Peridot

Peridot has been treasured since ancient times for its radiant spring green colors and beautiful sparkle. Its history dates back more than 3,500 years where the ancient Egyptians regarded the gemstone as one of their most priceless possessions. Hawaiian legends refer to Peridot as tears of Pele, goddess of the volcano.
Peridot Silver Jewelry

With iron as its color base, peridot is an idiochromatic gem, meaning that its color is an essential part of its composition - unlike Ruby or Sapphire for example, that are colored by trace elements present only as impurities. The green hues of peridot vary in color from rich grass greens to yellowish greens that may at times exhibit hints of brown color. While the most valued peridot color is a rich grass green, many peridots with slight yellowish hues exhibit attractive colors that can still command premium prices.

Peridot can be found in many locations around the world but is mainly found in China, Myanmar (Burma) and Pakistan. There are also large deposits in Arizona USA. Peridot is easily found in most sizes and a variety of shapes.

Like many of the world's popular colored gemstones, Peridot has been credited with a host of magical powers and healing properties, such as protection against nightmares and possessing the power to ward off evil. The birthstone for August, Peridot is also the suggested gemstone gift for the sixteenth wedding anniversary.
 
AMETHYST

Amathyst Silver Jewelry


Belonging to the Quartz mineral family, Amethyst is found in many corners of the earth. In its purest form it is colorless and is most valued in its purple and golden varieties. The ancient Roman treasured the purple amethyst as a talisman to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication. The yellow form of Quartz, Citrine, was regarded by the ancients as a gift from the sun and a powerful antidote to the viper's venom.


Amethyst, the traditional birthstone for the month of February, is available in all sizes, although as with all gemstones, very large sizes with deep rich purple colors have always been rare. Designers consider Amethyst as the best choice for silver and gold jewelry because of its regal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability, and wide tonal range, from light to dark purple.

Citrine, derived from the French word for lemon, in all of its magnificent golden and yellow colors, is the most affordable of all of yellow gemstones and is the alternative birthstone for November.

While Brazil is the primary source for Amethyst and Citrine, you will also find them in several locations in Africa, with Zambia being the most significant source for fine rich purple color. Amethyst is also found in Uruguay.

   
AQUAMARINE

Aquamarine, the blue verity of the beryl mineral family, captures the beauty of the sea with its magnificent blue colors. Legend has it, that Neptune, King of the Sea, gave an Aquamarine gemstone to each of his mermaid daughters as a gift, and from then on, it has brought love to all who have owned it.
AQUAMARINE Silver Jewelry

Aquamarines are found in a range of blue shades, from the palest pastel to greenish-blue to a deep blue. While the choice of color is largely a matter of taste, the deeper blue gems are more rare and command a very high price. No matter the shape, size or color of Aquamarine you may be looking for, your jeweler will probably be able to help you obtain the perfect gem. Aquamarine is a pastel gemstone, and while color may be quite intense in larger gemstones, smaller sized Aquamarines are usually lighter in color.

This graceful colored gemstone is the birthstone of March and is a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity.

Aquamarines are mined in a number of places including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, although most of the aquamarines available today come from Brazil.
   
ALEXANDRITE




The very first Alexandrite crystals were discovered in the 1830, in the Emerald mines of the southern Russian Urals. This rare and extraordinary gemstone was named after Tsar Alexander the II (1818 - 1881), on the occasion of his coming of age.

Even though Alexandrite is a relatively young gemstone compared to other gemstones, it has pretty impressive history nevertheless. When first discovered, the emerald miners who found it were puzzled by the color change effect that the new stone exhibited under different light conditions. By coincidence, the new stone changed its color from Green to Red, the official imperial colors of the Russian realm. Alexandrite became the national stone of Tsarist Russia.

Top gem quality Alexandrite is very rare. It is hardly ever used in modern jewelry, simply because it is very rare and priceless. You may find some of these incredibly rare pieces in antique Russian jewelry, since the Russian master jewelers simply loved Alexandrite. Tiffany's legendary master gemologists George Kunz was so captivated by Alexandrite, that he convinced Tiffany to produce a series of rings and platinum sets at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century.

Color Change

The most astounding feature about alexandrite is its ability to change its color. Alexandrite changes its color from fine shades of green in daylight, to a soft shade of red, purplish-red or purple-gray, under candlelight or artificial light. Under ideal light condition, Alexandrite displays a unique optical characteristic, which makes it one of the most valuable gemstones in nature, especially in finer qualities.

Alexandrite is very scarce due to its chemical composition. It is basically a Chrysoberyl, a family consisting of colorless, green or yellow Chrysoberyl, Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye and color-changing Alexandrite. The difference between Alexandrite and other Chrysoberyls is that it doesn't only contain iron and titanium, but also chrome. It is the presence of the chrome element, which accounts for the spectacular color-change. Only Chrysoberyls displaying a distinct color change may be called Alexandrite.

Alexandrite's rarity is caused by its formation. Like all other gemstones, Alexandrites materialized millions of years ago, when the earth was still a fiery mass. Two types of stones where required in order to create Alexandrite. One of these stones contributed the aluminum and beryllium elements, the other stone contributed the chrome element. These conditions occurred rarely and therefore Alexandrite crystals are very hard to come by.

Source

The original source in the Ural Mountains ran dry several decades after its discovery in 1830. Then in 1987, a new find of alexandrite was made in Hematita, Brazil. The Brazilian Alexandrite won over even the tidiest of skeptics, both in its distinctive color change and in its good clarity and color. The somewhat forgotten image of the legendary alexandrite received another boost. Today Hematita is one of the single most economically important occurrences for Alexandrite.

Alexandrites also exist in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Alexandrites differs from the highly estimated Russian alexandrites by a slightly different shade of color: In daylight it appears blue-green, and under artificial light it will change to reddish purple or deep purple. Alexandrite is also found in India, Burma, Tasmania and Zimbabwe.

Even though alexandrite is considered a rare stone, some specialized gemstone dealers will probably carry some relatively fine pieces.

A gemstone for the savvy

Alexandrite is a stone for experts and collectors. Its rareness and high value are not obvious at first. The color change will only occur when exposed to different light sources. But if you really get involved in Alexandrite, you will be fascinated by it. You may also feel some of the mystifying magic ascribed to Alexandrite: in precarious situations it is believed to strengthen the perception of those who wear it, and help them find an innovative solution whenever logic will not provide one. Alexandrite is also believed to support creativity and inspire imagination.

Alexandrite measures 8.5 in the mohs hardness scale (10 being the hardest mineral), making it an ideal stone for everyday jewelry wear. The more intense the color change the more valuable the stone. Top quality Alexandrites weighing over 1carat are amongst the most expensive gemstones in the world, and are more rare than fine Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald. Its value mainly depend on the depth of the color change: a really fine Alexandrite should show a vivid green in daylight, and change to purple-red or deep purple in artificial light, without any trace of brown. If its origin is indeed Russian, than the piece will be considered a real rarity of great value.

Alexandrite Synthetics and Doublets (composite gemstones ).

There are several types of Alexandrite Synthetics used in jewelry these days.

The most common type is known as color change corundum , which is created in a process called flame fusion. Flame fusion is the first process used for creating synthetic gemstone and is still extremely popular today. Low production costs along side with high crystal-growth rates, insure that a large number of flame fusion gemstones are available at any given time. It is the most inexpensive crystal production method and offers very good value for money. The flame fusion method utilizes the powdered elements of a gem by fusing them together under a high temperature oxy-hydrogen flame. The elements powder melts and crystallizes in successive layers, forming a hard crystal displaying similar or better color than the natural gem. The crystal is then cut and polished to create its final appearance. In the synthetic alexandrite case, the production is done using low-grade powdered corundum (sapphire) and adding other powdered gem components and additive colors. The color change display in this case is truly spectacular.

Another alexandrite substitute is known as doublet (composite gemstone ). Alexandrite doublets consist of two parts that have been artificially joined together to give the impression of a single gemstone. The component pieces of a composite gemstone include a combination of natural, synthetic or simulate substances. The end color result is usually derived from only one of the components or from added dye within the stone's layers. Alexandrite doublets exhibit very good color change and have an amazing resemblance to the genuine article, making them a very good substitution for the real thing. There are very few sources where good quality Alexandrite doublets can be found, which makes them pretty hard to come by.

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