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What is a Topaz? The variety of topaz hues includes colorless, light blue, yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown and, very rarely, red. The vast majority of blue topaz seen today is the permanent result of treating colorless topaz with irradiation and heating. Some believe the word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means “fire.” Others trace it back to the Greek topazos. This November birthstone was long thought to have many benefits. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. From the 1300s to the 1600s, Europeans thought it could thwart magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty and intelligence. Physical & Spiritual Healing Properties of Topaz Topaz is a crystal that will reflect the energy of your mind. It will bring you intense clarity on your intentions, and it will strengthen your focus so that you can manifest your desires to reality.It will stimulate your self-confidence and your ability to learn new things. It will help you understand complex ideas and concepts. Topaz will inspire creativity and increase your attention span. It will help you achieve perfection and your desired results when it comes to your projects and endeavors.Topaz is a highly effective crystal in meditation, affirmation, visualization, and projection. Stability of Topaz Hardness Topaz is an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, but it has poor toughness, so care is required to avoid chipping or cracking. Cleaning To clean this November birthstone, do not use steam cleaning or ultrasonic cleaners. Warm, soapy water works best. Stability High heat or sudden temperature changes can cause internal breaks in topaz. The birthstone’s color is generally [...]
OPAL What is an Opal? Opal is the product of seasonal rains that drenched dry ground in regions such as Australia’s semi-desert “outback.” The showers soaked deep into ancient underground rock, carrying dissolved silica (a compound of silicon and oxygen) downward. During dry periods, much of the water evaporated, leaving solid deposits of silica in the cracks and between the layers of underground sedimentary rock. The silica deposits formed opal. How Opal Forms Opal is known for its unique display of flashing rainbow colors called play-of-color. There are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opal displays play-of-color, common opal does not. Play-of-color occurs in precious opal because it’s made up of sub-microscopic spheres stacked in a grid-like pattern—like layers of Ping-Pong balls in a box. As the lightwaves travel between the spheres, the waves diffract, or bend. As they bend, they break up into the colors of the rainbow, called spectral colors. Play-of-color is the result. Although experts divide gem opals into many different categories, five of the main types are: White or light opal: Translucent to semi translucent, with play-of-color against a white or light gray background color, called bodycolor. Black opal: Translucent to opaque, with play-of-color against a black or other dark background. Fire opal: Transparent to translucent, with brown, yellow, orange, or red body color. This material—which often doesn’t show play-of-color—is also known as “Mexican opal.” Boulder opal: Translucent to opaque, with play-of-color against a light to dark background. Fragments of the surrounding rock, called matrix, become part of the finished gem. Crystal or water opal: Transparent to semi transparent, with a clear background. This type shows exceptional play-of-color. Opal's Physical and Spiritual Healing Properties Writers have compared opals [...]
Jewelry Appraisals Thursday, August 15th! Jane Chaikowsky is an Independent Jewelry Appraiser who is Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America, an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA), Master Gemologist Appraiser® (MGA) of the American Society of Appraisers and Certified Senior Member (CSM) of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, assuring an unbiased opinion of value. Jane can appraise your jewelry while you watch using portable gemological laboratory equipment. 🔬 Jane only visits our store about once a month so be sure to call and schedule your appointment! 610-434-8001 You can also drop off your jewelry the day before if you are unable to make it in on Thursday!
What is a Ruby? Ruby is distinguished for its bright red color, being the most famed and fabled red gemstone. In addition to its bright color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. This makes Ruby one of the most important gems in the colored stone market. Transparent Rubies of large sizes are even rarer than Diamonds! A Ruby consists of the mineral corundum, which is colorless, by nature. Chromium is the trace element that causes Ruby’s red color. Gemologists consider it the "rock star" of trace elements! In essence, Ruby is a red Sapphire, since Ruby and Sapphire are identical in all properties except for color. However, because of the special allure and historical significance, Ruby has always been classified as an individual gemstone. The most renowned Rubies, like those from Myanmar, the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam, typically form in marble. They’re found in layers that are distributed irregularly within the surrounding marble. Marble forms as part of the metamorphic (rock-altering) process, when heat and pressure from mountain formation act on existing limestone deposits. In other locations, Rubies can be found in basalt rocks. Rubies from these sources can have higher iron content, which can make the Rubies darker and less intense in color. Higher iron content in the chemical makeup of a Ruby can also mask the red fluorescence, eliminating that extra glow of red color seen in marble-hosted Rubies. Physical & Spiritual Healing Properties Red is the color of our most intense emotions—love and anger, passion and fury. It’s associated with objects of power and desire—like fast cars and red roses. Early cultures treasured Rubies for [...]
What Is A Pearl? Pearls, natural or cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) around some type of irritant inside its shell. In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water, such as sand. In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is manually inserted into the mollusk to start the process. For both, the quality of the nacre dictates thequality of the luster, or shine of the pearl, which is very important to its beauty and its value. Luster results from reflection of light rays off the pearl’s surface, and from concentric inner layers of nacre, like light bouncing off a convex mirror. The surface of the pearl should be smooth and free of marks while the overall shape could be round, oval, pear-shaped, or even misshapen. Misshapen pearls are called baroque pearls. Four Major Pearl Types Akoya—This type is most familiar to many jewelry customers. Japan and China both produce saltwater Akoya cultured pearls. South Sea—Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are leading sources of these saltwater cultured pearls. Tahitian—Cultivated primarily around the islands of French Polynesia (the most familiar of these is Tahiti), these saltwater cultured pearls usually range from white to black. Freshwater—These are usually cultured in freshwater lakes and ponds. They’re produced in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. China and the US are the leading sources. Imitation Pearls Imitation pearls are usually a coated glass bead. Most have a high luster, but not the depth of luster seen on high quality cultured pearls. It's possible to separate an imitation from a cultured or natural pearl but it can be a challenge, as many pearls undergo treatments to either enhance their [...]
What Is An Emerald? Emeralds are gem-quality specimens of the beryl mineral family with a rich, distinctly green color. They are found in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks in a small number of locations worldwide. Igneous - formed from the solidification of molten rock material Metamorphic - modified by heat, pressure, and chemical processes, usually while buried deep below Earth's surface Sedimentary - formed by the accumulation of sediments For over 5000 years, Emeralds have been one of the most desirable and valuable colored stones. Ancient civilizations in Africa, Asia, and South America independently discovered Emeralds and made them a gemstone of highest esteem. It is so prized, that carat for carat, a fine Emerald may be two to three times as valuable as a Diamond. Today, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire form the "big three" of colored stones. The "big three" generate more economic activity than all other colored stones combined. What Makes An Emerald Green? The name Emerald comes from the Greek word which literally means green stone. So, to be an Emerald, a specimen must have a distinctly green color that falls in the range from bluish green to green to slightly yellowish green. Perhaps the most important, however, the specimen must also have a rich color. Beryl, the mineral of which Emerald is a variety, is colorless and known as "goshenite." Trace amounts of chromium or vanadium in the mineral, is the key to developing it’s rich, green color. Trace amounts of iron, however, will tint the Emerald a bluish green or a yellowish green color depending upon its oxidation state. Stones with weak saturation or light tone should be called "Green Beryl." If the beryl's color is greenish blue then it is an "Aquamarine." If it is greenish yellow [...]
What is Aquamarine? The serenely colored aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. Aquamarine is a very valuable and special gem made in the depths of mountains by intense heat. It is made when extremely hot magma under the Earth's crust interacts with mineral rich rocks under mountain ranges. As the magma pushes through little cracks and crevices in the rocks it reacts with the minerals present there and gemstones are formed. Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. It grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces. Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones. Aquamarine Healing Properties Aquamarine properties contain the healing, vibrant powers of our ancient seas. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage.The serene blue or blue-green color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. Evolved over millions of years, this stone is also very healing when it comes to soothing unpleasant emotions such as grief or loneliness. Aquamarine is a “Stone of Courage and Protection”. Used often with the Throat Chakra, it can promote verbal [...]
Jewelry Appraisals Thursday, January 24th! $10 OFF Jewelry Appraisals with Jane 1/24! Jane Chaikowsky is an Independent Jewelry Appraiser who is Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America, an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA), Master Gemologist Appraiser® (MGA) of the American Society of Appraisers and Certified Senior Member (CSM) of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, assuring an unbiased opinion of value. Jane can appraise your jewelry while you watch using portable gemological laboratory equipment. 🔬 Jane only visits our store about once a month so be sure to call and schedule your appointment! 610-434-8001 You can also drop off your jewelry the day before if you are unable to make it in on Thursday!