geology

  • Sapphire ~ The Birthstone for September

    Folks born in the month of September are fortunate to have the stunning sapphire as their birthstone. Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum and is found in just about every color except for red. There is red corundum but it is known as the gemstone ruby. The blue variety of sapphire is the most popular and is the color used to represent September. The blue sapphire ranges in color from light to dark blue.  The most valuable varieties of sapphire are called Kashmir and Burmese and prized for their intense, deep blue coloring. The Celyon sapphire is one of the oldest varieties of sapphire to be discovered.

    Sapphire is a relatively hard gemstone. It is a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness where 10 (which happens to be diamond) is the hardest mineral. The fact that it is so scratch resistant makes it ideal for daily wear and works well for wedding rings. One of the most famous sapphire wedding rings was worn by the late Princess Diana and now adorns the finger of her daughter-in-law Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge. In addition to being the birthstone for September, it is also the gemstone used to represent the 5th, 23rd and 45th year of marriage.

    Sapphires have been worn to represent truth, honor and faithfulness. They were thought to bring about feelings of friendship, harmony, and sympathy. It has also been believed to  offer healing for colic, mental illness and rheumatism and has been worn to  protect against evil spirits and other unsavory creatures. The power of the sapphire was believed to be so strong that if given to another person it could still protect the original wearer and the new owner at the same time.

    Sapphire is a luminous and radiant gemstone. It has a rich history and has been loved and adored for centuries. Yes, September babies -- you sure have one heck of a gemstone to represent your birth month. Congratulations and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  • June Birthstone ~ Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone

    People born in the month of June are fortunate enough to have three gorgeous stones to represent their birth month. Pearl is the primary birthstone.  Alexandrite and Moonstone designated as alternates. Today on the Charming Chick blog we will provide you some information about each one of these amazing stones.

    Pearls

     

    Pearls are magnificent little gems created for us by creatures of the sea. A pearl is created when an irritant - such as a piece of sand - enters a mollusk's (oyster, clam or mussell) shell. The mollusk then begins to secrete a protective substance called "nacre." Over the layers of nacre build up to create a pearl. Finding a natural pearl can be quite a challenge; which is when people started to insert an irritant -- such as a piece of mother-of-pearl into an oyster.  After several years the pearls are harvested to create beautiful jewelry. These pearls are known as cultured pearls.

    There are many types of pearls; cultured pearls, freshwater pearls, Tahitian pearls, South Sea pearls, seed pearls, dyed pearls, and many more.

    Alexandrite

     

    Alexandrite is a magnificent stone. What makes it extra special is that in order for it to be created you have to have very specific geological conditions for the stone to form. When it was first discovered in Russia 1834, it was thought to be an emerald. Alexandrite appears green or greenish-blue in daylight but in incandescent light it usually appears red or reddish purple. The more distict the color change the more rare - and more valuable - the stone. Because alexandrite is hard to come by -- most of theses gemstones you see on the market are synthetic (lab created). Purchasing a synthetic alexandrite is also much more affordable.

    Moonstone

     

    Moonstone is a very unique and stunning stone. It is transparent with a colorless, bluish, greenish or brownish tint. It has what some have discribed as a "mysterious shimmer." It is a soft stone; which means that it must be worn with care. It can get scratched and loose it's luster but it can be repolished again. The price of moonstone can vary greatly and depends upon the color and luster.

  • Amethyst -- The Birthstone for February

    Sterling Silver Amethyst Earrings 

      

    The birthstone for February is amethyst, and it is an absolutely stunning gemstone. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the fourth and sixth years of marriage.

    With its regal color -- it is only natural that it adorns several prominent pieces of royal jewelry. Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and is found in a range of shades including deep purple, lavender, violet, and mauve.  It is also the most valuable member of the quartz family. Amethyst is sometimes found mixed with citrine which forms the gemstone ametrine.

     

    Amethyst is a seven on the Moh's scale  of hardness; which means it is a relatively hard stone and more resistant to scratches than other semi-precious stones. However, you must keep in mind that heat, can greatly affect the color. Long exposure to sun light - or other heat sources - can have an adverse effect on it. 

    Sterling Silver Faceted Amethyst Pendant with Chain

    The history and mythology associated with amethyst, is as fascinating as the stone itself. At one time it was believed to thwart intoxication and prevent addiction -- so often times wine goblets were carved out of this dazzling gemstone. In addition to preventing the wearer from succumbing to the effects of alcohol; it also has many other remarkable properties and uses.

     

    Sterling Silver Amethyst Cuff Bangle

    Amethyst is said to protect the wearer against evil, promote bravery, protect the wearer in battle, quicken intelligence, and cure insomnia. This gemstone has also been worn to symbolize faithfulness, humility, sincerity, and spiritual wisdom. It was even thought to have healing powers.

    Sterling Silver Faceted Amethyst Ring

    If you know someone who is fortunate enough to be born in the month of February, you should give them the gift of their birthstone. At Charming Chick we have several stunning pieces of amethyst jewelry for you to choose from. Most of the stones are faceted, so they sparkle and sizzle beautifully.

    Even if a person isn't born in the month of February, these pieces make a fantastic gift! The richness of the stone, combined with .925 sterling silver is a magnificent pairing.

     

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