Tag: Gemstone

What’s tougher than a diamond? You’ll never guess!

Our recent gemstone spotlight, featuring Jade, inspired us to dig a little deeper into what exactly the Mohs Hardness Scale is, and also the difference between hardness and toughness. Jade is a very tough stone, but not a very hard stone. In ancient times, it was used to create weapons and other tools, yet only falls between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale.
How could that be? The answer is that toughness and hardness are not the same. Hardness (which is measured on the Mohs scale) determines how easily a mineral can be scratched, while toughness judges its ability to withstand breakage, as from a fall or impact with another object.

A guide to the Mohs scale

While the Mohs Scale consists of a numerical scale of 1-10, the toughness scale is a little less specific. There is not yet a standardized test for measuring toughness, and minerals are graded on a scale of Exceptional, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.

Diamonds, which are commonly known as the hardest natural mineral, sit at a solid 10 on the Mohs scale. However, they only rank as far as “Good” on the toughness scale. Jade, however, ranks as “Exceptional” and is therefore considered to be tougher than a diamond, although it sits at a 6-7 on the Mohs scale. GemSociety.org uses the comparison of wood vs. glass to help you remember the difference between toughness and hardness. Glass is very hard and can easily scratch wood, but wood is very tough, so if you bang a piece of glass and a piece of wood together the glass is more likely to be broken by the piece of wood.

With this logic, diamonds can easily scratch jade, but what happens if you whack a piece of jadeite and a piece of diamond together? The diamond could crack, but your jade will probably come away a little bruised, but not too much worse for the wear. Now you know!

 

Sources:
https://www.gemsociety.org/article/gemstones-tough-hard/
http://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/encyclobeadia/charts/68ag
http://geology.com/minerals/mohs-hardness-scale.shtml

 


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: November’s Stone of the Sun

“Who first comes to this world below 
In dreary November’s fog and snow, 
Should prize the topaz’s amber hue, 
Emblem of friends and lovers true.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Topaz
Topaz gemstones with varying colors.

The topaz is the traditional birthstone for November, with citrine having been recently added as a secondary stone. Topaz colors include clear, brown, yellow, orange, pink, and red, as well as the well-known blue topaz. Many examples of topaz seen in jewelry are treated to bring out the color, as topaz is most often found in pale and light colors. This is especially true in blue topaz.

Blue topaz changes in color
The topaz on the right has been treated to bring out the bright blue colors within the stone, while the topaz on the left is a closer representation of its natural color.

This stone is found in many countries around the world, with the most common source being Brazil. It is a symbol of affection, has an interesting history of legends, and holds a few interesting metaphysical properties. Topaz has been said to increase strength, fight against insomnia, cure asthma, and improve eyesight. The ancient Greeks believed that this stone held the power to make the wearer invisible in an emergency. Both the Egyptians and the Romans associated topaz with their sun gods (Ra and Jupiter, respectively). The Egyptians believed that it was colored with the energy of Ra, and regarded it as a very powerful amulet to protect against harm. These legends more than likely refer to yellow varieties of topaz, as well as citrine, which was once confused with similar specimens of topaz, although they are unrelated.

Need a piece of topaz jewelry for a gift? We have a gorgeous topaz pendant and earring set, in natural, untreated, hand faceted blue topaz.

Pendant with blue topaz and freshwater pearl
Pearls International blue topaz and freshwater pearl pendant.

 

Freshwater pearl and blue topaz earrings
Freshwater pearl and natural blue topaz earrings.

Citrine, the second stone for November, is the yellow or orange variety of quartz. The word citrine comes from the French “citron,” meaning “lemon.” Naturally yellow citrine is primarily found in Brazil and Madagascar, although some of the citrine market today is actually heat-treated amethyst.

Natural Citrine Crystal
Natural citrine crystal.

Citrine’s sunshine-like color has earned it a spot regarded as a positive energy stone, and it is thought to cure depression and radiate success, prosperity, and abundance. These qualities have given citrine nicknames such as “merchant’s stone” or “success stone,” and many places of business keep a citrine stone at the cash register.

Citrine and CZ Pendant in Sterling Silver

Amongst other metaphysical properties, citrine banishes negative energy, and will never absorb negative energy from its surroundings, meaning it never needs to be cleared or re-charged. The healing properties behind the stone are endless, both mentally and physically. It can relieve emotional trauma, repel nightmares, aid in digestion, help overcome addictions, and promote self confidence. It is said to carry the power of the sun with it.

Faceted citrine stones
Faceted citrine stones.

sources: www.almanac.com, www.gemselect.com, www.americangemsociety.org

Gemstone Spotlight: A Variegation of Colors for October

“October’s child is born for woe, 
And life’s vicissitudes must know, 
But lay an opal on her breast, 
And hope will lull those woes to rest.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Opals
Opals, October’s traditional birthstone, often show a flamelike effect in their color variations.

 

Tourmaline Stones
Tourmaline comes in a great variety of colors, including bi- and tri-colored stones.

October is another of those lucky months with two stones to chose from. Opal is the traditional October stone, with tourmaline added as a secondary stone in 1912. The fantastic thing about being born in October is the amazing range of colors these two stones have to offer. Opal is made when silica gel seeps into cracks in sedimentary rock and is naturally heated and molded over time. This gives the wide range of colors seen within the different varieties of opals, and gives the stones a 3D effect – you see different colors at different depths within the stone.

Tourmaline comes in a variety of single color stones, as will as bi- or tri-colored stones. This effect is known as color zoning. A popular variety of multicolored tourmaline is watermelon tourmaline, which has a color gradient of green to pink/red, often with a colorless zone in between.

Watermelon Tourmaline Butterfly
Check out this adorable watermelon tourmaline butterfly!

Tourmaline is found in Brazil, the U.S., Africa, and Afghanistan. An intense green variety called chrome tourmaline is found in Kenya and Tanzania. The word “tourmaline” comes from the Sinhalese word “turmali,” meaning “mixed,” referring to its stunning color varieties. According to Egyptian legend, tourmaline passed under a rainbow on it’s way up from the center of the earth, and therefore absorbed all the colors of the rainbow, giving us the varieties we see today.  Tourmaline is thought to enhance creativity, and is a stone of love and friendship. Another trait that sets tourmaline apart from many other stones is their ability to hold an electrical charge when heated and then allowed to cool.

Shopping for an October birthday present? Pearls International offers this amazing pearl enhancer with chrome tourmaline, which is a perfect addition to any of our pearl necklaces.

Chrome Tourmaline Pearl Enhancer
Our pearl enhancer with chrome tourmaline.

Opal also comes in many varieties, including black opal, fire opal, and milky opal. Australia produces a large percentage of the world’s opal, primarily black and white opal. The greek word “oppallos” means “to see a change of color.” This word is derivative from the Sanskrit word “upala” which means “valuable stone.” The Romans also have a word, “opalus” meaning “a stone from many elements.”

Opal pendant in Sterling silver

African Aborigines have a legend about the creation of opals that also involves a rainbow, interestingly enough. It was believed that the Creator came down from the heavens on a rainbow, bearing a message of peace for all people. When his feet touched the ground, the stones around him began to sparkle with all the colors of the rainbow, and thus opals were created. Metaphysically, it is thought to cure depression and bring real and true love to the wearer.

Fire Opal
A gorgeous fire opal. Look at all those colors!

When buying opals as a gift, remember that they contain 3-30% water, and are a very soft stone, meaning they are best for occasional or light wear.

 

 

sources: www.americangemsociety.org, http://4csblog.gia.edu/2012/october-birthstone-about-tourmaline, http://www.colonialjewelers.com/learn/about-gemstones/opal-tourmaline/, www.almanac.com, www.gemstone.org, www.gemselect.com

Gemstone Spotlight: Peridot, August’s Vitality

“Wear a peridot or for thee, 
No conjugal felicity; 
The August-born without this stone, 
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

A faceted peridot and a rough peridot.
A peridot in the rough and a faceted peridot.

For years, August had two birthstones, peridot and sardonyx. The more popular of the two has always been peridot, which is a symbol of vitality, strength and growth and the star of this blog. However, August recently had a third stone added to its’ list of official stones, which you can read about here. (Spoiler alert – it’s Spinel)

Metaphysically, peridot is said to prevent against nightmares (especially when set in gold) and bring the wearer power and influence. Peridot was first found in Hawaii, where the natives explained its existence as being hardened tears from Pele, the Volcano Goddess, which is fitting because it is formed inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic activity. Throughout history, peridot has been used to connect with nature, perhaps because of it’s coloration. The ancient Egyptians believed drinking a beverage called Soma from peridot cups would bring them closer to Isis, Goddess of Nature. They also referred to peridot as the “gem of the sun.”

Pele, Goddess of Fire and Volcanos
Peridot was thought to have been formed by the tears of Pele, Goddess of Fire and Volcanos.

Today, peridot is primarily mined in Arizona, but is still found in Hawaii, and mined in other parts of the world, such as China and Pakistan. It is found in a variety of colors from yellow-green to brown, with the most desirable colors being the bright lime green and olive. It is sometimes called the “evening emerald,” probably for it’s similarity in color to emeralds. In addition to being August’s birthstone, peridot is a traditional gift to celebrate a 16th wedding anniversary.

Peridot and CZ Pendant in Sterling Silver
Peridot pendant in Sterling Silver, from Pearls International

sources: birthdaygems.org

almanac.com

americangemsociety.org

www.about-birthstones.com/augustbirthstone

Gemstone Spotlight: Rubies, July’s Passion

“The glowing ruby shall adorn,
Those who in July are born;
Then they’ll be exempt and free
From love’s doubts and anxiety.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Rubies
Faceted Rubies

July’s birthstone is one of history’s most prized gems. Ancient Hindus called it “Rajnapura,” or “King of Gems.” It has a very mystical history and was once thought to have magical powers. A legend says that a ruby would glow darker when the owner was in danger, and return to its original color once the danger had passed. Royalty wore ruby jewelry to ward off evil. Ancient tribes used rubies as bullets, as they represented power and heat. Some also believed that a pot of water would instantly boil if a ruby was thrown into it. It was also ground up and placed on the tongue as a cure for indigestion. Today, they are regarded as symbols of love and passion, as these emotions are enhance by their deep red color. Metaphysically, they are thought to arouse the senses, stimulate your imagination, and guarantee success in love and wealth.

A rough ruby and faceted rubies.
A rough ruby and faceted rubies.

The Latin word “ruber” means red, and the most prized rubies are medium to deep red, although they do come in a variety of colors. If too much of another color is seen, (i.e. purple or orange) it will be called a fancy sapphire. Sapphires and rubies are nearly chemically identical, but rubies are prized for their color and are more rare in gem quality than Sapphires. The highest quality rubies are said to be found in Burma, but they are also mined in many other countries around the world, including India, Sri Lanka, and here in the U.S. The only gem harder than a ruby is a diamond, so they are perfect for everyday wear.

Shopping for someone born in July? Our pearl and ruby jewelry is a perfect way to show your love! Also consider buying a ruby to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary.

Ruby and Pearl Pendant
This pearl and ruby pendant by Pearls International is simple and stylish, easy to dress up or down!

sources: www.about-birthstones.com/julybirthstone.html, www.birthdaygems.org, www.almanac.com, www.americangemsociety.org

Gemstone Spotlight: Emerald, May’s Good Fortune

“Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Emeralds
An assortment of faceted emeralds.

If you were born in the month of May, you are gifted with one of the four traditional precious stones as your birthstone. Emeralds, which translates simply to “green gemstone,” display a gorgeous green color not commonly seen in other gems. Emerald is a rare and fragile gem, and most emeralds you see in jewelry today have been treated with resins to fill small cracks, or otherwise treated to improve clarity. Most emeralds are mined in Columbia, although they are also found in Brazil, North Carolina, Madagascar, and many other places around the world.

A drawing of Cleopatra.
Cleopatra’s favorite gem was said to be the emerald.

The best emeralds used today are found in South America, where the Incas and Aztecs once thought of it as a holy gem. The oldest known emeralds were found in Egypt, near the red sea. In fact, emeralds were regarded as one of Cleopatra’s favorite gems. Ancient Romans dedicated the stone to Venus, the Goddess of love, and many Indian maharajas prized emeralds as being able to bring good luck and fortune. It is also known as a symbol of fertility. Many people still believe emeralds to bring good fortune, and they symbolize wisdom, patience, and faith, along with other virtuous qualities.

This Stunning Emerald Pendant in 14k Gold from Pearls International would make Cleopatra Green With Envy!
This Stunning Emerald Pendant in 14k Gold from Pearls International would make Cleopatra Green With Envy!

If you are looking to give an emerald as a gift, it is perfect for a girl born in the month of May, or to celebrate a 20th or 35th wedding anniversary. Need an emerald for a special gift? Contact Pearls International today!

sources:
www.gemselect.com, www.almanac.com, www.americangemsociety.org, www.birthdaygems.org

Gemstone Spotlight: Diamonds, April’s Eternal Love

“She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

April girls may consider themselves lucky to be born with such a prestigious gemstone. If you have been following our blog for the last three months, you have probably learned a lot about the history of gemstones. Knowledge on diamonds is a little more widespread than some of the other stones, as it is a popular stone in many pieces of jewelry. Many people know that diamonds are a symbol of eternal love, and are frequently used in engagement rings and wedding and anniversary bands. Many people also know that diamonds are one of the hardest substances known to man. Lesser known facts about the diamond include its history, the circumstances around its formation, and some of the mythology around the stone.

Colored Diamonds
Diamonds are available in many colors.

The greek word “adamas,” which the word “diamond” is derivative of, means “invincible.” In Sanskrit, the diamond is called “vajra,” meaning “lightning.” Ancient legends of diamonds tell that they were created by lighting, or that they are the tears of Gods. Diamonds are actually chemically identical to carbon, and the stones themselves are created from carbon under extreme pressure and at very high temperatures for anywhere from 1-3 billion years. Diamonds can also form at impact sites where asteroids strike the Earth. The heat and pressure from this event can cause diamonds to form if the asteroid hits carbon-containing stones in the earth. Once the gems are gathered, they are polished and cut. Each diamond has at least 58 facets, which helps catch and refract light. This gives diamonds their signature “sparkle.”

Here are some great diamond gift ideas for your April girl. Diamonds are also a traditional 60th wedding anniversary gift. And pearls are always appropriate!

Pearl necklace with gold and diamond clasp.
Classic strand of large pearls with a 14k gold and diamond clasp.

Are diamonds a little out of your price range, or are you thinking of trying something a little less traditional? Try a bloodstone for your aries girl or a sapphire if her birthday falls under the taurus sign. We also offer a selection of synthetics (cubic zirconia and swarovski crystals) that shine just like a diamond!

sources:
http://geology.com/articles/diamonds-from-coal/, www.gemselect.com, www.americangemsociety.org, www.almanac.com

Gemstone Spotlight: March’s Birthstones, Aquamarine and Bloodstone

If your birthday falls in March, you have luxury of being able to choose between two lovely stones to call your own! Historically, wearing your gemstone is said to bring good fortune and luck. Does that mean those with two stones in their month are twice as lucky?

“A March-born shall always be
Soothed by aqua, gem of sea
This mermaid’s treasured stone you wear
Brings happiness, love, affection and care.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

The traditional birthstone for March, the aquamarine, like amethyst, is primarily mined in Brazil, but found in many other parts of the world as well. In many cultures, aquamarine is a symbol of the ocean. The Latin roots for the word aquamarine translates to “water of the sea.” This stone has been referred to as a mermaid’s treasure by ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed that it originated in a mermaid’s jewelry box. The Romans also believed aquamarine to be sacred to Neptune, God of the sea, and early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans would protect them from the dangers of the sea.

Some of the color examples of aquamarine.
Aquamarine comes in shades of blue and sea-green.

“Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.”

– Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Heliotrope, more commonly referred to as “Bloodstone” or “Blood Jasper” is the second birthstone for March. In fact, it was once the primary stone until it was replaced by aquamarine. Bloodstone is said to have been created at the time of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, when some of His blood stained the jasper at the foot of the cross. This is said to be the reason for the flecks of red within the green stone.  Interestingly enough, “Blood Jasper” is not actually a variety of jasper at all, but a type of quartz. Another fact about the bloodstone that sets it apart from many other gemstone is that the bold varieties of color are all natural. It is never heat treated to bring out the color, like many other finished stones on the market are.

Bloodstone
This bloodstone has been faceted.

Having trouble deciding which stone to select for your March birthday girl? Does she have a deep love of the sea? An aquamarine may be your choice! Is she very religious? The history behind the bloodstone may interest her. Still unsure? Traditionally, aquamarine is the stone for the pisces zodiac sign, while bloodstone is more widely used by aries. Also consider aquamarine for a 19th wedding anniversary gift.

sources:
www.americangemsociety.org, www.almanac.com, www.gem5.com, www.gemselect.com, www.birthdaygems.org

Gemstone Spotlight: Amethyst, February’s Royalty.

“The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Amethyst Geode
Amethyst in Geode from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Amethyst
An example of faceted amethyst.

Amethyst, or purple quartz, is seen in a variety of shades from light lilacs to deep purples. Today, it is one of the more common gemstones, found all over the world. Most examples of amethyst are Brazilian or Zambian, however.

Amethyst has a long an interesting history. At one time, only royalty were allowed to wear the gem. Historically, the highest quality amethyst was found in Russia. Throughout the middle ages, amethyst from this region was used to decorate English finery as a sign of royalty.  The word amethyst actually comes from “amethystos,” a Greek word meaning “sober” or “without drunkenness.” This has gained it the nickname the “sobriety stone,” and Amethyst has been used to treat alcoholism and prevent against the effects of drunkenness. Metaphysically, it has several useful properties. It is thought to relieve headaches, promote clear-headedness, and keep the wearer sharp of wit. It symbolizes, sincerity, peace, a calm disposition, and courage.

Small Amethyst Pendant with CZ in Sterling Silver

Think of amethyst as a gift if you are shopping for a 4th or 6th wedding anniversary or to make your February girl feel like royalty. In fact, did you know that between the 15th and 20th centuries, the pearl was also considered as a February birthstone? Our pearl-and-amethyst jewelry is an excellent choice for a February birthday present!

Pearl and Amethyst Earrings
Our pearl-and-amethyst dangle earrings.
Pearl and Amethyst Bracelet
Pearls International pearl-and-amethyst bracelet with swarovski crystals.

sources:
www.americangemsociety.org, www.gemselect.com, www.almanac.com, www.birthdaygems.org