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Whether you’re just getting into the world of beading and jewelry making or you have been at it for some time now, there is a lot to keep up with. There is usually an abundance of helpful guides and tips that will assist you when it comes to selecting the right gem.
However, if you are curious as to the background of these stones or you would like to know a little more about those precious gems that you have come to love, we have a treat for you! Below are some of the most popular and well-known gemstones, and explanations about their properties, history, and interesting stories and myths that surround them.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz, a highly popular choice, and the birthstone for February babies. People are drawn to its deep, rich purple hue, and it is used just as much in jewelry as it is in the stone form. People will often use the stone to decorate their home, as amethyst is thought to have cleansing powers.
Those who meditate also use the stone as a tool, as it is said to give you clarity, aid in headaches, and help stimulate your dreams. It is also widely believed that those who wear the stone in jewelry will be protected, and that it keeps away bad thoughts.
April’s birthstone, and arguably one of the most well-known gemstones out there, diamonds are the hardest natural mineral found on Earth, so it should be no surprise that a diamond symbolizes fearlessness and invincibility.
Classic diamonds are colorless sparklers; however, there are also diamonds in yellow, brown (or chocolate diamonds), pink, and gray hues. With the more recent trend of diamond engagement rings (that have now become the norm), the stone has also come to be a symbol of love.
Most notably known for being September’s birthstone, the sapphire is known for its brilliant blue shade. In fact, the name of the stone is derived from a Greek word that is translated to mean blue. While the beautiful blue shade is what the stone is most known for, it is found in many other hues, such as orange, pink, green, and yellow.
However, when the stone is red, it’s no longer a sapphire. This is because the stone is known as a corundum, which is the same mineral as the ruby, except not red. So, when a red hue of the mineral is found, it is considered a ruby.
Arguably one of the most famous pieces of jewelry with sapphires belonged to Princess Diana. Her engagement ring consisted of a 12-carat oval blue sapphire that was surrounded by 14 diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold. Since her passing, Prince William her son gave the ring to his bride and now princess, Kate Middleton.
Topaz is found in many different shades, from blue, yellow, orange, red, and pink to brown. However, imperial topaz or those stones that are an orange-red hue are usually thought of as the favorite color and, therefore, the priciest. It is one of the two birthstones for the month of November.
In India, it has been believed for centuries that the stone brings those who wear it a long life, beauty, and intelligence. However, he/she must wear the topaz over their heart.
The Field Museum of Chicago is home to the famous Chalmers topaz, which weighs about two and a half pounds and is about 5,899.50 karats.
Finally, turquoise. Many people are big fans of this stone, as it gives off a beautiful shade of blue-green that looks great in both silver and gold jewelry. It is one of the three birthstones for the month of December.
It can only be found in places that are dry and barren – which, if you take note, all the ancient civilizations who used the stone in their jewelry were from areas with this type of geography. The name “turquoise” is derived from a French word that means Turkish stone because many believe the stone made its way to Europe from Turkey.
Along with its simple beauty, people are also drawn to its rich history. From Native Americans in North America to the Ancient Egyptians and Chinese, this stone has been a favorite for centuries.
In 1519, the Aztec emperor Montezuma thought the Spanish conquistador, Cortes, to be a god. How do you think the emperor paid his respect to the “god?” By giving him gems, of course. And not just any gem, but his favorite gem. Which, if you couldn’t guess, was turquoise.