling nervous about the ring was a bit of an understatement. When you’ve got a dad in the jewelry business and you’ve grown up looking at gorgeous jewels your whole life, it really puts a lot of pressure on the lucky guy who steals your heart (Dad, if you’re reading this, you know you’ll always be my first love!).

I really can’t even imagine what might have been going through my poor guy’s head when he started considering the options, but Josh is acutely aware of how discerning (picky), tasteful (picky), and stylish (picky) I like to be when it comes to my jewelry. My friends will tell you about many times they have come to my house to find me lounging around wearing my pajamas, fuzzy socks, uncombed hair…and every piece of jewelry I own.

Josh is a very logical person. He’s the kind of person that researches small decisions for weeks before making the most logical choice. Getting married was one of the biggest decisions of his life, and he didn’t want to blow it. Josh made the logical choice. He decided to use a Stunt Ring.

Temporary Engagement Ring
Simple, and simply beautiful.

If you’ve never heard of it, a Stunt Ring is a time honored tradition for guys who have the good fortune (misfortune?) of falling in love with picky ladies. It’s used as a stand-in for the proposal so that the guy still has the opportunity to give his sweetie the surprise of her life. Usually, it’s a very simple temporary band and setting that can be exchanged later for a piece that is sized to her finger and suited to her needs. It’s the perfect way to surprise her, while still ensuring she gets the setting she loves. Remember, this ring will be on her finger for the rest of her life, so it needs to be just right. Plus, you never want to wonder if she’d rather have something different. After it has served its purpose, the stunt ring can be returned or made into another piece of everyday jewelry.

Little did he know, I’m so crazy about him I probably would have said yes to a ring made of a gum wrapper, but I got the best guy on the planet, and he really spoils me. After I stopped jumping up and down and calling all of my friends to relay the good news, I embarked on a journey of creativity. Like a lot of women, I had a specific idea of the kinds of jewelry that suited my tastes, flattered my style, and looked good with my everyday outfits. I began to collect photos of rings I liked, with the goal of merging all of the styles I liked into one finished piece. My burgeoning Pinterest inspiration board at one point had over 250 photos before I began to focus my ideas into something more coherent.

Ring Design Ideas
A few of the styles I considered before settling on a final design. Does one look familiar?

The custom design process is an amazing blend of traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. After roughing out a design on paper, we transfer the concept to a digital format. Using a program like Photoshop, we take all of the photos, sketches, and ideas, and begin to create a ring that looks a bit like Frankenstein’s monster. At this point in the custom design process, a lot of people want to run screaming for the hills. A little perseverance pays off though!


 

Sophie's Final Ring Plan
My ring in its “Frankenstein” phase. I ended up not having a wedding band, since the engagement ring itself was so ornate. I used elements from lots of rings I had seen and liked, but none of them had everything I wanted.

Once your idea has been fleshed out to this point, the next step is to take the drawings into a computer aided drafting software. We use a software called Matrix. Matrix gives us a lot of flexibility when it comes to design. Just take a look at the way this ring came to life in 3D!

Dazzling Rough
The crown of the ring begins to take shape.
Dazzling Rough 2
Adding in the details.
Dazzling Rough 3
Looking like a ring now!
Dazzling Finished
Putting on the final touches.
Dazzling Done through
Front View
Dazzling Done angle
Angle View
Dazzling done side
Side view
Dazzling Done!
Top view

 

 

 

 

What’s great about digital design is that you can see EXACTLY what the final ring will look like, no question. The photos to the left show the final digital models of my ring, and except for the prongs around the crown, which smooth out slightly when the stones are set, the ring on my finger is absolutely identical to these photos.

At this point in the design process, we have a really good idea of the dimensions of the final ring, so we can begin planning out what kind of stones we will need (of course using a digital process also allows us to create a piece especially for a stone of a certain size).

The accent stones on this ring are diamond, while the stones at the crown are topaz, a stone that I have always loved because of its vintage, watery look. My dad is a fourth generation stonecutter, so he began by selecting just the right rough stones from his extensive collection. Each stone was carefully checked for color and clarity. He then hand cut and polished each stone so that they would perfectly complement the setting. While it isn’t visible in the photos, he even made the top facet, or table, of the center stone the same shape as the crown of the ring. It’s amazing how much thought goes in to such a small thing, but around here, we really focus on the details so that everything comes out just right.

Topaz ready to be cut
Topaz ready to be cut.

Meanwhile, the digital version of the ring was being converted into a wax model. The process for this is truly a marvel of modern technology, as the wax models are actually made by a state-of-the-art high definition 3D printer. This is the best way to ensure that all of the small details appear in the final setting. The delicate model is carefully checked against the digital version for any discrepancies that could cause problems in the final copy.

Once they are cleared for production, the wax models are encased in plaster, which is vacuumed to remove any air bubbles, and then allowed to harden to create a plaster mold. The plaster is subjected to high heat in order to melt and burn the wax out of the mold. Once the wax is gone, it leaves a perfect impression where the wax ring once was. We then inject molten silver into this void to create a ‘dummy setting’ that can be tried on and checked for sizing.

When we are sure that the size of the ring is correct and we are completely happy with the shapes, forms, stones, and everything else, we will print an identical wax model and go through the same process, this time with the final metal (in this case 14k yellow gold). Here’s a photo of the wax model, the Sterling silver ‘dummy’, and the final ring, side by side:

Custom 14k Yellow Gold Ring with Topaz and Diamond
Custom Design at Pearls International

Once the final setting has been created, we can carefully set the finished stones by hand and polish the ring to a high shine. This blend of traditional skill with modern techniques results in some of the most spectacular designs I’ve ever seen.

This was the moment I had been waiting for, and it was absolutely worth the wait! Josh gave me my new ring on Valentine’s Day (they didn’t let me see it ahead of time, so it was a big surprise!) and we are both absolutely thrilled with it! I love that it has such a wonderful heritage of being so lovingly made by my dad, and Josh loves that I’m so happy with it. He’s also really pleased to have a piece of jewelry that we can one day pass down to our future children, along with the story of how it was made by their grandfather. What a great thing!

Dazzler1

unnamed-1unnamed

 

This process may look pretty complicated, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Do you have an idea you’d love to bring to life? Come talk to us about it! We can reimagine your old jewelry, take a loose stone and make it into a useful piece of jewelry, or even make something unique from scratch! Your imagination is the limit, and there’s no end to the possibilities. Talk to a Pearl Girl about your custom creation today! 

LIKE BEING FIRST?

Get the latest style news and offers from Pearls International before everybody else does.
Your privacy is our priority. We will never share or sell your information.

Technology at Your Fingertips

This is the second blog in our jewelry and technology series. To read more about the way technology is affecting the jewelry industry, check out this cool blog on Galatea’s Momento Pearls.

Smart device aficionados everywhere: meet The Ring.

The Ring promotional image

The Ring is the next generation in functional wearables. With this device, you can control apps on your smartphone or tablet, turn appliances in your house (such as your lights and television) on and off, send text messages, and even make monetary deposits and payments online or at your favorite restaurants. This is all controlled with customizable gestures – for example, you could program your ring to turn your lights on when you draw a light bulb in the air, or to send a payment when you draw out a dollar sign. As you can see in the picture, the Ring is only about the size of an average class ring, which is impressive for all that it can do. Logbar, the creators of The Ring, also promise new developments and advances in ring technology this year. The Ring itself has only been available for purchase since December, which is when the first backers of The Ring when it started as a kickstarter project began to get their pre-orders. On schedule to be available starting in May of this year is the Ring Hub – a portable device which will allow you to connect your Ring to your home appliances via WiFi.

Comment to tell us what you think! Would you wear it?

 

sources:

The Ring Input Device Puts Gesture Control And Home Automation On Your Finger

The Ring Is Real

Gemstone Spotlight: December’s Ice Blue Sincerity

“If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate’er you do.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Turquoise
Rough and polished turquoise stones.

If you were born in December, you may find yourself a little confused on which stone to call your own. Turquoise has been the longest standing and most traditional birthstone for December, with zircon and tanzanite recently added. Many also consider blue topaz amongst the ranks of December birthstones. (Fun fact: Topaz is one of November’s traditional gemstones.) Whichever stone you prefer, December’s birthstones all bring a sense of calm, peace, and sincerity you gain from gazing at their gorgeous blue surfaces. And they are all amazing stones, so this month’s gemstone spotlight will encompass not one, not two, but four stones. What a good way to end the year.

Turquoise has been on the list of December birthstones since before 1912, along with lapis lazuli (which is not heavily recognized as a birthstone today). It is, in fact, one of the oldest gemstones known to man. The name turquoise comes from the French phrase “Pierre tourques”, meaning “Turkish stone” although it was most likely originally mined in Egypt and Iran, not Turkey. Today, we use the word turquoise to describe anything of the blue-green color commonly associated with the gem, which is interesting because the color is actually named after the stone, and not vice versa. American turquoise is mined in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona. A rare translucent variety is found only in Virginia. “Persian turquoise” refers to any turquoise which does not have black or brown veining in the stone. These are more commonly found outside of the U.S. in countries such as Tanzania, Afghanistan, Mexico, China, and Israel. The most valuable specimens are said to come from Iran. The value of turquoise stones based on color and patterning depends on region and personal preference. Most Americans prefer the spidery patterns, while clean stones are generally preferred east of here.

Greenish turquoise with veining
Turquoise stones with veining.

Turquoise jewelry requires some care. It is relatively soft, and the color can be affected by harsh lighting, household chemicals, oil (including natural oils and perspiration from your body) and cosmetics. It is a good idea to remove your turquoise jewelry before washing your hands, showering, or applying perfume and makeup. (Similar to how you would care for your pearls!) Most turquoise pieces are set in silver, although it is commonly found set in gold alongside diamonds in the Middle East. It is extremely popular in the southwest, and is associated with a lot of Native American style jewelry.

It is regarded as symbol of good fortune, happiness, and success. Wearing turquoise, especially in a ring, is thought to keep away evil spirits. Turquoise jewelry in general is said to protect the wearer from harm and relax the mind. Apache indians believed that attaching turquoise to an arrow would increase the hunter’s accuracy. Native Americans have associated the color of the stone with the sky and the Earth, and many people today still think of it as being symbolic of nature. Shamans, healers, and medicine men have talked of the healing properties of turquoise stones, contributing it as a healing agent for heart ailments and blisters, amongst other afflictions.

Looking for a turquoise piece as a gift? It is a traditional gift for an 11th wedding anniversary, and its affordability makes it a great birthday choice. Check out these awesome turquoise pieces from Pearls International:

Freshwater pearl and turquoise gemstone pendant
This lovely pendant features a gemstone bead in between two swarovski rondelles and freshwater pearls. It is available in both blue and green turquoise.

 

Pearl and turquoise necklace
This pearl and gemstone necklace is perfect for any occasion.

The name zircon is derived from the Arabic words for “gold colored,” although it is found in a wide variety of colors (with blue being the most popular, and also the color recognized as December’s birthstone). Stones that are medium dark and pure blue all the way through are the most valuable. It is a dense stone, so a small piece of zircon will have a higher weight than most other stones of similar size. Zircon is most heavily mined in Thailand, Cambodia, and southern Vietnam, though it is also found in Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and etc. Colorless zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia and sometimes fraudulently sold as real diamonds. However, zircon is a natural gemstone, while cubic zirconia is laboratory grown.

Faceted Blue Zircon
Faceted blue zircon.

Of all the blue gemstones (and there are a lot!) zircon has the highest refractive index. This makes the stones look very brilliant, but they sometimes see a double refractive effect, which makes the stone look “fuzzy” around the facets. It is a fairly hard stone, but has a tendency to wear along the faceted edges and is sensitive to hard knocks, so should be treated as occasional wear jewelry, especially in rings. It should also be stored carefully.

Zircon is said to aid in spiritual growth, bring wisdom to the wearer, and help find beauty and peace. It is said to relieve pain, protect travelers from injury and illness, and aid in sleep, including preventing nightmares. Many people in the Hindu culture consider trees to be sacred, and one legend tells of the Kalpa Tree, a sacred offering to the gods that was made entirely of gemstones. In this tree, all the mature leaves were made of zircon. It is said that when one wanted to find peace and seek out certain blessings, they would sit under the Kalpa Tree and meditate.

Kalpa Tree
An illustration of the Kalpa Tree.

The next December gemstone is Tanzanite, which was discovered in Tanzania in the late 60’s, making it a relatively new stone on the market. It is interesting because it is not found in any other parts of the world, while many other stones are mined all in several countries. In fact, the entire mineable area of tanzanite at present is only five square miles, surrounding the volcano Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzanite gemstone cuts.
Tanzanite gemstones in several different cuts.

Tanzanite comes in a variety of blue-violet blue shades, and can show brown or yellow coloration in certain lightings. It is often heated to remove the brown and yellow hues, leaving you with a blue or blue violet gem. There is little history on this gem, as it is still so new to the market.

Faceted blue topaz
Faceted blue topaz.

The final gem considered in the list of December birthstones is blue topaz. Topaz is discussed in our prior blog on November’s birthstones, as topaz is considered to be a birthstone for November. However, November most primarily recognizes the yellow shades of topaz, while December only considers the blue varieties. Topaz is a very popular stone due to its durability and its affordability. In fact, it is the second most popular colored gemstone on the market, outranked only by sapphire. Blue topaz comes in a variety of shades. All deep, saturated blue stones are treated to enhance color. Most natural blue topaz is a pale blue. Pearls International’s jeweler has a fondness for natural blue topaz, and if you visit our Daytona Beach shores location you can see our chandelier made with natural blue topaz crystals, hand carved by our own Jim Stradley. We also have pearl and topaz pendants and earrings available for sale.

Blue Topaz and Pearl Earring and pendant Set
Pearls International’s natural blue topaz and pearl pendant and earring set.

According to legend, wearing topaz can improve your eyesight. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of food or drinks that had been poisoned. It is also thought to cure insomnia and asthma.

 

sources: www.almanac.com, www.gemselect.com, www.birthdaygems.org, www.gia.edu/turquoise-history-lore, www.americangemsociety.org

Gemstone Spotlight: Sapphire, September’s Protection

“A maiden born when autumn leaves 
Are rustling in September’s breeze, 
A sapphire on her brow should bind 
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Some examples of sapphire color variation.
Some examples of sapphire color variation.

Those born in September call the sapphire their own. Sapphires, the sister stone to the ruby (which is really a red sapphire), are the the second hardest gemstone, rivaled only by the diamond. Corundum (a.k.a. the mineral that makes up rubies and sapphires) comes in every color of the rainbow. Many colors are shown in the photo above. Aside from the traditional blue, popular colors include pink, yellow, and green, like the pendant below.

Green Sapphire and CZ Pendant in Sterling Silver

It is most commonly seen in shades of blue, blue-green, and blue-violet. The most prized varieties are a rich, intense shade of blue that is not too light or too dark. The best sapphires are said to come from Sri Lanka and Madagascar, although sapphires are found in many other places around the world, including Thailand, Australia, the U.S. and China.

A high quality sapphire
A high quality sapphire is deep blue in color.

Wearing a sapphire is said to protect your loved ones from harm. If you are a Taurus, wearing sapphires has been said to cure and protect against mental illnesses, which is implied in the Gregorian Birthstone Poem at the top of this blog. It is also said to help cure rheumatism, work as an anti-depressant, promote clairvoyance, and aid in astral projection, to name a few traits. Since the middle ages, sapphires have been a popular stone amongst priests and royalty. Clergymen from medieval times wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and commoners thought the stone itself attracted heavenly blessings.  Sapphire stones were regarded as a talisman to ward off evil. Star sapphires were said to be so powerful that they would continue to protect the wearer as it was passed on to someone else, and was used primarily as a protective stone for travelers. Another legend says a venomous snake encased in a container made of sapphire would die. It represents faithfulness and sincerity in relationships, and symbolizes peace, joy, and wisdom. Metaphysically, it is a great stone for healing and protective purposes, and for mental growth.

A star sapphire
A star sapphire.

Thinking of giving a sapphire as a gift? Your September girl will be blown away! Sapphires (along with rubies) are also popular in engagement rings due to their superb hardness (Prince William gave a sapphire to Kate Middleton for their engagement!). Because of the amazing variety of colors they come in, you could even pick a stone in her favorite color. She will love you for being so thoughtful.

Think also of giving them as a 5th, 23rd, or 45th wedding anniversary present. Star sapphires are a traditional gift for a 65th wedding anniversary as well.

sources: almanac.com, gemselect.com, americangemsociety.org, www.bernardine.com/gemstones/sapphire