Archive for the ‘Gem Talk’ Category
Gemstones for the Holidays
Restore your spirit with colorful gemstones.
Citrine – Chalcedony
Amethyst – Peridot – Aquamarine
Gemstones can bring joy, love and, according to some, “good health” to the wearer.
October 9th Through October 12th
Gary Bowersox, The Gem Hunter, is coming to Starnes on October 8th. He will be there for three days. Visit our store on these dates for special deals on a wide range of jewelry items from across the world. Learn more about The Gem Hunter here:
The color that a gemstone displays is largely determined by the unique way that its individual crystalline structure interacts with light. White light is made up of the spectral colors of the rainbow, some of which are “preferentially absorbed” as they enter the gem. Those that are not absorbed either pass through or are reflected back to give the gem its color. Each gem has a unique color fingerprint (known as its “absorption spectrum”) that is visible only when viewed through an instrument known as a spectroscope. While many gems appear to be the same color to the naked eye, jewelers can distinguish between similar-looking gems by using the spectroscope to reveal their absorption spectrums.
P.S. The exact identity of colored gemstones in heirloom jewelry may be difficult to correctly discern without an absorption spectrum analysis performed by a reputable jeweler.
Those born in October have a very pleasant decision to make. One of their birthstones, tourmaline, comes in a greater range of colors than any other gemstone. Just to confuse the issue a bit, each has a separate name, including rubellite (pink, red); dravite (brown); and siberite (violet). Watermelon tourmaline, as its name suggests, can be composed of two or three colors (green, white, and pink), which suggests the rind and inner colors of its namesake. However, perhaps the most popular color among jewelry designers is blue. Indicolite possesses a deep, rich blue that approaches neon in its intensity. Because the stone appears darker as one looks at it through the crystal, a good cut can have great influence.
P.S. Rubellite, the red variety of tourmaline, is only one of three gemstones (the others are ruby and red spinel) that occurs in a true deep red.
One trend surging in popularity is the widespread use of pavé-set diamonds in diamond engagement rings. As the name implies, “pavé” (which is the past participle of the French verb “to pave”) involves setting small diamonds so closely together that they visually meld together. As a result, much like cobblestones arranged on an old city street, there seems to be a continuous band of gemstones. In actuality, each diamond is separated by a small amount of metal, but the gemstones fit so closely together that the separation of metal appears invisible to the naked eye. Jewelers use this design to generate a great effect by surrounding a diamond solitaire with pavé diamonds to make it appear larger.
P.S. Pavé-set diamonds are often popularly displayed on the shanks of engagement rings and wedding bands.
When the time comes for women and girls to just have fun, colored gemstones and gold chains match up well with jeans, cotton tops, casual dresses, crisp button-front shirts, and blazers. One of the best ways to enjoy jewelry with these two complementary elements is to combine them. Doing so involves taking a small-link gold chain and interspersing a seemingly haphazard arrangement of colored gemstones among its links. For the most part, gemstones such as tourmaline, citrine, amethyst, peridot, topaz, garnet, iolite, and turquoise can be either faceted or cut en cabochon and set in bezels. When spaced according to taste along the length of the chain, it exudes a decidedly Bohemian elegance that is very much in vogue.
P.S. Revel in the color and affordability of colored gemstones.
The “brilliant cut” is the most popular cut for diamonds and other colorless stones because it ensures that maximum light will be reflected out through the front of the gemstone. Variations on the outline result in the oval and boat-shaped marquise. Colored stones, on the other hand, are often shown to their best advantage with the “step cut,” with its rectangular or square table facet and girdle and parallel rectangular facets. The corners of fragile stones may be removed to create octagonal stones. Mixed cuts are stones that are usually rounded in outline, with the crowns (above the girdle) cut as brilliants and the pavilions (below the girdle) step cut. Many sapphires and rubies are cut in this style.
P.S. A gemstone’s cut and its shape are two different things.
Vintage-inspired diamond jewelry has always been popular, and the passion for these pieces shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Signature designs of the Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco eras are particularly embraced, especially the intricate scrollwork and architectural designs of Art Deco jewelry and the floral romance of Victorian-style necklaces, bracelets, and rings. This enthusiasm has given a boost to the appeal of “rose cut” diamonds, which first became popular in the mid-16th century. The basic rose cut has a flat base (no pavilion) and a crown composed of symmetrically arranged triangular facets (usually 12 or 24), which rise to form a point. Rose-cut diamonds are combined with brilliant-cut diamonds as complementary design elements.
P.S. Although rose-cut diamonds may not sparkle as much as brilliant-cut diamonds, they appear to be twice as big (because they are shallow) and exude much of the calm natural beauty of an uncut diamond.
September’s birthstone comes in a host of colors other than its signature violet-blue. Sapphire, which is a variety of the gem species corundum (along with ruby), comes in just about every color of the rainbow, from yellow and green to pink and purple. In addition, white sapphire has been used as a substitute for the more brilliant diamond. In the more popular blue color, sapphire is a time-honored selection for engagement rings in Europe. Perhaps the most spectacular and familiar example of this is the 12-carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds that Prince Charles gave to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. You might say that blue sapphire is fit for a princess.
P.S. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is the world’s largest producer of sapphires over 100 carats in weight.