Birthstone Guide

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Birthstone Guide

Birthstone Guide
Truly ancient, the garnet has been the gem of faith and truth for centuries, bestowing upon the wearer the quality of constancy and the ability to make deep and lasting friendships. Like other red stones, garnet was considered a remedy for hemorrhage and inflammatory disease and a general protection from wounds.

Commonly thought of as a dark red stone, it is actually a large family of gems occurring in every color but blue. Brilliant, colorful and durable, garnets have been found on every continent, but most are mined in Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa.


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Believed by the ancient Greeks to have been stained with the wine of Bacchus, this stone was thought to be an amulet against intoxication and so named "amethustos" or "not drunken". It can also calm anger, quicken the wit and make one shrewd in business matters.

Amethyst has been prized ever since, particularly by nobility, for its rich purple hues. It may be found in colors ranging from the palest lavenders to the deepest purple. Generally, the deeper the color the more highly prized the stone. A member of the quartz family, amethyst is mined extensively in Brazil and Zambia.


Birthstone Guide
Derived from the Latin, no gem has a more descriptive name than the aquamarine. The name aquamarine literally means "seawater", a tribute to its beautiful blue color. Long associated with tranquility and happiness, aquamarine was also thought to instill courage, cure laziness and sharpen the intellect.

Like emerald, aquamarine is a member of the beryl family. It is frequently free of flaws and may occur in very large crystals. The aquamarine is not a brilliant stone, but depends on its size and purity of color for effect. Brazil is the most prolific supplier of aquamarine, which is often found in shades of blue-green.


  Birthstone Guide
The diamond has been a symbol of eternal love since the 15th century, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria sealed his engagement to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. Of all jewels, the diamond is supreme and worthy of the name precious stone. It qualifies for all the virtues implied in that term: brilliance, hardness, rarity, antiquity, purity and permanence.

Although the most desirable diamond is colorless, distinct body colors such as blue, green, red, pink, and yellow are known. These natural fancy colors are rare and highly prized.

While India was the world's main source of diamonds for over 2,000 years, most diamonds now come from Africa, Russia and Australia. Of all diamonds mined, only a quarter are of gem quality.


Birthstone Guide
One of the most valuable gems, emerald has been coveted through history. It was attributed such great power that it was often used in powdered form to prevent epilepsy, stop bleeding, cure dysentery and fever, and avert panic. In addition, emerald was thought to make its owner eloquent and persuasive, bring joy, give the ability to foretell the future and improve memory.

The choicest member of the beryl family, the ideal shade for emerald is an intense green, distinct from any other green gemstone. Larger size stones tend to contain slight faults or flaws. Accordingly, good sized perfect stones are extremely rare, which accounts for their costliness. Colombia and Africa are the major sources for emerald.


  Birthstone Guide
Since the Hindu god Vishnu searched the seas for a pearl to adorn his daughter on her wedding day, pearls have been the symbols of love, happiness, wealth, honor and longevity.

Both natural and cultured pearls form when a piece of sand, shell or other irritant causes the oyster to coat the foreign body with the pearly substance known as nacre. The value of a pearl is determined by several factors: the perfection of its shape, size, color and freedom from blemishes.
Today, Japan is a major source for cultured pearls.