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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sapphire Wedding Band Part One

To get the best possible sapphire wedding band it is not necessary to know all about sapphires, but obviously the more you know the better your chances of getting the best possible sapphire wedding band available.

The word Sapphire, from the Hebrew word Sapir, is the single-crystal form of aluminum oxide (Al2O3), a mineral known as corundum. It can be found naturally as gemstones or manufactured in large crystal boules for a variety of applications.

The corundum group consists of pure aluminum oxide. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron and chromium give sapphires their blue, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange or greenish color. Sapphire includes any gemstone quality varieties of the mineral corundum including the red variety, which is also known as ruby.

Blue sapphires come in a wide range of shades of blue and Titanium and iron inclusions within the aluminum oxide create the different shades of blue.

Most of all sapphires are heated to a temperature of up to around 1800°C for several hours and some stones are also heated in a nitrogen deficient atmosphere ovens for a week now. The purpose of this is to give the stone a better color.
You can find out if a stone has been heated by looking under magnification. If the needles are unbroken, then the stone was not heated. If the silk is not visible then the stone was heated adequately. If the silk is partially broken then a process known as low tube heat was used.

Low tube heat is the process where the rough stone is heated to 1300 °C for 20 to 30 minutes over charcoal. This takes out any gray or brown in the stone and improves color saturation.

You can also get fancy sapphires. These are any sapphire other than blue or red. Purple sapphires are lower in price than blue ones. These stones contain the trace element vanadium and come in a wide variety of shades. Yellow and green sapphires have traces of iron which gives them their color. Pink sapphires are have trace element of chromium and the deeper the color pink the higher the value as long as the color is going toward red of rubies. Color shift sapphires are blue in outdoor light and purple in indoor light.

Colour changes may also be pink in daylight to greenish in fluorescent light. Some stones shift color well and others only partially, in that some stones go from blue to blue purple. White sapphires usually come out of the ground as light gray or brown and are then heated to make them clear. However in very rare circumstances they will be found in a clear state.

The sapphire has long symbolized truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. Tradition holds that Moses was given the ten commandments on tablets of sapphire, making it the most sacred gemstone. Because sapphires represent divine favor, they were the gemstone of choice for kings and high priests. The British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires, the symbol of pure and wise rulers.

Since sapphire symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness, it is an excellent choice for an engagement ring. When Prince Charles chose a sapphire engagement ring for Princess Diana, couples all over the world were inspired to revive this venerable tradition.

Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, the month when the most babies are born. Ancient lists also name sapphire as a birthstone for April and the gemstone for the sign of Taurus.

"Fine blue sapphires are tremendously undervalued," says David Federman, United States author of Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones and other gem books. "Fine Kashmir and Burma sapphires are much rarer than Burma rubies and yet they are available for much less. Even fine Sri Lankan sapphires are rare to see these days. There is nothing more restful to the soul than a fine sapphire."

End of part one of Sapphire Wedding Band. Part two and three can be seen at

Blue Sapphires: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Most people think of the color blue when they hear the word Sapphire, when in fact Sapphires do come in many different colors. The only color that should be associated with the use of the word Sapphire without any other descriptor is blue, if the Sapphire is another color then that color should be used to denote the type of Sapphire you are looking at. For example, you see a pink Sapphire and the seller calls it a Sapphire and not a Pink Sapphire they are not correctly naming the gemstone. You will also hear the term fancy Sapphires, which is a reference to all Sapphires that are not blue in color.

This article will deal with Blue Sapphires and any reference in my article using the term Sapphire by itself denotes the color blue. When you are looking at Sapphires you might hear the following terms in reference to them, Kashmir, Burmese, Sri Lanka and Ceylon, Pailin, Cambodian, and Australian. All of these terms are used to describe color and quality. Be careful when someone offers you a Sapphire using any of these terms, make sure that the Sapphire actually came from that source. It not unusual for sellers to reference their gemstones as Kashmir Sapphires when they may have come from Thailand or Australia, as these do not command the same type of prices. Lets take a look at the difference of each term so you will know what questions to ask your seller.

Kashmir, This Sapphire has violetish blue to pure blue hue with a strong saturation, you will hear it described as having a velvety lustre and softness, this is caused by minute inclusions. Kashmir Sapphires are the most prized and the finest quality Sapphires available. This Sapphires color has also been called a cornflower blue, but that term has been over used to describe many different blues.

Burmese, It is close to the color of the Kashmir above with a subtle difference in the saturation and sometimes a darker tone, and could be described as a Royal Blue. It differs from the Kashmir, as it does not have that velvety lustre. Burmese make up the second most desired and finest quality of Sapphires available.

Ceylon and Sri Lanka, have a violetish blue to blue hue but are lighter in tone, this will provide the person viewing a gemstone with more sparkle and brilliance than the previous two Sapphires.

Pailin and Cambodian, are a violetish blue to greenish blue in hue, this distinctive color is very appealing to a lot of people, and you will find it in a large amount of jewelry that is being sold in jewellery stores.

Australian, you will find a lot of these Sapphires in lower cost jewellery as they have a very dark tone and look inky, you will hear the term inky blue used in reference to Australian Sapphires. With this very dark tone there is little brilliance, if any, for the eye to see and hence the value tends to be lower than the others described.

Sapphires are one of the most desired gemstones outside of diamonds, and the United States is still the largest purchaser of Sapphires and Sapphire jewelry. Which is interesting as American does have its own Sapphire mines in Montana; probably the best known is Yogo Clutch in central Montana.

When you look for you next Sapphire, make sure you know where is was mined and use the above information to help you either place a value on it, or provide you with the knowledge to pick the right color of Sapphire by knowing its origin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Beauty and Elegance of Blue Topaz Jewelry

Topaz is the birthstone for those who were born in the month of December. I have developed a fascination for topaz after learning that it is my birthstone. Presently I have collected quite a sizable blue topaz jewelry collection. My favorite is a pair of earrings given to me by my husband on Mother’s Day. Topaz is inexpensive, although it has a dazzling shine and hue that can rival any other gemstone.

In the process of collecting blue topaz jewelry I have discovered a few delightful qualities that can be found in a topaz. This birthstone has a variety of hues ranging from clear ice blue to deep, smoky, aquamarine shades. My blue topaz jewelry collection is a perfect demonstration of these delightful hues that Topaz posses. This variety of hues can sometimes be a bit of a problem especially if you want to wear something to match them.

The earrings my husband gave me were set with magnificent, icy and clear topaz. It captures and reflects light just the same way a fine cut diamond would. However matching them with another piece of jewelry can be a tough challenge. I tried to match it with a rich necklace that has a big stone surround by two smaller ones. This blue topaz jewelry has deep and rich tones and is not very clear. It was stunning but next to the earrings it looked cheap and dirty in comparison.

Although I wanted to wear both of those items, their combination would just not wok. I had to find other pairs in my blue topaz jewelry collection. I had to match the necklace with a darker set of earrings. It was difficult since the icy earnings were my favorite.

Having a keen eye is vital if you want to match precious stones and jewelry. Although it can be challenging I still enjoy the various shades and clarity found in blue topaz jewelry. Maybe the challenge would be little easier if I expand my collection.

Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning Blue Topaz Jewelry. Visit our site for more helpful information about Blue Topaz Jewelry and other similar topics.

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Fine Topaz and Topaz Jewelry

It is said that the stone Topaz derives its name from the Sanskrit word 'tapas' that means fire. However, it is more likely that the stone derived its name from the Island of Topazos situated in the Red Sea. In the ancient days a figure of a falcon was fashioned on a Topaz and it was thought that it would help acquire the goodwill of magnates, princes and kings.

According to the Greeks, Topaz gives strength as it was connected to the powerful Sun God via the golden glow. The Romans believed that it could help to evade poisoning, as it changed color in front of poisonous substances. It is the birthstone of those born in the months of November and December, in yellow and blue color respectively. Blue topaz is also the 4th and 19th anniversary gemstone for a marriage. The 23rd year of marriage is celebrated with an Imperial topaz. The stone is believed to cure diseases like asthma, insomnia and hemorrhages. Topaz is associated with wisdom, courage and strength.

You might think that the stone that is light blue in color is Topaz. However, it is also found in many other different colors like yellow, white and pink. Sometimes you may find the gold amber of a fine cognac in a topaz or a handsome shade of peach. All the warm shades between orange and brown can also be found in topaz. The sherry red or pale pink shades are rare to find. More rare to find is the 'imperial' topaz that is orange-red in color. Sometimes brown and yellow topaz is heated to get the pink color.

Yellow, orange, brown, sherry red and pink topaz stones are found in Sri Lanka and Brazil. Russia and Pakistan are the producers of pink Topaz. The pale blue Topaz, which is enhanced to get a brighter shade, is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, China and Nigeria. The surface-enhanced topaz came into existence in early 1998, when the stone was irradiated to produce colors like emerald green or greenish blue.

Blue topaz is the most popular one and it is less expensive than the aquamarine variety. The gemstone looks beautiful when set in rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pendants. Topaz jewelry looks magnificent with almost any outfit. Topaz usually goes well with white metals like sterling silver, white gold or platinum. However, you can also choose to set the gemstone in yellow gold. You should be very cautious when you are buying Topaz jewelry because there are many imitations available in the market.

'Occidental Topaz', 'Bohemian Topaz' and 'Madeira Topaz' are actually yellow quartz. Again, 'Neveda Topaz' is smoky obsidian in reality. Orange brown quartz is often sold by the name of 'Spanish Topaz'. You should always ask for an authentication certificate when you are buying any type of Topaz jewelry.

Proper care of Topaz jewelry is a must to save the stones from any type of damage. The stone should be protected from any type hard blows. You should not allow the surface of the stone to get scratched, as it will spoil the entire look of the jewelry. Large temperature changes are a strict no-no for Topaz jewelry. Topaz jewelry should never be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner. Warm soapy water is the best way to clean your Topaz jewelry. Article Source:


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Emerald - May's Birthstone - Facts and Folklore

When purchasing jewelry as a gift, you may want to consider buying jewelry that includes a person's birthstone. For this month, the month of May, emerald is the birthstone of choice. As stunning as this popular, precious stone is, there is much to consider when purchasing it. You may be in the market for a loose emerald stone, emerald ring, emerald anniversary band, emerald diamond ring, three stone emerald ring, emerald bracelet, emerald necklace, whatever your choice, there is much to look for and consider. Learn about emeralds and buy with confidence. The 4c's cut, clarity, color and carat., apply to emeralds as well as diamonds, and to all gemstones. There is also much folklore and history that surrounds the emerald stone.

Emeralds, belonging to the beryl family most often found in different shades of green. Depending on the presence of minerals, chromium and vanadium, the emerald's color can range from a grassy green to yellowish or bluish green. The finest quality emerald bears a "lime jello" color. Color is the most important factor when determining its' price. In fact, smaller emeralds with richer, better color, command a higher price than bigger stones with a weaker color. When it comes to cut, the precision and delicacy of the cut determines the price of the stone.

Emeralds can be cut in a variety of ways including the traditional "emerald cut" as well as rounds, ovals, squares and cabuchons. Heavily flawed stones are most frequently given cabuchon cuts. As far as clarity goes, (clearness of the stone) unlike diamonds, emeralds, almost always have inclusions and are rarely flawless. In fact, emerald connoisseurs will not purchase an emerald unless they can see the inclusions because they assume they are fake or laboratory created. Emeralds are measured in carat. Emeralds with the best color and few inclusions become very expensive, as they are so rare.

Emeralds have a fascinating history. Traditionally, emeralds are worn to promote healing and enhance love and contentment. Emeralds are traditionally thought to enhance the clairvoyance of their wearers. Mummies were often buried with emeralds and the gems were popular in ancient Rome, but some think that many of the stones called emeralds in ancient times were actually peridot. . They have graced Crown Jewels and embellished the thrones of some of the oldest dynasties in history. In ancient times emeralds held a real fascination for the people. Emeralds were, in fact, considered to be a cure for many diseases. As a result of such claims, emeralds were greatly sought after and a profitable trade was established between Egypt and nations as far away as India.

The Egyptian monopoly on the world supply of emeralds lasted right up until the Sixteenth Century, C E. Cleopatra valued her lustrous emeralds so greatly that the ancient mines in Egypt are now called Cleopatra's Mines -- there they discovered emeralds of breathtaking size and beauty. From mines in the Egyptian desert, not far from the Nile River, emeralds made their way to all parts of the 'known world'... The finest emeralds are found in Colombia; other sources are Russia, Zimbabwe, and Australia.

In ancient times emeralds were believed to improve low I Q and poor eyesight. Emeralds have an interesting legacy of violence, romance, and controversy. Scholars wore emeralds to strengthen their memory and become more eloquent. Unlike diamonds and rubies, there is no abundance of emeralds, and that is probably the reason why these mystical pagan green gems are more expensive than any other jewel. And, carat for carat, they are the most expensive gems in the world. Why such a high price? A large part of the reason is that emeralds are rare gems.

Buying emerald jewelry for the May birthday girl, makes it that much more personal and special. The emerald, so brilliant, beautiful and steeped in history and folklore, will make the perfect gift, as long as you know what your buying, so you get the best quality for your money.

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A Guide to Fine Emerald Jewelry

Fine emerald jewelry is a gift that really says to a woman "I value you." As emeralds are among the most expensive gem stones, quality emerald earrings and bracelets can cost thousands of dollars. Some examples of fine emerald jewelry are even more expensive than designs with diamonds. However as the emerald is symbolically a wealth attracting stone perhaps you will get your investment back!

The name emerald comes from an ancient Greek language that translates to mean "green gemstone." In most cultures it is considered to be a holy stone. It is one of the gemstones found in the Bible's Breastplate of Aaron. They were worn by the ancient Incas and Aztecs in the South Americas and mined enthusiastically by Egyptian Royal Families in 1500 BC. These mines, which were near the Red Sea in Eygpt were known as the "Cleopatra mines" as the Egyptian queen was fond of wearing emerald earrings and bracelets. The Cleopatra mines were depleted of their precious emeralds by 3000 B.C.

In the ancient world, it wasn't just the Egyptians who were fascinated by fine emerald jewelry. The Indian culture also prized the gems for their ability to heal and enhance one's good luck. One of the largest museum quality emeralds in the world is the ten centimeter tall "Mogul Emerald" which weigh 217,80 carats. It is inscribed with flowers and ancient texts and dates from 1695. Its worth is 2.2 million U.S. dollars.

There are also many other precious emerald artifacts in the world. In Instabul, the Topkapi Palace contains incredible examples of fine emerald jewelry as well as pens and daggers encrusted with the gems. Another famous emerald artifact is the Emerald Cup, which used to belong to Emperor Jehangir in the New York Museum of Natural History. The Bank of Bogota hoards one of the largest emerald in the world in its treasury; a beauty that weights 1796 carats.

Fine emerald jewelry also comes with a great deal of positive symbolism. In pagan cultures, green not red is considered to be the color of love and beauty. In ancient Rome the emerald was associated with Venus, the goddess of love. The Catholic Church regards green as a natural liturgical color and green is the holy color of the Islamic faith. The color green is also universally regarded as a color of birth, growth and success.

Finding an excellent piece of fine emerald jewelry can be difficult. This is because high quality stones can be extremely rare. Most emeralds in the market do contain some flaws and inclusions. In fact flawless emeralds are so rare that even very expensive and high quality emeralds might contain a few inclusions. The worth of an emerald also depends on how green it is. Therefore if the gem stone is a lively vibrant green but contains a few flaws, known as "jardin" to jewelers it may be worth more than a paler, yellower emerald gemstone that is perfect.

There is something about fine emerald jewelry that also conveys respect and wisdom. Perhaps it is because these gemstones are so old. The oldest emeralds in the world are found in Zimbabwe and are estimated to be 2600 millions years ago. The emeralds growing in Pakistan mines are estimated to be nine million years old.

Officially the emerald belongs to the beryl family. Other exotic beryl family members include morganite, aquamarine and heliodor. Constitutionally emeralds are made up of aluminum, beryllium and silicates. It is traces of chromium and vanadium that are responsible for the green color. Aluminum, beryllium and silicates are rarely found in the same place as chromium or vanadium unless there has been a big earthquake or a similar shift in the earth's crust to force the elements to merge and produce green colored beryls. Many emeralds contain small bubbles of gas or inclusions that are testimony to their violent geological origins. The more jardin (cracks and fissures) that emeralds contain, the older it is. These fissures, bubbles and other inclusions only really lower the value of an emerald if they affect its color or spoil its transparency.

When it comes to fine emerald jewelry, Columbia is the biggest supplier of high quality stones. The country has about 150 known deposits of this precious mineral but not all of them are being mined. The best-known operating mines are in Muzo and Chivor. These two mines are seemingly bottom pits of the gems as they were when the Incas first excavated them in the pre-Columbian era. In terms of producing quality stones, the Cocuez mine is also an important source of finer emeralds.

Columbian emeralds are considered to be especially fine because they do not have any kind of blue tint or flash. The Columbian mines are also known for Trapiche emeralds, which like the star sapphire have six rays emanating from its center when the jewel is cut into a half domed shape.

The stones that are used to create fine emerald jewellery are also found in many other countries including Pakistan, Madagascar, Zambia, Russia and Afghanistan. The finest gems come from Zimbawe and Brazil. Zambia produces large jewels of a darker green than the Columbian emeralds and Zimbabwe emeralds come from a special mine called the Sandawana Mine which produces tiny yet beautiful yellowish green gemstones.

When buying fine emerald jewelry you should be aware that as it is such a valuable gemstone there are a lot of fakes out there. These include stones that have been dyed, heat-treated or that are even created in the lab. The best way to avoid making any tragic mistakes when you invest in fine emerald jewelry is to make sure that you are buying them from a fine jeweler that can provide you a certificate that confirms the stone's authenticity. Another suggestion is to buy a larger emerald rather than a smaller one, as sometimes the smaller ones do not refract enough to light to truly reveal its brilliant green heart. Article Source:


Friday, September 25, 2009

Sapphire Engagement Ring Alternating With Sparkling Diamonds

Diamond and sapphire rings have been the symbol of eternal love. A dazzling blue sapphire ring with diamonds for your lady is certainly the best choice for that special moment when you will propose to her. Diamond and Sapphire engagement rings are the most sought-after choice for women who prefer something unique than the traditional diamond engagement rings.

The versatile sapphire looks brilliant with diamonds on either side of it. The brilliant contrast between the magnificent sapphire and sparkling diamonds makes the ring look elegant and alive. A diamond and sapphire engagement ring is a lovely option for your lady. If she carries a contemporary style, a stunning sapphire ring with diamonds in white or yellow gold will complement her in all ways. The classic three-stone engagement ring having a vibrant blue sapphire flanked by two round brilliant diamonds will suit her best.

If your lady is interested in jewelry with an elite look, she'll love the solitaire sapphire ring with diamond accents. Its classiness is everlasting. So, make your engagement a special moment and give her that special smile with glitters in her eyes. Give her the color of the splendid sapphire and sparkle of lustrous diamonds on that special occasion.

Diamonds and sapphire are some of the most sought after gemstones and a blend of both gives an exquisite style and timeless appeal to the ring which will give her pleasure for years to come. She will marvel at the beauty of her diamond and sapphire engagement ring and will over time regard it as personal to her as any other one of her possessions.

I keep myself abreast with the new jewelry trends prevailing round the globe. I have a passion to write about jewelry and gemstones. I am working for an online gemstones and Jewelry selling website and this has given me an edge for writing better about the latest trends in gemstone and jewelry. Sapphire Pendants, Emerald Pendants.

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Sapphire - Not Just in Blue, Its Every Color but Red

Sapphire, the birthstone for September, has a name that is known and prized throughout the world. Yet when the public thinks of sapphire invariably it is as a blue gemstone; the name itself comes from a Latin word that means "blue". This is unfortunate, because sapphire occurs in a wide range of colors and many of these hues are much rarer than the blue shades. The red variety of sapphire has a special name: it is called "ruby". Both sapphire and ruby are a gem varieties of the mineral corundum: the only difference is the trace elements which give them their rich colors. Ruby is the red version, and the term "sapphire" applies to all the non-red colors of the mineral corundum that are cut as gemstones, not just the blue variety. The other colors of sapphire can be just as beautiful and rare - or even rarer - than the blue, but they are usually priced less. Yellow, orange, lavender, and other pastel shades are especially affordable - and often very beautiful. Sapphire gems in colors other than blue are often referred to as fancy sapphire.

Because sapphires represent divine favor, they were the gemstone of choice for kings and high priests. The British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires, the symbol of pure and wise rulers. The most famous and valuable sapphires are a rich intense blue, a truly royal hue. Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, the month when the most babies are born. Ancient lists also name sapphire as a birthstone for April and the gemstone for the sign of Taurus.

Sapphire is perhaps the toughest and most durable gemstone available on the market. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphire is harder than any other gem but diamond and it has no cleavage plane so it cannot be cut with a single blow like a diamond. In fact, synthetic sapphire is used for scratch-resistant watch crystals, optical scanners, and other instruments because its durability can be trusted. That same durability ensures that sapphire jewelry will be treasured for generations.

Sapphires come from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, and Cambodia. Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Vietnam, Madagascar, and the United States. The deposits in Montana in the United States produce a range of fancy colors, mostly from alluvial deposits in the rivers, and deep blue sapphires from one of the world's largest deposits at Yogo Gulch. The sapphires from Yogo Gulch are small in size but they have a beautiful blue. Unfortunately they are found in a hard rock that makes mining difficult, limiting production.

Much of the fine sapphire on the market today comes from Sri Lanka, which produces a wide range of beautiful blues from delicate sky blue colors to rich saturated hues. Yellow sapphires from this locality are magnificent, and may reach sizes of several hundred carats. These large stones are museum pieces, yet are surprisingly inexpensive despite their great rarity. Pink and violet sapphires from Sri Lanka are extremely intense and vibrant in their coloration and are generally much rarer than blue sapphires. Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Pailin in Cambodia are renowned for deep blue, even colors. Two relatively new mining localities are showing promise: Madagascar, which has produced some exceptionally fine stones in small sizes but has no organized mining yet, and Tanzania, which has long produced sapphire in other colors but is starting to produce blue colors as well from a deposit at Tunduru.

The most valuable sapphires have a medium intense, vivid blue color. The best sapphires hold the brightness of their color under all different types of lighting. Any black, gray, or green overtones mixed in with the blue will reduce a stone's value. In general, a more pastel blue would be less preferred than a vivid blue but would be priced higher than an over dark blackish blue color. Many people believe that these blackish “inky” blue sapphires are the most valuable, but this is simply not the case and many folks have never seen a good sapphire. As with all gemstones, sapphires which are "clean" and have few visible inclusions or tiny flaws are the most valuable. However some very fine sapphires, in particular those from Kashmir, have a velvety mist-like texture which enhances the richness of the blue.

The most valuable of the fancy sapphires is a orange-pink or pinkish-orange called "padparadscha" after the lotus blossom. Padparadscha sapphires are very rare and the exact definition has always been a matter of debate: different dealers and different laboratories around the world disagree on the exact color described by this term. Some dealers even argue that the term should not be limited to the pastel shades of Sri Lankan sapphires but should also include the more fiery shades of reddish-orange from the Umba Valley in Tanzania. Padparadscha sapphires sell at a premium, sometimes approaching the price for a fine blue sapphire. Although the exact description is debated, the beauty of these rare gemstones is not, with their delicate blended shades the color of fresh salmon and sunsets. Other very popular shades of fancy sapphires are yellows, bright oranges, lavender and purples, and a bluish green color.

Generally, the more clear and vivid the color, the more valuable the fancy sapphire. If the color is in the pastel range, the clarity should be good: because in lighter tones inclusions are more noticeable, the trade usually prefers the gemstones to be cleaner with fewer visible inclusions. In a lighter colored gemstone, the cut is also more important: it should reflect light back evenly across the face of the stone, making it lively and brilliant. With darker more intense colors, the cut is not as critical because the color creates its own impact. Stones too dark to give good return of light and sparkle are also valued less.

Sapphires are most often cut in a cushion shape - a rounded rectangle - or an oval shape. You can also find smaller sapphires in round brilliant cuts and a wide variety of fancy shapes, including triangles, squares, emerald cuts, marquises, pear shapes, baguette shapes, and cabochon cuts, or smooth domes. Some sapphires with an unusual kind of tiny needle-like inclusions can be cut in a cabochon shape to display a dancing six-rayed white star. Star sapphires, which are becoming more rare, are very popular for men's rings. Star sapphires are judged by the sharpness of the star, the evenness of the rays or "legs" of the star, and the body color of the sapphire. It is extremely rare to find a star-sapphire with a sharp star and a bright blue body color.Article Source:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ruby Jewelry - It's Precious

Ruby doesn’t need any introduction – it is one of the most precious stones, which can shine brilliantly in a necklace and at the same time glow with a subtlety in a ring. Ruby and red go together and it can ignite a thousand desires that will light your candle of passion without your having to say a word. That’s the magic of a ruby.

Being one of the rarest stones, it is precious and expensive but ruby has a beauty that can’t be expressed through words. It represents a power that comes with the red color, the color of blood, the color of an enchanting sunset and the color of love. The best ruby though is the fine ruby, which is born out of chromium. What chromium really does is that it breaks up the stone from inside to give it the perfection that comes with the name. You can recognize a good ruby from a bad one by looking at the color saturation. A good ruby will always have a high color saturation, which occurs due to the mixture of a red fluorescent emission and a bluish red body color.

We all relate to the ruby for the red glow but did you know that it is one of the rare and glorious accidents of nature. This red glow is the reason why ruby is so popular. In fact the Thai and the Cambodian rubies are purer versions of red, but they lack the fluorescence that some rubies are famous for. Most of the stones possess a certain degree of extinction but a fine ruby with its crimson fluorescence can mask it. Some of the best Burmese rubies glow with a red that is quite unfound and bathe in a red fluorescence that paints its entire glory right across the face of the stone.

The value of a ruby is determined by the intensity of the red color. So when you are buying a ring that has a ruby in it, the more intense the color, the more expensive it will be. The color will be intense without being too dark or too light. Another thing, you need to check while buying a ruby is the clarity. The general rule is that when you look into the stone, there should not be any inclusions. If there are any inclusions and it is visible to the naked eye then don’t buy it. The third most important and decision making factor is the cut. You will find rubies in different shapes and styles depending on how they have been cut. The most common type of cut is the oval one but you will also find round ones and the emerald cut.

Apart from the imperial jadeite and some rare diamonds, ruby is next most expensive gem in the world. The best quality ruby comes from the following countries:

1. Mogok, Burma

2. Sri Lanka

3. Madagascar

4. Nanyazeik, Burma

So when you are buying a ruby ring, necklace or any high quality jewelry containing ruby, be rest assured that it will sparkle with an intensity that can be next only to your passion or love.

Affinity Jewelers is committed to offering the absolute highest quality jewelry at the guaranteed lowest prices. You won’t find a better deal on wedding bands, diamond anniversary bands, diamond necklaces, pearl rings, earrings, bracelets, and gemstone jewelry anywhere on the web. At Affinity Jewelers quality jewelry can be affordable jewelry.

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The Gemstone Education - Ruby - The King of Gems

Perhaps no gemstone has been as prized throughout history as the Ruby. Celebrated in Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings as the most precious of all gemstones, Rubies have adorned emperors and kings and inspired countless legends and myths with their rich, fiery hues.

As the ultimate red gemstone, rubies have symbolized passion and romance for centuries. Ruby is the birthstone for month of July, and it is recommended for married couples celebrating their 15th and 40th wedding anniversary.

Also the color of blood, the stone is symbolic of courage and bravery. Warriors were said to have implanted Rubies under their skin to bring them valor in battle and make them invincible. The stone has also been used as a talisman against danger, disaster, to stop bleeding, and a number of other ailments. Its intense color was thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone; or, as some legends would have it, a piece of planet Mars.

Ruby is the red variety of corundum, a sister of Sapphire. Like Sapphire, Ruby is measured 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it the second hardest material known after diamonds.

The most valuable Rubies come from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, but they are mined throughout Southeast Asia. Good quality stones come from Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Kenya and Tanzania also are becoming more important as mining sources for Ruby. While the color of the stones from East Africa rivals the world's best Rubies, most of these stone are fraught with inclusions that diminish their transparency and value. However, the East African stones are displayed to full advantage in Cabochon cuts and have done well in the mass jewelry market. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia have all produced occasional top quality Rubies, but the rough terrain in these areas has made mining difficult.

The most important factor to consider when purchasing a Ruby is its color. It comes in a variety of shades ranging from purplish-red and bluish-red to orange-red. Like Sapphire, there is also a translucent variety of Ruby that can display a six pointer star when in a smooth domed Cabochon cut.

The finest rubies are intensely saturated, pure red with no overtones of brown or blue. After color, the factors that influence value are clarity, cut and size. Rubies that are clear with no visible inclusions are more valuable than those with visible internal flaws.

Rubies are readily available in sizes up to 2 carats, and because of their intense color and durability, they make excellent accent stones. Larger sizes can be obtained, but top quality Rubies are rarer and more valuable than colorless diamonds, particularly in sizes above 5 carats. For instance, a 16 carats Ruby sold at auction for more than $200,000 at Sotheby's in 1988. In May 1995, a 27.37 carats Burmese ruby ring sold for 4 million dollars at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland, an astounding $146,145 per carat. In contrast, none of the D-color, internally flawless diamonds over 50 carats sold in the last decade can match this value per carat.

Rubies are rarely found perfect in nature, which is why many are heat treated to intensify or lighten their color or improve their clarity. Heat enhancement is permanent, stable process. Some Rubies also have surface fractures and cavities that are filled with glass like materials to improve their appearance. This filler may break, fall or wear out over time if exposed to heat, strong abrasives or constant impact. for both treated or untreated stones, the safest cleaning method is to just use soapy water or a mild commercial solvent and a brush.

The article above can be used on your web site or newsletter. When it is published, May I request that you include my name and resource box (the bio, contact and copyright information that follows the article). I would also appreciate if you could send me an e-mail of notification along with a complimentary copy of publication.

Bijan Aziz is the owner and Web Master for The Jewelry Hut.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sapphire Gemstones - A Buying Guide

Fine colored gemstones have never been more popular. Not long ago, only a diamond would be thought suitable for an engagement ring. But today many precious and semi-precious stones are chosen instead of diamond. This trend gained momentum when Princess Diana chose a blue sapphire for her engagement ring.

Sapphire, the blue variety of the mineral corundum, has long been one of the most highly esteemed of precious stones. It combines excellent hardness and wearability with outstanding brilliance and luster. And it is hard to equal the velvety deep blue of a sapphire, especially when set with white diamonds. Blue sapphire is thought to symbolize sincerity and faithfulness.

But the classic blue is not the only choice in sapphire. Here is some useful information on sapphire colors and what to look for in a fine sapphire.

Sapphire Colors
Blue continues to be the top-selling color in sapphire, though there is actually a range of blue tones from light blue to midnight blue. But not all sapphires are blue. You might be surprised at the wide choice of sapphire colors. They include shades of pink, yellow, green, orange and a very rare pink-orange known as padparadscha. You won't find sapphires in red, however. That's because red sapphire is known as ruby! Ruby and sapphire are actually the same mineral, corundum.

Yellow sapphire has become a very popular choice recently, probably due to the popularity of yellow diamonds. While yellow sapphires are hardly inexpensive, they are certainly far cheaper than yellow diamonds, yet have a combination of hardness and brilliance that rival diamond.

Yellow sapphire is colored by traces of iron. These stones are available in shades from the palest yellow to intense yellow-gold. The darker yellow tones are achieved through heat treatment, with some of the brighter shades created by a lattice diffusion treatment using beryllium.

Many sapphires that appear green actually consist of fine alternating bands of blue and yellow sapphire, which may be visible under the microscope.

What to Look For in a Fine Sapphire

In the case of blue sapphire one should look at the intensity of the blue as the most important factor in deciding the value. For example, you may have a huge stone of many carats, but if the color is a washed-out, weak blue, then the value of the stone will be lower. Look for a stone that has an intense, rich blue without being dark or inky. Overall, sapphires that are too dark and inky or too light in color are valued less.

Sapphires tend to be cleaner than ruby in regards to clarity. Look for stones that are eye-clean. This means that no inclusions or defects are visible to the naked eye. Actually, extremely fine silk or rutile throughout the stone can enhance the value of some sapphires. The famous sapphires from Kashmir have a velvety blue color which is caused by this fine silk. However, too much silk weakens the color, making it appear undesirably grayish. Another thing to look for is color consistency. The color should be consistent throughout the gem, with little or no color zoning. Study some sapphire information before you go shopping.

Various shapes and cutting styles are common with sapphires. Ovals, cushions, and rounds are seen, as are other shapes such as the heart or emerald cut. Round stones often command a small premium because it takes more rough material to cut a round stone. Round stones are also easier to set since commercial settings can easily be adapted to round stones of any size.

Untreated sapphires are especially valuable. But these days it is rare to find untreated stones in the market -- the vast majority of sapphires have been heat treated to improve the color and clarity. Look first for color; second for clarity; and third for cut. Compare a large number of sapphires before you make your choice. It's better to buy a smaller stone that is very fine than a larger gem of poor color or clarity.
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Sapphire is September's Birthstone

If you're still young enough to remember your birthday, you probably also remember the special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet you don't really know the SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power the ancients felt would be bestowed about you by wearing it.

September Birthstone: Sapphire
Birthstone Properties: Brings physical and emotional balance.
Alternative Birthstone: Agate

Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gemstone given for anniversaries of the 5th and 45th years of marriage. Taken from the Greek word for blue, "sapphirus", sapphires have a time-honored tradition with priests (who considered them symbolic of purity) and king s (who considered them symbolic of wisdom).Sapphires were mined as early as the 7th Century BC in India and what is now Sri Lanka. Today they are found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Madagascar, and the United States.

Against Which All Others Are Measured
Sapphires, like rubies, are a variety of corundum. The sapphire's color spectrum includes pink and lavender varieties, a rare orange hue, and, of course, the velvety blue sapphire that earned the gemstone its name.

Because of the way in which corundum crystals are formed, large sapphires are rare…and valuable. The priceless 563-carat Star of India, on display at New York City's Museum of Natural History, is the largest and most famous of "star sapphires" (sapphires that are cut to reflect light from inclusions within the stone to reveal a bright six-legged star pattern).

To Your Health
So strong was the power of a sapphire, it was alleged that a venomous snake put in a vessel made of sapphire would quickly die. Sapphires therefore earned the reputation as an excellent all-purpose medicine and were ingested as an antidote to poison. Additionally, sapphires were ground into powders as a remedy for everything from colic to rheumatism and mental illness.

Sapphires were also believed to be able to stop bleeding and cure disorders of the eye.

The Eyes Have It
Egyptians associated the clear sapphire with the eye of Horas -- the all-seeing, all-knowing "eye in the sky" -- while the gemstone was used by the Greeks to to tap into the subconscious mind by stimulating the opening of the "third eye."

A Mirror of the Soul
Husbands and wives in ancient times frequently exchanged gifts of sapphires. Although the fact that sapphires represent sincerity and faithfulness was undoubtedly the primary reason it was a popular marriage gift, another motive may have been at work: it was believed that a sapphire would not shine if worn by someone who was wicked or impure.

Sapphires were considered to be so powerful they continued to protect the original owner even after being sold.

Say it With Sapphires
Clear sapphires, like diamonds, are the guardians of love. When exchanged with a loved one, sapphires enhance feelings for one another and attunes the two psyches. Sapphires have the power to banish envy and jealousy, and are said to promote chastity in virgins and fidelity in marriage.
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Buying Jewelry For That Special Person In Your Life

You do not know what to buy and where to start, but you do know it has to be something special for that someone special in your life. Most times the confusion comes from not knowing some of the basics about the person you are buying for.

1. To give a gift of jewelry that they will always remember you need to know what they like and more importantly what they do not like. If the gift is for a special occasion then see what is traditionally given at that time, and ask yourself if your special person would really like that. If her birthday is in July but she does not like red then do not buy her the birthstone for July, which is Ruby. Maybe a jewelry setting with another color of gemstone or even a diamond would be a wiser decision
2. Will she want to wear it every day, if yes then make it practical, buying an expensive Gemstone or Diamond Ring with a delicate or high mounting is not a good idea, as it can get caught or knocked and damaged.

3. Knowing what colours she likes to wear can help you in deciding what color of gemstone would match her wardrobe, especially if its earrings or a necklace. Know her skin tone or dominant make up color as different colors of gold look better on different skin tones or make-up colours.

4. You will need to know the size of her finger if you are purchasing it as a surprise present. If you can “borrow” one of the rings she wears, you can take it to a jeweller who will be able to tell you the size. This way when you purchase your ring you can make sure it will fit correctly and she can wear it immediately.

5. If your special person has thin fingers then buy her a wider setting or smaller gemstone, as larger gemstones on thin settings will have tendency to twist and turn. If you are set on a larger stone then have the jeweller modify the ring with the addition of 2 small spheres of gold soldered at 8 and 4 o’clock on the inside of ring shank. This will allow the ring to slip over the knuckle but provide a tighter fit around the finger keeping the gemstone on top for everyone to see.

6. Earrings are an excellent choice, but it is important to know if she has pierced ears or prefers clip-on mountings. Does she like long dangly earrings or does she prefer studs.

The following information will help you with special occasions and what is traditionally purchased, but the most important thing to remember is her tastes in jewellery and color. Buying her a Sapphire Ring instead of a Ruby Ring on her birthday in December because she does not like red, is the right thing to do…………….tradition has its role but should not be the ultimate decision.