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Gem Stones

JANUARY - GARNET :

Deep red stone, usually faceted. Sometimes seen as a cabochon, especially in men's jewelry.

  • Has been used as a gemstone and an abrasive since the Bronze Age
  • There are a variety of types of garnet, the rarest being the "blue garnet", discovered during the 1990's in Madagascar
  • It is the gemstone for the 2nd wedding anniversary
  • It is the state mineral of Connecticut
  • It is the state gemstone of New York
  • Folklore claims that garnet's powers include healing, strength and protection
  • It is often warn to relieve inflammations of the skin, regulate the heart and blood flow, and aid in curing depression
  • In the past, it was given as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for one another

FEBRUARY - AMETHYST :

Lavender to purple stone, usually faceted. Sometimes seen as a cabochon or a bead.

  • The name comes from the Greek "methustos", which means "to intoxicate"
  • Was believed to protect its wearer from drunkenness
  • Was used as a gemstone as early as the ancient Egyptians
  • Seen as a symbol of heavenly understanding (especially in the philosophical, religious, spiritual, ands material planes)
  • Traditionally, ranking members or the Roman Catholic Church wear rings set with large amethysts as a symbol of their status

MARCH - AQUAMARINE :

Pale blue to a bluish-green, almost always faceted. Also seen as a cabochon, with a cat's eye effect.

  • Its chemical composition is closely related to the emerald
  • It is the official state gemstone of Colorado
  • People in the middle Ages believed it could magically counteract the effects of poison
  • Ancient sailors often slept with the stone under their pillows because they believed it would protect them while on the seas
  • Ancient sailors also believed that the mermaid's fish-like lower body was made of the gemstone
  • It has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness
  • It is said to increase intelligence and make one more youthful

APRIL - DIAMOND

  • Most diamonds are more than 3 billion years old (2/3 the age of the Earth)
  • The youngest diamonds were made about 100 million years ago
  • Most diamonds were made more that 100 miles below the Earth's surface, some as many as 400 miles down
  • They are carried to the surface of the Earth through volcanic eruptions
  • The only known source of diamonds before the 6th century was in India, which remained the predominant source until the mid-18th century
  • Ancient Romans and Indians believed that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as protective talismans
  • A law in 13th century France decreed that only kings could wear diamonds
  • Diamonds are used in a variety of industries, including space travel, optometry, and the surgical field
  • The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas", which means "unconquerable and indestructible"
  • In 1477, the first recorded diamond was given to woman as a promise of marriage

MAY - EMERALD

Top quality stones are a clear, deep green. Lower quality stones are paler and cloudy. Usually faceted, sometimes seen as a cabochon.

  • A high quality emerald can be more valuable that a fine diamond of the same carat weight
  • It is the traditional gift of the 55th wedding anniversary
  • They are believed to enhance the clairvoyance (or 6th sense) of their wearers
  • Symbolizes rebirth and youth
  • They are also worn to promote healing and enhance love and contentment
  • Emeralds have been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians, around 4000 years ago (Cleopatra was an avid collector)
  • The best quality emeralds in the world come from South America
  • In the Inca and the Aztec cultures, the emerald was revered as a holy stone

JUNE - PEARL

Most commonly white or cream, but also comes in a variety of colors and shapes. The only gemstone that is naturally perfect; not faceted, cut, or altered by man.

  • It is the only gemstone formed within a living creature
  • The ancient Arabians used to say that pearl were formed "when dewdrops filled with moonlight fell into the ocean and were swallowed by oysters"
  • Today, it is rare to find natural pearls (almost all pearls are cultured, meaning they were grown on a farm)
  • It is the traditional gift for the 1st, 3rd, 12th, and the 30th wedding anniversaries
  • The pearl is the oldest gem and is therefore often referred to as the "queen of gems"
  • Folklore states that it possesses the magical powers that provide or increase protection, prosperity, and healing, as well feelings of peacefulness, love, and compassion
  • According to the Ancient Greeks, the pearl symbolized purity and loyalty in the marital bed
  • During the middle Ages, brave knights often wore pearls into b Battle for protection
  • In feudal Japan, physicians often treated their patients with ointments and medications made from ground up pearls

JULY - RUBY :

Top quality stones are deep red and clear. Lower quality stones are paler and cloudier. Usually faceted, but also seen as a cabochon.

  • It is celebrated in ancient Sanskrit writings and the Bible as the most precious of gemstones
  • Ruby is the red version of "corundum" mineral, which is also the sapphire's base mineral (the sapphire and the ruby are different colors of the same stone)
  • It is one of the most expensive gemstones and is considered by many as the "King of Precious Stones" (like the emerald, it can be worth far more than a diamond)
  • Has long been believed to have the power to heal and protect; including to prevent blood-loss and strengthen the heart
  • Many Eastern cultures once believed that the ruby contains the "spark of life" or a "deep drop of the heart's blood of Mother Earth"
  • During the middle Ages, people believed that rubies brought good health, guarded against wicked thoughts, amorous desires, and disputes between neighbors

AUGUST - PERIDOT

Bright, yellowish green, usually faceted. May also be seen as a cabochon or a bead, rapidly rising in value.

  • It was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians 3500 years ago and was often confused with the emerald (sometimes called the "evening emerald")
  • It is formed during volcanic eruptions * Hawaiian legend calls peridot the "divine tears" wept by Pele, the goddess of the volcano
  • It has been credited with the magical powers to protect against nightmares and ward off evil
  • It is the gemstone gift for the 16th wedding anniversary
  • It is also thought to bring the wearer peace, success, and good luck
  • It has also been credited with the ability to calm anger, soothe nerves, and dispel negative emotions
  • Peridot was once ground into a powder and given orally to patients with asthma

SEPTEMBER - SAPPHIRE :

Top quality stones are a rich, deep, clear blue. Lower quality stones are lighter and cloudy. Almost always faceted. Star sapphires are the most common cabochon.

  • In ancient Persia, rulers once believed that the Earth rested on a giant sapphire and it was the reflection from this sapphire that gave the heavens their blue color
  • It has been credited with the profound powers to protect the wearer from poisons and evil spirits
  • It is given as the official gift for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversaries (the star sapphire is given on the 65th wedding anniversary)
  • Sapphire was a popular stone for royalty to include in crowns, brooches, scepters, and other bejeweled items
  • It has also been said that the sapphire reflects the soul of whoever wears it
  • Sapphire has also been recognized to symbolize truth, sincerity, and fidelity (making it the perfect stone for an engagement ring)
  • In ancient times, lovers believed that if they gave a sapphire to their beloved, it would not shine if the other had been unfaithful

OCTOBER - OPAL :

Base color is either white or black, with a range of fiery opalescence. The more opalescence, the better the quality. Almost always seen as a cabochon.

  • According to the ancient Greeks and Romans, it symbolized hope, innocence, and purity
  • It is the suggested gemstone gift for the 13th wedding anniversary
  • It is believed to aid inner beauty, faithfulness, and eyesight
  • May help the wearer recall past lives
  • The ancient Romans called the opal "cupid paederos" or "child as beautiful as love" and believed the wearer was safe from disease
  • The ancient Arabs believed that opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightening
  • It is also rumored that Cleopatra wore opals to gain the attention of Mark Anthony

NOVEMBER - IMPERIAL TOPAZ

Rich, deep golden yellow, almost always faceted. May also be seen as a cabochon; most valuable type of topaz.

  • It is the suggested anniversary gemstone for the 23rd wedding anniversary
  • The name comes from Sanskrit and means fire
  • During the middle ages, it was believed to heal both mental and physical disorders, as well as prevent death
  • The ancient Greeks thought it had the power to increase strength and make the wearer invisible
  • Ancient Romans thought it could improve eyesight
  • Ancient Egyptians wore it as a protective amulet against injury

DECEMBER - BLUE TOPAZ

Pale to dark blue, usually faceted. Also seen as a cabochon and a bead. Most common gemstone.

  • It is the suggested gemstone gift for the 4th wedding anniversary
  • It is believed to have the power to cool tempers, restore sanity, cure insomnia, relieve asthma, and ward off sudden death
  • It is associated with loyalty because it was once believed to change colors in the presence of poison
  • In the Hindu religion, topaz is one of the sacred stones of the Kalpa tree (and would heal those who thirst, give a heightened sense of intelligence, and increase a person's life span)
  • In Africa, the gem has been used by Bushmen to ensure safe journeys and healing
  • It is also said to have creative powers and can help people concentrate