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Archive for the ‘Birthstones’ Category

Opals, October’s Birthstone, Origins and Value

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.

September Birthstone Q&A: Sapphire

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.

  1. In addition to being the birthstone for September, what number wedding anniversary do sapphires celebrate?
  2. Blue sapphire is a variety of the mineral called corundum. What other gemstone comes from corundum?
  3. The blue sapphire is derived from the Greek word, sappheiros. What does the word mean?
  4. Sapphires come in many colors. What is the most valuable and in-demand color?
  5. 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?
  6. On the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphires rate a 9.0. What gem is harder?
  7. What did the ancient Greeks believe sapphires were a symbol of?
  8. The ancient Persians believed the earth was supported by a giant sapphire and that it gave what its blue hue?
  9. According to Jewish midrash, Moses’ sapphire tablets were carved from where?
  10. 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:


  1. Sapphires celebrate the 45th wedding anniversary.
  2. Rubies also come from the mineral corundum.
  3. The Greek word sappheiros meaning blue stone.
  4. Blue sapphires are the most expensive and desirable of all sapphire colors.
  5. 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.
  6. Diamonds are the only gem to rank a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
  7. The ancient Greeks believed sapphires were a symbol of wisdom and purity.
  8. The ancient Persians believed a giant sapphire gave the sky its blue hue.
  9. According to Jewish midrash, Moses’ sapphire tablets were carved from the throne of God, making them the most precious gemstone.
  10. Princess Diana’s ring became so popular with the public that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”

Triple the Fun with August’s Three Birthstones

Vintage Le Triomphe GVS diamond tourmaline peridot flower brooch

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.

Wedding Trends Birthstone Engagement Rings

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!

Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring

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.

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?

January: garnet

February: amethyst

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)

October: opal

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!

Source: https://www.whowhatwear.com/birthstone-engagement-ring-trend

Fabulous Facts About Sapphires

Few gems are considered as regal and magical as sapphires—the royal gemstone and September’s birthstone.Here are some fun and fabulous facts about sapphires, courtesy of GIA.

  1. Blue sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, the same mineral that rubies come from.
  2. The sapphire is derived from the Greek word “sapheiros,” which means blue.
  3. On the Mohs hardness scale, sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness.
  4. Although sapphires come in many colors, the most valuable and sought after are deep blue sapphires.
  5. In addition to being the birthstone for September, sapphires are also the gemstone for celebrating 45th wedding anniversaries.
  6. The ancient Greeks believed sapphires were a symbol of wisdom and purity.
  7. The ancient Persians believed the Earth was supported by a giant sapphire and its reflection made the sky blue.
  8. According to Jewish midrash, Moses was given tablets of sapphire that were carved from God’s throne, making them the most precious gemstone.
  9. The late Diana, Princess of Wales, famously chose a blue sapphire and diamond ring for her engagement to Prince Charles.
  10. After the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, reproductions of her ring became so popular with the public that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”
  11. After inheriting it upon her death, Prince William gave his mother’s ring to Kate Middleton when he proposed to her. The Duchess of Cambridge can almost always be seen wearing it in public.
  12. The 104-carat Stuart Sapphire is on the back side of the British Imperial State Crown and is currently on display as part of the British Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London.

If you’re looking for a beautiful piece of sapphire jewelry, visit Adina Jewelers by Empire Pawn on eBay. You’ll find amazing fine estate, vintage and antique jewelry at true wholesale prices!

Source: GIA

Top Six Steps to Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Source: GIA

Learn About Aquamarine, the March Birthstone

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.

Diamond aquamarine halo estate ring 18K YG rectangle baguette round brill 21.9CT click here
  • 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.

Learn About Calming Amethyst

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.

If you’re looking for a calming amethyst, visit Adina by Empire Jewelers eBay store. You’ll fine exquisite fine jewelry, at wholesale prices.

Interesting Facts about the Ruby, July’s Birthstone

Interesting Facts about the Ruby, July's Birthstone

Interesting Facts about the Ruby, July’s Birthstone

Happy Birthday, July babies! To celebrate your summer birthstone, we’re paying tribute to the romantic and luxurious ruby. Read on for fun and interesting facts about rubies:

  • Ruby is the birthstone for July, as well as the astrological sign of Capricorn.
  • Ruby is one of the four precious gemstones; the others are emerald, sapphire and diamond.
  • 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.
  • Flawless top-quality rubies are more valuable and rare than top quality colorless diamonds.
  • The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj” which roughly translates to “king of the gems.”
  • The color of the pure red rubies from the mines of Mogok was sometimes referred to as “pigeon’s blood.”
  • The most expensive ruby ever sold was a 25.59 carat cushion-shaped ruby ring set between shield-shaped diamonds. It sold in 2015 at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for a reported $30.3 million.
  • The American Museum of Natural History has the largest ruby in the world, which weighs around 4.6 grams.
  • In ancient times, rubies were thought to give its wearer good health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.
  • 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 magical ruby red slippers together three times and repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”
  • Theodore Maiman invented the world’s first laser, known as the “ruby laser” in 1960. This first generation laser was a solid-state type using a ruby crystal.
  • Rubies are referenced four different times in the Bible—the Bible associates these gems with beauty and wisdom.
  • According to ancient folklore, people of India believed rubies would help them be at peace with their enemies.
  • High ranking Chinese mandarins were given rubies, as they were thought to provide guidance and teaching.
  • In ancient times, ruby stones were kept under a building foundation, to strengthen its structure.

If you’re looking to buy rubies, either as a birthday gift for a loved one born in July, or just because you’re drawn to the lovely red gemstone of the month, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a beautiful collection of fine estate and vintage ruby jewelry, available at true wholesale prices. Shop online today and enjoy our vast selection of other 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.

Fun and Interesting Facts About Diamonds

Diamond FactsIf you’re lucky enough to have been born in April, you get to claim the diamond as your birthstone. Whether you have an April birthday or not, this glamorous gemstone is a favorite of many. Test your knowledge of diamonds, the official birthstone of April. Scroll down for the answers — but no cheating!

  1. Diamonds are a naturally occurring allotrope of what element?
  2. Diamonds are formed deep inside the Earth’s interior when carbon is crystallized over a long period of time. What two factors cause the crystallization?
  3. Diamonds are appraised and priced according to the 4Cs: color, clarity, carat weight and cut. What organization created this standard grading system?
  4. Diamonds were first mined in India around 800 BC. Today, what are the four top diamond producing countries in the world?
  5. A state park in Arkansas is the only diamond-producing location in the world that allows the public to dig for and keep the diamonds they find. What is the name of the state park?
  6. Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in what 1953 film?
  7. In the 1963 film, The Pink Panther, Peter Sellers played clueless police inspector Jacques Clouseau on the trail of a jewel thief known as “The Phantom.” In the movie, what is the name of “the largest diamond in the world?”
  8. In December 2011, Elizabeth Taylor’s renowned jewelry collection was auctioned at Christie’s in New York. One of her most famous pieces was the Taylor-Burton diamond ring, given to her by husband, Richard Burton. How many carats is it, and what is its estimated worth?
  9. In James Cameron’s movie Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, what is the name of the fictional blue diamond lost to the ocean?
  10. On December 10, 2012 at the final lot of Christie’s “Magnificent Jewels” auction, a new world auction record was achieved for a reddish-orange fancy colored diamond. What was the diamond’s carat weight, and what did it sell for?

Diamond Quiz Answers:

  1. Carbon
  2. Heat and pressure
  3. The 4Cs grading system was created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
  4. Australia, Zaire, Botswana, and the former Soviet Union
  5. Crater of Diamonds State Park
  6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  7. The Pink Panther
  8. The Taylor-Burton diamond is a 69.42 carat pear-shaped stone estimated to be worth $3.5 million. Taylor sold the diamond in 1978 following her divorce from Burton to fund her charity work.
  9. “The Heart of the Ocean”
  10. The rare 3.15 carat diamond is the largest reddish-orange diamond ever graded at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and sold for $2,098,500, setting a new world auction record for a reddish-orange diamond and a new per-carat record price of $666,200.
 
 
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