The holiday shopping season is upon us once again. Wondering what to get your loved ones? There are the tried-and-true fine jewelry staples, such as diamond studs, a classic pendant, or pearls.
But for those of you looking for something a bit trendier and unique, here are some jewelry gift ideas courtesy of NationalJeweler.com.
Hearts with a twist.
A heart motif is hardly new, but its latest iteration is different from hearts past in that designers are transitioning from sweet, traditional styles to ones that are modern and even a bit edgy. Designers are applying their own signatures to the heart to make them uniquely and recognizably theirs.
Evolution of statement earrings.
A statement earring is a natural next step for the fine jewelry lover who already has her bases covered with studs and hoops. Several designers have been embracing the collarbone duster—think shoulder dusters but ones that hit the collarbone. Although daring, the style is surprisingly wearable and flattering.
The styles currently available range from earthy to classic to bold. Shop for designs accented with opals, gemstones, or pearls for an elegant look, or choose sleek gold renditions for a simple, yet powerful statement.
Enamel on the rise.
The resurgence of enamel in the last five years has exhibited considerable staying power, showing a demand from consumers. More contemporary designers are jumping on the bandwagon, livening up their best-selling styles in new colors or coming up with new looks altogether devoted to the material.
If you’re new to this trend, invest in some classic styles, like sophisticated hoop earrings or an enamel pendant.
Yellow gold coming back?
The phrase, “everything old is new again,” definitely applies to yellow gold. Yellow gold has taken a backseat to white gold and other white metals in recent years, yet this classic metal is making a comeback. Designers are turning to create some truly breathtaking pieces using yellow gold and many welcome the opportunity to design something that has a vintage aesthetic.
While yellow gold is ideally suited to people with warmer skin tones, at the holidays, it adds festivity to any outfit.
Whether you’re looking for vintage gold jewelry for the holidays, something modern, or something classic, make sure you visit our eBay store. You’ll find a wide variety of fine estate, vintage and antique jewelry at true wholesale prices, and a shopping experience beyond compare!
Jewelry has always played a vital role in the history of humankind. In fact, there’s evidence that both Neanderthals and homo sapiens made jewelry. Jewelry was used to identify tribal leaders or members, for religious purposes and for trade with other cultures.
Here are 17 things you may not know about the history of jewelry, courtesy of jewelryshoppingguide.com.
1. The oldest jewelry dates back to ancient times
The oldest known pieces of jewelry date back to about 100,000 years ago. Our early ancestors made jewelry out of bones, stone, sea shells—anything they could find that they considered appealing. These organic pieces from the earth probably served decorative and symbolic purposes.
2. The first diamond …
The very first diamond found was in India back in the 4th century. They quickly became highly valued because of their amazing durability and sparkle. Until the 18th century, people thought that India was the only source of diamonds but then in 1866, a diamond over 21 carats was found in South Africa, which grew to become one of the leading diamond suppliers.
3. Opals and literature
In 18th century, opals were highly valued and one of the most popular gemstones in Europe until Sir Walter Scott wrote a novel called Anne of Geierstein, where the fire of an opal, owned by the protagonist, was quenched when touched by holy water. The lady died soon after. The publication of this book led to huge decrease in the popularity of opals as being an unlucky stone. Even today, opals are associated with bad luck and misfortune.
4. The first engagement ring
We’re so used to the idea of engagement rings in the West that it seems strange to think of a time when this tradition wasn’t around. Well it wasn’t, until romantic Maximilian of Austria gave his beloved Mary of Burgundy a ring as a promise of the impending nuptials back in 1477. This caught on and today engagement rings are a multi-billion-dollar industry.
5. Engagement ring go-to
Since the 20th century, diamonds have grown to become the most popular gemstone. Over 80% of couples choose a diamond engagement ring today, compared to just 10% in 1939! All the other gemstones combined only come to about 13% of the total engagement ring output.
6. Roach jewelry — for real
It’s true that sometimes we use parts of animals (shell, bone, and coral — yes, corals are in fact animals) to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. But did you know that there’s such a thing as live insect jewelry? What’s more, this is a tradition that’s existed in certain cultures for centuries! Live insect jewelry is when live insects, such as beetles and cockroaches are accented with rhinestones and other elements, and are worn as fashion accessories attached to your clothes. Each one is fixed with a chain and pin that serves as a leash, so that the bedazzled bug can walk around your shirt.
7. Pearls are almost always cultured
In the early 20th century, the process of culturing pearls began on a commercial basis, making it possible to farm pearls. This made pearls readily accessible to everyone. Even today, almost all pearls you find on the market are cultured pearls. Unlike natural pearls formed organically in nature, cultured pearls are cultivated by man.
8. Pearls: nature’s living gemstone
Pearls are the only gemstone that come from a living organisms, known as mollusks. While most gemstones come from minerals, which are inorganic materials, pearls belong to a very select group of gemstones that come from organic sources. Organic gemstones are created by or formed from living organisms.
9. Amber is tree sap
Did you know that amber is made from the fossilized resin of trees over millions of years, commonly pine? Genuine amber is warm to the touch with a faint smell of pine.
10. Red sapphires are rubies
Sapphires come in every color under the sun, except red. That’s because red sapphires are known as rubies. Rubies and sapphires are the same mineral (corundum), but differ in color. They get their respective colors from trace elements present during crystal growth. Ruby gets its red from chromium, and sapphire from titanium and iron.
11. Only two gems formed in the earth’s mantle
There are several hundred types of gemstones out there, but only two are formed in the earth’s mantle. These are diamonds and peridot. Although they’re formed deep within the mantle, these gemstones are mined in the crust. That’s where all other gemstones are mined too.
12. Platinum is rare
Platinum is much rarer than all other precious metals, with the annual output being 15 times less than that of gold and 100 times less than that of silver. In fact, it’s said that all the platinum every mined would fit in an average American living room.
13. The largest diamond
The largest diamond ever found is known as the Star of David or Cullinan I. It weighs a massive 530 carats (in its uncut state, it weighed an astonishing 3016.75-carats) and is the largest colorless cut diamond in the world. Where is it, you ask? The Cullinan was presented to King Edward VII and is now part of the Crown Jewels of the UK.
14. The most expensive engagement ring
The honor of being given the world’s most expensive engagement ring falls to Mariah Carey. The ring, given to Carey by James Packer, cost a stunning $10 million! On a side note, the couple ended their engagement, proving that the price of the ring isn’t a guarantee for the success of the relationship.
15. The most recognizable piece of jewelry
Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring is often cited as being the most recognizable piece of jewelry of the 20th century. The iconic blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds is now worn by Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
16. Replicating diamonds
In the 1950s, scientists were able to successfully grow diamonds in labs, providing an eco-friendly, inexpensive and quick alternative to mined diamonds. Today, the synthetic diamond market is burgeoning and poses a threat to natural diamonds.
17. The rebirth of vintage
Jewelry styles tend to cycle in and out of fashion. The beautiful designs from the Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods are in huge demand today and highly popular especially for engagement rings. This goes to show that a well-designed piece of jewelry is a classic and will never go out of style.
If you’re in the market for vintage or antique jewelry, visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s eBay store. You’ll find exquisite fine antique, vintage and estate jewelry at true wholesale prices, and a buying experience beyond your expectations!
Fall is fast approaching, so straight from the runways of Paris, Rome and New York, here’s a glimpse of the top 18 jewelry and accessory looks that will be on trend this fall and through the winter, courtesy of glowsly.
A stand-out look on the runways were extra-long earrings. There seems to be a competition among designers for who could make the longest pair. While most earrings weren’t extreme, the big exceptions were a few shoulder-dusting mock feather earrings. These unique creations were only worn on one ear, and were constructed of a long silver length, at the end of which a large feather-like pendant was made out of what appeared to be plastic.
Extra-long earrings can be fun, but a pair of delicate dangle earrings might be more practical. Long (but not overly so) earrings made of shimmery strings or drops of metal are timelessly gorgeous and are able to work with both daytime looks and evening wear.
The fiercest of the earring-related fall 2019 jewelry trends is probably the ear armor. This refers to earrings or cuffs that cover the bulk of the ear helix, looking like an especially glamorous armor.
Gold, wing-shaped earrings were tilted up, with a small cuff to wrap around the ears at Lanvin, giving us a semi-armor for the lobe and bottom half of the ear. The most extreme take on ear armor was presented at Gucci, where gold pieces molded to look like ears were fit over the ears of the models.
Symmetry was not necessary or recommended. Wearing only one earring was one of the ways to eschew symmetry in the fall/winter 2019-2020 jewelry trends. Wearing one earring is also a great way of rocking something beautiful and blingy in a non-gendered way, and if we may add, it’ll make you feel a little like a pirate too.
Tassels are a fun way of adding a slightly bohemian vibe to any look, especially when they decorate the head with one on each side in the form of earrings. We saw tasseled jewelry show up on runways with all kinds of different styles, showing that they can actually be quite versatile.
Dripping with rhinestones
Is there anything more glamorous than a cascade of rhinestones along the wrist, décolletage, or side of the neck? Rhinestone-studded jewelry pieces made for some of the most luxurious and striking fall 2019 runway accessories.
The fall/winter 2019 jewelry trends have, by and large, shifted away from the hippie stylings of the previous season, even if designers are embracing a much more eco-conscious mentality.
Models wore a different earring on each ear as a great way of cementing the asymmetrical fall 2019 jewelry trends, but it is also a great way of showcasing as much jewelry as possible, and to tell a story with a pair of earrings.
It’s always exciting to see what kind of new takes on hoop earrings we will see every season. For this year’s fall/winter jewelry trends, hoop earrings were anything but simple and delicate. Designs ranged from latch back earrings with multiple hoops to hoop earrings decorated with a golden fringe.
Studs, metal, and black leather are a few of the elements you can expect out of the statement-making chokers that cropped up in the fall runways. Unsurprisingly, these chokers showed up on runways that already had a punk or grunge vibe, where they perfectly completed an edgy ensemble.
While all the dark and spiky chokers were quite fierce, there was also room in for bejeweled chokers to fit the aesthetic of those who are less dark or edgy.
The fall/winter 2019 jewelry trends saw oversized, nearly overwhelming pieces studded with colorful gems. Colorful gemstones might feel more like costume jewelry, but if all the world is a stage, then why not rock them?
Wild multi-chain necklaces
We saw all manner of chains show up as part of the latest accessory trends, but one of our favorites was the way that different stylists layered different kinds of chains together to create a chunky look that was a little wild.
Big, shiny, and just a little retro, brooches were one of the most fun of the fall 2019 jewelry trends. Some think brooches are a somewhat dated accessory, but all that is old becomes new again, and brooches do feel like they fit in with the cozy, retro aesthetic that some designers reveled in this season.
Big luxury chain links
As much as we liked the industrial chains of the fall 2019 jewelry trends, we also appreciated the elegance that large, more ornamental chain links could have. Jewelry designers crafted necklaces and earrings out of oversized chain links in precious metals, with flowy designs that were glamorous rather than grunge.
Pearls are as delicate and feminine as can be, and the copious use of them stood out as one of the more traditional jewelry trends. Unsurprisingly, pearls were most popular in the big Parisian fashion houses.
Opulent matching sets
It’s been a while since anyone really thought about matching their necklace to their earrings beyond, maybe, trying to match gold with gold and silver with silver. Beyond that, it’s been everything goes. However, for fall 2019, matching sets are officially back.
We think chunky bracelets are the most interesting of the bracelet-related fall/winter 2019-2020 jewelry trends. They’re as ostentatious as the other jewelry pieces we saw on the runways, but they’re less high glam and a bit more accessible, since they are made of resin or acetate rather than expensive metals and gems.
If it’s time to start revamping your fall jewelry fashion trends, visit us on our eBay store. You’ll find amazing fine estate, vintage and antique jewelry at true wholesale prices!
Do you own expensive jewelry? Or something priceless with great sentimental value? You may want to consider the benefits of insuring your prized pieces.
Here’s why, courtesy of Laura Gilbert and theknot.com.
While putting an insurance policy on your beloved’s engagement ring doesn’t sound very romantic, should the ring get lost or stolen, you’ll be the hero when you can replace it quickly thanks to an insurance check that covers what you paid for it.
Understanding personal property insurance
While most renters and homeowners’ policies cover items inside the home, they only do so up to a certain dollar value. Expensive or sentimental items, like engagement rings, art and even electronics, are guaranteed through scheduled personal property coverage—an insurance policy extension that you purchase to cover specific items.
Another option is to insure your ring through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance, which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowners policy. These kinds of policies can vary widely company by company (usually a jeweler will offer a policy that’s underwritten by a smaller company), so ask specific questions about the level of coverage provided.
Who needs it most?
Any person or couple with jewelry that’s expensive and/or has sentimental value should get extra insurance for the piece or pieces. Whether your wedding and engagement rings are worth $500 or $50,000, an insurance policy is a way of honoring not just their financial value but what they represent to you. The sentiment behind your jewelry might be irreplaceable, but the rings themselves can be replaced—if they’re insured—in the event that something happens to them.
How it works
When you purchase the policy, be sure to take pictures of the ring or piece and upload it to your policy page on the insurance company’s website for reference.
Should the ring or piece get lost or stolen, you’ll need to provide your receipts, as well as an appraisal, which costs a small fee. You can get an appraisal from a certified gemologist at a jeweler.
In the case that the ring gets damaged, take pictures of the damaged ring and upload it to the insurance site. Then, when it is repaired, submit the receipt to the insurance company for reimbursement.
When you shop for a “ring rider” policy, make sure to read the fine print. A good policy will cover every potential ring-threatening situation, from theft and damage to accidentally dropping it in the garbage disposal.
If you move, make sure your “ring rider” follows you—some couples have the ring insured at the bride’s address before the wedding, but forget to add it to their new home’s policy when they move in together.
Questions to ask before choosing a policy
Is the ring covered if you lose it accidentally—or only if it’s stolen?
How will the company replace the ring? With a check? Will they require you to purchase a replacement through a specified jeweler?
What if it’s a vintage ring or other unique piece? How will the quality and size of your diamond—and that of a replacement if needed—be documented?
Is the ring insured to full cost or a fraction of it?
How will you need to prove the ring vanished if you make a claim?
Are there any circumstances of loss or damage that aren’t coverd?
Average cost of a policy
The average yearly cost to insure your ring ranges between $1 to $2 for every $100 that it would cost to replace. This means that if your ring would cost $9,000 to replace, you might expect to pay between $90 and $180 per year to insure it—or slightly more in areas where the risk of theft is higher.
If you’re in the market for an engagement ring or another fine jewelry piece, visit Adina by Empire Jewelers. You’ll find certified fine diamonds and jewelry at true wholesale prices and a professional buying experience beyond your expectations.
Whether the dad or father figure in your life is a stylish trendsetter or just an average joe who likes to keep his look simple, here are some jewelry gift ideas for Father’s Day, June 16, courtesy of Overstock.com.
Update on men’s jewelry
Like other areas of fashion, men’s jewelry is undergoing an evolution. The era of the one-size-fits-all ring or watch is in the past. Style and variety are the call of the day—bold rings, chunky bracelets, and pendant necklaces aren’t just for ladies, anymore.
Modern men are decked out with unpolished metals, rugged leather, and wooden beads. Whatever your dad’s style, here are some gift ideas that range from cool to conservative.
Hey man, nice beads
No longer exclusive to the fashion world of rock stars, punks, and hippies, beaded jewelry is hitting the streets with a range of styles. From rockers to stock brokers, beaded bracelets and necklaces offer effortless styling that can coordinate with looks from every lifestyle. Give casual dressers earthy wood or colorful beads to lend a laidback air to their style. Opt for black and greyscale beads to complement business attire.
Leather and metal
Whether wound around the wrist or suspended from the neck, a leather cord is an earthy material that exudes masculinity. Leather cord jewelry possesses casual sophistication and effortless styling. Pair leather bands with metal details to create a refined look that complements both casual and business wear.
Long, cool necklaces
Men’s necklaces featuring 24- to 30-inch chains or cords weighed down with unique, yet subtle pendants, are a trendy finish to casual wardrobes. If you’re going for the gold look, stick with chains that’re unadorned to keep the look intriguing yet understated. A night on the town calls for a simple and sleek heavy chain of either yellow gold or silver.
Make it personal
Customize the piece by choosing to have a special message or date engraved. We offer many jewelry pieces and watches that can be taken to a reputable jeweler to be personalized.
Paracord safety bracelets
For the adventurous man who thrives on preparation, a paracord bracelet offers both style and function. Woven with durable nylon rope that can unravel to a length of 3 to 20 feet, depending on the bracelet, the unraveled cord can be used to perform a variety of useful and potentially lifesaving tasks out in the wild. It can be used as a survival bow, a tourniquet for a bleeding injury, a makeshift fishing line, or for tying down a temporary shelter.
Authentic luxury watches
Luxury watches are the quintessential accessories in any well-dressed man’s wardrobe. Not only do they boast classic appeal, but luxury watches complement nearly every look. If you’re searching for an extra special gift for the lucky gent on your gift list, consider a pre-owned or vintage-style Rolex, or another luxury brand to surprise him with for Father’s Day.
If your father figure has a bad boy or biker vibe, then a skull ring is his jewelry match. Sturdy metals like stainless steel or sterling silver give these bold rings a solid, heavy feel while keeping them stylish. Look for a skull ring that makes a statement and complements your dad’s personality. From simple metal to crystal studded, a skull ring is just the thing to add a little edge to his look.
Fine watch designers are embracing the smartwatch trend. These watches have the same sophisticated look of fine timepieces, but with smartwatch capabilities. With Bluetooth connectivity and other features, like step tracking, they make an ideal gift for tech whizzes and style lovers alike.
Raw, brushed, and unpolished metals are setting the trend for men’s jewelry. Look for strong metals like titanium, stainless steel, and tungsten that feature unburnished finishes. This reflects masculine qualities that appeal to both the casual and business wardrobe. Look for rings, bracelet clasps, and necklaces with unpolished metal details to keep him on trend.
If you’re looking for a unique or unusual gift for Father’s Day, visit Adina by Empire Jewelers’ eBay Store, where you’ll find fine estate watches and men’s jewelry at true wholesale prices.
A bride’s gown is clearly the most important piece when it comes
to her wedding day style. However, the jewelry and accessories are close
runners-up, because they tie her dream ensemble together. While the perfect
pair of shoes is a must, jewelry choices are also of utmost importance
(especially the wedding bands, since they will be worn daily).
With all the
choices available, here’s a look at the jewelry trends dominating the runways
this spring, courtesy of Amanda Hennigan at premierbride.com.
Colored stones making a comeback
According to Premier Bride, colored stones are increasing in
popularity as a choice for engagement rings, including rubies, sapphires,
emeralds or colored diamonds. They’re becoming increasingly popular in wedding
bands as well, being used by brides as a way to bring eye-catching color to
their ring set.
Partners are also
choosing to experiment with stackable rings as an alternative to the
traditional wedding ring set. These rings can bring color, texture, and even
mixed metals to the set. This trend is a great way to play with different looks
and get a feel for what works best with your existing rings.
Drop statement earrings
What adorns the ears plays a big part in wedding jewelry.
Hairstyles can either hide or accentuate earrings, but for brides with pierced
ears, they often are used to tie together the entire ensemble.
Trending for 2019
are drop statement earrings, encrusted with diamonds and other stones. This
style complements traditional, sleek partial or full updos, and is perfect for
the bride looking to add a dramatic accent to her bridal attire.
Statement necklace pieces
Depending on the neckline of the gown, necklaces can be statement
pieces or understated additions to the overall look. With this year’s trend of
statement earrings, necklaces are taking a back seat, encouraging simple and
delicate, yet elegant pieces.
Layered necklaces create a similar effect to stacked rings. They
add color and texture, while accenting the bride’s décolletage. Designers are
even incorporating that mixed metal trend that we’re seeing, while keeping the
Choker necklaces, which have been making a comeback for the last
few years, are being seen with an addition of a long end that’ll work with most
necklines on bridal gowns.
Whether you want to style your wedding look with this spring’s bridal jewelry trends, or have your own unique style, shop for your wedding jewelry at Adina By Empire’s eBay store. With a wide variety estate, vintage and antique jewelry, plus a huge assortment of wedding bands and engagement rings, you’ll find perfect wedding jewelry at true wholesale prices and a shopping experience beyond compare.
Selecting an engagement ring for your future spouse can be one of the most daunting tasks a romantic can undertake. You’ve found the “one” to be your life partner and want to find the “perfect” ring he or she will love and want to show off to friends and family.
There are many choices, but fear not, we’ve put together six steps to finding the perfect engagement ring for your future spouse, courtesy of the GIA.
Make it a surprise. While the trend of couples shopping together for an engagement ring is on the rise, we suggest you try to figure out what he or she will like on your own. Yes, it will take some detective work, but if you get it right, the reward will pay dividends. There are few opportunities for a really big surprise in life—let your engagement ring be one of them.
Decide on and stick to your budget. Like any major purchase, decide on what you can comfortably afford, and stick to it. Then do your due diligence so you can save money. Spending more than you have to won’t make the ring any nicer than it is. In fact, getting a good deal may endear you even more to your future spouse. Rather than expensive retail jewelry stores in malls (remember, you’re paying higher mark ups), consider visiting a high-end pawn shop like Empire Jewelers for beautiful and unique pieces at a fraction of the cost.
Pay attention to what they wear. You could ask one of their close friends for advice on the kind of ring he or she would like, but you run the risk of them talking and ruining the surprise. We suggest putting on your detective hat and paying attention to what your SO is wearing from day to day.Are the rings and other pieces classic and traditional or funky and modern? Are they full of bling or more subdued? If you buy something similar to what he or she already likes, you’ll probably choose the right one.
Know their ring size. This is an important one, because you’ll want to know the ring will fit when you present it. If he or she wears rings, borrow one they already own. Trace the inner circle on a piece of paper, or press the ring into a bar of soap for an impression. You can also slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to identify his or her approximate ring size.
Know what diamond shape suits him or her. After determining the style and ring size, you’ll need to pick a design. As your future spouse will be wearing this ring every day during his or her engagement and into your married life, it really needs to fit their personality. To help you decide, here are some popular engagement ring designs to consider for him or her:
Engagement ring designs for women:
Solitaire – Featuring a single stone, this is the most popular choice in engagement rings. Solitaires can be set with four prongs or six prongs. A four-prong-setting shows more of the diamond, but a six-prong setting is often more secure.
Side stones – Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular side-stone settings include ”channel,” which protects stones by keeping them flush, and ”bar channel” which allows more light to enter the sides tones.
Three Stone – One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones.
Pavé (pah-vey) – The main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to add sparkle and the illusion of greater size.
Engagement ring designs for men:
In addition to traditional gold and platinum, men’s engagement and wedding rings come in an array of unique, modern metals. Select from titanium, zirconium, tungsten carbide, and steel. Even natural materials, such as wood are becoming increasingly popular. Men may also choose a ring that’s accented with stones such as black diamonds for added brilliance and intrigue. Plain bands featuring textural elements such as a woven or hammered design are also quite popular.
6. Create an experience. Once you’ve made the effort and decided on the ring you think your loved one will truly cherish, create a proposal experience that’s unique to your relationship. Whether together you enjoy sports, horseback riding, taking in shows or have a favorite romantic hiking spot, create one of the fondest experiences you can and make a memory to last your lifetime together.
If you’re looking for a fine diamond engagement ring, make sure to visit Empire’s eBay store for an incredible selection of hundreds of high-quality new and estate diamond rings at up to 70 percent off what you would pay at retail.
Happy birthday March babies! Your official birthstone is not only beautiful, it’s full of history and mythology. Here are some interesting facts about your birthstone, the aquamarine.
In addition to being the birthstone for March and the zodiac sign of Pisces, aquamarine is also the gemstone used to celebrate a 19th wedding anniversary.
The aquamarine is a transparent pale blue variety of beryl (beryllium aluminum silicate) — the same mineral family that emeralds belong to.
Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.
The word aquamarine is derived from the Latin phrase “aqua marinus,” meaning “water of the sea” because they are said to resemble the beautiful blue-green color of ocean water.
Aquamarines were said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Sailors were known to wear aquamarine talismans engraved with the likeness of Neptune, as protection against dangers at sea.
March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages.
Aquamarines come in a wide range of shades and colors, from pale pastel to sky blue and blue-green to sea-green. The rarest and most valuable aquamarines are those with a deep blue color.
The best gems combine high clarity with transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues.
The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron that works its way inside the crystal. Most commercially-sold aquamarines are heat-treated to produce a more desirable blue-green color.
Aquamarines have a hexagonal-shaped crystal system. They are pleochroic in nature, meaning they can show three colors, depending on the angle they’re viewed.
Like many gems, aquamarines are thought by some to have metaphysical powers, including the ability to clear and cleanse, refresh and uplift. Some say they also promote courage, calm, compassion, tolerance, love, communication, self-expression, reasoning, intellect and connection to one’s higher self.
Aquamarines are also said to aid in the healing of sore throats and swollen glands, and in calming nerves, improving vision, and cooling sunburns and fevers.
The ancient Romans believed that Neptune, the god of the sea, obtained aquamarines from the jewel boxes of the Sirens. Legend has it that Neptune gave aquamarines as a gift to the mermaids.
Because of their bond with the sea, aquamarine is the gemstone of several sea goddesses, including Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Aphrodite was also widely worshipped as a goddess of the sea and of seafaring.
Aquamarines are mined in exotic locations including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, but most modern aquamarines come from Brazil.
One of the largest aquamarines ever mined weighed 110.5 kg. It was found in 1910 in Marambaia/Minas Gerais, Brazil.
In the United States, the only location where you can mine for aquamarines is Mount Antero in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The elusive gem is said to be found at altitudes of 14,000 feet or more.
If you’re looking for an aquamarine for a March birthday gift, or any other fine birthstone gift, visit Empire’s eBay store for wholesale prices and an above-your-expectations buying experience.
Amethyst, the birthstone for Pisces and the month of February, is said to have calming qualities
• In addition to being the official birthstone for February, amethyst is also the gemstone for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
• Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, occurring naturally as crystals within rocks.
• Amethyst is the most valued member of the quartz family, considered a semiprecious gem for its violet color.
• A quartz must be purple to be amethyst, but can range in shade from light lilac to deep purple.
• Heating amethyst removes the color or changes it to the yellow of citrine. Today, most citrine is made in this manner.
• The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober.
• Throughout history, amethyst has been used to protect against drunkenness and to help overcome addiction. Today, amethyst is considered to be a symbol of calm and tranquility, and a stabilizing force for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors.
• The astrologer Camillo Leonardi wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
• A gift of amethyst is a symbol of protection, said to strengthen the bonds of love and overcome difficulty.
• Amethyst was associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. In ancient Greece, people believed wine served in amethyst goblets would protect against drunkenness.
• According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was a young virgin who angered the Greek god, Dionysus, after he became drunk from red wine. When Amethyst called the goddess Diana for help, Diana turned Amethyst into a white quartz. When Dionysus felt remorse, he cried, dripping his tears into his goblet of red wine. When the goblet overturned, the red wine spilled on the white quartz, coloring it purple—the color of amethyst.
• Amethysts were once considered more valuable than diamonds, until deposits were found, increasing the quantity and lowering the value.
• Amethyst deposits have been found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and in the United States. Today, most amethyst comes from Brazil and Uruguay.
• Amethyst is the official state gemstone of South Carolina, after world-class amethysts were found at the Ellis-Jones Mine near Due West, SC on June 24, 1969. The South Carolina amethysts are presently on display at the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
• In August 2011, the world’s largest amethyst, called the “Empress of Uruguay,” was vandalized by a tourist while the 2.5-ton geode was on display in Queensland, Australia.
• Known as “the royal beauty,” amethyst has been associated with royalty throughout the ages, in part because of its royal purple color. A large amethyst is among the closely-guarded gemstones in the British Crown Jewels, and it is said that amethyst was a favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia.
• Amethyst also has much religious history and symbolism. In the Bible, it was one of the 12 stones that adorned the high priest Aaron’s breastplate in Exodus 39. As a symbol of spirituality and piety, amethyst has also been used to decorate churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by religious clergy.