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Posted Thursday, March 25th, 2010 by maryann
April’s official birthstone, diamonds were believed to be fragments of stars, tear drops of the gods and to possess magical qualities and powers far beyond the understanding of common man. Legend has it that Europeans first discovered African diamonds in a Shaman’s leather pouch who used them as other Shamans of the world used quartz crystals.
The diamond is an ancient symbol of the perfected man whose divine spirit shines forth. As the rough diamond is dull and lifeless when first removed from the earth, the spiritual nature in its “earthly” state reveals little of its inherent luminosity. In the hands of a skillful lapidary artist, the diamond is transformed into a sparlkling gem from whose facets pour out streams of rainbow colored fire, and upon the lathe of the Divine Lapidary, the spirit of man is ground and polished until it reflets the glory of its Creator in every atom.
The Greek word “adamas”, meaning unconquerable and indestructible, is the root of the word diamond. Diamonds were worn because they were thought to give a person strength, invincibility, courage, and magical powers over the dark side of life.
A beautiful diamond looks the way it does because of three optical effects: white light reflections called brightness, flashes of color called fire, and areas of light and dark called scintillation. Together, these factors give the diamond life and determine its visual appeal.
Diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones and can only be cut with another diamond. Although the diamond rush began in 1869 with the Star of South Africa, diamonds are found all over the world . Most recently, large deposits in Canada and especially in Australia with its smaller stones, have changed the diamond industry, making diamonds more accessable and offering a wider consumer base.
Posted Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by maryann
What is a gemstone?
Most gemstones are minerals that have been chosen for their beauty and durability, then cut and polished for use as human adornment.
The exceptions are organic materials such as amber, pearls and coral. There are about 3,000 gems that are admired and cut for their beauty, but only about 100 show up in jewelry because the rest are simply too delicate to wear.
Today many stones such as agates, jaspers, turquoise, crystals and others, including fossils are being used in high fashion jewelry. Many of these stones have unique properties that no other stones have and so are sought after for these special characteristics. Although most of these stones are opaque, many are semi-transparent or transluscent.
The allure of gemstones is color and light. The allure of organics is their rich colors and unique design patterns. In the 1930’s three main colored gemstones were recognized and used in jewelry; rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Those restrictions have disappeared.
Today partly because of advanced mining technology we have so many more choices as new gemstones are being discovered in sometimes difficult to reach locations. It is true that many gems are very rare and so become price restrictive for most, both jeweler and customer yet others are entering the market at more affordable prices, offering all of us, including collectors more choices of gems and stones.
At Mary Ann Archer, we love all stones for their uniqueness and individual beauty. When selecting gemstones, including diamonds, for our customers, we take our time in studying and selecting only finely cut stones to assure their beautiful brilliance of light and color. We travel to find stones for their rarity, quality of color, design interest and rarity to offer our customers a true work of art and a piece that is unlike any other. We strive to design and make jewelry that is unique, comfortable to wear and affordable.
Posted Monday, March 15th, 2010 by maryann
Aquamarine is the official gemstone for the month of March, the Zodiac sign for Scorpio and for the 19th Wedding Anniversary.
Legends say it originated in a treasure chest of mermaids and it is considered a sailor’s lucky stone, giving him a sound voyage and a safe return .Its name comes from two words, aqua, meaning water, a life giving force, and mare, the sea.
Thinking of the sea, we can envision aquamarines natural multi colors of sea blue from the lightest almost pale sky blue to deep blue green, colors which compliment all skin tones and eye colors. It is iron which gives aquamarine it’s blue color. And the richer the hue or deeper the color, the more rare and valuable is the stone.
Folklore promises its wearer with a long happy marriage, complimented with trust and harmony and for all wearers, youth, greater intelligence, foresight, courage and a joyful life. As a healing stone is it said to reduce stress, grief and anxiety and prevent seasickness.
The best and most valued Aquamarine comes from Brazil, but it is also found in Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia.
Part of the Beryl family, Aquamarine is related to the emerald. Its crystal structure is a hexagonal and is 7.5-8 on the Moh’s hardness scale, making it an excellent choice for jewelry. Because it is not a heavily included gemstone, it is normally cut as a faceted stone, like a diamond and when it is found in a more milky looking state. it is cut as a cabachon, most often with a higher dome to give it more color.
Ladies Ring ”Caress” 14KW Gold, 9×6 Pear shaped Aquamarine. MA386. See Women’s Rings for full details.