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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: