September’s birthstone, the sapphire, has a rich history.
Blue sapphires have been associated with royalty for centuries. One of the most recognizable pieces is the sapphire and diamond engagement ring given to the late Princess Diana by Prince Charles, now famously passed down a generation to Kate Middleton by Prince William.
Test your knowledge of sapphires, and learn some interesting facts about September’s royal birthstone.
In addition to being the birthstone for September, what number wedding anniversary do sapphires celebrate?
Blue sapphire is a variety of the mineral called corundum. What other gemstone comes from corundum?
The blue sapphire is derived from the Greek word, sappheiros. What does the word mean?
Sapphires come in many colors. What is the most valuable and in-demand color?
The Star of India is the world’s largest gem-quality blue star sapphire, and is around two billion years old. In what famous museum is it displayed?
On the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphires rate a 9.0. What gem is harder?
What did the ancient Greeks believe sapphires were a symbol of?
The ancient Persians believed the earth was supported by a giant sapphire and that it gave what its blue hue?
According to Jewish midrash, Moses’ sapphire tablets were carved from where?
The late Diana, Princess of Wales, famously chose a blue sapphire and diamond ring for her engagement to Prince Charles. Replicas of the ring became so popular with people, that it was given what nickname?
September Birthstone Quiz Answers:
Sapphires celebrate the 45th wedding anniversary.
Rubies also come from the mineral corundum.
The Greek word sappheiros meaning blue stone.
Blue sapphires are the most expensive and desirable of all sapphire colors.
The Star of India is on exhibit in the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Diamonds are the only gem to rank a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
The ancient Greeks believed sapphires were a symbol of wisdom and purity.
The ancient Persians believed a giant sapphire gave the sky its blue hue.
According to Jewish midrash, Moses’ sapphire tablets were carved from the throne of God, making them the most precious gemstone.
Princess Diana’s ring became so popular with the public that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”
For many years, people born in August were lucky to have two official birthstones— the peridot and the sardonyx. But in 2016, they got triple lucky with the GIA’s addition of spinel to the list of August birthstones!
Learn more about the triple gemstones of August, courtesy of GIA.org:
The Ancient Sardonyx:
The original birthstone of August, the sardonyx, dates back more than 4,000 years.
Sardonyx is a combination of two types of cryptocrystalline quartz (chalcedony): sard and onyx. Bands of brownish red to brown to dark orange sard alternate with typically white or black layers of onyx.
The word ‘sardonyx’ is derived from ‘sard,’ meaning ‘reddish-brown,’ and ‘onyx,’ meaning ‘veined gem.’
Roman seals and signet rings were made from sardonyx, since hot wax won’t stick to it.
Roman soldiers wore their sardonyx rings with carved images of Mars in them for protection in battle.
For thousands of years, sardonyx was a popular material for carving cameos and intaglios.
During the Renaissance, sardonyx was often worn by public speakers to make them more visible to the audience.
Today, this August birthstone is believed to bring stability to marriage and partnerships and represents courage, happiness and clear communication.
India is known for producing sardonyx with good contrast between the different colored layers. Sardonyx is also found in Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, the US and other countries.
The Popular Peridot:
Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine, and ranges in color from yellow-green to lime-green.
Peridot is formed in one of two ways, magma deep in the earth’s mantle brought to the surface by volcanic or tectonic activity, or via pallasite (nickel-iron and olivine) meteorites that have landed on earth.
The word ‘peridot’ is derived from the Greek word ‘peridona,’ which means ‘to give richness.’
Peridot is also known as ‘chrysolite,’ derived from the Greek ‘gold stone’ and ‘olivine.’
Peridot is the stone given to celebrate a 16th wedding anniversary.
Peridot is an ancient gem which can be found in Egyptian jewelry from the early 2nd millennium BC. Today, it’s the national gem of Egypt, where it’s referred to as the “gem of the sun.”
The ancient Romans called peridot “the evening emerald” because of its deep green color when reflected by lamplight.
The Egyptian island of Zabargad (the name now given to Topazios) is the oldest recorded source of this August birthstone. Mining may have begun around 340–279 BCE.
Other sources of peridot include China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam and the United States, including Peridot Beach, Hawaii, where the sands shimmer a luminous green, and the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, where some Apache families have worked the mines for decades.
The New Addition, Spinel:
The name ‘spinel’ comes from the Latin word ‘spina,’ which means ‘thorn,’ in reference to the shape of spinel crystals.
This August birthstone comes in a wealth of colors: intense red, vibrant pink, orange, purple, violet, blue and bluish-green.
For centuries, spinel was mistaken for other gemstones. Some of history’s most famous “rubies” have actually turned out to be red spinel, including the approximately 170 ct “Black Prince’s Ruby,” which was discovered to be spinel in the 18th century based on the chemical differences between the two gemstones. It’s now set in the Imperial State Crown and can be seen in the Tower of London.
Major sources of spinel include Tajikistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania and Pakistan. Some regions are known for producing amazing colored spinel, like hot pink and red from Myanmar and Sri Lanka’s blue, pink and purple spinel.
If you’re looking to buy as a birthday gift for a loved one born in August, or some gemstone jewelry for yourself, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a beautiful collection of estate and vintage jewelry, available at true wholesale prices. Shop online today and enjoy our vast selection of fine estate and vintage jewelry, plus watches, diamonds, gold, sterling silver, coins and more. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
This month we pay tribute to the wildly romantic and luxurious Ruby, the birthstone of July. You’re all familiar with one of the most iconic movie costume pieces of all time — the Ruby slippers. Here we present some fun facts for those lucky enough to have the Ruby as their birthstone, and for those that just love rubies:
Ruby is the birthstone for July, as well as the astrological sign of Capricorn.
Ruby is the red gem form of the mineral corundum, which has an absolute hardness of 400 (compared to diamonds which have an absolute hardness of 1600).
Trace amounts of the element chromium is what gives rubies their red appearance.
Blue corundum gems are called sapphires.
Rubies in shades of pink are simply referred to as pink rubies.
The finest rubies in the world were once found in Burma in South and Southeast Asia. Today, Burma is known as Myanmar.
The color of the pure red rubies from the mines of Mogok were sometimes referred to as “pigeon’s blood.”
The most expensive ruby ever sold was an 8.62 carat pigeon’s blood cushion-cut ruby set in an 18-karat gold rectangular mount. It sold at auction at Christie’s in 2006 for a reported $3.6 million.
In ancient times, rubies were thought to give its wearer good health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.
Flawless top quality rubies are more valuable and rare than top quality colorless diamonds.
The word red is derived from the Latin word, ruber.
Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their color and strength; this is standard practice and accepted by the American Gem Trade Association and Israel-Diamonds.
At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy she can return home to Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby slippers together three times and repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”
If you’re looking to buy rubies, either as a birthday gift for a loved one born in July, or just because you love the lovely red gemstone of the month, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a beautiful collection of estate and vintage jewelry, available at true wholesale prices. Shop online today and enjoy our vast selection of fine ruby estate and vintage jewelry, plus watches, diamonds, gold, sterling silver, coins and more. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Posted by admin on July 1, 2020 at 2:33 pm under Latest News, Ruby. Comments Off on July’s Romantic Rubies: Fun Facts and Lore.
What do Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Penelope Cruz, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Simpson, Olivia Wilde, and Victoria Beckham all have in common? Birthstone engagement rings!
Indeed, the selection of birthstones as the marquee stone in engagement rings is becoming increasingly popular—threatening to usurp diamonds as the crown jewel in modern engagement rings.
Here’s what to know, courtesy of whattowear.com.
Bespoke with birthstones
Birthstones – the gemstones that represent a person’s month of birth – have long been popular. But sales are currently rising as more and more shoppers seek to personalize their purchases, especially with engagement rings.
There has been particularly high demand for birthstone engagement rings, which Etsy recently described as a “breakout wedding trend.” “For generations, the diamond has been the ultimate stone for proposing, but today’s bride wants to express her personal style and choose a ring that reflects her personality,” Dayna Isom Johnson, an Etsy spokeswoman said.
L.A.-based jewelry designer Jennie Kwon explained why the trend is taking off: “We are at a time where people are more and more interested in creating bespoke things—pieces that are made just for them and feel personal because of it,” she said. “The trend of birthstone engagement rings falls in line with this.”
If you’re interested in the trend, Kwon has some expert advice to consider: “The only thing we’d say is to be careful about how your birthstone is set if you’re planning on wearing it daily as many women do,” she said. “For instance, for our softer-stoned girls whose birthstones are emeralds, opals, pearls, or the like, we would suggest having them set in a way where the stone is protected, such as a bezel setting.”
Background on birthstones
The connection between gemstones and the zodiac can be traced to the Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus. He described in the first century AD in his writings, Antiquities of the Jews, the bejeweled breastplate worn by Aaron, the first high priest of the Israelites, in the Book of Exodus. The breastplate was adorned with 12 stones, each one engraved with the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Reflecting on the significance of the number 12, Josephus suggested that the stones could represent the 12 signs of the zodiac.
The stones subsequently became associated with the 12 months of the year and were purported to have healing properties and bring good luck. Some affluent individuals might well have owned all 12 and carried with them each day the one that corresponded with the current calendar month.
It was only in 1912 that a standardized list was drawn up detailing exactly which stone was connected with which month. This was produced by the United States’ National Association of Jewelers – possibly in an effort to drive up demand for the jewels that made the cut.
In 1937, the UK’s National Association of Goldsmiths produced its own official list – this is the one most retailers here tend to stick to today, although there have been some recent additions.
In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) introduced tanzanite as an alternative to turquoise for December, to acknowledge its popularity. And the Jewelers of America (JA) trade association approved. “JA sees the addition of tanzanite for December as a way to build business,” it said at the time. “Any step that helps retailers sell more jewelry is a good one.”
The most coveted gemstones are diamonds (April), emeralds (May), rubies (July) and sapphires (September) – jewelers refer to them as “the Big Four,” but relatively few people might be familiar with bloodstone (March) and peridot (August).
In 2016 the JA and AGTA jointly announced the introduction of a new birthstone for August to sit alongside peridot on the US standardized list: spinel.
The stone comes in a variety of hues but red is the most popular color. For centuries, spinel was routinely mistaken for ruby – the Black Prince’s Ruby, which sits at the front of the Imperial State Crown worn by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament, is in fact, a red spinel.
Although the gem has not been introduced to the UK birthstone list, it’ll almost certainly come to enjoy greater popularity over there too.
Alt versions of birthstones
Another growing trend among consumers is to opt for alternative versions of the gemstones that correspond with their birth date. The shade people typically ascribe to garnets (January) is dark red, but the stones come in an array of colors – black, pink, green, purple – red is just much more abundant. Lily Faber, a gemologist, likens spessartine garnets, which are orange, to “beautiful little sweets.”
One of the most frequently overlooked birthstones is opal (October). There’s a long-standing belief that opal is unlucky, and only people whose birthdays fall in October can get away with wearing it. Faber is particularly enamored by the stone though, and is keen to dispel this myth.
Opals are also quite soft and are not really suitable for everyday wear, unlike very hard stones such as diamond. It’s possible that the bad luck attributed to the stones is simply down to their fragile nature – for example, they can chip easily when worn in a ring. Diamonds, by contrast, especially colorless ones, have historically been considered good luck.
What’s your birthstone?
March: bloodstone, aquamarine (alternative)
April: diamond, rock crystal (alt)
May: emerald, chrysoprase (alt)
June: pearl, moonstone (alt)
July: ruby, cornelian (alt)
August: peridot, sardonyx (alt)
September: sapphire, lapis lazuli (alt)
November: yellow topaz, citrine (alt)
December: turquoise, tanzanite (alt)
Whether you’re looking for a unique engagement ring with a specific birthstone for your bride-to-be or a traditional fine diamond ring, visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s extensive eBay store. With a 100% customer satisfaction rating and prices way below retail, you’ll have a buying experience beyond compare!
Wondering what to get your significant other for Valentine’s
Day? Here are 10 jewelry gift ideas courtesy of Overstock.com.
1. Heart-Shaped Rings
While your partner may appreciate rings of all shapes and sizes, a heart-shaped ring is the ideal choice to celebrate the holiday of love. Sizing and style are both important, so determine her ring size and find a design that reflects her personal style. Choices abound — from simple sterling silver heart rings to elegant diamond and gemstone rings. Choose one you know she’ll love wearing for years to come.
2. Heart Necklaces
Similar to heart-shaped rings,
heart necklaces styles vary by metal, stone, and setting, and prices range from
affordable to high-end. Select from different lengths such as choker,
mid-length princess, and extra-long opera. For a sentimental touch, choose a
necklace accented with gemstones from the month you first met, got engaged or
3. Dangle Earrings
A beautiful pair of dangle earrings
can transition from day to night, making them an ideal gift that can be worn on
numerous occasions. If your Valentine prefers subtle jewelry styles, find a
pair that’s shorter in length and choose a solid metal such as sterling silver
or gold. For those who like their jewelry to pop, choose designs that feature
sparkle, length, and vibrant colors.
4. Diamond Tennis Bracelets
A diamond tennis bracelet is a
simple, yet beautiful piece of jewelry that any woman would love to add to her
jewelry collection. When choosing a diamond tennis bracelet, consider the
clarity and uniformity of the diamonds as well as the color of the setting
metal. Tennis bracelets can be found in settings that range from yellow gold to
platinum to rose gold, and this determines how the bracelet’s diamonds appear.
A yellow or rose gold setting complements diamonds with a slight yellow or
5. Pearl Jewelry
For a classically feminine look,
you can never go wrong with a strand of pearls worn as a necklace. Pearls are
sometimes called “teardrops of the moon” and symbolize innocence and purity.
Some claim that they can even produce a calming effect. Whether natural or
cultured, pearls come in a variety of colors and shapes as unique as your
6. Luxury Watches
Gift your partner a watch that
combines opulence and function. Luxury watches are made from precious metals
and can be adorned with diamonds and other stones. Consider your loved one’s
personality and lifestyle when choosing a watch. If your Valentine spends
Saturdays by the pool, look for water-resistance. The type of watch crystal,
construction, and movement are other components to consider when in the market
for a sophisticated timepiece.
7. Engagement Rings
It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day
is one of the most popular days to “pop the big question.” Selecting the
perfect ring can be overwhelming, but doesn’t have to be if you’re armed with
the right information. Look for an engagement ring in the stone, metal, and
setting that suits her personality — like a nature-inspired or a vintage
design. Go traditional with a round diamond ring or unique with a large
marquise emerald ring. Remember that an engagement ring is a piece of jewelry
that symbolizes your life together, so choose with your heart.
8. Birthstone Jewelry
Show your Valentine that you know
and appreciate all the traits that make her who she is with a piece of
birthstone jewelry. Your Valentine is likely to appreciate a beautiful set of
diamond earrings, an amethyst necklace, or an emerald tennis bracelet to
showcase her birth month. She’ll also be impressed by the effort you put into
finding a unique piece of jewelry.
9. Cubic Zirconia
For budget-minded shoppers looking for
high design without the high cost, cubic zirconia is a beautiful and smart
option. This man-made stone shines with brilliance and features cuts that mimic
a diamond. Cubic zirconia stones can be found in pendant necklaces, engagement
rings, drop earrings, and tennis bracelets.
10. Unique and Handmade
If your Valentine prefers women’s
jewelry that’s one-of-a-kind, try handmade jewelry. Handcrafted pieces can be
simple or overstated. Turquoise earrings, coral bracelets, and hand-stamped
titanium rings just begin to brush the surface of all the special handmade
If you’re stuck for an idea for your Valentine, visit Adina by Empire Jewelers’ eBay store for a wide variety of fine estate, vintage and antique fine jewelry, at prices way below retail. With 100 percent positive feedback, you’ll have a buying experience beyond your expectations.
Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn recently proposed to her now fiancé, New Jersey Devils star P.K. Subban. Vonn is one of a growing number of women taking their relationships into their own hands and asking their significant other to marry them.
If you’re considering proposing, here’s some things to keep in mind and why you’re in good company. Information courtesy of The Washington Post.
No shame in the game
“We talk about equality but actions speak louder than words,” Vonn said. “Men should get engagement rings too and this is what P.K. deserves.” Vonn showed a close-up of Subban’s new engagement ring on her Twitter page with this message:
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!! On our 2 year anniversary, in a “non traditional” move, I asked P.K. to marry me and he said, Yes ! Women aren’t the only ones who should get engagement rings! #MerryChristmas #equality
Vonn is now in a rare category of women who have proposed to men. Judge Judy Sheindlin popped the question to her second husband in 1978; socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor claimed to have proposed to all nine of her husbands and Queen Victoria proposed to her cousin, Prince Albert, in 1839. Diane Von Furstenberg proposed to her current husband, Barry Diller; and Elizabeth Taylor, who was married a total of eight times to seven husbands, proposed to her second husband, British actor Michael Wilding. Pop star Pink proposed to her hubby, motocross champion Carey Hart, back in June 2005 — while he was mid-race! Kristen Bell proposed to hubby Dax Shepard on Twitter as soon as the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in 2013.
About seven percent of couples opt for dual proposals, according to The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry & Engagement Study. The wedding-planning site’s executive editor, Lauren Kay, told The Atlantic that 97 percent of grooms in heterosexual relationships report proposing to their brides.
Only about a third of all marriage proposals in the United States are actually a surprise, according to The Knot.
Floating on air
Last September, Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato came up with an out-of-this-world way to propose to her boyfriend Greg Linch—on a weightless flight out of Dulles International Airport, according to TheWashington Post.
“We were on a zero-gravity flight, hurtling through the sky, our bodies suspended in air. Taking aim, I floated a small blue box over to Greg. He made a heroic dive, the kind of move you’d see in a Netflix rom-com, and caught it,” Bloudoff-Indelicato explains. When he opened it, the ring levitated upward. “It was the perfect proposal for us, combining our passion for science with our love of adventure.”
Why the disparity?
Why isn’t it more common in our society for women to propose to men? Perhaps because gender stereotypes paint men as less willing to commit, they’re traditionally the ones to drive heterosexual relationships forward — and that includes popping the question.
“Even though we’ve seen a lot of gender role change in society, the marriage proposal has remained pretty static compared to all these other domains,” says Rachael Robnett, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
“We tend to think of proposals as romantic and special occasions, but the history behind them is much more legalistic and formal,” says Katherine Parkin, a professor of history at Monmouth University in New Jersey.
“Men get down on one knee to demonstrate the chivalry of their intentions and provide a diamond ring as proof that they can care for their partner financially. Because men have historically made more money than women, it tracked that they would be the ones to propose.”
Pat Summersall popped the question to her now-husband more than 30 years ago. The 63-year-old copy shop co-owner in Harrogate, Britain, says they had only been dating for six months, but she knew what she wanted in a husband and her boyfriend was it. Still, “it was more difficult for women of my age [to propose],” she says, “because we didn’t have job equality growing up, we didn’t have financial equality.”
“I have income at my disposal, so I can afford to buy my partner a ring. Yet many of my girlfriends make decent livings, and they haven’t proposed.”
So what’s stopping today’s financially stable women from popping the question? If you’re sure your partner is the one, follow your instincts and be inspired by the strong and sassy women who have done it already!
If you’re looking for a GIA-certified diamond for you special someone, 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. With 100% positive feedback and satisfaction guaranteed, you’ll get a buying experience beyond your expectations!
Now that December is underway and holiday gift giving is on your mind, you may be wondering what to get for your significant other? If your partner is the traditional type, you usually can’t go wrong with a classic piece of jewelry.
These timeless pieces never go out of style, and are versatile enough to accessorize any outfit or suit any occasion.
Read on for five classic jewelry gift ideas, courtesy of Ritani.com.
Diamond Halo Stud Earrings
Diamond stud earrings have long been a jewelry staple, beloved for how easily they complement any ensemble. Simple, prong-set diamond studs are the most classic version of this popular gift, especially when set with round cut diamonds. Pair them with halo studs of gold and/or gemstones that surround the center stones and you’ll get extra sparkle, adding brilliance to this traditional holiday gift.
The Classic Gold Necklace
The classic gold necklace in 14k or higher yellow gold, is another timeless gift that could work for anyone on your list. Gold jewelry has experienced a resurgence in popularity, and a gold necklace pairs with any clothing style which makes it a chic, multipurpose gift.
Chain Pearl Drop Earrings
Since pearls have been used in jewelry for thousands of years (dating back to Ancient Greece), it’s safe to say that pearls are some of the most time-honored classic gifts. From understated Akoya strands to colorful Tahitian drop necklaces, the variety and versatility of pearls have established their status as the ultimate classic jewelry choice. Pearl drop earrings offer a modern update to a timeless style, with delicate chains to add movement and elegance.
A diamond heart pendant never goes out of style, and will remind your partner of your love. Personalizing it with your partner’s birthstone or the gemstone of the month you were married adds a pop of color and a sentimental touch.
A Timeless Watch
After years of checking our phones for the time, the classic watch is making a comeback. A fine diamond or gold watch will never go out of style and is appropriate for any occasion.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional or trendy jewelry gift for the holidays, shop at Adina by Empire Jewelers eBay store. With 100% satisfaction rate and over tens of thousands of happy customers, you’ll find quality fine jewelry and a shopping experience beyond your expectations.
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!