Gemstones have proven themselves to be beautiful elements of nature. They have played roles in the myths and legends of human culture for centuries. While some gemstones have stories to tell, others have been believed to possess special powers. Whether you believe those statements to be true or not, you can’t deny their beauty.
Each gemstone is unique and beautiful with it’s own story to tell, coming from all over the world. Gemstones, initially, look like your typical rock until they’re cut. It's the cutting and polishing of gemstones that bring their natural valor to life.
Gems have actually been divided into classes...precious and semi-precious. Some of the precious gems are the diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. We’re going to take a look at some of our most popular gemstones and see what kind of stories they have to tell.
Diamonds have been an object of desire for centuries. This precious jewel has been sought after by men and women...being looked at as the ultimate representation of eternal love.
Being an object of desire, it has also been linked to many stories of folklore as well. It has been said that diamonds were created when lightning bolts hit rocks, while others said that gems had magical healing powers.
Even today, diamonds are still loved and admired all over the world. People with birthdays in April feel very lucky because the birthstone for April is the diamond. So whether you want to give a mother’s day gift or a birthday gift, you can’t go wrong with a diamond... after all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend right?
With emerald being green, it has it has symbolized love and rebirth for ages, but it is also the gemstone of Venus, so it is also said to aid in fertility. In ancient Egyptian history, Cleopatra was famous for wearing emeralds…emerald rings, necklaces, and even headpieces. The dead were also buried with emeralds as a symbol of eternal youth.
It is known that, the deeper the color of the green, means the more valuable the gemstone will be. The emeralds that have the most value, usually display a somewhat blue hue, in addition to the vividly bold green the stone already possesses.
Most emeralds are found with inclusions, which are also called imperfections or birthmarks. Luckily, these inclusions in emeralds don’t take away from the natural beauty or value of this gem as it would with other gems.
This gemstone is the birthstone of May.
Rubies have been considered the gem of all gems. It represents passion, emotion, love, and courage. It was believed that wearing a red ruby brought good fortune. For centuries rubies have been prized possessions to royalty all over the world, and even in today’s world, rubies are considered to be the most valued gemstone.
The actual color of the ruby is the most important and well-known attribute. The color comes in several different variations of red. The ruby’s red hues can be seen in a purple variation, as well as an orange color.
The Burmese Ruby is the most valuable color variation of the ruby family; it’s also the brightest. This particular ruby has been called “pigeon blood.” Ironically enough, the term “pigeon blood” isn’t even referencing the color of the pigeon’s blood...it’s actually talking about the eye color of a white pigeon.
The ruby is July’s birthstone.
The sapphire is a beautiful gemstone possessing a stunning violet-blue hue. The gorgeous gemstone is actually Greek for blue. Since ancient times, the sapphire has been deemed as the ultimate blue gemstone and was believed to be a representation of honesty, loyalty, trust, and purity. Those representation qualities are the reasons why sapphires are popular choices for engagement rings.
When looking for the perfect sapphire jewelry piece, remember, the deeper (or purer) the hue of the blue, the more valuable it is.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September.
This gemstone is certainly gorgeous, but it definitely has a mystical backstory. It was believed by the Greeks and Romans that amethyst would keep the drunkening powers of Bacchus away. Bacchus was the Roman god of wine.
The word amethyst has Greek roots. Amethystos means “not drunk” in Greek. The idea was that this stone could protect you from drunkenness. So it was believed that you could drink all night or as often as you wanted, and still remain sober if you had an amethyst on you or in your mouth.
To give you a quick back story on how Amethyst acquired its deep violet hue, the story goes like this:
Long ago, there was a beautiful maiden on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana. On her way there, she had ran into the Roman god of wine, whose name is Bacchus. He was angry because he had just been disrespected, so out of anger, he vowed that the next person he crossed paths with, he would take revenge out on them.
The beautiful maiden was the first person Bacchus saw, and he unleashed his two guardian tigers on her. As the tigers approached the beautiful maiden, the goddess Diana stepped in and cast her into a clear, pure stone, to protect her from such a tragic fate. Bacchus immediately felt sadness and remorse for what he had done. To amend his actions and behavior, he poured his wine over the stone, staining it in a deep violet hue. With that, the beautiful maiden gave the crystal her name...Amethyst.
Not only is this stone beautiful, but its very versatile. It goes with both white and yellow metals, making it a staple for your wardrobe. Take a look at our beautiful selection of amethyst jewelry.
It is the birthstone for February.
Pearls have been held in high regard for centuries. They have even been called “tears of the gods” in Persian mythology.
The cool thing about pearls that set them apart from all other gemstones is that they are the only gemstone formed by a living creature. Pearls are formed from an irritant entering the soft mantle of a mollusk. Layers of Nacre will form over the irritant and over time a pearl will be formed with in the two shells of the mollusk.
Today, pearls are still revered timeless and classic. No matter the color or size, they can be worn with anything on any day, for any occasion!
Pearl is the birthstone for June.
When you hear the word onyx, you immediately think of black. Onyx is a reflection of the stillness in the night sky. It encompasses feelings of power that comes from you facing your fears. While the sun energizes us during the day, the darkness of night is meant to be an element of restoration for the body. The onyx gemstone is thought to have stress relieving properties. Wearing an onyx ring everyday can aid to the stressors of everyday life.
Onyx is the birthstone for July.
Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones and has definitely played an important role in ancient history. This beloved gemstone has been showcased on royal Egyptians as well as on Native Americans.
Turquoise is an opaque gemstone, so light does not enter this stone. Just because light doesn’t enter this stone, you can’t deny the beauty it brings. This beautiful gemstone also has beneficial healing properties. It has been said that turquoise has special strengths in healing ailments of the immune system.
ItsHot.com currently stores a wide collection of gemstones embedded on beautifully designed jewelry. The store has gemstones of various colors and styles – lovingly reflecting the essence of every season and every month.
Physical Characteristics of Gemstones
Gems are classified by their physical characteristics. These physical characteristics include: color, symmetry, hardness, stability, and durability. They can also be distinguished by the different ways they break as well as the type of streak they leave when rubbed on a streak plate.
Let's take a look at the different characteristics of gemstones and what they offer:
1) Color: The physical characteristics of gemstones are explained with reference to the light traveling through them. Every gemstone, in terms of its color and cut, offers a unique visual effect. Diamonds are the purest form of gemstone; they are transparent and allow light to travel easily with minimum alteration. Translucent gemstones diffuse the light – making a “frosted glass effect.” Moonstones, opal and jade are some examples of translucent gemstones.
Meanwhile, opaque gemstones do not allow any light to pass through them, making it impossible to reflect any sort of optical effect. Such gemstones, (among the natural ones), have found quite a niche due to their rare occurrence in nature. Examples of opaque gemstones are turquoise, black onyx, hematite, etc.
2) Symmetry: Another characteristic that differentiates one gemstone from another is their symmetry. In its natural form, a gemstone might look like nothing more than a rock with some attractive features.
These natural gemstones, however, then go through expert and precise cutting processes – resulting in the diverse range of shapes, for diverse range of tastes. These shapes can be categorized into round, octagon, oval, and princess...to name a few, but there are several shapes and cuts to choose from.
3) Hardness: The hardness of a gemstone decides the amount at which it can resist abrasion and scratching. Gemstones that can withstand daily wear and tear are more ideal for everyday type of jewelry. This is one of the many reasons why this particular characteristic is used in choosing wedding and engagement rings.
Knowing a gem’s hardness will help you determine the frequency of use. Gems that are not as hard in quality are better used for non-everyday use...special occasion type of jewelry would be recommended.
4) Toughness: The toughness of a gemstone is all about its ability to survive cracking and breaking, which can also be called mechanical shock. An example of mechanical shock would be dropping your ring on your marble floor. The ability to withstand that drop and come out unscathed is what determines your gemstone’s toughness.
5) Stability: The stability of a gemstone is measured on the basis of its ability to resist the effect of lights, chemicals and heat.
6) Durability: The durability of a gemstone is dependent on its hardness, toughness and stability. The more the latter is, the better is the durability.
Caring For Your Gemstone
Now that you have your gemstones and know the characteristics of them, how will you move forward taking care of your precious stones?
Well first, you need to know your gemstone. Certain gemstones react to different variations of heat, light, acids, and chemicals. If you’re unsure of how to properly clean your gem, then you should definitely seek the advice of a professional, or just simply let a professional handle the cleaning for you.
Now, if you do want to clean your gemstones at home, there’s a few things you need to know as well as steps to take:
- Know your gem. This is the first thing you need to know before you can choose the best cleaning method. Once you purchase a gemstone, your jeweler will be able to tell you about your gem, as well as do an assessment and tell you about the inclusions (imperfections) that could possibly impact the cleaning treatment you give it.
- Jewelry cleaners are generally safe to use, but read the label and make sure there is no harmful chemicals that can harm your more sensitive gems. One chemical to look out for is ammonia. This chemical can really damage pearls.
- Soak your jewelry in a mixture of warm water and a cleaning solution.
- Scrub your jewelry with a soft brush.
- Toothpicks work well for getting into tiny crevices to get rid of build up.
- Once you’ve finished the cleaning/scrubbing process of your jewelry, dip it back into your water/cleaning solution mix to remove any excess dirt.
- Then run your jewelry piece under warm water for a good rinse. Make sure your water isn’t too hot because that could do harm to your gem and cause a reaction (depending on the type of gem you have).
- Lastly, dry your jewelry off by shaking it and polish with a soft (preferably lint free) cloth.
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