Garnet: January's Gemstone
Garnets come in a huge variety of color, not only red. Blue is the only colorthat garnet is not available in. Some Hebrew writers include it as one of the 12 gems in Aaron?s breastplate.
Christians believe the garnet symbolizes Christ?s sacrifice.
Garnet was said to give its wearer guidance in the night allowing him to seewhere others could not. Legend claims that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. According to the Egyptians, garnet is an antidote for snakebite and food poisoning. Garnet is the anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage. Garnets are found in Brazil, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, Siberia, Africa, U.S.A. and Australia.
Ancient warriors believed that garnets brought victory. The Crusaders used them as protection against wounds and accidents during their journeys.
The name "garnet" is derived from the Latin "granatum" meaning "pomegranate" because the crystals resemble the red color and seed-like form of this fruit. Green garnets are most highly prized but are very rare. Emerald green andcolorless stones are highly valued, followed by pure red garnets.
Garnets are often found as small pebbles in streams, where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have weathered away. Evidence of garnet jewellery dating to the Bronze age has been found.
As with many precious stones, garnets were also once believed to hold medicinal powers. In Medieval times, it protected its wearer against poisons, wounds and bad dreams, and cured depression. Red garnets relieved fever, hemorrhages and inflammatory diseases. Nowadays the garnet symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections.
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Amethyst: February's Gemstone
Amethyst is a variety of quartz, the most prized is deep purple withrose-colored flashes, however it ranges from pale lilac to nearly black purpleshades.
The ancient Greeks believed that whoever wore an amethyst or drank from anamethyst chalice would not fall victim to intoxication. It is also said to havea sobering effect on those over-excited by love?s passion. It symbolizes peace,protection and tranquility.
Some say it will prevent baldness and improve complexion, while protectingfrom treason and deceit.
Because royalty has always worn the color purple,there are many amethysts in the ornaments of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, andin the British Crown Jewels.
Faceted is the anniversary gemstone for the sixth year of marriage. It is foundmainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Madagascarand Zambia.
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Aquamarine: March's Gemstone
Aquamarine has the colors of the ocean. It is a member of the important beryl family, which also includes emerald. Derived from the Latin meaning sea water, aquamarine was said to aid seafarers; thus it makes an excellent gift for sailors or those who travel frequently by sea. To dream of aquamarine means you are about to meet new friends. To wear aquamarine brings love and affection. They are thought to give the wearers knowledge, foresight and assist in an individual's inspiration.
Aquamarine is the anniversary gem for the 19th year of marriage.
March has two birthstones -- Aquamarine and Bloodstone. Aquamarines werebelieved to have originated from the jewel caskets of sirens, washed ashore from the depths of the sea. This association with the sea made it the sailors'gem, promising prosperous and safe voyages as well as protection against perils and monsters of the sea. Its first documented use was by the Greeks between 480-300 BC.
Aquamarines vary in color from deep blue to blue-green of different intensities.
The aquamarine is a form of the mineral beryl family that also includes the emerald, morganite and heliodor. Beryl is a relatively hard gem, ranking afterthe diamond, sapphire, ruby, alexandrite and topaz. In Roman times, the aquamarine was believed to possess medicinal and healing powers, curing ailments of the stomach, liver, jaws and throat. Aquamarines were thought to be the source of power for soothsayers, who called it the "magic mirror", and used it for telling fortunes and answering questions about the future. Aquamarines were used as glasses in Germany to correct shortsightedness.
The second birthstone for March is the bloodstone. It's a favored material for carving religious subjects, particularly the crucifixion. Green chalcedony, spotted with flecks of red is known as bloodstone. Bloodstone can be found embedded in rocks, or as pebbles in riverbeds. Babylonians used this stone to make seals and amulets, and it was also a favorite with Roman gladiators. In the Middle ages, bloodstone was believed to hold healing powers, particularly for stopping nosebleeds. Ancient alchemists used it to treat blood disorders, including blood poisoning and stopping the flow of blood from a wound.
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Diamond: April's Gemstone
The diamond is the hardest gemstone of all. The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to earth. It was even said by some that they were the tears of the Gods or perhaps crystallized lightning or hardened dew drops.
In ancient times only kings wore diamonds as a symbol of strength, courage and invincibility. Over the centuries, the diamond acquired its status as the ultimate gift of love. It has been told that Cupids arrows were tipped with diamonds. The reason a woman wears it on the third finger of her left hand dates back to the early Egyptian belief that the (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of the third finger, left hand.
Diamond is the anniversary gem for the 10th and 60th years of marriage.
A diamond that has a huge story to tell is the legendary Koh-i-noor diamond. The Koh-i-noor's early history is wrapped up in history. It is believed to be 5,000 years old, it was in the possession of the great Mogul dynasty from 1526to 1739, once its owner built the Taj Mahal . The Persian invader Nadir Shahbriefly possessed it until his assassination in 1747. The jewel then fell into the hands of Afghan rulers who eventually surrendered it to the Rajah of Punjab, Ranjit Singh.
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The stone was presented to Queen Victoria who had it cut from its original 187 carats to 108 carats in an attempt to further enhance its beauty. After her death, the diamond became part of the British Jewels. The Koh-i-noor diamond was often worn as a brooch by the Queen Mother on ceremonial occasions.
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Emerald: Mays Gemstone
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The most prized emerald is pure green or slightly bluish green. Emeralds are often characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within. Under magnification, you will see all sorts of lovely patterns resembling foliage. A flawless, clear emerald is very rare and is usually found in only small sizes. Small to medium sized stones are often faceted in the step or emerald cut.
The earliest engravers kept emeralds on their work tables to gaze upon from time to time to rest their tired eyes. Travelers relied on emeralds as protection against the hazards and perils of long journeys. The green gem was said to give its owner the power to see into the future. Emerald is the anniversary gemstone for the 20th and 35th years of marriage.
The emerald belongs to the beryl family of minerals that include aquamarine(the March birthstone), heliodor and morganite.
The emerald's name is indirectly derived from the Greek word "smaragdos," a term used for green stones. The history of emeralds can be traced back to antiquity. They were worn by royalty in Babylon and Egypt.
When the conquistadors first arrived in South America from Spain, they saw native rulers wearing emeralds.
There are many myths associated with the emerald. The stone was once believed to prevent epilepsy, stop bleeding, cure dysentery and fever, and protect the wearer from panic. To the ancient Romans, emeralds were dedicated to the goddess Venus because it symbolized the reproductive forces of nature.
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Moonstone & Pearl: June's Gemstone
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Pearls come in a wide range of colors from delicate rose white to black. The more perfectly round the shape the higher the value. The oriental pearl is known as the gem of the moon. They have been recognized as the emblem of modesty, chastity and purity. They have also come to symbolize a happy marriage.
Pearl is the anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage.
June has no less than three traditional birthstones -- pearls, moonstone, and Alexandrite.
Pearls, according to Indian mythology, were dew drops from heaven that fell into the sea. They were caught by shellfish under the first rays of the rising sun, during a period of full moon. In India, warriors set pearls onto their swords to symbolize the tears and sorrow that a sword brings.
June's second birthstone is the Moonstone. Moonstones were believed to have the power to bring victory, health and wisdom to those who wore it. In India, the moonstone is considered a sacred stone. The stone is believed to bring good fortune, brought on by a spirit that lives within the stone.
Moonstones, it is believed, were so named as they resemble the moon. When the stone is moved around, the brilliant silvery rays appears to be like moon beams playing over water.
The best moonstones are from Sri Lanka. They are also found in the Alps,Malagasy, Burma and India.
June's third birthstone is the Alexandrite. The stone is named after Prince Alexander of Russia (which is why the "A" in Alexandrite is capitalized). Discovered in 1839 on the day of the prince's birthday, Alexandrite was found in an emerald mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Because it is a relatively recent discovery, there has been little time for myth to build around this beautiful stone. In Russia, the stone was also popular because it reflected the Russian national colors, green and red, and was believed to bring good luck.
The Alexandrite possesses changing colors. In daylight, it appears as a beautiful green. However, under artificial lighting, the stone turns reddish-violet or violet.
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Ruby: Julys Gemstone
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The ruby is so named because of its rich red color. The ruby is a very durable gemstone; its hardness is surpassed only by the diamond. Rubies were thought to contain a glowing spark struck from the planet Mars. Ancient lore held that the ruby was capable of curing illness and reconciling lovers quarrels.
In the Orient, rubies were once believed to contain the spark of life -- "a deep drop of the heart's blood of Mother Earth", according to ancient Eastern legends. The ancients believed that the ruby was self-luminous. They called it "glowing stone" or "lamp stone."
Along with its sister-stone, the sapphire, the ruby is a form of the mineral corundum. Red corundum is called ruby. All other gemstone in the corundum family -- orange, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, violet, black, and clear-- are called sapphires.
The word ruby is from the Latin word 'ruber', which means red.
Upper Burma is famous for its rubies know as "pigeon's blood" the most sort after and rarest of all, as the stones have an intense red color.
In the Middle Ages, rubies were thought to bring good health, as well as guard against wicked thoughts, amorous desires and disputes. Rubies, along with other types of red stones, were said to cure bleeding. And it was believed that rubies held the power to warn its owner of coming disasters, illness or death,by turning darker in color.
Large rubies are very rare.
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Peridot: Augusts Gemstone
The peridot symbolizes eloquence and persuasiveness; Beautiful peridots found their way into cathedrals during the Crusades. Legends state that peridot was considered a powerful amulet against all evil, as well as a remedy for sinus problems. It is said that if the gem was set in gold, it had the power to protect its wearer from terrors of the night, fears and bad dreams. Peridots were especially favored by pirates.
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Sapphire: Septembers Gemstone
The Sapphire is a variety of corundum, that comes in all colors except red, which is a ruby, the most popular color with Americans is deep blue., in Australia it is now yellow.
Rare orange, pink and lavender varieties, along with rich blue and golden yellow are the most expensive. Like the ruby, the sapphire is second only to the diamond in hardness.
Ancient marriage partners had great faith in the stone, believing it would not shine if worn by the wicked or impure. They were reported to be an excellent all-purpose medicine; having the power to stop bleeding and cure disorders of the eye.
Sapphire is gemstone for 5th and 45th anniversaries. They are found in SriLanka, Australia, East Africa and Southeast Asia. The sapphire was said to represent the purity of the soul. Before and during the Middle Ages, it was worn by priests as protection from impure thoughts and temptations of the flesh.
Believed to protect from harm and envy. Men going off to battle presented their young wives with sapphire necklaces so they would remain faithful. It was believed that sapphire transforms stupidity to wisdom, and irritability to good temper.
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Opal & Tourmaline: Octobers Gemstone
October has two birthstones -- opal and tourmaline
The opals tremendous color spectrum is the major reason for the opals mysterious attractiveness. The most popular have flashes of many colors or fire.
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Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity through the ages. It was believed the opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. The ancient Romans believed the opal was the king of gems because it held within itself all the colors of the rainbow.
Opal is also the gemstone for 14th anniversaries. The best sources are from Australia, but can also be found in Mexico and the U.S.A.
Most tourmalines are found in many of colors: yellow, green, red, blue, pink, brown, black. Some are bi-colored one of which is called "watermelon." The outer edges of the gem are green and have a pink or light red interior.
Tourmaline has an unusual trait. When it is warmed or rubbed, it attracts small bits of paper, ash and lint. This happens because the gem becomes charged with static electricity.
Tourmalines are a recent discovery so they lack the rich lore that accompanies many other gems. However, among some people, the stone is known as the "peace stone," believed to rid fear and make its wearer calmer.
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Citrine & Topaz: Novembers Gemstone
Citrine is from the family of quartz; colors range from pale yellow to yellowish-brown to Madeira red, as the maderia wine. The most popular colors are the vivid yellows and oranges. Citrine?s name is from the French word citron, meaning lemon-like fruit. It is told that citrine is a protective talisman against the plague, bad skin and evil thoughts. It was also used as a charm against the bites of snakes and other venomous reptiles.
Citrine is the anniversary gemstone for the 13th year of marriage.
The Romans were thought to be the first to wear Citrine, crafting it into cabochon, or highly polished but unfaceted stones set into jewelry. Craftsmen often favored these gems to enhance gold jewelry. Citrine was also considered to have medicinal properties and was commonly used as a remedy for urinary and kidney ailments.
In the same family as Amethyst, it is believed that citrine may have actually begun as Amethyst, but heat from nearby molten rock changed it from yellow to purple. Some Citrine is found in Brazil, Bolivia and Madagascar.
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A gift of Citrine is symbolic for hope and strength. With its sunny brightness,this gemstone is ideal for helping anyone to get through the tough times in life!
Topaz can be colorless as well as orange-yellow, red, honey-brown ( sherry),light green, blue and pink. The name topaz is derived from the Greek word meaning to shine and also implies fire. Orange-red and pink being the most valuable.
The Ancients believed it gave them strength and cooled tempers, restored sanity, cured asthma, relieved insomnia and even warded off sudden death.
Blue topaz is the anniversary gemstone for the 4th year of marriage (and Imperial topaz for the 23rd.)
Topaz was thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders. Powdered topaz added to wine was used to prevent asthma and insomnia also to help eyesight.
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Turquoise & Zircon:
Turquoise is highly popular in jewelry of Navajo design. The Navajo prized this because they believed it bring them closer to their gods and protected them from harm.
Turquoise has a wide variety of colors. Sky-blue is the most valuable. High-quality turquoise has a permanent color.
Turquoise is the anniversary gemstone for the 5th year of marriage.
Turquoise supposedly helps one to start new projects.
Turquoise has been thought to warn the wearer of danger or illness by changing color.
In ancient times Turquoise was worn to protect the wearer from falling especially from horses. It was also believed to bring happiness and good fortune to all.
Turquoise is the USA's state gemstone of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.
Zircon: a precious natural gemstone. In the old days, zircon was said to help you sleep, give you wealth and promote honor and wisdom . Zircon comes in a wide range of different colors.
Natural zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation.
In Australia zircons are found in the most warmest colors of mauve, pink and clear. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, yellow, brown, blue and orange.
Zircon is found in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and other countries. Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones and look beautiful when cut right.
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