Amethyst: Emperor of Quartz

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February's birthstone amethyst, is the most prized variety of the quartz family. Although once only available to royalty, amethyst's plentiful supplies have made it widely available to the general public. Amethyst, the gemstone believed by ancient Greeks … [Read more...]

Chatoyancy: Cat’s Eye Effect

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Chatoyancy is an optical phenomenon in which a band of reflected light, known as a “cat’s eye,” moves just beneath the surface of a dome-shape cut gemstone. The name "chatoyance" originates from the French word "chatoyer," which means … [Read more...]

Topaz: Small Island in the Red Sea

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Topaz is the birthstone for November and it's blue variety is the gem that celebrates a 4th anniversary while Imperial topaz is the gem that high-lites the 23rd anniversary. This is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity, all yellow gems in antiquity were called … [Read more...]

A Closer Look: Akoya Pearls

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It is important to realize that almost all pearls available on the market today are in fact cultured, and that finding saltwater pearls in their natural state is almost unheard of. The difference between natural and cultured pearls focuses on whether the pearl was created spontaneously by nature – without human … [Read more...]

Tourmaline: The Rainbow Gem

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Tourmaline, along with opal, is the official birthstone for October. It is also the gem that celebrates the eighth anniversary. Owing to its wide range of colour availability, this gemstone is considered to be one of today's most versatile gemstones. Its name is thought to be derived from the Sinhalese … [Read more...]

A Closer Look at Glass-Filled Rubies

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Glass-Filled rubies have been a hot topic recently affecting both industry insiders as well as a consumers alike. Here is what you need to know to bring yourself up-to-speed on this highly controversial issue, as explained by The Gemological Institute of America. … [Read more...]

A Closer Look: Tahitian Pearls

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Unlike the more common pearl types, Tahitian pearls typically have a much darker body color and they have become some of the most sought-after, and most expensive pearls in the world. Tahitian pearls are known for their amazing iridescent, vibrant, almost metallic colors, and are unique among … [Read more...]

In Depth: Freshwater Pearls

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The Freshwater pearl looks remarkably similar to the Akoya pearl, yet Freshwater pearls are available for almost 1/5 the price of Akoya saltwater pearls! Production is so large that even lovely lustrous specimens are affordable, particularly in off-round shapes. For that reason, freshwater cultured pearls are … [Read more...]

Alexandrite: The Imperial Gemstone

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Alexandrite is one of the official birthstones of June, a status it shares with cultured pearl and moonstone. A relatively modern gem, it was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities. In Russian legend, this … [Read more...]

Natural, Synthetic, or Simulant?

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In today's high-tech jewellery landscape it can be difficult, when making jewelry or gemstone purchases, to decipher the terminology used to describe the origins of a particular gemstone. The significant differences in price between natural, synthetic as well as imitation stones can easily turn what looks … [Read more...]