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Archive for the ‘Gemstones’ Category

Opals, October’s Birthstone, Origins and Value

October Birthstone: The Opal

October’s birthstone is one of the most interesting gemstones on earth.  In celebration of the magical and mysterious opal, let’s take a look at some fascinating and rare facts about the origin and value of opals.

The first opals are believed to have been found in Ethiopia about 4,000 BC. The ancient Romans called the opal “Cupid Paederos,” which translates to “a child beautiful as love.” The ancient Romans would grind up and consume opals because they believed they had healing properties and the power to ward off bad dreams.

The term opal is derived from the Sanskrit term “upala,” which means precious or valuable stone and the root for the Greek term “opallios,” which translates to “color change.” Opals are created from an ancient mineral known as petrified silica gel that is found near the earth’s surface where geothermal hot springs once existed.

Today, about 97 percent of the world’s opals come from Australia. The first Australian discovery of common opals was made in 1849 near Angaston, South Australia by a German immigrant named Johannes Menge. The indigenous people of Australia call the opal “the fire in the desert.” Most of the world’s supply of precious opals comes from the Coober Pedy and Andamooka fields in South Australia. Coober Pedy is known as “The Opal Capital of the World” because 51 percent of the world’s supply of opals is mined there.

Opals may come from other planets as well. In 2011, scientists discovered opal-like crystals in the Tagish Lake meteorite, which fell to Earth in Canada in 2000. According to a report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, this was the first extra-terrestrial discovery of these unusual crystals. Some scientists hypothesize that they may have formed in the primordial cloud of dust that produced the sun and planets of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

The classes of opals

All naturally occurring opals fall into one of two classes: precious and common. Precious opals are those that display flashes of iridescent colors when turned and tilted, and light strikes its surface at various angles. This effect is called “play of color,” but is scientifically referred to as opalescence.

Play of color, or opalescence, is caused by tiny sphere formations of silicon which make up the structure of opal. When light is refracted by the spheres, it causes light to be separated into its various spectral colors. The actual colors being emitted are controlled by the size and distance of the spheres to each other.

While opals come in many diverse colors and combinations, precious black opals are the most valuable and in demand because of their rarity and play of color. Precious opals also come in white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, and brown. Reds against black are most rare, while white and greens are the most common.

Any opal that does not exhibit “play of color” is classified as a common opal. Common opals are classified as non-gem quality opals. There are several varieties of common opal and most are opaque. Common opals, sometimes called “potch,” are usually colorless or white, but may also come in gray, brown, yellow, or red.

If you’re looking for opal jewelry but don’t want to pay retail prices, visit Adina’s eBay store where you can rely on the jewelry experts at Adina Jewelers. You’ll find fine a vast selection of beautiful opal and other gemstone jewelry and get a buying experience that’s above your expectations.

Healing Properties of Popular Gemstones

Healing Properties of Popular Gemstones

For centuries, people have believed in the healing qualities of crystals and gemstones; not surprisingly, as they are among the oldest natural objects on earth. Here’s a quick guide on the healing qualities of 10 popular gemstones.

Whether or not you believe in their magical powers, gems are beautiful items with significant meanings. Here’s a quick guide to the healing qualities of 10 popular gemstones, courtesy of eluxemagazine.com.

Where crystals come from

Healing stones, crystals and semi-precious gemstones come from one core source — the Earth. Created from the magma from the Earth’s inner core, these stones have been heated, cooled, and are often amongst the most ancient objects on the planet.

Every stone is made up of tiny crystals which are in constant motion, so they do indeed emit an energy signature or frequency. In addition, their striking colors can influence our moods and emotions, so it makes sense that many people believe in the healing energy of gems.

History of healing

Historically, people have had strong connections to gems for many reasons. Evidence of gemstones used for healing has been found as far back as 4 BC. Ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, and more modern shamans and medicine men have used gemstones for healing in multiple ways — they’ve ground them into powders or elixirs, worn, carried or placed them on the body and in ceremonies or rituals. It’s said that rough gemstones, broken or mined from a rock, are most powerful–some healing therapists believe that these can be placed gently on the body to transmit and focus healing energies.

1. Turquoise: Turquoise can be a very powerful stone for protection. It increases inner calmness and eases depression, fears, exhaustion and anxiety. It is a stone for friendship and love. Turquoise has calming effects when speaking in public. It helps us to express ourselves and aids in creative problem solving. This powerful stone also stimulates our intuition and helps in meditation.

2. Amethyst: Amethyst is a very powerful crystal for calming and stress reduction. It is known to calm and bring clarity to the mind, to relieve stress, sooth sadness, anger and anxiety and balance mood swings. It helps us to focus and stimulates motivation, concentration and memory. Amethyst activates our intuitive and psychic abilities, aids in meditation and is said to attract justice.

3. Blue Topaz: Blue topaz is a strong crystal for healing health problems, and aids digestion, fortifies the nerves, balances emotions and stimulates the metabolism. It is known to combat eating disorders. It is also known to increase the general health around the neck and throat area. Blue topaz releases tension, helping one to relax.

4. Crystal Quartz: Crystal quartz is very powerful for healing, meditation, and spiritual growth. It is harmonizing and balancing, and purifies the spirit, mind, and physical body. It can be utilized to bring light and energy into our spiritual bodies. It enhances mental abilities and can be ‘programmed’ and imprinted with any desired energy or information. Crystal quartz is powerful for protection and amplifies positive energy and thought. Due to its power to open up all chakras, it is a great stone for relaxation and also to be combined with other stones, as it amplifies their powers.

5. Moonstone: Moonstone aids in inner growth, strengthens intuition, and stabilizes emotions. It is known as a stone for new beginnings, success in love and business, and good fortune. It promotes inspiration and protects us, especially those of us who are very sensitive. Moonstone is said to perceive that which IS, making it a very personal stone. It is a great aid for meditation and helping us to understand ourselves. Moonstone also soothes stress and anxiety. This beautiful stone is particularly beneficial for women, especially young women, in helping them connect with their feminine side. Moonstone is also said to have the power of making wishes come true.

6. Onyx: Onyx is an excellent stone for stressful or challenging situations as it gives us strength and support. Its soothing qualities alleviate fear and worries and encourage wise decision-making. Onyx is known to increase happiness, intuition and good fortune. It is known to help us change bad habits and keep emotions under control. Onyx helps us to focus and stay grounded. Onyx is also known to help with skin ailments, infections and inflammations. This stone needs to be cleansed and recharged regularly — wash it in salt water or pass it through incense smoke.

7. Rose Quartz: Widely known as the “love” or “heart” stone, rose quartz encourages unconditional love and opens its wearer to all forms of love: self-love, romantic love, family love, and platonic love. Its heart-opening qualities help soothe the nervous system, decrease stress levels and increase happiness, trust, and harmony. Rose quartz stimulates peace, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, inner peace and tolerance. Furthermore, rose quartz heals and strengthens the physical heart and stimulates the circulatory system, increases fertility and protects against radiation. As an extra bonus, rose quartz is said to reduce wrinkles, and is also known to be a protective stone during pregnancy, protecting from miscarriage.

8. Citrine: Citrine is known as the stone of the mind, stimulating the brain, increasing concentration, strengthening the intellect, and increasing psychic powers. It promotes clarity of thoughts, opens the mind to new thoughts, and brings relief to nightmares. Citrine is believed to invite wealth and prosperity into your life. Due to its qualities that bring abundance, citrine has been called the “Lucky Merchant Stone” and business owners place it into their cash drawer to increase sales. Citrine is also known to be beneficial to the endocrine and digestive system, acting as a cleanser and purifier.

9. Amazonite: Amazonite has an extremely soothing quality that helps calm the brain and the nervous system. It brings balance into our life and gives relief to blockages due to trauma or fear. It stimulates integrity, truth, and honor and is said to balance male and female energies. Amazonite increases confidence and strengthens communication skills, helping us to express ourselves. It is a particularly good stone for writers and artists, looking to increase their creativity and self-expression. It is also a great stone to open our minds and help us see both sides of a problem, hence being a great helper in leadership. Amazonite helps us let go of any greed or selfishness, encouraging patience, compassion, and tolerance.

10. Ruby: Ruby is a symbol of vitality, contentment, energy and zest for life. It is said to encourage passion and self-love. By releasing destructive emotional patterns, it helps us to develop more love for ourselves. Through activating passion and life-force, this gorgeous stone helps us to improve motivation and set goals. Ruby is also known to restore life-force and to aid in cleansing and detoxifying the body, blood and lymph system. It also stimulates the heart and reproductive organs.

Whether gemstones have healing powers or not, if you’re looking for fine gemstone jewelry, look no further than Adina Jeweler’s eBay store. You’ll find a gorgeous range of fine estate, vintage and antique gemstone jewelry at true wholesale prices.

Getting to Know Ametrine

OLearn about ametrine gemstonesne of rarest and most beautiful of the gemstones is ametrine, a bi-color combination of amethyst and citrine quartz. Read some interesting facts about the history and lore of ametrine, courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America.

People have used quartz in jewelry for thousands of years. When quartz displays the colors of amethyst and citrine in a single gem, the material is called ametrine or amethyst-citrine. The contrasting colors give it an intriguing appearance, and because the color zoning effect is natural, no two ametrines will ever be exactly the same.

Fine ametrine shows medium dark to moderately strong orange, and vivid to strong purple or violetish purple. Larger gems, usually those over five carats, tend to show the most intensely saturated hues.

Ametrine is popular among artistic gem cutters and carvers who play with the colors, creating landscapes in the stone. Cutters sometimes fashion ametrines as mixed cuts or brilliant cuts and use internal reflections to mingle the amethyst and citrine colors. Ametrine is also popular in free-form or fantasy cuts. Ametrine is often cut as a rectangular step cut because this style nicely displays the bi-color effect. Dealers look for an attractive half-and-half distribution of each color, with a sharp boundary between the two colors at the center of the fashioned gemstone.

Only one source

Ametrine’s only commercial source is the Anahi mine in Bolivia, a deposit in eastern Bolivia, close to the Brazilian border. Legend has it that a Spanish conquistador discovered the mine’s location in the 1600s and introduced the gem to Europeans when he presented several specimens to his queen. The mine had been given to him as a dowry when he married a native princess named Anahi.

After that, the mine was lost for more than three centuries. Rediscovered in the 1960s, the mine’s ametrine began appearing on the market again during the 1970s. Today the mine, named Anahi for the legendary princess, also produces natural amethyst and citrine.

The Anahi mine area is remote. Travel to and from the mine is limited to a flight in a small airplane or by a combination of roads and boats. Supplies and mine production move by boat. Knowing this, it’s understandable that the mine’s location was lost for centuries, and today ametrine is one of the rarest and most beautiful of all quartz gemstones.

Some people believe that ametrine, like other gems, contains special healing powers. It is said that ametrine is very helpful in treating depression and promoting inner peace and tranquility. Some believe that since it contains the powers of amethyst and citrine in one stone, it is a very powerful money stone as well as an excellent conduit to higher psychic awareness and spiritual enlightenment.

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