Tag Archives: birthstone

How to Wear Peridot – the Birthstone for August

Get pretty in peridot with this sparkling lil’ gem known commonly as August’s birthstone. Known to bring the wearer peace, protection and attract love this calming green sparkler is just as fashionable as it is timeless. Take a look at our top favorite ways to wear peridot.

1. Cute & Classic…Studs are the perfect way to highlight your eyes and add an extra sparkle to your day. The cool and calming coloring of these peridot sparklers are an easy way to complete your look on a sophisticated note.

2. Desk-to-Dinner Dazzler…Wrapped in orbs of white sapphires, this peridot pendant lends a cool note of color to your neckline. Peridot pendants count as an especially glamorous gift for an August birthday.

3. Sizzle in Stackables…Stackable rings are a summer jewelry essential. Worn stacked or separate, these sets are easy to mix-and-match and wear from day into the evening. This super cute stackable lends a pop of peridot sparkle and gives our favorite August birthstone, a more fashion-forward twist.

4. Blingy & Beachy Keene…Bead necklaces are a fun way to welcome a little color onto your neckline with a unique, artisanal allure. Great for a summer bbq but even snazzy enough for a winter solstice soiree, this peridot bead necklace adds a fun accent that’s sure to win complements.

5. Fashion Jewelry Favorite…For those of us looking for more pizzazz, peridot gets our green light for adding the right amount of glamor to any fashion jewelry collection. Looking to top off your Labor Day whites? A peridot necklace like this one below will add the right amount of drama and dazzle!

Emerald, May’s green birthstone, is a gemstone that has been frequently photographed on the red carpet. This could be because emeralds are known as the gems of the royals. Or perhaps it’s because they convey truthfulness and love. It has even been said that emeralds guard those who wear them from evil. All these positive meanings, just add to our love for the green-hued stone!

CLICK HERE to shop our emerald jewelry collection.

Jewel-gawking is one of our all-time favorite things to do. We’re sure as jewelry lovers, you know exactly what we’re talking about (right…?) To celebrate April’s birthstone, the diamond, we’ve compiled a fun slideshow of eight of the world’s largest diamonds, ranging from 350 carats to 3167 carats. Can you say bling bling? Check em’ out, and if you’re in the market for some new diamonds, shop our diamonds collection.

Celebrate December: Turquoise From Designer Carolyn Pollack

There are several birthstones associated with the month of December, and among them is beautiful turquoise. Turquoise is believed to provide protection from negativity and help the wearer live a happier life (we’re in!).

Pining for your own piece of turquoise? Check out our designer boutique Carolyn Pollack. Carolyn Pollack offers a number of gorgeous turquoise pieces, all crafted in sterling silver.


More About Carolyn Pollack

Carolyn’s jewelry is inspired by the creativity and confidence of today’s woman.

Carolyn’s designs are all sculpturally unique and feature unexpected color combinations.

– All jewelry is made with natural gemstones.

– All jewelry is made in the U.S.A.


Check out the entire Carolyn Pollack collection here!




The Jewelry Insider

November 14, 2008

Citrine is the most affordable of all the earth-toned gemstones, thanks to its durability and availability. It has become increasingly popular with budget-minded women looking to expand their work and leisure jewelry wardrobes.

Citrine, a form of quartz, derives its name from the French word for lemon, “citron.” It is available in a range of golden hues from lemon to straw to sun yellow to gold, as well as oranges, browns, and deep madeira red. It is generally more inexpensive than amethyst and is also available in a wide range of calibrated sizes and shapes, including very large sizes.

Citrine’s lively colors can brighten almost any jewelry style, and it blends especially well with yellow gold. Its low cost makes it an ideal stone for popular free-form fancy cuts for one-of-a-kind and customized pieces. And good cut is as important in determining citrine’s quality as it is for more expensive yellow counterparts, such as yellow sapphire.

As with other stones, citrine in very large sizes (above three carats) in rich, deep colors has always been rare and therefore the most valuable form of the gem. Although this stone’s dark orange and red shades traditionally have been the most prized, its bright lemony hues have become very popular in recent years because they mix better with pastel colors.

In ancient times, citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. It was also thought to give calmness and mental balance to its wearer.

Citrine is the birthstone for November, as well as recommended jewelry gift for couples celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary.

Most citrine is mined in Brazil. Supplies are most plentiful in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, particularly from the Serra mine. The Ira’ mine also produces large quantities of the gem.

These stones generally start life as either smoky quartz or amethyst geodes. Heat treatments first turn them clear and then give them a permanent color ranging from yellow to brownish red.

Sometimes citrine is referred to as topaz quartz, which is incorrect. The name refers to the color, which is sometimes similar to topaz. But since topaz is a separate mineral, the name could be confusing and should not be used.

Occasionally, Mother Nature combines the colors of amethyst and citrine into a single gemstone called ametrine.

With a ranking of “7” on the Mohs scale of hardness (from 1-10, with “10” representing a diamond, the hardest mineral on earth), citrine has excellent durability and is suitable for everyday wear. However, since much of the citrine on the market today has been heat treated to improve its color, it should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat.

The Jewelry Insider

October 21, 2008

Indulge in some guilt-free shopping this month with November’s uber-chic birthstone – citrine.

Legend speaks of the power of citrine bathing its owners in thoughts of calmness and kindness. Certainly today, a splash of calmness would go a long way.

The sunny charm of citrine brightens almost any jewelry style making it the perfect gem to brighten the rather dour world of 2008. Citrine, a form of quartz, derives its name from the French word for lemon, ‘citron’. Many people have come to know this stone though under the name gold topaz, or Madeira or Spanish topaz, although in actual fact it has very little in common with topaz – except for a few nuances of color. Citrine is a member of the large quartz family. Like all crystal quartzes citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is thus, to a large extent, insensitive to scratches. It won’t immediately take offence at being knocked about either, since its cleavage properties are non-existent. Even if their refractive index is relatively low, the yellow stones have just that mellow, warm tone that seems to have captured the last glow of autumn.

There are not many yellow gemstones in the world of jewels. A diamond or a sapphire may be yellow – but are usually up there on the price scale. Tourmalines or chrysoberyl, can be found in yellow hues but these tend to be greenish-yellow. However a citrine fulfils everyone’s color wishes, from lemon yellow to reddish brown.

Rare though it is, yellow does in fact occur in quartz in nature, if seldom, when there are traces of iron in the silicon dioxide. Historically, it has been found in Spain, on the Scottish island of Arran, in France, Hungary and in several mines overseas. Perhaps the citrine wouldn’t have been talked about at all if, in the middle of the 18th century, it had not been for the discovery that amethysts and smoky quartzes can also be rendered yellow by so-called burning. This heat treatment at temperatures of between 470 and 560 degrees has to be carried out very carefully and requires a great deal of experience. However, in the course of 200 years, its application has become so much a matter of course that most of the stones available in the trade today are in fact burnt amethysts or smoky quartzes. Only a trained specialist can recognize the signs of heat treatment at all, burnt stones having subtle stripes whilst the yellow of natural ones is cloudy.

In Europe, the boom on these yellow to reddish crystal quartzes didn’t begin until, in the 1930s, expatriate agate cutters from Idar-Oberstein, Germany sent large quantities of citrine back home, along with amethyst and agate, from Brazil and Uruguay. It was only then the spells of citrine began to be felt worldwide.

In the 1930s the world was in turmoil and the color and value of citrine made it one of the most popular gems on the market. Today history seems to be repeating itself. Looking at the trends of fashion – citrine is on its way back as a stylish super-star that won’t break the bank.

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The Jewelry Insider

October 9, 2008

Every once in a while, we like to bring a little jewelry learnin’ to the table for our dedicated readers. If you or someone you love was born in October, here is the full rundown on the history of the month’s opulant birthstone – the Opal. Enjoy!


Opal, the birthstone for October, is one of nature’s most prized gems. The stone – which also happens to be the recommended jewelry gift for couples celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary – was mined by eastern Europeans, the Aztecs and the ancient tribes of Central Africa. Opals have been featured in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and the crown jewels of France. They were mentioned in the plays of Shakespeare and the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Napoleon gave an opal to Josephine. Queen Victoria gave them out as wedding gifts.

One of the reasons this gem has been so revered is because of its supposed mystical powers. Scandinavian women wore opals in their hair to prevent it from going gray. The Arabs thought opal would ward off lightning and grant invisibility to its wearer. Other powers ascribed to the gem include the ability to grant vigor, aid the heart and kidneys and protect against fainting and infection.

Worshipped by the Romans as a symbol of hope, fidelity, purity and good luck, opal is sometimes called the “queen of gems” because the stone can flash patterns of color representing every hue of the rainbow.

This “play of color” is one of opal’s signature characteristics. The gem is found in a range of hues, including white opal (the most common); black opal; “boulder” opal (black opal with iron oxide); crystal or water opal, which is transparent; and fire opal, which has a yellow to orange to red body color.

The vast majority of the world’s opal supply comes from Australia. Black opal is the rarest variety and therefore the most valuable. White opal is also mined in Brazil. Fire and crystal opal can be found in the United States (Nevada) and Mexico.

Brilliance of color and color pattern are critical in determining the value of opal. Opals with strong flashes of red fire are generally the most prized. Stones with blue or green flashes are more common and subsequently less valuable. Stone size also helps determine price, since the gem is very rare in larger sizes. Prices can vary from a few dollars per carat for common white opal to more than $1,000 per carat for fine black opal. Most stones are not faceted and usually cut into rounded cabochons to enhance color play.

Perfect natural opals are extremely rare and expensive. Many are treated to enhance their appearance. One common technique is to place the opal in a sugar solution and then in sulfuric acid, which blackens body color and makes the play of color more pronounced. Other treatments include applications of colorless oil, wax and resin, plastic, or synthetic resins and hardeners to fill cracks and improve durability.

With a hardness of approximately 5.5 on the Mohs scale, opal is relatively fragile, and care should be taken not to scratch, chip or crack it. To clean opal, use a soft cloth moistened with olive oil. Do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Also, avoid heat and dry conditions that could dehydrate and crack the stone.

The Jewelry Insider

July 16, 2008

Find out the whys, whats, wheres and worth of July’s red-hot birthstone – a rocking ruby.

RubyThere’s a saying that the ‘price of wisdom is above rubies’. That is certainly true, but hey, you can’t wear wisdom on your finger or around your neck. Ok – so wisdom is probably somewhat more useful than a ruby or two – but this saying just goes to show how highly prized these little red gems have been throughout history.

In England for example, the gold coronation crown of kings (and queens) contains a large, tablet-cut ruby on which the figure of St. George’s cross is engraved. What very well could be the world’s largest gem ruby is tucked away in Czech – also in a royal crown. The 250 carater rocking ruby is set in the St Wenceslas Crown that is hidden behind lock and key in the St. Vitus Cathederal in Prague. According to the history books, Charles IV of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia (1316-78) originally ordered the ruby for the shrine containing the skull of Saint Wenceslas. It was later set in the crown.

Rubies are symbolic of courage and bravery. Warriors were said to have implanted the gems 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 the planet Mars. In Burma it was believed that rubies grew somewhat like fruit. The redder the color, the riper the ruby. A flawed ruby was considered over mature.

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.

A 15.97-carat ruby (known as the Mogok Ruby) belonging to U.S. geologist Allan Caplan was sold at auction in New York by Sotheby’s in 1988 for $3.63 million. At $227,300 per carat, this made it the most expensive ruby in the world. It was purchased by Graff of London, who reportedly sold it to the Sultan of Brunei as an engagement ring for one of his wives.

Fortunately you don’t have to be the Sultan of Brunei to own your own ruby fruit. Make sure your July is royally red-hot with a stunning ruby rock.

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