AMETHYST

Amethyst is one of the earth's most beautiful gemstones.  It is composed of crystalline silicon dioxide (quartz).  The purple coloring comes from trace amounts of ferric iron.

Color
:  Found in abundance, in its purest form, Amethyst is colorless.  The finest quality Amethyst is medium to medium dark in tone, vivid in intensity and purple or reddish purple to bluish purple in hue.  Heating removes the color from amethyst or changes it to the yellow of citrine.  Most commercial citrine is made in this manner.

Birthstone:  Amethyst is the birthstone of Aquarius:  Jan. 20 - Feb. 18.  Jewelers assign it to the February birthstone.

Wedding Anniversary:  Amethyst is anniversary gemstone for the 6th year.

Deposits:  Amethyst is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Siberia, Canada, India, Bolivia, Argentina and some African countries ~ Zambia being a significant source.





BLACK ONYX

Onyx is composed of banded Silicon Dioxide.

Wedding Anniversary
:   Onyx is the anniversary gemstone for the 7th year of marriage.

History:  The name onyx was used by the Romans for a variety of stones including alabaster, chalcedony and what is now known as onyx marble.

Deposits:  The chief localities of onyx are India and South America.



BLUE CHALCEDONY

Composed of amorphous silica.  Blue Chalcedony (pronounced 'kal-sed-on-ee') ranges in color from palest milky blue to pale milky lavender.  This gemstone has enjoyed spiraling popularity amongst gemologists along with equally rising costs.  Chalcedony gets its name from the Greek City, Chalcedon.

History
:  The Romans prized chalcedony as seals and the Victorians carved them into an endless array of cameos and intaglios.  Chalcedony was used in Renaissance times for health and safety.  In all ages chalcedony has been the stone most used by the gem engraver and many colored varieties are still cut and polished as ornamental stones.

Birthstone: Associated with the Moon, therefore with Cancer. Likewise, it is also associated with dreams and nightmares. Old Spanish texts sometimes associate Chalcedony with Capricorn.

Deposits
:  Chalcedony is found in many parts of the world, but the most prized Chalcedony are from India, Madagascar, Burma, Brazil, Mexico & U.S.








CITRINE

Composed of silicon dioxide (quartz).  Citrine is a yellow, golden or orange-yellow transparent variety of crystalline quartz.  The yellow color is from the presence of iron.  The darker the color, the higher the grade.

Birthstone:  Citrine, along with topaz, are birthstones of Scorpius (Scorpion): Oct. 24 - Nov. 21.  It is the gemstone of the most beneficent planet in Astrology, Jupiter, ruling Sagittarius and co-ruling Pisces.  Jewelers consider it a gemstone of November, however, because of its yellow color, it is sometimes associated with the Sun (Leo).

Wedding Anniversary:  Citrine is the anniversary gemstone for the 17th year of marriage.

History:  Citrine is a gemstone which has been used in Greece since the Hellenistic period (end of the 4th to the end of the 1st century BC).

Deposits:  Citrine is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Spain, Uruguay, Scotland, U.S. (California, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada) and Russia.  Brazil is the main source of citrine.




GARNET

Composed of Magnesium Aluminum Silicate with Manganese, Chromium and/or Iron Silicate.  Garnets are rather plentiful in very small sizes, however, the larger the garnet, the more rare.

Garnet is really a family of stones:  Pyrope (generally the blood red variety), Almandine (orangey-red to brown), Andradite (brown, black and sometimes yellowish-green to yellowish orange), Grossular (clear, orange, pink, yellow, green, brown), Spessartine (yellowish orange), and Uvarovites (deep emerald green), Tsavorites (green to yellowish Green), Rhodolite (purplish red to red), and Hessonite (yellow orange to red).

Birthstone:  The garnet is considered to be the birthstone for Capricorns:  Dec. 22 - Jan. 19.  It is the jewelers birthstone for January.

Wedding Anniversary:  It is the stone of the 2nd wedding anniversary.  The Rhodolite Garnet is an alternate for the 15th anniversary, the Almandine Garnet for the 19th, and the Green Garnet for the 25th.

History:   One of the world's most ancient gems, garnet has been treasured for thousands of years.  Use of garnets as gems is traced to the Nile Delta in 3100 B.C.  Egytian artisans created beautiful garnet bracelets and other jewelry.  During the latter part of the 19th century, garnet bracelets and brooches were particularly popular.  

Deposits:  Garnets are found in a wide variety of locations including Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Canada and U.S. (Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Florida, California and Virginia).  The majority of today's garnets come from Africa.  Notable quantities of garnets have been also found in Czech Republic and Spain.






IOLITE

Composed of Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, it is found in "schists", or low-grade metamorphic rocks.  This mineral is pleochroic ~ it changes color along 3 axes when rotated.  It is generally yellow along the x-axis, darker blue/violet/gray along the y-axis and the z-axis is generally a lighter, clearer blue.  Iolite is a translucent light blue, blue or rich blue-violet stone.  Iolite is also known as Water Sapphire.

History:  Iolite was known as the Vikings' compass.  It is "bluest" 90 degrees from the sun and served as a crude compass.

Deposits: Most of the Iolite available today comes from Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar, Germany, Norway and Brazil.  Precambrian deposits of the Laramie Range (Wyoming, U.S.) contain more than 500,000 tons of Iolite.

 


MOONSTONE

Moonstone can be two minerals:  Orthoclase Feldspar (Potassium Aluminum Silicate) or sometimes Albite Plagioclase Feldspar (Sodium Aluminum Silicate).

The moonstone is a colorless to yellowish gray, highly translucent to semi-transparent variety of feldspar that reflects light in a distinctive shimmering phenomenon known as adularescence.  Sometimes moonstone displays a well-defined cat's-eye effect (a bright line caused by reflection from tiny parallel flaws).

Moonstones come in a variety of colors ranging from colorless to white, gray, brown, yellow, orange, green, or pink.  Clarity ranges from transparent to translucent.

Birthstone:  Moonstone along with alexandrite and pearls are birthstones of Gemini (Twins): May 21 - June 21.

Wedding Anniversary:  Moonstone is an alternate stone for the the 13th anniversary.

Deposits:  Moonstone is found in Brazil, European Alps, Central and Southern India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Burma, Tanzania, and USA (Pennsylvania and Virginia).  Sri Lanka produces the highest quality moonstones.




PERIDOT

Peridot is composed of Magnesium Iron Silicate, a variety of olivine, an ultra-mafic mineral, which means it comes from deep within the earth.  It is also common in basalts on the moon.

Peridot is created under great temperatures and pressures deep within the Earth and sometimes extruded in basaltic lavas, such as the lavas in Hawaii.  To the Hawaiians, they were known as "Pele's Tears".

Peridot is usually a light transparent green to yellow-green, but never the deep green of an emerald.  In Roman times, it was known as "Evening Emerald" as Peridot has the property of keeping its green color even in weak light.  Sometimes called "Chrysolite", the Geologic term for Peridiot is "Olivine".

Birthstone:  Peridot along with sardonyx are birthstones of Leo:  July. 23 - Aug. 22.  Jewelers assign Peridot to the Month of August.

Wedding Anniversary:  Peridot is the anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage and is an alternate stone for the 1st year.

History:  Peridot has been adored since ancient times and has been valued for centuries.  People in the Middle Ages wore peridot to gain foresight and divine inspiration.  Legend has it that pirates favored peridot to protect them against evil.  Peridot was greatly prized by Egyptian Kings.  Some of Cleopatra's emeralds were in fact peridots.

Deposits:  Peridot is found in Australia, Brazil, China, Eygpt, Burma, Pakistan, Norway and U.S. (Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, and New Mexico).  Much of the today's Peridot comes from Arizona.  Very large crystals are found in the Mogok district of Myanmar and in the Minas Gerais in Brazil.  Peridot has been mined from St John's Island and Zebirget Island in the Red Sea for over 3500 years.  In 1994, an exciting new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan, and these stones are among the finest ever seen.




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