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A Look at The History of October’s Birthstones

October’s Birthstones – Did you know that those born in October have an option of two birthstones? It’s true. October babies can have their choice of opal or tourmaline. So why does October have two when other months only have one? The practice of wearing birthstones dates back hundreds of years ago, and their origin of the fashion is largely debated. But in an effort to standardize the birthstones, the National Association of Jewelers decided to create a list of accepted birthstones for each month in 1952. That last has since been tweaked over the years to reflect changes in styles and availability of stones on the market. In October’s case, the opal was seen by many to be too feminine in appearance and there were questions about its durability. So the association decided to add tourmaline to the mix. More recently, it was decided that the October birthstones would be opal and pink tourmaline, specifically. So which one do you choose when picking out personalized jewelry? Take a closer look at each of these stones and see which one fits you. Opal Opal is a sensitive silica material that contains water. When the water exits an opal, the stone looks smaller and often shows slight cracks due to the stress of evaporation. Opals are created in volcanic rocks as well as cracks and cavities. They are known for their many colors that flash when the stone is moved.  The majority of opals come from Australia — it’s the country’s national gemstone — especially the gorgeous black variety. Mexico is the home of the first fire opals, though wondrous fire opals can also be found...

September Birthstone: The Sapphire

Standing in the American Museum of Natural History, the 563 carat Star of India with its deep blue coloring reminds a person of the beauty of such a fine gem. Though a person cannot own that one, plenty of sapphires exist with a piece of that elegant beauty can become adopted and taken home. The gem’s blue color charmed so many people that royalty would encrust it on its robes, European clergy would adorn special robes with it and Lady Diana received the gem from Prince Charles as an engagement ring from a jewelry store. September Birthstone Sri Lankan and India lore attribute these endearing qualities loyalty, faithfulness, and truth to the stone. It becomes given at weddings because sapphires induce healthy relationships. The blue color has been the most common though other colors do exist. The velvety blue stones with its ability to let light in deep within its transparency often mesmerizes people into gentler interactions. Reeki healers that use stones for massage and health attribute it to calming, and focusing which results in joy. Scientific studies confirm such thinking done for advertising and medical firms that the color blue brings peace and promotes creativity. High level priests often were given rings encrusted with sapphires. Giving a loved one or a friend a blue sapphire has become a sign of deep caring for their health and wellbeing. Sapphires in Jewelry Sapphires have been used in a variety of ways. It often encrusts silver and gold pieces for charms on bracelets. The blue coloring combines well with other gems such as rubies and emeralds. Pendants may have a single blue...

August Birthstone: The Magic of Peridot

People born in August have the distinctive advantage of having two birthstones. The “Evening Emerald,” known by gemologists as Peridot gemstones.  The yellow-green, lime green, and luscious olive green tones have attracted world-class collectors since ancient times. It is yielded from the activity of volcanic eruptions. The second birthstone for August-born is the Sardonyx, an onyx veined gem of silica mineral quartz. In Ancient times, the Peridot was believed to be extremely precious. This stone was referred to often as “Topaz” in the Torah and the Bible. Ancient Egyptian documentation in 1580 – 1350 B.C.E. shows gems of Peridot were formed into elegant strands of green beads believed to possess miraculous mystical powers and healing properties. These beads supposedly provided the wearer with good luck all year, including protecting against nightmares and greater influence and power. Romans and Greeks cut the gemstones for rings, inlays, and pendants. Wealthy Turkish sultans amassed the world’s largest collections of fine Peridot gems.They used peridot as ornaments for royal turbans and to adorn jeweled boxes. The Golden Throne of Istanbul is encrusted with 955 Peridot gemstones, specifically cut in a convex shape, then highly polished. The Crusaders brought Peridots back into Europe to adorn elaborate churches thinking they were the finest of green emeralds. The “Three Magi” treasure in the Dom of Cologne in Germany is actually Peridot, not emeralds. In the Kremlin of Russia, the crown jewels include a fine, clear, 192-carat, olive green Peridot. The largest of all cut Peridot gemstones is a 310-carat gem kept in the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington D.C. Today’s market of Peridot jewelry has an endless range of fine gemstones to costume and high-end, designer couture jewelry. Some of the finest Peridot stones can be found in the showroom at Snow’s Jewelers. If you are...

July Birthstone: Ruby

What do you think of when you think of July? Hot sun? Fireworks? Rubies? Rubies, known as the “king of gems,” have long been said to represent the beauty of the sun–the ideal meaning for one of the hottest months of the year. Also a symbol of integrity, healing, devotion, and romance, this gem is the perfect gift to represent the strength of your love and the strength of your passion, whether set in a birthday gift, an engagement ring, or a wedding band. The word “ruby” is derived from the Latin word “ruber” which means “red.” This color evokes some of the most powerful emotions, such as love and anger, and is associated with objects of power–roses, fast cars, and national flags. This gem has been inspiring people throughout history and has been used to represent power, authority, and passion. People in India believed that by owning a ruby, a person could live in peace with their enemies, and in Burma, warriors would carry rubies because they thought the stone would make them invincible in battle. Medieval European royalty and upper class citizens sought after and wore rubies with the belief that the stone guaranteed health, wealth, and love. Practically speaking, a ruby is a fantastic stone because of its composition. The ruby is harder than any other gem except for diamonds, which means you can wear it every day without fear of damaging or breaking it. In addition, the deep red color makes the stone appear much larger than other stones of the same size which can help it stand out, even in small pieces of jewelry such as...

June Birthstone – Pearls

Every birth month has a stone. If you were born in June, your birthstone is the pearl, which is not actually a stone, but gorgeous nonetheless. The origin of the birthstone is dated back as far as the breastplate of Aaron from the Bible. The breastplate featured twelve gemstones, all representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list of gemstones by birthday dates to 1912. The June birthstone offers a lot of flexibility in comparison to the other months because it is organic instead of being found in the earth. Pearls are formed when an oyster builds up layers of matter around a single grain of sand. Since pearls can be farmed, you can find them in many colors and sizes. Pearls are much more unique in comparison to the diamonds, rubies and peridot of other birth months. You’re special because you have the pearl! The Meaning of the Pearl The pearl is believed to contain healing powers, and if you wear the one of your birth month, these powers will be yours. It is said that the pearl has calming powers and can help to aid in loyalty, truth, charity, and purity for those who wear it. Pearls have an organic origin because they are not found within the earth as most gemstones are. Instead, they are found within various species of clams and oysters. Most of pearls are culture-raised and come in various colors. You can find pearls that are white, black, cream and even yellow, green, and blue. They can be found all over the world, adding to some of the popularity of the pearl. Buying Pearl Jewelry At Snow’s Jewelry, you will find an array of...

May Birthstone: Emerald

May is when the flowers start to bloom and spring offers up its delights to behold. Emerald is the birthstone of May, a symbol of rebirth and one of the most easily recognizable of precious stones. Find out about this gemstone and how to make it your own. The gemstone emerald is a form of the mineral beryl. It gets its distinct green coloring from chromium or vanadium. It has a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. The stone’s clarity is graded by eye instead of a loupe standard as with diamonds. Almost all emeralds are “oiled” to strengthen the stone against inherent fissures. Eye-clean stones of a strong, medium-toned green hue are most valuable, although all are strikingly beautiful gemstones. The word “emerald” is originally derived from the Greek smaragdus, meaning green. As early as 300 B.C., it was mined in Egypt. Quantities are limited. Many current emeralds are mined in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. Columbia produces 50 to 95 percent of today’s emeralds. Zambia produces another 20 percent. Many emeralds on the market are specially treated to improve the clarity of the gemstone. One famous emerald is the Chalk emerald ring, which is displayed at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History. This 37-carat top-quality ring continues to inspire admiration. Another famous emerald is the Bahia emerald, which contains the largest single shard on record. It weighs approximately 840 pounds and originated from Bahia, Brazil. Its ownership is unclear. Emeralds are considered to be one of the four most precious stones. Their brilliant color and their translucence makes them ideal for open settings. Here are a few suggestions for...